Lobregat leads ‘Dia de Alvarez’ programab PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 May 2012 14:29

Mayor Celso Lobregat led city government officials and employees, academe and national government agencies in a commemorative program yesterday afternoon, celebrating the “Dia de General Vicente S. Alvarez” pursuant to City Ordinance No. 334 that declares May 18 of each year as such.

The commemorative program was held at Plaza Vicente Alvarez (formerly Plaza Roma) in front of Plaza Pershing. It was preceded by a mass at the Fort Pilar Shrine and wreath-laying ceremony at Plaza Alvarez.

Unlike other special events, the “Dia de Vicente S. Alarez” commemorates neither the birthday nor the death anniversary of the Zamboangueño revolutionary hero, but the significant historical event that took place in Zamboanga on May 18, 1899, when the Spanish invaders under Governor-General Diego delos Rios surrendered to Gen. Alvarez, who led a revolutionary force of Christian and Muslim men including the convicted and the condemned in the fight against the Spaniards.

History has it that Gen. Alvarez had repeatedly declared, “We will never surrender Zamboanga and we will fight any foreign invader to the last man.”
Present during the program was Antonio Villanueva, a relative of Gen. Alvarez, who gave a response to the message of Mayor Lobregat.  

The program was capped with the announcement and awarding of winners to the essay writing competition, held May 15 also in line with Dia de Gen. Alvarez.

Born on April 5, 1862 and died on November 4, 1942, Alvarez joined the Katipunan in 1892 because he saw the brutalities on the Filipinos by the Spaniards, and he wanted to help free his country from oppression. His membership to the organization, however, was later exposed to the authorities. As a punishment, he was sent to Sulu to pacify the warring royalties.

Historians described General Vicente Alvarez as a combination of the fighting spirit in the battlefield of Andres Bonifacio and the character of compassion of Jose Rizal. — Vic Larato