Martín Teófilo Delgado

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Martín Teófilo Delgado
General Martin Teofilo Delgado ca. 1901
Born November 11, 1858
Santa Barbara, Iloilo, Captaincy General of the Philippines
Died November 12, 1918(1918-11-12) (aged 60)
Culion, Palawan, Philippine Islands
Nationality Filipino
Occupation revolutionary, patriot

Martín Teófilo Delgado (November 11, 1858 – November 12, 1918), was a Filipino military leader during the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War, and was the first civilian governor of Iloilo Province during the American period, first appointed and then winning election in his own right.

Early life and education[edit]

Martín Delgado was born on November 11, 1858 in Santa Barbara, Iloilo, Philippines to a rich and aristocratic Spanish mestizo family. His parents were Don Jacinto Delgado and Gabriella Bermejo. He went to school at the Santa Barbara Parochial School and later at the St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary, then known as Seminario de San Vicente Ferrer, in Jaro and Ateneo Municipal in Manila.

Military and political career[edit]

At the age of 25, he was appointed teniente mayor of his hometown and capitan municipal; positions under the Spanish colonial government in the Philippines. During this period, he was conferring in secret with other Visayan revolutionaries, in preparation for the liberation of the Philippines from Spanish rule.

On 28 October 1898, Delgado marched into Santa Barbara and took control of the municipal building. On that same day, simultaneously uprisings took place in towns across Iloilo. On 17 November 1898, Delgado was promoted to Lieutenant general. On 24 December 1898, the Spanish forces under the command of General Diego de los Rios evacuated Iloilo[1]:511 and the Filipino flag was raised on Christmas Day. On 28 December 1898, General Marcus P. Miller leading an American force arrived to conquer Panay. Assisted by warships from Admiral George Dewey's command, they lowered the Filipino flag and hoisted the American Stars & Stripes, signifying American control.[2]

Filipino freedom fighter Gen. Martín Teófilo Delgado marching into Jaro (Iloilo) on 2. Feb. 1901 ahead of 30 officers and 140 men to surrender to Brig. Gen. Robert P. Hughes, regional commander of the US imperialist forces occupying the country.

General Delgado encouraged the Filipino troops to revive their nationalist cause. As the military governor of the province and General-in-Chief of the army, he challenged the American forces led by General Hughes using guerrilla tactics. Eventually, leading citizens of Iloilo wrote a circular urging General Delgado to surrender for the benefit of "the victims of useless resistance."[2]

On February 2, 1901 General Delgado formally surrendered in Jaro to the American military governor, Edmund Rice. Up to the time of his surrender, Delgado was the chief insurgent leader on the island of Panay. He was recognized by the Americans as "the ablest leader" on the island and appointed as the first Governor of Iloilo province upon the establishment of the civil government on 11 April 1901.[3]

On 3 March 1902, the first local election was held, and was elected governor of Panay. He served until March 1904.[1]:518

After his term, he returned to his hometown of Santa Barbara and served for eight years as superintendent of a leprosy sanitarium.

He spent his last years as superintendent of the leper colony on the island of Culion where he died on 12 November 1918 at the age of 60. A statue was erected in his honor in the town square of Santa Barbara, Iloilo, in 1998 during the occasion of the Philippine Centennial celebrations.


  • Quirino, Carlos. Who's Who in Philippine History. Maynila: Tahanan Books, 1995.
  • "National Historical Institute. Historical Markers: Regions V-XII. Maynila: National Historical Institute, 1993.


  1. ^ a b Foreman, J., 1906, The Philippine Islands, A Political, Geographical, Ethnographical, Social and Commercial History of the Philippine Archipelago, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons
  2. ^ a b "Gen. Martin Delgado: Proud Ilonggo nationalist leader". The News Today, Iloilo, Philippines. Retrieved 11 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Annual Reports of the War Department for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1901, Public Laws and Resolutions Passed by the Philippine Commission, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1901. 815 pp.