TOMAS L

 

 


FLAVIANO YENGKO

(1874 - 1897)

 

 

One of the unsung heroes of the Philippine Revolution was Flaviano  Yengko, a law student of the University of Santo Tomas who became the youngest general of the Philippine Revolution. He as the Hero of Salitran.. Faviano Yengko, the third of the seven children of Basilio Yengko and Maria Abad was born in Tondo, Manila on December 22,1874.

 

At the age of five, he was enrolled at the Escuela Normal. He finished the course for primary teachers with the qualification maestro de ascenso. He took up Latinidad under Enrique Mendiola and later under Benedicto Luna. Then he enrolled at the Colegio de San juan de Letran where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts.

 

He was generous. A classmate, broke because of lavish spending was in dire predicament regarding a back account of eight pesos with the university. Flaviano told him, ”Don’t worry. With my gold spectacles and your gold watch chain, we can easily raise more than ten pesos from the pawnshop”.

 

He was versatile. He performed well in class and was an eloquent orator, a witty debater, and a good athlete. He was given to the arts. One of his paintings, A Landscape was awarded a prize in the Regional Exposition of the Philippines held in Manila in 1895.He was a skilled pianist like his mother and a gifted singer. Consequently, he was popular among the Colegialas of the city and the pretty dalagas of Imus.

 

In Imus, he fell in love with a beautiful Cavitena. She favored him, but her father did not think him man enough, put off by his fancy clothes. The preferred a rival who had the making of a revolutionary.

 

The outbreak of the Philippine Revolution in August 1896 gave him the opportunity to prove his manly courage. In response to Bonifacio’s call to arms, he quit his law course and secretly left his home in Tondo. He left a note: “Mother. I am laving without your consent and knowledge because I will be fighting for our fatherland.”

 

On November 8, 1896,he reached Imus, where he presented himself to General Aguinaldo. His first assignment was to transport gunpowder from Manila to Cavite.

 

On November 9,he had his first engagement in the Battle of Binakayan. The ardor he manifested in battle, and his unusual valor  in action caught the attention of Aguinaldo ho, consequently, took him in the general staff with the rank of captain. He participated in other military engagements, winning rapid promotion .

 

The Christmas of 1896 saw him in the uniform of a Colonel. Despite the gore and grime of combat, he to keep himself well-groomed.

 

In February 1897,Spanish General Cornelio de Polavieja launched an intensive offensive in Cavite, the storm center of the Revolution. On February 17,the Spanish forces crossed Zapote Bridge after a fierce battle. On February 22,the Filipino troops counter-attacked to recover the town, but they were repulsed. He and his men took part in this engagement. The Filipino forces retreated to Perez Dasmarinas. He so distinguished  himself in these encounter that General Aguinaldo promoted him to brigadier general.

 

After the fall of Perez Dasmarinas, the Filipino forces took their position in the town of  Salitran. The fighting was fierce, but he had to retreat, pusued by the enemies under Colonel Zabala. He sustained a gunshot in his abdomen. To a soldier at his side, he murmured: “don’t try to tell mother to come; I remember her always.” As his men sorrowfully carried him off the battlefield, he screamed his last battlecry, “To arms! to arms!”

 

At the military hospital in Imus, his sweetheart comforted him. With the satisfaction of a reciprocated love and the glory of having fought for his country, he died on March 3, 1897.

 

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