Tip. “Amigos del Pais,” Palacio 258
Tip. “Amigos del Pais,” Palacio 258
To the Honorable Filipinos
Who, True to the
have not harbored in their hearts sentiments of ingratitude toward that noble Nation which raised them to the level of civilization to which they have attained, not have at any time conspired against the lawfully constituted authorities, Spanish or American, of this Archipelago.
To such honorable Filipinos as these, it gives me the greatest pleasure to dedicate this small work, as a token of the genuine respect in which they are held by
«Manila, 21st (Aug. ’96).—The Governor General to the Colonial Minister:
Vast organization of secret societies discovered with anti-national tendencies.
Twenty-two persons detained, among them the Gran Oriente (of Philippine freemasonry) of the Philippines, and others of importance.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Immediate action taken and special judge will be designated for greater activity in the proceedings….
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Such was the telegram sent by Gen. Blanco and read by Sr. Castellano in the Spanish Camara, announcing the discovery of the revolutionary movement headed by the Katipunan, the bastard child of Filipino freemasonry.
Freemasonry in the Philippines was but a pretext: under this pretext the enemies of Spain, in days of Spanish rule, and the enemies of the U. S. in these days of American rule, put themselves into close and secret communion, to earn out plans of revolt.
This Filipino masonry cast its net far and wide, and in its meshes were caught many fish of all classes and conditions; some of them men of money who sought in masonry what money could easily purchase,—honors and titles, grand crosses and medals; others were men whose pockets were more or less replete, and whose aims were of a great variety of natures; whilst others were men whose treasuries were more or less empty and who sought in masonry what they did not care to earn by honest labor—a livelihood.
Masonry was imported into the Archipelago, shortly after the Spanish Revolution, and was, during the first years of its life, confined to Spaniards; but later on it opened its doors to half-castes and indians. In 1887 it extended by leaps and bounds; but upon the coming of Gen. Weyler to the Archipelago, as Governor General, in 1888, it dwindled away almost into nothingness. Gen. Weyler was, and has ever shown himself, a patriotic Spaniard; and he would not permit the existence here, under his Governorship, of anything which tended to the detriment of his country. Well did the masons of the Philippines and elsewhere know this, and hence the vicious and cruel campaign they carried on against him both in the Peninsular and Cuba, but more especially in the U. S. of America.
The Katipunan, the bastard child of filipino masonry, that ungrateful offspring which was unfaithful even to the mother which brought it forth, was a society within the bosom of which was redeveloped the malay instinct which had lain dormant for some three centuries. This instinct, brutal, savage, intensely ignorant, immoral, ungodly; an instinct found still among some of the uncivilized tribes of the mountain fastnesses of Luzon; an instinct once almost blotted out after many years of most difficult labor and self-sacrifice on the part of the Religious Orders, once again burst forth in all its strength.
The indian left to himself, deprived of the curbing influence of the christian religion, speedily falls back into the condition of depravity in which Urdaneta and Legazpi found him. The malay instinct, like the volcano, vomits forth when least expected; the history of the revolt of the Tagalogs gives overabundant proof of it. Take one by one the many leading characters in the revolution, and the instinct will be found so plainly marked, that it is unmistakable. Take for instance Marcelo H. del Pilar, in whose brain was conceived the plot of the Katipunan farsical-tragedy; Andrés Bonifacio, whose duty was the materializing of the plot; the Lunas, Juan especially, who had some time previous, in Paris, given an example of how easily the malay burned through the veneer of civilization to which the Filipino indian is susceptible; and so on, including the Aguinaldos, the Mabinis, the Agoncillos and even many of those, who in these days boast in public of their americanist ideas, and in private plot with treacherous zeal to overthrow the government of those they call their deliverers from Spanish tyranny. In them all may be traced the strange instinct of the old time filipino indian. Entering the fold of freemasonry, they threw off the bridle of religion which restrained them; loosing respect for Almighty God and for their faith they soon lost respect for others and for themselves. The result is well known. History, the history of the last five or six years, has shown it to us.
It is of this society of notables—for such is the meaning of the full title of the Katipunan—that I wish to say a few words in the following pages. I have taken as a foundation for my study, a very concise statement of the whole situation, drawn up by Capt. Olegario Diaz, Commander of the Guardia Civil Veterana de Manila. This document being an official statement, is of vital interest in the study of the birth, life and internal corruption of that diabolical association which, gigantic though it was, comparatively speaking, could, by reason of its infantility, have been easily stifled, had it been dealt with, with a strong hand. I have taken the document as a base, and by a series of notes in the form of a somewhat more lengthy appendix, have endeavored to provide my readers with a file of interesting items of historical value.
This pamphlet is not intended to be a history of the rebellion; I have endeavored to confine myself to the society which brought about the revolt, and if at any time I have strayed from the path I laid out for myself, it has been because there was by the wayside some flower I wished to pluck to add to the bouquet I herewith present to you.
Statement of Capt. Olegario Diaz1
It is fully proved that freemasonry has been the principal factor for the development in these islands, not only of advanced (2) and anti-religious ideas, but chiefly for the foundation of secret societies, possessing a character especially separatist (3). This conviction I have come to after the examination of a countless number of documents, and the much correspondence this Corps (4) fell in with, after laborious work and investigations, in the possession of several well known filibusters (5) who are at the present time prisoners; these documents and parcels of correspondence were included in the military suit tried before Colonel D. Francisco Olive (6).
«Some 20 years ago, there was installed in this country, a lodge dependent upon the Gr∴ Or∴ Español (7): a lodge which was inoffensive in its beginning because it was composed of peninsular Spaniards, with the absolute exclusion of the native element of the Archipelago. In this form it developed languidly until the year 1890.
«During this epoch, the Filipino colony resident in Madrid, Hong-Kong and Paris, in the which figured as exalted separatists José Rizal (8), Marcelo H. del Pilar (9), Graciano Lopez, Mariano Ponce, Eduardo Lete, Antonio and Juan Luna (10), Julio Llorente, Salvador V. del Rosario, Doroteo Cortés (11), José Baza, Pedro Serrano (12), Moisés Salvador, Galicano Apacible and many others, who were in communication with the seditious elements of Manila, strove hard to influence don Miguel Morayta (13), (Grand master of the Oriente Español), in Madrid, and with whom they sustained close relations, to the end that the statutes should be reformed so that the native element might be affiliated, and even more, that lodges of a character exclusively Tagalog (14), might be created in the Archipelago. Conferences, general gatherings, and finally compromises of certain magnitude decided in the favor of the Filipinos, Morayta thus, unconsciously sowing the seed, the fruit of which we are to-day gathering.
«D. Alejandro Roji, resident in this capital, Captain of Engineers, was nominated general delegate to direct the works, and with ample powers from Morayta, came the native school-teacher Pedro Serrano, who enjoyed in Manila the confidence and protection of the said Colonel, assisted by the Flores, lieutenants of Infantry, Numeriano Adriano, Ambrosio Rianzares, Juan Zulueta, Faustino Villaruel (15), Agustin de la Rosa, Ambrosio Salvador, Andrés Bonifacio (16), Apolinario Mabini (17), Estanislao Legaspi Domingo Franco (18), Román Basa, Deodato Arellano, Antonio Salazar, Felipe Zamora, Nazario Constantino, Bonifacio Arevalo, Pedro Casimiro, Dionisio Ferraz, Timoteo Paez and a thousand others, all indians, but having a career or a comfortable social position; they commenced a silent and tenacious propaganda which resulted in 180 Tagalog lodges, extended throughout the territory of Luzon and part of the Bisayas, being constituted in 5 years. The character of the native (19), so propitious to all the mysterious and symbolic, easily accustomed itself to the ridiculous practices of freemasonry: the initiations (20), the proofs (21), the oaths (22), attributes, signs and pass words, and the pseudonyms, all and everything surrounded by shade and mystery, appealed to the native and served him as an educative ladder which prepared his mind for his entry into other associations of graver transcendencies, according as the initiators and apostles of filibusterism, Rizal, Pilar, López, Cortés and Zulueta had forseen, as can be proved by that correspondence which has come to my hands.
«In order to direct the organization of the lodges dependant upon the Gran Oriente Español, there was constituted by Morayta, a Gran Consejo Regional (23) which received its instructions from him, and which was presided over by Ambrosio Flores (h∴ Muza), and formed of Adriano, Villaruel, Flores (A), Mabini, Paez, Zamora, Mariano and Salazar. The newspaper La Solidaridad (24) which, in the previous year had been founded in Barcelona by M. Pilar, as a delegate of the propaganda of Manila, and the publishing centre of which was later on translated to Madrid, was declared the official organ of all Filipino masonry; and in its collaboration, all the Filipinos of a medium culture resident in the capital, took a hand, under the auspices and direction of its new proprietor, the oft-mentioned and ill-starred Morayta.
«In 1893 the Gran Oriente Nacional, of which the Grand Master is Sr. Pantoja, reporter of the highest tribunal of justice, conceded powers to the lieutenant military councillor Sr. Lacasa, and the sergeant of Infantry, José Martin, to carry on propaganda in these islands among the native element, and in competition with the other Oriente. The result did not correspond to the efforts of the propagandists, who only succeeded in creating some few lodges in the Capital, in Cavite, Cagayan, Iloilo and Negros. How could it be expected to prosper, when the Gran Oriente Español had already catechized the masses of the country!
«It must be declared, although it makes one blush to do so, that many peninsular Spaniards, and among them some holding important official positions in the country, have contributed to this propaganda, scandalous, and from all points of view, aimed at the integrity of the nation (25). Only candor can exculpate them. May the country pardon them.
«From the first moments, both in the organ of Filipino freemasonry, La Solidaridad, and in the circulars which the Gran Oriente sent to Spain for the information of the brethren there resident, was commenced a coarse and shameless campaign against the Monastic Orders (26), and of scoffing and ridicule of religion. Later on, this campaign acquired a political character, attacking the government of the metropolis, and the authorities of the archipelago, demanding liberal reforms for the country, such as representation in the Cortes, the colonial Cámara, municipal autonomy, increase of individual rights etc. etc., Let anyone with half an eye examine carefully the collections of the cited paper, and he will certainly meet with something contrary to the national unity, artfully and modestly hidden. Let him read the almost countless number of documents (27) pertaining to the Tagalog lodges, and sent by me to the judge, Señor Olive, which were united to the charges, and the most incredulous will be convinced that the lodges and their aids and abettors devoted themselves to something more than the propaganda of freemasonry. There is not a single one of the chiefs and organizers of the filibuster organizations up to this time discovered, who is not a freemason.»
«La Propaganda» and the «Asociacion Hispano-Filipina.»
At the end of the year 1888, Marcelo del Pilar, a lawyer of Bulacán, and a frenetic filibuster, considering himself in peril of deportation in consequence of juridical proceedings formed against him in the said province, decided to translate his residence to Spain, under the shelter of a certain element of the country (28). In those days was created in Manila a committee of propaganda (29) formed by Doroteo Cortés, Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, Pedro Serrano and Deodato Arellano, under the presidency of the first named, its mission being the gathering from among the better class and more wealthy element, funds for the propagation throughout the Archipelago, of all classes of pamphlets and proclamations written to depreciate and cast slurs upon the Monastic Orders (30), and upon Religion; and likewise for the implantation in the country democratic doctrines; finally the nomination was agreed to of a delegation which should depend directly upon the committee recently constituted, and which should have its residence in Barcelona, its duty being to make overtures to the public authorities for the concession to the Archipelago of greater liberties and of representation in the Cortes in the first place. And in order to sustain and defend these ideals together with some few more, the foundation was authorized of a bi-monthly newspaper.
«The committee of propaganda fully fulfilled its mission; it overcame all the wealthy element of Luzon (31), gathered grand quantities, and Marcelo del Pilar set off for the Peninsular, installing himself comfortably in the «Ciudad Condal» 2 at the expense of his countrymen (32).
«In January 1889, he commenced the campaign in union with his companion of the delegation Mariano Ponce. They founded the paper La Solidaridad and constituted the Hispano-Filipino association, into which were drawn a large number of the native students residing in Barcelona 3. The committee made great progress in Manila, added to the number of its followers and collected funds in return for subscriptions to La Solidaridad which, day by day, had more readers; it distributed books, pamphlets and proclamations of the worst class, for which a good price was collected.
«The association had increased hand over hand; its aspirations (33) were most radical; and considering its action limited in Barcelona, it determined to translate its headquarters to Madrid, where it would have a wider field for its pretensions. About this same time Serrano, Rizal, Luna, López etc., were united to the delegation and they succeeded in implanting Tagalog masonry in their country (34), and from this precise moment, commenced their relations with Morayta.
«In January 1890 the «Asociacion Hispano-Filipina,»4 the delegation, and the paper La Solidaridad were installed in Madrid. Morayta accepted the presidency of the Association and became proprietor of the newspaper from which such good results were expected, it counting with an increased output to supply enforced subscriptions among masons and their associates at the rate of a peso a head.
«From that moment Morayta was made the idol of the turbulent indians, who considered him as their redeemer; no one is ignorant of the labors undertaken by the said personage in Spain, both in the realms of journalism and around and about the powers that be, on behalf of the securing representation in the Cortes, the liberty of association (35) and that of the press, municipal autonomy and even under a hidden guise, of that of the colony; in the memory of all is preserved the remembrance of the banquet given by the Filipinos inspired by Morayta, to Sr. Labra, the autonomist deputy for Cuba, and no one has forgotten the proposition presented to the Congress by Sr. Junoy, the republican deputy, also inspired by the Association and the delegation presided over and protected by Morayta. And who finally, does not feel indignation upon calling to mind the articles published in La Solidaridad by the Filipinos Kalipulako (M. Ponce), Jaena (G. Lopez), Dimas-Alang (José Rizal), Eduardo Lete, Taga-Ilog (Antonio Luna), Juan Totoo (J. Zulueta) and Kupang or Maitalagá (M. del Pilar)?
«What Spaniard is not fired to anger, upon reading the books and pamphlets written by Rizal, Luna and Lopez and the infinite number of printed libels which circulate here full of falsities and loathsome calumnies against the most sacred and venerated, the Fatherland? Have we forgotten, perhaps, Dr. Blumentritt (36) who repaid our most generous hospitality by making common cause with our enemies? Do we not call to mind, peradventure, that all the filipino colony in Spain and a good portion of that here resident, sympathised with that ungrateful man, conferring upon him the honor of banqueting him and extending to him their congratulations?
«Fortunately these labors obtained no practical result in the peninsula (37), but they caused the native element of some amount of culture to harbor imaginary ills and want of confidence in the Metropolis, covert discontent with the authorities of the islands (38), and finally, sowed the seed of aspirations which could never be realized 5. but a seed which is to-day, unfortunately, bearing fruit.
«A casino of recreation known as the Centro Filipino, was also organized in Madrid: a revolutionary club was the only thing to which that center could be compared. There Spain was discussed, criticized and slandered under the shelter of the law of association which prevails in the Peninsula, and shielded by the hypocrisy and deception so proper of cowards.
«Personal rivalries and the want of morality in the administration of the funds (39) remitted from Manila by the committee of propaganda, gave rise to a grave disagreement between the two apostles of filipino filibusterism, Rizal and Pilar; with the former sided the young and impetuous element; with the latter the mature and thoughtful (40). Both elaborated the same material, but each using a different process; the one boldly insolent and hostile, the other masked with hypocrisy and calm. Both being ambitious, each found the world too small to contain him. This state of things ceased with the coming of Rizal to these islands in 1892 (41), Pilar remaining the absolute possessor of the field at Madrid.
«In the meanwhile the committee of propaganda was not inactive. It created delegations throughout the archipelago, and by their means introduced the La Solidaridad and all kinds of revolutionary printed matter into the utmost corners of the archipelago.
The «Liga Filipina»
«Rizal, magnanimously pardoned by His Excellency the Captain General of the Archipelago, D. Eulogio Despujol (42), after the making of a thousand and one lying protests of repentance, reached this capital in May 1892, being received by his countrymen with extraordinary proofs of enthusiasm and rejoicing; and converting himself into an apostle of filibusterism, commenced a campaign of scandalous propaganda.
«Three days after his arrival he convoked a large reunion (43) in the house of the Chinese half-caste Ongjungco in Tondo, and under his presidentship there gathered Franco, property owner; Flores, Lieutenant of Infantry; Rianzares, lawyer; Zulueta, government employee; Adriano, notary; Reyes, tailor; Paez, business agent; Francisco, industrial; Serrano, school-teacher; A. Salvador, contractor; Salazar, industrial; Mariano, property owner; Legaspi, industrial; José, property owner; Bonifacio, warehouse porter; Plata, curial; Villareal, tailor; Rosa, book-keeper; Arellano, military employee; M. Salvador, industrial; Arévalo, dentist; Rosario, merchant; Santillán, industrial; Ramos, industrial; Joven, property owner; Villaruel, merchant; Mabini, lawyer; Nacpil, silversmith; and many other Filipinos well known by their ideas. To this assembly Rizal made known the motive which had inspired him to call it together, which was no other than the creation of a secret society to be known as the «Liga Filipina», founded for the purpose of fomenting the advancement and culture of the country and the attaining, later on, of emancipation from Spain (44). He read out a list of provisional regulations drawn up by himself; these regulations were unanimously approved; a commission formed of Ambrosio Salvador and Deodato Arellano as president and secretary respectively, was at once nominated for the studying and development of Rizal’s project, and the reunion was dissolved till it should be again convoked.
«The opportune deportation of Rizal (45), Cortes and Salvador, upset the plans of the «oath bound» conspirators and the panic thus brought about dispersed them for the moment. In the beginning of the year 1893 they re-assumed the work (46), sometimes in the house of Domingo Franco, and at others in that of Deodato Arellano; and after it had been agreed that they should be ruled by the regulations of Rizal, and votes having been cast, the Supreme Council of the «Liga» was constituted in the following form:
Secretary & Treasurer Arellano.
«Before continuing, and in order that the facts which follow may be better understood, I will give some idea of the «Liga» according to the mentioned regulations. Its determined ends (47), were the independence of the islands; its means, the propaganda of advanced political ideas (48), availing themselves of conferences, books, pamphlets and the paper «La Solidaridad» which was declared the official organ of the association; the culture of the country by means of study, and its material advancement by stimulating the creation of large enterprises and industries; and, as a final means, armed rebellion (49). The catechised or initiated submitted themselves to a solemn oath before a human skull, which they afterwards kissed, signing with their own blood (50) a compromising document, after making the corresponding incision in one of their arms.
«All those initiated incurred the duty of making propaganda (51) by all means in their power, and of increasing the number of the associates, of preserving under severest penalties, the most impenetrable silence on all matters relating to the «Liga» and blind obedience to their superiors. The association was governed by a Supreme Council with residence in Manila, and composed of a President, a Treasurer, a Fiscal, a Secretary and twelve Councillors; for the Peninsular and Hong-Kong, the delegations composed of Marcelo del Pilar and Ildefonso Laurel6.
“In each province was formed a provincial council with the same organizations as the Supreme Council, but with only six councillors, who, in their turn, had under their orders as many popular councils as there should be pueblos in the province in which the council should be constituted. The popular councils with analogous organization to the provincial councils, had jurisdiction within the demarcation of a pueblo; they depended directly upon the respective provincial council and the provincial upon the Supreme.
“All the members of the Supreme Council were to constitute in the capital of Manila a popular council formed of their converts within the zone of their residences; and all the members had to recruit among the natives of some culture, till the society should be thoroughly developed.
“Each treasurer collected a peso as entrance fee from the initiated and a medio (half) peso, as a monthly subscription for each member. With the said funds there was created a central deposit in the treasury of the Supreme Council, for the covering of the expenses of the delegations, and the sustainment of the Solidaridad; and it was agreed that once there should be sufficient capital, great enterprises, of a nature undetermined, should be undertaken.
“The eternal question of money in this class of organizations (52) gave rise to a serious falling out between Rizal and the Liga (53), on which account their official relations were severed. The subscriptions were badly collected, and those encharged with the custody and turning in of what few funds did exist misapplied them (54); this was what brought about the decadence of the league and the cause of its falling into discredit and disrepute and for its not prospering, in spite of the fact that among those who aided it with their moral and metalic aid, but without formal or written compromise (55), were a number of shameless filibusters, so much the more repugnant as the brilliant social position they held under the protection of Spain was elevated. Among many others may be cited the wealthy proprietors Pedro and Francisco Roxas (56), Mariano Linjap, Telesforo Chuidian, Luis R. Yangco, Antonio and Juan Luna, Felipe Zamora, Eduardo Litonjua, Marcelino de los Santos, Máximo Paterno (57) and Nazario Constantino (58).
“Of the members of the Supreme Council, only the following succeeded in forming popular councils: Estanislao Legaspi who organized one in Tondo, known as Talang Bakero; Andrés Bonifacio, one in Trozo, known as Mayon; and Francisco Nacpil, one in Santa Cruz, known as Mactan (59). The rest of the members of the Supreme Council only succeeded in forming the following fruitless sections: Flores, one in Ermita and Malate; Zulueta in Binondo; Rianzares in San Nicolás; Francisco in Quiapo; Adriano and Mabini in Sampaloc and Nagtajan, and Salvador in Pandacan.
“In the provinces also the Liga enjoyed such slow progress, that it was not possible to organize to popular councils, but sections only, and these were organized in the Laguna, by Vicente Reyes; in Batangas by Felipe Agoncillo (60); in Nueva Ecija, Bentus and Natividad; in Tarlac the notary del Rosario, and in Bulacán, Pampanga and other provinces wealthy persons of the same. In time, there was not a Filipino of wealth or career or of medium social position, who did not pertain to, or aid and abet the Liga, apart from a few most honorable exceptions (61) which it pleases me to recognize.
“At the commencement of the year 1894 and when the league had reached the age of one year, the members agreed to the dissolution of the society, both on account of the discords which continually sprung up in its bosom, and for the fear of discovery by the authorities which had already perceived something of the goings on (62). A grand assembly of the leaders was called together and it was determined to gather in as many documents as had been drawn up or circulated, and make a bonfire of them, so that all compromising indications should be made to disappear. The society became dissolved but it took a form more hypocritical. The popular councils re-entered the masonic lodges, and these took up the work of the Liga, a thing very easy to accomplish, when we remember that there was not a single member of the society who was not a freemason.
“There remained however, as a living remembrance of the Liga, a committee formed of the lawyer Numeriano Adriano and Deodato Arellano (a brother-in-law of Pilar) president and secretary, who had at their orders some 20 or 30 members from among the most important of the defunct Liga and who were known under the name of the compromisarios (63). These enjoyed no special organization and worked with almost entire independence. Their mission was the propagation of the La Solidaridad and the gathering of funds for the sustainment of the paper, and of the delegations in the Peninsula and elsewhere, with which they sustained active political correspondence. The work was continued with greater cunning by the lodges and by the compromisarios; and they succeeded in keeping alive the spirit of protest in a good part (the most influential) of the native element till the end of the year 1895.
«About this time the populous empire of China was defeated by the Japanese, and the Japanese Empire, having won the laurels of victory so easily, began to consider the weaving of a net of preponderance in the Occident. The Filipinos who followed with interest and satisfaction our contrarieties in Cuba, considered the occasion propitious for the Empire of the Rising Sun to copy in these islands the conduct of the Americans in the Antilles. Japan became the fashion in the Archipelago and its inhabitants were chosen as models of culture (64), wealth, of liberty and strength. They sighed for their protection and assistance, and to the attaining of it they uselessly directed their efforts. Doroteo Cortés emigrated to Yokohama (65), and with him Ramos, Baza, Español and others, where they established a separatist committee in correspondence with that of Manila. Marcelo del Pilar prepared to leave Madrid to join them, but died suddenly in Barcelona and finally the foolish political schemers dreamed of the liberation of Rizal (66) who had been deported to Dapitan, in order that he also should follow Cortés and the others. From Manila there departed frequently parties of wealthy Filipinos who went to Japan under the pretext of making recreative, instructive or artistic voyages, but in reality to conspire, and it is assured that they were listened to by some of the official element of that nation (67). The Japanese corvette Kongo (68) arrived in Manila in the month of May and no one could explain its sudden appearance in the bay; but on the other hand the officers were mysteriously banqueted by a commission of Filipinos in the Bazar Japones (69) where they lodged. Causalities perhaps, but….
1The numbers which will be found throughout this document signify notes to be found in the appendix. The letters in brackets signify footnotes of minor importance.
3About this same time a lodge composed of Filipinos was formed in Madrid, and known as the Solidaridad. There it was that steps were taken to catechize the masses of the Filipinos in their own homes.
4In the Official Bulletin of the Gr∴ Or∴ Esp∴ for Sept. 1896, Morayta, speaking of this association of separatists said: “It was born strong,—the filipino colony numbered then more than 70 members, by the side of whom labored several peninsular Spaniards.” It is a pity Morayta did not classify these peninsular Spaniards, for had he done so we might perhaps have found among their number some of the social outcasts who have since aided the insurgent element against the legitimate authority of the United States.
5These aspirations almost all turned upon the idea of independence. The ability of the natives to govern themselves has had many tests. During the last days of Spanish rule a taste of this privilege in minor grade was allowed the native as a test, and it needed but a drop of the independence tincture to put the patient into a burning fever. It truly takes a visionary to claim for the Filipino the ability to govern his own country. In the Filipino family the woman “wears the breeches” and in the pueblo all is subservient to the “boss”, the presidente. The aspirations of the pre-American Filipinos are the same as the aspirations of the Federal Party: aspirations which can never be realized till the character of the aspirant radically changes. “Filipinas” yet awaits in expectation to find the Filipino who can govern his own household!
6The executive committee of the Liga was composed of Moises Salvador, Ambrosio Flores, Apolinario Mabini, Domingo Franco, Numeriano Adriano, Timoteo Paez, Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, and the brothers Venancio and Alejandro Reyes. Testimony of Antonio Salazar. (fols. 1118 to 1129).
K. K. K. N. M. A. N. B.
Kataastaasang Kalagayan Katipunan Nang Mang̃a Anak Nang Bayan.
Supreme Society of the Sons of the People1.
Whilst Rizal, in Manila, was engaged in the organization of the “Liga Filipina” into which only the well-to-do or educated classes could enter (70), an attempt which, for that time, failed on account of his immediate deportation, Marcelo H. del Pilar, from Madrid, in July 1892, advised the creation of another association, which was to be similar thereto, but which was to include the agricultural laborers and persons of little or no education and instruction (71), but who directed in the localities by the caciques and chiefs, were to form an enormous nucleus which should, at the proper time, give forth the cry of rebellion. He (Pilar) provided minute instructions concerning the organization and forwarded a project of regulations.
“Deodato Arellano (brother in-law of Marcelo), Andrés Bonifacio, Ladislao Dina and Teodoro Plata where those commissioned to carry into practice the project of Pilar (72); they discussed the regulations and added to them making them still more terrifying, agreeing that they should all immediately proceed with the preparatory works, and they were not interrupted till the conspiracy was discovered on the 19th of August of this year (1896). Both the said organizers and the others who composed the first Supreme Council, belonged to the «Liga filipina».
“The organization given to the society was analogous to that enjoyed by the «Liga» (73) but amplified to the extent of anarchism, swearing hatred and destruction to everything of a character or nature Spanish (74), and sowing the seed of a race-hatred which has developed to a great extent (75). The Supreme, the Provincial and the popular Councils, the sections and the delegations ruled this horrible association. The first governed the whole Tagalog Katipunan (76); the second, that corresponding to a pueblo and the sections were sub-divisions or fractions into which the popular councils were divided. Those commissioned to form sections were called delegations, and whilst they remained unconstituted, they depended directly upon the Supreme Council. Every associate paid an entrance fee of a medio peso, and a monthly subscription of a real. The collections were made by the respective treasurers and passed into the central treasury of the Supreme Council. The funds so gathered were utilized for the succor of the brethren in their afflictions and sicknesses, for the covering the expenses of the works of propaganda, and for the secret acquisition of fire and other arms (77).
«As in freemasonry, the initiations (78) were performed with a wealth of the ridiculous, and with unending extravagances; but of such a nature, that the ignorant indian was fascinated and became converted into a slave of his oath.
«The initiated were masked (79) as also was the person to be initiated; before a table was placed a skull and crossbones, a triangle and two candles; the person about to be initiated was told that the object of the Katipunan2 was the liberating of the Tagalog people, and the expulsion of the Spaniards from the archipelago, or their destruction (80); following this, came a series of questions and replies in the which the martyrdom of Gomez, Burgos and Zamora (81), native priests judged and condemned for their part in the rebellion of Cavite in 1872 was exalted, and they passed on to the proofs (82) which consisted in imitating an assassination, a suicide, etc. This was followed by the taking of an oath of striving to effect the liberation of the people till death, an oath which demanded a blind obedience to the commands of the superior and the preservation of the secrets of the association under the pain of death (83). Finally, to terminate the ceremony, they made with a dagger especially adapted to that use, an incision in the arm of the person initiated and with the blood which flowed from the wound thus made, the new katipunero signed his compromise (see note 50.)
«The initiated were called brethren and had their «sacred words» and their special signs of recognition. They were ruled by a code which established punishments ranging from whipping till death (84) and received no orders from anyone, or had no intercourse with anyone, except with their immediate superiors. The details which might be made mention of are infinite and curious, but it would make this short memorial unending to speak of them all.
“All the matters of importance and organization were dealt with in assemblies (85) constituted by the Supreme Councils and all the presidents of the provincial and popular councils. The accords were taken and discussions decided by a nominal votation and at least by a majority of votes.
“Both the Supreme, the provincial and the popular Councils and the sections held their periodical sessions in the which were discussed a thousand different affairs, and the decisions of the Councils had to be submitted to the approval of the immediate superior. The gatherings were always held in different houses and localities, no day being set aside as fixed, but the days of festivities or those upon which was observed some ecclesiastical feast were chosen for that purpose (86), under the pretext of banquets or dances in which the authorities had no suspicion, and because on the said days these semi-public rejoicings were permitted without the necessity of seeking the license of the governing authorities.
«Both the provincial and the popular councils and the sections were known by special names; the initiated were “baptized” with symbolic appellations; and the documents were drawn up in the Tagalog dialect, the most important being in secret code.
“The first Supreme Council was constituted on the 15th of July 1892, and was as follows:
President Deodato Arellano.
Secretary Andrés Bonifacio.
Treasurer Valentin Diaz.
Councillors Ladislao Dina.
Delegates were immediately appointed to establish sections in Tondo, Binondo, Trozo, Sta. Cruz, Nagtajan, Sampaloc, Quiapo, Dilao (Paco) and Intramuros. Commissioners set out with all rapidity to the neighboring pueblos and provinces, and in a few weeks councils were in working order in Caloocan, Malabon, Mandaloyan, San Juan del Monte, Pandacan, Sta. Ana, and Pasay. In the Capital of Cavite was constituted a popular council, and sections in Noveleta, Cavite Viejo and Imus. The same occurred in San Isidro, Gapan and several other pueblos of these provinces.
’Andrés Bonifacio, Secretary of the Supreme Council, displayed a notable audacity and energy, and this united to a clear intelligence, gave him a great predominance over his companions. This predominance he asserted, and in 1893 brought about the destitution from the presidency, of Deodato Arellano, Román Baza (87), chief clerk of the Comandancia General de Marina being elevated to that office. On account of the want of character and initiative on the part of the new president, Bonifacio decided, by a coup-d’état if we may so call it, to depose him also, putting himself in that office and becoming the «dictator» of the Katipunan.
“Under the Presidency of Bonifacio, the society commenced an era of febrile activity; the greater number of the tribunales of the pueblos were converted into centres of propaganda, which were directed by the municipalities. Pamphlets and proclamations against the friars and the whole Spanish element were circulated in profusion (88). Injuries and outrages were invented, and by these and a thousand and one other infamous means, little by little, hatred and revenge were inculcated into the mind of the indian.
“In 1895 Bonifacio took the first decisive steps towards the organizing of an armed rebellion; he sent different delegations to Dapitan to confer with Rizal and receive his advice and instruction (89); he opened negotiations with the Japanese Government (90), but did not succeed therein. But with his immense ascendancy over the popular masses, an ascendancy beyond imagination, he declared himself dictator. The secret aiders of the Katipunan who pertained to the upper classes, offered funds of considerable amount, with the which were acquired a good number of arms which were landed on the coast of Cavite and Batangas with the aid of wealthy persons (91).
«In August of this year (1896) exaltation among the masses reached its full height, and Bonifacio realizing the fact, prepared what was necessary in order that in a short time, the conspiracy which was to take effect on the same day and hour in almost all Luzon, should be in readiness. The plan of the attack and taking of Manila was coarsely conceived but it might have been successful and massacre, sacking and pillage would have crowned the iniquitous work.
“At this time the Supreme Council was was composed as follows.
President Andrés Bonifacio.
Secretary Emilio Jacinto.
Treasurer Enrique Pacheco.
Fiscal Pío Valenzuela (92).
Aguedo del Rosario.
José T. Santiago.
“In Tondo existed the popular Council Catagalugan presided over by Alejandro Santiago; and the sections Cabuhayan, Catotohanan, Pagtibain, Calingaan and Bagongsilang, presided over by Hilarion Cruz, Braulio Rivera, Cipriano Pacheco, Nicolás Rivera, and Deogracias Fajardo.
“In Sta. Cruz the popular Council Laonlaan presided over by Julian Nepomuceno, and the sections Tanglao and Dimas Alang3 by Procopio Bonifacio and Restituto Javier.
“In Trozo the popular Council Dapitan4 presided over by Francisco Carreón, and the sections Silang̃anan and Alapaap, by Juan de la Cruz and R. Concha.
“In Binondo the popular Council Ilog Pasig by Faustino Mañalac.
“In Concepción and Dilao (Paco) the popular Council Mahiganti, presided over by Rafael Gutiérrez, and the sections Panday and Ilog with a delegation in Ermita.
“But why continue? It would not be exaggerating to assert that the fourth of the native population pertained to the Katipunan, and the task of consigning more names would be useless, as nothing new would be discovered.
“Astounding is the number of the initiated; in Manila and its province alone they exceed 14,000, and in the provinces of Cavite, Batangas, Laguna and Nueva Ecija there are no less than 20,000. Adding to this number those of the remainder of Luzon, the total will ascend to an enormous mass of “illusioned” who bowed in obedience to an inquisitous schemer. It must be recognized, however, that Bonifacio is not a common man; of active character, energetic and bold, gifted with a facility of expression in his language which suggested itself to his countrymen; of a criterion clear but badly cultivated by the reading of books of an elevated style and a pernicious character5 and possessed of an unfathomable ambition—such was the warehouse porter who had charge of the store house of the foreign commercial house of Fressel and Co. in Calle Nueva, Binondo6.
“His proclamations, pamphlets, and circulars although not a model of literature were possessed of a certain amount of culture.
“In Calle Clavel, in the dwelling house of Alejandro Santiago, the Katipunan possessed a secret printing establishment, in which were prepared many most injurious and insulting publications. There also was edited and published the paper Kalayaan (Liberty) (93) which only twice saw the light and which was supposed to have been printed in Yokohama, (it bearing the name of that town as the place of publication) and was published over the signature of Marcelo H. del Pilar. This was all false, all studied out for the purpose of throwing dust in the eyes of the local authorities. The paper was edited by Bonifacio, his brother-in-law Teodoro Plata and the secretary of the Supreme Council, Emilio Jacinto, a young student of law, of no scanty intelligence.
“On the 19th of August last (1896) the conspiracy was denounced and a great number of imprisonments were made by this Corps. Bonifacio and those more closely connected with him in his schemes, fled aghast to the neighboring pueblo of Caloocan and there remained hidden in the house of the Capitan Municipal (a native) and in that of the Capitán Pasado (also a native) Adriano de J, father-in-law to Andrés Bonifacio. On the 23rd Bonifacio set out for the barrio of Balintauac, followed by some 200 inhabitants of Caloocan; on the 24th they were combatted by the Civil Guard in the fields of the said pueblo and fled to their former hiding place.
“The Supreme Council convoked a large assembly to be held on the following day in the said barrio, to which gathered more than 500 members; there a discussion took place concerning the steps which would have to be taken in view of the failure of the conspiracy, and of the imprisonments which were being made. Some, feeling repentant, desired to return to a legal status, submitting to the Spanish authority but the president Bonifacio protested, proposing immediate rebellion. Both propositions were put to the vote, and as a result, that of the president gained by an immense majority; so much for the prestige of Andrés Bonifacio! (94).
“The orders were circulated with rapidity throughout Manila, Cavite, Nueva Ecija and other provinces, commanding that armed rebellion should commence at day-break of Sunday the 30th. The day and hour assigned finally arrived, and the whole province of Manila broke out; the rebels committing a thousand and one abuses and crimes upon as many Europeans and loyal natives as were encountered. Like wild beasts they attacked the waterworks and the powder station situated at San Juan del Monte from whence they were valiantly driven back by a section of artillery and another of the 70th regiment. Simultaneously they attempted to invade the suburb of Sampaloc by way of Santa Mesa and there also they were combatted and dispersed by 60 Veteran Guards who prevented, by their defence, a day of mourning for the city of Manila. All Cavite, except the capital, arose in insurrection on the afternoon of the 31st., assassinating and disarming the whole of the Civil Guard of the province, after an heroic defence on the part of the latter. They assaulted the convents and estates of the Religious Orders and murdered the defenseless ministers of the Lord (95). On the 3rd of September the capital of Nueva Ecija was attacked by large masses of rebels, and the colony7 and the Civil Guard heroically resisted until the arrival, from Manila, of a column which combatted the enemy and saved that handful of Spaniards from a certain death. But why continue to relate events so well known to all8.
Denouncement of the Conspiracy and its Discoverer.
“Teodoro Patiño. A name which all Spaniards should pronounce with pleasure, because, by his repentance, inspired by divine Providence (96), Spain was saved from an unending series of bitter experiences.
“Patiño, a workman in the printing establishment of the Diario de Manila, pertained to the Katipunan of Tondo, as did also the majority of the compositors and book binders of the said establishment.
“Repentant and fearful of the increase of the association, and of the criminal projects it pursued, he decided to denounce it to his sister, a student of the College of Looban, directed by the learned and virtuous Sisters of Mercy (97). His sister made known the denunciation to her Superior who called Patiño into her presence; and realizing the gravity which surrounded the matter, sent him to the Rev. P. Mariano Gil, parish priest of Tondo (98), a suburb of Manila; to this Rev. Father, Patiño repeated all that he had manifested, and all that he could know, he being only a simple initiated member. He affirmed that in the printing establishment of the Diario receipts and proclamations were printed, and daggers were secretly made for the Katipunan, and he offered, moreover, to make known where the lithographic stones used for the printing were hidden.
“Srs. Grund and Cortés, lieutenants of the sub-division of the Veterana of that district, were called to the convent by P. Gil, who expounded to them all that had occurred. These officers made known the facts to their chiefs, and constituted themselves into a “cuartelillo”. That same night there fell into the power of P. Gil the lithographic stones, some receipts and printed regulations of the Katipunan: objects which were placed at the disposition of this Corps. In the “cuartelillo” Patiño was minutely examined, and immediate proceedings were commenced for the arrest of 22 oath bound katipuneros, whose houses were also searched. In this search an abundance of documents and effects which justified the denunciation were encountered. From that time no stone was left unturned by the officers and guards of this Corps, who for 15 days worked unceasingly and untiringly that their labor might be crowned with the greatest success.
“More than 500 prisoners of importance, among those who were convicted and among those who confessed, were handed over to the Courts of Justice together with all the documents, books, pamphlets, seals, attributes and the archives of the Supreme Council. The back of the vast conspiracy was broken; some of the guilty have already expiated their crimes (99), many have suffered deportation, (100) whilst no few still remain in prison awaiting the decision of human justice.
“If with our aid we have contributed to the salvation of this portion of Spanish territory, what better recompense and reward for this Section of the Guardia Civil Veterana?
“Manila, 28th October 1896—Olegario Diaz—Signed—The document bears a seal which reads: Sección de Guardia Civil Veterana.—Manila.
Here ends the document which forms the text. In continuation follow the notes with their corresponding numbers.
1The words Supreme Society express the idea of supreme social situation, of a society formed of noteworthy people. A well-read writer on the subject of “El Katipunan ó el filibusterismo en Filipinas,” says, speaking of this union of such notable folk: “A reunion of people who meet to concoct assassinations, cannot be a reunion of noteworthy people but should rather be called a reunion of noteworthy criminals.” There is not the shadow of a doubt that this is the best and, in fact, the only title to which such a society as the katipunan can justly lay claim.
Opinion is divided as to the origin of the word katipunan, and as to the manner in which it should be written. Some spell it with C whilst the majority use K. As to the derivation: the root word is undoubtedly Tipon which, prefixed with the particle ca and terminated with an gives us a word, which signifies very select association. The word is however generally written with K so as to be in keeping with the Tagalog way of spelling, as they (that is to say the “redimidos” have taken to the use of K for C whenever C has a hard sound as in cat. In like manner, to the insurgent and his sympathisers, Cavite should be Kawite. The K and W are Blumentrittisms, i. e. of German descent.
2See note 49.
3The pseudonym of Rizal. By this name he is mentioned in almost all the masonic documents relating to him and over this same name he wrote in the La Solidaridad and the Kalayaan.
4The place of Rizal’s banishment.
5Pio Valenzuela y Alejandro, a near companion of Bonifacio in matters relative to the Katipunan, testified in his evidence in the courts of Justice, (fols 1,663 to 1,673), that Andrés Bonifacio had read much, and possessed a library which was destroyed when his house caught fire. (See note 16) That he would pass the night in reading instead of sleeping, and that from such an excess of reading there had happened to him the same as happened to Don Quixote—his brain had become turned. Thus it was that Andrés was ever dreaming of the presidency and speaking of the French Revolution.
6It was in the warehouse of this German firm that the Spanish authorities discovered the documentary evidence which Valenzuela testified had been hidden there by Bonifacio. It had been determined by the Katipunan to destroy all documents, but evidently Bonifacio overtaken suddenly by the unexpected discovery of the plot he was developing, had not sufficient presence of mind, or what is more probable still, enough time to put them out of existence, and he therefore hid them as has been said, hoping no doubt, to be thus enabled to put the authorities off the track in case they should happen to get possession of them.
7That is to say the Spanish population.
8As the events here spoken of do not fall within the scope of this sketch, no note has here been made of them. As was pointed out in the introduction, this review is not intended as a history of the revolution, but as a brief sketch of the society which gave rise to it.
These notes are, as regards historical
matter, chiefly taken from Spanish
official documents drawn up as a
result of juridical proceedings
Note 2. In that period of time in which the evil effects of freemasonry began to tell upon the public and private life of the government officials and upon the morals of the people in general, the Civil Governor of Manila, D. Justo Martin Lunas (1886), gave a ball to which the cream of Manila society was invited. Among the selections for the evening was an extravagant item, nothing more or less than … a can-can! This in itself was enough; but what made the matter so much the worse was that the governor had invited the venerable Archbishop of Manila to the ball. The news of the innovation spread far and wide, and very soon the whole city was in a state of wild excitement. In the defense of public morals the Archbishop deemed it necessary to issue a pastoral letter condemning such spectacles.
Although not directed at that particular “school of scandal”, this pastoral was interpreted by all those concerned, as well as by the public in general, as a severe lesson for Sr. Lunas and those who had gathered in the government house to dance the can-can or to take pleasure therein. Hence Sr. Luna and his party considered themselves offended, and did not hesitate to take revenge when an opportunity occurred, upon the aged and infirm Archbishop who did all he had done, in defense of the morals of his flock.
From this event sprung the seed which gave rise, later on, to the famous, or rather infamous manifestation of ’88: an insensate campaign inspired against the Religious Orders by these offended ones and their followers (See note 30).
The Civil Governor at that time was D. José Centeno y García an active propagator of freemasonry, holding the 33rd degree. He, together with Sr. Quiroja, fostered and godfathered the “manifestation”. In this semi-official insult to Archbishop Payo, an insult so ably analysed by Sr. Retana1, we have one of the best examples that could be furnished of the methods adopted by the masonic enemies of the Catholic faith in this archipelago. This manifestation, fostered by a governor who drew down upon himself the righteous ire of all honorable men and women by reason of his protection of the houses of ill-fame in and about the city, was a truly masonic invention by which many, in fact some 98% of those who signed it, were grossly deceived. The following notes taken from the analysis of Sr. Retana, will give an idea of the real value of the “manifestation” and the part the people had therein. In the Suburb of Sta. Cruz there were 144 people who signed the document, that is to say there were 144 names. Of these no less than 56 were unknown, 3 were minors and 3 did not recognize their signatures; 52 were natives and 8 were Chinese half-castes. In Sampaloc: 61 signatures, all of which were of indians none of whom followed trades or professions which necessitated the use of brain power. In Malate: 38 signatures, 31 of indians, only 15 of whom understood Spanish. In Binondo: 41, 31 of whom were indians; five minors. In Sta. Ana, out of 104, the number of minors was 14, and 50 did not understand Spanish; 66 were indians. In Caloocan: 80 signatures of which 55 were indians who did not understand Spanish; 38 were laborers, 7 were minors. In Navotas: 140 signatures; 49 laborers, and 49 fishermen; 127 did not understand Spanish. In Mariquina: 68, 38 of whom were laborers, 51 did not understand Spanish. In San Fernando de Dilao (Paco): 35; 6 minors and all indians. In San Mateo, 50 signatures; 39 laborers, 45 indians, 41 of whom did not understand Spanish. In San Miguel 49; and here comes the crowning piece of the magnificent work, for of these 49 no fewer than 16 had died! yes died previous to the drawing up of the document and therefore could not possibly have signed it; moreover 7 did not recognize their signatures, and all were indians.
In recapitulation; there were 810 signatures; of these 85 did not declare on examination, 56 were unknown, 39 were minors, 22 did not recognize their signatures and 16 had died previous to the drawing up of the document (Feb. 20th 1888). This brings the 810 down to 592. Of these 592 signatures 208 were of laborers, 50 of fishermen, 31 of carpenters, 7 washermen and 5 barbers: a total of 301 persons whose occupations called for no particular amount of education, and whose interest and concern in such a movement as this may be judged from their social standing. Deducting these 301 from the remaining 592 we have 291 left for further analysis. Of these 25 were of tailors, 4 singers (!) and 3 school masters; 58 escribientes whose occupation it is to make clean copies of documents and other manuscript, the most that can be said of the majority of them being that they can write well, not an uncommon thing anyhow for a filipino; 11 of musicians, men who lead the life of crickets, enjoying hunger by day and noise by night; 9 type-setters, men who after having set a dozen columns of material could not tell you anything of the subject they were composing, in other words, men who like the escribientes reproduce mechanically without knowing what they are reproducing; this gives us 107 of another grade leaving 184 to be divided among the many odds and ends of occupations followed by the native to earn his “fish and rice”. No less than 384 of the number did not understand Spanish and 13 could not write. In the matter of races: ONE was a Spaniard, Enrique Rodriguez de los Palacios who called himself a merchant and was domiciled in Binondo. Upon investigation it turned out that he also had been fooled and that he had signed the protest because he had been told that other Spaniards had also signed it; as to its contents he affirmed that he knew nothing. One was a Spanish mestizo, 66 were Chinese half-castes and 524 were indians. So much for the famous manifestation which resulted in giving a most decisive blow to the moral and social standing of those who prepared and those who signed it. Those concerned therein learned the bitter lesson that “they who dig pits for their neighbors are apt to fall therein themselves.”
The common opinion has always been that the document in question was drawn up by Doroteo Cortés (see note 11) who had on several occasions been under police vigilance; had been expelled from Navotas and compelled to reside within the walled city, later on pardoned, but still kept under police surveillance. But however that may be, the document was infamous in the extreme, and was the precursor of the modern campaign against the Religious Orders. From that time to this present, this campaign has continued to spread, and is still being fostered by the Federal Party.
Another of the advanced ideas which saw the light of day during the interim governorship of D. José Centeno y Garcia, a 33rd degree freemason and a stout republican, was the toleration, for the first time in the history of the Archipelago, of houses of prostitution. Centeno was a governor who, having erred considerably during his governorship, attempted some years later to regain public confidence by the publication of an insulting pamphlet against the Religious Orders. This novelty of semi-official houses of ill-fame was, for Manila, a most genuine expression of modern democracy. Scandals until then unheard of or undreamed of in Manila, became the order of the day. White girls imported or inveigled, were hired out by their mistresses to pander to the sensual appetites of blacks, merely because the said black-skinned sensualists were wealthy enough to pay the price demanded. What edification! Fundicion street became a centre in which the scandals daily increased in number and importance. The native weaned after many long years of careful training at the hands of the Religious Orders, from the vices in which he was found submerged at the time of the Spanish Conquest, was brought face to face with the same scandalous surroundings, introduced by people of the same white race which had removed his forefathers therefrom. Gradually but surely this leaven of corruption has eaten its way into the customs of the people, and to-day we are witnesses of its terrible effects. A comparison of the public morals of to-day with those of 20 years or so ago, would reveal facts which would astound many of those who are at a loss to account for the reason of the existence of the “querida” evil among so many of the Filipinos of modern Manila. A quarter of a century ago Manila was a paradise to what it is to-day, crimes so common in these days that they are scarcely worth recording, were unheard of; and even drunkenness was almost entirely confined to foreign sailors. What Manila is to-day it owes to the advanced and anti religious ideas introduced by freemasonry and modern democracy.
Note 3. Separatism, vulgarly called filibusterism, has always, in the Philippines, been marked by essential characteristics. It was always, under the circumstances by which it was surrounded, necessarily anti-patriotic. One thing which helped to give it the robust life it enjoyed among the middle class of people, was the supposition of the existence of a Tagalog civilization anterior to the discovery of the archipelago by the famous Magallanes. This fantastic doctrine was preached and propagated principally by two of the more prominent Filipinos, Pedro Paterno and José Rizal. The former, much less cultured than Rizal, was the one to whom the most insensate ideas on this subject were owing, and this because although Rizal upheld the idea, he was led to do so by his perverse character rather than by his belief; whilst Paterno really believes in this pre-Spanish civilization, and that to such a degree that many of his own country-men call him a fool and ridicule him. Another essential mark was the enmity demonstrated against the Religious Orders. But few, if any at all of the propagators of the doctrines of separatism labored outside of the four walls of the masonic lodge room. In other words they were freemasons. Masonry was to them a medium through which they might carry on their conspiracies; it was an excuse for the creation of the spirit of association, till then unknown in the Philippines.
The aims of separatism may be classed as direct and indirect. The indirect aim was the independence of the country from the yoke of Spain. At the best this idea of independence was but second hand, a lesson learned by heart by a scholar whose power of thought was insufficient to enable him to grasp the true meaning of the words of the lesson. The average Filipino lacks the sentiment of nationality; hence in the minds of the majority of the people independence is but the enjoyment of the unbridled liberty to do as they please, in fact to revert to the times of their ancestors when everyone who could exert an authority was a king, a prince or a ruler of some description. To the Filipino it is of little importance whether his sovereign or his supreme ruler be the King of Spain or the President of the U. S. of America, as long as he is protected from his “friends” and from his own country-men and may enjoy his cock-fighting and have the necessary supply of rice and fish for his daily sustenance.
The direct aims of the separatists were those they sought in public, viz: representation in the Spanish Cortes, the expulsion of the Religious Orders, etc., etc. The result of representation in the Cortes would have been a veritable comedy; that of the expulsion of the Friars a decided tragedy for Spain, in as much as the Religious was ever the backbone of the administration of the colony. The consequences of the independence of the country would have been equally disastrous. There would have been the tremendous preponderance of the black over the white and eventually inter-tribal disputes and even armed struggles for the mastery. This would entail the complete stagnation of the moral and material progress of the people, who would gradually but surely drift back into the savage ways of their ancestors. And at last, who knows but that Japan or perhaps China would have to step in to save the inhabitants from becoming cannibals.
This doctrine of separatism was the doctrine disseminated by Filipino masonry, a daughter of Spanish freemasonry. Filipino freemasonry however, was to a great extent addicted to views not held or sustained by the Gr∴ Or∴ Español, and hence did not make common cause with Universal Freemasonry, although it used its ritual, its signs and its name, to shield from public view those of its labors which could not be allowed to see the light of day. Hence the diving into the subject of Universal Freemasonry is somewhat irrelevant to our present study, suffice it to say that the brotherhood, universal as it is, suffers no other division than that into families. Its aim is one; its methods one; its doctrine one2; it is the worldly imitation of the unparalleled Catholic unity of divine foundation.
The Spanish family was founded in 1811 by the Count de Grasse-Tilley. On the 21st of February 1804 the Supreme Council of Charleston issued a circular to the Count in which it said among other things which demonstrate the aim of the foundation: “Above the idea of country is the idea of humanity”; “frontiers are capricious demarcations imposed by the use of force.” And others of the same nature.
When the Count set forth to found the Spanish Supreme Council he was armed with a letters patent issued by the Supreme Council of Charleston containing this sentence: “the masonic solidity will never be effective whilst the brethren do not recognize one only power, as is one only the earth we inhabit, and one also the horizon we contemplate…. To unify, therefore, the masonic labors we all journey to the one end to which the work of this Supreme Council is directed, and hence what we have pointed out to Spain as one of the points in which is more necessary than elsewhere the one direction to which we refer.”
In 1882 Spanish freemasons were divided into different Orientes each of which claimed continuity with the institution of Grasse-Tilley; the matter was finally settled by the Supreme Council of Charleston.
Opinion is divided on the question of the responsibility of the Spanish freemason lodges or rather the ruling “Oriente” for the beliefs and practices of their filipino brethren. That they were indirectly responsible is more than certain; and oft-times they were so indirectly. D. Manuel Sastrón ex-Deputy to the Spanish Cortes, ex-Civil Governor of the Philippines, speaking on this subject says: “It is not possible for us on any account to fall in line with these suspicious reasonings: never have we had a disposition to form a part of such a sect, because we are old time Christians; but we repeat that we cannot believe nor do we imagine that any masonic centre composed of peninsular Spaniards could tolerate, and much less foment consciously, the propagation of doctrines which, whatever masonry brought about in the Philippines, could have given origin to the congregation of separatist elements.”
“Nevertheless side by side with this firm conviction we repeat what we tersely maintained, viz: that freemasonry has been the medium which marshalled the element which generalled the Filipino insurrection. Filibusterism knew how to exploit it to a fine point.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“We do not find it inconvenient to affirm, but just the opposite, we repeat with pleasure and absolute belief that Spanish freemasonry was ignorant of the true ends of the Filipino masons. But it is proved to our way of thinking, to the point of evidence, that Filipino masonry pursued no other ends than the independence of those islands (the Philippines.)”3
It must be noted that this is the opinion of a Spanish patriot, for a patriot Sastrón certainly was, and what is more natural than that a true patriot should doubt the possibility of his own countrymen mixing themselves up in anti-patriotic movements: Yet while Sastrón and other writers would redeem their fellow countrymen from such a stain as that of treason, I am inclined to believe that the asserted ignorance of the Spanish freemason was too often official, that is to say it was not genuine, but limited to the members of the society who enjoyed the privileges of the lower degrees.
There are two sides to every question, however, and that the “other side” may be given a fair hearing, I will quote a declaration of Antonio Luna on this subject. Luna, among the many statements made before the Lieut. Col. in command of the Cuartel de Caballeria, on the 8th of October 1896, confessed that “in the year 1890 or 91, of his own free-will, he formed a masonic project based on Spanish masonry: a project which might, at its proper time be applied to filibuster conspiracy. This project was discussed and approved by the Oriente Español in Madrid; but that center did not know the secondary ends to which it would be applied…. Of his own free-will he manifested that his ideas were, when he formed the project, anti-Spanish….”
With rare exceptions the Filipinos who left their native soil to finish their education in the Spanish peninsula, were those to whom the real work of separatism is owing. The Filipino at home who has fallen into line with his foreign educated brother is but a blind worker. And the Filipino who went to Spain was as a rule, a very general rule, taken under the sheltering care of Miguel Morayta (see note 13). The responsibility therefore for the ideas inculcated into the minds of those “students” lies, and that heavily, upon Morayta, the chief of that family of freemasonry which claims ignorance of the aims of its filipino membership. The only logical excuse that can be brought forwards is that filipino freemasonry degenerated. When once it took root in the Archipelago it spread with wonderful rapidity. The adepts were for the most part Chinese half-castes; and little by little that strange train of thought of the native, whether he be full blooded or mixed, a train of thought which, like the filipino pony is accustomed to walk backwards when it should go forwards, or like the patient carabao which too often lies down just at the moment when its services are the most needed to drag a load over a mud hole, carried the would-be citizens of an independent country to the verge of political insanity. Certain it is that as the idea of separation became more and more developed the Spanish masons who were member of the Filipino lodges severed their connection therewith. But yet it does not appear within the limits of common sense to believe that the Spanish masons were ignorant; the greater probability is that they were too indulgent, too confiding. To hold too fast to the excuse of ignorance is to profess oneself very ignorant. But whether it was ignorance or the wanting of even that species of patriotism which one expects to find in beasts of burden (for every horse knows his own stables) the black fact still remains that Spanish masonry gave birth to, and fostered, Filipino freemasonry or in other words, the katipunan.
However, be the degree of ignorance what it may, we cannot overlook the fact that the actions of the Tagalog freemasons, the katipunan if you will, for the one and the other are the same thing under different names, were the cause of no little surprise to the Grand Oriente Español. The filipino mason was a traitor to the mother which gave him being and nourished him into activity: a traitor who used the cover of the freemason lodge only that he might the easier and safer hatch out his plot to gain, by the most brutal means imaginable, the independence of his country.
In his declaration made in the presence of Colonel Francisco Olive y Garcia and others on the 23rd of September 1896, Moises Salvador Francisco, of Quiapo (Manila) stated that “in April 1891 he came to Manila bringing with him a copy of the agreements arrived at by the Junta of Madrid, and these he handed over to Timoteo Paez to see if masonic lodges could be established as a commencement of the work. In the following year of 1892 Pedro Serrano arrived from Spain and then Masonry (native) was introduced into the Philippines, the first lodge instituted being the Nilad.”
To give some idea of the separatist aims which gave life and nourishment to the Tagalog revolt, I will quote a few extracts taken from masonic documents, and from the declarations, made by persons complicated in the conspiracy. These declarations were made in the presence of the appointed judge, Col. D. Francisco Olive y Garcia, and others, and are of capital interest in the study of the rise and fall of the filipino “commune”.
The citations are as follows:
I. In an act of Session of the Katipunan Sur at the commencement of the year 1896, the session being opened, the president don Agustin Tantoko, a native priest4, invited the membership present to express its opinion concerning the questions proposed, viz: how ought we to act towards society; towards ourselves; and how ought we to act in case of surprise. Mariano Kalisan considered, dealing with the first question, that “as their principal object was not to leave alive any Spaniard in all the future Filipino republic” they should procure to make friends with them as much as possible in order to be able to carry out their plans with more surety when the time should arrive to give the cry of independence. D. Gabino Tantoko, brother of the president, considered that the said principle should be carried out especially in dealing with the members of the Religious Orders. Both propositions were accepted.
As regards the second question, Epifanio Ramos proposed that meetings should be held as seldom as possible “in order to avoid scandals”.
In case of surprise, Hermenegildo García considered that “the strongest fort lay in denial.” The brothers Tantoko remarked that such surprise was almost impossible seeing that they had determined “not to leave alive any of those who might surprise them.” The president moreover remarked that, from that time forward, in case of danger, “they should destroy all the papers they held in their power, such as acts, receipts, letters, plans and especially the arms they held, in case the blow they were to deal in Manila should not succeed.” This was accepted unanimously.
In reply to a question, the president affirmed that “all the sections of Katipunan existing in the future Filipino republic pursued the same end: viz: the independence of the Filipino people, the release from the yoke of the step-mother5 Spain.”
II. In a document dated the 12th of June 1896 and giving instructions to those who should carry out the proposed slaughter of all the Spaniards in Manila, we read:
“2nd. Once the signal is given every bro∴ shall fulfill the duty imposed upon him by this Gr∴ Reg∴ Log∴ without considerations of any kind, neither of parentage, friendship nor of gratitude, etc.”
“4th. The blow having been struck at the Captain General and the other Spanish Authorities, the loyals shall attack the convents and shall behead their infamous inhabitants, respecting the wealth contained in the said convents; this shall be gathered … etc.”
“6th. On the following day the bbro∴ designated shall bury all the bodies of their hateful oppressors in the field of Bagumbayan together with their wives and children, and on the site shall later on be raised a monument commemorative of the independence of the G∴ N∴ F∴ (Gran Nación Filipina).”
“7th. The bodies of the members of the Religious Orders shall not be buried, but burned in just payment for the felonies (sic) which they committed during life against the Filipino nation during the three hundred years of their nefarious domination.”6
This infamous document is signed by the president of the executive commission by the Gr∴ Mast∴ adj∴ Giordano Bruno, and the Gr∴ Sec∴ Galileo.7
III. In his declaration made before Col. Olive y García, the second Lieutenant D. Benedicto Nijaga y Polonis, a native of Carbeyeng, province of Samar, stated that the conspiracy was entered into for the purpose of securing from Spain, by peaceful means, or by the process of revolution, the independence of the country. He affirmed moreover that, in the case of revolution, the aid of Japan was to be sought and that the co-operation of the native troops was expected: and that the plan of campaign of the rebels who were in San Mateo, was to “fall upon Manila”, the native infantry sent out to meet the attack to pass over to the rebel ranks.
IV. In his declaration made in Manila before the same judge, Pio Valenzuela y Alejandrino stated that he was one of the members of the Interior Supreme Council of the Katipunan, the aim of which was to collect a large amount of money and promote a general rising in order to declare the independence of the islands under the protectorate of the Empire of Japan. Further on he stated that the rising was to have taken place at 7 o’clock p. m. on the 29th of August, entry being made into Manila and its suburbs, the rebels “killing the Spaniards, and the natives and Chinese who did not wish to follow them, and then devoting themselves to the sacking of the town, to robbery and incendiarism and the violation of women.”
V. Romualdo de J., sculptor of Sta. Cruz, Manila, declared that he had founded the Katipunan in 1888, the year in which the manifestation against the Archbishop was made; he defined the aim of the society to be “the killing of all the Spaniards and the taking possession of the islands.”
VI. In his declaration made in Cavite, September 3, 1896, Alfonso Ocampo affirmed that according to the plans formulated, they were “to make the assault, killing and robbing all the peninsular Spaniards.” And moreover, that “the rebellion had for its object the assassination of all the peninsular Spaniards, the violation and beheading afterwards of their wives and of their children even to the youngest.”
Many others might be cited; with these six samples an idea may be gathered of the progressive idea advocated or fostered by Rizal, Pilar, Lopez, Ponce, the Lunas, Rosario, Cortés, and others who were inspired by Morayta, the Grand Master of the Gran Oriente Español.
Note 4. The then Civil Governor of Manila, in a report to the Colonial Minister concerning what was taking place in Manila says, speaking of this Corps:
“… this Corps of Vigilance which, although composed of no more than 45 persons including the inspectors of the same … renders a service (to the Government in secret service work) which should be confided to 100 persons, considering the nature and the amount of the work undertaken and performed daily, from the day of the formation of the Corps to this day: a period of about a year. The interesting body of police which under my orders has performed such valuable services, is that which has attained greatest success in the fruitful labor of making clear the vandalistic events we have been experiencing.”
Note 5. Filibusters: more properly called separatists. Noah Webster describes a filibuster as a “lawless military adventurer, especially one in quest of plunder; a free-booter, a pirate.” Hence, taken in its true meaning, the word does not apply to the separatists of the Philippines. Retana classifies the filibuster in three groups: the first: he who, thinking little or nothing of the independence of his country, showed more or less aversion to the peninsular Spaniards. 2. He who, under the pretext or without it, of illustrating his countrymen, inculcated into their minds political ideas which, without meriting the qualification of subversive, tended to incite them against supposed oppressions of the Spaniards; against all things which appeared behind the times, hence according to their way of arguing, against the Religious Corporations, to which they owed everything except their anti-Spaniardism. As a rule those belonging to this group professed great love for the mother-country and did not preach ideas of independence; they held the belief that theirs was the duty to prepare the way for the emancipation which should be attained by their grandchildren. And 3. Those whose aim was to attain the emancipation of their country as soon as possible. This latter group were the true separatists. It is however difficult to distinguish between the filibuster so called, and the true separatist; perhaps the only admissible distinction is that the separatist is a man of peaceful methods whilst the filibuster is a man of struggles. Rizal was more or less a separatist, Andrés Bonifacio a veritable filibuster.
Note 6. Sr. Olive was a gentleman who well deserved the respect and honor paid to him by his nation, and the hatred of those whose plans of treachery he thwarted and who, in spiteful revenge, have gone so far as to accuse him of using torture and other forcible means of extorting confessions, many of which they claim to have been false. Sr. Olive was too kind-hearted a man to stoop to such methods even had the circumstances demanded the use of moderate physical persuasion.
At one time Sr. Olive was the Governor of the Marianas Islands concerning the which he wrote and published a very interesting memoir. He was at that time Lieut. Colonel.
Later on he was made Colonel and as such was placed at the head of one of the sections of the Guardia Civil of Manila. He was secretary of the sub-inspection of arms of the Philippines. When a state of war was declared, the charges which were at that time being prepared in connection with the insurrection, were handed over to Sr. Olive, who with a zeal worthy of praise, and an energy too seldom exerted, commenced to deal out strict justice to the enemies of their country. About a year and a half ago Sr. Olive was made General of Brigade.
Note 7. According to a pamphlet written by a pseudonymous freemason and printed in Paris in 1896, the first lodge founded in the Philippines was that established in Cavite about 1860 under the name of Luz Filipina and subject to the Gr∴ Or∴ Lusitian, enjoying immediate correspondence with the Portuguese lodges of Macao and Hong-Kong which served as intermediaries between that lodge and those of other neighboring countries.
Another statement however, from the pen of Sr. Nicolas Diaz y Pérez who formed his data from the original documents of the lodges, places the first foundation at the end of the year 1834. At this time, says Sr. Diaz, D. Mariano Marti, who died twenty-seven years later, whilst on his return to Spain, founded, together with others, lodges in various parts of the Archipelago, but they did not prosper and soon dissolved. The epoch of intrigues which produced so much disquietude and perversion of moral customs and ideas, more especially in the Tagal provinces, commenced about 1868. The masonic activity at that time was owing greatly to the political intriguers who were deported from Spain to this archipelago, where their influence was felt in no small degree, to the detriment of public morals.
About 1872, during the interim government of Gen. Blanco Valderrama, a lodge was founded in Sampaloc, subject to the Gr∴ Or∴ Esp∴, and composed entirely of peninsular Spaniards with the exclusion of natives.
In the same year D. Rufino Pascual Torrejón reached Manila and united his efforts to those of Marti, founding lodges purely Spanish.
On the first of March 1874 was created the lodge “Luz de Oriente” under the obedience of the Gr∴ Or∴ de Esp∴, the Gr∴ Comend∴ being D. Juan de la Somera. This was really the first successful establishment of masonry in the Philippines. The cited Sr. Diaz y Pérez says on this point; “It may be said that freemasonry regularly constituted in the Philippines, dates from the 1st. of March 1874, with the creation of the lodge Luz de Oriente….”
On the 1st of March 1875 was installed the Gr∴ L∴ Departmental, D. Rufino Pascual Torrejon being the Gr∴ President.
Up to the year 1884 the lodges of the Philippines did not admit to their membership either indians or half-castes; but since that time, and upon the initiative of the Gr∴ Mast∴ of the Gr∴ Or∴ Esp∴ the doors of the lodges were opened to all indians and half-castes who could read or write. Later on purely native lodges were founded and from that time Spain lost, little by little but surely, her hold upon the people, with the result that she eventually lost her colony. What masonry has accomplished in other parts of the world it also accomplished here very effectually. It laid the foundation for the undermining of society, bringing forth a generation of traitors and building up a kingdom for anti-Christ.
As has been proved over and over again by the many masonic documents which have been discovered, freemasonry was ever anti-Catholic in the Philippines; but it was not until it had degenerated into filibusterism that the anti-Spanish spirit really took shape. Year by year this spirit spread and more, especially among the natives and half-castes of less intellectual capacity. Among this element, separatist ideas spread with marvelous rapidity owing to the peculiarity of the character of the native and of the half-caste, more especially the Chinese half-caste. (See note 19).
Up to 1890, even Filipino masonry enjoyed but insignificant development. By 1892, however, it had spread widely, and in the following year Manila was gifted with a female lodge founded on the 18th of July of that year, under the name of “La Semilla”, of which Rosario Villareal, the daughter of Faustino Villareal, was declared the Ven∴ Gr∴ Mistress.
From this time the element of politico-social decomposition gained ground among the native and half-caste population. New ideas continually gave place to the old and as the aims and purposes of the lodges degenerated, these centers of anti-catholic propaganda became more and more anti-Spanish.
Isabelo de los Reyes, in an attempted defense of his “friends”, makes the important confession that “Filipino freemasonry was not so inoffensive as it was believed…. The “Liga” at least was a school of conspiracy, and in truth, the Filipinos did not turn out bad pupils.”
Another demonstration of the inoffensiveness of freemasonry is the following series of facts taken from a pamphlet published in 1896 in Paris by Antonio Regidor under the pseudonym of Francisco Engracio Vergara. Regidor was a distinguished figure in the attempted revolt of 1872, and hence may justly be supposed to know something of the matter of which he speaks. He says:
“By reason of the rising of Cavite many Filipinos characterized as progressives were deported to Marianas…. To the masons of Hong-Kong was owing the flight of several Filipinos….”
“The foreign masons distributed arms in Negros, Mindanao and Jolo. The official bank of Singapore distributed in Cebu, Leyte and Bohol over £80,000 stg., and that of Hong-Kong more than £200,000 in Panay and Negros…. The French freemasons at the petition of brother Paraiso, went to aid also the escape of the deported in Marianas.”
Note 8. Rizal and others: Of this group Rizal, Pilar, the Lunas and Cortés, formed the more guilty part, they being men of superior education and more enlightened minds. Rizal was the center upon which almost everything connected with the revolt turned. During his younger days he lived with his parents in Calamba, where they occupied a stretch of land owned by the Dominican Corporation. The Rizal family was one of those most favored by the Dominicans8, and one of those ungrateful ones too, which commenced law-suit against the said Corporation to unjustly possess themselves of the land they held at rent.
Rizal received his secondary education at the Ateneo Municipal conducted by the Jesuit Fathers, and was always a bright attentive and successful pupil. At that time he was secretary of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin and Promoter of the Apostleship of Prayer. Whilst he remained true to the traditions of Catholic Spain, he was an upright pious youth. Much of his time he spent in carving wooden images of the Blessed Virgin and of the Sacred Heart, and in writing compositions, some of them remarkable for their beauty, in which were reflected a pure love for Spain.
Having attained the degree of Bachelor he left the Ateneo and passed to the University of Manila, continuing his studies under the Dominican Fathers. There he studied medicine with great success for some years, and at length went to Europe to terminate his career and take his degrees.
Rizal left school like so many other filipino students, overloaded with science he was unable to direct, full of pride because of his accomplishments, and very ambitious. He terminated his studies in Madrid and Germany, in both of which places he fell in with a class of people who utilized him as a tool to accomplish an end at that time unknown to him. They filled his head with new and false ideas, making him vain promises which appealed to his pride, and by their dark arts made of him a separatist. He also studied English and German, his studies in this latter language making him enthusiastic in the things of Germany and, in an extraordinary degree, with those of protestantism.
Among his own people he was the possessor of an exceptional intelligence and talent but outside his own circle his most famous accomplishments are but poor to the student of Literature. His sadly famous Noli me tangere and El Filibusterismo cannot pass for more than very second-hand for their ingenuity and literary taste, but they possess the quality of being a mirror in which is reflected the inclinations, character and perverse moral sense of their author. In them he is reflected as a restless spirit anxious for human glory, haughty and above all, anti-Spanish and ungrateful in the extreme.
It was in Berlin that he published his Noli in 1886. That this novel was written by Rizal there in no doubt, but that the ideas therein expressed came directly from his own head is more than doubtful. Like the vast majority of Filipino productions, it is but a copy taken from models which had struck the fancy of the author. The pictures he draws therein of the disadvantages suffered by the Filipinos who have become españolized, are but reproductions prepared in his own coarse and crude way of thinking, of the most scurrilous anti-Spanish and anti-Catholic works of propaganda produced by the Bible Societies and spread abroad throughout the world as gospel truth. Taking away the insults hurled against the Church and the Religious Orders, and against Spain, there is absolutely nothing new in the novel. Its object was to attack the friars and the chiefs of the Guardia Civil, both of which the author well knew to be the sustainment and guarantee of peace and order in the Archipelago and consequently the strongest support of the Spanish sovereignty in the Philippines, a sovereignty he wished to overthrow. To a reader whose library consists of a half a dozen books of insignificant literary value, the noli of Rizal is a masterpiece; but to the reader who has seen a book with a cover, who has had some experience of that portion of the world which lies outside the limits of the town of his birth, and who is gifted with more or less ability to think for himself, and sift the wheat from the straw in a literary composition, noli me tangere is but a half-tone picture cut from a newspaper and colored with water-colors by a … school-boy.
Towards the end of 1887, Rizal returned to the Archipelago, remaining about two months, during the which he made active propaganda of the ideas and fancies he had picked up in Europe: ideas which he himself could not really understand.
In February 1888 he left Manila for Japan, from whence he returned to Europe, living for a while in Paris and later on in London.
In 1892 Rizal, relying upon the generous character of D. Eulogio Despujols, the then Governor General of the Archipelago, decided to return to Manila. From Hong-Kong where he was then residing, he wrote to the governor, asking permission to return to his home; the Governor replied by means of the Spanish Consul at Hong-Kong, that he had no reason to prohibit him from returning, and that he could do so when it so pleased him, providing he came with no intention to disturb the peace then reigning in the Islands.
This Rizal lost no time in doing; he arrived together with his sister. The baggage of both was carefully examined and in one of the trunks was discovered a bundle of leaflets in the form of anti-friar proclamations which indicated the bad faith of a traitor. These were handed over to Despujols unknown to Rizal. The Governor preserved them in his desk for future reference. In an interview with the Governor, Rizal begged pardon for his father who was under sentence of deportation for certain events which had taken place in Calamba; this was granted him without reserve.
Our hero soon forgot the aims he professed to the Governor; instead of thinking about his folks and making his arrangements for the colonizing scheme he professed to have worked out in Borneo, he set to work to stir up disrespect towards the authorities, and the spirit of political unrest. He together with Doroteo Cortés and José Basa were the objects of careful vigilance on the part of the secret police.
After a few days a prolonged conference took place between the Governor General and Rizal. During this conference the latter made patent his political feelings, at the same time making protestations of respect for Spain. His political programme however was not in keeping with his protestations of patriotism, and this fact so angered Despujols, who now saw that Rizal’s idea was to fool him, that he took from his drawer the proclamations discovered in the agitator’s baggage and thrusting them under the nose of the traitor, said:
—And these proclamations; what are they, what do they mean?
Rizal taken by surprise and confounded, cowardly declared that they were the property of his sister, a declaration which only enraged the General the more, and he ordered his detention in Fort Santiago; on the following day he decreed his deportation to Dapitan.
Whilst in exile his opinion and advice were sought concerning the advisability of immediate armed rebellion. But he, crafty, more or less far seeing and, above all, jealous of Bonifacio’s increasing ascendancy over the people, refused to countenance the idea. Granting the unselfish desire he professed of seeking merely the independence of his country, Rizal’s jealousy was justified. Bonifacio’s one great idea was the presidency; Rizal’s: the honor and glory of having prepared the way for, and eventually, by his labors accomplishing his country’s deliverance from what he was pleased to call the oppression of the Spanish Government. Had such oppression existed, Rizal’s idea would have been worthy of classifying as noble. George Washington well deserved the name of the “Father of his Country,” for he, laying aside all selfish aims and desires, led a handful of men against a horde of mercenaries sent by a cruel monarch who oppressed his people, not only in the colonies but in the mother-country also. Washington was a man who deserved and received the respect of those against whom he fought, for he fought for a principle. Such an honor never has, and never can be received by Rizal from his own countrymen. The campaign Rizal fought was inspired by and worked out in the freemason lodges which used our “hero” as a willing tool. Rizal was a Filipino Garibaldi, never a Filipino Washington, and hence the honors paid to his memory as a “patriot” must emanate from the lodge rooms which made him what he was, and not from the people of his country.
In Dapitan the Filipino agitator was not inactive. On one occasion he directed a letter (which never reached its destination on account of its having fallen into the hands of Spanish authorities) to the Capitan Municipal of the province of Batangas, giving him information of the work of filibusterism which was at that time being carried on.
Rizal, tiring of his position in Dapitan, eventually asked permission of the Governor General, Gen. Blanco, to be sent to Cuba as physician to the Spanish forces there. Blanco agreed to the proposition and ordered his return to Manila in preparation for the voyage to Spain, where he was to be sent and placed at the disposition of the Minister of War.
From Spain came word, however, that the petition could not be accepted; and for a very good reason. Rizal’s idea of becoming an army surgeon, was a manifest pretence, his real aim was to aid the separatist movement there, if he ever got there, but primarily to make his escape at an intermediate port, Singapore probably, if opportunity occurred. Moreover, it having come to the ears of the authorities that certain people of Pampanga and Bulacan were preparing a reception for the agitator, the Governor ordered that he should not be allowed to leave Dapitan, and that should he have left there, he should not be allowed to land in Manila on his arrival, but be transferred to another ship which should carry him back to Mindanao. It happened that he had left Dapitan on board the S. S. España, and in due time he arrived at Manila. At 11 a. m. on the 6th of August the ship on which he came anchored in the bay and everyone landed except Rizal. A lieutenant of the Veterana went aboard and took possession of the person of Rizal, holding him as a prisoner till 7:30 p. m., at which time, through an error in the delivery of an order, he was allowed to disembark. This he did in company with his sister Narcisa, and they made their way to the office of the Captain of the Port and later on to the Comandancia of the Veterana. His sister not having been under sentence of deportation, was allowed to go to the home of her relatives.
During the evening of the same day Gen. Blanco gave a reception at Malacañang at which were present the Archbishop of Manila, the Illust. Sr. Bernardino Nozaleda; Sr. Echaluce; Sr. Fernandez Victorio, President of Audiencia; Sr. Bores Romero, the Civil Director and others. During the reception Gen. Blanco received a telegram from the Governor of the province of Batangas stating that in the pueblo of Taal, in the house of the brother of the filibuster Felipe Agoncillo, had been discovered a quantity of arms and ammunition, among other things being 10 revolvers, 10 winchesters, 10 other guns, a case of explosive bullets, a quantity of dynamite, a Japanese flag, another composed of red and blue with a representation of the sun in the center surrounded by seven stars—the flag of the future Filipino republic. Blanco realizing the importance of the news, formed a committee from among those present, choosing those who were members of the Junta of Authorities, to take steps in the matter. Orders were immediately given that Rizal should be placed on board the cruiser Castilla which was stationed at Cavite; this was carried out, the start from Manila being made at 11 p. m. the same night. This action was considered necessary, in as much as the news of the landing of Rizal spread fast and caused no little stir among his followers.
Whilst Rizal was on board the cruiser Castilla which was awaiting orders, the Katipunan revolt broke out in Manila and the suburbs. Very soon afterwards his voyage Spainwards was commenced on board the S. S. Colon, the insurrection becoming more and more wide-spread daily. On finding to what an extent Rizal was complicated in the work of the revolution, his return to the Archipelago, as a prisoner, was demanded, and so our “hero” returned to be judged as were so many of his fellow agitators, for the crimes for which he was morally and physically responsible.
A council of war was constituted under the presidency of Lieut. Col. Tabares, Capt. Tavil de Andrade taking charge of the defense of the prisoner. The accusation preferred against him was that he was the chief organizer of the revolution. The trial took place in the hall of the Cuartel de España in the presence of a large audience among whom were his sister and the woman with whom he had been living in Dapitan. The charge having been read out, several declarations were made by Rizal, some before his voyage to Spain and others since his return were also read. During his trial Rizal denied the knowledge of several persons who were his intimate friends and co-workers; among them Maximo Inocencio and Mariano Linjap, and others with whom he had been in almost continual communication. He denied knowledge of the “Liga Filipina” stating that not only did he not found it, but that he was not aware of its existence. He affirmed ignorance of who Valenzuela was, and almost immediately afterwards stated that he had held an interview with him in Dapitan when that individual had been sent there by Bonifacio to consult him on the subject of armed rebellion. Throughout the whole trial he pursued the same tactics, proving that, of himself, he was but an ordinary Filipino indian who, when left to himself to stand on his own merits, gave no signs of particular judgement or power of thought. The Filipino on trial, even for some significant affair, cannot tell a lie to advantage: Rizal was no exception even in this. The trial being ended he was condemned to execution.
Previous to meeting his death he confessed and received the Holy Communion from the hands of the Jesuit Fathers having after long consideration, made the following retraction of his errors:
“I declare myself Catholic and in this religion in which I was born and educated I wish to live and die. I retract with all my heart all my words, writings and actions that have been contrary to my condition as a son of the Catholic Church. I believe and profess whatever She teaches and I submit to whatever She demands. I abominate masonry as an enemy of the Church and as a society condemned by the Church.
“The diocesan prelate, as superior ecclesiastical authority, may make public this spontaneous manifestation, to make reparation for the scandals which may have been caused by my works, and that God and my fellow-men may pardon me.”
“Manila 29th December 1896.—José Rizal.—Witnesses: Juan del Fresno, Chief of Picket.—Eloy Maure, Adjutant.”
He also entered the holy bonds of matrimony with the young woman with whom he had been living for some time in Mindanao. On the way to the place of his execution he remarked to one of the Fathers who accompanied him. Father, it is my pride that has brought me here.”
Of the political error committed by the Spanish Authorities in the execution of Rizal, I do not hold myself up as a judge. All governments, like human beings, commit mistakes and at times grave ones. The Spanish authorities, feeling themselves justified in so doing, ordered the execution of the prisoner who was responsible for one of the most bloody revolts since the time of the French revolution: the pattern taken by the Filipino leaders, for the means of the foundation of the Filipino republic. Rizal was executed on the Luneta. To assert that he was offered up as a victim to gratify the wishes of the Religious Orders is but a crude and vicious argument worthy of its inventors and propagators. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can be brought forward to prove such an assertion, but on the contrary, those members of the Religious Orders who concerned themselves in the stirring affairs of the revolution were, as a very general rule, opposed to harsh and extreme measures being taken; and among these was the Illustrious Archbishop of Manila, Sr. Nozaleda, a noble, tenderhearted and compassionate prelate, a prelate who has been dubbed by Foreman as “the blood-thirsty Archbishop”. Had the friars held the reins of government as they are stated to have done, history would not have to record the names of so many, many people who were executed: people who were scarcely to be held as guilty, in as much as they were but sheep who thoughtlessly followed their shepherds without even looking to see where the road they trod would lead them.
In politics Rizal had his party composed of a number of insignificant petty-lawyers, petty-doctors and others possessing academic titles and a semi-formed cerebral power. These were backed by a mass of the people of Calamba, Rizal’s birthplace. In their eyes he was a “Messiah”, a “Mahdi”, their prophet and redeemer. As an individual he was bright and intelligent, and had he not been led astray by those who made a “cat’s paw” of him, and who cruelly deserted him in his hour of need, he would doubtless have been one of the foremost Filipinos of to-day in that sphere of life in which God had placed him.
A Spanish proverb says: “In blind man’s land the one eyed man is a king.” Rizal was a king.
Note 9. Marcelo Hilario del Pilar y Gatmaytan was a native of Bulacan. He was, by profession, a lawyer, and had been enabled to complete his studies in that direction through the good offices of the Augustinian Fathers of Manila, who had given him the money necessary to matriculate and to pay the cost of his title of “abogado.”9
Pilar left Manila for the peninsula about the end of ’88 for fear of deportation: a punishment at that time staring him in the face. He was one of the earliest workers on the “La Solidaridad”, the official organ of Filipino freemasonry in all its sections. He later on became its director.
Pilar was another of the many malays whose ways were beyond human comprehension. Spaniards who have lived a life-time among the indians and studied them carefully from all points of view agree that the deeper one studies the native character the more incomprehensible it becomes. That is, the study of the average filipino: Pilar was one of the average. He was not gifted with the education enjoyed by Rizal, nor was he such a stupid visionary as Pedro Paterno; he possessed touches of the character of both.
Like so many of those Filipinos who fed at the hands of the Religious Orders, he eventually turned to bite the hand that fed him. As in the case of the others who had done the like, he did so, not because he had cause to, but because he fell, as did they, under the evil influence of those who utilized them to work out their schemes of treachery.
Pilar was sent to Spain as a delegate of the Committee of propaganda. Owing to this position of chief of the delegation in Madrid, and by reason of his intimate friendship with Morayta, he occupied a position from which neither Rizal nor even the whole of the progressive indians combined, could drive him. He held, for some time, high office in the Gr∴ Or∴ Esp∴ as will be seen from the following clipping taken from page 107 of the Annual of that Orient for the year 1894–95.
“GRAN CONS∴ DE LA ORDEN
Muy Ven. Gran Maestre Presidente
Ven. H. Miguel Morayta y Sagrario, Gr∴ 33
Ven. Gran Orador Adjunto
V. Marcelo H. del Pilar Gr∴ 33” (h∴ Kupang)
It was Pilar who conceived the plan of the Katipunan; and yet after all it was not his conception, for the scheme he formed was at the best, a piece of patch work made up of the plans worked out in the various revolutions which had taken place in some part of the world.
What Pilar’s ambition was, it is hard to say; from his actions and writings one is almost driven to the supposition that he had none in particular, but was led to the separatist labors he performed by force of compromise.
When the time was ripe for action Pilar determined to leave Madrid and make his way to Japan. He commenced the journey arriving at Barcelona, from whence he was to make his way east. There, however, he was taken suddenly ill, and died on the 4th of June 1896, in the Hospital of that city.
In many things Pilar was superior to Rizal. Unlike that agitator, Pilar was not a sneaking, skulking petty-politician; he was straight-forward and had the courage of his opinions. What Pilar would have done if placed in the same circumstances as Rizal it is hard to say, but we may be assured that he would not have acted the coward as did Rizal.
Note 10. Antonio and Juan Luna were two of four brothers. The former was a bacteriologist, the latter an artist who at one time, whilst he followed the instruction, and remained under the guidance of his master, showed no little talent. Antonio went to Spain in ’88, and later on passed to Paris where he lived with his brother Juan who supported him. There he devoted himself to the study which made him famous; this he did in the laboratory of Dr. Roux. He became an assistant editor of the Solidaridad, the official organ of filipino freemasonry, and wrote many vicious articles in its columns over the pseudonym of Taga-Ilog. As a member of the freemason fraternity he was known as Gay Lussac.
On his return to Manila he established, for a livelihood, a school of fencing, and like the vain, insensate “magpie in borrowed plumes” that he was, he once sent his seconds to a Spanish officer, inviting him to a duel!
During the second half of the rebellion of ’96, Aguinaldo offered Antonio the position of director of the War Department with the grade of General of Brigade. This honor, however, he declined. The Independencia speaking on this incident, says:—
“The military knowledge of Sr. Luna, acquired during his captivity (sic) in the prisons of the peninsula (Spain), is to be found condensed in two small works, one concerning the organization of the army, having as its base the idea of obligatory service in which he demonstrates that Luzon might put on a war footing 250,000 to 400,000 men, and the whole archipelago as many as from 800,000 to 900,000. The other work is a practical course in field fortifications as adopted by the French and German armies.”10
Juan, from childhood, was of an artistic turn of mind and found among his many protectors those who sent him to Spain to study art. In Spain he met with Sr. Alejo Vera, a noteworthy artist, under whom he studied, receiving an exceptional education both in art and in morals, Sr. Vera being a Christian gentleman. Later on he went to Rome, and there formed part of the Spanish artistic colony. After some two or three years of study there he sent to Spain his first painting11. Being an artistic production of a Filipino indian it was received with open hands and given a reception greater than it really deserved, as a result of the influence of Luna’s friends. From Rome he went to Paris. It was in that city that he committed the fiendish double murder which so startled and shocked his friends and acquaintances, his victims being his wife and his mother-in-law, sister and mother of a prominent political aspirant of modern Manila. The result of the trial was that the courts of Justice of Paris absolved him. He then returned to Madrid, and soon after, to Manila.
What Spain did for the Filipino brought forth fruit in only a few of the people who fell under her beneficent christian influence. The Lunas were among the few. They, like so many other ungrateful children, repaid their benefactors by becoming leaders of the insensate and inexcusable revolt against them: a revolt, the first act of which was to be the brutal murder of all Spaniards irrespective of parentage or other claims of consideration. Both the brothers suffered arrest by the Spanish authorities for rebellion and sedition, but in spite of the degree to which they were complicated, they remained practically free from punishment, and ever at the right hand of the imbecile General Blanco, himself a freemason, and friend of the enemies of his country. Eventually the two brothers left the ante-chamber of the Governor to enter the security of the military prison.
Both brothers eventually retracted their errors only to fall into them again as soon as the lying protests of repentance had fallen from their lips.
Juan died in Hong-Kong; Antonio, after a career of militarism succumbed to the same unprincipled ambition which carried Andrés Bonifacio to an untimely grave.
Note 11. Doroteo Cortés was banished by Governor Despujol in the year 1893, to the province of La Union where he founded in San Fernando, the Capital, aided by Arturo Dancel, the lodge “Rousseau” and two others in the pueblos of San Juan and Agoó. He was a lawyer and became the president of the committee of Propaganda which was formed with the idea of gathering pecuniary resources for covering the expense of the distribution of all classes of pamphlets and anti-Religious proclamations. He was at one time the president of the Superior Supreme Council of the Katipunan12, and received the funds collected for the payment of the expenses of the political commission sent to Japan to seek the aid and protection of that power. Cortés was a co-worker with Andrés Bonifacio and whilst the former devoted his efforts to the enlistment of people for the general rising throughout the country, the latter continued his negotiations with Japan to the end of forcing some international struggle between Spain and that Power13. By order of the Superior Council Cortés went to Japan to join Ramos and aid in the purchase of arms. Shortly after his arrival he communicated by letter with Ambrosio Bautista informing him that he had seen and spoken on the subject with the Japanese ministers of State and of Foreign Affairs14, and that the said ministers “demanded guarantees” of the probable success of the undertaking before entering into the scheme. According to a statement of Isabelo de los Reyes, Cortés was “the first person of means and position who came to the decision of attacking, in the Philippines, the Religious Corporations. He was the soul of the manifestation of ’88.” (See appendix B.) At the time of the American occupation of the Archipelago the Cortés family showed themselves friendly to the new sovereignty and aided in many ways the establishment of good feeling between the two peoples.
Note 12. Pedro Serrano, symbolic name Panday-Pira, was a 24th degree mason. He was a school-master of the municipal school of Quiapo. After having done considerable work of propaganda in masonry he abjured it. He was the cause of the entry into the lodges of hundreds of indian and half-caste clerks, laborers, employees, petty merchants and others of all classes and employments. He was accused by his fellow masons of exploiting the society15 and of treason, of frequenting the Palace of the Archbishop and the College of San Juan de Letran, and of many things unbecoming a mason. In a document dated the 31st of March 1894, dispatched by the G∴ Cons∴ Reg∴ of Filipino masonry to the lodge Modestia, Serrano was denounced, and all masons were urged to flee from him. In the said document, a translation of which will be found in Appendix C, is poured forth the complaint of the president of the Gr∴ Cons∴ (h∴ Muza) of a leakage somewhere in the treasury in which were stored up the secrets of the treasonable labors being carried out in the Filipino lodges. By way of specific charges the president denounces Panday-Pira because he had the courage to give vent to his opinions concerning the doings of the Filipino lodges, to a foreign mason; because he was known to have, for some reason or other, visited the Archbishop’s palace and Dominican College; that he had demanded the possession of certain documents, threatening the possessors if they did not give them up, etc. etc. On this account he was denounced as a traitor and dubbed “reptile”, the pot calling the kettle black.
Note 13. Morayta, the famous Don Miguel, the “papa” of the rebellious Filipinos! It is an almost world-wide belief that the number 13 is an unlucky number. If this be so, then Miguel Morayta well deserves his name, for in it there are thirteen letters; the first letter of each word commences with the thirteenth letter of the alphabet and it happens also that this miserable individual falls to note 13. I will therefore complete the coincidence by saying all I have to say of this person in thirteen lines.
Morayta was at one time Gr∴ Master of the Gr∴ Or∴ de España, but was later on expelled therefrom, according to a masonic publication. In 1888 he founded the Gr∴ Or∴ Español, the mother of the Katipunan. In 1890 he took over the proprietorship of La Solidaridad then published by Marcelo del Pilar for separatist ends. Morayta was the idol of the Filipino students who sought education in the Peninsula. Using him as a means towards an end they aimed at, they banquetted him and thus assiduously attacking his stomach they finally captured him.
Note 14. Tagalog: The Tagalogs are a branch of the Malay family which, in former times, dominated from Madagascar to the ends of the Pacific. They form part of what we might call the Malay-Chinee race, i. e. the cross between the female on the Malay side and the Chinee on the side of the male. This cross has been taking place from time immemorial, commencing long before the islands were discovered by the Spanish explorers. The present Tagalog indian enjoys more of the characteristics of the Chinee than of the Malay on account of the potency of the Chinee blood over the Malay.
Going back to ancient times the probability is that the original Malay first became modified by its crossing with the inhabitants proper of the archipelago—the Negritos—marks of which mixture are still discernible in many of the Tagalogs.
A second modification came through the mixture between the Malay-Negrito and the Indonesian, traces of which are seen in the light color of the skin in a portion, although small, of the Tagalogs. Another modification, the most marked, originated from the crossing of the Malay-Negrito-Indonesian with the Chinee, the Chinee being marked by the increase in stature, the elevation of the skull and other minor marks.
During the last three centuries this hybrid Tagalog has undergone another small and gradual change by reason of a limited crossing with Spanish blood. This latter mixture however is insignificant in extent but always produces a superior type. As a people the Tagalogs number about one and a half millions, and inhabit the regions around about Manila. The traits of character of the four principal trunks from which the Tagalog of to-day is derived are, although still present in a greater or lesser degree, considerably modified by climatological and historical circumstances.
At the coming of the Spaniards the Tagalogs, like the remaining native peoples of the archipelago, were met with in the depths of the savage ages, and were to a certain extent, of cannibalistic tendencies.
The average Tagalog is not wanting in courage, a fact he has often displayed, but this courage is never seen to advantage except when the indian is under the leadership of a person of exceptional valor or a strict disciplinarian. Like most peoples derived from the Malay stock, the Tagalog indian is subject to strange fits of mental aberration, the fits taking different forms, generally innocent ones, the worst being a homicide under the influence of a “hot head”. At least that is what might have been said of him 8 or 10 years ago, previous to the time in which he became fanaticised by freemasonry. He is not even yet apt to run amok as is usual among the Malays and this is undoubtedly due to the civilizing religious influence which has been brought to bear upon him during the three centuries of Spanish rule in the Archipelago. It is a noteworthy fact that in the same degree as the influence of religion, of the Religious Orders if you will, became lesser, in exactly equal degree did crime increase. Explain this as you will the fact remains that during the four years or so that the indian has been under the care and protection of a government indifferent to all religion, crime has increased a hundred fold, perhaps arithmetically so also, and crimes unheard of in days gone by, have become so common as scarcely to merit mention in the columns of Manila’s yellow journalism. What the Tagalog indian is equal to when free from the restraint of the Catholic religion, has been seen from the fearful crimes and barbarities committed against Spaniards and against Americans during the insurrection. The brutalities committed upon the unfortunate prisoners who fell into their hands were unheard of even among the savage Arab hordes of the Soudan, nor have the records of the ferocity of the Chinese boxers yet told us of things equal to the fearful events which took place in the province of Cavite and elsewhere. And for all this the Tagalog indian is responsible: the Tagalog for whom Pedro Paterno claims a pre-Spanish civilization on the plan of the Aztec and ancient Peruvian indians. Like all oriental peoples the Tagalog is superstitious and loves demonstration, symbolism and things grotesque. About the only thing left to him of his ancient civilization as Paterno calls it, barbarism we generally say, is his mythology. In it everything is more or less connected with spirits. Their faith in what they call their anting anting16 is unbreakable. Rizal was supposed to be under the protection of the anting-anting but the leaden missiles which took away his life carried away the anting-anting also: and yet there are thousands upon thousands of indians, some of them men of enlightenment, who still cling to the belief that Rizal still lives, thanks to the influence of his protecting amulet. Nor did anting anting avail Aguinaldo who now probably believes far more in the protection of his American prison than in that offered by his anting anting charms.
Their mythology has, like their ancient character, been greatly modified in the vast majority, by the influence of the civilization implanted by Spain. This is one point in which Spain has differed from most nations in methods of civilization and colonization. However we may judge her in respect to her colonial administration in the Philippines, we cannot deny that she has been distinguished from other nations by her aim of preserving the native races of the archipelago, the destruction consequent upon the radical change undergone in everything, being limited to the savage customs and immoralities in which the native peoples were found submerged.
The masonic lodges spoken of in the text which were asked of Morayta, were established, although they were not exclusively Tagalog in their membership. As a result of the petition of the Filipino colony mentioned in the same text, the theories and practices of Masonry were carried to the Tagalogs but instead of the needy brethren being aided by the wealthy ones, they were subjected to a contribution in exchange for which they received a gaudy regalia; in other words they were bought over with strings of beads and with tinsel truck as were the indians discovered by Capt. Cook in the South Sea Islands, with the exception that Capt. Cook and those who followed him carried civilization to the natives, whilst the founders of the Katipunan carried to the Tagalogs and the other indians of the archipelago misery and demoralization.
Note 15. Faustino Villaruel Gomara was a Spanish half-caste, a native of Pandaran, living in Binondo. He was the founder of the lodge “La Patria” of which he was also the Ven∴ Gr∴ Master with grade 18. He also founded a lodge of female freemasons, for the foundation of which he committed the nefarious crime of prostituting his daughter, handing her over, in the period of her innocence and candor, to the ridiculous workings and practices of freemasonry. Rosario Villaruel (Minerva), thus sacrificed by her father, was initiated in Hong-Kong and made venerable of the first lodge of female masons in Manila, drawing in after her a large number of her half-caste friends, young folk of bare instruction. This lodge was known as “La Semilla”. Its composition was: Sisters: Carlota Zamora, of Calle Crespo; María Teresa Bordas, of Tabaco, province of Albay; Fabiana Robledo, wife of Sixto Celis; Lorenza Nepomuceno, of Calle San José, Trozo; Angelica Lopez, Calle Jolo; Narcisa Rizal; María Dizon, Calle Trozo, and other fanatic females.
Villaruel was the Gr∴ Oriente of filipino masonry, a deluded fanatic, a man of but scarce intellectual endowments, an instrument of those who knew more and were shrewder than he. By laying hands upon him the Spanish Authorities laid hands also upon a large number of incriminating documents which were the means of connecting many prominent business men of Manila with the bloody programme of the Katipunan. Among these was Francisco L. Roxas.
Besides these documents were a large number of loose papers written in Tagalog, in which were discovered many threatening phrases and the expression of hopes in the success of an event to take place in the near future. Masks and other masonic implements, including a heavily made and sharply pointed dagger were also discovered.
Previous to suffering the penalty of his treason he made and signed a public abjuration, for the copy of which see Appendix E.
Note 16. Andrés Bonifacio was the soul of the Katipunan movement; he was the President of the “Council of Ministers of the Supreme Popular Council.” His social condition was of a low grade, that grade from which many of the most fanatical pseudo-reformers have come; he was a warehouseman, a porter. In this capacity he was employed in the establishment of Messrs Fressel and Co., and was one of the humblest of the employees.
Bonifacio was, however, very vain and quixotic. He was, too, a man of sanguinary character, and held the people over whom he attained ascendancy, in awe. His ambition was the cause of his ignominious downfall and brutal murder at the hands of another self-asserted dictator of the filipino Commune. Like most of his kind, he was a great reader, and by those who knew him best he was likened to Don Quixote, for like that worthy he passed many a night burning away oil and candles, and sacrificing needed sleep in reading, until his brain was turned and his whole mind given up to ideas of revolutions. His favorite study was the French Revolution, from the which he learned many lessons which he utilized in his projects, the principal of which was the formation of a government after the style of the French Commune. He was astute and comparatively intelligent, and spoke the Tagalog dialect well. For the carrying out of his plans he had agents in every nook and corner. No place where information might be gathered or the work of propaganda done, was over-looked. The offices of the Civil Government had their quota of his spies, as also did the Intendencia, the Maestraza de Artilleria and the other large centers. Nor were the Convents and Colleges overlooked, nor even the big business Corporations.
Bonifacio enjoyed an envied ascendancy over the lower classes and the ignorant. Like others of similar tendencies, Bonifacio knew how to exploit the “membership”. He was at one time treasurer of the Katipunan, and upon one occasion after the examination of the books by the president of the society Andrés was denounced as an exploiter, the accounts being found in a very bad condition. A series of mutual squabbles and insults passed between the president Roman Basa, and Bonifacio, the whole affair ending up in a re-election of officers, Bonifacio being chosen as president. This occurred towards the end of the year 1893.
The vanity of Bonifacio was comparable only to that of Aguinaldo. Among the number of chief workers of the Katipunan was a certain Valenzuela, a doctor who had, according to his own confession, been forced into the membership by Bonifacio, on the strength of a “love” affair; he was given the choice of membership or death. He chose the former but later on resigned. Whilst a member he enjoyed a salary of 30 pesos a month as medical officer, but only with difficulty could he collect his pay. He claimed to have been exploited by Bonifacio who, whilst merely a porter, could thus have at his command the free services of a real doctor, spurning the services of the petty physicians which abound in Manila. Nor was this all. His own (Bonifacio’s) house having been burned down, he went, on the strength of this same “love” affair, to live in the house of the said doctor (see foot-note p. 48), taking with him his paramour, the doctor paying the greater part of the expenses thus incurred.
At the time of the organization of the popular Supreme Councils, Bonifacio was chosen president of the Council of Trozo; but in consequence of internal troubles occasioned by his rebelliousness, the Supreme Council decided to dissolve the local Council. Bonifacio, true to his colors, disregarded this order and continued working on his own account, taking upon himself the faculties of the Supreme Council.
He preserved in a case which was found in the warehouse of Messrs Fressel and Co., the organization of the “Filipino Republic” which was to be, as well as a number of regulations, codes, decrees of nominations, etc., all drawn up in Tagalog (see foot-note p. 49.)
Upon the discovery, on the 19th of August 1896, by the Augustinian Padre fray Mariano Gil, parish priest of Tondo, of the plot of the Katipuneros, Bonifacio and his immediate assistants fled from Manila to Caloocan. From that point he sent orders to the provinces of Manila, Cavite and Nueva Ecija that a general rising should take place on the 30th of that month. These orders were given out of revenge for the failure of the blood-thirsty plot whereby every Spaniard, man, woman or child should share in the sufferings which his diseased brain had concocted for those who should fall into his hands. Bonifacio issued special orders concerning the Governor General, his plan being that he and the other Spanish authorities of any importance should be taken prisoners, but not killed, it being intended to hold their persons as security for the granting of their demands. He called together the members of the Junta Superior and nominated a general-in-chief, a general of division and other officials. These however refused to step into the places he had prepared for them and Bonifacio angered thereat threatened to have the head removed from the shoulders of anyone who dared to disobey him. The general-in-chief Teodoro Plata, a cousin of Bonifacio, fled during the night following his nomination, whereupon Bonifacio issued orders for his capture, commanding his death wherever he should be found.
Sometime previous to this, about the month of May, Bonifacio sent Pio Valenzuela to Dapitan to hold a conference with Rizal concerning the convenience of immediate rebellion against Spain. Rizal would not consent to the projected revolt but opposed the idea most strenuously, being thrown into such a bad humor by the information he received of Bonifacio, that Valenzuela, who had gone to Dapitan intending to spend a month there, determined to return on the following day. On his return to Manila he recounted to Bonifacio the result of his mission. Bonifacio who knew Rizal’s influence over the people to be greater than his own, had been living in hopes of receiving Rizal’s consent which would be the surrendering to him of the whole responsibility and glory of the bloody enterprise. Bonifacio aspired to the absolute, like all the so-called leaders of the revolt; so when he realized the stand taken by Rizal, who was willing to wait patiently till the poison with which he had inoculated the people should work of itself, he flew into a rage like a spoilt child, declaring Rizal to be a coward and imposing upon Valenzuela, his messenger, implicit silence on this subject, prohibiting him from manifesting to anyone what he considered to be the bad exit of the consultation.
No methods were too underhand for Bonifacio; to gain his end he lied to the people over whom he held sway as only a Filipino can lie. On one occasion he affirmed that in Coregidor was a vessel loaded with arms and ammunition for the rebels, and by this means he animated them, a very necessary thing at that time, as they were but scantily armed with bolos and were no match against those they intended to assail.
Taking him all in all, Bonifacio was a first class organizer for such an enterprise as that aimed at by the Katipunan, and upon his shoulders lies the weight of the greater part of the iniquities of the diabolical society. He ordered the outbreak and in a skillful manner pulled the strings which worked the figures which formed the performers in the marionette revolution. He had rivals in the field however, the most powerful being Aguinaldo, the would be president of the mushroom republic. After the encounter at San Juan del Monte in which the insurgents suffered the loss of 95 killed and 42 taken prisoners in the first instance, and shortly afterwards of 200 more, Bonifacio escaped, carrying with him the funds of the Katipunan, some 20,000 pfs.17 He was supposed to be in hiding in the most inaccessible parts of the mountains of San Mateo, in as much as he had told Pio Valenzuela that in case the movement were unsuccessful he had determined to retire to that point to devote himself to highway robbery18, to foot-padding, an idea gotten from some modern French novel probably. He worked his way eventually into Cavite, and, according to information gotten from Pedro Gonzalez, he fell into the disfavor of Aguinaldo who saw his own superiority in danger of being supplanted; the generalisimo therefore put a price upon his head19. A party was sent in search for the runaway and upon his capture he was subjected to most brutal treatment, and at last fell a victim to the unprincipled ambition of the Dictator.
Had Bonifacio lived he would have made a splendid acquisition to the Partido Federal, he being a man who could, like many of the self-asserted leaders of to-day, plan and follow out any double-faced policy that might be needed under the circumstances.
Note 17. This note not being ready at the time of the printing of the pages of this section, it has been reserved for note 101, which see.
Note 18. Domingo Franco y Tuason was a native of Mambusao, Province of Capiz. He was the president of the first junta called by Rizal in 1892 for the formation of the “Liga Filipina”. Till that time he was like many others of the same class almost unknown.
Note 19. The character of the native: this is a subject upon which one might write many volumes without conveying to the minds of his readers more than a faint idea of what that strange character is.
More mysterious than the most profound mystery of Religion, his most striking trait of character being a decided tendency to retrogression, the Malay stands out among the numerous divisions of the human family as a man with a marked propensity to the mysterious, to the prodigious. He is accustomed to give a blind obedience to his superiors and more so to his own caciques, he is docile as a general rule, and shows but little resentment to abusive language, although he will sometimes carefully guard the remembrance of some insignificant insult or blow, and take a cruel revenge, a thousand times greater than the injury he received, after a period, at times, of years. Other peculiarities of the native are his delight in gambling and cockfighting, his aversion to manual labor, his infantile but excessive vanity, his lack of the power of thought in matters of moment, his well developed imagination, his instability from all points of view and his liability to complete and radical changes. The average indian is to-day virtuous, honest and grateful for favors received, tomorrow he is vicious, thieving and shows an ingratitude not to be found even in the brute creation. This very marked trait of character may be found in many of the Filipinos who have held and still hold some of the highest official positions in the islands.
To sum up the Filipino indian in a few words: he is inexplicable. There have been those who have spent their lives in the study of the indian, but in spite of all that man can do to study man, the problem remains unsolved. Only those “globe trotters” who have studied the native from the muchacho who waited upon them at the hotel at which they stayed during their few days visit, and the cochero who had the honor of conducting such savants to and from the Luneta, have so far been able to demonstrate what is this character which has puzzled men of common sense and lifelong experience, for centuries.
Being by nature credulous, ignorant and superstitious, the indian fell an easy victim to the mysteries of freemasonry, which served him as are introduction to the semi-savage methods of the “Liga Filipina” and the barbarous practices of the Katipunan, the pacto-de-sangre of which, carried him back to the savage times of his remote ancestors who were drawn from their mountain and forest lairs and domesticated by the Religious Orders.
Notes 20, 21, 22. The initiations, proofs, oaths etc., of Universal freemasonry were utilized by the Filipino lodges to serve as a ceremonial, a very essential thing to the success of any association among orientals. Nothing suited the taste of the Filipino better than the awe inspiring solemnity of his initiation. These ceremonies however fell into abuse, and by the time they became utilized by the Katipunan they had reached the verge of the grossest superstition and absurdity.
Note 23. The G∴ Cons∴ Reg∴ was installed in 1893. A masonic document bearing a seal “Gr∴ Consejo Regional de Filipinas. G∴ Secretaria”, and purporting to be a copy of two paragraphs from a letter of the illustrious bro∴ Kupang (Marcelo H. del Pilar) dated from Madrid on the 17th December 1894, says: “D. Miguel (Morayta) has a very poor opinion of the Reg∴ (Regional Council)…. He says that this Council continues working well for some few months, at the end of which all the enthusiasm of the founders vanishes and…. Oh, if we could only by our acts give the lie to this pessimism. Morayta was the founder of the Council.
Note 24. La Solidaridad was the official organ of Filipino freemasonry in all its branches. Although it was published in the peninsula its circulation was intended for the Philippines. Its editors were the leaders of the disaffection against the metropolis and stout advocates, indirectly, of an impossible independence. The chief aim of the paper was to mortify everything Spanish, and to this end its columns were continually full of seditious articles aimed, not merely at individuals but at the State. Its diatribes against the Government of the Metropolis were of the bitterest nature, and therefore but little publicity was given to the sheet in Madrid, where it was printed. It enjoyed no exchange with the periodicals of importance of the city, had no street sales, nor was it exposed for sale publicly. The libraries did not carry it on their tables and it never reached the hands of the public authorities. In fact the people of the official element know nothing of its existence.
In the office of this bi-monthly paper was established a freemason lodge bearing the same name as the paper; all the members of the Association Hispano-Filipina became members of the lodge. Being the organ of masonry as well as of separatism it was introduced into the Archipelago and secured a free circulation in all parts of the principal islands where its calumnies against the Religious Orders had the effect of producing a decided effect upon the maintenance of public order.
The statement that the bi-monthly was founded by Pilar is erroneous; it was first published by Lopez Jaena in Barcelona where it enjoyed its enforced life till it reached its number 18, of October 1889, when it suddenly ceased publication on account of the seizure by the authorities of a number of incriminating documents and pamphlets. It recommenced publication in Madrid on the 15th of November of the same year. It was later on acquired by Pilar and Morayta. It was in reality a vent for the spleen of its writers against Spain and things Spanish; it was a precursor of the Independencia20 the official organ of the Revolution against the U. S., and of the La Democracia its daughter, the official organ of the Federal Party, the dregs of the old revolutionary government of Malolos.21
Note 25. One of the first propagators of Filipino masonry was Sr. Centeno, Civil Governor of Manila, a man of anything but happy memory for this country22. Centeno and Quiroga Ballesteros worked hard to undermine the beneficial influence of the Clergy, an influence which was the safe-guard of law and order. Their most famous piece of work was the manifestation of ’88 against Archbishop Payo (See note 2). In that manifestation was conceived the cry of sedition which was later on to ring throughout the archipelago and tear down the banner of the fatherland to replace it with the red flag of anarchy; a flag which well nigh brought the people of a would be independent country to the verge of political and moral destruction.
Note 26. No sooner had Almighty God consummated the grand work of the creation, the culmination of which was the breathing into man of an immortal soul, than the devil, the father of evil, jealous of the attributes given by God to man, made his bold attempt to destroy God’s immortal work. From that moment to this present the spirits of evil have carried on an unceasing warfare against what has been for the glory of God. The Monastic Orders ever since the days of their birth have had to contend against these powers of evil; and there is therefore little necessity for surprise that those who were employed in such work as were the unscrupulous persons who came to the archipelago to sow ruin in the consciences of the people and scandal in society, should carry on a bitter campaign against the Religious Orders to whom was owing every jot and tittle of the civilization and culture enjoyed by the Filipinos. The Monastic Orders have ever been the bulwark of Christianity, and as such have had to bear the brunt of the battle. Europe owes the solid foundation of its political, social and religious life to the Religious Orders, which, during the ages in which the Huns, Goths and other barbarians overran and devastated those lands, hoarded up in the nooks and corners of their monastic dwellings the seed which, when afterwards sown, was to become the stout tree of civilization which should spread its sheltering branches to the four corners of the earth. One of these branches drawing its fullness of life and vigor directly from the trunk, extended to these far off islands and, casting its shade over the embruted mankind here existing at that time, wrought a change over it no less marked than that wrought over the European peoples. From the day in which Father Urdaneta, that intrepid Augustinian, set foot upon Philippine soil, till the day upon which the hydra-headed Katipunan appeared in the land, the Monastic Orders have been the one great source of all that was really useful and beneficial to the inhabitants of the archipelago, although at times the moral interests of the people were not the commercial interests of the country.
The “friar” so much slandered by those who wish to overthrow his beneficent influence, ever carried the banner of his country enlaced with the Cross of the Redeemer. He came to the Archipelago as a messenger of peace and order, and was the strongest supporter of the sovereignty of his nation. The “friar” was hated because he was the one who best knew and understood the indian, and from his intimate knowledge of his parishioners, could the more easily detect anything on their part which tended to the detriment of the integrity of the Spanish sovereignty.
The campaign against the Religious Orders was the attack of the battering-rams against the city to be captured. By piercing the wall the entry into the city could be the easier made; and this the separatist element well knew, hence all their efforts were directed against the stout wall which defended from its assaults the treasure of the metropolis.
For three hundred years the Philippines remained submitted to Spain exclusively by reason of the moral influence of the Clergy. Whilst the banner of Spain, floated over the Archipelago, the Religious formed the strongest guard for its protection; when it fell, strung by the ingratitude and treachery of those who had sworn to defend it to the last drop of their blood, and lay dishonored in the dust, it was the Religious who bowed his head in the deepest grief and who shed the bitterest tears. When the flag of the conquerer was hauled up to the height from which once gloriously floated the symbol of Spanish authority, the Religious, obedient to the commands of his superiors, withdrew to the solicitude of his convent, to await in patience, the passing of the storm. He looks out upon the clouded political horizon, as Noah looked out from the window of the ark upon the vast sea of waters which hid from his view the fearful destruction which had overcome the world, patiently awaiting the time when he should, at God’s will, go forth to commence again the work of reconstruction.
Often have I heard the opinion expressed that the Government’s worst enemy is the “friar”, that it is the “friar” who keeps alive the spirit of rebellion. Let those who think thus, ponder over one small thought: what has the friar to gain in sustaining a rebellion which has caused him more moral and material damage, than has been caused to any other entity in the Philippines? To those who are able and willing to utilize the power of thought with which God has endowed them, it is sufficiently clear that the Religious has nothing to gain by such tactics, but, on the contrary, all to lose.
In Spanish times the native enemies of the Religious Orders were the enemies of Spain and in these days, the enemy of the friar is by no means a real friend, whatever he may claim to be, of the Government of of the U. S. The Spanish masons and the Filipino separatists found the friar to be the greatest obstacle to be encountered. “The friar,” wrote Governor D. Francisco Borrero, to Sr. Canovas, in a memoir concerning the Archipelago, “knowing the language, spirit, and tendencies of the natives, is considered as the principal obstacle for the realization of the filibuster idea, and hence arises their aspiration (that of the enemies of Spain) that the Religious Orders should be eliminated, because such a step being taken, they believe they will have travelled half the journey….”
The propaganda of Universal freemasonry, of Filipino freemasonry, of the Liga Filipina, of the Compromisarios, was aimed principally at the Religious Orders, but the results attained were but introductory to the real work of the Katipunan, which, finding itself cornered by the discovery of the plot it had concocted against the Government, showed its hand. Its aim was anti-Spanish and not merely anti-friar, as is sufficiently clear from the fact that in all the documents of the diabolical association it is death to all the Spaniards, and not to this or that class. Moreover in many cases the same Katipuneros saved their parish priests from a sure death whilst they dealt out anything but kind treatment to those of the Civil Guard (Filipinos) and the Spanish troops who fell into their hands. The friars who were murdered by the rebels were not murdered for being friars but because they were Spaniards. The documents captured, the result of the trials held in judgement of persons guilty of treason, show clearly that the revolution was for the purpose of gaining the independence of the country from Spain, and not merely to bring about the expulsion of the Religious Orders. Aguinaldo, the leader of the Katipunan hordes, desired to send the friars who fell prisoners into his hands, over to Hong-Kong, where they would be at liberty to return to their own country; but this merciful desire of his was overruled by his advisers, among whom were numbered Mabini his right hand man, Pardo de Tavera, Legarda and Buencamino, all three of them traitors to the cause of independence. To-day they stand in positions of honor, honor which they have done nothing to deserve, whilst Aguinaldo who was the tool of political schemers, their play-thing, is cast into disgrace and kept in the background, a scape-goat for the sins and shortcomings of men whose names disgrace the darkest pages of Philippine history.
Note 27. Vast numbers of these documents were later on destroyed in the hope that certain affairs of an anti-patriotic nature might be hushed up, and many persons of a high official standing saved from scandal. Padre Mariano Gil, O. S. A., who made known to the public authorities the fearful plot of the Katipunan in time to prevent the brutal murder of hundreds of Spaniards, was granted certified copies of a large number (all the principal ones) of the documents and these have been since preserved with the greatest care, and remain to-day as a standing proof of the duplicity of many persons who live in ignorance of the fact of the existence of the said certified copies.
Note 28. The element here spoken of was the Filipino colony (all of them separatists) and Morayta the “papa” of the said Filipinos of separatist tendencies.
Note 29. This committee, although not exclusively masonic, was essentially revolutionary, and had for its duty the distribution of works of propaganda. Its delegate in Europe was Marcelo H. del Pilar.
Note 30. See note 26. The campaign at this present carried on by some of the filipino and Spanish papers, and, in contradiction to the fundamental principles of Americanism, by the local American press also, is but a sequel to the work of this committee of propaganda. The calumnies which are literally crammed into the columns of Manila’s English speaking daily and weekly press are but a poor reproduction of the vicious publications distributed throughout the archipelago since the year 1888. For fourteen years have these calumnies been published, but in spite of countless challenges, never have the statements brought forward been backed up with even the shadow of proof. When almighty God completed his creation by the making of man and woman, he led them to Eden, placing them under his law. Then it was that the devil beguiled them with lying words: “For God doth know that in that day that you shall eat thereof (of the forbidden fruit) your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as Gods knowing good and evil.” From that day to this, this same argument that the devil used to try to prove that God was withholding from the people what was to their benefit, is being to-day used by certain of the offspring of that evil spirit against the element of good, against the Religious Orders, the servants of God, claiming that they held from the people of this Archipelago that which was for their good and advancement. Adam and Eve found to their bitter cost that the devil lied: those who are to-day being misled by anti-friar calumny will make the same discovery in due time.
Note 31. This statement is erroneous. The opinion of the author was formed from statements made by those charged with treason. Many of those under this charge gave false testimony, as was later on proved, and in that testimony implicated honorable Filipinos who had never harbored such ideas in their hearts as those they were accused of. Many of the wealthy element of Luzon and other islands of the group, were forced by threats and compromises into position they had no desire to occupy. Of these the great majority were either insular Spaniards, that is sons of Spanish parents, but born in the Philippines, or they were Spanish mestizos or indians. Some 90% of the wealthy revolutionists were Chinese half-castes.
Note 32. And at what a cost! Think of the thousands of hard earned dollars which went to swell the funds gathered to feed and clothe and to satisfy the fads and fancies of those exploiters. And what has the poor indian who provided the money gained in the deal? Four or five years of bloodshed and disaster he has surely gained; but what is of more importance to him is that he barely escaped falling into the hands of his own countrymen! He fell out of the frying-pan and almost fell into the fire!
Note 33. The aspirations of the association were, to say the least, anti-patriotic; they were always underhand; they were the aspirations of the “Liga”, of the “Compromisarios” and of the Katipunan.
Note 34. “In the following year, Pedro Serrano arrived from Spain and then was masonry introduced into the Philippines, the first lodge instituted being the “Nilad”23 its first Venerable being José Ramos.” Testimony of Moises Salvador y Francisco (fol. 1,138 to 1,143).
According to the testimony of Antonio Salazar (fol. 1,118 to 1,129) “In 1892 Pedro Serrano came from Spain and in union with José Ramos joined a lodge of peninsular Spaniards, and commenced the propaganda of masonry exclusively among Filipinos, in a short time establishing the mother lodge known as the Nilad … the number of members becoming excessive, other lodges were established in the suburbs….”
Into this lodge Nilad or the lodges formed therefrom, passed all the members of the committee of propaganda and of the local delegations, the work of the propaganda of masonry and that of separatism being carried on in the same lodge room. The plea that masonry had no connection with the Katipunan fails to stand good in face of this testimony, added to which may be mentioned letters of M. del Pilar to La Modestia concerning the organization and labors of separatism; as well as other letters, rich in masonic jargon, to the lodges and to individuals connected with the double work of propagating masonry and spreading among the people ideas of the basest of ingratitude.
To the lodge Nilad, the Gr∴ Sec∴ of the Gr∴ Or∴ Esp∴ wrote from Madrid, June 8th 1892:
AL∴ G∴ D∴ G∴ A∴ D∴ U∴
Universal Freemasonry. Spanish Family.
The Resp∴ Log∴ Nilad, No. 144 of A∴ L∴ and A∴ masons of the Philippines regularly constituted in the Federation of the Gr∴ Or∴ Español (seat in Madrid).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The letter goes on to speak of the new foundation and the number of initiations.
“It pleases us much,” says the Gr∴ Sec∴ “to see the activity and zeal which you employ in the labors, and for it we greet you. Nevertheless, we must remind you always of the greatest care in the election of the laborers. Not all men, although they profess our ideas and doctrines, serve for good masons,…”
Morayta, writing on the 12th of June 1892 to bro∴ Panday Pira, says: “… But do not forget an advice which I believe Ruiz gave you also: be very careful; do not open your arms to any except they be of full confidence…. Remember that, even though things have changed there (in the Philippines) you run all the danger consequent upon the domination (sic) of the friar and of the General.” The general was Despujols, an upright, honest and sincere man who was too apt to measure other people’s corn by his own bushel. The filibusters took advantage of the fact, and by their lying protests of love for Spain, captivated him and fooled him out and out for a time.
Note 35. At that time liberty of association was not allowed by law in the Archipelago. To attain their ends this was the thing most necessary for the separatists. Without the shelter of the law of association nothing could be done except by stealth. It was for want of this privilege that the shelter of the masonic lodge room was sought.
Note 36. Blumentritt, Fernando; of German race, Austrian by nationality, resident in Bohemia and therefore spoken of by various writers sometimes as a German, at others as a Bohemian or an Austrian. Like Foreman24, Blumentritt claimed to be a fervent Catholic and yet was an open enemy of the Church. He claimed moreover to be a great friend of Spain and yet openly sided with her enemies. He was one of the collaborators of the La Solidaridad.
Isabelo de los Reyes writes of him: “The savant (sic) Blumentritt the brother of the Filipinos, has always served us with disinterest (except in what concerned his pocket) and opportuneness. He was the first who did us justice by publishing many valuable articles to demonstrate, under all points of view, the superiority of the Filipino (Isabelo does not say over what) and defending our cause against the ambition of the imperialists (that is the Spaniards).”
Blumentritt was a member of the society known as the “Amigos del Pais”25, and remained so till his actions and writings caused well thinking Spaniards and Philippinos26 to call for his dismissal from its membership. The patriotic outcry against him caused him to resign on the 14th of November 1889; the Solidaridad of the 31st of December of the same year published his resignation. The press of Manila was exceptionally bitter against him and only such Filipinos as those who continue up to the present time forming part of the juntas in Hong-Kong, Madrid, Paris, London and other places looked up to him for the assistance they could not find at home.
Note 37. It was naturally in the Peninsula where the chief work of the propaganda had to be carried on, and it was there also that the propaganda had the least effect. The principal instrument for the dissemination of the seed of separatist aspirations was the Solidaridad (See note 24). The Filipinos here, who gave their subscriptions and other sums of money for the support of the bi-monthly, were kept under the impression that the official organ was making a great noise in Madrid; but as it never reached the official world it was supposed to influence, its publication was practically useless. In the Philippines it served the same purpose as the La Independencia: that is, it served to keep alive the spirit of unrest, and by the lies it published, made the people believe that their leaders were going to lead them to a promised land which “flowed with milk and honey.” They eventually got into the promised land, only to find that the milk was very much “condensed”, and that the honey was only to be got after those who secured it had been exposed to the very unpleasant operation of being stung by the bees which produced it.
Instead of serving to keep together the subjects and their rulers in a bond of peace and tranquility, and helping them to come to a mutual understanding, in which state the progress and advancement of the islands and their inhabitants could be the easier and the better accomplished, the separatist element, by their propaganda, caused more and more strife by attacking national institutions and by casting slurs upon national honor. The discontent stirred up against the Spanish authorities was identical to that which, until the passing of the law of sedition and even since that time, was stirred up against the American sovereignty. In its propaganda against the Religious Orders, inciting the native clergy against the lawful authority of their Bishops, it was the precursor of modern Manila’s American press. History tells us what was the result of the lessening of the moral influence of the Religious Orders in the days of Spanish rule, and to-day History repeats itself. The inciting of the native clergy against their Bishops is encouraging the natives, as a whole, to resist lawful authority. The cry to-day is “down with the friar,” tomorrow it will be “down with the American.” In 1888 it was down with the Religious Orders, in 1896 it had become “death to all Spaniards”. In 1898 the American was blessed as a deliverer from oppression, in 1899 cursed as an intruder. To-day…? Who knows the opinion of the people? Who but a few ignorantes trust the great men of the late revolution?
In Spain the work of the separatists produced no effect upon the people; a few here and there of the least patriotic of the scum of Barcelona and Madrid aided them but apart from these and the Bible Societies, no one interested themselves in their cause.
Note 39. From the earliest to the latest days of the period of the revolt, that is from ’88 to ’98, this was one of the greatest obstacles to be overcome. Money was collected for propaganda in Spain and in Japan; what became of it all? Money was collected for the purpose of releasing or stealing away Rizal; what became of it? Funds were collected for the purchase of rifles and ammunition for the Katipunan, and, at the last moment, Andrés Bonifacio fled with some 20,000 pesos. This continual squabble over the administration of the funds is a proof clear enough, of the existence of organized exploiters whose pockets were of more concern to them than were the interests of their country.
Note 40. It is almost needless to say that this latter was in the minority; later on Pilar suffered a marked change of temperament and became more decidedly separatist than Rizal. Rizal was willing to give the goose a chance to lay her golden eggs; Pilar becoming impatient killed the goose with the scheme of the Katipunan.
Note 41. “Previous to his return to Manila Rizal lived some time in Hong-Kong. From there he forwarded to Moises Salvador Francisco the statutes and instructions for the “Liga Filipina”.”—Testimony of the said Francisco. (fols. 1,138–1,143.)
Note 42. “It resulting that after some years of voluntary expatriation … a Spanish citizen (Rizal) born in the Philippines, directed a first letter, dated some months back in Hong-Kong, to the superior Authorities, offering his aid and assistance for the better government and progress of the Philippines, at the same time in which his latest book commenced circulation, for which reason no reply was given; and in a second letter dated in the month of May, in which, recognizing the policy of generous attraction, of morality and justice here implanted … announced his intention of returning to his native soil to dispose, together with his friends, of the property they possessed, and to go with their families to found, in Borneo, a filipino agricultural colony under English protection….”
“A few days afterwards, the Spanish citizen … disembarked with his sister in Manila….” (See also note 8.) Extracts from the Decree of Deportation issued against Rizal by Governor Despujols, 7th July 1892.
Note 43. “In the year 1892, Rizal being in Manila, recently arrived from Europe, several people of the country were gathered together, among them Andrés Bonifacio, Numeriano Adriano, Timoteo Paez and Estanislao Legaspi, in a wooden house in calle Dulumbayan, were a society known as the “Liga Filipina” was founded.” Testimony of Valentin Diaz, native of Panay, Ilocos Norte.
“In May or June 1892 José Rizal reached Manila; and encharged by him, Paez and Serrano invited a large number of persons to gather on a certain day … in the house of Doroteo Ongjungco where Rizal manifested to those present, among whom was the witness, that it was necessary to form an association which should be called the “Liga Filipina”, the object and of which should be the attainment of the separation of these islands from Spain.” Moises Salvador y Francisco (fols. 1,296–1,299).
“The reunion was called by Rizal, and the witness was invited by Timoteo Paez, who conducted him to the house of Doroteo Ongjungco…. That José Rizal addressed those present, manifesting the convenience of establishing an association under the name of the “Liga Filipina” with the object of collecting funds by different means, to the end of securing opportunely the independence of these islands”…. Testimony of Domingo Franco y Tuason (fols. 1299–1303).
Note 44. It was not the aim which Rizal had in his mind, of delivering his country from disabilities but the manner in which he set to work to accomplish that end, to which objection must be raised. When a people suffer under the oppression of its rulers, all the world admires the man who rises to throw off the hateful yoke. But when the oppression is imaginary and when the so-called hero is but a marionette in the hands of political schemers who seek their own advantage under the shelter of a pretence to throw off a yoke which does not exist, one cannot admire the part played by the deluded “tool”. The emancipation from the mother-country was the key-note of the revolt. It was the aim of the Filipino freemasons, of the Liga Filipina, of the Compromisarios and of the Katipunan.
Note 45. Rizal was deported to Dapitan, in the island of Mindanao, by decree of Governor Despujols, part of which has been quoted in note 42. The decree goes on to say that, by reason of the fact that “the veil under which, up this present, he has succeeded in hiding his true intentions has been torn asunder,” … “that he adduces no other defence but useless denials, having recourse to throwing the blame of the discovery of the leaflets upon his own sister (see page 99)….”
“In fulfillment of the high duties which devolve upon me as your General and Vice Royal Patron … I decree the following:…”
“1st: that José Rizal shall be deported to one of the islands of the south….”
“The responsibility of these vigorous measures which a painful duty imposes upon me, falls entirely upon those who by their imprudent aims and ungrateful proceedings come to disturb the paternal cares of this general government making the ordinate march of Philippine progress the more difficult.”27
“Manila, 7th July 1892.—Despujols.
Note 46. “In the month of April 1893, upon the initiative and invitation Juan Zulueta, now dead, and of Deodato Arellano, cousin of Marcelo del Pilar, a new gathering was called in the house of Deodato Arellano, with the object of establishing anew the Liga Filipina under the same bases and for the same ends….”
Note 47. The determinate ends of the separatists have already been spoken of in note 3, which see.
Note 48. See note 102.
Note 49. “The object of the society (the Liga) is the establishment of shops, workshops, businesses, industries and even a bank if possible, with the end in view of collecting funds for an armed rising.”—Testimony of Juan Dizon Matanza, (fols. 1,132–1,138.)
Note 50. The ceremonies practiced by the Liga differed but little from those practiced by the Katipunan. The chief difference lay in the fact that the ceremonial of the Katipunan partook more of the grotesque, of the absurd, of paganism.
Pio Valenzuela in recounting the forms and ceremonies practiced upon his initiation, said:
“Once in the house28, they spoke of many things, en résumé, that the aim of the association was to obtain the independence of the Philippines, oppressed and enslaved by the Spaniards. Placing, later on, a dagger at his breast, they obliged him to throw himself upon it, a thing which the witness could not pluck up courage enough to do; whereupon they placed it in his hand, leading him to a man whom he recognized to be seated, and ordered him (the witness) to strike him with the dagger, a thing which he dare not do either. He was then conducted into a room and addressed by a person he knew to be Bonifacio by the voice, who informed him that he could not retrace his steps because he knew of the existence of the society, but he could not assist at the juntas nor could they teach him the signs of recognition till he had been re-initiated; they moreover made him sign two sheets of blank paper, causing him to swear never to reveal the existence of the society to anyone, under the pain of assassination. They then removed the bandage which he was blindfolded and he saw around him eight or nine individuals dressed in cloaks and hoods; he signed the two sheets of paper and was again blindfolded and conducted to a considerable distance from the house where the bandage was again removed.
Another member of the Katipunan in his declaration made on the 22nd of September 1896, stated that during the month of February 1893, one Sunday morning, a certain Estanislao Legaspi entered his store, telling him to accompany him in a calesa. He listened to tirades against the Spanish Government till their arrival at the house of a certain Tranquilino Torres, in calle Elcano. Here “his eyes were bandaged by Legaspi and he was handed over to the care of another individual who conducted him to the upper story of the house and made him sit down; he then heard a person whom he knew to be Legaspi by his voice speak, saying several things against the Spanish Government, demanding of him an oath of blind obedience, and a defense of the Philippines till the shedding of the last drop of his blood, threatening him with fearful punishments if he should turn traitor. This ceremony being terminated, his eyes were unbound and he saw, on a table, a skull which they made him kiss, and Legaspi handed him a lance commanding him to wound himself in the arm; but he felt a feeling of faintheartedness come over him, and manifested to those present that he had not courage enough to wound himself and wished that the oath he had taken be enough; he was dispensed from the operation. When the bandage was removed the eight individuals composing the junta were masked with black hoods, but after he kissed the skull and attempted to wound himself they removed the hoods and he then recognized Estanislao Legaspi who presided, Mariano de Vera, Teodoro Plata and Juan de la Cruz who was a clerk of the Tabacalera, and who had led him upstairs; he did not know the other three. The witness paid two pesos as entrance fee promising to pay 50 cents monthly. He asked Legaspi what association it was, and he replied that it was the Liga Filipina.”
In the daily report of the secret police department made to General Blanco on the 30th of June 1896, is the following notice:
“Herewith is given translated most faithfully from Tagalog, the result of an interview held with a well-to-do indian who belonged to the most popular of the masonic lodges, who tried to draw into it a friend. Questioned upon certain affairs, he said: “In the masonic lodges of San Juan del Monte and of Pandacan, the whole pueblo, rich and poor, is inscribed.”
“In the reunions the brethren attend blind-folded, and the chiefs with the face covered.”
“The person who desires to enter the lodge is obliged to have his face covered and his eyes bandaged in sign of blind obedience; the proofs are carried out and signature made as follows. The person receiving the initiated takes a dagger and gives it to him saying to him: do you swear to be steel like that which you hold in your hand and not to bend in the exigencies which oppress and vex us, and to labor in pro of the independence of your enslaved country? I swear answers the person to be initiated. Do you swear not to have father, mother, wife, child nor any relative but the revenging arm which shall sleep and live with you? I swear. They then surround him with arms of all classes and say to him: here is thy family, thy only work, and may it give thee thy life and open thy eyes for thy good of the country. They then make a small incision in the form of a cross in the right arm near the shoulder.”
“At present our meetings are held at night and in the most lonely fields, with the object of not being surprised.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“It is well known among us masons that Rizal is attributed with the faculty of being able to translate his person instantaneously from one point to another.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Note 51. Juan Castañeda testified on the 21st of September 1896 before the Chief Inspector of the Corps of Vigilance that “he was recommended to make the greatest amount of propaganda possible, of Japanese ideas in the pueblo of Imus.” The Japanese ideas here spoken of were those of the foundation of the Japanese protectorate.
Note 52. Money! money!! money!!! was the great cry in the majority of the masonic correspondence between the workers in Spain and those who had to supply the funds here. On the 8th of June 1892 Morayta wrote to bro∴ Panday-Pira informing him (a favorite custom of Morayta’s) that what was wanted was “money to invite journalists (to dine or take a drink) and to pay articles in the papers.” Morayta, probably with tears in his eyes, in ending his letter, heaves a sigh, whilst his fingers itching for the touch of gold, nervously clutch the pen which scrawls these words: “if we only had here a good administrator with funds then you would see how we should advance!”
On the 22nd of June 1892 the secretary of the Gr∴ Or∴ Esp∴ wrote to the same explaining how “in a few meetings, a couple of banquets and a few presents made at the right time” much could be accomplished.
Note 53. Rizal had money troubles previously with Pilar in Madrid (see note 39). The excessive earnest and zeal displayed at the time of the foundation of the Liga by Rizal died away on his deportation. This zeal was owing to the captivating manner in which the founder demonstrated to his audience the brilliant future to be attained by such an undertaking. Rizal had the advantage of a ready oratory and like Bonifacio, drew his hearers to his cause in spite of themselves. And then again, the same as in masonry, the association was secret, and its true end and aim were but whispered; and whilst many of the associated were laboring to assist, as they thought, in the fomentation of the culture and advancement of the country, they were in reality playing with the toy allotted to them by the society, whilst the chief members, those members best suited to be masons, as says the Gr∴ Sec∴ of the Gr∴ Or∴ Esp∴29, carried on the true work of the Liga. As in the lower degrees of any secret society, and of masonry in particular, the members are unaware of what is aimed at in the degrees to which they have not attained, to which all cannot attain, and the secrets of which are zealously guarded, so it was in the Liga.
Upon its re-establishment the Liga counted among its members several who aimed at the leadership. The absence of Rizal, deported to Dapitan, left open the door for unbridled ambition. Everyone wanted to be the head. This together with money troubles brought about considerable ill feeling between the absent founder and those continuing the work of the association. Rizal had so far kept up a continual secret communication with the Liga, thanks to the liberty allowed him by his keepers in Mindanao, who guarded him with scandalous carelessness; and thanks also to the emissaries sent to him from Manila in search of instructions and advice. The result of the ill-feeling thus brought about was the rupture in official relations between the Liga and its founder.
Note 54. See note 39.
Note 55. One of the facts clearly developed in the trials of those suspected of treason, was that the guilty ones had taken the utmost care not to leave behind them traces of their work. This was principally the case with Rizal and the other chief workers of the revolt, and of those who formed the association of Compromisarios.
Note 56. Both Pedro and Francisco Roxas were honorary councillors of the Administration. On the 19th of September 1896 Blanco published the following decrees:
“In as much as Sr. D. Francisco Roxas, honorary councillor of the Administration is found under process in the courts of law: in the use of the faculties in me invested, I decree that he cease from the exercise of his functions etc., etc.”
And on the 30th of September the following:
“In as much as the Excellent Sr. D. Pedro P. Roxas, honorary councillor of the Administration has been found under process in the courts of law, for rebellion; in the use of my faculties, etc., etc.”
Moises Salvador y Francisco testified (fols. 1138–1143) that “among the persons who sympathised with the cause and who aided it with their means for its realization, he remembered D. Pedro Roxas and D. Francisco Roxas … (and others); and there existed in the provinces others whose names he could not remember.”
Domingo Franco y Tuason testified on the 30th of September 1896 (fols. 1332–1337) that “in another of the several interviews he had with Francisco L. Roxas, he asked him if in the circle of his relations (with the association) he counted with persons who had offered to aid the objects and ends of the Liga. Sr. Roxas replied: Yes. And in proof thereof he drew from a drawer in his desk a record which he read, and among the names he read the witness remembered those of don P. Roxas and others.”
When Francisco Roxas found himself in danger of arrest, he attempted to flee to Hong-Kong, but was captured on board the ship which was to carry him there. From the ship he was conducted under arrest to the Comendancia of the Veterana where he remained several days, at the end of which he was transferred to the Fort of Santiago.
Francisco was a millionaire who had received from Spain a name and reputation superior to his personal merits, and yet in spite of all that the mother-country had done for him in raising him up to a position to which he could never have attained without her aid, he was found to have placed himself in the vanguard of the bitterest enemies of his country. He was the director of the workings of separatism and was the chief provider of arms for the revolt, as was testified by innumerable witnesses.30
On the eve of his execution for treason Francisco penned the following abjuration:
“I, Francisco L. Roxas, on the eve of my death, in reparation for what in my words and actions may have offended my neighbor; for warning of others of my person and in order to satisfy my conscience, to the end that no one, and especially my children, fall into the net of freemasonry, or of any other secret society, all of which I detest and curse, and be not in a day to come ungrateful sons of our Mother Spain, beg pardon for all my faults and bad example.”
“I die in the Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic faith in which I was born and educated in a christian manner. I admit all that she admits and condemn all that she condemns.”
“This I sign with my own hand with entire liberty.”
Jany. 10th 1897 in Manila, Royal Fort of Santiago.—F. L. Roxas:—Witnesses: Antonio Pardo and Felix García.
On January 11th Gov. Gen. Polavieja telegraphed to Madrid as follows:
“Sentenced by council of War, to-day there have been executed (shot) twelve persons guilty of treason … among them Francisco Roxas, Councillor of Administration; Nijaga, Lieut. of native infantry; Villaroel, Villareal, Moises Salvador and others.”
Pedro Roxas was also a millionaire who inherited a good fortune, which, under the shelter of official protection multiplied considerably. Spain honored him with the grand cross of Isabela la Católica. Like Francisco he was a Councillor of Administration. He possessed a large estate in Nasugbu which, when the revolt broke out, became an insurgent hornet’s nest. There the rebels had a cannon, three falconettes and a large number of arms.
After having been deprived of his office by decree previously mentioned, Pedro Roxas secured in some way or other from Blanco, permission to go to Spain. On arrival at Singapore he landed and remained there. Later on he was defended in the Spanish Cortés by Sr. Romero Robledo31. In Manila, to those who could judge of the facts on the spot, this defence came as a thunderbolt. However, the Spanish paper El Correo in the issue of August 15th said:
“The conduct of Sr. Roxas results satisfactorily cleared, so that no doubt remains in respect to his complete disconnection with the revolt.”
Among the separatist element Pedro Roxas was known as the Emperor Pedro I.
Note 57. Maximo M. A. Paterno was the father of the well known Pedro Paterno. Maximo was in his latter days the leading spirit of the celebrations held in honor of the amnesty proclaimed in 1900, by the late President McKinley. He died at the age of 76, just before the celebrations took place.
This amnesty celebration, like most things attempted by Filipinos alone, turned but a fiasco, the speeches which were to be delivered on the occasion not being in any way in keeping with the oath of allegiance taken by the speakers. The speeches contemplated were in advocation of practically the same thing as that for which the rebels had been keeping up an armed struggle, and so, when the U. S. Commission was invited by Pedro Paterno to be present thereat, it naturally was unable to accept the invitation.
The whole celebration was an abortive attempt on the part of its organizers to antagonize the Military and Civil authorities. Mr. Taft, as president of the Commission, at first accepted the invitation extended, supposing the speeches to be given, had been censored by the proper authorities, at that time the military; but on finding that this was not so, he declined in the name of the other members of the Commission, and thus avoided the unpleasantness of being present at a banquet at which both the Military and the Civil authorities would be insulted and the Government of the U. S. defied.
On the 28th of July 1900, the day of the banquet, Mr. Taft on behalf of his fellow Commissioners, addressed a letter to Pedro Paterno on the subject. See Appendix J.
Pedro Paterno was one of those who for a considerable time refused to take the oath of allegiance; with him were others, Mabini in particular.
Maximo Paterno had received from Spain the Cross of Knight of the Royal and American Order of Isabela La Católica.
Note 58. And others: Among the names mentioned in many of the documents I have consulted on the subject of the trials of those guilty of treason, I have frequently come across those of Linjap (Mariano), Chidian (Telesforo), Yangco (Luis R.), and others. Of this latter Domingo Franco was asked during his trial, if Luis R. Yangco had assisted at any reunion of the compromisarios, to which he replied that he (Yangco) had not assisted at any session (fols. 1381–1382).
As I have already remarked in another note, many of those charged with complicity in the affairs of the revolt were latter on proved to be innocent. That considerable number of the wealthy natives and half-castes sympathised more or less with the idea of greater liberality in government, is undoubtedly true, but that they extended their sympathies to the aims of the hordes of cut-throats led by Bonifacio is absurd.
The leading Filipinos and many insular Spaniards sighed for privileges which the Government of Madrid did not deem well to concede. To bring pressure upon the Government some of these combined to support in the metropolis, some of their number who should keep up the work of agitation. This agitation however took a form displeasing to many, who thereupon ceased to lend it their aid and consent. But few of the leaders of the people, especially of the wealthy ones, desired to cut themselves adrift from Spain, and not till a few insignificant beings such as Aguinaldo, Bonifacio, Mabini, and Pilar (Pio del) and Buencamino came upon the scene did the idea of independence of the island really take form. A faint idea of such a thing as independence did exist formerly, but the enlightened Filipinos saw, only too clearly, the probable result.
The wealthy proprietors here cited, no doubt sympathised more or less with the Liga Filipina in its beginning, whilst it was under the complete control of its founder Rizal; but as the Liga lost the character given to it by Rizal, and underwent the change it did, it is only natural to suppose that many of its former supporters left it as they would a sinking ship. However the fact that they were identified with the original Liga seems to have been taken as a proof of their connection with the revolt. This is certainly the opinion expressed by Sr. Diaz.
Note 59. Mactan is the name of the island upon which Magallanes, the famous explorer, met his death at the hands of the savage hordes who at that time peopled the land. Names of places and persons associated with the disasters suffered by Spain, were greatly admired among the separatists. Surely Mactan, an island peopled by savages at the time of its chief notoriety, and Mayon, the site of a destructive volcano, are very suitable names to give to such centers as were the popular councils of Trozo and Sta. Cruz.
Note 60. On the 30th of August 1895, the Civil Governor of Batangas asked of the commander of the Guardia Civil of Lemery, information concerning “persons in the pueblo of Taal who were distinguished for their separatists opinions”. The said commander replied that a report on all such persons would be unending, and proceeded to cite the case of Felipe Agoncillo to personify the said separatist element, as follows:
“Among the group of the chief ones and as chief of them, stands Felipe Agoncillo, proprietor and lawyer.” He then goes on to explain how Agoncillo imposed his will upon every one in the pueblo, even upon the Municipality, no law or regulation sent even by the highest authorities going into force until it had been passed upon by him. “It would be difficult,” says he, “for me to collect any perfect proof of his anti-Spanish tendencies which are, however, self-evident to the Spanish element of this province.” This report, which was a sufficient warning of danger, was sent to the Gov. of Batangas on the 18th of September 1895. He immediately forwarded it to Gen. Blanco. About three months afterwards Blanco looked into the matter, circumstances demanding that some steps should be taken to preserve national honor; and he decided to deport six of the separatists as an example to the remainder. Of these six one was Agoncillo. This industrious filibuster had influential and watchful friends in Manila, who, upon seeing the turn things were taking, telegraphed him “Café en baja; fuera existencias.” This was warning sufficient and Agoncillo accompanied by Ramon Atienza succeeded in escaping.
On the 14th of April the Japanese Mail Steamer Hiorine left Manila. On this steamer Agoncillo fled, hidden it is said, in a coal bunk. The Heraldo de Madrid of the 16th of September 1896, in speaking of the affair says: “Agoncillo gave the captain of the ship the sum of 350 pesos as gratification and on this account had placed at his disposal upon arrival at Kobe, a ship’s boat, whilst the remaining passengers had to hire their transportation.”
On the 2nd of May 1896, the secret police of Manila reported to Gen. Blanco, as follows:
“Notice is hereby given of the sailing for Japan of Felipe Agoncillo, property-owner of the province of Batangas, who goes to put himself at the disposition of the junta magna (in Japan), carrying with him some 80,000 pesos collected in Lipa, Taal and other pueblos, for the sustainment of anti-Spanish propaganda.”
Like most of the leaders of the separatist campaign, Agoncillo was astute. He partook of that peculiar trait of the native character: a sharpness of perception, a cuteness which one not acquainted with the indian would take for intelligence. An Indian will often do something remarkable, but in spite of its appearance of being an extraordinary action, a result of a well thought out plan, it proceeds in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, from instinct rather from intelligence. Native peoples are more accustomed to use their common-sense than most of us and hence arises the fact, that frequently the Filipino has outwitted both the military and the civil authorities. England learned this lesson in dealing with the Oriental in India, Spain learned it here, and America has yet to discover the same truth.
Mr. Wildman32, the late U. S. Consul at Hong-Kong, once affirmed of Agoncillo, “Sr. Agoncillo is a very intelligent and daring diplomat (the Government later on found him to be far more daring than intelligent), and could fill the position of chief of any department of State in any civilized country.” But then, it was nothing strange for Wildman to make such breaks!
Note 61. Among these honorable exceptions which Sr. Diaz says he has great pleasure in recognizing, might be mentioned several who were falsely accused and whose names have gone down to the reading public in the works of various writers who wrote in good faith, branded with the mark of ingratitude which characterized and still characterizes so many natives and half-castes.
It gives a careful student of the subject more than passing pleasure to be able to give the lie to those who in their testimony classified as members of the infernal plot to “cut the throats of every Spaniard, without regard even to parentage”, the names of some of the most prominent Filipinos of to-day, men who although they have not grovelled in the dust before the conqueror and accepted positions under the new Government, are more truly prominent than those who assert themselves as the “leaders” of the people.
Among these honorable exceptions there were many who although they came to form part of the so-called Revolutionary Government, did so only when Spanish rule had ceased to exist, and when the accepted opinion was that a government elected by the people would be recognized by the U. S. These, however, were never traitors to the mother country; they were men who treated Spain as every honorable man should treat his country. These were not men who changed their religion as they changed their clothes: to suit the occasion. They were not men who concealed their titles to freemason degrees, at the bottom of their trunks, and exposed them with pride upon the change of sovereignty. These men were never perjurers, never traitors. Born and raised in the bosom of the Catholic faith they remained faithful to it, and faithful to the traditions of the country which gave them their political being; and it is with great pleasure that, with Sr. Diaz, I also can say, that I have great pleasure in recognizing these honorable exceptions, and in proof thereof have I dedicated this small historical sketch to them.
Note 62. Day by day the morality in the administration of the funds became worse, and so intense did the ill-feeling engendered by pride become, that the members forgot all about the fomentation of the culture and advancement of the country. Like a nursery full of willful children, they all wanted their own way, and when they could not have it, some cried: “now I shan’t play,” “now I’ll go and tell ma;” this perhaps was the chief cause of the dissolution of the association, for some did go and tell “ma;” and the wealthy members, and those who had anything to lose, were immediately overcome with abject fear lest “ma” should punish them with a good spanking.
“In the month of October 1893, the Superior Council becoming aware that some documents pertaining, to the Liga had been handed over to the offices of the General Government, the dissolution of the society was determined.”—Testimony of Domingo Franco y Tuason. (fols. 1,299–1,303).
On the 25th of May 1896, notice was given by the secret police to Governor General Blanco, as follows:
“Notice is herewith given of the existence in Manila, of a Society named La Liga Filipina, to which are affiliated a large number of individuals….”
Note 63. The testimony given by many of the political prisoners as to the foundation, aims and work of the Compromisarios is somewhat conflicting. For instance: Antonio Salazar, (fols. 1,008–1,013) testified that on account of the mal-administration of the funds, “the subscription on behalf of La Propaganda ceased, and under the name of Compromisarios was founded an association composed of … (here follow names of members), and seeing that they could not gather sufficient funds, they agreed to increase the subscription and seek persons to associate with them.”
On another occasion the same witness testified (fols. 1,014–1,018) that certain persons whom he named were the “Compromisarios, who were in communion with Marcelo (del Pilar), and who remitted money to him.” He also stated that “on account of the bad conduct observed in Madrid by Pilar, … some of the Compromisarios refused to send him resources.”
In reply to a question as to the relationship between the Compromisarios and the Katipunan, he gave as his opinion, that “there could be no doubt that both societies aimed at the same end.” At fols. 1118–1129 the same witness affirmed that “as the partisans of Rizal and Pilar … saw that neither masonry nor the Liga could hope for funds33, they formed the society of Compromisarios among wealthy persons of Manila and the Provinces.”
Domingo Franco affirmed that the outbreak of the revolt came as a great surprise to the Compromisarios.
As to the aims of the society, Moisés Salvador y Francisco is authority for the statement that: “in one of the juntas they treated of the provision of arms and other material of war; and it was agreed, moreover, to gather funds for the said expenses, and as the junta replied that it was impossible at that time, a committee was appointed, composed of José Ramos, Doroteo Cortés and Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, to draw up a petition for the aid of Japan.”
Moisés also affirmed (fols. 1,296–1,299) that the Supreme Council of the Compromisarios was formed as follows:
President Domingo Franco.
Secretary Apolinario Mabini.
Treasurer Bonifacio Arévalo.
Vocales Numeriano Adriano.
Domingo Franco (fol. 1,299–1,303) testified that upon the dissolution of the Liga, and in the month of October 1894, there gathered together in a house of the witness, Numeriano Adriano, Apolinario Mabini, Isidoro Francisco, Deodato Arellano and the witness, and it was decided to constitute the association known as the Compromisarios, endeavouring to gather as many as forty members, each paying a monthly subscription of 5 pesos, for the sustainment of the La Solidaridad.
The same witness also testified (fols. 1,332–1,337) that “The Liga and the Katipunan were constituted in three groups, viz.: the Supreme Council or the aristocracy, under the presidency of Francisco L. Roxas; the Compromisarios or middle classes, divided into juntas or local councils…. The third aggregation was the Katipunan under the presidency of Andrés Bonifacio, and was composed of the lower classes.
From all this we gather that the association of Compromisarios was founded with the idea of collecting funds to continue the work commenced by masonry and the Liga. The association was, practically, a committee formed to take up the work of the Liga, but formed in such a manner as to avoid suspicion, and all compromise with the late Liga. In its formation, its duties and its methods, it differed from both the Liga and from the Katipunan, but whilst differing from them it formed a tie between them, carrying on a work which the Katipunan could not carry on of itself. The Liga died; and its mantle fell upon the Compromisarios. This society inspired, watched over and protected the labor of its successor, the Katipunan, the fighting machine of the separatist or filibuster element.
Note 64. The idea which appeared to pervade the minds of the so-called progressive Filipinos was that with a code of laws á la Europea, the adoption of some or other new fangled idea imported from France, Germany or anywhere but the Peninsular, the Filipino would immediately attain the advancement and culture enjoyed among the Japanese. To anyone not acquainted with either the Filipino or the Japanese, such an idea might be acceptable; but no student of Oriental races, nor even the mere casual observer of these two peoples, would venture to predict than even with all the advantages of modernism the Filipino now enjoys, will he, as a people, attain to such a state of culture as that enjoyed by the sons of the Empire of the Rising Sun even in a hundred years.
Among the European peoples the progress of civilization and regeneration was slow but it was none the less decisive. Among Orientals it is, as a rule, quick but not lasting. Among almost all Oriental peoples the rising generation is bright and gives signs of great possibilities; but these youths after having passed with honors through college and university, too often end their lives as they began them—as children. What the Oriental lacks is stability. Nothing is more common in the Philippines than to find that your cook or coachman has completed four-fifths of his studies as lawyer, doctor or something else. The Filipino who has reached the age of thirty and has not, in these days, been bata34 in a convent or with a private family, been cochero, cook, collector of accounts for some business house, letter-carrier, postman, policeman, musician in a church choir, fireman, and connected with a few other employments of more or less importance, is by no means a rara avis, to say nothing of the many who have also been majors and generals in the insurgent “army”, and without stopping to consider a pair of very prominent natives who from batas in the University of Sto. Tomás have, after a series of political intrigues, risen to positions of law-tinkers over a people, the vast majority of whom hate and despise them.
As a matter of fact the very best of the filipino politicians and other local men of fame, bright, learned and progressive though they be, would count but little side by side with the foremost sons of the Flowery Kingdom. To find in Yokohama, or even in Nagasaki or Kobe, or any other city of Japan, a hundred Rizals, a hundred Pilars (Marcelos, Pios or Gregorios), a hundred Apacibles, or Mabinis, or Aguinaldos, or Buencaminos or Taveras would be an easy task. But to find in the Philippines a Marquis Ito, a Mutsu, a Yamata or a Matsugata,—that is the question.
And why? Because at the time when Spain discovered these islands, finding the people in a state of social and moral degradation, without formal government or any social organization beyond the tribal system (and that but limited) common to almost all savage peoples, the Japanese had already counted with more than 1000 years of more or less stable government, always organized, and with a social organization and a firm national unity. The people of Japan, at that time, cultivated the arts and sciences, enjoyed the fruits of prosperous industries and of external commerce. They had a religion and a language which could be written and understood when written. Three hundred years ago, when the Filipinos were just commencing to learn the difference between man and beast, the Japanese was enjoying a relative civilization not yet attained by the Chinese, much less by the partisans of the separatist leaders of Luzon and the Visayas.
No country has ever done for her colonial children what Spain did for the Filipinos during the three centuries she held control over the Archipelago; and yet how far are the people from the state of culture of the Japanese! Well might the leaders of the people look to Japan as a model!
Note 65. Domingo Franco (fols. 1,332–1,337) testified that on a certain day “he went to see Francisco L. Roxas and asked him if it were certain that he had been to the house of Cortés, and had arranged matters in respect to the Commission which should go to Japan; to which Sr. Roxas replied, yes; and that it was agreed that Cortés should go, commissioned to ask of the Japanese Government, help and protection for these islands, (the Filipino Government) handing over as a guarantee, one of the islands near Luzón, which the witness believed to be Mindoro on account of its large size and small population.
“Antonio Salazar (fol. 1,118–1,129) stated that “of the junta of compromisarios there formed part: Cortés, Español and Ramos, who were then in Japan petitioning that Empire to aid them with arms, ships and money….”
Isabelo de los Reyes, in telling the Governor General, Primo de Rivera, what he affirmed to be the truth of the situation in 1897, stated that “the Filipino burguesses had nominated a commission composed of Doroteo Cortés, Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, José A. Ramos and Marcelo H. del Pilar, the latter of whom died in Barcelona whilst on his way to Japan. This commission had for its object the securing of the protection of that empire; Cortés, as president, gathered funds to sustain Ramos and Isabelo Artacho Vicos, who were his agents in that country.”
Note 66. Antonio Salazar (fols. 1,008–1,013) testified that “The year previous he met Timoteo Paez in Calle Echague, and enquired of him if he had moved his residence to Quiapo; Paez replied that he had transferred the members of his family to a house of strong materials, not wishing to leave them in a nipa35 house in Tondo, as he was going to Singapore, and after encharging the witness to preserve secrecy, told him that he was going there to engage a steamer which was to make a trip to Dapitan to steal away Rizal from that place; moreover that the date upon which Paez went to Singapore might be known by enquiring at the house of Echeita and Co., where the said Paez was engaged, and which conceded him permission to go.”
On another occasion this same individual testified (fols. 1,118–1,129) that “the Compromisarios agreed to employ the sum (of money gathered for another purpose) for the purpose of aiding the stealing away of the person of Rizal from Dapitan, for which purpose they sent it (the money) to Timoteo Paez, at Singapore that he might engage a steamer which should go to Dapitan; and as they could not realize the undertaking, they sent the money to José Baza who lived in Hong-Kong, and Baza sent the money to Sandakan (in Borneo) so that a ship might be engaged there for the purpose.
On the 13th of January 1895, the Gr∴ Pres∴ of the Gr∴ Cons∴ Reg∴, bro∴ Musa, gr∴ 18, wrote to the lodge Modestia, as follows:
“A∴ L∴ G∴ D∴ G∴ A∴ D∴ U∴
A la Resp∴ Log∴ Modestia No. 199.
S∴ F∴ U∴
Ven∴ Maes∴ Pres∴
“Our very beloved bro∴ Dimas-Alang (José Rizal, see foot-note, page 47), who for some time has been, as you know, expiating in Dapitan, faults he has not committed36, is authorized to change his residence, under the condition that it be in some part of Spain and not in the Archipelago.”
“Together with this notice we have received another that the said bro∴ lacks absolutely the resources for such a long voyage … etc.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“In virtue of this, I write to you that, bearing in mind what I have explained, you may arrange to be collected from the members, the pecuniary aid they wish and are able to contribute for the meritorious work in question.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Gr∴ Pres∴, Muza.
José Dison Matanza testified (fols. 1,132–1,138) that “the Secret Camara of the Katipunan gathered together and decided upon another plan, which was, as Bonifacio told the witness, to embark a large number of people as passengers on a ship which was to go to Dapitan; and these when they were upon the high seas, were to surprise the crew and take possession of the ship; they should then steal away Rizal from Dapitan and take him wherever they could.”
Note 67. If elsewhere in the history of the workings of separatism in the Philippines, proof were wanting of the cruel deceit practiced by the filibuster leaders upon the ignorants who formed the mass of the secret associations of masonic origin, here in this instance it would be found in abundance. Taking the whole question of the part played by Japan or by individual Japanese in the separatist movement from beginning to end I am strongly of the opinion that the supposed assistance, whether in the form of arms and ammunition, or in that of financial or moral support was a deliberate imposture, and that those credulous persons who contributed with their hard-earned money towards the sums said to have been utilized for propaganda in Japan, were defrauded, not only out of the money they gave to the funds, but also of what they might legitimately hope for as a result of the expenditure of the said funds. It is a well known fact that the hopes of the people were kept up by many statements which were absolutely unfounded37; the assertions of Cortés, Ramos and others who performed the duties of the embassy to Japan, were most probably of this nature.
The person who, during the trials of those accused of treason, gave the most interesting testimony relative to this matter, was Juan Castañeda. He affirmed that “on account of family troubles, and for questions arising from losses at gambling, and in view of his having robbed his mother, he decided to leave for Hong-Kong, embarking on the SS. Esmeralda, on the 31st of July 1895”38. He went on to describe how he there met his friend, the native ex-priest Severo Buenaventura; how the said Buenaventura initiated him into the secrets of freemasonry, and how this native ex-priest had been himself initiated by Ambrosio Flores39. That they later on decided to go to Japan sailing on the SS. Natal. That on their arrival at Yokohama they lodged at the house of José Ramos, where there also lived Artacho. “During the first days of their stay Ramos and Artacho seemed to look upon them with want of confidence, and hid from them their conversations.” He affirmed also that among the visitors to the house of Ramos were a Mr. Hirata, a professor of law, intermediary between Ramos and Prince Konoy, resident in Tokyo, and also, a Mr. Yósida, merchant. He stated also that “to excuse their frequent absence, Ramos and Artacho assured him that they had been to Tokyo to interview the dignitaries of the Empire, Prince Konoy, General Yamagata and the count of Tokogana, one of the ministers who had been Japanese ambassador to the court of Italy. Ramos assured them that, with these Japanese politicians they were arranging the securing of the independence of the Philippines, to which end the Japanese offered to land here 100,000 rifles with their ammunition, the cost of which should be paid for in a fixed number of years … etc., etc.”
Isabelo de los Reyes40 says on this point:
“According to what is said, Ramos interviewed, on several occasions, Prince Konoy, General Yamagata and the Count of Tokogana, who was then a minister. These gentlemen, it seems, were sympathizers with the idea of our independence under the protectorate of Japan, as in Korea, and that they proposed, as a means of gaining it, the fomentation of Japanese immigration in the Philippines, and that when once this was attained, the seeking of a conflict with Spain.”
Further on he states that: “Some days before the insurrection broke out, Isabelo Artacho brought me a letter from José A. Ramos, in which he gave me an account of the efforts they were exerting to influence the leading politicians of Japan, to the end that they should aid us to secure our independence. Artacho told me verbally the details and that he knew that the liberal party of Japan, which then was the opposition, sympathized with the idea, and proposed as a means of attaining it, the seeking of a cause of conflict with Spain, introducing Japanese emigrants to that end.”
Moisés Salvador (fols. 1,138–1,143) stated that according to letters received by Bonifacio Arévalo from Cortés and Ramos, these two had been received by the Japanese minister of foreign affairs, to whom they expounded the object of their journey; and as the minister asked them what money they had to cover the expenses of the enterprise, they replied that they would pay their way with the money they should seize, pertaining to the Religions Orders and to the Treasury41; and being satisfied, the Japanese minister told them they might prepare themselves, for he would send them arms in June or July, to the coast of Luzon, to be disembarked near the island of Polillo….”
That the separatists hoped for, and aimed to secure the aid of Japan is certain; many testified to the fact; but this testimony was more or less hearsay. Certain leading separatists went to Japan to concoct the scheme and were, no doubt, listened to by some more or less prominent persons. This is all the more probable when we remember that the credentials carried by the Commission took the form of a petition signed by some 22,000 Filipinos, that is, it bore that number of signatures.42
The work of propaganda carried on by certain Filipinos cannot be called into question; but what is very uncertain is whether or not the Japanese extended the wished and hoped for assistance. To be received in interview, and to be heard with attention, are two very different things. A father listens to the idle prattle of his child, but the childish words leave no other impression on his mind than their cuteness merits at the time. This is probably what occurred between Cortes and Ramos and the so-called “official” element of Japan.
Notes 68 and 69. Pio Valenzuela testified (fols. 582–605) that “in the month of May, a student of Law Daniel Aria y Tirona, came to his house and invited him to go to salute the commander of the Japanese cruiser the Kongo43. That at an hour fixed, there gathered at the Bazar44, with the witness, Andrés Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, José Dizon and others, who were received by the commander of the cruiser with an air of indifference, and of apparent ridicule…. Bonifacio saluted and welcomed him to the islands, offering his services. The commander replied, thanking them and inviting them to take a voyage to Japan to visit the towns of that country, and enjoy its beautiful climate. Later on they directed a letter to the Commander, Jacinto drawing it up and Bonifacio, Dizon and himself and others signing it; its text was a salutation to the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and a manifestation of a desire to form a part of the said Empire, etc…. With the letter were presented twelve water-melons45 sent by Emilio Aguinaldo, capitan municipal of Cavite Viejo, and a quantity of mangoes purchased by Cipriano Pacheco, and also a picture.”
José Dizón Matanza questioned on the same subject, affirmed (fols. 1,132–1,138) that he was invited to the “Bazar Japonés,” to salute and welcome the commander of the cruiser (Kongo)…. When he arrived they gave him iced water…. About an hour afterwards there arrived an officer of the ship who said he was the doctor, and soon after the commander arrived; all saluted him…. On the evening of the same day Bonifacio, Valenzuela and the witness went to Nagtajan to the house where lived the Japanese who kept the Bazar…. Bonifacio told them they had a letter to give them. Three or four days later on, Valenzuela presented himself at the house of the witness with a letter in Tagalo which read more or less as follows: (here follows what the witness remembered of the letter.) Bonifacio signed it as president of the Supreme Council of the Katipunan, Jacinto as secretary, Valenzuela as Fiscal and the witness with the name of José Talin…. After the departure of the Commander, the witness enquired of Bonifacio what result the letter had obtained, Andrés replying that the Commander had taken a copy of it, returning the original, because the persons signing it were not representative; but that the said officer was very pleased with the pictures given in the name of the Katipunan, and with the melons and mangoes sent from Cavite.”
Isabelo de los Reyes affirms that: “When the Japanese cruiser Kongo visited the port of Manila in May 1896, the Supreme Council of the Katipunan went to salute its commander in the upstairs of the Bazar Japonés, situated in the plaza del Padre Moraga, and handed him a manuscript setting forth their desire for the aid and assistance of Japan towards the gaining of independence for the Philippines. They also offered him a picture and some native fruits.”
“The commander received them well and even regaled them with iced drinks and coffee, but did not dare to accept the document, limiting himself to the taking of a copy of it and promising to transmit their desires to the Emperor; he also invited them to make a voyage to his country. Nothing has since been heard of the commander.”
So much for the testimony given concerning the Kongo and its commander.
Information I have obtained from Japanese semi-official sources on this point, shows that the Kongo steamed into Manila bay in 1896 in the same manner as it did recently, on a non-official visit. As was customary, the Japanese Commander and other officers visited the Japanese Bazaar in Plaza Moraga as well as other Japanese business houses. The Bazar Japonés was a center to which friends and acquaintances gathered to salute the visiting officers. Upstairs were prepared iced drinks, etc. for those who cared to take them. Bonifacio and others, uninvited, walked in and presented themselves and their petition and offerings. The latter the commander accepted; the petition he did not accept: in this he showed good sense. As to the supposed copy which he promised to take, evidence goes to show that it was not taken, but that the said commander merely made a few notes of it on a scrap of paper. The proprietors of the Bazar ridicule the idea that the commander favored the petition or received the so-called commission with pleasure; their opinion is that to which any investigator of the affair would come, that the Commander was a gentleman and did not wish to hurt the feelings, by his refusal, of even such ignorantes as those who at that time forced themselves upon him.
Note 70. The idea that the Liga was but an introduction to the Katipunan is not borne out by the facts of the case. The Liga Filipina was a foundation of Rizal, whilst the Katipunan was a conception of Pilar who, finding Rizal was carrying all before him, determined not to be out-done by his former companion. The very fact of the enmity existing between the two leaders is proof enough that the two societies were not one and the same thing, although after their foundation they walked arm in arm. The Liga, as an association, was eventually dissolved, and from it was formed the Compromisarios (see note 63) and this body continued its functions till the outbreak of the revolt. The vicissitudes of the Liga did not lessen Rizal’s influence. Ever ready to tell a lie or act one if it were to his own advantage, Rizal permitted the free use of his name in connection with the Katipunan also. To the vast majority of the oath-bound, the Katipunan was but the Liga under another form; and in order that the people should not know of the rivalry existing between himself and Pilar, Rizal gave no signs of disfavor towards the foundation of the new society; in fact he rather favored it, seeing that under the circumstances it would make him figure as its “hero,” and he would thus be enabled to take the wind out of Pilar’s sails. The only objection raised by Rizal to the work of the Katipunan, was that which he made to Valenzuela: that the time had not yet come for armed rebellion.
As long as he held supreme influence Rizal was satisfied; but as the separatist element was becoming weary at the long absence of its “Moses” and had begun to worship the “calf” (not a golden one, by the way) “Moses” got angry and threw down, in disgust, the “tables of the law.”
In its beginning, Rizal was the idol of the Katipunan, in the same way as Morayta (note 13) was the idol of the rebellious Filipinos in Madrid, and others parts of the Peninsular. Isabelo de los Reyes46 would have us believe that the foundation of the Katipunan was a result of the indignation of the people, consequent upon the deportation of Rizal. This, in the face of facts, is a very poor argument and demonstrates either the ignorance or the bad faith of Reyes. And he himself contradicts it a few lines further on by saying “that without knowing Rizal, the Katipunan acclaimed him its honorary President.” This latter they certainly did but not “without knowing” him. They did so because they knew nothing of his disagreement with Pilar, the real founder of their society, and because the aim of the two societies was practically one.
Note 71. The similarity of character between the Liga and the Katipunan has always been a matter of discussion. Some writers would draw a hard and fast line between the two, considering them as oil and water, two bodies enemies one of the other; others looking upon them as two oils, the one vegetable and the other mineral which, although differing in nature, mix together thoroughly.
Reyes, in his oft-quoted “Memoria” to the then Gov. General, Primo de Rivera, in a mad attempt to prove that the insurrection was owing to the “friars” and that they attempted to invent the Katipunan plot to cover up their treason, says:
“Above all, the friars committed the criminal and suicidal infamy of calumniously including in the Katipunan the millionaire and aristocratic element, and the middle classes, the fact being that they had nothing in common with the plebeian association which they not only despised for its low condition, but which the few who knew of its existence must have hated, if not for egotism, for the socialistic tendencies of the said group.”
Such assertions scarcely deserve comment, for from beginning to end, the proceedings against the separatists were in the hands of the civil authorities, the members of the Religious Orders having no influence whatever in the matter, although it was they who, by their watchfulness over the interests of the country had detected symptoms which they, as true patriots, made known to the civil authorities. True it is also that a friar, Padre Mariano Gil, made known, at a critical moment, the plot of the diabolical society, in time to prevent the bloodthirsty fiends rising in a night and cutting the throats of those who had been their benefactors; but the “friar” was never a secret service agent of the Government. What he did was what every patriotic Spaniard would have done under the circumstances. It was the civil authorities who, upon the discovery of the plot, caused the arrest of those complicated, and who tried and passed judgement upon the guilty. If millionaires and others were counted among the members of the Katipunan it was because they were guilty of the same treason as the katipuneros and not because they were “included” by the “friar”.
“… Association which they not only despised for its low condition, but which the few who knew of its existence must have hated, if not for egotism, for the socialistic tendencies of the said group.”
So says Isabelo de los Reyes, the founder of the late Filipino Democratic Party, and the Workman’s Democratic Union, the most socialist movement in the history of the Philippines. So much for the Liberty, Equality and Fraternity which they all professed.
Another writer, C. de Valdez, a nom-de-plume under which I recognize as hidden one whose knowledge on this subject was very extensive, who for the study of the question had at his disposition innumerable documents of vital importance, gives as his opinion: “It has been said that the Liga was a society into the which there entered only elements of a certain culture, and the people of money; whilst the Katipunan was formed for the poor and laboring classes. If by this it is intended to signify that they were two close societies, the one which should comprehend what we might call the aristocracy and the other the common people, we cannot agree with the opinion, because it is in contradiction with the facts. There existed a free communication between both societies and the prominent personages of the Liga mixed with the humble ones of the Katipunan, taking active part in the labors and forming part of the reunions and assemblies47; in the same way the individuals of common class entered the files of the Liga without any distinction of class being drawn between them.”
The writer goes on to show that the three main things needed for the Revolution were 1st: an active propaganda of separatist ideas; 2nd: funds to cover expenses and to purchase arms, and 3rd: a considerable number of persons ready to take up arms in the field. The first two of these main things were to be attended to by the Liga and the third by the Katipunan.
“In the greatest utility in attaining the ultimate end of the initiators and directors of the conspiracy, must be sought the distinction between the Liga and the Katipunan, and the difference which the one or the other society enjoyed.”
“In all other things, both societies, or both organisms of the same society, co-exist, and display their activity jointly, the campaign of the Katipunan or that of the Liga being the most active; according as the necessities with which the one or the other were preferentially encharged to satisfy the final triumph of the revolt, might be of the greatest urgency or immediate utility.”
The fact is that the Liga and the Katipunan were the distinct foundations of two personal enemies, both of whom wished to hold for himself the position of supreme chief of the movement. (See note 70).
D. Manuel Luengo, Civil Governor of Manila, in a report to the Minister of Foreign affairs, speaking on the subject of the Katipunan, says:
“To carry to a head their fearful and criminal idea, they found it necessary to recruit many people of all classes and from all the provinces, seeking a useful means to facilitate the conjuration. And the indian being by reason of his ignorance and his barbarianism, like all peoples of his kind, easily fanaticised, they set to work to fanaticise the masses, these hordes of childish people, these ignorant laborers; and they fanaticised them by means of the pacto-de-sangre, making them swear war to the death to Spaniards, practicing an incision in the left arm, and with the blood which flowed from the wound made them sign their frightful oath.”
“The masonic attributes discovered, and the “apron”48 upon which appeared the head of a Spaniard suspended by the hair, by the hand of a criminal indian, whilst with the other hand a dagger was plunged into the throat, evidenced, in a notorious manner, that this Society was found well provided with masonic rites.”
Note 72. Deodato Arellano, Bonifacio, Dina and Plata, it will be remembered, were energetic workers of the Liga. They had entered into the scheme of Rizal’s association before Pilar’s idea of a similar society had become known. Two months or so after the foundation of the Liga, at the time when its founder was deported to Dapitan, it was decided to take up Pilar’s project and see what could be done towards carrying it to a successful issue.
José Dizon y Matanza (fols. 1,129–1,131) testified that “on the same day in which General Despujols ordered the publication in the Gaceta of the deportation of Rizal, there gathered in a house in calle Ilaya, Bonifacio, Arellano, Valentin Diaz, Teodoro Plata, Dina and the witness; and they agreed to form a society to be known as the Katipunan, the object and ends of which were to be filibusterism, or, in other words, the liberty of the country from Spanish rule; the six persons present immediately proceeded to perform upon themselves the incision of the pacto-de-sangre, signing with their own blood a blank paper, placing after the signature, the symbolic name each chose for himself. They then drew up the programme of the Society. This programme was composed of 6 articles, viz.: 1st: to constitute a secret society known as the Katipunan; 2nd: that the organization was to be by triangles, to the end that no more than three members should know one another; 3rd: that the initiated should pay one real entrance fee, and a half real as a monthly subscription; 4th: that as the number of the members increased they should found one or more balang̃ay in each district; 5th: to try to gather funds to carry out the purposes of the society; 6th: that when the opportunity occurred they should reform these articles.
They also agreed upon the form of oath which should be taken by the initiated, which was to promise to shed even the last drop of blood for the liberty of the Philippines.
The Katipunan was founded upon masonic usage adapted to the character of the association. Its formation was one of triangles, each new Katipunero being bound to attract to the association, two others to occupy the opposite angles. This formation was eventually changed on account of the extent to which the society extended, its management becoming very difficult. The particular triangles were broken up and the association formed in three degrees. The first degree was composed of the recently initiated members. These each possessed a mask and some form of arm, either fire-arm or bolo, the cost of which was borne by the member possessing it. The members who enjoyed the second degree also possessed masks and wore as a regalia a ribbon to which was attached a medal bearing a letter (equivalent to K) of the old-time form of script of the pre-Spanish filipino; also a sword and banner crossed.
The third degree members possessed red masks, the color being distinctive of the degree, in the same way as the color of the second degree was green, and that of first, black. These colors were symbolic: green signified hope, and red, war. Black was but a general color common to bandits all the world over. The masks of the third degree bore a triangle with three K’s in the upper part, in the ancient Filipino script, and at the base the letters Z∴ Ll∴ B∴ (see at commencement of book). The inferior inscription signified “sons of the people.”
Each degree had its pass words and the members only knew those of their own degree.
This was the latter form of the Katipunan in which it differed somewhat from the Liga.
Pilar’s plan was revolutionary; Bonifacio’s truly anarchistic.
Among the “chosen people” who testified before the Schurman Commission were two of the three native members of the present U. S. Commission, Tavera and Legarda. Both of these, among many other statements which will not hold water, had something to say on the subject of the Katipunan.
Legarda stated that: (see Report of the Philippine Commission, 1900; vol. II page 377.)
“This Society of Filipinos (the separatist element) united itself to the masonic society in Spain, and they established branches here; and this masonic society which was a true masonic society with all the characteristics of Masonry, converted itself afterwards into the Katipunan society. This society, the Katipunan, made great progress here in the Philippines, for they had to do greatly with the common people; they never had anything to do, or mixed at at all, with the higher class of people here in the Philippines49. As a result of this the society gained much credit and power, and undermined the forces which were in existence, especially the native regiments of Tagalogs. This was in 1896; the Revolution broke out at San Juan del Monte in August. A curious fact that must be noted was that a friar, who was the priest of Tondo, was the cause of its breaking out; for Gen. Blanco knew of this movement of the people and what was going on50, and was in favor of making concessions to the people. This friar denounced the society, for he had a very intimate friend who was a filipino, and he caused this friend to be introduced into the Katipunan society51, and this friend afterwards became the leader of the revolution himself. This Filipino was named Andrés Bonifacio, and later on he was chief of the revolution and chief of the Katipunan society. He took refuge in Cavite, and all that province rose up. Aguinaldo who was Municipal Captain in Cavite Viejo that time, was also a member of the Katipunan. When he heard that the Civil Guard was going to arrest him, he revolted too. He met a man who was his superior in the society—that is, Bonifacio—and as his ambition was his moving spirit, he caused Bonifacio to be shot.”
Tavera gave his opinion as follows: (see same Report, page 399. Vol II).
“The conviction was strong among the Filipinos that they would not succeed in attaining anything by any other means than force. This being the case, the idea occurred to some Filipinos to found a system of masonry here. There were some lodges of the masonic order here, and the idea presented itself to form a sort of political masonry, which was created and called the Katipunan. This Katipunan society was naturally a secret society and had, I think, about 400,000 members, principally in the Tagalog provinces and of the people of the valley of the Pasig River. I think in Manila and in the valley of the Pasig there were 80,000, naturally, as there were so many, and as they were so strong, the idea of a revolution was a natural consequence. The principal agitator of all this movement was a man named Andrés Bonifacio, who stirred up and directed it. The political movement in the Philippines was started, as was natural, by the aristocracy of wealth and of intelligence, but the Katipunan society was formed entirely of the elements from the lowest class of society. Bonifacio was a man without education. He was employed in one of the business houses at a small salary, of perhaps $30 or $40 (Mexican) a month. They went on arranging their affairs very quietly and very secretly, awaiting a proper moment for action, which they believed would be the time of General Blanco’s departure from the Philippines. Gen. Blanco was a man who was well thought of here52, for he had a great deal of tolerance for the people53. He did tolerate masonry, and they believed that he also tolerated the existence of the Katipunan society. One day the priest of Tondo, Padre Gil, through the confession of a woman54, learned of the existence of the Katipunan society, for the woman’s husband was a member55. This Father Gil informed the General, so the Katipunan society was discovered.
As the reader can easily see for himself there is considerable difference between the statements of these two persons; a comparison of these with the real facts of the case will show how easy it is for a certain element to distort truth when it serves its purpose. I have quoted these two “chosen” people, not that their statements may go down to posterity as history (which has been distorted sufficiently), but because both Tavera and Legarda formed part of Aguinaldo’s mock government—the Filipino Commune; and therefore both of them had plenty of occasion to know the real facts of the case, facts they evidently desired, for some reason, to distort.
Note 73. See notes 70 and 71.
Note 74. Herein the katipuneros showed their madness. So fanaticised did they become that nothing of a nature or character Spanish was allowed to remain. They carried this anti-Españolism to the utmost extreme. Those of the native clergy who sympathised with the Katipunan frequently tore down the images of the saints in the churches, merely because the said saints were Spanish or painted them black in order to work the easier upon the imagination of the people.
It was this hatred for things Spanish that gave rise to the bitterness demonstrated against the Religious Orders. The friar was a Spaniard, the most Spanish, as a general rule, of all the Spaniards in the Archipelago, and as such became the principal target.
(See page 148).
Note 75. The revolution ever showed unmistakable signs of a bitter race hatred. When the revolt first broke forth this race hatred was confined to Spaniards; and it was not until the breaking out of the insurrection against the lawful authority of the U. S. that it became general. Till then anyone but a Spaniard could go from end to end of the Archipelago without molestation; but when the promises of independence and other things of a like nature, made by the American Consuls of Hong-Kong and Singapore, and other irresponsible persons, failed to materialize, the self-asserted leaders of the people lost confidence in the white man and race hatred commenced to include all white people. When Aguinaldo’s hordes of semi-savages commenced their attack upon the American forces, the effects of this race-hatred were felt more than ever before in the history of the country. Not only was the white man to be destroyed, but all those who sympathised with him—the Filipinos determined to “stagger humanity.” And how they were going to do it is demonstrated in a document signed by Aguinaldo, captured by the American forces and published by the War Department of the U. S. on the 5th of September 1900. The following are a few extracts from it:
“Malolos, Jan. 9, 1899—Instructions to the Brave Soldiers of Sandtahan of Manila.
“Article 1. All Filipinos should observe our fellow-countrymen in order to see whether they are American sympathizers. They shall take care to work with them in order to inspire them with confidence of the strength of the holy cause of their country. Whenever they are assured of the loyalty of the converts they shall instruct them to continue in the character of an American sympathizer in order that they may receive good pay, but without prejudicing the cause of our country. In this way they can serve themselves, and at the same time serve the public by communicating to the committee of chiefs, and of our army, whatever news of importance they may have56.
Gifts as Covers for Attack.
“Art. 2. All of the chiefs and Filipino brothers should be ready and courageous for the combat, and should take advantage of the opportunity to study well the situation of the American outposts and headquarters, observing especially secret places where they can approach and surprise the enemy.
“Art. 3. The chief of those who go to attack the barracks should send in first, four men with a good present for the American commander. Immediately after will follow four others, who will make a pretense of looking for the same officer for some reason and a larger group shall be concealed in the corners or houses in order to aid the other groups at the first signal. This wherever it is possible at the moment of attack.
To Murder in Woman’s Disguise.
“Art. 4. They should not, prior to the attack, look at the Americans in a threatening manner. On the contrary, the attack on the barracks by the Sandtahan should be a complete surprise and with decision and courage. One should go alone in advance in order to kill the sentinel. In order to deceive the sentinel this one should dress as a woman, and must take great care that the sentinel is not able to discharge his piece, thus calling the attention of those in the barracks. This will enable his companions who are approaching to assist in the general attack.
“Art. 5. At the moment of the attack the Sandtahan should not attempt to secure rifles from their dead enemies, but shall pursue, slashing right and left with bolos until the Americans surrender, and after there remains no enemy who can injure, they may take the rifles in one hand and the ammunition in the other.
Firebrands from the Housetops
“Art. 6. The officers shall take care that on the top of the houses along the streets where the American forces shall pass there shall be placed four to six men, who shall be prepared with stones, timbers, red hot iron, heavy furniture, as well as boiling water, oil and molasses, rags soaked in coal-oil ready to be lit and thrown down, and any other hard and heavy objects that they can throw on the passing American troops. At the same time in the lower parts of the houses will be concealed the Sandtahan, who will attack immediately.
“Great care should be taken not to throw glass in the streets, as the greater part of our soldiers go barefooted. On these houses there will, if possible, be arranged in addition to the objects to be thrown down, a number of the Sandtahan, in order to cover a retreat or to follow up a rout of the enemy’s column, so that we may be sure of the destruction of all the opposing forces.
Women to Prepare “Bombs”
“Art. 9. In addition to the instructions given in paragraph 6, there shall be in the houses vessels filled with boiling water, tallow, molasses and other liquids, which shall be thrown as bombs on the Americans who pass in front of their houses, or they can make use of syringes or tubes of bamboo. In these houses shall be the Sandtahan, who shall hurl the liquids that shall be passed to them by women and children.
“Art. 10. In place of bolos or daggers if they do not possess the same, the Sandtahan can provide themselves with lances and arrows with long sharp heads, and these should be shot with great force in order that they may penetrate well into the bodies of the enemy. And they should be so made that in withdrawal from the body the head will remain in the flesh.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The following official notice posted up in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, is another interesting example of the extent to which this race hatred spread:
The traitor Honorato Quisunbin, who in an evil moment denied his country, died yesterday.
To-day, one no less a traitor and renegade to his mother country, has also died. He who has been the cause of so many husband-less wives and fatherless children, has received a punishment for his crimes which will prevent him from repeating them.
We will allot to-morrow, for the punishment of the remainder if they do not change their conduct, but continue to follow the steps of the above mentioned. For this reason, beloved compatriots now that you have witnessed the punishment given to those who have left the path marked by our authority which our government conferred on us although we are unworthy of it, but as we have been appointed, we have forcibly to obey all the decrees published, for the crimes which are punishable by death and which are as follows:
1st. All those who have any public or private communication with the enemy and serve them as guides;
2nd. All those who attack and rob in a band;
3rd. Violation or abuse;
5th. All those who receive any position or employment in the service of the enemy.
(Signed) The Compatriots.
This race hatred is illustrated very clearly in the definition of the Katipunan given by Romualdo Teodoro de J., when he said that its aim was to kill all Spaniards and take possession of the islands. No particular hatred was shown to any class; it was all Spaniards of all classes and conditions who were to be assassinated. It is also clearly depicted in the Act of Session of the Katipunan Sur already quoted (See page 81; also foot-note page 80).
Note 76. What Sr. Diaz intends by Tagalog Katipunan is not quite clear. The whole society was practically confined to the Tagalog provinces and was insignificant in extent even beyond the city of Manila and its suburbs. There was no other Katipunan.
In November 1895 the assembly of the Katipunan was composed of ten individuals of the Supreme Council, and the presidents of the popular sections who were entitled to assist in virtue of holding some office therein.
In January of the following year of 1896, after the annual election, the assembly was composed as follows:
President Andrés Bonifacio.
Secretary Emilio Jacinto.
Treasurer Vicente Molina.
Councillors Francisco Carreón.
Aguedo del Rosario.
Fiscal Pio Valenzuela.
Note 77. The question of the amount and the source of the supply of arms possessed by the Katipunan has always been one of dispute. Some suppose the rebels to have been well armed, whilst others reckon the number of serviceable guns to have been very small.
Among the papers and documents belonging to the Katipunan Sur, seized by the Spanish authorities, is the following:
“Commissioned for the purchase of arms:
D. Gabino Tantoko
D. Epifanio Ramos.
D. Victoriano Luis for the distinct armories of Manila.”
In a letter of the Secretary to the President D. Agustin Tantoko (a native priest; see page 79):
“I believe we can obtain the dynamite by bribing some of the harbor employees.”
This letter has a foot-note which says: “When you have read this, destroy it.”
Numeriano Adriano testified (fols. 1,309–1,312) that Andrés Bonifacio had collected 10,000 pesos for the purchase, in Japan, of 4,000 rifles with abundant ammunition.
He also stated that the arms had been purchased and were to be landed near by the mountains of San Mateo and in the Batanes islands, from whence they would be brought to Manila.
That “Andrés Bonifacio went to San Mateo with men to receive and arrange arms, whilst Deodato Arellano and Timoteo Paez were encharged to send people to Batanes to the same end.”
Also that “It is said that many of the insurgents in the province of Cavite bear arms of different systems, and he supposed that they must have been acquired by the rich and wealthy persons of that province, such as Francisco Osario and others, who knowing perhaps of the existence of the Liga of Manila, its form and object, had formed their own also, in the said province, in order to unite to that of Manila and make common cause therewith.”
Domingo Franco declared (fols. 1,381–1,382), in answer to a question during his trial, as to what he knew in reference to the purchase of arms and ammunition, that “all he knew was that arms and ammunition had been purchased, because at the end of 1895, or the beginning of 1896, he saw Francisco L. Rojas in his office in Calle Jolo, and the said Rojas told him that he had received a quantity of arms and ammunition.” He stated moreover, that he did not know the make or number, nor where they had been landed.
Tomas Prieto of Nueva Caceres mentioned the receipt of 50 arms from Bato. He also stated that Mariano Melgarejo, according to references from Macario Valentin, received a load of arms in eleven cases from Pasacao.”
Pio Valenzuela affirmed that the arms borne by the rebels were for the most part domestic bolos57 and lances, and that the chiefs were armed with revolvers.” These revolvers were, he affirmed, acquired from the Maestranzi de Artilleria.
Juan Castañeda declared that “the Japanese offered to land here 100,000 rifles with their ammunition, the expense of which should be paid in a fixed number of years.”
Numeriano Adriano also affirmed that it had been decided to purchase arms in Japan and that one of the islands of the Archipelago should be given to Japan in exchange for its aid.
Domingo Abella affirmed that he had visited Francisco Rojas in his office for the purpose of finding out if the arms which the tailor Luis Villareal had ordered for the society, had arrived; and that although Francisco Rojas did not belong to the society, he was encharged to portion out the arms and commissioned to bring them to Manila. Francisco told him that he could not provide him with any as they were all sold.
The net cost of the arms and ammunition necessary to carry out the revolt was considerable, and as their introduction into the country would have to be very carefully planned, and be carried out with the greatest secrecy, the original cost would be considerably increased. Large sums of money were therefore necessary to cover expenses. Although the entrance fees and monthly subscriptions were considerable they could not produce the amount necessary to provide for the revolution, especially when there existed such a wide spread tendency among those who handled the funds, to absorb them as a sponge absorbs water. Castillo in his work concerning this association and its funds says58:
“Undoubtedly it (the Katipunan) possessed large sums of money, only the most insignificant part of which, according to report, was discovered in the possession of Pio Valenzuela, preserved in gold and amounting, we believe, to less than 30,000 pesos. These resources could not cover the extraordinary expenses of the propaganda, that of the Commissioners sent to Japan to treat with that power on the question of a protectorate, and that of the coming war expenses which were without doubt, very considerable.
“The Indian is not so selfish or so patriotic that he would, without immediate advantage to himself permit himself the extravagance of abandoning the sedentary life he usually leads, to launch out into the field of adventures of doubtful result. Those who from the headquarters of the revolution directed those torpid masses must have realised this, and to make sure of the exit, caused money to be distributed to all the affiliated and to their families, giving them at the same time rice in abundance.
“On the morning of the events which took place at San Juan del Monte, two women who live in the Santa Mesa road, were engaged in giving money to the taos59 who passed that way, advising them to unite themselves with the insurrectos to the end of killing all the Spaniards….
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“This money set aside for distribution in San Juan del Monte, in Pasig and in the pueblos on the banks of the river, must have come from a well stocked treasury….”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A little further on, the author gives a very broad hint as to one probable source of funds when he asks the question, where is the million and a half pesos which constitute the default in the public treasury of Manila?
“It would be a curious coincidence,” says the author, “if part of this amount perhaps the greater part should have served as funds from which the expenses of the revolution and the war were paid.”
Note 78. The initiations into the Katipunan were grotesque in the extreme. The person introduced for initiation was placed in a room draped in black, with its walls hung with mottoes in Tagalog dialect such as: “If you have courage you may continue,” “If you have been brought here by your curiosity, retire.” Upon a table was placed a skull, a loaded revolver and a bolo. A paper upon which were written three questions lay also upon the table. These questions were: “In what state did the Spaniards find the Tagalog people at the time of the conquest? In what state are they found now? What future can it hope for?
The initiated previously instructed by his god-father, or by the person who catechised him, was to reply that, at the time of the arrival of the Spaniards, the Filipinos living on the coasts enjoyed a certain amount of civilization, since they already had cannons and silk dresses, that they enjoyed political liberty, sustained diplomatic (sic) relations and commerce with the neighboring countries of Asia; had their own religion and writing; in a word, lived happy with their independence. A certain amount of civilization may be. Let us see what that certain amount was:
“Barely clothed, and more often naked, revelling day and night in drunkenness, given to the practice of infanticide, holding virginity as a dishonor, having among them people who practiced defloration as a profession, ignorant of the value and uses of money, making use of men, women and children to pay debts, in continual warfare with one another and enslaving their prisoners, practicing wholesale murder of slaves on the death of a chief or important personage, adoring and sacrificing to rocks, trees, crocodiles and idols of wood; lacking religion, but having in its stead most bestial and absurd superstitions; without temples, monuments or even literature, although they possessed a species of written language. The only human ideas they possessed were adopted from the Chinese, Japanese and Borneo Mohammedans whom they imitated after the manner of apes. This, historians tell us, was the condition of this people 340 years ago! when the missionaries planted the Cross on Philippine soil, and brought to the benighted natives the gospel.” So much for the certain amount of civilization.
Cannons and silk dresses: of a kind; as to the cannons, where did they all come from? Bought from or exchanged with the Borneo moros probably. As to these and the silk dresses, the savages of the south-sea islands enjoyed the use of such things and enjoyed them with better knowledge of how to use them! They enjoyed political liberty; let us see what Morga the historian who speaks most glowingly of the ancient civilization of the Filipino peoples, has to say on this point.
He says: “In all these islands the people had neither kings nor lords to dominate them as in other kingdoms and provinces. But in each island were many chiefs from among the same natives, some greater than others each one with his subjects, by groups and families, who obeyed and respected them. Sometimes these chiefs were at peace with one another and some times at war…. The superiority which these chiefs had over the people of their group was such that they held them as subjects, with power to treat them well or ill, disposing of their persons, children and estates at their will, without resistance or the necessity of giving account to anyone, and for very slight offences they killed and wounded them and made slaves of them; and if it happened that one of the chiefs were bathing in the river and a native passed in front of him or looked upon him with want of respect, and for other similar things, they made slaves of them for ever.” This is a good and practical kind of political liberty, just the kind of liberty the country would enjoy if in the hands of the leaders of the Federal Party, so anxious for liberties for themselves and coercion for those who do not agree with their way of thinking.
Diplomatic relations and commerce with the neighboring countries of Asia: As to the diplomatic relations the mere idea of such a thing is preposterous. If we are to concede the use of diplomatic relations to the ancient Tagalog people, then we must consider as diplomatic relations such customs as the passing of the “peace pipe” practiced by the indian of the United States, and the giving and accepting of young women for sensual convenience practiced in many of the islands of the Pacific up to the present day. As to their foreign commerce let us listen once more to Morga. “Their contracts and negotiations were as a rule illicit, each one considering the best way to come off successful in his business.”
Their own religion: For a religious system they worshiped their ancestors and performed human sacrifices. The Spaniards found in these islands less than a million inhabitants, who were divided into innumerable tribes governed by rulers who had no more title of sovereignty than that they were enabled to impose upon the people by brute force and untold cruelties. The inhabitants formed a jumble of inferior races some more or less pure in blood, others intermixed; people speaking many dialects. They all lacked religion, in the proper sense of the word; they lacked morals, in fact they were wanting in everything that raises man above the level of the brute creation.
As to their own writing, certain it is that they possessed a crude and very inefficient manner of writing, but what is very remarkable is, that in spite of their possessing a system of script, not a single piece of their literary work has yet been discovered nor even a written tradition. This goes to prove that either the Filipinos were at that time too deep in the savage ages to realise the importance of writing, or that the form of script was useless for practical purposes.
To the second question the initiated replied that the friar missionaries had done nothing to civilize the Filipinos, as they considered the civilization and illustration of the country to be incompatible with their interests60.
To the third question the initiated was to reply that they had faith, courage and constancy to aid them to remedy these evils in the future.61
The master of ceremonies warned him that he was taking a very important and very solemn step, and he was recommended to retire if he did not feel courage enough to continue since he would uselessly expose his life. If the initiated insisted in continuing with the mysteries of the initiation he was presented to the reunion of the brethren to be tried by the proofs assigned, which were very similar to those adopted in universal masonry, but surrounded with more paganism, if that be possible. He was blindfolded and made to discharge a revolver against an imaginary enemy, a person he was made to believe really was present and awaiting there the executionary bullet which should make him pay the penalty of a treason. If he passed through the proofs successfully he was introduced into the hall of oaths and there with his own blood, drawn by means of an incision made in the left arm between the shoulder and the elbow, he signed the oath.
Note 79. See note 50, pages 171, 173 and 174.
Note 80. The liberty of the Tagalog people; the chief aim which gave rise to the revolt. The first thing the separatists desired was to get rid of the Peninsular Spaniard; the next to go would have been the insular Spaniard, then the Spanish mestizo, then the Chinee half-caste and the Chinee; after which would come the gradual extinction of the various tribes. In the mean time the country would suffer considerably and at last…? See page 69, last four lines of the first paragraph.
It is well nigh impossible to imagine to what the liberty of the Tagalog people would mean if it were put into practice. If the South American states which are recognized as independent, are unable to govern themselves in spite of the political superiority of the people inhabiting them over the peoples of this archipelago, without an unending series of revolutions, what might we expect from the Philippines? Give the country independence with one of the native “commissioners” as president of the republic and how long do you suppose it would be before Pedro Paterno at the head of some 5 or 6,000 men would march into Manila to depose the president and proclaim himself Emperor Pedro I? And before the new Emperor could install himself in Malacañan he would have at his heels a thousand and one petty chiefs, princes, kings and perhaps even a few ambitious queens!
It is over a half a century ago since the South American Republics became independent, and at that time the rest of the world cared but little for the consequences of such a step. But this indifference of the nations can never exist here in the Orient at the commencement of this XX Century. It would never suit the rest of the world to see independence declared in the Philippines and especially if that independence left the reins of government in the hands of the Tagalog people.
The question of the expulsion from the country or the destruction of the Spaniards has been spoken of under several notes; the idea was, doubtless, a semi-savage interpretation of the preachings and teachings spread abroad by the Bible societies in all parts and especially in Spanish countries. And this becomes the more probable when we call to mind what the El Imparcial of the 26th of August 1896 published concerning this identical point. Speaking of the state of the country in general as a result of the insurrection, it says:
“The minister of Foreign affairs received a telegram yesterday from General Blanco manifesting that more arrests had been made….
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The conjuration had ramifications in various parts of the Archipelago, and in it figured not only masonic societies but also Bible societies….
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The propaganda of filibusterism is encharged to the colporteurs of evangelical books, who wander all over the Archipelago selling protestant publications.”
Note 81. These three native priests were among the prime movers of the rebellion of 1872, a revolt which was planned out in the houses of Joaquin Pardo de Tavera and Jacinto Zamora. The three priests were executed by the garrote together with Francisco Saldua. Gomez left the sum of 200,000 pesos to his natural son, born to him before he entered the priesthood. In his will he strongly counselled his son to be ever faithful to the Spanish authorities. I had intended to give a brief outline of the revolt of ’72 but space will not permit. Taking it as a whole, it differed little from the revolt of ’96 with the exception that it was directly brought about by the propagators of revolutionary ideas then rampant in Spain, and by the emissaries of the revolutionary government then established.
Note 82.—See note 20.
Note 83. The oath taken by the katipuneros was as follows:
K. K. K.
N. M. A. N. B.
I declare that on account of my entrance into the K. K. K. of the A. N. B. I have sworn a solemn oath in my native pueblo and in the presence of a superior of the Junta of the Katipunan, to do away with everything that is possible and even with that which is to me most near and dear and appreciated in this life, and to defend the cause to victory or to death. And in truth of this I swear also to be obedient in everything and to follow in the fight wherever I am led.
And in proof of what I have said I place my true name with the blood of my veins at the foot of this declaration.”
Note 84. Pio Valenzuela, who gave some of the most interesting and reliable information concerning the inner life of the Katipunan, testified (fols. 1,663–1,673) that on the 30th of November 1895, the birthday of Bonifacio, a meeting was held in Caloocan, in a house situated in the rice fields, some thirty five or forty individuals assisting thereat, among them being the witness. This meeting continued all day and all night till the following day, the first of December. At this meeting they pronounced the death sentence upon the tailor Guzman for publishing the secrets of the Katipunan; this sentence was signed by all present including the witness, after he had made many observations against it, observations the rest would not listen to. One of the lighter punishments meted out was the public exposition in the lodge rooms of the picture of the person punished, with the word traitor written over or under it.
Note 85. The Katipunan enjoyed a peculiar and special organization, which was given to it in order to avoid surprises and treachery. The assemblies were always held in secluded places and under the cover of the greatest secrecy. Sometimes they were held at midnight in the open cornfields so as not to attract the attention of those indians who were not members of the society. Valenzuela relates how a secret meeting was held in the pueblo of Pasig at midnight, on one occasion to arrange the matter of the annexation of the Islands to Japan in case that nation did not care to declare a protectorate over them.
The Council of Ministers of the Supreme popular Council was as follows:
President Andrés Bonifacio.
War Teodoro Plata.
State Emilio Jacinto.
Interior Aguedo del Rosario.
Justice Birecio Pantas.
Finance Enrique Pacheco.
Note 86. Pio Valenzuela mentioned one occasion upon which such a meeting of the society was held, he himself assisting thereat, in the house of Andrés Bonifacio. It was a supper given in honor of the baptism of a child to which the said Valenzuela was god-father. After the supper, which served as a shield under the which the work of the lodge was to be done, an election was held for the Supreme and the Popular Councils, and the sections. Some thirty members were present.
Another case he mentioned was that of a meeting held on the birthday of Bonifacio 30th of November 1895.
The Katipunan moreover had its own festivals. This is how Valenzuela describes them:
“The Katipunan held its festival, according as Andrés Bonifacio had told the witness, on the 7th of July, anniversary of the foundation of the society; it also celebrated another anniversary on the 28th of February, the date of the execution of the three native priests, Burgos, Gomez and Zamora (see note 81). On that day a catafalque draped with black cloth, was erected in each one of the popular Councils, having four hachones62, one in each of its four angles, adorned with crowns made with plants named Macabuhay63. All the members filed before the funeral pile, reciting prayers for the dead and swearing to avenge the death of the three priests.
Note 87. Roman Baza, who was one of the many who suffered the death penalty for his treason, undertook to educate in ultra-democratic ideas, (as Isabelo de los Reyes is doing in our days), all he came in contact with. He printed and spread abroad the “rights of man” of the French revolution.
He was at one time president of the Katipunan (see p. 44) but being a man little suited to carry out to a successful issue the set plans of the society, Bonifacio determined to remove him, by what Sr. Diaz terms a coup-d’etat, but more properly called an underhand trick. Bonifacio, at that time treasurer, forced a conflict on the subject of the financial conditions of the society, being denounced as an exploiter for his pains. The quarrel was settled by an election, Bonifacio by his unholy influence carrying all before him.
It was during the presidency of Baza that the Katipunan society for women was founded, “the object of which was mutual succor (!). The institution serving at the same time to dissimulate the meetings of the male Katipuneros. Whilst the latter were holding their sessions in a retired room, the women were in the salon with some young men dancing, singing or eating. The presidentess of this society of mutual succorers was Mariana Dizon.
To secure admission it was necessary to be a daughter or sister of one of the male members. Mariana Dizon later on married José Turiano Santiago, and as a result, the female Katipunan, as an organization was broken up, the late members however continuing to shield as before, the labors of the Katipunan reunions.
Note 88. See notes 74, 75 and 93. Part of the local and provincial Spanish press has not failed to give the public a rehash from time to time, of the greater part of the inventions of the separatists. It is needless to say, however, that in this it has failed to receive the support of representative Spaniards who look upon such an action as little to the honor of the good name of Spain. As to the corresponding English-speaking press in this connection, the less said the better for the good name of American journalism.
Note 89. José Dizon Matanza stated during his trial (fols. 1,132–1,138) “that Pio Valenzuela sought money from the wealthy, and as he (the prisoner) understood, from a statement of Bonifacio, had collected over a thousand pesos for the object of covering the expenses of the trip which he made to Dapitan to confer with Rizal; and in order to fool the authorities he took with him a blind individual with his guide, that Rizal might perform a cure or some operation upon the blind man. The motive of the conference was the proposition to Rizal of the armed rebellion, etc., etc.”
Valenzuela himself spoke of this trip to Dapitan (see note 16, p. 133) as follows:—
“In the month of May of that year 1896, a reunion was held in Pasig and there it was agreed to send a commission to Japan … and it was agreed also to commence the armed rebellion, settling the manner in which it should be carried out, but it was decided that, previous to taking action it would be wise to consult with Rizal, the witness being chosen as emissary. The schoolmaster of Cavite Viejo, by name Santos, proposed that a blind man named Raymundo Mata should accompany Valenzuela that Rizal might cure him. The witness embarked on the S. S. Venus at the end of May, meeting on board, one of Rizal’s sisters, and his (Rizal’s) querida, an American or English woman named Josefina; and arriving at Dapitan, the witness went ashore with the two women and a servant that accompanied them, making their way to the house of Rizal, etc., etc.”
According to a statement of Isabelo de los Reyes, “Rizal, as has been clearly proved at the trials (of traitors) advised them to wait another two years, as they lacked arms.”
I wonder if Rizal foresaw the war to break out two years later between Spain and the United States! His intense desire to go to Cuba would give one that idea.
Note 90. Negotiations indeed! Who can imagine the circumspect and formal little nation of Japan admitting negotiations with a warehouse porter, a man who was representative only of the worst of the lowest classes! Sr. Diaz probably made this statement from hearsay por boca de ganso as they say in Spanish. If any negotiations took place between Bonifacio and the Japanese Government they were on a par with those between the late U. S. Consuls of Singapore and Hong-Kong, and a few other irresponsible people, and Aguinaldo, the leader of the Katipunan.
Note 91. As has been seen in the foregoing notes, it was the intention of the separatists to make purchases of arms and their necessary ammunition in Japan. Those wealthy Filipinos who were owners of steamships were looked to as the chief assistance in the transportation and landing of the said arms, etc.
The date of the arrival of the arms, according as appeared from evidence given during the trial of Francisco L. Roxas, was to have been the 31st of December 1896. Lorenzo de la Paz, however, stated that it was the 1st of September of the said year. Others claimed it to be the 13th of September or the 30th of November. As may be easily seen, there was no lack of disagreement among the chiefs of the revolt, and perhaps, as far as the majority were concerned, still more exploitation.
Note 92. Pio Valenzuela y Alejandrino was a licentiate of Medicine, and one of the members of the inferior Supreme Council of the Katipunan. According to his own story he entered the files of the society under compulsion at the hands of Andrés Bonifacio, who on the strength of a love affair, gave him the alternative of death or membership in the Katipunan (see p. 132). In his declaration during his trial (fol. 142–147) on the 6th of September 1896, he recorded how on the 30 day of November, S. Andrew’s day of the year 1895, he was presented by Andrés Bonifacio to various Katipuneros as “brother” Medico (Doctor), Bonifacio stating that from that time he (Valenzuela) would be the doctor of the society. He also stated how, in the following month of January and in another meeting, he was nominated Fiscal, and official doctor with a salary of thirty pesos monthly, a salary he had no little difficulty in collecting. He was commissioned in May 1896 to go to Dapitan to hold a conference with Rizal concerning armed rising against the supreme authority of Spain in the Archipelago; but Rizal was shrewder and more far-sighted than the others and would not consent to the carrying out of the scheme as proposed by Bonifacio. On the return of Valenzuela Bonifacio imposed upon him a strict silence concerning the outcome of the conference; but being pressed by certain members of the society, among whom were Emilio Jacinto, Secretary of the Supreme Council, and capita Ramon of Pandacan, he revealed the secret of Rizal’s opposition to a plan he feared would be abortive. When once the cat was out of the bag the facts soon became public among the principal members, with the result that many who had promised funds for the purchase of arms etc. in Japan, refused to pay the amounts promised. Among these was a colonel of Malabon who had promised 500 pesos for the said object. This breach of confidence on the part of Valenzuela brought about the separation of himself and Bonifacio, and the former presented his resignation as doctor and fiscal of the society. Bonifacio opposed the idea of his resignation but it was finally accepted, and the former friends parted company each to work in his own sphere.
Valenzuela was in fact one of the chief movers of the rebellion; this was confessed by Domingo Franco, the late president of the then defunct Liga Filipina. “The rebellion,” says he, “was produced by a foolish child, whose name it would dirty the tongue to pronounce, because after being the author of all (this however is somewhat inexact) has given himself up to the authorities to denounce those he has succeeded in misleading.”
During his trial in the Bilibid prison, before Col. Francisco Olive y García on the 2nd of September 1896, he gave some of the most interesting and reliable information that has yet been gathered concerning the interior workings and doings of the Katipunan.
When the Guardia Civil set out from Manila to break up Bonifacio’s party in Caloocan, several of those forming the leadership fled, and among them Valenzuela. He entered Manila by way of Sampaloc, passing through Quiapo to the Escolta and down the Pasaje de Pérez, embarking there on one of the lake steamers. On arrival at Biñang he went to the house of the co-adjutor D. Silvino Manaol (native priest), to whom he recounted what had taken place. The co-adjutor asked of the parish priest the proclamation of the Governor General conceding pardon to those who should present themselves64. Having read it with care and under the advice of the co-adjutor, he set out for the capital disembarking at the Ayala bridge from whence he took a quiles and went immediately to the palace of the Governor to present himself to him. The Governor General was not at home so Valenzuela at once started for the offices of the Military Government.
Speaking of this giving up of himself of Valenzuela, Sr. José M. del Castillo y Jimenez says: “The forty-eight hours conceded by the proclamation of the Governor Blanco were about to close when there reached the palace of Sta. Potenciana, worn out, bathed in perspiration, and almost in a period of agony, Pio Valenzuela, an important person of revolution he being in such a condition that it was necessary to assist him previous to his passing into the presence of Gov. Blanco. When he had come to himself and was in a condition to make an explicit and ample confession he had two hours conference with the Governor, giving information of as such as he knew.”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“Valenzuela and Rosario were of great utility in clarifying the facts and especially in the explanation of the cipher documents discovered in the house of Villaruel and others.”
1Avisos y profecias, Madrid 1892. pp. 286–308.
2Concerning the doctrines of Universal Freemasonry D. Gabriel Jogand-Pagés says writing on the subject of freemasonry in Spain: “The teaching which according to the ritual of the 33rd degree is the synthesis of freemasonry, is well worthy of being borne in mind.”
“In the reception to the 33rd degree, the Grand Master turning to the person to be received, ends his discourse with the following significant exhortation:
“I owe you, Illustrious brother, an explanation which it is necessary to give to our rituals.”
“Masonry being nothing else than active revolution, permanent conspiracy against political and religious despotism,….”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“The Grand Master innocent, you have already seen, is man … man who was born innocent because he was born unconsciously.”
“Our Grand Master Innocent was born to be happy and to enjoy in all their fullness all his rights without exception: But he fell, struck with the blows of three assassins: of three infamous beings who placed formidable obstacles in the way of his happiness, and against his rights….”
“These three infamous assassins are: the Law, Property and Religion”.
“The Law because it is not in harmony with the rights of the individual man and the duties of the man who lives in society: rights which all acquire in all their integrity….”
“Property: because the earth is the property of no one and its products pertain to all in the measure for each one of the true necessities for his welfare.”
“Religion: because religions are no more than the philosophies of men of talent, which the people have adopted….”
“Neither the Law, Property nor Religion can impose themselves upon man, and as they deprive him of his most precious rights they are assassins against whom we have sworn to exercise the utmost vengeance.
“Of these three infamous enemies, Religion ought to be the object of our constant mortal attacks, because a people never have survived their religion, and destroying religion we have at our disposition the law and property and we can then regenerate society, establishing over the ruins, masonic Religion, masonic Law and masonic property.”
3“Insurreccion en Filipinas”; vol. I. p. 109.
4One not acquainted with the seducing nature of the masonic operation and the peculiarity of the native character, would wonder to find the name of a Catholic priest so intimately connected with freemasonry and its offspring, especially in a country in which the Church wages close and continual warfare with the evil. There is little need for surprise however, when we consider the seductive influence of the one hand and the simplicity and childishness of the native character on the other. Many of the native clergy were body and soul wrapt up in the workings of freemasonry and were Spain’s worst and most crafty enemies.
In Nueva Caceres, Inocencio Herrera, Severo Estrada and Severino Diaz, three native priests of the Cathedral of that diocese, headed the conspiracy against the Government. They formed a deposit of arms and ammunition in the organ of the Cathedral and, according to the plan they had prepared, one of their first steps was to murder the Bishop of the diocese. On this point it will be interesting to quote the testimony of Tomás Prieto, of Nueva Caceres, who, whilst on board the S. S. Isarog, on the 20th of September 1896, testified in the presence of the captain of the Ship and other witnesses that he had received 50 rifles, 10 of which he had given into the care of Manuel Abella, a millionaire of that province who was eventually executed for treason; the remainder he had distributed among other persons, 3 being placed in the care of Severino Diaz, parish priest of the Cathedral of Nueva Caceres…. As to their plans of action, he testified that the intention was to kill all the Spaniards, the mentioned parish priest of the Cathedral, the coadjutor Inocencio and Severo Estrada, all natives, having promised to aid personally to secure the success of the affair.
He also declared that “on the 9th of July of the same year, a reunion was celebrated in the house of Manuel Abella, and among those present were Gabriel Prieto, a native priest and brother of the witness, Severino Diaz and others; it was in this reunion that it was decided to carry out the programme above mentioned.”
In both provinces of the Camarines many were mixed up in some of the dirtiest work of the revolt.
Innumerable cases might be mentioned also in which the native clergy have exerted considerable influence against the American Government, inciting the rebels to resist its lawful authority, much to the detriment of the interests of the Church and bringing down upon the clergy in general accusations of sedition and treachery. Juan Castañeda testified that he had been initiated into the mysteries of freemasonry by Severo Buenaventura, a native priest, coadjutor of Imus. Buenaventura received his initiation from Ambrosio Flores, now the Governor of the province of Rizal; he possessed three grades and enjoyed the use of the symbolic name of “cuitib” (the name of a small ant which bites furiously). Nine native priests were sent to Manila from Vigan and La Union; all of these were convicted of treason.
5The word in the original Spanish is madrasta which, apart from that of step-mother, has the meaning of “anything disagreeable.”
6See note 26.
7For the complete document see appendix A.
8A contract was made between the administrator of the estate in question, situated at Calamba, and Francisco Mercado Rizal, father of the subject of this note, for the land the Rizal family occupied and cultivated. This land measured some 500 hectares and was clear and clean, the tenant having merely to give it three or four turns with the plow in order to prepare it for use. To show the treatment meted out to the tenant, it will be sufficient to say that the contract agreed that the tenant should have the entire use of the land and its product for four harvests or five years RENT FREE. As great as this advantage was to the Rizal family it is but a little of what was done by the Dominicans for that ungrateful family of filibusters.
10”La Independencia” was a revolutionary daily of four pages, published in the Orphan Asylum of Malabon, property of the Augustinian Corporation and stolen and eventually totally destroyed by the “ever destructive” Tagalog rebels during the revolution. The first number was published on Saturday, 3rd Sept. 1898. Its leading article is an exposition of the purpose of the publication of the paper, which was the defense of the independence of the Philippines. “We defend, says the writer of the article, the independence of the Philippines because it is the aspiration of the country which has come of age; and when a people rise as a man to protest, arm in hand, against a policy of oppression and injustice, it manifests sufficient vitality to live free.” This is a fair sample of the style of the conduct of the paper. It is worthy of note that the history of the revolt has clearly shown that, in the first place, independence was not the aspiration of the people, but a fanciful hope of a handful of exploiters; secondly that the country has not come of age, not having even reached the age of puberty; thirdly that the people did not rise as a man but that the Tagal “discontents” were the body and soul of the whole insurrection both against Spain and against the U. S.; and finally, that the “policy of oppression and injustice” was imaginary, the same complaint having since been made against the Government of Washington as was then made against the Government of Madrid. The quotation concerning Luna is taken from No. 2 of the paper published on the 5th of Sept. 1898.
11The principal works of Juan Luna are: The death of Cleopatra for which he received a silver medal; this was painted under the tutorship of Sr. Vera. Under the same master he painted the Spoliarium for which he was rewarded a gold medal, but this not really for the merit of the picture but in order to put an end to a rivalry between two Spanish painters. On his own account he painted and gave forth The Battle of Lepanto; this was received almost with hisses and was heartily criticized. Also the Profanation of the Tombs; if anything this was worse. As the savage nature which lay dormant in his breast became more and more awakened his paintings became more and more decadescent: his Pacto-de-Sangre, in the which he inspired the return to one of the most barbarous customs of pre-Spanish times in the archipelago, rubs off the last touches of the veneer of civilization which formed the dividing line between the indian of the city and the indian of the mountain and forest.
12“Andrés Bonifacio told the witness that he communicated with the president of the Superior Supreme Council, who was Francisco L. Roxas latterly, and Doroteo Cortés formerly; … “Testimony of Pio Valenzuela (fols. 591 to 597).
13”… Doroteo Cortés and a certain Artacho were those who were in understanding with the Japanese Government, which would find a way to send people of the laboring classes to the Philippines, to the end of seeking motives which might give excuse for a war between Spain and that Power”. Testimony of Pio Valenzuela (fols. 1,663 to 1,673).
14”… The Supreme Council (of the Liga) decided to purchase arms and ammunition in Japan, sending to that country at the proper time, a commission to ask of that Government its aid and protection for the Philippines, under the condition that some islands of the Archipelago should be ceded to that nation as a recompense; … Cortés, Ambrosio Bautista and others being chosen to form the commission.” Testimony of Numeriano Adriano (fols. 1,309 to 1,312).
15“It the having been known for some time that Pedro Serrano had malverted the money gathered for Rizal, and for the funds of the Propaganda, the associates of Masonry stopped the individual payment of the 50 cents per month for La Propaganda….” Extract from the testimony of Antonio Salazar y San Agustin (fols. 1,118 to 1,129 Sept. 22, 1896).
16For a description of anting-anting see appendix D.
17Pedro Gonzales, a native who was captured whilst carrying dispatches and letters to and fro between Manila and the insurgent camp, was a man well posted in the doings of the rebels and was able to give much interesting and valuable information to the Authorities. The most interesting portions of his evidence will be found in appendix F. In this matter of the flight of Bonifacio he stated that “it was not exact as had been said, that Andrés Bonifacio was in Cavite (at that particular time), for after the defeat at San Juan del Monte he disappeared with the funds of the Katipunan, which amounted to some 20,000 pesos, as he had been assured.”
18Having been asked during his trial whether he was aware of the hiding place of Bonifacio, Valenzuela (fol. 600 to 605) stated that “he was not aware of the place in which Bonifacio and others were to be met with; that he merely supposed that Bonifacio could be found in the mountains of San Mateo, in Tapusi, in other words in the most inaccessible part of the said mountain range; because the witness heard him say that he would retire to that point to dedicate himself to highway robbery if the movement should not be successful.
19“The generalisimo, captain Emilio, is very indignant with the conduct of Andrés Bonifacio, upon whose head he has set a price, offering a good recompense to the one who will present him dead or alive, for he says that he cannot consent to such a desertion after he had been the principal promoter of the popular rebellion”. From the statement of Pedro Gonzalez previously quoted.
20See foot-note page 114.
21The head offices of the La Democracia in Manila are situated on Calle Villalobos, a name which put into English signifies wolf village. For the headquarters of such a scurrilous sheet and for such a political party no better place could be found, for taking the two at their very best they are veritable “wolves in sheep’s clothing”.
22See page 60.
23Nilad is the name of a plant, from which is derived the name of Manila.
24In an interesting pamphlet entitled “Vexata Questio”, giving a brief sketch of three centuries of history in the Philippines, published in Manila in 1901, the author, in a foot note to page 28, says of Foreman:
“It should be remarked that this writer, in the first edition of his work, claims to be an earnest Catholic. Dean Worcester, who copies from Foreman’s book some of the most drivelling paragraphs, lays particular stress upon this fact. I leave it to the common sense of any one who has read Foreman’s history, or what Worcester stoops so low to copy therefrom, whether a man whose Alpha and Omega is truly anti-Catholic and often anti-christian, and the ink of whose pen savors of Catholic blood shed upon the altars of Freemasonry can be a Catholic, at least an honorable one.”
Foreman was a traveller in machinery and as such was enabled to get to all the principal parts of the Archipelago. He was, as he himself confesses, always well received in the pueblos, and greeted by the parish priests (friars) and lodged in the convents free of cost. Although Foreman did not perform vile practical jokes upon unsuspecting and inoffensive hosts as did the now “commissioner” Worcester in his travels, he did many things no honorable man would have done. Although he professed himself a Catholic it was only for “business” purposes; one has only to read the preface to his book to find that out.
Foreman was an Englishman, disliked by the English, despised by everyone he came in contact with; and if the things said of him by his intimate acquaintances, are true, then he well deserved the snubs he has lately received all round.
On the 17th of April 1899, before the members of the Schurman Commission, Neil Macleod testified of Foreman, as follows:
Questioned by Worcester:
Q. Have you read Foreman’s book?
A. Yes; I know him personally.
Q. Was he a Catholic?
A. I do not know.
Q. He says so?
Q. He is an engineer, isn’t he?
A. He has been here frequently travelling all over the country, selling machinery.
Q. You know he attacks the Church?
A. He attacks the church very much, and he ought to be very thankful to the priests, for they have been very good to him; …
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
considering that he availed himself of their services and hospitality all over the country, he should have thought twice before putting a thing like that (his history) into print.”
Worcester was fishing for trout and caught a crab. He got enough and the subject … suddenly changed.
25See Appendix G.
26Philippinos: insular Spaniards, or Spaniards born in the Philippines. Filipino: more commonly known as indio: that is, an indian native of the Archipelago.
27For this decree see Appendix H.
28He was conducted from calle Iris blindfolded in a quilez (a vehicle of the country) to a house which he later on discovered to be that of Bonifacio, situated in calle Oroquieta.
29In an official letter of the Grand Secretary of the Oriente Español to the Lodge Nilad, dated Madrid 8th of June 1892, the secretary, warning the said lodge to be careful in the performance of its labors says: “… not all men, although they profess our ideas and doctrines, serve for good masons.”
30“The oath bound (the Katipuneros) as well as the militares (the rebel army) were to be supported and equipped by several wealthy persons of Manila, among them D. Francisco Roxas who was in charge of the maintenance of the rebel army.” Testimony of 2nd Lieut Benedicto Nijaga y Polonio. (fols. 222–224)
31See Appendix I.
32Wildman will probably be long remembered by many who suffered brutalities and tortures at the hands of Aguinaldo’s horde of cut-throats, inspired by the late Consul’s advise.
Correspondence took place between Aguinaldo and Wildman concerning the Spanish prisoners. In reply to a request of the Dictator, Wildman wrote:
“Never mind feeding them. A meal every day, of course, and water will be a good diet. They have been living too high during the last few years. As the Spaniards want more bloodshed in the Philippines, I trust you will let them have a taste of real war. Do not be so tender with them, etc., etc.”
Little did Wildman think that the day would come when these words of his would inspire equal or greater barbarity against his own countrymen.
The publication of the valuable papers in Wildman’s possession at the time of his death in the shipwreck which occurred almost at the very door of his home would doubtless throw much light upon the past four years of Philippine history. The shipment of tons upon tons of ammunition, a large shipment of which left London on the “Inaba Maru,” on the 25th of September 1899, addressed to the “American Consul”, Hong-Kong, have yet to be accounted for.
33There were always plenty of funds, but the money too often stuck to the fingers of those who had the handling of it.
34A name given among Spaniards, to young servant boys or girls. The word signifies servant and is used as such in the same manner as in British Oriental colonies the word boy is used,—irrespective of age.
35Nipa.—Nipa fructificans.—Nipa is a small palm which grows in salt water. From it the natives make a species of wine and vinegar, whilst its leaves serve to thatch their houses. It is one of the plants of most utility to the indian.
36The reason for Rizal’s deportation is set forth clearly in the decree of Deportation which is given entire in Appendix.
37As a sample of these statements I will quote the following document, which is one of a number copied from a book of decrees received by the Revolutionary authorities of the pueblo of Mendez Nuñez, province of Cavite,
“K. K. K.”
“Chiefs of each pueblo”
“In the urgent letter received to-day from the General (Aguinaldo) concrete notice is given that to-day there have anchored the warships proceeding from Japan to our assistance, and it is said, that they are now just on the other side of the island of Corregidor….”
This document is dated 11th September 1896, and is signed by El capitan comandante, Crisòstomo Riel.
38What a fine president he would have made for the Federal Party! Castañeda was worthy of an office in the Ayuntamiento with a sign over the door—Hon. Juan Castañeda, Native Commissioner.
39Ambrosio Flores: (bro∴ musa) was the Gr∴ Pres∴ of the Gr∴ Cons∴ Reg∴ of the Philippines. (See note 23)—Moises Salvador stated of him in his declaration (fols. 1,138–1,143), in reply to a question as to the manner in which Flores was affiliated to filibusterism, that “by reason of his high position in freemasonry, he aided the ends of the filibusters, making propaganda among those affiliated to the lodges.” He stated, at the same time that Flores, in no concept, formed part of the Liga or Compromisarios. It was Ambrosio Flores who, at the opportune moment let fall the masonic sledge hammer upon the back of Pedro Serrano, charging him with being a traitor (see note 12) to the cause.
40I have frequently quoted the “Memoria” of Isabelo de los Reyes, because I consider that whilst in it he exaggerates and lies considerably, there are yet points upon which what he says has all the probability of the truth, in as much as when he finds it pays to tell the truth he tells it. In this particular point, however, it is “according to what is said.”
41How much this reminds me of the story of the little boy who went to the grocer’s and asked for 10 cents worth of molasses. The shop-keeper measured out the molasses into the jug and asked the little boy for the dime, receiving the reply: “its at the bottom of the jug.” And that’s just where the other little boy’s money would have been.
42In the official extract of advice given by the Secret Service to the Gov. Gen. Blanco, we read: “Aug 1. Notice is hereby given that, by references from Japan, the Gov. Gen. has received from the Emperor of that nation some messages which had been directed to him by some 22,000 Filipinos in representation of the native inhabitants of these islands, and in the which, after congratulating him for his triumphs over the Chinese Empire, asks his protection and shelter for this Archipelago, and its annexation to the Japanese Empire.”
43The word Kongo signifies Imperial diamond.
44The Bazar Japonés situated in Plaza Moraga.
45Typical of the heads of the twelve apostles of filibusterism.
46In his “Memoria”.
47I am inclined to differ somewhat with this opinion. What is more probable is that as regards the actual membership there existed a gulf between the wealthy and the lower classes which was bridged by the representatives of either association. I have not come across any concrete evidence that the two elements really mixed, the one with the other; the inborn pride of the Chinese half caste, the class from which, the majority of the wealthy elements came, and of the indio of money or political “pull”, would not permit such a mixture of the two associations Señor Valdés supposes.
48See appendix A.
49See note 56; also foot-note, page 180.
50The witness might have added that Blanco as a mason did more than “know” of it: he took no steps to counter-act it, till circumstances demanded that harsh measures should be taken to maintain national honor.
51In plain English, this is a lie and no one could know it better than the witness.
52By an element. Even would-be-president Bryan has his followers here.
53In other words: he allowed a certain wealthy and influential class of people to lead him around wherever they would, by the nose.
54This statement is the result of either ignorance or malice. (See note 97, 98.) This account also materially differs from the “faked up” story of Legarda. How little some people know of the truth when they do not wish to tell it!
55This is another. Now that Tavera and Legarda are side by side in the U. S. Commission they might compare their testimony with advantage: it might aid them to preserve somewhat of the truth in future.
56It would be interesting to know just how many of the late insurgents who now hold position of importance under the Government, are following up this piece of advice of Aguinaldo.
57Domestic: i. e., made for household use, for cutting up meat, cutting down bamboos, and in fact for every use for which a knife or chopper is needed.
58Castillo y Jimenez; El Katipunan ó el filibusterismo en Filipinas: pp. 128–129.
59That is men of the lower classes, laborers.
60It is difficult to determine whether such statements are due to ignorance or to malice. The real truth of the situation is that although the friar came to the Philippines to perform sacerdotal duties and preach the Gospel, his beneficial influence was not confined to the mere preaching of the Gospel. “What most honors the whole membership past and present of the Religious Orders is the intense zeal shown in the temporal as well as the spiritual welfare of their parishioners. To merely defeat and drive out the bad that was in them was not sufficient, for Satan finds mischief for idle hands, and when one devil is driven out of a man he roams around seeking other devils with whom he returns and re-enters the soul and “the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.” So to thoroughly carry out their christianizing and civilizing purpose they did their best to instruct their converts to occupy their time in the fields, in the building of houses, of churches, of structures of all kinds necessary. They taught them to be self-supporting and to build up happy homes around them. The few industries, if the little then done by the natives in the way of manual labor can be classed as industry, that existed among the people at that time were copied from the Chinese and Mohammedan traders who visited and traded with them. These industries however were but crude as a rule; and moreover the connection with these anti-christian influences had to be cut for the moral protection of the indian and therefore the friar missionary, ever on the alert for his children’s welfare, instructed them in industries which, whilst occupying their time formerly spent in abject laziness, also gave them the advantage of money making.
“As soon as the natives had become accustomed to living after the manner of civilized beings, the friars taught them the art of making lime, mortar and bricks and of utilizing these materials in buildings and fortifications for the common protection against their enemies. They instructed them in the method of tilling the virgin and fertile soil, of utilizing the many streams of water that nature had provided.”
And yet there are those who would make us believe that the friar missionary has done nothing to civilize the Filipinos. To whom then do they owe the civilization they enjoy?
61Faith in their anting-anting; courage to maltreat and murder the helpless and sometimes dying prisoners that fell into their hands; and as to constancy…? The majority of the leaders eventually became traitors to the most cherished ideas of independence. Three figures alone stand out as really constant throughout the whole rebellion, and these three are Aguinaldo, Mabini, and Pio del Pilar; and of these three the most constant was Aguinaldo, a misguided man who deserves far more honor than those who deserted him and who never thought of raising a finger to alleviate his hard lot, a lot for which they are morally responsible.
62A kind of altar on which bonfires are lighted for illumination.
63The name of this plant signifies that it possesses the power to bring to life again—to resuscitate.
64This granting of pardon to those who should present themselves is contained in Art. 7. of the proclamation of the Governor General Blanco, issued on the 30th of August 1896, and which reads as follows:
“Art. 7. The rebels who present themselves to the authorities within 48 hours after the publication of this proclamation, shall be exempt from punishment for rebellion, with the exception of the chiefs of the seditious groups and those who relapse into those crimes. The chiefs to whom reference is made shall be pardoned of the punishment due them if they surrender within the fixed time suffering a punishment immediately inferior according to grade.”
The reader’s attention is called to paragraph 3 on the following page of the text (p. 47).
Apart from the Councils spoken of in this and the former paragraphs there were others formed at a later date. These were more properly variations and were as follows:
Trozo: Popular Council Maypagasa with four sections, Dapitan, Silang̃anan, Dimasagaran, and Dimas-Alang.
Palomar: Popular Council Pinkian with two sections.
Tondo: Council Katagalugan with the sections Katutuhanan, Kabuhayan, Pagtibayan, Kaling̃aan and Bagong-sinag under the presidency of Alejandro Santiago, Braulio Rivera, Hilarion Cruz, Cipriano Pacheco, Nicolás Rivera and Deogracias Fajardo.
Conception and Dilao (Paco): the Council Mahaganti presided over by Rafael Gutiérrez; and the sections Panday and Ilog, with a delegation in Ermita.
In Cavite was the popular Council Kawit the president of which was Emilio Aguinaldo1 the capitan municipal of the pueblo of Cavite Viejo and later on the dictator of the Filipino Commune. This Council comprehended Imus, Noveleta, Silang, Naic, Maragondon and other pueblos. Imus was presided over by Juan Castañeda, Noveleta by Alejandro Crisóstomo.
One of the seals of Aguinaldo.
One of the seals of Aguinaldo.
Lancet with which the incisions of the Pacto de Sangre were made.
Lancet with which the incisions of the Pacto de Sangre were made.
Signature of Aguinaldo.
Signature of Aguinaldo.
In Bacoor was a Popular Council presided over by Genaro Valdes with three sections Dimagpatantan (not to leave in peace), Ditutugutan (not to rest till the end is reached), and Pananginginigan (formidable).
Note 93. The Kalayaan was intended to be a monthly review. Its first number consisted of thirty-two pages in quarto. The price of each number was 50c (Mexican). It was a most rabid anti-Spanish publication and advocated separatism openly, and yet in spite of the press censorship it circulated freely in the Archipelago.
As the common belief was that this paper was published in Japan, as would appear from the paper itself, General Blanco decided to send a special delegate to Japan to investigate the matter of its impression, its publishers, authors, etc., that steps might be taken to put a stop to its impression or at least that a check be put on its entry and circulation into the Philippines. Don Alfredo Villeta was chosen; but on account of some hitch in the arrangements, he never started on his errand. Some say that the paper did not reach its second number, but it is certain that it did not reach its third.
The heading was as under:
Issued at the end of each month.
1st year. Yokohama. January 1896. No. 1.
Price of subscription, 3 months 1 peso; in advance. Articles must be signed by their authors. If purchased will cost 2 reales per number.
The headings of the principal articles were as follows:
To the Compatriots.
Manifesto; by Dimas-Alang (José Rizal.)
What the indian ought to know and understand; by Agapito Bagumbayan.
This latter article is a mirror in which the purpose of the paper is reflected; it reads remarkably like a composition of Pedro Paterno, the visionary who claims for the peoples of the Archipelago a glorious pre-Spanish history and civilization. The following citations from the article will give some idea of the whole publication.
“In these islands, which were previously cared for by our true neighbors of Malaysia at a time when the Spaniards had not as yet set foot upon the land, there existed a complete abundance and a state of welfare. Our friends the neighboring kingdoms, and especially Japan, brought commerce to our shores which formed the most abundant market, and there was found everything necessary, wherefore it was the richest country and its customs were all very good3. Everyone, youths and advanced in years and even the women, could read and write according to our manner of script.”
The article goes on to say that upon the arrival of the Spaniards the natives only made friends with them after that Legazpi had performed the ceremonies of the pacto-de-Sangre4 with one of the indio petty sovereigns.
“The Spaniards,” says the writer, “have perverted us with their bad customs and have destroyed and obliged us to forget the noble and beautiful customs of our country.”
Noble and beautiful customs: Compulsory defloration of young girls, as a result of the belief that a girl who died a virgin could not enter heaven! Could anything be more noble and beautiful?
Kalayaan purported to be and was always considered as the soul of the defunct Solidaridad (see note 24). It was printed in the Tagalog dialect and died, as it was born and had lived—in shame.
Note 94. Pio Valenzuela testified (fols. 582–591) that on the 22nd of August he was informed by Josefa Dizon that her son José together with Bonifacio had fled from Manila. Valenzuela thereupon fled also, following them, and reaching Caloocan about 8 p. m. There he found Bonifacio with some twenty others. Andrés informed them that they must not separate as it was now time to commence the armed rebellion, the plot of the Katipunan having been discovered. From Caloocan they went to Balintauac arriving about 11 p. m. Here they met a certain Laong with a group of men. They remained in the pueblo Sunday, Monday and Tuesday preparing for the onslaught they were to make upon the Spaniards, which was fixed for the 29th of the same month, the plans being that they should advance in groups upon Manila, killing the Spaniards and also the indians and Chinese who refused to follow them, “dedicating themselves to the sacking of the city, robbery and incendiarism and to the violation of women.” Many Chinese were murdered and their stores robbed.
Whilst in the fields of Balintauac distribution was made of bolos and ten revolvers, the latter stolen from the Maestranza of Manila. On Tuesday evening preparations were made to meet the attack of the Spanish troops which had been sent out in persecution of the rebels, and the first conflict took place. Valenzuela also stated that the greater part of the people who formed the rebel forces were drawn, catechised and initiated all in a moment by the fanatic Laong, who was practically the active chief of the revolt, and who directed in person the attack upon the Chinese stores.
About 5 pm. on the 29th five hundred men under a “leader of Pasig” appeared on the scene at the waterworks. They at once took possession of the building and of the persons of the workmen. Their first intention was to stop the machinery so that no one need be left in charge thereof when orders should be received for a start for Manila. The engineer however, reminded the chief that if such a thing was done their brethren in Manila would die of thirst. This excuse carried the day and the chief decided to leave some workmen there under the condition that the engineer and others who wore moustaches should shave, and that all should dress like indians, and that the engineer’s wife should dress like a native woman and prepare food for his men. The party finally set out on their way. They tried to avoid an encounter with the troops composed of artillery and infantry, 65 men in all, stationed at the powder works. In avoiding this handful of defenders they fell afoul of other troops which gave them a good sharp reception.
As to those who, repenting, desired to return to a legal status, it is difficult to form an opinion, on account of the contrary evidence adduced in connection therewith. Isabelo de los Reyes already cited, in a futile attempt to justify the acts of the Katipuneros, claims that some of the chiefs opposed the plan of the armed resistance as contained in the propositions of Bonifacio, claiming that it would be a great and useless sacrifice, to say nothing of the imprudence of such an act, to launch forth against an armed force without possessing better arms than a few bolos and lances. He claims that Bonifacio listened to the advice and was on the point of acting upon it, but was compelled to take the step he did in declaring the revolt, by the attitude of his 500 followers. The authority for this statement was Pedro Nicodemus, who was the commander of the said group, a man who was as ignorant as he was blood-thirsty.
Further on Isabelo states that “in the famous reunion of Balintauac, in the solemn moment of the breaking forth of the revolt (August, 26th 1896) Andrés Bonifacio as president of the Supreme Council of the Katipunan, explained that the plot had been discovered, and that in order to save those who were compromised and who had not up to that time been arrested, it was necessary to launch forth to the fight, although the arms with which they should fight had not yet arrived from Japan.”
Granted however the character of Bonifacio, his aims and the methods he adopted to carry out his ideas, such an excuse as that of Reyes argue but little in pro of the good judgement or better said the good faith of its author. Bonifacio was anxious for the first blow of the revolt to be struck that he might not lose the confidence of those who had intrusted him with the undertaking and who had been fooled into the idea that the Katipunan forces were so powerful that nothing could resist their onward course once they had been started on their way. And to suppose that Bonifacio was to be so easily influenced by a few petty chiefs is to show a complete ignorance of the character of the hero of the Katipunan. If the opposition of the said petty chiefs really occurred it was probably inspired more by fear of the consequences than by the true spirit of repentance, for if the cruelties and abuses said to have been committed by the Spaniards were the cause of the revolt, what need was there of such a repentance?
The prestige enjoyed by Bonifacio among the katipuneros was natural enough, in as much as he was the father of the Katipunan, the illegitimate offspring of filipino freemasonry, itself a legitimate child of the Spanish family of universal freemasonry.
“The Katipunan,” says the author of an exposition to Congress, dated 1900 and published at the printing office of the El Liberal, “the worthy and legitimate5 child of Andrés Bonifacio, was founded in his own house in calle Sagunto (Tondo) between six and seven in the evening of the 7th of July 1892. Andrés Bonifacio gathered together his best friends, Teodoro Plata, Valentin Díaz, Ladislao Dina, Deodato Arellano, and Ildefonso Laurel, to whom he proposed the necessity of the creation of that Superior Association of the Sons of the People, whose only aim should be that of the independence of the people under a Spanish protectorate or in default of that, of Japan. Those assembled took to the idea with great enthusiasm and at once commenced the propaganda of the same.
Note 95. One thing which clearly demonstrates the state of fanaticism and moral degradation to which the Katipunan fell, was the savage manner in which they treated the Religious prisoners who fell into their hands. Disrespect for all authority and especially that of the clergy, was one of the chief fruits of the work of propaganda carried on by Rizal and other of the separatist element, aided and abetted by the Bible societies who gave moral as well as practical assistance to their labors.
As fanaticism increased, this want of respect became more intense and eventually led to a thirst for the blood of those whose greatest crime was the excessive favor they had extended to the indian, to whom such a thing as gratitude was unknown6.
As we have seen, the intention of the Katipuneros was the annihilation of the Spaniards, irrespective of class or condition. The parish priest being the strongest support of the administration was the target for the bitterest treatment at the hands of the rebels.
Among the number of those parish priests murdered by the Tagalog rebels were P. Toribio Moreno; Recolet, parish priest of Silang; P. Toribio Mateo, Recolet and parish priest of Perez Dasmariñas; and the lay brothers: fray Luis Garbayo and Julian Umbon, these latter were murdered in San Francisco de Malabon. Upon the Estate of Imus, then property of the Recolet Corporation, now in the possession of a large London Syndicate, were most brutally murdered the following Recolets:
P. José Ma. Learte, ex-Provincial and parish priest of Imus, P. Simeon Marin, ex-Definitor and parish priest of Maragondon, P. Agipito Echegoyen, parish priest of Amadeo, P. Faustino Lizasoain, parish priest of Bailen, and the lay-brothers:
Roman Caballero, Jorge Zueco del Rosario, Damaso Goñi, Bernardo Angos, Victoriano López.
It is affirmed by eye-witnesses that these victims to Tagalog fanaticism were saturated with petroleum and burned alive.
Fear was entertained for the safety of of several Dominican Fathers who held parishes near by, and therefore P. Buenaventura Campa, P. Francisco Cabeñas and fray Natalio Esparza immediately set out in search for them. Regardless of the great risk they ran in falling into the hands of the bloodthirsty Katipuneros, these three heroic Dominicans casting aside all thought for self and all care for their own welfare7 set out for Naic in the steam launch Mariposa. Difficulties were encountered from the start. The native captain and engineer conspired to prevent the carrying out of the attempted rescue. P. Buenaventura calling up the refractory captain told him that he and his companions were firm in their purpose and that progress must be made. The captain pleaded inability for want of coal. Then hoist the sails, said P. Campa. There are none replied the captain. Then take my habit and those of my companions and make sails of them, thundered the Padre. The captain gave in and the journey was continued. Naic was reached; they failed to find their companions but were in time to save the unfortunate wife and children of Lieut. Perez Herrero; they discovered them barefooted and wellnigh mad with terror, dressed in native clothes and hidden in a nipa shack. P. Galo Minguez, parish priest of Naic, Padres Nicolás Peña and José Digne and the laybrothers Saturnino García and José Pedida had succeeded in escaping from the clutches of the rebellious Tagalogs, having fled to Labay from whence they made their way to Corregidor, meeting there those who had come to seek them in the Mariposa.
The Augustinian Father P. Piernavieja was another victim to fanaticism. This Father has been termed medio loco8 and in all truth he was so if the possession of a presence of mind such as that shown by P. Piernavieja is to be termed craziness. True it is that he was at times gifted with a strange turn of mind. He had, during the many years he administered the parish, established therein a christian communism. When the revolt broke out he was held as a prisoner and obliged to invest himself with the authority of an Archbishop. Had the revolt prospered and P. Piernavieja lived, undoubtedly he would have been made Archbishop of Manila by the Tagalog discontents. P. Piernavieja was shrewd enough to take well to his new office. He was once called upon to anoint the chiefs and rulers, as the kings and emperors of olden time were anointed by the Church. Padre Piernavieja told them that olive oil was not suitable for such a purpose and therefore proceeded to anoint them with cocoanut oil such as is used by the natives for their lamps! Under pretext of his office of Bishop this strange old man claimed liberty to make his pastoral visits and when he succeeded in securing this liberty which was readily granted to him, he overran all that part of the province in the hands of the insurgents, secretly collecting all kinds of information, which he immediately sent his superiors in Manila. This information reached the military authorities and would have become of utility to them for the carrying out of the campaign had it been prosecuted as a military campaign should have been. But the Padre’s messenger was eventually captured with messages in his possession. When questioned as to the source of the information, and where he was taking it, he told all, and as a result Padre Piernavieja was condemned to death as a traitor to a cause to which he had never held allegiance. As a punishment he was tied to a tree exposed to the burning rays of the tropical sun, and thus left to the mercy of the voracious birds and insects, dying of hunger, thirst and of terror in the midst of inconceivable torments.
Padre David Veras, Dominican, was another of the many victims of the Katipuneros. He was the parish priest of the pueblo of Hermosa in the province of Bataan. When the insurgents attacked the pueblo they captured P. David, and after cutting off both his hands, dragged him to the most distant of the ten barrios of that pueblo, and there hacked him to death with bolos and hatchets mutilating his body in a horrible manner, and throwing the corpse on to a dung heap.
In the early dawn of the 25th of December 1896, in Morong province of Bataan, Padre Domingo Cabrejas, Recolet, was murdered at the altar while offering up the holy sacrifice of the Mass, his blood staining the sacred linen and the steps of the altar. The katipunero murderers hurriedly hid the body in the church and fled.
Padre José Sanjuan, also Recolet and parish priest of Bagac was another victim. To name all those who suffered barbarous treatment at the merciful hands of the insurgents would be a well-nigh impossible task. Recalling the acts of those fanaticised sectarians, one might almost recall the barbarities and brutalities of the diabolical Nero. Certainly the ancient Chinese and Japanese were scarcely more excessive in their treatment of the unfortunate missionaries they tortured in their attempt to stamp out the christian faith; and even the Chinese boxers of our days could have taken lessons from the disciples of Filipino freemasonry. Many, many are the unfortunate missionaries whose blood cries to heaven for vengeance and this vengeance of the God of Justice will one day fall upon this people. Even in our own days we cannot shut our eyes to the fact of the existence of the well marked track of the hand of Divine Justice as it passes here and there throughout the land, calling now upon this one, now upon that, to pay his debt even to the last farthing. The track of the finger of God has been remarkably distinct in this archipelago and many are the cases in which that finger moving slowly and silently along has pointed out the unfruitful tree which the scythe of death shall cut down.
“For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God; visiting the sins of the fathers upon the children until the third and fourth generation.”
Note 96. Some there are who see in every event which takes place, the protecting or avenging hand of Providence. Others there are who laugh to scorn the idea that Providence should concern itself in such matters.
The hand of Providence surely has manifested itself of late in this archipelago, here protecting the one from a cruel torture, there permitting the sacrifice of a martyr to the faith or a martyr to duty and honor, and the integrity of the Spanish nation. Here giving one over to a just punishment, there pointing out another as an object for Divine vengeance.
Is proof needed perhaps that the finger of the avenging hand of Divine justice has left its well-marked path in the Philippines? Then we have a notable case before us. A few months ago, a steamer, the Rio de Janeiro, left the Orient bound for the port of San Francisco, Cal. Within sight of the city, almost within sight of the crowds who stood upon the wharf in expectation of the ship’s arrival, the good vessel, by the will of God who rules over all things, went to the bottom, carrying with her, among other passengers, a man who was morally and physically responsible for the greater part of the barbarities practiced upon the long suffering Spanish prisoners, Religious, Civil and Military, at the hands of the Tagalog revolutionists. With that man disappeared from the land of the living his whole family, together with state and private papers of unknown value. How often before in the past history of the world has the God of Justice obliterated whole families and even whole nations!
And who shall say that the hand of Divine Justice has not protected as well as avenged. For many months the katipuneros had woven a fine-meshed net around the Spanish population of the Philippines, a labor the more easily accomplished in the same degree as the scandalous carelessness of the Blanco administration became more and more marked. Blanco himself was a freemason9 and was always, like our present civil administration, surrounded by friends of his own choice, people who at no time suffered from an excess of patriotism; and the few honorable exceptions which did exist were, unfortunately, persons whose good moral influence was powerless to better a situation which day by day became worse10.
This net already woven was set, and it needed but the given signal for its string to be tightly drawn and the unsuspecting prey would immediately fall into its folds, to be redeemed only by a barbarous, cruel death. But providence is merciful as well as just, and in her own time opened up a way of escape for the coveted prize of the katipunero savages. This opening was no other than Teodoro Patiño, himself a member of the diabolical society, the plot of which he was to reveal.
Patiño was one of the many compositors in the printing establishment of the Diario de Manila. He was an indian of but little importance both as regards his abilities as a workman or as a katipunero: he was one of the thousands of unknowns from which have sprung so many of those sadly famous ignorantes and others of our own days. But he was destined to act an important part in the society to which he belonged: a part however not in the programme of proceedings drawn up by the society.
A discussion took place one day as to the subscription the said Patiño should pay into the common funds of the society, and heated words passed between him and his companions on the subject. From words they came to blows; and as Patiño was one against many he came out of the tussle second best, having received a good sound thrashing for daring to differ from the majority. To satisfy his injured feelings he looked around him for some one from whom he could expect sympathy, and he bethought himself of his sister who was a pupil of the College of Mandaloya, under the care of the Augustinian Nuns. To his sister he repaired and to her he told his tale of woe, making mention at the same time of a certain society to which he and his assailants belonged.
The sister startled by what her brother related, questioned him closely, as only a woman can question when she wishes to get to the bottom of anything. Having been a pupil of the Augustinian Nuns for a considerable time and preserving in her heart sentiments of gratitude little known among the peoples of the Archipelago, she was much hurt to hear of the plans mapped out by the Katipunan for the brutal destruction of those who had always been so good and kind to her and her brother. And before Patiño could tell all his tale, his sister had bidden him good-bye and gone off in search of the Mother Superior of the College, to whom she immediately told all she knew of the affair. The two women trembling with fear for the safety of the lives of so many hundreds of innocent victims, hurriedly sought the presence of the Rev. Padre Mariano Gil, Augustinian, and parish priest of Tondo. This Rev. Father, realizing the enormity of the Katipunan plot, advised them to send Patiño to him without delay.
Patiño presented himself at the convento and underwent a close examination at the hands of Padre Mariano. At first little progress was made, as Patiño feared both the anger of the authorities and that of his fellow katipuneros, who would doubtless take revenge upon him according to the laws of the society, for his tale-telling. And in spite of the fact that he tried at every turn to avoid telling the naked truth, and to escape here and there by professions of ignorance, he eventually manifested to P. Mariano Gil all he knew of the society, of its plans and of its resources. After a long and tedious conversation, the patriotic Augustinian was gratified with the knowledge of where to lay his hands upon hidden documents etc., which would throw much light upon the purposes of the society of cut-throats. P. Gil immediately set to work to disclose the hidden secrets.
“Without losing a moment,” writes P. Mariano Gil, to a friend who had asked of him the true story of what took place on that memorable occasion, “I sent notice to the Lieut. of the Veterana of this sub-division, D. José Cortés, to whom in the presence of the denouncer, Patiño, I communicated the most necessary data, giving him at the same time the names of all those persons in the printing establishment who were compromised, commencing with the two who signed the receipts, Policarpo Tarla and Braulio Rivera, indicating to him the manner of procedure for the detention of all those complicated.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
… “I decided, confiding in God, to go alone to the printing establishment, at a time when none of the workmen should be present.”
The writer goes on to explain how he made known his mission to D. Ramón Montes and two other Spaniards who, astonished at the news, aided in the search for the documents, stones etc. After a half hour’s search the lithographic stone was discovered, and like a tiger springing upon its prey, the zealous son of St. Augustine pounced upon it, as though he feared that the very roof of the building should fall in upon it and bury it beneath its rubbish out of reach of his hands. A proof was taken from the said stone, of the Katipunero receipts, and P. Gil immediately set off in the direction of the Veterana of Tondo where he met Patiño, who recognized the receipt as authentic, and two hours later the Patriotic Augustinian saw his efforts crowned with the confession of guilt of the delinquents, the two previously named, figuring at the head of the list. Having performed this, P. Gil humbly wended his way back to his parochial dwelling, satisfied to have been an instrument of divine Providence for the unravelling of one of the most bloodthirsty plots ever invented by the perverse mind of embruted mankind.
At midnight was discovered in the locker of Policarpo Tarla, in the same place, a dagger, the regulations of the Katipunan and several documents having connection with the said society, all of which, together with the famous lithographic stone, were handed over by Sr. Montes to the Veterana.
On the following day P. Gil discovered in the house of one of his parishioners a dagger identical to the one mentioned, also several receipts in Tagalog with the key of the symbolic language in which they were printed.
“This”, affirms P. Gil, “is the truth of the discovery.”
There can be little doubt that Patiño was directly inspired more by the thrashing he received than by providence, although it is not possible to deny that the thrashing and the consequent divulging of the secrets of the Katipunan were providential. And as regards to his repentance, I doubt judging from the character of the average indian, whether he really felt repentant till the enormity of the crime to which he was an abettor was brought home to him by P. Mariano Gil. Be that as it may. The ways of Providence are hidden from us and we can seldom see, with our human eyes, more than the actions of the human reason. Yet the truth remains, that whether directly or indirectly inspired by providence it was Patiño’s action which saved Spain “from an unending series of bitter experiences.”
Note 97. What has, up to this present, been written concerning these stirring events has been taken chiefly from the reports made by Gen. Blanco to Sr. Canovas. Whether from ignorance or from malice, these reports contained about as many errors as words. From these Sr. Diaz evidently took the statement that the sister of Patiño was a pupil in the College of Looban, whereas P. Mariano Gil himself states that it was that known as the Orphan Asylum for Girls at Mandaloya.
Note 98. The following sketch of P. Mariano Gil is taken from the Heraldo de Madrid which in its number of the 6th October 1896, said:
“P. Gil was born in Carreon de los Condes (Palencia) on the 2nd of July 1849. Whilst still young he entered the Augustinian College of Valladolid. His studies concluded, he passed to the Philippines where he filled the duties of parish priest in several Tagalog pueblos. Till recently he has been holding the position of parish priest of Tondo, a suburb of Manila. He was fortunate enough to discover the plot of the insurrection on the 19th of August last, denouncing it at an opportune moment. The Spaniards gathered in manifestation to the palace of the Governor General; Sr. Blanco did not condescend to receive them and they therefore went at once to pay their respects to P. Gil and the Archbishop, both of whom congratulated them for their patriotic attitude. A newspaper of Manila, El Español, published the picture of the parish priest of Tondo; but scarcely had the first copies of the paper appeared on the street, than General Blanco ordered their suppression, commanding that a new edition be printed omitting the said picture and the laudatory phrases which the El Español had dedicated to the eminent Augustinian, from this time a note-worthy patriot to whom the public did a justice which General Blanco either did not know how, or did not wish to do him.”
Speaking of this patriotic Padre, Sr. Castillo y Jimenez11 says:
“His character is gruff; he asks nothing, he demands; he does not beseech, he asks; and what he demands and asks is just and lawful, because it bears in its essence the benefit of mankind, aiding the unfortunate, warding off their dangers, delivering them from the attacks which envy and vengeance might deal out to pacific and humble people. He is inflexible with the reprobate and disloyal, magnanimous with those who have been deceived; proud with the haughty and humble with the weak, and in his generous life has wiped away many tears, distributed much bread to the poor, and many times proportioned assistance to the needy that they should not fall into want.”
The good work done in the discovery of the diabolical plot of the Katipunan, has very naturally been the object of a great amount of bitter criticism at the hands of the separatist element, which has never pardoned the valiant Augustinian for springing their carefully laid traps. He was denounced in the lodge rooms of Filipino freemasonry, from one of which was despatched a letter directed to him and bearing his picture, as will be seen in the accompanying illustration. His discovery was depreciated and belittled, and made to appear a farce. His patriotism was called into question and his very life was placed in imminent danger.
However the torrents of lies that have poured forth against him have not, and can not obliterate the truth.
Isabelo de los Reyes to belittle the labors of discovery of P. Gil, affirms that Antonio Luna notified Blanco of the existence of the association previous to the discovery of P. Gil. Be that as it may; the secret police had also notified Blanco of what was going on. Three times did the Archbishop of Manila do the same, and so also did the other prelates of Manila and Prior of the Convent of Guadalupe, and Lieut. Sityer12. But this does not lessen the value of Padre Gil’s discovery, but rather adds to its importance. For whilst Blanco was sufficiently posted on the matter to be able to judge of the necessity of taking immediate proceedings, there was wanting that healthy stimulus which was given by P. Gil. A stubborn carbuncle often needs the aid of the lance: P. Gil’s discovery was the lance which brought to the surface the putrid matter which nature could not, of herself, eject. This putrid matter extending itself, would have brought about the mortification of the whole body, had not the surgeon applied his lance in good time. And although the lance of the surgeon brought pain to the patient it saved her for the time, giving back to her a state of relative health.
Note 99. The first executions which took place were those of four rebels captured in flagrante in San Juan del Monte. These were Sancho Valenzuela, Eugenio Silvestre, Modesto Sarmiento and Ramón Peralta. Of these Valenzuela was the only one of any importance. Sarmiento was a cabeza de barangay13 of Santa Ana where he owned a small nipa house which he rented out, performing at the same time the office of cook and house boy to the tenant. On the way to execution he met his tenant-master and, in a nonchalant manner, greeted him with as pleasant a Buenos dias Señor, as if he were on the way to some joyous function or a grand “meet” at the cock-pit. Before his execution Valenzuela also showed a spirit of coolness and serenity, signing his last will and testament with a firm hand, and smiling. Both showed the spirit of men thoroughly fascinated by some superior power, neither realizing the crime they had committed nor the punishment they were to undergo.
The second execution took place in Cavite, thirteen rebels being shot. These were Francisco Osorio, Maximo Inocencio, Luis Aguado, Victoriano Luciano, Hugo Pérez, José Lallana, Antonio San Agustin, Agapito Conchu, Feliciano Cabuco, Mariano Gregorio, Eugenio Cabezas and two constables of the public prison of the province. These constables had pressed into their traitorous service a number of the muchachos of the prison. Francisco Osorio was a very wealthy Chinese half-caste. He had been honored by Spain with several honors, among them the Grand Cross of Carlos III. He was very intimate with the authorities in Cavite. His father, a wealthy Chinee, and his cousin, a doctor, both denounced him at the moment of his execution.
“After the reading of the sentence,” says an eye-witness, “in front of the square which we formed, he commenced to cry, asking pardon of the General and of all Spaniards; he affirmed that he was a Spaniard and that he would never conspire again against the country in which he had been educated, and he cursed the freemasons who in Madrid had initiated him into the hatred of religion and the fatherland. The doctor his cousin, turning to him, said: Silence Osorio! don’t cry so; what will the Spaniards benefit from your repentance; but the miserable fellow paid no attention to him, and asked to be allowed to kiss the Spanish flag before he died. This permission was not granted.”
Maximo Inocencio was the proprietor of a large store and was a contractor to the Arsenal. He had been previously arrested for implication in the revolt in Cavite in 1872. At that time he escaped but was afterwards pardoned; the signal rocket was to be fired from his storehouse in Cavite.
Luis Aguado was also a contractor for the Arsenal.
Victoriano Luciano, a chemist, was a wealthy half-caste who had not lived long in Cavite.
Hugo Pérez, was an indio. He was the venerable of the masonic lodge. In his house were discovered two large photographs in which the majority of the thirteen persons executed were photographed in the form of a triangle; a book with a triangle and other masonic insignia on its front page, and four important letters of anti-Spanish masonic propaganda.
Lallana was a tailor, and some say a peninsular Spaniard. For a while he was chief of police of Cavite and had been a corporal of Marines.
Antonio San Agustin was an indian, a petty merchant and a man who could scarcely bear the sight of a Spaniard.
Agapito Conchu was a master of a primary school, and a half-caste. He had once been detained in the time of Despujols but granted his liberty. Apart from his school, he gave lessons to some of the children of the Spanish families of the town, including the daughter of the Governor of Cavite.
Cabuco was an escribiente14 of the administration of State; and Eugenio Cabezas a watch-tinker.
These executions were followed by that of a member of the Guardia Civil, Mariano Magno, in Nueva Ecija. Magno had always been noted for his lack of obedience to his superiors, his hatred of discipline and ill-feeling in general towards Spaniards. Fifteen others were shot in Iligan on the 28th of October of the same year. Many others suffered the like penalty in different parts of the Archipelago.
Note 100. Those sentenced to deportation were, for the most part, sent to Jolo, Puerta Princesa, Balabac and to the penitentiary colonies.
To the first named place were sent 69 persons of all kinds and conditions, trades and occupations. Among them was a Juan Cuadra, a chemist in Ermita. To Puerta Princesa went 53, and to Balabac 56 both lots well assorted. Those most compromised in the insurrection were sent to Fernando Poo, these numbering some 200. Three hundred more were sent to Mindanao. Among the 200 sent to Fernando Poo were merchants, compositors, silversmiths, book-binders, carriage painters, laundrymen, escribientes, a clerk of the Puerta del Sol on the Escolta, hat-makers, tailors, laborers, students, lawyers and among them the irrepressible jack-in-the-box, Thomas William of the Rosary (Tomas G. del Rosario); telephone operators, school-teachers and three members of the secret police; among the rag and tag of the good-for-nothings, and as chief of them, was the famous translator of the scriptures, Pascual H. Poblete15.
Note 101. Apolinario Mabini was born in the pueblo of Tanauan, province of Batangas, and was the son of parents of the poorer and lower classes. He came to Manila as a lad and received his secondary education in the College of San Juan de Letran at the hands of the Dominican Fathers, taking the degree of professor. Later on he was employed in the Intendencia and by careful saving and by steady application he continued his studies for law and concluded his course at the University of Santo Tomas also at the hands of the Dominicans who spared no efforts on behalf of his success. From the University he received the title of Licentiate of Law in 1895.
He entered the office of the notary Numeriano Adriano to practice law, and whilst there employed, was drawn by Adriano into the net of masonry, joining the lodge Balagtas which was one of those founded from the overflow of the original Filipino lodge Nilad. Adriano was the venerable of the said lodge. When the Liga Filipina was formed and had gotten well into working order Mabini was named a councillor of the superior Council (see page 28). According to the testimony of Moises Salvador (see page 296) Mabini was also secretary of the Association of Compromisarios.
He was arrested as one of the chief instigators of the revolt and after due trial was sentenced to death. The Spanish authorities however, took compassion upon him because of his pitiful condition, he being paralysed in the lower parts of the body17; so instead of including his name in the list of those who expiated their treason on the field of Bagumbayan, they foolishly gave him his liberty.
Once more free, Mabini left Manila for his own pueblo of Tanauan where he lived quietly till Aguinaldo was brought over in 1898 by Admiral Dewey to serve as a bush-beater to the American forces. Mabini was thereupon carried from Tanauan to Cavite where he joined the faithless Magdalo.
In Cavite he drew up a project of a constitutional law for the Philippines. In the first page of this he affirmed that the precepts of the Ten Commandments were an invention of the friars! And yet Mabini was the Filipino Solomon. He instructed the people that they ought not to believe in the said decalogue or practice what it commanded, but that they should only practice the precepts of the Verdadero Decálogo which he prepared and gave to the public as their spiritual guide.
Mabini very soon became radical and decidedly anti-American in his ideas, and succeeded in attaining such moral ascendancy over Aguinaldo that the latter ceased to be the leader of the people and the true dictator of the Filipino republic, becoming a toy in the hands of a man who could twist and turn him here and there at his will.
Mabini refused to take the oath of allegiance and was, on the 7th of January 1901 deported under General Order No. 4 to the island of Guam, as one of the persons “whose acts clearly demonstrate them to be favorers or sympathizers with the insurrection.”
Note 102. The advanced political ideas held and propagated by the separatists were not bad in themselves; no particular objection can be raised against them as political ideas. But when we consider by whom and for whom these “reforms” were asked, we begin to appreciate the necessity to which the indian was put of endeavoring to attain them by armed struggle. Taking away the revolutionary basis upon which the plans of the Liga were raised, nothing remains but the empty walls of a roofless building. These walls or ideas are contained in the plans of reforms drawn up by almost every jackanapes in the Liga who could write down his thoughts with any amount of clearness. These plans agreed upon certain points, chiefly representation in the Spanish parliament and the expulsion of the Religious Orders. These two points appear to have been the essence of the direct aims of the separatists (see p. 69).
Others called for the Spanish constitution with its consequences: the liberty of the press and the liberty of associations. Liberty of the press was ever an unknown quantity in the Philippines. The idea of the liberty of the press is very beautiful when its liberties are not abused; it was the abuse of what little liberty the press enjoyed, in the latter days of Spanish rule, that induced the authorities to impose such a close censure upon it as they did. Whatever may be said in its favor, press censorship and such sedition laws as we enjoy to-day in this nondescript piece of the world’s surface, are more proper of absolute monarchies than of territory of the U. S. of America, although in our particular case we might as well be under the despotic, ever deteriorating rule of Aguinaldo, as that of a body of men whose intentions however good and sincere they may be, fall short, when put into practice, of the proverbial ingenuity in governing, of the famous Sancho Panza in his island of Barataria. Freedom of the press is at times a blessing, and at others a curse. From 1888 to 1896 it would have been more of the latter than of the former; for giving such a liberty to the separatists who asked it, would be arming the enemy with the best arms.
As to liberty of associations. People in the Temperance world often ask themselves, does prohibition prohibit? Some make themselves believe that it does; but practice has shown what common sense tells each and every one of us, that it does not; for if a man (and I do not wish to be so ungallant as to exclude the ladies) cannot get what he wants legally, he as a rule sees that he gets it somehow. And so with the Filipinos who, denied the liberty of association, defied the authorities and held their gatherings in secret and secluded places.
All these various political ideas were decidedly advanced in as much as they had relation to a people in no way prepared to receive them. No father would put a loaded revolver or an open razor into the hands of his child; but those were the very things the separatists were howling for.
1Previous to 1896 Aguinaldo was an almost unknown indio. He was at that time about 23 or 24 years of age, and like the far greater majority of the indios of the archipelago had forgotten what little he had learned at school. He was a lavandero2 for the Arsenal at Cavite, and possessed little command over the Spanish language, speaking it after the Cavite style, de cocina as the Spaniards say. He was the son of Carlos Aguinaldo who had several times held office under the Spanish Government, and who was at heart a bitter anti-Spaniard. Like the remainder of his fellow Tagalogs, Aguinaldo demonstrates a different character in connection with each event which takes place in his life. As capitan municipal in 1896 he was very Spanish in dealing with the authorities, but in dealing with his own people quite the reverse. Like the Taveras, the Legardas and the Buencaminos etc., he was an adept at political lightning changes. Buencamino in one of his absurd articles to the Filipino press (La Independencia, Sept. 6th 1896) speaking of him says: “… all the Filipinos unconditionally obey the president Aguinaldo seeing in him the messenger of God sent to redeem the Filipino people from all foreign domination, and because they see in the said chief the great virtues of fortitude, honor and magnanimity which ought to adorn all saviors of their country.”
The belief among some Filipinos that Aguinaldo was a semi-God was not uncommon at one time, and many hold to it even in these days. A certain Bray (apparently related very closely to the bray of an ass) went a step further in an article to the French Revue de Revues and compared Aguinaldo to Christ, to Alexander the Great, to Mahomet, to Caesar, to Napoleon and others!
Aguinaldo certainly demonstrated fortitude, and did not sell his sword to those he considered his enemies. His misfortune was that he fell into the hands of such advisers as Buencamino and others, who, after working up his stupid pride, deserted him in his hour of need. Aguinaldo showed fortitude and was never a traitor to what he considered the honor of his country. Honor to Aguinaldo in this respect.
3As to the goodness of customs read the testimony of the most reliable chroniclers and historians of the earliest days of Spanish history.
4The pacto de sangre was performed thus: a wound was made in the body of each person who was to form a party to the treaty about to be made, and the blood that flowed from the wounds thus made was mixed in a receptacle prepared for the occasion; each then drank a portion of the blood thus mixed. It is needless to say that Legaspi refused to perform such a savage, cannibalistic ceremony.
5Worthy perhaps but certainly not legitimate. The Katipunan was illegitimate from all points of view; nor was it a child really of Bonifacio. The conception was of Pilar (Marcelo H.) and Bonifacio was but the foster father encharged with the bringing up of the child.
6A people’s language is the expression of its sentiments. There are in this archipelago, native languages in which no word exists to express “thank you.”
7F. Buenaventura Campa was one of the two Dominican Fathers who willingly devoted themselves to the care of the sufferers stricken with the cholera plague which has carried off so many people both in Manila and the provinces. He, together with his companion, P. Cándido, bore with remarkable patience and self-abnegation the troubles and trials consequent upon the extraordinary plans adopted by an inexperienced Sanitary Department for the treatment of the dread enemy.
9Juan Utor y Fernandez (bro∴ Espartero) confessed that Blanco was a freemason; he affirmed also that his masonic name was bro∴ Barcelona. Lacasa, Lieut. Auditor of war, and one of the heads of freemasonry in the Philippines declared that among the freemasons of the archipelago was counted Sr. D. Ramon Blanco, Capt Gen. of the Army and Gov. Gen. of the Islands.
10The following interesting notes will give some idea of what the Blanco administration was like.
In the report of the secret police for the 3rd of June 1896, appears the following:—
“Notice is hereby given of the confidential information given by a freemason in respect to the reason why the masonic lodges are at rest, and the attitude of Generals Blanco and Echaluce in regard to the same.
“This freemason, Juan Merchan, says: “we are now sleeping; we cannot work; we are tutored by the experience of the persecution directed against us by General Echaluce. Until General Blanco returns from Mindanao we can do nothing, for he at least does not disturb us, and even helps us. The proof of this is that during the previous voyage to Mindanao (of Blanco) Gen. Echaluce commenced to deport people; but when Blanco got to know of it, he wrote to him ordering him not to deport anyone without his consent, and not to do anything in the matter till his return from Mindanao.”
11El Katipunan, etc.; p. 89.
12Blanco, whether because he was bound by compromise, or because of fear, heeded not the warnings of the approaching danger. As a soldier face to face with an enemy Blanco was not lacking in courage; but when the enemy was invisible, and more tact than courage was needed in the combat, Blanco was like a little child in the dark, frightened at the least sound—chicken hearted. It is certainly a remarkable thing that bro∴ Barcelona had the courage to pass through the ordeals of his initiation into freemasonry.
13The head of a pueblo. The most ancient form of rule in the Archipelago.
14See page 63.
15Pascual H. Poblete: a pobre diablo who speaks Spanish like a chino and writes it far worse. Poblete is greatly devoted to cock-fighting; but being as reckless in the enjoyment of this sport as he is in everything else he undertakes, he finds his pocket always more or less empty. To fill this pocket he is ever hunting up schemes to make money in the easiest way possible. The subscription lists he has started for various pious or patriotic objects are well nigh innumerable.
The Heraldo de Madrid, of the 19th of November 1896, says of this charlatan:
“Well paired with Tomás del Rosario, the indio who, by literary fraud gained from Señor Nuñez de Arce a good position in the Philippines, is Pascual H. Poblete also an indio16 and a person of history too.
“His first steps in work in the newspapers of his country were as translator of the Spanish text of a bilingual review into Tagalog.
“He propagated political themes widely, but above all, those articles of the Civil and Penal code favorable to his countrymen; to these articles he added comments…. Under the pretext of competing with the Chinese he founded a cooperative association which was the subject of much talk. It was really nothing else than an association distinctly political and eminently anti-Spanish. He however succeeded in dissimulating, and when he created the newspaper El Resumen, placed a peninsular Spaniard, a native of Aragon, at its head. He then did all he could to gain the confidence of Despujols, whom he visited every once in a while.
“As Despujols step by step lost favor with the European element, Poblete praised him more and more and this was, in itself, a good sign of the direction in which was going this Poblete, a man lacking talent, lacking wit, and enjoying nothing but an insane intention. During the last years he made continuous anti-Spanish propaganda, and was a bitter enemy of the Spaniards, excepting some few degenerates who yet believed in the good faith of this pobre diablo.”
In later days he changed his religion—that is if he ever had one to change, and devoted himself to sponging upon the Bible Societies and the protestant and Mormon missionaries who came to the Philippines. On one occasion he translated from Spanish into Tagalog the Holy Scriptures, and seeing that never in his life had he been a successful translator even of newspaper paragraphs, but could only succeed in giving little more than a very general idea of what was contained in the Spanish text, it was not to be wondered at that, as a famous literary critic well versed in the Tagalog once said: “Poblete’s Tagalog bible reads more like a badly written chronicle than a version of the sacred Scriptures. If I thought that our Lord and his Apostles preached and taught what Poblete puts into their mouths, I would go to China and become a disciple of Confucius.”
In the latter days of Spanish rule Poblete was always more or less under the eyes of the authorities, and on the 17th of April 1896 the Secret Police asked of General Blanco the necessary permission to search the houses of several highly suspicious people, among them that of Pascual H. Poblete.
Our hero figured at one time as an expert in the raising of subscriptions for monuments and if I am not very much mistaken, he once had a hand in the raising of money for the coming monument to Rizal the hero and martyr of the Filipino Libre party. It would be very interesting to know what became of all the funds that passed through his hands: the majority apparently went to back his favorite birds at the cock-pits.
Since the American occupation Poblete’s chief enterprise, apart from cock-fighting and “sponging upon the ignorantes who listened to his ravings with more or less favor because he was a protestant, was the editing and publishing of a dirty little “sheet” known as the Ang Kapatid nang Bayan.” In this so called newspaper Poblete aired his radical political ideas with such vigor that the Provost Marshal was compelled to call him down. The pobre diablo then turned his attention to another pastime which would combine the advantages of demonstrating his unsurpassable abilities, of airing his opinions and, last mentioned but of the greatest importance, the quality of putting into his pocket a goodly number of easily earned dollars. This pastime took the shape of a theatrical enterprise: Constancia, the daughter of the said mountebank “composed and wrote” a play entitled Ang Pag Ibig Sa Lupang Tinubinan: For the Love of Country. Poblete’s better half (which is not saying much) played the part of the heroine. The whole play was incendiary in the extreme and the audience being Tagalogs of the lowest and most ignorant class, the result was that they were thrown into a state of the greatest frenzy. Poblete put this play on the boards of the Teatro Oriental. All went well in the first acts; and following out the “plot” of the play, the town of Imus was supposed to have been taken by the rebels. Dramatic shouts of Viva La Independencia; were raised from time to time by the actors, followed by shouts from the audience of Viva Filipinas! Viva Aguinaldo! Suddenly there rushed from the “wings” a gaudy looking creature who ought to have been the Tondo market selling cockles and crabs; this turned out to be the heroine. In one hand she held a revolutionary flag and in the other a bolo. Viva La Independencia was the shout which almost raised the roof; but as fate would have it Poblete was doomed to be humbled to the dust. Just as he was promising himself a fine string of dollars from his new enterprise Capt. Lara and a number of police appeared on the scene, and Poblete, his katipunan banners and bolos etc., were seized and the house cleared of its fanatical occupants.
To-day he amuses himself in fitting out bands of little boys who on “state” occasions parade the streets with American flags and Japanese lanterns, and placards with various inscriptions, the chief ones being petitions for an amnesty on behalf of all those who have “done what they ought not to have done”. Poblete would open the doors of the prisons of the Archipelago and let loose all their occupants. The result? A political boom for Poblete, an increase in the membership of the Partido Nacionalista and an increase of crime to a thousand fold, not only in Manila but throughout the whole archipelago.
Poor Poblete a pobre infeliz, a stain upon the good name of the filipino. But then, what would Filipinas be without her Poblete; almost like a cat without fleas.
16If I am not in error, Poblete is a Chinee halfcaste.
17Cruz Herrera, now alcalde of Manila, was another upon whom the authorities took pity on account of the rheumatism from which he suffered to such an extent that he could scarcely walk.
A∴ L∴ G∴ D∴ A∴ M∴
G∴ R∴ Log∴ SUNT∴
“The executive Commission sends to the V.
Masters D. Deg. O. O. T. and O. G.
O. S. of the L. Log. of the
L∴ T∴ M∴
“Venerable Masters and beloved brethren. After our circular of the 28th of May last it would seem unnecessary to remind you, that you give the most exact fulfillment to those points which the same embraces, the which were approved by the Grand Assembly celebrated on the 15th of the same month; but nevertheless, as the time of our cause has assured and all provision is but little in the present moments, it has appeared well to us to direct this other circular to you in order to fix more correctly the points which have to be the object of the most exact fulfillment. We will now pass on to the enumeration of the same.
First: The triangles will perform strictly all and every one of the dispositions dictated by their respective presidents, and venerable honorary brethren, not allowing the least or most insignificant point to slip their observation, for even when it seems to our venerable brethren otherwise, it is of the greatest transcendency.
“The smallest omission in these dispositions might prejudice in a great manner our labors, the fruit of many years of constancy and hope of a sure triumph.
“Second: Once the signal is given every bro∴ shall fulfill the duty imposed upon him by this Gr∴ Reg∴ Log∴ without considerations of any kind, neither of parentage, friendship or gratitude, etc.
“Third: Those who on account of debility, cowardice or other considerations do not fulfill their duty, already know the tremendous punishment they will incur for disloyalty and disobedience to this G. R. Log.
Fourth: The blow having been struck at the Captain General and the other Spanish Authorities, the loyals shall attack the convents and shall behead their infamous inhabitants, respecting the wealth contained in the said convents; this shall be gathered by the commissions named for that purpose by the G. R. Log. and it shall not be lawful for any of our brethren to possess themselves of what justly belongs to the treasury of the G. N. F. (Grand Filipino Nation)
“Fifth: Those who fail to carry out what is set forth in the foregoing paragraph shall be held as malefactors and subjected to exemplary punishment by this G. R. Log.
“Sixth: On the following day the bro∴ designated shall bury all the bodies of their hateful oppressors in the field of Bagumbayan together with their wives and children, and on the site shall later on be raised a monument commemorative of the independence of the G. N. F.
“Seventh: The bodies of the members of the Religious Orders shall not be buried, but burned in just payment of the felonies which they committed during life against Filipino nation during the three hundred years of their nefarious domination. (see note 26.)
“And whilst awaiting the day of our redemption this executive commission shall continue giving the sure guide which we all have to follow in the presence of the facts to the end that none of our brethren shall be able to say that they were unwarned.
“In the G∴ R∴ Log∴ in Manila, the 12th of June 1896.—The first of the long desired independence of the Philippines.—The President of the executive Commission, Bolivar. The Gr∴ Mast∴ Adj∴ Giordano Bruno.—The Gr∴ Sec∴ Galileo.
Under the title of “My part in the Revolution,” Isabelo de los Reyes in an artful attempt to defend himself before those who considered him a coward because of his ever shirking that part of the task of the revolt which naturally fell to him, gives his readers the following information:
“When it was desired to effect the manifestation of 1888, (see p. 60), Ramos took me to the palace of Malacañan, to express to Gen. Terrero verbally the complaints of the “country”; but I do not know why, but on that day the manifestation did not come off….”
“From the palace of Malacañan we went to the house of Doroteo Cortes, who instructed me in the object of the manifestation, thus:
“… We reckon with the pleasure of the Civil Governor Sr. Centeno (see note 2) to make a manifestation against the friars, who oppress us with their abuses, and oppose the progress of the country.”
“—Very good indeed I replied full of enthusiasm.
“But my enthusiasm disappeared entirely when Cortes told me with the greatest frankness, that they asked and were sure of attaining their wish, that the Archbishop should be deported, merely for having failed to assist at the religious functions dedicated to the King1.
“I then doubted the ability2 of the directors of the manifestation, and believed that they would be irremissibly crushed by the friars, who were very astute and powerful, as in fact it so happened.
“I retired leaving Ramos in that house.
“I immediately went to see his father and said to him: The manifestation has fallen flat. I have come to tell you that in my opinion, your son ought not to sign the instance of the manifestos. Let all those who like do so, but it would be a pity that your son who, in the time to come, may be able to render signal services to the country should now fall crushed by the friars. Now that Cortés says that he reckons with the authorities, your son’s signature is not very necessary.
“And neither Cortés nor Ramos signed it.”
1This was Alfonso XII. the anniversary of whose death fell of the 25th of November. Archbishop Payo had been suffering for a considerable time from dysentery. Apart from this, the bitterness of the official relations at that time between the civil and ecclesiastical authorities had completely incapacitated the venerable prelate from attending to his official duties. Consequently, acting upon the advice of his physician, the Archbishop left Manila for Navotas for a few days of complete rest. The departure of the Archbishop happened to almost coincide with the anniversary of the death of the King; but as the prelate was physically unable to attend to the pontifical ceremonies which were to be held on that day and to the other functions consequent upon such a solemn occasion, he was wisely advised to absent himself from the city.
Freemasonry ever on the watch, saw in this an opportunity to attack the Religious Orders, and taking advantage of it, demanded: “The insult committed by the archbishop being therefore very culpable, and having caused the greatest indignation to the government, to the nation, and in particular to those of this country, as devoted to their king; it is indispensable to expel him from this soil, imposing upon him the penalty of temporary banishment marked out by article 142 of the penal code.
2To judge from his writing, Isabelo held the idea that he alone was able to direct everything connected with the revolt. Isabelo takes upon himself the intellectual work of the affair leaving to others the dirty work.
A L∴ G∴ D∴ G∴ A∴ D∴ U∴
Liberty Equality Fraternity.
Universal Freemasonry Spanish Family.
Sends S∴ F∴ S∴ to the Rep∴ Log∴ Modestia No. 199.
“Seeing that there have circulated rumors among us that in spite of the masonic secret, in spite of the secrecy of our works, there exist in the hands of our enemies, lists of masons more or less correct, more or less extensive, public opinion has shown itself anxious to know whether we have been vilely sold…. And when the La Política de España en Filipinas has commenced to publish correspondence which ought to have been carefully and sacredly guarded, this anxiety reached its highest point, embracing the desire to discover the author or authors although it would appear that the source of leakage has been found, even though the form and details are unknown.
“The presidency of the Cons∴ Reg∴ has not been able to remain indifferent before the scandal which is developing ..; on the contrary it has from the first endeavored to discover the truth….
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“I am sorry to have to confess that the hour of the revelation has not yet sounded…. But incidental discoveries oblige me to break silence giving the voice of alarm; and to what point this determination is justified, you shall judge by the facts I am about to relate.
“1st. Pedro Serrano, symbolic name Panday Pira, gr∴ 24, in his anxiety to discredit local masonry, since this refuses to be exploited has permitted himself to make calumnious affirmations to a foreign mason concerning this Federation, manifesting at the same time pretensions which are a sure sign of perverse intentions.
“2nd. It is known that the same Serrano frequents the Archbishop’s palace and the College of San Juan de Letran with the peculiarity that in both establishments his symbolic name in known, and he has manifested in the formed establishment that he is a man whose companionship is to be avoided because he occupies himself with giving information.
“3rd. It happened later on that the said Serrano presented himself in the house of Sr. Marte, gr∴ 3, late secretary of the lodge Nilad, demanding the handing over of documents of the secretaryship which he said belonged to him, threatening that otherwise he would report the matter to General Blanco, and the extraction of the documents would be made by the friar parish priest of the said suburb.
“4th. Lastly: in the meeting of the parochial clergy held in the Archbishop’s palace—the morning of the 13th of this month— … masonry and masons were discussed; and the Archbishop said to the parish priest of Quiapo: you must tell the school-master of your suburb that it is not sufficient to have abjured his masonic beliefs, but that it is also necessary to fulfill the conditions agreed upon.
“Consequently it will be convenient that you gather together the Cam∴ del Medio and read therein the present document, adding the explanation and comments you deem necessary, and that with respect to the other CCam∴ you limit yourselves to giving account of the fact, demonstrating its enormity, pointing out its author and taking what steps are necessary to prevent contagion.
Receive Ven∴ Mast∴ and G∴ bro∴ the fraternal embrace of peace we send you.
Manila 31st November 1894.
The Gr∴ Pres∴
Musa (Ambrosio Flores).
Anting-antings constitute the remnants of what was once, what might be called the religion of the peoples of the Philippines. They are most commonly met with in the form of amulets which their possessors carry about with them to ward off dangers of all kinds. There are amulets for protection against fire arms, against sword thrust or bolo slash; against diseases of all parts of the body; amulets against the bursting of fire arms or to prevent them making a noise when discharged by the wearer of the amulet; against snakes and their bites, against lightning; amulets to protect their wearers against the courts of justice and against the authorities when they pursue them for robbery. In a word amulets or anting-anting against everything.
As a rules these amulets consist of small booklets containing prayers composed of Latin and Spanish words mixed with words and abbreviations of the native dialects. Some times they are stones or mineral deposits found in the bodies of animals, or the seed portion of petrified fruits, or even parts of the skeletons of children.
Although one would suppose that such superstitions had long since ceased to exist among the indians of the archipelago such is not the case; and it is more than probable that the majority of the members of the federal party and may be two out of the three native members of the Commission carry their anting-anting carefully guarded in one of their pockets. However their use is most common among native doctors, that is those who have not studied medicine, but who dabble in the art for what they can get out of it, and by tulisanes or armed robbers. They were also much in vogue among the enlightened officers and men of the insurgent ranks, many of whom considered themselves perfectly safe from the bullets of their enemies when they carried in their person an amulet or anting-anting.
The following are samples of pages of one of the booklets found on the person of a wounded tulisan. The first of these two pages contains a prayer against fire-arms, and the second a conglomeration which no one has never been able to decipher.
Oracion de S. Pablo contra armas de foigo ip. Ntro. y Av.
Jesús S. Pablo Ponitom quiter Deus Salucam tuam,
Prele queno niar en res tom Domi nom nos tom
h ✠ a
✠ ✠ ✠
Q ✠ n
Anting-anting is also found in other forms, sometimes merely a strip of paper bearing some inscription, and which receives its virtue from some action performed over it, such as the saying of the mass whilst the paper is on the altar.
A parish priest of a pueblo in a neighboring province once related to me the discovery of one such an anting-anting in his church. He approached the altar to recite the Mass, and upon genuflecting at the centre of the altar noticed that there was something unusual, although small, under the altar cloth. He put his hand under the cloth to see what it was and found there a slip of paper bearing three crosses, thus:
✠ ✠ ✠
This paper had been carelessly folded and placed where he found it, upon the altar stone. Had it remained undisturbed and the service of Mass been said over it, it would have, in the belief of the indian who put it there, become infused with marvelous virtues and could have protected its wearer from the dangers to be incurred in the armed rising against the Spaniards which they were about to attempt.
In all probability Buencamino carried some anting-anting with him to Washington to protect him from assassination or from … nausea.
Manila, 10th January 1897.
“I Faustino Villaruel y Zapanta, 52 years of age, publicly declare that as I was born so wish I to die—a Spaniard, a christian, a Roman Apostolic Catholic; and that I detest with my whole soul any rebellion or treason against our beloved mother Spain.
“I also repent of having belonged to masonry and of having devoted myself to its propaganda in these islands and having been such a bigoted mason that I caused my two children to enter also into the society I now curse. I counsel my children and all my friends to renounce the said society, and beg pardon of God, as I do now, it being condemned by the Church.
“I beseech the most Excellent and Illustrious Archbishop to make public this my spontaneous and free retraction.—Faustino Villaruel. Witnesses:—the official guard of the Chapel, Antonio Pardo.—the sergeant of the Guard, Felix Garcia.”[3