Tamblot Uprising

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The Tamblot uprising or Tamblot revolution, also known as Tamblot revolt in 1621 was led by Tamblot, a babaylan or native priest from Bohol. It was basically a religious conflict. [1] Tamblot exhorted his people to return to the faith of their forefathers and free themselves from Spanish oppression; this was dubbed as Tamblot Uprising. [2]

The Tamblot Uprising was one of two significant revolts that occurred in Bohol, Philippines during the Spanish Era. The other one was the famous Dagohoy Rebellion, considered as the longest rebellion in Philippine history. This rebellion was led by Francisco Dagohoy, also known as Francisco Sendrijas, from 1744to 1829. [3]

The Tamblot uprising features in the Bohol provincial flag as one of the the two bolos or native swords with handle and hand-guards on top. These two bolos, which are reclining respectively towards the left and right, depict the Dagohoy and Tamblot revolts, symbolizing that " a true Boholano will rise and fight if supervening factors embroil them into something beyond reason or tolerance." [4]

Contents

Tamblot

Tamblot was a tumanan or a hermit. He was a biki or high priest of the local organized religion in Bohol dedicated to the god Ay Sono. The other priests or biriki were Kator Kukon of Tagobas, Antequera; Hibor Tasing of Ilihanan, Cortes; Bula-od of Batuan, Bohol; Tam-isan of Loon, Bohol; Tagbakan of Tubigon, Bohol; and Pagali of Carigara, Leyte. Tamblot was a sab-o or seer who could know the future. He received a bugna or revelation from god. The Boholanos, even before the coming of the Spaniards, already believed in the first man, the flood, paradise, and the punishment after death. (Blair & Robertson, Vol. 29, p. 283). These are beliefs similar to Christianity. They have a tabernacle-like worship place at Malabago. [1]

Background of the uprising

About thirty years after the Spanish established themselves on Cebu, on 17 November 1596, two Jesuit priests, Father Juan de Torres and Gabriel Sanchez, arrived in Baclayon, Bohol. It is said that the mother of the encomendero of Bohol, Doña Catalina de Bolaños invited them. They established their headquarters in Baclayon, and quickly started to further spread the Catholic faith on the island.

Only a few years after the Jesuits' arrival, on 26 October 1600, Baclayon was raided by some 300 Maguindanao Moros commanded by Datu Sali and Datu Sirongan. In response, the Jesuits moved their headquarters to the inland town of Loboc, at a save distance from the coast. Since then, until the departure of the Jesuits from the Philippines in 1768, Loboc has been the residence of the local Jesuit superior. Here they also founded the first parish on the island in 1602, followed in 1604 by a school, the Seminario Colegio de Indios, a training school for the children of the local ruling class.

The new religion was not easily accepted by all. [5]

Tamblot’s challenge

When the Boholanos began to convert to Christianity, Tamblot issued a challenge to the Spanish priest as to whose God was more powerful. The challenge was who can produce rice and wine from the bamboo stalk. The Spanish priest prayed to his God, of course in Latin, and then cut the bamboo stalk from a grove but no rice and wine came out. Tamblot then prayed to Ay Sono and then cut the bamboo stalk from a grove and out came rice and wine. (“Medina’s Historia 1630-34,” Blair & Robertson, Vol. 24, p. 116). Tamblot won the challenge and the people sided with Tamblot. Only the towns of Baclayon and Loboc remained loyal to the Spaniards. The Spaniards said it was trickery and the work of the demon. Yet the same account in “Medina’s Historia” said that when Alcalde Mayor Juan Alcarazo was hit by a stone, got wounded and fell to the ground, he arose cured by calling on the Holy Child. It was called a miracle! But when Tamblot produced wine and rice from the bamboo stalk, prayed for rain and the rains came and the leaves turned into fishes, it was called trickery or the work of the demon. This is really biased reporting. The Spaniards did not deny the events but only attributed it to different sources, demon for Tamblot and Holy Child for the Spaniard.

When the Spaniards overran the camp of the Boholanos they destroyed 1,000 houses, and stole various jewels of silver and gold. These were given to the Cebuano and Pampago soldiers of the expedition. [1]

The revolt of Tamblot (1621-22)

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, in as much 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 Cebuano soldiers in this fight gave victory to Spain. [3]

Another version of the history says that in the following battle, fought out in a torrential rain at at Malabago, Cortes, Bohol, the mayor was wounded and the Spanish had to retreat. Six months later, in a second attempt, the rebels where victorious again, but then some Spanish priests from Loboc managed to enter the camp of Tamblot and assassinate him. Then, without their leader, the insurgents where easily defeated, and Spanish power was restored. After these events, the Spanish more firmly established their power in Bohol. [5]

References

  1. ^ a b c Abatan River Cruise: A travel through history www.boholchronicle.com Retrieved 21 November, 2006.
  2. ^ The Revolts before the Revolution www.nhi.gov.ph Retrieved 21 November, 2006.
  3. ^ a b Readings From Bohol's History www.aenet.org, Source: Philippine Political and Cultural History. Volume I. Gregorio F. Zaide Retrieved 15 November 2006.
  4. ^ Bohol Flag and Seal Provincial Government of Bohol Retrieved 21 December, 2006.
  5. ^ a b A Short History of Bohol (Part I)www.bohol.ph Retrieved 21 November, 2006.

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