Pinaglabanan St., San Juan
Get Directions →
On the evening of August 29, 1896, Katipuneros marched toward El Polvorin, a Spanish position in San Juan del Monte. The first group, led by the Katipunan Supremo Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto, came from Mandaluyong, Rizal. The second group, led by Sancho Valenzuela, a rope maker, came from Santa Mesa. The Katipuneros reached San Juan del Monte by midnight. The following morning, August 30, they besieged the nearby El Deposito.
The Spaniards sent a frantic call for reinforcements. The Katipuneros regrouped in Santa Mesa, where they courageously engaged the arriving Spanish troops. Unfortunately, while they had the numbers, the Spaniards had both the training and the equipment.
Armed only bolos and homemade guns, the Katipuneros were easily outfought and forced to retreat. They suffered heavy losses but could claim they killed El Polvorin’s commanding officer.
The Battle of San Juan del Monte was the first of many one-sided engagements won Spain. But the courage and fortitude shown by the Filipinos that historic night in late August should have warned Spaniards that although they would win the battles, Filipinos would eventually win the war.
The five-hectare Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine is sprawled along an underground reservoir built in 1880. In 1 936 and again during the World War II the Americans used the structure for storing weapons.
The Shrine’s centerpiece is an evocative monument created by Edgardo Castrillo. Entitled “Spirit of Pinaglabanan,” its elongated figures portray the heroism of Katipuneros who fought and died in this battlefield.
The story of the Katipunan is retold in the Museum of the Philippine Revolution through facsimiles of documents and artifacts associated with the society.
Outside the Shrine grounds, in an area now occupied by the San Juan Elementary School, stands a ruined tower of El Polvorin.
The Pinaglabanan Memorial Shrine is located on Pinaglabanan Street in San Juan, Metro Manila. – nhcp.gov.ph