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Antonio Luna de San Pedro y Novicio-Ancheta (October 29, 1866 – June 5, 1899), an Ilocano born in Manila, was a Filipino pharmacist and general who fought in thePhilippine-American War. He was also the founder of the Philippines's first military academy, which existed during the First Philippine Republic. He was regarded as the most brilliant of the Filipino military officers during the war. Succeeding Artemio Ricarte as commander of the Philippine Revolutionary Army, he organized professional guerrilla soldiers later to be known as the Luna sharpshooters. His three-tier defense, now known as the Luna Defense Line, gave the American troops a hard campaign in the provinces north of Manila.
Antonio Luna de San Pedro y Novicio-Ancheta was born on October 29, 1866 in Urbiztondo, Binondo, Manila. He was the youngest of seven children of Joaquín Luna de San Pedro, from Badoc, Ilocos Norte, and Spanish mestiza Laureana Novicio-Ancheta, from Luna, La Union (formerly Namacpacan). His father was a traveling salesman of the products of government monopolies. His older brother, Juan, was an accomplished painter who studied in the Madrid Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. Another brother, José, became a doctor.
At the age of six, Antonio learned reading, writing, and arithmetic from a teacher known as Maestro Intong. He memorized the Doctrina Christiana (catechism), the first book printed in the Philippines. Common Catholic vocal prayers were all included in the book. The primary goal of the book was to propagate the Christian teachings in the Philippines.
He initially studied at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1881. He went on to study literature and chemistry at the University of Santo Tomas, where he won first prize for a paper in chemistry titled Two Fundamental Bodies of Chemistry. He also studied pharmacy, swordsmanship, fencing, and military...