Saturday, January 19, 2013

Filipino Martyr: GREGORIA P. MONTOYA

“Henerala” of the Revolution
Gregoria Montoya was a native of sitio Batong Dalig, barrio Tabon, Kawit, Cavite. She was
born on November 28, 1863 to a farming couple - Atanario Montoya and Jacoba Patricio.
Montoya grew up to be an iron-willed woman with an unusual physical strength.
Montoya married Cirilo Ayson, a Chinese mestizo. He died after six years of marriage,
leaving her with their four sons – Pedro, Patricio, Marino, and Francisco. The last three died later.
After five years of widowed life, she took on another man, Pedro Cacpal, who was a match for her
in strength. They lived as man and wife out of wedlock and had a son named Juan Montoya. He
was two-years old when the revolution broke out in 1896.
Gregorio Montoya signed up with the Magdalo faction of the Katipunan on August 31 of
that year.
The day after her affiliation, she participated in the capture of our guardia civil in Kawit.
The following day, she headed a Magdalo faction in the battle of Imus, where 13 arms were
captured from the enemy. On the third day, heavy fighting took place in Bacoor, with General
Aguinaldo himself commanding the rebel troops.
Montoya’s physical strength became known to the revolutionaries after Aguinaldo ordered
her to lead a team of Katipuneros to destroy a wooden bridge across the Mabolo River, which
separated Binakayan, Kawit, from Bacoor, Cavite. General Blanco, who was determined to quell
the Cavite uprising, had left Manila for Bacoor on November 7, 1896 at the head of a large
contingent of mixed Spanish and Filipino troops. Thus, Binakayan assumed a highly strategic
importance. Montoya’s unit was given the task of delaying the advance of Blanco’s troops by
dismantling the Mabolo Bridge.
The wooden planks across the bridge had already been removed one by one, and what
remained were the thick and sturdy beams, each measuring about 40 feet long. To her soldier’s
amazement, Montoya single-handedly raised one end of a beam while several men held onto the
other end, and then threw it into the river.
Montoya was aid to be a favorite trouble-shooter of General Aguinaldo, who ordered her
several times to respond to calls for help from other battle sectors.
On November 10, 1896, she led a force of 30 Magdalo men, including Hermogenes
Saguilayan, a bandit leader, to Noveleta. It was reinforcement for Katipuneros, under the overall
command of Colonel Luciano San Miguel, facing the Spanish troops headed by General De Los
On the open field of Calero, Noveleta, close to the beach of Dalahican, Montoya stood on
top of a battery, one hand holding the Katipunan flag aloft and another hand clasping a bolo. In
the ensuing battle, she was hit by cannonball, fired from a Spanish navy boat off Dalahican beach,
right in her midsection.
It remains unclear whether Gregoria, like Agueda Kahabagan was awarded posthumously
the title of Generala. However, in her memory, the people of Kawit have named a street “Gregoria”
in her native barrio of Tabon.

Alvarez, Santiago V. The Katipunan and the Revolution: Memoirs of a General. Quezon City:
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1992.
Soriano, Rafaelita. Women in the Revolution. Quezon City: Printon Press, 1995.
NHI Publication, Unsung Heroes

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