A TRIBUTE TO GENERAL MARIANO ALVAREZ (1818-1924)
General Mariano Alvarez, man of great courage and brilliance, which ignited and led the uprising against the Spaniards in Cavite was born on March 15, 1818 at Noveleta, Cavite. He was the son of SEVERINO ALVAREZ and MARIA MALIA. At the age of ten, he started his education under the tutorship of the Spanish friars. He pursued his studies at San Jose College in Manila. While studying, he was able to compose and expose literary works especially lyric poetry, depicting the cruelty and ruthlessness of invaders. This greatly influenced his attitude towards the Spanish invaders in his own country.
He finished a course in education and started to practice his profession in the towns of Naic and Maragondon in 1863. He married NICOLASA VIRATA Y. DEL ROSARIO of a well-to-do family in Imus and their marriage was blessed with a male child named “SANTIAGO” who also became a well known fearless general who fought side by side during the Spanish Revolution.
His hatred towards the foreigners was so intense that one time when a Spanish member of the infantry fell down from his horse, he gave him a glass of dirty water from the ditch as his drink. The following day he was arrested, punished and was sentenced to death. However, due to the insistent protest of the townspeople, the Provincial Governor was forced to interfere, thus, saving Mariano from sure death.
After a year he was again arrested when he was proven to be involved in an uprising. He was put in solitary confinement with his neck and feet chained to the wall of the cell and was given only one meal a day. When he was transferred to Manila to be executed, an order of his release was received by the prison warden, so, he again escaped death the second time.
He served as Municipal Captain, equivalent to Mayor, of the town of NOVELETA for twelve years and also became a Judge of Peace, then he was re-appointed as Municipal Captain and serve in this capacity up to the time of the revolution. He was known to the revolutionary circle by the name “MAINAM”.
When the Provincial Council of “SANGANDAANG MAGDIWANG” was established, he was elected President. Then he initiated the uprising against Spanish tyranny in the Province of Cavite. One of his greatest contribution to the Philippine Revolution was his role in the wrecking of the Calero Bridge and the ambush of 1000 Spanish soldiers and thus prevented reinforcement to pour in.
This episode was succeeded with other victories that later on led the revolutionists to regain control of some towns of the Province of Cavite and prevented the town of NOVELETA to be under the control of Guardia Civil.
His great courage and audacity prompted ANDRES BONIFACIO to hail him “General” and “Second Supremo of the Katipunan”. The wife of Andres Bonifacio, the amazon warrior GREGORIA DE JESUS, was the niece of Mariano Alvarez. General Mariano Alvarez was a Nationalist and Aglipayanon. Together with his son SANTIAGO, they were responsible in gaining converts and spreading the Aglipay religion in the town of Noveleta, Cavite.
After the fulfillment of his duties as Municipal Captain of the town, he concentrated on the field of Agriculture. He died on August 25, 1924, due to chronic rheumatism at the age of 106.