Melchora Aquino de Ramos (January 6, 1812 – March 2, 1919) was a Filipino revolutionary who became known as "Tandang Sora" ("Tandang" is derived from the Tagalog word matanda, which means old) in the history of the Philippines because of her age when the Philippine Revolution broke out in 1896 (she was already 84 at the time). She gained the title Grand Woman of the revolution and the Mother of Balintawak for her heroic contributions to Philippine history.
Read more about Melchora Aquino de Ramos, and other prominent filipinas, at firstfilipina.blogspot.com. Melchora Aquino was born on January 6, 1812 in Caloocan. Melchora, daughter of a peasant couple, Juan and Valentina Aquino, never attended school. However, she was apparently literate at an early age and talented as a singer. She performed at local events as well as at Mass for her Church.
She was married to Fulgencio Ramos, a cabeza de barrio (village chief), and bore six children. Ramos died when their youngest child was seven and she was left as a single parent for their children.
Involvement in the revolution
In her native country, Aquino operated a store, which became a refuge for the sick and wounded revolutionaries. She fed, gave medical attention to and encouraged the revolutionaries with motherly advice and prayers. Secret meetings of the Katipuneros (revolutionaries) were also held at her house. Thus she earned the name, "Mother of the Katipunan" or revolution. When the Spaniards learned about her activities and her knowledge to the whereabouts of the Katipuneros, she was asked where there were hiding but refused to conquerors steadily. She was then arrested by the Guardia Civil and was deported to the Mariana Islands.
After the United States took control of the Philippines in 1898, Aquino, like other exiles, returned to Philippines until her death on March 2, 1919 at the age of 107. Her remains lie in her own backyard (now as Himlayang Pilipino Memorial Park, Quezon City).
As a token of gratitude, a Quezon City district and a road were named after her. Her profile was also placed in the Philippines' five-centavo coin from 1967 until 1992. She is also the first Filipina who appears on a Philippine peso banknote, in this case, a 100-peso bill from the English Series (1951-1966).