By Elinando B. Cinco
Some of them unknown, but their full recognition is due as the country marks the 115th centennial this year of their roles in history – the Philippine-Spanish War 1896-1898, and the Philippine-American War 1899-1902.
Their heroic exploits gallantly rendered are heralded in documents and history books, as well as photographs in the battle field.
It is for this reason that some of the heroes’ descendants have organized themselves into the Visayan Heroes and Revolutionaries
Descendants Association to immortalize their ancestors’ heroic deeds. It is led by lawyer Jose M. Villegas, a grandson of the late Gen. Miguel Malvar who was the last revolutionary general to surrender to the Americans in 1902.
The response from descendants from across the country to join VHRDA is overwhelming, according to the organizers. They now meet regularly to “fraternalize with each other and discuss valuable contributions of their ancestors’roles in repulsing foreign domination” in the Philippines.
Ms. Mala Jean A. Luga who has made exhaustive research work on these somehow forgotten illustrious heroes, said there were also personalities that used other means to obtain independence for the country.
One was Graciano Lopez-Jaena of Jaro, Iloilo. He used his pen in the furtherance of the Philippines’ pursuit for self-rule, while in exile in Spain. He was a journalist, orator, propagandist. He was best known as editor La Solidaridad, the newspaper that gained wide circulation abroad in 1889, but secretly distributed in the country.
Accordingly, the Visayan revolutionary forces were divided into three areas, with their respective commanders, thus:
- WESTERN VISAYAS COMMAND ( Iloilo, Panay, Aklan, Capiz, Antique,
Negros Occidental) Gen. Martin Delgado of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo; Gen. Adriano Hernandez, military strategist of Western Visayas. Camp Hernandez, the present headquarters of the 301st Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Div. of Phil. Army in Dingle, Iloilo, was named in honor of him; Gen. Teresa Magbanua of Pototan, Iloilo,known as the “Joan of Arc” of the Visayas; Gen. Pablo Araneta of the Panay Revolutionary Forces;
Gen. Quintin Salas of the Iloilo and Panay Revolutionary Forces; Gen.
Vicente Locsin, confidential intelligence emissary officer of the Central Revolutionary Committee based in Iloilo. He coordinated with Panay and Negros Revolutionary Councils, the Cuartel General of the Spanish forces in Mangkas, now La Carlota City, Negros Occidental;
Gen. Ananaias Diokno, reputedly to be the only Tagalog general to lead a
full-scale military expedition to the Visayas against Spanish forces. During the Philippine-American War, he was appointed civil and military governor of Capiz; Gen. Aniceto Ledesma Lacson, known as the sugar baron and businessman. He was notable for leading the Negros revolution along with Gen. Juan Araneta. He was also president of the short-lived Republic of Negros;
Gen Juan Anacleto Araneta Y Torres, the Secretary of War for the Republic
of Negros; Gen. Leandro Fullon who joined the Katipunan in 1896 and appointed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo to lead the Panay expedition up to Libertad, Antique; Gen. Francisco Del Castillo, together with the martyrs of the Aklan Revolution, was tasked by Andres Bonifacio to establish Katipunan in Panay Island;
Gen. Esteban Contreras, leader of the Revolucionarios in Capiz; Col. Diego
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