AS WE indicated in our past columns, the short-lived Cinco de Noviembre 1898 Negrense Revolution against the spaniards which ended with the Spanish surrender to the Negrense leaders on November 6, is connected with the equally historic formal organization of the First Provincial Assembly to organize the Republic of Negros.

The Negrense leaders convened in Bacolod on November 7 for these historic events. Before proceeding on their historic journey, the Negrenses raised the questions of the causes of this historic uprising against Spanish colonial rule. As a brief overview, the sense of oppression and injustice was spreading against the colonial system and was growing more intolerable in Negros as in other Philippine provinces. Added to this was the restiveness due to the entry of foreign ideas through wider educational opportunities and communication facilities.

Many of the revolutionary Negrense leaders were schooled in Manila or some even abroad. The more notable names at this time were Jaime Araneta, Juan Araneta, Zoilo Diaz, Emilio Gaston, Carlos Infante, Antonio Jayme, Aniceto Lacson, Roman Lacson, Leandro Locsin, Dionisio Mapa, Agustin Montilla Jr., Rafael Ramos, Melecio Severino, Mariano Yulo and various other notable Negrenses.

Most of these Negrenses were also elected among the early officials of the First Negros Provincial Assembly. The Assembly resulted to the election of the following officials of the Provincial Assembly of the Republic of Negros: President - Aniceto Lacson; Delegate of War - Juan Araneta; Delegate of Hacienda - Eusebio Luzuriaga; Delegate of Government - Simon Lizares; Delegate of Development - Nicolas Golez; Delegate of Justice - Antonio Jayme; Delegate of Agriculture and Commerce- Agustin Amenabar; Secretary - Melecio Severino; Sub-Secretary - Fortunato Hugo; and Military Commander - Rafael Ramos.

To highlight the reasons for the 1898 Negros uprising, historians have noted that more forceful than the ideas arising from the Ages of Reason and Enlightenment then sweeping across Europe as the ideological bases for the revolution were the frequent violations of human dignity and justice by the Spanish colonizers.

Twenty-four Deputies for the 24 municipalities of Negros Occidental were also elected. Specifically, the president and vice president of the Chamber were Jose Luzuriaga and Istanislao Yusay, respectively. The Secretary was Jose Lopez Vito, publisher of a local newspaper in Bacolod. The inauguration took place on Christmas day with a festive atmosphere, a military parade with officials and soldiers in uniform and homes gaily decorated with several orchestras.

It is notable that as the writers narrate, history offers valuable lessons for humankind. There are also lessons for Negrenses today on this historic period of our province. Courage, a united people, organized and well planned, and rising above narrow vested interests for a greater cause; and above all, that injustice and oppression sooner or later are overthrown.

It is fitting therefore to remember these historic lessons in our own lives today. For a people who do not learn from or forget the lessons from history are liable to repeat these crucial learnings from the past. For inquiries, my email adds: roquejrhofilena@yahoo.com.ph.