Lieutenant-General Pantaleón Villegas y Soldi (July 27, 1873 – April 8, 1898) better known as León Kilat ("Lightning Lion" in Cebuano), was a Filipino revolutionary leader in Cebu during the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish Empire. He was born in Bacong, Negros Oriental, to Policarpio Villegas and Doña Úrsula Soldi. His grandparents were Pedro Villegas, a Spaniard, and Dorotea Vergara, a daughter of a capitán of Vallehermoso.
|Died||April 8, 1898 (aged 24)|
|Other names||León Kilat|
In 1895, Pantaleón Villegas worked at Botica Antigua located in the corner of Calle del Palacio and Calle Legazpi (Burgos and Legazpi). It was a well-known drugstore frequented by many townsfolk. With him were Ciriaco Murillo and Eulogio Duque who told the writer Manuel Enríquez de la Calzada that Pantaleón actually used the name "Eulogio", instead of Pantaleón. Because there were two Eulogios working in the drugstore, the owner decided to call him "León" instead. The reason for him using the name "Eulogio" is not known.
Villegas did not stay long at Botica Antigua. He transferred to a bakery in Pahina (Página). From there he moved on to a circus on its way to Manila. The circus happened to be owned by a katipunero. It was there that he was recruited into the secret society of the Katipunan.
Revolutionary Leadership in CebuEdit
During the rebellion against Spain, Pantaleón Villegas led the revolutionaries in Cebu. Initially intending to begin the rebellion on an Easter Sunday, he was forced to change his plans when the Spaniards discovered the planned revolt.
Battle of Tres de AbrilEdit
3 April 1898, Palm SundayEdit
- Pantaleón Villegas and his men began the rebellion in Cebu.
- The rebels drove the Spanish forces into Fort San Pedro and took control of Cebu City. When the Spanish gunboat Maria Cristina opened fire, the rebels retreated to the Chinese quarter of Lutao.
- 500 men of the 73rd Native Regiment and Spanish cazadores with the cruiser Don Juan de Austria arrived under the command of General Tejeiro. This forced the rebels to retreat to San Nicolas.
- The Spanish continued pursuing the rebels into the mountain region until 8 April.
The town of Bacong in Negros Oriental honours Pantaleón Villegas with a statue in its plaza erected in 1926.
On July 27, 2008, the 135th anniversary of Pantaleón Villegas's birth, the Philippine National Historical Institute provided a historical marker in his honour to municipal and provincial officials of his hometown.
In popular cultureEdit
- "Western Visayas:Pantaleon Villegas". Retrieved 2007-08-13.
- Pal, Alex (2008-08-04). "Bacong remembers Leon Kilat's heroism". The Visayan Daily Star. p. 18.
- The untold story of Leon Kilat and Cebu's Revolution in 1898 at the Wayback Machine (archived October 26, 2009)