Home  »  Facts & FiguresHistory & Culture   »   5 Surprising Facts About Melchora Aquino

5 Surprising Facts About Melchora Aquino

5 Surprising Facts About Melchora Aquino

If you were an astute student in your history class, then you can probably recall who Tandang Sora is. For most people, however, she is nothing but a name of a place somewhere in Quezon City or just another old lady who died centuries ago.

But during the 1896 Philippine Revolution, Melchora Aquino or Tandang Sora was anything but irrelevant.

At the age of 84, she became the “Mother of Philippine Revolution” for her selfless support to the Katipuneros.  She gave 100 sacks of rice and three carabaos to the group as well as cured wounded Katipuneros, risking her own life in the process.

Also Read: 10 Little-Known Facts About The Katipunan

For her key role in the revolution, she was captured by the Spanish government and deported to Guam, where she worked as a house helper. She later returned to the Philippines and died at the age of 107 in 1919.

But aside from the basic facts about Melchora Aquino, what else can we know about the “grand old woman” of the Philippine Revolution? Here are 5 fascinating things you might want to know about Tandang Sora: 

1. She was often chosen as Reyna Elena when she was young

Born on January 6, 1812, to a wealthy farmer couple, Melchora Aquino grew up to be a talented singer, performing in church and local events.

She was also the frequent choice to play the role of Reyna Elena during the “Santacruzan,” a traditional event commemorating Empress Helen’s discovery of the Cross of Christ.

2. Her married name is Ramos, but most people know her by her baptismal name

Melchora Aquino was married to Fulgencio Ramos, a cabeza de barrio (similar to present-day barangay captain). She was widowed early and forced to raise their six children on her own, working hard to ensure they all received a proper education.

Copies of Aquino’s pictures, including her wedding photo, have been preserved by some of her great-grandchildren. In fact, her oldest surviving grandchild,  93-year-old Isabela Roxas, brought a scrapbook containing some of these pictures during Tandang Sora‘s 200th birth anniversary at Banlat, Quezon City.

Melchora Aquino on 100 peso bill
Source: www.panix.com

Tandang Sora is the first Filipina to appear on a Philippine peso banknote, specifically the 100-peso bill (English Series) from 1951 to 1966. She was later demoted to a five-centavo coin from 1967 to 1992 and has never been featured again on any banknote or coin since then.

4. Tandang Sora, The Movie

Tandang Sora 1947 movie
Source: Video 48

So far, only two movies were released to honor Melchora Aquino’s heroism.

The first one, directed by Lamberto Avellana, was the 1947 film “Tandang Sora” starring classic local movie icons Rosa del Rosario and Leopoldo Salcedo.

The second was an indie film with veteran actress Perla Bautista in the lead role.

5. There is a street in California named after her

In addition to a road and district in Quezon City, there is also a street in San Francisco, California that bears Tandang Sora’s name.

The said street is located near the Bayshore Freeway, between 3rd and 4th Streets. In this area, you can also find several streets named after famous Filipino patriots like Rizal and Bonifacio among others.

READ: 7 Places Around The World You Didn’t Know Were Named After Filipinos

Written by FilipiKnow

in Facts & Figures, History & Culture

Last Updated


FilipiKnow strives to ensure each article published on this website is as accurate and reliable as possible. We invite you, our reader, to take part in our mission to provide free, high-quality information for every Juan. If you think this article needs improvement, or if you have suggestions on how we can better achieve our goals, let us know by sending a message to admin at filipiknow dot net

Browse all articles written by FilipiKnow

Copyright Notice

All materials contained on this site are protected by the Republic of the Philippines copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published, or broadcast without the prior written permission of filipiknow.net or in the case of third party materials, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright, or other notice from copies of the content. Be warned that we have already reported and helped terminate several websites and YouTube channels for blatantly stealing our content. If you wish to use filipiknow.net content for commercial purposes, such as for content syndication, etc., please contact us at legal(at)filipiknow(dot)net

FILIPIKNOW® is a registered trademark of the owner of Pacific Pact with Registration No. 4/2019/00504365. All content is copyrighted.
Terms of Service & Privacy Policy About Filipiknow Facts & Figures