Gregorio del Pilar y Sempia was born on 14 November 1875. He was one of the youngest generals of his time and is famous for his role at the Battle of Tirad Pass. “Goyong,” as he is sometimes called, studied at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila where he received his Bachelor’s degree in 1896 at the age of 20. He then joined the insurgency under Andres Bonifacio when the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish rule broke out on August that same year. There, he was acknowledged as a field commander while fighting Spanish garrisons in Bulacan. He later joined Emilio Aguinaldo who was now the leader of the movement in Hongkong after the “Pact at Biak na Bato.” At their return, Del Pilar was assigned as the section leader of the revolutionary forces in Bulacan and Nueva Ecija where he fought the Spanish forces on the province. When the Philippine-American War broke out, he led his men to victory against the troops of Major Franklin bell at the Battle of Quinga on April of 1899 where they were able to kill the highly respected Col. John M. Stotsenburg. On 02 December 1899, del Pilar led 60 Filipino soldiers of Aguinaldo’s rear guard in the Battle of Tirad Pass against the against the American forces. This was a way to buy time for Aguinaldo’s retreat but this also resulted to the death of Gregorio del Pilar. His body was then despoiled and robbed by the American soldiers. Several days later, Lt. Dennis P. Quinlan, an American soldier found del Pilar’s body. He then gave him a traditional U. S. military burial where he wrote the words “an officer and a gentle man,” at Goyong’s tombstone.
My Favourite Anecdote
"…From morning till noon, he(Gregorio del Pilar) repelled charge after charge, he tenaciously held on with his handful of men through the heat and agony of battle, till he himself fell dead among his slain soldiers. And well-chosen and most fitting was the place where he offered the sacrifice of his life. It was on the mountain summit, overlooking the... [continues]
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