On July 23, 2021, the National Archives of the Philippines (NAP) joined the nation in celebrating the 157th birth anniversary of Apolinario Mabini. In line with this, NAP invited Filipino Public Historian, Mr. Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua to discuss the life and legacy of Mabini.

Through NAP’s online assembly held on July 19, 2021, Mr. Chua conducted his lecture, titled: “Dakila: Si Apolinario Mabini bilang isang Bayani.” In his talk, Mr. Chua discussed the life and works of Mabini and how he helped the country achieve independence and continues to inspire Filipinos’ patriotism until today.

In his discussion, Mr. Chua relates the concept of “bayani” (hero) to the Javanese word “wani” which means having the courage or determination to do or stand for something. He added that “wani” is also the root word for “kawani” in the phrase “kawani ng pamahalaan” which translates to a government employee or public servant.

Because Mabini is unable to fight on the battlefield due to paralysis in both his legs, Mabini served the country by becoming an instrument in shaping the Philippine Republic in 1898 as then-President Emilio Aguinaldo’s chief adviser. As President Aguinaldo’s adviser, Mr. Chua noted that Mabini is entrusted to write decrees for President Aguinaldo’s signature, and he also served as the country’s Prime Minister.

According to Mr. Chua, Mabini also expressed his love for the country through his passion for literature, one of his notable works is his memoir titled: “La Revolucion Filipina” which he wrote while he was in exile in Guam.

With all of Mabini’s achievements and his contribution to the revolution against the country’s colonizers, Mabini earned his monikers as “Brains of the Revolution” (Utak ng Himagsikan) and “The Sublime Paralytic” (Dakilang Lumpo). In this sense, Mr. Chua urged Filipinos to emulate heroes by drawing inspiration from Mabini’s dedication and patriotism to the Philippines.