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Philippine History Part II – State. Section 1 – Founding Fathers

PHILIPPINE HISTORY SERIES

Main Article: Quo Vadis Philippines?

Next Article: Philippine History Part II – State. Section 2 – Enter America

Previous Article: Philippine History Part I – Territory

Filipino Ilustrados Jose Rizal Marcelo del Pilar Mariano PonceThe early 19th century brought the end of the Galleon Trade and direct rule from Spain. But even before that, the Galleon Trade started to become obsolete like the old order. Ships started to follow the shorter route to Spain via the Cape of Good Hope without resistance from the now irrelevant Portuguese in the late 18th century. Changes in Spain also affected the Philippines. The Jesuits were banned in the late 18th century and also expelled from the Philippines. The resulting shortage of priests led to more native priests being trained, schools for them were established.

Trade also was liberalized, slowly but surely. In 1834, Manila was opened to international trade. By the end of 1859, there were 15 foreign firms in Manila: seven of which were British, three American, two French, two Swiss and one German. The Suez Canal which opened in 1869 accelerated international trade even more. The administration was also modernized. The Claveria decree of 1849 regulated Filipino surnames. Queen Isabella decreed mandatory public schooling in 1863. The (Napoleonic) Spanish Civil Code was introduced in the Philippines in 1889 – the present Philippine civil code is mainly based on it.

The first Filipino Nationalist was early 19th-century Luis Rodríguez Varela, a Filipino creole knighted by the Spanish king, educated in France and exposed to the ideals of the French Revolution. Andres Novales, who revolted in 1823, was a Creole as well. Originally the word Filipino was reserved to Spaniards born in the Philippines – also known as Insulares to distinguish them from the Spanish-born Peninsulares. Eventually the term was extended to all who lived in the Philippines. The newly affluent and educated native ilustrados were instrumental in this. Many of them originally came from the native principalia.


Gat Andres BonifacioIn the 1860s, the First Propaganda Movement campaigned for the rights of Filipino priests, meaning creoles, mestizos and natives. In 1869, Governor Carlos Maria de la Torre came to the Philippines and was very friendly to Filipino priests and ilustrados. De la Torre was recalled in 1871, and his harsher successor Izquierdo was an important factor in the Cavite mutiny and the subsequent execution of the three Filipino priests Gomez, Burgos and Zamora in 1872, which stoked the fires of nationalism even more.

Numerous ilustrados went to study in Europe and formed the Second Propaganda Movement, which campaigned for equal rights and representation of Filipinos within the Spanish system. Jose Rizal, one of the foremost “Propagandists”, formed the short-lived Liga Filipina when he returned in 1892, but was arrested and exiled to Dapitan in Mindanao soon after. Former Liga members then formed the revolutionary Katipunan. The Philippine Revolution started in 1896, Rizal was seen as a culprit and executed.


Emilio Aguinaldo (ca. 1898)The Revolution continued, but was blocked by a leadership conflict between Aguinaldo and Bonifacio – one a local politician from the countryside, the other coming from the original Katipunan founded in Manila – and their supporters. At the Tejeros convention, the conflict even turned physical. Bonifacio was executed upon orders of Aguinaldo in 1897. Aguinaldo accepted voluntary exile to Hong Kong in the pact of Biak-Na-Bato with the Spanish in 1897 – which included payments to his group.

Enter the USA, who had been moving into the Pacific for decades. Commodore Perry had forced Japan to re-open in 1854, Alaska was purchased from the Russians in 1867, control of Hawaii began in 1887. The Spanish-American War started in 1896. Aguinaldo returned to Manila in 1898, brought back by the USA to help fight the Spanish, and assumed control over the Revolution again. He declared Philippine Independence just a month after Commodore Dewey won the Battle of Manila Bay.

The first Philippine state under Filipino rule was there. With its Spanish foundations, it was to be further formed and consolidated by the United States, which had it’s own plans. Filipino nationalism was there, with a distinctly Tagalog Focus under the nascent Filipino ruling class. The Katipunan was mainly in Luzon, the Visayans had their own Republican plans, Mindanao was only partly under Spanish control at that time. President Aguinaldo was the first Filipino “trapo” – and dictator.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, Munich, 16 May 2015

Part of the Philippine History Series.

 

21 comments to Philippine History Part II – State. Section 1 – Founding Fathers

  • karlgarcia

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/6715/the-greatest-filipino

    The Greatest Filipino

    Ramon Farolan
    When I was in grade school or possibly first year high school just after the end of World War II, I recall reciting before the class Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” My teacher was so pleased with my performance, she gave me a broad smile and commended me for the fine work I had done.

    At that time, I really did not know why we had to memorize Lincoln’s Civil War speech. In the first place, I had only the faintest idea who Lincoln was. Gettysburg was somewhere on another planet and I couldn’t figure out why we were devoting so much time and effort to the subject.

    Some people say that one of the blessings of US colonial rule was the establishment of a public school system aimed at bringing about education not just for the elite but for all our people. But at times, blessings can also be burdens, systems can also be forms of enslavement.

    While we were being brainwashed with all kinds of historical data concerning our colonial masters, we did not learn much about our own people, about many events that shaped the future of our country, about the men and women who fought and sacrificed their lives for our freedom and dignity.

    This year marks the 150th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal.

    For those of you who know most everything about Rizal, you won’t find anything new in this piece. But for those who, like myself, know so little about our national hero, you might wish to linger a while as we go through some of the lesser known aspects of his life and times. I am deeply indebted to National Artist for Literature, F. Sionil Jose, for his generous gift of a book on Rizal by Austin Coates, “Rizal: Filipino Nationalist and Patriot.” My notes are from this book.

    Jose Rizal was born on June 19, 1861 in Calamba, Laguna, the seventh child and second son of Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonzo. Some of us may be wondering why the surname Rizal instead of Mercado. The explanation is that Francisco Mercado wanted to change his surname from Mercado which meant “marketplace” to Rizal meaning “the green of renewal.” But the Spanish authorities who in 1850 made the use of surnames compulsory refused the request for change. Gradually, however, the name stuck, especially as a security measure, considering that the Mercados were suspect in the eyes of the government in connection with the Cavite Mutiny.

    Francisco Mercado was a prosperous sugar planter, a man of few words with a reasonably good education, while Teodora Alonzo was one of the best educated Filipinas of her day having been sent to the College of Sta. Rosa in Manila. She spoke excellent Spanish and was a mathematician. Perhaps because she was more cultivated than many of the Spaniards in Calamba she was a target of envy that would result in her arrest twice by the authorities with indications that the instigators were assisted by Spanish friars. To humiliate her, she was made to walk to the prison in Sta. Cruz, capital of the province, a distance of some 20 kilometers. Teodora’s arrest and brutal treatment would have a profound and lasting effect and influence on the future directions of her son.

    While on the surface a civil government existed, the Philippines of Rizal’s time was essentially a “frailocracy,” a government of friars. The Augustinians, Dominicans and Franciscans controlled the religious and educational life of the country. The Spanish friar in each parish was responsible for taxes, public works, issuance of cedulas and other government activities normally shouldered by civil authorities. On every issue, throughout the country, the friars were consulted and in the end were the final arbiters. Today, 150 years after, we still have some friars in our midst, ghosts of the past, who go about as though they control our existence and can dictate how we should live our lives.

    At age 11, Rizal was sent to Manila to study at the Ateneo Municipal. Ateneo was run by priests, Jesuit fathers, not by friars (an important difference). He became the outstanding student of the day exhibiting qualities of leadership leading to his being chosen as chairman or spokesperson by his peers. He read extensively, particularly history, and was endowed with a retentive memory that was just short of phenomenal.

    From the Ateneo, he moved to the University of Sto. Tomas. Here he bested peninsular Spaniards in a literary contest in Spanish commemorating the centenary of Cervantes. When his name was announced and the audience saw the winner was an indio, “the applause dwindled to be replaced with laughter and catcalls.”

    Fast forward to October 1896. Rizal was placed under arrest while on board a ship headed for Europe. He was returned to Manila and in November was imprisoned at Fort Santiago. With him in his cell were a bible and a copy of Thomas a Kempis’ “On the Imitation of Christ.” After a brief trial, he was sentenced to be executed by firing squad at 7 in the morning of Dec. 30.

    A day before his execution, women members of the family were allowed to visit him. The first to enter was his mother Teodora Alonzo. As she drew near to embrace her son, guards held them apart. She had only a few minutes with him. He asked her to request the authorities for his body for burial.

    His last and final farewell, with words unspoken, was to his mother:

    To my very dear Mother,

    Sra. Da. Teodora Alonzo,

    At 6 in the morning of 30 December, 1896

    Jose Rizal

    His bible was left to his mother while the Kempis book was for Josephine Bracken with the inscription “To my dear and unhappy wife, Josephine. December 30, 1896. Jose Rizal.” In an alcohol burner was hidden his “Ultimo Adios.”

    The place of execution was the Luneta. Rizal was asked if he wished to kneel. He preferred to die standing and refused a blindfold. A Spanish surgeon in attendance asked if he might feel his pulse. Rizal gave his wrist and the surgeon murmured, “your pulse is very good.”

    Ironically the firing squad was consisted of Filipino soldiers. Behind them stood a row of Spanish soldiers. At 7:03, the end came for the greatest Filipino who ever lived.

    Austin Coates writes in his conclusion: “Jose Rizal lived and died for what he loved—his country and his people. Few people have ever had a leader who so entirely gave himself to them as he did, and who asked so little for himself. His death is so fine an ending that it excites no wish that he should have died another way.”

  • karlgarcia

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/99584/tragedy-andres-bonifacio

    The tragedy of Andres Bonifacio

    In the Philippines, there are only three national holidays in honor of specific Filipino heroes: Aug. 21 marks the assassination of Ninoy Aquino at the Manila International Airport in 1983, Nov. 30 commemorates the birth of Andres Bonifacio in Tondo, Manila, in 1863, and Dec. 30 commemorates the execution of Jose Rizal at the Luneta in 1896.

    President Manuel Luis Quezon’s birthday on Aug. 19 is celebrated as a special nonworking day in Quezon City and the provinces of Quezon and Aurora.

    Quezon succumbed to tuberculosis in the United States. The three others were killed by fellow Filipinos.

    Rizal was shot by a firing squad consisting of Filipino soldiers. Behind them were Spanish soldiers who were prepared to shoot the squad if anything went wrong.

    In my generation’s history classes, we were introduced to Andres Bonifacio as the “Great Plebeian,” much as Emilio Jacinto was the “Brains of the Katipunan,” and Apolinario Mabini as the “Sublime Paralytic.” Historian Ambeth Ocampo finds the title “difficult,” and for good cause. He says that Bonifacio may have had humble beginnings, but he had some education, enough to be hired by British and German trading firms in Manila; he was literate and upwardly mobile, having married a lady of means, Gregoria de Jesus, and was a Mason. Since Masons were not considered poor or uneducated, that would put him closer to the middle class.

    Along with Ladislao Diwa and Teodoro Plata, Bonifacio founded the “Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangan na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan” (KKK) or Katipunan for short, a secret society with the goal of “separation” from Spain unless reforms were instituted. They were aware that the fight for freedom at some point would turn bloody. Jose Rizal would tell them in Dapitan that “a revolution without arms should never be started against an armed nation.”

    On March 22, 1897, as “Supremo” of the Katipunan, Bonifacio presided over a convention in Tejeros, Cavite, to elect officials of a revolutionary government. Here he was humiliated when Emilio Aguinaldo, a man Bonifacio had earlier inducted into the Katipunan, was elected president. Mariano Trias was chosen vice president, and Artemio Ricarte, captain general of the proposed Filipino Army.

    Bonifacio was elected director of the interior. But even this was questioned by Daniel Tirona, one of the delegates, citing Bonifacio’s lack of academic and professional qualifications for the post. This was too much for Bonifacio. He drew his revolver but was disarmed by Ricarte as Tirona fled the hall.

    A day after, on March 23, Bonifacio and 45 followers issued a document known as “Acta de Tejeros,” declaring the elections illegal on the grounds that the ballots had been prepared by “one sole person” and “issued to unqualified persons in order to secure a majority.” As far as Bonifacio was concerned, the results of the Tejeros Convention were null and void.

    For Aguinaldo, the Katipunan ceased to exist after the elections. However, it has been written that without Andres Bonifacio, the Philippine Revolution would not have taken place. Historian Renato Constantino notes that “the defeat of Bonifacio at Tejeros was the defeat of the Revolution.”

    In the end, Aguinaldo ordered Bonifacio’s arrest and trial on various charges of treason. A day before his arrest, three of Aguinaldo’s men—Col. Agapito Bonzon, Jose Pawa, and Felipe Topacio—led a detachment to his hideaway in Limbon, Cavite. A gunfight ensued, resulting in the death of Ciriaco Bonifacio and the wounding of the supremo in the throat and left arm. The weakened supremo was laid in a hammock while other Katipuneros were rounded up and all taken to Indang. There are reports that Bonzon molested Bonifacio’s wife, Gregoria de Jesus or Aling Oriang.

    Bonifacio was tried before a military court in Maragondon, with the verdict a foregone conclusion. He was found guilty of plotting to overthrow the revolutionary government. He and his brother Procopio were sentenced “to be shot in an open place, up to five shots for each. . . ”

    In an interview with a Spanish correspondent in 1897 after the signing of the Pact of Biak na Bato, Aguinaldo had this to say of Bonifacio: “It is quite true that the Katipunan instilled in us another desire—that of independence—but that desire was unattainable… it served as the banner of Andres Bonifacio, a

    cruel man whom I ordered shot and with his death the Katipunan disappeared…. He had little power with our people since no one cared for him.” Interestingly Ocampo writes, “If no one cared for Bonifacio, why did they execute him?”

    A different view has been expressed by Gen. Artemio Ricarte: “Thus ended the life of the man who, scorning dangers, had established the KKK ng mga Anak ng Bayan; the man who had taught the Filipino people the true way to shake off the Spanish yoke; the man from whose mouth and whenever he spoke with the officials of the forces always came the following expressions: Commit no acts that will cast a stain upon your name. Fear history, for in it, none of your acts will be hidden!”

    Ocampo puts it best in a paper presented at the Third European Philippine Studies Conference in France in April 1997: “If you take the time to look back and reflect on our history—not just 1896—you will discover that it reveals more questions than answers. The tragedy of Bonifacio only goes to show that textbooks and national holidays tend to oversimplify history.” He also adds, “No matter how hard we try to forget, how skillfully we sanitize history, the fact is Bonifacio’s death forces us to admit the painful reality that even in the ‘glorious’ revolution… Filipinos were fighting fellow Filipinos. Filipinos were murdering fellow Filipinos.”

    In preparing this column, I relied heavily on the books of Sylvia Mendez Ventura, “Supremo: The Story of Andres Bonifacio” and Ambeth Ocampo, “Bones of Contention: The Bonifacio Lectures.”—RJF

  • karlgarcia

    http://m.inquirer.net/opinion/74768

    Bonifacio: pardon and execution
    By Ambeth R. Ocampo
    If you read the transcript of the Bonifacio Trial to the end, you will be left asking: What happened? Better still: What really happened?
    On May 4, 1897, Pantaleon Garcia sent findings to Emilio Aguinaldo, commander in chief, recommending that a decision be made by a council of war because of the gravity of the case. Aguinaldo responded on the same day by referring the case to Mariano Noriel, president of the council of war.

    On May 5, 1897, at 3 p.m., Noriel convened the council of war in the municipio of Maragondon, Cavite, with the prosecution, the defense, and the Bonifacio brothers present. The prosecution presented its case:
    “That according to said documents, the brothers Andres, Ciriaco and Procopio Bonifacio were the first to plan the attack on the revolutionary government, and that in fact [Andres] induced Pedro Giron to kill the President. He also ordered his soldiers to get ready to fire at the government soldiers who were their enemies. His acts showed that he was a traitor to the government according to the testimony of those who stood witness in this trial.
    “Ciriaco, brother of Andres, was killed in the encounter with the government soldiers. Procopio, also a brother of Andres, was an accomplice. I respectfully recommend that Andres and Procopio be given capital punishment by shooting them in a public place, each one to be shot five times from a distance of ten feet, in accordance with the gravity of their crime. However, I leave it to the wise discretion of the Council to study my recommendation very well.”
    Naturally, the defense argued for a sentence lighter than death, but how did Placido Martinez expect to gain it with this opening statement?

    “To defend Andres Bonifacio is quite impossible because of what he has done. He deserves even a heavier penalty than death because the desire to kill the highest magistrate of the land is equivalent to killing all of us. This only goes to show that he has no compassion [for] his countrymen who are his brothers; but it cannot be denied that we are all human and are liable to make mistakes and should therefore receive counsel.”
    Before the defense rested its case, Martinez requested that an inquiry be conducted into Bonifacio’s accusation that Col. Agapito Bonzon had tried to dishonor his wife. “If this is true, the Colonel should be punished; if this is a false accusation, then Bonifacio should be punished, for the insult and slander against a superior officer like Bonzon who has been upholding the dignity of his office.”
    Procopio Bonifacio had a separate defense lawyer in Teodoro Gonzales, who argued for a lighter sentence because his client “did not induce or bribe anybody and had nothing to do with any plan of Andres Bonifacio regarding the overthrow of the government, and … did not hide during the encounter.”
    Andres Bonifacio was allowed to address the court, but his statement was not noted in detail. On May 7, 1897, the council of war sent its recommendation to Aguinaldo, through his cousin Baldomero Aguinaldo, the judge advocate general, for resolution. On May 8, after reading the documents and seeking other opinions, Baldomero Aguinaldo forwarded the document recommending confirmation.
    On the same day, Aguinaldo pardoned the Bonifacios:
    “Whereas Andres and Procopio were the ones found guilty while their soldiers only followed their orders obediently, punishment should be meted only to them, and the soldiers, for obeying them, should be reprimanded severely. Considering the present situation of this land and the fact that the guilty ones are true sons of this country; following likewise the merciful policy of the government never to draw blood uselessly; with the approval of its department secretaries, I hereby pardon Andres Bonifacio and Procopio Bonifacio from the death penalty, and instead grant the punishment of exile in an isolated place, where they will be held in solitary [confinement] watched by prison guards and will not be allowed to speak to each other or to other people… The arms and other properties confiscated by the government troops are to become government property for use in time of war and for the benefit of the government. Let the request of the Judge Advocate General be granted regarding copies of statements needed for further investigation.”
    The Bonifacios were informed of the decision. Procopio acknowledged it by signing the trial document, but Andres couldn’t, or wouldn’t, because he couldn’t use his hand.
    If the trial documents show that Aguinaldo pardoned the Bonifacio brothers and commuted the death sentence to exile, what happened? Bonzon was not investigated for the attempted rape of Gregoria de Jesus. Why?
    The buck stops with Emilio Aguinaldo, who said in his memoirs that Pio del Pilar, Mariano Noriel, and many others, including former allies of Bonifacio, had convinced him to change his mind. Artemio Ricarte, in his own memoirs, provided additional names: Feliciano Jocson, Antonio Montenegro, Teodoro Gonzales, Clemente Jose Zulueta, Severino de las Alas, Baldomero Aguinaldo, Mariano Trias Closas, and many other Caviteños.
    While textbook history does not provide all the other angles to this complicated story, having the primary sources available online can help develop critical thinking in search of a conclusion and resolution to this divisive part of our history.
    Comments are welcome at aocampo@ateneo.edu

  • karlgarcia

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/99584/tragedy-andres-bonifacio

    The tragedy of Andres Bonifacio | Inquirer Opinion

    8 months ago
    cruel man whom I ordered shot and with his death the Katipunan disappeared…. He had little power with our people since no one cared for him.” Interestingly Ocampo writes, “If no one cared for Bonifacio, why did they execute him?”

    A different view has been expressed by Gen. Artemio Ricarte: “Thus ended the life of the man who, scorning dangers, had established the KKK ng mga Anak ng Bayan; the man who had taught the Filipino people the true way to shake off the Spanish yoke; the man from whose mouth and whenever he spoke with the officials of the forces always came the following expressions: Commit no acts that will cast a stain upon your name. Fear history, for in it, none of your acts will be hidden!”

    Ocampo puts it best in a paper presented at the Third European Philippine Studies Conference in France in April 1997: “If you take the time to look back and reflect on our history—not just 1896—you will discover that it reveals more questions than answers. The tragedy of Bonifacio only goes to show that textbooks and national holidays tend to oversimplify history.” He also adds, “No matter how hard we try to forget, how skillfully we sanitize history, the fact is Bonifacio’s death forces us to admit the painful reality that even in the ‘glorious’ revolution… Filipinos were fighting fellow Filipinos. Filipinos were murdering fellow Filipinos.”

    In preparing this column, I relied heavily on the books of Sylvia Mendez Ventura, “Supremo: The Story of Andres Bonifacio” and Ambeth Ocampo, “Bones of Contention: The Bonifacio Lectures.”—RJF

    • sonny

      Karl, this is a fantastic catch on the subject of the Basque connection to our country. My favorite Basque is Andres de Urdaneta, originally a mariner, through and through. He then became an Augustinian friar by the time of the Philippine disccovery. Being a ship’s navigator, he was the one who discovered the northern return route from the Philippines back to North America and Acapulco. He made possible the start of the Great Galleon Trade.

      As the article shows, many important things Philippine were due to the intrepid Basques. On a personal note, many of the Benedictine fathers of San Beda College, my alma mater, come from the Basque country of Navarre, especially Barcelona. St Ignatius of Loyola and the original Company of Jesus (the Jesuits) were Basques.

      • karlgarcia

        many thank for these,unc.

        • sonny

          Nephew, this find on the modern Basques that created the Roxas-Ayala, Aboitiz shipping, the Spaniard azucareras of Negros and Luzon are very important to the picture-detail of the major players of Philippine industries. Note that those Spanish who chose to come and stay in the Philippines illustrate the principle that permanent interests who come to the Philippines must stay with the country and grow and prosper with her peoples, exploitation and colonial mercantilism must not take root. The interests of those countries like the US and European allies must take cognizance of this principle. The Dutch are a good example of this and our native initiatives and national government must protect this dynamic for own people’s sake.

          Stay with this good radar, Karl.

  • https://imphscience.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/three-short-mentions-of-pasig-rivers-life-in-185556/

    A cool breeze from the river, night and morning, revived our drooping forms, and a bath at sunrise was something to be wished for, were it not for fear of the alligators. About thirty miles up the Pasig, I have known the huge monsters to carry off native women while sitting by the river’s bank washing clothes; and although an alarm is usually given immediately, there are no hopes of a rescue.

  • Bill In Oz

    Karl This is a wonderful thesis..I have just had to stop myself so I can finish off what I writing about MacArthur..It’s now on on my required reading for later

    Cheers

    Bill

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