The Battle of Tirad Pass: The Story of Gen. Gregorio del Pilar

On December 2, 1899 at around 6:30 in the morning, the Battle of Tirad Pass took place between 60 Filipino soldiers under the leadership of General Gregorio del Pilar and more than 300 American soldiers, most of whom were battle – hardened sharpshooters.  The American soldiers were under the leadership of General Peyton C. March.


General Del Pilar was born on November 14, 1875 at Bulacan, Bulacan and was also known as “Goyo” the boy general. He was the confidante and the right-hand man of General Emilio Aguinaldo who  ordered to block the American soldiers’ advance into Tirad Pass.


The 60 Filipino soldiers positioned themselves on top of tirad pass while the americans with a complete war equipment also found the best position to penetrate in the area. After fighting for more than 5 hours, the americans started feeling some sort of  the pain on their skin due to the extreme heat of the sun, so they  decided to rest for a while which also gave the Filipino soldiers the chance to rest as well.


When they resumed fighting, the americans were unable to advance with frontal assault as the Filipino soldiers ensured that the pass was heavily protected. However, the Americans  decided to find another way to get into the area by looking for a local who could help them out. There was this Igorot villager named Juanario Galut who was lured by the money paid to him by the Americans and led the american troops to the hidden path going to  tirad pass.


As the search succeeded, the Americans attacked the rare base of the outnumbered filipino soldiers, killing many of them including the 24-year-old commanding Brigadier general Gregorio del Pilar who was shot in the neck. Right there and then, the American soldiers stripped him bare of his military uniform and personal belongings.

Around 52 of the 60 Filipino soldiers  as well as their commanding officer Gregorio del Pilar died for the love of their country.


Find out more by watching this short video. Credits to the owner.


Gregorio del Pilar with arms folded