Agueda Esteban: Point Person of the Katipuneros

Originally authored on August 28, 2015

Born from a humble family in Binondo, Manila on February 1868, Agueda enrolled and excelled in a girl’s school under the auspices of Dona Vicenta de Roxas. Marrying a katipunero, Agueda became a Filipina revolutionary who brought materials from Manila to make gunpowder and bullets which she delivered to her husband in Cavite. Her husband, Mariano Barroga of Batac, Ilocos Norte was put in charge of the revolutionaries in San Juan Del Monte, Montalban, and Marikina.

Later on he was transferred with his family to Tangos, Cavite. Agueda and her husband constantly traveled to secure materials for ammunition which remained undetected by the authorities until the Truce of Biak-na-Bato. During the American occupation, she was the courier between her husband in Manila and General Artemio Ricarte in Cavite. Agueda was entrusted with secret papers on war strategies and planned attacks on Spanish detachments. Being a woman, she was never suspected of involvement in revolutionary activities, until July 1900, the authorities discovered grenades in her house in Calle Anda which consequently led to the arrest of Agueda, her husband, and General Ricarte.

In February 1901 Lt. Col. Tungkod (the pseudonym of her husband) was exiled to Guam with other revolutionaries, leaving Agueda behind with their four children. Unable to support her family, she left her three children in Hospicio de San Jose and sold her jewelries and their fourth child while her husband had passed away in 1902. In 1910, she visited General Ricarte who was exiled in Hongkong and refused to sign an oath of allegiance to the United States. The following year Agueda married Ricarte and lived there till 1921 on the small island of Lemah.

When political exiles were deported by the British government from Hongkong at the outbreak of World War I, her family was shipped to Shanghai. After which, they were allowed to move to Japan where Ricarte taught Spanish in an overseas school in Tokyo. On April 1923, they transferred to Yokohama where they lived permanently and opened a profitable restaurant. For 18 years together with their children and grandchildren, it was their abode. They only returned to the Philippines in 1944 after the Japanese Occupation wherein that same year, she fell ill and died in her beloved home, the Philippines.

* – credits to the owner/s for the pictures

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