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Spanish Era

Spanish Era

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Published by Jhomie Nero Quisto

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Published by: Jhomie Nero Quisto on Oct 26, 2012
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Spanish Era. The policy of the Spanish government was to recognize all lands in the Philippines as part of the public domain. During this era the Spanish crown was free to give vast tracts of Philippine land, including the resources and inhabitants, to loyal civilians and military servants asrewards. During this period Encomienda System was practiced with respect to how land isdistributed.
1. Encomienda
In 1570, the encomienda was introduced to the Philippines when Legaspi distributed lands in Cebuto loyal Spanish subjects.The word encomienda is derived from the verb meaning to commend or to charge one’s care.The encomienda is a labor system that was employed by the Spanish crownduring theSpanish colonization of the Americasand thePhilippines. In the encomienda, the crown granted a person a specified number of natives for whom they were to take responsibility. Thereceiver of the grant was to protect the natives fromwarring tribesand to instruct them in theSpanish languageand in the Catholic faith. In return, they could exact tribute from the natives inthe form of labor, gold or other products, such as in corn, wheat or chickens. Originally, theencomiender was e feudal institution used in Spain during the reconquista to reward deservinggenerals and conquerors. The encomienda system was not a land grant. It was an administrativeunit for the purpose of exacting tribute from the natives. Each encomiendero had a threefoldresponsibility: to protect the natives by maintaining peace and order within thr encomienda; tosupport the missionaries in their work of converting the people to Catholicism; and to help in thedefense of the colony. In return to these services, the Crown authorized the encomiendero tocollect tribute of eight reales annually from all males inhabitants of his encomienda between agesof nineteen and sixty.
The Dominican fathers having leased their lands to mestizos, these hold them as inquilinos oncondition of each one paying for three or four years, after which they were to pay five cavans of rice for every cavalita of irrigated land. The estate owners are not allowed to increase the groundrent, even though the prices of everything else have increased enormously. Neither are theyallowed to lease the land to others, unless the leaseholders fail to pay the rent for two consecutiveyears. This is a policy of which the inquilino play unfairly by disposing of the lands as though theyowned them.They sell them, or mortgage it to those wealthier than they pay; and by the mere factof being inquilinos, without doing a stroke of work, they make more than the estate ownersthemselves.
3.Friar lands
A large part of the land of the islands was in the hands of three orders of friars, theDominicans, Recoletos and Augustinians. Associated with these orders was that of theFranciscans, which, however, is not permitted to hold property, except convents and schools.The land held by the three orders in question was officially estimated as follows:Dominicans 161,593 acresAugustinians 151,742 acresRecoletos 93,035 acres
4.Early rebellion
Resistance against Spain did not immediately cease upon the conquest of the Austronesian cities.After Tupasof Cebu, random native nobles resisted Spanish rule. The longest recorded native rebellion was that of Francisco Dagohoywhich lasted a century.During the British rule in the 1760s,Diego Silangwas appointed governor of Ilocosand after his assassination by fellow natives, his wifeGabrielacontinued to lead the Ilocanos. Resistance againstSpanish rule was regional in character, based on ethnolinguistic groups.Hispanization of sorts, did not spread to the mountainous center of northern Luzon, nor to theinland communities of Mindanao. The highlanders were more able to resist the Spanish invadersthan the lowlanders.The Moros, most notably the sultanates, had a more advanced political system than their counterparts in the Visayas and Luzon. Spanish cities in Mindanao were limited to the coastalareas of ZamboangaandCagayan de Oro. Why all these revolts failed?=Absence of national leader Lukewarm spirit of nationalism among Filipinos= Inadequate training and preparation for warfare
5.Phillipine Revolution
By 1896 the Katipunan had a membership by the thousands. That same year, the existence of theKatipunan was discovered by the colonial authorities. In late August Katipuneros gathered inCaloocan and declared the start of the revolution. The event is now known as the Cry of Balintawak or Cry of Pugad Lawin, due to conflicting historical traditions and official government positions.Andrés Bonifacio called for a general offensive on Manila
and was defeated in battle at the town of San Juan del Monte. He regrouped his forces and was able to briefly capture the towns of Marikina, San Mateo and Montalban. Spanish counterattacks drove him back and he retreated tothe mountains of Balara and Morong and from there engaged inguerrilla warfare. By August 30,the revolt had spread to eight provinces. On that date, Governor-General Ramon Blanco declaredastate of war in these provinces and placed them under martial law. These wereManila,Bulacan,Cavite, Pampanga,Bataan,Laguna,Batangas, andNueva Ecija. They would later be represented in the eight rays of the sun in theFilipino flag.Emilio Aguinaldo and theKatipuneros of Cavite were the most successful of the rebels and they controlled most of their  province by September-October. They defended their territories withtrenchesdesigned byEdilberto Evangelista.Many of the educatedilustradoclass such asAntonio LunaandApolinario Mabinidid not initially favor an armed revolution. Rizal himself, whom the rebels took inspiration from and had consulted beforehand, disapproved of a premature revolution. He was arrested, tried and executed for treason, sedition and conspiracy on December 30, 1896. Before his arrest he had issued a statementdisavowing the revolution, but in hisswan songpoemMi último adióshe wrote that dying in battle for the sake of one's country was just as patriotic as his own impending death.While the revolution spread throughout the provinces, Aguinaldo's Katipuneros declared theexistence of an insurgent government in October regardless of Bonifacio's Katipunan, which hehad already converted into an insurgent government with him as president in August.Bonifaciowas invited to Cavite to meditate between Aguinaldo's rebels, theMagdalo, and their rivalstheMagdiwang, both chapters of the Katipunan. There he became embroiled in discussionswhether to replace the Katipunan with an insurgent government of the Cavite rebels' design. Tothis end, theTejeros Conventionwas convened, where Aguinaldo was elected president of the newinsurgent government. Bonifacio refused to recognize this and he was executed for treason in May1897.By December 1897, the revolution had resulted to a stalemate between the colonial governmentand rebels. Pedro Paterno mediated between the two sides for the signing of the Pact of Biak-na-

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