FRANCISCO G. NAKPIL
Loyal La Liga Filipina Member
Born on January 29, 1865, Francisco Nakpil was the third child of Juan Nakpil y Luna, a
musician and jeweler, and Juana Garcia y Putco of Quiapo Manila. Three days after his birth, he
received the sacrament of baptism, with Vicente Villaseñor as godfather.
Francisco Nakpil belonged to a brood of 10 siblings (four brothers and six sisters) one of
whom was Julio, who became the composer of the Philippine Revolution. Much later, Francisco
himself became godfather to Julio’s only son by the widow of Andres Bonifacio, Gregoria de Jesus-
Juan F. Nakpil, the first Filipino National Artist for architecture.
Unlike his more famous brother, very little is known of Francisco’s own life and career, but
like his father his brothers, Francisco was an expert platero, or silversmith.
He became a member of the reorganized La Liga Filipina in April or May of 1893. Along
with Estanilao Legaspi and others, he was inducted into the association by its president, Domingo
Franco. Immediately after, he was named head of the Liga’s popular council in Sta. Cruz, called
By this time, Bonifacio, a Liga member, had already organized the Katipunan and had
been urging the others to give up the association’s reformist goals and seek instead the only
alternative left for Filipinos – independence through revolution. Thus, the Liga was dissolved in
late 1893. A year later, however, its more conservative members, among them Nakpil, decided to
regroup under a new association called the Cuerpo de Compromisarios. Among its immediate
objectives was the rescue of Rizal from his exile in Dapitan. Although its members were able to
raise the necessary fund for the risky undertaking, the rescue attempt foundered because the ship
owners they contacted were unwilling to cooperate with them.
As the months dragged on, the Cuerpo members realized that the colonial government was
impervious to their demands for reforms. What made things more disheartening was that funds
for the Propaganda Movement’s mouthpiece, La Solidaridad, were getting harder to obtain. In the
end, the Cuerpo de Compromisarios, like its predecessor, La Liga Filipina, also disbanded. In
1896, the Katipunan was exposed, causing the arrest of hundreds of suspects, many of whom were
Liga officers and members, including its president, Franco. Nakpil himself was captured and
imprisoned at the barracks to the Veteran Guards, according to his brother Julio.
In July 1900, during the early part of the American occupation, Nakpil served as member
of the committee on arrangements, one of the committees organized by Pedro Paterno following
the amnesty declared by Governor-General Arthur MacArthur for all Filipino insurgents who
A bachelor up to the end of his days, Nakpil died on April 10, 1906.
Alzona, Encarnacion, editor & translator. Julio Nakpil and the Philippine Revolution
Minutes of the Katipunan. Manila: National Historical Institute, 1978.
Nakpil, Francisco. Unpublished manuscripts furnished by Francisca Nakpil de Lange.