Born on July 27, 1873 in Bacong, Negros Oriental, Pantaleon “Leon Kilat” Villegas (1873-1898) joined the Katipunan while in Manila after the killing of the Visayan anglers in Calle Camba, Binondo on September 1896. Arrested and detained by the Spaniards, Leon Kilat escaped and joined the Revolutionary forces in Cavite on 1897. Tasked by General Emilio Aguinaldo to expand the Revolutionary movement in Cebu on the same year, Leon Kilat led the uprising of Tres De Abril in the town of Cebu on 1898. Killed in Carcar, Cebu on April 8, 1898, his remains were transferred to Bacong, Negros Oriental on August 2, 1926. On the same year, the first Leon Kilat Monument (standing, holding sword) and monument of Jose Rizal, the country’s National Hero, on the other side was constructed through the efforts of Mayor A.S. Ausejo. In 2008, the Leon Kilat Monument was recognized by the National Historical Institute as a National Treasure.
On June 11, 2009, another edifice built by the people of Bacong, Negros in the park fronting the Municipal Hall is said to protect the town from bad elements. This monument honors General Pantaleon “Leon Kilat” Villegas and the Cebuano Katipuneros who valiantly fought the Spaniards on the April 1898 revolution in Cebu and shed their precious blood for the independence of the Philippines. Finished under the administration of Mayor Lenin Alviola, the second monument sculpted by Danilo L. Sollesta is Leon Kilat riding a horse while raising his gun.
How to get there
The town of Bacong is about 8 to 10 kilometers from Dumaguete City going south. The Leon Kilat Monument is a known landmark as it is located near the Municipal Hall and the church of Bacong. It is located along the highway and it is reachable by Dumaguete-Bacong route jeepney or a Ceres bus to Bayawan and get off at Bacong. You can also hire a tricycle, taxi, or private vehicle. Do not hesitate to ask for directions from the folks and they will be glad to direct you to the place and the other tourist attractions of the town.