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LIWANAG January-April 2014







KATIPUNAN A complete overview on the most widespread rebel organization during the colonization era ALSO INSIDE:

Graphical opinions on the Spanish era and the colonizers of the Philippines



An opinion on the impacts of pamahiin to the daily lives of Filipinos

A review on the era of the American colony





Graphical perspecttives on certain topics from the colonization period

A summary of events from Pre-Colonial Philippines to the Commonwealth Period





An overview on the most known revolutionary organization of the country


FROM THE EDITORIAL STAFF: Liwanag magazine focuses on the vast and rich history of our beloved country - the Philippines. This issue contains articles ranging from the precolonial Philippines up to the Commonwealth period. *All images are not from the authors unless otherwise stated and are intended for academic purposes only. This magazine is intended for academic use only. You can also visit our website @

Angelo Sablay Editor / Layout Arist Vince Ang Robert Arrojo Gerald Co Royce Dy Writers / Researchers Eugene Aguirre Editorial Cartoonist



GOOD OR BAD? Pamahiin or superstitious beliefs are said to be evident in the various indigenous groups around the world. Each country would have their own sets of superstitious beliefs, which would allow a better understanding of their culture and society. In the Philippines, there are certain beliefs that are distinct to only Filipinos and it has become part of our identity as a nation. Whether it be during the past, or even present, majority of Filipinos would actually have strong faith and belief towards these superstitions. Some Filipinos would even base their daily life routines, as well as the decisions they make based on these superstitious beliefs. Some may say that it isn’t true, but bias aside, it is already imbibed in our culture. It would influence our perceptions towards several things, and in some cases, we may not even be aware of it because it is already innate in us. Some of the superstitious beliefs may seem acceptable, but for certain, there are some that would seem illogical and somewhat nonsensical as well. Either way, it is still a part of the culture of the society it is in. In some cases as well, the scope of these beliefs would be throughout nation, but there are other times wherein it is only evident in a certain group of people, whether it be through geography or ethnicity. It is highly probable that these superstitious beliefs have no evidence to support the rationale behind what they claim and believe. There would


be no scientific or logical basis that would prove that following the certain belief would actually affect the future outcomes or explain certain phenomena. These have originated during the age of our ancestors that continue to exist today through the passing of these beliefs to generations, but there are also some that are developed during the recent times. _____________________

“ Some of the superstitious beliefs may seem acceptable, but for certain, there are some that would seem illogical and somewhat nonsensical as well. ” _____________________

The superstitious beliefs of our country originated in various aspects. First would be those that are derived from other cultures that are foreign to our own. A concrete example of which would be wearing the color red during special occasions such as birthdays, we don’t know why we do it, but we still choose to follow it. We have heard this in the culture of the Chinese because they believe it would bring luck and prosperity to the family, and it is already evident in the culture of Filipinos nowadays. Second

would be those that originated from a particular region in the country. The Ilocanos, for example, believe that the spirits are the main cause of a man’s illness. Some may find this as non-sense, but others would still believe in these things. In addition, they also believe that if a person would die, it would be a sign that they already have fulfilled their destiny on earth so they can already move on. This particular belief may not explain death per se, but it would show that in a way, death is a good thing, thus lessening the grief of the loved ones of the deceased. A third origin would be from our own families, traditions and ancestors. Common examples of which would be getting bad luck if you sweep at night, getting blind if you sleep with wet hair, acquiring bad luck if you trim your nails at night, and other different beliefs. We never bothered to ask why we do these things because it was a concept introduced to us at a young age, so as we grow old, it became what we believe is right. Lastly would be the ones that arise during certain special events, such as a wedding. It is said that the groom should always enter first before the bride, if not it would give bad luck to the marriage. Another would be that the groom could not see the bride in her wedding dress before the marriage, because if he does, it would bring bad luck. There is no reasonable explanation to explain the effects of doing or not doing these things, but some prefer to be safe than sorry. The belief in superstitions has a very dramatic effect in the society we live in, and even to a personal extent because it affects our lives as well. Like in any other situation, there are two sides of a coin, which would represent the two different effects of these beliefs. An advantage would be it gives us confidence and assurance in the things we do,

because it somehow provides an explanation for certain things, or it would give a chance for a better future as well. Another would be preserving our nationalism and identity as a person. Due to globalization and the modernization of the era today, we are slowly losing a sense of who we are, but with the help of these beliefs, a part of our identity is preserved. Lastly, it shows that we still respect our elders and even to our culture. It may seem nonsensical, but we follow it either way because it is what we were taught, and we respect the people who taught these things to us as well. In contrast, the other side of the coin would pertain to the disadvantages brought about by these superstitions. One would be the fact that we get stressed; we get paranoid to the extent that we believe we have to do this or do that, and if we don’t, it would have a negative impact to our lives. In some cases, it would be the reason that an important and life changing event would not push through. For instance, if you believe that removal of a wedding ring would be an indication that your husband would be violent. When the wife would see the removal of the ring, she may immediately decide not to marry, thus ruining the marriage. Another reason would be that extreme faith would lead to complacency of people as individuals. If one continues to believe that these superstitions would work, they may choose to follow these rather than exerting effort into a task. For example, sleeping with a book under a pillow is said to make you ready for an exam, some may actually choose to sleep rather than actually reading their notes

he/she just visited DID YOU KNOW? that to prevent the child

One pamahiin of Filipinos is to from having gas pain say “puwera usog” to a child or “kabag”. or handouts. Lastly, some may use these superstitious beliefs as an excuse for their laziness and their want to escape the blame or trouble. Instead of taking responsibility for our mistakes, we would blame these superstitious beliefs. Superstitious beliefs have their own advantages and disadvantages, and likewise, we have our own explanations for these beliefs as well. Some of us use it to explain certain phenomena beyond human

knowledge, others is just because it was taught and they believe it is what is and what must be followed. Whatever perspective one would have towards these beliefs, it doesn’t matter, as long as we don’t let them take over our life. We have to learn to respect the beliefs of others, and in turn, they would respect our beliefs. In doing so, it would allow a harmonious environment for everyone, whether or not they believe in these superstitious beliefs.

Gerald Co


Manuel Quezon was the first elected President of the Commonwealth Government with Sergio Osmeña as Vice President.


period The Commonwealth of the Philippines was the administrative body that governed the Philippines from 1935 to 1946, On November 15, 1935, the Filipino people took the a step to independence with the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. Senate President Manuel L. Quezon and his running mate Sergio Osmeña were elected as President and Vice President. The Commonwealth was designed as a transitional administration in preparation for the country’s full achievement of independence. It was a stepping stone for the withdrawal of American control over the Philippines. Independence Missions from 1919 onwards were periodically sent to the U.S. Congress and the White House to lobby for and negotiate for the independence in the Philippines. In 1931, the OsRox Mission (which stands for “Osmeña and Roxas”) was successfully initiated


the enactment of the Hare-HawesCutting Act, which was passed over President Herbert Hoover’s veto in 1932. Provisions of the bill included reserving military and naval bases for the United States, as well as imposing tariffs and quotas on Philippine exports. The bill, however, was opposed by the then Philippine Senate President Manuel L. Quezon. This led to the creation and passing of a new bill known as Tydings–McDuffie Act, or Philippine Independence Act, which allowed the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines with a ten-year period of peaceful transition to full independence. The pioneers of this act were Quezon, Benigno AquinoSr., and Rafael Alunan. The Tydings-McDuffie Act established some powers of supervision which were reserved to the United States, as well as foreign diplomacy and currency. In all other respects, the Philippines became self-gov-

erning. It was certified on March 25, 1935 and it was subsequently accepted by the Filipino people on May 14, 1935.

The Commonwealth government drafted the Philippine Army into the U.S. Army Forces Far East, which would resist Japanese occupation. Manila was declared an open city to prevent its destruction, and it was occupied by the Japanese on January 2, 1942. Meanwhile, battles against the Japanese continued on the Bataan Peninsula, Corregidor, and Leyte until the final surrender of United States-Philippine forces on May 1942. The resistance to the Japanese occupation continued in the Philippines. The American General Douglas MacArthur’s army landed on Leyte on October 20, 1944, and they were all welcomed as liberators, along with Philippine Commonwealth troops. Fighting continued in remote corners of the Philippines until Japan’s surrender in August 1945, which was signed on September 2 in Tokyo Bay. The cash economy of the Commonwealth was mostly agriculture-based. Products included abaca, coconuts and coconut oil, sugar, and timber.

Numerous other crops and livestock were grown for local consumption by the Filipino people. Other sources for foreign income included the spin-off from money spent at American military bases on the Philippines such as the naval base at Subic Bay and Clark Air Base (with U.S. Army airplanes there as early as 1919), both on the island of Luzon. The performance of the economy was initially good despite challenges from various agrarian uprisings. Taxes collected from the coconut industry helped boost the economy by funding infrastructure and other development projects. However, growth was halted due to the outbreak of World War II. One of the most important things that happened during the Commonwealth period was the formation of our national language. Due to the diverse number of Philippine languages, a program for the “development and adoption of a common

national language based on the existing native dialects” was drafted in the 1935 Philippine constitution. The Commonwealth created a Surian ng Wikang Pambansa (National Language Institute), which was composed of Quezon and six other members from various ethnic groups. A deliberation was held and Tagalog (due to its extensive literary tradition) was selected as the basis for the “national language” to be called “Pilipino”. Somehow the Commonwealth period in the Philippines helped in the formation of our independence but other people see it otherwise because they believe that the Philippine government was still being controlled by the United States and the elected officials were all just for show to minimize the chance of people rebelling against the United States.

Vince Ang

The Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines provided for a presidential system of government. It had the power to enact laws for the Philippines, known as Commonwealth Acts, through the National Assembly. With war looming over the world following German aggression in Europe, the National Assembly conferred emergency powers on the government. The Philippine Army was placed under the command of the United States Armed Forces Far East, headed by Field Marshal Douglas MacArthur, who was recalled to active service after having served as military adviser to the Commonwealth since 1935. Japan launched a surprise attack on the Philippines on December 8, 1941.

LEFT. President Osmeña, together with soon-to-be President Manuel Roxas and Elpidio Qirino, together with prominent officials descend the stairs of Malacañang. RIGHT. The Constitution of the Commonwealth is signed by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, together with elected president Manuel Quezon.


The Philippine Timeline

A summary of important

events from Pre-Colonial Portugal was the first to innovate its naval

capability and their aim was to expand their country’s trading and commercial business, occupy lands, and acquire resources. On the other hand, Spain has also dispatched their naval forces resulting to conflict and rivalry between Spain and Portugal. In order to resolve this, Pope Alexander VI issued a decree in May 1493 but was not welcomed by the Portuguese and so the Treaty of Tordesillas was created in 1494 where it was welcomed by both parties.

Philippines to the Commonwealth era.

15th Century 1521

Philippines during the pre-colonial did not have a constitution


arrived in the Philippines and named the island as Las Islas Filipinas in honor of the crown prince Philip II. The last expedition until Spain has decided to consider Philippines a colony and establish settlements was headed by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Fr. Andres de Urdaneta. On February 13 1565, they arrived in the Philippines with four ship and 380 men. Legazpi established the first permanent Spanish settlement in the Philippines on May 8 1565 in Cebu. Philippines was later renamed to Las Islas Felipinas.


Pre-Colonial and a defined territory to be even considered as a country. During this time, there were records showing that Asian countries interacted with the islands of the Philippines; each island were known for their own name and having a barangay consisting of 30 to 100 families. All of these barangay have similarities like being ruled by a chieftain referred as Datu, their religion was focused on animism believing that there was reciprocity between nature and human beings, their livelihood which was focused on farming, their own social class system, and similar customs and traditions like pamahiin. Another similarity noted by Fr. Pedro Chirino, one of the first Spanish missionary who came to the Philippines, explained that early Filipinos wrote from top to bottom and then from left to right. Each barangay was independent from each other and so their language and some customs and traditions might be slightly similar or very Datu Lapu-Lapu - A chieftain different. They were also times when wars between barangays would happen for different reasons like kidnapping the wife from another barangay, treachery in trade and commerce, and murdered another citizen from another barangay without any reason.



March 16, a Portuguese named Fernao de Magalhaes (Ferdinand Magellan) who is serving the Spanish crown in his expedition to Philippines, sighted the southern point of Samar Island. On April 7, they arrived at Cebu and formed alliance with the people there. On April 27, Fernao de Magalhaes died in the battle of Mactan because of his intervention in a dispute between Lapu-Lapu and Zula.

Battle of Mactan

Royce Dy


The Commonwealth of the Philippines was the body that governed the Phil-

ippines and was designed as a transitional administration in preparation for the country’s fill achievement of independence. The US Congress passed the Hare-Hawes-Cutting-Act but the provisions was very unfavourable to the Filipinos that it was opposed by the Philippine Senate. This led to the creation of a new bill known as Tydings-Mcduffie Act or Philippine Independence act that allowed the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines with a ten year transition. June 14 of 1942, the commonwealth of the Philippines becomes a member of the United States. The United States recognizes the Independence of the Republic of the Philippines on July 4th of 1946; however, the economy can be said that is still remained dependent on the United States because of the Bell trade Act.


joined the Seven Year’s War that caused the decline of the Spanish rule in the Philippines where British troops invaded and occupied some of the islands of the Philippines. Then a treaty of Paris in 1763 was sign by the Spanish and British and Philippines was given back to Spain and British left on 1764. Because of British Occupation, it weakened the Spain’s grip and sparked rebellions and demands for independence.




the night of 7th of July of 1892, Andres Bonifacio founded the Katipunan. This had four aims which were: to develop a strong alliance with each and every Katipunero, to unite Filipinos into one solid nation, win Philippine independence by means of an armed conflict and establish a republic after independence. On August 23 1896, the First Cry of Pugad Lawin headed by Andres Bonifacio happened where the members of the Katipunan tore their cedulas as a sign of rebellion against Spanish Colonizers.


1566-1603 June

24 of 1571, Legaspi established a Spanish Colonial Government in Manila and proclaimed it to be the capital of the colony. During the Spanish era of the Philippines, Polo y Servicio was the forced labor of 40 days of men ranging from 16 to 60 years of age who were obligated to work for community projects but one was able to avoid it by paying falla. It was reduced to 15 days around 1880. During 1603, there were mass murders of Chinese traders in the Philippines because they were feared and hated by the Spaniards because of their increasing numbers.

1781-1869 During 1781, Governor-General Jose Bas-

co founded the Economic Society of Friends of the Country. There were a lot of developments in and out of the country that brought a lot of new ideas to the Philippines. Then on 1869, there was the opening of the Suez Canal which cut the travel time going to Spain and prompted the rise of the ilustrados (enlightened Filipino upper class). Ilustrados that studies in abroad


The Signing of the Tydings-Mcduffie Act


1935-1946 1899

December 27 of 1897, Emilio Aguinaldo

together with other officials of the revolution is self-exiled to Hong Kong due to the Pact of Biak-na-Bato. 24th of April on 1898, The US government promises Aguinaldo for support in exchange of his cooperation and so he agreed. Two days after the Americans declared war on Spain then Commodore George Dewey attacks Manila. On May 19 of 1898, the Exiled Filipinos were able to return to the Philippines. December of 1898, the Treaty of Paris was signed.

Battle of Tirad Pass Malolos Constitution was promulgated on January 21st of 1899 and then on the 23rd of January, Emilio Aguinaldo takes his oath as the president of the Philippines. December 2, the Battle of Tirad Pass or also known as Philippine Thermopylae happened in the northern part of Luzon. The 60 army commanded by General Gregorio del Pilar was defeated facing the 300 Americans in order to delay them to ensure the escape of Emilio Aguinaldo.


An overview on the most widespread rebel organization during the colonization era

1 The Formation of The Katipunan

In the Philippine History, it is wellknown that Katipunan is one of the organizations who helped the Filipinos to attain freedom from the abusive Spaniards. This notable society of anti-Spanish Filipinos were formed in Manila in July 7, 1892, after the Filipino’s national hero Jose Rizal was planned to be exiled in Dapitan. It was spearheaded by former members of the La Liga Filipina, a reform movement organization founded by Rizal. Noble people namely An-


dres Bonifacio, Deodato Arellano, Valentin Diaz, Teodoro Plata, Ladislao Diwa, Jose Dizon, and few others performed the ancient blood compact as a sign of brotherhood and loyalty and used their blood to sign the papers constituting the formation of the group Katipunan.

2 The Meaning of Katipunan and

Its Objectives The word Katipunan with its root word “tipon” in Tagalog

which means “to gather together as a group” literally symbolizes the meaning of association. It is also known in the name of “KKK” which is an acronym for “Kataas-taasan, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan”. Its objectives were classified into three as political, moral, and civic. The KKK focused on its foremost political goal of advocating or fighting for the freedom of the Philippines from being a colony of Spain. In terms of moral, Katipuneros revolved on the teaching

*All images and diagrams used in this feature are from and are only for academic use.


of the basic good morals, hygiene, attitude and not easily believing on religious fanaticism. The civic aim of the KKK revolved around encouraging Filipinos to learn how to defend themselves and others especially who are poor and oppressed.

3 The Recruitment Methods of the

Katipunan and Its Administration From the blood compact of few people to having thousands of members, the Katipunan strategized its recruitment to increase the chances of attaining its goal. Through the triangle method, the KKK was able to win more members on joining in the alliance against the colony. The triangle method is a technique where an original member will find two know and unrelated members and encourage them to be a Katipunero. Later on, these two members will eventually do the same recruiting two more members for the organization. At first, the Katipuneros were all men because of its strict implementation of being a purely patriotic organization for men but later on, the Katipunan accepted women as their members after Bonifacio decided to let them join the organization. These women should be a relative of one of the members of the Katipunan. The aspiring new applicants of the secret society must undergo to a similar Masonic rites, a rigorous initiation process. For the expenses and finance of the organization, members pay an entrance fee of one real fuerte (equivalent to twenty-five centavos), a monthly due of a media real (about twelve centavos), and other payments made in every meeting or session. The KKK also had an organizational structure where they are divided into three ranks of membership namely: Katipon, Kawal, and

TRIANGLE SYSTEM. The original recruitment method was the triangle method which provided for a very discreet but very slow growth of the Katipunan. This led to a new system of recruitment called “two-tier”. Bayani. These three subgroups of the Katipunan have different roles, outfit, and password to distinguish them from one another. The starting position of members is the Katipon where they will wear a black hood having a triangle of white ribbons where inside of it are letters Z. Li. B on the bottom of the triangle. Katipons are promoted to Kawal by recruiting new more members. The second class will wear a green hood with a triangle of white lines where Z. Li. B. is encrypted in the three different angles and a medal suspended by a green ribbon. The medal contains the symbol which corresponds in Babaylin script as crossed sword and flag. The highest rank in the Katipunan is the Bayani, where Katipons are elected to be one. They have a red mask with white triangle where typed inside of it are letters KKK and Z Li. B. The letters Z. Li B. encoded in all the trian-

gles of the three classes mean A N. B. in Roman which means “Anak ng Bayan” as included in the name of the society. Katipuneros would recognize one another through password and gestures. They are given different passwords for the three different classes: Anak ng Bayan for Katipon, Gom-Bu-Rza (Gomez,Burgos, Zamora who are three innocent priests advocating for the same goal of independence but was executed by the Spaniards) for the Kawals ,and Rizal for the Bayani. The KKK members will place their right hand into their chests and symbolizes a check through their fingers when they met each other on streets. The secret society is considered to be an open de facto government (a government that did not complied the requirements of the law/ Spanish colony). It is governed by different subdivisions of the organizations. The KKK is mainly ad-


ministered by the Supreme Council where an elected president leads it. A secretary, treasurer and fiscal are also elected to help the President to administer. The President of the Supreme Council is called the Supreme President (or the Kataastaasang Pangulo) to identify itself from the Presidents of the lower councils. Because of the vast connections of its members, the organization also reached to different provinces and different towns. Council of provinces are called Sangguniang Bayan while council of towns are called Sangguniang Bayan, each of the council had also its appointed presidents, secretary, fiscal, and treasure.

4 The Downfall of The Katipunan

The end of Katipunan started from the disputes in its internal administration. The Katipunan was divided into two factions namely: Magdalo (led by Baldemoro Agui-

naldo, cousin of Emilio Aguinaldo) and Magdiwang (led by Mariano Alvarez, relative of Andres Bonifacio through his wife). During the Tejeros Convention, Katipuneros were called for a meeting to decide whether a new government will replace the Katipunan. The Magdalo was in the side of the declaring a new government while the Magdiwang party thinks the Katipunan should be retained. As decided by Andres Bonifacio (included in the Magdiwang), it was agreed upon to establish a new government and elect its officials. In the result of election, Andres Bonifacio was appointed as a Secretary of Interior. One of the Katipuneros, Daniel Tirona, opposed the election of Andres Bonifacio as the latter is not qualified for the position. Because of the harsh words used by Tirona, Andres Bonifacio became angry and had a dispute with the former. This led to a walkout by the party of Andres

Bonifacio. He and his followers decided to overthrow the made government by forming one’s own government. This information reached to Emilio Aguinaldo, the president of the formed government in the Tejeros Convention. As agreed upon by the consultants of Emilio Aguinaldo and he himself, they ordered for the arrest of Andres Bonifacio and his brother leading to the Bonifcios’ execution. Because of the division of the Katipunan and the death of its founder, the Katipunan was considered to be dissolved but it was said that the Katipunan-Magdalo is the extension of the Katipunan. The victory of the United States against the Spaniards signals the independence of the Katipunan. There, the government formed by the Katipunan-Magdalo prevailed and took over the country before being a colony of United States.

Robert Arrojo

INITIATION. Recruitment was not enough to be a member of the Katipunan. One would still have to go through interrogation and the famous signing of the membership contract with one’s own blood.

THE KATIPUNEROS. List of Katipuneros according to Guillermo Masangkay that were present Balintawak. More images and diagrams regarding the Katipunan may be viewed at


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by Eugene Aguirre


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