If you have been to Ayala Triangle recently, you may have seen this photo exhibit at the middle of the park which has something to do with Apolinario Mabini and the commemoration of his upcoming 150th birthday. This exhibit is called “Dekalogo” and it is not just any photo exhibit about Mabini, this is an exhibit that has brought to life one of his well-known writings, The True Decalogue.
The True Decalogue was first printed on June 24, 1898, 12 days after the declaration of Philippine Independence. Mabini at that time served as an adviser to Aguinaldo’s revolutionary government, which at that time was busy laying out the foundations of the new republic. It was in this time of new-found freedom and transition that Mabini wrote The True Decalogue to help serve as a moral and ethical guide for the new nation to live by, just as how the Ten Commandments is for Jews and Christians alike.
If the Ten Commandments are to be summed as love for God and love for neighbor, The True Decalogue took it a bit further by adding the love for country, especially at a time when the Philippines just declared an independence that is being threatened by other powers, a fear that became reality when the Americans took control of the country by the end of 1898. The True Decalogue is also a fine example of Mabini’s philosophies and beliefs, a mix of liberalism, republicanism, Masonic thought, and spiritual fortitude. As nice as this exhibit showcases, perhaps for reasons of constraint, “Dekalogo” did not get to fully showcase what Mabini wrote in the original True Decalogue. Thus, the Urban Roamer has decided to put out the full context of what he wrote juxtaposed with the photos shot at this exhibit.
Times have changed but the spirit of The True Decalogue still rings true today. More than ever, in these trying times our country is facing, it would not hurt to look back at what Mabini exhorted to us more than a century ago and become our guide anew to lead us into a brighter future our country deserves to have.
So if you happen to be in the Ayala Triangle area, do take time to catch this exhibit and reflect on the thoughts Mabini expressed in The True Decalogue and strive to live with those commandments as Mabini wanted us to do.