Famous People From Taal in Philippine Revolutionary History
- Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio - Doña Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio was named as the “godmother of the revolutionary forces” by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo during the proclamation of the Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898. Her passion in supporting the revolution against the Spaniards, and later the Americans, was inflamed by the death of her husband, Don Eulalio Villavicencio in February 1898. He was incarcerated by the Spaniards along with Pablo Ocampo and Dr. Ariston Bautista for supporting the Katipunan and the revolutionary movement. Of the material aid she extended to the insurrectos the most notable was the SS Bulusan, a ship which made trips from Manila to Batangas and back. It also transported Filipino soldiers, armaments and ammunitions and food supplies for the maintenance of the revolutionary forces. It was the first warship made available to the revolutionaries. Aling Eriang, as she was affectionately called, was born in Taal on May 13, 1852 and died on September 25, 1928. She had six (6) children.
- Felipe Agoncillo - Don Felipe Encarnacion Agoncillo, a man of rare intelligence and admirable patriotism, is best remembered as a revolutionary hero, statesman, and the first Philippine diplomat. After graduating from the University of Santo Tomas with degrees in Bachelor or Arts and Licentiate in Jurisprudence, both magna cum laude, he started his career by setting up a law office in Taal and won popular acclaim for the free services he rendered his poor clients. He was brilliant, fearless and was outspoken about the abuses of the Spanish oppression. He was to be exiled by the Spanish government to Jolo in April 1896, but, managed to escape to Hong Kong via Japan. He organized the revolutionary junta in Hong Kong and was eventually appointed by General Emilio Aguinaldo as a diplomat representing the Philippine Republic to the United States and to the Treaty of Paris in 1898. He served as representative of Batangas in the First Philippine Assembly in 1907. He also served as Secretary of Interior under Governor General Leonard Wood. In 1930, he was chosen president for the first plenary session of the Independence Congress held in Manila. Don Felipe Agoncillo was born on May 26, 1859 and died September 29, 1941. He was married to Marcela Marino and has five (5) children.
- Marcela Mariño de Agoncillo - The wife of Don Felipe Agoncillo, Dona Marcela, also known as "Roselang Bubog" is best known as the maker of the first Philippine flag that was unfurled at the proclamation of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898 in Kawit, Cavite. Born from one of Taal's oldest and most respected families, she was educated in a Catholic convent school, which in those days emphasized sewing and arts in the curriculum for girls. In 1898, while in exile in Hong Kong with her husband and children, she received orders from General Emilio Aguinaldo to make the flag, a task she welcomed as an opportunity to serve her motherland. With the design finally made, she started her task of sewing with meticulous care with the help of Delfina Natividad (Rizal’s niece) and her daughter, Lorenza. Marcela died on May 30, 1946, at 80 years old.
- Vicente Ilustre - Don Vicente Encarnacion Ilustre obtained a law doctorate at the Universidad Central de Madrid. It was also in Madrid that he associated with other Filipino patriots like Rizal, Plaridel, Naning Ponce, Galicano Apacible and others - whose chief pre-occupation was resolving the seething Philippine situation. He left Madrid fro Paris and on January 8, 1900, proceeded to Hong Kong where he accepted the offer by the Mabini cabinet to represent the country in the United States. He was consequently elected Director of Diplomacy in the Central Revolucionaria de Hong Kong. In 1913, Vicente became a member of the Philippine Commission under Gov. Gen. Francis Burton Harrison where he served as president of the Committee for Mindanao and Sulu. Thereafter, he became a Senator in the First Senate of the Philippines. He was also instrumental in the installation of two very important public utilities in Taal, that of light and water. He was born in Taal, Batangas on Sept. 6, 1869 and died in Manila on Sept. 27, 1928 at the age of 59. He was married to Doña Rita Villavicencio.
- Gen. Ananias Diokno - Gen. Ananias Noblejas Diokno was the only Tagalog general to lead a full scale military expedition to the Visayas against the Spanish forces. He led the Battalion Maluya, a revolutionary force organized by Doña Gliceria Marella Villavicencio and General Marasigan with the help of Timoteo Marella and Capitan Apolonio Admana. He was also responsible for the transport of arms from Japan, sent by the revolutionary Government. General Diokno with his officers and soldiers, embarked for Sorsogon on the steamers Bulusan, Taaleño and Purisima Conception, to help organize the first revolutionary government of the Bicol region. In November 1898, the Philippine forces reached the port of Pandan, Ibahay, Capiz and defeated the Spanish forces. After a week they went to Iloilo and demanded the immediate surrender of the Spaniards. When the Americans came to Capiz on March 4, 1901 the Filipino troops were forced to flee to the mountains and later were urged to surrender. Many men surrendered but General Diokno, with a handful of loyal stalwarts retreated to the hinterlands and resorted to guerrilla warfare. Having been badly wounded in a skirmish, he was captured and imprisoned by the Americans. Gen. Diokno was born in Taal on January 22, 1860 and died on November 2, 1922 in Arayat, Pampanga.
- Galicano C. Apacible - Dr. Galicano Apacible, patriot and propagandist, was born on June 25, 1864 in Balayan, Batangas, the youngest of the three children of Don Vicente Apacible and Catalina Castillo. Kanoy, as he was fondly called, lived in Intramuros with their relative, Jose Rizal, under whose charge the young Kanoy was placed. He enrolled at the University of Santo Tomas but decided to leave during his 5th year in medicine to sail for Europe where he finished his Bachelor of Arts degree at the Institute of Tarragona and his Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Barcelona in November 1889. He studied at the Universidad Central de Madrid for his doctorate in Medicine.
- While in Spain, Apacible was president of a political society called Asociacion Filipina Solidaridad en Barcelona. He was also one of the founders of La Solidaridad. During the Universal Exposition in 1889, he joined Rizal, T.H. Padre de Tavera, Antonio Luna and many other Filipinos who were in France at that time and discussed ways to improve the situation in the Philippines. He journeyed back to his homeland only to find that his brother Leon has been exiled to Lepanto and Rizal in Dapitan. Fleeing persecution he fled to Hong Kong where he wrote to Apolinario Mabini: "I am working exclusively for our dear motherland.. exposing my life and abandoning all my personal interests. I wish for no reward except the satisfaction of helping in securing our freedom." He was head of the Filipino Central Committee based in Hong Kong. He was sent to Tokyo as a special agent to secure arms and ammunition for the revolutionaries. While there he met leading figures such as Marquis Ito, Count Okuma and Dr. Sun Yat Sen. The latter was his closest companion as they were both working for the freedom of their countries.
- In 1899, he was sent to the United States along with Rafael del Pan as delegates of the revolutionary government. They tried to seek the intervention of the American government in their endeavor to make peace with Spain. He was in Hong Kong when General Aguinaldo was captured by General Frederick Funston in Palanan, Isabela. The committee was dissolved, and in 1903, Apacible returned to Manila and practised medicine. He worked at the San Lazaro Hospital from 1906 to 1907 when he was elected governor of Batangas. He occupied this position until he was elected Assemblyman in 1909 and reelected in 1912. In 1911, he became vice-president of the Nacionalista Party and a member of its Executive Committee. From 1917 to 1922, he was Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. On March 22, 1949 he died and was interred at the La Loma Cemetery in Manila.
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