The Three Cebuanas who sewed the first Philippine flag in Cebu
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - June 22, 2018 - 12:00am

Unknown to many, it was not only in Kawit, Cavite, that the Philippine flag was unfurled in 1898, the Cebu KKK also made the same ritual. Before the launching of the Cebuano uprising against the Spaniards on April 3, 1898 (immortalized in the Battle of Tres de Abril), Cebu also sewed its own Philippine flag. The order to make the Philippine flag was received by Luis Flores (Luis Perez Flores Street in Pasil is name after him), the Samareño who became the first President of the KKK Cebu on March 17, 1898. The letter contained the design of the flag. It was Anastacio Oclarino who brought the letter to Flores. Oclarino was originally from Sta. Cruz, Laguna, and migrated to Cebu and worked as a machinist of Smith Bell Shipping. He was part of the KKK cell that recruited the first Cebuano members of the KKK.

The three Cebuanas who were tasked by Ambrosio Pena (the one ordered by Luis Flores to make the flag) to sew the Philippine flag were Mauricia Gahuman, Buena Ricardo, and Justina Pena. Ambrosio Pena was a member of the KKK who was recruited by Anastacio Oclarino and Mariano Hernandez (also originally from Manila and co-worker of Oclarino with the Smith Bell Shipping, he was captured and executed by the Spaniards in Cebu). Pena worked as a “practico del puerto.”

However, the book of Manuel Enriquez dela Calzada “Ang Kagubot sa Sugbo 1898” mentions that the flag was sewed by the wife of President Luis Flores. The book of Dionisio A. Sy “A Short History of Cebu and the Anti-Spanish Revolution in Cebu” narrates the sewing of the flag by the three Cebuanas. The book also says that the flag was delivered by a certain Baking Ricardo to a courier in Punta Princesa so the flag will be sent to Sudlon, the stronghold of the KKK Cebu after their retreat days after the Battle of Tres de Abril.

Dionisio Sy, quotes Sales in “Sugbo” saying that when the flag arrived, Flores called on all Katipuneros assigned in other places throughout the province to make an oath before the flag. The entries of the books of Manuel dela Calzada and Dionisio Sy would infer that the Philippine flag and its attendant ritual of singing and the swearing of oath was made before the Declaration of Independence by General Emilio Aguinaldo on June 12, 1898 in Kawit, Cavite.

(Note: CEBUpedia is asking the readers to help trace the descendants of the three women who sewed the Philippine flag in Cebu)

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