MIGUEL MALVAR

1865-1911

     

Miguel Malvar was the last Filipino General to surrender to the American. He was born in Barrio San Miguel, Sto. Tomas, Batangas, on September 27, 1865, to Maximo Malvar and Tiburcia Carpio.

He has this early schooling in the private school of Fr. Valerio Malabanan the famous little institution which has produced many great men from Batangas. He finished only second year in Latinidad, as he was not very fond of books.

Shortly after he stopped studying, he married Paula Maloles, the daughther of the captain municipal and engaged in business. He acquired large tracts of land near Mt. Makiling and poultry and livestock farm in Sto. Tomas. Jose Rizal’s sister, Saturnina, was a business partner.

He became a gobernadorcillo in 1892. He joined the Katipunan and at the outbreak of the revolution he led a small force in the Spanish military unit in Tagaytay, Batangas. His father was arrested and tortured, but he affected a rescue. Anticipating retaliation, he and his men fled across the Tagaytay ridge and joined the revolutionary forces in Cavite.

Aguinaldo sent him to the defense of Zapote bridge, where he fought side by side with General Edilberto Evangelista, who died in that battle. This was considered one of the worse setbacks of the revolution. After Zapote he fought in Indang, Bailan, Magallanes and Alfonso. On March 31, 1897, he was promoted to lieutenant general. Upon the organization of the revolutionary government and the regional government of Batangas, he was designated commanding general of the province.

When the Pact of Biak-na-Bato was signed in December, 1897, he was still heavily fighting the enemy in his province but in compliance with the provision of the pact, he and his family followed General Aguinaldo and other revolutionary leaders in exile to Hongkong.

He was chosen as the first cashier administrator of the revolutionary funds. About a month after Aguinaldo’s return he followed with 2,000 riffles. He organized the forces in Batangas, Mindoro and Tayabas provinces, upon being named commanding general of southern Luzon. He established his headquarters in Lipa, and was responsible for the organization of military expeditions to the Visayan Islands.

After the outbreak of the Filipino – American War, he was appointed brigadier general in March 1899. He fought the American forces at Muntinlupa, San Pedro Tunasan, Kalamba and Kabuyaw. Later he was appointed division general and chief of the second zone in command.

After the capture of General Aguinaldo, he became the new commander-in-chief of the Filipino forces. In a stirring manifesto to the Filipino people, dated July 31, 1901, he urges the continuation of resistance to the American invasions. “Forward, without ever turning back” he said, “all wars for independence have been obliged to suffer terrible tests.”

But further resistance to a stronger foe was hopeless. The American military commanders in the provinces pursued the cruel policy of concentrating civilians in military zones. They burned hostile villages had destroyed their crops and animals, with the primary objectives of starving out the guerillas. As a result, the guerilla leaders were either capture or forced surrender. In October, 1901, General Juan Climaco and Arcadio Maxilom surrendered in Cebu, General Quintin Salas in Iloilo. General Vicente Lukban was captured in Samar on February 27, 2902. The following month General Mariano Noriel surrendered in Cavite.

He felt he could continue the fight alone for the freedom of his country. But his men were diminished, their arms and ammunition depleted, and family showed the effect of hunger, disease and tiresome marches through the forest with the Americans pressing at their heels. The Americans sent peaceful citizens from Lipa, Batangas to persuade him to give up.

With his family and his brave, emaciated and gamished soldiers, he marched to the headquarters of General Franklin J. Bell and surrendered on April 16, 1902. “I surrender”, he declared, “because my family and friends who have been accompanying me are all sick, suffering and hungry, my children and my wife have suffered all kinds of hardships.”

In recognition of his remarkable courage and patriotism, the American authorities accorded him an honorable treatment. He was neither imprisoned nor exiled. He was permitted to go home and live in peace with his family and people. He engaged once more in agricultural and commercial pursuits. Later he was offered the governorship of Batangas but he graciously declined.

He died of liver ailment in Manila on October 13, 1911, at the age of 46. His last words to his children were, “You should respect and love those who have, but more so, more more, the poor. Always preserve your family ties, avoid dissentions among you. Love your mother well. Study, for knowlwdge is a good friend and companion of man.”

His remains were brought to Santo Tomas, Batangas and was buried with high military honors.

source: Malvar Museum (National Historical Commission of the Philippines)