Celebration of Life
As we honor each one in their birth month, we thereby keep their light burning in our hearts and homes, our communities, and in our country. Read and be inspired by the lives of Bantayog martyrs and heroes who celebrate their birthday this month.
Gallery of Wisdom
Learn and be inspired from words of wisdom coming from Bantayog martyrs and heroes.
Lawyer Rolando Olalia (Ka Lando) projected a quiet and shy persona that was a startling contrast to his life of dramatic political struggles. He was a humble person who, at the time of his assassination, was a leader of thousands of democrats, nationalists and activists from the Philippine labor and anti-dictatorship movement.
Ka Bert was not in the best of health by the time of this arrest. He became even more ill in prison due to terrible jail facilities. He was eventually released on “house arrest.” He died not long after. He was 80.
Jorge Checa was the 7th of nine children of a couple who migrated to Manila from Negros Occidental. His father worked at various jobs while his mother cared for the big family. At the Philippine College of Commerce (now Polytechnic University of the Philippines), Jorge showed a skill for oration, singing and acting. He became active with the college theater group Kamanyang.
The day he disappeared, on March 14, 1984, Julieto was on his way to the Claver National High School, where he and a coworker were expected to conduct a spiritual retreat for graduating seniors. The driver said his jeepney was stopped by soldiers at a checkpoint of the 36th infantry battalion.
Ma. Violeta Marcos was christened Maria Remedios. She grew up amidst a devoted Catholic family. The young Remedios grew up religious herself, going to Mass and receiving communion daily. She was shy and quiet, even docile. Her mother brought her every year for a religious pilgrimage to Antipolo in Rizal, praying she would survive a sickly childhood.
When the student ferment of the early 1970s reached Iligan City, Venerando’s older brothers joined the Kabataang Makabayan. He too joined later. Owning a booming voice, he was soon making fiery speeches before crowds. He was tall at 5’11”and he carried himself well, and so was easy to see in a crowd.
Ceasar Jr., the eldest son, was 22 years old when his father died in 1969 and made him take up the role of family head. Then a criminology student in Manila, he often went back home to look in on the family and their livelihood.
Crispin Beltran was born a poor man, lived a life of service, and when it was done, he left this world still with but a few coins in his name just as when he started, but making a mark despite himself.
Born and raised in Daet, Rogelio Guevarra, 45, worked at several jobs in Manila during his bachelor days. He was sales clerk at an appliance store and then tailor at a shop in Sampaloc, Manila, where his father also worked. During visits to the province, he met Juana Abad, wooed and married her, and the two settled in Matnog, to farm on Juana’s father’s land. The couple had five children.
Benjamen Suyat, 47, was born in Tabaco, Albay but he and his siblings grew up in Matnog. Seeking sanctuary from the Japanese during its occupation of the Philippines in the 1940s, the Suyat couple relocated to mountainous Camarines Norte. Benjamen became a tenant farmer, and his wife Margarita sold farm produce in the local market. The couple had ten children.