Philippine Embassy in Madrid Pays Tribute to Gregoria de Jesus, The Lakambini of the Katipunan

In celebration of Araw ng Kagitingan and International Women’s Day, the Philippine Embassy in Madrid held a webinar on 25 April 2021 titled, “Her-story, Her-itage: Bayani, Pagkilala, Paggunita” to commemorate the life of Gregoria de Jesus. Also known as Oriang, or Lakambini to Revolutionists, Gregoria de Jesus was the spouse of Andres Bonifacio, and later on Julio Nakpil, and was the founder and Vice President of the women’s chapter of the Katipunan.

The Embassy partnered with the Bahay Nakpil-Bautista Foundation, which is run by the descendants of Gregoria de Jesus and Julio Nakpil. Jose Nakpil Lucas, the great grandson of Oriang, who is based in Malaga, Spain, gave a presentation on the life of Gregoria as Lakambini of the Revolution, who was known to approach life with the mantra “Palaging buo ang loob”, and whose adventures included being kidnapped, and keeping custody of weapons, the seal and documents of the KKK, among others.

In her personal life, she suffered the loss of a son, a brother, and the death of her first husband, Andres Bonifacio, before finding a more peaceful life with Julio Nakpil, with whom she had eight children. The family lived in Bahay Nakpil-Bautista, the ancestral home which is now a museum containing photos and family artifacts of the Katipunan and the Nakpil-Bautista family.

Ms. Maria Santos Viola, the granddaughter of Gregoria and the President of the Foundation and is based in Manila, gave a virtual tour of Bahay Nakpil-Bautista and shared intimate details and stories about the family and their part in Philippine history.

The Embassy also partnered with Artdialogo Asia’s Malaysia-based Karina Jardin to provide an art activity for the youth and young-at-heart, to help ground the stories of Gregoria de Jesus and their ancestral home. She led participants from the Philippines, Spain, the United States, Canada and Norway in making a memory box with the façade of Bahay Nakpil-Bautista as a cover.

The webinar is part of the Philippine Embassy in Madrid’s efforts to commemorate National Heroes’ Day, International Women’s Day, as well as promoting the Philippines’ tangible and intangible cultures to the young and old, and to connect the Filipino diaspora with their history and heritage.