Miguel Malvar

Miguel Malvar y Carpio (September 27, 1865 – October 13, 1911) was a Filipino general who served during the Philippine Revolution and, subsequently, during the Philippine–American War. He assumed command of the Philippine revolutionary forces during the latter, following the capture of resistance leader Emilio Aguinaldo by the Americans in 1901.[2] According to some historians, he could have been listed as one of the presidents of the Philippines but, as of 2022, is not recognized as such by the Philippine government.

Miguel Malvar
Miguel Malvar.JPG
President of the First Philippine Republic
In office
April 1, 1901 – April 16, 1902
Preceded byEmilio Aguinaldo
Succeeded byMacario Sakay
(as President of the Tagalog Republic)
Personal details
Miguel Malvar y Carpio

(1865-09-27)September 27, 1865
Santo Tomas, Batangas, Captaincy General of the Philippines, Spanish Empire
DiedOctober 13, 1911(1911-10-13) (aged 46)
Manila, Philippine Islands
Resting placeSanto Tomas, Batangas
Spouse(s)Paula Maloles
Luz Constancia
Military service
Allegiance First Philippine Republic
Branch/servicePhilippine Revolutionary Army
Years of service1896–1902
CommandsBatangas Brigade (also known as the Malvar Brigade)
Battles/warsPhilippine Revolution
Philippine–American War

Early lifeEdit

Malvar was born on September 27, 1865, in San Miguel, a barrio in Santo Tomas, Batangas, to Máximo Malvar (locally known as Capitán Imoy) and Tiburcio Carpio (locally known as Capitana Tibo). Malvar's family was well known in town not only for their wealth but for their generosity and diligence as well.[3]

Valerio Malabanan established a school that helped poor Filipino children as well as prominent children of wealthy Batangueños have a quality academic experience that was secular in nature.

For his education, Malvar attended the town school in Santo Tomas. He later attended a private school run by Father Valerio Malabanan[4] in Tanauan, Batangas, a well-regarded educational institution in Batangas at the time. Here, Malvar had fellow revolutionary Apolinario Mabini as his classmate. He then transferred to another school in Bauan, Batangas. He decided not to pursue higher education in Manila and preferred to settle down as a farmer instead. Instead, he helped his more studious younger brother, Potenciano, study medicine in Spain. Malvar was later elected as Capitán municipal of his hometown.[3]

In 1891, Malvar married Paula Maloles, the beautiful daughter of the Capitán municipal of Santo Tomas, Don Ambrocio Maloles. Don Ambrocio was Malvar's successor as Capitán municipal.[3] Ulay, as she was locally known, bore Malvar thirteen children, but only eleven of them survived: Bernabe, Aurelia, Marciano, Maximo, Crispina, Mariquita, Luz Constancia, Miguel (Junior), Pablo, Paula, and Isabel. Malvar had the habit of bringing his family with him as he went to battle during the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine–American War.[3]

Connections with RizalEdit

Malvar and his family had a friendship with José Rizal and his family. Rizal mended the harelip of Malvar's wife and Saturnina Rizal lent Malvar 1,000 pesos as an initial capital to start a business.[3] Saturnina's husband, Manuel, was a relative of Malvar's, and Soledad Rizal Quintero's daughter, Amelia married Malvar's eldest son, Bernabe. Also, Paciano was Malvar's fellow revolutionary.[3]

Philippine RevolutionEdit

Illustration of Malvar

Like Macario Sakay, considered his successor as president by some,[citation needed] Malvar was an original Katipunero as they both joined the Katipunan before the Philippine Revolution. When the Revolution began in August 1896, Malvar emerged from leading a 70-man army to becoming the military commander of Batangas. As a military commander, he coordinated offensives with General Emilio Aguinaldo, leader of the revolutionaries in Cavite, and General Paciano Rizal, leader of the revolutionaries in Laguna.[3] On February 17, 1897, Malvar fought alongside General Edilberto Evangelista, Malvar's senior officer at the time, at the Battle of Zapote Bridge, where the senior died in battle. Succeeding Evangelista's generalship, Malvar had set up his own headquarters at Indang, Cavite, where he stayed until the Tejeros Convention.[3]

After the Tejeros Convention, in which Aguinaldo won as president, Malvar opted to side with the Katipunan's Supremo, Andrés Bonifacio. In response to Malvar's support, Bonifacio gave them assistance in fighting their battles. Seeing the mutual relations between Malvar and Bonifacio, Aguinaldo decided to use his newly acquired position to put Batangas, as well as Malvar, under his jurisdiction.[3] Malvar was also threatened with punishment if he did not break ties with Bonifacio, but this threat was never implemented. Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were found guilty, despite insufficient evidence, and they were recommended to be executed. Aguinaldo 'issued a commutation of the sentence' to deportation or exile on May 8, 1897, but Pío del Pilar and Mariano Noriel, both former supporters of Bonifacio, persuaded Aguinaldo to withdraw the order for the sake of preserving unity. In this they were seconded by Mamerto Natividád and other bona fide supporters of Aguinaldo.[5] The Bonifacio brothers were murdered on 10 May 1897 in the mountains of Maragondon.[5][6]

After Bonifacio was bumped off, the Spanish offensive resumed, now under Governor-General Fernando Primo de Rivera, and forced Aguinaldo out of Cavite. Aguinaldo slipped through the Spanish cordon and, with 500 picked men, proceeded to Biak-na-Bató,[7] a wilderness area at the tri-boundaries of the towns of San Miguel, San Ildefonso and Doña Remedios in Bulacan.[8] When news of Aguinaldo's arrival there reached the towns of central Luzon, men from the Ilocos provinces, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Zambales, renewed their armed resistance against the Spanish.[7]

On November 1, 1897, the provisional constitution for the Biak-na-Bato Republic was signed.[9] By the end of 1897, Governor-General Primo de Rivera accepted the impossibility of quelling the revolution by force of arms. In a statement to the Cortes Generales, he said, "I can take Biak-na-Bato, any military man can take it, but I can not answer that I could crush the rebellion." Desiring to make peace with Aguinaldo, he sent emissaries to Aguinaldo seeking a peaceful settlement. Nothing was accomplished until Pedro A. Paterno, a distinguished lawyer from Manila perhaps wanting a Spanish nobility title,[10] volunteered to act as negotiator. On August 9, 1897, Paterno proposed a peace based on reforms and amnesty to Aguinaldo. In succeeding months, practicing shuttle diplomacy, Paterno traveled back and forth between Manila and Biak-na-Bato carrying proposals and counterproposals. Paterno's efforts led to a peace agreement called the Pact of Biak-na-Bato. This consisted of three documents, the first two being signed on December 14, 1897, and the third being signed on December 15; effectively ending the Republic of Biak-na-Bato.[11]

Malvar, along with other generals like Mariano Trías, Paciano Rizal, Manuel Tinio and Artemio Ricarte, as opposed to the pact, believing it was a ruse of the Spanish to get rid of the Revolution easily, and therefore resumed military offensives. Aguinaldo, seeing the stiff resistance of Malvar and his sympathizers, issued a circular ordering the revolutionary generals to stop fighting. On January 6, 1898, Malvar ceased his offensives.[3]

Philippine–American WarEdit

On May 19, 1898, Aguinaldo, aboard the American revenue cutter McCulloch, returned to the Philippines with 13 of his military staff. After four days, the first delivery of arms from Hong Kong arrived. It amounted to 2,000 rifles and 200,000 rounds of ammunition.[3] With Aguinaldo's return, the Filipinos, numbering around 12,000, who enlisted under the Spanish flag in the war against America defected to Aguinaldo's banner. By June, Philippine independence was declared in Kawit, Cavite and Manila found herself surrounded by Aguinaldo's troops. But on August 13, 1898, it was the Americans who captured Manila.[3]

On February 4, 1899, hostilities began between Americans and Filipinos. On February 7, Malvar was appointed second-in-command of General Trías, who was the overall commander of the Filipino forces in southern Luzon.[3] On February 23, General Antonio Luna needed Malvar and his unit to take part in a Filipino counterattack that was planned to regain ground lost earlier by Filipinos and capture Manila. However, the Filipino offensive collapsed mainly due to the insubordination of the Kawit Battalion.[12] During the following months, Malvar harassed American troops south of Manila as he and his 3,000-man brigade conducted offensives in Muntinlupa. By July 1899, the Americans under General Robert Hall captured Calamba, Laguna. With ten companies (around 2,000 men) of American troops in the town, Malvar unsuccessfully besieged Calamba from August to December 1899.[3]

On November 13, 1899, Aguinaldo disbanded the Filipino regular army, forming them into guerrilla units at Bayambang, Pangasinan and afterwards conducted his escape journey to Palanan, Isabela, which he reached by September 6, 1900.[13] This change in tactics was not as successful as it had been against the Spaniards, and Aguinaldo was captured on March 23, 1901, by General Frederick Funston with help from some Macabebe scouts. General Trías, Aguinaldo's chosen successor as president and Commander-In-Chief of the Filipino forces, had already surrendered on March 15, 1901. Therefore, as designated in Aguinaldo's decreed line of succession, Malvar became President of the Philippine Republic. The Hong Kong Junta affirmed Malvar's authority in succeeding Aguinaldo.[3] As he took over the affairs of the Republic, Malvar reorganized Filipino forces in southern Luzon and renamed the combined armed forces as "Army of Liberation", which possessed around 10,000 rifles at the time. He also reorganized the regional departments of the Republic, which included the Marianas as a separate province.[3]

Malvar lying in state in 1911

Beginning January 1902, American General J. Franklin Bell took command of operations in Batangas and practiced scorched earth tactics that took a heavy toll on both guerrilla fighters and civilians alike. Malvar escaped American patrols by putting on disguises. So, as early as August 1901, the Americans released an exact description of Malvar's physical features.[3] According to the description given, Malvar was of dark complexion and stood around 5 feet 3 inches (1.60 m). He weighed about 145 pounds (66 kg) and wore a 5 or 6 size of shoes.[3] He surrendered to Bell on April 16, 1902[a] in Rosario, Batangas, mainly due to desertion of his top officers and to put an end to the sufferings of his countrymen.[3]

Later life and deathEdit

After the war, he refused any position offered to him in the American colonial government.[citation needed] His death in Manila on October 13, 1911 is suspected to have been due to kidney disease.[2]

Attributions as presidentEdit

On September 18, 2007, Oriental Mindoro 1st district representative Rodolfo Valencia filed House Bill 2594, that declared Malvar as the second philippine president, alleging that it is incorrect to consider Manuel L. Quezon as the second president of the Philippine Republic serving after Emilio Aguinaldo: "General Malvar took over the revolutionary government after General Emilio Aguinaldo, first president of the Republic, was captured on March 23, 1901, and [was] exiled in Hong Kong by the American colonial government—since he was next in command."[15] In October 2011, Vice President Jejomar Binay sought the help of historians in proclaiming revolutionary General Miguel Malvar as the rightful second president of the Philippines.[16]


  • The Miguel Malvar class corvette, named after Malvar, is a ship class of patrol corvettes of the Philippine Navy, and are currently its oldest class of corvettes.
  • Extra Mile Productions conducted the General Miguel Malvar Essay Writing Contest in commemoration of the 100th Death Anniversary of General Miguel Malvar.[17]
  • Malvar, Batangas, a second class municipality in the Philippines, was named after him.
  • Various streets were also named after him.
  • In 2015, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines will open a museum in Santo Tomas to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Malvar's birthday on September 27.[18]
  • In 2015, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released the 10-peso commemorative coin in honor of Malvar's 150th birth anniversary.[19]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ April 16, 1902 is the surrender date officially recognized by the Philippine Government.[14] Some sources may give differing dates.


  1. ^ "Learn about Miguel's Children". www.malvar.net. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b "General Miguel Malvar". Malacaňan Palace - Presidential Museum & Library. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Abaya, Doroteo (1998). Miguel Malvar and the Philippine Revolution.
  4. ^ "Who is Valerio Malabanan?". thephilippinestoday.com. The Philippines Today. July 8, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2021. Among his stellar pupils were General Miguel Malvar, one of the last Filipino leaders to surrender in the Philippine-American War; Melchor Virrey, a known educator in Manila; & Apolinario Mabini, 1st head of the Aguinaldo cabinet and Prime Minister of the 1st Philippine Republic.
  5. ^ a b Agoncillo 1990, pp. 180–181.
  6. ^ Constantino 1975, p. 191
  7. ^ a b Agoncillo 1990, p. 182
  8. ^ Biak na Bato, Newsflash.org.
  9. ^ Agoncillo 1990, p. 183
  10. ^ Joaquin, Nick (1990). Manila, My Manila. Vera Reyes Publishing.
  11. ^ Zaide 1994, p. 252
  12. ^ Jose, Vicencio. Rise and Fall of Antonio Luna. Solar Publishing Corporation. pp. 225–245.
  13. ^ Agoncillo, Teodoro (1960). Malolos: The Crisis of the Republic.
  14. ^ "Proclamation No. 173. s. 2002". Official Gazette of the Philippine Government. April 9, 2002.
  15. ^ Lawmaker: History wrong on Gen. Malvar at the Wayback Machine (archived April 6, 2008). January 02, 2008. manilatimes.net (archived from the original on 2008-04-06).
  16. ^ "Binay seeks help from historians for overlooking Malvar as 2nd RP president". taga-ilog-news. October 24, 2011.
  17. ^ "General Miguel Malvar Essay Writing Contest". Retrieved 23 September 2012.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-10-06.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "BSP issues limited edition P10-Miguel Malvar coin". Rappler. 21 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.


Further readingEdit

  • Zaide, Gregorio F. (1984). Philippine History and Government. National Bookstore Printing Press.

External linksEdit