Emilio Jacinto (December 15,1875 – April 16,1899)
December 15, 1875, Emilio Jacinto was born in Trozo, Manila. Even as children, Emilio Jacinto and Andres Bonifacio were close as he was nursed by Andres Bonifacio’s mother. At a young age Emilio learned to speak Spanish but this did not hinder his fluency in the Tagalog Language. Due to poverty, he often dressed in used clothing which were not taken out of hock, making him the subject of many jokes. Despite of hard living, Emilio studied very hard and was well educated. He finished primary education in a private school and obtained a bachelor of arts in Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
The Mind that Guided the Revolution
He was studying law in the University of Santo Tomas in 1894 when he joined the Katipunan at the age of 19. He took the Katipunan alias of ‘Pingkian’, which means ‘To Strike’ (like you do with a bolo). He became Bonifacio’s closest advisor, and oversaw the financial affairs of the Katipunan. When Bonifacio and Jacinto drafted separate moral codes which would guide the actions of the revolutionaries, Bonifacio acknowledged Jacinto’s intellect and chose the younger jacinto’s draft for publication in the Kartilya. The code of conduct showed that a good heart, and love are needed in order to relieve the suffering of the Filipino people; the true meaning of freedom.
Kartilya ng Katipunan (Katipunan Code of Ethics) – by Emilio Jacinto
- Ang kabuhayang hindi ginugugol sa isang malaki at banal na kadahilanan ay kahoy na walang lilim, kundi man damong makamandag.
(Life which is not consecrated to a lofty and sacred cause is like a tree without a shadow, if not a poisonous weed.)
- Ang gawang magaling na nagbubuhat sa pagpipita sa sarili at hindi sa talagang nasang gumawa ng kagalingan, ay di kabaitan.
(A good deed that springs from a desire for personal profit and not a desire to do good is not kindness.)
- Ang tunay na kabanalan ay ang pagkakawang-gawa, ang pag-ibig sa kapwa at ang isukat ang bawat kilos, gawa’t pangungusap sa talagang Katuwiran.
(True greatness consists in being charitable, in loving one’s fellow men and in adjusting every movement, deed and word to true Reason.)
- Maitim man o maputi ang kulay ng balat, lahat ng tao’y magkakapantay; mangyayaring ang isa’y higtan sa dunong, sa yaman, sa ganda; ngunit di mahihigtan sa pagkatao.
(All men are equal, be the color of their skin black or white. One may be superior to another in knowledge, wealth, and beauty but cannot be superior in being.)
- Ang may mataas na kalooban, inuuna ang puri kaysa pagpipita sa sarili; ang may hamak na kalooban, inuuna ang pagpipita sa sarili kaysa puri.
(He who is noble prefers honor to personal gains; he who is mean prefers personal profit to honor.)
- Sa taong may hiya, salita’y panunumpa.
(To a man with a sense of shame, his word is inviolate.)
- Huwag mong sayangin ang panahon; ang yamang nawala’y mangyayaring magbalik; ngunit panahong nagdaan na’y di na muli pang magdadaan.
(Don’t waste away time; lost riches may be recovered, but time lost will never come again.)
- Ipagtanggol mo ang inaapi at kabakahin ang umaapi.
(Defend the oppressed and fight the oppressor.)
- Ang taong matalino’y ang may pag-iingat sa bawat sasabihin; at matutong ipaglihim ang dapat ipaglihim.
(An intelligent man is he who is cautious in speech and knows how to keep the secrets that must be guarded.)
- Sa daang matinik ng kabuhayan, lalaki ay siyang patnugot ng asawa’t at mga anak; kung ang umaakay ay tungo sa sama, ang patutunguhan ng inaakay ay kasamaan din.
(In a challenging path of life, the man leads the way and his wife and children follow. If the leader goes the way of evil, so do the followers.)
- Ang babae ay huwag mong tingnang isang bagay na libangan lamang, kundi isang katuwang at karamay sa mga kahirapan nitong kabuhayan; gamitin mo nang buong pagpipitagan ang kanyang kahinaan at alalahanin ang inang pinagbuhata’t nag-iwi sa iyong kasanggulan.
(Think not of woman as a object merely to while away time but as a helper and partner in the hardships of life. Respect her in her weakness, and remember the mother who brought you into this world and who cared for you in your childhood.)
- Ang di mo ibig gawin sa asawa mo, anak at kapatid, ay huwag mong gagawin sa asawa, anak at kapatid ng iba.
(What you do not want done to your wife, daughter and sister, do not do to the wife, daughter and sister of another.)
- Ang kamahalan ng tao’y wala sa pagkahari, wala sa tangos ng ilong at puti ng mukha, wala sa pagka-paring kahalili ng Diyos, wala sa mataas na kalagayan sa balat ng lupa: wagas at tunay na mahal na tao, kahit laking-gubat at walang nababatid kundi sariling wika; yaong may magandang asal, may isang pangungusap, may dangal at puri; yaong di napaaapi’t di nakikiapi; yaong marunong magdamdam at marunong lumingap sa bayang tinubuan.
(The nobility of a man does not consist in being a king, nor in the highness of nose and the whiteness of the skin, nor in being the priest representing God, nor in the exalted position on this earth, but pure and truly noble is he who, through born in the woods, is possessed of an upright character; who is true to his word; who had dignity and honor; who does not oppress and does not help those who oppress; who knows how to look after and love the land of his birth.)
- Paglaganap ng mga aral na ito at maningning na sumikat ang araw ng mahal na Kalayaan dito sa kaaba-abang Sangkapuluan at sabugan ng matamis niyang liwanag ang nangagkaisang magkalahi’t magkakapatid ng ligayang walang katapusan, ang mga ginugol na buhay, pagod, at mga tiniis na kahirapa’y labis nang natumbasan.
(When these doctrines spread and the Sun of beloved liberty shines with brilliant effulgence in these unhappy isles and sheds its soft rays upon the united people and brothers in everlasting happiness, the lives, labors, and suffering of those who are gone shall be more than recompensed.)
1896 Katipunan seal_of (Punong Hukbo) Commander Emilio Jacinto
Emilio Jacinto became the editor of Kalayaan, the Katipunan’s newspaper. After the first publication, the membership of the Katipunan rose from 300 to 3,000 members! The effectiveness of the Kalayaan is attributable to its use of concepts and colloquialisms familiar to the people. In one article, Jacinto wrote the parable of a beautiful woman appearing before a child in tears. The child asked the woman who she was, and she replied “Because of my desire, the people have united and have foregone their self-interest only to set their sights on the good of all. My name is FREEDOM”. Under the nom de guerre Dimas-Ilaw, Jacinto wrote the narrative “Liwanag at Dilim” (Light and Dark) and the poem “a la Patria”.
The Rise of the Katipunan
When the revolution broke in 1896, Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto led the siege of Polvorin, San Juan Del Monte also known as the Battle of Pinaglabanan. He also planned and disguised himself in order to help Dr. Jose Rizal escape, which later declined. Supremo Andres Bonifacio, at that time is the president of the “Haring Bayan” (Great nation), named Jacinto as the commander of the Revolution’s Northern Forces.
Despite of Andres Bonifacio’s unjust arrest and execution, Jacinto and the rest of the Katipunan continued to wage battle with the Spaniards in Maimpis, Magdalena, Laguna in Feb. 1898, Emilio was wounded and caught. In the convent in Magdalena, he was repeatedly thrown of a staircase, and it is believed that his blood stains the wooden staircase to this day. He tricked his captors and was able to escape. Following these events, the historian Augusto de Viana wrote that Jacinto became a meat vendor, and the Bantanguenyo General, Migule Malvar was one of his meat suppliers. Emilio Jacinto died of malaria at age 23 on April 16, 1899 in Santa Cruz, Laguna. He may have also left a pregnant lover, Catalina De Jesus. Though he was young, Pingkian played a gigantic role guiding the revolution and founding of the Philippine Nation.
“Defend the oppressed and fight the oppressor.” Emilio Jacinto
Author, Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua, Assistant Professorial Lecturer of History of the De La Salle University
English translation by Riko Rosete