Philippine Heroes and Heroines-Gabriela Silang

Maria Josefa Gabriela Silang(March 19, 1731- September 29, 1763)

María Josefa Gabriela Cariño Silang was the first Filipino woman to lead
a revolt during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. An active
member of the insurgent force of Diego Silang, her husband, she led
the group for four months after his death before she was captured
and executed.

She was born on March 19, 1731 in Caniogan, Ilocos Sur,with a mestizo
(Spanish / Indigenous Ilocano ancestry). She was adopted by a wealthy
businessman who later married her at the age of 20, but left after
three years. In 1757, she married again, this time to 27-year-old
indigenous ilocano rebel leader, Diego Silang. She became one of
his closest advisors.

On May 28, 1763, her husband was assassinated by order of royal
and church authorities in Manila. After her husband's death, she
fled on horseback to the mountains of Abra to establish her
headquarters, reassemble her troops, and rally the Tingguian
community to fight. They descended on Vigan on September 10,
1763. But the Spanish garrison was ready, amassing Spanish,
Tagalog, and Kapampangan soldiers and Ilocano collaborators
to ambush her and rout her forces. Many were killed. She
escaped, alongside her uncle Nicolas and seven other men,
but later caught on September 29, 1763. They were summarily
hanged in Vigan's plaza, with Gabriela being the last to die.

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