Emilio Aguinaldo was a Filipino general, politician, and independence leader. He played an instrumental role during the Philippines' revolution against Spain, and the subsequent Philippine-American War that resisted American occupation.
Aguinaldo became the Philippines' first President. He was also the youngest (at age 29) to have become the country's president, and the longest-lived (having survived to age 94).
The seventh of eight children of Carlos Aguinaldo y Jamir and Trinidad Famy y Valero (1820–1916), Emilio Aguinaldo was born on March 23, 1869 in Cavite El Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite province. His father was gobernadorcillo (town head), and, as members of the Chinese-Tagalog mestizo minority, they enjoyed relative wealth and power. As a young boy he received education from his great-aunt and later attended the town's elementary school. In 1880, he took up his secondary course education at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, which he quit on his third year to return home instead to help his widowed mother manage their farm. At the age of 28, Miong, as he was popularly called, was elected cabeza de barangay of Binakayan, the most progressive barrio of Cavite El Viejo. He held this position serving for his town-mates for eight years. He also engaged in inter-island shipping, travelling as far south as the Sulu Archipelago. In 1893, the Maura Law was passed to reorganize town governments with the aim of making them more effective and autonomous, changing the designation of town head from gobernadorcillo to capitan municipal effective 1895. On January 1, 1895, Aguinaldo was elected town head, becoming the first person to hold the title of capitan municipal of Cavite El Viejo.
His first marriage was in 1896 with Hilaria Del Rosario (1877–1921). They had five children (Miguel, Carmen, Emilio Jr., María and Cristina) Hilaria Aguinaldo died because of leprosy. His second wife was María Agoncillo (1882–1963).
Manuel L. Quezon... [continues]
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