Every year, the Republic of the Philippines celebrates June 12 as the “Araw ng Kalayaan” (Independence Day). In June 12, 1898, the very first Philippine Flag was raised in the house of General Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite as a sign of independence from the Spanish occupation of the Philippines. This event had been recorded in Philippine History books. These history books were later made as references for the dramatization of the events that occurred during the Philippine Revolution either through stage plays or movies.
This post will feature the movie that used the Philippine Revolution as a backdrop for its story line.
This was recently performed as a stage play during the 150th anniversary of the Ateneo de Manila University. This stage play has always been a part of the Philippine Culture which has been presented for so many years. It was adapted in the movies released in the 1950s by LVN Pictures. I watched it on TV during my childhood days in the afternoon. It starred Mario Montenegro as Temiong and Charito Solis as his lady love. Temiong’s relationship with his lady love is not approved by the latter’s brother who was played by Vic Silayan. Silayan in this movie was also a revolutionary leader whose tasks include supervision in the killing of Filipinos who are collaborating with the Spanish authorities and friars. Unknown to him and his sister, Temiong is an ally of the revolutionaries who conducted harassments with their enemies by smart and precise guerilla tactics, disinformation and psychological warfare. He posed as a concerned citizen who provide information to the Spanish authorities and friars by day. By night, however, he is the ally of the Filipinos known as “Hatinggabi”. When the character played by Silayan was arrested by authorities, Temyong as “Hatinggabi” rescued him. The former found the latter as “Hatinggabi” when he accidentally pulled off the mask worn by Temiong. Later, the townpeople came to know Temiong’s identity when the revolution became full blown. Temiong became a full time revolutionary who became involved in various campaigns of the revolution in the different towns and provinces which separated him from his lady love. A Spanish wanted his son to marry Temiong’s lady love as soon as possible. But she is very devoted to Temiong. She believed that one day he will be back to marry her finally. However, she was forced to go with the flow of events. The day of the wedding came. Before the priest could start with the ceremony, revolutionaries carrying a wounded Temiong in a hammock, arrived in the church. Temiong requested to the priest that before he dies, he wanted to be married with his lady love. The priest approved and the couple was married. After they were pronounced husband and wife, Temiong stood up and told his wife and the people that he is alive because he was not injured or had no wounds. To translate in Tagalog, “Sapagka’t ako’y walang sugat”. It was later found out that someone from the town looked for Temiong and informed the wedding that was supposed to happen.
Mabuhay ang “Araw ng Kalayaan”.