The Katipunan, officially known as the Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan[1] or Kataastaasan Kagalang-galang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan[5][6][7] (KKK;[lower-alpha 1] English: Supreme and Honorable Association of the Children of the Nation; Spanish: Suprema y Honorable Asociación de los Hijos del Pueblo), was a Philippine revolutionary society founded by anti-Spanish colonialist Filipinos in Manila in 1892; its primary goal was to gain independence from Spain through a revolution.

Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan[1]
AbbreviationKKK[lower-alpha 1]
PredecessorLa Liga Filipina
FormationJuly 7, 1892
FoundersDeodato Arellano, Andrés Bonifacio, Valentín Díaz, Ladislao Diwa, José Dizon and Teodoro Plata.
Founded at72 Calle Azcárraga, San Nicolas, Manila
DissolvedMarch 22, 1897[2]
TypeMilitary secret society
Legal statusDefunct
PurposeSee Katipunan aims
Official language
Tagalog, regional languages
Supreme President (Kataastaasang Pangulo, Presidente Supremo)
Deodato Arellano (1892–1893)
Román Basa (1893–1895)
Andrés Bonifacio (1895–1897)
Main organ
Kalayaan (dated January 1896, published March 1896)[3][4]

Revolutionary documents from Archivo General Militar de Madrid rediscovered 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.[8]

Founded by Filipino patriots Deodato Arellano, Andrés Bonifacio, Valentin Diaz, Ladislao Diwa, José Dizon, and Teodoro Plata, 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, had its members subjected to the utmost secrecy and abidance to the rules established by the society.[9] 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.[10] 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 Pugad Lawin that started the Philippine Revolution.


The name "Katipunan" is a short name for "Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan"[1] (Supreme and Honorable Society of the Children of the Nation). The Tagalog word "katipunan" (literally, "association", "gathering", "assemblage", or "group")[11][12] comes from the root word "tipon", a Tagalog word meaning "gathering" or "to gather".[13]



A late 19th-century photograph of leaders of the Propaganda Movement: José Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar and Mariano Ponce. Photograph was taken in Spain in 1890.

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, Burgos and Zamora). 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, Diwa, and Plata were all members of La Liga and were influenced by the nationalistic ideals of the Propaganda Movement in Spain.[14]

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; many of the Katipunan's founders were freemasons.[15] 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.". Del Pilar is also said to have approved the Katipunan's statutes. Epifanio de los Santos, in the 1920's narrates: "It is very correctly stated that Andrés Bonifacio ordered Teodoro Plata to draw up the statutes of the Katipunan, and that he did this with the aid of Ladislao Diwa and Valentín Diaz. After the statutes had been discussed, Bonifacio, with the concurrence of Deodato Arellano, submitted them to Marcelo H. del Pilar for approval. Upon the latter’s letter approving the statutes, Bonifacio used the same for the purpose of gaining adepts."[16]

Founding of the Katipunan

Seal of the Katipunan. The initials are read as "Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan."

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.[17]

On July 7, 1892, writer Jose Rizal was banished and exiled to Dapitan in Mindanao. That night Bonifacio, a member of the La Liga Filipina; with Plata, Diwa, Diaz, Arellano, and Dizon, founded the Katipunan in a house on Azcarraga St. (now Recto Avenue) near Elcano Street in San Nicolas, Manila.[18][19][20] They established the Katipunan when anti-Spanish Filipinos had realized that societies such as the La Liga Filipina would be suppressed by colonial authorities.[21] 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).[22]

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);[23]
  • to establish a republic after independence.[24]

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, Jaena and others had failed its mission; hence, Bonifacio started the militant movement for independence.


PresidentAndrés Bonifacio (1893–1896, until discovery)
Secretary-GeneralEmilio Jacinto
FoundedJuly 7, 1892 (1892-07-07)
HeadquartersTondo, Manila or San Nicolas, Manila;
Filipino nationalism
Anti-Spanish sentiment
Philippine independence
Political positionBig tent
International affiliationLa Liga Filipina
ColorsRed and white
SloganKataástaasan, Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng̃ mg̃á Anak ng Bayan


The Katipunan was governed by the Supreme Council (Tagalog: Kataas-taasang Sanggunian).[25] 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 (tagausig).[26] The Supreme Council also had its councilors (kasangguni); the number varied through presidencies.[26] 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).[27]

Office Name Term
Supreme President Deodato Arellano1892 – February 1893
Roman BasaFebruary 1893 – January 1895
Andrés BonifacioJanuary 1895 – 1896
Comptroller/Intervenor Andrés Bonifacio1892 – August 1893
Fiscal Ladislao Diwa1892 – February 1893
Andrés BonifacioFebruary 1893 – 1895
Emilio Jacinto1895
Pio ValenzuelaDecember 1895
Secretary (of State after 1895) Teodoro Plata1892 – February 1893
Jose Turiano SantiagoFebruary 1893 – December 1895
Emilio JacintoDecember 1895 – 1896
Secretary of War Teodoro Plata1896
Secretary of Justice Briccio Pantas1896
Secretary of Interior Aguedo del Rosario1896
Secretary of Finance Enrique Pacheco1896
Treasurer Valentin Diaz1892 – February 1893
Vicente MolinaFebruary 1893 – December 1895
Financier Darilyo Valino1892

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.[28]

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).[26] 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.[26] Every balangay that did not gain Sangguniang Bayan status were dissolved and annexed by greater provincial or popular councils.[26]

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.[29]

Within the society functioned a secret chamber, called Camara Reina,[30] 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.[31]

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.[32]

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.[32] 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 funds. Basa contested Bonifacio's practice of lending their funds to needy members, complete with promissory notes.[33][34] 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.

A Katipunan officer's sword.

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.[35]

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.[36]

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.[36]

Eight months later, in August 1896, the fifth and last supreme council was elected to rename offices. Bonifacio was named President, 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.[36]


A late 19th-century photograph of armed Filipino revolutionaries, known as the Katipuneros.

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.[37] The Ilocano writer Isabelo de los Reyes estimated membership at 15,000 to 50,000.

Aside from Manila, the Katipunan also had sizeable chapters in Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija. There were also smaller chapters in Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan 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

Two infographs depicting the ranks within the Katipunan and the Triangle system of recruitment.

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.[38] A new system of initiation, modelled after the Masonic rites was then adopted.[39]

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 Ks 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.[40]

Color designations:

  •   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.[41]


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.[42] 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:

Kung may lakás at tapang, ìkaw'y makatutuloy![43]
(If you have strength and valor, you can proceed!)
Kung ang pag-uusisa ang nagdalá sa iyó dito'y umurong ka.[43]
If what has brought you here is only curiosity–go away!
Kung 'di ka marunong pumigil ng̃ iyong masasamang hilig, umurong ka; kailan man ang pintuan ng̃
May-kapangyarihan at Kagalanggalang Katipunan ng̃ mg̃á Anak ng̃ Baya'y hindi bubuksan nang dahil sa iyó.
If you cannot control your vices, retire. Never shall the doors
of the Supreme and Venerable Society of the Sons of the People be opened to you.

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:[44][45]

1. Anó ang kalagayan nitóng Katagalugan[46] noóng unang panahón? (In what condition did the Spaniards find the Tagalog land when they came?)

(Expected answer) "When the Spaniards came to the Philippine shores on March 16, 1521, the Filipinos were already in a civilized state. They had freedom of government; they had artillery; they had silk dresses; they had carried on commerce with neighboring countries in Asia; they had their own religion and their own script. In short, they had liberty and independence."

2. Anó ang kalagayan sa ngayón? (In what condition do they find themselves now?)

(Expected answer) "The friars have not really civilized the Filipinos, since enlightenment was contrary to the friars' interests. The Filipinos (called Tagalogs by the Katipunan) were merely superficially taught formulas of Catechism for which they eventually paid numerous costly fiestas for the benefit of the friars."

3. Anó ang magiging kalagayan sa daratíng na panahón? (What hopes do they have for the future?)

(Expected answer) "With faith, valor, and perseverance, these evils will be remedied."

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.[45]

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:

Ako'y si ______________, Nanunumpa sa ngalan ng Dios at ng bayan na ipagtatanggol nang buong katapangan ang mga kadahilanan ng K.K.K. ng mga A. ng B., ingatan ang kaniyang lihim na mamasdan at mapakinggan, sundin siya ng pikit -mata, saklolohan ang lahat na mga kasama sa lahat na panganib at pagkakailangan nila, Nanunumpa at nangangako rin naman ako na mag-pitagan sa kanilang mga Pinuno, huag na magtaksil sa kanilang mga kautusan at bilin at tatalaan kong aking dugo na kusang ibububo dito sa kasulatang hinaharap.[47]

I,_______________, swear in the name of God and to the country to defend the cause of the K.K.K. of the A. of B., with all my courage, to keep secret whatever I witness and hear, to follow orders blindly, and to support all my brethren against every danger and exigency. I also swear and pledge to respect the leaders, not to betray them, their orders of instructions, and so I attest with my blood, which is shed here in this document.

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 was Vibora.

Admission of women to the society

Participant at the Philippine Revolution
EventsVarious revolts and uprisings
See Factions

Magdiwang (Noveleta)
Magdalo (Kawit / Cavite el Viejo)
Haligue (Imus)
Gargano (Bakood)
Mapagtiis (San Francisco de Malabon)
Magwagi (Naic)
Pangwagi (Tanza)
Walang-tinag (Indang)
Katuwa-tuwa (Ternate)
Magtagumpay (Maragondon)
Naghapay (Bailen)

Key organizationsPropaganda Movement
La Liga Filipina
ObjectsNoli Me Tángere
El filibusterismo
La Solidaridad
LeadersAndrés Bonifacio
Emilio Aguinaldo
Ladislao Diwa
Gregoria de Jesús
Teodoro Plata
Román Basa
Deodato Arellano
Valentín Díaz
José Dizon
Pio del Pilar

Melchora Aquino
Pío Valenzuela
Emilio Jacinto
Macario Sakay
Gregorio del Pilar
Candido Tirona
Mariano Noriel
Teresa Magbanua
Paciano Rizal
Artemio Ricarte
Daniel Tirona
José Santiago
Manuel Tinio
Aniceto Lacson
León Kilat
Arcadio Maxilom


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.[48]

The first woman to become a member of the Katipunan was Gregoria de Jesús, wife of Bonifacio.[48] Her codename was Lakambini (Princess).[49] 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";[50] Nazaria Lagos; Patronica Gamboa; Marcela Agoncillo; Melchora Aquino, the "Grand Old Woman of Balintawak";[50] Marta Saldaña and Macaria Pañgilinan.[51]

The women rendered valuable services to the Katipunan.[52] 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.[48]

Though women are considered to be members of the Katipunan, information regarding the women's section were scarce and sometimes conflicting.[26] Teodoro Agoncillo, for example, disregarded Marina Dizon and concluded that Josefa Rizal was the only president of the said section.[53] Gregorio Zaide, on the other hand, mentioned Dizon's presidency in his 1939 publication History of the Katipunan[54] 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.[55]

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[56] mestizo, General Jose Ignacio Paua[57] 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.[58] 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, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Argentina 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.[59] 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.[60]

Notable Katipuneros

  • Andres Bonifacio (1863–1897) – The leading founder and the third Supreme President (Kataas-taasang Pangulo, Presidente Supremo) of the Katipunan, later taking the title Pangulo ng Haring Bayang Katagalugan (President of the Sovereign Tagalog Nation; "Haring Bayan" was also translated as Republic, i.e. Republika ng Katagalugan) upon the start of the revolution.
  • Emilio Aguinaldo (1869–1964) – First president of the First Philippine Republic, the Katipunan's successor. He was also a war general and one of the officers of the Magdalo chapter that led to a lot of notable victories for the Katipunan against Spain. During his presidency, he ordered the arrest and eventual 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 (Primer).
  • Mariano Álvarez (1818–1924) – the President of the Magdiwang chapter and a war general he was also Oriang's uncle.
  • Baldomero Aguinaldo (1818–1924) – the President of the Magdalo chapter and a war general he was also Emilio Aguinaldo's first cousin.
  • 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 fighting against the Spanish and later 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. Despite this, as the new revolutionary government was established, he was one of the officers who advised Aguinaldo to reverse his commutation (to banishment) of the death sentences given to 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 (1878-1907) - head of Katipunan in Trozo, Manila. Future founder or rather reviver of the Republika ng Katagalugan (the concept and name dating back to Bonifacio) that would oppose American occupation in the Philippines.
  • Paciano Rizal (1851–1930) - 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 from 1907–1909.
  • Aurelio Tolentino (1869-1915) - was a Filipino playwright, poet, journalist, and revolutionary. He wrote and directed the anti-imperialist play Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow), which led to his arrest in 1903.
  • Julián Felipe (1861–1944) – 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.[61] 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[62] and Miguel Malvar.

Literature of the society

The triumvirate of Katipunan (from left to right): Bonifacio, Jacinto and Valenzuela.

Written works

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.[63]

  • 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).[64] It is a poem of sincere patriotic sentiment. Pag-ibig was published in the January 1896 issue of Kalayaan by Bonifacio under his pen name 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".[65][66] 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.[65]
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.[67] 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.[63] 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.[63] His other prose writing was Liwanag at Dilim (Light and Darkness), a series of articles on human rights, liberty, equality, labor, government, and love of country. His pen name was Dimas-Ilaw.
  • 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.[68] He also collaborated with Bonifacio in writing the article Sa Mga Kababayan (To my Countrymen), an essay addressing the people of the Philippines. His pen name was Madlang-Away.[63]
During the infamous Cry of Balintawak, Valenzuela held the position of physician-general of the Katipunan.[69]


The printing machine used by the First Philippine Republic (now the Casa Real Shrine), where the newspapers La Independencia, El Heraldo de la Revolucion, Kalayaan, and Kaibingan ng Bayan were printed. During the Japanese occupation, the "Bulacan Military Area", under Captain Alejo Santos, used this machine, against the Japanese.

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.)[70] 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.[70][71] 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.[70] 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".[70] 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.[68] 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.[72]

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.[70] 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.[70] 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.[72]

According to Valenzuela, the printing process was so laborious that setting eight pages required two months to complete.[70] 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.[68]

In March 1896, the first copies of the January 1896 issue were secretly circulated with about 2,000 copies, according to Valenzuela.[73] 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.[70][74]

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.[68] Copies spread to nearby Manila provinces, including Cavite, Morong (now Rizal), Kalookan, and Malabon. Surprised by this initial success, Jacinto decided to print a second issue that would contain nothing but his works.[68]

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.[68] 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.[72]

Kartilya ng Katipunan

The teachings of the Katipunan were embodied in a document entitled Kartilya ng Katipunan,[75] 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[43]). The term kartilya was derived from Spanish cartilla, which was a primer for grade school students before going to school at that time.[76]

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. Diacritics were added, to emphasize the existence of ng and mga on Tagalog orthography. The following is an excerpt from Cruz' Kartilyang Makabayan: Mga Tanong at Sagot Ukol Kay Andrés Bonifacio at sa KKK (English: Nationalist Primer: Questions and Answers about Andrés Bonifacio and KKK, Manila, 1922):[77]

30. Anong wika ang ginagamit ng̃ mg̃á kasapi sa Katipunan?

Ang tagalog; n͠guni't ang kahulugan ng̃ ilang titik ng̃ abakadang kastilà ay iniba sa kanilang pagsulat ng̃ mg̃á kasulatan at gayon din sa paglagdá ng̃ kanilang mg̃á sagisag. Ang titik na "a" ay ginawang "z", ang "c" at "q" ay ginawang "k", ang "i" ay "n", ang "l" at "ll" ay "j" ang "m" ay "v", ang "n" ay "ll", ang "o" ay "c" at ang "u" ay "x". Ang f, j, v, x at z ng̃ abakadang kastilà ay itinakwil pagka't hindi kailan͠gan. Sa maliwanag na ulat ay ganitó ang Abakadá (alfabeto) ng̃ "Katipunan" kung itutulad sa abakada ng̃ wikang kastilà.
  • Rough translation:

30. What is the language used by the members of the Katipunan?

Tagalog; however, the meanings of some letters from the Spanish alphabet have been changed. The letter "a" becomes "z", "c" and "q" become "k", the letter "i" is "n", the letters "l" and "ll" are "j" letter "m" is "v", letter "n" is "ll", letter "o" is "c" and letter "u" is "x". The letters f, j, v, x and z are not needed, and unused.

Presented below is the Katipunan alphabet, when compared to the Spanish alphabet.

Abakada ng̃ kastilà (Spanish alphabet)
Abakada ng̃ "Katipunan" ("Katipunan" alphabet)

Preparation for the revolution

Attempt to seek Rizal's support

Flags of the Katipunan (Casa Real Shrine)

The night when Governor-General Eulogio Despujol exiled Dr. José Rizal to Dapitan,[78] 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.[79]:26–27 Bonifacio delegated Dr. Pío Valenzuela as the Katipunan's emissary to Dapitan.[79]:28 This was done in order to inform Rizal of Katipunan's plan to launch a revolution and, if possible, a war against Spain.[78] By the end of May 1896, Valenzuela had visited and interviewed Rizal in Dapitan.[79]:29 As cover, Valenzuela was accompanied by a blind man named Raymundo Máta, since Rizal is an ophthalmologist.[78][79]:28–29

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.[80] According to Valenzuela, Rizal only answered, "Huwag, huwag! Iya'y makasasama sa bayang Pilipino!" (No, no! That will harm the Filipino nation!)[80]

Rizal objected to Bonifacio's audacious plan to plunge the country into a bloody revolution. He believed it was premature for two reasons:[78]

  1. the people are not ready for a massive revolution; and
  2. 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.[78] 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.[81] 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.[82]

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.[83] 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.[84]

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.[85]

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.[86] The interpreter, a friend of Valenzuela, was José Moritaro Tagawa who was married to a Filipino woman of Bocaue, Bulacan.[84]

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."[87]

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.[88]


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 Civil 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.[88] 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.[88]

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.[89] 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.[90]

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.[90]

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.[90] They also found de la Cruz in possession of a dagger used in Katipunan initiation rites and some list of newly accepted members.[91] After the arrest, Fr. Gíl rushed to Governor-General Blanco to denounce the revolutionary plot of the Katipunan.[92] The Spanish unleashed a crackdown and arrested dozens of people, where many innocent citizens were forced to go to Fort Santiago.[81]

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.[93]

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.[94]

In another version, the existence of the Katipunan became known to the authorities through Patiño, who revealed it to the general manager, La Font.[79]:29–31 Patiño was engaged in a bitter dispute over pay with de la Cruz and exposed the Katipunan to La Font, in retaliation.[79]:30–31 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."[79]:31


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.[79]:35 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.[79]:35

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.

Typical Katipunero bolo

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.

Battle of Kakarong de Sili

Inang Filipina Shrine
Panorama of the Park and the Shrine

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"[95] (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".

Kakarong Republic

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.[96] 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.

Spanish response

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.[97]

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

A rivalry emerged from the two leading factions of the Katipunan in Cavite: the Magdiwang (right), led by Mariano Alvarez and the Magdalo (left), led by Baldomero Aguinaldo

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.[2] 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.[98] Bonifacio and a few others issued the Acta de Tejeros, proclaiming the events at the Tejeros Convention to have been "disorderly and tarnished by chicanery.", followed by the Naic Military Agreement characterizing 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.[99]

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.[100]

See also


  1. The organization has no affiliation with the white supremacist group in the United States known as the Ku Klux Klan, whose name is also associated with the acronym "KKK".


Notes and citations

  1. "Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan". National Historical Commission of the Philippines. September 4, 2012. Archived from the original on April 17, 2014.
  2. Ricardo Trota Jose (1992). The Philippine Army, 1935-1942. Ateneo University Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-971-550-081-4.
  3. "'Kalayaan', Newspaper of the Katipunan". Tempo. February 5, 2015. Archived from the original on February 5, 2015.
  4. Ongsotto; et al. Philippine History Module-based Learning I' 2002 Ed. Rex Bookstore, Inc. p. 133. ISBN 978-971-23-3449-8.
  5. Thomas, Megan C. (2007). "K Is for De-Kolonization: Anti-Colonial Nationalism and Orthographic Reform". Comparative Studies in Society and History. 49 (4): 938–967. doi:10.1017/S0010417507000813. ISSN 0010-4175. JSTOR 4497712. S2CID 144161531.
  6. Ocampo, Ambeth R. (May 28, 2021). "Unlearning flag history". Inquirer.net.
  7. Guerrero, Milagros C.; Encarnacion, Emmanuel N.; Villegas, Ramon N. (June 16, 2003). "In Focus: Andres Bonifacio and the 1896 Revolution". National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
  8. Richardson, Jim (2013). The Light of Liberty. Ateneo de Manila University Press.
  9. Woods 2006, p. 43
  10. Hirama, Yoichi (1994). "The Philippine Independence War (1896-98) and Japan" (PDF). XX International Colloquium of Military History Warsaw Poland: 197–199. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  11. "kakatipunan". tagalogtranslate.com. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  12. Rene Ciria Cruz; Cindy Domingo; Bruce Occena (2017). A Time to Rise: Collective Memoirs of the Union of Democratic Filipinos (KDP). University of Washington Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-295-74203-8.
  13. Potet, Jean-Paul G. (2018). Ancient Beliefs and Customs of the Tagalogs. Lulu.com. p. 584. ISBN 978-0-244-34873-1.
  14. St. Clair 1902, pp. 37–39
  15. Van Meter, H.H. (1900). "Freemasons and Katipunans". The Truth about the Philippines: From Official Records and Authentic Sources ... a Reference Review. Liberty League. Liberty league. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  16. Santos, Epifanio de los (1920). Marcelo H. del Pilar. Vol. 8. The Philippine Review (Revista Filipina). p. 528.
  17. "The Founding of the Katipunan".
  18. Diwa & December 24, 1926, p. 3
  19. Epifanio 1918, p. 38
  20. Epifanio 1918, p. 41
  21. Guererro, Milagros; Encarnacion, Emmanuel; Villegas, Ramon (1996). "Andres Bonifacio and the 1896 Revolution". Sulyap Kultura. 1 (2): 3–12. Archived from the original on November 15, 2010.
  22. Gregorio Zaide translated as Highest and Most Respected Association of the Sons of the Country.
  23. Fernandez 1926, p. 15
  24. Isabelo de los Reyes 1899, p. 27
  25. Kalaw 1925, p. 87
  26. Richardson, Jim (February 2007). "Studies on the Katipunan: Notes on the Katipunan in Manila, 1892–96". Archived from the original on February 11, 2009. Retrieved August 19, 2009.
  27. "Philippine History – The Katipunan: The Supreme Councils".
  28. Ricarte 1926, p. 27
  29. Zaide 1984, pp. 158–162
  30. Lamberto Gabriel, Ang Pilipinas: Heograpiya, Kasaysayan at Pamahalaan (Isang Pagsusuri) ISBN 971-621-192-9
  31. Santos 1930, pp. 17–21
  32. Agoncillo 1990, p. 151
  33. Kalaw 1926, p. 75
  34. Borromeo-Buehler 1998, pp. 169, 171
  35. Agoncillo 1990, pp. 151–152
  36. Agoncillo 1990, p. 152
  37. Agoncillo 1990, p. 166
  38. Artigas y Cuerva 1911, p. 30
  39. Artigas y Cuerva 1911, pp. 30–31
  40. Agoncillo 1990, pp. 152–153
  41. Agoncillo 1990, p. 153
  42. Artigas y Cuerva 1911, pp. 32–33
  43. Cruz 1922 VI[27]
  44. Artigas y Cuerva 1911, pp. 45–49
  45. "Ang Aklat ni Andres Bonifacio" (in Tagalog). Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  46. Bonifacio declared that Katagalugan (lit.'Tagalog land') is equivalent to all Philippine territories.
  47. ""Casaysayan; Pinagcasunduan; Manga daquilang cautosan," January 1892 - Katipunan: Documents and Studies". www.kasaysayan-kkk.info.
  48. Zaide 1957, p. 157
  49. Gregoria de Jesus 1932
  50. Rojas, Jean. "Filipino Women Warriors". Retrieved August 19, 2009.
  51. Fernandez 1930
  52. Zaide & November 26, 1932
  53. Agoncillo 1956, p. 55
  54. Zaide 1939, p. 21
  55. Zaide 1973, p. 44
  56. National Historical Institute; Historical Markers: Regions I-IV and CAR. Manila: National Historical Institute, 1993.
  57. "HughesNet vs Viasat Satellite Internet". www.bibingka.com.
  58. "History of the Philippine Navy".
  59. Filipinos In Mexico’s History 4 (The Mexican Connection – The Cultural Cargo Of The Manila-Acapulco Galleons By Carlos Quirino
  60. Consistency Is the Hobgoblin: Manuel L. Quezon and Japan, 1899-1934 by Grant K. Goodman, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Mar. 1983), p.79.
  61. Ileto 1998
  62. University, Princeton. The Catholic Historical Review, Volume 4. American Catholic Historical Association, 1919, p. 320.
  63. Zaide 1957, p. 156
  64. In other sources, this was titled as Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Bayan. Both are translated into English as Love for the Homeland.
  65. "Documents of the Katipunan: Andrés Bonifacio (attrib.) "Pagibig sa Tinubuang Bayan"". Retrieved August 20, 2009.
  66. Artigas y Cuerva 1911, p. 403
  67. "Documents of the Katipunan: Andrés Bonifacio: Katungkulang Gagawin ng mga Z. Ll. B." Archived from the original on March 3, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
  68. "Kalayaan: The Katipunan Newspaper". Filipino.biz.ph. Retrieved August 22, 2009.
  69. Richardson, Jim (October 2005). "Roster of Katipuneros at Balintawak, August 1896". Archived from the original on January 31, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2009.
  70. Rihardson, Jim (November 2005). "Notes on Kalayaan, the Katipunan paper". Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2009.
  71. Zaide & October 25, 1930
  72. Zaide 1957, p. 158
  73. Woods 2006, p. 44
  74. Epifanio 1918, p. 79
  75. May be transliterated as Cartilla, Kartilla, or Cartilya depending on the speaker and user.
  76. "The Teachings of the Katipunan". Retrieved October 20, 2009.
  77. Cruz 1922 VI[30].
  78. Zaide 1992, p. 203
  79. Alvarez, S.V., 1992, Recalling the Revolution, Madison: Center for Southeast Asia Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, ISBN 1-881261-05-0
  80. Dr. Pío Valenzuela, Memoirs, Unpublished manuscript.
  81. "The Revolution". Retrieved August 22, 2009.
  82. De la Costa 1961, p. 108
  83. Alejandro 1971, p. 70
  84. Zaide 1957, p. 159
  85. De la Costa 1961, p. 98
  86. Retana 1897, pp. 348–350
  87. Retana 1897, p. 351
  88. Zaide 1957, p. 160
  89. "Katipunan". Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2009.
  90. Zaide 1957, p. 161
  91. "Amice, Ascende Superius!". Archived from the original on September 7, 2010. Retrieved August 21, 2009.
  92. Zaide 1931, pp. 32–58
  93. National Historical Institute 1989, p. 476
  94. Agoncillo 1990, p. 170
  95. Halili 2004, p. 145.
  96. Halili 2004, p. 145-146.
  97. "The Project Gutenberg eBook of Dimasalang Kalendariong Tagalog (1922), by Honorio López".
  98. Sagmit 2007, p. 158
  99. Agoncillo 1990, pp. 180–181.
  100. Worcester 1914, p. 180

Published works

  • Agoncillo, Teodoro C. (1990) [1960]. History of the Filipino People (8th ed.). Quezon City: Garotech Publishing. ISBN 978-971-8711-06-4.
  • Agoncillo, Teodoro C. (1956). The Revolt of the Masses: the story of Bonifacio and the Katipunan. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.
  • Artigas y Cuerva, Manuel (1911). "Andres Bonifacio y el Katipunan". La Vanguardia. Manila.
  • Borromeo-Buehler, Soledad Masangkay (1998). The Cry of Balintawak: a contrived controversy. Ateneo de Manila University Press. ISBN 978-971-550-278-8.
  • Cruz, Hermenegildo (November 16, 1922). Tamiko I. Camacho, Jerome Espinosa Baladad and PG Distributed Proofreaders (ed.). Kartilyang Makabayan: Mga Tanong at Sagot Ukol Kay Andrés Bonifacio at sa KKK. e-book reproduction from Project Gutenberg. (in Tagalog) (Internet, Project Gutenberg ed.). Manila: Guillermo Masangkay, Alvarado St., Brgy. 535, Manila.
  • Diwa, Ladislao (December 24, 1926). "Andres Bonifacio y el Katipunan". La Opinión. Manila.
  • Fernandez, Leandro H. (1926). The Philippine Republic. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Fernandez, Leandro H. (1930). "Autobiography of Gregoria de Jesus". Philippine Magazine. Manila.
  • Ileto, Reynaldo (1998). Filipinos and their revolution: event, discourse, and historiography. Ateneo de Manila University Press. ISBN 9789715502948.
  • Guerrero, Milagros C.; Encarnacion, Emmqnuel N.; Villegas, Ramon N. (1996). "Balintawak: The Cry for a Nationwide Revolution". Sulyap Kultura (Manila: National Commission for Culture and the Arts) via National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
  • Halili, Maria Christine N. (2004). Philippine History. Manila: Rex Book Store. ISBN 978-971-23-3934-9.
  • Jesus-Nakpil, Gregoria (1932). Mga Tala ng Aking Buhay at mga Ulat ng Katipunan. published by Jose P. Santos.
  • Kalaw, Maximo M. The Development of Philippine Politics (1872–1920) (Manila: Oriental Commercial Co. Inc., 1926; reprint ed., Manila: Solar Publishing Corp., 1986)
  • Kalaw, T.M. (1925). The Philippine Revolution. Contributions to Philippine History Reprint Series. Manila Book Company.
  • National Historical Institute. Filipinos in History 5 vols. (Manila: National Historical Institute, 1989)
  • Reyes, Isabelo de los (1899). La Sensacional memoria sobre la revolución filipina (in Spanish). Madrid: Tip. lit. de J. Corrales.
  • Retana, Wenceslao E. (1897). Archivo del biblio filipino. Madrid.
  • Retana, Wenceslao E. (1907). Vida y Escritos del Dr. José Rizal. At Internet Archive
  • Retana, Wenceslao. Vida y Escritorios de Dr. José Rizal. Madrid: 1907.
  • Ricarte, Artemio (1926). The Hispano-Philippine Revolution. Yokohama. This book was published by Ricarte himself, includes his memoirs on the Philippine Revolution. A copy resides in the library of University of the Philippines Diliman (see Ricarte, Artemio 1866-1945. "The Hispano-Philippine revolution [microform]". Quezon City Photoduplication Service, University of the Philippines Library 1975. Retrieved April 26, 2022.)
  • St. Clair, Francis (1902). "Kataas-taasang Kagalang-galangang Katipunan Nang Manga Anac Nang Bayan". Manila. Archived from the original on January 2, 2009.
  • Sagmit, Rosario S.; Sagmit-Mendosa, Lourdes (2007). The Filipino Moving Onward 5 (2007 ed.). Rex Bookstore, Inc. ISBN 978-971-23-4154-0.
  • Santos, Epifanio de los (1918). "Andres Bonifacio". The Philippine Review.
  • Rizal, J.; Retana, W.E. (1961). Horacio De la Costa (ed.). The Trial of Rizal: W.E. Retana's Transcription of the Official Spanish Documents. Ateneo de Manila. Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  • Bernard, Miguel S. (1998). Horacio de la Costa, S.J. "The Trial of Rizal". Philippine Studies. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. 46 (1): 46–72. JSTOR 42633622 via Jstor.
  • Santos, Jose P. (1930). "Kung Sino si Jacinto". Pagkakaisa.
  • Woods, Damon L. (2006) [2006]. The Philippines: a global studies handbook. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-85109-675-6.
  • Zaide, Gregorio F. (1984). Philippine History and Government. National Bookstore Printing Press.
  • Zaide, Gregorio F. (1957). Philippine Political and Cultural History: the Philippines Since the British Invasion. Vol. II (1957 Revised ed.). Manila: McCullough Printing Company.
  • Zaide, Gregorio (November 26, 1932). "The Women of the Katipunan". Philippines Free Press. Manila.
  • Zaide, Gregorio F. (1973). Manila during the Revolutionary Period. Manila: National Historical Commission. citing a letter sent to him by Pío Valenzuela dated December 19, 1931.
  • Zaide, Gregorio (1939). "History of the Katipunan". Loyal Press. Manila.
  • Zaide, Gregorio F. (1931). Documentary History of the Katipunan Discovery. Manila.
  • Zaide, Gregorio (October 25, 1930). "The Rise and Fall of the Katipunan Press". The Sunday Tribune Magazine. Manila.
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