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Friday, April 2, 2010

Leading Filipino Women: Marina Dizon

Marina Dizon
(1876 - 1950)

        During the Philippine Revolution many men and women endured hardships to carry on our struggles for the freedom of our country. One of these brave women was Marina Dizon.

Marina As A Girl
       Marina Dizon came from a patriotic family. Her father, Jose Dizon, was one of the patriotic leaders of Cavite. He gave up his life for his country. He was one of the 13 martyrs executed by the Spanish officials in 1897.
       Marina spent her childhood in Trozo, Manila. She was a bright girl and delighted her teachers with her intelligence. Among her early teachers were Maestra Aniceta Cabrera and Guadalupe Reyes. They taught her useful and interesting things about the Philippines. Marina was fond of natural geography and history.

Marina Joins the Katipunan
       Marina grew up to be a very pretty woman. She married Jose Turiano Santiago. Her husband was one of Andres Bonifacio’s men in the Katipunan.
       When women were allowed to join the Katipunan, Marina lost no time in becoming a member. She worked with Gregoria de Jesus, the wife of Andres Bonifacio. Some historians say that Marina was the president of the Women’s Section of the Katipunan.
       Marina, like Gregoria de Jesus, kept important papers of the Katipunan. These papers were lists of the members of the secret society.

Marina’s Life of Danger
       Then the Katipunan was discovered by the government officials. The Revolution started soon after. Marina with her husband had to change their home many times as the government soldiers were after her. She had to change her name too.
       She and her husband fled to Meycawayan. From there they went to the Cordillera Mountains to hide. They stayed in safety in Tarlac for some time.
       During one of these flights, at a railroad station in Manila, Marina was almost captured by the Guardia Civil. She did not lose her head. She ran to the toilet at the back of the railroad station and burned the important papers she had with her. In this way she saved the lives of the Katipuneros who were listed on those papers.

Marina’s Later Days
       With her patriotic duties, Marina was also able to raise a big family. She had many children. These were among her teachings to them: “Dress simply. Save a part of what you earn. Study your lessons well. Practice all good Filipino customs.”
       After the revolution, Marina devoted her life to bringing up her children. She also continued her violin playing. She was able to see her dream of a free Philippines come true when our country was given independence by the United States on July 4, 1946. Marina Dizon died on October 30, 1950.

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