ARE you curious how Emilio Aguinaldo sounded?

We often only see heroes and controversial figures in daguerreotype format. Photos of the past are often in black and white and are only digitally enhanced to better see their faces.

To our surprise, pieces of footage of Philippine historical figures dating as far back as the 1920s could be found online. Aguinaldo even has one, just as amazed as we are on how technology quickly progressed.

1. Who was Emilio Aguinaldo?

He was the first and only president of the Malolos Republic, or the First Philippine Republic. He was known as the President of the Revolutionary Government after signing the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, which established a truce between the Spanish and Philippine revolutionaries.

2. Leading the wars

In the Spanish-Philippine War and the American-Philippine War, he led the Philippines. He is considered the youngest president, taking office at the age of 28, and the longest-serving, dying at the age of 94 in 1965.

Realizing that the United States would not accept immediate and total independence for the Philippines, Aguinaldo led a revolt against American rule that lasted three years and resulted in terrible guerrilla warfare.

3. His first speech captured on film

In a video posted on Youtube by user Juan Nicolas, we could see a speaking Aguinaldo on the balcony of the now-called Santuario sa Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite. The video was said to have been taken on February 11, 1929. What is amusing is that the sound in the video even captured the crowing of a rooster.

The video was also attributed to the Moving Image Research Collections.

4. What Aguinaldo said

In the video, Aguinaldo is speaking in fluent Spanish.

To non-Spanish speakers, it may look like he is delivering a very serious speech. However, he is actually talking about the marvels and progress of technology and even mentioned "moving figures" that "emit voices," which he was probably describing sound in moving pictures or the television.

"When could science perfect devices that can reform and improve men? When will our humanity be able to say that it is already on the path of moral perfection with regards to the fraternity of all men, of all people, of all races, and of all creeds?" Aguinaldo said in Spanish.

"When that day arrives, we will have erased all borders, destroyed all war-like devices, and we will only admire an invention, an apparatus, the most wonderful, one that has brought peace and harmony among all men throughout the world," he added.

Sometimes, if we think about it, Youtube is the closest thing we have to a time machine.


Speech by Philippine General Emilio Aguinaldo, 1929 (Colorized) - ENGLISH SUBTITLES. (2020, September 27). [Video]. YouTube.

Inaugural Address of President Aguinaldo, January 23, 1899 | GOVPH. (1899, January 23). Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.

Emilio Aguinaldo: Hero or zero? (2016, June 16). SunStar Philippines. Retrieved June 8, 2022, from