Andres Bonifacio

Apolinario Mabini, known as the “Sublime Paralytic” and the “Brains of the Revolution,” stands as one of the most prominent figures in Philippine history. Born on July 23, 1864, in Tanauan, Batangas, Mabini’s life is a testament to the power of resilience, intellect, and unwavering patriotism. Despite being struck by polio in 1896, which left him paralyzed from the waist down, Mabini’s contribution to the Philippine revolutionary movement and his role in shaping the fledgling Philippine Republic were monumental.

 Mabini’s journey from a humble barrio to becoming a key figure in Philippine history is a story of determination and intellectual prowess. He was a bright student who earned a scholarship to study at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and later pursued law at the University of Santo Tomas.

 The Philippine Revolution against Spanish rule in 1896 provided the backdrop for Mabini’s emergence as a significant political figure. Despite his physical limitations, his intellect and vision for an independent Philippines propelled him into the inner circles of the revolutionary government led by Emilio Aguinaldo. Mabini was appointed as the prime minister and also served as the foreign minister in the first Philippine Republic, showcasing his dual roles as a policy-maker and a diplomat.

 He crafted the constitution for the short-lived Republic, emphasizing democratic principles, sovereignty, and civil liberties. Mabini’s vision for the Philippines was one of a self-reliant nation, governed by the rule of law and free from foreign domination. His efforts to negotiate with foreign powers, including the United States during the Philippine-American War, underscored his commitment to peaceful and diplomatic means to achieve national goals.

 However, Mabini’s political career was not without challenges. His staunch defense of Philippine sovereignty and his refusal to compromise on the ideals of freedom and independence often put him at odds with both foreign powers and some of his contemporaries. Following the capture of Aguinaldo by American forces in 1901, Mabini was exiled to Guam. He was allowed to return to the Philippines in 1903. Despite his poor health, Mabini remained active in public life until his death on May 13, 1903, just a few months after his return.

 Apolinario Mabini’s legacy is his enduring vision for a free, independent, and self-sustaining Philippine nation. His life reminds us of the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity and the importance of intellectual leadership in the quest for national identity and sovereignty.

Philippine 10 Pesos Coin