Gregoria "Goria" Montoya was a Filipino revolutionary who led an uprising against the Spanish troops stationed in her hometown of Kawit, Cavite. Acknowledged by Emilio Aguinaldo as a sharpshooter, she fought alongside revolutionaries belonging to the Katipunan. Aside from attacking Spanish bases established in Cavite, Montoya also provided reinforcements to the Katipuneros who were under General Luciano San Miguel's wing.
Gregoria Montoya was born on 28 November 1863. Her parents, Atanario Montoya and Jacoba Patricio, were peasants who resided in Batong Dalig, Barrio Tabon, Kawit, Cavite.
Before meeting her second husband who introduced her to the Katipunan and its noble cause, Montoya was first married to a man named Cirilo Ayson. Together, they raised four children. After his death, Montoya met and then eventually married Pedro Cacpal, who was a member of the Katipunan. In 1896, Montoya joined the revolution against the Spanish rule. Her participation did not go unnoticed; she was soon accorded the rank of generala (or "woman general").
Montoya successfully led numerous attacks against the Spaniards who were in Cavite. Her most notable battle, however, was the Battle of Binakayan, which occurred in Kawit in November 1896. Montoya, supported by thirty revolutionaries, was tasked by General Emilio Aguinaldo to delay the Spanish troops that were sent by Governor General Ramon Blanco. This was done through the destruction of the wooden bridge that connected Binakayan and Bacoor. The latter was the target of the Spanish troops, as it was the hotbed of the ongoing uprising.
Montoya died during the battle. Sources reveal that she was struck by a cannonball. A more descriptive version says that, while on top of a fort, Montoya was shouting and waving a white cloth. The cloth was a chalice used in mass, and Montoya believed that it had the capability to repel bullets. However, this was not the case, as Montoya was immediately killed in action.
An Icon of Feminism
The scant sources acknowledge Montoya as an icon of feminism in the Philippines. She is considered as a "Philippine [Joan] of Arc" alongside Agueda Kahabagan, Maria Josefa Gabriela Silang, and Teresa Magbanua. All four women led revolutionaries against colonial powers that sought to fully subjugate the Philippines.
- Basu, Amrita. The Challenge of Local Feminisms: Women's Movements in Global Perspective. Westview Press, Boulder, 1995. (Accessed 25 January 2021).
- Boyer, Robert. Sundays in Manila’. The University of the Philippines Press, Quezon City, 2010. (Accessed 25 January 2021).
- Tenorio, Marian Kate. ‘’Amazing Filipino Women Heroes’’. n.d. Philippine Veterans Affairs Office. (Accessed 25 January 2021).
- Walker, D.J. Spanish Women and the Colonial Wars of the 1890s. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 2008. (Accessed 25 January 2021).