Today in Philippine History, March 19, 1723, Josefa Gabriela Silang was born in Santa, Ilocos Sur

Sunday March 18, 2012 ()

On March 19, 1723, Josefa Gabriela Silang, the first Filipino woman to lead a revolt during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, was born in Santa, Ilocos Sur.

   Gabriela Silang
   (Philippine postage stamp bearing the likeness of Gabriela Silang)

Gabriela was the closest adviser of her husband Diego Silang, an Ilocano insurgent who collaborated with the British for the brief expulsion of the Spanish officials from Vigan, Ilocos Sur during the British occupation.

After her husband was assassinated on May 28, 1763 upon orders of the Spanish authorities. Gabriella continued the revolt and led her husband’s followers in several victorious encounters against the Spaniards in Santa and Vigan.

She launched guerrilla attacks on the Spanish garrisons on the coastal towns. Her unique policy of harassment was so successful that the name "Generala", which was given to her by the masses, struck terror to the Spanish troops and to Ilocanos who collaborated with Spain.

However, she and her troops were captured in Abra on September 29, 1763 and were subsequently hanged in Vigan's plaza, with Gabriela being the last to die.

In honor of Gabriela Silang as a heroine, Ilocos Sur's provincial hospital was named Gabriela Silang General Hospital. Also inspired by her heroism, a Filipino organization advocating women's issues was founded in April 1984 and named GABRIELA, or the General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Action.

Reference: Philippine News Agency archives


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