JOSE TAGLE (1854-?)




          NO HISTORY of Cavite Province will be complete without mentioning the name of Jose Tagle and his contribution to the Revolution. Tagle was the captain municipal of Imus at the outbreak of Revolution. Imus became the capital of the Magdalo Council (or Government) after Cavite el Viejo (now Kawit) was subjected to artillery bombardment from the arsenal of Cavite la Punta (now Cavite City). Formerly a part of Cavite el Viejo, Imus was beyond the range of the antiquated Spanish cannon in the arsenal.

          It was Tagle who mobilized all able-bodied citizens of Imus when Aguinaldo decided to storm the Recollect estate house about half a kilometer northeast of the Imus Catholic church on September 1, the second day of Revolution in Cavite. The next day, September 2, Aguinaldo came back to Imus after his volunteer army from Kawit was almost wiped out in Bacoor by a large cavalry column commended by General Ernesto de Aguirre, chief of the general staff of the Spanish colonial army in the Philippines.

          Throughout the night of September 3 Aguinaldo, assisted by Tagle, prepared the defense of Imus for the expected arrival of Aguirre the following morning. That was probably the most decisive night during the Revolution. Aguinaldo’s ingenuity and resourcefulness as a military leader would be demonstrated in the defense put up by the revolutionists at the bridge leading to the beleaguered recollect estate house. Aguinaldo and Tagle and his men destroy a portion of the bridge and camouflage it with tree trunks and leaves.

          Coming to a halt upon reaching the bridge early the next morning, Agurre’s column was met with a barrage of cannon and rifle fire from the opposite end of the bridge, followed by Aguinaldo’s bolomen surging forward from nowhere and slashing the startled enemy with sharp strokes and thrusts. The enemy was routed.

          Agurre would have been captured alive had not his horse panicked and galloped away, dropping his gleaming sword which Aguinaldo immediately picked up, a price was booty, to be used later as his own sword of command until the end of the Revolution.

          After the spectacular battle of Imus, Aguinaldo convoke the town people and proclaimed Tagle the new capitan municipal amidst shouts of “Long live the Tagalogs!”

          Tagle was born in Bayang-Luma, Imus, on March 18, 1854, to a family of the principalia class.  He grew up and studied in the local school, but nothing is known about his later education. The date and place of his death are also unknown. But people who knew him said that he lived a simple and good life worthy of emulation.

          [Sources: (1) Emilio Aguinaldo, Mga Gunita ng Himagsikan. Copyright by Mrs. Cristina Aguinaldo Suntay. Manila. 1964; and (2) Benjamin M. Bolivar, “A Historical Study of the Town of Imus,” unpublished M. A. t5hesis, 1965.]




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