Aguinaldo was born on March 22, 1868, in Cavite, the second-youngest of eight children. His family was wealthy and influential; his father held a mayoral post.
the young boy was given a good education, but his father’s death in 1883 forced him to drop out of high school before he finished. From then onward, he was employed by his mother in running the family’s farms.
He entered politics in January 1895, becoming “capitan municipal” in Cavite.
Aguinaldo was inducted by fellow anti-colonialist Andres Bonifacio into the underground Katipunan movement. This organization was committed to the removal of Spanish colonialism, even if it meant accomplishing that goal by armed rebellion.
Aguinaldo himself met and married Hilaria, his first wife, during this period.
Aguinaldo’s men were forced into a negotiated surrender, agreeing to exile in Hong Kong in exchange for indemnity, amnesty, and colonial reform.
The Spanish-American War
Aguinaldo, seeing the opportunity to attack Spain, joined the U.S. Asian Squadron at the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, which resulted in a heavy Spanish defeat.
Aguinaldo returned to his home country on May 19. Three weeks later, he declared himself president of a new, independent Philippines, as well as acting as the Filipino commander in battle.
Aguinaldo saw his official inauguration as president of the Republic of the Philippines. He openly referred to himself as a dictator with the country’s new cabinet headed by Apolinario Mabini as prime minister.
He was captured at Palanan when the American Special Forces broke into his camp under the guise of being prisoners of war. Aguinaldo now had no choice but to surrender and swear loyalty to the U.S., which he did on April 1.
Aguinaldo married again in 1930 after the death of his first wife, but remained largely absent from public life.
Aguinaldo decided to cooperate with the Japanese and take part in the puppet government the invaders had set up. He became known for his speeches urging Filipinos not to resist the occupation.
This led to Aguinaldo being imprisoned for collaboration, although he was soon pardoned with his reputation mostly intact.
he served one term on the Council of State under President Quirino, followed by some time working with veterans.
Aguinaldo’s public rehabilitation was complete as President Macapagal announced that Independence Day would now be celebrated on June 12, the anniversary of the day the First Philippine Republic had been declared.
Aguinaldo was rushed to Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on October 5, 1962, under the care of Dra. Juana Blanco Fernandez
he stayed there for 469 days until he died of coronary thrombosis at age 94 on February 6, 1964
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas issued a new 5-peso bill depicting a portrait of Aguinaldo on the front. The back features the declaration of the Philippine independence on June 12, 1898.