Emilio Jacinto: The hero of the Battle of Pasong Tamo

MANILA -- On an average-sized hilltop in the southern boundary of the 50-year-old Himlayang Pilipino Memorial Park (HPMP) in Barangay Pasong Tamo, Tandang Sora District, Novaliches, Quezon City, there is a monument featuring a Filipino revolutionary leader astride a galloping horse.

The memorial was erected in the area to perpetuate the memory and heroism of Emilio D. Jacinto, considered as the Brains of the Katipunan, whose 120th death anniversary was observed by the nation on Tuesday, April 16.

The shrine shows a bronze statue of defiant Jacinto, with an upright saber in the right hand as he led an attack against the Spanish soldiers while reining his galloping horse.

Aside from Jacinto, the monument also features 11 other unnamed revolutionaries, some of them either fighting bravely with him, wounded or dead.  

The marker on the shrine said that Jacinto, who was born in Trozo, Tondo, Manila on Dec. 15, 1875, served as adviser on fiscal matters and secretary to Katipunan Supremo Andrés Bonifacio. He also wrote for the Katipunan newspaper called Kalayaan under the pen name “Dimas-Ilaw.”

The marker said Jacinto was remembered for his bravery manifested in the Battle of Pasong Tamo, which occurred on Aug. 26, 1896 in the then town of Novaliches.

History books said that Jacinto used the revolutionary name “Pingkian” and was also the author of the Kartilya ng Katipunan.

Jacinto contracted malaria and died in Magdalena, Laguna, at the age of 23 on April 16, 1899. His remains were later transferred to the Manila North Cemetery.

In the 1970s, the remains were transferred anew and enshrined finally in the Himlayang Pilipino Memorial Park.

Aside from the shrine, Jacinto is also remembered in Pasong Tamo today with a sitio named Pingkian, where the HPMP is located.  

The historical book, “The Katipunan and the Revolution”--based on the memoirs of Katipunan Gen. Santiago V. Alvarez—narrated that the Pasong Tamo encounter was the first major battle faced by the Katipuneros led by Bonifacio after they raised the first “Cry of the Revolution” on Aug. 23, 1896.

That encounter preceded by four days the better known “Battle of Pinaglabanan” which took place in San Juan, then a part of the Morong military district, on Aug. 30, 1896.

To memorialize the PasongTamo Battle, the former National Historical Institute (NHI), now the National Historical Commission of the Philippines or NHCP, installed in1958 along a portion of Tandang Sora Ave. in Novaliches a historical marker with this inscription:

“Alaala sa mga Kapatid sa KKK (Kataastasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan) na unang nangasawi sa kapookang ito nang salakayin ng mga guwardiya sibil sina Andres Bonifacio pagkatapos nang paglaladlad ng bandila ng Katipunan sa Balintawak noong ika-26 ng Agosto, 1896.”

Translated into English, the inscription means: “A memorial for our brothers in the KKK (Highest and Most Revered Society of the Sons of the Country) who died in this area when the Spanish soldiers attacked Andres Bonifacio and his men after the unfurling of the Katipunan banner in Balintawak on August 26, 1896.”

Unfortunately, the historical marker was removed sometime in the 1980s to give way to the widening of Tandang Sora Ave. which begins from Quirino Highway in Novaliches and ends in Balara, Diliman, Quezon City. (PNA)

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