Sunday, October 28, 2007

Gabriela Silang - The Philippine Joan of Arc

Maria Josefa Gabriela Cariño Silang was the first Filipino woman to lead a revolt against the Spaniards. She joined the movement of his husband Diego when he started the revolt to free Ilocos.

Born on March 19, 1731 in Caniogan, Santa, Ilocos Sur. She was adopted by a wealthy businessman Don Tomas Millan who later became her husband at her age of 20. He died three years after without a child. She remarried at 1757 with Diego Silang.

She was an active member of his husband's force against the colonizers. When Diego was killed, she reorganized the troops and continued the will of his husband to drive the Spanish off from Ilocos. She lead the attacks against the Spanish for four months. The Spanish made big efforts to capture her. Because of this, she retreated to Pidigan, Abra and established some headquarters. She also convinced the Tinguians to help her fight.

On September 10, 1873, the fierce battle between Gabriela's troops and the Spanish occured in Vigan. They faced a larger army of the enemy with the help of Tagalogs, Kapampangans and some Ilocano conspirators. Many was killed on her side. She escaped along with her Uncle Nicolas and seven remaining members. They were later caught in Santa on September 29, 1763. They were summarily hanged in the plaza of Vigan with Gabriela being the last to die.

Gabriela Silang - an Ilocano pride. Her bravery and ferocity signifies the role of the Filipino women in the liberation of the Philippines during foreign colonization.

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