Biography of Marcela Agoncillo (1860-1945)

Philippine revolutionary, born in Taal on June 24, 1860 (other sources indicate the year 1859) died in the same town on May 3, 1946, which is famous for being who made the first national flag of the Philippines. Felipe with her husband supported the independence cause erecting one of the legendary figures in the history of the country.

Coming from a wealthy family, Marcela Marino (maiden name) received an education according to their class in the Santa Catalina College in Manila, although the early death of his parents led him to stay in charge of his grandfather. At the age of thirty he/she married Felipe Agoncillo, a prominent neighboring their same hometown lawyer; the result of the marriage were born six daughters: Lorenza, Greforia, Eugenia, Marcela, Adela, and María. In 1895 he/she left for exile in Hong Kong accused her husband of filibustering by the colonial authorities in Manila. The Agoncillo residence in this British colony became since then, and especially after the outbreak of the independence revolution of 1896, in meeting point of Filipino Patriots and exiles fleeing from Spanish persecution. In addition, in order to cover the travel of Felipe as Minister Plenipotentiary and contribute funds to the cause of separatists, said that Marcela had to sell all the jewels and the family's most precious belongings.

In December 1897 the revolutionary general Emilio Aguinaldo, newcomer to Hong Kong after the signing of the Pact of Byak-Na-Bato, commissioned to Marcela Agoncillo the making of the flag of the Philippines following the previous design by the patriotic Junta; According to his own testimony this task took five working days, being aided by his eldest daughter, Lorenza, and a niece of José Rizal, Delfina Herbosa. Apparently, the beauty of the flag was praised by the own Aguinaldo, who waved it on the balcony of the City Council of Cavite on June 12, 1898, in the solemn proclamation of independence.

After the establishment of the American regime (1903) Marcela and her family returned to the Islands, ruined but proud of the work done; Even so, the Chronicles of the time feature that continued helping Manila's poorest people. During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines (1941-1944) Marcela Agoncillo became again a symbol of patriotism and generosity, facing with courage and despite his advanced age, loss of home and property.