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Mariano Isaac Abella

28 June 2010

Mariano Isaac Abella was born on 26 September 1860 in Nueva Caceres, Ambos Camarines, Philippines.  He was the eldest child of Manuel Pinzon Abella and Bibiana Isaac.

Mariano spent his early years in his hometown.   The 12-year-old Mariano was sent to study at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila, where he received his bachillerato in 1879.  Between frequent trips to Ambos Camarines to tend to the families agricultural interests, he finished his law degree at the University of Santo Tomas in 1889.  Like many of his university contemporaries, he embarked for Spain in 1890, to see the world and to fuel his Reformist leanings.  From Spain, he travelled to France, Belgium, Germany and Italy and stayed abroad for 4 years.  He returned to the Philippines on April 27,1894 on board the ship Montevideo, accompanied by the brothers Juan and Antonio Luna.

Mariano returned to his hometown and built a successful law practice.  In time, he became a justice of the peace and a judge of the Court of First Instance.  He married Juana Hernandez Imperial, and their union was blessed with two children: Manuel and Socorro.

At the heels of the Tagalog insurrection, the Bicol region felt the brunt of the government’s campaigns to crush the looming revolution.  Suspected of rebellion against Spain, Mariano was arrested on 16 September 1896; while his father and brothers were taken a few days later.  His properties were seized soon after, on 11 November 1896.  He was set free by the Spanish court in the summary trial on 29 December 1896.  His father Manuel and brother Domingo were executed in Bagumbayan; while his brother Ramon was exiled to Fernando Po Island in Africa.

His family’s tragedies fuelled Mariano’s fervor to reform government.  As the representative of Ambos Camarines to the Malolos Congress, Manuel was one of the 94 signatories of the 1898 Malolos Constitution, which established the First Philippine Republic.  He served as the governor of Ambos Camarines (the area known today as Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur) for three terms:  1898, 1904, and 1907.  In 1916, he ran unsuccessfully for the Senator post in the sixth district against Jose Fuentebella, Tomas Arejola, Vicente de Vera and Mario Guariña.

As a businessman, he actively participated in the management of his family’s land.  He also held the Congressional franchise to install, operate and maintain the electric power system in various towns in Bicol.  The franchise was eventually transferred to bigger companies like the Bicol Electric Company and the Manila Electric Company.

An elementary school in Naga City was named after him.

Mariano Isaac Abella’s Family Tree can be found in Geni.com.

Research Notes

1.  Barameda, Jose V. ‘’The Bicol Martyrs of 1896 revisited” on Bicol Mail. Date published: 15 January 2008. Date accessed: 26 May 2010.
2.  “The Family of Bibiana Isaac and Manuel Abella”. Date published: 20 April 2008. Date accessed: 26 May 2010.
3.  GR 8822, dated 30 March 1915. The LawPhil Project. Date accessed: 26 May 2010.
4.  GR 8821, dated 24 September 1915. The LawPhil Project. Date accessed: 26 May 2010.
5.  GR L-13017, dated 09 March 1918. The LawPhil Project. Date accessed: 25 July 2010.
6.  GR L-13477, dated 23 October 1920. The LawPhil Project. Date accessed: 25 July 2010.
7.  The 1898 Philippine Constitution.  Chan-Robles Virtual Library. Date published: 19 Jul 1998. Date accessed: 26 May 2010.

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