MARIANO M. ALVAREZ             

(1818-1924)

 

 

A revolutionary general and a teacher, Mariano Alvarez was born in Noveleta, Cavite on March 15, 1818, to Severino Alvarez and Maria Malia.   At the age of 10, he started his formal education in the town's friar school. Then he was sent to San Jose College in Manila for further schooling. While studying, he found time to read colorful corridos like Los SIete Infantes de Lara and Doce Fares. These corridos instilled in his mind hatred against tyranny.

 

After obtaining the teachers' diploma, he returned to his hometown and became a school teacher. He taught at Naic and Maragondon, Cavite for a couple of years.

 

In May 1863, he married Nicolasa Virata y del Rosario, by whom he had an only child, Santiago, who became an equally noted revolutionary general.

 

One day in 1871, obviously to manifest his hatred for the Spanlards, Mariano ordered that a cupful of dirty water from a ditch be given to a Spanish soldier who had been thrown off his horse. The next day Mariano was bound and hauled off to the soldier's headquarquater at Barrio Dalahican, where he was tortured. He was spared from an untimely 'death only through the intercession of the provincial governor to whom his townmates had appealed for his life.

 

The next year (1872) he was arrested and tortured again after he was implicated in the Cavite Mutiny following the discovery of an autographed photograph of Fr. Jose A. Burgos on his person. This was used as an evidence against him. Mariano was placed in solitary confinement. Chains placed around his neck and his legs prevented his moving around freely. One measly meal was allowed him daily.

 

 Together with some suspected rebels, he was placed on a boat for Manila. The suspicion was that he was going to be sent into exile, but an order releasing him from captivity was received by the officer-in-charge of the prisoners.

 

  In 1881, he was elected capitan municipal of Noveleta against his wishes. He later acceded and held the post for six years, after which he tendered his resignation - only to be appointed Justice of the Peace (Hukom Pamayapa) of the town. Much later, he was re-elected capitan municipal of Noveleta. He held this office until the outbreak of the Revolution.

 

When the provincial council or Sangguniang Magdiwang at Noveleta was formed in April, 1896, he was elected president. To a certain extent, he was responsible for the spread of the Katipunan in the province. He initiatedrevolutionary activities in Cavite in September of 1896. In an effort to prevent the Spaniards from sending reinforcrments, he had the bridge at Dalahican destroyed, an incident that resulted in the death of the local commandant of the civil guard,

Antonio Reboleda. He also led his forces in an ambush of about a thousand Spanish troops who were planning to cross the Calero bridge at Dalahican. This initial success at Dalahican was followed by other victories. In a week, most of the towns in Cavite were in the hands of the revolutionary forces.

 

In recognition of his valiant accomplishments, Bonifacio designated Alvarez general and second Supreme of the Katipunan during the Magdiwang Council meeting in Cavite in December 1896.

 

Alvarez did not join the revolutionists who retreated to Biak-na-Bato because Bonifacio's death in 1897 grieved him. He was not even present during the signing of the declaration of independence at Kawit on June 12, 1898.

 

During the American regime he affiliated himself with the Nacionalista Party whose constitution he signed on August 28, 1901, the day the party was founded. Later, he was elected municipal president of Noveleta. As town executive, he helped construct the municipal cemetery through voluntary contributions and effected the annexation of barrio San Juan (previously under the jurisdiction of Kawit) to Noveleta.

 

Mariano Alvarez was not only a nationalist by party affiliation but his nationalism extended to his religion. Hejoined the Aglipayans and helped build a church in the town.

 

After his term as town president, he retired to his farm and devoted himself to agriculture. In the morning of August 25, 1924, he died of chronic rheumatism at a rather advanced age. He was 106 years old.

 

 

 

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