Saturday, March 6, 2010

In Honor of Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga

In April of 2010, we shall be celebrating the 75th Death Anniversary of one of the Greatest Hero in the missing pages of Philippine History. It is in his honor and that of the Pilipino people per se that we have undertaken this advocacy more than two years ago for the the succeeding generation of Pilipinos, which he silently fought for and dearly loved until his last breath - to remember that, once in the missing pages of our history: there was a man, from Cagayan Valley, who once stood his ground regardless of politics or self interest and fought for what is right, raised the flag of this country against the most powerful nation in this planet, he continued to served his country and lived in peace as a farmer after the war, took care of and raised his family. Thereafter, fought his own war with cancer and died with honor and dignity - for the country and its people, he dearly loved:

"We the veterans, are already old, but before we die, there
is only one wish that I am asking from God. Even though we
have no money to leave behind because we are poor,
we do wish that before we go to our final resting ground,
we can see that you who are left behind can enjoy
the fruits of the freedom we have been hoping for."

The life and times of Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga is one of the most passionate, romantic and colorful story of a national hero in the missing pages of our history books. A careful scrutiny of our history reveals that there is no one in the annals of our country's account, who came from the ranks of tribal warriors so cunning and elusive, who organized rebel forces consisting of the different tribes from Cagayan Valley, Gen. Luga and his cousins could have not done it alone. If we examine the personal accounts of those who led the revolt of the Katipunan, the places of warpath that General Mateo Noriel Luga took were mentioned by no other than , Gregoria De Jesus, a.k.a., the Lakambini, the keeper of Katipunan's secret.

There were also sketchy accounts in our history that remains a puzzle, where this man can be linked. From Cagayan Valley, there has been no mention of his name in the book of Fr. Salgado: "Cagayan Valley and Eastern Cordillera 1581-1998", the tribal leaders mentioned in the accounts of friar missionaries in Luzon during the 18th Century were only those who were killed or defeated by the Spaniards. While the Friars accounts were until 1898, there was no mention of "Luga" in the latter part of 1898, when the Katipunan was already organizing the rebellion. Yet, he was a leader of a tribe then. Likewise, it also appears that his name was not mentioned in the rolls of Generals in Emilio Aguinaldo's account. Yet, he was appointed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo as a General and was sent to Cebu to help the Cebuanos establish a Revolutionary Government.

Some suspects that Luga's assignment in Cebu was a move suggested Gen. Aguinaldo's advisers for the Magdalo circle of the Katipunan to have complete access and control over the remaining generals of the Katipunan who gallantry fought with Andres Bonifacio. It was not also clear whether they are already aware that the incoming US Naval Fleet shall land in Cebu, that is why Gen. Luga was sent to Cebu. It can be recalled that there were accounts in our history, which reveals that Gen. Aguinaldo with some of his generals never left Cavite to liberate other parts of our country. It was the tribal warriors who were always in the front line of the battle, who silently fought for the freedom of this nation. Yet, Gen. Aguinaldo respected him, that his death was a sort of a reunion among the remaining Katipuneros.

In Cebu, he led the fight against the Armed Forces of the United States. It was, in fact, the officers of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, the mighties military force in this planet, who honored him for fighting an honorable warfare - his fierciest enemy who hurriedly left Cebu after series of battle and a lightning raid - was the one who honored him highly: "In Luga, you can see a man you shall never forget as long as you live". What is more admirable of this man was that - his family were taken hostage by the Americans to weaken him. But, instead of succumbing to pressure, he penetrated the lairs of the American Forces, rescued his family and fought back an honorable warfare - sending Admiral Lawton with his fleet of navy running away from battle never to set foot in the island of Cebu, again.

As as lover and a family man, his love life begun on his journey to Cebu, in Iloilo - where he met a Spanish mestiza by the name of (To be contiuned . . .)

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