A Glimpse of Ilonggo History (January 21, 1899)
(By DinggolAranetaDivinagracia – IlonggoNationMovement)
“A tribute to Don Gregorio Soriano Araneta of Molo, Iloilo City, Secretary-General of Malolos Congress who drafted the Constitution of the First Philippine Republic in Malolos, Bulacan one hundred twenty-one (121) years ago today, the 21st of January, 2020.” –dinggol.d~~~
On January 21, 1899, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the Malolos Republic with a Constitution drafted by Ilonggo Don Gregorio Soriano Araneta, Secretary-General and other illustrados of the congress held in Malolos, Bulacan. Two days later, on the 23rd of January, 1899 the First Philippine Republic with Emilio Aguinaldo as President was formally inaugurated and the Constitution ratified.
Don Gregorio known by his intimates as “Goyo” was born in Molo, Iloilo City on the 19th of April, 1869. He was the 6th child of the 17 children of Don Felix Locsin-Militante Araneta and Doña Paz Ditching Soriano. On March 7, 1896, he was married to Doña Carmen Roxas Zaragoza of Manila and with whom he had fourteen (14) children. Don Gregorio Soriano Araneta was the first Filipino Secretary of Justice and Finance, Solicitor General, and one of the founders of the Partido Federal on December 23, 1900.
The illustrious Ilonggo from “Parian” now Molo in Iloilo City named Don Gregorio Soriano Araneta dubbed as “A Molave of His Country” died peacefully in his home at No. 1030 R. Hidalgo Street, Manila on March 9, 1930.
The Sturdy “Molaves” of the Race
“. . . How inspiring to come across such men during these days when they are so few and when they modestly stay away from the limelight, leaving the “camoteng kahoy”, the “cogon” and the “balete” to monopolize public attention. The youth of the land, with its dubious standards of leadership, should find in the “molaves” and “tindalos” of the race like Don Gregorio Araneta, a salutary influence to offset and counterbalance the hold that the tinsel show of ill-acquired glory and wealth has on its immature mind.
There is, indeed, something more substantial, something more permanent than power or riches. . . “
(Source: Excerpt from The Tribune (by Mr. Carlos Romulo) dated March 10, 1930)
Don Gregorios’ son Dr. Salvador Z. Araneta, who inherits the mantle of his father, says that one of the most vivid lessons he received from his father was the following parable: “A man is like a tree. If a tree starts crooked at the beginning, it will always be crooked. But a tree that starts straight, remains straight throughout its life.”
Decades later, when Ramon Magsaysay became President, his cabinet included three (3) sons of Gregorio and Carmen Roxas Zaragoza-Araneta, namely: Salvador – as the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, J. Antonio for Finance and Vicente as the Head of ACCFA, a development-related government agency.
Gregorio S. Araneta’s eldest grandson and namesake Gregorio “Goyes” L. Araneta II during his tenure as Tourism (top honcho) Commissioner was able to push-through his pet project in the land of his grandpa “Goyo” despite many objections to the contrary from some sectors in government.
His legacy to his Ilonggo bloodline was the building of the first-ever government-sponsored museum outside Metro Manila, the MUSEO ILOILO that was designed by local Ilonggo architect Sergio Peñasales during the term of Governor Conrado J. Norada of the Province of Iloilo. —dinggol.d~~~