Monday, March 8, 2010

General Emilio Aguinaldo - A Character Sketch

As I've mentioned in my previous post, I came across this wonderful article about Emilio Aguinaldo written by the eloquent American Diplomat, Edwin Wildman (United States Vice Consul General in Hong Kong) in a Harper's Weekly issue dating back to 1898.

I tried to look for it online. Although I found a lot of scholarly work referencing the article, I cannot find the actual piece itself. Maybe I'll go back to the Benpress Museum one day and copy it. Hmmm... When will I ever have the time?

But I managed to note down a bit of the introduction. See how Wildman can at once express his admiration for Aguinaldo, but at the same time throw him in a realistic, practical light:

"In the nineteenth century there has not been a more unique figure among the native races of earth than this Tagalo patriot - or rebel: call him what you will. Philosophers call silent men wise, superficial people call them ignorant. Aguinaldo is wise among his people, ignorant among Europeans. A man must be judged by his environments, his compatriots, his race. Aguinaldo is not a Napoleon nor a Washington, neither is he a Tecumseh or a Sitting Bull. He is Aguinaldo, and his name stands for no metaphor."

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