Popularly known as the “Heroine of Jaro”, Patrocinio Gamboa was born on April 3o, 1865 to Fermin Gamboa and Leonarda Villareal, a family of ilustrados. As such, Patrocinio grew up in the famously rich district of Jaro. White she matured into an educated young woman, it wasn’t until she was exposed to propagandist literature like Jose Rizal’s novels and the newspaper La Solidaridad that she became politically aware of the abuses the Spanish officials perpetrated upon her countrymen. Inspired by their advocacy, she eventually joined the revolutionary army as fund raiser and heal wounded soldiers as a Red Cross nurse.
Due to her gender and affluence, Patrocinio was dropped off the Spaniard’s radar. She used these to her advantage and acted as intelligence agent providing important and often classified information to the revolutionaries.
As one of the first to join the Philippine Revolution in March 1898, Patrocinio became helped organized the Comite Conspirador and Comite Central Revolucionario de Visayas, which formed the nucleus of what later became the Revolutionary Government of the Visayas. This revolutionary government was inaugurated on November 17, 1898, in Santa Barbara, Iloilo and was highlighted with the raising of the Philippine flag. Notably, it was Patrocinio who courageously agreed to take the replica of the Philippine flag to the Santa Barbara headquarters of General Martin Delgado in time for the said inauguration. Remarkably, to reach Santa Barbara from Jaro, she had to pass through several checkpoints heavily guarded by Spanish guards.
It did not take long before Patrocinio came up with a clever plan. After wrapping the flag around her waist and covering it with her garments, she took off in a carriage together with a young lieutenant who pretended to be her husband. Upon reaching the roadblock, the two pretended to be a couple in a serious squabble. Acting as a dominating wife to her submissive husband, she managed to escape the guards who found the sight too entertaining. Patrocinio successfully delivered the Philippine flag.
When the Filipino-American War reached Panay, Patrocinio organized the women of Panay and led them in nursing the wounded and sick Filipino soldiers, collecting alms and war contributions, soliciting food and medical supplies, delivering military dispatches to various Filipino commands, and carried on many other heroic tasks at the risks of their lives. For these, she was honored as the “Heroine of Jaro”. She died on November 24, 1953 at the age of 88 and was buried with military honors at Jaro’s Balantang Veterans’ Cemetery.
“Patrocinio Gamboa: Ilustrado of Jaro. Hero of Iloilo. Retrieved on 19 May 2020 from http://projectiloilo.com/patrocinio-gamboa-ilustrado-of-jaro
“Today in Philippine History, April 30. 1865. Patrocinio Gamboa. Retrieved on 19 May 2020 from https://kahimyang com/kauswagan/articles/noi/today-in-philippine-history-april-30-1865-patrocinio-gamboa-more-popularly known-as-tia-patron-was-born-in-jaro-iloilo, fbclid-lwAR2jLWOXcGXcs95q7oqZoERx10Jov46BZjG5Z_HheCK3z2V-NGuRa8RnRJ8
“6 Badass Filipina Warriors You’ve Never Heard Of” Retrieved on 19 May 2020 from https://filipiknow.net/filipina-warriors-in-philippine-history/ fbclid-lwARodSINJp013o9rG3len.E6CjYILso_YdT6m18xyzBrawlviomWJ0169KmE
Ms. Alve Mosura