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The Cry of Pugad Lawin (Tagalog
Tagalog:: (Unang) Sigaw sa Pugad Lawin),
Lawin), also referred to as
the Cry of Balintawak (Tagalog
Tagalog:: (Unang) Sigaw sa Balintawak), was a historical event
during the struggle for Philippine independence. On August 23, 1896, Andrés Bonifacio
and his comrades from the Katipunan society tore their cédulas in the hills of Balintawak.
This event is regarded as the starting signal of the Philippine Revolution.
Differing accounts by participants and historians have served to confuse the reader
regarding the factual date and place of the event. An officer of the Spanish guardia civil,
Lt. Olegario Diaz, stated that the "Cry" took place in Balintawak on August 25, 1896.
Revolution , wrote that the event took place
Teodoro Kalaw in his 1925 book The Filipino Revolution,
during the last week of August 1896 at Kangkong, Balintawak. Santiago Alvarez, the son
of Mariano Alvarez, the leader of the Magdiwang faction in Cavite
Cavite,, stated in 1927 that
the "Cry" took place in Bahay Toro, now in Quezon City on August 24, 1896. Pio
Valenzuela,, a close associate of Andrés Bonifacio declared in 1948 that it happened in
Pugad Lawin on August 23, 1896. Gregorio Zaide stated in his books in 1954 that the
"Cry" happened in Balintawak on August 26, 1896. Fellow historian Teodoro Agoncillo
reported in 1956 that it took place in Pugad Lawin on August 23, 1896, echoing Pio
Valenzuela's statement. Accounts by Milagros Guerrero, Emmanuel Encarnacion and
Ramon Villegas claim the event to have taken place in Tandang Sora'
Sora's barn in Gulod,
Barangay Banlat, Quezon City.
The National Historical Institute of the Philippines has placed a commemorative plaque
marking the location of the "Cry" in Pugad Lawin, Quezon City.
City. The plaque bears the
date August 23, 1893
The Pact of Biak-na-Bato , signed on December 14, 1897, [1] created a truce between
Spanish Colonial Governor-General Fernando Primo de Rivera and Emilio Aguinaldo to
end the Philippine Revolution.
Revolution. Aguinaldo and his fellow revolutionaries were given
amnesty and monetary indemnity by the Spanish government in return for which the
revolutionary Government would go into voluntary exile in Hong Kong.
Kong. Aguinaldo
would later use the money to purchase firearms.
Philippine Revolution
Prelude: Gomburza · Cry of Pugad Lawin · Katagalugan (Bonifacio) · Tejeros Convention ·
Republic of Biak-na-Bato · Biak-na-Bato Elections · Pact of Biak-na-Bato · Spanish-American
War · Declaration of Independence · Malolos Congress · República Filipina · Negros
Revolution · Treaty of Paris · Philippine–A
merican War · Katagalugan (Sacay) · Moro
Rebellion · Epilogue: Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916 · Philippine Independence Act ·
Commonwealth of the Philippines · Treaty of Manila · Republic of the Philippines
American Anti-Imperialist League · Aglipayan Church · Katipunan · La Liga Filipina · La
Solidaridad · Magdalo faction · Magdiwang faction · Philippine Constabulary · Philippine
Revolutionary Army · Pulajanes · Propaganda Movement · Republic of Negros
El filibusterismo · Flags of the Philippine Revolution · Kartilya ng Katipunan · Lupang
Hinirang · Malolos Constitution · Mi último adiós · Noli Me Tangere · Flag of the Philippines ·
Juan Abad · Gregorio Aglipay · Baldomero Aguinaldo · Emilio Aguinaldo · Melchora Aquino ·
Juan Araneta · Andrés Bonifacio · Josephine Bracken · Dios Buhawi · Francisco Carreón ·
Ladislao Diwa · Gregoria de Jesús · Gregorio del Pilar · Marcelo H. del Pilar · George Dewey ·
Papa Isio · Emilio Jacinto · Antonio Ledesma Jayme · León Kilat · Aniceto Lacson · Graciano
López Jaena · Vicente Lukbán · Antonio Luna · Juan Luna · Apolinario Mabini · Sultan of
Maguindanao · Miguel Malvar · Arcadio Maxilom · William McKinley · Patricio Montojo ·
Simeón Ola · José Palma · Mariano Ponce · Artemio Ricarte · José Rizal · Paciano Rizal ·
Macario Sakay · Sultan of Sulu · Martin Teofilo Delgado · Manuel Tinio · Mariano Trías
Cry of Pugad-Lawin 113 years ago marked beginning of
Philippine Revolution of 1896
August 22, 2009, 9:06pm
The first People Power took place at Pugad-Lawin, Caloocan, on August 23, 1896. It was the “Cry of PugadLawin.” It was the first instance when the will power of an oppressed people was unified and ultimately
succeeded in overthrowing an oppressive foreign ruler, then a world power.
The Cry of Pugad-Lawin is a milestone in Philippine history. It marked the beginning of the bloody revolution
in the Philippines that was predicted by many as early as 1814 following King Fernando VII’s abrogation of
the liberal 1812 Cadiz Constitution. This Constitution had implanted in the minds of the Filipino people that
sovereignty resides in the people and they, too, had the right to live as a free people.
The Cry of Pugad-Lawin was the capstone of the numerous rebellions the Filipino people launched against
foreign rule in the country. “Freedom” was the battle cry of each of these rebellions. “Never for a single
moment” World War II hero Benito Soliven declared, “did the Filipino people give up their right to be free.”
Gathered in the house and yard of Apolonio Samson, the Katipuneros led by Andres Bonifacio and Emilio
Jacinto decided to launch the revolution. Bonifacio stood up and spoke to those in the yard: “Kalayaan o
Kamatayan? Mga Kapatid, ang kalayaan ay inaagaw sa dulo ng patalim! (Freedom or Death? Brothers,
Freedom is won through force of arms!).” With only three rifles, a few revolvers, and the rest armed with
bolos and bamboo lances, Bonifacio and Jacinto launched the Philippine revolution, the first in Asia.
Pugad-Lawin, Caloocan, was thus the birthplace of the Philippine revolution.
Kawit, Cavite, was the Cadiz of Philippine independence, and Malolos, Bulacan, was the crowning glory of
the Filipino people’s libertarian struggle. It was in Malolos where President Emilio F. Aguinaldo proclaimed
the first Philippine republic, the first republic in Asia.
Our celebration of the 113th Anniversary of the Cry of Pugad-Lawin will highlight for the Filipino youth that it
was due to the collective will of their patriotic forefathers that they are now enjoying freedom. Our
observance of the anniversary of this historic event will instill in our people the lesson that the fight for
Philippine freedom is a continuing struggle and that this is a duty for every Filipino.
The prevalent account of the Cry is that of Teodoro Agoncillo in Revolt of the masses (1956):
It was in Pugad Lawin, where they proceeded upon leaving Samson’s place in the afternoon of the
22nd, that the more than 1,000 members of the Katipunan met in the yard of Juan A. Ramos, son
of Melchora Aquino,…in the morning of August 23rd. Considerable discussion arose whether the
revolt against the Spanish government should be started on the 29th. Only one man protested… But
he was overruled in his stand… Bonifacio then announced the decision and shouted: “Brothers, it
was agreed to continue with the plan of revolt. My brothers, do you swear to repudiate the
government that oppresses us?” And the rebels, shouting as one man replied: “Yes, sir!” “That
being the case,” Bonifacio added, “bring out your cedulas and tear them to pieces to symbolize our
determination to take arms!” .. . Amidst the ceremony, the rebels, tear-stained eyes, shouted:
Agoncillo used his considerable influenced and campaigned for a change in the recognized site to
Pugad Lawin and the date 23 August 1896. In 1963, the National Heroes Commission (a forerunner
of the NHI), without formal consultations or recommendations to President Macapagal.
Consequently, Macapagal ordered that the Cry of Balintawak be called the “Cry of Pugad Lawin,”
and that it be celebrated on 23 August instead of 26 August. The 1911 monument in Balintawak
was later removed to a highway. Student groups moved to save the discarded monument, and it
was installed in front of Vinzons Hall in the Diliman campus of the University of the Philippines on 29
In 1962, Teodoro Agoncillo, together with the UP Student Council, placed a marker at the Pugad
Lawin site. According to Agoncillo, the house of Juan Ramos stood there in 1896, while the house of
On 30 June 1983, Quezon City Mayor Adelina S. Rodriguez created the Pugad Lawin Historical
Committee to determine the location of Juan Ramos’s 1896 residence at Pugad Lawin.
The NHI files on the committee’s findings show the following:
• In August 1983, Pugad Lawin in barangay Bahay Toro was inhabited by squatter
• The NHI believed that it was correct in looking for the house of Juan Ramos and not of
Tandang Sora. However, the former residence of Juan Ramos was clearly defined.
• There was an old dap-dap tree at the site when the NHI conducted its survey I 1983.
Teodoro Agoncillo, Gregorio Zaide and Pio Valenzuela do not mention a dap-dap tree in
• Pio Valenzuela, the main proponent of the “Pugad Lawin” version, was dead by the
• Teodoro Agoncillo tried to locate the marker installed in August 1962 by the UP
Student Council. However, was no longer extant in 1983.
What occurred during those last days of August 1896? Eyewitness accounts mention captures,
escapes, recaptures, killings of Katipunan members; the interrogation of Chinese spies; the arrival
of arms in Meycauyan, Bulacan; the debate with Teodoro Plata and others; the decision to go war;
the shouting of slogan; tearing of cedulas; the sending of letters presidents of Sanggunian and
balangay councils; the arrival of civil guard; the loss of Katipunan funds during the skirmish. All
these events, and many others, constitute the beginning of nationwide revolution.
The Cry, however, must be defined as that turning point when the Filipinos finally rejected Spanish
colonial dominion over the Philippine Islands, by formally constituting their own national
government, and by investing a set of leaders with authority to initiate and guide the revolution
The introduction to the original Tagalog text of the Biyak na Bato Constitution states:
Ang paghiwalay ng Filipinas sa kahariang España sa patatag ng isang bayang may sariling
pamamahala’t kapangyarihan na pangangalang “Republika ng Filipinas” ay siyang layong inadhika
niyaring Paghihimagsik na kasalukuyan, simula pa ng ika- 24 ng Agosto ng taong 1896…
The Spanish text also states:
La separacion de Filipinas de la Monarquia Española, constituyendose en Estado Independiente y
soberano con Gobierno propuio, con el nombre de Repulica de Filipinas, es en su Guerra actual,
(The separation of the Philippines from the Spanish Monarchu, constituting an independent state
and with a proper sovereign government, named the Republic of the Philippines, was the end
pursued by the revolution through the present hostilities, initiated on 24 August 1896…)
These lines- in a legal document at that – are persuasive proof that in so far as the leaders of the
revolution are concerned, revolution began on 24 August 1896. The document was written only one
and a half years after the event and signed by over 50 Katipunan members, among them Emilio
Emilio Aguinaldo’s memoirs, Mga Gunita ng Himagsikan (1964), refer to two letters from Andres
Bonifacio dated 22 and 24 August. They pinpoint the date and place of the crucial Cry meeting when
the decision to attack Manila was made:
Noong ika-22 ng Agosto, 1896, ang Sangguniang Magdalo ay tumanggap ng isang lihim na sulat
mula sa Supremo Andres Bonifacio, sa Balintawak , na nagsasaad na isamng mahalagang pulong
ang kanilang idinaos sa ika-24 ng nasabing buwan, at lubhang kailangan na kame ay mapadala
roon ng dalawang kinatawan o delegado sa ngalan ng Sanggunian. Ang pulong aniya’y itataon sa
kaarawan ng kapistahan ng San Bartolome sa Malabon, Tambobong. kapagkarakang matanggap
ang nasabing paanyaya, an gaming Pangulo na si G. Baldomero Aguinaldo, ay tumawag ng pulong
sa tribunal ng Cavite el Viejo… Nagkaroon kami ng pag-aalinlangan sa pagpapadala roon ng aming
kinatawan dahil sa kaselanang pagdararanang mga pook at totoong mahigpit at abot-abot ang
panghuli ng mag Guardia Civil at Veterana sa mga naglalakad lalung-lalo na sa mag
pinaghihinalaang mga mason at Katipunan. Gayon pa man ay aming hinirang at pinagkaisahang
ipadalang tanging Sugo ang matapang na kapatid naming si G. Domingo Orcullo… Ang aming Sugo
ay nakarating ng maluwalhati sa kanyang paroonan at nagbalik din na wala naming sakuna, na
taglay ang sulat ng Supremo na may petsang 24 ng Agosto . Doon ay wala naming sinasabing
kautusan, maliban sa patalastas na kagugulat-gulat na kanilang lulusubin ang Maynila, sa Sabado
ng gabi, ika-29 ng Agosto, at ang hudyat ay ang pagpatay ng ilaw sa Luneta. Saka idinugtong pa na
marami diumano ang nahuli at napatay ng Guardia Civil at Veterana sa kanyang mga kasamahan sa
(On 22 August 1896, the Magdalo Council received a secret letter from Supremo Andres Bonifacio,
in Balintawak, which stated that the Katipunan will hold an important meeting on the 24th of the
said month, and that it was extremely necessary to send two representatives or delegates in the
name of the said Council. The meeting would be timed to coincide with the feast day of Saint
Bartolomew in Malabon, Tambobong. Upon receiving the said invitation, our President, Mr.
Baldomero Aguinaldo, called a meeting at Tribunal of Cavite el Viejo…We were apprehensive about
sending representatives because the areas they would have pass through were dangerous and was
a fact that the Civil Guard and Veterans were arresting travelers, especially those suspected of
being freemasons and members of Katipunan. Nevertheless, we agreed and nominated to send a
single representative in the person of our brave brother, Mr. Domingo Orcullo… Our representative
arrived safely at his destination and also returned unharmed, bearing a letter from the Supremo
dated 24 August. It contained no orders but the shocking announcement that the Katipunan would
attack Manila at night on Saturday, 29 August, the signal for which would be the putting out of the
lamps in Luneta. He added that many of his comrade had been captured and killed by the Civil
Guard and Veterans in Gulod…)
The first monument to mark the Cry was erected in 1903 on Ylaya Street in Tondo, in front of the
house were Liga Filipina was founded. The tablet cites Andre Bonifacio as a founding member, and
as “ Supreme Head of the Katipunan, which gave the first battle Cry against tyranny on August 24,
The above facts render unacceptable the official stand that the turning point of the revolution was
the tearing of cedulas in the “Cry of Pugad Lawin” on 23 August 1896, in the Juan Ramos’s house in
The events of 17-26 August 1896 occurred closer to Balintawak than to Kalookan. Traditionally,
people referred to the “Cry of Balintawak” since that barrio was a better known reference point than
In any case, “Pugad Lawin” is not historiographically verifiable outside of the statements of Pio
Valenzuela in the 1930s and after. In Philippine Historical Association round-table discussion in
February this year, a great granddaughter of Tandang Sora protested the use of toponym “Pugad
Lawin” which, she said, referred to a hawks nest on top of a tall sampaloc tree at Gulod, the highest
elevated area near Balintawak. This certainly negates the NHI’s premise that “Pugad Lawin” is on
What we should celebrate is the establishment of a revolutionary or the facto government that was
republican in aspiration, the designation of Bonifacio as the Kataastaasang Pangulo (Supreme
Presiddent), the election of the members of his cabinet ministers and Sanggunian and Balangay
heads which authorized these moves met in Tandang Sora’s barn near Pasong Tamo Road, in sitio
Gulod, barrio Banlat then under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Kalookan. This took place at
It is clear that the so-called Cry of Pugad Lawin of 23 August is an imposition and erroneous
The centennial of the Cry of Balintawak should be celebrated on 24 August 1996 at the site of the
barn and house of Tandang Sora in Gulod, now barangay Banlat, Quezon City