Natural Law and Anticolonial Revolt: Apolinario Mabini’s La Revolución Filipina and Isabelo de los Reyes’ La Sensacional Memoria

Abstract

Tatangkain sa papel na ito ang isang preliminaryong kumparatibong analisis ng dalawang pangkasaysayang salaysay nina Mabini, La revolución filipina (sinulat 1901-1902), at Isabelo de los Reyes, La sensacional memoria de Isabelo de los Reyes sobre la revolución Filipina de 1896-97 (1899). Sisikaping palitawin sa ganitong paraan ang maaaring magkakaibang konsepto nila hinggil sa kasaysayan ng Rebolusyong Pilipino.
Apolinario Mabini (1864-1903) and Isabelo de los Reyes (1864-1938) (also known as Don Belong) were born on the same year. These two individuals had very different, contrasting personalities, and both of them only reluctantly became involved with the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution of 1896.
De los Reyes and Mabini wrote two important texts on their views and experiences of the revolution. De los Reyes’ account was published with the full title, La sensacional memoria de Isabelo de los Reyes sobre La Revolución Filipina de 1896-97 por la cual fué deportado el autor al Castillo de Montjuich [The emotional memoir of Isabelo de los Reyes on the Philippine Revolution of 1896-97 for which the author was deported to the Castle of Montjuich] (De los Reyes, 1899, 2001). This essay will draw mainly upon the first, original section of De los Reyes’ memoria written in Bilibid prison and signed by him on the 25th of April 1887 to be presented to Governor and Captain General Don Fernando Primo de Rivera as a collective plea of innocence to the charge of rebellion. (The second part of the complete memorias published in 1899 in Madrid consists of various compiled texts.) De los Reyes’ memoria will be compared with Mabini’s La Revolución Filipina (Mabini, 1900, 1931, 2001), this latter work was originally written in the years 1901-1902 in Guam where he had been exiled by the American authorities. Both texts were therefore written under conditions of colonial repression, in prison and in exile.
Don Belong’s text deals with a shorter period of time than Mabini’s which proceeds beyond the Pact of Biak-na-Bato up to the final years of the Philippine revolution.