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Dagohoy History

Located in the heart of Visayas, Bohol became the battle ground for Filipinos who rose
in arms against the Spaniards in pursuit for absolute freedom. The most prominent of
which was Francisco Dagohoy- the ringleader of the uprising that lasted for 85 years, the
longest in history of the Philippines. This personal vengeance against the persons turned
into a serious and major uprising that will endure for many years even after the death of
Dagohoy. This movement aimed to make Bohol once more a land of free men, can be
considered as one of the earliest victory of Filipinos over the Spaniards as the island fell
into the hands of the natives.
Bohol, a disk-shaped island, the size very much similar to Cebu, was the place where
the vessel Concepcion was abandoned and burned after Magellan’s death in Mactan in
1521. In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi entered into a blood compact with Rajah
Sikatuna of Bohol to establish friendship with the native ruler. Soon after the conquest
of the archipelago, religious jurisdiction over the island was given to the Society of
In 1744, the district of Inabangan in the northwest coast of the island was put
under the auspice of Father Morales. He sent out a native constable named Dagohoy to
arrest a renegade indio, but Dagohoy himself was killed instead. Francisco, Dagohoy’s
brother, brought the corpse back to the village for burial in consecrated ground,
according to the Catholic practice. Probably irked that the man had failed in his mission,
Father Morales refused permission for a Catholic burial and Dagohoy’s cadaver lay
rotting for three days. Francisco infuriated at the unsympathetic and treatment by the
parish priest, he cursed the Jesuit and sought for revenge by persuading the natives of
the district to unite with him in overthrowing the Spaniards. Some 3, 000 men and their
families abandoned their homes in the lowland and trekked to the inaccessible
mountainous interior where they built a fortification.
In a remote region in the mountains between Inabangan and Talibon, Dagohoy
established his headquarters and proclaimed the independence of Bohol. Dagohoy and
his men sallied out in lightning raids on the lowland towns, assaulting the local Spanish
garrisons, looting the churches, and slaughtering Spaniards, particularly the Jesuit
priests. On January 24, 1746 one of Dagohoy’s bold warriors killed Father Giuseppe
Lamberti, an Italian Jesuit and parish priest of Jagna.
The Spanish authorities were worried by the remarkable successes of Dahohoy. In
1747 Bishop Juan de Arrechedera of Manila, then acting governor-general, dispatched a
Spanish expedition to Bohol under the command of Don Pedro Lechuga, Dagohoy
resisted this expedition and forced it to withdraw to Zamboanga. Later Bishop Miguel

who became acting archbishop and governor-general. They would not accept the presence of civilian official. Few rebels presented themselves under proclamation. Dagohoy spurned his offer. and the following summer. From 1744 to August 31. The bishop. from Gaspar de la Torre (1739-1745) to Mariano Ricafort (1825-1830). it meant three generations of Boholanos were enjoying their liberty. with a contingent of 6. but Dagohoy courteously refused to give up Bohol’s independence.Lino de Espeleta of Cebu. when acting Governor-General Mariano Ricafort. and Father Pedro de Santa Barbarra. but these failed until May 1827. however. He was welcomed and well treated. remained firm in their rebellion. in April of 1828. The insurgents. Supplementing the peace efforts of the Recollects. appalled the poorly-armed islanders could defy Spanish might. a creole. Evidently. The Recollects replaced the Jesuits. the Boholanos successfully maintained their independence and preserved it with fierce and courage and flaming patriotism. Governor-General Jose Raon offered amnesty and pardon to Dagohoy and his followers if they would lay down their arms. but since the revolt continued. Punitive expeditions were mounted against them. a Recollect friar. he dispatched another military host armed with light artillery to pulverize the mountain forts of the rebels in Inabangan and Talibon. It seemed probable that Dagohoy died before the year 1829 in his mountain kingdom either of old age or sickness. failed to suppress the libertarian struggle. joined Dagohoy. 024 natives from Bohol and Cebu. Numerous recruits. But Dagohoy refused to listen to him. 100 Spaniards from the Manila and Cebu garrisons. sent to Bohol a powerful army of 1. the rebels controlled the island. who was stationed in Baclayon. but resolutely refused to come again under the political domination of Spain. This task force was not completely successful. Dagohoy and his followers were not against the Catholic religion. Except for a dozen coastal towns and villages protected by armed Spaniards and native police. ascended the mountains to interview Dagohoy. The raids of the loyalist continued. Twenty Spanish governorgenerals. disgusted at the string of injustices and tyranny committed by the Spaniards. a long period of 85 years. imbued by his indomitable courage and fearless heroism carried on the fight for independence. tried to pacify the rebels. Through the efforts of Fray Pedro de Santa Barbara. 1829. troops were withdrawn in 1770 from most of the island’s stations. saying that his people were enjoying the good life of a free people. The rebellion assumed dangerous proportions. tried to defuse the situation in Bohol by offering to send secular priests to administer the parishes. and a general amnesty was proclaimed. The year of Dagohoy’s death is not mentioned in any history books. This time Ricafort’s troops were . His followers.

During the 85 years of Bohol’s independence. Dagohoy was able to maintain a government. His rule was firm and just. Governing like the datus of the pre-Spanish era. the Boholanos made their last stand in the mountain of Boasa. the most successful in eroding Spanish sovereignty over the archipelago. he was the chief executive . the patriotic Boholanos lived as free and sovereign people. Thus terminated the longest revolt in Philippine history and. They suffered neither racial discrimination nor social humiliation from the hands of the Spaniards.successful. They did not render forced labor nor pay tribute. next to the revolution of 1896. Missing Dagohoy’s excellent leadership. He was obeyed and respected by his people.