Cirilo B. Perez

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Cirilo Barcial Perez
8 July 1892 – 30 August 1944
Place of birth: Santa Maria, Bulacan
Place of death: Fort Santiago in Manila
Father: Clemente Perez
Mother: Dominga Barcial
Spouse: Asuncion Arriola

Cirilo Barcial Perez (8 July 1892 – 30 August 1944) was a librarian, patriot, and martyr who was executed by the Japanese forces for his guerrilla activities. He was one of the founding organizers of the Philippine Library Association.


Early life and education

Perez was born on 8 July 1892 in Santa Maria, Bulacan. He was the fourth of the twelve children of Clemente Perez, a farmer and small landowner, and Dominga Barcial.

Perez obtained his primary education in Santa Maria. However, he was enrolled in the fourth grade thrice since there was no intermediate school in the town. Finally, an uncle offered financial assistance and brought him to Malolos where he graduated in elementary school in 1912.

Perez went to Manila to study in high school. After graduating, he found a job as an assistant of the manager of the Methodist Dormitory. Then, he worked as clerk in the Bureau of Science in 1917.

Perez graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of the Philippines in 1918. He was then sent as a government scholar to study in the Wisconsin Library School for two years. While in Wisconsin, he attended the International Volunteers Convention at Des Moines, Iowa, in 1918 and the Methodist Centenary at Columbia, Ohio, in the following year.

Upon his return to the Philippines, Perez was appointed assistant librarian of the Scientific Library. In 1921, he finally obtained his Bachelor of Science in Library Science degree from the University of the Philippines. He then taught in the university from 1922 to 1923.

As librarian

Perez was made librarian of the Scientific Library after the death of Mary Polk in 1924. During the same year, he had the opportunity to help prepare the draft of the copyright bill. The law was sponsored by Lupo T. Biteng and was later on approved in Congress.

Under Perez’s administration, the Scientific Library became known as one of the best libraries of scientific materials in the far east, with a collection of 149,360 bound and unbound volumes and pamphlets and 2,519 serials. Perez was able to make the library a storehouse of United States government publications through the assistance of Commissioner Francisco Delgado in 1928.


Perez was one of the founding organizers of the Philippine Library Association when it was started in 1923. In June 1928, he represented the organization in the annual conference of the American Library Organization in West Baden, Indiana. He served as its acting president in 1933 when Teodoro M. Kalaw went on leave and, finally as its president from 1936 to 1937.

His other affiliations include:

  • National Book Week (1934 and 1935) – Chairman
  • National Research Council of the Philippines – Associate member
  • National Eugenics Association
  • Methodist Episcopal Church


Perez’s works include:

  • Bibiliography of Mines and Mining in the Philipines (1937) – with L. Estrella-Villanueva as joint compiler
  • “Otto Schobl,” Philippine Journal of Science, Vol. 69 No. 3 (July 1939)
  • “William Henry Brown,” Philippine Journal of Science Vol. 72 No. 3 (July 1940)

As guerrilla

Perez left his post in the Scientific Library when the Japanese forces arrived in the Philippines in January 1942. Together with his wife, he entered Marking's Guerrillas, one of the insurgent groups in the country during that time. He was appointed finance officer of the Manila area.

On 30 June 1943, Perez was appointed finance officer with the rank of a colonel by Marcos Agustin(“Marking”), the commanding officer of Marking's Guerillas. With his expertise in administration, he helped the guerrilla movement raise funds for food, clothing, and medicine for the guerrilla members who were hiding in the mountains.

On 3 February 1944, Perez was arrested by the Japanese authorities and was imprisoned in Cell 16 of Fort Santiago in Manila. His wife was also arrested and was jailed in Cell. No. 8. His wife was tortured but was freed on 25 May 1944 while he was left in prison. On 30 August 1944, Perez was executed along with other insurgents.


Perez married Asuncion Arriola on 23 August 1917. The union produced three children, namely, Ernesto, Rebecca, and Edwin.


  • Manuel, E. Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography, Volume 1. Quezon City: Filipiniana Publications, 1955.
  • “Today in History: August 30.” National Historical Institute. (Accessed 9 March 2010).



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