Tarlac State University lauded General Emilio Aguinaldo on his sesquicentennial anniversary for his exceptional contributions in the Tarlac Province, which was named as the last capital of the Aguinaldo Republic, through a national forum held on November 8, 2019 at the Tarlac City Hall.
The event was organized by the TSU Center for Tarlaqueño Studies, headed by Dr. Lino Dizon, and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, through its chairman Dr. Rene R. Escalante.
The Casa Real de Tarlac, presently the College of Engineering and Technology building, was used by Aguinaldo when Tarlac became the revolutionary capital in 1899. Aguinaldo signed significant decrees in Casa Real like the prohibition of the merchant vessels flying the American flag from territories held by the Philippine Republic; the organization of the Supreme Court and inferior courts; the promulgation of the General Orders of the Army.
“It was also believed that the manuscripts of Aguinaldo were written here [Casa Real]; the booklet entitled Reseňa Veiridica de la Revolucion Filipina was translated in English by Marciano Rivera and corrected by Mr. Duncan. The work condemned the atrocities of American expeditionary forces in the Philippines,” Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua, a public historian and Assistant Professor at the De La Salle University, said in his lecture.
A historical marker is erected in the old Casa Real site.
The forum was attended by TSU officials and faculty members and Social Studies students from the College of Teacher Education.
Prior to the start of the forum, the unveiling and turnover ceremonies of the Rizal Marker was held in front of the Tarlac City Hall near the Tarlac City Plazuela.
Aguinaldo’s Legacy in the Philippine Educational System
The Cientifico-Literaria Universidad de Filipinas en Tarlac was the first State University in Asia founded by the Philippine Revolutionary Government in October 18, 1898 in Malolos, Bulacan. It was then transferred to the Tarlac Province together with the whole Aguinaldo government when Malolos fell to the Americans and the schools have to close down.
The Universidad, together with the Burgos Institute (secondary school), was then re-established in Tarlac. The Tarlac Convent beside the San Sebastian Roman Catholic Cathedral Convent, now the San Sebastian Cathedral, was used as the school building.
Its first and last graduation was held at the Cathedral in September 29, 1899. The diplomas of the graduates were personally signed by Aguinaldo who was the university president back then.
In Dr. Dizon’s lecture, he shared that Aguinaldo was conferred with a posthumous Doctor of Public Administration, Honoris Causa, by Tarlac State University on September 29, 2004 for being the President of Cientifico-Literaria Universidad de Filipinas and first honorary president of TSU. He was represented by his granddaughter, Justice Ameurfina Melencio Herrera.
“During the centennial of the establishment of the Cientifico-Literaria Universidad de Filipinas, the first SUC in the Philipppines and Asia which President Aguinaldo established on October 19, 1899, The Tarlac State University landed in the Official Guinness World Records for the most number of [doctoral] degrees, Honoris Causa, awarded on a single day to the eight members who represented various legislative districts in the Malolos Congress (including Aguinaldo),” TSU President Dr. Myrna Q. Mallari said in her speech which was read by Dr. Armee N. Rosel, Vice President for Research and Extension Services. [Maria Adelaida D. Calayag]