136th Birth Anniversary of Don Tomas Remigio, co-founder of the KKK CO-FOUNDING the Katipunan (Kataastaasan, Kagalang-galangan na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan) and helping to make it the most powerful weapon of his downtrodden countrymen was the greatest contribution to the Filipino struggle for freedom of Don Tomas Remigio. One of the intrepid Filipino patriots who founded the Katipunan on July 7, 1892, he established the first Katipunan branch Balangay Trozo in his town of Tondo, Manila. Inspired by this example, fellow Katipuneros followed and established Katipunan branches in many places. Thus, when the colonial authorities discovered the KKK, they were astounded to know that it already had some 30,000 armed adherents.

Born in Barrio Masambong, Sampaloc, Manila, on March 7, 1867, Don Tomas' education and upbringing led him to join patriotic organizations. He first affiliated with the reformist group of Marcelo H. del Pilar and Dr. Jose P. Rizal. In this group, Don Tomas was a zealous member in spreading the reformists' works which helped, in no small measure, in awakening the socio-political consciousness of the Filipino people.

The outbreak of the 1896 Revolution saw Don Tomas active in the battlefield. With the rank of Captain of infantry, he served throughout the revolution against Spain and against the United States in the Filipino-American War.

The end of the war found him zealously carrying on the task of advancing the cause of his country and fellow-Filipinos. Also a good writer, Don Tomas devoted his remaining years to writing on themes that promoted the socio-political consciousness of his countrymen. Luha ng Ina, Ang Isang Haka ni Rizal, Malaya, and Hweteng were some of his wellknown works. Don Tomas Remigio died on August 1, 1916.

On January 6, 1953, the City Council of Manila renamed Tondo Elementary School to Don Tomas Remigio Elementary School in recognition of his many contributions and sacrifices to the Filipino nation.

Encouraging the Filipino youth to protect the Philippine freedom is one laudable way of preserving the memory of Don Tomas Remigio and those of his "Generation of 1896," the Filipino people's paladins of Philippine freedom.

Source: The Manila Bulletin Online March 3, 2003.