PASCUAL ALVAREZ (1861-1923)
OF THE three famous Alvarez of Noveleta who became generals of the revolution – Mariano, Santiago, and Pascual – the last never had any formal education. The son of Sebastian Alvarez, a cochero (rig driver), and Juana de Jesus, a dressmaker, both natives of Noveleta, Cavite, Pascual Alvarez was a self-made man. When still a small tyke, Pascual was taken by his godfather, Maestro Luis, to Caridad, then an independent town before its incorporation into the municipality of Cavite (now Cavite City), where he somehow learned the rudiments of reading and writing. That was all. Pascual grew up into manhood and then returned to Noveleta.
Pascual during the succeeding years continued his self-study, and in due time he was employed as clerk in the municipal office of Noveleta. Later he was elected cabeza de barangay, then Teniente mayor, and still later juez de paz. Finally, he was elected capitan municipal, 1893-1894. Initiated into the Katipunan by his uncle Mariano Alvarez, Pascual was named secretary of the Magdiwang Council of Noveleta. Mariano Alvarez was the original president of the council. Later, when the Magdiwang Council was reorganized upon the arrival of Bonifacio. Pascual became the general secretary, and Mariano the Pangalawang Haring Bayan (Vice King), next to Bonifacio, the Haring Bayan (King).
The three Alvarez – Mariano and his son, Santiago, and nephew, Pascual – were the leading figures in the capture of the Noveleta tribunal (municipal building), on August 3I, 1896. Anticipating the Spanish counterattack to retake Noveleta, Marino Alvarez, the incumbent capitan municipal, ordered the fortification of the area between the Calero Bridge and Dalahican, the gateway to the town of Cavite. Santiago Alvarez, the captain general of the Magdiwang, supervised the construction of the four batteries that played a major role in repulsing the Spaniards in the famous Battle of Dalahican, November 9-11. But General Artemio Ricarte, in his book, The Hispano-Philippine Revolution (Yokohama, 1926), claims that General Pascual Alvarez was the “true hero of the Magdiwang.”
Born in Noveleta on May 17,1861, Pascual Alvarez was the eldest of the four Alvarez children. His first wife, Marciana Villanueva, a cousin of General Ariston Villanueva, died on October 20, 1890. He remarried after four years as a widower, his second wife being Ildefonsa Angkiko. Unlike his uncle Mariano, who got disillusioned after the execution of Andres Bonifacio, and had abandoned the revolutionary struggle altogether, Pascual accepted the post of secretary of the interior in the revolutionary cabinet of General Emilio Aguinaldo. He even followed the revolutionary army of Aguinaldo in its strategic withdrawal to Biak-na-Bato.
Pascual Alvarez died on March 8, 1923 at the age of 62.
(Sources: (1) E. A. Manuel, Dictionary of Philippine Biography, vol.2; (2) Talambuhay ng Magigiting na Lalaki ng Kabite, Jimenez Collection; and (3) “History of Noveleta,” loc. Cit.)