Ladislao N. Diwa
He was born in San Roque, Cavite to Mariano Diwa and Cecilia Nocon. He first studied at home and was enrolled at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and later studied for the priesthood at the University of Santo Tomas. Before his ordination he had to abandon his ecclesiastical studies and duties because of his fathers objections. He had shifted his attention in the study of law at the same university, where he and Andres Bonifacio became friends. They secretly distributed propaganda literature done by Jose Rizal and by Marcelo H. del Pilar inside the campus. Diwa and Teodoro Plata boarded at the house of Bonifacio in Tondo, Manila.
He worked as a clerk in a district court of Quiapo after finishing his studies. While serving in the court, he joined the propaganda movement of Jose Rizal called La Liga Filipina which aimed to educate the Filipinos about the Spanish regime. He was the secretary of the council in Trozo, Tondo, under the presidency of Andres Bonifacio. After establishing the movement, Rizal was arrested and was deported to Dapitan where he was exiled. Andres Bonifacio, Ladislao Diwa, Teodoro Plata, Deodato Arellano, and Valentin Diaz initiated the founding of the Katipunan. All agreed to the proposal, gathered around a round table lamp, and performed the famous blood compact and signed the membership paper with their own blood.
Diwa, who adopted the name "Balete", formed the first triangle of the Katipunan together with Bonifacio and Plata. He was the then appointed as the councilor and continued in the propagation of the Katipunan movement.
In August 1896, the brotherhood was discovered by the Spaniards. Diwa was arrested in Betis, Bacolor, Pampanga. He was then taken to Fort Santiago where he was imprisoned and tortured. He shared a cell with Teodoro Plata who was shot in Bagumbayan. Diwa was fortunate that his life was spared and was freed in exchange for other Spanish prisoners that were in the hands of the revolutionaries. After his release, he immediately went to Cavite and joined the revolutionary troops of Mariano Trias. Diwa became active in combat and was responsible in the surrender of the Spanish forces. He was promoted to Colonel under the revolutionary army. He was the first civil governor of Cavite when the First Philippine Republic was declared.
When the Philippine-American War broke out, he joined Gen. Trias for the second time and was appointed secretary. They were responsible in the number of insurgences in Cavite. When Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was captured on March 23, 1899, the two surrendered to the Americans in Indang, Cavite. He was given a pardon and later named clerk of the court of the First Instance of Cavite. He opened up a school together with his fellow citizen and called it Ligaya College. After retirement as a teacher, he spends his time in his farms in Tagaytay and Mendez, Cavite.
He died of nephritis on March 12, 1930, The Caridad Elementary School in Cavite City was renamed Ladislao Diwa Elementary School in his honor in November 1964.
- Quirino, Carlos. Who's who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.
- Ladislao Diwa (accessed on September 12, 2007)
- National Historical Institute. Filipinos in History 5 vols. (Manila: National Historical Institute, 1989)