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Alfredo Santos
Sto. Tomas, Pampanga
Born in 1900, Santo Tomas, Pampanga, Alfredo Santos was a noted pharmacist and National Scientist. He discovered paheantharine, an effective medicine for high blood pressure, He was one of the founders of the National Academy of Science and Technology (d. October 15, 1978).

Aurelio Tolentino
Guagua, Pampanga
A poet, playwright, novelist, and one of the original members of the Katipunan, and signatory to the Declaration of Indpendence at Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898. Throughout the Philippine-American War, he was in and out of prison for his seditious activities, e.g. recruiting and training guerillas, publishing nationalistic newspapers, etc. Things came to a head in 1903 when he wrote the Tagalog verse drama Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas, which was staged at Teatro Libertad on May 14. American spies had been planted in the audience. In the climax of the play, an actor was supposed to haul down the American flag and stomp it with his feet. However, when the actor saw the Americans in the audience, he chickened out. Aurelio Tolentino leaped out of backstage and did it himself, starting a riot inside the theatre and causing his arrest once again. He was pardoned by Gov. Forbes. He died July 5, 1915. His bones are now interred in an undignified monument in a busy street intersection in Guagua. (Credit: HAU Center for Kapampangan Studies, Robby Tantingco)

Claude Tayag
Angeles City, Pampanga
Claude Tayag is primarily a self-taught artist who paints, sculpts and designs furniture. A graduate of the University of the Philippines , taking up architecture and economics courses. He considers his mentor, the late writer/painter Emilio “Abe” Aguilar Cruz as his greatest influence. He first entered into the Manila art scene in 1978, exhibiting watercolor paintings of Philippine folk festivals, religious images, and cordillera landscapes, works characterized by a forceful spontaneity and raw vigor. Since 1990, he has been venturing into functional and sculptural wood pieces starting with an exhibition “Art Furniture” at the Ayala Museum. In his sculptural work, Tayag’s exploration with wood has allowed him to supercede the limitations of an essentially rigid material, achieving limitless volume and sensuous plasticity with his wave and curvilinear series. He has participated in several one-man and group exhibitions in Manila , Beijing , Washington , DC, and Madrid . His art is part of many private and public collections such as the Ayala Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. Tayag received a “Guhit Award” in the field of decorative arts from Design and Architecture, in February 1997.

Diosdado Macapagal
Lubao, Pampanga
Born on September 28, 1910, Lubao, Pampanga, Macapagal became the fifth president of the Philippines and president of the 1971 Constitutional Convention. In 1957, he won as vice president. He ran for president in 1961 and won. He ran for re-election in 1965 but his bid was foiled by Ferdinand E. Marcos. He was elected delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention and assumed the position of president when Carlos P. Garcia died. Macapagal was a poor man when he became president, and continued to be a poor man during and after his presidency. In this country, it is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than for a poor man to win an election, and to stay poor while in office, any office, but especially the Office of the President. “The poor boy from Lubao” made the eradication of poverty the central theme of his administration. Macapagal fired all the crooks he could find (because keeping them in office was like appointing arsonists to the fire control brigade); held a Common Man’s Day, where the gates of Malacańang were regularly opened so that folks could sit down for a one-on-one with him; relocated slum dwellers to multi-storey housing tenements; and vetoed the scandalously fat congressional allowances (today’s pork barrel). Above all, he enacted land reform, which ended feudalism and gave the masses a taste of social justice. Big landowners, influential politicians and even party mates (who were landowners themselves) had aggressively resisted land reform. Macapagal risked his presidency to seize the historic moment. But he went on to achieve more. In his first two years in office, he invigorated the economy with a 13% increase in the gross national product and a 12% in the national income. The Philippines became the most progressive country in the Far East, next only to Japan. Macapagal also taught his country how to regain its sense of dignity by treating the United States not as superior but co-equal. He moved Independence Day from July 4 (the same day the Americans celebrate their own Independence Day) to June 12 (the day Aguinaldo declared independence from Spain), and initiated the creation of MAPHILINDO (for Malaya, Philippines and Indonesia), the forerunner of the ASEAN, which sought to assert the Malayan race and form a regional alliance to neutralize the growing influence of the United States. When the United States Congress failed to pass a bill providing for war damage payments to Filipino veterans, Macapagal cancelled a scheduled US trip—a bold and potentially dangerous thing to do for a Philippine president. He also strengthened relations with the anti-US Sukarno government of Indonesia and pursued claims to Sabah , which the Americans interpreted as a sign of growing Filipino nationalism. And so when Macapagal ran for re-election against Ferdinand Marcos in 1965, the country lost a good president. Years later, as Cory Aquino surveyed the ruin she had inherited from Marcos, she asked, “Why did Macapagal have to lose to Marcos? His loss was our calamity.” (Excerpted from Sunstar, by Robby Tantingco, 04/20/10)

Gil J. Puyat
Guagua, Pampanga
Born in 1907, Guagua, Pampanga, Gil J. Puyat was a prominent businessman, civic leader and former Senate president (1967-72). He was elected senator for four consecutive terms (d. March 22, 1981).

Isabelo del Rosario (A Capampangan as Katipunero CAPITAN BICONG)
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
The historic Pampanga visit of National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal in 1892 could be considered as both political and sentimental. He was promoting his La Liga Filipina in Central Luzon and had chosen San Fernando and Bacolor for his Pampanga stopovers. Dr. Rizal’s purpose for the Liga was to achieve cohesion among all Filipinos in the country and to work for reforms in the Spanish colonial government. Secondly, Dr. Rizal was probably paying his respects to the Capampangans in general whose two brave and wealthy sons offered wholeheartedly, quickly and without conditions, to entirely finance the publication of his two historic books, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo in Germany in 1880’s. These two Capampangan expatriate students were Don Maximo Viola of San Miguel de Mayumo, an old Capampangan town that became part of Bulacan in the Eighteenth Century, who financed the publication of the Noli, and Don Valentin Ventura of Bacolor, who financed the publication of Fili. At San Fernando, Dr. Rizal stayed at the house of the Hilarios where he conferred with the brothers Tiburcio and Cecilio, and other patriotic activists who where earlier notified of his coming. Probably among there were Don Balbino Ventura, Don Mariano Alejandrino of Arayat, Don Antonio Consunji and Don Ruberto Lacsamana, both of Masicu (present-day Mexico). The Hilarios were first cousins to Marcelo del Pilar y Hilario of Bulacan and Gregorio del Pilar, who would later become the “Boy General,” was their nephew.

In Bacolor, a sumptuous lunch was prepared for Dr. Rizal at the Malig family ancestral home near the San Guillermo Church where our hero must have met with Don Ceferino Joven, Don Francisco Joven, Dr. Francisco Liongson, and Don Valentin Ventura among others. This sudden Pampanga visit of Dr. Rizal created quite a stir among the populace in the province, especially among the enlightened illustrados, their relatives and their peasant farmers. This especially held true to a pensive 14-year-old lad – the third son of the San Fernando spouses Marcelino del Rosario and Agueda Tuazon. He was Isabelo del Rosario y Tuazon who was commonly called Bicong. His father, a quiet but very industrious and upright provider, instilled in the growing boy the value of the dignity of labor, honesty, Capampangan personal honor and pride, death above dishonor and humiliation, deep love for country and for native kundiman music with a fatherly admonition to his young son: to inspire to be able to play the sweetest kundiman (melancholic native folk music) in the family violin… “banting upayang apagtumaila me ing indu tamung tibuan a salucuyan maniambitan” (…so that you will be enabled to play a lullaby to our agonizing Motherland.)

For this purpose, the elder Del Rosario set aside a portion of his daily wages to pay the neighborhood music maestro for Bicong’s regular violin lessons after school hours.

His mother, known to be a strict disciplinarian, inculcated into her children a deep love of God and fellowmen. As Bicong grew up in a colony ruled by Spanish masters, he learned early the pains of oppression and slavery. As he turned to manhood, he longed for true justice and progress for his pathetic country that was stilled mired in medievalism. The democratic emancipation of his countrymen soon became Bicong’s obsession. For him, love of country is love of God! During the latter part of 1892, when Dr. Rizal was arrested and subsequently exiled to Dapitan, massive arrests were quickly conducted in a number of Capampangan towns, especially in San Fernando, Masicu and Bacolor. Bicong learned later that all Capampangans who attended and supported the visits of Dr. Rizal were listed down by secret agents of the Spaniards. Even a few Spanish friar parish priests joined in the denunciations. Most notable of these were the Spanish parish priests of San Fernando, Staz. Rita, and Arayat. Padre Juan Terrero, the friar parish priest of Arayat, reported to the Guardia Civil the participation of Don Mariano Alejandrino in the meetings and his being a mason. Don Mariano was dragged down from his mansion and immediately exiled to the Cordilleras where he died a miserable death a few months later.

Don Balbino Ventura of San Fernando was put in heavy and under heavy guard, was forced to march barefoot to the Bacolor provincial jail. That night, he died of extreme exhaustion and humiliation. The Hilario brothers of San Fernando were also arrested and exiled to the isolated island of Siasi at the Northern tip of Palawan. During the trial of Dr. Rizal in 1896, the brothers were moved to Manila and were promised their freedom if they testified against their idol. They refused and were thrown into the dark dungeons of the Old Bilibid Prison. Many more arrest and incarcerations were made and Bicong was witness to many of these. When the Philippine revolution finally exploded in August of 1896, martial law was swiftly declared by the panic-stricken Spaniards in Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Morong (Rizal), Laguna, Cavite and Batangas. When the armies of General Emilio Aguinaldo battled the mighty Spanish Army in Cavite, all the Alejandrino boys enlisted in the Revolutionary Army and fought the Spaniards to avenge their father’s death. The Alejandrino brothers – Joaquin, Jose, Manuel, Anselmo and Pastor fought under the command of General Mamero Natividad, a family friend and a Capampangan from Cabiao, Nueva Ecija. A 20-year old soldier from Magalang named Cayetano Lopez was serving as carromata driver in Andre’s Bonifacio’s staff. By this time, Bicong was 18 and must have been itching to join in the fight from freedom. Compared to the Tagalog provincesthat were then collective revolt, Pampanga was still relatively peaceful. However, by December of 1897, the revolution was knocking at the southeastern backdoor of Pampanga in the vicinity opposite Bulacan’s Biak-na-Bato and directly threatening the Capinacan’s swamplands of Candaba. Again, in panic, the Spaniards overreacted and proceeded to burn all the Capampangan villages along Capinacan and brutally dispersed all the inhabitants into inner Pampanga. According to an Angeleno revolutionary officer, Lt. Alfredo Ganzon y Gonzales, a granduncle of this writer, he knew of a secret group of Capampangan’s who were monitoring and charting Spanish military movements and behavior, including probing attacks of revolutionary forces. He could recall only a few names: Don Maximo Hizon, a young and wealthy but fiery hacendero from Masicu; Don Pedro Abad Santos, a budding lawyer from San Fernando and also Hacendero; a young man from the same town named Isabelo Del Rosario ; and two others surnamed Dayrit and Santos.

It was also said that around this time, Bicong joined the secret Katipunan that spread into Pampanga via Guagua. Meanwhile, the Spaniards in Pampanga stepped up their imprisonments and executions.

The treaty of Biak-na-Bato in late December 1897 saved Pampanga from the revolution in the meantime. Gen. Aguinaldo and his entire staff accepted exile to Hong Kong. Relative peace and quiet descended on the province from the time being. But revolutionary leaders left behind did not sink into lethargy. General Francisco Macabulos y Soliman of Tarlac, who was originally from Lubao, Pampanga, secretly busied himself in organizing town revolutionary juntas in Tarlac, La Union, Nueva Ecija and parts of Pangasinan. He installed Don Maximo Hizon as politico-military governor of Pampanga where General Macabulos had earlier successfully organized rebel juntas in all the towns. Upon Aguinaldo’s return with the American’s in May 1898, he immediately called on all Filipinos to rise up as one against the Spaniards. Hizon immediately organized a provide-wide Capampangan Resistance Army and ordered all towns to form local battalions. Only three officers of the Battalion de Angeles could be recalled by the writer, namely, Lt. Alfredo Ganzon y Henson of the Infanteria (Infantry); and Col. Galicano Valdes, the battalion commander. Col. Ramon Henson was attached to the Luna Division and was the sole war correspondent in Pamapanga of General Luna’s newspaper, La Independencia. Don Maximo was commisioned brigadier general by the revolutionary government and his aide-de-camp was Lt. Col. Pedro Abad Santos.

Bicong was commissioned an infantry lieutenant and commanded a company of riflemen. All armed Capampangan Voluntarios, which were formed and equipped by the Spaniards the month before, defected to the revolutionary sid excepted all Macabebes.

On 3 june 1898, Capampangans throughout the province begantheir concerted attacks on all military Spanish military concentrations and defenses. General Hizon ordered the arrest and public execution of all civilian Spaniards who had committed grave sins against the Filipino people. Executed publicly were Padre Juan Terrero, parish priest of Masicu, who caused the death of Don Mariano Alejandrino of Arayat; the parish priest of San Fernando, who it is said, caused the execution of a number of town suspects; Padre Gregorio Bueno, parish priest of Mabalacat, who it is said, molested a town maiden. The parish priest of Angeles, Padre Baltazar Gamarra, was arrested by Lt. Alfredo Ganzon. However, due to insufficient evidence Lt. Ganzon the priest’s life and pressed for further investigation. The priest was later rescued Spanish troops. The parish priest of Sta. Rita was captured and placed under the custody of Don Tiburcio Hilario who was then residing in Bacolor. Charges against the priest were found doubtful by Don Tiburcio. Sometime later, he secretly allowed the priest to escape by giving him his fastest horse. However, a Don Vicente Bravo and Dr. Sta. Maria and his family, all residents of Guagua, were murdered.Meanwhile, Lt. Bicong and his troops were kept busyattacking pockets of Spanish detachments around the province that were cut off from their mother units. So was the rest of the entire Hizon Brigade that was spread out in the province in clearing up operations. In Bacolor, 70 Spanish soldiers were surrounded in their barracks and when asked to surrender, they replied with bullets. The revolutionaries burned the building down. There were no survivors. In Candaba, the entire government garrison surrendered to the rebels. In Angeles, a trainload of Spanish soldiers and civilians was boarded by Katipunero bolomen and riflemen and the slaughter was remembered by old Angeleńos as “Fiestang Kastila”. At the Granja, the farm school of Magalang, some of the Spanish personnel were hacked to death as they ran for their lives.

In view of all these, General Ricardo Monet, the Spanish Army Provincial Commander, ordered all Spanish troops, civilians and friars to converged into San Fernando for protection and then retreat en masse to Manila, which they did. But General Hizon anticipated this move. The Spanish exodus was halted at Apalit, Minalin and Sto. Tomas by heavy rifle fire from a massive concentration of the Hizon Brigade that included Lt. Bicong’s detachment. It could have another Fiestang Castila had not the Spanish shot their way out and stampeded to Macabebe where they were welcomed and protected by the loyal townspeople. A few days later, in the dead of night, a Spanish gunboat towing several “cascoes” (giant wooden boats) arrived from Manila and rescued all the Spaniards. General Monet and all top officers boarded the gunboat while all soldiers, friars and civilians crowded the cascoes. General Hizon ordered his troops to follow the slow escaping vessels along the riverbanks and kept a sustained rifle fire at the enemy soldiers who fired back. But their exposed positions put the Spaniards at a great disadvantage. To achieve a speedier getaway, General Monet ordered the tow line cut. The gunboat then sped away towards Manila Bay and to safety. The abandoned cascoes floated toward Hagonoy, Bulacan, where all the Spaniards surrendered to the “insurrectos”, with all their firearms, belongings and treasures. This event marked the end of Spanish rule of 327 years in Pampanga. The eruption of the Filipino-American war on 4 February 1899 confirmed the earlier observation of Bicong, now a captain, when he declared “den e la sasaup, sasacup la! ( The Americans are not here to help us but to colonize us!)”. After fighting to defeat a European superpower, Capitan Bicong found himself fighting again, this time, against the American superpower!

Everyone knew, that it was the Filipinos alone, in truth and in fact, who defeated the Spanish ground forces in the entire Philippines with their own blood, sweat and tears, and had surrounded them in Intramuros in Manila preparing for the final blow, when the Americans unexpectedly declared that the Philippines was theirs through purchase! This was simple unexplainable to the Filipinos and Capitan Bicong again fought valiantly to help rescue his Indung Balen (Motherland) from the clutches of the “Yanquis”. With the Hizon Brigade, he and his company battled the Americans commencing from Polo, Bulacan, then through Bigaa, Malolos and Bagbag, Calumpit in Bulacan; Apalit, Sto. Tomas, San Fernando and Angeles in Pampanga; and Bamban and Tarlac in Tarlac, thence to the towns of Pangasinan. In Novenmber in 1899, Pampanga was entirely in the hands of the Americans and the battle lines were already in Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. It was at this time that General Aguinaldo ordered all Capampangan officers and enlisted men to secretly filter back into their home province and resume the fight for freedom as insurrecto guerillas. Aguinaldo designated General Maximo Hizon as the overall commander and is executive officer was General Jose Alejandrino of Arayat. General Alejandrino’s adjutant was Maj. Ramon P. Blardony, a bemedalled Spanish Army officer who was asked by General Antonio Luna to serve in the first Filipino Army after the capitulation of Spain. Major Blardony, an expert in guerilla warfare, remained loyal to the Filipino caused to the end. Blardony’s guerilla tactical advice to the Capampangan guerillas proved effectively fatal to the Yanquis. It is said that Capitan Bicong and his men were able to capture US Army “pacupacs (gatling guns) which were successfully used against their previous owners. In the later part of the 1900, Capampangan folk support for the guerillas had waned drastically. It was obvious that the peace-loving Pampangos had grown tired of war. In the second half March 1901, Capitan Bicong was captured by the Americans at the village of Sapa Libutad, then part of Masicu, Pampanga.

Lt. Arsenio Saide of Angeles recalled that when his captors imprisoned Capitan Bicong in a prisoner-of-war enclosure in Masicu, all the Filipino prisoners were ordered to swear allegiance to the American flag. Capitan Bicong tersely refused and angrily exclaimed: “Macananu yucung pasumoan queng bandera yu neng macasumpa nacu qng bandera mi? (How could you make me swear allegiance to your flag when I had already sworn allegiance to ours?)” Lt. Alfredo Ganzon, granduncle of this writer, related that in Capitan Bicong’s prison enclosure, one American prison guard had the bad habit of insulting Filipino prisoners with painful invectives, humiliations and manhandlings. What was worse, Capitan Bicong became his favorite victim probably because the prisoner did not care to suppress his Capampangan personal honor and pride in the face of defeat. Later, the abuses became a daily occurrence. Complaints fell on deaf ears. In desperation, Capitan Bicong decided to do something to end their sufferings, against the pleading of his fellow prisoners. The next time around, and without warning, he jumped on the burly American guard and killed him with his bare hands. The Honorable Agapito del Rosario II, a member of the present-day Angeles City Council and great grandson of Capitan Bicong, relates that his grerat grandfather was quickly sentenced to die by hanging at the town. On 12 April 1901, the day of his execution, he was taken to the gallows under heavy guard and when the noose was placed on his neck, as a last request, he was allowed to play his violin for the last time.

With intense emotion, he commenced to play. Total silence descended upon the multitude. Capitan Bicong was melodiously playing his favorite piece: “La Danza Habanera de Filipinas ( The Kundiman Dance of the Philippines).” As the shrill notes pierce the stillness of the occasion, Capitan Bicong was playing his joyful farewell lullaby for his agonizing Motherland with his father’s childhood admonition still ringing in his ears, “…Banting upayang apagtumaila me ing Indu tamung Tibuan a salucuyan maniambitan!”.
Lt. Arsenio Sadie remembers: “When the last tiniest note faded to eternity, the American gallows officer held the violin to retrieve it. Capitan Bicong, in a last act of defiance, pulled it away and yelled in Kapampangan: “Ibili me!” (Let go of it!) and proceeded to smash it on the gallows railings. He was then tied around the arms, the knees and ankles. He refused to wear the black hood and stared penetratingly and proudly at his executioners and at the stupefied crowd with his lips moving in prayer.”

The trap door swung open and in seconds, Capitan Bicong became history.

He was 22 years old and was survived by his young wife and two baby boys – Pastor and Agapito, the latter would become municipal mayor of Angeles, Pampanga in 1940. In 1960, Agapito’s third child and Capitan Bicong grandson, Rafael, was elected Mayor of Angeles. In 2001, Rafael’s son and Capitan Bicong’s great grandson, Agapito II, was elected to the City Council of Angeles. (Daniel H. Dizon) Source:

Jose Abad Santos
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Jose Abad Santos (1886 - 1942) - Jurist, statesman, patriot, hero, martyr; as representative of the President of the Philippine Commonwealth during the first days of the occupation, was executed by the Japanese at Malabang, Lanao on 7 May 1942 for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the Japanese empire. His famous words \"It is an honor to die for one's country. Not every Filipino is given that opportunity.\" trumpeted across the country and inpired many freddom-loving Filipinos to imbibe a sense of patriotism and nationhood.

Maximino Hizon
Mexico, Pampanga
Born in 1870, Mexico, Pampanga, Maximino Hizon was a revolutionary general in Pampanga who led the revolutionary forces in the victorious battle against the Americans in Kalookan on February 4, 1899 (d. September 1, 1901).

Mon David
Sto. Tomas, Pampanga
Mon David - a world-class singer, possessed of exceptional pipes and an amazing range that could move effortlessly from a rich manly baritone to high falsetto notes, and a broad repertoire that embraces jazz standards, pop ballads, show tunes and even the odd kundiman or two with equal aplomb. He bagged the grand prize in the first - ever London International Jazz Competition for Vocalists on March 22 with his impeccable rendition of \"Nature Boy,\" \"My One and Only Love,\" and \"Lullaby of Birdland.\" He grew up in his hometown of Sto. Tomas, Pampanga, hearing traditional Capampangan folk songs and music of songwriters such as Constancio de Guzman. He has recorded three albums as of 2006 (April): \"Salamat sa Alaala,\" \"Soulitude,\" and \"Life and Times.\" He also took upon himself to revive the Capampangan songs like \"Pamalsintan Quing Milabas\" and \"Abe Mu Ku.\" Eventually, his efforts were rewarded by his kabalen when he was named Most Outstanding Kapampangan in the field of arts, culture and music by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Pampanga. (Credits: Phil. Daily Inquirer, Eric Caruncho, April 23, 2006)

Monico R. Mercado
Sasmoan, Pampanga
Monico R. Mercado - A poet, educator and legislator, he was born in Sexmoan, Pampanga on May 4, 1875. He co-sponsored the bill instituting the first irrigation system in the Philippines. He co-founded the Katipunan Mipananpum and Academia Pampanguena. He was Vice President of Guagua National Colleges and author of the novel \"Ketang Milabas.\" He died in Manila on January 26, 1952.

Nicolasa Dayrit y Pamintuan (Wife of Dr. Vicente Panlilio)
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Nicolasa Dayrit, a Pampango beauty, not only spent long hours to help minister to the sick and wounded revolucionarios but she also played a major role in appeasing General Antonio Luna during his near fatal confrontation with General Tomas Mascardo.

When the American forces started bombarding the Rio Grande de Pampanga, the base of the Bagbag - Quingua Sta. Maria Defense line, General Luna requested reinforcements from General Tomas Mascardo in Guagua, Pampanga but the latter carried out the order tardily and grudgingly. As a result, Luna ordered Mascardo’s 12 hour arrest, for Mascardo’s non-cooperation was a sign of weakness in the army he headed. This insubordination was further aggravated by Mascardo’s message to Luna that if General Luna has enough guts to enforce his decree, Mascardo has enough to resist him.

Incensed, General Luna wired Governor Tiburcio Hilario to prepare for his arrival. He also ordered a special train into which all available infantry, cavalry, and artillery forces were loaded. Governor Tiburcio Hilario met General Luna first and pleaded with him to restore peace and unity at a crucial moment in the history of the nation. He requested a bevy of beauties led by Nicolasa Dayrit and Pampanga’s Red Cross President, Praxedes Fajardo, to bring flowers and to kneel before General Luna. The women knelt before him on the steps of the convento in Bacolor on April 24, 1899, to dissuade the fiery General from violently confronting General Mascardo.

Governor Tiburcio Hilario, at the same time sent three emissaries to convince General Mascardo to submit himself to Luna’s authority as chief of staff. In the end, Mascardo appeared in Betis to inform General Luna that he was willing to follow the latter’s orders.

Nicolasa Dayrit, the beauty who led the women peace makers in Pampanga was born to Don Florentino Dayrit, A Cabeza de Barangay, and Dońa Antonina Pamintuan, herself a long stemmed Patrician looking beauty, in San Fernando, on September 10, 1874. She was one of the well-educated women of her time, having studied under Don Modesto Joaquin whose school in Bacolor was the favorite center of learning. Fluent in Spanish, she was also on of the two more accomplished pianists in the province, the other being Dońa Josefa Henson.

At the end of the revolution, perhaps due to the rigors of ministering to the sick and the wounded, Nicolasa found herself often ill, unable to leave her bed. Many medicos treated her, to no avail. Someone advised her family to consult a young doctor who had just arrived from Madrid. Perhaps, they added, he brought with him the most modern medical trends from Spanish Capital. Indeed, he succeeded in making her well, winning her heart besides.

During the Japanese occupation, like most prominent families in San Fernando, the Panlilios lost their house to the Japanese. When Manila was declared an open city, the Panlilios moved in, hoping that they would be more secure there. But in the battle of Malate, Dr. Panlilio was lost, never to be seen again. Since then Dońa Nicolasa became despondent, forever wondering what had happened to her husband. She died of heart attack, partly due to her sadness. This was on April 12, 1945 at the age of 71. (Rafaelita Hilario Soriano). Source:

Pedro Abad Santos (January 31, 1876 – January 15, 1945)
City of San Fernando, Pampanga
Pedro was born January 31, 1876 in San Fernando to parents Vicente Abad Santos and Toribia Basco (native of Guagua), while Jose was born 10 years later, on February 19, 1886. But it was the younger Jose who achieved greater prominence because he would become the country’s Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and suffer high-profile martyrdom during the Japanese Occupation. Pedro, on the other hand, would be increasingly marginalized from civil society as he went farther and farther left in his political ideology. While both of them had the same mission in life, which was to improve the condition of the masses, they held opposite view on how to attain this. Thus, Pedro Abad Santos and Jose Abad Santos attempted to impose on history their separate ideologies, representing revolution and evolution, respectively, as means of securing change in the existing order.

Pedro finished Bachelor of Arts in the University of Santo Tomas; he took up law and was admitted to the bar in 1906. During the Philippine-American War, he became Chief of Staff of Gen. Maximino Hizon`s Command. He was captured and charged with guerilla activities, for which he was meted a death sentence. He joined Hizon, Apolinario Mabini, Artemio Ricarte and Melchora Aquino in exile in Guam; upon his return, his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. US President Theodore Roosevelt pardoned him later. He joined politics, first running as municipal councilor and later as representative of the province’s second district; in 1922, he joined the independence mission to the United States headed by Speaker Sergio Osmena.

His brother Jose also passed the bar, in 1911. He was given a license to practice law in the United States. Unlike his ascetic and celibate brother, Jose married a townmate, Amanda Teopaco, with whom he had five children. He became the first Filipino corporate lawyer of the Philippine National Bank, Manila Railways and other government agencies. In quick succession he became Attorney General and then Secretary of Justice, and ultimately Chief Justice of the Supreme Court during President Quezon`s term.

Meanwhile, Don Perico, as Pedro was now being called, ran as Governor and was defeated, although he was gaining popularity as a champion of the poor, offering free legal assistance and helping organize labor organizations. In 1932 when the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP) was outlawed by the Supreme Court, Don Perico founded the Partido Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PSP). Two years later, together with his assistants Agapito del Rosario, Luis Taruc, Lino Dizon and others, he reorganized the Aguman ding Talapagobra ning Pilipinas (ATP) into the Aguman ding Maldang Talapagobra (AMT), similar but unique to the general workers` unions in Spain, Mexico and France, which advocated the expropriation of landed estates and friar lands, farmers` cooperative stores and the upliftment of peasants` living conditions. On November 7, 1938, during the anniversary of the Russian Bolshevik Revolution, members of the PKP and the PSP held a convention at the Manila Grand Opera House where they declared their merger as the Communist Party of the Philippines. Crisanto Evangelista was elected president, Pedro Abad Santos vice president, Guillermo Capadocia secretary general.
In those few remaining years before World War II, socialism was sweeping the Kapampangan Region. The Socialist Party even went as far as fielding candidates in local elections. Pedro Abad Santos` stature was reaching mythic proportions. He has known to have the biggest collection of Marxist and Soviet literature in Asia. He often advised peasants to keep all harvest and promised legal assistance if sued by landowners.

The paths of Pedro and Jose Abad Santos crossed in a dramatic public confrontation on Valentine`s Day in 1939, when President Quezon accepted Pedro`s invitation to a farmers` and workers` rally in San Fernndo, eager to please the troublesome peasants` hero and assured by Pedro`s brother Jose who was then Secretary of Justice, President Quezon came to the public gathering. Don Perico introduced the President as “a friend of the masses and the poor” and admonished his listeners “to plant in your heart what he will say”. Just as Quezon was rising from his seat, Don Perico enumerated the peasants'’grievances, accused judges and fiscal of being pawns of rich landowners, and then turned to his brother Jose, who was seated beside the President, and challenged him as Justice Secretary to clean up the courts. Unable to hide his contempt for Jose’s peaceful temper and methods, Pedro added, “The Secretary cannot help us if he just sits in his office.”

When the war broke out, the Japanese jailed Don Perico and other communist leaders at Fort Santiago. Secretary Jose Abad Santos, on the other hand, was left behind by the evacuated President Quezon to head the caretaker government. He was arrested by the Japanese in Carcar, Cebu, subjected to grueling interrogation and asked to swear allegiance to the Japanese flag. Justice Abad Santos told his captors: “To obey your command is tantamount to being a traitor to the United States and my country. I would prefer to die than live in shame.” He was taken to Parang, Cotabato and then to Malabang, Lanao del Sur, whre he was executed on May 2, 1942. He had told his son, Jose Jr., “not to cry and to show these people that you are brave. It is a rare opportunity to die for one’s country. Not everybody is given that chance.”
Pedro Abad Santos, meanwhile, had been released from prison due to his failing eyesight and stomach ailment, and was instead put under house arrest in his niece’s residence, right beside that of the leader of the puppet government, Jose P. Laurel. He reportedly asked Laurel to allow him to return to his people in Pampanga to die, which Laurel granted. Ka Roberto Datu of Abelardo Dabu`s Squadron in the Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan (HMP), fetched Don Perico; they escaped by boat through Bangkusay in the Tondo area, made their way to the Manila Bay and into Pampanga River. Pedro Abad Santos stayed in the residence of the Manansala family in Alasas village in San Isidro, town of Minalin where he died on January 15, 1945, three years after his younger brother’s execution. (Reference: Singsing Magazine, Vol. 2. No. 3 ISSN 1655-6305) Source:

Renato D. Tayag
Angeles City, Pampanga
Renato D. Tayag - Author, lawyer, soldier and sportsman, he was born in Angeles City on October 9, 1915; graduated at the University of the Philippines, Law Class, in 1939; was a member of the UP Writers Club; edited the Collegian and Literary Apprentice; fought in Bataan as field artillery officer; suffered the gruelling Death March as a prisoner-of-war in Camp O'Donnell; donated the original building and site of the R.D. Tayag Memorial Library (now the city library and MIS building). He died an honorable and exemplary life on August 13, 1985.

Rufino Cardinal Santos
Guagua, Pampanga
Born in 1908, Sto. Nino, Guagua, Pampanga, Rufino Cardinal Santos was the first Filipino cardinal. A scholar of San Carlos Seminary and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, he was appointed archbishop of Manila on February 18, 1953, by Pope Pius XII, and was made cardinal on March 31, 1960 by Pope John XXIII. He was credited for having defended the church against modernism and radicalism in the 1950s and 1960s, and for establishing the Catholic Charities (Caritas Manila today), the Radio Veritas, the Guadalupe Minor Seminary, the hospital that was later named after him, and many other organizations aimed at helping the poor and promoting Catholic spirituality. During the last world war, he was arrested and sentenced to die by firing squad but was rescued by Liberation forces on the very eve of his execution. He supervised the implementation of the Second Vatican Council reforms in the Philippines and the first papal visit in Philippine soil. He died on September 3, 1973 at the age of 65. A 6-foot statue in his memory which was donated by the Holy Angel University was unveiled in Guagua, Pampanga with President Gloria Macagapal Arroyo and HAU President Arlyn Sicangco - Villanueva leading the honors during the celebration of his 100th birth anniversary on August 26, 2008. The statue was sculpted by famous artist Edillardo Paras.

Tarik Soliman
Macabebe, Pampanga
Tarik Soliman is a young chieftain from Macabebe who has come down in history books as the \"brave youth from Macabebe\" (Conquistas de las Islas by Augustian chronicler Fray Gaspar de San Agustin). He fought the Spaniards in 1571 led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. According to the Conquistas, more than 200 warriors on 40 caracoas sailed from Pampanga to Tondo in Manila through an estuary they called Bangcusay. Legazpi sent 80 Spaniards led by Martin de Goiti to Bangcusay. Soliman and his men fought courageously with guns and cannons made by their cabalen, Panday Pira. He fought animatedly and without showing any weakness until he died from a rifle shot by one of the soldiers. More than 300 Kapampangans died in that Battle of Bangcusay on May 24, 1571. The Spaniards proceeded to conquer the rest of the \"widely spread province\", meeting resistance only in Betis, \"the most fortified throughout the island of Luzon.\" And that brave youth from Macabebe faded into obscurity. (Source: Robby Tantingco, Center for Kapampamgan Studies, Holy Angel University, Angeles City)


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