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


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