HISTORY WATCH: Salud and Arcadia Valenzuela – two Warrior Women in Cagayan de Oro

Today is International Women’s Day and two women warriors in Cagayan de Oro in the past – Salud/Salur during the Spanish Period and Arcadia Valenzuela during the American Period are featured recognizing their feats. Get to know them below.

SALUD/SALUR (Spanish Period)

Around 1659, a native Baylan (shaman) known as Salud or Salur lead a revolt against the Spaniards. She was labeled as a witch for propagating their native rituals and practices that were against the church at that time. Many people joined her cause and made defenses in the forest making it difficult for the Spaniards to capture her.



When leaders of the town of Cagayan decided to resist the incoming US forces, they quickly organized in order to combat the incoming Americans. One of the leaders, Arcadia Valenzuela y Babangha organized a troop comprised of mostly women from Lapasan. They had military drills held at Plaza Cagayan (today’s Gaston Park). Arcadia survived the Fil-Am War and died sometime in the 1920’s due to old age.


source: City Historical Commission

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