Román Basa

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Román Basa
Born Román Basa y Esteban
February 29, 1848
San Roque de Cavite
Captaincy General of the Philippines
Died February 6, 1897(1897-02-06) (aged 48)
Manila, Captaincy General of the Philippines

Román Basa (February 29, 1848 – February 6, 1897) was a Filipino patriot who was the second Supremo or leader of the Katipunan, the secret society which sparked the Philippine Revolution against Spanish rule in 1896. Basa was born to Mariano Basa and Dorotea Esteban in San Roque, Cavite where he also completed his primary schooling. It is not known where, or if, he completed his studies but he was employed in the Comandancia de Marina in Manila where he eventually rose to a position of responsibility.

While working in Manila, Basa lived in a boarding house where he met one of the founders of the Katipunan, Ladislao Diwa, who was then a law student at the University of Santo Tomas.

On November 9, 1892, he was initiated into the secret society under the name Liwanag (Brightness). With the connivance of a crewman of a ship which made weekly trips between Manila and Hong Kong, he smuggled into the country copies of La Solidaridad and the novels of José Rizal which were banned by the Spanish colonial government.

In 1893, he was elected president of the secret society and introduced some changes in its operations, particularly the formation of a women's auxiliary section. But he refused reelection the following year because of a difference with Katipunan founder Andrés Bonifacio. Their difference stemmed from Basa's refusal to induct his son Lucio into the Katipunan and Bonifacio's handling of the society's funds.

After the Katipunan was uncovered in July 1896, Basa was arrested for sedition and treason in September 1896. After being convicted by a Spanish military court, he was executed by musketry on February 6, 1897 along with Apolonio de la Cruz, Teodoro Plata, Vicente Molina, Hermenegildo de los Reyes, José Trinidad, Pedro Nicodemus, Feliciano del Rosario, Gervasio Samson and Doroteo Domínguez.


  • National Historical Institute, Filipinos in History 5 vols. (Manila: National Historical Institute, 1995)