Battle of San Juan del Monte
The Battle of San Juan del Monte, also known as the “Battle of Pinaglabanan” was the first battle fought by Filipinos during the revolution against Spanish colonization. It took place on August 30, 1896 in San Juan del Monte, now more commonly known as the city of San Juan.
On August 27, 1896, members of the Katipunan, led by its Supremo, Andres Bonifacio, tore their cedulas as a sign of revolt against the Spaniards. The first shots of the Revolution were fired on August 25, 1896 when Bonifacio was alerted by some women that the civil guards were coming.
After the spread of the Katipunan throughout the country, the first battle was planned out and on the evening of August 29, 1896, Katipuneros marched toward San Juan del Monte. The first group which was led by Andres Bonifacio came from Mandaluyong, Rizal and the other group which was led by Sancho Valenzuela came from Sta. Mesa. By midnight, the Katipuneros reached San Juan del Monte. Spanish Governon Ramon Blanco then proclaimed a state of war in 8 provinces that took up arms and joined the march towards San Juan. On August 30, they were able to besiege El Deposito, nearby San Juan del Monte. The Spaniards then called for reinforcements. Katipuneros, armed only with bolos and homemade guns, were easily outfought and were forced to retreat.
During the course of the battle, there were around 200 Katipuneros that were taken as prisoners and 153 were killed. Although the battle may be considered a loss, it was still able to inspire Filipinos to rise up from the colonization and the revolution quickly spread in Manila and Cavite.
It was the first of many battles won by Spain against the Filipinos. But the courage of the Katipuneros did not falter as freedom was finally attained two years later.
Battle of Pinaglabanan
Simultaneously with the Battle of San Juan, the people of Santa Mesa, Pandacan, Pateros, Taguig, San Pedro, Makati, Caloocan, Balik-Balik, San Francisco de Malabon, Kawit and Noveleta rose up in arms to battle against Spanish troops.
San Juan del Monte
During the pre-Spanish times, San Juan was a small village which later became a small encomienda in 1590. It was named San Juan after from its patron saint, San Juan de Bautista, and “del Monte” was often annexed to it because the structure of the land was hilly. The town was quiet until the Spaniards learned of the Katipunan and their plan to besiege the area. In 1896, San Juan became the venue for battle of Filipinos and Spaniards.
It is a five-hectare shrine dedicated in honor of the first battle fought by Filipinos against Spanish colonizers.
The monument shows a Filipina being flanked by two Katipuneros. It was built in memory of those who fought and died during the Battle of San Juan. The word “pinaglabanan” mean “fought over” in Filipino. The monument was made by Ed Castrillo in 1974.
San Juan Day
Under Proclamation No. 164 of the local government of the city of San Juan, August 30 is to be celebrated as San Juan Day, in commemoration of the Battle of Pinaglabanan.
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