The Passing of Spanish Dominian

Source:
Forbes-Lindsay, C. H.: The Philippines under Spanish and American Rules. Philadelphia, 1906: pp. 161-200

Birth of the Katipunan

The Insular lodges soon turned into political organizations, and thus incurred the extra antagonism of the priests. The majority of those executed, and those exiled, on account of the Cavite insurrection were members of the Masonic body. Out of the Freemasons grew a number of independent societies, each more radical than its predecessors, culminating in the Katipunan. The members of this order were Tagals, mostly in the ranks of the working people; determined, desperate men, who had nothing but their lives to lose. Their purpose was "to redeem the Philippines from its tyrants, the friars, and to found a communistic republic." In 1896 the Katipunan probably numbered abont fifty thousand members. It was the inciting factor in the Tagal Rebellion and the backbone of the movement.

In 1895 and 1896 the authorities adopted the most severe measures to suppress the Katipunan, with precisely the reverse effect to that intended. The friars, who often acted in the capacity of detectives for the civil power, caused the deportation of great numbers of suspects.

Without entertaining the sentiment of patriotism in the broader sense, the Tagal has always evinced strong attachment to the soil and no penalty, short of death, could be more severe than exile from his native village.

Sawyer* says: "The greatest and the best-founded complaint of the natives against the priests was that whoever displeased them, either in personal or money matters, was liable to he denounced to the anthorities as a filibuster, and to be torn from home and family and deported to some distant and probably unhealthy spot, there to resize at his own cost for an indefinite time by arbitrary authority, without process of law. Such a punishment, euphoniously termed ,'forced residence,' sometimes involved the death of the exile and always caused heavy expense, as a pardon could not be obtained without bribing some one."


* The Inhabitants of the Philippines. F.N. Sawyer. New York, 1900.
[Austrian-Philippine Homepage] [Culture and History] [Top]
created: November 20, 1997
updated: November 23, 1997
APSIS Editor Johann Stockinger