León Kilat

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.[citation needed]

Pantaleón Villegas
Born(1873-07-27)July 27, 1873
DiedApril 8, 1898(1898-04-08) (aged 24)
Other namesLeón 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.[1]

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.
4 AprilEdit
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.
7 AprilEdit
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.


On 8 April 1898, Good Friday, in Carcar, Cebu, Pantaleón Villegas was betrayed and stabbed to death by Apolinario Alcuitas, his aide-de-camp. [2]


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.[3]

In popular cultureEdit

  • Portrayed by Ace Espinosa in 1998 episode of ABS-CBN's Bayani in Episodes "Leon Kilat 1898"


  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20091026192428/http://geocities.com/lkilat/
  2. ^ "Western Visayas:Pantaleon Villegas". Retrieved 2007-08-13.
  3. ^ Pal, Alex (2008-08-04). "Bacong remembers Leon Kilat's heroism". The Visayan Daily Star. p. 18.

External linksEdit