Spanish occupation of the Philippines brought the idea that women were to be perceived as beings who were inferior to men. Hence, they must always stay at home where they hide behind their fathers, brothers, or husbands. However, this did not stop them in fulfilling their goals as several of them proved everyone wrong by taking part in the revolutionary movement, resulting in the end of the 3-century reign of the Spanish empire in the country, and one of them was Marina Dizon.
Born on July 18, 1875 at Trozo, Manila, Marina Dizon was born from a revolutionary family. His father was Jose Dizon, a Katipunero and together with the other twelve men, he was executed in Bagumbayan, eventually known in history as the Trece Martires de Bagumbayan (13 Martyrs executed in Bagumbayan). Her Mother was Roberta Bartolome who after 8 months of giving birth to Marina died, leaving the responsibility of looking out for Marina’s welfare to her husband and her husband’s sister, Josefa Dizon the mother of Emilio Jacinto, the Brain of the Katipunan.
During Marina’s childhood, Josefa took the role of being Emilio and Marina’s first teacher until they entered school. Despite the little opportunities given to women during the Spanish occupation, Marina went to enroll in a private institution led by Maestro Timoteo Reyes. Afterward she attended a public school, where she was taught by Aniceta Cabrera and Guadalupe Reyes. Furthermore, this was also the place where she would meet her future husband – Jose Turiano Santiago.
Marina learned and practiced different skills like singing, painting, and modeling as her Father wanted her to develop each, and she was able to prove that she was capable. A multi-talented woman, she was described as a beautiful and excellent singer as she also knew how to play musical instruments like the guitar and violin. Marina wanted to become a teacher, but her father refused to this idea. This steered Marina to see and focus on rendering service to her fellow countrymen.
Due to his father’s connection in the establishment of different organizations and masonic lodges, Marina saw the purpose and significance of masonry in helping out the people. She eventually joined the Logia de Adopcion or La Semillia as Hamog under Rosario Villaruel alias Minerva. Her contributions in the Philippine society is not confined to her participation in the La Semillia, it extends to the time she became a member of the Katipunan at the age of 18 after being recruited by her cousin, Emilio.
Together with other women, Marina Dizon was one of the first women who became a member of the revolutionary society after having undergone the initiation led by Andres Bonifacio in July 1893. She eventually became the society’s active secretary for women. The role of women in the Katipunan was evident during meetings held by the Katipuneros, they served as lookouts and sometimes they used their beauty and talents to lure the guardia civil who gets near the place where the meetings were held.
Other than that, Marina was also involved in the initiation of new members, she led missions, hid different important documents, and taught other women the importance of having courage as they protect the secrets of the Katipunan.
Despite the risky situation, she once again met Jose Santiago Turiano in Katipunan, and on September 16, 1894 they got married in Binondo Church. When the Katipunan was discovered, her father was executed and her husband was arrested. She was then forced to burn the documents she hid for the society to protect the katipuneros. Eventually, Marina got reunited with his husband and on October 25, 1950 she passed away at the age of 75. The life of Marina Dizon is an evidence that women are not just mere bearers of beauty, they are not ornaments that are meant to be objectified, they are more than that and they are worthy of respect and honor.
Navarro, Atoy M., and Patricza Andrhea T. Braganza. “Marina Dizon: Mutya ng Katipunan.” Saliksik E-Journal 6.2 (2017). Web. 17 December 2018.
Marina Dizon was born in Trozo in Manila July 18, 1875. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://kahimyang.com/kauswagan/articles/1475/today-in-philippine-history-july-18-1875-marina-dizon-was-born-in-trozo-in-manila
Research by: Justine M. Arguelles