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Malong’s Revolt

Andres Malong
Leader of the Pangasinan Revolt

Andres Malong was the leader of the short-lived but devastating revolt in Pangasinan in 1660-1661.
A native of Binalatongan, Pangasinan, Malong was the province’s master-of-camp, the governor’s right-hand
man in dealing with the natives. He was a timawa. An Augustinian account described him as highly
intelligent and clever. Although it was his job, as master-of-camp, to impress upon his fellow Pangasinenses
the advantages of having the Spanish overlord, he had other ideas. Unknown to his Spanish masters, he was
sowing the seeds of revolt in the minds of the people.

It was the time of the Dutch invasion of the Philippines. A thousand natives were employed in
Pampanga and Bataan to cut timber for the building of ships. They were recruited not just from those
provinces but also from Pangasinan, the Ilocos, and Cagayan. After working for eight months away from
their families and without being paid their meager salaries, they had grown agitated.

The mutinous situation was turned into an open revolt by Pampangos, led by Francisco Maniago, a
master-of-camp like Malong. However, this revolt in Pampanga was easily quelled, without any blood being
spilled on its soil. The one that spread to Pangasinan by Andres Malong, was something else.

Malong’s revolt targeted only the Spanish government officials, not the Spanish priest. Obviously,
Pangasinenses had a deep reverence for all things Christian. Malong ordered the people not only to attend
masses and to pray, but also to guard churches and convents to keep them from harm. This attitude reflected
the sincere appreciation of the people towards priests in the province who, according to Spanish chronicles,
were dedicated to their mission of Christianizing the natives and assimilating them into a civil society. It was
even recorded that these priests regarded the natives as their brethren and jealously guarded their safety as
members of the flock. It was the abuses committed by the lay Spaniards, including encomenderos and
alcaldes that actually fueled the revolt. The first stirrings of the revolt occurred in Malangue (Malunguey in
other accounts), but the authorities quickly suppressed these with the aid of soldiers from Pampanga.
However, it was to take a violent and bloody turn soon enough.

On December 15, 1660, a mob led by Malong raided the house of the alguacil mayor of Lingayen,
Nicolas de Campos, killing him and his family and setting fire to the house. The force of the discontented
increased each day, in each town. Any town, which refused to join the revolt, was razed to the ground. For
dilly-dallying, Bacnotan was besieged by the rebels. The town’s alcalde mayor and his family tried to escape
by the river, but they were overtaken when their boat hit a sandbar, and were massacred. Only the town
priests were spared.

With the death of Spanish town officials, Malong proclaimed himself “King of Pangasinan.” His
rebels were then in control of the whole provincial territory, from Bolinao in the west to the Ilocano-
populated towns of present-day La Union. Even the Zambals, a mountain people who refused to heed the call
of civilized life, were enticed to join the revolt.

With the people of Pangasinan united under him, Malong thought of spreading and consolidating the
forces of rebellion in all of Luzon under his command. He sent 6,000 men under Melchor de Vera to
Pampanga and another 3,000 men to Ilocos under Pedro Gumapos, retaining only 2,000 men under his
immediate command. Unfortunately, Pampanga was, by this time, already at peace with the Spaniards. The
Pampanga leader Maniago, who had initiated the revolt in the province, was for Spanish rule once again.

The Spaniards responded to Malong’s revolt with a two-pronged attack, both river-borne and by
land. Their troops were augmented by Pampangos, mestizos, Japanese (from Dilao, now Paco), Zambals, and
Pangasinenses from Bolinao. Having sent the bulk of his army away, Malong faced the Spaniards with a
depleted force, which proved no match to them in firepower and military training. The Spaniards overcame
the rebel’s chief town, Binalatongan, which the rebels themselves had already burned to the ground. They
had retaken Lingayen earlier without a fight.

The rebels retreated to the forest, hoping to get back at their enemy in an ambush, but the wary
Spaniards did not fall into the trap. Meanwhile, Melchor de Vera’s army was defeated at Magalang. He was
captured and hanged in Binalatongan. That of Pedro Gumapos met a similar fate in the Ilocos. He was
hanged in Vigan. Soon, scores of rebels deserted King Malong and disbanded, asking the Spaniards for
forgiveness. Some of them offered to help the Spaniards track down Malong. Malong was captured on
February 6, 1661 in a hut between Calasiao and Bacnotan. Hewas with his mother. He was brought to
Lingayen for trial and executed there, by firing squad. (Some accounts say it was in Binalatongan that he was
tried and executed - shot as he was sitting on a rock.) In the aftermath, most of his ardent followers were
hanged- the usual penalty for treason. It is said that Malong died a Christian, implying that despite initiating
a revolt against the Spaniards, he never renounced the Christian faith.

Iloco’s Revolt

Pedro Almazan, King of Ilocos
Leader of ilocos revolt

He was known as the leader of the first Ilocano revolt against the Spaniards. He was the rich leader
of San Nicolas. Along with the leader of Bangui, Juan Magsanop, they planned secretly to free Ilocos from
the Spaniards. When the Pangasinense revolt led by Andres Malong in 1660 and the Spaniard troops left
Ilocos to fight the revolt in Pangasinan they find the best time to. They contacted another leader, Gaspar
Cristobal, the chief of Laoag. Cristobal burned the church of Laoag as a sign of his support. They also sought
the help of the Kalingas also to kill the Spaniards.

The Ilocanos and the Kalingas crowned Pedro Almazan with a stolen crown of a statue from the
burned church. They proclaimed "Long live Manong Almazan, the King of Ilocos". The people waved
banners in the street.

The revolt reached the towns of Cabicungan (now Claveria) and Pata (now Claveria) in Cagayan.
On February 1661, the revolt was known by the Spaniards in southern part of Ilocos who were then
celebrating the victory over the Zambals and Pangasinenses. They sent a large troop led by Lorenzo
Arqueros along with some natives of Cagayan and Southern Ilocos and attacked Almazan's troops. They
were taken in sudden so Almazan retreated his troop to the forest. The Spaniards followed them with the help
of the natives. Juan Magsanop's groups were the first to be captured. Before the Spaniards captured
Magsanop, he killed himself with a knife. When Almazan's group was surrounded next. Filled with rage,
Almazan attacked the enemy and died while fighting. With the two leaders dead the rest of the troop escaped
and the revolt ended.

Pedro Almazan - an Ilocano pride. His love of his native land that lead him fighting the enemies until his last
breath is a good picture of patriotism.

The Tapar uprising in Oton, Iloilo

The Bisayans, like the rest of the Filipinos, did not take the Spanish colonization of their country
sitting down. From the moment the Spaniards settled down permanently in the country in 1565, the natives
fought back and continued their resistance in the form of revolts up to the end of the Spanish rule in 1898.
The revolts were either caused by personal and religious motives, by the oppressive Spanish-introduced
economic as well as religious institutions, and by land problems.

Revolts that had personal motives were led by former barangay datus and babaylans who had lost their
prestige and influence in their communities with the coming of the Spaniards. This was so because they were
supplanted by leaders chosen by the colonizers and by the Spanish friars who, naturally, preferred
subservient local wards. Not only did they yearn to go back to their old ways and their own culture then
gradually being eroded by Hispanization and Christianization, but most of all regain the freedom that they
formerly enjoyed. The former datus whose rule and subsistence were secured through the annual tributes or
gifts from thebarangay people now lost their influence and prestige. Of course, some of them who joined the
Spaniards in the pacification campaign and the subsequent exploitation of the natives were able to regain
their position. They therefore, retained their patronage and were granted exclusive royal privileges of
exemption from paying tribute and from rendering polo or forced labor.
As to those uprising with religious motives, they were led by babaylans who lost their influence and power
because they were stripped of such by the Catholic evangelization of the country. They were soon superseded
by the different waves of Spanish regular clergy who spread out to various parts of the country.
The babaylans apostasized and desired to go back to their public acceptance of Catholicism, continued to
secretly practice their rituals and beliefs behind the backs of the ever-vigilant Spanish friars. Those practices
were, from the start, declared by the Spanish friars as idolatrous and unlawful, and practitioners were
severely punished.

Spanish impositions like taxation, forced labor, galleon trade, indulto de comercio, and the various
monopolies (tobacco, liquors, betel nut among others) were persistent irritants and were common cause of
Filipino revolts. Another major cause of peasant unrest was agrarian in nature ranging from disputed
fraudulent land surveys to usurpation and outright land grabbing committed especially by unscrupulous
Spanish hacienderos and some religious orders in the country.

In 1663, a native revolt with religious overtones was led by Tapar in Oton, Iloilo. He was
a babaylan who was a new convert to Catholicism. He founded a new syncretic religion which was a modified
form of Christianity. He proclaimed himself "God Almighty" and went around garbed in a woman's dress.
Tapar's syncretic religion appropriated Catholic terminologies and ignored the Spanish priests because Tapar
believed that they had their own "popes", "bishops", and "priests", as well as "Jesus Christ", "Holy Ghost"
and "Trinity" who could minister to them in their own nativistic ways.

The Spanish curate assigned to the town of Oton tried to persuade the people to go back to
Catholicism but he was killed in the process. Tapar's group burned the church and the priest's house, and fled
to the mountains. Spanish troops were sent to Oton and by employing hired spies, the Spaniards caught up
with the principal leaders who, in the process of fighting back, were killed. Their corpses were carried back
to the port of Iloilo, then fastened to bamboo poles in the Halawod (Jalaur) River to be fed on by crocodiles.
The woman who was named as the group's "Blessed Virgin Mary" (Maria Santisima) was mercilessly
impaled on a bamboo stake and placed strategically at the mouth of the Laglag (now Dueñas) River to be
eaten also by crocodiles. By 1664, as claimed by the Spaniards, peace had returned to Oton. (Agoncillo 1979,
Zaide 1957).