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Mariano Álvarez
Mariano and Pascual Alvarez (Noveleta, Cavite Town hall)
Mariano and Pascual Alvarez (Noveleta, Cavite Town hall)
Born (1842-09-03)September 3, 1842
Noveleta, Cavite, Spanish East Indies
Died August 25, 1924(1924-08-25) (aged 81)
Cavite, Philippines
Occupation Teacher, General
Known for General of the Philippine Revolution

Mariano Álvarez (September 3, 1842– August 25, 1924)[1][2][3] was a Filipino revolutionary and statesman.

Pre-war life

Álvarez was born in Noveleta, Cavite. He received formal schooling at the San José College in Manila, and obtained a teacher's diploma.[1][2] He returned to Cavite and worked as a schoolteacher in Naic and Maragondon. He was married to Nicolasa Virata y del Rosario in May, 1863. Their son Santiago was born on July 25, 1872 in Imus.

In 1871, he was incarcerated and tortured by the colonial authorities after insulting a Spanish soldier.[1] The following year, he was accused of involvement in the Cavite Mutiny and was haled to Manila in chains for detention.[1][2] Upon his eventual release, he returned to Noveleta, and in 1881, was elected capitan municipal, a position he held until the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution in 1896.[1]

Revolutionary general

Mariano Álvarez and his son Santiago were active members of the Katipunan, the anti-Spanish secret society founded by Andrés Bonifacio in 1892. Mariano was Bonifacio's relative by marriage, being the uncle of his wife Gregoria de Jesús.

In early 1896, Álvarez was elected president of the Magdiwang, one of two Katipunan branches in Cavite along with Magdalo. The two branches evolved into separate factions with their own local governments, through their provincial councils.

Álvarez helped facilitate growing membership of the Katipunan in Cavite.[1][2] When the revolution started in August 1896, Bonifacio at least planned to give him overall command of all the revolutionary forces in Cavite. A draft of the appointment order survives but whether it was dispatched is uncertain.[4] In any case Álvarez led Filipino forces in several battles against the Spanish army in Cavite and held the rank of general. His efforts helped liberate most towns in Cavite from Spanish control within weeks from the start of the revolt.[1] He was recognized as the instigator of the revolution in Cavite.[5]

Rivalry and tension existed between the Magdiwang and Magdalo factions over jurisdiction and authority, and Álvarez, as Magdiwang head, invited Bonifacio, as Presidente Supremo ("Supreme President")[5] of the Katipunan, to meditate over them. Bonifacio was seen as partial to the Magdiwang probably due to his kinship ties with Álvarez.[6]

In their memoirs, Emilio Aguinaldo and other Magdalo personages claim that Bonifacio became the head of the Magdiwang, receiving the title Hari ng Bayan (“King of the People”) with Álvarez as his second-in-command.[4][7] However, no documentary sources have been found substantiating these claims.[8] Instead it has been suggested that these claims stem from a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of one of Bonifacio’s titles, Pangulo ng Haring Bayan (“President of the Sovereign Nation”).[8] In his own memoirs, Santiago Álvarez clearly distinguishes between the Magdiwang government and the Supreme Council of the Katipunan headed by Bonifacio.[5]

The dispute between the Magdiwang and Magdalo soon involved the issue of command of the revolution. The Magdalo called for the abolition of the Katipunan and the establishment of a revolutionary government. Bonifacio and the Magdiwang maintained the Katipunan was already their government. After losing the internal power struggle to Aguinaldo, Bonifacio was executed in 1897. Álvarez was aggrieved by Bonifacio's death, and, like Emilio Jacinto, refused to join the forces of Aguinaldo, who had then retreated to Biak-na-Bato in Bulacan.[1][2]

Personal life

In May 1863, he married Nicolasa Virata y del Rosario, by whom he had an only child, Santiago, who became an equally noted revolutionary general.

His birthdate was a subject of confusion and question since it suggest that he was leading the 1896 war at the age of 78 and died at the age of 106. In 2009, the great grandsons, Angelo and Honorio, have discovered Gen Mariano’’s Kawit Church ‘Bautismo’ (Baptismal Certicate) indicating that his birthdate is September 3, 1842 instead of March 15, 1818. This suggest that he led the 1896 war at the age 54 and died at age 82.

Later life

The United States of America soon gained control over the Philippines following the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War. Álvarez affiliated himself with the pro-independence Nacionalista Party and was among the signatories of the party's constitution.[1] He won election as municipal president of Noveleta.

Álvarez joined the nationalist-oriented Philippine Independent Church founded by Isabelo de los Reyes and Gregorio Aglípay in 1902. He retired to his farm following his term as municipal president, and died on August 25, 1924 from chronic rheumatism at the age of 106.[1]

The municipality of Gen. Mariano Alvarez, Cavite, established in 1981, was named in his honor.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 "Mariano M. Alvarez". Kapampangan Homepage. Archived from the original on 2008-01-16. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Reyes, Joel M.; Perez, Rodolfo III. "An Online Guide About the Philippine History: Mariano M. Alvarez". Archived from the original on 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  3. Dates of birth and death confirmed by Alvarez's great-granddaughter, Eloisa B. Lucas. See " Mamma and Me:Books:Eloisa B. Lucas". Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ronquillo, Carlos (1996). Isagani Medina. ed. Ilang talata tungkol sa paghihimagsik nang 1896-1897. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Álvarez, Santiago. The Katipunan and the Revolution: Memoirs of a General. Paula Carolina S. Malay (translator). Ateneo de Manila University Press. 
  6. The Philippine Revolution of 1896: Ordinary Lives in Extraordinary Times. Ateneo de Manila University Press. 2001. 
  7. Aguinaldo, Emilio (1964). Mga gunita ng himagsikan. Manila. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Quirino, Carlos (1969). The Young Aguinaldo: From Kawit to Biyak-na-Bato. Manila. 

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