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Ejercito en la Republica de la Filipina
(Philippine Revolutionary Army)
Philippine Army Seal 1897.jpg
Ejercito en la Republica de la Filipina Emblem, 1897
Founded March 22, 1897
Allegiance  First Philippine Republic
Type Army
Size 100,000 to 1,000,000 (1898)[1]
Part of Artemio Ricarte, Capitan-General
Anniversaries March 22
Engagements Philippine Revolution
Spanish-American War
Philippine-American War
Artemio Ricarte, Antonio Luna
File:Philippine Revolicionario.gif

A late 19th century photo of the Philippine Army in a formation, Aguinaldo arrives in Malolos January 23, 1899.

A group of Filipino soldiers in 1899

The Ejercito en la Republica de la Filipina (Philippine Revolutionary Army) was founded on March 22, 1897 in Cavite. General Artemio Ricarte was designated as its first Captain General during the Tejeros Convention.[2] This armed force of General Emilio Aguinaldo's central revolutionary government replaced the Katipunan military.[3]


The revolutionary army used the 1896 edition of the Spanish regular army's Ordenanza del Ejercito to organize its forces and establish its character as a modern army. Rules and regulations were laid down for the reorganization of the Army, new fighting methods adopted, regulation of ranks, adoption of new rank insignias and a standard uniform known as rayadillo. Filipino artist Juan Luna is credited with this design.[4][5] His brother, General Antonio Luna commissioned him with the task.[6] Juan Luna also designed the collar insignia for the uniforms, distinguishing between the services; Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Sappers and Medics.[7] At least one researcher has postulated that Juan Luna may have patterned the tunic after the English Norfolk jacket, since the Filipino version is not a copy of any Spanish-pattern uniform.

The main weapon of the new Filipino army was the Spanish M93, also the standard infantry arm of the Spanish, and the Remington Spanish rifle.[3] Crew-served weapons of the Philippine military included lantakas, Krupp guns, Hontoria guns, an Ordóñez gun, Hotchkiss guns, Nordenfelt guns, Maxim guns, and Colt guns. Also, there were improvised artillery weapons made of water pipes reinforced with bamboo or timber, which can only fire once or twice.[3] Orders and circulars were issued covering matters such as building trenches and fortifications, equipping every male aged 15 to 50 with bows and arrows (as well as bolo knives, though officers wield European swords), enticing Filipino soldiers in the Spanish Army to defect, collecting empty cartridges for refilling, prohibiting unplanned sorties, inventories of captured arms and ammunition, fund raising, purchase of arms and supplies abroad, unification of military commands, and exhorting the rich people to give any aid to the soldiers.[3]

Aguinaldo, after a month upon declaring Philippine independence, created a pay scale for officers in the army. Following the board, a brigadier general shall receive 600 pesos annually, and a sergeant 72 pesos.

When the Philippine–American War erupted on February 4, 1899, the Republican Army suffered losses on every sector. Even Antonio Luna urged Apolinario Mabini, Aguinaldo's chief adviser, to insist to the President that guerrilla warfare must be announced as early as April 1899. Aguinaldo reverted to the guerilla phase only by November 13, 1899, thus the dissolution of the regular army.[8]


The evolution of Philippine revolutionary insignia can be divided into three basic periods; early Katipunan, late Katipunan and republican army.

See also


  1. Deady 2005, p. 62
  2. "The Philippine Army History". Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Philippine-American War, 1899-1902". Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  4. Alejandrino, Jose (1949). The Price of Freedom. 
  5. Opiña, Rimaliza (2004-11-14). "Military academy sheds West Point look". Sun.Star Baguio. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  6. Jose, Vivencio R. (1986). The Rise and Fall of Antonio Luna. Solar Publishing. pp. 106. 
  7. "Uniformology II". Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  8. Linn 2000b, pp. 186–187

External Sources

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