The ''Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan''
("Supreme and Venerable Association of the Children of the Nation", es|Suprema y Venerable Asociación de los Hijos del Pueblo), also known as Katipunan or KKK, was a Philippine
revolutionary society founded by anti-Spanish colonialism Filipinos
in 1892; its primary goal was to gain independence from Spain
through a revolution
Documents discovered in the 21st century suggest that the society had been organized as early as January 1892 but may not have become active until July 7 of the same year; that was the date that Filipino writer José Rizal
was to be banished to Dapitan
Founded by Filipino patriots Andrés Bonifacio
, Teodoro Plata
, Ladislao Diwa
and others, the Katipunan was a secret organization until it was discovered in 1896. This discovery led to the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution
The Katipunan being a secret organization
, its members were subjected to the utmost secrecy and were expected to abide by the rules established by the society.
Aspiring applicants were given standard initiation rites in order to become members of the society. At first, membership in the Katipunan was only open to male Filipinos; later, women were accepted into the society. The Katipunan had its own publication, ''Kalayaan'' (Freedom) which issued its first and last printing in March 1896. Revolutionary ideals and works flourished within the society, and Filipino literature was expanded by some of its prominent members.
In planning the revolution, Bonifacio contacted Rizal for his full-fledged support for the Katipunan in exchange for a promise to rescue Rizal from his detention. In May 1896, the leadership of the Katipunan met with the Captain of a visiting Japanese warship in an attempt to secure a source of arms for the revolution, but without success. The Katipunan's existence was revealed to the Spanish authorities. Days after the Spanish authorities learned of the existence of the secret society, in August 1896, Bonifacio and his men tore up their ''cédulas
'' during the Cry of Balintawak
that started the Philippine Revolution of 1896
The name "''Katipunan''" comes from the full Tagalog
name for the : "Kataastaasang, Kagalanggalang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan"
(Supreme and Venerable Society of the Children of the Nation) The Tagalog word "katipunan", literally meaning 'association', 'gathering', 'assemblage', 'group', etc.
comes from the root word "tipon", a Tagalog word meaning "gathering" or "to gather".
The ''Katipunan'' and the ''Cuerpo de Compromisarios'' were, effectively, successor organizations of ''La Liga Filipina
'', founded by José Rizal
(Who himself was inspired by the martyrdom of his predecessors, the nationalist Priests: Gomez
). This organization was part of the late 19th century Propaganda Movement
in the Philippines
. The founders of the Katipunan were Deodato Arrellano
, Teodoro Plata
, Valentin Diaz
, Ladislao Diwa
, Andres Bonifacio
, and Jose Dizon
. Katipunan founders Bonifacio
, and Plata
were all members of ''La Liga'' and were influenced by the nationalistic ideals of the Propaganda Movement in Spain.
Marcelo H. del Pilar
, another leader of the Propaganda Movement in Spain, also influenced the formation of the Katipunan. Modern-day historians believe that he had a direct hand in its organization because of his role in the Propaganda Movement and his eminent position in Philippine Masonry; most of the Katipunan's founders were freemasons
. The ''Katipunan'' had initiation ceremonies that were copied from masonic rites. It also had a hierarchy of rank that was similar to that of freemasonry
. Rizal's Spanish biographer Wenceslao Retana
and Filipino biographer Juan Raymundo Lumawag saw the formation of the ''Katipunan'' as Del Pilar's victory over Rizal: "La Liga dies, and the Katipunan rises in its place. Del Pilar's plan wins over that of Rizal. Del Pilar and Rizal had the same end, even if each took a different road to it."
Founding of the Katipunan
Captured Katipunan members (also known as ''Katipuneros''), who were also members of ''La Liga'', revealed to the Spanish colonial authorities that there was a difference of opinion among members of ''La Liga''. One group insisted on ''La Liga's'' principle of a peaceful reformation while the other espoused armed revolution.
On July 7, 1892, writer Jose Rizal
was banished and exiled to Dapitan
. That night Bonifacio
, a member of the La Liga Filipina
; with Plata
, and Dizon
, founded the Katipunan in a house on Azcarraga St. (now Recto Avenue
) near Elcano Street in San Nicolas, Manila
. They established the Katipunan when anti-Spanish Filipinos had realized that societies such as the ''La Liga Filipina'' would be suppressed by colonial authorities.
Despite their reservations about the peaceable reformation that Rizal espoused, they named Rizal as honorary president, without his knowledge. The Katipunan, established as a secret brotherhood organization, was known as the ''Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng̃ mg̃á Anak ng̃ Bayan'' (Supreme and Venerable Society of the Children of the Nation).
[Gregorio Zaide translated as ''Highest and Most Respected Association of the Sons of the Country.'']
The Katipunan had four aims, namely:
* to develop a strong alliance with each and every Katipunero
* to unite Filipinos into one solid nation;
* to win Philippine independence by means of an armed conflict (or revolution);
* to establish a republic
The rise of the Katipunan signalled the end of the crusade to secure reforms
from Spain by means of a peaceful campaign. The Propaganda Movement led by Rizal
, del Pilar
and others had failed its mission; hence, Bonifacio started the militant movement for independence.
The Katipunan was governed by the Supreme Council (Tagalog: ''Kataas-taasang Sanggunian''). The first Supreme Council of the Katipunan was formed around August 1892, a month after the founding of the society. The Supreme Council was headed by an elected president (''pangulo''), followed by the secretary/secretaries (''kalihim''), the treasurer (''tagaingat-yaman'') and the fiscal
The Supreme Council also had its councilors (''kasangguni''); the number varied through presidencies.
To distinguish from presidents of lower ''sanggunian'' or councils (below), the president of the Supreme Council was called the Supreme President (Tagalog: ''Kataas-taasang Pangulo''; Spanish: ''Presidente Supremo'').
At the outbreak of the 1896 Revolution
, the Council was further reorganized into a 'cabinet' which the Katipunan regarded as a genuine revolutionary government
, de facto
and de jure
In each province where there were Katipunan members, a provincial council called ''Sangguniang Bayan'' was established and in each town was an organized popular council called ''Sangguniang Balangay''. Each ''bayan'' and ''balangay'' had its own set of elected officials: ''pangulo'' (president); ''kalihim'' (secretary); ''tagausig'' (fiscal);'' tagaingat-yaman'' (treasurer); ''pangalawang pangulo'' (vice president); ''pangalawang kalihim'' (vice secretary); ''mga kasangguni'' (councilors); ''mabalasig'' (terrible brother); ''taliba'' (guard); ''maniningil'' (collector/auditor); ''tagapamahala ng basahan ng bayan'' (custodian of the people's library); ''tagapangasiwa'' (administrator); ''manunulat'' (clerk); ''tagatulong sa pagsulat'' (assistant clerk); ''tagalaan'' (warden) and ''tagalibot'' (patroller).
Each ''balangay'' was given a chance to expand their own spheres of influence through the triangle system
in order to elevate their status to ''Sangguniang Bayan''.
Every ''balangay'' that did not gain ''Sangguniang Bayan'' status were dissolved and annexed by greater provincial or popular councils.
The towns/cities which supported the Katipunan cause were given symbolic names, such as ''Magdiwang'' (to celebrate) for Noveleta
; ''Magdalo'' (to come) for Kawit
; ''Magwagi'' (to win) for Naic
; ''Magtagumpay'' (to succeed) for Maragondon
; ''Walangtinag'' (never-diminished) for Indang
and ''Haligue'' (wall) for Imus
–all are in the province of Cavite
Within the society functioned a secret chamber, called Camara Reina, which was presided over by Bonifacio, Jacinto and Pío Valenzuela
. This mysterious chamber passed judgment upon those who had betrayed their oath and those accused of certain offenses penalized by Katipunan laws. Every ''katipunero'' stood in fearful awe of this chamber. According to José P. Santos
, throughout the existence of the secret chamber, about five ''katipuneros'' were convicted and sentenced to die by it. The death sentence was handed down in the figure of a cup with a serpent
coiled around it.
History of administration
In 1892, after the ''Katipunan'' was founded, the members of the Supreme Council consisted of Arellano as president, Bonifacio as comptroller, Diwa as fiscal, Plata as secretary and Díaz as treasurer.
In 1893, the Supreme Council comprised Ramón Basa as president, Bonifacio as fiscal, José Turiano Santiago
as secretary, Vicente Molina as treasurer and Restituto Javier, Briccio Pantas, Teodoro Gonzales. Gonzales, Plata and Diwa were councilors.
It was during Basa's term that the society organized a women's auxiliary section. Two of its initial members were Gregoria de Jesús
, whom Bonifacio had just married, and Marina Dizon
, daughter of José Dizon. It was also in 1893 when Basa and Diwa organized the provincial council of Cavite, which would later be the most successful council of the society.
The Filipino scholar Maximo Kalaw reports that Basa yielded the presidency to Bonifacio in 1894 because of a dispute over the usefulness of the initiation rites and Bonifacio's handling of the society's buts. Basa contested Bonifacio's practice of lending their funds to needy members, complete with promissory notes. Moreover, Basa refused to induct his son into the organization.
It was also in 1894 when Emilio Jacinto
, a nephew of Dizon who was studying law at the University of Santo Tomas
, joined the Katipunan. He intellectualized the society's aims and formulated the principles of the society as embodied in its primer, called ''Kartilla''. It was written in Tagalog and all recruits were required to commit it to heart before they were initiated. Jacinto would later be called the ''Brains of the Katipunan.''
At the same time, Jacinto also edited ''Kalayaan'' (Freedom), the society's official organ, but only one edition of the paper was issued; a second was prepared but never printed due to the discovery of the society. ''Kalayaan'' was published through the printing press of the Spanish newspaper ''Diario de Manila''. This printing press and its workers would later play an important role in the outbreak of the revolution.
In 1895, José Turiano Santiago
, a close personal friend of Bonifacio, was expelled because a coded message of the ''Katipunan'' fell into the hands of a Spanish priest teaching at the University of Santo Tomas
. Since the priest was a friend of Santiago's sister, he and his half-brother Restituto Javier were suspected of betrayal, but the two would remain loyal to the ''Katipunan'' and Santiago would even join the Philippine revolutionary forces in the Philippine–American War
. Jacinto replaced Santiago as secretary.
In early 1895, Bonifacio called for a meeting of the society and deposed Basa in an election that installed Bonifacio as president, Jacinto as fiscal, Santiago as secretary, Molina as secretary, Pío Valenzuela
and Pantaleon Torres as physicians and Aguedo del Rosario and Doreteo Trinidad as councilors.
On December 31, 1895, another election named Bonifacio as president, Jacinto as fiscal, Santiago as secretary, Molina as secretary, Pío Valenzuela and Pantaleon Torres as physicians and Aguedo del Rosario and Doreteo Trinidad as councilors.
The members of the Supreme Council in 1895 were Bonifacio as president, Valenzuela as fiscal and physician, Jacinto as secretary and Molina as treasurer. Enrico Pacheco, Pantaleon Torres, Balbino Florentino, Francisco Carreón and Hermenegildo Reyes were named councilers.
Eight months later, in August 1896, the fifth and last supreme council was elected to rename offices. Bonifacio was named Supremo, Jacinto as Secretary of State, Plata as Secretary of War, Bricco Pantas as Secretary of Justice, Aguedo del Rosario as Secretary of the Interior and Enrico Pacheco as Secretary of Finance.
Over the next four years, the ''Katipunan'' founders would recruit new members. By the time the society was uncovered, the American writer James Le Roy estimated the strength of the Katipunan at 100,000 to 400,000 members. Historian Teodoro Agoncillo estimated that the membership had increased to around 30,000 by 1896.
writer Isabelo de los Reyes
estimated membership at 15,000 to 50,000.
Aside from Manila, the ''Katipunan'' also had sizeable chapters in Batangas
and Nueva Ecija
. There were also smaller chapters in Ilocos Sur
, Ilocos Norte
and the Bicol region
. The Katipunan founders spent their free time recruiting members. For example, Diwa, who was a clerk at a judicial court, was assigned to the office of a justice of the peace in Pampanga. He initiated members in that province as well as Bulacan, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija. Most of the Katipuneros were plebeian although several wealthy patriots joined the society and submitted themselves to the leadership of Bonifacio.
''Katipunero'' (plural, ''mga Katipunero'') is the demonym
of a male member of the Katipunan. ''Katipunera'' (plural, ''mga Katipunera'') refers to female members.
Triangle system and grades
It was the original plan of Bonifacio to increase the membership of the Katipunan by means of ''sistemang patatsulok'' or triangle system. He formed his first triangle with his two comrades, Teodoro Plata
and Ladislao Diwa
. Each of them re-instituted Katipunan thoughts into another two new converts. The founder of the triangle knew the other two members, but the latter did not know each other. In December 1892 the system was abolished after proving it to be clumsy and complicated.
A new system of initiation, modelled after the Masonic rites
was then adopted.
When the Katipuneros had expanded to more than a hundred members, Bonifacio divided the members into three grades: the ''Katipon'' (literally: Associate) which is the lowest rank, the ''Kawal'' (soldier), and the ''Bayani'' (Hero or Patriot). In the meeting of the society, ''Katipon'' wore a black hood with a triangle of white ribbon having the letters "''Z. Ll. B.''", corresponding to the roman "''A. N. B.''", meaning ''Anak ng̃ Bayan'' (Son of the People, see below
). ''Kawal'' wore a green hood with a triangle having white lines and the letters "''Z. LL. B.''" at the three angles of the triangle, and also wore a green ribbon with a medal with the letter
(''ka'') in Baybayin
script above a depiction of a crossed sword and flag. The password was ''Gom-Bur-Za
'', taken from the names of the three martyrs Mariano Gomez
, Jose Burgos
and Jacinto Zamora
. ''Bayani'' (Hero) wore a red mask and a sash with green borders, symbolizing courage and hope. The front of the mask had white borders that formed a triangle with three ''K''s arranged as if occupying the angles of a triangle within a triangle, and with the letters "''Z. Ll. B.''" below. Another password was ''Rizal
''. Countersigns enabled members to recognize one another on the street. A member meeting another member placed the palm of his right hand on his breast and, as he passed the other member, he closed the hands to bring the right index finger and thumb together.
* ''Katipon''. First-degree members. Other symbols: Black hood, revolver and/or bolo.
* ''Kawal''. Second-degree members. Other symbols: green ribboned-medallion with Malayan ''K'' inscription.
* ''Bayani''. Third degree members. Other symbols: Red hood and sash, with green borders.
''Katipon'' could graduate to ''Kawal'' class by bringing several new members into the society. A ''Kawal'' could become a ''Bayani'' upon being elected an officer of the society.
Any person who wished to join the Katipunan was subjected to certain initiation rites, resembling those of Masonic rites
, to test his courage, patriotism and loyalty. New recruits underwent the initiation rite three at a time so that no member knew more than two other members of the society. The neophyte was first blindfolded and then led into a dimly lighted room with black curtains where his folded cloth was removed from his eyes. An admonition, in Tagalog, was posted at the entrance to the room:
Inside the candle-lit room, they would be brought to a table adorned with a skull and a bolo. There, they would condemn the abuses of the Spanish government and vow to fight colonial oppression:
During Bonifacio's time, all of the Filipino people are referred collectively by the Katipunan as ''Tagalogs'', while the Philippines is referred to as the ''Katagalugan''.
The next step in the initiation ceremony was the lecture given by the master of ceremonies, called ''Mabalasig/Mabalasik'' (terrible brother), who informed the neophyte to withdraw if he lacked courage since he would be out of place in the patriotic society. If the neophyte persisted, he was presented to the assembly of the brethren, who subjected him to various ordeals such as blindfolding him and making him shoot a supposedly a revolver
at a person, or forcing him to jump over a supposedly hot flame. After the ordeals came to final rite–the ''pacto de sangre'' or blood compact
–in which the neophyte signed the following oath with the blood taken from his arm:
He was then accepted as a full-fledged member, with a symbolic name by which he was known within Katipunan circles. Bonifacio's symbolic name was ''Maypagasa''; Jacinto
was ''Pingkian'' and Artemio Ricarte
Admission of women to the society
At first, Katipunan was purely a patriotic society for men. Owing to the growing suspicion of the women regarding nocturnal absences of their husbands, the reduction of their monthly earnings and "long hours of work", Bonifacio had to bring them into the realms of the KKK. A section for women was established in the society: to become admitted, one must be a wife, a daughter, or a sister of a male ''katipunero''. It was estimated that from 20 to 50 women had become members of the society.
The first woman to become member of the Katipunan was Gregoria de Jesús
, wife of Bonifacio.
She was called the ''Lakambini ng Katipunan'' (Princess of the Katipunan). Initially, there were 29 women were admitted to the Katipunan: Gregoria de Jesús, Marina Dizon
, president of the women's section; Josefa
and Trinidad Rizal
, sisters of Dr. José Rizal
; Angelica Lopez
and Delfina Herbosa Natividad
, close relatives of Dr. Rizal; Carmén de Rodriguez; Marina Hizon
; Benita Rodriguez; Semiona de Rémigio; Gregoria Montoya; Agueda Kahabagan
, Teresa Magbanua
, Trinidad Tecson
, rendered as "Mother of Biak-na-Bato
Nazaria Lagos; Patronica Gamboa; Marcela Agoncillo
; Melchora Aquino
, the "Grand Old Woman of Balintawak";
Marta Saldaña and Macaria Pañgilinan.
The women rendered valuable services to the Katipunan. They guarded the secret papers and documents of the society. Whenever the Katipunan held sessions in a certain house, they usually made merry, singing and dancing with some of the men in the living room so that the civil guard
were led that there was nothing but a harmless social party within.
Though women are considered to be members of the Katipunan, information regarding the women's section were scarce and sometimes conflicting.
, for example, disregarded Marina Dizon and concluded that Josefa Rizal was the only president of the said section. Gregorio Zaide
, on the other hand, mentioned Dizon's presidency in his 1939 publication ''History of the Katipunan'' but changed his mind when he adopted Dr. Pío Valenzuela
's notion that women-members did not elect officers, hence there is no room for president.
Foreign members of the Katipunan
Attracted by the universal appeal of the Katipunan's Kartilya
, there were several members who were not native Filipinos at all yet joined the Katipunan and/or, later, the Philippine Revolutionary Army
(PRA) in the spirit of national liberation. Among the foreign-born Katipuneros were: General Juan Cailles
, a half Indian
(From India) and French
mestizo, General Jose Ignacio Paua who was a full-blooded Chinese, the famous African-American, PRA Captain David Fagen
who defected from the Americans to join the Filipinos due to his disgust of racism and imperialism, Captain Camillo Richairdi an Italian who joined the rebel Filipinos and Vicente Catalan who was a Cuban Criollo
captain of a ship but became the first Admiral of the Philippine Navy. There were also a large amount of former Latin-American officers in the Spanish army; mostly from Mexico
and as well as from the now independent nations of Colombia
and Costa Rica
that were dismissed on the context of the Andres Novales
uprising, one of the precursors of the revolution. These Latin-American born officers who moved to the Philippines to militarily serve, allied with the revolutionaries. There were also several Spanish and American defectors to the Philippine side during the Philippine War of Independence and the Philippine–American War
. To add to these were the Japanese militants supporting the Katipunan and the First Republic among which include Lieutenant Saburo Nakamori and Captain Chizuno Iwamoto who served on President Emilio Aguinaldo's staff.
* Andres Bonifacio
(1863–1897) – ''Supremo'', the founder and the third leader of the Katipunan.
* Emilio Aguinaldo
(1869–1964) – First president of the First Philippine Republic
, Katipunan's successor. He was also a war general and a leader of the ''Magdalo'' faction that led to a lot of notable victories for Katipunan against Spain. During his presidency, he ordered the execution of Andrés and Procopio Bonifacio in 1897 after the trial.
* Emilio Jacinto
(1875–1899) – called as the ''Brains of the Katipunan''. He wrote several papers during the Revolution like the ''Kartilya
* Gregoria de Jesús
(1875–1943) – called as the ''Lakambini ng Katipunan'' (Muse of the Katipunan) and nicknamed Aling Oryang, she was the wife of Bonifacio before marrying Julio Nakpil after the former's death. She was also regarded as one of the first women members of the Katipunan.
* Gregorio del Pilar
(1875–1899) – entered the Katipunan circle when he joined the First Philippine Republic
's army against the Americans. He died during the Battle of Tirad Pass
* Pio del Pilar
(1860–1931) – the leader of the Matagumpay chapter one of the closest officers of Andrés Bonifacio
as the Newly Revolutionary government was established he was one of the officers who advised Aguinaldo to change the commutation (banishment) to the execution of Andrés and Procopio Bonifacio.
* Licerio Gerónimo
(1855–1924) – Aguinaldo's war general during Philippine–American War
* Vicente Lukbán
(1860–1916) – Americans regarded him to be the mastermind of the bloody Balangiga massacre
in 1901 during Philippine–American War
* Miguel Malvar y Carpio
(1865–1911) – commander of the Katipunan and became a general of the First Philippine Republic.
* Macario Sakay
- head of Katipunan in Trozo, Manila. Future founder of Republika ng Katagalugan that would oppose American occupation in the Philippines.
* Paciano Rizal
– The older brother of national hero José Rizal
, he was also a personal friend of Padre José Burgos
in his youth. He joined the Katipunan years before Jose's return from Dapitan.
* Manuel Tinio
(1877–1924) – youngest general of the Katipunan and the First Philippine Republic
, he later became the governor of Nueva Ecija
* Aurelio Tolentino
* Julián Felipe
(1832–1835) – composer of Lupang Hinirang, teacher and member of La Liga Filipina, he later served as legal advisor to the Katipunan. His tenacious ability in argumentative reasoning earned him the nickname "demente viejo" among the colonial Principalía. In spite of being devout Catholic, Carpio, like other Filipino revolutionaries, was a member of the Freemasons
before the formation of the Katipunan. In Manila, Julian ran a private law school which many of his personal socio-political ideals succeeded to his students. Notable Katipuneros under his tutelage was Gregorio Aglipay
and Miguel Malvar
File:Andrés Bonifacio.jpg|Andrés Bonifacio
File:Emilio Aguinaldo (ca. 1898).jpg|Emilio Aguinaldo
Literature of the society
During the Katipunan's existence, literature flourished through prominent writers of the Katipunan: Andrés Bonifacio
, Emilio Jacinto
and Dr. Pío Valenzuela
. Each of the three's works stirred patriotism and are aimed to spread the revolutionary thoughts and ideals of the society.
* Bonifacio works. Probably one of the best works done inside the Katipunan was written by Andrés Bonifacio
, ''Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa'' (Love for the Homeland). It is a poem of sincere patriotic sentiment. ''Pag-ibig'' was published in the January 1896 issue of ''Kalayaan
'' by Bonifacio under his nom-de-plume
''Agapito Bagumbayan''. According to Manuel Artigas y Cuerva, the name ''Agapito Bagumbayan'' was a corruption of ''agap-ito, bagum-bayan'', which, if translated from Tagalog to English word by word, means "the new nation is here and ready".
There is no known original source of ''Pag-ibig'', especially that there is no surviving ''Kalayaan'' issue. The two available texts accessible reprinted through books is the one published by Jose P. Santos in 1935. The other one, with familiar discrepancies to Santos' print, was archived in the military annals of Madrid
: After Rizal's execution at Bagumbayan
on December 30, 1896, Bonifacio wrote the first Tagalog translation of the former's ''Mi último adiós
'' (Final Farewell), in which he gave the name ''Pahimakas'' (Farewell). He also wrote the prose ''Katungkulang Gagawin ng mga Z. Ll. B.'' (Duties of the Sons of the People), that was never published because he believed that Jacinto's ''Kartilya'' was superior than his.
Bonifacio also wrote ''Ang Dapat Mabatid ng Mga Tagalog'' (What the Tagalogs Should Know), which is a politic-historical essay.
* Jacinto works. Emilio Jacinto
is considered as the ''Brains of the Katipunan'', later ''of the Revolution''. His poetical masterpiece, written in Laguna
on October 8, 1897, was ''A la Patría'' (To My Fatherland), with an inspiring melody paralleled from Rizal's ''Mi último adiós
He also wrote a touching ode
entitled ''A mí Madre'' (To My Mother). His masterpiece in prose, the ''Kartilya
'' (Primer; see below
), became the Bible
of the Katipunan.
His other prose writing was ''Liwanag at Dilim'' (Light and Darkness), a series of articles on human right
s, liberty, equality, labor, government, and love of country. His nom-de-plume
* Valenzuela works. Dr. Pío Valenzuela
was a medical doctor
by profession. In 1896, during the first publication of ''Kalayaan'', Valenzuela assisted Bonifacio and Jacinto in editing the newspaper. He also wrote ''Catuiran?'' (Is it Fair?), which described the cruelties of the Spanish priest and civil guards of San Francisco del Monte
(now in Quezon City
) on a helpless village lieutenant.
He also collaborated with Bonifacio in writing the article ''Sa Mga Kababayan'' (To my Countrymen), an essay addressing the people of the Philippines. His nom-de-plume
:During the infamous Cry of Balintawak
, Valenzuela held the position of physician-general of the Katipunan.
''Kalayaan'' (Liberty/Freedom) was the official organ and newspaper of the Katipunan. It was first published March 1896 (even though its masthead was dated January 1896.)
The first ''Kalayaan'' issue has never been followed.
In 1895, the Katipunan bought an old hand-press with the money generously donated by two Visayan
co-patriots Francisco del Castillo and Candido Iban–who returned to the country after working as shell and pearl divers in Australia and had some money from a lottery win.
They bought the press and a small quantity of types
from Antonio Salazar's "Bazar del Cisne" on Calle Carriedo, and Del Castillo transported it to the house of Andrés Bonifacio
in Santa Cruz, Manila
On January 1, 1896, Valenzuela accepted the position as the Katipunan "fiscal" in exchange of Bonifacio's consent to send the printing press on his house in Calle de Lavezares, San Nicolas, Manila
, "so that he could assist and edit a monthly publication which would be the Katipunan's main organ".
Bonifacio agreed, and on mid-January, the press was delivered in San Nicolas.
The name ''Kalayaan'' was suggested by Dr. Pío Valenzuela
, which was agreed both by Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto
Even though Valenzuela was chosen to become the editor of the organ, they all decided to use the name of Marcelo H. del Pilar
as its editor. To fool the Spanish authorities, the ''Kalayaan'' was also decided to carry a false masthead
stating that it was being printed in Yokohama, Japan
That very same month, January 1896, the publication of ''Kalayaan'' began. Valenzuela expected to complete it by the end of the month and so it was dated as such.
The existence of the press was kept in utmost secrecy. Under the supervision of Valenzuela, two printers, Faustino Duque
, a student from Colegio de San Juan de Letran
, and Ulpiano Fernández
, a part-time printer at ''El Comercio'', printed the revolutionary literature of the society and ''Kalayaan''.
When Valenzuela was appointed the physician-general of the Katipunan, he passed on his editorial duties to Jacinto. Jacinto edited the articles after his pre-law classes in University of Santo Tomas
. Since the press was in the old orthography
and not in the new "Germanized
" alphabet, as called by the Spaniards, there were no Tagalog letters such as "k", "w", "h" and "y". To solve this problem, Jacinto obliged his mother, Josefa Dizon, to buy typefaces that resembled such letters.
The typefaces used in its printing were purchased from publisher Isabelo de los Reyes
, but many were taken surreptitiously from the presses of the ''Diario de Manila'' by Filipino employees who were also members of the Katipunan.
According to Valenzuela, the printing process was so laborious that setting eight pages required two months to complete.
For weeks, Jacinto, Duque and Fernández (and sometimes Valenzuela) took turns in preparing the pages of the ''Kalayaan'', which was approximately nine by twelve inches in size.
In March 1896, the first copies of the January 1896 issue were secretly circulated with about 2,000 copies, according to Valenzuela. According to Epifanio de los Santos
, only 1,000 copies were printed: 700 were distributed by Bonifacio, 300 by Aguinaldo, and some 100 by Valenzuela himself.
The first issue contained a supposed editorial done by del Pilar, which, in fact, was done by Jacinto himself. It also included Bonifacio's ''Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa'', Valenzuela's ''Catuiran?'' and several works that exposed Spanish abuses and promoted patriotism.
Copies spread to nearby Manila
provinces, including Cavite, Morong (now Rizal
, and Malabon
. Surprised by this initial success, Jacinto decided to print a second issue that would contain nothing but his works.
In August 1896, the second issue was prepared. It was during this time that Spanish authorities began to grow wary of anti-government activities and, suspecting the existence of a subversive
periodical in circulation (see below
), raided the place where ''Kalayaan'' was being printed, at No. 6 Clavel Street, San Nicolas, Manila
Fortunately, the printers Duque and Fernández were warned in time, destroyed the incriminating molds and escaped. Therefore, Spanish authorities never found any evidence of the ''Kalayaan''.
''Kartilya ng Katipunan''
The teachings of the Katipunan were embodied in a document entitled ''Kartilya ng Katipunan'', a pamphlet printed in Tagalog language
. Copies of which were distributed among the members of the society.
''Kartilya'' was written by Emilio Jacinto
, and later revised by Emilio Aguinaldo. The revised version consists of thirteen teachings (though some sources, such as the one provided by Philippine Centennial Commission
, list only twelve
). The term ''kartilya'' was derived from Spanish ''cartilla'', which was a primer for grade school students before going to school at that time.
Language and alphabet
According to Filipino writer and historian Hermenegildo Cruz
, the official language of the Katipunan is Tagalog
, and uses an alphabet nearly similar to Spanish alphabet
but has a different meaning and the way it was read was changed. Diacritic
s were added, to emphasize the existence of ng
on Tagalog orthography. The following is an excerpt from Cruz' ''Kartilyang
Makabayan: Mga Tanong at Sagot Ukol Kay Andrés Bonifacio
at sa KKK'' ( en|Nationalist Primer: Questions and Answers about Andrés Bonifacio and KKK, Manila, 1922):
* Rough translation:
Presented below is the Katipunan alphabet, when compared to the Spanish alphabet.
Preparation for the revolution
Attempt to seek Rizal's support
The night when Governor-General Eulogio Despujol
exiled Dr. José Rizal
Katipunan was discovered.
In a secret meeting of the Katipunan by a small creek named Bitukang Manok (later known as Parian Creek, now nearly extinct) near Pasig
on May 4, 1896, Bonifacio and his councilors decided to seek the advice of Rizal regarding a decision to revolt.
[ Bonifacio delegated Dr. Pío Valenzuela as the Katipunan's emissary to Dapitan.] [ This was done in order to inform Rizal of Katipunan's plan to launch a revolution and, if possible, a war against Spain.] By the end of May 1896, Valenzuela had visited and interviewed Rizal in Dapitan. [ As cover, Valenzuela was accompanied by a blind man named Raymundo Máta, since Rizal is an ophthalmologist.] [
Valenzuela arrived in Dapitan on June 21, 1896, where Rizal welcomed him. After supper, Valenzuela told him his real purpose and the necessity of securing Rizal's support.] [Dr. Pío Valenzuela, ''Memoirs'', Unpublished manuscript.] According to Valenzuela, Rizal only answered, "''Huwag, huwag! Iya'y makasasama sa bayang Pilipino!''" (No, no! That will harm the Filipino nation!)
Rizal objected to Bonifacio's audacious plan to plunge the country into a bloody revolution. He believed it was premature for two reasons:
# the people are not ready for a massive revolution; and
# arms and funds must first be collected before raising the cry of revolution.
Because of this notion, Valenzuela made another proposal to Rizal: to rescue him. Rizal disapproved of this plan, because he had given his word of honor to the Spanish authorities, and he did not want to break it. Instead, Rizal advised Valenzuela to persuade wealthy Filipinos, so that they can solicit funds, where he recommended an elite army officer name Antonio Luna to be Katipunan's war general, should a revolution break out. According to Valenzuela's statement to the Spanish authorities, they almost quarreled over the matter and Valenzuela left the following day instead of staying for a month as originally planned.
When Valenzuela returned to Manila and informed the Katipunan of his failure to secure Rizal's sanction. Bonifacio, furious, warned Valenzuela not to tell anyone of Rizal's refusal to support the impending uprising. However, Valenzuela had already spread the word, so that much fund proposals to the society were canceled. Despite Rizal's rejection, the Katipunan was already trying to address its arms supply problem and had taken steps to smuggle in weapons from abroad.
At his trial, Rizal denied that he knew Valenzuela, saying only that he met him first at Dapitan and that he considered him a good friend because of what Valenzuela showed to him and his appreciation of medical tools Valenzuela gave to him. He also said that this was the last time they met.
Attempt to solicit Japan's aid
Despite Rizal's rejection of an armed revolution, Bonifacio continued to plan for an armed conflict with Spain. The Katipunan cast its eyes on Japan, which loomed then as the probable champion of Asian liberties against Western oppression at the time. In May 1896, after Valenzuela's visit to Rizal, a delegation of Katipunan members, headed by Jacinto and Bonifacio, conferred with a visiting Japanese naval officer and captain of a Japanese ship, named ''Kongo'', and the Japanese consul at a Japanese bazaar in Manila. The interpreter, a friend of Valenzuela, was José Moritaro Tagawa who was married to a Filipino woman of Bocaue, Bulacan.
After the usual exchange of courtesies, Jacinto submitted the Katipunan memorial for the Emperor of Japan in which the Filipinos prayed for Japanese aid in their projected revolution, "so that the light of liberty that illuminates Japan may also shed its rays over the Philippines."
It was with good reason that the Katipunan solicited Japan's aid and alliance. Japan had been friendly to the Filipinos since the Spanish colonial era. Many Filipinos who had fled from Spanish persecution had been welcomed there and given full protection of Japanese laws. Bonifacio tried to purchase arms and ammunition from Japan, but failed due to lack of funds and the uncovering of the Katipunan, José Dizon was part of the committee that the Katipunan formed to secure arms from Japan with the connivance of the Japanese ship captain. Three months later, however, the Katipunan was uncovered and Dizon was among the hundreds who were arrested for rebellion.
As the Katipunan was busy preparing for the revolt, various denunciations regarding its existence reached the Spanish authorities. On July 5, 1896, Manuél Sityar, a Spanish lieutenant of the Guardia Civíl stationed at Pasig, reported to Governor-General Ramón Blanco the mysterious activities of certain natives who had been gathering arms and recruiting men for some unknown purposes.
On August 13, 1896, Fr. Agustín Fernández, an Augustinian curate of San Pedro, Makati, wrote to Don Manuél Luengo, the civil governor (mayor) of Manila, denouncing anti-Spanish meetings in his parish.
The Katipunan was finally discovered by the Spanish authorities six days after Fr. Fernández's letter to Luengo. In early August 1896, Teodoro Patiño and Apolonio de la Cruz, both working for the ''Diario de Manila'' printing press (leading newspaper during those times) had undergone misunderstanding regarding wages. Press foreman de la Cruz and typesetter Patiño fought over salary increase of two pesos. De la Cruz tried to blame Patiño for the loss of the printing supplies that were used for the printing of ''Kalayaan''. In retaliation, Patiño revealed the secrets of the society to his sister, Honoria Patiño, an inmate nun at the Mandaluyong Orphanage. That afternoon, on August 19, 1896, Honoria grew shocked and very upset of the revelation. The mother portress of the Orphanage, ''Sor'' (Sister) Teresa de Jesus saw Honoria crying so she approached her. Honoria told everything she heard from her brother. At around 6:15 pm that day, ''Sor'' Teresa called Patiño and advised him to tell everything he knew about the Katipunan through confession to Fr. Mariano Gíl.
Controlled by his fear of Hell, Patiño went to Fr. Gíl, an Augustinian parish curate of the Tondo convent. Though he is willed to tell anything about the Katipunan, Patiño confessed that a lithographic stone was hidden in the press room of the ''Diario de Manila'', which was used by the society for printing receipts. He also said that aside from the lithographic stone, there were also documents of membership (that uses member's blood for signing) hidden, together with a picture of Dr. José Rizal and several daggers that was made for the ''Katipunero''-employees of the newspaper.
Alarmed by the stunning truth of the existence of a secret society, Fr. Gíl, accompanied by local Spanish authorities, searched the printing office of ''Diario de Manila'' and found the incriminating evidence. They also found de la Cruz in possession of a dagger used in Katipunan initiation rites and some list of newly accepted members. After the arrest, Fr. Gíl rushed to Governor-General Blanco to denounce the revolutionary plot of the Katipunan. The Spanish unleashed a crackdown and arrested dozens of people, where many innocent citizens were forced to go to Fort Santiago.
Patiño's alleged betrayal has become the standard version of how the revolution broke out in 1896. In the 1920s, however, the Philippine National Library commissioned a group of former ''Katipuneros'' to confirm the truth of the story. José Turiano Santiago, Bonifacio's close friend who was expelled in 1895, denied the story. He claimed that Bonifacio himself ordered Patiño to divulge the society's existence to hasten the Philippine revolution and preempt any objection from members.
Historian Teodoro Agoncillo gives a differing version of events, writing that Patiño revealed the secrets of the society to his sister, Honoria, following on a misunderstanding with de la Cruz, another society member who worked with him in the Spanish-owned ''Diario de Manila'' periodical. Honoria, an orphanage inmate, was upset at the news and informed Sor Teresa, the orphanage ''madre portera'', who suggested that Patiño tell all to Fr. Gíl. On August 19, Patiño told Fr. Gíl what he knew of the secret society. Fr. Gíl and the owner of the ''Diario de Manila'' searched the printing shop, discovering the lithographic stone used to print Katipunan receipts. After this discovery, the locker of Policarpio Turla, whose signature appeared on the receipts, was forced open and found to contain a dagger, the rules of the society, and other pertinent documents. These were turned over to the Guardia Civíl, leading to the arrest and conviction on charges of illegal association and treason of some 500 prominent men.
In another version, the existence of the Katipunan became known to the authorities through Patiño, who revealed it to the general manager, La Font. [Alvarez, S.V., 1992, Recalling the Revolution, Madison: Center for Southeast Asia Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, ] Patiño was engaged in a bitter dispute over pay with de la Cruz and exposed the Katipunan to La Font, in retaliation. [ La Font led a Spanish police lieutenant to the shop and the desk of de la Cruz, where they "found Katipunan paraphernalia such as a rubber stamp, a little book, ledgers, membership oaths signed in blood, and a membership roster of the Maghiganti chapter of the Katipunan."] [
When the ''Katipunan'' leaders learned of the arrests, Bonifacio called an assembly of all provincial councils to decide the start of the armed uprising. The meeting was held at the house of Apolonio Samson at a place called Kangkong in Balintawak. About 1,000 ''Katipuneros'' attended the meeting but they were not able to settle the issue.
They met again at another place in Balintawak the following day. Historians are still debating whether this event took place at the yard of Melchora Aquino or at the house of her son Juan Ramos. The meeting took place either on August 23 or August 24.
[ It was at this second meeting where the Katipuneros in attendance decided to start the armed uprising and they tore their ''cedulas'' (residence certificates and identity papers) as a sign of their commitment to the revolution. The ''Katipuneros'' also agreed to attack Manila on August 29.] [
But Spanish civil guards discovered the meeting and the first battle occurred with the Battle of Pasong Tamo. While the ''Katipunan'' initially had the upper hand, the Spanish civil guards turned the fight around. Bonifacio and his men retreated toward Marikina via Balara (now in Quezon City). They then proceeded to San Mateo (in the province now called Rizal) and took the town. The Spanish, however, regained it three days later. After regrouping, the ''Katipuneros'' decided not to attack Manila directly but agreed to take the Spanish powder magazine and garrison at San Juan.
On August 30, the ''Katipunan'' attacked the 100 Spanish soldiers defending the powder magazine in the Battle of San Juan del Monte or Battle of Pinaglabanan. About 153 Katipuneros were killed in the battle, but the ''Katipunan'' had to withdraw upon the arrival of Spanish reinforcements. More than 200 were taken prisoners. At about the same time, Katipuneros in other suburban Manila areas, like Caloocan, San Pedro de Tunasan (now Makati), Pateros and Taguig, rose up in arms. In the afternoon of the same day, the Spanish Gov. Gen. Camilo de Polavieja declared martial law in Manila and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. The Philippine Revolution had begun.
In Bulacan, the Bulacan Revolutionary Movement was attacked by the strongest artillery forces ever converged in the capital town of Bulacan. This subsequently led to the Battle of San Rafael, where Gen. Anacleto Enriquez and his men were surrounded and attacked in the Church of San Rafael.
The Battle of Kakarong de Sili
Pandi, Bulacan played a vital and historical role in the fight for Philippine independence. Pandi is known for the Réal de Kakarong de Sili Shrine – ''Inang Filipina Shrine'', the site of the bloodiest battle in Bulacan, where more than 3,000 Katipunero revolutionaries died. Likewise, it is on this site where the ''Republic of Réal de Kakarong de Sili'' of 1896, one of the first Philippine revolutionary republics, was established.
It was in Kakarong de Sili—which about 6,000 Katipuneros from various towns of Bulacan headed by Brigadier General Eusebio Roque, better known as "Maestrong Sebio" or "Dimabungo" (see list of Filipino generals in the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine–American War)—that the "Kakarong Republic" was organized shortly after the Cry of Pugad Lawin, referred to as the "Cry of Balintawak".
History and researchers, as well as records of the National Historical Commission, tells that the "Kakarong Republic" was the first and truly organized revolutionary government established in the country to overthrow the Spaniards antedating event the famous Malolos Republic and the Biak-na-Bato Republic. In recognition thereof, these three "republics" established in Bulacan have been incorporated in the seal of the province of Bulacan.
According to available records including the biography of General Gregorio del Pilar entitled ''Life and Death of a Boy General'' written by Teodoro Kalaw, former director of the National Library of the Philippines, a fort was constructed at "Kakarong de Sili" that was like a miniature city. It had streets, an independent police force, a musical band, a factory of falconets, bolos and repair shops for rifles and cartridges. The 'Kakarong Republic' had a complete set of officials with Canuto Villanueva as Supreme Chief and 'Maestrong Sebio'—Eusebio Roque as Brigadaier General of the Army. The fort was attacked and totally destroyed on January 1, 1897 by a large Spanish force headed by the Commandant Olaguer-Feliu. Del Pilar was only a lieutenant at the time and the Battle of Kakarong de Sili was his "baptism of fire." This was where he was first wounded and escaped to nearby barangay 'Manatal.'
The Kakarong Lodge No. 168 of the 'Legionarios del Trabajo', named in memory of the 1,200 Katipuneros who perished in the battle, erected a monument named the ''Inang Filipina'' Shrine – (Mother Philippines Shrine) in 1924 in the barrio of Kakarong of Pandi, Bulacan.
The actual site of the Battle of Kakarong de Sili is now a part of the barangay of Réal de Kakarong. No less than one of the greatest generals in the Philippines' history, General Emilio Aguinaldo who became the first Philippine president visited this sacred ground in the late 1950s.
Even before the discovery of the ''Katipunan'', Rizal applied for a position as a doctor in the Spanish army in Cuba in a bid to persuade the Spanish authorities of his loyalty to Spain. His application was accepted and he arrived in Manila to board a ship for Spain in August 1896, shortly before the secret society was exposed. But while Rizal was en route to Spain, the ''Katipunan'' was unmasked and a telegram overtook the steamer at Port Said, recalling him to the Philippines to face charges that he was the mastermind of the uprising. He was later executed by musketry on December 30, 1896 at the field of Bagumbayan (now known as Luneta).
While Rizal was being tried by a military court for treason, the prisoners taken in the Battle of Pinaglabanan—Sancho Valenzuela, Ramón Peralta, Modesto Sarmiento, and Eugenio Silvestre—were executed on September 6, 1896 at Bagumbayan.
Six days later, they also executed the Thirteen Martyrs of Cavite at Fort San Felipe Fort in Cavite.
The Spanish colonial authorities also pressed the prosecution of those who were arrested after the raid on the ''Diario de Manila'' printing press, where they found evidence incriminating not only common folk but also wealthy Filipino society leaders.
The Bicol Martyrs were executed by firing squad on January 4, 1897 at Bagumbayan. They were Manuel Abella, Domingo Abella, priests Inocencio Herrera, Gabriel Prieto and Severino Díaz, Camio Jacob, Tomas Prieto, Florencio Lerma, Macario Valentin, Cornelio Mercado and Mariano Melgarejo.
They arrested and seized the properties of prominent businessmen Francisco Roxas, Telesforo Chuidián and Jacinto Limjáp. While there may be circumstantial evidence pointing to Chuidián and Limjáp as financiers of the revolution, the record showed no evidence against Roxas except that he was involved in funding the Propaganda Movement. Even Mariano Ponce, another leader of the Propaganda Movement, said the arrest of Roxas was a "fatal mistake". Nonetheless, Roxas was found guilty of treason and shot on January 11, 1897 at Bagumbayan.
Roxas was executed with Numeriano Adriáno, José Dizon, Domíngo Franco, Moisés Salvadór, Luis Enciso Villaréal, Braulio Rivera, Antonio Salazar, Ramón P. Padilla, Faustino Villaruél and Faustino Mañalac. Also executed with the group were Lt. Benedicto Nijaga and Corporal Gerónimo Cristóbal, both of the Spanish army.
On February 6, 1897, Apolonio de la Cruz, Román Bása, Teodoro Pláta, Vicente Molina, Hermenegildo de los Reyes, José Trinidad, Pedro Nicodemus, Feliciano del Rosario, Gervasio Samson and Doroteo Domínguez were also executed at Bagumbayan.
But the executions, particularly Rizal's, only added fuel to the rebellion, with the ''Katipuneros'' shouting battle cries: "''Mabuhay ang Katagalugan''!" ("Long Live the Tagalog Nation!" – ''Katagalugan'' (Tagalog Nation) being the Katipunan term for the Philippines) and "''Mabuhay si Dr. José Rizal''!" ("Long Live Dr. José Rizal!"). To the Katipuneros, Rizal was the honorary president of the Katipunan.
Schism, transfer of authority and dissolution
In the course of the revolution against Spain, a split developed between the ''Magdiwang'' faction (led by Gen. Mariano Álvarez) and the ''Magdalo'' faction (led by Gen. Baldomero Aguinaldo, cousin of General Emilio Aguinaldo), both situated in Cavite.
At a convention in Tejeros, Cavite, the revolutionaries assembled to form a revolutionary government. There, on March 22, 1897, it was decided to dissolve the Katipunan and establish a republic.
Bonifacio lost his bid for the presidency of the revolutionary government to Emilio Aguinaldo, who was in Pasong Santol, fighting the Spanish forces and instead was elected Secretary of the Interior. When members of the ''Magdalo'' faction tried to discredit him as uneducated and unfit for the position, Bonifacio declared the results of the convention as null and void, speaking as the ''Supremo'' of the Katipunan. Despite this, Aguinaldo took his oath of office as president the next day in Santa Cruz de Malabon (present-day Tanza) in Cavite, as did the rest of the officers, except for Bonifacio. Bonifacio and a few others issued the Acta de Tejeros, proclaimeing the events at the Tejeros Convention to have been "disorderly and tarnished by chicanery.", followed by the Naic Military Agreement characting actions at Tejeros to have been treasonous. This led to Andrés Bonifacio and his brother Procopio being arrested due to alleged incidents in Indang and, upon the orders of the Council of War and approved by Gen. Aguinaldo, they were both executed on May 10, 1897, at Mount Buntis in Maragondon, Cavite. He and his brother were buried in an unmarked grave.
The Katipunan revolution led to the eventual establishment of the First Philippine Republic. The Philippine Republic, more commonly known as the First Philippine Republic or the Malolos Republic was a short-lived nascent revolutionary government in the Philippines. It was formally established with the proclamation of the Malolos Constitution on January 23, 1899, in Malolos, Bulacan, and endured until the capture of Emilio Aguinaldo by the American forces on March 23, 1901, in Palanan, Isabela, which effectively dissolved the First Republic. The United States eventually destroyed the First Philippine Republic in the Philippine–American War. Afterwards, the Americans exterminated any remaining vestige of the Katipunan.
* Philippine Revolutionary Army
* Battle of Imus
* Battle of Binakayan-Dalahican
* Battle of Zapote Bridge (1897)
* Battle of Perez Dasmariñas
* Spanish–American War
* Malolos Congress
* Philippine Declaration of Independence
* First Philippine Republic
* Philippine–American War
* Armed Forces of the Philippines
* Military History of the Philippines
* Philippine Commonwealth Army
* Philippine Army
* Luna sharpshooters
Notes and citations
* Retana, Wenceslao. ''Vida y Escritorios de Dr. José Rizal''. Madrid: 1907.
* This book was published by Ricarte himself, includes his memoirs on the Philippine Revolution.
* citing a letter sent to him by Pío Valenzuela dated December 19, 1931.
Draft of preliminary reading for initiation into the Katipunan
Oaths and form of initiation into the Katipunan society
Pamphlet about the Katipunan written by Hermenegildo Cruz.
(The site of Baler: Final locations in the Philippines)
Information about Katipunan
Category:Defunct organizations based in the Philippines