MARINA DIZON-SANTIAGO    

(1875 - 1·950)

 

                                      

Heroine of the Philippine Revolution and one of the first women initiated into the Katipunan, Marina Dizon was born on July 18, 1875 to Jose Dizon, one of the thirteen revolutionary martyrs of Cavite. She was also a cousin of Emilio Jacinto. Having lost her mother when she  was barely eight months old, her aunt Josefa Dizon, Emilio Jacinto's mother, took care of her. Under such a family atmosphere, her patriotism and nationalism easily came to the fore.

 

             She obtained her early education in a private school conducted by Maestro Timoteo Reyes. Later, she enrolled in a public school under Doņa Aniceta Cabrera, where her future husband Jose Turiano Santiago happened to be one of her schoolmates. She studied music, painting, and modelling and became an accomplished singer and declaimer.

 

           She was also a guitarist and violinist of the Trozo Comparsa Band. She wanted to be a teacher but her father frowned on the idea. One night in 1893, she was accompanied by Emilio Jacinto to the house of Don Restituto Javier. There in the presence of Gregoria de Jesus, the young wife of Bonifacio, Josefa and Trinidad Rizal and their nieces, Angelica Lopez and Delfina Herbosa, Marina was initiated into the Katipunan.

 

              A very active member of the organization, Marina presided initiation rites for women, kept the records, and acquainted new members with the constitution and teachings of the Katipunan. She always remind the members: "Be cheerful at all times; do not show of impending rebellion. Be prepared to be orphans and widows day. Be brave and carry on"

 

             In 1896 her father was executed in Cavite, and in August of same year, her husband Jose Turiano was arrested and imprisoned. To avoid having the records of the Katipunan fall to the hands of the authorities, she burned them. She sold her valuables to raise money  bribe the guards in order to let her visit her husband in jail.

 

She been on temporary peace when, on September 11, 1897, her husband was released. The American occupation in 1899 forced Marina and her husband to transfer residence to Meycauayan, Bulacan. They moved to Tarlac when the hostilities ended. There she left Jose with Dr.  Marcelino de los Santos and proceeded to Bamban. Jose slipped unnoticed to Manila where he found work as an accountant. But he was suspected as a revolucionario and an order for his capture was issued by the Americans.

 

He avoided arrest by fleeing to Hongkong. He and Marina, however, were reconciled when he came hack later to the Philippines.

 

          Dizon was widowed during the Second World War. In the twilight years of her life, she lived with her unmarried daughter in Caloocan. She passed away on October 25, 1950.

 

 

 

 

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