Apolinario Mabini, the Revolution’s political philosopher, proved that illness was no hindrance to greatness.
In 1896, Mabini’s was struck down by polio; the disease paralyzed both his legs. In illness Mabini’s mind became even sharper. With the Spanish-American War looming on the horizon, he wrote a manifesto warning Filipinos not to trust the Americans. The document made its way to Hong Kong, into the hands of the exiled leaders of the 1896 revolution. General Emilio Aguinaldo sent for Mabini, who at first meeting disappointed him. What was he supposed to do with this cripple? But when Mabini spoke, Aguinaldo saw his worth. From then on, Mabini was installed as Aguinaldo’s adviser, earning for himself the accolade “Brains of the Revolution.”
At the outbreak of the Filipino-American War in 1899, Mabini was captured by the Americans and was imprisoned for almost two years. Upon his release, he wrote patriotic articles for the local papers. Angered, the Americans exiled him to Guam.
Fearing he would never see the Philippines again, Mabini reluctantly took an oath of allegiance to the United States that allowed him to come home in February 1903. On May 13, 1903 he died of cholera at the age of 39.
The stamps feature Mabini sitting regally on a rattan chair.
I have been unable to find a photograph of Mabini sitting in the style of chair shown on the commemorative stamps.
Mabini in his "invalid" chair
Mabini convalescent chair
(Kevin Michael Aguinaldo)
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