Friday, January 18, 2013

Filipino Martyr: PRAXEDES P. FAJARDO

(1874 – 1928)
Pampaguena Patriot
Praxedes Fajardo headed the Philippine Red Cross in Pampanga during the Philippine
Revolution and the Filipino – American War.
She was born on July 21, 1874 in Bacolor, Pampanga into a distinguished family. Her
grandfather, Pedro Anselmo Jorge Fajardo, was a priest who served as a delegate to the Spanish
Cortes during one of the rare times the country was represented in the lawmaking body of Spain. A
writer as well, Fr. Fajardo was the author of “Comedia Heroic la Conquista de Granada, o Sea
Vida de Don Gonzalo de Cordova” a popular comedia written in three volumes. Her father,
Justino Fajardo, was a cabeza de barangay of Bacolor while her mother, Andrea Puno, belonged to
one of the town’s affluent families.
Praxedes was one of the Fajardo children, the others being Florencia, Jacobo, and
Anselmo. She obtained her education from the La Consolacion Convent in Manila.
During the second phase of the Philippine Revolution, Praxedes Fajardo was asked to lead
the Red Cross in Pampanga. She organized a group of women, and, together, they collected food,
clothes, and medical supplies, which they distributed, to the families of the soldiers killed or
wounded in the battle. She successfully harnessed the help of the people of Pampanga, among
whom was Matea Rodriguez Tuason, one of the richest women in the province – she contributed
substantially to the Red Cross and the provincial government. Displaying uncommon managerial
acumen, Fajardo made sure that the donated goods were properly stacked at the Bacolor convent
and the provincial capitol, and then equitably distributed to their intended beneficiaries.
Fajardo was one of the two women who prevented what could have been a bloody affair in
a dispute between two revolutionary generals, Antonio Luna and Tomas Mascardo.
General Luna, who was known for his violent temper, came to Bacolor on his way to arrest
and punish general Mascardo for alleged insubordination, which had been blamed as one of the
causes of the defeats of the Filipino forces by the Americans. When he was about to leave with his
troops for the neighboring town of Guagua, where Mascardo was holed up with his men, Luna was
met a group of kneeling women, led by Fajardo and Nicolasa Dayrit Panlilio, who begged him not
to proceed with his plan. Moved by their pleas, he relented, thus, a dreadful confrontation between
the two revolutionary generals and their men was averted.
Fajardo never married. After the Filipino – American War, she lived with the family of her
sister, Florencia, who had married Mateo Gutierrez Ubaldo. She took care of her sister’s family,
which grew quite big. An excellent cook, she pampered her nieces and nephews with her superb
cooking. She once won first prize for her native pickles, better known as atchara, at a food contest
held at the Manila Carnival.
Her nieces and nephews, to whose upbringing she devoted the rest of her life, all became
successful professionals.
She died on August 10, 1928 at the age of 54.

Hilario, Rafaelita Soriano. Women in the Philippine Revolution. Quezon City: Printon Press,

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