Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Propaganda Movement

GOMBURZA and their Role to the Propaganda Movement

In February 17, 1872, Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora (GOMBURZA), all Filipino priests, was executed by the Spanish colonizers on accuse of rebellion. The charges against Fathers Gomez,
Burgos and Zamora were their suspected involvement in the rebellion of workers at the Cavite Naval Yard. This became an alarm to them for the three priests are not Filipinos. The Spanish killed the priests without any evidence that they are the one who have led the rebellion. They were become aware of the fact that the Spanish could do whatever they want especially to their colony. The deaths of GOMBURZA roused strong feelings of anger and bitterness among the Filipinos. They questioned Spanish authorities and demanded reforms. The martyrdom of the three priests actually helped to motivate the organization of the Propaganda Movement, which aimed to seek reforms and inform Spain of the mistreatment of its colonial government.

The illustrados went in front the Filipinos’ pursuit for change. For their education and recently obtained assets, they sensed more positive about speaking popular grievances. However, since the illustrados themselves were a product of the changes that the Spanish administration had been gradually employing, the group could not really push very hard for the reforms it wanted. The illustrados did not happen as expected in letting-up the sufferings of the Filipinos. They have organized a systematic association called the Propaganda Movement.

The Organization of Propaganda Movement

The illustrados are those elite Filipinos who had given the chance to education during the Spanish era were the first voice of the Filipino masses. Between 1872 and 1892, a national awareness was rising among the Filipino who had established in Europe. In the freer ambiance of Europe, these liberals expelled in 1872 and students attending European universities--formed the Propaganda Movement. It is organized for literary and cultural reasons more than for political ends. The propagandists, who built-in nobility Filipinos from all the plain Christian areas, struggled to awaken the sleeping minds of the Spaniards to the needs of the country and to make a nearer, more equal union of the islands and the motherland.

The most outstanding Propagandist was Jose Rizal, a physician, scholar, scientist, and writer. Born in 1861 into a prosperous Chinese mestizo family in Laguna Province, he exhibited great intelligence at an early age. He was committed to disprove the friars' typecast of Filipino racial inferiority with scientific arguments. His greatest impact on the growth of a Filipino national consciousness, however, was his publication of two novels--Noli Me Tangere (Touch me not) in 1886 and El Filibusterismo (The reign of greed) in 1891. Rizal illustrated on his personal experiences and depicted the situations of Spanish rule in the islands, particularly the cruelty of the friars. Although the friars had Rizal's books banned, they were smuggled into the Philippines and rapidly gained a wide readership.

Other significant propagandists included Graciano Lopez Jaena, a noted orator and pamphleteer who had left the islands for Spain in 1880 after the publication of his satirical short novel, Fray Botod (Brother Fatso), an ugly portrait of a provincial friar. In 1889, he established a biweekly newspaper in Barcelona, La Solidaridad (Solidarity), which became the principal organ of the Propaganda Movement. It had audiences both in Spain and in the islands. Its contributors included Rizal; Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt, an Austrian geographer and ethnologist whom Rizal had met in Germany; and Marcelo del Pilar, a reform minded lawyer. Del Pilar was active in the antifriar movement in the islands until grateful to run away to Spain in 1888, where he became editor of La Solidaridad and implicit leadership of the Filipino population in Spain.
Three forms of group composed the Propaganda Movement. These are the suspected Filibusteros including the creoles and Spanish mestizos who had been expelked to Marianas during the attack on liberals in the wake of the Cavite mutiny, the young men sent to Spain for their studies and the refugees who escaped the islands to break out persecution.

Goals of the Propaganda Movement

Members of the Propaganda Movement were called propagandists or reformists. They worked inside and outside the Philippines. Their objectives were to seek:

▪ Recognition of the Philippines as a province of Spain
▪ Equal status for both Filipinos and Spaniards
▪ Philippine representation in the Spanish Cortes
▪ Secularization of Philippine parishes
▪ Recognition of human rights

The Propaganda Movement never asked for Philippine independence because its members believed that once Spain realized the pitiful state of the country, the Spaniards would implement the changes the Filipinos were seeking. They only want changes and recognition, but not independence.

The Downfall of the Propaganda Movement

The Propaganda Movement faded away after Rizal's arrest and the fail of the Liga Filipina. La Solidaridad went out of business in November 1895, and in 1896 both Del Pilar and Lopez Jaena died in Barcelona, worn down by poverty and disappointment. An attempt was made to reestablish the Liga Filipina, but the national movement had become split between ilustrado advocates of reform and peaceful evolution (the compromisarios, or compromisers) and a working-class public that wanted revolution and national independence. Because the Spanish refused to allow actual reform, the plan rapidly passed from the former group to the latter.

Propaganda Movement: A Failure or a Success?
The failure or the success of the Propaganda Movement depends upon how one’s view the whole picture.

Propaganda as a Failure. The leaders are greedy and ambitious. Even the term “Filipino” was first appropriated to the creoles and the elites only. They called themselves as the first Filipinos even though they are not pure Filipinos. They are Spanish-Filipinos and the Spanish who were born in the Philippines, and the Chinese mestizos. It is only later when on the natives and the inhabitants of the Philippines appropriated the term regardless of their class and social status. The primary aim of the illustrados was to protect their personal interest in the political rules and economic benefit as a province of Spain. They only wanted reforms for their own interest. The Propaganda failed to bring together the masses. These illustrados have failed to reach the masses because of their position in the society. They had limited indulgent about the masses. They even did not trust on the capabilities and ability of the masses. Common people also cannot understand them. They wrote in Spanish instead of the Filipino language! There are other several factors that brought about the failures of the movement. Among them were the lack of funds, and the internal conflict of the propagandists themselves. For example is the misunderstanding of the two active propagandists, Rizal and Del Pillar, resulting of Del Pillar’s withdrawing in the contribution to the La Solidaridad. The result of these deficiencies and shortcomings is the failure to achieve their goals and objectives. Because of this result, we may say that the Propaganda Movement is a failure.

Propaganda as a Success. Although the Propaganda Movement had not brought to reality changes and reforms in the country, the spirit of nationhood had its roots in the movement. It initiated the voice of the Filipinos to speak and came out of their cage. It had awakened the minds of the Filipinos and gave them a sense of culture identity. They have realized that they are Filipinos and not Spanish. Philippines are theirs, not with the Spaniards. They should not be abused, nor maltreated in their own territory. The movement enlightened the masses and inspired them. Philippine Revolution was the fruit of the fervor feelings of the masses that was brought by the movement. Therefore, we may say that the Propaganda Movement is a success.

Merielle N. Impreso
1st year- BS Computer Science



  • Agoncillo, Teodoro A. History of the Filipino People
  • Article Index - INQUIRER.net Accessed 10 October 2008
  • Constantino, Renato. The Philippines: A Past Revisited
  • Cushner, Nicolas P. Spain in the Philippines: From Conquest to Revolution. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University, 1973. pp.44-64;65-97
  • Fast, Jonathan and Richardson, Kim. Roots of Dependency: Political and Economic Revolution in the 19th Century Philippines. Wuezon City: Center for Nationalist Studies, 179. pp 13-41.
  • http://www.cityofseattle.net/Seattle/parks/parkspaces/joserizal.htm Accessed 11 October 2008
  • Joaquin, Nick. A Question of Heroes: Essays and criticisms on ten key figures of Philippine History. Manila: Ayala Museum.
  • McCoy, Alfred W. The Queen Dies Slowly: Philippine Social History: Global Trade and local transformation.


La Liga Filipina: Its Rise and Downfall

Birth of La Liga Filipina

The break of the civic society the La Propaganda had given Rizal
the idea to establish another civic society. During his stay at Hong Kong, he had organized a constitution for that society he was planning to create. The constitution aims to:
  • To unite the whole archipelago into one compact, vigorous, and homogenous body;
  • Mutual protection in every want and necessity;
  • Defense against all violence and injustice;
  • Encouragement of instruction, agriculture, and commerce; and
  • Study and application of reforms.

Upon his return to the Philippines he had decided to form that society and thus came forth on July 3, 1892 the La Liga Filipina. The Liga became a forward step to the reformists because it aimed to directly involve the people to the reform movement. Many members of the society became attracted to the Liga and among them was Andres Bonifacio who became one of the founders of the organization. The members of the organization were free to choose any symbolic name he wants for himself.

The elected officers of the Liga were:
  • Ambrosio Salvador, President;
  • Agustin de la Rosa, Fiscal;
  • Bonifacio Arevalo, Treasurer; and
  • Deodato Arellano, Secretary.

A governing body with three councils was established so that the aims of the Liga will be properly carried out. These three councils were the Supreme Council, the Judicial Council, and the Popular Council.

Just like any other organization, the Liga also needed funds for it to be able to achieve its aims. To accumulate some funds each member of the society was to pa ten centavos as a monthly due. They had implemented certain rules and limits in using the funds. The funds of the organization were to be used in the following manner:
  • 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.

The La Liga Filipina was a sort of self-help and mutual aide society. It gives out scholarship funds and lends loans. It had no intention of rising up arms against the Spanish government. As harmless as it may seem, the Spanish authorities still thought of the Liga as a threat to the government. On the night of July 6, 1892, three days after the Liga was established, Rizal was captured. The next day, Governor-General Eulogio Despujol gave out an order to deport Rizal to Dapitan.

Fall of the Liga

Due to Rizal's captivity, the Liga had diminished for a while. It was reorganized, later, by Domingo Franco and Andres Bonifacio
. New set of officers were elected and these were:
  • Domingo Franco, President;
  • Deodato Arellano, Secretary-Treasurer;
  • Isidro Francisco, Fiscal;
  • Juan Zulueta and Timoteo Paez, members of the Supreme Council.

Later on, Apolinario Mabini became secretary of the organization. He then suggested that the Liga should support the La Solidaridad and all of its reforms. The organization then started rising up funds for the paper and defraying the expenses of deputies advocating reforms for the country before the Spanish Cortes. Every month each member was to contribute a small amount of money and the proceeds will be given to La Solidaridad.

A few months later, the Supreme Council decided to disband
the Liga. The reformist leaders had found out that the Popular Council of which many members were recruited by Bonifacio was no longer willing to give out funds for La Solidaridad.

La Liga Filipina split into two. The rich members of the organization decided to continue supporting La Solidaridad and formed a new group called Cuerpo de Compromisarios. The others had lost hope that the reforms will still be granted, thus, on July 7, 1892 Bonifacio had created a new secret society aiming for independence and called it

Kataastaasan Kagalanggalang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan or Katipunan for short. Bonifacio had believed that the peaceful means is useless and will never bring you independence so he decided to revolt against the government through the use of arms.

Significance of the Organization

The La Liga Filipina had not been successful in achieving its aims. It lasted only for a few months and after that its members had split into different groups and had different views on how to achieve the independence that they want.

Though the organization was a failure on its own means it was still successful for its death had given birth to the Katipunan which had fought for the Philippines' independence.

The Philippines: A Past Revisited. Renato Constantino
History of the Filipino People. Teodoro A. Agoncillo

Gladys Blanco

BS Computer Science I


The Birth of The Katipunan

Propaganda Movement inspired the founders of the Katipunan. The founders of the Katipunan were effectively successors of the La Liga Filipina founded by Rizal. Katipunan founders Andres Bonifacio, Ladislao Diwa and Teodoro Plata were all members of La Liga and were influenced by the nationalistic ideals of the Propaganda Movement in Spain. Marcelo H. Del Pilar, another leader of the Propaganda Movement in Spain, also influenced the formation of the Katipunan.

Because of the urge to freedom, the three founders mentioned gave birth to the Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK). Without the knowledge of Rizal, the founders named him an honorary president despite of his rejection to the revolution. Over the next four years, the Katipunan founders would recruit new members. When someone is recruited, that person will also recruit others to join. New recruits underwent the initiation rite three at a time so that no member knew more than two other members of the society. The rites are based on the masonry adapted in the European ideologies. One major factor that brought the fellow Filipinos to join the Katipunan was the fact of this is the only effective way of saving themselves and the motherland to the friars. They all wanted independence. Different from the propagandists, the Katipunan will do anything by force. Revolution was the answer.

The central leadership of the Katipunan was the Kataastaasang Sanggunian (or Supreme Council) which administered the provincial councils (called Sangguniang Bayan). The provincial councils in turn administered the Sangguniang Barangay (or popular councils) in their jurisdictions. The society also had a Sangguniang Hukuman (or judicial council) which settled disputes among members.

Kalayaan was the official publication of the Katipunan. Emilio Jacinto, a remarkable member of the Katipunan was the author of the Kalayaan. Kalayaan was published through the printing press of the Spanish newspaper Diario de Manila. This publication brought an important role to the outbreak of the revolution. It heightened the emotion and desire of the Filipinos to be independent from the colony. It also became an object that opened their innocent minds to be aware of the situation happening in their own territory.

Rizal junked Revolution

Jose P. Rizal, the founder of the La Liga Filipina and a propagandist, was against the revolution. He only wanted reform in the country’s situation. He expressly disapproved of an armed uprising at that time, believing it premature. He reasoned out that the Katipunan was not ready for a revolution against the Spaniards because of the lack of arm and forces. He also included to his essays and writings his position. He believed that the Philippines would be a better place to live in if it is well-represented to the Spanish cortes. He really insisted to the Spaniard government that he was only into reform, not independence.


In early August 1896, Teodoro Patiño, a worker at the Diario de Manila printing press, bare the existence of the society to his sister, Honoria. She notified it to Sor Teresa de Jesus who sought advice on what should be done to the organization to a Spanish Agustinian priest, Mariano Gil, who reported it to the authorities. Most of Patiño's co-workers were Katipuneros and they used the facilities and supplies of the newspaper to print Kalayaan.

Patiño supposedly got into a dispute with the press foreman Apolinario de la Cruz, who was also a Katipunero. De la Cruz tried to guilt Patiño for the loss of the printing supplies that were used for Kalayaan. Patinio hit back by revealing the secret society. Patiño supposedly used his sister to contact the priest, who was her confessor. Patiño's suspected disloyalty has developed into the normal account of how the revolution broke out in 1896.

In the 1920s, however, the Philippine National Library commissioned a group of former Katipuneros to confirm the truth of the story. Jose Turiano Santiago, Bonifacio's close friend who was expelled in 1895, denied the story. He claimed that Bonifacio himself ordered Patiño to reveal the society's existence to accelerate the Philippine Revolution and anticipate any opposition from members. After Patiño's alleged confession, the Spanish raided the printing press on August 18, 1896 and arrested De la Cruz, who was found in possession of a dagger used in Katipunan initiation rites and a list of Katipunan members. The Spanish set free an attack and arrested Filipinos.

Katipunan on the Job, The Revolution

When the Katipunan leaders learned of the arrests, Bonifacio called a meeting of all provincial councils to come to a decision the beginning of the armed rebellion. The meeting was held at the house of Apolonio Samson at a place called Kangkong in Balintawak. About 1,000 Katipuneros attended the assembly but they were not able to settle the issue.

They met again at another place in Balintawak the following day. Historians are still debating whether this event took place at the yard of Melchora Aquino
or at the house of her son Juan Ramos. The meeting took place either on August 23 or August 24. It was at this second meeting where the Katipuneros in attendance decided to start the armed uprising and they tore their cedulas as a sign of their commitment to the revolution. The Katipuneros also agreed to attack Manila on August 29. But Spanish civil guards discovered the meeting and the first battle occurred with the Battle of Pasong Tamo. While the Katipunan initially had the upper hand, the Spanish civil guards turned the fight around. The Spanish, however, regained it three days later. After regrouping, the Katipuneros decided not to attack Manila directly.

On August 30, the Katipunan attacked the 100 Spanish soldiers defending the powder magazine in the Battle of Pinaglabanan. About 153 Katipuneros were killed in the battle, but the Katipunan had to withdraw upon the arrival of Spanish reinforcements. More than 200 were taken prisoner. At about the same time, Katipuneros in other suburban Manila areas, like Caloocan, San Pedro de Tunasan (now Makati City), Pateros and Taguig, rose up in arms. In the afternoon of the same day, the Spanish Gov. Gen. Camilo de Polavieja declared martial law in Manila and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. The Philippine Revolution had begun.

Spanish Responses

Even before the detection of the Katipunan, Rizal applied for a position as doctor in the Spanish army in Cuba in a bid to convince the Spanish authorities of his loyalty to Spain. His application was accepted and he arrived in Manila to board a ship for Spain in August 1896, shortly before the secret society was exposed. But while Rizal was enrooted to Spain, the Katipunan was unmasked and a telegram overtook the steamer at Port Said, recalling him to the Philippines to face charges that he was the mastermind of the uprising. He was later executed by musketry on December 30, 1896 at the field of Bagumbayan (now known as Luneta).

While Rizal was being tried by a military court for disloyalty, the prisoners taken in the Battle of Pinaglabanan -- Sáncho Valenzuela, Ramón Peralta, Modesto Sarmiento, and Eugenio Silvestre -- were executed by musketry on
September 6, 1896 at Bagumbayan.
Six days later, they also executed by musketry the
Thirteen Martyrs of Cavite at Fort San Felipe Fort in Cavite.

The Spanish colonial authorities also pressed the prosecution of those who were arrested after the raid on the Diario de Manila printing press, where they found evidence incriminating not only common folk but also wealthy Filipino society leaders.
Bicol Martyrs were executed by musketry on January 4, 1897 at Bagumbayan.

But the executions, especially Rizal's, only added fuel to the rebellion, with the Katipuneros shouting battle cries.

Michael A. Deslate

1st year – BS Computer Science



  • Agoncillo, Teodoro C. (1990), History of the Filipino People (8th edition ed.), Quezon City: Garotech Publishing,

  • Guerrero, Milagros C. Balintawak: The Cry for a Nationwide Revolution. Sulyap Kultura. (Manila: National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 1996)

  • Kalaw, Maximo M. The Development of Philippine Politics (1872-1920) (Manila: Oriental Commercial Co. Inc., 1926; reprint ed., Manila: Solar Publishing Corp., 1986)

  • National Historical Institute. Filipinos in History 5 vols. (Manila: National Historical Institute, 1989)

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Cry of Pugadlawin :
What exactly does it mean?

Nineteenth-century journalist used the phrase “el grito de rebelion” or “the Cry of Rebellion” to describe the momentous events sweeping the Spanish colonies;
  • in Mexico it was the “Cry of Dolores” (16 September 1810),

  • Brazil the “Cry of Ypiraga” (7 September 1822), and in

  • Cuba the “Cry of Matanza” (24 February 1895).
In August 1896, northeast of Manila, Filipinos similarly declared their rebellion against the Spanish colonial government. It was Manuel Sastron, the Spanish historian, who institutionalized the phrased for the Philippines in his 1897 book, "La Insurreccion en Filipinas". All these “Cries” were milestones in the several colonial-to-nationalist histories of the world.

The''Cry of Pugad Lawin
'' was a cry for freedom. Its historic significance to us consists of the realization that the Filipino people had finally realized the lasting value of freedom and independence and the need to fight in order to prove themselves worthy to be called a truly free people.

The Event

The prevalent account of the Cry is that of Tedoro Agoncillo in Revolt of the masses (1956):

It was in Pugad Lawin, where they proceeded upon leaving Samson’s place in the afternoon of the 22nd, that the more than 1,000 members of the Katipunan met in the yard of Juan A. Ramos, son of Melchora Aquino. In the morning of August 23rd. Considerable discussion arose whether the revolt against the Spanish government should be started on the 29th. Only one man protested. But he was overruled in his stand. Bonifacio then announced the decision and shouted: “Brothers, it was agreed to continue with the plan of revolt. My brothers, do you swear to repudiate the government that oppresses us?” And the rebels, shouting as one man replied: “Yes, sir!” “That being the case,” Bonifacio added, “bring out your cedulas and tear them to pieces to symbolize our determination to take arms!” .. . Amidst the ceremony, the rebels, tear-stained eyes, shouted: “Long live the Philippines! Long live the Katipunan!

The Conflicts

In 1962, Tedoro Agoncillo, together with the UP Student Council, placed a marker at the Pugad Lawin site. According to Tedoro Agoncillo, the house of Juan Ramos stood there in 1896, while the house of Tandang Sora was located at Pasong Tamo.

On 30 June 1983, Quezon City Mayor Adelina S. Rodriguez created the Pugad Lawin Historical Committee to determine the location of Juan Ramos’s 1896 residence at Pugad Lawin.The NHI(National Historical Institute) files on the committee’s findings show the following:

  • In August 1983, Pugad Lawin in barangay Bahay Toro was inhabited by squatter colonies.
  • The NHI believed that it was correct in looking for the house of Juan Ramos and not of Tandang Sora. However, the former residence of Juan Ramos was clearly defined.

  • There was an old dap-dap tree at the site when the NHI conducted its survey I 1983. Tedoro Agoncillo, Gregorio Zaide and Pio Valenzuela do not mention a dap-dap tree in their books.

  • Pio Valenzuela, the main proponent of the “Pugad Lawin” version, was dead by the time the committee conducted its research.

  • Tedoro Agoncillo tried to locate the marker installed in August 1962 by the UP Student Council. However, was no longer extant in 1983.

    The controversy among historians continues to the present day. The “Cry of Pugad Lawin” (August 23, 1896) cannot be accepted as historically accurate or precise of the location and date. It lacks positive documentation and supporting evidence from the witness. The testimony of only one eyewitness (Dr. Pio Valenzuela is not enough to authenticate and verify a controversial issue in history. Historians and their living participants, not politicians and their sycophants, should settle this controversy.

    Determining the date, The official stand of NHI
    is that the Cry took place on 23 August 1896. That date, however, is debatable. The later accounts of Pio Valenzuela and Guillermo Masangkay on the tearing of cedulas on 23 August are basically in agreement, but conflict with each other on the location. Valenzuela points to the house of Juan Ramos in Pugad Lawin, while Masangkay refers to Apolonio Samson’s in Kangkong. Masangkay’s final statement has more weight as it is was corroborated by many eyewitnesses who were photographed in 1917, when the earliest 23 August marker was installed. Valenzuelas date (23 August ) in his memoirs conflict with 1928 and 1930 photographs of the surveys with several Katipunan officers, published in La Opinion, which claim that the Cry took place on the 24th.

The above facts render unacceptable the official stand that the turning point of the revolution was the tearing of cedulas in the “Cry of Pugad Lawin” on 23 August 1896, in the Juan Ramos’s house in “Pugad Lawin” Bahay Toro, Kalookan.The events of 17-26 August 1896 occurred closer to Balintawak than to Kalookan. Traditionally, people referred to the “Cry of Balintawak” since that barrio was a better known reference point than Banlat.

Another debatable fact is, how could Bonifacio tear “his” cedula from one place to another? This fact is similar to the problem concerning the exact date and place if where did the cry happen. But this fact can be simply answered; he used many cedulas in these different locations. Cause it’s really impossible for him to tear one cedula in different places.
What we should celebrate is the establishment of a revolutionary or the facto government that was republican in aspiration, the designation of Bonifacio as the Kataastaasang Pangulo (Supreme President), the election of the members of his cabinet ministers and Sanggunian and Balangay heads which authorized these moves met in Tandang Sora’s barn near Pasong Tamo Road, in sitio Gulod, barrio Banlat then under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Kalookan. This took place at around noon of Monday, 24 August 1896.
It looks clear to all of us that August 23 has lesser evidences than the date august 24 which proves it to be the day of the cry.

John Sen Macainan
BS Computer Science