JERONIMO M. CRISTOBAL
One of the Thirteen Martyrs of Bagumbayan
He was an infantry corporal in the regiment known by the nickname “Burgos.” As he stood there facing the array of guns pointed menacingly at him and his companions, he must have thought it rather unreal that he should meet his fate at the hands of his former comrades-in-arms, some of whom could have been his friends.
His name was Jeronimo Cristobal y Medina, one of the 13 martyrs of Bagumbayan. He is said to have been one of those who instigated the revolt in San Juan del Monte on August 30, 1896 signaling the start of the 1896 Revolution.
It all started one ominous night when Spanish authorities raided the printing shop of the Diario de Manila- where many of its staff were Katipunan members - and confiscated incriminating materials that would confirm the existence of the much whispered-about and feared secret society of determined men who were said to be plotting a bloody revolution for the independence of the Philippines. Houses and other places were also raided, and suspected members, sympathizers, and supporters of the Katipunan were arrested and thrown into prison. Many of them were brutally tortured.
Among them was Pio Valenzuela, who identified Cristobal as a Katipunero during his testimony before a military court on September 6, 1896. Valenzuela admitted knowing him since they were both natives of Polo, (now Valenzuela City), Bulacan; that Cristobal was the Secretary of the Katipunan section Maluningning (“diamond”), and that he was a zealous recruiter of members, one of them “one Braulio Flamenco, who later established the Polo section to which the witness [Valenzuela] paid his subscription.” However, Valenzuela confessed he was unaware whether or not it was Cristobal who had instigated the first revolt in Pasig.
Cristobal, along with 12 of his compatriots, was shot at Bagumbayan on January 11,1897. They would be honored henceforth as the 13 martyrs of Bagumbayan.
To perpetuate his memory a street in Paco was named Cristobal by the city council of Manila on 20 November 1912.
Bauer, Charles A. “More Street Names of Manila and their Origins”, Historical Bulletin.
Volume XVI, Nos. 1-4 (January-December 1971) p. 348.
Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume II Q.C.: Filipiniana
Publications, 1970 p. 42.
Minutes of the Katipunan. Manila: Reprinted by the National Historical Institute, 1964
Zaide, Gregorio F. Great Filipinos in History. Manila: Verde Book Store, 1970.
______________. The Philippine Revolution. Manila: The Modern Book Company, 1968.