TODAY IN HISTORY: Apolinario Mabini, the 'Sublime Paralytic,' is born
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MANILA, Philippines - On July 23, 1864, Apolinario Mabini, the "Sublime Paralytic" and "Brains of the Revolution" who served as the chief adviser of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo during the revolutionary government, was born in Tanauan, Batangas.
Born from poor parents, Mabini dreamed of defending the poor which led him to pursue his law studies rather than priesthood which his mother would rather prefer.
Upright and studious, he received his Bachilles en Artes with highest honors in 1881 and the title Professor of Latin from Letran, then moved on to the University of Santo Tomas (UST), where he received his law degree in 1894.
In early 1896, Mabini was afflicted with an illness that led to the paralysis of his lower limbs. This, however, did not entirely free him from nationalistic association, for he was a member of Dr. Jose Rizal's La Liga Filipina and worked secretly for the introduction of reforms in the administration of the government.
When the revolution broke out, he was among those arrested but was freed a year later by virtue of a general amnesty issued by the Spanish government to win over Filipino rebels.
In 1898, while on a vacation in Los Banos, Laguna, he was asked by Gen. Aguinaldo to be his trusted adviser despite seeing his physical condition.
Among the noteworthy advice he rendered to Aguinaldo was the shift from dictatorial government to a revolutionary government.
He became the president of the Cabinet and secretary of Foreign Affairs. He wrote most of the decrees of the revolutionary government and prepared a constitutional program wherein he proposed a Constitution for the Philippines, the first-ever Constitution in Asia.
During the Filipino-American War, he was captured by the Americans when he fled to Nueva Ecija, then arrested again by the Americans after he published an article defending the revolution. He was exiled to Guam.
He returned to the Philippines in 1903 at the height of a cholera epidemic in Manila. He was one of the victims. He died on May 13, 1903 in Pandacan, Manila at the age of 38. (PNA)