Disability struck in the life of Apolinario Mabini when he was in his 30’s at the prime of his life. But disability did not stop him to show his courage in the midst of revolutionary exigency during his time. With his physical limitations in the actual battlefield, Mabini armed himself with impressive mind, soul, and deep patriotism that made him a martyr to the cause of the country’s freedom.
Born on July 23, 1864 in Talaga, Tanauan, Batangas. He was the second of eight children of Dionisia Maranan and Inocencio Mabini, both of whom belonged to the impoverished peasantry. Despite of his poverty, Mabini was able to study in Manila. He began his studies at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in 1881 and received his law degree in 1894 from the University of Santo Tomas. To survive, he earned his living by teaching Latin and then serving as a copyist in the Court of First Instance in Manila.
In 1896, Mabini contracted an illness that paralyzed his legs. When the Katipunan revolt broke out late that year, the Spanish authorities arrested him for being a member of Katipunan. Unknown to many, Mabini was not a member of Katipunan but of the reform association of Jose Rizal, the La Liga Filipina. Bonifacio’s movement sought military insurrection while Rizal’s movement aimed for gradual reform. Though as a pacifist reformist, he was at first skeptical of Bonifacio’s armed uprising, Mabini later became convinced of the people’s almost fanatical desire for liberation. Subsequently, he turned out subversive manifestos appealing to all Filipinos to unite against Spain.
Mabini came to the forefront in 1898 during the Filipino revolution against Spain. In the subsequent revolution against the United States, he became known as the brains of the revolution.
Even if Mabini was already paralyzed, in 1898 General Emilio Aguinaldo summoned him to serve as his chief adviser. He drafted decrees and crafted the constitution for the First Philippine Republic, including the framework of the revolutionary government which was implemented in Malolos, Bulacan in 1899.
Mabini was appointed prime minister and was also the foreign minister of the newly independent dictatorial government of Emilio Aguinaldo on January 2, 1899. Mabini then led the first cabinet of the republic. He remained the head of Aguinaldo’s cabinet until his resignation on May 7, 1899.
On December 10, 1899, he was captured by the Americans at Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija, but was later set free. In spite of his physical condition, Mabini refused to submit to American authority and continued to write against the occupying power. In January 1901, he was arrested the second time by the Americans and was exiled to Guam, where he remained until his return to Manila on February 26, 1903. On the day he sailed, he issued this statement to the press:
After two long years I am returning, so to speak, completely disoriented and, what is worse, almost overcome by disease and sufferings. Nevertheless, I hope, after some time of rest and study, still to be of some use, unless I have returned to the Islands for the sole purpose of dying.
On May 13, 1903 Mabini died of cholera in Manila, at the age of 38. Mabini’s life despite of disability was selfless and motivated by high ideals. He would state, I have no other balm to sweeten the bitterness of a harsh and melancholy life (in exile) than the satisfaction given by the conviction of having always done what I believed to be my duty. God grant that I can say the same at the hour of my death. (from La Revolucion Filipina).
Source: NCDA’s “Journey Beyond disABILITY”
Apolinario Mabini. Retrieved January 28, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apolinario_Mabini
Apolinario Mabini Biography/Encyclopedia of World Biography. Retrieved January 28, 2010 from http://www.bookrags.com/biography/apolinario-mabini/
Biography: Apolinario Mabini. Retrieved January 28, 2010 from http://www.answers.com/topic/apolinario-mabini
Biography of Apolinario Mabini. Retrieved January 28, 2010 from http://tagaloglang.com/Famous-Filipinos/Leaders/biography-of-aplonario-mabini.html
Yoder, Dr. Robert L., FAPC (1991). Mabini: Wounded Hero, Retrieved January 29, 2010 from http://www.answers.com/topic/apolinario-mabinihttp://www.univie.ac.at/Voelkerkunde/apsis/aufi/history/mabini.htm
Apolinario Mabini [Image] Source: Downloaded from http://www.wowbatangas.com/features/people/mabini-and-batangas-city-day-july-23/