FILIPINO REVOLUTIONARY HONORED ON GUAM

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HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, May 14) - Local and Philippine
dignitaries gathered in Asan last night to commemorate the 100th anniversary of
the death of Filipino revolutionary leader Apolinario Mabini.

The Philippine consul general organized the event in conjunction
with the Filipino Community of Guam and the Batangas and Southern Tagalog
Association.

Acting Gov. Kaleo Moylan, who attended the ceremony for Gov.
Felix Camacho, said Mabini's anniversary is important because it ties Guam to a
significant part of Filipino history. Camacho left island for Japan prior to the
afternoon ceremony.

Mabini helped to organize the 1896 Philippine revolution against
its Spanish colonizers, gaining independence for the island nation.

The United States, however, occupied the Philippines after the
Spanish-American War and until July 4, 1946. Mabini, along with other Filipino
revolutionary leaders, was exiled to Guam in 1901 by American forces for
resisting American rule in the Philippines.

The political prisoners were housed in a former leper hospital
here until 1903, when they finally pledged allegiance to the United States.

At a shrine built in Mabini's honor at the War in the Pacific
National Historical Park at Asan Beach, descendants of some of the political
prisoners exiled to Guam attended yesterday's wreath-laying ceremony.

"It's amazing that we are here celebrating what happened
all those years back and that it also the same day of my grandfather's death 39
years ago," said Maria Leon Guerrero, 53, granddaughter of Maximo Tolentino,
one of the revolutionaries, or "insurrectionists."

Tolentino was one of three insurrectionists imprisoned with
Mabini who chose to settle in Guam. Tolentino was a cook who traveled on Spanish
galleons, spoke 12 languages and helped care for Mabini and other
insurrectionists.

Francis Cruz, Tolentino's great-grandson, said he only found out
about his great-grandfather's ties earlier in the day.

"It's pretty cool and it's good to find out where you're
from," said Cruz, 16.

May 14, 2003

Pacific Daily News: www.guampdn.com 

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