By C.E.L. Ruffolo | February 1, 2017

Let me start this review with a confession.

Photo from Palm Grass Hotel

This is my first time to read a literary work that has something to do with the revolution that happened here in Cebu.

Since I just started my foray into the world of Cebuano history, heritage and culture, I feel like Emil Justimbaste’s Leon Kilat: The Untold Story of the 1898 Cebu Revolution was a revelation of the events in history that was not known to many .

It was a welcomed break from all the books and materials I read over the last seven months which were written by non-Filipino authors.

Justimbaste was assistant news editor of the community newspaper The Freeman when he embarked on a project to uncover these events and document them via a series of articles published in the same newspaper.

My history lessons back in the elementary and high school years discussed the trials and triumphs of Rizal, Bonifacio, Aguinaldo, Del Pilar, Silang and Aquino, it never mentioned the name Leon Kilat or Pantaleon Villegas. Only Lapu-Lapu and Dagohoy made it to the Luzon-centric narrative.

This is a book that opened my eyes to a different angle in Philippine history. It has encouraged me to read more literary works that discusses Cebu and the less known provinces of this country.

I just feel though that the layout and physical composition of the Justimbaste book could have been improved. The font size was too small. I wish the book size was smaller. Other than these personal preferences, I don’t have any more complaints.

Kudos to Tres de Abril Printing Press and Palm Grass Heritage Hotel for taking the brave step of publishing this book. I wish to read more local books and have promised to myself to finish at least one a month.I am now reading Resil Mojares’ The Feast of the Santo Niño: An Introduction to the History of a Cebuano Devotion.

Find a copy of this book at The Palm Grass Hotel on 68 General Junquera St. barangay Kalubihan, Cebu City. It’s near the University of San Carlos Downtown Campus.