Pio Valenzuela was born in Polo, Bulacan on July 11,
1869. His parents, Francisco Valenzuela, a capitan mayor, and Lorenza
Alejandrino, were affluent.
After he was tutored at home, he was brought to Manila to study at San Juan de
Letran College. In 1888, he enrolled at him University of Sto. Tomas and
finished his Licenciado en Medicina in 1895. He practices his profession in
Manila and Bulacan.
In July 1892, when he was a medical student and the Katipunan was barely a week
old, he joined this secret organization. He became a close friend of its
founder, Andres Bonifacio, and was godfather to the Supremo’s and Gregoria de
Jesus’s first child. After their house burned down, Bonifacio and his family
lived with Valenzuela in the latter’s house.
Because of the lack of many printing types, he and Jacinto had to secure them.
For each type that was stolen by the four employees of the printing press of
Diaro de Manila, Valenzuela paid a peso. Aguedo del Rosario and Apolonio de la
Cruz gave him types free of charge.
A thousand copies of the first issue of Kalayaan dated January 18, 1896 came
out in mid-March.Even before he was conferred the medical degree, he was
elected physician of the society in January 1895 and fiscal general in
In December 31, 1895 election, he could have won the presidency of the
Katipunan Supreme Council had he not refused his compadre Bonifacio’s offer to
campaign for him. He was inducted together with the other elected officials at
Bonifacio’s residence on New Year’s Day in 1896.
On January 16, 1896, after spending a two-week stay in Polo, he returned to
Manila and took up residence at No. 35 Lavezares Street in San Nicolas. It was
considered a convenient place for him to live and edit the projected Katipunan
official organ. The printing press was transferred from the house of Bonifacio
and put under his management with the help of Ulpiano Fernandez, a printer of
El Comercio, and Faustino Duque, a San Juan de Letran Student, who were both
from his hometown.
He suggested the name Kalayaan for the society’s organ, which Bonifacio and
Emilio Jacinto approved. The latter took charge of editing it and upon
Valenzuela’s suggestion; Marcelo H. del Pilar’s name was printed as editor with
Yokohama, Japan as the place of publication. This was to mislead the Spanish
This maiden issue of eight pages published a news item written by Valenzuela
under his nom-de-plume Madlang-Away entitled Catuiran? Describing the cruelties
of Spanish priest and civil guards of San Francisco del Monte against a poor
He distributed copies of this paper in his province, Bulacan. After its
distribution to other parts of Luzon, the Katipunan rapidly gained many
adherents and sympathizers.
He considered the publication of Kalayaan as the most important accomplishment
of the Secret Chamber of the Katipunan. This body, composed of only three
members, Valenzuela, Bonifacio and Jacinto, was organized in Valenzuela’s
Lavezares house in early 1896. In one of its meetings in July 1896, it decided
the assassination of the notorious Fray Mariano Gil, parish priest of Tondo who
discovered the existence of the Katipunan. Dr. Valenzuela and Bonifacio
attempted to execute this plan but failed. Then they distributed at various
places letters implicating wealthy Filipinos in the Katipunan movement.
He was a member of the Katipunan committee which met with the Japanese Admiral
named Canimura and handed to him a memorial to be delivered to the Emperor of
Japan beseeching him for help in the Filipinos’ emancipation struggle. He was a
signer of this memorial.
He administered the Katipunan oath of membership to Isidro Torres, Feliciano
Jocson and three others who all proved loyal to the organization. He also
organized many branches of the Katipunan in various municipalities of Morong
and Bulacan. In April 1896, Valenzuela in the company of Bonifacio and his
brother Procopio and Jacinto organized the Katipunan branch in Kawit.He did not
neglect his profession. He gave free medicine to the poor.
At the secret general meeting called by Bonifacio on the night of May 1, 1896
at sitio Ugong in Pasig, Valenzuela present to the body a motion to solicit
contributions to buy arms and munitions from Japan in order to carry out the
revolution as early as possible. The motion was carried on condition that it
first is submitted for approval of Dr. Jose Rizal who was in exile in Dapitan.
Since he was the most highly educated member of the society, he was chosen as
the emissary to consult with Rizal..
Accopanying the blind Raymundo Mata, who was supposed to consult Rizal, and
Rufino Mugos, he left for Dapitan on June 15, 1896 under the assumed name
Procopio Bonifacio aboard the ship Venue. Immediately after their arrival six
days later, he and Rizal discussed privately the Katipunan plan. Rizal told him
that the revolution should not be started until sufficient arms had been
secured and the support of the wealthy Filipinos had been won over. Upon his
return to Manila, many Katipuneros came to him to ask about Rizal’s reply and
the day set for the revolution. As this would run the risk of exposing the
Katipunan to authorties, he was advised by Bonifacio to keep away from the
streets and hide from the members. He moved to the house of Dr. Anastacio
Francisco and then transferred to that of Maximo Cecilio, a pharmacist. He had
to practice his profession at night and at daytime; he went to towns far from
Manila in disguise.
In preparation for the eventuality that the Katipunan was discovered, Bonifacio
assigned him to procure at least 2000 bolos. One of of the company commanders, Pascual
Deato Of Polo, crawled towards the enemy's camp. About two kilometers away,
Bonifacio, Jacinto and Valenzuela took their positions on horses as the 10
companies gradually encircled it. When the Katipunan was discovered, he fled to
Balintawak on August 20, 1986. However, availing of the amnesty offered by the
August 30 decree of Governor General Ramon Blanco, he surrendered to the
Spanish authorities on September 1.
He was detained, tried and deported to Spain when he was tried anew and
sentenced to cadena perpetua. He was imprisoned frist in Madrid, then in
Malaga, Barcelona, and still later in Manila, Africa serving his term for about
He returned to the Philippines in April 1899. In Manila, he was denounced to
the American Military authorities as a radical propagandist and once more
imprisoned up September of the same year.
To suppress in agreesive leadership upon his release, he was made municipal
president of Polo. From 1902 to 1919, he served as president of the military
division of his district. From 1919 to 1925, he served the people of Bulacan
for two terms as provincial executive. As governor, he was uncompromising
against graft and corruption in the government.
After he retired from politics, he wrote his memoirs on the revolutionary days.
He also practiced his medical profession, but only for philanthropic purposes.
He was married to Marciana de Castro by whom he had seven children. Early in
the morning of April 6, 1956, he passed away in his hometown.