VICTORIANO S. LUCIANO
(1863 – 1896)
One of the 13 Martyrs of Cavite
A pharmacist by profession, Victoriano Luciano was a man of varied talents and interests.
He was born on March 23, 1863 in Cavite, Cavite. He was the third of the 13 children of Joaquin
Luciano and the former Faustina Simona.
His father was a landowner, a lessee at the market place of Cavite, a building contractor, a
private tutor who gave lessons to children at his home, and a justice of the peace of Cavite for two
years. His mother belonged to a well – to – do family that manufactured tobacco and cigarettes at
their home, where she employed workers.
Luciano learned the alphabet from his father. Then he studied at the town school. At the
age of seven, he could play the piano and the violin. At 13, he was sent to Manila, to enroll at the
San Juan de Letran, where he finished his segunda ensenanza.
At that age, he already looked like a young man, strong and husky and tall, at five – and –
half feet and still growing. No one dared to pick a pick a fight with him.
By the time he was an adult, he had grown huge, standing about seven feet tall and
weighing some 290 pounds. His physical characteristics could be attributed to his father.
In 1884, while he was still studying, Luciano married his neighbor, Esperanza San Agustin,
the niece of one of the “Thirteen Martyrs of Cavite,” Antonio San Agustin. Despite his marriage, he
continued his higher studies. He graduated from the University of Santo Tomas in March of 1889
with a licentiate in pharmacy.
Once he had opened his own drugstore in his hometown, he began performing
experimental work, preparing his own extracts and tonics. He succeeded in distilling volatile oils
from native flowers, thus enabling him to make his own perfumes and lotions. He also improved
the taste of cigarettes manufactured in their home by producing several flavors.
For his experimental work and pioneering activities as a pharmacist, Luciano was made a
corresponding member in August 1892 of the Colegio de Farmaceuticas de Manila. In November
of that year, his pharmaceutical preparations were exhibited in the Exposicion Regional de Cavite,
during which he was awarded a silver medal. Two years later, in November 1894, the Academie
Universelle de Sciences et des Artes Industrielles conferred on him a diploma of honor for his
pharmaceutical preparations and innovations.
Luciano also discovered a formula for making pills to treat venereal diseases.
Luciano was one of the organizers of La Compania del Trueno, a group of merrymakers
who went out at night to serenade women and played music during fiestas, at the misas de
aguinaldo, during Christmastime, and in other holidays. He usually played the bass, or violoncello.
He likewise composed music and wrote poetry.
His “March Regional de Cavite” was composed for the provincial fair of 1892. He also
composed a patriotic piece, “El Triunfo de Calatagan,” a musical interpretation of social conditions
in Cavite, “El Progreso,” and others. His “La Polka, Credo” was a piece for mass in three voices.
He showed his theatrical bent by staging and acting in plays, one of which, “La Flor de Un
Dia,” he also directed. He also wrote lyrics, which were published under his pen names “Luvics”
and Luc Vic Simona” in La Oceania Espanola and La Solidaridad.
Luciano organized a sporting club where members engaged in fencing, shooting, boxing,
wrestling, and other recreational or athletic activities. He himself was fond of weight lifting, using
Luciano was both a Mason and a member of the Katipunan. He served as secretary of the
local Masonic lodge headed by Dr. Hugo Perez. He was very outspoken about his anti – Spanish
and anti – friar sentiments.
According to the testimony of Alfonso de Ocampo, Luciano was one of the cabecillas of the
planned Katipunan uprising, and that he and his fellow leaders, which included Dr. Perez, Osorio,
Maximo Gregorio, Antonio San Agustin, Severino Lapidario, met at his drugstore.
Luciano was arrested by the authorities at his house at 4 o’clock in the morning if
September 4, 1896. He was thrown into a cell in Fort San Felipe together with 12 other men
accused of being Katipunan members. At midday of September 12, all 13 of them were marched off
to the plaza in front of the fort and shot by firing squad. They were to be known as the “Thirteen
Martyrs of Cavite.”
Luciano, whose weakness, ironically, was women, never had any children. Sometime after
his death, his widow took his younger brother, Joaquin Luciano, Jr., who was also a pharmacist, as
her second husband.
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