Sunday, December 21, 2014

Forgotten Filipino Heroes: Trinidad P. Tecson

by Antonio C. Antonio
November 30, 2014

When Filipinos talk about heroes, we seem to automatically refer to the following illustrious names: Dr. Jose Protacio Realonda Mercado-Rizal; Andres de Castro Bonifacio; Apolinario Maranan Mabini; Gen. Emilio Famy Aguinaldo, etc.  Our history books, more often than not, often refer to these names as Philippine heroes… leaving the impression that they are the only ones.  However, there really is a long line of heroes that accompany this patriotic group.  They are often referred to as the forgotten Filipino heroes.  Here is one of them.

“Trinidad Perez Tecson was given the title “Mother of Biak-na-Bato” by Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo.  She was also cited as the “Mother of the Philippine National Red Cross” for her service to her fellow Katipuneros.  Along with three other companions, she went to the courthouse in Kalookan to seize firearms.  They overpowered the Guardia Civil and carried away their guns. She also fought with the revolutionaries in 12 battles under five Filipino generals and organized group of women to nurse wounded Filipino soldiers. She died on January 28, 1928.

Tecson was born in San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan, one of the sixteen children of Rafael Tecson and Monica Perez.  She learned to read and write from a schoolmaster named Quinto who was known to be a good teacher in their town.  She was also known to practice fencing with Juan Zeto, one of the local fencers, and was feared throughout the province, called "Tangkad" (tall) by her peers.  Orphaned at a very young age, she stopped school and went with her siblings to live with relatives.  She married at the age of 19, had two children -- Sinforoso and Desiderio, who both died.  Tecson and her husband were engaged in the purchase and sale of cattle, fish, oysters, and lobsters to be sold in Manila.

Tecson joined the revolutionary forces led by Gen. Gregorio del Pilar and participated in the assault on the province of Bulacan.  She also served in the Malolos Republic and was designated as the Commisary of War.  During the American drive northward, she was in Cabanatuan and saw Gen. Antonio Luna’s body.  Bringing with her the sick and wounded revolutionaries, Tecson crossed the Zambales mountains to Sta. Cruz then to Iba.

After the war, her second husband died and she carried on her usual business activities in Nueva Ecija, concentrating on selling meats in the towns of San Antonio and Talavera.  She married her third husband, Doroteo Santiago, after whose death she got married to Francisco Empainado.  She had a total of four husbands in her lifetime.  On January 28, 1928, she died in the Philippine General Hospital at the age of 80.  Her remains lies in the Plot of the Veterans of the Revolution in Cementerio del Norte. (Wikipilipinas)

Reading literature about our heroes should rekindle our patriotic spirit aside from learning from the life and time of these forgotten Filipino heroes.

Just my little thoughts…

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