|Emilio Jacinto with his Cartilla ng KKK and his best friend Andres Bonifacio at the Dambana ng Kagitingan atop Mt Samat, Bataan.|
- "Ayon din kay Andres Bonifacio ay si Emilio Jacinto ang kaluluwa ng katipunan. Naging kalihim ng kapatiran ng mga manghihimagsik at siyang kinikilalang mata ng K.K.K.N.M.A.N.B. [Kataastaasang, Kagalanggalang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan] (Santos, 1935).” Tr.: According to Andres Bonifacio also, Emilio Jacinto was the soul of the katipunan. He was the secretary of the revolutionists and was considered the eye of the K.K.K.N.M.A.N.B.
His cousin-in-law Jose Turiano Santiago led Emilio Jacinto to the Katipunan, and thus began his amazing friendship with supremo Andres Bonifacio.
We wonder how Bonifacio sized up the long-haired young man, 12 years his junior, during their first meeting. We don't know how true it was that when Jacinto was enrolled in San Juan de Letran and later in the University of Santo Tomas, he only had his haircut when he could no longer bear the teasing of his classmates (Santos).
Freshman pre-law student Jacinto was about to enter a fraternity of older men, and it could not have been different from what the young lads in the University of the Philippines today would go through once they opt to join a Greek-letter fraternity there.
We imagine master Bonifacio ribbing his prospective brod to first go and see a barber before they can even begin talking about the fraternity, what this brotherhood of this country's noble sons is all about, and going through the secret initiation rites that he, the supremo, and other founders originated.
The master could have discerned a treasure in the neophyte at the very start. In today's setting, would Jacinto be a potential Collegian editor, chairman of the UP Student Council, or a Bar topnotcher? It's not unusual for senior fratmen to have promising brods to be groomed for the national leadership, in Congress, the Supreme Court and even the Palace!
It didn't take long for Jacinto to gain the trust and affection of the fraternity head. "Nagkaroon agad sa kaniya ng malaking pagtatapat at pagmamahal si Andres Bonifacio na hindi maaaring matularan ng iba .. (Santos)."
The young man spoke the language of Manila, kastilang tindahan (roughly today's Taglish), so he had to learn the dialect fast. Fraternal discussions were in Tagalog. The supremo himself would be his Tagalog tutor, and in due time, the young katipunero surpassed his mentor in the quality of his oral and written Tagalog.
One of the first things they could have found in common between them was passion for books on revolutions. Both were fond of the History of the French Revolution. Jacinto could have read La Solidaridad, El Filibusterismo, Les Miserables, The Wandering Jew, among others, from his mentor's personal library.
"They were like brothers," Gregoria de Jesus, a katipunera herself, wrote of the supremo, her husband, and Jacinto. She had custody of the society's belongings for Jacinto, the Katipunan secretary, who lived with them.
|Emilio and Andres as featured in the Bonifacio monument, Kalookan City.|
The supremo wrote the first regulations or ten commandments of the Katipunan, and later, the younger brod put out his own version, the Cartilla, which, of course, echoes Bonifacio's decalogue. Because of his affection for the younger brod, but more so because he found it better than his own, the supremo deferred to Jacinto's version.
Bonifacio had so much trust in him. They shared secrets, and the supremo made sure he consulted his younger brod before they pursued any plan or activity. "Walang nang uuna kay Andres Bonifacio sa paghanga at pagdakila kay Emilio Jacinto. Wala siyang lihim na hindi ipinagtapat ditto at walang bagay at pangyayaring hindi muna niya isinangguni kay Emilio Jacinto bago niya isagawa (Santos)."
Together, they refined the policy structure and set up the propaganda machinery of the Katipunan. They secured a printing press, published the primer Cartilla, some sort of codes--the revolutionary Liwanag at Dilim (Light and Darkness) and the commercial Samahan ng Bayan sa Pangangalakal (Commercial Association of the People)--and their organ Kalayaan, which came out with two issues in 1896 (Fernandez, 1926; Cruz, 1922).
When they went to war after the discovery of the Katipunan, it's said that the supremo was more worried about the safety of his young trusted brod even he was more at risk in the battlefield.
How close they were can be gleaned when they entered, side by side, Magdalo territory in 1897. Here's Artemio Ricarte (1927) dramatic recollection of it --
"... Pagkatanggap ng anyaya, si G. Andres Bonifacio ay umalis na kasama sina GG. Baldomero Aguinaldo, Daniel Tirona at ang sugo ng Magdiwang, upang magtungong Nobeleta; sila'y nagdaan ngunit di na nagtigil pa sa Cavite el Viejo, at dumating sila sa Nobeleta nang unang oras ng hapon ng araw ding yaon, na di na kasama si G. Baldomero Aguinaldo. Sila'y tinanggap ng maraming pinunong naghihimagsik sa maliwalas at bagong bahay ng hukom pamayapa ng Nobeleta na siyang ipinahandang pangsamantala. Nang ika-3 ng hapon ding yaon, si G. Andres Bonifacio at G. Emilio Jacinto ay lumulan sa isang sasakyang natatalibaan sa magkabilang tabi; sa gawing kanan, ang nakakabayong si G. Daniel Tirona ay bunot ang sableng sumisigaw ng buong lakas tuwing matatapat a pook na may pulutong na tao, ng:- Mabuhay ang Supremo ng Katipunan! Nasa kaliwa naman si G. Esteban San Juan, sa likod nito'y kasunod ang mga sasakyan ng tanang mga Kagawad ng Magdiwang at saka dalawang pulutong na kawal na nakaunipormeng pula, isang pangkat sa harap at isa pa rin sa likod, at sa ganitong ayus ay nagsilakad ang lahat na patungong San Francisco de Malabon. Dito'y tinanggap ng buong sigla si G. Andres Bonifacio sa tugtog ng banda ng musika at saka "Te-Deum" sa simbahaln. Ilang nasa lansangan ang sumigaw ng:- Mabuhay ang Hari ng Pilipinas! bagay na narinig at sinagot naman ni G. Andres Bonifacio ng:- Mabuhay ang Kalayaan ng Pilipinas! Ang Kataas-taasang Pang-ulo ay tumuloy muna sa bahay ni G. Santos Nocon, komandante noon ng hukbong naghihimagsik, at nang huli ay sa kayayaring bahay ni Ginang Estefania Potente, hanggang sa araw na ikinakuha ng mga kastila sa bayang San Francisco de Malabon noong nagsimula ang Abril ng 1897 (Ricarte, 1927)."
An English version can be read from the translation of revolutionary General Santiago Alvarez's memoirs, published in 1992:
“The Supremo left Imus for Noveleta in the company of Messrs. Emilio Aguinaldo, Daniel Tirona, Baldomero Aguinaldo, Esteban San Juan, and others. They did not stop at Kawit, although it was along their way to Noveleta. When they reached Noveleta before two in the afternoon, they were joyfully greeted by the Magdiwang leaders and troops. They were welcomed by a brass band, flags, fireworks and gunfire, and by shouts of “Long live the Supremo!” The Supremo would then answer back, “Long live the Motherland!”
“The party was led to a house where they ate and rested for a while. At past three that afternoon, the Supremo and Sec. Emilio Jacinto boarded a luxurious carriage by well-fed, swift white horse to inspect the defense positions of the Katipunan territories. A cavalry detachment led by Col. Santos Nocon provided the honor guard in front, on the left and right sides, and at the rear of the carriage. Astride a magnificent horse, Magdalo Secretary of War Daniel Tirona rode abreast on the right side of the Supremo and Sec. Emilio Jacinto. His sword was drawn and he was wearing a cap. Whenever they passed a crowd he would shout, “Long live the Supremo!”
“On the left side was Maj. Esteban San Juan, and at the rear were Magdiwang infantrymen. They were followed by a cavalry detachment and armed troops dressed in red. After inspecting the Katipunan country and its defenses, they proceeded to San Francisco de Malabon. There the Supremo was also welcomed most warmly. There was a brass band, pealing of the church bells, and a Te Deum said by Fr. Manuel Trias, a Katipunan member.
““Along the streets, some shouted, “Long live the King!” to which the Supremo would answer, “Long live the Motherland!”
“At San Francisco de Malabon, the Supremo stayed for some time at the house of Col. Santos Nocon and later moved to the house of Mrs. Estefania Potente.”
We've been looking for Emilio Jacinto after this triumphant entry to Magdalo country. Where was he during the prosecution of his supremo in Cavite? We were expecting a John the Beloved accompanying and protecting Gregoria during the trial, and when she went looking for her missing husband and his brother.
Alas, there's no passion and death of Andres Bonifacio according to Emilio Jacinto, the beloved brother.
There's an account though of how Jacinto eluded the Spanish authorities after getting wounded in a battle in Majayjay, Laguna in 1898. He recovered and went back to Manila, staying there briefly. When he returned to Majayjay, he got sick and never got well again. He died on 16 April 1899.
- Alvarez, Santiago V. (c1992). The Katipunan and the Revolution: Memoirs of a General with the Original Tagalog Text / Translated into English by Paula Carolina Malay. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. Available in parts at http://books.google.com.
- Cruz, Hermenegildo.(1922). Kartilyang makabayan : mḡa tanóng at sagot ukol kay Andres Bonifacio at sa Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan. Manila: S.P. Retrieved from http://name.umdl.umich.edu/ADT3553.0001.001
- Fernández, Leandro H. (1926). The Philippine Republic. New York:Columbia University. Retrieved from http://name.umdl.umich.edu/afj2313.0001.001
- Jesus, Gregoria de. (1930, June). Autobiography of Gregoria de Jesus. Tr. by Leandro H. Fernandez. Philippine Magazine. 27(1):16-18,65-68. Retrieved from http://name.umdl.umich.edu/acd5869.0027.001
- Ricarte, Artemio. (1927). Himagsikan nang manga Pilipino laban sa Kastila. Yokohama, Japan:"Karihan Cafe". Available at http://name.umdl.umich.edu/acs6869.0001.001
- Santos Cristobal, Epifanio de los. (1918, June). Emilio Jacinto. The Philippine review (Revista Filipina). Gregorio Nieve, ed. 3(6)412-429. Manila, P.I. Retrieved at http://name.umdl.umich.edu/acp0898.0003.001
- Santos, Jose P. (1935). Buhay at mga sinulat ni Emilio Jacinto. Paunang salita ng Kgg. Rafael Palma. Place of publication and publisher not indicated.