Philippine Revolution

:"This article is about a late 19th-century revolution. For a late 20th-century event, also referred to as Philippine Revolution, see People Power Revolution."

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Philippine Revolution

result=Expulsion of the Spanish colonial government. Beginning of the Spanish-American War and establishment of the First Philippine Republic.

combatant1= (support for the Katipunan)
flagicon|Spain|1785 Loyalists to Spain
flagicon|Cuba Cuba Under Spain
commander2=flagicon|Spain|1785 Camilo de Polavieja
flagicon|Spain|1785 Fernando Primo de Rivera
flagicon|Spain|1785 Basilio Augustín
flagicon|Spain|1785 Fermin Jáudenes
strength1=80,000 soldiers
strength2=60,000 soldiers

The Philippine Revolution (1896-1898) was an armed conflict between the Katipunan organization and Spanish colonial authorities, which sought Philippine independence originally from Spain and, later, from the U.S. in the Philippine-American War.


When the Revolution began in 1896, Spain had been ruling the Philippine Islands for over three centuries. Power was centered around the colonial government in Manila and the Church, although in reality it was a "frailocracia", [As the word "frailocracia" cannot be found in most Spanish dictionaries nor the word “frailocracy” in the English, the term must have been coined by succeeding Filipino writers to refer to this 'unique' system of government] --the Dominican friars exercising more power than the civilian government due to the stringent control of the Church over the populace. Because of the imposition of excessive taxes and forced labor on the "indios" (as the Filipinos were called), several revolts occurred in the middle and latter part of the 19th century, all without success. The Spaniards implemented the age-old strategy of "divide et impera" - "divide and rule". The government would conscript Filipino troops from the "Tagalog" provinces to suppress a revolt in the Ilocos, and would quell a "Visayan" uprising largely with the help of troops recruited from Pampanga province. This caused hatred and discord among the "indios" who were never to unite until the late 19th century.

A combination of external and internal factors precipitated the revolution. The archipelago was opened to foreign trade during the mid-19th century, aided by the launching of the Suez Canal in 1869. Along with the import of goods came an inflow of Western thought, such as the pursuit of liberty and independence. Schools, organizations, literature and other means fostering these ideals were considered subversive and banned by the colonial administration and the entrenched "frailocracia". The Filipinos who were influenced by these liberal concepts were the same people who benefited from foreign trade--the "ilustrados", members of the prosperous merchant class who sent their sons to study at universities in Spain and elsewhere in Europe. Many of these students, chief among them José Rizal and Graciano López Jaena, would organize a reform organization, called the Propaganda Movement.

The internal factor was the execution of three Filipino priests. During the mid-19th century, a campaign was initiated by Father Pedro Pelaez calling for the “naturalization” of Filipino parishes--the turnover of churches to native-born Filipinos. After Pelaez’s death in an earthquake in 1863, the crusade was led by Fathers Mariano Gómez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora.

The "frailocracia" was adamantly opposed to reforms and looked for pretext to arrest the trio. They had their opportunity when a mutiny in the fort in Cavite was aborted. Although the rebellion was led by a disaffected military officer and did not involve the priests, the civil government and church hierarchy nonetheless accused them of conspiracy. After a swift trial, the priests--known collectively and posthumously by the acronym "Gomburza"--were executed by "garrote" in February 17, 1872, at Bagumbayan in Manila. The sympathetic archbishop of Manila refused the order that they be defrocked and instead directed the pealing of church bells as a sign of mourning.

The execution enraged many Filipinos, and years later, an "ilustrado" by the name of José Rizal would later acknowledge this as the one event that changed his life.

Propaganda Movement

A group of Filipino "ilustrados" in Madrid shocked by what they saw as the disparity between Spain and her colony, organized the “Propaganda Movement”. Among its members were Rizal, López Jaena, the political exile Marcelo del Pilar, Mariano Ponce, and the Luna brothers--Juan and Antonio. They published a fortnightly newspaper in Spanish called La Solidaridad. Its aim was to expose corruption and atrocities in the Philippine colony. The publication lasted from 1889 to 1895. Copies of it were smuggled into the Philippines and were read surreptitiously behind closed doors.

In its later years, because of differences in opinion, the movement suffered a division. One faction supported del Pilar as its leader, while the other supported Rizal. To resolve the dispute, Rizal volunteered to pack his bags and leave Barcelona, where the group was by now based. Rizal's departure would signal its slow and steady downfall. With the subsequent demise of both López Jaena and del Pilar the group failed to witness the fruition of their dream for internal reform in the colony as well as their hopes for representation in the Spanish Cortes. However, through the "La Solidaridad", they not only voiced out their outrage to their readers in Spain and the rest of the western world, but conveyed their protests to their countrymen which gave rise to greater dissent and discontent.

La Liga Filipina

Rizal returned to the Philippines in 1892 and established La Liga Filipina. The progressive organization continued Rizal's aim of implementing reforms inside the colony. Despite its avowed aims for peaceful reforms, the government felt threatened by its existence and had it disbanded. They were especially disturbed by one clause in its Declaration calling for "defence against all violence and injustice" and arrested Rizal on July 7, 1892.

The coalition subsequently splintered into two factions with differing agenda. The moderate wing reorganized itself as "Cuerpo de Compromisarios" with the purpose of providing funds for "La Solidaridad". The radical wing, led by a warehouse clerk named Andrés Bonifacio, reorganized into a secret organization called the "Katipunan" whose aim was to gain independence from Spain.



On the night of July 7, 1892, members of the defunct "Liga", Ladislao Diwa, Teodoro Plata, Valentín Díaz, and Deodato Arellano, joined Bonifacio to found the "Katipunan" in a house on Calle Azcarraga (now Claro M. Recto Avenue). After a few transitions in leadership, Bonifacio was eventually hailed as the "Supremo" (supreme leader). With the nation's total liberation as its ultimate purpose, the secret society's immediate goal was to institute a government to be installed upon the overthrow of the Spanish administration. They raised funds to purchase weapons and sought the help of a Japanese ship docked in Manila as middleman, but failed in the attempt. Eventually, the men got hold of a small number of smuggled and stolen firearms; however, the majority of the militants were only armed with "iták" and bolos, locally-made machete-like knives.

To spread their revolutionary ideas, they published the newspaper "Kalayaan" (Freedom). It was edited by Emilio Jacinto and printed (along with other Katipunan documents) on a printing press purchased with proceeds from the lottery winnings of Francisco del Castillo and Candido Iban, who would later found the Katipunan in Panay. To mislead the Spanish authorities, it carried a false masthead declaring Marcelo del Pilar the editor and Yokohama the site of the printing press. The newspaper was published only once, before the "katipuneros", having been alerted of the organization's discovery by the Spaniards, destroyed their printing press. They then moved their operations to the offices of "Diario de Manila" where one other edition of the paper was printed in secrecy.

It did not take long before Katipunan membership swelled in numbers, its aims and ideals spreading to other provinces. By March 1896, councils were being organized in the towns of San Juan del Monte, San Felipe Neri, Pasig, Pateros, Marikina, Caloocan, Malabon and surrounding areas. It later dispersed to the provinces of Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Nueva Ecija, Laguna and Pampanga. It also included women among its ranks, with the first female inductee in 1893. From a measly 300, the "Katipunan" grew to an army of more than 30,000 which made Bonifacio confident that liberation of the "Katagalugan" (as he called the Philippines) was imminent.

Cry of Pugadlawin

Two "katipuneros", Teodoro Patiño and Apolonio dela Cruz, were engaged in a bitter personal dispute. The former, Patiño, deciding to seek revenge, exposed the secrets of the "Katipunan" to his sister who was a nun, who in turn revealed it to a Spanish priest, Father Mariano Gil. The priest was led to the printing press of "Diario de Manila" and found a lithographic stone used to print the secret society's receipts. A locker was seized containing a dagger and secret documents.

Several arrests ensued which included some of the wealthiest "ilustrados". Despite their denial, many of them were executed, notably Don Francisco Roxas, who refused to aid the Katipunan and was thus implicated by arrested katipuneros. It was speculated that Bonifacio intended for the events leading to their arrest to happen in order to coerce the wealthy into joining the Katipunan.

The news immediately reached the top leadership of the organization. Panic-stricken, they immediately called a meeting of the remaining members, first in Kangkong and then in the house of "katipunero" Juan Ramos in Pugadlawin in Balintawak. The first meeting yielded nothing. On the second meeting, Bonifacio, fed up with the seemingly-endless squabbling, tore up his "cedula" and cried "Mabuhay ang kalayaan ng Pilipinas!" (Long live Philippine Independence!). It was a cry to arms and was echoed by the majority of the men in attendance. On August 24, 1896, the Revolution had begun.Citation |editor-surname=Gatbonton |editor-first=Esperanza B. |title=The Philippines After The Revolution 1898-1945 |volume= |publisher=National Commission for Culture and the Arts |publication-date=2000 |isbn=971-814-004-2.]

The first armed encounter between the Spanish colonists and a small group of the Katipunan took place in Pasong Tamo in Caloocan and signaled a small victory for the revolutionaries. The first battle of note occurred in San Juan del Monte in Manila (the site is now known as "Pinaglabanan", Tagalog for "battleground"). The "katipuneros" were winning initially, but were subsequently defeated by reinforcements summoned by Governor-General Ramón Blanco. Bonifacio then ordered his men to retreat to Mandaluyong, and eventually to Balara.

Death of Rizal

:main|José Rizal

Not long after their disastrous defeat in San Juan, several uprisings occurred in nearby provinces. Governor-General Blanco decided to place eight provinces under martial law. These were Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Pampanga, Tarlac, Laguna, Batangas, and Nueva Ecija. They would later be represented in the eight rays of the sun in the Filipino flag. Arrests and interrogations were intensified and many Filipinos died from torture.

When the revolution broke out, Jose Rizal was living as a political exile in Dapitan and had just volunteered to serve as a doctor in Cuba, where a similar revolution was taking place. Instead of taking him to Barcelona from where he would be sent to Cuba, his ship, acting upon orders from Manila, took him instead to the capital where he was imprisoned in Fortaleza (Fort) Santiago. There he wrote his famous valedictory poem and awaited his execution which came on December 30, 1896 after a military trial. Although Rizal opposed the Katipunan from the beginning, he became a hero of the revolution through his martyred death and his incendiary writings critical of Spanish rule. His execution fanned the Filipinos' anger and ensured that the revolution would stay.


The province of Cavite gradually emerged as the hotbed for the uprising. The revolutionary group led by young General Emilio Aguinaldo, had a string of victories starting with the Battle of Imus on September 1, 1896 with the aid of Jose Tagle. It was not long before the issue of leadership was debated. The "Magdiwang" faction, led by Bonifacio's uncle Mariano Álvarez, recognized Bonifacio as supreme leader, being the founder. The "Magdalo" faction, led by Emilio's cousin Baldomero Aguinaldo, agitated for "Heneral Miong" (Emilio's nickname) to be the organization's head because of his successes in the battlefield. Bonifacio meanwhile had had a succession of defeats. The friction between the two intensified when they refused to cooperate and aid each other in battle. As a result, the Spanish army, now under the command of Governor-General Camilo de Polavieja, steadily gained ground.

Tejeros Convention

In order to unite the "Katipunan" in Cavite, the "Magdalo" invited Bonifacio, who was fighting in Morong (now Rizal) province, to come to Cavite, Aguinaldo's home ground. Bonifacio reluctantly obliged. On December 31, an assembly was convened in Imus to settle the leadership issue once and for all. The "Magdalo" insisted on the establishment of a "pamahalaang mapanghimagsik" (revolutionary government) to replace the Katipunan and continue the struggle. On the other hand, the "Magdiwang" favored the Katipunan's retention, arguing that it was a government in itself. The assembly dispersed without a consensus.

On March 22, 1897, another meeting was held in Tejeros. It called for the election of officers for the "pamahalaang mapanghimagsik". Bonifacio, again reluctantly, chaired the election. This convention ended in further conflict and led to the Katipunan's demise.

Bonifacio, apparently confident that he would be elected president, called for the election results to be respected. When the voting ended, Bonifacio lost the race--and the leadership of the revolution--to Aguinaldo, who was away fighting in Pasong Santol. According to historian Ambeth Ocampo, Bonifacio lost through "dagdag-bawas" - literally addition and subtraction of votes. Instead, he was elected to a much inferior position, director of the interior, and even then his qualifications to serve were questioned by a "Magdalo", Daniel Tirona. Bonifacio, though literate, was not an "ilustrado" and only had an elementary-school education. Humiliated, Bonifacio drew his pistol and was about to shoot him had not Artemio Ricarte intervened. Bonifacio declared the election null and void and stomped out in anger. Aguinaldo took his oath of office as president the next day in Santa Cruz de Malabon (now Tanza) in Cavite, as did the rest of the officers, except for Andres Bonifacio.

Death of Bonifacio

In Naic, Bonifacio and his officers created the Naic Military Agreement, establishing a rival government to Aguinaldo's. It rejected the election at Tejeros and restored Bonifacio as the "true" "Supremo". When Aguinaldo learned of the document, he ordered the arrest of Bonifacio and his men. Colonel Agapito Benzon chanced upon Bonifacio in Limbon. In the subsequent battle, Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were wounded, while their brother Crispulo was killed. They were taken to Naic to stand trial.

The "Consejo de Guerra" (War Council) sentenced Andres and Procopio Bonifacio to death on May 10,1897 at the kangaroo court for committing sedition and treason. Aguinaldo commuted the punishment to deportation, but withdrew his decision following pressure from other officers.

On May 10, Colonel Lazaro Macapagal, upon orders from ex-Bonifacio supporter General Mariano Noriel, executed the Bonifacio brothers at the foothills of Mount Buntis,a small mountain near Maragondon. Andrés Bonifacio and his brother were buried in a shallow grave marked only with twigs.


Augmented by new recruits from Spain, government troops recaptured several towns in Cavite. The succession of defeats for the Katipunan could also be attributed to conflict within the organization that resulted from Bonifacio's assassination, with those loyal to him refusing to subject themselves to the command of Aguinaldo. It did not, however, deter Aguinaldo and his men to keep on fighting. They moved northward, from one town to the next, until they finally settled in Biak-na-Bato, in the town of San Miguel de Mayumo in Bulacan. Here they established what became known as the "Republic of Biak-na-Bato", with a constitution drafted by Isabelo Artacho and Felix Ferrer and based on the first Cuban Constitution.

With the new Spanish Governor-General Fernando Primo de Rivera declaring, "I can take Biak-na-Bato. Any army can capture it. But I cannot end the rebellion," he proffered the olive branch of peace to the revolutionaries. Lawyer Pedro Paterno volunteered as negotiator between the two sides. For four months, he traveled between Manila and Biak-na-Bato. His hard work finally bore fruit when, on December 14-15, 1897, the Pact of Biak-na-Bato was signed. Made up of three documents, it called for the following agenda: [Citation
title=True Version of the Philippine Revolution
author=Don Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy
chapter=Chapter II. The Treaty of Biak-na-bató
page= [ 126]
publisher=Authorama: Public Domain Books

*The surrender of Aguinaldo and the rest of the revolutionary corps.
*Amnesty for those who participated in the revolution. .
*Exile to Hong Kong for the revolutionary leadership.
*Payment by the Spanish government of $800,000 (Mexican) to the revolutionaries in three installments: $200,000 (Mexican) upon leaving the country, $100,000 (Mexican) upon the surrender of at least 700 firearms, and another $100,000 (Mexican) upon the declaration of general amnesty. [The Mexican dollar at the time was worth about 50 U.S. cents, according to Citation
title= The Story of the Philippines and Our New Possessions, Including the Ladrones, Hawaii, Cuba and Porto Rico
chapter=XII. The American Army in Manila
page= [ 126]

In accordance with the first clause, Aguinaldo and twenty five other top officials of the revolution were banished to Hong Kong with $400,000 (Mexican) in their pockets. The rest of the men got $200,000 (Mexican) and the third installment was never received. General amnesty was never declared because sporadic skirmishes continued.

The Revolution continues

Not all the revolutionary generals complied with the treaty. One, General Francisco Makabulos, established a Central Executive Committee to serve as the interim government until a more suitable one was created. Armed conflicts resumed, this time coming from almost every province in Spanish-governed Philippines. The Spaniards, on the other hand, continued the arrest and torture of those suspected of "banditry".

The Pact of Biak-na-Bato did not signal an end to the war. Aguinaldo and his men were convinced that the Spaniards would never give the rest of the money as a condition of surrender. Furthermore, they believed that Spain reneged on her promise of amnesty. The exiles renewed their commitment for complete independence and ouster of the colonialists. They purchased more arms and ammunitions to ready themselves for another siege.

The Spaniards and their once-loyal subjects now had conflicting goals, and both were determined to achieve theirs, by any means necessary.

American invasion

The February, 1898 explosion and sinking of a U.S. Navy warship in Havana harbor during an ongoing revolution in Cuba led in April of that year to a declaration of war against Spain by the United States. On April 25, Commodore George Dewey sailed for Manila with a fleet of seven ships. Arriving on May 1, he encountered a fleet of twelve ships commanded by Admiral Patricio Montojo. The resulting Battle of Manila Bay lasted only a few hours, with all of Montojo's fleet destroyed. Dewey called for armed reinforcements and, while waiting, contented himself with merely acting as a blockade for Manila Bay. [ [ Gathering at the Golden Gate: Mobilizing for War in the Philippines, 1898. Stephen D. Coats] ]

Discussions between Aguinaldo and U.S. officials

Aguinaldo wrote retrospectively in September 1899 that he had met with U.S. Consuls E. Spencer Pratt and Rounceville Wildman in Singapore between 22 and 25 April, and that they persuaded him to again take up the mantle of leadership in the revolution, with Pratt communicating with Admiral Dewey by telegram, passing assurances from Dewey to Aguinaldo that the United States would at least recognize the Independence of the Philippines under the protection of the United States Navy, and adding (as Aguinaldo writes) "... that there was no necessity for entering into a formal written agreement because the word of the Admiral and of the United States Consul were in fact equivalent to the most solemn pledge that their verbal promises and assurance would be fulfilled to the letter and were not to be classed with Spanish promises or Spanish ideas of a man’s word of honour. In conclusion the Consul said, 'The Government of North America, is a very honest, just, and powerful government.'"Citation
title=True Version of the Philippine Revolution
author=Don Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy
chapter=Chapter III. Negotiations
publisher=Authorama: Public Domain Books

Aguinaldo writes of meeting with Dewey after arriving in Cavite, and recalls: "I asked whether it was true that he had sent all the telegrams to the Consul at Singapore, Mr. Pratt, which that gentleman had told me he received in regard to myself. The Admiral replied in the affirmative, adding that the United States had come to the Philippines to protect the natives and free them from the yoke of Spain. He said, moreover, that America is exceedingly well off as regards territory, revenue, and resources and therefore needs no colonies, assuring me finally that there was no occasion for me to entertain any doubts whatever about the recognition of the Independence of the Philippines by the United States." A U.S. Library of Congress Country Study on the Philippines completed in 1991 reports that by late May (the exact date is not given), the United States Department of the Navy had ordered Dewey to distance himself from Aguinaldo lest he make untoward commitments to the Philippine forces.Citation
title=Philippines: A Country Study
publisher=Library of Congress
chapter=Historical Setting—Outbreak of War, 1898
first=Donald M.

Dean Conant Worcester, in his 1914 book "The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2)", reports that on April 27, 1908, Pratt wrote the Secretary of State explaining how he had come to meet Aguinaldo, and stating just what he had done. Pratt said:Citation
first=Dean Conant
title=The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2)

[... some text apparently elided by Worcester ...] At this interview, after learning from General Aguinaldo the state of an object sought to be obtained by the present insurrectionary movement, which, though absent from the Philippines, he was still directing, I took it upon myself, whilst explaining that I had no authority to speak for the Government, to point out the danger of continuing independent action at this stage; and, having convinced him of the expediency of cooperating with our fleet, then at Hongkong, and obtained the assurance of his willingness to proceed thither and confer with Commodore Dewey to that end, should the latter so desire, I telegraphed the Commodore the same day as follows, through our consul-general at Hongkong:--

Aguinaldo, insurgent leader, here. Will come Hongkong arrange with Commodore for general cooperation insurgents Manila if desired. Telegraph.


... and that that Dewey replied to Pratt's telegram as follows:

Tell Aguinaldo come soon as possible.


Worcester points our that Pratt explained to Aguinaldo that he had no authority to speak for the government; that there was no mention in the cablegrams between Pratt and Dewey of independence or indeed of any conditions on which Aguinaldo was to cooperate. Worthington quotes a subsequent letter describing the particulars of Pratt's second and last interview with Aguinaldo, in which Pratt reiterated that he had no authority to discuss the establishment of a Philippine government as follows:

No. 213. _Consulate-General of the United States._

_Singapore_, April 30, 1898.

_Sir_: Referring to my dispatch No. 212, of the 28th instant, Ihave the honor to report that in the second and last interview I hadwith Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo on the eve of his departure for Hongkong,I enjoined upon him the necessity, under Commodore Dewey's direction,of exerting absolute control over his forces in the Philippines, as noexcesses on their part would be tolerated by the American Government,the President having declared that the present hostilities withSpain were to be carried on in strict accord with modern principlesof civilized warfare.

To this General Aguinaldo fully assented, assuring me that he intendedand was perfectly able, once on the field, to hold his followers,the insurgents, in check and lead them as our commander should direct.

The general stated that he hoped the United States would assumeprotection of the Philippines for at least long enough to allow theinhabitants to establish a government of their own, in the organizationof which he would desire American advice and assistance.

These questions I told him I had no authority to discuss.

I have, etc.,

_E. Spencer Pratt_,

_United States Consul-General_.

Author Worcester goes on to analyze several other items bearing on the question of whether the U.S. made promises to Aguinaldo regarding Philippine independence, and concludes with the following summary:Quote
Consul-General Pratt was, or professed to be, in hearty sympathy with the ambition of the Filipino leaders to obtain independence, and would personally have profited from such a result, but he refrained from compromising his government and made no promises in its behalf.

Admiral Dewey never even discussed with Aguinaldo the possibility of independence.

There is no reason to believe that any subordinate of the Admiral ever discussed independence with any Filipino, much less made any promise concerning it.

Neither Consul Wildman nor Consul Williams promised it, and both were kept in ignorance of the fact that it was desired up to the last possible moment.

It is not claimed that either General Anderson or General Merritt made any promise concerning it.

The conclusion that no such promise was ever made by any of these men is fully justified by well-established facts.

Maximo M. Kalaw wrote in a 1927 dissertation titled "The development of Philippine politics":Citation
title=The development of Philippine politics
author=Maximo Manguiat Kalaw
publisher=Oriental commercial

Kalaw continues in a footnote as follows:

A January 7, 1899 New York Times article, referring to correspondence published officially in connection with the Treaty of Paris, reports that Wildman had been warned not to make pledges or to or discuss policy with Aguinaldo, "... and he replied that he had made him no pledges.", and that Consul Pratt had been instructed "... that it was proper for him to obtain the unconditional assistance of Gen. Aguinaldo, but not to make any political pledges." In a letter of June 20, U.S. Secretary of State William Day referred at length to the report of Pratt's conference with the Filipino leaders, saying that he feared that some of Pratt's utterances had caused apprehension "lest the Consul's action may have laid the ground of future misunderstanding and complication." and that, in reply, Pratt repeated his assurance that he had used due due precaution in dealing with the Philippine leaders.Citation
title=RELATIONS WITH AGUINALDO.; Acts of American Consuls in the Orient Detailed in Letters to the State Department.
publisher=The New York Times
date=February 19, 1899

A February 20, 1899 New York Times article reports that a close friend of Consul Pratt had disclosed purported "inside facts" about the conversations between Pratt and Aguinaldo, including (1) that Aguinaldo had indicated willingness to accept the same terms for the Philippines as the U.S. intended giving to Cuba (though no agreement on such terms had been reached at the time of the discussions), and (2) that Pratt was aware that Aguinaldo's policy "... clearly embraced independence for the Philippines."Citation
title=What Filipinos Expected
publisher=The New York Times
date=February 19, 1899
] No mention was made in the purported "inside facts" of any agreements between Pratt and Aguinaldo regarding Philippine independence.

In relation to a book titled "The Philippine Islands", the Times reported on August 6, 1899 that Pratt had obtained a court order enjoining publication of certain statements "... which might be regarded as showing a positive connection" between himself and Aguinaldo.Citation
title=Spencer-Pratt and Aguinaldo
publisher=The New York Times
|date=August 26, 1899
] The Times reported the court upholding Pratt's position that he had "no dealings of a political character" with Aguinaldo and restraining further publication of the book.

A June 27, 1902 New York Times article reports Admiral Dewey testifying before the U.S. Congress that he had made no promises. The Times article reports Dewey describing his telegraphic exchange with Pratt as follows: "The day before we left Hong Kong I received a telegram from Consul General Pratt, located at Singapore, saying Aguinaldo was at Singapore and would join me at Hong Kong. I replied, 'All right, tell him to come aboard,' but attached so little importance to the message that I sailed without Aguinaldo and before he arrived." [Citation
title=Admiral Dewey Testifies—The Real History of the Surrender of Manila
publisher=The New York Times
date=June 26, 1899

Aguinaldo's return to the Philippines

On May 7, 1898, the American dispatch-boat "McCulloch" arrived in Hong Kong from Manila, bringing reports of Dewey's May 1st victory in the battle of Manila Bay but with no orders regarding transportation of Aguinaldo. The "McCulloch" again arrived in Hong Kong on May 15, bearing orders to transport Aguinaldo to Manila. Aguinaldo departed Hong Kong aboard the "McCulloch" on May 17, arriving in off Cavite in Manila Bay on May 19.

Public jubilance marked the Aguinaldo's return. Several revolutionaries, as well as Filipino soldiers employed by the Spanish army, submitted themselves to Aguinaldo's command. Soon after, Imus and Bacoor in Cavite, Parañaque and Las Piñas in Morong, Macabebe and San Fernando in Pampanga, as well as Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Tayabas (now Quezon), and the Camarines provinces, were liberated by the Filipinos. They were also able to secure the port of Dalahican in Cavite. The revolution was gaining ground.


The Spanish colonial government, now under Governor-General Basilio Augustín y Dávila, in order to win over the Filipinos from Aguinaldo and the Americans, established the Volunteer Militia and Consultative Assembly. Both groups were made up of Filipino recruits. However, most of them remained loyal to the revolution. The Volunteer Militia literally joined its supposed enemy, while the Assembly, chaired by Paterno, never had the chance to accomplish their goals.

Declaration of Independence

:main|Philippine Declaration of Independence

By June 1898, the island of Luzon, except for Manila and the port of Cavite, was under Filipino control. The revolutionaries were laying siege to Manila and cutting off its food and water supply. With most of the archipelago under his control, Aguinaldo decided it was time to establish a Philippine government.

When Aguinaldo arrived from Hong Kong, he brought with him a copy of a plan drawn by Mariano Ponce, calling for the establishment of a revolutionary government. Upon the advice of Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, however, an autocratic regime was established instead on May 24, with Aguinaldo as dictator.

It was under this dictatorship that independence was finally proclaimed on June 12, 1898 in Aguinaldo's house in Kawit, Cavite. The first Filipino flag was unfurled and the national anthem was played for the first time.

Apolinario Mabini, Aguinaldo's closest adviser, was opposed to Aguinaldo's decision towards a dictatorial rule. He instead urged for the reformation of a government that could prove its stability and competency as prerequisite. Aguinaldo refused to do so; however, Mabini was able to convince him to turn his autocratic administration into a revolutionary one. Aguinaldo declared a revolutionary government on July 23.


The Revolution did not end with the June 12th declaration. The Filipinos were not able to liberate Spanish-controlled Philippines until December, and Manila did not fall into Americans' hands until August of the following year. The United States would not grant complete autonomy for the Philippines until 1946.

Upon the recommendations of the decree that established the revolutionary government, a "Congreso Revolucionario" was assembled at Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan. All of the delegates to the congress were from the "ilustrado" class, signaling a distinct change from the proletarian leadership of Tejeros. was instead laid on the table and this became the framework upon which the assembly drafted the first constitution.

On November 29, the assembly, now popularly-called Malolos Congress, finished the draft. However, Aguinaldo, who always placed Mabini in high esteem and heeded most of his advice, refused to sign it when the latter objected. On January 21, 1899, after a few modifications were made to suit Mabini's arguments, the constitution was finally approved by the "congreso" and signed by Aguinaldo.

Two days later, the Filipino Republic (also called the First Republic and Malolos Republic) was inaugurated in Malolos with Aguinaldo as president. The Mololos Congress declared war on the United States on June 2, 1899, with Pedro Paterno, President of Congress, issuing a Proclamation of War. [Citation
title=Pedro Paterno's Proclamation of War
date=June 2, 1899
publisher=MSC Schools, Philippines
] The Philippine-American war ensued between 1899 and 1902. The war officially ended in 1902, with the Filipino leaders accepting, for the most part, that the Americans had won.


See also

*Philippine Declaration of Independence
*Spanish Empire
*History of the Philippines

External links

* cite web
title =True Version of the Philippine Revolution
author =Don Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy
work =Authorama Public Domain Books
url =
(page 1 of 20 linked web pages)
* [ The Philippine Revolution by Apolinario Mabini ]
* [ Centennial Site: The Katipunan]
* [ Leon Kilat] covers the Revolution in Cebu
* [ Another site on the Revolution]

francisco dagohy's revolution

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