124th Battle of Tres de Abril: A Reminder of Cebuano Bravery

Cebuanos commemorated the 124th anniversary of the Battle of Tres de Abril on Sunday April 3 in a short program held at the Barangay San Nicolas Proper marker. | Pegeen Maisie

CEBU CITY, Philippines — On Sunday, Cebuanos remembered the bravery of our ancestors who sacrificed their lives to liberate us from Spanish rule.

And since Cebu City remains under Alert Level 1, the commemoration of the 124th anniversary of the historic Battle of Tres de Abril has been kept simple.

City officials led by Mayor Michael Rama, department heads, city hall employees and senior citizens gathered at the Barangay San Nicolas Proper marker early on Sunday morning, April 3, for a mass and flower offering .

And in accordance with health and safety protocols, the city government decides to forgo the annual reenactment of the Battle of Tres de Abril again this year.

In his speech, Vice Mayor Donaldo Hontiveros said the annual celebration is a reminder of the sacrifices and heroism of Cebuanos who fought against Spanish aggressors.

“Today it will be interesting to relearn the history of Tres de Abril, which we only know as a sign of jeepneys. It will also reintroduce us to the brave souls who led the revolution in the Visayas,” he said.

On Sunday afternoon, the city’s Commission for Cultural and Historical Affairs (CHAC) held an online conference titled “Ang Estorya ni Kilat”.

Lieutenant General Pantaleon Villegas, also known as Leon Kilat, was a revolutionary leader in Cebu during the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish Empire.

The Negros-born Villegas led a group of Cebuano Katipuneros in attacking the Spanish on April 3, 1898 in what is now known as the Battle of Tres de Abril.

Here are some pictures of the Sunday morning activity.

Battle of Tres de Abril

Battle of Tres de Abril

Another simple commemoration for Tres de Abril this year

122nd commemoration of the Battle of Tres de Abril: not celebrated but unforgettable

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Edward K. Thompson