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The Narrative Report About The Philippine Revolution In 1896
I was asked to research and write a narrative report about the Philippine Revolution of 1896. Since I have already skipped publishing three times, I decided to use this as my entry for today. This article will be different from my usual topics, but I hope you will take the time to read our history here. I bet many of you, including myself, have already forgotten about this significant event that happened way back.
The Philippine Revolution was a civil war that started in August 1896 between the Philippines and the Spanish colonizers under the Spanish Empire. The goal was to overthrow the Spanish colonizers and regain independence back to the Philippines. However, the revolution continued against the United States when, after they helped the Philippines defeat the Spaniards, they used their military power to colonize the country.
The Philippine Revolution began in 1896, when the Spanish authorities discovered a secret organization known as KKK(Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan Ng Mga Anak Ng Bayan), or Katipunan, for short. Led by Andres Bonifacio, the Katipunan drew inspiration from Dr. Jose Rizal, a former founder of Kilusang Propaganda and La Liga Filipina. Both groups had the mission to achieve freedom against Spain in peaceful ways.
Before Katipunan was established, Bonifacio and Rizal were both parts of La Liga Filipina. When Rizal was arrested and deported to Dapitan, La Liga Filipa dissolved. The unfortunate event was later replaced by a call for aggressive reform, which was put forward and favored by Bonifacio. Upon hearing Rizal's arrest, Bonifacio and his fellows founded the Katipunan. Rizal refused to join Katipunan, believing the nation was still unprepared.
Despite the refusal, Bonifacio and the other Katipuneros continued with their plan. This anti-colonial secret organization eventually attracted members from all aspects of life, including farmers, fishermen, and ordinary people. Unlike Kilusang Propaganda and La Liga Filipina, Katipunan wanted freedom from Spain through war and revolution.
The Series of Bloody Revolts
Bonifacio and the other leaders of the Katipunan organized and named the newly established revolutionary government Haring Bayang Katagalugan, and declared a nationwide armed revolution. This led to an event called "Cry of Pugad Lawin," where revolutionaries participated in a mass tearing of Cedulas, symbolizing their fight against Spain. However, a Spanish friar finally discovered the secret organization.
Despite that, Bonifacio and his fellow Katipuneros attacked Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. This attack failed; however, the surrounding provinces, such as Central Luzon, San Juan del Monte, and Southern Tagalog, began revolting. After several unsuccessful revolts, rebels in Cavite under Mariano Alvarez and Baldomero Aguinaldo, leaders from two different factions of the Katipunan, finally had a taste of significant victories.
The revolution, however, dragged down Rizal's name. He was accused of being a part of a secret organization. Later on, Rizal was charged with sedition, conspiracy, and rebellion. As a result, the Spanish colonial government sentenced Rizal to death by firing squad.
Power Struggle Among the Revolutionaries
There was a time in the revolution against Spain wherein a split was developed in Katipunan, which led to two rival factions: the Magdalo and the Magdiwang.
Magdalo – Derived from the word "dalo," which means to attend, was filled with the Ilustrados of Cavite. Baldomero Aguinaldo led this faction; however, its famous leader was the President of the Philippines, Emilio Aguinaldo, whose code name was also Magdalo.
Magdiwang – Derived from the word "diwang," which means to celebrate, was filled with the Filipino Rebels in Manila. This faction was led by Mariano Alvarez, an in-law of Andres Bonifacio.
To escalate the tension between these two factions, the revolutionary leaders discussed an important meeting in a friar estate in Tejeros. Bonifacio received the role of Director of the Interior.
Bonifacio soon set to Cavite and established a rival government against Aguinaldo. Captured and found guilty of sedition and treason in 1897 by the War Council, Bonifacio and the others were executed near Maragondon. The same year, Aguinaldo, his fellows, and the Spanish established the Pact of Biak-na-Bato and drafted the first constitution. The pact's agenda included surrendering weapons to revolutionaries, amnesty, an exile for Filipino leaders in Hong Kong, and payment worth USD 400,000 to revolutionaries.
Struggle for Independence
On April 1898, the second phase of the Philippine Revolution continued. Americans declared war against Spain, which was known as the Spanish-American War. On May 1898, the US Navy's Asiatic Squadron, under the leadership of Commodore George Dewey, sailed to Manila Bay and defeated the Spanish Navy. Aguinaldo, exiled to Hong Kong, allied himself with the United States. With the help of the US Navy, who agreed to transport him back to the Philippines, Aguinaldo returned to help American forces defeat the Spaniards.
By June, the rebels had finally gained control of most of the Philippines. On June 12, 1898, the Philippines finally declared its Independence. The proclamation of independence was held at Aguinaldo's ancestral home in Cavite, where the newly made Philippine Flag was seen, and the Marcha Filipina Magdalo, now known as Lupang Hinirang, was performed.
However, neither Spain nor the United States recognized Philippine Independence. Spanish rule officially ended in the Philippines with the Treaty of Paris in 1898, while the American forces began to control the city. On February 1899, the Philippine-American War began. The war only ended when the US forces captured Aguinaldo. The United States granted the Philippines its independence via the Treaty of Manila on July 4, 1946.
Although July 4 was observed as Philippine Independence Day until August 4, 1964, June 12 became the country's official Independence Day after President Diosdado Macapagal signed the law under Republic Act No. 4166.
The Philippine Revolution of 1896 was indeed one of the most significant events in the country's history. Although it happened several decades ago, we Filipinos should never forget how the likes of Bonifacio, Rizal, and many others have made tremendous sacrifices to give the country its freedom, which we are enjoying now. The least we can do is remember them in their special holidays and serve the country the best we can, even in our little ways.