Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Historian of the Revolution
On November 23, 1876, Jose Clemente Zulueta, a distinguished Filipino bibliographer, was
born in Paco, Manila. He grew up in the care of kindhearted couple, Agustin de la Rosa and Juliana
Estrada, because he was orphaned at a very young age. His parents were not known because his
mother died five days after his birth ad his father, when he was still a child. He was adopted by a.
Zulueta studied in the old College of San Antonio de Padua and in Ateneo Municipal,
where he obtained his Bachiller en Artes, and proceeded to study law at the University of Santo
Tomas. In the university, he achieved literary celebrity as a weaver of exquisite Spanish verses. His
poem “Afectos a la Virgen,” which Don Epifanio de los Santos highly commended for its poetical
race, was awarded third prize in 1895 with a “lirio de plata” (silver lily) by the Academia
Bibliografico Mariana, of Lerida, Spain. It was published in Revista Catolica de Filipina, VII, no. 5,
March 1, 1896.
Intellectually motivated, he organized a study group among his friends with whom he
expounded on philosophy, arithmetic and algebra, ethics, rhetoric and poetry. He frequented the
entresuelo meetings of young students like Cecilio Apostol, Fernando Ma. Guerrero, Rafael Palma,
Jose Abreau among others to explorer literature and social issues.
In 1896, Zulueta’s studies was interrupted by the revolution that broke out and to which he
responded with a unique mission, to record all the military activities. He presented his purpose to
Governor-General Camilio de Polavieja, who gave him a permit to cross Spanish battle lines. His
friendship with Filipino revolutionary leaders allowed him also to cross the Filipino lines. He was
beside the deathbed of his friend, General Flaviano Yengko, who succumbed to gunshot wound on
March 3, 1897.
He worked with Pedro A. Paterno in negotiating the peace treaty between the Spanish
government and the Filipinos, which was eventually signed in December 1897, thereby,
temporarily ending the war. Zulueta eventually left his impartiality when the revolution continued
in May 1898 by joining the troops of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. He witnessed the declaration of
Philippine Independence on June 12 that same year, and continued to records succeeding events of
the war.
With Epifanio de los Santos, he established the newspaper La Libertad, on June 20, 1898,
dedicating its initial issue to Colonel Pacheco, the secretary of war of the Departmental
Government in Central Luzon. As the newspaper was short lived, he joined another newspaper, La
Independencia, founded by General Antonio Luna on September 3, 1898. In his writings, he used
M. Kaun as penname. He was elected member of the constitutional convention that drafted the
Constitution of the First Philippine Republic.
In 1899, he returned to Manila and resumed his studies and took the bar examinations in
1902. Others who took the bar exams that same year were Manuel Quezon, Sergio Osmeña, and
Juan Sumulong. His love for writing never left him so that he collaborated with Don Modesto
Reyes in putting up the newspaper, La Union, which the General Elwell S. Otis, later banned
because of its anti-American contents. His passion in writing history was greatly rewarded when
the Philippine Commission tasked him to collect the art and literary materials for exhibition in the
Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Further, he was chosen to do historical research abroad under Act
668 of the Philippine Commission.
Act 688 passed by the Philippine Commission on March 17, 1903 authorized the
appointment of a collecting librarian for the insular government. As provided by Law, his duty as
collecting librarian was stated as follows:
Whose duty it shall be, under the supervision and direction of the civil governor,
to visit the countries of Europe, Mexico, and elsewhere for the purpose of
purchasing books and manuscripts relating to the history of the Philippine Islands,
making historical researches into said history, procuring copies of official documents
relating thereto, with the view to the foundation in Manila of a public historical library upon
the subject of the Philippine Islands.
He left on April 29, 1903 for Marseilles, went to Barcelona and Madrid where he presented
his credentials to the American minister in the capital. He worked in the Biblioteca Nacional and in
the Museo Biblioteca de Ultramar, which had its origin from the materials exhibited during the
Exposicion General de Filipinas. He discovered a rich collection of papers and documents among
which gave importance to Governor Valdes y Tamon’s work on Plazas, Fuerzas, Castillos y
Presidios in the Philippines in 1839. He found in the Biblioteca de la Real Academia de la Historia
the unpublished work of Father Francisco Ignacio Alcina’s Relacion. At the King’s College, he saw
the Vocabulario Tagalo, dated 1585, in manuscript compiled by Fr. Domingo de los Santos,
printed in Tayabas town in 1703.
Zulueta came back to Manila on July 30, 1904. As required by law, he wrote a report
entitled Fuentes Historicos de Filipinas in June 1904. He was one of the early Filipino historians
who advocated the interpretation of the Philippines from the Filipino point of view.
All these important historical documents he obtained from foreign archives became known
as “Zulueta papers” and were deposited in the National Library after the Philippine Government
purchased them for P17,000, a large sum during that time, from his widow Doña Paz Natividad, a
younger sister of General Mamerto Natividad, and kept it at the National Library. This priceless
collection vanished in smoke during the liberation of Manila in February 1945.
Zulueta’s research works and academic involvement took him away from practicing his law
profession. He joined the faculty of Liceo de Manila and taught subjects on Philippine and World
History. He served as librarian at the Centro Artistico and Club Internacional, which sent members
on fellowship grants to the United States. The first to receive such grant was the city engineer,
Santiago Artiaga.
Zulueta did not live long to realize his dream to write what he considered genuine history
of the Philippines. Looking at his advocacy, this genuine Philippine history would be a history
taken from the Filipino point of view and one that bears the “characteristics of the indigenous
elements in the history of the Philippines.”
He died in Manila on September 10, 1904, at the young age of 28. \
Eminent Filipinos. Manila: National Historical Commission, 1970.
Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume 2. Quezon City:
Filipiniana publications, 1970.
Quirino, Carlos. Who’s Who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.
Zaide, Gregorio F. Great Filipinos in History. Manila: Verde Bookstore, 1970.

Filipino Martyr: FLAVIANO A. YENGKO

Revolutionary General
One of the unsung heroes of the Philippine Revolution was Flaviano Yengko, a law student
of the University of Santo Tomas who, at a young age joined the revolution and rose to the rank of
a revolutionary general. He was the hero of the battle in Salitran, Cavite.
Flaviano Yengko, the third of the seven children of Basilio Yengko and Maria Abad, was
born in Tondo, Manila on December 22, 1874. Soldiery was not new to Yengko when he joined the
revolution, as his father was formerly first sergeant of the Spanish Carabineros or carabineers.
After finishing his secondary studies at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, he took up
teaching certificate for primary schools at the Normal School, which he completed in 1894. He
obtained his Bachelor of Arts at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran before he proceeded to study
law in the University of Santo Tomas.
Yengko became popular in the university not because he was the brightest but because of
his generosity and versatility. His gold-rimmed spectacles had been pawned several times to raise
funds to help a friend in need. As for giftedness, he was an eloquent orator and debater, an awardwinning
painter, good singer and skilled pianist. One of his paintings, “A Landscape”, was awarded
a prize in the Regional Exposition of the Philippines held in Manila in 1895. Aside from these,
Yengko was always meticulously and neatly dressed, a characteristic which he carried during his
revolutionary days. He wore neatly pressed uniform and well-polished shoes after every combat.
Like any man his age, a woman in Cavite caught Yengko’s attention. He won the woman’s
heart but not the approval of the woman’s father who had the impression that Yengko was not
manly enough because of his dandy appearance.
In August 1896, the revolution against Spain broke out. Yengko courageously accepted the
challenge to fight for his country by leaving the law school and joining the Katipuneros. He left a
note to his mother saying, “Mother, I am leaving without your consent and knowledge because I
will be fighting for our fatherland.”
On November 8, 1896, he reached Imus and presented himself to General Emilio
Aguinaldo, who assigned him to transport gunpowder from Manila to Cavite. But Yengko
immediately tasted real battle the next day, November 9, at the Battle of Binakayan, during which
he manifested such courage. Consequently, General Aguinaldo took him in the general staff with
the rank of captain, and from there rose to the rank of a colonel to brigadier general.
By February 1897, Spanish General Cornelio de Polavieja launched an intensive offensive
in Cavite, which became the center of the Revolution. Heavy battles followed one after the other
with the Spanish forces in the winning side. They took Zapote Bridge on February 17 and Silang on
February 19. On February 22, the Filipino troops joined forces to recover the town but were greatly
repulsed by the advancing enemy. On February 28, Perez Dasmariñas was taken. It was during this
battle that Yengko was promoted brigadier-general. As the Spanish troops advanced to Salitran,
Yengko’s troops with the forces of General Juan Cailles and Crispulo Aguinaldo hoped to defend
the town by facing the enemy in Sabang, a barrio on the way to the town proper.
The Spanish army assaulted Salitran in the early morning of March 1. Outnumbered and
weakened, the Filipino troops retreated under heavy fire of the Spanish forces under Colonel Pedro
Zabala. Yengko was shot in the abdomen and was treated to the military hospital in Imus
surrounded by his comrades and the woman she love. He, however, succumbed to his wound on
March 3, 1897.
Eminent Filipinos. Manila: National Historical Commission, 1970.
Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume 1. Quezon City: Filipiniana
Publications, 1955.
Quirino, Carlos. Who’s who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.
Zaide, Gregorio F. Great Filipinos in History. Manila: Verde Bookstore, 1970.

Filipino Martyr: CLETO L. YANCE

Cavite Mutiny Indictee
A marked man by the Spanish authorities for his avid espousal of reformist ideas, Cleto
Yance y de Lara openly expressed his views on the rights of Filipino priests to have equal
opportunities with the Spanish friars in administering parishes and being appointed to high
ecclesiastical offices in the country.
When the Cavite Mutiny broke out on January 20, 1872, he was one of the first five
Filipinos arrested. He was charged with complicity in the uprising and sentenced to serve 10 years
imprisonment. He was originally ordered to serve his sentence in one of the Spanish prisons in
Africa, but this was revoked. Instead, he was sent to Cartagena, Spain, together with Crisanto de
los Reyes, Maximo Inocencio, Enrique Paraiso, and Rafael Calda. Five months after the aborted
Cavite Mutiny, the group arrived in Cadiz, Spain aboard the Spanish frigate Chica.
Without any valid and conclusive evidence, he was convicted of the crime of conspiracy
against the political constitution of Spain.
Boncan, Celestina P. Remembering the Cavite Mutiny of 1872 Manila: Geronimo Berenguer de
Los Reyes, Jr. Foundation, Inc., 1995.

Filipino Martyr: MAXIMO S. VIOLA

Patriot and Financier of Noli Me Tangere
Known as the man who saved for posterity the Noli Me Tangere, the first of Rizal’s two
great novels, Dr. Maximo Viola was born on October 17, 1857 in Barrio Sta. Rita, San Miguel,
Bulacan. He was the only child of Isabel Sison of Malabon, Rizal and Pedro Viola from San Rafael,
Viola finished his early education in San Miguel. He took his pre-medical studies at the
University of Santo Tomas, where he witnessed the prejudice of Spaniards against the Filipino
students. In 1882, he sailed to Spain and enrolled Medicine at the University of Barcelona, where
he met other Filipino students particularly Jose Rizal, with whom he developed close friendship.
Soon, he became an active member of the Propaganda Movement.
In 1886, Viola finished his course in Medicine. In March 1887, Viola played an important
role in the life of Jose Rizal, he financed the publication of Noli Me Tangere, which original
manuscript had already planned by his friend to destroy because of financial inability to pay its
publication. Thus, the first 2,000 copies of the novel were printed. In deep gratitude, Rizal gave
him the last galley proofs and the first published copy, on which he wrote, “To my friend, Maximo
Viola, the first to read and appreciate my work-Jose Rizal, March 29, 1887, Berlin.”
In May 1887, he toured Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Switzerland with Rizal. It was
during the trip that he personally met Ferdinand Blumentritt, one of Rizal’s foreigner friend and
Dr. Viola returned to the Philippines in 1887 and began his medical practice. In 1890, he
married Juana Roura, a native of San Miguel, by whom he had five sons. However, two of them
died in infancy.
In the latter part of June 1892, he had a reunion with Rizal in Manila and learned about
the sad persecution of his friend, who had to report before Governor General Despujol. His
association with Rizal included him to be watched by the Spanish authorities so that he could not
stay long in the city. His home in Bulacan had been subjected to thorough inspection by the
Spanish Guardia Civil.
When the revolution erupted in 1896, Viola went underground to evade the harassment of
the Spanish authorities. The Spanish authorities, because of his father’s support to the revolution,
had demolished their family house in Santa Rita, Bulacan. He was also incarcerated, initially in a
Manila military prison and, later, in Olongapo. During his imprisonment, he came to know and
assist Dr. Fresnell, an American doctor who was unfamiliar with tropical diseases. Fresnell later
helped him secure his freedom.
Viola’s firm character and heart for his countrymen was always manifested in peaceful
means. As president of the Liga de Propietarios, he aided the owners of rice lands in San Miguel,
Bulacan in opposing politicians who were courting the tenant’s votes at the expense of the
landlords. His fight against the politicians, among whom was Manuel L. Quezon, reached the Court
of the First Instance of Malolos, Bulacan, which the court dismissed owing to its political nature.
When the Manila Railroad line was being extended to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, Viola once again
rallied the concerned landowners in preventing the prestigious British Company from taking over
their land without appropriate reparations.
A kind-hearted physician, Dr. Viola treated his indigent patients for free and often resorted
to simple remedies so that they would not have to spend. For instance, he would disinfect common
snakebites by using matchsticks instead of prescribing expensive solutions.
Dr. Viola found time for his favorite hobby, designing and building furniture. In the 1920’s,
he proved his competence as an amateur designer by winning awards for his furniture pieces
displayed in several shows in Manila.
He wrote memoirs of his friendship with Rizal in later years. These came out in three parts
in the Spanish newspaper El Ideal, dated June to 20, 1913. Their English version, done by eminent
writer A.R. Roces, was published in the Manila Times on the December 30 and 31, 1950 and
January 1, 1951 issues.
On September 3, 1933, Dr. Viola, aged 76 died in Barrio San Jose in his hometown. Later,
another house was constructed on the same lot where an heir of Pedro Viola lived.
In 1962, a marker in honor of Dr. Viola was installed in San Miguel, Bulacan.
Eminent Filipinos. Manila: National Historical Commission, 1970.
Quirino, Carlos. Who’s who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.


Freedom Fighter
Wenceslao Vinzons was born on September 28, 1910 in Indan, Camarines Norte to Gabino
V. Vinzons Sia and Engracia Quinto.
Vinzons was sent to study Law at the University of the Philippines in Manila after
completing his elementary education in Indan and his secondary at the Camarines Norte High
School where he graduated valedictorian. He was known in UP Campus for being an awarded
orator and debater, member and later president of the student council, editor-in-chief of the school
paper, the UP Philippine Collegian, and member of the Upsilon Sigma Phi Fraternity. He was
awarded the Manuel L. Quezon gold medal for excellence in his oration entitled “Malaysia
Irredenta” in which he advocated the unity of all Malayan peoples including the Filipinos and the
Abad Santos medal for excellence in debate.
Although rich and popular, what endeared him to his schoolmates was his humility and
ability to relate with people. He seldom used his car and preferred to take the Meralco bus to the
university and back to his residence. Among his contemporaries at UP were: Arturo M. Tolentino,
Ambrosio Padilla, Arturo B. Rotor, Amado G. Dayrit, Salvador P. Lopez.
Vinzons political activities at UP became broader in scope. In 1932, he rallied the students
to protest the plan of the Philippine Legislature to increase their salaries. In 1934, he organized the
Young Philippines, a political party comprised mainly of young people, which fielded candidates in
the city council of Manila. In the same year, Vinzons, already a full-fledge lawyer and his being
third placer in the bar exams added to his credit, was elected delegate to the Constitutional
Convention tasked to draft the 1935 Charter. He was instrumental in the passage of a provision in
the constitution for Tagalog as a national language.
In the 1935 national elections, Vinzons supported General Emilio Aguinaldo for presidency
against President Manuel L. Quezon by personally campaigning and delivering speeches for the
former revolutionary leader. His speeches against voting Quezon became a ground to charge him
with libel and sedition for which the Court of First Instance in Cavite convicted him of almost fouryear
prison term. The Court of Appeals, however, acquitted him.
Vinzons have carved a name for himself so that in the 1940 elections, he was voted
Governor of Camarines Norte. He resigned his post after serving a year to run in the national
assembly in 1941. He was elected representative of Camarines but was not able to serve his term
because of the Second World War that broke out.
During the war, he organized the first guerilla unit in the Bicol region, the Citizen’s Army
and later his own Guerilla unit. His first big battle against the Japanese was in Laniton on
December 17, 1941. In January 1942, his troops fought the Japanese in Tigbinan. Identified as one
of the important enemies, the Japanese hunted him. Their efforts were rewarded after months of
manhunt after a former guerilla named Villaluz informed the Japanese of his hideout. He was
captured July 8, 1942 together with his father. He and his companions were paraded around the
town of Labo. At the Plaza, the Japanese prodded him to persuade the people to cooperate with the
Japanese administration. “I have only three things to tell you,” he said “plant! plant! plant!”
Infuriated by his speech, his captors brought him to the Daet garrison.
On July 15, 1942, Major Tsuneoka Noburo, the garrison commander, confronted Vinzons
in a last attempt to enlist his services for the interests of Japan’s co-prosperity sphere. The
Japanese asked him to read a piece of paper to which Vinzons replied: “I know,” he answered. “I
have read it twice. They are asking you to execute me.”
“Fifty peoporr (people) say you dorobo (bandit). I kirr (kill) dorobo.”
“I have not had a trial,” he said. “The Geneva Convention says enemy soldiers captured are
not to be killed.”
“You terr (tell) where your men go. Where Americans go.”
“Your captain, Azano, captured me in the mountains. I do not know where my men or their
guns are now.”
The Japanese commander shrieked “you die, you die!,” and slapped him across the face.
“You know, your wife die, she die! I kirr (kill) you too.!”
He answered quietly, “nothing can make me happier than to die for my country, Major.
You will die too.”
Angered, Tsuneoka bayoneted Vinzon’s stomach. A Japanese corporal, Kuzumi Taiku, hit
the helpless resistance leader with a rifle butt at the back of the head.
He was killed together with his wife, Liwayway Gonzales, his father, a sister, and two
children. Their remains have never been recovered. In his honor, his hometown Indan was
renamed after him. In Manila, near Blumentritt, a school is named Wenceslao Vinzons Elementary
School. The student center at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, bears his
Agoncillo, Teodoro A. History of the Filipino People. 8th Ed. Quezon City: Garotech
Publishing, 1990.
Eminent Filipinos. Manila: National Historical Commission, 1970.
Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume 4. Quezon City: Filipiniana
Publications, 1955
Quirino, Carlos. Who’s Who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.


(d. 1897)
Revolutionary Martyr from Bicol
One of the 11 martyrs from the Bicol region who were executed by the Spanish authorities
at Bagumbayan during the Philippine Revolution, Macario Valentin of Nueva Caceres, now the city
of Naga, in Camarines Sur, was a night watchman at the Obras Publicas (Public Works) of the
colonial government.
The outbreak of the revolution in the Tagalog provinces in August 1896 fueled fears among
the authorities that it might spread to other parts of the country, particularly the Bicol region.
Already, they had instituted a reign of terror which resulted in the mass arrests of Filipinos
suspected of professing separatist views. The capture and interrogation of Vicente Lukban, a
member of the Masonry from Bicol, produced an alleged confession implicating prominent
residents of Nueva Caceres as active members or sympathizers of the Katipunan. These were
Mariano Abella, Tomas Prieto, Camilo Jacob, and Fathers Severino Diaz and Inocencio Herrera.
Valentin’s name was not included in the alleged confession of Lukban. He may have been
implicated by only one of the other arrested suspects who, like Lukban, underwent severe torture
and were tricked with false promises into naming supposed filibusteros among people they knew.
Valentin was one of five employees of the Obras Publicas who were arrested on suspicion
of abetting a projected rebellion against the Spaniards. The four others were Mariano Melgarejo,
Florencio Lerma, Cornelio Mercado, and Camilo Jacob. Only Jacob was mentioned in the Lukban
confession. They were jailed at the tribunal, where they were beaten and starved.
On September 19, 1896, they were taken with other prisoners to the vessel Isarog, which
sailed for Manila. Upon arrival in Manila, they were accorded treatment reserved for traitors, an
ordeal which lasted until December 29. On that they, Valentin and 14 others from Bicol faced a
military court jammed with Spanish spectators calling for their blood. The prosecution had no
significant evidence against them, not even the alleged confession of Lukban or that of Tomas
Prieto, who was one of the indictees. Yet, according to the prosecutors, their having openly
professed the wish to see the Philippines emancipated form the oppression of the Spaniards was
enough to find them guilty of sedition and treason.
Valentin and 10 others were sentenced to die by firing squad, while two of their codefendants,
Mariano Araña and Ramon Abella, were ordered exiled to Fernando Po. A third,
Mariano Ordenanza, was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment.
On January 4, 1897, gunfire rent the air amid the lusty cheers of the Spanish spectators as
the so-called “eleven traitors from Bicol” were executed at Bagumbayan Field.
Galang, Zoilo M. Encyclopedia of the Philippines. Manila: 1935.
Manuel, Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume 1. Quezon City: Filipiniana
Publications, 1935.
Reyes, Jose Calleja. Bikol Maharlika. Quezon City: 1992.


Revolutionary Leader
Known as “Mating Lawin” (Hawk Eye), Isidoro Torres was one of the few formally
educated generals of the Katipunan.
He was born April 10, 1860 in Matimbo, Malolos, Bulacan. He finished his Bachelor of
Arts degree in the University of Santo Tomas.
Torres showed his radical sense of social justice early. When he was only 16, he was
implicated in a plot to kill the parish priest who had imposed unreasonably high-church fees.
He joined the Katipunan and helped plant its seed in Bulacan. He organized the militias of
the towns of Pandi (Kutang Kakarong), Paombong (Kutang Binakod), and San Miguel (Kutang
At Biak-na-Bato, he was promoted to colonel and, later, to brigadier general by Emilio
Torres was the general of the famed Apoy Provincial Council of Bulacan.
Torres was a signatory to the pact of Biak-na-Bato with the Spaniards. In keeping with its
provisions, he merged his troops with those of the Spaniards under Gov. Gen. Basilio Agustin, and
headed the “Militia Filipina” in Malolos as part of the defense against the Americans. But this was
only a ploy, a tactical move to preserve the unity of the revolutionaries left behind by Aguinaldo,
who had gone on self-exile to Hong Kong with most of the high-ranking members of his military
When Aguinaldo joined the Americans in the war against Spain, General Torres ordered
the whole “Militia Filipina” to renounce its loyalty to Spain and once again fight for independence.
During the promulgation of the Malolos Constitution, and the inauguration of the
Philippine Republic, Torres was at the head of the 6,000-man Filipino army that marched in the
parade, being the appointed chief of Central Battalion No. 2, as well as director de armas, heneral
de plaza, and undersecretary of war.
With the American invasion, Torres was appointed governor-general of Bulacan with
juridical power. He launched a guerrilla warfare against the new enemy. Although recorded by
American military chroniclers as ferocious, his guerrillas were no match against the better-armed
and well-organized American troops.
During the American regime, he settled with his wife in San Antonio, Nueva Ecija, where
he became justice of the peace, municipal councilor, and finally, a delegate to the Philippine
He died on December 5, 1928.
Balite, Rafael D. Hen. Isidoro D. Torres ng Malolos. 1990.
Manuel, Arsenio E. Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume II. Quezon City: Filipiniana
Publication, 1986.
Quirino, Carlos. Who’s Who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.
Zaide, Sonia F. Zaide, Gregorio. Documentary Sources of Philippine History Volume VIII.
Manila: National Bookstore, 1990.

Filipino Martyr: MANUEL S. TINIO

(1877 – 1924)
Youngest General in the Revolutionary Army
Manuel Tinio was born in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija on June 17, 1877. His parents were Mariano
Tinio y Santiago and Silveria Bundok. He was educated in private schools and then at the Colegio
de San Jaun de Letran in Manila where he studied his segunda ensenanza from 1891 to 1896.
In April 1896, he joined the Katipunan. When General Mariano Llanera rallied the people
of Nueva Ecija to revolt, he gathered forces in his hometown and carried on the fight against the
Spaniards in the forests of the province. In an encounter on January 14, 1897, he inflicted heavy
casualties on the enemies.
On June 6, 1897, in recognition of his services, he was conferred by the Assembly of Puray
the rank of colonel and the command of a brigade. He took part in the attack of San Rafael,
Bulacan that was led by General Mamerto Natividad. To rescue his hometown Aliaga, he fought
against a formidable army of 8,000 men mobilized by General Primo de Rivera. In this encounter,
the Spaniards suffered heavy casualties and he put to fight the column of Spanish General Nunez
who was seriously wounded . He and his men held the town for three days but fell back when
pressed by General Ricardo Monet.
He won a number of skirmishes against the Spanish cazadores in several other towns of
Nueva Ecija. He assisted in the taking of an important Spanish convoy on its way from Kabiaw to
San Isidro. General Natividad was killed in this encounter.
When the “Gobierno Departamental de las Siete Provincias en el Centro de Luzon” was
established, Tinio was one of the Brigadier Generals named. The departamental government
however, was abolished during the latter part of November 1897.
By virtue of the Truce of Biak-na-Bato, he and other revolutionary leaders went to
Hongkong as exiles.
When he returned to the Philippines, he was made second in command of the first zone of
Nueva Ecija on July 7, 1898. Then he was appointed to lead an expedition to Northern Luzon.
With 300 Mauser guns captured in Hagonoy, the young colonel proceeded to conquer within 15
days the provinces of La Union, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Benguet, Tiagan, Amburayan,
Lepanto, Bontok and four towns of Cagayan. He met resistance only in San Fernando de la Union
and in Aparri. In these provinces, Tinio captured 3,000 guns.
On August 14, 1898, he occupied Vigan and by the 17th, the other principal towns of Ilocos
namely Bangar, Tagudin, and Laoag. Upon his arrival, the friars including the Bishop of Nueva
Segovia. Msgr. Jose Hevia Campomanes, escaped by boat to Aparri. He used the palacio of Vigan,
the former residence of the Spanish governor as his headquarters.
In the next three months, he consolidated under his command the territory extending from
the barrio of Rabong at the southern boundary of La Union to Cape Bojeador, the northernmost
point of Ilocos Norte. Desirous of establishing complete peace in Ilocos Sur to enable the citizens
to take up their customary occupation and to encourage commerce to go on as before, he issued on
August 178, 1898 one of his first decrees for the Ilocos. It consisted of six articles and called for the
“considerate treatment of the Spanish peninsulars and insulars and the confiscation of their
general property; sending to his headquarters the deserters from the Spanish army who wanted to
join the Filipino forces; prohibition of the use of firearms to all citizens; continuance of existing
municipal system in towns where elections where not yet held; rigorous punishment for all who
committed abuses and; orders for strict compliance of all these provision.”
On the same day, he appointed Francisco Rivero Paz de Leon as temporary president of
Ilocos Sur and the following day, he ordered the reinstallation of destroyed telegraphic lines. He
gave more orders such as the inventory of the property left by the Spaniards, the establishment of a
new government in the districts of Lepanto and Tiagan and the formation of rancherias within
Narvacan up to Tagudin into towns.
As his battalions were still incomplete by November 1898, he made known his need for
volunteers between the ages of 17 to 30 who wanted to serve the revolutionary army permanently.
On November 11, 1898, he was promoted the rank of General of Division. He was only 21
years old.
When the Philippine – American War broke out on February 4, 1899, the young general
offered his services to General Antonio Luna, chief of operations north of Manila. But his request
was not granted. Undaunted, he and his men prepared for action. In cooperation with Lt. Col.
Blas Villamor, he established trenches and fortifications in strategic points in Ilocos as a means of
defense. He also distributed his 2,000 men along the more than 270 kilometer coast from
Tagudin, Ilocos Sur to Bangui, Ilocos Norte. These were accomplished before mid-March 1899.
His chance to fight the Americans came in connection with the retreat of General Emilio
Aguinaldo and his men to the north.
His soldiers totaling 285 formed the rear guard of Aguinaldo’s column in the march to
Manaoag, Pangasinan, escorting the president’s mother and son, together with the wounded and
sick soldiers. In the afternoon of November 14, on the way to Pozorrubio from Manaoag he and his
men had a surprise encounter with the enemies coming from Nueva Ecija led by Major Swigert.
The Filipinos drove them towards Binalonan, enabling Aguinaldo to continue the flight northward.
He also intercepted in San Jacinto the advance of Lloyd Wheaton who came from his military base
in San Fabian.
When the Americans disembarked in Pandan, Ilocos Sur, he fortified himself in the
mountain of Tangadan, southeast of Abra, and established his headquarters in the town of San
Quintin, about two miles from Tangadan.
On December 3, 1899, Tinio ordered his men to raid Vigan which was occupied by Colonel
Parker. The raid lasted the whole night but was not successful. They withdrew and the next day,
the small force defending Tangadan was attacked by the enemies. After a day and night of fighting,
his troops abandoned Tangadan.
On December 3, 1899, Tinio ordered his men to raid Vigan which was occupied by Colonel
Parker. The raid lasted the whole night but was not successful. They withdrew and the next day,
the small force defending Tangadan was attacked by the enemies. After a day and night of fighting,
his troops abandoned Tangadan.
With its capture by the Americans, Tinio changed his military strategy in dealing with the
enemies. He divided and organized his brigade into guerilla units and posted them along the road
and strategic locations from the rancheria of Danglas to Ilocos Norte, with instructions to ambush
the passing enemy through Tambang. By March 22, 1900, each town under Tinio’s jurisdiction
had its own columnas volantes. To facilitate the movement and maneuver of his troops, Tinio
ordered the local presidents to furnish him with detailed maps and plans of the towns.
Appraising his mission in the Ilocos region, the young Tagalog general wrote:
“I have endeavored to propagate and implant here the society of the Katipunan which has
produced surprising results. I have prepared the spirit of the inhabitants so that aside from
inculcating in them the fecund germ of the high ideals of liberty, they have come to show
implacable hatred towards the invader, passion which some citizens, armed with only bolos have
manifested to the Americans who dared to travel from their detachment.”
The local citizenry proved helpful to the troops by supplying them with abundant
ammunitions, and, acting as polistas, they served as vigilants in spying for the approaching
enemies. Tinio, a Tagalog, was thus successful in welding together the cooperative spirit of the
Ilocanos for patriotic cause. To achieve this goal, Tinio used persuasion and threat. For instance,
he implored the local president of Bangui to inculcate the idea of patriotism to the principales and
the barrio cabezas. He also circularized the crimes punishable by deaths and severe penalties. To
those who kept who kept friendly relations with the Americans, he sent letters warning them to
repent or else be punished rigorously. Even Pedro Legazpi, a town presidente and a personal
friend of Tinio received such a letter for showing damnable conduct. Tinio also kept an eye on his
soldiers whom he ordered, under severe punishment, to refrain from opening communications
with the enemies.
By mid June 1900,Tinio exerted to establish arsenals in various points of his jurisdiction.
To do this job in La Union, he assigned Joaquin Alejandrino whom he appointed as chief of the
province on June 26, 1900.
General Tinio, believing that “firmness is one of the conditions necessary to obtain our
coveted independence”, carried on the fight. He would never surrender, as American deserter
John Allane attested. He waited for the action of the U.S. Congress regarding the Philippine
situation or until a new president was elected. When Allane surrendered on April 14, 1901, he
informed the Americans that Tinio had 70 men and about 40 of them had U.S. arms.
On May 1, 1901, obeying Aguinaldo’s appeal, Tinio gave up with his 36 officers to General
J. Franklin Bell. General Arthur MacArthur put importance to his surrender by releasing 1,000
Filipino soldiers held prisoner.
After more than four years of fighting, Tinio retired to Licab and engaged in farming. He
acted as governor of Nueva Ecija since the election of Isauro Gabaldon to the first Philippine
Assembly in 1907 and was elected to the same position on November 5 of the same year. He
resigned from the governorship and on July 1, 1909, he was appointed by Governor General James
F. Smith as the first director of the Bureau of Labor. On October 17, 1913, he was appointed
Director of Lands, the first Filipino to occupy the position which he held up to 1914.
As director of Bureau of Labor, Tinio showed his ability as administrator and as excellent
conciliator. Governor-General William Cameron Forbes commended his work in the improvement
of the bad situation caused by strikes and “in the enlightenment of the people in regard to strikes
and their effects.”
After leaving the government service, Tinio toured Europe. Upon his return, he entered
politics and headed the Nationalista Party in Nueva Ecija. He died on February 22, 1944.
Alvarez, Santiago U. The Katipunan and the Revolution: Memoirs of a General. Quezon City:
Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1992.
Malay, Armando U. Memoirs of General Artemio Ricarte. Manila: National Historical
Commission, 1963.
Ochoso, Orlino. Tinio Brigade: An anti-American resistance in the Ilocos provinces 1899 – 1901.
Quezon City: New Day Publishers, 1989.

Filipino Martyr: PABLO O. TECSON

Pablo Tecson was born on July 4, 1859 in San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan to Tiburcio
Tecson and Paula Ocampo.
After completing his primary education at the town school in San Miguel de Mayumo, his
parents sent him to the secondary school of Don Jose Flores in Manila. He enrolled his Bachiller en
artes at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran but the death of his parents prevented him from
continuing his studies. He returned to his hometown where he became cabeza de barangay for
eleven years and later appointed capitan de cuadrilleros assigned to apprehend bandits and
In April 1890, Tecson joined the staff of Patnubay nang Catolico, a short-lived religious
periodical with Father Mariano Gil as editor. His contemporaries were Father Mariano Sevilla,
Joaquin Tuason, Juan Evangelista, Pascual H. Poblete, Modesto Santiago and Gabriel Francisco.
By the time the revolution broke out in 1896, Tecson was already a member of the
Katipunan. It was not known, however, if Tecson participated in the battles. It was during the
second phase of the revolution that Tecson directly participated. In June 1898, he led attacks to the
Spanish garrisons in different part of Bulakan that yielded a good number of rifles and bullets. On
June 1, his group successfully attacked the San Miguel armory; three days after, the detachment at
Barrio Maasin, San Ildefonso; and on June 10 the Spanish detachment at Biak-na-Bato. Tecson
greatly helped the troops of General Manuel Tinio marched from Nueva Ecija to Northern Luzon.
He also allocated some of the arms he seized from the Spanish garrisons to the forces of General
In October 1898, the revolutionary government of President Aguinaldo was set to draft a
constitution. During the framing of the constitution, an issue over the separation of the church and
state, and of having a state religion arose. There was a tie between the proponents of the issue and
the antis during the first deliberation. Tecson’s vote against the state religion and union of Church
and state finally settled the matter.
Like many of the revolutionary leaders, Tecson continued to fight in the libertarian
struggle until the Philippine-American War that broke out soon after they have taken most
provinces from the control of Spanish soldiers. He was assigned to protect part of Bulacan under
the command of General Gregorio del Pilar. He fought the Americans in Bulacan, Obando and
other parts of the province. Because of failing health, Tecson was assigned with easier task; as
guard of the prisoners of war.
On March 4, 1902, Tecson became governor of Bulacan. He was reelected to another term
on March 7, 1904. A year after his term ended in 1906, he was appointed Superintendent of
Agricultural Extension Work; a capacity he served until he resigned in 1911.
He donated a piece of land in San Miguel Bulacan to the Philippine Constabulary and a
telescope a Spaniard had given him before the revolution to the national library.
He died in 1933.
Agoncillo, Teodoro A. History of the Filipino People. 8th ed. Quezon City: Garotech, 1990.
Eminent Filipinos. Manila: National Historical Commission, 1970.
Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume 3. Quezon City: Filipiniana,
Quirino, Carlos. Who’s who in the Philippines. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995,


(Ca. 1896)
Katipunan Leader
Policarpio Tarla was one of the members of the Katipunan who were connected with the
Diario de Manila. His code name in the secret organization was “Pagsanjan,” after the picturesque
town in Laguna.
Tarla was the superintendent of the lithographic and printing plant of Ramirez y Cia,
publishers of the Diario. He was probably the top man in the Katipunan operations there. Tarla
was also the treasurer of the organization’s Tondo council, whose leader was Braulio Rivera.
Upon the discovery of the Katipunan, incriminating documents and other paraphernalia
were found in the drawer of Apolinario de la Cruz, another Katipunero who was the foreman at the
printing plant. The discovery occurred after a raid on August 19, 1896. One of the items taken was
a member’s list, which had Tarla’s name on it. Tarla was arrested and his drawer ransacked,
yielding materials such as documents on the rules of the Katipunan and a dagger. He was jailed,
sometimes put in solitary confinement. Eventually, he and some of his co-workers in the Diario de
Manila were exiled to penal colonies for hard labor. Tarla was sent to Iligan on March 28, 1897.
However, fate was kinder to him unlike some “inmates” like Rivera and Dela Cruz, who were
executed by firing squad at Nagumbayan (now Luneta).
What happened to Tarla afterwards is not documented, including his early personal
Agoncillo, Teodoro. Revolt of the Masses: the Story of Bonifacio and the Masses. Quezon
City: U.P. Press, 1956
Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biographies Volume 1. Quezon City:
Filipiniana Publications, 1955.


Defender of Islamic Faith and Philippine Liberty
In about 1580, just a few decades after the Spaniards landed in the Philippines, the son of
Rajah Buisan and Princess Imbeg of Jolo, Dipatuan Kudarat, was born in Lanao del Sur.
In 1619, he succeeded the throne from his father. Trained in leadership and warfare during
his childhood, the new Sultan proved to be brave, intelligent, and cunning in leading his people
and enlarging the territory of his kingdom. By 1626, he gained control in most part of Mindanao
except for Dapitan, Cagayan de Oro, and Caraga while Misamis and Bukidnon became his
tributaries. A cunning Sultan, he controlled the lucrative slave market and he refused to sell slaves
to the Dutch traders on the principle that people converted to Islam could not be sold as slaves.
One who could not be pressured by interference, he made treatise with the Dutch for them to
recognize his sovereignty. He did the same thing with the Spaniards many years later.
When the Spaniards built a fort in Zamboanga in 1635, Sultan Kudarat knew that it would
be deterrent to his absolute rule. He felt that he had to forestall the massive invasion of the
Spaniards in Mindanao, thus, he attacked that coastal villages in the Visayas and forged a stronger
tie with other Muslim leaders by marrying one of his sons to the daughter of the Rajah of Sulu.
The Spaniards, realizing Sultan Kudarat’s power, sent out expeditionary forces to stop him.
Governor Hurtado de Corcuera led the first expedition in 1637 and attacked Lamitan, Kudarat’s
capital, but the sultan retreated to Ilihan. There the pursuing Spanish forces caught up with him.
Consequently, a fierce battle, which lasted for two days, ensued. Kudarat was wounded in the battle
so he retreated with his remaining warriors to seek refuge in Sabanilla, which, however, fell to the
Spanish forces under Major Pedro del Rio in 1639. The Spanish forces failed, however, to capture
Sultan Kudarat, who managed to seek refuge in Maranao and had rallied other Muslim datus to
fight the Spaniards.
In 1642, Major Agustin de Marmolejo, a Spanish naval officer, led an attack Kudarat’s
forces in Simuay but was strongly repulsed. Only him and six of his soldiers survived after the
battle. Because of this, the Spanish governor, shamed and infuriated, ransomed Marmolejo and
had him tried by the military court on alleged disobedience to military orders. The trial resulted to
Marmolejo’s public execution at the presidio of Zamboanga.
Sultan Kudarat remained unfazed. He became more powerful when other Muslims pledged
him allegiance. The Iranun datus pledged him support; the Basilans were invited to make
settlements in Sibuguey; the Malanaos upheld his leadership; the people of Sagir, Sarangani and
along the Davao Gulf became his vassals. The seafaring people in Barong, Suaco and the Kuran
area in Northeast Borneo also paid him tributes.
On June 25, 1645, Spanish Governor Fajardo, tired of waging war that were all
unsuccessful, signed a treaty with Sultan Kudarat through Father Alejandro Lopez. The pact
allowed the Spaniards to trade and the missionaries to minister to the needs of Christians at
Tamontaka, which is within the Sultan’s domain. The pact also recognized his rule over the whole
of Southern Mindanao except for the settlements of Bansayan, Taraka, Didagun and the Lanao
As a pandita or a spiritual leader, it was his moral responsibility to protect his religion,
claiming that a person could attain salvation whether he was a Muslim or a Christian; the opposite
of what Jesuit Father Alejandro Lopez was proselytizing that only Christians could be saved. This
issue on salvation was one of the factors why Father Alejandro was killed in 1655. Three years after
the priest died, Sultan Kudarat declared a jihad or holy war against Spain for its deliberate actions
to crash the Islamic faith. During his reign, he bravely defended and maintained the independence
of his people from the Spanish authorities. His kingdom boomed in agriculture, trade and
The great and respected Sultan of Southern Mindanao died before 1660.
Hundred of years since then, Sultan Kudarat is still remembered not only in history books
but also by the structures or places that were named in his honor. In 1973, a town in Cotabato was
created and was named Sultan Kudarat. In the same year, his monument was erected in Ayala
Circle in Makati, Manila and part of its inscription reads: “Unable to conquer Kudarat, the Spanish
Governor signed a pact with him that led to several years of peace. He was a fearless fighter and
Filipino Hero in Defense of the Islamic Faith and Philippine Liberty.”
Eminent Filipinos. Manila: National Historical Commission, 1970.
Filipinos in History. Manila: National Historical Institute, 1989.
Quirino, Carlos. Who’s who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.

Filipino Martyr: GABINO SUCGANG

(d. 1897)
Revolutionary Martyr from Capiz
Gabino Sucgang was one of the first recruits of the Katipunan in Panay and one of the 19
martyrs to the Philippine Revolution from Capiz.
Francisco del Castillo and Candido Iban introduced the Katipunan in Panay. These two
Capiz natives were the ones who provided the Katipunan in Luzon with the printing press it badly
needed to spread its doctrines. After the outbreak of the revolution in August 1896, they were
ordered by Andres Bonifacio to establish the secret society in Panay and lead the revolution there
at the most opportune time.
Sucgang was inducted into the Katipunan with Albino Rabaria, Teodorico Motus, Cornelio
Delfin, Simplicio Reyes, Isidoro Jimenez and Valeriano Dalida. The group was then instructed to
recruit new members. On March 3, 1897, one of the biggest initiation rites for the Katipunan in
Capiz was held in Ochando, a barrio in the town of Batang, with the inductees writing their names
in the Katipunan roster with their own blood.
Not long afterwards, the colonial authorities learned about the existence of the Katipunan
in Panay when they seized the Santisima Trinidad. The boat, owned by Del Castillo, was found
carrying incriminating documents. Del Castillo, who had designated himself a general, hastily
divided the newly organized rebel force between himself and Iban, whom he had named a colonel,
and prepared to lead the attack against the Spaniards in Kalibo on March 17. This first offensive
failed, with Del Castillo getting killed while trying to storm the headquarters of the civil guards.
Meanwhile, Iban, who was supposed to join up with Del Castillo’s forces, was captured in the town
of Malinao.
While the scattered rebels were regrouping , Spanish reinforcements under Col. Ricardo
Monet landed on the coast of Dumaguit on March 19.
Monet did not have an idea of the rebels’ true strength. Not wanting to wage a prolonged
and bloody warfare, he heeded the advice of the local friars to adopt a more conciliatory measure to
quash the revolt. He proclaimed an amnesty, promising not to harm anyone who would lay down
his arms. From March 19 to 20, 50 rebels surrendered to Monet in Kalibo. From among them he
picked 20 who turned out to be Katipunan leaders. They included Gabino Sucgang. It was obvious
that Monet had been furnished information supplied to loyalist elements by native spies. Monet
subsequently released from the group Nicanor Gonzales, when the rebel’s mestiza wife pleaded
before him to spare her husband.
On March 24, Sucgang and the rest were taken to a warehouse on Amadeo Street where
they were tortured and then shot to death.
The next day, their bloody remains were paraded in the streets of Kalibo to serve as a
warning to those who wished to defy Spanish authority. The corpses were later buried in an
unmarked grave which, to this day, has not been located.
The supreme sacrifice of the 19 martyrs of Capiz contributed greatly to the eventual
overthrow of Spanish rule in Panay.
Sonza, Demetrio. Illustrious Ilonggos Volume 1. Iloilo City: Iloilo City Provincial Historical
Committee, 1972.
Zaide, Gregorio F. “The Nineteen Martyrs of Aklan.” Philippines Free Press, March 22, 1952.

Filipino Martyr: GABRIELA SILANG

(1731 – 1763)
First Heroine of Ilocos
Maria Josefa Gabriela Silang is known as the first Filipina to lead an uprising against a
foreign power.
She was born in the barrio of Caniogan, Santa, Ilocos Sur, on March 19, 1731. Her father
was an Ilocano peasant from Santa and her mother, an Itneg household maid from Pidigan, Abra.
A Spanish friar, Provisor Tomas Milan adopted her and brought her up as a Christian.
She grew up to be comely lass, pious and possessed a charitable character. At the age of
20, she was forced to marry a rich old man who died after three years, leaving all his wealth to her.
She met Diego Silang y Andaya, who was then a young and dashing mail carrier between
Vigan and Manila. He fell in love with the attractive widow and, after five years of courtship, they
got married in 1757 and eventually established their home in Vigan. For five years they lived
happily although they did not have any children.
The people of Ilocos, burdened with high taxes and forced labor were chafing at their grim
situation. They were waiting only for a leader who was sufficiently religious and who at the same
time had a political solution to their plight. Diego Silang, with the ideas he brought from Manila,
fitted their need. They rallied behind him as the emerging liberator. On December 14, 1762, he
proclaimed the independence of his people and made Vigan the capital of Free Ilocos.
He proved to be an able leader, but his success was short-lived. The Spanish authorities,
hailing to crush him by force of arms, hired assassins. A mestizo named Miguel Vicos, aided by
Captain Pedro Becbec, who were both Silang’s trusted friends, shot him at the back with a muskey
on May 26, 1763.
Gabriela, widowed for a second time, assumed leadership and carried on the war against
Spain. She was assisted by Silang’s uncle Nicolas Carino and other loyal lieutenants of her late
husband namely Sebastian Andaya and Manuel Flores.
She sent a plea to the Itnegs, the people on her mother’ side, to come down from the
mountains to assist her. They responded, rekindling tribal ties. When she was driven out of Vigan
with the remnants of her lamented husband’s army in Pidigan, Abra, the home of her mother, the
Itnegs were solidly with her. Pidigan became the capital of the Free Ilocos government –in – exile.
She recruited more freedom fighters, especially Itneg archers. From her new bastion, she
launched sorties against the garrisons on the coastal towns. These were dispatched and placed in
strategic places to ambush her forces.
By the first week of September 1763, Gabriela, astride a prancing horse, led the march
towards Vigan. Her bolo brigade, supported by Itneg archers, assaulted the city defenses. But the
disciplined defenders, commanded by trained Spanish Officers and supported by artillery, rolled
back the attack. Her army was badly beaten.
She retreated towards the unexplored regions of Abra and the Mountain Province. But the
Spanish military men and an army of Apayao under Don Manuel de Arza pursued her. The
villagers were not to extend assistance and “they were promised reward in the event of information
that would lead to her capture.”
She and 80 loyal soldiers were captured in the hinterlands. Brought down to the Ilocos
seacoast, they were hanged, one by one, all along the coastline from Candon to Bantay to serve an
example to those who would defy the right of Spain.
After making her witness to the heroic end of her faithful followers, Gabriela was publicly
hanged on September 20, 1763 in Vigan. She died with a calm courage. Thus ended the heroic life
of this fighting widow, the Joan of Arc of Ilocandia, and the short – lived independence of the
Ilocano people.
Quirino, Carlos. Filipinos at War. Philippines: Vera – Reyes, Incorporated. 1981.
Roces, Alfredo ed. Filipino Heritage: The Making of a Nation Volume 5. Quezon City: Lahing
Pilipino. 1977.
Zaide, Gregorio. Documentary Sources of Philippine History Volume 5. Manila: National
Bookstore Incorporated. 1990

Filipino Martyr: CANUTO SEGOVIA

(d. 1897)
Revolutionary Martyr from Capiz
Canuto Segovia, a leader of the Katipunan in Capiz, was among the province’s 19 martyrs
to the Philippine Revolution.
With the outbreak of the revolution in Luzon in August 1896, the Katipunan supremo
ordered its two loyal members, Francisco del Castillo and Candido Iban, who were from Capiz, to
establish the secret society and spread the revolution in Panay.
Around Christmas of 1896, the two men arrived in Batang, Capiz and at once contacted its
prominent residents, consisting of Albino Rabaria, Teodorico Motus, Cornelio Delfin, Gabino
Sucgang, Simplicio Reyes, Isidoro Jimenez, and Valeriano Dalida. As the first members of the
Katipuneros in the province, they were designated as chiefs of the organization, tasked with
inducting recruits from the barrios of Ochando, Kawayan, Tambak, and Lagatic.
When the Katipunan spread to the towns of Jimeno (now Altavas), Balete, Kalibo,
Malinao, Lezo, and Ibajay, Del Castillo and Iban contacted other members. They formed another
group, which included Canuto Segovia, Pedro Pamintuan, and Isidoro Madayag. With the help of
the first group of Katipuneros, they inducted men from those towns in secret blood-compact rites
in the barrios of Nalook and Mabilo. At the same time, they drew up plans for the start of
hostilities against Spanish rule in Panay.
All in all, Del Castillo, who had designated himself as general, and Iban, whom he had
given the rank of colonel, were able to recruit a total of about a thousand men since their arrival on
the island. This newly formed Katipunan army was, however, acutely lacking in arms. Aside from
bamboo lances and bolos, it only had Del Castillo’s revolver and a handful of rifles.
Hostilities erupted on March 17, 1897 following the discovery by the authorities of the
Katipunan’s existence on the island. The rebels suffered serious reverses after Del Castillo was
killed in his attempt to storm the headquarters of the civil guards in Kalibo, and Iban was captured
in Malinao.
Leaderless and demoralized, Segovia and the other minor rebel chiefs surrendered on
March 19 to 22 with the offer of amnesty by Col. Ricardo Monet, the commander of Spanish forces
in the Visayas. Instead of being set free, however, he and the others were imprisoned and tortured
to reveal the names of their comrades and the strength of the Katipunan in Panay. He was singled
out with 18 others, all of whom were taken later to a warehouse on Amadeo Street on the night of
March 23. They were subjected to more physical abuses before they were finally shot to death. The
following morning, their bodies were paraded around the town, displayed in the plaza, and then
dumped in a common, unmarked grave.
Gwekoh, Sol. “The Nineteen Martyrs of Aklan.” Hall of Fame. Manila Times. 1966.
Historical Calendar. National Historical Commission. Manila: 1970
Sonza, Demetrio. Illustrious Ilonggos Volume 1. Iloilo City: Iloilo Provincial Historical Society,
Zaide, Gregorio F. “The Nineteen Martyrs of Aklan.” Philippines Free Press. March 22, 1952.

Filipino Martyr: PAULINO T. SANTOS

Military Leader and Land Resettlement Pioneer
Epitome of Filipino courage and perseverance, General Paulino Santos was born in
Camiling, Tarlac on June 22, 1890 to Rosa Torres and Remigio Santos.
He was educated in Spanish-run schools from 1897 to 1900, and in American-run schools
from 1901 to 1907. He became a municipal teacher in 1907, serving as such until 1908. That year,
he tried to join the United States Navy in Cavite. Unable to, because of a moratorium on the
enlistment of natives at the time, he proceeded to Manila. He got employed at a Tondo factory of
aerated water, working everyday for seven pesos a month.
A year later, he enlisted in the Philippine Constabulary. He was assigned to its First
General Service Company. In 1912, he was promoted from private to supply sergeant, serving as
such for two years. Simultaneously, he strove to upgrade his skills and knowledge by pursuing his
studies. His perseverance paid off, for he soon finished high school.
In 1913, he passed the entrance examinations to the Philippine Military Academy in
Baguio, then known as the Constabulary Officers School. In 1914, he graduated, not surprisingly,
as class valedictorian, and was commissioned third lieutenant in the regular force in February of
the same year. Thereafter, his rise through the ranks was swift: second lieutenant in 1917, captain
in 1918, major in 1923. He was adjutant of the Headquarters, of the Philippine Constabulary before
retiring as lieutenant colonel in 1930.
As soldier, Santos served in the Lanao campaign in 1916, where he sustained wounds from
a Moro spear, and in the Bayang Cota campaign in 1917, where he was wounded anew, but this
time by bullets. It was in the latter campaign that he demonstrated extraordinary courage and
As government cannons were bombarding the Muslim bulwark of Lumamba, then 2nd
Lieutenant Santos led his platoon in penetrating the formerly secure redoubt, through an opening
made in the barricade, and immediately erected a ladder to scale the first kota. Immediately, he
and his men engaged its defenders in a bloody hand-to-hand combat, killing 30 of them, and thus
preserving the lives of government soldiers. For this exceptional military feat, Governor General
Frank Murphy bestowed on him, the medal of valor, the highest military award, for “gallantry in
action”, just before the inauguration of the Commonwealth government in 1935. He was named
President Quezon’s aide for the inaugural ceremony.
He served as ex-officio Justice of the Peace at large for the Provinces of Lanao and Sulu,
and then Deputy Provincial Treasurer of Lanao, before finally becoming Provincial Governor of
He was appointed Director of the Bureau of Prisons in 1930, serving thus until 1936,
founding the Davao Penal Colony in 1932 and transferring the Bilibid Prisons from its old site to a
new one in Muntinlupa, Rizal.
In 1936, he was recalled to military service through his appointment as Brigadier General
and Assistant chief of staff of the Philippine Army by President Quezon. Before the year’s end,
however, he was named Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army with the rank of Major General.
In 1937, President Quezon gave him the difficult and dangerous task of minimizing, if not
eliminating the problem of Moro piracy in the south through the destruction of the pirates’ kotas,
particularly Kota Dilausan, in Lanao.
His term as Army chief of staff ended in December 1938. In January 1939, he was named
general manager of the National Land Settlement Administration. He served in this capacity until
1941, when World War II broke out.
In 1939, as NLSA chief, Santos led the first group of 200 migrants from Luzon and the
Visayas who transformed the primeval Lagao area in Koronadal Valley into a productive and
progressive colony of six communities. Being the man of action that he was Santos usually stayed
with the men in the field, constantly exhorting them to give their best to the arduous task with
discipline and high purpose.
During the Japanese Occupation, he was picked by the Japanese-backed civilian
government to serve as manager of the Koronadal and Allah Valley projects. In 1943, he became
commissioner for Mindanao and Sulu. A year later, against his better judgment and convictions,
he accepted the post of commanding general of the Philippine Constabulary.
Before the Japanese surrender in 1945, he was taken prisoner and commandeered to the
North, first to Nueva Vizcaya, and then to the Ifugao mountains in the Mountain Province, where
the Japanese forces had retreated.
According to official Army files, he died of pneumonia in 1945. However, what truly
caused his demise remains unknown. It is said that during the last three months of his life, he was
made to eat only rice and kangkong, thereby weakening him until he contracted the fatal illness. It
was his aide, Juan Ablan, who buried him without a casket in a crude, shallow pit in the sitio of
Tammangan, barrio Wangwang, Hunduon town.
General Santos was married to Elisa Angeles of Bulacan, with whom he had seven
For his pioneering efforts in the Koronadal and Allah Valleys, the town of Dadiangas was
renamed after him when it was made a city on September 5, 1968.
In his honor, a historical marker was unveiled on September 5, 1981 in General Santos
City, Cotabato.
Cornejo, Miguel R. Cornejo’s Commonwealth Directory of the Philippines,1939.
De los Reyes, Cornelio, editor. Who Is Who in the Philippines, 1936-37, 1936.
Dizon Jr., Roque. Manila’s Social Register ,1938.
Historical Markers Regions V-XII. Manila: National Historical Institute, 1994.
Quiason, Serafin D. “A Homage to a Great Filipino” in NHI files
Photo in: Cornejo’s Commonwealth Directory

Filipino Martyr: ALEJO S. SANTOS

(1911 – 1984)
Bulacan World War II
Alejo S. Santos was born on July 11, 1911 in Bustos, Bulacan. His father was Pedro de los
Santos, a farmer who worked as a foreman in the Angat River project. He was married to Juanita
Garcia of Baliwag, Bulacan.
Santos was an education graduate of the University of the Philippines. In 1934, he joined
the Manila Police Department. In 1941, he attended the United States Army anti – aircraft school.
Prior to the outbreak of World War II, he was a captain of the 1st battalion, 31st infantry of
the US – Filipino Armed Forces. On the eve of the Japanese invasion of the country, his outfit was
deployed against the enemy. Pitifully outgunned and underpracticed, it ended up on Bataan,
where it was routed by the Japanese forces.
It was in Bataan that all organized Filipino – American resistance to the Japanese
juggernaut ceased. Santos, whose nom de guerre was Mang Pepe, however, however, was spared
the ignominy of a soldier’s surrender with the fall of Bataan by managing to escape.
He found his way back to his hometown in Bustos, Bulacan.
As elsewhere, atrocities committed by the Japanese against the populace has created a
furnace of hatred targeted against them.
The town mayor, Alfredo Cruz Erana, asked him id he was disposed to surrender. If so,
Erana would accompany him to Malolos, if not, he would join him in the underground movement.
Santos declared that he would go to the mountains to organize a guerilla movement. Erana offered
him his house as a temporary refuge.
It was not long before the resistance movement spread from Bustos to other towns in
Bulacan. A great number of the province’s educated men took part in Santos’ growing outfit, which
was named Bulacan Military Area. Prominent among the recruits was Agustin C. Fabian, prewar
editor of the weekly Graphic. By the end of 1944, the BMA, which had its headquarters in Victoria
Hills, had eight regiments: M. Ponce, Mountain, Biyak-na-Bato, Valenzuela, Republic, Buenavista,
Kakarong and Batute.
The BMA was under the overall command of Lieutenant Edwin Ramsey, an American
regular cavalry officer. Ramsey’s entire command, the East Central Luzon Guerilla Area, practiced
discipline since the Japanese army was not its only enemy. Other guerilla units sometimes fought
one another.
After the war, Santos was awarded 13 military medals and five civilian decorations. He
was appointed Bulacan military governor for 1945 – 1946. Two years later, Ramon Magsaysay
commended him as the best provincial executive. The Foreign Correspondents Association of the
Philippines bestowed on him a plaque of distinction for his efforts in community development.
Santos was elected to Congress twice in 1946 and in 1953. He served as defense secretary
under President Garcia, from 1959 to 1961. Before that, he was Bulacan provincial governor for
two terms, beginning in 1951. That same year, he was hospitalized when a bullet pierced his neck
after an encounter with several HUK rebels.
Two non-political positions he held were those of chairman of the board of directors of the
Philippine Veterans Bank, and director of the Bureau of Prisons for four years from 1967 to 1971.
Santos was only Filipino WWII soldier to be conferred the rank of brigadier-general by the
American government.
In 1978, Santos, then 69-years-old, ran against President Marcos as a candidate of a
decimated and, in effect, non-existent opposition – and expectedly lost lopsidedly
Santos died on February 18, 1984. Until his death, he was commander of the American
Legion, Philippine department, and head of such organizations as MacArthur’s Memorial, Bulacan
Military Area Association, and Council for World Freedom.
His family owned the Mt. Banawe Hospital in Quezon City. He left behind his wife
Juanita, sons Reynaldo, Edgardo, Revenal and Lamberto, and daughter’s Liberty, Caidy and
A Philippine National Police camp in Bulacan is named after him
Agoncillo, Teodoro. The Fateful Years: 1941 – 1945. Quezon City: Garcia Publishing. 1965.
Bulletin Today, February 20, 1984
Quirino, Carlos. Filipinos at War. Philippines: Vera – Reyes, Incorporated. 1981.
Times Journal, February 19, 1984.


One of the stalwarts of the Katipunan, Jose Turiano Santiago was born in Trozo, Manila on
July 13, 1875. His parents were Jose V. Santiago and Telesfora Acosta.
Santiago was the half-brother of Restituto Javier, who was also a prominent member of the
Katipunan prior to their unfortunate expulsion from it in 1895. His father-in-law, Jose Dizon, a
founding member of the secret revolutionary society, was later martyred in Bagumbayan.
He was already affiliated with the Katipunan when he married Marina Dizon, who had
served as president and secretary of its women’s auxiliary. Their wedding took place on September
16, 1894 in the church of Binondo. He would eventually sire eight children: Jose Cirilo, Restituto,
Resurrecion, Jose Vicente, Pilar, Luz, Isabel, and Jesus.
It was during their engagement that Santiago and his would-be wife witnessed, along with
other ranking Katipunan members and officers such as Roman Basa, Dr. Pio Valenzuela, the
wedding of Andres Bonifacio and Gregoria de Jesus according to Katipunan rites, at the house of
Santiago’s half-brother Javier.
Santiago is remembered in history for his impassioned toast to Rizal during a Katipunan
meeting on July 23, 1893. Following Emilio Jacinto’s own intense invocation at the end of the
meeting, he emotionally declared, “Cheers for the Philippines! Cheers for Liberty! Cheers for the
eminent Dr. Rizal! Death to the nation of oppressors!”
A Mason, Santiago joined the Katipunan in its early days in 1893, along with Briccio
Pantas, Alejandro Santiago, Aurelio Tolentino, and many others. Driven by revolutionary zeal, he
was among those tasked to organize Katipunan popular councils in the key areas of Manila in the
latter part of 1893. Trozo, his place of birth, was the area assigned to him, and there he founded
the Katipunan arm “Dapitan,” named after the place of exile of Rizal, the Katipuneros’ noble
inspiration. Its two sections were “Alapaap” (cloud) and “Silanganan” (east). Simultaneously,
other councils were organized: “Laong-laan” in Dulong-Bayan, “Ilog-Pasig” in Binondo, and
“Katagalugan” in Tondo, all meant to spread the Katipunan’s ideals and eventually obtain freedom
for the Filipinos. Subsequently, other branches were established, particularly in Cavite, as the
revolutionary movement grew and expanded.
Recognized early for his ability and leadership, Santiago was named secretary of the
Katipunan’s Second Supreme Council, which was under the presidency of Roman Basa, during a
reorganization meeting in early 1893. Its other officers were fiscal Andres Bonifacio, Treasurer
Vicente Molina, and councilors Briccio Pantas, Teodoro Plata, and Teodoro Gonzales. In 1895, he
served the council once again as secretary. He also served as councilor along with Procopio
Bonifacio, Alejandro Santiago and Restituto Javier.
In 1895, Santiago and Javier were expelled form the Katipunan on the ground that they
were traitors. It seems that a Spanish priest-professor of UST, Fr. Evaristo Arias, had, in some
way, gotten hold of a letter written in the Katipunan secret code. Since the Spanish husband of
Santiago’s half-sister, Felicula Javier, happened to be a friend of the priest, Santiago and Javier
unfortunately became the likely suspects, although they were never truly proven guilty. With his
departure, Emilio Jacinto replaced him as secretary in the Katipunan Supreme Council.
Soon after the discovery of the revolutionary organization in August 1896, the governorgeneral
ordered a crackdown on suspected rebels. Houses were searched and countless individuals
were arrested, including Santiago. Together with Dr. Valenzuela, Deodato Arellano, Teodoro Plata,
Aguedo del Rosario, and others, he was questioned in Spanish courts before his case was finally
settled. His brother, Restituto, was charged with sedition and rebellion, and tried before the
council of war, prior to being banished to the Canary Islands in 1897. His father-in-law, Dizon,
was arrested and executed in the fields of Bagumbayan on January 11, 1897. His wife Marina
fortunately was spared imprisonment, but was nevertheless placed under constant watch. He was
eventually released on September 11, 1897 and, subsequently, was able to get back into the
mainstream of society.
He actively rejoined the fight for freedom during the second phase of the Revolution. In
1898, the revolutionary government called upon him to serve as representative of the province of
Nueva Ecija in the Malolos Congress.
When the American military captured Manila in 1898, Santiago and his wife fled to the
safety of Meycauayan, Bulacan, and thought of returning a little when the situation warranted it. A
year later, however, the Filipino-American War erupted. Consequently, the couple joined the
embattled revolutionary forces in escaping towards Tarlac.
At war’s end, they returned to Manila, where they tried to live in peace once again. But
their troubles were not over as yet, for no sooner had Santiago resumed his profession as
accountant under a previous employer than he was exposed as an insurgent to the authorities.
Thus, once more, he left Manila for Hong Kong, temporarily leaving his wife and children.
From 1902 to 1904, he worked as cashier, assistant manager, and general manager of the
Abreu, Newbury and Reyes Office. Thereafter, he worked as accountant and secretary of the Globe
Drug Store from 1917 to 1924.
In 1924, he finally became a full-fledged accountant by acquiring his certificate in public
accountancy. He then served as auditor for various companies in Manila.
During the late 1920’s, the National Library appointed him president of a committee
composed of several former Katipuneros tasked to investigate the veracity of the papers of
erstwhile Katipunan member Colonel Pedro Cortes. Among other things, the papers alleged that
Teodoro Patiño divulged the secret society’s existence in a confession to Fr. Mariano Gil, and that
the latter, in turn, reported it to the authorities, thereby breaking the sanctity of the confessional.
However, Santiago denied these allegations, stating officially that it was Bonifacio himself who
allegedly ordered Patiño to divulge the Katipunan’s existence to the said priest, to hasten the
Santiago died during the Japanese occupation.
Agoncillo, Teodoro A. Revolt of the Masses, The Story of Bonifacio and the Katipunan
Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press, 1996.
Cornejo, Miguel R. Cornejo’s Commonwealth Directory of the Philippines ,1939
Kalaw, Teodoro M. Philippine Masonry. Translated into English by Frederick H. Stevens
and Antonio Amechazurra. Manila: McCullough Printing, 1956.
Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography. Volume I. Quezon City:
Filipiniana Publications, 1955.
Minutes of the Katipunan. Manila: National Historical Institute, 1973.
Retana, Wenceslao O. Archivo del Bibliofilo Filipino, Recopilacion de Documentos. Tomo
Tercero. Madrid: 1897


Heroine of the Philippine Revolution and one of the first women initiated into the
Katipunan, Marina Dizon y Bartolome was born on July 18, 1875 at Tronzo suburb of Binondo, in
Manila, to Jose Dizon, one of the thirteen revolutionary martyrs of Cavite. She was also a cousin of
Emilio Jacinto. Having lost her mother, Roberta Bartolome was barely eight months old, her aunt
Josefa Dizon, Emilio Jacinto’s mother took care of her. Under such a family atmosphere, her
patriotism and nationalism easily came to the fore.
She obtained her early education in a private school conducted by Maestro Timoteo Reyes
(also called as Maestro Tong). Later she enrolled in a public school under Doña Aniceta Cabrera,
where her future husband Jose Turiano Santiago happened to be one of her schoolmates. She
studied music, painting and modeling and became an accomplished singer and declaimer. She was
also a guitarist and violinist of the Trozo Comparsa Band .
She wanted to be a teacher but her father frowned on the idea. One night in 1893, she was
accompanied by Emilio Jacinto to the house of Don Restituto Javier on Oroquieta Street. There in
the presence of Gregoria de Jesus, the young wife of Bonifacio, Josefa and Trinidad Rizal and their
nieces, Angelica Lopez and Delfina Herbosa, Marina was initiated into the Katipunan. The
initiation was presided by the Supremo, Andres Bonifacio.
A very active member of the organization, Marina presided over initiation rites for women,
kept the records, and acquainted new members with the constitution and teachings of the
Katipunan. She would always remind the members: “Be cheerful at all times; do not show fear of
impending rebellion. Be prepared to be orphans and widows some day. Be brave and carry on. She
led the woman in dancing and singing acts to distract the attention of the Spanish patrol units
when the Katipunan have meetings or gatherings.
She was elected secretary of the Katipunan women’s chapter along with Josefa Rizal,
president; Gregoria de Jesus, vice-president; and Angelica Lopez as fiscal.
Even within a risky situation and secrecy of their work, a love bloomed between Marina
and Jose Santiago Turino, an accountant in a business firm, a childhood friend and they met again
in the Katipunan. On September 16, 1894, they were married in Binondo Church.
It was on August 1896, when the Katipunan was discovered. Her father was executed in
Cavite and her husband Jose Turiano was arrested and imprisoned. To avoid having the records of
the Katipunan fall to the hands of the authorities, she burned them. She sold her valuables to raise
money to bribe the guards in order to let her visit her husband in jail. She found temporary peace
when, on September 11, 1897, her husband was released. The American occupation in 1899 forced
Marina and her family to transfer residence to Maycauayan, Bulacan. They moved to Tarlac, Tarlac
when the hostilities ended. There she left Jose with Dr. Marcelino de los Santos and proceeded to
Bamban. Jose slipped unnoticed to Manila where he found work as an accountant in Manila. But
he was suspected as a revolucionario and an order for his capture was issued by the Americans .
He avoided arrest by fleeing to Hong Kong. He and Marina, however, were reconciled when he
came back later to the Philippines.
Dizon was widowed during the Second World War. In the twilight years of her life, she
lived with her unmarried daughter in Caloocan. She passed away at the age of seventy-five on
October 25, 1950.

Hilario-Soriano, Rafaelita, Ed. Women in the Philippine Revolution. Quezon City: Printon
Press, c1995.
Quirino, Carlos. Who’s Who in Philippine History. (Manila : Tahanan Books),1995.
Varias,-de Guzman, Jovita, Ed. Women of Distinction : Biographical Essay on
Outstanding Filipino Women of the Past and the Present. Philippines : Bukang
Liwayway, 1967.
Villaroel, Hector K. Eminent Filipinos. Quezon City : Textbook Publishers,1965.a


(1852 – 1897)
One of the Movers of the Reform Movement
Don Gregorio Sancianco was born in Tonsuya, Malabon on March 7, 1852, to Don Eladio
Sancianco and Regina Goson who belonged to a well-to-do family.
After completing the requirements for college, he enrolled at the College of Law of the
University of Santo Tomas. He was a member of the La Juventud Escolar Liberal an organization
designed to obtain rights for the secular clergy.
It was after the Cavite Revolt of 1872 that a trickle of Filipino students reached Spain to
study. They were usually the sons of the wealthier class. It was during these years that Sancianco
went to Spain and enrolled in the Universidad Central de Madrid where he obtained the Doctor of
Civil and Canonical Laws and Licentiate in Administrative Law.
He stayed in Madrid where he worked with La Discusion, an influential Madrid
Newspaper. In 1881, he wrote El Progreso de Filipinas, a technical treatise on economics
recommending measures, which were eventually adopted as government policies to stimulate the
commercial and agricultural progress in the Philippines. Considered as the first serious study on
economics by a Filipino, this subsequently inspired the later Filipino nationalist leaders in carrying
out the needed reforms.
In El Progreso, Sancianco expressed his opposition to the colonial policies of Spain. One of
these policies was based on the idea that political identity between countries that make up one
sovereign was no longer possible when distance, climate, social characteristics, and diversity of
needs and cultural resources marked out the differences. ” This means the Philippines was a
colony of Spain, therefore, it must be governed by special laws.
He pointed out that the tribute was a symbol of the rule or force, a practice that had long
been exercised only by barbarous nations of the past. Surprisingly enough, Spain, a high cultured
nation, adopted this policy.
He propounded assimilation of the Filipino as a Spanish citizen. He believed that because
Filipinos had rendered invaluable services to the crown, they were entitled to the same rights and
privileges as Spaniards in Spain.
He also suggested that schools, which had been for a long time under the supervision of
the church, should be liberalized.
El Progreso de Filipinas as pervaded with a deep-seated concern for the dignity and good
qualities of the Filipinos. For instance, anticipating Rizal, he refuted the accusation that the
Filipino is indolent. He said, “indolence is only on the pretext of Spanish officials to commit
disgraceful abuses which discredit the Spanish name and authority that when a farmer sees
himself exploited by all kinds of people in authority he does not exert effort to cultivate his field,
knowing that others reap the benefits of the sweat of his brow.”
His El Progreso de Filipinas was really an anticipation of the principal themes of the
Reform Movement, which were: administrative reform; eradication of corruption in the
government; recognition of the Filipinos’ rights as loyal Spanish subjects; extension of the Spanish
laws to the Philippines; curtailment of the excessive powers of the friars in the life of the country;
and the assertion of the dignity of the Filipinos.
The treatise was printed in Madrid and only few copies of it reached the Philippines. It
was addressed to the government rather than to the ordinary man.
In May 1884, an uprising led by Andres Novicio, which was caused by the oppression of
local officials by higher authorities, occurred in Sta. Maria, Pangasinan. Surprisingly, of the
hundreds who were arrested, many were residents of Manila and of other provinces. There were
native priests, wealthy Filipinos and mestizos. Sancianco was one of them. But due to the
insufficiency of evidence, he was released.
In 1887, he came home and was appointed justice of the peace in Nueva Ecija. Imbued
with libertarian movement that influenced him while in Madrid, he ran into trouble with Father
Jose de la Fuente, parish priest of Cabanatuan. He resigned and joined the law firm of Don
Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista.
His participation in the Revolution of 1896 was not known. On November 17, 1897, he
passed away.
He was considered the First Filipino economist. He was the uncle of Don Epifanio de los
Santos, noted scholar and, grandfather of Gregorio Hernandez, Jr., Secretary of Education.
On March 6, 1941, the Municipal Board of Malabon passed Resolution No. 94, naming the
school in Tonsuya, his birthplace, Gregorio Sancianco Elementary School. On July 1, 1954, the
Municipal Board of Pasay passed Resolution No. 202, naming the public library as Gregorio
Sancianco Memorial Libray. A street in Cebu City also carries his name.
Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biographies Volume 2. Quezon City:
Filipiniana Publications, 1955.
Eminent Filipinos. Manila: National Historical Commission, 1971.
Corpuz, Onofre. Roots of the Filipino Nation. Quezon City: Aklahi Foundation, 1950.
CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art Volume 9. Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines,


(1875 – 1903)
Revolutionary Leader
A native of Noveleta, Cavite, Luciano San Miguel was born on January 7, 1875 to Regino
San Miguel and Gabriela Saklolo. He was the eldest and only son among five children.
After acquiring his early education in his hometown, he proceeded to the Ateneo de
Manila, working while studying for a degree in agriculture. Upon graduating, he tried to find
employment in Manila, but having found none, he decided to make his living by sewing. After a
while, he found work as an inspector at the hacienda of Pedro Roxas in Nasugbu, Batangas
It was around this time that he met Maria Ongcapin who later became his fiancé. They
were at the point of marriage when the Philippine Revolution erupted in August 1896. Despite her
entreaties, he joined the Katipunan in his hometown, affiliating himself with the Magdiwang
Chapter, some of whose more famous members were Mariano Alvarez, Artemio Ricarte, and Diego
San Miguel who rose to the rank of colonel early in the revolution, led a unit of rebels in
garrisoning Nasugbu, and later, defended it against Spanish forces headed by Colonel Rosas, who
had earlier massacred the town’s civilians. The battle however was lost, with only San Miguel and
a handful of his men surviving.
On March 25, 1897, he joined Generals Artemio Ricarte and Emilio Aguinaldo in Imus,
Cavite for a planned assault on the Spaniards, who had recaptured the town and were on their way
to Cavite Viejo and San Francisco de Malabon. It did not materialize, however, for he and General
Ricarte were unable to find a strategic position from which to launch the attack, while General
Aguinaldo and his men withdrew to Naik.
On the 26th of the same month, San Miguel led his men in assaulting, together with the
troops of Bonifacio, Colonels Antonio Virata and Esteban San Juan and Major Julian Montalan,
enemy soldiers coming from Barrio Bacao in San Francisco de Malabon. The Spaniards were
forced to withdraw but, in the process, were able to snare Noveleta, which had been abandoned, in
turn, by Colonel San Miguel’s troops.
Generally, however, the revolutionists held on to their captured territories, and it became
clear to the Spanish colonial government that it was fast losing the war to the rebels. A truce,
intended to benefit both sides, was proposed. It was formalized in the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, which
was signed in December 1897. The treaty, however, was short-lived, for infractions against it were
committed. As a result, General Aguinaldo returned from his exile in Hong Kong early in 1898
and, forthwith issued a new call to all patriots to resume the struggle against Spain. It was in this
context that on May 20 of that year, Colonel San Miguel appeared before Aguinaldo in order to
receive his command, which was given to him immediately. It was composed of the northern
provinces: Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, Morong, Batangas, Laguna, and Manila. The
following June in Kawit, Cavite, Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine independence and the
establishment of the first Philippine Republic, with Aguinaldo himself as President. San Miguel
was named “talibang pandangal,” or guardia de honor, and conferred the unofficial title of
“general” by his own followers.
Meanwhile, the revolutionaries had been befriended by the Americans, who promised
them arms in their struggle , in exchange for their assistance in the United States’ was with Spain.
After the “Battle of Manila Bay,” tension began to grow between the two “allies” as they squabbled
over territories they had occupied. Soon it became clear to the Filipinos that the Americans were
bent on taking over the Philippines. Early in February 1899, San Miguel received a letter from
General Arthur MacArthur protesting the occupation by some of San Miguel’s soldiers of a barrio
near the American’s command. To prevent the situation from getting out of hand, he immediately
replied to it saying that he would order the men concerned to leave the place. He executed this
On February 4, 1899, while San Miguel was in Malolos, Bulacan, meeting with Generals
Aguinaldo and Ricarte, shooting occurred between the two sides on Balsahan Bridge in San Juan
del Monte, which was part of San Miguel’s command. Thus did the Philippine-American War
Within days of the shooting, and after attempts by the Philippine government to avert war
failed, Aguinaldo mobilized his forces, this time against the new enemy. San Miguel continued to
fight in the redirected struggle with exemplary leadership, for which he was also rewarded with
promotion as a brigadier-general by Aguinaldo, who also appointed him representative of Negros
Oriental to the revolutionary Congress in June 1899.
Life was hard for the revolutionists, who were underfed and ill-equipped. Once, General
San Miguel was compelled to go to his superiors to ask for more provisions for his starving men,
but was told that these had run out. As he went on his way with a heavy heart, however, he saw a
veritable banquet being served before the others, some of whom were generals. He suddenly flared
up, and cried out to them, “In these times of struggle, only bones should be served before you –
and not this feast! It is our men who deserved food such as this, for they are the ones in the front
lines, and we at the rear, who merely give them orders, deserve much less!” One of the generals
felt insulted and challenged him to a duel. Had it not been for the intervention of cooler heads
blood would have been unnecessarily spilled.
Hoping to reverse the trend of the war, with the revolutionists slowly losing to the enemy,
he decided, in late 1899, to revive the Katipunan. On December 6, he issued a circular to this effect
among his officers and troops in Zambales.
He was in San Fernando, Pampanga, when news about General Aguinaldo’s capture
reached him. Naturally, this dampened his spirits, but only for a moment. Like many other
revolutionaries, he resolved to continue fighting. Two years later, on January 15, 1903 was elected
supreme commander of the revolutionary army. In spite of the passage of the Bandolerism Act in
1902, he gathered his forces and embarked on a guerilla struggle that tested the might of the
enemy, thereby becoming one of the most wanted leaders by the authorities.
It is said that at the height of his last battle which occurred in Koral-na-Bato in Antipolo,
Rizal, on March 27, 1903, San Miguel - himself on the very edge of death while his men were being
felled one by one by the enemy’s firepower, was heard uttering these glorious words: “To give up
one’s life for the Motherland and her freedom – this alone, is true happiness and honor!” He was
still wielding his gun and saber when his end finally came.
Alvarez, Santiago. The Katipunan and the Revolution: Memoirs of a General. Quezon City:
Ateneo de Manila University Press,1992.
Malay, Armando J. Memoirs of General Artemio Ricarte. Manila: National Historical
Commission, 1963.
Corpuz, Onofre D. Saga and Triumph: The Philippine Revolution against Spain. Manila:
Philippine Centennial Commission, 1991.
Quirino, Carlos. Filipinos at War. Manila: Vera – Reyes Incorporated, 1981.