Malong Revolt (1660-1661)

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The Malong Revolt was one of the earliest insurrections in the Philippines against the Spanish regime. It was spearheaded by Andres Malong, who was spurred by the uprising in Pampanga. A short-lived revolt, it ended within a span of two months. It was considered historical for the huge number of followers that participated in the revolt.

Context Before the Revolt

Pangasinan was one of the earliest regions explored and occupied during the Spanish colonial rule. Some sources claimed that it was Miguel Lopez de Legazpi who successfully conquered and took control of the entire island of Luzon but there were records that suggested that the credit must be given to Martin de Goiti because the latter chronicled the first expedition to Pangasinan. Some historical narratives also recognized Juan de Salcedo, the grandson of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. He was the first Spaniard who devoted a significant amount of time in expanding the Spanish empire to the province of Pangasinan. He navigated and took the route along Zambales until he reached the Cape of Bolinao. He then gained the trust of the native people by saving them from slave trade that was rampant during that time. On 5 April 1572, Pangasinan officially became under the jurisdiction of the Spanish government and the towns of Lingayen, Dagupan, Sunguian, San Carlos (or previously known as Binalatongan), and Bolinao were administrated under the encomienda system. Under this kind of governance, polo y servicio or mandatory labor was enforced, and collection of tributes was customary. The people tremendously suffered under the unjust working conditions and were deprived of their rights because of the discriminatory social classes. This led the people to join uprisings that were intended to topple the Spanish government. [1][2]

History of the Revolt

In the early months of 1600, there were series of uprisings that happened in the Northern provinces of Luzon due to severe maltreatment and abuses of the Spanish civil and military officials. In October of the same year, more than three hundred people from Bulacan and Pampanga decided to withdraw from rendering their daily mandatory services as timber cutters. They instigated series of rebellion that prompted other neighboring provinces to follow suit. [1]

On 15 December 1660, Andres Malong persuaded and convinced the local residents of Pangasinan to fight for their liberty. They yearned for equality and freedom that were elusive during the Spanish colonial rule. The people heeded Malong's call and joined the revolution. Many Spaniards, including the alcalde mayor, were killed during the battle. Some sources said that the Spanish friars were unharmed because Malong had given the order to spare them from any form of aggression. Celebrating their victory and motivated by the growing numbers of their followers, Malong proclaimed himself the new ruler. He appointed ministers and took command of the military. Pedro Gumapos was appointed count and was directed to take the leadership of Ilocos and Cagayan. Melchor de Vera was designated as one of the army generals and was given the authority to take control of Pampanga. Malong also sent expeditionary troops to neighboring provinces. Around 6,000 men were dispatched to Pampanga and 3,000 men were directed to go to Ilocos and Cagayan. Since he sent off a huge number of military men, his troop was depleted in his own city in Binalatongan. When the Spanish army launched an attack, they were already outnumbered, and they suffered defeat. Upon the victory of the Spanish troops, Malong was captured on 6 February 1661 and was executed thereafter. [3][4]

Punishment and Execution

The revolt did not prosper because Francisco Maniago and Juan Macapagal, who held significant positions in Pampanga, had already reconciled with the Spanish government. They facilitated and assisted the Spanish military troops to suppress the rebellion in Pangasinan. After almost two months, Captain Lorenzo Arqueros and his ground commanders had quelled the Filipino fighters. Everyone who took part in the uprising was tried in court and were found guilty. [1]

Andres Malong, the leader of the uprising and a member of the Principalia social class, was shot by the firing squad. Some accounts mentioned that he was beheaded, and his lifeless body was taken into his yard. To condemn his rebellious act against the Spanish government, they inscribed a note that indicated that Malong was a traitor to God, the King (of Spain), and the law. Prominent leaders of the revolt like Melchor de Vera, Francisco de Pacadua, Jacinto Macasiag, and their other fourteen members were hanged on the gallows and were executed. Some of them were mutilated and severely punished before their death. There were also insurgents who were brutally injured before they were subjected to die through gunfire, hanging, and beating. Those who were not sentenced to death were taken as captives and suffered mandatory labor. [1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Salinas, Elnora. "Rediscovering the Past (1571-1807) History of Villasis." Bayan ng Villasis Website, http://www.villasis.gov.ph/about-us/rediscovering-the-past-1571-1807-history-of-villasis/. Accessed on 3 February 2021.
  2. "History of the Province."  Pangasinan Official Website, https://www.pangasinan.gov.ph/the-province/history/. Accessed on 3 February 2021.
  3. Halili, Maria Christine. Philippine History. Sampaloc Manila: Rex Book Store, Inc. 2004.
  4. Duka, Cecilio. Struggle for Freedom: A Textbook on Philippine History. Sampaloc Manila: Rex Book Store, Inc. 2008.

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