Miguel Malvar and the Philippine Revolution
By Dorotea Abaya and Bernard Karganilla
Edited and with an introduction by Edberto Malvar Villegas
During the latter half of the 19th century, when Western capitalism was reaching Philippine shores with the establishment of foreign trading houses in Manila, notably British and American, a nascent Filipino bourgeoisie began to appear in Manila and its surrounding provinces. Miguel Malvar was a product of this socio-economic milieu as he was a prominent figure of an emerging rural bourgeoisie engaged in plantation farming in the province of Batangas, just 50 km. from the port city of Manila. Though more inclined to real-politik, being elected gobernadorcillo of his town in 1889 and immersed in practical work (farming), he was of the same propertied class as the European-educated ilustrado Rizal. In fact, Rizal’s eldest sister, Saturnina, was a partner of Malvar in a lumber business.
Of the three members of the principaiia class, Malvar, Rizal and Aguinaldo coming from the adjoining provinces of Batangas, Laguna and Cavite, respectively, Malvar was the closest to the mass ideology of the original Katipunan led by Andres Bonifacio. While Rizal rejected the Katipunan, Malvar was a staunch supporter of Bonifacio and the Magdiwang in their conflict with Aguinaldo and the Magdalo faction. Malvar was deeply aggrieved by the execution of Bonifacio after the Tejeros convention which elected Aguinaldo as the replacement of Bonifacio as President of the Revolutionary government of the Philippines in 1897.