CHRONOLOGICAL EVENTS THAT SHAPED THE DESTINY OF THE "ILONGGO NATION"
I - THE BIRTH OF THE ILONGGO NATION:
The Maragtas legend explained and the ancient Chinese Ming Dynasty chronicle confirmed, that sometime between the 13th to 15th century; ten (10) Malay Datus together with their families, households and subordinates fled the tyrannical rule of Makatunaw, the Shri-Vijaya Sultan of Bornay (Borneo).
Led by Datu Putih, the Sultanate Minister, they sailed their “balanghais” unto uncertain fate and landed in the Island of "Aninipay" or Panay. They bartered their gold and jewelries with the local Ati Chieftain Marikudo for the lowlands, plains and valleys of the Island they called "Madya-as" or Paradise. The land where time began the birth of the Ilonggo Nation and the cradle of an ancient Filipino civilization.
For about 300 years before the coming of the Spaniards, the people lived in comparative prosperity and peace under an organized government, the "Katiringban et Madia-as" or the Confederation of Madya-as and with such laws as the Code of Sumakwel and the Code of Kalantiaw.
II - THE SPANISH CONQUEST:
-1581: The encomienda, the seat of Spanish power was moved from Ogtong (Oton) to La Villa Rica de Arevalo.
-1616: Due to recurrent raids by Moro pirates and foreign privateers, the Spaniards moved close to the mouth of Irong-irong river and built the fortress, now known as Fort San Pedro;
-1688: The Spaniards shortened Irong-Irong or Ilong-Ilong to "ILOILO", which became the capital of the province.-
1855: The rapid economic growth of the place, led to the opening of the port of Iloilo to world trade. Thanks to British Nicholas Loney, Iloilo soon emerged to be the biggest center of commerce and trade in Visayas and Mindanao, second only to Manila. Unfortunately, our local weaving industry was adversely affected as textile imports flooded the market.
-1896: The Ayuntamiento on Iloilo (City government) which was established in 1890 under the Becerra Law was given the honor by virtue of the Royal Decree of having a Coat-of-Arms with the inscription "La Muy Leal y Noble Ciudad de Iloilo". This is considered a sham and an act of ignominy by many Ilonggos of today. Like the title "Queen City of the South" which is being disputed as bestowed upon us for being the Queen Regent's minions, "TUTA" or pet City.
III - THE REVOLUTION AGAINST SPAIN:
-1586: When Hamtic (Antique) was still part of Ogtong, the "Igbaong Revolt" (Igbaras-Ogtong) started when the local leaders protested against the cruelty and abuses of the encomienderos and friars due to conscription or forced labor, either to work in their haciendas or construction of churches.
-1663: "Tapar", a babaylan and nativist of Oton, Iloilo waged the "Tapar Revolt". Poorly armed these early movements were easily quelled. But the Ilonggo patriots did not give up; they continued their struggle for freedom.
-1889: February 15 - In Barcelona, Spain the first issue of "La Solidaridad" a political propaganda publication founded by Graciano Lopez Jaena of Jaro, Iloilo City was published. With Jose Rizal, Marcelo del Pilar, Antonio Luna and others; they advocated reforms for the welfare of the Filipino people. The "La Solidaridad"-El Filibusterismo and Noli mi Tangere; notwithstanding, difficulties since circulation was strictly banned in the "Islas"; was the spark that ignited the event that changed Filipino history.
-1892: July 7-The Katipunan "KKK" was founded by the "Great Plebeian" Andres Bonifacio and fellow workers in Tondo, Manila that planned and initiated the Philippine armed Revolution.
-1896: December 30 - Dr. Jose Rizal of Calamba, Laguna; an illustrado-reformist of many talents, who was not in favor of the planned armed Revolution was executed by the Spaniards instigated by the clergy at Bagumbayan now Luneta. This emboldened the "Indios", including the elite and other illustrados to join in the revolution.
-1897: May 10 - Andres Bonifacio and his brother Procopio were executed in Cavite after a bogus trial for treason. A black chapter in the history of the Revolution. A victim sacrificed in the altar of ambition and self-serving interest of the illustrados as personified by Emilio Aguinaldo.
-1898: March 18 - The "Comite de Conspiradores" initiated by Don Francisco Felipe Villanueva and headed by Don Raymundo Angulo Melliza was formed in Parian, now Molo in Iloilo City. The members were "Parianons" that included; Pablo Araneta, Fernando Salas, Francisco Soriano, Jovito Yusay and from Jaro; Roque Lopez and Simon Ledesma. This became the nucleus that started the highly disciplined and well organized covert revolutionary movement in the Island of Panay.
Five months later, together with the revolutionary leaders outside the City led by Capitan Martin Delgado of Santa Barbara, they formed a revolutionary government and thus, the "Estado Federal de Bisayas" was conceived.
Several Visayan Generals including Gen. Raymundo Melliza and Gen. Pablo Araneta chose Delgado as "General en Jefe de los Tropas del Ejercito Libertador de Visayas y Governador Politico-Militar” based in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo.
Thereafter, Gen. Roque Lopez, the elected President of the Assembly and Gen. Pablo Araneta, Panay Island Commanding General and Chief Expeditionary Forces for the Visayas and other leaders of the Movement secretly maintained liaison with their relatives and friends in Negros and nearby islands to start the armed uprising in their areas. More notably, the brothers Col. Emilio and Col. Eduardo Esteban as commissioned by the Chief of Staff, Gen. Pablo Araneta of the Visayas Expeditionary Forces.
Pantaleon "Leon Kilat" Villegas of Bacong, Negros Oriental was tasked by the Negros leaders to organize and lead the revolutionaries in the island of Cebu. And on the 3rd of April, 1898 he began the armed uprising against Spanish authorities in Carcar, Cebu together with Luis Flores, Florencio Gonzales, Candido Padilla, Andres Abellana, and others.
Dr. Vicente Armada Locsin, of Janiuay, Iloilo acted as Confidential Intelligence Emissary Officer of the Central Revolutionary Committe based in Molo, Iloilo and coordinated with the Panay and Negros revolutionary councils.
-1898: May 24 - Visayans leaders recognized Aguinaldo's revolutionary government, since it was for a federal Philippines, with a Federal State each for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Later, however, upon the advice of Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, an autocratic regime was established with Emilio Aguinaldo as dictator. This move was opposed by Apolinario Mabini and he was supported by the Visayan leaders.
-1898: June 12 - Under this dictatorship, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo declared in Kawit, Cavite the Independence of Filipinos and birth of the Philippine Republic; its flag unfurled for the first time while Marcha Nacional Filipinas was played which became the Philippine National Anthem. This proclamation was not recognized by Spain, the United States nor by any other foreign nation.
IV - THE ILONGGO NATION'S INDEPENDENCE!
-1898: November 6- Don Diego de los Rios, last Governor-General of Spain in the Philippines represented by Col. Isidro de Castro (Negros Island Politico-Military Governor) formally surrendered to Independent Republic of Negros revolutionary leaders: Gen. Aniceto Lacson - Presidente, and Gen. Juan Araneta-Secretary of War in Bacolod City documented by the "Acta de Capitulacion-1898”.
-1898: November 17 - The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Visayas and Mindanao was proclaimed by General-en-Gefe Martin Delgado during the “Cry of Sta. Barbara” in Iloilo. This was replaced on November 23, 1898 by a politico-military government restricted only to the provinces in the Visayas.
The leaders preferred instead an arrangement of a National Federacy composed of the separate States Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao because of the many separate islands of the archipelagic Visayas and Mindanao and since they did not want to recognize the supremacy of Aguinaldo and the Tagalogs.
-1898: Nov. 26 - In a meeting of the Negros island cantonal government, Gen. Juan "Tan Juan" Araneta sponsored a resolution which was uninamously approved to set up a Federal Republic. "I proposed, that this island, after having attained its liberty and independence by means of a brilliant feat of arms, thus winning an honorable place in the concert of civilized nations, be governed by prestigious men in our country who knows its needs and understand its glorious ideals. For this reason I believe that the best government to realize the beautiful aspiration of our island, which is also that of the entire Filipino people, is that of a Federal Republic." This approved resolution was documented by Don Melecio Severino -Secretary General.
-1898: December 2 - After series of serious discussions and legitimate deliverations on nation building, it was decided to consolidate the cantonal governments in both Central and Western Visayas into the Panay government based in Iloilo and thus, was established the Republika Federal sang Kabisay-an.
By the middle of December, the revolutionaries led by Gen. Esteban Contreras and his adjutants, Col. Pascual Barza and Col. Juan Arce and aided by Captain Alejandro Balgos, the Capizeños defeated and drove the Spanish forces out of Capiz, a few days before Spanish authorities totally capitulated to the authority of the "Gobierno de Canton de Visayas" or Federal Government of the Visayas in Iloilo City.
In Romblon island, Col. Diego de Diaz commanded the revolutionary forces based in this part of Capiz. During the revolution the Province of Bohol was part of the Visayan Republic with headquarters at Santa Barbara, Iloilo.
The Revolutionary Forces led by Gen. Martin Delgado (General-en-Gefe), Gen. Pablo Araneta, Gen. Leandro Fullon of Antique and Gen. Esteban Contreras of Capiz, after several fierced battles had already taken all the towns in Panay. While the revolucionarios under Gen. Roque Lopez of Jaro, Gen. Quintin Salas of Dumangas, Gen. Teresa Magbanua of Pototan, Gen. Adriano Hernandez of Dingle, Gen. Angel Corteza of Molo and others had already encircled the whole City of Iloilo.
-1898: December 23 - Governor-General Don Diego de los Rios, in order to avoid further bloodshed, relinquished Spain’s banner and official saber - symbol of Spanish authority for formal surrender to the leaders of the approaching victorious revolutionary forces, thru Iloilo "Alcalde-Mayor" Jose Ma. Gay y Soriano.
The symbolic formal surrender was negotiated by a committee composed of members of the Revolutionary Council; namely: Jovito Servando Yusay, Ramon Avanceña, Francisco Felipe Villanueva and with Francisco Guzman Soriano and Gen. Pablo Soriano Araneta as requested by the Alcalde-Mayor being his first cousins. Also present was Don Juan Benedicto de Leon.
-1898: December 24 - Gov. General Don Diego de los Rios, evacuated for Zamboanga on his way home to Spain together with Spanish Politico-Military Governor of Negros, Isidro de Castro, and Cebu Politico-Military Governor Adolfo Montero, who hastily created a Cebuano caretaker committee before he left.
-1898: December 25 - Following the departure of the Spaniards, Gen. Martin T. Delgado made a triumphal entry into the City of Iloilo followed by a victorious parade of revolutionaries to Plaza Alfonso XII, which was immediately renamed “Plaza Libertad.” and there, after the unfurling of a "Tri-Starred" Philippine Flag, he declared the Independence of the Federal Republic of the Visayas.
The Visayans spearheaded by the Ilonggos established the “First Republic” in the whole of Asia.
V - THE AMERICAN INVASION OF THE ILONGGO NATION
It should be noted, that the “Spanish-American War” was between these two belligerent forces and should not involved in any way, the sovereign Visayan Republic by virtue of Spain’s formal surrender earlier. On the other hand, Aguinaldo’s forces were still considered subjects under the Spanish crown, as Spain never formally surrendered to his self-declared Philippine Republic in Kawit, Cavite. Simply put, they won several battles but not the war in Luzon.
February 2, 1899 -An American naval force appeared along the coastline of Negros ready for war. Gen. Aniceto Lacson, Negros President, seeing no chance of winning against the new invaders opted not to fight and ceded Spain control after guarantees of property rights were made. Moreover, the elite Negros leaders were more interested in peace with America for commercial consideration as a fertile market for their booming sugar industry.
February 7, 1899 -Without expecting surrender and peaceful take-over, the Americans began the continuous naval bombardment of Iloilo City for about a week that brought irreparable damage and totally demolished the historic “Fort San Pedro“ citadel.
February 14, 1899 -American troops led by Gen. Robert Hughes landed at Fort San Pedro, near Santo Rosario and forced their way into the City. Villages were razed to the ground and hundreds of civilians were brutally killed, including defenseless women and small children, referred to by the ferocious invaders as uncivilized Chinese half-breeds.
February 22, 1899 -A sad chapter in our history as Iloilo City fell to the American invaders. But still, Ilonggo troops fought the Americans in pitched battles in towns around the City. The resistance continued even after the surrender of the Visayan Supremo Gen. Martin T. Delgado.
VI - THE FALL OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF THE VISAYAS
-1899: May 1 - US Secretary of State John Hays handed to French Ambassador Jules Cambon the amount due to Spain under the Treaty of Peace (Paris) at the US State Department.
-1899: Sept. 23 -The civilian government of the "Estado Federal de Bisayas" or the Federal Republic of the Visayas, finally ceased to exist on September 23, 1899, when the last Presidente Jovito Servando Yusay signed it's dissolution and the sovereign Visayan government was replaced by Gen. Martin Delgado and his Politico-Military Government in a bloodless military coup-de-etat in Cabatuan, Iloilo instigated by Gen. Ananias Diokno of Batangas in collaboration with Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s so called Philippines Republic based in Luzon.
Eventually, Gen. Martin Teofilo Delgado y Bermejo was appointed as the first Provincial Governor of Iloilo during the American Regime.
-1901: February 2 - Surrender of the Panay Forces to the Americans.
Our short-lived sovereignty as an independent nation, was "nipped-in-the-bud" by the ugly americans.
-1902: Jul 4 - President Theodore Roosevelt officially ended the Spanish/ manipulated as Philippine-American War by issuing the Peace Proclamation and Granting of Pardon/Amnesty to the "Insurrectionists" who in reality were Filipino patriots.
-1907: Dionisio "Papa Isio" Sigobeyla was captured by the Americans in the hinterlands of Negros. After the arrival of the Americans and the surrender of Gen. Aniceto Lacson; "Papa Isio", a babaylan declared himself the head of the Revolutionary Government of Negros. He fought the American troops for about eight more years.
-1925: In Central Iloilo-Panay: Florencio Entrencherado, obsessed by the Napoleonic saga declared himself Emperor of the Philippine. While his declaration was treated as a joke at first, within a year his stand against heavy taxation and foreign interference had gained him several thousands of peasant followers.
-1927: In May - Entrencherado was captured and imprisoned in Manila, where he died two years later. His armed followers staged an uprising, and burned haciendas of abusive American and local landowner collaborators in several towns.
Lesser known ilonggo freedom fighters with nom-de-guerre: Montor, Sano, Berdin, Oto and Toribio in Iloilo; Ompong and Pitoc in Antique; Vertoza in Capiz and Ayos and Awit in Negros who continued guerilla warfare against Uncle Sam's invading forces were branded as crazy ignoramus, cultists, bandits and outlaws by the "Tuta" or lackeys of the Ilonggo Civilian government established by U.S authorities.
Inquirer "Ilonggo" Columnist Amando Doronila writes about Philippine History:
As pointed out by Dr. Ma. Luisa T. Camagay, professor of history at UP, ''for a long time, the history of the Philippines has been written and narrated in a manner whereby events transpiring in the provinces, towns and barrios were but ripples created by Manila, the political, economic, social and cultural center of the country...(The) history of the country has been told and retold with the Philippines being one monolithic homogenous structure with Manilas as the gauge of the national pulse. This kind of historiograpy has persisted for a long time until an awareness of local units exhibited a dynamism of its own.''
On December 25, 2005, the Ilonggo Nation Movement (INM) Global Network was formed with the main objective to pursue aggressively the revival of our great national heritage. With the advent of cyberspace technology, we have come to realized that distorted historical facts pertinent to the Visayan Nation were ingrained in our minds as school children and continuously being cited by present-day historians and writers unaware of the facts of history from the Visayan point-of-view.
A great Chinese leader once said, that “the people and the people alone can make their own history” but the paid lackeys of the colonial masters will distort that and write history from the point-of-view of their masters.
Incidentally, some data and informations as contained in above-article were secured personally directly from documents and/or testimonies of immediate family members of the following persons who had played important roles during these glorious chapters in our history, to wit:
It would also be fair to add, that the author is closely related by consanguinity to all of the afore-mentioned..
Moreover, during the 95th Anniversary of the “Cry of Sta. Barbara” in Iloilo on November 17, 1993 --I had the opportunity to interact with descendants of other 1898 'Revolucionarios' of Panay and Negros during the reunion of “KAANAK-1898” members. The celebration was chaired by then Vice Governor of Iloilo, Hon. Demy Sonza -Chairman: Iloilo Provincial Historical Committee and famed Ilonggo historian.
Even today, we have similar characters in our midst who are ridiculed and laughed at when we should actually scratch the surface to see underneath the aspirations of these courageous people; then and now, for genuine freedom, dignity, social justice, and the promise of a good life.
Ever since these lackey’s brain washing materials were adopted in Philippine Educational System, our grade school pupils learned and sang with negative notion: "I was poorly born on the top of the mountain"; My Nipa Hut is very small and Planting Rice is never fun". We know more about the history of the American Revolution and heroes; sang the Star Spangled Banner with patriotic fervor and Dreamt of a White Christmas. Worst, we had to pay fine for speaking our very own language in school campuses. The Good Manners and Right Conduct, a seperate Subject in Elementary Classes of the yesteryears was stricken-out in school curiculum.
Engrained in the minds of students, is a history of a failed Revolution-- but glamorizing exploits of the Luzon Revolucionarios or losers. While the defeat and documented formal surrender of Spain to the victorious Independent Federal Visayan Republic; and the heroic saga of the unconquered Bangsa Moro Nation in Mindanao ---are scarely, if ever mentioned in school text books and only relegated to the dustbin of history. Thus, only to become a travesty of the past and lost in the hazy twilight of our memories.
These people even have the gall to initiate ahead the construction of Magellan shrine to be revered by Filipinos while naming a grouper fish "Lapu-Lapu" -- after our foremost hero --- whose statue was erected very much later.
Presently, most of us still suffer the hang-over of Magellan discovering the "Islas" and W.H. Scott converts insistence of early Malay Datus from Borneo emigration to Panay in "Maragtas" a hoax. While ancient Chinese Ming Dynasty chronicles recorded otherwise.
Moreover, Pedro Monteclaro's "Maragtas" was transliterated from Fr. Tomas Santaren’s "Historia de los Primeros Datos Que, Procedentes de Borneo, Poblaron Estas Islas” that was based from the manuscripts of his predecessor Fr. Agustín Rico O.S.A who was assigned as resident priest of Suarangan (San Joaquin) in 1801.
Our own history and the study of archeology and anthropology often were sponsored by Westerners. It is high time we involve ourselves in the study and research of our past.
Thanks! to the advent of cyberspace communication, format in today's efora via the Internet - be that amateur or professional - in search of our past can be done by all.
And I despise more of the so called academic elitism --where the oral tales handed down from generations by our "Katigulangans" or the common folks--their languages and practices had to be routed by most academicians. That is not to say they have no merit - But in this case with the search of the real truth about our glorious past and noble heritage-- all of the research can only contribute to the good of all --in the meantime, peripheral discoveries will also open up more work and maybe newer disciplines. In the meantime, let us make them fun and enjoyable.
Madamo gid nga salamat! Padayon ang Pungsod Ilonggo! --dinggol.d~~~