CHALLENGES TO SPANISH AUTHORITY
(1560 – 1820’s )
Spanish colonial government was greatly challenged
by it’s rivals, the Portuguese and the Dutch, as well as the
numerous uprisings and revolts by the Filipinos in
Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Which leads to the ruins of old Spanish forts, a moro
watchtower along the coast, statues of Spanish
conquistadores and missionaries, and occasionally, images
of Filipino heroes like Lapu-lapu, Rajah
Sulayman, Sultan Kudarat, mark many Philippine
Lapu-lapu Rajah Sulayman Sultan Kudarat
Spanish claims over the Philippines was challenged by a keen rival from
the very start. The Portuguese, knowing that the islands belonged to
them under the Treaty of Zaragoza.
Treaty of Zaragoza – an imaginary line was drawn from the north to south 297 ½ leagues
east of Mollucas.
West : Spain
East : Portugal
General Gonzalo Pereira
- In 1566 and 1568 asked
Legazpi to leave.
- The Portuguese blockaded Cebu and bombarded the Spanish
settlement (1570 )
-They failed to disloged their rivals.
- The incursions ceased only when Portugal became part of the Spanish
Empire . (1580)
Portuguese Vs. Spanish
- Under the
Treaty of Zaragoza the
island of Cebu was belong
to them, and Portuguese
at that time was lead by
General Gonzalo Pereira.
But the owning of Cebu
was refused by Legazpi.
Dutch Vs. Spanish
Dutch are freedom-loving people. During
1579, Holland send an expedition under Admiral
Oliver Van Noort. Spain finally recognized the
freedom of Holland in the conclusion of the
Treaty of Westphialia in 1648, led to the recognition
of the Dutch independence.
1597 – 1647 - battles between the Spaniards & the
1597 - First battle of Mariveles.
1610 - Second battle of Mariveles.
1617 - Battle of Playa Honda.
1647 - Dutch last attack against the Spaniards.
- They were finally driven off.
Admiral Oliver Van Noort
Lakan Dula was friendly to Legazpi. For instance, he and his men helped Legazpi to rebuild
He also help Martin De Goiti, in Legazpi second Master of Camp.
When Legazpi died, his successor Governor Guido Lavares, perhaps through ignorance or
bad faith, he lifted the exemption of Lakan Dula and his relatives from the tribute and
1574, during the attack on Manila by the Chinese Adventurer Limahong, Lakan Dula led
revolt against the Spaniards.
Juan de Salcedo and Fr. Geronimo Marin – persuaded LakanDula to lay down hi arms. In
return, they promised him and his descendants from the payment of tribute and forced
Lakan Dula believed them and ordered his men to return their ho,es in peace.
This happened in 1587 when a group of Filipinos in Tondo formed a
secret society whose purpose was to regain their freedom.
Magat Salamat – Lakan Dula’s son
Agustin de Legazpi – Legazpi’s nephew
Juan Banal – Chief of Tondo
Pedro Balingit – Chief of Pandacan
The plot spread throughout Central Luzon and as far as Cuyo
Island and Borneo. The society’s plan was to have a Christian
Japanese ally bring Japanese weapon and soldiers to the
Philippines, and with these weapon drive away the Spaniards.
After which Agustin Legazpi would be proclaimed King of the
Philippine. The plan seemed good, but it was aborted due to
spies who reported it to Spanish authorities.
Pedro Ladia – a native Borneo who came to Bulacan to
lead an armed uprising against the Spaniards.
He proclaimed “King of Tagalogs”. His planned reach the
friar-curate of Malolos who desuaded the town people
froim believing Ladia. He urged them to remain
faithful to the church and to the King of Spain. At the
same time, the friar-curate notified the Spanish
authorities of Ladia’s activities. Ladia was
arrested, sent to Manila, and then executed.
Maniago Revolt led by Don Francisco Maniago, initially caused by natives' protest against the polo
and bandala ("polo" was forced labour and "bandala" was tribute in the form of food stuff. bandala
was the Kapampangan word for food basket.) , later became a struggle to free the natives from
Spanish rule. The rebels were weakened by Gov. de Lara's cooperation of Arayat chief Macapagal.
The Maniago Revolt was an uprising in Pampanga during the 1660s. It was a revolt against the
Spanish during the colonial period and was named after its leader, Francisco Maniago. During that
time, Pampanga drew most of the attention from the religious group because of its relative wealth.
They also bore the burden of more tribute, forced labor, and rice exploitation. They were made to
work for eight months under unfair conditions and were not paid for their labor and for the rice
purchased from them. Their patience was put to the limit and they signified their intention to revolt
by setting their campsite on fire. The fight soon began and because the Spaniards were busy fighting
against the Dutch, they were badly depleted by the Kapampangans. Maniago was very clever and was
able to make his fellows believe in the idea of attaining freedom if they revolt. He succeeded not
only in the attempt of having his natives believe in his propaganda but also the
Pangasineses, Cagayanons and the Ilocanos. But sometimes, Maniago lied and exaggerated his
claims. He once told his followers that a group of Pamapangos entered Manila and killed all the
Spaniards there. However, he was very confident that he can actually persuade the chieftains of each
town in Pampanga to kill the Spaniards and free the province from them. Although their motives
were already executed, a Spanish governor named Manrique de Lara was able to neutralize the
rebellion by using the "divide and rule" trick. He began with a "show of force" directed at
Macabebe, one of the more affluent towns in the province at that time. The Macabebe was
intimidated and became friendly towards the Spaniards, who responded in the same way. This
strategy was also done to other towns in the province and in the end, Maniago and his followers did
not have a choice but to agree in making peace with Governor de Lara. The Governor also tricked
Maniago into leaving Manila with a bribe of being appointed as a master of camp in the Pampango
regiment in the city. Maniago was never heard from again and according to one account, he was shot
months later in Mexico, Pampanga. The Maniago revolt was the start of a much bigger and even
bloodier revolt in Pangasinan. This battle was led by a man named Andres Malong who had heeded
the call of Maniago to revolt against the Spaniards
The Magalat Revolt was an uprising in the Philippines in 1596, led
by Magalat, a Filipino rebel from Cagayan. He had been arrested
in Manila for inciting rebellion against the Spanish, and after he
was released on the importunities of some Dominican priests, he
returned to Cagayan. Together with his brother, he incited the
whole country to revolt. He was said to have committed
atrocities upon his fellow natives for refusing to rise up against
the Spaniards. He soon controlled the countryside, and the
Spanish eventually found themselves besieged.
The Spanish Governor-General Francisco de Tello de Guzmán, sent
Pedro de Chaves from Manila with Spanish and Filipino colonial
troops. They fought successfully against the rebels, and captured
and executed several leaders under Magalat. Magalat himself
was assassinated within his fortified headquarters by his own
men, who apparently had been promised a reward by the
Sumuroy Revolt (1649-50)
In the town of Palapag today in Northern Samar, Agustin Sumuroy, a Waray, and
some of his followers rose in arms on June 1, 1649 over the polo y servicio or
forced labor system being undertaken in Samar. This is known as the Sumuroy
Revolt, named after Agustin Sumuroy.
The government in Manila directed that all natives subject to the polo are not to
be sent to places distant from their hometowns to do their forced labor.
However, under orders of the various town alcaldes, ormayors, The Waray were
being sent to the shipyards of Cavite to do their polo, which sparked the revolt.
The local parish priest of Palapag was murdered and the revolt eventually
spread to Mindanao, Bicoland the rest of the Visayas, especially in places such
as Cebu, Masbate, Camiguin, Zamboanga, Albay, Camarines and parts of
northern Mindanao, such as Surigao. A rebel government was successfully
established in the mountains of Samar.
The defeat, capture and execution of Sumuroy in June 1650 delivered a big setback
to the revolt. His trusted co conspirator David Dula sustained the quest for
freedom with greater vigor but in one of a fierce battles several years later, he
was wounded, captured and later executed in Palapag, Northern Samar by the
Spaniards together with his seven key lieutenants.
Igorot Revolt (1601)
By order of then Governor-General Francisco de Tello de
Guzmán an expedition was sent to the Cordillera region for
religious conversion purposes with the aid of Padre
Esteban Marin. Marin, the curate of Ilocos at that
time, who tried to initially convince the Igorots to convert
peacefully to Cathilism. Marin allegedly even tried to create
his own dictionary in Igorot dialect to advance this cause.
The Igorots, however, killed Marin and the Governor-
General sent Captain Aranda with Spanish and Lumad foot
soldiers, who used brute force and had the Igorot villages
cooled in his rage for the gain of the friar. The revolt was
short-lived as Aranda made use of extreme measures and
executed them quickly to dispel the revolt in the Cordillera
Tamblot Revolt (1621-1622)
The Tamblot Revolt or Tamblot Uprising was a
religious uprising in the island of Bohol, led
by Tamblot in 1621. The Jesuits first came to Bohol in
1596 and eventually governed the island and converted
the Boholanos to the Catholic faith.
Tamblot, a babaylan or native priest, urged his fellow
Boholanos to return to the old belief of their
The revolt began on the day when the Jesuits were
in Cebu, celebrating the feast day of St. Francis Xavier.
It was finally crushed on New Year's Day, in 1622.
Tamblot was executed and his head was severed on a
pike to serve as a warning to the populace.
Bancao Revolt (1621-1622)
The Bancao Revolt was a religious uprising against Spanish colonial rule led by
Bancao, the datu of Carigara, in the present-day Carigara Philippine province
Bancao had warmly received Miguel López de Legazpi as his guest, when he first
arrived in the Philippines in 1565. Although baptized as a Catholic in his
youth, he abandoned this faith in later years. With ababaylan, or religious
leader named Pagali, he built a temple for a diwata or local goddess, and
pressed six towns to rise up in revolt. Similar to the Tamblot Uprising, Pagali
used magic to attract followers, and claimed that they could turn the Spaniards
into clay by hurling bits of earth at them.
Governor-General Alonso Fajardo de Entenza sent the alcalde
mayor of Cebu, Juan de Alcarazo, with Spanish and foot soldier colonial
troops, to suppress the rebellion. Bancao's severed head was impaled on a
bamboo stake and displayed to the public as a stern warning. One of his sons
was also beheaded, and one of the babaylans was burned at the stake. Three
other followers were executed by firing squad which the Spanish already
possessed at that time. Other historical sources/accounts reports The Bancao
Revolt as the first recorded uprising against foreign colonization. The (1621–
1622) dates may be inaccurate. Carigara was known only a decade after
Magellan landed in Limasawa in 1521. The uprising may well have taken place
towards the end of 16th century.
Panay Revolt (1663)
The Panay Revolt was a religious uprising in 1663 that
involved Tapar, a native of the island of Panay, who
wanted to establish a religious cult in the town of
Oton. He attracted some followers with his stories
about his frequent conversations with a demon. Tapar
and his men were killed in a bloody skirmish against
Spanish and colonial foot soldier troops and their
corpses were impaled on stakes.
Chinese Revolt of 1662
Fearing an invasion of Chinese led by the famous
pirate Koxinga, the garrisons around Manila were
reinforced. An increasing anti-Chinese sentiment grew
within much of the population. In the end, the
invasion did not materialize, but many locals
massacred hundreds of Chinese in the Manila.
Zambal Revolt (1681-1683)
A group of chieftains from Zambales had refused to
accept the authority of the Crown over their realm and
staged a revolt. The Spanish were very swift to respond
and sent a colonial force of 6,000 foot soldiers to
suppress the uprising. After 2 years of conflict, the
Spanish had pacified the entire area of Zambales and
all of the chieftains who participated in the revolt were
Itneg Revolt (1625-1627)
The Itneg Revolt, or the Mandaya Revolt, was a religious
uprising against Spanish colonial rule led by Miguel Lanab and
Alababan, the two was previously baptised as Catholics against
their will are from the Itneg or Mandaya tribe of Capinatan, in
northwestern Cagayan, in the Philippines. The region is now part
of the landlocked province of Apayao. Miguel Lanab and
Alababan murdered, beheaded and mutilated two Dominican
missionaries, Father Alonzo Garcia and Brother Onofre
Palao, who were sent by the Spanish colonial government to
convert the Itneg people to Christianity. After cutting Father
Garcia's body into pieces, they fed his flesh to a herd of pigs.
Afterwards, they compelled their fellow Itnegs to loot, desecrate
Catholic images, set fire to the local churches, and escape with
them to the mountains.
In 1626, Governor-General Fernándo de Silva sent Spanish and foot
soldier colonial troops to suppress the rebellion. They destroyed
farms and other sources of food to starve the Itnegs, and forced
them to surrender in 1627.
Agrarian Revolt of 1745
The Agrarian Revolt was a revolt undertaken between the years 1745
and 1746 in much of the present-day CALABARZON (specifically
in Batangas, Laguna and Cavite) and in Bulacan, with its first
sparks in the towns of Lian and Nasugbu in Batangas.
Indigenous landowners rose in arms over the land-grabbing of
Spanish friars or Catholic religious orders, with native
landowners demanding that Spanish priests return their lands
on the basis of ancestral domain. The refusal of the Spanish
priests resulted in much rioting, resulting in massive looting of
convents and arson of churches and ranches. The case was
eventually investigated by Spanish officials and was even heard
in the court of Ferdinand VI in which he ordered the priests to
return the lands they seized. The priests were successfully able to
appeal the return of lands back to the natives, which resulted in
no land being returned to native landowners.
Dagohoy Rebellion (1744-1829)
In 1744 in what is now the province of Bohol, what is known today as the Dagohoy
Revolt was undertaken by Francisco Dagohoy and his followers. This revolt is
unique since it is the only revolt completely related to matters of religious
customs, although unlike the Tamblot Uprising before it, it is not a complete
religious rebellion. After a duel in which Dagohoy's brother died, the local
parish priest refused to give his brother a proper Catholic burial, since dueling
is a mortal sin. The refusal of the priest eventually led to the longest revolt ever
held in Philippine history: 85 years. It also led to the establishment of a free
Boholano government. Twenty governors-general, from Juan Arrechederra
to Mariano Ricafort Palacin y Abarca, failed to stop the revolt. Ricafort himself
sent a force of 2,200 foot soldiers to Bohol, which was defeated by Dagohoy's
followers. Another attack, also sent by Ricafort in 1828 and 1829, failed as well.
Dagohoy died two years before the revolt ended, though, which led to the end
of the revolt in 1829. Some 19,000 survivors were granted pardon and were
eventually allowed to live in new Boholano villages: namely, the present-day
towns of Balilihan, Batuan, Bilar (Vilar), Catigbian and Sevilla (Cabulao).
Silang Revolt (1762-1763)
Arguably one of the most famous revolts in Philippine history is
the Silang Revolt from 1762 to 1763, led by the couple of Diego
Silang and Gabriela Silang. Unlike the other revolts, this revolt took
place during the British invasion of Manila. On December
14, 1762, Diego Silang declared the independence of Ilocandia, naming
the state "Free Ilocos" and proclaimed Vigan the capital of this newly
independent state. The British heard about this revolt in Manila and
even asked the help of Silang in fighting the Spanish. However, Silang
was killed on May 28, 1763 by Miguel Vicos, a friend of Silang. The
Spanish authorities paid for his murder, leading to his death in the
arms of his wife, Gabriela. She continued her husband's
struggle, earning the title "Joan of Arc of the Ilocos" because of her
many victories in battle. The battles of the Silang revolt are a prime
example of the use of divide et impera, since Spanish troops largely
used Kampampangan soldiers to fight the Ilocanos. Eventually, the
revolt ended with the defeat of the Ilocanos. Gabriela Silang was
executed by Spanish authorities in Vigan on September 10, 1763.
Basi Revolt (1807)
The Basi Revolt, also known as the Ambaristo Revolt, was a revolt
undertaken from September 16 to 28, 1807. It was led by Pedro Mateo
and Salarogo Ambaristo (though some sources refer to a single person
named Pedro Ambaristo), with its events occurring in the present-day
town of Piddig in Ilocos Norte. This revolt is unique as it revolves
around the Ilocanos' love for basi, or sugarcane wine. In 1786, the
Spanish colonial government expropriated the manufacture and sale of
basi, effectively banning private manufacture of the wine, which was
done before expropriation. Ilocanos were forced to buy from
government stores. However, wine-loving Ilocanos in Piddig rose in
revolt on September 16, 1807, with the revolt spreading to nearby towns
and with fighting lasting for weeks. Spanish led troops eventually
quelled the revolt on September 28, 1807, albeit with much force and
loss of life on the losing side. A series of 14 paintings on the Basi Revolt
by Esteban Pichay Villanueva currently hangs at the Philippine
National Museum, to be later moved to a museum in Ilocos.
Novales Revolt (1823)
Novales later grew discontented with the way Spanish authorities treated the Creoles. His
discontent climaxed when peninsulares were shipped to the Philippines to replace Creole
officers. He found sympathy of many Creoles, including Luis Rodriguez Varela, the
Conde Indio. As punishment to the rising sense of discontentment, many military
officers and public officials were exiled. One of them was Novales, who was exiled to
Mindanao to fight the Moro. However, Novales was not stopped to secretly return to
Manila. On the night of June 1, 1823, Novales along with a certain sub-lieutenant Ruiz and
other subordinates in the King's Regiment, went out to start a revolt. Along with 800
Indigenous natives in which his sergeants recruited, they seized the royal palace (palacio
del gobernador), the Manila Cathedral, the city's cabildo (city hall) and other important
government buildings in Intramuros. Failing to find governor general Juan Antonio
Martínez, they killed the lieutenant governor and former governor general, Mariano
Fernandez de Folgueras. Folgueras was the one that suggested Spain to replace Creole
officers with peninsulars. The soldiers shouted, "Long live the Emperor Novales!" (Viva el
Surprisingly, the townsfolk followed Novales and his troops as they marched into Manila.
They eventually failed to seize Fort Santiago because Antonio Novales, his brother who
commanded the citadel, refused to open its gates. Learning that Fort Santiago was still
holding out the rebels, soldiers were rushed to the fort. Novales himself was caught
hiding under Puerta Real by Spanish led soldiers. At 5:00 pm of June 2, Novales was
killed with Ruiz and 21 sergeants by firing squad in a garden near Puerta del Postigo. At
his last minute, he declared that he and his comrades shall set an example of fighting for
freedom. Antonio was also included in the execution, since he was the brother of Andres.
However, the people pleaded for his freedom for he saved the government from being
overthrown. Antonio went mad after the ordeal, yet receiving a monthly pension of 14
Desire to regain the lost freedom of their ancestors.
Religious intolerance of Spaniards authorities.
Abuses of the Spaniards (Personal)
The hatred tribute and oppressive forced labor.
Lost of ancestral lands.
Date Place Cause Leader Result
Igorot 1601 Northern Luzon Desire to
Caraga 1629-1631 Caraga,
to the Spanish
Dagohoy 1744-1828 Bohol Refusal of Fr.
Morales to give
Silang 1762-1763 Ilocos Desire to expel
1649-1650 Eastern Visayas,
Caused by Gov.
to send Visayan
Pampanga 1585 Pampanga Abuses of
Cagayan - Ilocos 1589 Cagayan, Ilocos
Refusal to pay
Magalat 1596 Malolos,
Pedro Ladia Failed (leader
Quarrel bet. Fr.
Lakandula 1574 Tondo, Navotas Failure of Gov.
Tondo 1587-1588 Tonso, Cuyo,
Banal & Pedro
a spy reported
about their plan.
1. Absence of NationalLeader
2. Lukewarm spirit of nationalism among Filipinos.
3. Inadequate training and preparation for walfare.
Moro Wars, (1901–13), in Philippine history, a series of scattered campaigns
involving Americantroops and Muslim bands on Mindanao, Philippines.
The Moro fought for religious rather than political reasons, and their actions
were unconnected with those of the Filipino revolutionaries who conducted
the Philippine-American War (1899–1902).
When sovereignty over the Philippines passed to the United States in 1898 after
the Spanish-American War, the United States initiated a policy designed to
assimilate the Moro into the Philippine nation and to curb some feudal
practices such as slave trading. The result of this attempt to alter the traditional
ways of the Moro was intransigence and rebellion.
Sporadic fighting took place in 1901 and was renewed in the spring of 1903.
American troops were attacked near Lake Lanao in the interior of Mindanao.
The best known of the American-Moro battles occurred in March 1906 at the
top of Mount Dajo on the island of Jolo. Six hundred Moro who had taken
refuge inside a large volcanic crater were killed by troops under Gen. Leonard
Wood. Because a number of women and children were killed in the
fight, Wood came under severe criticism in the U.S. Congress, but he was
absolved of any wrongdoing by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt. Renewed hostilities
occurred in September 1911 and June 1913. Fighting ceased thereafter, although
Moro separatist movements continued into the 21st century.