What Independence Day means for this grandson of a Katipunero

By Leo Magno

APARRI, CAGAYAN -- For this direct descendant of a Katipunero who struggled for the country’s freedom in 1898, Independence Day no longer means freedom from foreign domination. For him, Independence Day means giving back freedom to the people who till and nurture the same land for which Filipinos fought.

On June 2, 1954, David “Dabo” Canicula Macayayong was born 10 days before Independence Day. His mother is 80-year-old Justina Canicula, born October 7, 1930 in Aparri. She is the daughter of Eladio Canicula, a member of the “Suprema y Venerable Asociación de los Hijos del Pueblo,” more commonly known by Filipinos as the “Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan” (Highest and Most Honorable Society of the Children of the Nation) also known as K.K.K. or Katipunan.

The Katipunan was a revolutionary society founded by anti-Spanish Filipinos in 1892, and Dabo’s grandfather was a Katipunero in Aparri.

According to Dabo’s account, “My forebear hometown of Aparri was the seat of the revolutionary government in Northern Luzon. The revolutionary government covered Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya.”

Dabo said that on August 10, 1898, Colonel Daniel Tirona, a native of Cavite province and one of the intimates of General Emilio Aguinaldo, the country’s first president, was ordered to proceed to Aparri in the insurgent steamer “Filipinas” and establish the revolutionary government in Northern Luzon.

By so doing, said Dabo, he was to hold elections for office-holders under Aguinaldo’s revolutionary government and was authorized to approve or disapprove the results, his action being subject to subsequent revision by Aguinaldo. His forces were composed of four companies armed with rifles.

The “Filipinas” was a steamer of about 700 tons and loaded with a half-cargo of tobacco. The steamer was hiding in the coves around Subic Bay, a harbor north of Manila Bay, when the crew mutinied and killed the 12 officers. They then took charge of the ship and hoisted the insurgent flag. She was owned and officered by Spaniards, but her crew was composed of Filipinos.

Dabo also shared an old photograph which, he said, was taken in September 1898. It shows his grandfather Eladio Canicula with his brothers in arms in the Katipunan. Behind the Katipuneros, the K.K.K. flag can be seen proudly unfurled. Handwritten at the back of the photograph are the words “Una fotografía de revolucionarios del Aparri en Septiembre de 1898.” Dabo said the original photograph was given to his mother Justina by a teacher from Aparri, and he has since had it digitally scanned.

The “Act of the Declaration of Independence” was read publicly in Kawit, Cavite between 4 and 5 in the afternoon on June 12, 1898. Dabo said that stories about his Katipunero grandfather and the declaration of independence make him proud, especially during Independence Day.

However, said Dabo, it is no longer freedom from foreign domination the Filipinos are fighting for more than a century after the revolution. For him, today Independence Day means freedom from economic forces which trap our people into bondage despite working the land they till.

A hundred and thirteen years later, he said, we are still fighting for our land, but not from foreign powers. For this Katipunero grandson whose proud forefathers were born in Cagayan, one of the major rice producers of the country, people are still fighting for the land they themselves till and nurture. He said that as we celebrate Independence Day, that is what we need to think about today and address in the future.

(Photo used for this article with permissionfrom David Macayayong)

***

loQal.ph (http://loqal.ph/) is a website owned and operated by Filquest Media Concepts, Inc. It works under the principle of giving voice to the voiceless, empowering Filipinos and uplifting the image of the Philippines by highlighting its unique culture. To do this, the loQal.ph team produces stories, video, photos and other multimedia content types to inspire and celebrate Filipino achievements, ideas, products and places.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines
    Super typhoon expected to weaken before reaching Philippines

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A super typhoon blamed for the deaths of at least four people on islands in the western Pacific Ocean has moved into the open sea and is expected to significantly weaken before reaching the Philippines later this weekend. …

  • Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better
    Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better

    President Benigno Aquino Wednesday hailed renovations to the Philippines' main international airport, expressing optimism it would soon shake off its ranking on one website as the world's worst airport. Almost a year after he personally apologised for the failure of air-conditioning at Terminal 1 of Manila's international airport, Aquino said the facility appeared to be completely different. "It is like I have entered a completely different airport," he told reporters as he inspected the …

  • Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon Avenue
    Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon Avenue

    Volkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, which is now the automotive row of Northern Metro Manila.At the Innauguration was Chief Operating Adviser Klaus Schadewald, Branch Manager Bob Anthony Palanca, Volkswagen Philippines: President and CEO John Philip Orbeta and General Manager Nemesio Solomon, Jr. This new showroom has the latest Volkswagen Interactive Showroom applications. ... …

  • The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6
    The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6

    Yamaha Motor Philippines (YMPH) recently held the first leg of the Yamaha Grand Prix 6 at the SM Sta. Rosa compound in Laguna. The racing categories for this year are the following: Automatic Inter-Club RaceUnderbone Inter-Club Race115 Superstock ATVega Force i SuperstockSniper 150 Open UB130 Open UBMio 125 MX i …

  • Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …
    Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …

    Volkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, which is now the automotive row of Northern Metro Manila.At the Innauguration was Chief Operating Adviser Klaus Schadewald, Branch Manager Bob Anthony Palanca, Volkswagen Philippines: President and CEO John Philip Orbeta and General Manager Nemesio Solomon, Jr. This new showroom has the latest Volkswagen Interactive Showroom applications. ... …

  • Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines
    Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines

    The Filipino Gran Turismo gamer just became eligible to become a Pro Race Car driver as Nissan Philippines Inc. launched its GT Academy here in the Philippines. The object is to find the best Grand Turismo players in both the online qualification process and participating in the live events after which they’ll compete with each other in National Finals to see who gets to attend the 3 month Race camp.  The winner gets to stay in the UK near Silverstone and will take part in UK national and club …

  • Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT
    Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT

    Sen. Sergio Osmeña III wants electricity to be exempted from value added tax under a proposed measure that will amend the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 and the Reformed VAT Law. He said the move aims to ease the burden of the public in paying high electricity rates in the country. “VAT on electricity is another burden on the already over-taxed shoulders of our people, especially those whose incomes are barely enough to cover their basic needs. Osmeña, chairman of the Senate …

  • No lotto draws starting tomorrow until Easter Sunday
    No lotto draws starting tomorrow until Easter Sunday

    No lotto tickets will be sold and no lotto draws made starting tomorrow, Maundy Thursday, up to Easter Sunday in observance of Holy Week. In a statement, Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, acting Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman and general manager, said the selling of lotto tickets and lotto draws will resume on April 6,  Monday. “We thank all Lotto players for your trust and confidence in the PCSO games, and we count on your continued support of our efforts to raise funds for …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options