Gregoria Montoya was born to peasant parents, Atanario Montoya and Jacoba Patricio, on November 28, 1863, in Batong Dalig, Barrio Tabon, Kawit, Cavite. Gregoria, or Goria according to some accounts, is memorialized in the annals of Philippine history as the woman general who led the Katipunan revolutionaries in the campaign against the Spanish troops in her hometown of Kawit.
Like many of the women fighters during the Philippine Revolution, it was her husband’s death that prompted Goria to participate in the frontlines of the struggle for liberation. She was first married to Cirilo Ayson and bore four children with him. When her first husband died, she eventually married Pedro Cacpal, who was a Katipunero. When the revolution against the Spanish broke out in 1896, Goria did not hesitate to join the cause. In recognition of her contribution to the cause, she was elevated to the rank of generala herself. It was said that General Emilio Aguinaldo himself favored her as a sharp-shooter.
Gregoria took part in various attacks on Spanish strongholds and encounters in various Cavite towns. Her most notable involvement was in November of 1896, during the Battle of Binakayan in Kawit, Cavite, where she led a unit of thirty revolutionaries against the Spanish forces. They were given the task of delaying the incoming troops of General Ramon Blanco. Gregoria and her troops dutifully followed the command of General Aguinaldo to destroy the wooden bridge across Mabolo River, which connected Binakayan and Bacoor, which was the target of Blanco in order to quell the uprising in Cavite.
Her unit also provided reinforcements for the Katipuneros under the command of General Luciano San Miguel. It was during this battle that cost Gregoria her Life when she was struck down by a cannonball while she was giving orders to her troops. Gregoria Montoya will be continuously remembered as one of the women who took up arms against the Spanish colonizers in defense of the motherland.
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Licuanan, Patricia B., ed. “Cover Story.’ Philippine Journal of Education, February 1998.
Santiago, Lilies Quindoza. “Ang Salaysay ng Babae, Pagkababae At Kababaihan sa Rebolusyon Ng 1896.” Ang papal ng kababaihan at katutubosa sa Rebolusyong 1896: Conference proceedings. Baguio City: University of the Philippines College, Baguio, National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Asosasyon ng mga Dalubhasa at may Haig sa Kasaysayan, 1995. 28-38.
Saul0, Alfredo B. “Gregoria Montoya: Only Woman General of the Revolution.’ Philippine Free Press, October 9, 1971.
Ms. Marian Kate S. Tenorio