The Katipunan was a secret organization organized along Masonic lines. It was formed soon after Rizal's exile to Dapitan. The Katipunan was a Philippine revolutionary society founded by anti-Spanish Filipinos in Manila in 1892, which aimed primarily to gain independence from Spain through revolution. The society was initiated by Filipino patriots Andrés Bonifacio, Teodoro Plata, Ladislao Diwa, and others on the night of July 7, when Filipino writer José Rizal was to be banished to Dapitan. Initially, Katipunan was a secret organization until its discovery in 1896 that led to the outbreak of Philippine Revolution.
Through the efforts of Katipunan members like Emilio Jacinto and Macario Sakay and hundreds of nameless contributors to the cause, the organization grew from a small, Luzon based organization, to a national organization which the Spaniards were unable to completely defeat.
|The earliest dated and only known 1892 Katipunan document, authorizing the establishment of a Katipunan Sangunian balangay or chapter council, in |
|The Katipunan newspaper - "Ang Kalayaan"|
An account on the start of the 1896 revolt
(From General Santiago Alvarez's account)
On August 21 1896, at the home of Katipunera Vidal Acab in Caloocan, a general meeting of Katipuneros was held to discuss the plans for the uprising. This meeting was disrupted by a false alarm when Katipunero guards stopped an Englishman riding in a rig. As the atmosphere was already tense, it was decided to move the meeting to Kangkong, Caloocan. In Kangkong, letters were written to the head of various Katipunan councils, inviting them to a meeting. By August 24, the Katipuneros in Kangkong swelled to more than a thousand. A meeting was then conducted, in it the following were approved:
1. An uprising to defend the people's freedom was to start Saturday, August 29, 1896.
2. The organization of the revolutionary forces under the following recently named brigadier generals:
- Aguedo del Rosario
- Vicente Fernandez
- Ramon Bernardo
- Gregorio Coronel
4. To be in a state of alert so Katipunan could strike should the situation arise even before August 29.
Everyone should steel himself and be resolute in the imminent struggle.
5. The immediate objective was the capture of Manila.
After the adjournment of the meeting at twelve noon, there were tumultuous shouts of "Mabuhay ang mga Anak ng Bayan!"
The following is a partial list of people and their occupation who attended the meeting and notes from the source:
Amidst all the debate about precisely when and where the revolution started, historians have often neglected to ask exactly who gathered in Balintawak or thereabouts in August 1896. In the absence of a complete roster – clearly an impossibility at this distance in time – the fullest listing is to be found in an interview given by the KKK veteran Guillermo Masangkay to the Manila newspaper Bagong Buhay in 1952. In this interview, Masangkay recalled the names of 56 men who had met in Balintawak prior to the first encounters with Spanish forces. In the great majority of cases, he also recalled their occupations, and it is fascinating to note that nearly half the patriots on his list worked in some capacity or other for branches of the Spanish administration. The three ‘government secret agents’, it is presumed, had in the preceding months been supplying useful information to the Katipunan and misinformation to the Spaniards.
Masangkay’s list is reproduced below; the occupational descriptions have been translated into English from the original mix of Tagalog and Spanish, and in a few cases have been amplified. Since the list was reconstructed from memory more than fifty years after the event, erroneous inclusions are likely and omissions are inevitable. Any corrections or other comments will be most welcome. Pictures if available are placed above their respective names.
Aguedo del Rosario Printer at the Diario de Manila
Apolonio Cruz Printer at the Diario de Manila
Alejandro Santiago Printer at El Resumen
Deogracias Fajardo Printer
Juan Fajardo Printer
Tomas Alegre Master cigar maker
Pio H. Santos Master tobacco worker
Patricio Belen Tobacco worker
Crispulo Chacon Tobacco worker
Lorenzo Martinez Tobacco worker
Tomas Villanueva Tobacco worker
Procopio Bonifacio Railway baggage-master
Rogelio Borja Mechanic
Isaac del Carmen Mechanic
Hilario Sayo Mechanic
Melecio Ruestra Draftsman
Pastor Santos Draftsman
Guillermo Masangkay Kuridor [buyer and seller]
Pedro Zabala Kuridor [buyer and seller]
Macario Sakay Sales agent [personero]
Salustiano Cruz Master tailor
Juan de la Cruz Barber; playwright
Emilio Jacinto Student
Andres Bonifacio Warehouse employee at Fressel & Co.;
walking cane maker;
Nicomedes Carreon Cobrador, salesman at Casa Chofre
Miguel Resurreccion Grass (fodder) cutter
Vicente Leyva Milk seller
Cipriano Pacheco Clerk
Briccio Pantas Assistant to Court of First Instance judge
Teodoro Plata Clerk, Mindoro Court of First Instance
Jose Trinidad Clerk, Tondo Court of First Instance
Hermogenes Plata Court clerk
Tomas Remigio Government treasury clerk
Pantaleon Torres Government treasury clerk
Vicente Molina Government treasury caretaker
Enrique Pacheco Manila city government clerk
Faustino Manalac Manila port administration clerk
Calixto Santiago Customs official
Restituto Javier Customs official
Hermenegildo Reyes Customs official
Valentin Lagasca Customs guard sergeant
Eugenio Santos Customs guard sergeant
Francisco Carreon Customs guard
Sarhento Marcelo Customs guard
Roman Ramos Government arsenal employee
Tito Miguel Government arsenal employee
Julio Navarro Government secret agent
Alejandro Andaya Government secret agent
Marcelo Badell Government secret agent
Geronimo Medina y Cristobal Army corporal
Cosme Taguyod Fire Department lieutenant
Rafael Gutierrerez Fire Department captain
Estanislao Vargas Property owner
Apolonio Samson Property owner
Pio Valenzuela Physician
Ramon Bernardo Municipal captain of Pandacan
Highlighted are names of familiar personalities from Philippine history textbooks.
Guardia Civil with a captured Katipunero from the 1st skirmishes
|1917 marker of the 23 August Cry at Kangkong, installed by the veterans of the revolution.|