Igorot Revolt

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The Igorot Revolt of 1601 was an opposition to the effort of the Spanish to Christianize the Igorots of Cordillera in Northern Luzon.


History and Details

Historical accounts date the revolt to the year 1601, at the very time where the Spanish were slowly but surely taking over the archipelago by means of propagating Catholicism and making the native submit to the Spanish monarch.

But unlike other revolts that have been made famous, the Igorot revolt is purely spiritual or religious in nature, with the origin of the revolt being a staunch opposition of the Igorot chieftain to leave their pagan gods, as is the religious tradition of Filipino inhabitants in pre-Spanish colonial period.

It was at the order of then Governor-General Francisco de Tello de Guzman that had Spaniards bound for the Cordillera region for religious conversion purposes. This comprised of the partnership of Captain Mateo de Aranda of the Spanish troops, with the aid of Fr. Esteban Marin. Marin, the curate of Ilocos at that time, tried to initially convince the Igorots to ally peacefully with de Aranda. Marin allegedly even tried to create his own dictionary in Igorot dialect to advance this cause. Unmoved and enraged at the invasion, the Igorots assaulted Fr. Esteban Marin.


Captain Mateo de Aranda, upon Marin’s death, used brute force and had the Igorot villages burned in his rage for the loss of his companion. The revolt was short-lived as Aranda made use of extreme measures and executed them quickly to dispel the revolt in the Cordillera region.

The Igorots were one of the few ethnic groups who remained staunch in their religious beliefs and refused to trade it off for any foreign concept or idea. At present, they continue to preserve much of their pre-Spanish heritage, in keeping with the fiercely loyal spirit under which the Igorot revolt was made.




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