Mamerto Natividad Jr. was born on 12 June 1871 in Bacolor, Pampanga. At a young age, he showed his tendency to resist injustice. As a student in Colegio de San Juan de Letran, he became a student leader. He was also said to have fired a gun at at Spanish official who slapped his younder brother when he failed to salute a Spaniard and a priest. For this he was detained but escaped. He also shot but failed to kill a Spaniard who harassed his family.
Natividad’s family managed many farms in Nueva Ecija, some of which he managed as early as 13 years old. On 2 December 1893, he married Trinidad Tinio of Aliaga, Nueva Ecija. They moved briefly to Manila when Trinidad suffered a miscarriage but returned home to Aliaga when the Revolution broke out.
Unfortunately, Mamerto was captured by the Spaniards a few months later on 31 October 1896. He was incarcerated in the Old Bilibid Prison. When he was freed, his brothers joined the Revolution to avenge their father’s death. When the Spaniards retaliated by burning their house and sugar mills, they joined the revolutionaries in Cavite and were accommodated by Baldomero Aguinaldo in his home in Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite.
Natividad participated in various battles in Imus, Cavite; San Rafael; and in Baliuag, Bulacan. He also raided towns in Nueva Ecija. On 6 June 1897, he was designated as Lieutenant General. Upon Aguinaldo’s evacuation out of Cavite in June 1897, he was tasked with finding a new headquarters. He recommended Biak-na-Bato in San Miguel, Bulacan and prepared it.
When Aguinaldo arrived, he issued a proclamation written by Jose Clemente Zulueta and Mamerto Natividad. It called for the expulsion of friars, return of land to Filipinos, freedom of the press, religious tolerance, and legal equality.
Mamerto participated in various battleds while the Revolution was based in Biak-na-Bato. His forces became victorious in San Rafael, Bulacan (5-7 August 1897), Aliaga, Nueva Ecija (30 August 1897), and Karanglan, Nueva Ecija (9 October 1897).
On 1 November 1897, the Filipino revolutionaries adopted a Constitution with Natividad as one of the signatories. However, he opposed the ongoing negotiations for a truce; he was still passionate against the Spaniardswho destroyed their home and farms.
Negotiations would only proceed unimpeded when Natividad unfortunately died on 9 November 1897. After overwhelming the Spaniards at Entablado, Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, he was shot by a Spanish Sniper while the Spaniards were retreating.
Natividad was buried with military honors at a river near Biak-na-Bato. Aguinaldo and truce negotiator Pedro Paterno gave eulogies. His family later tried to find his tomb but changes in the landscape prevented them.
Natividad’s patriotism lived on in his family. His brothers rose among the ranks in the Filipino army; Benito and Salvador as general, Joaquin a colonel, and Francisco and Pedro as lieutenants. Salvador’s wife, Delfina Herbosa, would be among the makers of the first National Flag in May 1898.
His uncle was the propagandist and general Jose Alejandrino while Manuel Tinio, the youngest general in the revolutionary army under Aguinaldo, was a relative of his wife.
The town of General Mamerto Natividad in Nueva Ecija, General Natividad Street in Taguig and M. Natividad in Manila are named after him.
In 2007, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines unveiled a marker on his life in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija.