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Katagalugan is a term used to refer to two revolutionary bodies involved in the Philippine Revolution against Spain and the Philippine-American War. Both were connected to the Katipunan revolutionary movement.



The term Tagalog refers to both an ethno-linguistic group in the Philippines and their language. Katagalugan may refer to the tagalophone, or Tagalog-speaking regions.

However, the Katipunan secret society extended the meaning of these terms to all natives in the Philippine islands. The society's primer states:

The revolutionary Carlos Ronquillo wrote in his memoirs:

In this respect, Katagalugan may be translated as the "Tagalog nation."<ref name="guererro1" /><ref name = "guererro2" />

Andrés Bonifacio, a founding member of the Katipunan and later its supreme head (Supremo), promoted the use of Katagalugan for the Philippine nation. The term "Filipino" was then reserved for Spaniards born in the islands. By eschewing "Filipino" and "Filipinas" which had colonial roots, Bonifacio and his cohorts "sought to form a national identity".<ref name="guererro1" />

Haring Bayang Katagalugan

In 1896, the Philippine Revolution broke out after the discovery of the Katipunan by the authorities. Prior to the outbreak of hostilities, the Katipunan had become an open revolutionary government.<ref name="guererro1" /><ref name="agoncillo">Agoncillo, Teodoro [1960] (1990). History of the Filipino People, Eighth edition, R.P. Garcia Publishing Company. ISBN 971-1024-15-2. </ref><ref name="zaide">Zaide, Gregorio (1984). Philippine History and Government. National Bookstore Printing Press. </ref> The American historian John R. M. Taylor, custodian of the Philippine Insurgent Records, wrote:

Several Filipino historians concur. According to Gregorio Zaide:

Likewise, Renato Constantino wrote that the Katipunan served as a shadow government.<ref name = "constantino">Constantino, Renato (1975), The Philippines: A Past Revisited, ISBN 971-8958-00-2</ref>

Influenced by Freemasonry, the Katipunan had been organized with "its own laws, bureaucratic structure and elective leadership".<ref name="guererro1" /> For each province it involved, the Supreme Council coordinated provincial councils<ref name="guererro2" /> which were in charge of "public administration and military affairs on the supra-municipal or quasi-provincial level"<ref name="guererro1" /> and local councils <ref name="guererro2" />, in charge of affairs "on the district or barrio level".<ref name="guererro1" />

In the last days of August, the Katipunan members met in Caloocan and decided to start their revolt<ref name="guererro1" /> (the event was later called the "Cry of Balintawak" or "Cry of Pugad Lawin"; the exact location and date are disputed). A day after the Cry, the Supreme Council of the Katipunan held elections, with the following results:<ref name="guererro1" /><ref name="guererro2" />

Position Name
President / Supremo Andrés Bonifacio
Secretary of War Teodoro Plata
Secretary of State Emilio Jacinto
Secretary of the Interior Aguedo del Rosario
Secretary of Justice Briccio Pantas
Secretary of Justice Enrique Pacheco

The above was divulged to the Spanish by the Katipunan member Pio Valenzuela while in captivity.<ref name="guererro1" /><ref name="guererro2" /> Teodoro Agoncillo thus wrote:

Milagros C. Guererro and others have described Bonifacio as "effectively" the commander-in-chief of the revolutionaries. They assert:

One name for Bonifacio's concept of the Philippine nation-state appears in surviving Katipunan documents: Haring Bayang Katagalugan ("Sovereign Nation of Katagalugan", or "Sovereign Tagalog Nation") - sometimes shortened into Haring Bayan ("Sovereign Nation"). Bayan may be rendered as "nation" or "people". Bonifacio is named as the president of the "Tagalog Republic" in an issue of the Spanish periodical La Ilustracion Español y Americana published in February 1897 ("Andrés Bonifacio - Titulado "Presidente" de la República Tagala"). Another name for Bonifacio's government was Repúblika ng Katagalugan (another form of "Tagalog Republic") as evidenced by a picture of a rebel seal published in the same periodical the next month.<ref name="guererro1" /><ref name="guererro2" />

Official letters and one appointment paper of Bonifacio addressed to Emilio Jacinto reveal Bonifacio's various titles and designations, as follows:<ref name="guererro1" /><ref name="guererro2" />

  • President of the Supreme Council
  • Supreme President
  • President of the Sovereign Nation of Katagalugan / Sovereign Tagalog Nation
  • President of the Sovereign Nation, Founder of the Katipunan, Initiator of the Revolution
  • Office of the Supreme President, Government of the Revolution

A power struggle in Cavite led to Bonifacio's execution in 1897, with command shifting to Emilio Aguinaldo. The Aguinaldo-headed Philippine Republic (Spanish: República Filipina), usually considered the "First Philippine Republic", was formally established in 1899, after a succession of revolutionary and dictatorial governments (e.g. the Tejeros government, the Biak-na-Bato Republic) also headed by Aguinaldo.

Republika ng Katagalugan

In 1902, General Macario Sacay (or Sakay), a veteran Katipunan member, established his own Tagalog Republic (Repúbliká ng̃ Katagalugan), and held the presidency with Francisco Carreón as vice president. In April 1904, Sacay issued a manifesto declaring Filipino right to self-determination at a time when support for independence was considered a crime by the American occupation forces in the Philippines.<ref name=Sacay1> Flores, Paul (August 12 1995). Macario Sakay: Tulisán or Patriot?. Philippine History Group of Los Angeles. Retrieved on 2007-04-08.</ref>

The republic ended in 1907 when Sacay and his leading followers were arrested and executed by the American authorities as bandits.<ref name=Sacay1/> Some of its survivors escaped to Japan to be joined with Artemio Ricarte, an exiled Katipunan veteran, and later returned to support the Japanese-sponsored Second Philippine Republic during World War II.

See also


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Original Source

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