Vito Belarmino (b. June 15,1857-d. July 14,1933) was the most brilliant major-general of the revolutionary. He was involved with several attacks against the Spaniards, including the attack on Infantry Battalion No.72 stationed in Talisay, Batangas together with Emilio Aguinaldo. He organized the troops and bravely fought with the Americans led by General William Kobbe.
He was the son of Severino Belarmino, who was a cabeza de barangay and Damiana Loyola. He took his primary education in Silang, Cavite and was sent to Colegio de San Juan de Letran but was not able to finish his studies due to the recurrence of plague in Manila. At the age of 19, Belarmino entered government service and held various positions such as teniente mayor, cabeza de barangay, secretary of the local tribunal and gobernadorcillo. Then later, he was appointed as the Justice of Peace.
When the revolution broke up, Vito, was greatly involved in a number of attacks on the Spanish. Together with Vicente Giron they attacked the Spanish guards in Silang, Cavite in 1896. He joined Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in the assault against Infantry Battalion No. 72 of the Spanish Army stationed in Talisay, Batangas. During this attack, the general let him take the leadership of the Filipinos and was successful in getting hold of the church and the convent from the Spanish guards. On October 29, 1898, he was assigned to the province of Albay, and together with other fellow revolutionaries, they established a republican government and assumed the position of a military commander of both Camarines and Sorsogon. He was authorized to appoint military positions to other members.
At Legazpi City, Albay, Vito and other Filipino patriots fought hard with the Americans led by Gen. William Kobbe who was to invade the town. But the Filipinos were not so lucky, on February 8, 1900, Tabaco fell and on February 23, and Naga followed. On March 27, 1900 Gen. Jose I. Pawa surrendered but Belarmino regroup his men and continued in harassing the Americans who were stationed in the Bicol region.
After the War
Soon after the Philippine-American War, he returned to his hometown were he lived as a private citizen. Belarmino got blind in 1928 and spend the rest of his life in the dark. But blindness was not an obstacle for him as he still had the ability to diagnose a person's ailment just by merely taking the pulse and was able to give a possible remedy. He was popularly known in Cavite as the "Blind Veteran" and the "Wonderful Doctor". At the age of 76, he died of cerebral attack, leaving his six children behind.
- VITO L. BELARMINO (1857 - 1933) (accessed on September 10, 2007)
- Quirino, Carlos. Who's who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.
- "Southern Luzon and Bicol: Vito L. Belarmino." Unsung Heroes of the Philippines Revolution - MSC Communications Technologies, Inc. http://msc.edu.ph/centennial/hero/bicol/page5.html (accessed September 12, 2007).