About the author: Simeon A. Villa (? — 1945). Personal physician of Emilio Aguinaldo. Had the rank of colonel in the Philippine Army. In 1908, he was elected in the special elections of that year to represent the second district in the Municipal Board. The Online Archives of California summarizes his life as follows:
Simeon A. Villa was born in Beata, Pandacan. He studied medicine at the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines and ophthalmology in Japan before becoming involved in revolutionary activities. He served under General Daniel Tirona in 1898, and was accused of committing atrocities against the Spaniards, accusations he did little to deny. During the next year, he was on the personal staff of Lieutenant-General Antonio Luna. During Aguinaldo’s flight from U.S. forces, Villa was part of the revolutionary leader’s inner circle. After the capture of Aguinaldo, Villa fled to Japan to avoid imprisonment; he returned to the Philippines in 1902. Villa died in 1945. [Source: Aguinaldo’s Odyssey; as told in the diaries of Col. Simeon Villa and Dr. Santiago Barcelona Manila: Publications of the Bureau of Public Libraries, 1963.]
His son, Jose Garcia Villa, became a National Artist for Literature.
About the diary: An entry in the New York Public Library (for an item in Manuscripts and Archives Division, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018-2788, Brooke Russell Astor Reading Room, Third Floor, Room 328) summarizes the diary as follows:
Typewritten translation of diary of Simeon A. Villa, sub-inspector of hospitals in the Philippine Army, translated from Spanish to English by American Lieutenant J. C. Hixon in 1901. Diary entries were made from November 13, 1899 through March 22, 1901 and describe the flight of Emilio Aguinaldo from Bayambang until his capture at Palanan. Certified by Hixon on June 5, 1901, with prefatory note by Captain John R. M. Taylor
The version used here was included in Affairs in the Philippine Islands. Hearings before the Committee … [Jan. 31-June 28, 1902] April 10, 1902. Ordered printed as a document, Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 1902. Reference was also made to “The Flight and Wanderings of Emilio Aguinaldo,” as serialized in Philippine Education Magazine, Vol. XXIII, No. 3, August, 1926. Subsequently published in Aguinaldo’s Odyssey: As Told in the Diaries of Col. Simeon Villa and Dr. Santiago Barcelona, Manila, Bureau of Public Libraries, 1963.