Hero of the Philippine Revolution
It was immediately before the proclamation of independence that a young man was brought before Aguinaldo as his adviser. He was Apolinario Mabini. Born of very poor parents, Inocencio Mabini and Dionisia Maranan, in Talaga, Tanawan, Batangas. Mabini studied in a school in Tanawan, then conducted by a certain Simplicio Avelino. Much later, he transferred to a school conducted by the famous pedagogue, Father Valerio Malabanan. He continued his studies at the San Juan de Letran and at the University of Sto. Tomas where he received his law degree in 1894.
His dream to defend the poor led him to forsake the priesthood, which his mother wanted him to take. Early in 1896, he contracted an illness, probably infantile paralysis, that led to the paralysis of his lower limbs. When the revolution broke out the same year, the Spanish authorities, suspecting that he was somehow involved in the disturbance, arrested him. The fact, however, that he could not move his lower limbs showed the Spaniards that they had made a mistake. He was released and sent to the San Juan de Dios Hospital.
Mabini, it must be noted, was not entirely free from nationalistic association, for he was a member of Rizal's La Liga Filipina and worked secretly for the introduction of reforms in the administration of government. In 1898, while vacationing in Los Baños, Aguinaldo sent for him. It took hundreds of men taking turns at carrying the hammock he was in to bring Mabini to Kawit. Aguinaldo, upon seeing Mabini's physical condition, thought that he must have made a mistake in calling for him to help him in his work. What could a man in such a condition do to help him?
But when Mabini spoke, Aguinaldo's doubts vanished. There was firmness in the sick man's voice, and Aguinaldo decided to make him his trusted adviser. From then on, it was Mabini who stood behind Aguinaldo. Envious enemies called him the "Dark Chamber of the President", but his admirers called him the "Brains of the Revolution".
History of the Filipino People. Teodoro A. Agoncillo
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