Academia Militar - The Birth of the Philippine Military Academy, Excerpt from Philippine-American War, 1899-1902 by Arnaldo Dumindin
Excerpt from DUMINDIN, Arnaldo Website: Philippine-American War, 1899-1902: Academia Militar, The birth of the Philippine Military Academy (1)
Filipino army officers (under General Juan Cailles)
On the recommendation of General Antonio Luna, General Emilio Aguinaldo authorized the creation of a military school for officers.
On Oct. 25, 1898, the Academia Militar was established at Malolos, Bulacan with Colonel Manuel Bernal Sityar, hijo (meaning junior), as Director.
Colonel Sityar (ABOVE) was a Spanish mestizo who had served as a lieutenant in the Spanish Civil Guard. In 1882, he trained at the Academia Infanteria de Filipinas in Manila. He graduated from the Academia Militar de Toledo in Spain in 1895. He was born on Aug. 20, 1863 in Cavite City of an "Indio" mother and a Spanish father who hailed from Cadiz, Spain. His great grandfather was a lawyer to Spanish King Alfonso. His great grandmother was a relative of Queen Isabela. Both his grandfather and father were Spanish Dukes, and his father was in addition a commodore of the Spanish Navy.
Sityar was the first to suspect the existence of a revolutionary movement. On July 5, 1896, he reported to the Civil Governor of Manila that certain individuals, especially in Mandaluyong and San Juan del Monte, were enlisting men for unknown purposes, making them sign in pledge with their own blood. But his report did not alarm the colonial authorities. Fifty-six days later, on Aug. 30, about 800 Katipuneros assaulted the polverin (Spanish powder magazine) at San Juan del Monte, igniting the Philippine Revolution. (153 Katipuneros and 2 Spanish soldiers died in this first major battle of the revolution).
1898: A company of Filipino soldiers originally in the Spanish service
1898: Staff officers of General Juan Cailles
1899: Filipino army officers
The Academia Militar's mission was to complete the training of all officers in the active service. The academy formally opened its classes on Nov. 1, 1898. The classes were divided into two sections, one for field officers from colonels to majors, and the other from Captains and below. Graduates became regular officers of the army. The course of instruction consisted of current orders and regulations, field and garrison regulations, military justice and penal laws, arithmetic and military accounting, geography and history, field fortifications, and map drawing and reading.
Barasoain Church and Convent. Photo taken on March 31, 1899, shortly after the Americans captured Malolos.
The Academia Militar was housed in the convent of Barasoain together with the Universidad Literia de Pilipinas and Instituto Burgos.
The Academia was deactivated on Jan. 20, 1899 due to highly escalated tensions between the Filipinos and Americans. Fifteen days later, on February 4, war broke out.