Trinidad Tecson

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Trinidad Perez Tecson (b. November 18, 1848 – d. January 28, 1928), known as the “Mother of Biak-na-Bato” and “Mother of Mercy,” was one of the few revolutionary women who actually fought side by side with the revolutionary men to acquire freedom from the Spanish colonizers. She was given the title "Mother of Biak-na-Bato" by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. She was also cited as the "Mother of the Philippine National Red Cross" for her service to her fellow Katipuneros.

Early life

Tecson was born in San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan, one of the sixteen children of Rafael Tecson and Monica Perez. She learned to read and write from a schoolmaster named Quinto who was known to be a good teacher in their town. She was also known to practice fencing with Juan Zeto, one of the local fencers, and was feared throughout the province, called "Tangkad" (tall) by her peers. Orphaned at a very young age, she stopped school and went with her siblings to live with relatives. She married at the age of 19, had two children -- Sinforoso and Desiderio, who both died. Tecson and her husband were engaged in the purchase and sale of cattle, fish, oysters, and lobsters to be sold in Manila.


At first she was a dedicated councilor of Logia de Adopcion, a masonic lodge founded in 1893 for Philippine women. In 1895 at the age of 47 she joined the Katipunan, signing her oath with her own blood, although women members were not required to do so. She helped the group by pilfering firearms from a courthouse in Caloocan City and in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. She was working under General Mariano Llanera when the Revolution broke out. In a battle in San Miguel, Bulacan, she was almost captured while delivering food to the soldiers but she managed to escape by playing dead. She also took part in a battle led by General Francisco Makabulos of Nueva Ecija, General Mariano Llanera, Gen. Isidro Torres and Gen. Gregorio del Pilar of Bulacan. On the battlefield, she tended to the wounded Katipuneros. In the bloody battle of San Miguel and Zaragosa she was hit on her right thigh. Tecson and the others were forced to retreat to Biak-na-Bato, which became the revolutionary headquarters of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo.

Philippine-American War

She joined the revolutionary forces led by Gen. Gregorio del Pilar and participated in the assault on the province of Bulacan and Calumpit. She also served in the Malolos Republic and was designated as the Commisary of War. During the American drive northward, she was in Cabanatuan and saw Gen. Antonio Luna's body. Bringing with her the sick and wounded revolutionaries, Tecson crossed the Zambales mountains to Sta. Cruz, then to Iba.

Life after the war

After the war, her second husband died and she carried on her usual business activities in Nueva Ecija, concentrating on selling meats in the towns of San Antonio and Talavera. She married her third husband, Doroteo Santiago, after whose death she got married to Francisco Empainado. She had a total of four husbands in her lifetime.

On January 28, 1928, she died in the Philippine General Hospital at the age of 80. Her remains lies in the Plot of the Veterans of the Revolution in Cementerio del Norte.


  • Trinidad Tecson (accessed on September 24, 2007)
  • Ancheta, Hermina M. and Michaela Beltran-Gonzalez. Filipino Women in Nation Building - A Compilation of Brief Biographies. Quezon City: Phoenix Publishing House, Inc., 1984.
  • National Historical Institute. Historical Markers: Regions I-IV and CAR. Manila: National Historical Institute, 1993.
  • "Central Luzon and NCR: Trinidad Tecson." Unsung Heroes of the Philippines Revolution - MSC Communications Technologies, Inc. (accessed on July 19, 2007).
  • Quirino, Carlos. Who's Who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.
  • de Guzman,Jovita V.,Vicente A. Santiago,Remedios T. de Leon and Teresita E. Erestain. Women Of Distinction; Biographical Essays on Outstanding Filipino Women of the Past and the Present. Philippines: Bukang Liwayway, 1967



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