María Josefa Gabriela Cariño Silang (19 March 1731 – 20 September 1763) was a Filipino revolutionary leader best known as the first female leader of a Filipino movement for independence from Spain. She took over the reins of her husband Diego Silang’s revolutionary movement after his assassination in 1763, leading the Ilocano rebel movement for four months before she was captured and executed by the colonial government of the Spanish East Indies.
Gabriela Silang (March 19, 1731 – September 20, 1763), born Maria Josefa Gabriela Cariño, was born in Barangay Caniogan, Santa, Ilocos Sur to a Spanish Ilocano father Anselmo Cariño, a trader who ferried his wares from Vigan to Abra along the Abra River and a descendant of Ignacio Cariño, the first Galician from Spain to arrive in Candon, Ilocos Sur in late 17th century. Her mother was a Tinguian mother who was from a Tinguian Barrio in San Quintin Abra (now Pidigan).
She received a Christian upbringing from the town’s parish priest, and attained elementary level education at the town’s convent school. After being separated from her parents early in her childhood, she was raised by a priest, who eventually arranged a marriage between her and the wealthy businessman. They married in 1751, and he died three years later.