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Sunday, July 16, 2023

Unknown Filipino Hero: Francisco del Castillo

Monument of Candido Iban, Francisco del Castillo's best friend, co-worker and closed-in command of Aklan's Katipunan Chapter, the first Katipunan chapter in the Visayas, ctto

The monument and mausoleum of General Francisco del Castillo and the Nineteen (19) Martyrs of Aklan called Aklan Freedom Shrine and the Historical Marker by the NHCP, ctto

Francisco del Castillo
Katipunan Revolutionary Leader of Aklan
(? - March 17, 1897)

Francisco del Castillo who was also known as Francisco Castillo is one of the leaders of the Katipunan in the Visayas. He was with the 19 Martyrs of Aklan, the first group of heroes of the province (which was then under the province of Capiz) during the Philippine revolutionary period who were slain in the town of Kalibo on March 23, 1897.

Early Years and Previous Occupation Before Katipunan

The date and place of Castillo's birth is not known but he worked as a pearl diver in Australia. It is at this work as pearl diver where he met Candido Iban who will eventually be his fellow Katipunero. 

In Australia, Castillo and Iban won the lottery (in some sources only Iban won). They sailed back to Manila in 1893, who felt deeply the conditions of the Filipinos under the cruelty of the Spanish regime.

Life as Katipunero

They settled in Tondo where they met and befriended Procopio Bonifacio, the younger brother of Andres Bonifacio. Del Castillo and Iban were sponsored by Procopio to become members of Katipunan and initiated by Andres himself in the caves of Montalban. They were part of Bonifacio's group which explored Montalban mountains on April 12, 1895. In Pamitinan Cave, the group declared the intention to fight for Philippine Independence where they wrote "Viva la Independencia Filipina" (Mabuhay ang Kalayaan ng Pilipinas) on the walls of the cave. This event is considered as the First Cry of the Revolution. They donated a part of their lottery winnings to the Katipunan movement and to purchase a small printing press to be used for the publication of Kalayaan, the official newspaper of the Katipunan movement. The first issue was released in March 1896. 

In January 1897, Bonifacio sent the two newly sworn Katipuneros to Aklan to establish the first chapter of Katipunan in the Visayas and to recruit new members. At the time, people of Visayas were mere spectators of the uprisings and revolution that began in Luzon through the leadership of Andres Bonifacio. 

The two friends put together what was left of their savings and bought a fishing boat which they named "Santisima Trinidad" and used it to sail from Manila to Aklan. Running against time, they gathered weapons and recruited more men. They patiently went to every household and teach about the Katipunan and its objectives.

Soon Katipunan in the Visayas grew in numbers. Francisco and Candido plotted out its organizational structure. Del Castillo was elected the general of the Katipunan revolutionary forces in Aklan while Iban became the second-in-command to Castillo as colonel. 

They established two headquarters in Aklan. Castillo headed the headquarters in Barangay Mabilo, Kalibo while Iban led the headquarters of Barangay Lilioan in Malinao town. Easily new recruits in the Visayas numbered to as many as a thousand.

Foiled Revolution and Capture

In 1897, believing that the time was ripe to start the revolution, Iban, coming from the West, led the 82 Katipuneros to march to province capital of Kalibo and persuaded the local authorities to join the revolution. On the other hand, Francisco would lead from the South to merge with the contingent of Candido. Unfortunately, the uprising failed.  A Filipino was paid to spy on the Katipuneros, and their planned attack was tipped off to Captain Lucas de Manuel, the capitan municipal of Liloan. Iban was captured by his fellow Akeanons serving for the Spaniards as guardia civil. 


A hundred troops of Katipuneros under the leadership of Francisco del Castillo who is riding a white horse marched towards Kalibo and stopped in front of the mansion of Capitan Municipal Juan Azcarraga which was the stronghold of the town's officials and the guardia civil. Francisco del Castillo was left with his regiments to continue, and he gathered the remaining Katipuneros, however, what might could bolos, bows and arrows do with the endless volleys of bullets fired at them. After Castillo persuaded Azcarraga to come out, del Castillo was shot by Moises Elicito, an Akeanon Filipino soldier paid by Spaniards as guardia civil on March 17, 1897. 


After the death of del Castillo, the mutineers withdrew to the mountains. Colonel Ricardo Carnicero Monet, head of the Spanish force, immediately announced that he would pardon the revolutionaries if they surrendered. Fifty rebels hiding in the mountains surrendered from March 19-22, 1897. But Monet did not keep his promise. 

These Nineteen Men, weak from hunger and thirst and racked with rain, were bound together and forced into a black hole of a stone cell on Amadeo Street (now Nineteen Martyrs Street) in Kalibo. Here their hands were manacled, and a long bamboo pole was passed through their locked arms across their mangled backs. Then they were strung high up against the wall of the cell, with their backs to the firing line, and during the first hours of March 23, they were shot to death. The few who did not die instantly were bayoneted. When all bullets have been fired, their tattered bodies were all piled up on a wagon and paraded around the town to serve as warning to any Filipino who dare challenge the Spanish authorities. After the parade, the nineteen bodies of our heroes were thrown in one grave. That was a day of darkness and terror in Kalibo. The town awoke to hear the sharply ringing rifle shots and the cries and groans of farewell of these Nineteen Martyrs of Aklan.

The brutal death of these nineteen martyr heroes awakened more men not just in Aklan, but all over the Visayas that was once a laidback province-tamed compliant and hushed! Such martyrdom moved countless of Filipinos to answer the call of the motherland.

The entire carnage did not serve its purpose of suppressing the revolution. Instead, it flared up anew as rage and hatred of the Spanish misrule swept the region. 

The Nineteen (19) Martyrs of Aklan consists of natives of the modern-day Aklan province; eleven hailed from Kalibo, three from Malinao, five from Lagatik (now New Washington). They were as follows:

1. Roman Aguirre
2. Tomas Briones
3. Domingo de la Cruz
4. Valeriano Dalida
5. Claro Delgado
6. Angelo Fernandez
7. Benito Iban
8. Candido Iban
9. Simon Inocencio
10. Isidoro Jimenez
11. Catalino Mangat
12. Lamberto Mangat
13. Valeriano Masinda
14. Maximo Mationg
15. Simplicio Reyes
16. Canuto Segovia
17. Gabino Sukgang
18. Francisco Villorente
19. Gabino Yonsal


A monument dedicated to the brave Akeanon revolutionary leader was erected in the exact location where General Francisco del Castillo fell in Kalibo. A historical marker for Francisco del Castillo was put up in 1952 in Pastrana Park, the town's main public park and plaza. 

On the other hand, the nineteen martyrs are commemorated annually every March in the Kalibo in the modern-day province of Aklan. The Aklan Freedom Shrine which also has a little mausoleum was built in the town in their honor. Furthermore, the exact same street in Kalibo where the nineteen martyrs were held, tortured and executed to death was named in their honor. 

The martyrs were subject of a 2019 full-length documentary film titled Daan Patungong Tawaya (lit. 'Road to Paradise'). In the film, the martyrs were portrayed as having been empowered by anting-anting.  


Advocates for Heritage Preservation (AHP) Facebook Group - FRANCISCO DEL CASTILLO & CANDIDO IBAN: Team for a dream.. https://www.facebook.com/groups/advocatesforheritagepreservationphilippines/posts/645704508925261/

Wikipedia - Nineteen Martyrs of Aklan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Martyrs_of_Aklan

The Kahimyang Project - Francisco del Castillo and the 19 Martyrs of Aklan: https://kahimyang.com/kauswagan/articles/1712/francisco-del-castillo-and-the-19-martyrs-of-aklan

CulturED Philippines, Sagisag Kultura - Francisco del Castillo: https://philippineculturaleducation.com.ph/del-castillo-francisco/

Topical Philippines - Francisco del Castillo: http://topicalphilippines.com/People_Individuals/page196.html

Unsung Heroes of the Philippines Revolution, Western Visayas - Francisco del Castillo: http://www.msc.edu.ph/centennial/hero/wv/page2.html

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Gay Filipino In History: Crispulo "Pulong" Trinidad Luna

Crispulo Trinidad Luna (1903 - 1976)
Early Filipino Transvestite

Birth Name: Crispulo Trinidad Luna
Birth: June 10, 1903 in Sasmuan, Pampanga
Death: May 1976

Pulong as he is fondly called is the first prominent Filipino gay crossdresser. Although obviously, he is not the first Filipino transvestite as there are Filipino transvestite during the Spanish colonial period, he prominently sits for portraits working for Victoria Studios and his life was well documented by his relatives. His life is colorful yet meaningful and paved the way for modern day transvestite now with the popular drag race. His story was first written and told by the award-winning writer J. Neil Garcia in his book "Performing the Self: Occasional Prose" and in fact, Pulong made the cover of his acclaimed book. Almost all of the information in this article came from his book and written journal, "Budhi: A Journal of Ideas and Culture" published by the Ateneo de Manila University publishing house.

Lolo Pulong was born Crispulo Trinidad Luna on June 10, 1903. He is the third child of four children of the couple Pedro Luna and Candelaria Trinidad both of Sasmuan, Pampanga. He grew up in Orani, Bataan where his father earned a living for his family as a fisherman. When his husband died, Candelaria moved the family to Tondo until her children are old enough to become independent and have a family of their own. 

Even as a very young boy, Pulong had been "soft" and "effeminate" - he has a light skin which makes him appear like a mestizo and his features is delicate which is no surprise for his family that he did not get married as all of his siblings did. His sister recalls that each time a well-meaning family offer to find him a wife, even at the ripe old age of 50, invariably, his response, delivered with unflappable grace, was, "Pero por Dios, babae ako!" (For heaven's sake, I'm a woman!). Pulong was never subjected to a moralizing judgment by his siblings or by anyone in their families in fact, petty jealousies erupted among them whenever Pulong chose to live with any one family for too long. 

In the late 1920s when he was at least 25 years old, Pulong had made friends with the owner of the Victoria Studios in Paco, Manila where some of these pictures of Pulong (and a picture with his live in partner Juan) were taken. This studio was located close to the home of the sibling with whom Pulong is staying at the time. 

As was the case with other photo studios and establishments of its kind, a customer wishing to be photographed by the Victoria studio could choose to avail himself or herself of any of the costumes which the studio kept in its wardrobes. Pulong had pictures of himself taken well into his twilight years. He ended up with a sizable collection of these visual self-representations which, arranged chronologically, comprises the narrative of his life. In them, we find him all dressed and made up in feminine poses and styles, reflective of the fashion of the time. 

In one photo, Pulong has transformed himself into "Madame Butterfly" complete with kimono and geisha headgear in a homage to Puccini's benighted heroine, whose opera had just opened in Manila. In another photo, Pulong is wearing a more contemporary American-style dress standing beside a seated woman in a traje de mestiza (a Spanish-inspired dress usually cut out of cloth made from pineapple fibers). 
Although Pulong's effeminacy shifted effortlessly from being a "simple" (speaking in a soft and sing song manner, walking demurely acting like a modest dalagang Filipina or Filipino maiden, etc.) to "moderate" (putting on a little makeup, wearing women's undergarments and accessories), to "elaborate" (going in full drag), but only occasionally and inside the privacy of this friend's studio did he let his hair down, and go the whole hog to pursue the dream of crossing over.

Soon after these pictures were taken, Pulong became involved with and eventually became a supposed to be "wife" to a certain maestro carpentero or master carpenter (equivalent to foreman in a construction site), a strapping man five years younger, whose name was Juan. They live in their own dwelling place - a "love nest" of some sorts. This was an arrangement that the families of both side of the relationship involved have no problem or issues with. Years living with Juan were the happiest years in Pulong's life. Pulong's nieces remember that their uncle Pulong occasionally told them that Juan was the first and last "love" of his life. It was while living with Juan that Pulong had sharpened his home making skills, the most noteworthy of which were cooking and sewing. Pulong kept a clean and cozy house for his partner, and later in his life, he would continue to do the same for the family of his sister Miguela, and much later on with the family of this sister's daughter, Patricia or Aling Pat. This "conjugal bliss" last only a few years. Working on a house one day during the Japanese occupation, Juan fell from the scaffolding, and from the fall suffered an internal injury which caused his death about a month later. 

After World War II following the liberation from the Japanese forces, Pulong moved into Miguela's (Gelay), house in Santa Ana district, Manila. As if providing Gelay house help and assistance managing her household was not enough, he worked as a part-time sari sari store attendant owned by Aling Sabel, a family friend and accepted to do handwash laundry services as well as perform many other housekeeping chores for friends and acquaintances who could afford to pay for his service fee. Pulong decided to stay with her sister Gelay because she suffered from the tragic fate of losing her babies to crib death one after the other. Out of a total of 14, only six of her children survived including Aling Pat. He played important role raising these children, teaching them, particularly the girls, how to be "decent", how to keep themselves clean all the time, to wash, iron, mend clothing properly. He gave them strict instructions in the matter of boyfriends, and imposed curfews whenever they went out. Of course, it was not beneath Tio Pulong to size up his nieces' prospective suitors. We can only imagine how terrorized those poor boys must have been, every time they came to the house to call. 

Ever if he devoted a good part of his life helping his sister raise her family, he usually managed to get a few moments to himself. Aling Pat recalls that after Tio Pulong had moved in with her in 1970, the old man would sometimes go out to watch movies with an effeminate friend, a bubbly, grey-haired man he called Tiago. Other than the movies, the two of them also like taking long, leisurely strolls down Hardin Botanico which later eventually be called as Mehan Gardens.

Patricia remembers that toward the end of his life, Lolo Pulong received regular visits from his friends, Josie and Tessie, a pair of garrulous gay beauticians from the neighborhood who have the tendency to be a little loud and swishy. These two were given to calling the old man, endearingly, their "Lola Pulonia." Sometimes when Lolo Pulog could no longer abide their brash  and unladylike ways, he would shush and promptly reprimand them. The three of them comprised a happy bunch, breaking out in giggles over stories of sexual escapades both remembered and imagined. During these times, Lolo Pulong's face could be seen to light up, as though in his mind he was already somewhere else, sashaying in a floral sun dress in a life he'd always wanted and once probably did get to have, dreaming he was with his beloved Juan once more, young and looking fabulous as always and free.

Crispulo Trinidad Luna who was fondly called Lolo Pulong by his loved ones and people who knew him passed away in May of 1976 due to a stroke or a ruptured aneurysm.

On the right, Pulong is wearing a more contemporary American-style dress standing beside a seated woman in a traje de mestiza (a Spanish-inspired dress usually cut out of cloth made from pineapple fibers). Lest the viewer be misled, the third figure in this photo to their left wearing a Commonwealth-period Filipiniana native dress is probably also another man.


J. Neil Garcia - Performing the Self: Occasional Prose, Budhi: A Journal of Ideas and Culture

Friday, March 17, 2023

Unknown Filipino Hero: Pantaleon Villegas

Pantaleon Villegas 
Katipunan Revolutionary Leader
(1873 - 1898)

Pantaleon Villegas better known by his pseudonym Leon Kilat (literally "Lightning Lion in local dialect) was a revolutionary leader who started the uprising in Cebu on April 3 (called the Tres de Abril Revolt). He also led the revolutionary groups in Panay and Negros Island against Spaniards. He was the leader of the Cebu chapter of the Katipunan. Leon Kilat was very popular for his courage and lightning bolt speed for which he earned his moniker, Leon Kilat. He was also known for his amulets he gave his fellow Katipuneros giving them enough bravery to fight the Spanish forces.

Birth and Early Years

The boy who was destined to be a great leader was born on July 27, 1873, in the town of Bacong, Negros Oriental to the couple Policarpio Villegas, a farmer and Ursula Solde, a sinamay weaver. His Spanish mestizo and mestiza grandparents were Pedro Villegas and Dorotea Vergara, the daughter of a Vallehermoso (Negros Oriental) town captain.

Due to poverty, the young Pantaleon did not receive formal education. He was taught how to read, write and recite prayers by the Spanish priest in Tolong whom he worked for as a servant. 

He had the chance to be in Manila when the Spanish priest took him along the trip to the city. However, he ran away due to the mistreatments he took from the priest. How he survives the hustle and bustle of the busy city of Manila remains unknown. He attempted to return to his native town but found himself in Cebu engaging himself in different jobs.

Various Jobs 

In 1895, he worked for the port town of Cebu and later became an abaca press laborer for MacLeod & Co., a British firm. Villegas also worked for Botica Antigua, a well-known drugstore frequented by the Cebuanos and owned by a German named Dr. Andreas Krapfenbauer. The drugstore was located in the corner of Calle del Palacio and Calle Legaspi (now Burgos and Legaspi). There he worked with Ciriaco Murillo and Eulogio Duque. It was Duque who told the writer Manuel de la Calzada that Villegas used the name Eulogio instead of his real first name. Why he used the name Eulogio was not known. Since there were two Eulogios working in the drugstore, the German owner had to call him Leon instead.

After some time at the drugstore, Villegas transferred to Pascuala Cala's bakery in Pahina. He was also a jockey-horse trainer for Federico Laing and later also worked in the branch office of the Singer Sewing Machine Co. He later joined a traveling circus act bound for Manila in 1896 owned by the Tagalogs of which one of the co-owners is a Katipunero or Katipunan member. It was on this job that he was recruited into the secret council of the Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK) or simply called Katipunan. In some accounts, it was claimed that he killed some Visayan sailors in September 1896 was captured and imprisoned by the Spaniards but escaped and joined the Katipunan revolutionary forces in Cavite in 1897.  

It was possible that he was also brought to the centers of the revolutionary movement in Luzon such as Cavite, Malabon, Calamba, Pasig and Malolos. Villegas was known for his audacity, his loyalty to his comrades and his firm stands on issues.

Arrival in Cebu and Villegas Introduction and Reception Among Local Leaders

Leon Kilat was asked by Emilio Aguinaldo to expand the revolutionary movement in Cebu in 1897. He was commissioned as a general in Cebu to propagate the ideals of the revolution. He lived in the residence of Eulogio Duque at General Serrano Street (now M.J. Cuenco Avenue) upon his arrival from Manila to carry out his mission for the Katipunan. No exact date was given when Villegas arrived for his final mission in Cebu. Some sources say he arrived in mid-February or late March of 1898. But according to Andres Abellana, a Cebuano leader, Villegas visited him sometime in December 1897. Afterwards, he was introduced to other cabecillas and leaders of the local chapter. 

Villegas had doubts about Abellana being a former kapitan who might report him to the authorities. On the other hand, Abellana also had his hesitations about Villegas whom he suspected of being a spy so to clarify things Abellana told him he doesn't want the Spanish regime to fall however Abellana would still eventually introduce Villegas to other ring leaders like Candido Padilla and Florencio Gonzales, who, like Abellana, refused to trust him. Finally, they brought him to Mariano Hernandez who showed them Aguinaldo's letter introducing Villegas eliminating all the doubts surrounding him. 

As a Katipunan Leader in Cebu known as Leon Kilat

Villegas assumed command of the Katipunan in Cebu. He ordered every Katipuneros to arm themselves with any bladed weapons they can produce and addressed him as Leon Kilat. The Katipunan was growing fast. While Leon Kilat was in Cebu, many young men were drawn to the organization. 

An important meeting took place on March 11, 1898, at the sugarcane field of Jacinto Pacaina in San Nicolas.  Present in that meeting were the leaders of the katipunan in Cebu: Leon Kilat, Candido Padilla, Luis Flores, Eugenio Gines, Florencio Cavan, Jacinto Pacaïna, Atilano Lopez, Francisco Llamas, Alejandro Climaco, Justo Cabajar, Alejo Minoza, Hipolito Labra, Catalino Fernandez, Placido Datan, Alipio Barrera, Alejandro Villona, Nicanor Avila and others. It was decided at the meeting that the revolt will commence on Good Friday of April 8. Catalino Fernandez suggested this and argued that all the Spaniards would be joining the procession on Good Friday, and they could take all the leaders in one blow with the least resistance. All members resolved to keep their agreements in secret. They also conspired with the members of the voluntarios leales (royal volunteers) that in case of a simultaneous exchange of shooting, they would fire over their heads, or they would aim their guns at the Spaniards should the latter refuse to surrender. Everybody in the meeting agreed. 

The plan was unsuccessful when some participants were arrested. They changed their plan. They seized Talisay instead on April 1. After two days, they won a fierce battle against Spanish forces of Adolfo Montero and Captains Monfort, Gutierrez and Iboloen. 

After their success they entered Cebu City the following day. General Pantaleon Villegas lead the revolt against the Spanish forces in Cebu City with some 6,000 rebels armed with bolos and few firearms. He personally ordered the abrupt occupancy of the city as the 40 Spanish soldiers stationed at the garrison choose not to resists the sudden attack. The rebels took the convent, plundered the churches, sacked the home of Spanish inhabitants, looted and later burned the stores. They even killed three Spanish civilians, took eight Spanish friars from the Cota (little fort) on the beach as hostages and shot three escapees. The communication lines were swiftly cut-off as the uprising began to reach to the other coastal towns of the island of Cebu under the control of Francisco Llamas.

Leon Kilat's Anting-Anting

The local revolutionaries came up with a psychological tactic to strengthen their resolve to fight the Spaniards. Relatives in Bacong, Negros Oriental would testify that Leon Kilat had the uncanny ability to appear in places from seemingly out of nowhere and disappear by using his handkerchief which acts like a magic carpet hence earning him the name "Kilat" (lightning). Kilat willingly told his fellow Katipuneros his secret anting-anting or amulet.

First was the vistidora, a chasuble-like cloth worn over one's clothes. Printed on it were symbolic words and religious pictures and corrupted Latin and Spanish words and phrases. The frontal part of the vistidora had the image of God the Father at the upper portion. It also had images of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, heads of the Three Persons, the heads of the 12 Apostles, angels, archangels and seraphim carrying swords and chalices. Corrupted Latin and Spanish words that appeared on the cloth were Cruz passion y muerte cruz de Cristo salva mi tress Ave Maria, Adit Dium Empacturom en visto virgo Jesus. 

The back part of the clothing also bore the image of God the Father at the uppermost portion. The images of St. James the Apostle and St. Michael, both riding horses and carrying swords, occupied the lower part. The center lowermost portion was the palm of the right hand which had the usual Latin and Spanish inscriptions.

Another amulet was a triangle-shaped clothing inscribed with several words and numbers. It was divided into nine smaller triangles. Gibison Gaodio magnobaldi contra bala epica egosom pactom Dominom Diom Pactom Jesom Pleom Tom Jesus were some of the words found in that piece of clothing. This was wound around the Katipunero's head to shield him from head injuries. A substitute was a small triangular piece of cloth or paper on which the magical words have been written. This was attached to the brim of the hat. A third clothing, about two finger breadths in width, had the image of an angel carrying a kris, with the following Spanish words: Salvate Deus, los que defienden de la patria como nuestro defensa en la patria celestial contra los demonios.

The local katipuneros were also made to place inside their mouths a round piece of paper about the size of one peso, with the following words inscribed in the center: Hiesus lamuroc milano. Around the paper were written - Panes teurom nam butrates luz itirre quetram bobis viva buturiam. At the other side of that paper was written the letters K.K.K. It was called hostia redentora and believed to be powerful in preventing feelings of hunger or thirst during a long fight or long journey. 

Francisco Maria Labrador was the young Katipunero from San Nicolas whom Leon Kilat entrusted the task of writing the magical formulae. Labrador used wooden stamp marker to hasten his task. Others who helped him with this task were Elpidio Rama, Anastacio Rama and Simplicio Alaura. It was Rama who was assigned by Kilat the task of giving out the correct measure and appearance of the vistidora.

There were precautions in wearing the anting-anting. All those who were given these objects were repeatedly warned not to carry money or other metal objects, aside from their weapons, and not to allow themselves to be touched by women. Not following these rules would mean losing the effectiveness of the anting-anting.

Tres de Abril Revolt

After a week of uprising, the Leon Kilat-led resistance was quelled and suppressed on April 2, 1898, with the arrival of reinforcements from Iloilo and Manila. Leon Kilat continued his cause through guerilla campaigns.

In late 1897 or early 1898, he was sent to Cebu to help lead the rebel movement. It was here where Leon and his men planned a revolt against the Spaniards on Easter Sunday of 1898. The Spaniards, however, learned about the scheduled uprising. As Leon was informed about the Spanish discovery of the intended insurrection, he became so adamant and determined enough to fight the Spanish forces on the day of the discovery, April 3. Thus, he said: "In that case, we rise in arms today."

On April 3, 1898, the afternoon of Palm Sunday, General Leon Kilat staged a bloody "hand-to-hand" combat. As the Spaniards obtained reinforcements, Leon Kilat and his men went to Carcar to seek help from the people. Leon Kilat tried to regroup his men to confront the progressing Spaniards.

Betrayal and Death

The plan to kill Kilat was hatched at the confessional in the church. The coadjutor at the time, a priest named Father Francisco Blanco who was teaching Latin at the Colegio-Seminario de San Carlos, would not meet Kapitan or Captain Florencio Noel at the convent because it would be suspicious. It was Fr. Blanco who suggested to Noel that the only way Kabkab could avoid the retaliation of the Spaniards was to kill Kilat.

In the early hours of Good Friday, April 8 Leon Kilat met his tragic fate. His murder was allegedly upon the orders of prominent mestizos of Carcar. The assassination of Leon Kilat was said to have happened through the intercession of Don Florencio Noel in the Sato residence. The Spaniards regained the control of Carcar on the day of Kilat's death.

Kilat did not suspect anything because he was even accorded a courtesy due for a visiting dignitary when he arrived in the evening of Holy Thursday. He first went to the house of Kapitan Paras and then later transferred to the house of Kapitan Tiyoy Barcenilla. After eating dinner, Leon Kilat went to his assigned room to sleep. The son of the owner, Vicente Barcenilla woke up after a few hours when he heard loud voices coming from Kilat's room. He awakened Mariano and both went outside at once, only to be met by Florencio Noel coming up the stairs, carrying a huge crucifix and asking excitedly: "Naunsa na? Naunsa na?" (Has anything happened yet?)

Then Noel shouted: "Viva España! Viva España!." Several others outside the house responded. Vicente found the maid Kitay and both of them went inside Kilat's room from where the commotion came.  There he saw the limp body of Kilat being pinned down by eight men, with some of them taking turns at stabbing it including Captain Florencio Noel and Kilat's own aide-de-camp Apolinario Alcuitas. The skull had been earlier smashed with the butt of Kilat's own gun. Then they took his body down the stairs till Cui told the other conspirators: "Ihunong. Ibutang una ninyo. Atong sulayan, ambi tuod dili ba dutlan." (Stop. Put it down. Let's see if he is indeed invulnerable.) Each one took turns at stabbing the dead body and breaking some of his limbs. Then they carried Leon Kilat's body to the center of the town where it was displayed for all residents to see. It was 5:00 early Friday morning. 

Leon Kilat's remains were brought back to his hometown of Bacong, Negros Oriental on August 2, 1926. A monument was built in the Bacong town plaza in the same year in his honor. 

Battle of Tres de Abril Date of Events

3 April 1898 (Palm Sunday) - Villegas and his men began the rebellion in Cebu.

4 April at 05:00 AM -The rebels drove the Spanish forces into Fort San Pedro and took control of Cebu City. When the Spanish gunboat María Cristina opened fire, the rebels retreated to the Chinese quarter of Lutao.

7 April - 500 men of the 73rd Native Regiment and Spanish cazadores with the cruiser Don Juan de Austria arrived under the command of General Texeiro. This forced the rebels to retreat to San Nicolas.

The Spanish continued pursuing the rebels into the mountain region until 8 April.


Sa Ngalan Ng Gobyerno Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/snngpage/

Monday, March 13, 2023

Gay Filipino In History: Gregorio Lampino of Lambunao, Iloilo

The Pulahan (or sometimes called Dios Dios) is a Visayan religious revival cult easily identified by their red outfit was a popular pre-Revolution group during the last years of the Spanish occupation that once had some 15, 000 followers.

When Iloilo joined the fight against Spain, the revolutionary leader Quintin Salas of Dumangas, Iloilo sought the help of pulajan leader Hermenigildo Maraingan. Maraingan's trusy aide was Gregorio Lampino of Lambunao, Iloilo, a homosexual and considered as one of Maraingan's secondary leader. He participated in raids against Spanish territories in Capiz.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Unknown Filipino Hero: Tomas Pinpin

Tomas Pinpin
Father of Filipino Printing

Tomas Pinpin is a printer, writer, and publisher widely regarded as the first Filipino printer earning the moniker "Prince of Filipino Printers" or the "Father of Filipino Printing". 

Pinpin is remembered for being the first Filipino to publish and print a book titled, "Librong Pagaaralan nang mga Tagalog nang Uicang Castilla" (Reference Book for Learning Spanish Language in Tagalog) in 1610, entirely written by himself in the old Tagalog orthography.

Early Years

Tomas Pinpin was born in Barrio Mabatang, Abucay, Bataan between 1580 and 1585. The exact dates of his birth and death as well as his parentage are unknown because in 1646 Dutch looters raided his hometown of Abucay and burned the parish records. However, his last name and business acumen indicate that he must have had Chinese ancestors. The Spanish historian Wenceslao E. Retana believes he did not belong to the principales, the highest class of natives such as Pablo Tanclanmanoc and Fernando Bagongbata who were also from the Abucay town and who were called "Don" by the Spaniards themselves.

He was thought to have first come into contact with the printing world around 1608 or 1609 learning from the works of other Christian Chinese printers such as Juan de Vera, Pedro de Vera, and Luis Beltran who had already printed several books for Spanish missionaries. 

He learned the art of printing around the end of 1608 in the Dominican-owned printing press in his hometown of Abucay when the Dominican-owned printing press was transferred there in 1608 from its original location of Binondo, Manila from where the printing press was established in 1602 by its founder Francisco Blancas de San Jose. In 1609 still in Abucay, Father Blancas employed the young Pinpin as an apprentice at the printing shop and taught him the art of printing and the printing techniques of the time. In just one year he had developed enough skills to be promoted to printing manager. 

His Works

The following year 1610, he printed the famous book of his mentor and founder of the printing press Father Francisco Blancas de San Jose, the "Arte y Reglas de la Lengua Tagala" (Art and Rules of the Tagalog Language) and in the same year Pinpin's famous book "Librong Pagaaralan nang manga Tagalog nang Uicang Castilla" (Reference Book for Learning Spanish Language in Tagalog). This was the first Filipino Tagalog-language book to be imprinted and was designed to help other Filipinos learn the Spanish language easily. The book contained 119 pages divided into five parts and was designed to help Filipinos learn the Spanish language. The prologue read:

"Let us, therefore, study, my countrymen, for although the art of learning is somewhat difficult, yet if we are persevering, we shall soon improve our knowledge.

Other Tagalogs like us did not take a year to learn the Spanish language when using my book. This good result has given me satisfaction and encouraged me to print my work, so that all may derive some profit from it."

It was written in the old Tagalog orthography, as shown by the following terms: uica (today's wika - language); caya (today's kaya-therefore); and canina (today's kanina - a while ago). The author's name was printed Tomas Pin-pin. The book was printed by Diego Talaghay probably his assistant. For this, he earned the title "Demosthenes of the Tagalog language."

Pinpin, having mastered the technique and operation of the printing, was soon appointed shop manager. 

In 1612, Pinpin supervised the setup of a Franciscans-owned printing press in Pila, Laguna where he printed the book, Vocabulario de Lengua Tagala (Tagalog Language Vocabulary) by Fray Pedro de San Buenaventura, the first Philippine Islands local language dictionary ever printed in 1613. For the next three decades, he printed at least 14 books.  

He is also known to have printed in Binondo district, Manila, between 1623 and 1627, as the early printing press was being transported to several places to bring the art of printing.

In 1637, he published and printed what is thought to be the first newspaper in the Philippines, the 14-page "Sucesos Felices", which reported mainly on Spanish military victories.

It is estimated that throughout his career, from 1609 to 1639, Tomas Pinpin printed at least fourteen different publications.

Pinpin As An Engraver

Aside from being an author, publisher, and printer, Pinpin was a skilled engraver. He engraved beautifully the book he printed. His engravings revealed his remarkable gift as an artist. He enhanced the appearance of the books he printed with his engraving skills. 

Among these books of different authors were: Relacion de Martirio (1625), Relacion (1626), Triunfo (1626), Arte Ilocano (1627), Vocabulario Japon (1630), Ritual (1630), Confesario (1636), Sucesos Felices (1637) and Relacion de la Vida y Martirio del Jusuita P. Mastrilli (1639). 

Historian Pardo de Tavera concluded that Pinpin must have been an active and hardworking man. 

Later Years

Since Pinpin's signature no longer appeared on books printed after 1639, it was assumed that he retired. However, Pardo de Tavera claimed that a book of a friar in 1648 in 1648 was signed: "Printed in the office of Tomas Pinpin" and concluded that Pinpin must have passed the trade to his son. By 1643, several books that were printed bored the name of his son, Simon Pinpin. 

There are no other records of Tomas Pinpin after 1640 so it is unsure when or where Tomas Pinpin passed away. 

A bust in his honor rests at Plaza Cervantes in the Binondo district, Manila while a street in Escolta, Manila bears his name. 

Books Printed

"Arte y Reglas de Lengua Tagala", 1610, by Padre Blancas.

"Librong Pagaaralan nang manga Tagalog nang Uicang Castilla", 1610.

"Vocabulario de Lengua Tagala", 1612, by Pedro de San Buenaventura.

"Relacion de Martirio", by an unknown author, 1625

"Triunfo", by Carreras, 1626.

"Arte Ilocano", by Lopez, 1627.

"Vocabulario de Japon", 1630.

"Confesionario", by Herreras, 1636.

"Sucesos Felices", Newspaper, 1637.

"Relacion de la Vida y Martirio del Jesuita P. Mastrillo" , 1639.



Bahay Tsinoy, Museum of Chinese in Philippine Life Facebook Page -https://www.facebook.com/bahaytsinoy/photos/a.126159806720/10157591892776721/?type=3

The Limbagang Pinpin Museum Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/limbagangpinpinmuseum/posts/1790833431027860/

Termpaper Warehousehttps://www.termpaperwarehouse.com/essay-on/Thomas-Pinpin/303568

Instituto Cervantes Manilahttps://manila.cervantes.es/es/biblioteca_espanol/Filipiniana/XVII/Pinpin_Tomas.htm

Monday, January 9, 2023

Gay Filipino In History: Ponciano Elofre Of Negros Oriental

Ponciano Elofre (c. 1800s ? - 1887)
Public Servant, Shaman and Revolt Leader

Birth Name: Ponciano Elofre / Ponciano Elopre
Birth: circa mid 1800s in Negros Oriental
Death: August 22, 1887 in Siaton, Negros Oriental

The skirt-wearing Ponciano Elofre (sometimes spelled as Ponciano Elopre) was a Cabeza de Barangay or the head of a barangay (now called barangay captain) in the town of Zamboanguita in Negros Oriental and also the leader of a politico-religious revolt in Negros in the late 19th century against the Spaniards.

He began his revolt when as a Cabeza de Barangay failed to collect all the taxes from his constituents. As a result, the Spanish soldiers beat his father, Cris Elofre to death to teach him a lesson. He took the name Dios Buhawi (Hiligaynon word for "Tornado or Whirlwind God" and thereafter, rallied the people against the forced payment of taxes.  

Soon later, he included religious freedom as part of his agenda and presided over the celebration of the ancient rites of the babaylan (ancient Visayan shaman priest), a revival of the pre-Spanish period religious leader. He and his followers numbering about 2,000 were later called the babaylanes. Elofre was reputedly dressed in female garments and was said to be effeminate in the same manner as ancient asog shamans. 

The activities of Elofre so alarmed the Spanish colonial government that governor-general Valeriano Weyler sent 500 Guardia Civil (civil guards) and a battleship to Negros to deal with the threat. On the fateful day of August 22, 1887, Elofre raided Siaton, the town adjoining Zamboanguita, and was killed in the encounter with the colonial forces. His wife, Flaviana Tubigan, continued the revolt but lacked her husband's charm and charisma. She was succeeded by Ka Martin de la Cruz, Elofre's lieutenant of the town of Tolong (now the Municipality of Santa Catalina) located in the southern part of Negros Oriental but his command of the babaylanes degenerated into banditry. When the Spanish authorities failed in their attempt to capture him on September 11, 1893, de la Cruz was killed in a trap laid by his own mistress, Alfonsa Alaidan. 

The remaining Buhawi followers according to historian Modesto P. Sa-onoy were later recruited by Papa Isio when he began to organize his own group of babaylanes in another revolt against Spain.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Daigon Song - O Senyor Tagbalay (Hiligaynon-Language Christmas Carol) Lyrics

The lyrics below is for the Daigon (Hiligaynon or Ilonggo term for Christmas carol) song entitled O, Senyor Tagbalay. The song tells the story of Joseph and Mary searching or looking for a shelter or inn to stay for Mary is about to give birth for the child Jesus which eventually to the birth of Jesus being worshipped by angels and shepherds.

There are different versions or lyrics for this song. Here are just the two versions of the songs.

Version 1

O senyor, tagbalay, lunsay nga dungganon,
Bisan pa mahamook ang inyo katulugon,
Pagmata kamo anay kag kami ang gawahon,
Mag asawang pobre nga yari sa silong

Kay ako si Jose, nga taga Galilea,
ang akon kaupod mahal kong asawa,
Akon sya hingalanan, amo si Maria,
Sa mga paglakat, kabudlay nga sobra.

Kay ini si Maria, madali na manganak,
kon sarang tagbalay, sya ang pasakaon,
Kay ako sing akon, diri lang sa silong,
kon sarang tagbalay, siya ang padayonon

Ang sabat sang tagbalay padayon lang kamo
kay didto sa unahan may kamalig didto,
tindog na, oh maria dalia sa paglakat
kay basi ang kwadra indi ta madangat!

Sang may alas dose sang tunga sang gab-i
amo ang pag panganak manunubos na putli,
sa belen duawon sang mga pastores
ginsimba kag gindayaw sang mga angeles.

Version 2

O senyor, tagbalay, lunsay nga dungganon
Bisan pa mahamook ang inyo katulugon
Pagmata kamo anay kag kami ang gawahon
Mag-asawang pobre nga yari sa silong
Kay ako si Jose nga taga Galilea
Ang akon kaupod mahal kong asawa,
Kon pagahingalanan amo si Maria
Sa mga paglakat, kabudlay nga sobra
Sa banwa sang Nazareth kami ang gumikan
Ang lugar nga ini amon ginkadtuan
Kaming mag-tiayon nga may kasablagan
Sa mga paglakat kami nagab-ihan
O Senyor, tagbalay, inyo kami hangpon
Bisan si Maria lang inyo pasakaon
Kay ako sing akon yari lang sa silong
Magbatas sang tun-og ining lawas nakon
Ang sabat sang tagbalay padayon lang kamo
Kay dira sa unhan may kamalig didto
Tindog na O Maria dali-a sa paglakat
Malapit na ang kwadra basi ta madangat
Gilayon sumubong bituon nga kometa
Amo ang nag-ubay sang paglakat nila
Gumu-om ang langit madulom nga wala’y mas-a
Ang mabuot nga asno ang nasakyan niya
Anay sang umabot ang tungang gab-i
Amo ang pagkatawo Mesiyas nga putli
Sa Belen duawon sang mga angeles
Ginsimba, ginadayaw sang mga pastores

O dungga man ninyo ang makaluluoy
Nga yari sa idalom nga nagapasilong
Nagabatas sang tun-og ining lawas nakon
Magahulat sang inyo maayong kabubut-on
Salamat, salamat mga kautoran
Kag kabay pa ang Diyos kamo kaluoyan
Paalam, paalam sa inyo nga tanan
Kag kami na karon ang magataliwan

Below is an example of the song in Youtube mixed with O Dongga lyrics which could be found on this link Ocean Breeze: Daigon Christmas Song Lyrics (dreamcatcherrye.blogspot.com)