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Hero of the Philippine Revolution
Padre Jose Ma. Burgos
  • priest-reformist
  • one of the GOMBURZA martyrs executed by Spain, on suspicion of rebellion
  • taught Rizal at the Ateneo de Manila
  • born February 9, 1837
  • died February 28, 1872 at Bagumbayan by execution

Padre Jose Ma. Burgos studied in San Juan de Letran. He sought equal treatment for browns and whites. He was busy seeking reforms when the Cavite Revolt broke out in 1872.

Padre Burgos was suspected to be one of those inciting the people to revolt. On February 15, 1872, during a secret trial, three Filipino priests were sentenced to die at the gallows.

The three priests, Fathers Gomez, Burgos and Zamora were executed at the gallows in Bagumbayan on February 28, 1872. The three martyred priests were collectively called the GOMBURZA.

Excerpts from Talambuhay ng mga Bayani
by Rene Alba

The GOMBURZA priests were executed in Bagumbayan in 1872, and buried in an unknown location at the Paco Cemetery.

This Centennial year, bones believed to be the missing bones of the Gomburza martyrs were accidentally found at the Paco Park Cemetery by the Manila City Engineers Office.

The youngest among the three Filipino Martyr Priests(Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora), Father Jose Burgos was born in Vigan, Ilocos Sur on February 9, 1837. His parents were Jose Burgos and Florencia Garcia.

Young Jose's first teacher was his mother who taught him to read and write. After finishing his elementary grades in Vigan in 1849, he went to Manila and enrolled at the San Juan de Letran College where he excelled in all subjects. At the age of 17, he finished Bachiller en Artes with honors. He studied priesthood at the University of Santo Tomas and said his first mass at the Parroquia del Sagrario de Intramuros.

For his courageous defense of the cause of Filipino priesthood, Father Burgos earned for himself the name "Champion of the Cause of the Filipino Clergy" but incurred the hatred of the Spanish friars. Thus, when the Cavite mutiny broke out in 1872, the Spanish authorities arrested him together with Father Gomes and Father Zamora, charging them of having incited the revolution. After a mock trial at Fort Santiago on February 15, 1872, they were sentenced to die by means of the garrote, a Spanish strangulation by an iron collar tightened by a screw. On February 17, 1872, they were executed in Bagumbayan, now the Luneta.

Father Jose Burgos. National Bookstore.

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