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Jerick M. Rosal Dr.

Agnes Macaraeg
1st Year A.B Philosophy Readings in Philippine History
“El Presidente”
After watching the movie “El Presidente” the story of Emilio Aguinaldo and the first
Philippine Republic. I liked the entire delivery of the film and this is a kind of history-based
movie that I would introduce to next generations of Filipinos to see not just to entertain them
but also to educate them. Heroes, A term of bravery and selflessness. These Katipunans of love
have proven to be loyal to their motherland. We look up to them and see them as the hope
that gave us the perseverance to fight and to look to the instances where Leadership is
necessary for progress. Our memories emphasize how they have sacrificed their lives for
freedom.
At the beginning of the movie, we saw the young Aguinaldo doing little act of kindness,
at this moment Aguinaldo is closely consistent of being a servant of the nation, this was the first
instance where he stands on what he believed is right. The attitude of Emilio in attaining the
Philippine Independence is similar to the concepts of Bonifacio in constructing the
revolutionary troupes. However, in the movie, the scene of Bonifacio was not high lightened
much as the protagonist (Aguinaldo) inserted. The Leadership of both Aguinaldo and Bonifacio
brought a tension between the Magdalo and Magdiwang factions.
Bonifacio as the Supremo, and was Magdiwang, wants to govern the Republic under his
title Supremo. In March 1897 a convention at Tejeros named Aguinaldo, rather than Bonifacio,
president of a new Philippine republic. The election went into formal selection and Bonifacio
was insulted, and Bonifacio then voided the convention as Supremo of the Katipunan. Emilio
Aguinaldo as the elected President of Magdalo was not present at the convention, but was at a
military front. At the latter part of the movie where Bonifacio began to have a conflict with the
Magdalo, Aguinaldo had Bonifacio arrested and tried for treason. In this part of movie I saw
how Aguinaldo’s respond to Bonifacio, regardless of much contribution he did in attaining the
Philippine Independence.
One of the things that encourage me to enter the seminary is to develop my leadership
skills because way back then, I was so helpless and just being dependent student, it’s like spoon
feeding progress. As I get older, I realized that, it’s time for me to stand on my own feet and
began to be independent for the reason that I don’t want to settle myself to be a follower, I
want also lead. The movie El Presidente provide an insight for me on how to deal with different
instances of life where I can test my Leadership. For me the leadership of Aguinaldo is much
appreciated because a good leader knows how to prioritize the things and ought the things that
are to be done. But Bonifacio became inconsistent and ineffective leader as he didn’t meant his
expectation and began to establish a rivalry group against the governance of Aguinaldo.
Nevertheless, without the leadership of Bonifacio we don’t know what the possible things that
will happen are. Being at the top in the hierarchy is not an easy duty, as the captain of the boat,
we are called to be responsible and accountable in accordance with our decisions.
Despite the negative sides of the real thing, the movie never failed to be an eye-opener.
It stayed true to the fact that the Filipinos are, indeed, worth dying for. We are all driven by
passion for a certain goal to be reached. In this case, Aguinaldo’s goal was to give the Pearl of
the Orient Seas their rightful independence as well as the other Katipunans who fought against
the abusive colonizers. Leadership does not end in authority of its title but it is seen through
actions.

Sources:
YouTube channel: John Calvin Sarmiento, Uploaded: January 20, 2017
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9jUe4qc8w0
Promeet, D (2010). Andress Bonifacio, Filipino political leader, Britannica
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Andres-Bonifacio