Known as the Florence Nightingale of Panay, Nazaria Lagos was born on August 28, 1851 in Burongan, Duenas, Iloilo to Juan de la Cruz Lagos and Saturnina Labrilloso. At the age of 12, she married Segundo Lagos, son of Bartolome Lagos who established the town of Duenas. Segundo was appointed as president of the town by Gen. Martin Delgado on October 27, 1898. With that, she was held to become the first president of the Cruz Roja (Red Cross) in Iloilo when it was created.
Despite being on good terms with the Church and the government, Nazaria and her husband secretly assisted the Filipino revolutionaries by offering their house as a secret place where meetings were held by leaders of the group plotting a revolution against the Spanish colonial government. In line with this, they appointed Nazaria as the head of the hospital of the revolutionaries in Jaguitnit and the one who manages the place where they secretly piled food. In order to concretize this plan, Nazaria asked her father for help in building a hospital, which he agreed upon.
While managing the hospital, Nazaria’ s work also extends to gathering medical supplies and recruiting people in joining the movement. The hospital heavily contributed in helping the people until the time came when it was captured and destroyed by the Americans during the Philippine-American War. Aside from devoting her time assisting and looking after the sick, Nazaria along with her daughters would also be remembered by making the Philippine flag that was raised in the plaza in Duenas on June 12, 1899, symbolizing the proclamation of the country’s independence in Panay.
Lagos, Nazaria. (201 In v. Almario (E Sagisag Kultura (Vol I). Manila: National Commission for Culture and the Art Retrieved from https://philippineculturalcducation.com.ph/lagos-nazaria/
Ms. Justine M. Arguelles