Welcoming Women’s Week in San Fernando

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Friday, September 5, 2014


THE second week of September of each year signals the start of San Fernando Women’s Week in San Fernando, Pampanga in honor of revolutionary heroine Nicolasa Dayrit Panlilio whose birth date is on September 10, 1874. San Fernando is probably one of the few places in the country, which has two celebrations that give tribute to women, International Women’s Month every March and San Fernando Women’s Week in September.

Nicolasa Dayrit Panlilio was born in San Fernando to well-to-do parents Florentino Dayrit, a cabeza de barangay, and Antonina Pamintuan. She was a well-educated woman during her time and was recognized as one of the best pianists in the entire province of Pampanga then.

Nicolasa, together with other Capampangan ladies during the Philippine Revolution, was known to have sewn the flag of the Pampanga Batallion that was a part of the revolutionary forces in 1898, as some historical accounts say. In spite of her wealthy upbringing, Nicolasa, together with other women leaders like Praxedes Fajardo of Bacolor, also served as volunteer at the military hospital during the Filipino-American War in 1899.

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Nicolasa was also known as a peacemaker. Our local history books has it said that then Kapampangan governor Tiburcio Hilario asked Nicolasa and Praxedes for help in appeasing a very irate General Antonio Luna who was having an altercation with another revolutionary General Tomas Mascardo. The two women offered flowers and knelt in front of General Luna and asked him to stop the confrontation with Mascardo. Without this sacrifice made by these two women, the defenses of the Filipino Revolutionary Army would have fallen to the enemy forces sooner.

Nicolasa married Dr. Vicente Panlilio with whom she had five children. During the Second World War, the Panlilios moved to Malate, Manila, having lost their home in Pampanga. Nicolasa died of heart failure on April 1, 1945.

For the past 11 years, the City Government of San Fernando, Pampanga has paid respect and given honor to the once unsung heroine. In 2004, Nicolasa Dayrit Panlilio’s remains were reinterred at her monument located at the Henson-Hizon House along the CSFP Heritage District. The house is presently owned by the Panlilio Family.

This year, the CSFP Council of Women headed by Dr. Leticia Yap, together with the Panlilio Family and other private sector leaders, continue the legacy of our heroine by coming up with a series of meaningful activities that give tribute to women. A series of livelihood activities will be held for barangay women’s committees and organized organizations, including training and technical assistance from the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Trade and Industry.

On September 10, a wreath laying ceremony will be held at the Heroes Hall, City of San Fernando, Pampanga and Mayor Edwin Santiago together with the Council of Women will lead the commemoration. There will also be an awarding ceremony for the Natatanging Fernandina finalists, women leaders in the community who exemplify the legacy of Nicolasa Dayrit.

Soroptimist International Pampanga Star led by Engr. Lorie Malaluan will also be holding a benefit ballroom dancing event entitled "Shake, Rock and Roll", which will be held at the Heroes Hall on September 12 at six in the evening.

Truly, September will once again be a meaningful month as we give honor to our heroine Nicolasa Dayrit Panlilio and ensuring that her legacy is alive as well.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 06, 2014.

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