A Comparative Study Between Antonio Luna And Emilio Aguinaldo


Do people believe that a hero did only exists during the colonization of the Philippines? Being a hero requires a lot responsibility. A responsibility that a hero should possess for the people and to the country. Everyone can have a place to it, but not everyone can have it, must say that there are a lot of components why being a hero is hard to own. What is the veritable evidence of being a hero? Is it sacrificing your life for the people, is it on how much you have gained in serving the people? For an approach, Gal (1995) corroborated this finding in his study and additionally found that heroic actions are often characterized by self – sacrifice, persistence, and leadership. Another is being brave is defined as “overcoming fears for no purpose other than the act itself” (Harrison, 2012, p. 24), Each one of us are having their fear and that does not mean weakness but, a way of knowing your weakness and took that as your strength to become a hero. It is a title that a person cannot control and once they had the title, no one can take it from them in which they will always be remembered for that, in addition, this defines that heroes are fighting for only one reason, and that reason is freedom.

For broader understanding, when colonization period started it is an intimation of a war between the Philippines and the other nation. Filipinos didn’t have the freedom to fight for themselves, many people lost their lives and an order of slavery is formed. It is the main point of view, heroes fought for the Philippines. The Philippines remained a Spanish colony for nearly three hundred years, ending with the conclusion of the Spanish-American War in 1898 (Skowronek 1998:60). In order for this study to be conducted, the researchers will have to have a background of two heroes in regards with their contributions to the country.

Antonio Luna became famous because of his bravery towards the war between Philippine – American War. As stated by, Kallie Szczepanski (2019) he was a soldier, chemist, musician, war strategist, journalist, pharmacist, hot – headed general, and complex man, which served as a threat to the Philippine’s first president Emilio Aguinaldo, and was known for his hot and short tempered – head personality and discipline for his men’s. According to Jose (1999) this and the factionalism among the government and the army led to Luna’s execution on 9 June 1899 in Cabanatuan.

As for Emilio Aguinaldo’s heroism after his role in the Philippine revolution against Spain and the Philippine – American war began. According to Wolff (1968), he described Aguinaldo as to be “a bewildered young man” in which he used to take problems seriously and have an inability to focus though as a leader he could be “cold, calculating, resentful, fanatic, and clever” a leader indeed that we need because he used his brain wisely in making decisions. In addition, Filipino Historian Gregorio F. Zaide (1984), described Aguinaldo as a man with, “military talent, cool courage, charisma, gentle manners, and a keen judgement of men” this only means that he wants his men to have their own bravery which they can use during the war, in having such a strong personality, there will always have that stronger discipline. The two generals thus have something in common in relation to their leadership and bravery during the Philippine – American War, and even if a threatening battle between the two generals occurred, a fact has been stated that they governed Filipino’s freedom in the Philippines.

Antonio Luna

According to, Constantino (1984), who commented that the Philippines used to have a strong sense of nationalism. As she states that nationalism is our willingness to fight for the country and show bravery, not only to Antonio Luna, but also to the Filipinos in learning to fight for themselves in avoidance of slavery. She also added at the same time, that nationalism is a way that could make the Filipinos one, if they want freedom. A character where Antonio Luna is based, a strong and brave personality who is not scared to show his power towards his fellow Filipino and to the American war, from the very start he doesn’t want the Filipino to be slaves, he treats them all equally.

General Antonio Luna is from Binondo, Manila. He was the youngest of seven children of Joaquin Luna de San Pedro, from Badoc, Ilocos Norte, and Spanish mestiza Laureana Novicio-Ancheta, from Namacpacan, La Union (Esteria, 2012). According to Filipino.Biz.ph (2009):

In 1897, he was expelled to Spain and imprisoned in Carcel Modelo de Madrid. During the Philippine – American war, he was made a general by Emilio Aguinaldo under the First Philippine Republic. Because of showing his braveness, he was made the head of War on September 26, 1898. General Luna became famous for his bravery, unusual style of fighting, and strict discipline (Excerpts of Talambuhay ng mga Bayani by Alba, R. 2007)

Emilio Aguinaldo

Magdalo was the one who named Emilio Aguinaldo, a revolutionary hero. Spain colonized the Philippines for more than 300 years, and a rebellion between Magdalo and Spain happened in 1896. The United States allied with him in the 1898 war against Spain; he secured land while Admiral Dewey secured seas, thus the Spanish-American War became the Philippine-American War. To hear those who oppose U.S. authority described as insurgents, echoes appear-the same terms were used for the Filipinos in 1900. Aguinaldo, being the first president of the Philippines, first fought with us, against us, and finally forgave and redeemed us because of also what happened when he was killed in Cabanatuan. Magdalo the warrior made Aguinaldo the statesman (Skillin, 2006).

The Philippine Revolution during the Spanish rule takes place for those years. Santiago V. Alvarez, for five full years, from August 1896 to August 1901, he claimed to be one of those “who guided the revolution” (p. 3), although he was already active in the Katipunan aa a member and as a delegate even before its outbreak. The memoirs begin on March 14, 1896, when he accompanied Emilio Aguinaldo and Raymond Mata, both fellow Cavitenos, to Manila for their initiation into the Katipunan by Andres Bonifacio himself. Therefore, Emilio Aguinaldo became part of the Katipuneros in order to have a war with the Spanish during the revolution. He carries the story up to the conclusion of the Truce of Biyak-Na-Bato and the voluntary exile of Aguinaldo and his companions in Hongkong (Vol. 28, No. 2 (Sep.,1997), pp. 444-446).

There is a conflict between Andres Bonifacio, the original leader of the Philippine Revolution of 1896, and Emilio Aguinaldo, the man who succeeded him. It was stated that the cause of the conflict was the difference in the way that the two men conducted military operations against Spain, and of course their different leadership style, Bonifacio adopted a consultative approach to warfare, whereas Aguinaldo favored centralized, hierarchical military approach (Vol. 55, No. 4, Home Fuel (2007), pp. 449-477). Every hero has their own ability to lead, but most importantly is a hero is fighting for his people and not for himself, as long as there is a purpose.

In battling Spanish – American happened in Emilio Aguinaldo’s term which he met other national heroes and joined forces in order to provide freedom to the Philippines, such a way of commemorating their sacrifices throughout the years. It such a payback to know and understand how Antonio Luna and Emilio Aguinaldo led the Philippines against the colonization, even though they did not succeed in some ways, more so they succeeded in the hearts of the Filipino, will remain as heroes until the end, and will always be remembered in terms of their leadership and bravery.

Research method

Qualitative research is the most applicable research study considering that the study is about A Comparative Study between Antonio Luna and Emilio Aguinaldo: General Heroes of the Spanish – Philippine - American War. According to, Denzin and Lincoln (2000) claim that qualitative research involves an interpretive and naturalistic approach, “This means that qualitative researchers study things in order for them to interpret and collect evidences which are relevant” in which informational evidences are required about the two heroes being studied.

The researchers then use a historical research design in collecting data about the study, since the evidences needed are supposedly from the past with factuality and validity. It therefore uses primary and secondary sources in order for the researchers to end up comparing the two heroes in all different matters.


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  2. https:www.oxfordhandbooks.comview10.1093oxfordhb9780199935291.001.0001oxfordhb-9780199935291-e-36Harrison, W. (2012). Beyond courage: The psychology of heroism. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, CA.
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  4. https:minds.wisconsin.edubitstreamhandle179366613Fitzpatrick_Thesis.pdfSzczepanski, K. (2020). Biography of Antonio Luna, Hero of the Philippine-American War. Retrieved from
  5. https:www.thoughtco.comantonio-luna-philippine-american-war-hero-195644Vallejo, B. (2018). Antonio Luna, Science and the Emerging Filipino National Identity. (Vol. 6)
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  7.  https:www.researchgate.netpublication296561488_MASTERS_THESIS_A_Filipino_Napoleon_Short_of_Money_Guns_and_Soldiers_Emilio_Aguinaldo_and_the_Defeat_of_the_Philippine_RepublicConstantino, L. R. (1984). Issues without tears: A Layman's Manual of Current Issues (Vol. 2). Quezon City: Karrel.
  8. https:sites.google.comsitegabrielleleeignacioreview-of-related-literatureAlboro, Q. T., De Vera, I. C.,
07 July 2022
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