AGUEDA Y. KAHABAGAN
Lone Woman General of the Revolution
It was a custom derived from the Spaniards. As a sign of respect, the wife of a public
official was given the feminine form of her husband’s title. Thus, a governor’s wife was called
Gobernadora; a barrio captain’s wife, Capitana; a councilman’s wife, Oidora, and so forth.
However, Agueda Kahabagan y Yniquinto was called Generala not because her husband was a
general but because she herself was during the Philippine Revolution.
Kahabagan was born and raised in the town of San Pablo in Laguna. There is no other
record of her beginnings, including her parentage and her education.
Kahabagan was already a member of the Katipunan even before its discovery by the
Spaniards in August 1896. At the outbreak of the revolution, she led men into battle and was often
ahead of the main body of revolutionists attacking Spanish positions.
Old people in San Pablo remember that apart from figuring prominently in battles, she
also organized armies. Her man-like fighting prowess became legendary. She was seen jumping
over wide trenches and high fences, outdoing even the men.
After defeating a large force of Spaniards in the passes of San Pablo in 1897, she attracted
the attention of General Emilio Aguinaldo, who gave her the title “Generala.” Appointed on
January 9, 1899, she was the only woman listed in the roster of generals of the army of the Filipino
Kahabagan was not only a brave warrior but also a poet. However, none of her poems has
survived to this day.
Camacho, Leonarda. 100 Filipina sa Digmaan at sa Kapayapaan. Quezon City: SBA Printers,
Kalaw, Teodoro. The Philippine Revolution. Mandaluyong: Filipiniana Foundation, 1969.
Soriano, Rafaelita. Women in Revolution. Quezon City: Printon Press, 1995.