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May 30th
Home Sections History Finding First Julian Gerona in Guam and then Bringing him Home to Sorsogon
Finding First Julian Gerona in Guam and then Bringing him Home to Sorsogon PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - History
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Monday, 06 June 2011 09:53


By Lolo Bobby M. Reyes of Sorsogon City and West Covina, California


W hen Fernando Gerona, IV, became my friend in the Facebook, I asked him if he was related to the great Filipino patriot and Philippine-Independence revolutionary hero, Don Julian Gerona of Bulan, Sorsogon. Fernando replied that he is Don Julian’s great-grandson. He asked if I could help the Gerona Family bring his remains back to his beloved hometown of Bulan from Guam, where presumably Don Julian died in exile.


This writer told Fernando that I have been writing about Don Julian and how he was exiled to Guam by the American colonial powers in these articles:


More-than a Century of Filipino Writing in English




Filipino Literature in English (Part Two)




The Filipinos’ Unfinished and Coming Agenda in Guam




“Julian Gerona, one of the foremost Bulaneños of his time, and was the first secretary to the First Philippines Assembly of 1907.” A picture of Don Julian appears also in the said website of Bulan town, as per this URL:


It seems that the official Bulan town’s website is wrong. Don Julian was exiled in January 1901 to Guam and he apparently died there. He was banished to Guam with other Filipino revolutionary heroes, as per this account in the diary of Apolinario Mabini:



January 16, 1901


At 11:00 a.m. we boarded Rosecrans that was anchored at Manila Bay. The prisoners on board were the following:


Artemio Ricarte, Pio del Pilar, Maximino Hizon, Mariano Llanera, Francisco de los Santos, Macario de Ocampo, Esteban Consortes, Lucas Camerino, Julián Gerona, Pedro Cobarrubias, Mariano Barruga, Hermógenes Plata, Cornelio Riquiestas, Fabián Villaruel, Juan Leandro Villarino, José Mata, Igmidio de Jesús, Alipio Tecson, Apolinario Mabini, Pablo Ocampo, Maximino Trías, Simón Tecson, Lucino Almeida, Pío Varicán and Anastacio Carmona. All in all, there were 25 of us, excluding the 9 accompanying assistants of the prisoners. Among them were my brother, Prudencio Mabini, Mr. Ocampo’s brother-in-law (Pablo), Mr. Rivera and a young son of Francisco de los Santos.


We boarded at about noon. Since there was no lunch prepared for us on the boat, we had to wait for dinner, as it was already late in the afternoon.


Nevertheless, I believe a number of us did not feel hungry then, for we were more overcome by our emotions that day.

UNQUOTE. Source:


Fernando Gerona, IV, promised to send later this year a more-complete biography of Don Julian for publication in this website. Perhaps Don Julian’s descendants can tell us the complete story of his life and exploits.


Starting the Process of Bringing Home Don Julian and Other Filipino Heroes Buried in Guam


W hile we, writers and journalists, can only write about heroes and their advocacies and activism, government officials are supposed to put into practice what we have written. It is in the same manner that I wrote about the need to locate and bring back the remains of Filipino (and Bicolano) heroes exiled to Africa by the Spanish colonial authorities in the 19th century, as per this article:


Correcting Bicol History and Remembering the Bicolano (and Filipino) Heroes Exiled to Africa




But then Filipino national and provincial officials did not bother to act on this writer’s suggestion that the remains of all Filipino revolutionary heroes who were exiled abroad should be returned to their hometowns for proper burial.


A fter this writer’s Facebook dialogue with Fernando Gerona, IV, he contacted Apo Ernie Gange of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Apo Ernie is the chairman of the budding American-Filipino Public Affairs Council, which is to be based eventually in Washington, DC. He is also the first Filipino-American member of the Board of Trustees of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation. I suggested to Apo Ernie that he should get in touch with the Guam member of the United States House of Representatives for assistance and/or coordination of a mission to find the remains of Don Julian and his comrades and bring them home to their beloved hometowns.


Next we will discuss the mechanics of funding the mission to Guam and how to do it.


(To be continued . . .)

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Last Updated on Monday, 06 June 2011 10:17

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