TRINIDAD TECSON

(1848 - 1928)

 

 

  Trinidad Tecson was known as the Mother of Biak-na-Bato. 

 

  She was born on November 18, 1848 in San Miguel de Mayumo Bulacan the  daughter  of the affluent  couple Rafael Tecson and Monica S. Perez.

 

  She learned to read  and write from a schoolmaster of the town by the name of Quinto. In her teens, the notorious Tangkad was feared throughout the province and it was probably for self – protection that she took practicing native fencing from Juan Zeto, one of the better known local fencers.

 

  She revealed her remarkable courage early. One night while she and her brothers were asleep in their home in an isolated farm a young man stealthily went up the house. Awakened, she seized a bolo and hacked the intruder on the head. He fled bleeding. Trining’s audacity was much praised.

 

  There was a time a party of civil guards demanded to search the house of smuggled tobacco. She told them emphatically that there was no tobacco in the house and refuse to let them in. Their chief, the alferez, was an unwelcomed suitor. She surmised that he might have sent his man to annoy her. Seeing that they are determined, she took a bolo which she wielded with dexterity. She, herself was not unscathed but the guards had to desist.

 

  His father was consequently made a party to a lawsuit which lasted for three months. The court decided in favor of the Tecsons. The people dubbed her babaing lalaki, complementing her fearlessness but beclouding her feminity.

 

  She married at the age of 19, but her two children Sinforoso and Desiderio died.

 

  When she joined the woman chapter of the Katipunan in 1895, Trinidad was 47 years old. At the time, she was already an active member of the Logia de Adapcion the Masonic Lodge of Women in the Philippines. Although the women members were not required to sign with their blood, she drew blood from her forearm to sign her  oath of affiliation to the Katipunan.

 

  Seeing that arms and ammunitions were desperately needed by the Katipuneros, she went with three companions to the courthouse in Caloocan, Rizal to seize from firearms. They succeeded in overpowering the guardia civiles and carried away their guns.

 

  She also led a band of five men and captured seven firearms from the jail of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, which was soon discovered through the treachery of an accomplice. Hounded by the authorities, she left the town and move to Obando.

 

  While securing food for herself and for the other soldiers, she was almost caught by the Spanish soldiers. She evaded capture by pretending to be hit and throwing herself on the ground. She crawled on the grass and hid behind some tall bushes near a brook. She waited until the soldiers went away and made her escape.

 

  In the battlefield she wore the Katipunero’s outfit wearing a wide brimmed hat. She fought side by side with the men.

 

  She nursed the wounded after the assault by the Spanish forces in Biak-na-Bato following the engagement at Baling Kupang. She took part in the encounter of Gulod Baboy in view of the lack of fighting men. In the bloody encounter at San Miguel and at Zaragosa she was wounded at the right thigh. She and the forces of Makabulos returned to Biak-na-Bato, which became the revolutionary headquarters after the arrival of Emilio Aguinaldo.

 

  During the second phase of the Revolution, she joined the forces led by General Gregorio del Pilar in the assault of Bulacan and Calumpit under the direction of Isidro Torres. She served the Commisary of War under the Republic of Malolos. During the American drive northward, she was in the line that passed by Cabanatuan where she saw Luna’s body lying in the state.

 

  She crossed the Zambales highlands to Sta. Cruz, and then to Iba, bringing with her the sick and wounded. The Filipino forces fought in Subic and Castillejos and for a while held the Americans in check.

 

  Before the outbreak of the Revolution in 1896, she engaged in the purchase and sale of cattle, became a dealer of fish (fresh and dried) salt, oyster, lobster which were sold in Manila. After the death of her husband, and upon the establishment of peace, she carried on her business activities in Nueva Ecija, mainly the sale of meats in the towns of San Antonio and Talavera. She married her third husband, Doroteo Santiago, after whose death she married Francisco Empainado.

 

The editorial of La Opinion, dated January 30, 1928, written by Fernando Ma. Guerrero, likened her to Tandang Sora.

 

  She was credited as the first to start Red Cross recognized her nursing work. She was cited as the Mother of the Philippine Red Cross.

 

  On January 28, 1928, she died in the Philippine General Hospital at the age of 80. She was buried in the Plot of the Veterans of the Revolution in Cementerio del Norte.

 

 

 

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