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Philippine Revolution
Malolos congress.jpg
A 19th century photograph of the Revolutionary Congress in Malolos
LocationPhilippines (Southeast Asia)

Filipino victory


 First Philippine Republic
Sovereign Tagalog Nation
supported by:  United States
limited aid:

Russia Russian Empire
Japan Empire of Japan
United Kingdom British Empire


  • Philippines Spanish Philippines
  • Cuba Spanish Cuba
Commanders and leaders

Andrés Bonifacio
First Philippine Republic Emilio Aguinaldo

United States George Dewey
Spain Ramón Blanco
Spain Camilo de Polavieja
Spain Fernando Primo de Rivera
Spain Basilio Augustín
Spain Fermin Jáudenes
100,000-300,000 soldiers and irregulars[1][not in citation given] 60,000-80,000 soldiers[1][not in citation given]
Casualties and losses
Official casualties are unknown. Official casualties are unknown.

The Philippine Revolution (called the Tagalog War by the Spanish),[citation needed] (Filipino:Himagsikang Pilipino) was an armed military conflict between the people of the Philippines and Spanish colonial authorities.

The Philippine Revolution began in August 1896, upon the discovery of the anti-colonial secret organization Katipunan by the Spanish authorities. The Katipunan, led by Andrés Bonifacio, was a liberationist movement and shadow government spread throughout much of the islands whose goal was independence from Spain through armed revolt. In a mass gathering in Caloocan, the Katipunan leaders organized themselves into a revolutionary government and openly declared a nationwide armed revolution.[2] Bonifacio called for a simultaneous coordinated attack on the capital Manila. This attack failed, but the surrounding provinces also rose up in revolt. In particular, rebels in Cavite led by Emilio Aguinaldo won early victories. A power struggle among the revolutionaries led to Bonifacio's execution in 1897, with command shifting to Aguinaldo who led his own revolutionary government. That year, a truce with the Spanish was reached called the Pact of Biak-na-Bato and Aguinaldo was exiled to Hong Kong. Hostilities, though reduced, never actually ceased.[3]

On April 21, 1898, the United States began a naval blockade of Cuba, the first military action of the Spanish–American War. On May 1, the U.S. Navy's Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey decisively defeated the Spanish navy in the Battle of Manila Bay, effectively seizing control of Manila. On May 19, Aguinaldo, unofficially allied with the United States, returned to the Philippines and resumed hostilities against the Spaniards. By June, the rebels had gained control over nearly all of the Philippines with the exception of Manila. On June 12, Aguinaldo issued the Philippine Declaration of Independence and the First Philippine Republic was established. Neither Spain nor the United States recognized Philippine independence. Spanish rule in the islands officially ended with the Treaty of Paris of 1898 which ended the Spanish–American War. In it Spain ceded the Philippines and other territories to the United States.[3] There was an uneasy peace around Manila with the American forces controlling the city and the weaker Philippines forces surrounding them.

On February 4, 1899, in the Battle of Manila fighting broke out between the Filipino and American forces, beginning the Philippine–American War. Aguinaldo immediately ordered, "[t]hat peace and friendly relations with the Americans be broken and that the latter be treated as enemies".[4] In June 1899, the nascent First Philippine Republic formally declared war against the United States.[5][6]

The Philippines would not become an internationally-recognized, independent state until 1946.


The main stream of influx over revolutionary ideas came at the start of the 19th century when the country was opened for world trade. In 1809, first English firms were established in Manila followed by a royal decree in 1834 opening the city officially to world trade. The Philippines had been governed from Mexico from 1565, with colonial administrative costs sustained by subsidies from the galleon trade. Increased competition with foreign traders brought the galleon trade to an end in 1815. After its recognition of Mexican independence in 1821, Spain was forced to govern the Philippines directly from Madrid and to find new sources of revenue to pay for the colonial administration.[7] At this point, post-French Revolution ideas entered the country through literature, which caused the rise of enlightened Ilustrado class in the society.

The 1868 Spanish Revolution brought to an end of the autocratic rule of Queen Isabella II and was replaced by a liberal government led by General Francisco Serrano. Serrano dispatched Carlos María de la Torre as the 91st governor-general in 1869. The leadership of de la Torre brought the idea of liberalism in the Philippines.

That same year, in 1869, the Suez Canal was opened to the world after almost ten years of construction.

The election of Amadeo of Savoy to the throne of Spain led to replacement of de la Torre in gubernatorial power in 1871. In 1872 the government of the succeeding governor-general Rafael de Izquierdo experienced the uprising of Filipino soldiers at the Fort San Felipe arsenal in Cavite el Viejo. Seven days after the mutiny, many people were arrested and tried. Three of these were secular priests: José Burgos, Mariano Gómez and friar Jacinto Zamora who were executed by hanging by Spanish authorities in Bagumbayan. Their execution had a profound effect on many Filipinos; José Rizal, the national hero, would dedicate his novel El filibusterismo to their memory.[8] Many Filipinos who were arrested for possible rebellion were deported to Spanish penal colonies. Some of them, however, managed to escape to Hong Kong, Yokohama, Singapore, Paris, London, Berlin, and some parts of Spain. These people met fellow Filipino students and other exiles who had escaped from penal colonies. Thrown together by common fate, they established a common organization known as the Propaganda Movement. These émigrés used their writings mainly to condemn Spanish abuses and seek reforms to the colonial government.

José Rizal's novels, Noli Me Tángere (Touch Me Not, 1887) and El Filibusterismo (The Filibuster, 1891), exposed Spanish abuses in socio-political and religious aspects. The publication of his first novel brought the infamous agrarian conflict in his hometown Calamba, Laguna in 1888 when Dominican haciendas fell into trouble of submitting government taxes. In 1892, Rizal, after his return from the Americas, established the La Liga Filipina (The Filipino League), a Filipino association organized to seek reforms from the colonial government. When the Spaniards learned that their haunted writer was in the Philippines, they arrested and deported Rizal a few days after the Liga was established.

The deportation of the Liga marked the dissolution of the organization. It was peaceful struggle to reform ended and was replaced by more aggressive one. On the night upon hearing the news that Rizal was deported to Dapitan, Liga member Andrés Bonifacio and his fellows established a secret organization named Katipunan in a house in Tondo, Manila. The Katipunan reached an overwhelming membership and attracted almost the lowly of the Filipino class. In June 1896, Bonifacio sent an emissary to Dapitan to reach Rizal's support, but the latter refused for an armed revolution. On August 19, 1896, Katipunan was discovered by a Spanish friar, which started the Philippine Revolution.

The revolution flared up initially in the eight provinces of Central Luzon. General Emilio Aguinaldo, a member of the Katipunan, spread armed resistance through Southern Tagalog region, where he liberated Cavite towns little by little. In 1896 and 1897, successive conventions at Imus and Tejeros decided the new republic's fate. By November, the republic was transferred in Biak-na-Bato, where a new constitution was ratified.

On May 1, 1898, the Battle of Manila Bay took place as part of the Spanish–American War. On May 24, Aguinaldo, who had returned from voluntary exile on May 19, announced in Cavite, "... I return to assume command of all the forces for the attainment of our lofty aspirations, establishing a dictatorial government which will set forth decrees under my sole responsibility, ..."[9] On 12 June, Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine independence[10] On 18 June, Aguinaldo issued a decree proclaiming a Dictatorial Government headed by himself.[11] On June 23, another decree signed by Aguinaldo was issued, replacing the Dictatorial Government with a Revolutionary Government.[12] Elections were held by the Revolutionary Government between June and September 10, resulting in Emilio Aguinaldo being seated as President in the seating of a legislature known as the Malolos Congress. On February 2, 1899, general hostilities broke out between U.S. and Filipino forces,[13] A session between September 15, 1898 and November 13, 1899 adopted the Malolos Constitution—creating the First Philippine Republic, with Aguinaldo as President. This, on June 12, 1899, promulgated a declaration of war on the U.S., beginning the Philippine–American War. U.S. forces captured Aguinaldo on March 23, 1901, and he swore allegiance to the U.S. on April 1. On July 4, 1902, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed a full and complete pardon and amnesty to all people in the Philippine archipelago who had participated in the conflict, effectively ending the war.[14][15]


Map of the Philippines at the end of 19th century.

The Philippine Revolution was an accumulation of numbers of ideas and exposition to international community that led to the opening of nationalistic endeavors. The rise of Filipino nationalism was slow but inevitable. Abuses by the Spanish government, military and the clergy prevalent during its three centuries of occupation, and the exposition of these excesses by the ilustrados in the late 19th century paved the way for a united Filipino people.[16][17] Unfortunately, the growth of nationalism was slow because of the difficulty in social and economic intercourse among the Filipinos. Thus, according to a dated letter to Father Vicente García of Ateneo Municipál de Manila written by the Filipino writer José P. Rizal:[18]

There is, then, in the Philippines,a progress or improvement which is individual, but there is no national progress.

—January 17, 1891

The Philippine–American War then ensued.

Opening of Manila to world trade

A sketch of a Spanish galleon during Manila-Acapulco Trade.

Before the opening of Manila to foreign trade, the Spanish authorities discouraged foreign merchants from residing in the colony and engaging in business.[19] The royal decree of February 2, 1800 prohibited foreigners from living in the Philippines.[20] as did the royal decrees of 1807 and 1816.[20] In 1823, Governor-General Mariano Ricafort promulgated an edict prohibiting foreign merchants from engaging in retail trade and visiting the provinces for purposes of trade. It was reissued by Lardizábal in 1840.[21] A royal decree in 1844 prohibited foreigners from traveling to the provinces under any pretext whatsoever and as late as 1857 the several anti-foreigner laws were renewed.[22]

With the wide acceptance of laissez-faire doctrine in the later part of 18th century, Spain relaxed its mercantilist policies. The British occupation of Manila in 1762–1764 made Spain realize the impossibility of isolating the colony from world intercourse and commerce.[23] In 1789, foreign vessels were given permission to transport Asian goods to the port of Manila.[24] Even before 1780s, many foreign ships including Yankee clippers had visited Manila regardless anti-foreign regulations. In 1790, Governor-General Félix Berenguer de Marquina recommended to the Crown the opening of Manila to world commerce.[25] Furthermore, the bankruptcy of the Real Compaña de Filipinas (Royal Company of the Philippines) catapulted the Spanish king to open Manila in world trade. By the royal decree of September 6, 1834, the privileges of the Company were abolished and the port of Manila was thrown open to trade.[26]

Economic surveys, port openings and admission of foreign firms

Shortly after the opening of Manila to world trade the Spanish merchants began to lose their commercial supremacy in the Philippines. In 1834, restrictions against foreign traders were relaxed when Manila became an open port. By the end of 1859, there were 15 foreign firms in Manila–seven of which are British, three are American, two French, two Swiss and one German.[27]

In 1834, some American merchants settled in Manila and invested heavily in business. Two American business firms were established—the Russell, Sturgis & Company and the Peele, Hubbell & Company. These became two of the leading business firms. At first, Americans had an edge over their British competitors in Manila, for they offered good prices for Philippine exports like hemp, sugar, and tobacco.[28]

American trade supremacy did not last long. In the face of stiff British competition, they gradually lost control over Philippine business. This decline was due to lack of support from the home government, and lack of U.S. trade bases in the Orient.[28] In 1875, Russell, Sturgis & Company went into bankruptcy, followed by Peele, Hubbell & Company in 1887. Soon thereafter, British merchants, including James Adam Smith, Lawrence H. Bell and Robert P. Wood, dominated the financial activities in Manila.[28]

Alarmed by the domination of British and Americans in the economy of Manila, Spanish diplomat to Asia Sinibaldo de Mas was sent by Madrid in 1842 to conduct an economic survey of the Philippines and submit recommendations.[29] After an intensive investigation of colonial affairs in the Philippines, Mas submitted his official report to the Crown. The report, "Informe sobre el estado de las Islas Filipinas en 1842", published in 1843 at Madrid. Mas recommended the following: opening of more ports to promote foreign trade, encouragement of Chinese immigration to stimulate agricultural development, and abolition of the tobacco monopoly.[30]

In response to Sinibaldo de Mas' recommendations, more ports were opened by Spain to world trade. The ports of Sual, Pangasinan, Iloilo and Zamboanga were opened in 1855. Cebu was opened in 1860, Legazpi and Tacloban in 1873.[31]


Leaders of the reform movement in Spain: José Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar and Mariano Ponce. Photo was taken in Spain in 1890.

The Ilustrados photographed gathered steps of an imperious Madrid building (ca.1890) aptly illustrate the way the Filipinos mobilized their defense against European racism through bourgeois satorial style.

Before the start of the Philippine Revolution, the Filipino society was merely subdivided into light social classification that was based on economic status of the people involved. There are two cases in this classification: the highest being a member of the principalia and the other is the masses. The principalia included landlords, teachers, local officials and ex-officials. The members of this class constituted the social aristocracy of a town.

The Spanish people belonged to the principalia class and they were further subdivided into two classes: the peninsulares and the creoles. The peninsulares were Spanish-born Spaniards living in the Philippines, or they were living in the colony but were born in Spain. The creoles or criollo people, were Spaniards born in the colonies. Although the peninsulares and the creoles enjoyed the same social power as they both belonged to the principalia, the peninsulares considered themselves as socially superior to the creoles.[32]

The lowest of the two classes was the masses, or Indios. This included all poor commoners, peasants and laborers. Unlike the principalia class where the members enjoyed high public offices and recommendations from the King of Spain, the masses only enjoyed a few civil rights and privileges. The highest political office that they could possibly hold is the gobernadorcillo, or being the town executive. The members of the secret society, Katipunan, that will trigger the revolution, consists mainly of the masses.[32]

Material prosperity at the start of 19th century produced an enlightened middle class in the Philippines, consisting of well-to-do farmers, teachers, lawyers, physicians, writers, and government employees. Many of them were able to buy and read books originally forfeited from the lowly Filipino class. They discussed political problems and thus sought government reforms, and eventually, they were able to send their children to colleges and universities in Manila and abroad, particularly, to Madrid. The material progress was due primarily to the opening of the Manila ports to world trade.[33]

From the enlightened middle class came the leading intellectuals of the country. They later called themselves as the Ilustrados, meaning erudite ones, as well as the intelligentsia branch of the society. From the Ilustrados rose the prominent members of the Propaganda Movement, who stirred the very first flames of the revolution.[34]

Liberalism (1869-1871)

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In 1868, a revolution overthrew the monarchy of Queen Isabella II of Spain and was replaced by a civil and liberal government led by Francisco Serrano. The next year, General Serrano dispatched Carlos María de la Torre, a member of the Spanish army, to become the 91st Governor-General of the Philippines. Filipino and Spanish liberals residing in the country welcomed him with a banquet at the Malacañan Palace on June 23, 1869. On the night of July 12, 1869, Filipino leaders, priests and students gathered and serenaded de la Torre at Malacañan Palace to express their appreciation and gratitude for his liberal policies. The serenade was led by prominent residents of Manila, including the Civil Governor of Manila José Cabezas de Herrera, José Burgos, Maximo Paterno, Manuel Genato, Joaquín Pardo de Tavera, Ángl Garchitorena, Andrés Nieto and Jacóbo Zóbel y Zangroniz.

Rise of Filipino nationalism

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In 1776, the first major challenge to monarchy in centuries occurred in the American Colonies. While the American Revolution succeeded, it was still an event in a relatively isolated area. In 1789, however, the French Revolution began changing the political landscape of Europe as it ended absolute monarchy in France. The power passed from king to people through representation in the parliament. People in other European countries began asking for the same representation in parliament. In the Philippines, this ideal spread in the colony through the writings of criollo writers as Luis Rodríguez Varela who called himself "Conde Filipino" (Earl of the Philippines).[35] This was the first instance that a colonist called himself a Filipino rather than a Spanish subject. With the rising economic and political stability in the Philippines, the Middle Class began demanding that the churches in the Philippines be nationalized through a process known as Secularization. In this process, the control of Philippine parishes were to be passed from the religious orders to the secular priests, particularly Philippine-born priests. The religious orders, or friars, reacted and a political struggle between the friars and secular priests commenced.

The 19th century was also a new era for Europe. Church power was at a decline and friars began pouring more to the Philippines, ending hopes for the friars ever relinquishing their posts. With the opening of the Suez Canal, the voyage between Spain and the Philippines was cut short. More peninsulares (Spaniards born in the Spain) began pouring into the colony and began occupying the various government positions traditionally held by the criollo (Spaniards born in the Philippines). In the 300 years of colonial rule, the criollos have been accustomed to being semi-autonomous with the governor-general being the only Spaniard (peninsulares) in the islands. The criollos demanded representation in the Spanish Cortes where they could express their agrievances. This together with the secularization issue gave rise to the Criollo Insurgencies.

Criollo insurgencies

In the late 18th century, Criollo (or Insulares, "islanders", as they were locally called) writers began spreading the ideals of the French Revolution in the Philippines. At the same time, a royal decree ordered the secularization of Philippine churches and many parishes were turned over to Philippine-born priests. Halfway in the process, it was aborted with the return of the Jesuits to the Philippines and the religious orders retaking Philippine parishes. One instance that enraged the Insulares was the Franciscan take over of the richest parish in the islands that had been under the Philippine-born priests, that of Antipolo. In the early 19th century, Fathers Pedro Peláez and Mariano Gómez began organizing activities that demanded the return of control of Philippine parishes to Filipino seculars. Father Peláez, who was Archbishop of the Manila Cathedral, died in an earthquake while Father Gómez retired to private life. The next generation of Insular activists included Father José Burgos who organized the student rallies in the University of Santo Tomas. In the political front, activists like Joaquín Pardo de Tavera and Jacobo Zobel. The unrest escalated into a large insurgency when Andres Novales, a creole captain, declared the independence of the Philippines from Spain and crowned himself Emperor of the Philippines in 1823.[35] In January 1872, the conflict of Insular uprisings came when soldiers and workers of the Cavite Arsenal of Fort San Felipe mutinied. They were led by Sergeant Ferdinand La Madrid, a Spanish mestizo. The soldiers mistook the fireworks in Quiapo for the feast of St. Sebastian as the signal for a long-planned national uprising. The colonial government used the incident to spread a reign of terror and liquidate subversive political and church figures. Among them were Priest Mariano Gómez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora who were executed through the garrote on February 18, 1872. They are remembered in Philippine history as Gomburza.[35]


La Solidaridad, La Liga Filipina and the Propaganda Movement

The Terror of 1872, its deportation of Criollos and Mestizos to the Mariana Islands and Europe created a colony of Filipino expatriates in Europe, particularly in Madrid. Filipinos in Europe founded La Solidaridad, a newspaper that pressed for reforms in the Philippines through propaganda. As such, this movement is also known in history as the Propaganda Movement. La Solidaridad included the membership of leading Spanish liberals such as Morayta. Among the pioneering editors of the paper were Graciano López Jaena, Marcelo H. del Pilar, and José Rizal.[36] The Propaganda Movement in Europe managed to get the Spanish legislature to pass some reforms in the islands but the colonial government did not implement them. After years of publication from 1889 to 1895, La Solidaridad had begun to run out of funds without accomplishing concrete changes in the Philippines. José Rizal decided to return to the Philippines and founded La Liga Filipina, the Manila chapter of the Propaganda Movement.

Merely days after its founding, Rizal was arrested by colonial authorities and deported to Dapitan, and the Liga was discontinued.[36] Ideological differences had contributed to the dissolution of Liga. Conservative upper class members favoring reform, under the leadership of Apolinario Mabini, set up the Cuerpo de Compromisarios, which tried to revive La Solidaridad in Europe. Other, more radical members belonging to the middle and lower classes, led by Andrés Bonifacio, had already set up the Katipunan alongside the revived Liga.

The aims of the Propaganda Movement included the equality of Filipino and Spaniards before the law, restoration of Philippine representation in the Spanish Cortes, "Filipinization" of the Catholic parishes, and the granting of individual liberties to Filipinos such as freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, and freedom to petition for grievances.[37]


Andrés Bonifacio, Deodato Arellano, Ladislao Diwa, Teodoro Plata and Valentín Díaz founded the Katipunan (in full, Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan[38] "Supreme and Venerable Society of the Children of the Nation") in Manila on July 7, 1892. The organization, advocating independence through armed revolt against Spain, was influenced by Freemasonry through its rituals and organization; Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, and other leading members were also Freemasons.

From Manila, the Katipunan expanded into several provinces, including Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Bicol and Mindanao. Most of the members, called Katipuneros, came from the lower and middle classes. The Katipunan had "its own laws, bureaucratic structure and elective leadership".[2] For each province it involved, the Katipunan Supreme Council (Kataas-taasang Kapulungan, of which Bonifacio was a member, and eventually head) coordinated provincial councils (Sangguniang Bayan).[3] These provincial councils were in charge of "public administration and military affairs on the supra-municipal or quasi-provincial level"[2] and local councils (Panguluhang Bayan),[3] in charge of affairs "on the district or barrio level."[2] By 1895 Bonifacio was the supreme leader (Supremo) or supreme president (Presidente Supremo)[39] of the Katipunan and headed its Supreme Council. Some estimates by historians of the membership of the society by 1896 range from 30,000 to 400,000; other historians argue that Katipunero numbers ranged only from a few hundred to a few thousand.[40]

Start of the revolution

Bonifacio's Katipunan battle flag.

File:Pugad Lawin 013.jpg

Cry of Pugad Lawin Monument, Quezon City.

Monument for the 1896 Revolution in University of the Philippines Diliman.

The existence of the Katipunan eventually became known to the authorities through a member, Teodoro Patiño, who revealed it to a Spanish priest, Mariano Gil. Patiño was engaged in a bitter personal dispute with fellow Katipunero Apolonio de la Cruz and exposed the Katipunan in revenge. Father Gil was led to the printing press of the newspaper Diario de Manila, where a lithographic stone used to print the secret society's receipts was uncovered. A locker was seized containing a dagger and secret documents.

As with the Terror of 1872, colonial authorities made several arrests—which included some of the wealthiest ilustrados, including José Rizal. Despite having no involvement in the secessionist movement, many of them were executed, notably Don Francisco Roxas. Bonifacio had forged their signatures into Katipunan documents hoping that they would be forced to support the revolution.

In the last days of August, 1896, Bonifacio called Katipunan members to a mass gathering in Caloocan, where they decided to start a nationwide armed revolution against Spain.[2] The event was marked by a mass tearing of cedulas (community tax certificates) accompanied by patriotic cries. The exact date and location are disputed, but two possibilities have been officially endorsed by the Philippine government: August 26 in Balintawak and later, August 23 in Pugad Lawin. Thus the event is called the "Cry of Pugad Lawin" or "Cry of Pugad Lawin|Cry of Balintawak". However the issue is further complicated by other dates such as August 24 and 25 and other locations such as Kangkong, Bahay Toro and Pasong Tamo. Furthermore, at the time "Balintawak" referred not only to a specific place, but also a general area that included some of these proposed sites like Kangkong.[41][42]

Upon the discovery of the Katipunan Bonifacio sent a circular to all Katipunan councils to a meeting in Balintawak[43] or Kangkong[44][45] to discuss their situation. This is dated by historian Teodoro Agoncillo to August 19[43] and by revolutionary leader Santiago Álvarez to August 22.[44][45]

On August 21, Katipuneros were already congregating in Balintawak[43] in Caloocan.[44][45] Late in the evening amidst heavy rain, the rebels moved to Kangkong in Caloocan, and arrived there past midnight.[44][45] As a precaution, the rebels moved to Bahay Toro[44] or Pugad Lawin[41] on August 23. Agoncillo places the Cry and tearing of certificates at this point the house of Juan Ramos at Pugad Lawin.[41] Alvarez writes that they met at the house of Melchora Aquino (known as Tandang Sora, and mother of Juan Ramos) in Bahay Toro on that date.[44][45] Agoncillo places Aquino's house in Pasong Tamo and the meeting there on August 24.[46] In any case, rebels continued to congregate and by August 24, they were over a thousand strong.[44][45]

On August 24, it was decided to notify the Katipunan councils of the surrounding towns that a general attack on the capital Manila was planned for August 29.[44][45][46] Bonifacio appointed generals to lead rebel forces to Manila. Before hostilities erupted, Bonifacio also reorganized the Katipunan into an open revolutionary government, with him as President and the Supreme Council of the Katipunan as his cabinet.[3][44]

On the morning of August 25, the rebels came under attack by a Spanish civil guard unit, the rebels having greater numbers but the Spanish being better armed. The forces disengaged after a brief skirmish and casualties on both sides.[44][45][46]

Another skirmish took place on August 26, which sent the rebels retreating toward Balara. At noon, Bonifacio and some of his men briefly rested in Diliman. In the afternoon, civil guards sent to Caloocan to investigate attacks on Chinese merchants — done by bandits who had attached themselves to the rebels — came across a group of Katipuneros and briefly engaged them. The commander of the guards, a Lieutenant Ros, reported the encounter to the authorities and this report drove Governor-General Ramón Blanco to prepare for coming hostilities.[44][45]

From August 27 to 28, Bonifacio moved from Balara to Mt. Balabak in Hagdang Bato, Mandaluyong. There, he held meetings to finalize plans for the Manila attack the following day. Bonifacio issued the following general proclamation:

This manifesto is for all of you. It is absolutely necessary for us to stop at the earliest possible time the nameless oppositions being perpetrated on the sons of the country who are now suffering the brutal punishment and tortures in jails, and because of this please let all the brethren know that on Saturday, the 29th of the current month, the revolution shall commence according to our agreement. For this purpose, it is necessary for all towns to rise simultaneously and attack Manila at the same time. Anybody who obstructs this sacred ideal of the people will be considered a traitor and an enemy, except if he is ill; or is not physically fit, in which case he shall be tried according to the regulations we have put in force. Mount of Liberty, 28 August 1896 - ANDRÉS BONIFACIO[45]

The conventional view among Filipino historians is that Bonifacio did not carry out the planned Katipunan attack on Manila on the following day and instead attacked a powder magazine at San Juan del Monte.[47][48] However, more recent studies have advanced the view that the planned attack did push through; according to this view, Bonifacio's battle at San Juan del Monte (now called the "Battle of Pinaglabanan") was only a part of a bigger whole — a "battle for Manila" hitherto unrecognized as such.[3][45]

Hostilities in the area started on the evening of August 29, when hundreds of rebels attacked the Civil Guard garrison in Pasig, just as hundreds of other rebels personally led by Bonifacio were massing in San Juan del Monte, which they attacked hours later on the 30th. Bonifacio planned to capture the San Juan del Monte powder magazine along with a water station supplying Manila. The defending Spaniards, outnumbered, fought a delaying battle until reinforcements arrived. Once reinforced, the Spaniards drove Bonifacio's forces back with heavy casualties. Elsewhere rebels attacked Mandaluyong, Sampaloc, Sta. Ana, Pandacan, Pateros, Marikina, and Caloocan,[45] as well as Makati and Taguig.[47] Balintawak in Caloocan saw intense fighting. Rebel troops tended to gravitate towards fighting in San Juan del Monte and Sampaloc.[45] South of Manila, a thousand-strong rebel force attacked a small force of civil guards. In Pandacan Katipuneros attacked the parish church, making the parish priest run for his life.[47]

After their defeat in San Juan del Monte, Bonifacio's troops regrouped near Marikina, San Mateo and Montalban, where they proceeded to attack these areas. They captured these areas but were driven back by Spanish counterattacks, and Bonifacio eventually ordered a retreat to Balara. On the way, Bonifacio was nearly killed shielding Emilio Jacinto from a Spanish bullet that grazed his collar.[47] Despite his reverses, Bonifacio was not completely defeated and was still considered a threat.[3][45]

North of Manila, the towns of San Francisco de Malabon, Noveleta and Kawit in Cavite rose in rebellion.[47] In Nueva Ecija rebels in San Isidro led by Mariano Llanera attacked the Spanish garrison on September 2–4; they were repulsed.[49]

By August 30, the revolt had spread to eight provinces. On that date, Governor-General Blanco declared a "state of war" in these provinces and placed them under martial law. These were Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Pampanga, Tarlac, Laguna, Batangas, and Nueva Ecija.[35][47][not in citation given] They would later be represented in the eight rays of the sun in the Filipino flag.

The rebels had few firearms; they were mostly armed with bolo knives and bamboo spears. The lack of guns has been given as a possible reason why the Manila attack allegedly never materialized.[47] Also, the Katipunan leaders from Cavite had earlier expressed reservations about starting an uprising due to their lack of firearms and preparation. As a result, they did not send troops to Manila but attacked garrisons in their own locales. Some historians have argued that the Katipunan defeat in the Manila area was (partly) the Cavite rebels' fault due to their absence, as their presence would have proved crucial.[3][45] In their memoirs, Cavite rebel leaders justified their absence in Manila by claiming Bonifacio failed to execute pre-arranged signals to begin the uprising such as setting balloons loose and extinguishing the lights at the Luneta park. However, these claims have been dismissed as "historical mythology"; as reasoned by historians, if they were really waiting for signals before marching on Manila, they would have arrived "too late for the fray". Bonifacio's command for a simultaneous attack is interpreted as evidence that such signals were never arranged.[3][45] Other factors for the Katipunan defeat include the capture of his battle plans by Spanish intelligence. The Spanish concentrated their forces in the Manila area while pulling out troops in other provinces (which proved beneficial for rebels in other areas, particularly Cavite). The authorities also pre-empted a mass defection of 500 native troops by transferring their regiment to Marawi, Mindanao, which later rebelled there.[3][45]

Final Statement and Execution of José Rizal

Rizal's execution in what was then Bagumbayan.

When the revolution broke out, Rizal was in Cavite, awaiting the monthly mailboat to Spain. He had volunteered, and been accepted, for medical service in the Cuban War of Independence. The mailboat left on September 3 and arrived in Barcelona, which was under martial law, on October 3, 1896. After a brief confinement at Montjuich prison, Rizal was advised by Captain-General Eulogio Despujol that he would not be going on to Cuba, but would be sent back to the Philippines instead. Upon his return he was imprisoned in Fort Santiago. While incarcerated, Rizal petitioned Governor-General Ramón Blanco for permission to make a statement on the rebellion.[50] His petition was granted, and Rizal wrote the Manifesto á Algunos Filipinos, wherein he decried the use of his name "as a war-cry among certain people who were up in arms";[51]stated that "for reforms to bear fruit, they must come from above, since those that come from below will be irregular and uncertain shocks";[52] and affirmed that he "condemn[s], this absurd, savage insurrection".[52]However, the text was suppressed on the recommendation of the Judge-Advocate General.[52]

Revolution in Cavite

By December, the Spanish authorities in Manila recognized three major centers of rebellion: Cavite (under Emilio Aguinaldo and others), Bulacan (under Mariano Llanera) and Morong (now part of Rizal, under Bonifacio). Bonifacio served as tactician for the rebel guerillas though his prestige suffered when he lost battles he personally led.[3]

Meanwhile in Cavite, Katipuneros under Emilio Aguinaldo, mayor of Cavite El Viejo (modern Kawit) and Mariano Álvarez, Bonifacio's uncle by marriage, won early victories. Aguinaldo commissioned Edilberto Evangelista, an engineer, to plan the defense and logistics of the revolution in Cavite. His first victory was in the Battle of Imus on September 1, 1896 with the aid of Jose Tagle defeating the Spanish forces under General Ernesto Aguirre. The Cavite revolutionaries, particularly Aguinaldo, won prestige in defeating Spanish troops in "set piece" battles while other rebels like Bonifacio and Llanera were engaged in guerrilla warfare. Aguinaldo, speaking for the Magdalo ruling council, issued a manifesto proclaiming a provisional and revolutionary government after his early successes — despite the existence of Bonifacio's Katipunan government.[53]

The Katipunan in Cavite was divided into two councils: the Magdiwang (led by Alvarez) and the Magdalo (led by Baldomero Aguinaldo, Emilio's cousin). At first these two Katipunan councils cooperated with each other in the battlefield, as in the battles of Binakayan and Dalahican, where they won their first major victory over the Spaniards. However, rivalries between command and territory soon developed and they refused to cooperate and aid each other in battle.

To unite the Katipunan in Cavite, the Magdiwang through Artemio Ricarte and Pio Del Pilar invited Bonifacio, who was fighting in Morong (present-day Rizal) province to mediate between the factions. Perhaps due to his kinship ties with their leader, Bonifacio was seen as partial to the Magdiwang.[54]

It was not long before the issue of leadership was debated. The Magdiwang faction recognized Bonifacio as supreme leader, being the head of the Katipunan. The Magdalo faction agitated for Emilio Aguinaldo to be the movement's head because of his personal successes in the battlefield compared to Bonifacio's record of personal defeats. Meanwhile the Spanish troops, now under the command of the new Governor-General Camilo de Polavieja, steadily gained ground.

Tejeros Convention

On December 31, an assembly was convened in Imus to settle the leadership status. The Magdalo insisted on the establishment of revolutionary government to replace the Katipunan and continue the struggle. On the other hand, the Magdiwang favored retention of the Katipunan, arguing that it was already a government in itself. The assembly dispersed without a consensus.[55]

On March 22, 1897, another meeting was held in Tejeros. It called for the election of officers for the revolutionary government in need of a united front against a pending enemy offensive against the Magdalo faction. The Magdiwang faction allied with Bonifacio prepared and hosted the election as most of the Magdalo faction were occupied by battle preparations. Bonifacio chaired the election and called for the election results to be respected. When the voting ended, Bonifacio had lost and the leadership turned over to Aguinaldo, who was away fighting in Pasong Santol. Bonifacio eventually lost in other positions to members of his Magdiwang faction. Instead, he was elected to Director of the Interior but his qualifications were questioned by a Magdalo, Daniel Tirona. Bonifacio felt insulted and would have shot Tirona had not Artemio Ricarte intervened. Invoking his position of Supremo of the Katipunan, Bonifacio declared the election null and void and stomped out in anger.[56] Aguinaldo took his oath of office as president the next day in Santa Cruz de Malabon (present-day Tanza) in Cavite, as did the rest of the officers, except for Bonifacio.[57]

Execution of Bonifacio

In Naic, Bonifacio and his officers created the Naic Military Agreement, establishing a rival government to the newly constituted government of Aguinaldo. It rejected the election at Tejeros and asserted Bonifacio as the leader of the revolution. It ordered the forced enlistment of Filipino men to Bonifacio's army. The agreement eventually called for a coup 'd etat against the established government. When a town in Cavite refused to supply provisions, Bonifacio ordered it burned. When Aguinaldo learned of the document and reports of abuse, he ordered the arrest of Bonifacio and his soldiers (without Bonifacio's knowledge). Colonel Agapito Benzon met with Bonifacio in Limbon and attacked him the next day. Bonifacio, and his brother Procopio were wounded, while their brother Ciriaco were killed. They were taken to Naic to stand trial.

The Consejo de Guerra (War Council) sentenced Andrés and Procopio to death on May 10, 1897 for committing sedition and treason.[42] Aguinaldo commuted the punishment to deportation, but withdrew his decision following pressure from Pio Del Pilar and other officers of the revolution.

On May 10, Major Lazaro Makapagal, upon orders from General Mariano Noriel, executed the Bonifacio brothers at the foothills of Mount Buntis,[42] near Maragondon. Andrés and Procopio were buried in a shallow grave marked only with twigs.


The flag used by the Republic of Biak-na-Bato.

Augmented by new recruits from Spain, government troops recaptured several towns in Cavite. As argued by Apolinario Mabini and others, the succession of defeats for the rebels could also be attributed to discontent that resulted from Bonifacio's death. Mabini wrote:

This tragedy smothered the enthusiasm for the revolutionary cause, and hastened the failure of the insurrection in Cavite, because many from Manila, Laguna and Batangas, who were fighting for the province (of Cavite), were demoralized and quit...[58]

In other areas, some of Bonifacio's associates like Emilio Jacinto and Macario Sakay never subjected their military commands to Aguinaldo's authority.

Aguinaldo and his men retreated northward, from one town to the next, until they finally settled in Biak-na-Bato, in the town of San Miguel de Mayumo in Bulacan. Here they established what became known as the Republic of Biak-na-Bato, with a constitution drafted by Isabelo Artacho, and Felix Ferrer and based on the first Cuban Constitution.

With the new Spanish Governor-General Fernando Primo de Rivera declaring, "I can take Biak-na-Bato. Any army can capture it. But I cannot end the rebellion[59]" he proffered the olive branch of peace to the revolutionaries. A lawyer named Pedro Paterno volunteered as negotiator between the two sides. For four months, he traveled between Manila and Biak-na-Bato. His hard work finally bore fruit when, on December 14 to December 15, 1897, the Pact of Biak-na-Bato was signed. Made up of three documents, it called for the following agenda:[60]

  • The surrender of Aguinaldo and the rest of the revolutionary corps.
  • Amnesty for those who participated in the revolution..
  • Exile to Hong Kong for the revolutionary leadership.
  • Payment by the Spanish government of $400,000 (Mexican peso) to the revolutionaries in three installments: $200,000 (Mexican peso) upon leaving the country, $100,000 (Mexican peso) upon the surrender of at least 700 firearms, and another $200,000 (Mexican peso) upon the declaration of general amnesty.[61]

In accordance with the first clause, Aguinaldo and twenty five other top officials of the revolution were banished to Hong Kong with $400,000 (Mexican peso) in their pockets. The rest of the men got $200,000 (Mexican peso) and the third installment was never received. General amnesty was never declared because sporadic skirmishes continued.

The revolution continues

Not all the revolutionary generals complied with the treaty. One, General Francisco Macabulos, established a Central Executive Committee to serve as the interim government until a more suitable one was created. Armed conflicts resumed, this time coming from almost every province in the Philippines. The colonial authorities on the other hand, continued the arrest and torture of those suspected of banditry.

The Pact of Biak-na-Bato did not signal an end to the revolution. Aguinaldo and his men were convinced that the Spaniards would never give the rest of the money as a condition of surrender. Furthermore, they believed that Spain reneged on her promise of amnesty. The Filipino patriots renewed their commitment for complete independence. They purchased more arms and ammunition to ready themselves for another siege.

The Battle of Kakarong de Sili

Inang Filipina Shrine

Panorama of the Park and the Shrine


During the Philippine Revolution, Pandi, Bulacan played a vital and historical role in the fight for Philippine independence, Pandi is historically known for the Real de Kakarong de Sili Shrine - Inang Filipina Shrine, the site where the bloodiest revolution in Bulacan took place, where more than 3,000 Katipunero revolutionaries died. Likewise, it is on this site where the 'Republic of Real de Kakarong de Sili' of 1896, one of the first Philippine revolutionary republics was established. It was in Kakarong de Sili, which about 6,000 Katipuneros from various towns of Bulacan headed by Brigadaire General Eusebio Roque, better known as "Maestrong Sebio or Dimabungo"[62] - List of Filipino Generals in the Philippine Revolution of 1896 and the Filipino-American War of 1899 that the Kakarong Republic was organized shortly after the Cry of Pugad Lawin referred to as 'The Cry of Balintawak' - Andrés Bonifacio a Filipino nationalist and revolutionalist who led in 'The Cry of Balintawak'.

Kakarong Republic

History and researchers, as well as records of the National Historical Commission, tells that the 'Kakarong Republic' was the first and truly organized revolutionary government established in the country to overthrow the Spaniards antedating event the famous Malolos Republic and the Biak-na-Bato Republic. In recognition thereof, these three "Republics" established in Bulacan have been incorporated in the seal of the province of Bulacan.

According to available records including the biography of General Gregorio del Pilar entitled "Life and Death of a Boy General" written by Teodoro Kalaw, former director of the National Library of the Philippines, a fort was constructed at 'Kakarong de Sili' that was like a miniature city. It had streets, an independent police force, a musical band, a factory of falconets, bolos and repair shops for rifles and cartridges. The 'Kakarong Republic' had a complete set of officials with Canuto Villanueva as Supreme Chief and 'Maestrong Sebio'- Eusebio Roque as Brigadaire General of the Army. The fort was attacked and totally destroyed on January 1, 1897 by a large Spanish force headed by General Olaguer-Feliu.[63] Gen. Gregorio del Pilar was only a lieutenant at that time and 'The Battle of Kakarong de Sili' was his first "baptism of fire". This was where he was first wounded and escaped to nearby barangay 'Manatal'.

The Kakarong Lodge No. 168 of the 'Legionarios del Trabajo' in memory of the 1,200 Katipuneros who perished in the battle erected a monument of the Inang Filipina Shrine - Mother Philippines Shrine in 1924 in the barrio of Kakarong of Pandi, Bulacan. The actual site of the 'Battle of Kakarong de Sili' is now a part of the barangay of 'Real de Kakarong'. No less than one of the greatest generals in the Philippines' history, General Emilio Aguinaldo who became first Philippine president visited this sacred ground in the late fifties.

Spanish–American War

Battle of Manila Bay.

The February, 1898 explosion and sinking of a U.S. Navy warship in Havana harbor during an ongoing revolution in Cuba led in April of that year to a declaration of war against Spain by the United States. On April 25, Commodore George Dewey sailed for Manila with a fleet of seven U.S. ships. Arriving on May 1, he encountered a fleet of twelve Spanish ships commanded by Admiral Patricio Montojo. The resulting Battle of Manila Bay lasted only a few hours, with all of Montojo's fleet destroyed. Dewey called for armed reinforcements and, while waiting, contented himself with merely acting as a blockade for Manila Bay.[64][65]

Discussions between Aguinaldo and U.S. officials

Cartoon titled "The Filipino's First Bath" depicted on the cover of the Judge magazine, first published on June 10, 1899. U.S. President William McKinley is shown taking a savage baby with a spear into a body of water labeled "Civilization", while on shore figures of two youths (the one on the left labeled "Cuba", the one on the right labeled "Philippines" apparently a caricature of Emilio Aguinaldo?) steal McKinley's clothing in the form of US flag design. Under cartoon title text: McKinley: "Oh you dirty boy"

Aguinaldo wrote retrospectively in September 1899 that he had met with U.S. Consuls E. Spencer Pratt and Rounceville Wildman in Singapore between 22, and 25 April, and that they persuaded him to again take up the mantle of leadership in the revolution, with Pratt communicating with Admiral Dewey by telegram, passing assurances from Dewey to Aguinaldo that the United States would at least recognize the Independence of the Philippines under the protection of the United States Navy, and adding (as Aguinaldo writes) "... that there was no necessity for entering into a formal written agreement because the word of the Admiral and of the United States Consul were in fact equivalent to the most solemn pledge that their verbal promises and assurance would be fulfilled to the letter and were not to be classed with Spanish promises or Spanish ideas of a man's word of honour. In conclusion the Consul said, 'The Government of North America, is a very honest, just, and powerful government.'"[66]

Aguinaldo writes of meeting with Dewey after arriving in Cavite, and recalls: "I asked whether it was true that he had sent all the telegrams to the Consul at Singapore, Mr. Pratt, which that gentleman had told me he received in regard to myself. The Admiral replied in the affirmative, adding that the United States had come to the Philippines to protect the natives and free them from the yoke of Spain. He said, moreover, that America is exceedingly well off as regards territory, revenue, and resources and therefore needs no colonies, assuring me finally that there was no occasion for me to entertain any doubts whatever about the recognition of the Independence of the Philippines by the United States."[66] A U.S. Library of Congress Country Study on the Philippines completed in 1991 reports that by late May (the exact date is not given), the United States Department of the Navy had ordered Dewey to distance himself from Aguinaldo lest he make untoward commitments to the Philippine forces.[67]

Dean Conant Worcester, in his 1914 book The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2), reports that on April 27, 1908, Pratt wrote the Secretary of State explaining how he had come to meet Aguinaldo, and stating just what he had done. Pratt said:

[... some text apparently elided by Worcester ...] At this interview, after learning from General Aguinaldo the state of an object sought to be obtained by the present insurrectionary movement, which, though absent from the Philippines, he was still directing, I took it upon myself, whilst explaining that I had no authority to speak for the Government, to point out the danger of continuing independent action at this stage; and, having convinced him of the expediency of cooperating with our fleet, then at Hongkong, and obtained the assurance of his willingness to proceed thither and confer with Commodore Dewey to that end, should the latter so desire, I telegraphed the Commodore the same day as follows, through our consul-general at Hongkong:--

Aguinaldo, insurgent leader, here. Will come Hongkong arrange with Commodore for general cooperation insurgents Manila if desired. Telegraph.


... and that that Dewey replied to Pratt's telegram as follows:[69]

Tell Aguinaldo come soon as possible.


Worcester points out that Pratt explained to Aguinaldo that he had no authority to speak for the government; that there was no mention in the cablegrams between Pratt and Dewey of independence or indeed of any conditions on which Aguinaldo was to cooperate, and quotes a subsequent letter describing the particulars of Pratt's second and last interview with Aguinaldo, in which Pratt reiterated that he had no authority to discuss the establishment of a Philippine government as follows:[68]

No. 213. _Consulate-General of the United States._

_Singapore_, April 30, 1898.

_Sir_: Referring to my dispatch No. 212, of the 28th instant, I have the honor to report that in the second and last interview I had with Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo on the eve of his departure for Hongkong, I enjoined upon him the necessity, under Commodore Dewey's direction, of exerting absolute control over his forces in the Philippines, as no excesses on their part would be tolerated by the American Government, the President having declared that the present hostilities with Spain were to be carried on in strict accord with modern principles of civilized warfare.

To this General Aguinaldo fully assented, assuring me that he intended and was perfectly able, once on the field, to hold his followers, the insurgents, in check and lead them as our commander should direct.

The general stated that he hoped the United States would assume protection of the Philippines for at least long enough to allow the inhabitants to establish a government of their own, in the organization of which he would desire American advice and assistance.

These questions I told him I had no authority to discuss.

I have, etc.,

_E. Spencer Pratt_,

_United States Consul-General_.

Author Worcester goes on to analyze several other items bearing on the question of whether the U.S. made promises to Aguinaldo regarding Philippine independence, and concludes with the following summary:

Consul-General Pratt was, or professed to be, in hearty sympathy with the ambition of the Filipino leaders to obtain independence, and would personally have profited from such a result, but he refrained from compromising his government and made no promises in its behalf.

Admiral Dewey never even discussed with Aguinaldo the possibility of independence.

There is no reason to believe that any subordinate of the Admiral ever discussed independence with any Filipino, much less made any promise concerning it.

Neither Consul Wildman nor Consul Williams promised it, and both were kept in ignorance of the fact that it was desired up to the last possible moment.

It is not claimed that either General Anderson or General Merritt made any promise concerning it.

The conclusion that no such promise was ever made by any of these men is fully justified by well-established facts.[70]

Maximo M. Kalaw wrote in a 1927 dissertation titled "The development of Philippine politics":[71]

Just exactly what transpired at the meeting between Aguinaldo and Pratt has been a matter of debate. The Englishman Bray acted as interpreter. A few of the principal facts, however, seem quite clear. Aguinaldo was not made to understand that, in consideration of Filipino cooperation, the United States would extend its sovereignty over the Islands, and thus in place of the old Spanish master a new one would step in. The truth was that nobody at the time ever thought that the end of the war would result in the retention of the Philippines by the United States.

Kalaw continues in a footnote as follows:[72]

For Aguinaldo's version of this interview, see Reseña Verídica Revolucion Filipína, Chapter III;[66] It has been claimed, probably with some truth, that Aguinaldo's Reseña Verídica was not written by himself, but by somRenato Constantino, The Philippines: A Past Revisited, p.e of his cabinet members, most likely Bunecamino. The principal facts, however, must have been furnished by Aguinaldo himself. It was written, it must be confessed, at the time (about September 1899) when the question of whether Dewey and Pratt had promised Aguinaldo independence, was being asked in America.

A January 7, 1899 New York Times article, referring to correspondence published officially in connection with the Treaty of Paris, reports that Wildman had been warned not to make pledges or to or discuss policy with Aguinaldo, "... and he replied that he had made him no pledges.", and that Consul Pratt had been instructed "... that it was proper for him to obtain the unconditional assistance of Gen. Aguinaldo, but not to make any political pledges." In a letter of June 20, U.S. Secretary of State William Day referred at length to the report of Pratt's conference with the Filipino leaders, saying that he feared that some of Pratt's utterances had caused apprehension "lest the Consul's action may have laid the ground of future misunderstanding and complication." and that, in reply, Pratt repeated his assurance that he had used due precaution in dealing with the Philippine leaders.[73]

A February 20, 1899 New York Times article reports that a close friend of Consul Pratt had disclosed purported "inside facts" about the conversations between Pratt and Aguinaldo, including (1) that Aguinaldo had indicated willingness to accept the same terms for the Philippines as the U.S. intended giving to Cuba (though no agreement on such terms had been reached at the time of the discussions), and (2) that Pratt was aware that Aguinaldo's policy "... clearly embraced independence for the Philippines."[74] No mention was made in the purported "inside facts" of any agreements between Pratt and Aguinaldo regarding Philippine independence.[74]

In relation to a book titled The Philippine Islands, the Times reported on August 6, 1899 that Pratt had obtained a court order enjoining publication of certain statements "... which might be regarded as showing a positive connection" between himself and Aguinaldo.[75] The Times reported the court upholding Pratt's position that he had "no dealings of a political character" with Aguinaldo and restraining further publication of the book.[75]

A June 27, 1902 New York Times article reports Admiral Dewey testifying before the U.S. Congress that he had made no promises. The Times article reports Dewey describing his telegraphic exchange with Pratt as follows: "The day before we left Hong Kong I received a telegram from Consul General Pratt, located at Singapore, saying Aguinaldo was at Singapore and would join me at Hong Kong. I replied, 'All right, tell him to come aboard,' but attached so little importance to the message that I sailed without Aguinaldo and before he arrived."[76]

Aguinaldo returns to the Philippines

On May 7, 1898, the American dispatch-boat McCulloch arrived in Hong Kong from Manila, bringing reports of Dewey's May 1 victory in the battle of Manila Bay but with no orders regarding transportation of Aguinaldo. The McCulloch again arrived in Hong Kong on May 15, bearing orders to transport Aguinaldo to Manila. Aguinaldo departed Hong Kong aboard the McCulloch on May 17, arriving in off Cavite in Manila Bay on May 19.[66]

Public jubilance marked Aguinaldo's return. Several revolutionaries, as well as Filipino soldiers employed by the Spanish army, crossed over to Aguinaldo's command. Soon after, Imus and Bacoor in Cavite, Parañaque and Las Piñas in Morongdisambiguation needed, Macabebe, and San Fernando in Pampanga, as well as Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Tayabas (present-day Quezon), and the Camarines provinces, were liberated by the Filipinos. They were also able to secure the port of Dalahican in Cavite.

German Involvement

During the war, Germany despatched a fleet to Manila Bay to strengthen German claims on the Philippines if the United States abandons the archipelago. The German fleet of five ships and two auxiliaries, commanded by Vice Admiral Otto von Diederichs, is ostensibly in Philippine waters to protect German interests by cutting in front of US ships, refusing to salute the US flag and landing supplies for the besieged Spanish, which had been cut off from many supply sources in the country.[77] Even before the Spanish-American war, the Germans allied themselves with Spain when it comes to the possession of the country. Spanish authorities claimed that José Rizal, along with other reformers, prefer German government to rule the country. German presence irritated the American blockade, most especially because the German fleet clearly outnumbers the American fleet of six small warships. Dewey, however, dealt with von Diederichs early enough to avoid any war between Germany and the United States. The German fleet soon backed down.[78]


The Spanish colonial government, now under Governor-General Basilio Augustín y Dávila, established the Volunteer Militia and Consultative Assembly to win over the Filipinos from Aguinaldo and the Americans. Both groups were made up of Filipino recruits. However, most of them remained loyal to the revolution. The Volunteer Militia literally joined its supposed enemy, while the Assembly, chaired by Paterno, never had the chance to accomplish their goals.

  • The member or his son who, while not having the means shall show application and great capacity, shall be sustained;
  • The poor shall be supported in his right against any powerful person;
  • The member who shall have suffered any loss shall be aided;
  • Capital shall be loaned to the member who shall need it for an industry or agriculture;
  • The introduction of machines and industries, new or necessary in the country, shall be favored; and
  • Shops, stores, and establishment shall be opened where the members may be accommodated more economically than elsewhere.

Capture of Manila

The United States Navy waited for American reinforcements and, refusing to allow the Filipinos to participate in taking Manila from Spain, captured the city on August 13, 1898 in what may have been a staged battle.

Declaration of Independence

By June 1898, the island of Luzon, except for Manila and the port of Cavite, was under Philippine control. The revolutionaries were laying siege to Manila and cutting off its food and water supply. With most of the archipelago under his control, Aguinaldo decided it was time to establish a Philippine government.

When Aguinaldo arrived from Hong Kong, he brought with him a copy of a plan drawn by Mariano Ponce, calling for the establishment of a revolutionary government. Upon the advice of Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, however, an autocratic regime was established instead on May 24, with Aguinaldo as dictator.

It was under this dictatorship that independence was finally proclaimed on June 12, 1898 in Aguinaldo's house in Kawit, Cavite. The first Filipino flag was unfurled and the national anthem was played for the first time.

Apolinario Mabini, Aguinaldo's closest adviser, was opposed to Aguinaldo's decision towards a dictatorial rule. He instead urged for the reformation of a government that could prove its stability and competency as prerequisite. Aguinaldo refused to do so; however, Mabini was able to convince him to turn his autocratic administration into a revolutionary one. Aguinaldo established a revolutionary government on July 23.


Upon the recommendations of the decree that established the revolutionary government, a Congreso Revolucionario was assembled at Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan. All of the delegates to the congress were from the ilustrado class. Mabini objected to the call for a constitutional assembly; when he did not succeed, he drafted a constitution of his own, and this too failed. A draft by an ilustrado lawyer Felipe Calderón y Roca was instead laid on the table and this became the framework upon which the assembly drafted the first constitution.

On November 29, the assembly, now popularly-called Malolos Congress, finished the draft. However, Aguinaldo, who always placed Mabini in high esteem and heeded most of his advice, refused to sign it when the latter objected. On January 21, 1899, after a few modifications were made to suit Mabini's arguments, the constitution was finally approved by the congreso and signed by Aguinaldo. Two days later, the Philippine Republic (also called the First Republic and Malolos Republic) was inaugurated in Malolos with Aguinaldo as president.

On June 2, 1899, the Malolos Congress of the First Philippine Republic enacted and ratified a Declaration of War on the United States, which was publicly proclaimed on that same day by Pedro Paterno, President of the Assembly, and the Philippine–American War ensued.[79]

Philippine–American War

On 4 February 1899, general hostilities between Filipino and American forces began when an American sentry patrolling near the border between the Filipino and American lines shot a Filipino soldier, after which Filipino forces returned fire, thus igniting a second battle for the city. Aguinaldo sent a ranking member of his staff to Ellwell Otis, the U.S. military commander, with the message that the firing had been against his orders. According to Aguinaldo, Otis replied, "The fighting, having begun, must go on to the grim end."[80] The Philippines declared war against the United States on June 2, 1899, with Pedro Paterno, President of Congress, issuing a Proclamation of War.[6] The Philippine–American War ensued between 1899, and 1902. The war officially ended in 1902 with the Philippine leaders accepting, for the most part, that the Americans had won. At least 34,000 Filipino soldiers were killed at least 200,000 civilians dying primarily due to a cholera epidemic.[81] Higher estimates for total dead reach 1 million primarily from disease and starvation.[82][83][84]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Zaide 1999, p. [page needed]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Guererro, Milagros; Encarnacion, Emmanuel; Villegas, Ramon (1996). "Andres Bonifacio and the 1896 Revolution". National Commission for Culture and the Arts. pp. 3–12. 
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Custodio & Dalisay 1998.
  4. Halstead 1898, p. 318.
  5. Kalaw 1927, pp. 199–200.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Pedro Paterno's Proclamation of War". MSC Schools, Philippines. June 2, 1899. Retrieved 2007-10-17. .
  7. "Spanish Colony 1565 - 1898". University of Alberta. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 
  8. "Nationalista Party History". Archived from the original on 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  9. Titherington 1900, pp. 357–358.
  10. Kalaw 1927, pp. 413–417 Appendix A
  11. Guevara 1972, p. 10.
  12. Kalaw 1927, pp. 423–429 Appendix C
  13. Kalaw 1927, pp. 199–200 Ch.7
  14. Worcester 1914, p. 180
  15. "GENERAL AMNESTY FOR THE FILIPINOS; Proclamation Issued by the President" (PDF). The New York Times. July 4, 1902. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  16. "Spanish Occupation". Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  17. "The Death of Gomburza & The Propaganda Movement". Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  18. "Letters and Addresses of Jose Rizal". Manila. December 1915. pp. 315. 
  19. Zaide 1957, p. 63
  20. 20.0 20.1 Montero y Vidal 1887, p. 360
  21. Blair & Robertson 1903–1909, p. 10296
  22. Blair & Robertson 1903–1909, p. 51071
  23. Zaide 1957, p. 64
  24. de Moya 1883, p. 183
  25. Jagor 1873, p. 16
  26. Diaz Arenas 1838, p. 4
  27. Diaz Arenas 1838, p. 10
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Regidor & Mason 1905, pp. 19–29
  29. Blair & Robertson 1903–1909, p. 10315
  30. Blair & Robertson 1903–1909, p. 10453
  31. Bowring 1859, p. 247
  32. 32.0 32.1 Zaide 1957, p. 81
  33. Zaide 1957, p. 82
  34. Zaide 1957, p. 107
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 Joaquin, Nick (1990). Manila,My Manila. Vera-Reyes, Inc.. 
  36. 36.0 36.1 Keat2004, p. 755
  37. "10. José Rizal and the Propaganda Movement". Philippines: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress. 1991. 
  38. The Project Gutenberg eBook: Kartilyang Makabayan
  39. Alvarez & Malay 1992, p. 244
  40. Schumacher 1991, p. 196.
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 Agoncillo 1990, pp. 171–172
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 Gatbonton 2000.
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