Posted on Wednesday, 18th November 2009 by All Philippines
Today, November 18, is the 161st birth anniversary of one of the unsung Filipina heroes during the Philippine revolutionary period – Doña Trinidad Tecson.
Born on November 18, 1848 in San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan, Trinidad Tecson was one of the sixteenth children of Rafael Tecson and his wife Monica Perez. She learned to read and write at an early age thanks to the guidance of Quinto, a known schoolmaster in her hometown. She was also exposed to the art of fencing with the help of her friend; one of the town’s local fencer named Juan Zeto also called “Tangkad” (tall).
With the unexpected death of both Rafael and Monica Tecson, the Tecson siblings were forced to live with their relatives. This event also forced the young Trinidad Tecson to stop schooling. At the age of 19, she married and had two children, Sinforoso and Desiderio, who unfortunately also both died at an early age. During this time, Trinidad and her husband engaged in a buy and sell enterprise – purchasing and selling live stocks and seafood products in Bulacan and Manila.
She became a freemason councilor for Logica de Adopcion, a Masonic lodge dedicated to Philippine women which was founded in 1893. Two years later, at the age of 47, she joined the Katipunan, a revolutionary organization founded by Andres Bonifacio. During her initiation rites for the Katipunan, she signed her oath with her own blood, a requisite for new members of the organization but exempts new women members from doing so. Her first few assignments for the group were to infiltrate and amass firearms and explosives from a courthouse in Caloocan City and also in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija.
At the start of the Philippine-Spanish Revolution in 1896, she was serving under the leadership of General Mariano Llanera. She was almost captured by the Spanish Army in her hometown in San Miguel, Bulacan while providing food and other supplies to the Katipuneros fighting there, she only escaped by acting dead on the battlefield. Besides General Llanera, Trinidad Tecson also worked for the Katipunan under General Francisco Makabulos of Nueva Ecija, General Isidro Torres, and the famous young general of Bulacan, General Gregorio H. Del Pilar. Like the great “Tandang Sora” Melchora Aquino, she also tended to the wounded and bloodied soldiers of the Katipunan during the revolution. She was also wounded in the battles of San Miguel and Zaragosa when a bullet hit her on her right thigh. Tecson and some of the remaining revolutionary forces of the Katipunan, led by General Emilio Aguinaldo, were forced by the Spanish Army to retreat to Biak-na-Bato, the final headquarters of the Katipunan during the Philippine-Spanish War. Tecson was given the title “Mother of Biak-na-Bato” by General Aguinaldo.
After the Philippine-Spanish War and the start of the Philippine-American War in 1899, Trinidad Tecson again joined the Philippine revolutionary forces, this time to fight the American colonizers, under the leadership of her former commander, General Gregorio H. Del Pilar. She also witnessed the birth of the first Philippine Republic, the Malolos Republic where she was also designated as the Commissary of War.
At the end of the Philippine-American War, Trinidad Tecson also ended her service to the revolutionary cause and lived an ordinary life tending a meat business in Nueva Ecija. She married her third husband, Doroteo Santiago, after the war (her second husband died during the Philippine-American War). After Doroteo’s death, she got married to Francisco Empainado, her fourth and last husband.
Trinidad Tecson died on January 28, 1928 at the Philippine General Hospital. She was 80 years old. She was buried at the Plot of the Veterans of the Revolution in North Cemetery in Manila.
- Named by General Emilio Aguinaldo as the “Mother of Biak-na-Bato”
- Due to her humanitarian work during the Philippine Revolution she was named the “Mother of Philippine National Red Cross”
- Known in the Katipunan as “Henerala Ningning” (“Henerala” refers to a lady general, “Ningning” was Trinidad Tecson’s nickname)
- Also fondly called by the Katipuneros as the “babaeng-lalake” (a woman who acts like a man – a homage to her bravery and strong character)
Tags: Andres Bonifacio, babaeng-lalake, blood initiation rites Katipunan, Bulacan, Caloocan City, Doña Trinidad Tecson, Doroteo Santiago, first Philippine Republic, Francisco Empainado, General Emilio Aguinaldo, General Francisco Makabulos, General Gregorio H. Del Pilar, General Isidro Torres, General Mariano Llanera, Henerala Ningning, Juan Zeto, Katipunan Andres Bonifacio, Katipunan freemasonry, Katipuneros, Logica de Adopcion, Malolos Republic, Masonic lodge Philippines, Melchora Aquino, Monica Perez, Mother of Philippine National Red Cross Trinidad Tecson, North Cemetery Manila, Pact of Biak-na-Bato, Philippine fencing, Philippine freemasonry, Philippine General Hospital PGH, Philippine masonry, Philippine revoultion masonry, Philippine schoolmasters, Philippine women masonry, Philippine-American War 1899, Philippine-Spanish Revolution 1896, Plot of the Veterans of the Revolution Philippines, Quinto, Rafael Tecson, San Isidro Nueva Ecija, San Miguel Bulacan, San Miguel de Mayumo, San Miguel de Mayumo Bulacan, Tandang Sora, Trinidad Tecson, Trinidad Tecson Commissary of War, Trinidad Tecson Mother of Biak-na-Bato
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