Ladislao was born in San Roque, Cavite on June 27, 1863 to Mariano
Diwa and Cecilia Nocon. He studied at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran
where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree. He studied law at the
University of Santo Tomas where he befriended Bonifacio who was often
secretly distributing propaganda literature done by Rizal and del Pilar. The
two became close friends and Diwa boarded with Bonifacio and Plata
where he became acquainted with other Filipino propagandists. He was
made oficial de mesa for the district of Quaipo. He joined the La Liga but
after Rizal’s deportation to Dapitan, Ladislao Diwa , with Bonifacio and
Plata, initiated the founding of the Katipunan.
Bonifacio and Plata agreed to the proposal. In Tondo, they gathered around a table lamp, performed
the blood compact and signed membership papers with their own blood. Diwa adopted the name
Balete and formed the first triangle with Bonifacio and Plata.
Diwa was transferred to the justice of the peace court in Pampanga. There he continued his
propaganda activities, initiating members to the Katipunan in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac. After
the discovery of the Katipunan, he was arrested in Betis, Bacolor, Pampanga. He was taken to Fort
Santiago, imprisoned and tortured. He shared his cell with Teodoro Plata who was later shot in
Bagumbayan but Diwa was set free in exchange for Spanish prisoners.
After his release, he returned to Cavite to join the other revolutionaries under Gen. Mariano Trias.
He was instrumental in effecting the surrender of the Spanish forces under Leopoldo Garcia Oeña
which retreated to San Francisco de Malabon on May 28, 1898 after Adm. Dewey’s fleet defeated
the Spanish navy off Cavite coast. He was promoted colonel in the revolutionary and after the
proclamation of Philippine independence on June 12, 1898, he was named the first civil governor of
During the second phase of the Revolution, he joined Mariano Trias and became his secretary. After
the capture of Gen. Aguinaldo in 1901, he surrendered to the American commander in Indang,