Cavite museum features Women’s Month exhibit on famous ‘Katipuneras’

Published March 27, 2018, 8:27 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Philippine News Agency

A special exhibit on “Rebolusyong Filipina” is open for public viewing beginning Tuesday at the Gregoria de Jesus Gallery of the “Museo ng Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio” (MPAB) also known as Bonifacio Trial House here.

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) through its MPAB museum here is highlighting the Women Chapter of the Katipunan within the observance of the Women’s Month.

BTH curator Melanio Guevara said the exhibit will showcase women power, aptitude, and valor, and also shows how Filipinos value the role of women in the society – even in the past.

Up on display at the museum are the Katipunan women’s contributions to the revolutionary movement’s success such as by caring for the sick and wounded revolutionary soldiers; and as part of the female company during the revolutionary period.

The exhibit features 18 women movers and “change agents” in the Philippine Revolutionary society, who became equal partners of men in achieving the objectives of the organization.

One of the women movers was the National Hero Jose Rizal’s sister Josefa, who served as president of the women’s branch of the Katipunan.

Another Rizal sibling was Trinidad, the last person whom the national hero spoke with before his execution.

It was Trinidad who disputed the Spanish colonial government and the friars’ allegations that her brother had retracted his liberal activities and writings.

Trinidad and Josefa remained unmarried and the former joined their brother Gen. Paciano Rizal’s forces in Laguna.

Another iconic revolutionary woman was Gregoria De Jesus, the wife of Bonifacio and the cousin of Teodoro Plata, who served as the women society’s vice president and was known for her alias “Lakambini.” She was the trusted keeper of important Katipunan documents.

Other featured members of Katipunan’s women branch included Jose Dizon’s daughter, Marina Dizon, who acted as the group’s Secretary; Fiscal Angelica Lopez, the niece of Jose Rizal; and Trinidad Tecson, an arnis expert who hailed from a well-known family in Bulacan and helped in the collection of arms in Nueva Ecija and Manila before the outbreak of the revolution. She led the nursing of the wounded revolutionaries and was recognized as the “Mother of Biak-na-Bato” by revolutionary leaders.

The exhibit also features Bonifacio’s younger sister Espiridiona Bonifacio who, following her husband’s (Teodor Plata) execution on Feb. 6, 1897 at Bagumbayan, had joined Bonifacio’s forces and became a custodian of the Katipunan’s arms.

After her brothers Andres, Ciriaco, and Procopio’s death, she was separated from her only sister, Maxima, who reportedly died during the revolution; while her other brother, Troadio, worked in Macau and was never heard of since.

There is also the famous Melchora Aquino, the history’s icon as “Tandang Sora,” who came from an affluent family in Balintawak, Caloocan and supported the revolution by welcoming the Katipuneros to her home.

Due to her involvement, she was arrested, tried and exiled to Guam, Marianas for sedition and rebellion.

The other memorable Katipuneras include Delfina Herbosa (another niece of Rizal who helped Marcella Agoncillo and her daughter Lorenzana in sewing the Philippine national flag in Hong Kong; Agueda Kahabagan who was not only active in the Katipunan by nursing the wounded but in fighting the enemies as well and became the only Filipina general in the revolution;

Benita Rodriguez who assisted Gregoria de Jesus in sewing the Katipunan flag before the Battles of Pasong Tamo and San Juan Del Monte; Francisca Angeles, Simeona De Remigio, Valeriana Elises Palma De Garcia, Agueda Esteban, Salome Llanera, Gregoria Montoya Patricio and the wife of Feliciano Hokson.

The public is invited to visit the Bonifacio Trial House, located at Col. C Riel here for the museum’s exhibit of the women powerhouse cast of the Katipunan revolutionary movement.

The museum is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays to Sundays.