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The word Filibusterismo, as defined by Ferdinand Blumentritt in the Leipzig journal "Unsere Zeit" (Our Time), means the idea of the breaking away of the colony from the mother country, and filibusteros are accordingly those who aspire for the realization of this idea.

The French form "filibuster" is derived from the English word "flyboat" or the Dutch word "Flieboot". These are small fast boats that pirates used in the Caribbean during the 7th century. According to other sources, "filibuster" has its origin in the English word "freebooter", from which the German "Freibeuter" was derived. In more recent time, especially in the USA, the term obtained another meaning. Senators who want to delay the acceptance of laws that they oppose, through speeches and motions lasting for hours, are called "filibusters".

According to José Rizal

According to José Rizal, a 'filibustero' in the Philippines are:

  • Those who do not raise their hats to Spaniards.
  • Those who only greet a friar instead of kissing his hand or his habit.
  • Those who offer resistance to being addressed with the familiar "tu" by the best Spaniard.
  • Those who subscribe to a periodical from Spain or another European country.
  • Those who, at elections, give their vote to a candidate other than the one recommended by the priest.
  • Those who read books other than miracle stories and biographies of saints.


  • Sichrovsky, Harry. El Filibusterismo. In Ferdinand Blumentritt: An Austrian Life for the Philippines. Accessed on 21 March 2009.
  • Del Pilar, Marcelo H. "Filibusterism." In Frailocracy in the Philippines, translated into English by Leonor Agrava. Manila, Philippines: National Historical Institute, 1996. Pp. 4-13.



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