Virtual Tour

The Luna brothers, Juan and Antonio, participated in the struggle for Philippine independence, each using his unique talent. Juan, the renowned painter, and Antonio, the chemist and general, served our country during the most difficult stage of creating the Filipino nation.
 Juan, the older of the two, was born in Badoc, Ilocos Norte on 23 October 1857. Initially trained as a seafarer, Juan began his art apprenticeship at Manila’s Academia de Dibujo y Pintura under Filipino painter Lorenzo Guerrero. He traveled to Madrid, Spain in 1877 to continue his studies at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. There he excelled in the classical style.
 His painting, Dafnis y Cloe, won the silver palette award in 1883 from the Liceo Artistico de Manila and La Muerte de Cleopatra won the second-class silver medal at the 1881 Madrid Exposición General de Bellas Artes. Juan’s reputation was further bolstered when he won the first-class gold medal in Madrid for his Spoliarium in 1884, and subsequently received important commissions from the Spanish government for such works as La Batalla de Lepanto and España y Filipinas. Juan Luna thus proved true Jose Rizal’s words when Rizal offered a toast in honor of the victory of Juan and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo at the 1884 Madrid Exposición: “Genius has no country; genius bursts forth everywhere; genius is, like light and air, the patrimony of all.”
 Though his artistic career flourished in Paris, France, Juan’s domestic life was turbulent. In 1892 in a rage of jealousy, he killed his wife, Paz Pardo de Tavera, and his mother-in-law, Juliana Gorricho Pardo de Tavera. Tried in Paris, Juan was absolved of the crime that the court believed he had committed in defense of his honor. Returning to the Philippines in 1894, Juan reinvigorated his creativity, but he and his younger brother, Antonio, were imprisoned in 1896 for suspected involvement in the Katipunan although at the time, they did not yet support the revolution. In 1898 Juan became a partisan for independence and served as the Philippine revolutionary government’s diplomatic agent in France. He died of a heart attack on 7 December 1899 in Hong Kong.
Antonio Luna was born on 29 October 1866 in Binondo, Manila, the youngest of seven siblings. He studied at the Ateneo de Manila where he finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1881.
Antonio studied for two years at the University of Santo Tomas, where he received a prize for his work, Dos Cuerpos Importantes de Quimica, and then went to Europe in 1886. He received his Licentiate in Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona and his doctorate in the same discipline at the Universidad Central de Madrid in 1890.
As a pharmacist, Antonio met with experts from Ghent, Belgium and Paris. In 1893 he published his El Hematozoario del Paludismo in Madrid, which was recognized as an important study of malaria.
 While in Spain, Antonio also participated in the campaign for reforms through his political writings. Under the pen name ‘Taga-Ilog,’ he wrote articles for the reformist periodical, La Solidaridad, which criticized the friars and abusive government officials and aspired for changes in the colony.
 In May 1894 Antonio accompanied his older brother Juan and returned to Manila. Antonio continued his scientific work on prevalent diseases caused by bacteria and also taught fencing in his own Salon de Armas. When the revolution broke out in August 1896, Antonio and his brothers, Juan and Jose, were among those jailed in Fort Santiago. While his brothers were released, Antonio was transferred to the Cárcel Modelo de Madrid in February 1897. After his release, Antonio studied military science in Belgium and when he returned to the Philippines in July 1898, he carried a recommendation from the Filipino diplomat, Felipe Agoncillo, to serve in Gen. Aguinaldo’s army.
 Antonio played a huge role in the war against the United States. He served as Director and Assistant Secretary of War and led different battles in Caloocan, Bulacan, and Pampanga. Because of his strict leadership and punishment of wrongdoing, he incurred the wrath of some soldiers. Antonio also opposed members of the Aguinaldo cabinet who favored autonomy under American rule; these men witnessed Antonio’s volatile temper on several occasions.
 On 5 June 1899, Antonio arrived in Gen. Aguinaldo’s headquarters in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, having received a telegram ordering him to appear at the headquarters. Aguinaldo was not present, however; instead, Antonio saw some soldiers of the Kawit Batallion whom he had scolded and disarmed months earlier. The soldiers shot him and his companion, Col. Paco Roman, and hacked them to death.
 The Museum of Juan and Antonio Luna is a middle-class bahay na tisa in Barangay Garreta in Badoc, Ilocos Norte. The house was completely damaged by fire in 1861, after the Luna family had moved to Manila. The Luna house was ceded to the government in 1954 and completely restored by the National Historical Institute and the Department of Public Works and Highways in 1977.
 The Museum has six galleries:
  • Gallery 1: Life and Career of Juan Luna
  • Gallery 2: Juan’s Studio in Paris
  • Gallery 3: Life and Career of Antonio Luna
  • Gallery 4: The Luna Home in the 19th Century
  • Gallery 5: Antonio’s Letter to Conchita Castillo
  • Gallery 6: Trench Warfare
 The Museum also has an e-learning room for online lessons on Philippine history.
To arrange a visit to the Museo ni Juan at Antonio Luna, please call:                  
Badoc, Ilocos Norte
Museum Curator: Angel Raguindin
Cellular phone number: +639175536084
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Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.