Emergence of the Filipino Nation VR Experience: Declaration of Philippine Independence
Screenplay by: Ed Geronia

EXT. DECLARATION OF PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE, Aguinaldo’s House and frontage, Kawit, Cavite — June 12 1898 — DAY

A large crowd has gathered in front of Emilio Aguinaldo’s house. It stands out in the area because it is a storey and a half high. It has large slide out windows made of capiz and has a pointed roof.

It is just a few minutes past the mid-afternoon and the people have gathered for an important occasion. It is the declaration of Philippine Independence by the revolutionary government led by Aguinaldo. They are genuinely curious at the events that are about to transpire but they are also taking the time to enjoy the festive atmosphere. Anticipating the influx of people from all over Cavite, itinerant vendors have also come to display their wares.

The main window of the Aguinaldo house is fully open. Through the windows, we can see a few VIPs such as President Aguinaldo himself, Artemio Ricarte , the vice-president, Pedro Paterno , an American colonel, L.M. Johnson , Daniel Tirona , and chief political adviser Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista who is going through the handwritten declaration that he has prepared. There are also others peeking out from the rest of the open windows in the house looking onto the crowd below.

The sides of the house and the window are adorned with tri-colored buntings, similar to the the red, white, and blue of the American flag. There are also festive buntings that’s suspended above the crowd on bamboo poles. We can also see colorful paper lanterns on the posts.

A small group of Chinese men are preparing a bamboo frame with fireworks. Some local men are smoking thin cigars which upsets the fire works guys. Women can be seen with their kids. We see some men carrying a freshly-roasted lechon alongside the crowd. A feast is being prepared somewhere.

The San Francisco De Malabon marching band is preparing their instruments and awaiting the signal from their band leader, who is going over his notes on the piece that they are about to play. The piece is a march written for today’s occasion. They will be playing the march for the first time.

Events are in this state when a man being carried on a hammock enters the area. The first camera is from a POV beside him. The hammock is attached to a thick bamboo pole, making it easy for two men to carry its frail-looking occupant. Seated on the chair is the eminent legal mind, Apolinario Mabini. Because of extreme fatigue, the men almost drop their passenger.

Beside them are Ineng, her Mother, and Adolfo. Adolfo is buying from a taho vendor. Ineng is visibly pregnant and fanning herself. Her mother is assisting her.

POLDO: (catching his breath)So sorry Señor Mabini.

APOLINARIO MABINI: You and your men have done a good job. Taking me by relay from Batangas to Cavite was no easy task.

PAENG: Señor Mabini, why is the declaration of independence so important?

APOLINARIO MABINI: It shows the world we are truly free. But alas, we are not. We can declare our independence from Spain, but another nation has come to take it from us. There’s no signed agreement from America that they approve of our independence. Before declaring independence, I think the president should make sure his house is in order first. A working government should be the priority.

PAENG: So what’s all this for?

APOLINARIO MABINI: Declaring your independence is easier to do than knowing what to do with it.

The POV shifts to the camera near the front of the main window of the Aguinaldo house. Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista comes forward in full view of the crowd. Some people are now clapping. Bautista takes out his notes and reads a portion of the declaration.

AMBROSIO R. BAUTISTA: Under the protection of the Powerful and Humanitarian Nation, the Great North American Nation, we do hereby proclaim and declare solemnly in the name and by authority of the people of these Philippine Islands, that they are and have the right to be free and independent. We recognize, approve, and ratify the Dictatorship established by Don Emilio Aguinaldo whom we revere as the Supreme Head of this Nation…

Immediately after the speech we see the band leader giving his mark. The marching band starts and moves across the field of view. They play a brisk instrumental version of Marcha Filipina Magdalo, an early instrumental version of Lupang Hinirang.

The newly-unfurled Philippine flag is waved over the crowd. Then the crowd bursts into thunderous applause. The Chinese men light up the fireworks. The men carrying Mabini stand up and bring him towards the house.

© I Am Cardboard PH

writer/editor