Diary of Simeon Villa

April 8 and 9, 1900

Nothing of importance.

The honorable president is preparing for a decisive attack on Bangued.

On the afternoon of the 9th the honorable president attended the drilling by the soldiers, and his attention was attracted to a 16-year-old boy among them, who, besides being well versed in tactics, showed by his bearing that he was of noble and refined parents. The honorable president, unable to resist his affection for the boy, had Major Gatmaitan called, and then asked him who that boy was. The major told him that the boy was a son of the lawyer Ventus, of Nueva Ecija Province, who was shot by the Spaniards during the revolution of 1896. Then the honorable president at once sent for the boy, who did not delay in presenting himself, and asked him who he was, and how and by what means he had entered the army. The boy replied that his name was Paquito Ventus, a son of a man shot by the Spaniards; that his father was a paralytic years before the misfortune; that his mother had also been dead some time; that he had eight brothers, but five of these were minors like himself; that impelled by the profound grief under which he was suffering he entered the Filipino ranks of General Tinio’s brigade; that his present rank was that of a corporal; and that during a fight with the Americans in Ilocos he was on the point of being captured, but owing to the fight taking place in the mountains he had been able to escape by climbing up among the precipices.

When asked by the honorable president if his ideas were firm and inflexible, he replied that he would prefer to live and die in these mountains rather than submit to foreign rule. The honorable president immediately ordered the captain of the company to strike Ventus’s name off the rolls, as the honorable president would take charge of him. Since then Ventus has been in the honorable president’s quarters, being well treated and considered as a veritable son.