Readings From Bohol's History 
  Introduction - by R. Gardner 
  The Legazpi-Katuna Blood Compact - 1565 
  The Revolt of Tamblot - 1621 to 1622 
  The Dagohoy Rebellion - 1744 to 1829
Philippine Political and Cultural History 
Volume I 
by Gregorio F. Zaide 
Copyright 1949 


Between 1521, when Ferdinand Magellan became the first from Europe to reach Asia by sailing west and where he would meet an untimely death on the islands that would become known as the Philippines, and 1564, Spain sent four more expeditions to colonize some part of the East Indies in their race with Portugal to control the lucrative spice trade but all failed.  It wasn't until Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, sailing from Mexico with four ships and nearly four hundred men, reached the Philippines in the early part of 1565 that a Spanish settlement was finally established. 

Establishing a colony wasn't any easier for Legazpi than for the five previous expeditions.  Like Magellan forty years earlier, Legazpi met hostile native warriors uninterested in foreign invasion.  An attempted landing on the island of Cebu resulted in the death of one of his soldiers and prompted Legazpi to weigh anchor to seek friendlier isles with the fate of Magellan certainly on the back of his mind. 

Attempting to sail south toward Mindanao, Legazpi's fleet met contrary winds that forced them northward to the island of Bohol. Here he captured a trading vessel from Borneo whose Mohammedan Malay pilot gave him the information that the Filipinos there carried on trade with the Moluccas, Borneo, Java, Malacca, India, and China. This fateful shift in the winds would lead to an alliance with native kings that finally gave the Spaniards their opportunity for colonization. 


At Bohol, Legazpi first noticed the hostility of the people. From the Mohammedan Malay pilot he gathered the information that such hostility was due to the marauding expeditions conducted by the Portuguese from the Moluccas, and, since the Spaniards look like Portuguese, the Bohol inhabitants naturally mistook them to be the white vandals. As late as 1563 the Portuguese raiders prowled the Visayan waters, plundered Bohol, and killed or enslaved about 1,000 inhabitants. 

Legazpi, with the aid of the Malay pilot, explained to the two kings of Bohol, Katuna (Si Katuna) and Gala (Si Gala) that the Spaniards were not Portuguese and that they had come on a mission of peace not to destroy, kill or plunder. On learning this, the Bohol kings and their people became friendly and welcomed the Spaniards. 

On March 16. 1565, Legazpi and Katuna performed a blood compact to seal their friendship. A few days later Legazpi had a similar pact with Gala.  In his report to Philip II, Legazpi described the ceremony of the blood compact in the following words: 

"It is observed in the following manner: one from each party draws two or three drops of blood from his own arm or breast and mixes them in the same cup, with water or wine. Then the mixture must be divided equally between two cups, and neither person may depart until both cups are alike drained."
The Conquest of Cebu 

Legazpi convoked a council of officers to decide where to establish the permanent Spanish settlement. The majority of officers voted to establish it in Cebu. On Easter Sunday, the fleet, guided by Kings Gala and Katuna, left Bohol and anchored at Cebu on April 27, 1565. The Cebuans, led by their king named Tupas (Humabon's son), massed at the shore in battle array, ready to resist the white invaders. Under flag of truce, Father Urdaneta went ashore to negotiate for amicable relations with Tupas, but the latter refused to heed his talk of peace. The parley having failed, Legazpi resorted to force of arms. Under cover of an artillery barrage, the Spanish soldiers landed and engaged the Cebuan warriors in battle. The former won because of their superior arms, forcing the latter to retreat to the hills and leaving their kingdom in flames. 

More of a statesman than a conquistador, Legazpi sought to win the Cebuans by a policy of attraction.  With the help of Cid Hamal, a Mohammedan Malay who happened to be in Cebu at that time, he was able to convince Tupas of his friendly intentions. Accordingly, on June 4, 1565, a peace treaty was drawn up, whereby the Filipinos agreed to recognize Spanish sovereignty and pay tribute, and whereby, in return, Legazpi promised to protect them from their enemies and to conduct trade between Spaniards and Filipinos on a reciprocal basis.  That same year, Legazpi founded the first permanent Spanish settlement in Cebu--on a strategic site granted to him by King Tupas. 

In the year 1621 the flames of a religious revolt engulfed the island of Bohol. This disturbance was incited by a Filipino babaylan or priest named Tamblot, who exhorted the people to return to the faith of their forefathers and convinced them "that the time has come when they could free themselves from the oppression of the Spaniards, inasmuch as they were assured of the aid of their ancestors and diuatas, or gods." 

Around 2,000 Boholanos responded to Tamblot's war call and began the uprising at a time when most of the Jesuit fathers, the spiritual administrators of the island, were in Cebu celebrating the feast of the beatification of St. Xavier. 

News of the revolt reached Cebu, and immediately the alcalde-mayor, Don Juan de Alcarazo rushed an expedition to Bohol, consisting of 50 Spaniards and more than 1,000 Filipinos. On New Year's Day, 1622, the government forces began the campaign against the rebels. In a fierce battle, fought in a blinding rain, Tamblot and his followers were crushed. The gallant valor of the Cebuan soldiers in this fight gave victory to Spain. 


In 1744 the island of Bohol became once more the arena of a serious insurrection against Spain. In that year Father Gaspar Morales, Jesuit curate of Inabangan, ordered a constable to capture a man who had abandoned his Christian religion. The brave constable pursued the fugitive, but the later resisted and killed him. His corpse was brought to town. Father Morales refused to give the constable Christian burial because he had died in a duel and this was banned by the Church. 

Francisco Dagohoy, brother of the deceased, became so infuriated at the priest that he instigated the people to rise in arms. The signal of the uprising was the killing of Father Guiseppe Lamberti, Italian Jesuit curate of Jagna, on January 24, 1744. Shortly afterwards Father Morales was killed by Dagohoy. The rebellion rolled over the whole island like 
a tropical typhoon. Bishop Miguel Lino de Espeleta of Cebu, who exercised ecclesiastical authority over Bohol, tried vainly to mollify the rebellious Boholanos. 

Dagohoy defeated the Spanish-Filipino forces sent against him. He established a free government in the mountains, and had 3,000 followers, who subsequently increased to 20,000. The patriots remained unsubdued in their mountains stronghold, and, even after Dagohoy's death, continued to defy Spanish power. 

Twenty Spanish governors-general, from Gasper de la Torre (1739-45) to Juan Antonio Martinez (1822-25), tried to quell the rebellion and failed. In 1825, General Mariano Ricafort (1825-30), a kind and able administrator, became governor-general of the Philippines. Upon his order, Alcade-mayor Jose Lazaro Cairo, at the head of 2,200 Filipino-Spanish troops and several batteries, invaded Bohol on May 7, 1827. The brave Boholanos resisted fiercely. Alcade-mayor Cairo won several engagements, but failed to crush the rebellion. In April, 1828, another Spanish expedition under Captain Manuel Sanz landed in Bohol. After more than a year of hard campaign, he finally subdued the patriots. By August 31, 1829, the rebellion had ceased. Governor Ricafort, with chivalric magnanimity, pardoned 19,420 survivors and permitted them to live in new villages at the lowlands. These villages are now the towns of Batuanan, Cabulao, Catigbian, and Vilar. 

Dagohoy will always live in the pages of Philippine history, not only as a good brother and a heroic man, but also as a leader of the longest Filipino insurrection on record. His revolt lasted 85 years (1744-1829). 

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