Today in history, October 8, 1897, Emilio Jacinto wrote "A La Patria"

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Saturday October 08, 2011 ()
Emilio Jacinto wrote 'A La Patria' October 8, 1897
(An artist concept of the Katipunan membership rites.)

On October 8, 1897, Emilio Jacinto, dubbed in Philippine history as the Brains of the Katipunan, wrote "A La Patria" (To My Fatherland), a patriotic piece inspired by "Mi Ultimo Adios" (My Last Farewell) written by national hero Dr. Jose Rizal before his execution at the Bagumbayan field, popularly known today as the Rizal or Luneta Park.

Jacinto, who carried the nom de plume "Dimas Ilaw", was an equally cerebral and influential writer whose pieces essentially exhorted the Filipino masses to join the revolution against Spain and that every Filipino aspiring for freedom should be ready to make sacrifices for the country.

Born on December 15, 1875 in Trozo, Manila, Jacinto, at the age of 18, gave up his academic pursuits to join the Katipunan founded by the Great Plebeian Andres Bonifacio on July 7, 1892 in Tondo. Jacinto was the youngest member of the Katipunan in his time.

A foremost revolutionary of the Katipunan, Jacinto wrote the "Kartilla", the primer of the Katipunan on how Katipuneros should conduct themselves in the fight for freedom against the Spanish colonizers.

He likewise edited the newspaper "Kalayaan" (Freedom), the secret society's organ which tremendously boosted the membership of the Katipunan from 300 to 30,000 just before the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution in August 1896.

The simplicity and ease of comprehension of his writing style to the masses evoked power and admiration among all his readers.

His other writings include: "Liwanag at Dilim" (Light and Darkness), "Pahayag" (Manifesto), "Sa Mga Kababayan Ko" (To My Countrymen) that all contain his socio-political ideas using Dr. Jose Rizal and Marcelo H. del Pilar as his role models.

Jacinto held various sensitive positions in the organization as secretary, fiscal, editor, and later as general of the revolutionary forces in Laguna province.

After Bonifacio's death, Jacinto continued his fight against the Spanish colonizers but nevertheless declined to join the forces of General Emilio Aguinaldo.

He contracted malaria and died on April 16, 1899 in Majayjay, Laguna, at the age of 23. His remains were later transferred to the Manila North Cemetery.

Reference: Philippine News Agency
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