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Photo: NHCP historical marker for Agueda Kahabagan.  (Source: Wikidata.org)

Known in history as the “Tagalog Joan of Arc” and “Henerala Agueda”, Agueda Kahabagan is the only officially listed woman general during the Philippine Revolution of 1896-1898 and the Philippine American War of 1899-1902. This gallant woman was from the town of Sta. Cr Laguna. Little is known about the early years of Agueda Kahabagan, but she considered as “the woman who fear nothing” in the annals of Philippine history. Dressed in white and armed with rifle and bolo, her bravery in frequent combat against the Spanish and American forces.

Historical records also show that Agueda was commissioned by General Miguel Malvar to lead troops of men armed with rifles and daggers. In October 1897, Agueda Kahabagan joined General Artemio Ricarte in a three-day attack on the San Pablo garrison in Laguna. While riding a horse, with a rifle in one hand and a bolo in the other, she led her men and fought against the enemy. It is known as her most renowned moment in battle. 

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Photo: NHCP historical marker for Agueda Kahabagan.  (Source: Wikidata.org)

Having survived the battles against pain, she joined again in battle against the American forces. Along with General Pio Pilar, she fought against the Americans in Southern Tagalog region. It was General Pilar who recommended that she be granted the title of “General.”

The March 1899 roster of general included Agueda as the only female General the armed forces of the Katipunan. Records show her appointment as General on January 4,1899. She was later arrested by the American forces in January 1902. After the war, her name seems lost in the memory of many Filipinos. It must be remembered, however that she had fought and rose above a fie dominated mostly by men.

 

References:

“NHCP unveils the “Agueda Kahabagan” historical marker”.  National Historical Commission of the Philippines. March 2016. Retrieved on 10 August 2020.

“6 Badass Filipina Warriors You’ve Never Heard Of “. Retrieved on 10 August 2010 from http://www.filipiknow.net/filipina-warriors-in-philippine-history/

 

Research by:

Ms. Alve O. Mosura