Agueda Esteban

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Agueda Esteban (b. Feb 9, 1868 – d. 1944) was the point person of the Katipunero who bought materials from Manila to make gunpowder and bullets which she delivered to his husband who was stationed in Cavite. Upon the death of her husband, called Tungkod among the Katipuneros from Batac, Ilocos Norte, she married Gen. Artemio Ricarte.

Early Life

Born in Binondo, Manila, she was the second child of Ambrosio Esteban a native of Ligaw, Camarines Sur and Francisca de la Cruz of Cainta, Rizal. Her parents moved to Binondo after their marriage. Together with her brother and sister, they were taught by "Maestrang Bulag" who was selling ikmo leaves and tobacco. Her family was not fortunate enough to support her studies, she was enrolled in a girl's school by Dona Vicenta de Roxas who shoulder all her educational expenses. At school, she excelled in many subjects that earned her the respect of her teacher, parents and most specially Dona Vicenta. She got married to Mariano Barroga of Batac, Ilocos Norte who was the mayordomo in the house of the son of Dona Vicenta. They were blessed with three children namely, Catalina , Adriana and Anastacia.


Her husband was a member of the Katipunan, who was known as "Tungkod" which was responsible in the insurgents in San Juan del Monte, Montalban and Marikina. Later was transfered to Tangos, Cavite, where he brought his family from Manila. Aguada, helped her husband in the revolutionary activities, they would travel from Manila to Cavite the needed materials for the ammunition and bullets to be used by the Filipinos. She would always climb the mountains and travel far, to ensure the safe delivery of the materials. All of their activities were not dicovered by the Authorities, until the first phase of the revolution ended by the Truce of Biak-na-Bato.

American Invasion

During this period she was the courier between her husband in Manila and Gen. Artemio Ricarte who was in Cavite. She was entrusted with all the secret papers on war strategies and all the planned attacks on the Spanish detachments. Being a woman, she was never been suspected of the activities that involves her to the revolutionaries. On July 1, 1900, all three of them were arrested in Calle Anda. After the authorities discovered grenades from her house which she frequently carry. Later, on February 16, 1901 Lt. Col. Tungkod and other revolutionaries were exiled to Guam. Aguada was left in the country with her four children, she was having a hard time taking care ao all her four children. She was forced to leave her three elder children to the Hospicio de San Jose. Together with her youngest child, Salud, she ventured into selling jewelry to help her family until his husband return fron exile. On November 1902, her husband died leaving another child who was named Artemio in honor of Artemio Ricarte.

Life in Exile

In 1910, she visited Gen. Ricarte who was in Hong Kong exiled for the second time after refusing to sign an oath of allegiance to the United States. In May 1911, she married the general and live there from 1910-1921 in a small island of Lemah. When the British government removed all the political exiles in Hong Kong during the outbreak of WWI, her family were shipped to Shanghai to Japan. In 1921, they moved to Tokyo, where Gen. Ricarte taught Spanish language to an overseas school. On April, 1923, they transferred to Yokohama where they permanently reside and opened a profitable restaurant. They lived there for eighteen years togehter with their children and grandchildren. When Japan occupied the Philippines, she came back. In 1944, ill health took her life.


  • "Central Luzon and NCR: Agueda Esteban." Unsung Heroes of the Philippines Revolution - MSC Communications Technologies, Inc. (accessed on July 17, 2007).
  • Quirino, Carlos. Who's who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.
  • [1] (accessed on September 13, 2007)



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