At the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections are the scanned pages of a rare letter1 handwritten by General Miguel Malvar, generally regarded as the last general to surrender to the Americans in the Philippine-American War, to General Emilio Aguinaldo.
Little contextual data about the letter is given, but the letter was dated July 1898. This tells us that the Philippine Revolution against Spain was nearing its end, since George Dewey and the United States Navy had crushed their Spanish counterparts in Manila Bay the previous May.
The revolution would rage on with the Filipinos fighting side by side with the Americans until the Spaniards surrendered in August of this same year. Of course, at this time, the Filipinos still had not fully grasped the full intent of the United States in coming to Philippine shores.
The letter itself, transcribed below, seems to pertain to aid in the form of monies collected in Rosario and sent to Aguinaldo’s camp, presumably as contributions of the citizens of the town to the revolutionary effort. Unless the word has been misinterpreted by the transcriber, the word “baka” used in the letter appears to mean “cow,” and if correct, Malvar seemed to try to convey the willingness of the people of the town to send more, presumably for the consumption of the soldiers of the Katipunan.
Below is the transcription of the letter:
Letter of Miguel Malvar to Emilio Aguinaldo [Transcribed]
Sa may taglay po nito ay marapatin pong tangapin [tanggapin in modern standardized Filipino] ñg [ng] inyong Cadakilaan [kadakilaan] ang halagang 1500 pesos na nasingil sa bayan ng Rosario, sakop ñg Lalawigang Batangan [Batangas] sa pamamagitan ng pangangasiua [pangangasiwa] at pagsusumikap ñg may taglay nito na naguing [naging] Capitan Municipal [Mayor in present-day nomenclature] at sinusunod naman sa bayang yaon [iyon].
Ang G. [Ginoong?] may taglay nito ay bokod [bukod] sa halagang ipagkakaloob diyan ay totoong nagsusumakit ñg ipagkatitibay ñg ating Gobierno Revolucionario, gayon din, nang matanto na diyay [diya’y? (diyan ay)]
nagagahol sa baka ay kusang humandog na magpaparating diyan ñg baka tangi dito ang mga kontribuciones na iniipon pa ñg inuulit na portador [probably a courier] G. Melesio Bolaños upang ipadala din diyan.
Ingatan ni Bathala at ng Inang [unreadable] ang kadilagan [karilagan or “eminence”] mo po sa m.p. Cuartel Gat [unreadable] 22 ng Julio 1898.
Ang tagapamahalang hukbo,
[Sgd.] Miguel Malvar
[Underneath the main text in the scanned letter is a seemingly hastily written postscript which is extremely difficult to read and has not be transcribed.]