Dagohoy Rebellion

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The Dagohoy Revolt was one of the two significant revolts that sparked in Bohol during the Spanish colonization, besides the Tamblot Uprising. It was led by Francisco Dagohoy, a cabeza de barangay (head of a barangay) who rebelled against unjust practices and oppressive rule of the Spaniards, most particularly against the Jesuits who refused to give his dead brother a proper Catholic burial. Taking place from 1744 to 1829, it was considered the longest rebellion in Philippine history.

Context Before the Revolt

When Tamblot, a babaylan who had led an uprising in Bohol, was killed in 1622, the Spaniards regained its power and reinstated its oppressive authority in Bohol. The remaining followers of Tamblot were easily subdued by the Spanish authorities. The people underwent forced labor to build several churches in the towns of Baclayon and Loboc.

Aside from the unjust forced labor system, the Jesuits priests also had the authority to implement a settlement policy called reduccion. Under this rule, the people residing in smaller areas were obliged to relocate to larger towns. The policy was made to logistically allow the Spanish government to gain stronger jurisdiction over the place. Furthermore, the larger settlement areas in Jagna, Talibon, Loboc, Baclayon, Inabanga, and Maribojoc were predominantly inhabited by Christians, and under the reduccion policy, Christianized Filipinos were compelled to pay higher taxes. These oppressive and unfair governance policies prompted another uprising in the province.

History of the Revolt

The amicable relationship between the Spaniards and the natives of Bohol began when Miguel Lopez de Legazpi entered into a blood compact with Rajah Sikatuna in 1565. After the successful conquest of the region, the Society of Jesus gained the religious jurisdiction over the island. [1]

In 1744, Father Gaspar Morales sent out an order to Dagohoy’s brother to arrest a purportedly renegade man, but the latter died during the duel. Francisco Dagohoy sought proper Catholic burial for his brother, but the parish priest of Inabangan, Bohol, Fr. Morales, refused and argued that it was an unconsecrated act to bless someone who died in a duel. Dagohoy was very infuriated; this triggered him to lead an uprising to topple the Spanish government. Dagohoy refused to render forced labor and declined to pay taxes and tributes. Those who loathed the colonial rule of the Spaniards joined Dagohoy and the movement had spread throughout the province. Twenty Spanish governor-generals, from Gaspar de la Torre (1739-1745) to Mariano Ricafort (1825-1830), who ruled the region were not able to suppress the upheaval. [2][1]

On 24 January 1744, the Italian priest and parish minister in the municipality of Jagna was assassinated. This was a clear indication of the start of the rebellion. Before the uprising heated and expanded across the entire province, some sources said that Dagohoy sought revenge and took the life of Father Morales. At the height of the uprising, Dagohoy established his own troop in the Caylagon Cave in the town of Danao. It was initially founded by 3,000 followers but numbers spiked to 20,000, which permitted them to strengthen their alliance against the Spanish forces. [3]

In 1747, Bishop Juan de Arrechedera of Manila, who was also the acting governor-general at that time, sent out a Spanish expedition under the command of Don Pedro Lechuga but Dagohoy resisted. Bishop Miguel Lino de Espeleta of Cebu, who became the acting archbishop and governor-general, also tried to pacify Dagohoy and his troop but this did not prosper. [1]

When the Recollects replaced the Jesuits, Father Pedro de Santa Barbarra hiked to the mountains to reach out to Dagohoy. The priest tried to pursue peaceful negotiations but Dagohoy still opted to cling on to their independence. Complementing the efforts of Fr. Barbarra, Governor-General Jose Raon offered amnesty and pardon to Dagohoy and his followers under the condition that they will lay down their weapons. However, Dagohoy still turned down the proposal and preferred to remain in liberty. [1]

After several unsuccessful attempts of Governor-General Mariano Ricafort to suppress the Dagohoy uprising, the longest revolt ended on 31 August 1829. [4]

Dagohoy's Legacy

On 21 June 1956, President Ramon Magsaysay signed the Executive Order No. 184, which created the municipality of Dagohoy in the province of Bohol. The municipalities of Carmen, Sierra Bullones, Trinidad, and Ubay retained its respective territories except for the portions that were designated under the municipality of Dagohoy. [5]

A school was also named after Dagohoy and the flag of Bohol included two large bolos which signified the relentless fight of Tamblot and Dagohoy during the Spanish colonial period.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Palafox, Quennie . “The Vision of Francisco Dagohoy.” National Historical Commission of the Philippines, https://nhcp.gov.ph/the-vision-of-francisco-dagohoy/. Accessed on 15 January 2021.
  2. Dagohoy, Francisco. (2015). In V. Almario (Ed.), Sagisag Kultura (Vol 1). Manila: National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Retrieved from https://philippineculturaleducation.com.ph/dagohoy-francisco/ on 15 January 2021.
  3. "Francisco Dagohoy: A Slice of History and Myth." Bohol Philippines Website, https://www.bohol-philippines.com/francisco-dagohoy.html. Accessed on 29 January 2021.
  4. Ongsotto, Rebecca, and Reena Ongsotto. Philippine History Module-based Learning. Sampaloc Manila: Rex Book Store, Inc, 2002.
  5. Magsaysay, R. (1956). Executive Order No. 184 : Creating the Municipality of Dagohoy in the Province of Bohol. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 52 (6), 2947-2949. Retrieved from https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1956/06/21/executive-order-no-184-s-1956/ on 29 January 2021.



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