Emilio Aguinaldo

Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy was a Filipino revolutionary and military leader, recognized as the first and the youngest President of the Philippines and first president of a constitutional republic in Asia. He led Philippine forces first against Spain in the latter part of the Philippine Revolution, in the Spanish–American War, against the United States during the Philippine–American War. In 1935, Aguinaldo ran unsuccessfully for president of the Philippine Commonwealth against Manuel Quezon, he was one of the Filipino historical figures to be recommended as a national hero of the Philippines. Emilio Famy Aguinaldo Sr. was born on March 22, 1869 in Cavite el Viejo, in Cavite province, to Carlos Jamir Aguinaldo and Trinidad Famy-Aguinaldo, a Tagalog Chinese mestizo couple who had eight children, the seventh of whom was Emilio Sr. The Aguinaldo family was quite well-to-do, as his father, Carlos J. Aguinaldo was the community's appointed gobernadorcillo in the Spanish colonial administration and his grandparents Eugenio K. Aguinaldo and Maria Jamir-Aguinaldo.

He studied at Colegio de San Juan de Letran but wasn't able to finish his studies due to outbreak of cholera in 1882. Emilio became the "Cabeza de Barangay" in 1895 when the Maura Law that called for the reorganization of local governments was enacted. At the age of 25, Aguinaldo became Cavite el Viejo's first "gobernadorcillo capitan municipal" while on a business trip in Mindoro. On January 1, 1895, Aguinaldo became a Freemason. 203, Cavite by the codename "Colon". On March 7, 1895, Santiago Alvarez, whose father was a Capitan Municipal of Noveleta, encouraged Aguinaldo to join the "Katipunan", a secret organization led by Andrés Bonifacio, dedicated to the expulsion of the Spanish and independence of the Philippines through armed force. Aguinaldo used the nom de guerre Magdalo, in honor of Mary Magdalene; the local chapter of Katipunan in Cavite was established and named Sangguniang Magdalo, Aguinaldo's cousin Baldomero Aguinaldo was appointed leader. The Katipunan-led Philippine Revolution against the Spanish began in the last week of August 1896 in San Juan del Monte.

However and other Cavite rebels refused to join in the offensive because of the lack of arms. While Bonifacio and other rebels were forced to resort to guerrilla warfare and the Cavite rebels won major victories in planned and well-timed set-piece battles, temporarily driving the Spanish out of their area. On August 31, 1896, Aguinaldo started the assault beginning as a skirmish to a full blown revolt, he marched with his army of bolomen to the town center of Kawit. Prior to the battle, Aguinaldo ordered his men not to kill anyone in his hometown. Upon his men's arrival at the town center, the guards, armed with Remingtons and unaware of the preceding events, were caught by surprise and surrendered immediately; the guns there were captured and armed by the Katipuneros, the revolt was a major success for Aguinaldo and his men. That afternoon, they raised the Magdalo flag at the town hall to a large crowd of people from Kawit all assembled after hearing of their city's liberation Magdalo faction of the Katipunan, which operated in Cavite under Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, used a flag alike to the Magdiwang faction's.

It features a white sun with Number the Ray a red baybayin letter K. This symbol has been revived by a breakaway group of army officers signifying the end of warfare with Spain after the peace agreement; this flag became the first official banner of the revolutionary forces and was blessed in a crowd celebrated at Imus. General Aguinaldo referred to this flag in his proclamation of October 31, 1896: "Filipino people!! The hour has arrived to shed blood for the conquest of our liberty. Assemble and follow the flag of the Revolution – it stands for Liberty and Fraternity." In August 1896, as coordinated attacks broke out and sparked the revolution beginning in Manila Emilio Aguinaldo marched from Kawit with 600 men and launched a series of skirmishes at Imus which ended in open hostilities against Spanish troops stationed there. On September 1, with the aid of Captain Jose Tagle of Imus, they laid siege against Imus Estate to draw the Spanish out. A Spanish relief column commanded by Brig. General Ernesto de Aguirre had been dispatched from Manila to aid the beleaguered Spanish defenders of Imus.

Supported only by a hundred troops and by a cavalry, Aguirre gave the impression that he had been sent out to suppress a minor disturbance. Aguinaldo and his men counter-attacked but suffered heavy losses and cost his own life. Despite the success, Aguirre did not press the attack and felt the inadequacy of his troops and hastened back to Manila to get reinforcements. During the lull in the fighting, Aguinaldo's troops reorganized and prepared for another Spanish attack. On September 3, Aguirre came back with a much larger force of 3,000 men; when Spanish troops arrived at the Isabel II bridge, they were fired upon by the concealed rebels. As surprise was on the side of the revolutionaries all the Spaniards that were sent there were trapped and annihilated. Alarmed by previous siege, led by General Aguinaldo in Imus, Cavite in September 1896, Governor-General Ramón Blanco y Erenas ordered the 4th Battalion of Cazadores from Spain to aid him in quelling the rebellion in Cavite. On November 3, 1896, the battalion arrived carrying a squadron of some 55 officers.


Conga line

The conga line is a novelty line dance, derived from the Cuban carnival dance of the same name and became popular in the US in the 1930s and 1950s. The dancers form a long, processing line, which would turn into a circle, it has three shuffle steps on the beat, followed by a kick, ahead of the fourth beat. The conga, a term sometimes mistakenly believed to be derived from the African region of Congo, is both a lyrical and danceable genre, rooted in the music of carnival troupes or comparsas; the conga dance was believed to have been brought over from Africa by slaves in the West Indies, became a popular street dance in Cuba. The style was appropriated by politicians during the early years of republic in an attempt to appeal to the masses before election. During the Machado dictatorship in Cuba, Havana citizens were forbidden to dance the conga, because rival groups would work themselves to high excitement and explode into street fighting; when Fulgencio "El Checho" Batista became president in the 1940s, he permitted people to dance congas during elections, but a police permit was required.

The conga dance style is more of a march, characterized by its distinctive conga drum rhythm. It differs from the Cuban rumba, which uses more hip movements and shows the sensually aggressive attitude of each dancer. Conga music is played with a staccato beat as its base, which gives rhythm to the movements of the dancers. Conga dancers lift their legs in time with the rhythm of the music, marking each beat with the strong motion of their body; the basic dance steps start from left leg 1-2-3 kick repeat, opposite. A band member wearing a drum would venture onto the dance floor and begin zig-zagging around while drumming out the rhythm. Dancers would start joining up behind the drummer, forming a line that moved like a slithering snake in an open circle; the line would grow longer and the drumming more intense until it stopped. The dance has two styles, a single line form and partners; the single line is more popular in Cuba. Beginning in the late 1930s and booming in the 1940s, it became wildly popular in the US, due in no small measure to Hollywood's "Latin" musicals.

RKO Pictures' offerings were influential, notably Too Many Girls, in which Desi Arnaz appeared as a conga-playing Argentine student. Spanish-Catalan bandleader Xavier Cugat, who gave Arnaz his musical start, helped to popularize the dance, but the biggest impact belonged to Arnaz himself, it is prominently featured in the 1941 Deanna Durbin film, It Started With Eve, in which Durbin and Charles Laughton dance it together in a nightclub. With its simple march step, the interlinking of dancers circling about in single file, one-two-three-bump rhythm with the fourth beat marked, the dance was not only attractive but readily accessible to US and other foreign audiences; the dance started to gain a foothold in the US around 1929, when the original La Conga nightclub opened its doors in Manhattan. It is believed that the La Conga was at 51st Street. By 1937, the conga was well known in New York; the widespread popularity of the dance resulted in many cultural references in contemporary media. For example, the conga line was a recurring theme in Warner Bros. animated cartoons of the 1940s.

This music and dance form has become assimilated into Cuba's musical heritage and has been used in many film soundtracks in the US and Mexico. One of the earliest and most successful of 20th-century Cuban musical exports, the conga lacked the polyrhythmic sophistication of the son, mambo, or salsa but served to nurture the future receptivity of an international public to the wider gamut of Cuban musical styles; the video game Team Fortress 2 has adopted the conga as an in-game "taunt", has become a notable feature in the game being parodied in fan-made content such as animations or add-ons to the game. The conga has been featured in countless films and TV series, though in most cases it was intended to serve as a distraction for the main characters to slip away silently. In 1984 the British band Black Lace reached number ten in the UK charts with the song "Do the Conga". In 1985 the American band Miami Sound Machine reached number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100 with the song "Conga"; the long-time jingle for Dad's Old-Fashioned Root Beer employed a conga beat.

Polonaise Bunny hop Letkajenkka Dale A. Olsen, Daniel E. Sheehy; the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Garland Publishing: New York and London, 1998. 825. Roberts, John Storm; the Latin Tinge. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999

Faidherbe Bridge

Faidherbe Bridge is a road bridge over the Sénégal River which links the island of the city of Saint-Louis in Senegal to the African mainland. The metal bridge is 10.5 m wide, weighing 1,500 t. It has eight spans, of which the longest five are 78.26 m. Until the 19th century, access to the island was made through boats. After the introduction of a ferry that could transport 150 passengers, Louis Faidherbe saw that the system was overrun and decided to construct the first bridge over the Sénégal River; the governor of Senegal, Henri de Lamothe decided to take a loan worth five million gold francs to construct a new metallic bridge in Saint-Louis. After the construction company was selected, they all decided to construct a new metallic bridge with a section capable of turning 90 degrees to allow the passage of ships; the bridge was opened on July 14, 1897. In the 2000s, a US$27 million rehabilitation plan has been inaugurated; the city of Saint-Louis, the first capital of the French West Africa, is situated on an island near the estuary of the Sénégal River.

It is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a thin 40 kilometres strip of sand called the Langue de Barbarie, which starts from Nouadhibou in Mauritania and extends all the way to Saint-Louis. The suburbs of Guet Ndar and Ndar-Tout are situated in this area; until the 19th century, access to the island was by boat. Troops and the equipment of the French colonial army all had to be transported by small boats. In 1858, Louis Faidherbe, the governor of Senegal, inaugurated the Bouteville boat, capable of transporting 150 passengers and all kinds of goods; the boat made ten crosses every day and the fares differed: five centimes for a person, 50 centimes for a horse, cow or camel, two francs for a carriage. In less than a year it was obvious that this system was overrun and a second boat was introduced but with no success. Seeing this, the frigate captain Robin, friend of Louis Faidherbe, asked Prince Jérôme Napoléon, Minister of Algeria and the African Colonies, for approval for construction of a floating bridge.

Opened on July 2, 1865, the bridge had a width of 4 m. The floating part was formed from 40 metal pontoons. Three of these pontoons were specially designed so that it could be created a 20 m gap so that large vessels could pass; the bridge was named Faidherbe Bridge by a decree of Napoleon III of France. The opening in 1885 of the Saint-Louis–Dakar railway increased the traffic over the bridge; the railway reached all the way to Sor and all the goods hauled between the coast and the railway station had to cross over the bridge. To prevent the breakdown of the bridge a special decree was given so that the maximum weight for a vehicle that crosses the bridge to be less than one and a half tonnes. With all its difficulties the bridge remained in service 32 years, until 1897 when it was dismantled. In the opening of his speech in the General Council of Senegal, governor Henri de Lamothe proposed that the country should take a loan for infrastructure development; the council agreed on a loan worth five million gold francs, much of the money being for the construction of a metallic bridge between Saint-Louis and Sor.

The loan was approved on November 1892, by the French president Marie François Sadi Carnot. A French bank, CDG, agreed to give the loan with a low interest of only four percent; the auction was organised by the Ministry of Colonies, which sent five officers to Senegal for evaluation. After examining each one these offers the Faidherbe Bridge Committee selected two of them, from Nouguier, Kessler et Cie, from Société de Construction de Levallois-Perret; the Faidherbe Bridge Committee and the technical committee in Paris agreed that the Société de Construction de Levallois-Perret project was the best for the site. On the other hand, the president of the public works in Senegal and councilman Jean-Jacques Crespin supported the Nouguier, Kessler et Cie project. In the end the contract was awarded to Nouguier, Kessler et Cie at a price of 1.88 million gold francs. There are many myths regarding the construction of the Faidherbe Bridge which are present today and are depicted in some tourist guides.

The construction of the bridge is attributed to Gustave Eiffel. In general it says that the metallic parts of the bridge represents a gift from the French government and that the parts were designed for the King Carol I Bridge over the Danube River in Romania. Other sources say that the metallic parts were intended for a bridge in Austria–Hungary over the Danube River in Vienna or Budapest. Another myth regarding the beams of the bridge says that the parts were intended for an unspecified site but the vessel transporting mysteriously sunk and the authorities in Senegal took advantage of this situation and built a local bridge; the information available in Romania for the King Carol I Bridge in Cernavodă, as well as the results of scientists in France, say that the myths are pure fiction. First of all the Romanian government never finalised the construction contract with the company of Gustave Eiffel or with another foreign company, making the decision to build the bridge only with local companies.

The Cernavodă Bridge was made by Romanians, fulfilling the design of Anghel Saligny, the supervisor of the site. In these conditions, not knowing if the contract will be approved, it is unlikely that a foreign company would build the whole superstructure of the bridge. On the other hand, in Austria–Hungary there was no need to construct a low bridge like the Faidherbe because o