02 | Isidro

Isidro's story is about the 1896 revolution, and how an unnamed educated Filipino believed in its promise of freedom, risking his own liberation in the process.

But Isidro knew of the value of the revolution against Spain. He knew to leave house and home in the town of Sariaya, and with wife Juliana and daughter Conchita, he knew to move to the Tiaong barrios where they had land, where they quietly aided the "insurgency."

Jose Rizal, born on the same year as Isidro, had spoken of this role Isidro played as one that was integral to the success of the revolution.

In Lagalag during those volatile times, Isidro would leave Juliana and Conchita with faithful tenants and travel to nearby provinces, even to Manila, and would come back with news of provincial and national political change. Later in Paula's home in Tagbakin, his wife Juliana ran a communal space for like-minded revolutionary Filipinos, armed and otherwise. It was self-sustaining, with its own produce, removed from the main towns of Tayabas Province that were going through the violent difficult changes contingent upon the impending end to Spanish colonialism.

Countless revolutionaries were welcomed to this refuge that Paula, Isidro and Juliana had created.

But American imperialism was to replace the Spanish colonialism, and Isidro and Juliana would be forced back to the center of town. Isidro would seem to willingly give the Americans a chance, yet even as he did, he would be haunted by his past of aiding Filipino revolutionaries.

This is the story of Isidro Herrera as a member of the educated middle class of Tayabas Province, an ilustrado to a certain extent, living in the throes of change and revolt. This is his story as revolutionary, unarmed and unnamed, like countless others in this country.

Cover Design & 'Elias' Illustration: Mervin Malonzo
Book Design & Map Illustrations: Adam David