Melchora Aquino

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Melchora Aquino de Ramos
PH nhi melchora aquino.jpg
Born(1812-01-06)January 6, 1812
Balintawak, Caloocan (now part of Quezon City), Province of Manila, Captaincy General of the Philippines
DiedFebruary 19, 1919(1919-02-19) (aged 107)
Nationality Filipino
Other namesTandang Sorâ
Spouse(s)Fulgencio Ramos
The historical marker installed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines at the Melchora Aquino Shrine in Quezon City in 2012. Tandang Sora Shrine 01.jpg
The historical marker installed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines at the Melchora Aquino Shrine in Quezon City in 2012.

Melchora Aquino de Ramos (6 January 1812 – 19 February 1919) was a Filipina revolutionary who became known as "Tandang Sora" ("Elder Sora") because of her age during the Philippine Revolution.

Philippines Republic in Southeast Asia

The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east, and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.


She was known as the "Grand Woman of the Revolution" and the "Mother of Balintawak" for her contributions.

Philippine Revolution armed military conflict between the people of the Philippines and the Spanish colonial authorities

The Philippine Revolution, also called the Tagalog War by the Spanish, was a revolution and subsequent conflict fought between the people and insurgents of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Spain - including its Spanish Empire and Spanish colonial authorities in the Spanish East Indies.

Early life and marriage

Aquino was born on 6 January 1812 in Balintawak, Quezon City. [1]

Aquino, daughter of a peasant couple, Juan and Valentina Aquino, never attended school. However, she was apparently literate at an early age and talented as a singer and performed at local events as well as at Mass for her Church. She was also often chosen for the role of Reyna Elena during the "Santacruzan", a processional pageant commemorating Empress Helen's finding of the Cross of Christ, celebrated in the Philippines in May. [1] [2]

Mass (liturgy) type of worship service within many Christian denomination

Mass is the main eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, as well as in some Lutheran, Methodist, Western Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches.

Flores de Mayo

Flores de Mayo is a festival held in the Philippines in the month of May. It is one of the May devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary and lasts for the entire month.

True Cross Physical remnants said to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified

The True Cross is the name for physical remnants which, by the tradition of some Christian churches, are said to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.

Later in life, she married Fulgencio Ramos, [1] a cabeza de barrio (village chief), and bore six children. Ramos died when their youngest child was seven and she was left as a single parent for their children. Aquino continued her life as an hermana mayor active in celebrating fiestas , baptisms, and weddings. She worked hard in order to give her children an education. [1]

Festival Organised series of acts and performances

A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect of that community and its religion or cultures. It is often marked as a local or national holiday, mela, or eid. Next to religion and folklore, a significant origin is agricultural. Food is such a vital resource that many festivals are associated with harvest time. Religious commemoration and thanksgiving for good harvests are blended in events that take place in autumn, such as Halloween in the northern hemisphere and Easter in the southern.

Baptism Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water

Baptism is a Christian rite of admission and adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. The synoptic gospels recount that John the Baptist baptised Jesus. Baptism is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an ordinance in others. Baptism is also called christening, although some reserve the word "christening" for the baptism of infants. It has also given its name to the Baptist churches and denominations.

Involvement in the revolution

In her native town, Tandang Sora operated a store, [3] which became a refuge for the sick and wounded revolutionaries. She fed, [1] gave medical attention to and encouraged the revolutionaries with motherly advice and prayers.

Secret meetings of the Katipuneros (revolutionaries) were also held at her house. Thus she earned the names "Woman of Revolution", "Mother of Balintawak", "Mother of the Philippine Revolution", and Tandang Sora (Tandang is derived from the Tagalog word matandâ, which means old). She and her son, Juan Ramon, were present in the Cry of Balintawak and were witnesses to the tearing up of the cedulas . [1]

When the Spaniards learned about her activities and her knowledge to the whereabouts of the Katipuneros, she was interrogated but she refused to divulge any information. She was then arrested by the guardia civil and was deported to Guam, Marianas Islands, [1] where she and a woman named Segunda Puentes were placed under house arrest in the residence of a Don Justo Dungca. [4] [5]

After the United States took control of the Philippines in 1898, Tandang Sora, like other exiles, returned to the Philippines until her death on 19 February 1919, at the age of 107. [1] Her remains were then transferred to her own backyard (now known as Himlayang Pilipino Memorial Park, Quezon City).[ citation needed ]

Melchora Aquino, as depicted on the English Series 100 pesos banknote. Melchora100pesos.jpg
Melchora Aquino, as depicted on the English Series 100 pesos banknote.


As a token of gratitude, a Quezon City district and a road were named after Aquino. Her profile was also placed in the Philippines' five-centavo coin from 1967-92.

She was the first Filipina who appears on a Philippine peso banknote, in this case, a 100-peso bill from the English Series (1951–66). Tandang Sora Street in the city of San Francisco, California, United States, is named in her honor.[ citation needed ]

In 2012, on the celebration of her 200th birthday, the City Government of Quezon City decided to transfer Aquino's remains from Himlayang Pilipino Memorial Park to the Tandang Sora National Shrine in Banlat, Quezon City. The city government also declared 2012 to be Tandang Sora Year. [6] [7]

Her descendants carry different surnames, with almost all living in Novaliches and Tandang Sora districts in Quezon City as well as in Guam (USA) such as Figueroa, Ramos (her husband’s surname), Geronimo, Eugenio, Cleofas and Apo. [8]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Language Arts for the Filipino Learners: An Integrated Language and Reading Work-a-Text for Grade Four: Volume One. Rex Bookstore, Inc. pp. 106–. ISBN   978-971-23-1402-5.
  2. "5 Surprising Facts About Melchora Aquino ('Tandang Sora')". 19 March 2014.
  3. Kirstin Olsen, ed. (1994). Chronology of women's history. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN   9780313288036.
  4. Augusto V. de Viana, "In the Far Islands,: The Role of Natives from the Philippinees in the Conquest, Colonization and Repopulation of the Mariana Islands. 2004:134.
  5. Isagani R. Medina, "Melchora Aquino Wife of Fulgencio Ramos," In: Women in the Philippine Revolution, Rafaelita Hilario Soriano, ed. Quezon City: Printon Press, 1995, pp 12-13.
  6. "P-Noy to lead re-interment of Tandang Sora's remains".
  7. Ocampo, Ambeth. "Tandang Sora home on her 200th birthday". Philippine Daily Inquirer . Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  8. "Heirs want Tandang Sora holiday declared". Retrieved 2015-09-04.