During the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, several revolts against Spain were undertaken for various reasons. However, it can be agreed upon that the common underlying cause of these revolts were the generally repressive policies of the Spanish colonial government against the native Filipinos. Many of these revolts though have failed.
First Pampanga Revolt (1585)Edit
The First Pampanga Revolt in 1585 was undertaken by native Kapampangan leaders against Spanish encomienderos due to abuses felt by the natives inflicted by the encomienderos. The revolt included a plot to storm Intramuros. However, the plot was foiled before it was even implemented, since a Filipina married to a Spanish soldier reported the plot to Spanish authorities. For their actions, the leaders of the revolt were ordered executed.
Revolt Against the Tribute (1589)Edit
The Revolt Against the Tribute occurred in the present day provinces of Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur in 1589. The natives, which included the Ilocanos, Ibanags and others, rose in revolt over alleged abuses by tax collectors, such as the collection of unjust taxes. Governor-General Santiago de Vera sent Spanish troops to pacify the rebels. They were eventually granted pardon, along with the overhaul of the Philippine tax system.
In what is today the town of Palapag in Northern Samar, Juan Ponce Sumuroy, a Waray, and some of his followers rose in arms on June 1, 1649 over the polo system being undertaken in Samar. This is known as the Sumuroy Revolt, named after Juan Ponce Sumuroy.
The government in Manila directed that all natives subject to the polo are not to be sent to places distant from their hometowns to do their polo. However, under orders of the various town alcaldes, or mayors, Samarnons were being sent to the shipyards of Cavite to do their polo, which sparked the revolt. The local parish priest of Palapag was murdered and the revolt eventually spread to Mindanao, Bicol and the rest of the Visayas, especially in places such as Cebu, Masbate, Camiguin, Zamboanga, Albay, Camarines and parts of northern Mindanao, such as Surigao. A free government was also established in the mountains of Samar.
The defeat, capture and execution of Sumuroy in June 1650 led to the end of the revolt.
Dagohoy Revolt (1744-1829)Edit
In 1744 in what is now the province of Bohol, what is known today as the Dagohoy Revolt was undertaken by Francisco Dagohoy and some of his followers. This revolt is unique since it is the only Philippine revolt completely related to matters of religious customs.
After a duel in which Dagohoy's brother died, the local parish priest refused to give his brother a proper Christian burial, since dueling is a mortal sin. The refusal of the priest to give his brother a proper Christian burial eventually led to the longest revolt ever held in Philippine history: 85 years. It also led to the establishment of a free Boholano government. Twenty governors-general, from Juan Arrechederra to Manuel Ricafort Palacín y Ararca, failed to stop the revolt. Ricafort himself sent a force of 2,200 troops to Bohol, which was defeated by Dagohoy's followers. Another attack, also sent by Ricafort in 1828 and 1829, failed as well.
Dagohoy died two years before the revolt ended, though, which led to the end of the revolt in 1829. Some 19,000 survivors were granted pardon and were eventually allowed to live in new Boholano villages: namely, the present-day towns of Balilihan, Batuan, Bilar (Vilar), Catigbian and Sevilla (Cabulao).
Agrarian Revolt (1745-46)Edit
The Agrarian Revolt was a revolt undertaken between the years 1745 and 1746 in much of the present-day CALABARZON (specifically in Batangas, Laguna and Cavite) and in Bulacan, with its first sparks in the towns of Lian and Nasugbu in Batangas. Filipino landowners rose in arms over the land-grabbing of Spanish friars, with native landowners demanding that Spanish priests return their lands on the basis of ancestral domain.
The refusal of the Spanish priests resulted in much rioting, resulting in massive looting of convents and arson of churches and ranches. The case was eventually investigated by Spanish officials and was even heard in the court of King Philip IV, in which he ordered the priests to return the lands they seized. The priests were successfully able to appeal the return of lands back to the natives, which resulted in no land being returned to native landowners.
Silang Revolt (1762-63)Edit
Arguably one of the most famous revolts in Philippine history is the Silang Revolt from 1762 to 1763, led by the couple of Diego and Gabriela Silang. Unlike the other revolts, this revolt took place during the British invasion of Manila.
On December 14, 1762, Diego Silang declared the independence of Ilocandia, naming the state "Free Ilocos" and proclaimed Vigan the capital of this newly-independent state. The British heard about this revolt in Manila and even asked the help of Silang in fighting the Spanish.
However, Silang was killed on May 28, 1763 by Miguel Vicos, a friend of Silang. The Spanish authorities paid for his murder, leading to his death in the arms of his wife, Gabriela. She continued her husband's struggle, earning the title "Joan of Arc of the Ilocos" because of her many victories in battle. The battles of the Silang revolt are a prime example of the use of divide et impera, since Spanish troops largely used Kampampangan soldiers to fight the Ilocanos.
Eventually, the revolt ended with the defeat of the Ilocanos. Gabriela Silang was executed by Spanish authorities in Vigan on September 10, 1763.
Basi Revolt (1807)Edit
The Basi Revolt, also known as the Ambaristo Revolt, was a revolt undertaken from September 16-28], 1807. It was led by Pedro Ambaristo with its events occurring in the present-day town of Piddig in Ilocos Norte. This revolt is unique as it revolves around the Ilocanos' love for basi, or sugarcane wine.
In 1786, the Spanish colonial government expropriated the manufacture and sale of basi, effectively banning private manufacture of the wine, which was done before expropriation. Ilocanos were forced to buy from government stores. However, wine-loving Ilocanos in Piddig rose in revolt on September 16, 1807, with the revolt spreading to nearby towns and with fighting lasting for weeks. Spanish troops eventually quelled the revolt on September 28, 1807, albeit with much force and loss of life on the losing side.
Pule Revolt (1840-41)Edit
One of the most famous religious revolts is the Pule Revolt, more formally known as the Religious Revolt of Hermano Pule. Undertaken between June 1840 and November 1841, this revolt was led by Apolinario de la Cruz, otherwise known as "Hermano Pule".
De la Cruz started his own religious order, the Confraternity of Saint Joseph (Spanish: Confradia de San José) in Lucban, located in the present-day province of Quezon (then called Tayabas), in June of 1840. However, there were two types of priests in the Philippines then: secular priests, or parish priests, which were usually Filipino, and religious priests, or convent priests, which were usually Spanish. Due to the concentration of Spanish religious power and authority in the already-established religious orders (the Augustinians, Jesuits and Franciscans to name a few) and the concept that Filipino priests should only stay in the church and not the convent and vice-versa (although this was not always followed), the Spanish government banned the new order, especially due to its deviation from original Catholic rituals and teachings, such as prayers and rituals suited for Filipinos.
However, thousands of people in Tayabas, Batangas, Laguna and even Manila already joined. Because of this, the Spanish government sent in troops to forcibly break up the order, forcing De la Cruz and his followers to rise in armed revolt in self-defense. Many bloody battles were fought with the order's last stand in Mount San Cristobal, near Mount Banahaw, in October of 1841. The Spaniards eventually won, and Apolinario de la Cruz was executed on November 4, 1841 in the then-provincial capital, Tayabas.
It did not end there, though. Many members of the Spanish armed forces' Tayabas regiment, based in Malate in Manila, had relatives that were members of the order, of which many of those relatives were also killed in the ensuing violence. On January 20, 1843, the regiment, led by Sergeant Irineo Samaniego, rose in mutiny, eventually capturing Fort Santiago in Intramuros. The next day, however, the gates of Fort Santiago were opened by loyalist soldiers. After a bloody battle, the mutineers were defeated by loyalist troops, resulting in the execution of Samaniego and 81 of his followers the same day.