Licerio Gerónimo y Imaya
August 27, 1855
|Died||January 16, 1924 (aged 68)|
|Resting place||Rodriguez, Rizal, Philippines|
|Known for||Philippine Revolution|
Battle of Paye
|Spouse(s)||Francisca Reyes |
Licerio Imaya Gerónimo (August 27, 1855 – January 16, 1924) was a general of the Philippine Revolutionary Forces under Emilio Aguinaldo. He is remembered in Philippine-American War annals as the opposing general to Major General Henry Ware Lawton at the Battle of San Mateo on December 19, 1899, where Lawton lost his life along with 13 other Americans. His claim to fame as the general who brought down Henry Ware Lawton is considered ironic, as Lawton had been previously credited with the capture of the Apache leader Geronimo.
Gerónimo was born in Sampáloc, Manila on August 27, 1855 to Graciano Geronimo, a native of Montalban, Morong Province, and Flaviana Imaya, a native of Gapan, Nueva Ecija. He was the eldest of six siblings.
When he was nine, he lived with his grandfather in a farm in San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan Province. At 14, he joined his father in Montalban where he helped in farm chores. Due to poverty, Geronimo did not enjoy the benefits of formal education but he learned how to read and write with the help of a friend who taught him the alphabet.
He married twice; his first marriage to Francisca Reyes ended with her death. His second wife was Cayetana Lincaoco of San Mateo, who bore him five children. He earned a living by farming, and by working as a boatman on the Marikina and Pasig rivers, transporting passengers to and from Manila. 
Geronimo was recruited into the secret revolutionary society Katipunan by his godfather, Felix Umali, alguacil mayor of barrio Wawa, Montalban.
A member of the Katipunan, Gerónimo was part of the rebel group that assaulted the San Juan del Monte gunpowder magazine on August 30, 1896, and organized forces under his command in Montalban, San Mateo, and Marikina.
In 1897, he took part in the Battle of Mount Puray, and was designated as Division General in charge of Rizal Province after the death of Andres Bonifacio. After the defeat of the Spanish, he was then appointed by General Antonio Luna as the commanding general of the third military zone of Manila, and it was in this capacity that he served in the Battle of San Mateo.
By 1900, he was appointed as the superior chief of the second and third zones of Manila, and he also held the commands of Morong and Marinduque. On March 29, 1901 Gen. Licerio Gerónimo, 6 officers, and 40 soldiers surrender at San Mateo, Manila to Col. J Milton Thompson and the 42nd Regiment of Infantry. Col Thompson informed Gen. Gerónimo of Emilio Aguinaldo's capture 6 days prior. He remained skeptical until Col. Thompson produced a newspaper headlining Aguinaldo's capture. Shortly afterwards, Gen. Licerio Gerónimo, along with his troops, took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.
Gerónimo later worked for the United States and enlisted for the Philippine Constabulary on June 1, 1902 as an inspector, successfully bringing in bandits and former soldiers roaming the countryside. He was also part of the search party that brought down General Luciano San Miguel and his followers on March 27, 1903.
He left the constabulary on May 16, 1904 and returned to work his farm in Barrio San Rafael, Montalban.
Gerónimo died on January 16, 1924 and his remains were interred in the Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolución in Manila North Cemetery, La Loma, Manila. His remains were then reinterred in the base of the Licerio Geronimo Memorial located in Rodriguez, Rizal on February 20, 1993.
Barangay Geronimo and General Licerio Gerónimo Memorial National High School in Rodriguez, Rizal, and General Licerio Gerónimo Public Elementary School and a street in his hometown of Sampáloc, Manila were named in his honor.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Licerio Gerónimo.|
- "An Act Renaming the Hilltop Rizal Philippine National Police (PNP) Command in the Municipality of Taytay, Province of Rizal as Camp General Licerio Geronimo". Act of February 4, 2019.