By Hanah Tabios
After years of total neglect, the monument of Emilio Jacinto, dubbed as the brains of the revolutionary movement Katipunan, was made visible again to the public following Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso’s continuous clean-up campaign.
The Manila Bulletin was able to speak with some of the bystanders in the now cleared Kartilya ng Katipunan Park where some 58 illegal stalls have already been cleared by the Manila City LGU for obstructing the path of the pedestrians for several years now.
“Maaliwalas tignan kasi wala na yung mga tambay dito. Ito ring Liwasan syempre madalas kong makita magmula noong ginawa ‘yan pero ito ngayon lang,” Marvin Andas, a resident of Sampaloc Manila said referring to Jacinto’s bronze statue located at the center of the park.
Some said it even came as a surprise after seeing a monument.
Jacinto, a key figure in Philippine history, was a close friend and adviser of Katipunan founder Andres Bonifacio.
In fact, according to Philippine Center for Masonic Studies website, the academic arm of the Independent Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the Philippine Islands (IGLPI) that provides Masonic courses and training, Jacinto joined the revolutionary movement in 1894 back when he was a 19-year-old student at the University of Sto. Tomas (UST).
However, his schooling was cut short after fully committing himself to the movement.
Historian Dr. Isagani R. Medina, in one of his writings, even said that he was nicknamed as “Emiliong Bata to distinguish him from Emiliong Matanda known as General Emilio Aguinaldo.”
Jacinto was also considered as one of the greatest military geniuses during his time.
Historical accounts also said it was him who wrote the Kartilya ng Katipunan (Katipunan Code of Conduct). He laid out the rules and principles of the Katipunan which served as a guide for all its member Katipuneros.
He was the editor of the Katipunan revolutionary paper “Ang Kalayaan”. The paper held office at the house occupied by Dr. Pio Valenzuela in Calle Lavezares in San Nicolas, Binondo, Manila.
But Jacinto’s life ended early. He died on April 16, 1899, at the age of 23 after he contracted malaria. His remains were first transferred to the Manila North Cemetery but in 1970s, it was transferred anew and was finally enshrined in Himlayang Pilipino Memorial Park (HPMP).