Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral has been filling our timelines the past few days and it’s great that Filipinos are getting re-educated on an important part of Philippine history.
The movie was so masterfully done that we couldn’t help but hope that filmmakers like Jerrold Tarog would also consider making movies about the kick-ass women of Philippine history.
Here are ten Filipina heroes we’d love to see in movies:
1. Agueda Kahabagan
Agueda Kahabagan, or “Henerala Agueda”, was the only woman general of the Army of the Filipino Republic and known by the Spaniards as “The Tagalog Joan of Arc.” She was famous for riding her horse with a bolo in one hand and a rifle on the other. Very little is known about her life and so, we’re hoping some historical researcher would find more information on her origin and fate as her story absolutely deserves to be told.
2. Gabriela Silang
Ever wondered whose statue it is on horseback wielding a bolo on the corner of Ayala Ave and Makati Ave? It’s no other than Gabriela Silang. This Filipina hero was the first female leader of the Philippine revolution. She succeeded her husband, Diego Silang after he was assassinated in 1763. She assumed a role as commander of the rebel troops and was even given a priestess status by her followers. This great leader was so iconic that an organization that advocates for women’s rights was named after her.
3. Nieves Fernandez
Captain Nieves Fernandez was a school teacher who became a guerilla leader. She led over a hundred Filipinos against Japanese soldiers during WWII and was known for her method of killing them silently and instantly with a bolo. A few years ago, a rare photo of her demonstrating to an American soldier how she killed the Japanese circulated on Facebook. If that’s not badass, I don’t know what is.
4. Marcela Marcelo
Also known as “Selang Bagsik” and “Henerala Sela”, this general was known for being a brave fighter and great leader during the revolution against the Spaniards. Even Carlos Ronquillo, Emilio Aguinaldo’s secretary, wrote about her in his book and described her as “always in the heat of the battle, with no weapons but a bolo.”
5. Gliceria Villavicencio
Gliceria Villavicencio was born with a silver spoon and she used her wealth to help reinforce the Philippine Revolution. Among her contributions were lending her house as refuge and place for secret meetings for the Filipino revolutionary leaders, donating a warship for the Philippine government, and continuously providing food, clothing, and ammunition to Filipino soldiers.
6. Josefina Guerrero
Josefina Guerrero, or commonly called as “Joey”, was afflicted with leprosy when she was young, but she didn’t stop her sickness from helping in the revolution. In fact, she even made it her strength. She served as a spy for the guerrillas and her leprosy prevented the Japanese troops from inspecting her and in turn, it made it easier for her to enter the enemy’s territory. Stealth mode level 100!
7. Melchora Aquino
One of the most famous women in Philippine history, Melchora Aquino was also known as “Tandang Sora”. When the revolution started, she opened her sari-sari store in Balintawak to tend to sick and wounded katipuneros. She also provided the place where the Katipunan held their secret meetings. She truly deserves the titles “Woman of Revolution”, “Mother of Balintawak”, and “Mother of the Philippine Revolution.”
8. Trinidad Tecson
As a child, Trinidad Tecson learned fencing as a sport. Even then, she believed that even women can learn how to fight. People in her province saw the bravery in her and she proved them right. She joined the revolutionary forces against the Americans and was even given the title “Mother of Biak na Bato” by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. She’s also known as the “Mother of Philippine National Red Cross” for all her contributions to the Katipunan.
9. Teresa Magbanua
If the Tagalogs have Agueda Kahabagan, the Visayans have Teresa Magbanua. She joined the Katipunan when war broke out against the Spaniards. She commanded a battalion of bolo troops and fought in many battles. She led her troops to victory in the Battle of Barrio Yoting where she gained her nickname “The Visayan Joan of Arc”. After fighting the Spaniards, she continued to serve the country by participating in battles against the Americans too. Talk about loyalty to the country.
10. Magdalena Leones
Corporal Magdalena Leones was the only Asian female to receive the Silver Star award for all her contributions during the World War II. Her missions involved carrying intel, medical supplies, and radio supplies through the enemies’ territory. Besides that, she is also credited for being the mastermind behind the blowing up of Japanese airplanes in the Tuguegarao airstrip. Because of all her contributions, this badass woman was a big part of the early liberation of the country.