Miguel Malvar: The Story of the Great Batangueño General

For the longest time we thought Malvar Shrine is in the town of Malvar. Thanks to Google Map for showing us the way. ;)

Miguel Malvar was the last general to surrender to the Americans. He was also dubbed as an Unofficial President of the First Philippine Republic. Malvar was born on September 27, 1865 in Brgy. San Miguel in the town of Sto. Tomas.

July 21, in our interview with Ms. Nelly Galicia of the Miguel Malvar Historical Landmark, we got a few more stories about the great general.

The Malvar Family

His parents Maximo Malvar and Tiburcia Carpio owned farmlands during those times. They have properties in some parts of Mt. Makiling and the land where the University of the Philippines – Los Baños is situated now was donated by the Malvars.

Malvar was only able to finish second year high school. Before joining the Philippine revolutionary forces, Malvar was a farmer, having lands to take care of. He married Paula Maloles, also a native of Sto. Tomas. They had 13 children and one of them, Dr. Isabela Malvar-Villegas is the only one living now. She’s turning 102 years old this October.

The Great Batangueño General

It was in the mid-1890s at the height of the Philippine Revolution against the Spaniards when Malvar started leading his own men. When the Americans asked for the help of General Emilio Aguinaldo and his troops, Malvar was among those who contributed much to the downfall of the Spaniards.

It was in Tayabas, Quezon where Malvar and his Batangas Brigade defeated the Spaniards, emancipating the town from the oppressors. The Philippine revolutionaries claimed victory in 1898.

A year after the downfall of the Spanish regime, the Filipino revolutionaries entered a new battle, this time with the Americans. The Philippine-American war occurred from 1899-1902.

Gen. Aguinaldo was exiled to Hong Kong in March 23, 1901 and being the right hand of President of the First Philippine Republic, Miguel Malvar took over the office from April 1, 1901 – April 16, 1902. However, his leadership became controversial as it was not strengthened by any document although he was next in command to Aguinaldo.

Malvar continued fighting against the Americans. But when the American General J. Franklin Bell lead the operations in Batangas by implementing scorched earth tactics, Malvar and the rest of his troops decided to surrender to avoid further damage to the lives of his fellow Batangueños.

Malvar succumbed to liver ailment in Manila on October 13, 1911.

Malvar Shrine Historical Landmark

Located in the compound of the Sto. Tomas municipal hall is the Miguel Malvar Historical Landmark (MHL). The shrine (and public library) is under the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. His son and former mayor of Sto. Tomas, Miguel Malvar Jr., founded the library in 1956. It also served as his office during his term.

The shrine displays pictures, paintings, and other documents depicting the life of Miguel Malvar. This is where the descendants of the general and the local town people celebrate Malvar day every September 27. We’ll keep you posted on the events which will happen with the celebration this year.

This year also marks the 100th death anniversary of Miguel Malvar.

The Miguel Malvar Historical Landmark is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 8am-5pm. You can contact Ms. Nelita M. Galicia (Officer In-Charge) at (0918) 550-6645 if you wish to have a tour there.

How to go to Miguel Malvar Historical Landmark? Upon reaching the Sto. Tomas town proper, you’ll pass by Rose and Grace Restaurant then turn right on the corner upon seeing Jollibee. MHL is located on the left side upon entering the Sto. Tomas Municipal Hall compound.

With references from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_Malvar

This Malvar Shrine visit is just part one of our road trip for that day. From Sto. Tomas back to Lipa City and then to our last destination. ;)