Even if he knew I was extremely busy, my friend Monk provoked me into doing research about a place I came across sometime ago. To get back at him, I am writing this article to prove Monk wrong.

It all started when I posted pictures about a monument I accidentally stumbled upon. I had absolutely no idea of the significance of the monument or the place where it was located. At that time, I thought it would be interesting to find out how many people actually knew of the monument.

Where in the world is this?

My little sister knew about the place where the monument is located because she is a nerd. Monk knew about the monument and the place as he lives in the area.  According to Monk, the monument, which stands in Pinaglabanan, San Juan, “[i]s a story of a death match between three men for the love and loin of a woman. Unfortunately for the woman, the man she loved was one of the vanquished men.” Of course, the unsuspecting me thought this was all true. I later realized that Monk was pulling my leg when I asked him this question: “What does this monument have to do with Pinaglabanan?” and his answer was this – “Referring to the woman, ‘Pinaglabanan’ siya ng tatlong lalake. (Three men fought over her.) Duh!” As Monk refused to tell me the real story of the place and the monument, I had to find out about it on my own. (Thanks, Monk. Some friend you are.)

Where in the world is this?

“During the pre-Spanish times, San Juan was a mere village until it became a small encomienda in 1590. Formerly a barrio of Santa Ana de Sapa, which was ruled by King Lacantagean and his wife Bouan, the town derived its name from the patron saint San Juan de Bautista (Saint John the Baptist), and ‘Del Monte,’ often annexed to it, was named after the hilly structure of the land. 
In 1602, the Dominican friars built a retreat house for their immediate use, where aging convalescing friars stayed. Later, the Dominicans Constructed a convent sanctuary and a stone church dedicated to the Holy Cross, a church destined to be ravaged during the Spanish occupation. To this day, the thrice-rebuilt church of the Holy Cross stands on the same site, with the Aquinas School for the boys and the Dominican College for the girls. In 1783, San Juan became independent of Sta. Ana but it was still then a barrio. 
History remained silent in the town of San Juan until August 30, 1896 when Spanish-Filipino war erupted and became the most inspiring battle in our history, the Battle of San Juan Del Monte.” (

According to this article,

“[t]he first major battle of the Philippine revolution took place in San Juan Del Monte (now San Juan) on Aug 30, 1896. On the evening of August 29, 1896, the Katipuneros marched toward El Polvorin (powder depot), a Spanish position in San Juan del Monte. The polvorin, situated at the corner of present-day Pinaglabanan and N. Domingo Streets, was defended by a Spanish garrison of 100 men (infantry and artillerymen).” This article further states that, “San Juan was a quiet town until the Spanish authorities found out about the Katipunan, a revolutionary group. On August 30, 1896, Katipunan Supremo Andres Bonifacio was forced to attack the powder depot in San Juan. That historic attack henceforth is commemorated annually by the town known as ‘The Battle of Pinaglabanan’.”

The word pinaglabanan is, of course, the Filipino term for “a thing that is fought over”.

What does this mean? What does this mean? What does this mean?

The monument is a 1974 sculpture by Ed Castrillo called the Spirit of Pinaglabanan. It is not at all about a battle for the love and loin of a woman. Rather, the sculpture is a tribute to the many Filipinos who died in the Battle of Pinaglabanan.


  1. April 24th, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Wonder Twin says:

    Well, although Monk’s version of Pinaglabanan is far from true, you still have to give him points for creativity =)

  2. May 4th, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    pandora says:

    Hi Wonder Twin! Did Monk pay you to pay him a compliment? :-)

  3. July 12th, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    don juan says:

    I’m about to report this on tuesday next week. haha I’ll use some of the info’s here. :p

  4. July 12th, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    pandora says:

    To Don Juan: Sure. If you come across additional “credible” (i.e., not like the one Monk shared) information about Pinaglabanan, San Juan, please share it with me.

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