Pio del Pilar

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Pio del Pilar (11 July 1860 – 21 June 1931) was a revolutionary general of the Philippines. He rose from the ranks with his patriotism and valor. He was a trusted general of Andres Bonifacio and later, Emilio Aguinaldo.

Early Life

Del Pilar was born on 11 July 1860 in Culi-Culi, Makati, Rizal to Isaac del Pilar and Antonia Castañeda. Although his parents were poor, they were able to send him to the school of Pascual Rodriguez for two years and Ramon Renaldo for four months. However, he needed to stop his studies to work in the farm after his father got sick.

When he was 17 years old, he married his childhood friend Juliana Valeriano.

He was drafted into the Spanish army. He was assigned in Mindanao to fight the Muslims. After his release from service, he was appointed Cabeza de Barangay, then Teniente del Barrio in Makati.

Philippine Revolution

In May 1896, del Pilar joined the Katipunan under Bonifacio and started the Magtagumpay chapter in his hometown. Although he was arrested and tortured by the Spaniards early on, he kept his silence until he was released.

In August 1896, del Pilar experienced his first battle against the colonizers in Mandaluyong. In November, his group took over Binakayan, which was under Spanish control. His successes earned him the respect of other Filipinos. He was already a colonel when he defended Bacoor and Las Piñas. He was promoted to brigadier-general afterward.

Del Pilar was one of the signatories of the Military Agreement in Naik formed by Bonifacio. After the latter was executed, he joined Aguinaldo and became one of his trusted generals.

When Aguinaldo and other revolutionary leaders were exiled to Hong Kong in December 1897, del Pilar stayed in the Philippines and offered his services to the Spanish army. However, when the revolution against the Spaniards resumed, he again fought for Philippine independence, even when the US colonizers occupied the country.

He was eventually captured in the Battle of Morong. Together with Apolinario Mabini and Artemio Ricarte, he refused to become a US ally and was exiled to Guam in January 1901. He was able to return to the Philippines after US President Theodore Roosevelt extended amnesty and pardon to all war prisoners in August 1902.

Del Pilar died on 21 June 1931 due to illness. His birthplace Culi-Culi was renamed after him and a statue was built in his honor in Ayala Avenue, Makati.


  • Agoncillo, Teodoro A. 1990. History of the Filipino People, 8th ed. Quezon City: Garotech.
  • Manuel, E. Arsenio. 1955. Dictionary of Philippine Biography Volume 1. Quezon City: Filipiniana.
  • Quirino, Carlos. 1995. Who's who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books.
  • UST Alumni Association, Inc. 1972. UST Alumni Directory 1611-1971. Manila: University of Santo Tomas.



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