BACOLOD

Hofileña: Historical relevance of Cinco de Noviembre to Negrenses

Roque-Hofilena-Jr

The Historian

EVERY year, Negrenses commemorate Cinco de Noviembre (November 5) as the Provincial Day Anniversary for Negros Occidental. In keeping with its commitment to assist the Provincial Government in its history and cultural programs, the Negros Occidental Historical Council Inc. supports various relevant activities to help Negrenses, especially the youth, to meaningfully recall and appreciate local history and cultural events contributing to the provincewide efforts to bring about a better life for the citizenry.

As part of our title, Negrenses today help clarify the convergence of local and national history. Hence, Negrenses as with all Filipinos, should be knowledgeable about our history, especially to remember our leaders and fellow Negrenses who have generously dedicated much of their lives to our province even above and beyond their personal welfare. This is precisely the significance of the November 5, 1898 historical uprising of Negrenses against the Spanish colonial command in Negros. Our people, led by Aniceto Lacson, for the northern forces and Juan Araneta for the southern groups, brought about the historic Cinco de Noviembre revolutionary event which ousted the Spanish command in the province. The story of this exceptional event has been narrated in various sources of information for widespread dissemination among our people.

Among some memorable aspects of the Cinco de Noviembre event were the interesting efforts of the Negrense revolutionaries to outwit the Spanish forces in Negros on November 5, 1898. Notable among these actions were the unique strategies to surprise the Spanish command in such a short period of time and with very few casualties. In particular, after a brief planning activity on early November 1898, the Negrenses surprised the Spaniards with their ingenuity and imagination including painting bamboo and coconut tree materials to look like cannons and firearms from a distance. Another notable strategy of the Negrenses, was their capability to unite and communicate with each other in just a few days. Despite limited communication facilities, the surprising speed of the Negrenses in their communication system was exceptional. Historical researchers however, point out that the most remarkable aspect of the Negrense uprising success was the ability of the leaders to rally their followers in support of the uprising. This notably indicated the action of the Negrense leaders to set aside differences or self-interests and unite in their coordinated provincewide movement and thereby overcame the Spanish forces. The familiarization of Negrenses on the notable aspects of this unique historic commemoration enables Negrenses to be inspired and proud of this event for our province today and in the coming years.

* This column welcomes interested readers to visit our Negros Occidental Historical Council library at the South Wing, Provincial Capitol building, Bacolod City. with tel:# 034 701 5357/0917 5033845.


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