MacarioSakay“Generalismo” “Filipinas, farewell! Long live the Republic and may our independence be born in the future!”
Early Life Full Name: Macario Sakay y de León Born: March 1, 1870 Tondo, Manila, Philippines Started out as an apprentice in a calesa manufacturing shop. He was also a tailor, a barber, and an actor in comedias and moro-moros. His participation in Tagalog dramas exposed him to the world of love, courage, and discipline.
Joining the Katipunan 1894, Sakay joined the Dapitan, Manila branch of the Katipunan Due to his exemplary work, he became head of the branch. His nightly activities as an actor in comedias camouflaged his involvement with the Katipunan. Sakay assisted in the operation of the Katipunan press. During the early days of the Katipunan, Sakay worked with Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto. He fought side by side with Bonifacio in the hills of Morong (now Rizal) Province.
Joining the Katipunan (cont’n) During the initial stages of the Filipino-American war, Sakay was jailed for his seditious activities. He had been caught forming several Katipunan chapters and preaching its ideals from town to town.
RepublikangKatagalugan Released in 1902 as the result of an amnesty, Sakay established with a group of other Katipuneros the RepublikangKatagalugan in the mountains of Southern Luzon. Sakay held the presidency and was also called "Generalisimo." Francisco Carreonwas the vice-president and handled Sakay's correspondence. Julian Montalanwas the overall supervisor for military operations. Cornelio Felizardotook charge of the northern part of Cavite (Pasay-Bacoor) while Lucio de Vega controlled the rest of the province. AnicetoOrugaoperated in the lake towns of Batangas. Leon Villafuerteheaded Bulacan while Benito Natividad patrolled Tanauan, Batangas.
RepublikangKatagalugan L to R: seated, Julian Montalan, Francisco Carreon, MacarioSakay, Leon Villafuerte; standing, Benito Natividad, Lucio de Vega.
RepublikangKatagalugan Sakay and many of his followers favored long hair, certainly something strange for his era. This affectation may have been exploited by the Americans in their efforts to portray Sakay and his men as wild bandits preying on the simple folk of the countryside. Even today, many in the Tagalog area (most of whom have never heard of MacarioSakay) refer to a man with long hair as "someone who looks like Sakay." This is, perhaps, a testimony to the effectiveness of the American propaganda campaign.
RepublikangKatagalugan In April 1904, Sakay issued a manifesto stating that the Filipinos had a fundamental right to fight for Philippine independence. The American occupiers had already made support for independence, even through words, a crime. Sakay also declared that they were true revolutionaries and had their own constitution and an established government. The Tagalog Republic's constitution was largely based on the early Katipunan creed of Bonifacio. For Sakay, the new Katipunan was simply a continuation of Bonifacio's revolutionary struggle for independence.
RepublikangKatagalugan This is the author's impression of what Sakay'sRepublikangKatagalugan flag must have looked like. There are no available pictures of the flag; this reconstruction was based on a written description.
Guerilla tactics In late 1904, Sakay and his men took military offensive against the enemy. They were successful in seizing ammunition and firearms in their raids in Cavite and Batangas. Disguised in Philippine Constabulary uniforms, they captured the U.S. military garrison in Parañaque and ran away with a large amount of revolvers, carbines, and ammunition. Sakay's men often employed these uniforms to confuse the enemy.
Guerilla tactics Using guerrilla warfare, Sakay would look for a chance to use a large number of his men against a small band of the enemy. They usually attacked at night when most of the enemy was looking for relaxation. Sakay severely punished and often liquidated suspected collaborators
Guerilla tactics The Tagalog Republic enjoyed the support of the Filipino masses in the areas of Morong, Laguna, Batangas, and Cavite. Lower class people and those living in barrios contributed food, money, and other supplies to the movement. The people also helped Sakay's men evade military checkpoints. They collected information on the whereabouts of the American troops and passed them on. Muchachos working for the Americans stole ammunition and guns for the use of Sakay's men.
Guerilla tactics This vest with all its religious figures and Latin phrases belonged to MacarioSakay. It was his anting-anting and protected him from bullets and other hazards of war. Many Filipinos who participated in the fight against Spain and the United States used anting-antings of all types for personal protection.
Retribution of the United States Unable to suppress the growth of the Tagalog Republic, the Philippine Constabulary and the U.S. Army started to employ "hamletting" or reconcentration in areas where Sakay received strong assistance. The towns of Taal, Tanauan, Santo Tomas, and Nasugbu in the province of Batangas were reconcentrated.
Retribution of the United States This cruel but effective counter-insurgency technique proved disastrous for the Filipino masses. The forced movement and reconcentration of a large number of people caused the outbreak of diseases such as cholera and dysentery. Food was scarce in the camps, resulting in numerous deaths.
Retribution of the United States Search and destroy missions operated relentlessly in an attempt to suppress Sakay's forces. Muslims from Jolo were brought in to fight the guerrillas. Bloodhounds from California were imported to pursue them. The writ of habeas corpus was suspended in Cavite and Batangas to strengthen counter-insurgency efforts. With support cut off, the continuous American military offensive caused the Tagalog Republic to weaken.
Fall of Sakay While all of these were going on, the American leader of the Philippine Constabulary, Col. Harry H. Bandholtz, conceived a plan to deceive Sakay and his men. He would later be quoted as saying that the technique involved "playing upon the emotional and sentimental part of the Filipino character."
Fall of Sakay In mid-1905, the American governor-general of the Philippines, Henry Ide, sent an ilustrado named Dominador Gomez to talk to Sakay. Gomez presented a letter from the American governor. The written statement promised that if Sakay surrendered, he and his men wouldn't be punished or jailed. Moreover, Gomez assured Sakay that a Philippine Assembly comprising of Filipinos will be formed to serve as the "gate of kalayaan."
Fall of Sakay Sakay took the bait, went down from the mountains, and surrendered on July 14, 1906. On July 17, Sakay and his staff were invited to attend a dance hosted by the acting governor of Cavite. Just before midnight, they were surrounded, disarmed, and arrested by American officers who were strategically deployed in the crowd.
Fall of Sakay Sakay and his men were brought to the Bilibid Prison. They were tried and convicted as bandits. During the trial, Gomez was not around to produce the letter from the American governor-general. He didn't even show up and the letter had mysteriously disappeared.
Fall of Sakay Sakay was hanged on September 13, 1907. Before he died, he uttered, "Filipinas, farewell! Long live the Republic and may our independence be born in the future!"
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