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205th Birth Anniversary of Tandang Sora:

Quezon City joins the nation in celebrating the 205th Birth Anniversary of Melchora "Tandang Sora" Aquino, January 6, 2017

tandangsorashrineTandang Sora shrine on Banlat Road, Barangay Tandang Sora, her original place of birth

melchora_aquinoWho was this woman who is now belatedly honored and hoped to be acknowledged and crowned as a national hero? She was born to a poor family on January 6, 1812, during the fiesta of Baryo Banlat, Kalookan (now Banlat, Balintawak, Quezon City), her name taken from one of the Three Magi. She had good looks and was asked to be the Reyna Elena during the yearly santacruzans. She married Fulgencio Ramos, a cabeza de barangay, and gave him six children — Juan, Simon, Estefania, Juana, Romualdo and Saturnina.

Melchora was widowed early; she was a good mother, a conscientious, careful caretaker of the farmland and businesses her husband left behind. Her kindness and generosity were well known, and she did not turn away persons who asked her for material help. The Supreme leader of the Katipunan, Andres Bonifacio, was a good friend of the Aquinos, and Melchora was in agreement with the movement's struggle for freedom for the country.

One day in August, the Supremo and his forces, tired and worn out, but determined to fight the enemy, came to the house of Melchora, now aging, and called Tandang Sora, who immediately gave them a hundred cavans of rice from her storehouse, ten carabaos and tools they would need. She herself had become a revolucionario. Her help extended from giving provisions to the movement; she took care of the wounded and sick freedom fighters, not fearing that she would be caught by the Spanish authorities.

The enemy did catch up with her when she was in Pasong Putik, Novaliches, and took her to the Bilibid prisons on August 29, 1896. She was tortured, but never did she let on about her helping the Katipuneros. Frustrated, the Spaniards deported her to Guam where she was in exile for six years. Why she was shipped to Guam, is still a subject for the researchers. On February 1903, at the age of 91, she was freed by the Americans. She finally came home to her Baryo Banlat, where she was happily met and embraced by her kith and kin and neighbors.

She died at the age of 107 in the home of her daughter Saturnina, and was first buried at the Cementerio del Norte, at the Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolucion.

Commemoration program and wreath laying ceremonies will be held at the Tandang Sora National Shrine, Banlat Road, Barangay Tandang Sora, January 6, 2017.

2017 Tandang Sora Awardee, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales will be the guest of honor.

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