Tescon, Trinidad (1848–1928)

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Tescon, Trinidad (1848–1928)

Philippine freedom fighter. Born in 1848 in San Miguel de Mayumo, Philippines; died in Manila in 1928; married Julian Alcantara.

Fought in the Philippine Revolution (from 1895); established a field hospital at Biak-na-Bota for injured soldiers; helped organize the Philippine Red Cross.

Trinidad Tescon is remembered as a hero of the Philippine Revolution. Little is known about her early years or family background except that she married Julian Alcantara, another Philippine nationalist. She was already an activist in the Masonic movement in the Philippines when, in 1895, she joined the Katipunan, a revolutionary nationalist army. She participated in battles against the Spanish army under generals Llanera, del Pilar, and Soliman, and was wounded several times. Among her many exploits were the theft of munitions from the Spaniards to supply her fellow troops. After one such daring act, Tescon was captured and interrogated for five days but managed to escape. While her husband and two others defended the fort of Biak-na-Bato in Bulacan, Tescon, from attack, Tescon turned her attention to nursing the wounded soldiers inside and set up a makeshift hospital. For this she was given the name "Mother of Biak-nabato" by the soldiers. She went on to create nursing stations on the battle sites of the southern Philippine provinces, organizing and training nationalist women to serve in her hospitals. Her efforts were crucial in laying the groundwork for the expansion of the official Philippine Red Cross Society under the leadership of Hilaria Aguinaldo in 1899 (it had been established in 1863). After the Philippine-American war, Trinidad Tescon was honored by the American Red Cross for her nursing work. She died in Manila in 1928, and received a hero's burial in Manila's Tomb of the Veterans.


Soriano, Rafaelita Hilario, ed. Women in the Philippine Revolution. Quezon City: Printon Press, 1995.

Uglow, Jennifer, ed. The International Dictionary of Women's Biography. NY: Continuum, 1985.

Laura York , M.A. in History, University of California, Riverside, California