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León Kilat

Pantaleón Villegas (July 27, 1873 - April 8, 1898) better known as León Kilat (Cebuano, "León of the Lightning"), was a revolutionary leader in Cebu during the Philippine Revolution against Spain. He was born in Bacong, Negros Oriental, to Don Policarpio Villegas and Doña Ursula Soldi. His grandfather was Don Pedro Villegas, a native of Spain, and Dorotea, a daughter of a capitan of Bacong.

In 1895, he worked at Botica Antigua located in the corner of Calle del Palacio and Calle Legaspi (Burgos and Legaspi). It was a well known drug store frequented by many Cebuanos. With him were Ciriaco Murillo and Eulogio Duque who told the writer Manuel Enriquez de la Calzada that Pantaleon actually used the name "Eulogio", instead of Pantaleon. Because there were two Eulogios working in the drugstore, the German owner had to call him instead "Leon". Why he used the name "Eulogio" was not known. [1]

Villegas did not stay long at Botica Antigua. He transferred to a bakery in Pahina (Fagina). From there he moved on to a circus owned by Tagalogs on their way to Manila. The circus happened to be owned by a katipunero. It was there that he was recruited into the secret council of the Katipunan.

During the rebellion against Spain, Kilat led the revolutionaries in Cebu. Initially intending to begin the rebellion on Easter Sunday, he was forced to change his plans when the Spaniards discovered the planned revolt. Kilat and his men began the rebellion in Cebu on Palm Sunday, April 3, 1898. He was, however, betrayed and murdered on Good Friday, April 8, 1898, in Carcar, Cebu. He was stabbed to death by his own aide-de-camp, Apolinario Alcuitas.[2]

The town of Bacong in Negros Oriental has honored Villegas with a statue erected in the town plaza in 1926. On July 27, 2008, the 135th anniversary of Villegas' birth, the Philippine National Historical Institute turned over a historical marker in honor of Villegas to local and provincial officials in his hometown.[3]

References

  1. http://www.geocities.com/lkilat/
  2. "Western Visayas:Pantaleon Villegas". http://www.msc.edu.ph/centennial/hero/wv/page8.html. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  3. Pal, Alex (2008-08-04). "Bacong remembers Leon Kilat's heroism". The Visayan Daily Star. pp. 18. 


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