‘Goyo’ the boy general

ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato - The Philippine Star

Tirad Pass 1899. This was where General Gregorio Del Pilar met his tragic death.

It was the last stand of Filipino Revolutionary Forces under the command of General Emilio Aguinaldo.

As the story goes, it was at Tirad Pass where the young General died an instant death after being shot in the neck. But what makes “Goyo” one of the most revered Filipino heroes of the 19th century?

While some see the young Del Pilar as nothing more than an arrogant right hand man of Emilio Aguinaldo, a hired assassin instructed to kill General Antonio Luna, his readiness at an age where one could consider as his prime, revealed much of both his spunk and determination to valiantly defend our motherland against the Spaniards.

Dec. 2, 1899 was the last day General Gregorio Del Pilar defended the Tirad Pass. And while this young fallen hero is many times venerated as both hero and villain, it was this very same young general who designed a flag for his troops after a successful raid in Paombong.

Goyo’s design became the forerunner of today’s Philippine National Flag.

And as for his many loves? Well, if Goyo had not died early, he would have matched our other famous national hero “playboy,” Dr. Jose Rizal, topped with Arnis skills that would qualify him as what the young of today would call, a total “bad ass.”

Just  like his nom de guerre, Goyo, the young general, was truly the tenacious and fearless “Aguila” we many times still find amongst ourselves in the 21st century. Don’t miss “Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral” in cinemas nationwide beginning Sept. 5.

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