Celebrating Our Philippine Heroes’ Mothers

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Our heroes couldn’t have gotten anywhere without their mothers. So, on heroes’ day, we also ought to celebrate the strong women who inspired them.

On World Heroes’ Day, we remember that heroes are not born but made. Many of our Philippine heroes became heroes because they learned compassion and empathy from only the best people to learn it from — their mothers! So, for World Heroes’ Day, we not only commemorate heroes for their achievements but who were the hero-makers behind the scenes.

1. Teodora Alonso Realonda (mother of Jose Rizal)

Rizal loved his mother very much, with her being one of the major reasons why he became a doctor. During his stay in Spain, she was his constant pen pal especially when he became homesick or found some of the food strange. But what many people don’t know about her is that she herself was a philosopher and was responsible for opening Rizal’s eyes to the injustices against the Filipinos. Her being locked up as well after her brother’s betrayal lit that fire inside Jose Rizal for him to become the hero we know today.

2. Trinidad Tecson (mother to the heroes in Biak na Bato)

Trinidad Tecson was still a mother — a mother to the members of the Katipunan that is! Hailed as the Mother of Biak na Bato, she joined the revolution herself, serving food and tending to the injured. But that didn’t mean all of her work was in the backline. She fought side by side with the Katipuneros, even signing her name with her own blood. One of her most glorious moments included getting some firearms that the Katipuneros needed from San Isidro wherein she also had to play dead before beating the guards up to get their guns for our heroes. Now that’s one mom you don’t want to fight!

3. Tandang Sora (mother to the heroes of the Katipunan)

A mother to six kids and still a hero, we remember her as a long street in Quezon City but also the one who didn’t crack even while being tortured. Although she was more of a support role, that didn’t mean she wasn’t as tough as nails either. She refused to give the location of the Katipunan, even with brutal threats and punishments. They eventually realized that they couldn’t get anything from her so they exiled her to Guam. As we all know, a mother would never betray her children, no matter the circumstances.

4. Felipa Sempio (mother to Gregorio del Pilar)

Mother to one of the heroes and generals in Philippine history, Gregorio del Pilar and sister-in-law to writer Marcelo H. Pilar, it’s sad to say that there’s not much written about her. However, it’s clear that she valued education for all her six children. Although their side of the clan was poor, she made sure that Gregorio made it to school by finding him teachers in the form of Maestros Monico Estrella and Romualdo Sempio. Eventually, he did make it to Ateneo but had to change his plans where he fought under his parents’ province — Bulacan.

5. Catalina de Castro (mother of Andres Bonifacio)

Despite being a working mom way back then, it’s clear Catalina did an amazing job of teaching Andres Bonifacio responsibility. She worked in a cigarette factory to provide for her kids, making sure that she also prepared Andres to have him look after his siblings. Eventually, she passed away due to tuberculosis before her husband but her lessons clearly bore fruit when Andres took care of his siblings and began his revolution against the Spaniards.

6. Josefa Dizon (mother to Emilio Jacinto)

Now, Emilio Jacinto didn’t become smart overnight. In fact, Josefa Dizon lost her husband when Emilio was a baby, leaving her to raise him as a single mom with some assistance from his uncle — Jose Dizon, a freemason. As a single mom, she definitely had it hard in making sure that Emilio made it into UST Law School. But her efforts and devotion to raising Emilio paid off as he became the Brains of the Katipunan, allowing him to create references for the existing Philippine constitution.

7. Laureana Novicio Luna (mother to Antonio Luna and Juan Luna)

Raising her 5 boys and 2 girls in the traditional Ilocano virtues, Laureana raised them to be outstanding people of virtue and lovers of the arts. Juan Luna became an excellent painter, Antonio Luna was a chemist and general, then there was Dr. Jose Luna, and Governor of La Union — Joaquin Luna. Manuel Luna became an accomplished violinist, Numeriana was a celebrated pianist, and Remedios lived a quiet life. Although the two Luna brothers were known to have a vicious temper, we’re pretty sure she could match their tempers with a good ol’ fashioned slipper and one-liners to make them sit down.

8. Trinidad Famy (mother to Emilio Aguinaldo)

Although Emilio Aguinaldo’s heroism is debatable, that didn’t mean his mother’s heroism wasn’t. As one of the most influential people in his life, she often accompanied him in his political career. In some records, she was even considered overprotective. But who wouldn’t be when your son got into all sorts of trouble? He got hit by smallpox, nearly got ravaged by ants, and jumped into a river on a dare even though he didn’t know how to swim! We can all imagine her face right now just being, “What in the world did you do!?”

Our heroes’ mothers played a big role in their lives!

Although history doesn’t say much about them, it’s clear our heroes’ mothers played a big role in their lives. Their dedication to raising their children is what made those men into heroes. If not for their efforts, Philippine history would have turned out very differently. They may have no guns, swords, or fight on the battlefield but they managed these boys. And judging from all the stuff our heroes got into, their mothers definitely had a handful to deal with.

Loved the stories about heroes and their mothers? Here are other heroic mamas to read about!

Jodi Sta. Maria On The Ups and Downs of Raising a Teenage Son
Sunshine Cruz and her life as a Mother of Three
Peewee Isidro: Motherhood in Post-production