Marina Dizon was born on July 18 1875 in Trozo, Manila. Her father, Jose Dizon was one o the 13 martyrs executed in Cavite in 1896. Marina was eight years old when her mother, Roberta Bartolome died and she was raised by her aunt, Josefa Dizon, her fathers sister and the mother of Emilio Jacinto. Marina studied with maestro Tony (Timoteo Reyes) before she attended a public school where her teachers were Doņa Aniceta Cabrera and Guadalupe Reyes. Trained in music, panting, she became a member of the Trozo Comparsa string band. Her ambition was to become a teacher. but her father had objected.
Marina joined the Katipunan in July 1893, a year after the society was organized. Like her first cousin Emilio Jacinto, she first became a mason and was member of the Logia de Adopcion, the organization of women masons which served as the lookout of the Katipunan. She was first brought to the house of Restituto Javier in Oroquieta for initiation and on the same night, she, along Josefa and Trinidad Rizal, Delfina Herbosa and Angelica Rizal Lopez became new members of the Katipunan. Gregoria de Jesus joined them in the formation of the Katipunan womens chapter. Marina acted as secretary of the chapter.
Like other women, Marinas resourcefulness and ingenuity was very usual in providing a safe front for the secret gatherings and meetings of the revolutionaries. She organized various projects, led in initiation rites for women, helped raise funds to finance various activities. In her autobiography written in 1948, she wrote: Be cheerful, do not show fear of impending uprisings, be prepared to be left orphans and widows some day. Be brave and carry on. (Agoncillo, 1956) In 1894, she married Jose Turiano Santiago, a childhood friend who was also a member of the Katipunan. In August 1896, when the Katipunan was discovered, she and her husband fled their home and Marina was almost caught by the guardia civiles. Marina was forced to burn vital Katipunan documents in her keeping in the toilet of a railroad station.
Her father and husband were among those imprisoned at the outbreak of the revolution. She was spared by the Spaniards but was kept under strict surveillance. When her husband, Jose Turiano Santiago was released in 1897, he established an accounting firm. After the failure of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, Jose could no longer evade arrest and he chose to join the revolutionaries in exile in Hongkong. Marina had to remain in Manila to raise their big family. Jose returned and joined her until the Japanese occupation of the islands. Marina was widowed when her husband's war activities resulted in execution by the Japanese. She died on October 25, 1950.
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