Every Filipino is quite familiar with Tandang Sora but biographically speaking only a few knows her well. She is regarded as the Grand Woman of the Philippine Revolution of 1896 and the Mother of Balintawak for her historic contribution in Philippine History.
1.) Tandang Sora’s real name is Melchora Aquino de Ramos. She was born on January 6, 1812 in Caloocan.
2.) She was already 84 years of age when the Philippine Revolution broke out in 1896 and was also regarded as the Mother of Balintawak.
3.) Melchora was the daughter of a peasant couple, Juan and Valentina Aquino.
4.) She never attended school but she was apparently literate at an early age and talented as a singer and performed at local events as well as at Mass for her Church.
5.) Melchora was married to Fulgencio Ramos, a cabeza de barrio or village chief, and bore six children.
6.) Her husband died when their youngest child was seven and she was left as a single parent for their children.
7.) Tandang Sora operated a store which became a refuge for the sick and wounded revolutionaries known as Katipuneros.
8.) Aquino fed, gave medical attention to and encouraged the revolutionaries with motherly advice and prayers.
9.) According to Philippine history pages, secret meetings of the KKK members or Katipuneros were also held at her house. Thus she earned the name, “Mother of the Katipunan” or revolution.
10.) When the Spanish authorities learned about her activities and her knowledge to the whereabouts of the Katipuneros, she was interrogated but she refused to divulge any information.
11.) She was then arrested by the Guardia Civil and was deported to the Marianas Islands located hundreds of kilometers east of the Philippines.
12.) When the United States of America took control of the Philippines in 1898, Aquino returned to Philippines
13.) She died on March 2, 1919 at the age of 107 and her remains lie in her own backyard now known as Himlayang Pilipino Memorial Park in Quezon City.
14.) In honor of Tandang Sora, a district and a road in Quezon City were named after her.
15.) Melchora’s image was also depicted in the Philippines’ five-centavo coin that circulated from 1967 until 1992.
16.) Aquino is also the first Filipina who appears on a Philippine peso banknote, in the 100-peso bill from the English Series that circulated from 1951 to1966.
17.) Tandang Sora Street in San Francisco City, California in the US is named in Melchora Aquino’s honor.