APOLONIO DE LA CRUZ
Early Katipunan Martyr
Apolonio de la Cruz was on of the early plebeian heroes who responded to the call of motherland to serve unselfishly and offer their lives in the struggle for independence.
There is litter information about the early life of de la Cruz viuda de Lammoglia, offer that Apolonio was born sometime in 1864 and was the only child of Felipe de la Cruz who had her origins in Bigaa, Bulacan. Around the year 1884, de la Cruz who was about twenty years old, married Apolonia Gallardo, a daughter of a Guardia Civil. They had three children, Emigdio, who was born in 1885, Victor in 1889 and Segunda, who were born in 1895.
Like a number of other workers at the
painting office of the Diario de Manila
where he worked as foreman, Apolonio de la Cruz was a member of the Katipunan,
the secret revolutionary society that drew heavily from the working class of
its affiliates. With Mapaghiganti (to
avenge) as nom de guerre, he was the treasurer of the Katipunan chapter in
The news paper Diario de Manila was
published by the Ramirez y Compañia that
was located at Num. 40 Calle Beaterio, corner Num. 1 Calle Magallanes in
Apolonio de la Cruz was a leader in
these clandestine activities and held the rank of Jefe. He attended the historic meetings of the chiefs of the
Sometime before the existence of the Katipunan was exposed in August 1896, he had a petty, if covert, rivalry with a Visayan co-worker, Teodoro Patiño, who was in-charge of tool and equipment. Patiño who was not a Katipunero, was a troubled, and troublesome person. Before he worked at the printing plant, he was a streetcar conductor. Addicted to vice of gambling, he wagered further a day’s receipts at the cockpits and lost all his money. In his attempt to recoup his losses, he wagered further without money and again lost. He barely escaped from the crowd of irate bettors.
Patio’s rivalry with De la Cruz had to do with a two-peso increase in wages that one of them expected to receive from the plant’s general manager, the Spaniard La Front. Since Patiño was close to La Front, it seems certain that the increase would be given to him. This was resented De la Cruz, not mention his co-Katipuneros de la Cruz decided to write La Front an anonymous letter accusing Patiño of secretly selling some of the office equipment. Naturally, this incensed Patiño, who must have suspected the identity of the letter-writer.
Apparently, it was this incident that prompted Patiño to expose the Katipunanto the authorities, and his motive was clear enough: revenge. However, it was his sister, Honoria, a certain Tor Teresa de Jesus, a Visayan nun, who prodded him to do so through Father Mariano Gil, an Augustinian priest. His sister lived in an Augustinian orphanage in Mandaluyong.
Father Gil, who had long suspected the
secret society’s existence, lost no time in locating the Spanish authorities,
which then raided the printing press on
The unexpected discovery of the Katipunan advanced the timetable for the launching of the Philippine Revolution.
As for De la Cruz, he was executed by firing squad on February 6, 1897 together with nine other comrades in the Katipunan, namely Roman Basa, Teodoro Plata, Vicente Molina, Hermenegildo de los Reyes, Jose Trinidad, Pedro Nicodemus, Feliciano del Rosario, Gervasio Samson and Doroteo Dominguez.