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Tagalog Republic 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 historical Tagalog regions in the island of Luzon, part of the Philippine islands.
However, the Katipunan secret society extended the meaning of these terms to all natives in the Philippine islands. The society's primer explains its use of Tagalog in a footnote:
|“||Sa salitáng tagalog katutura’y ang lahát nang tumubo sa Sangkapuluáng itó; sa makatuid, bisaya man, iloko man, kapangpangan man, etc., ay tagalog din.||”|
The revolutionary Carlos Ronquillo wrote in his memoirs:
|“||Ang tagalog o lalong malinaw, ang tawag na “tagalog” ay waláng ibáng kahulugán kundi ‘tagailog’ na sa tuwirang paghuhulo ay taong maibigang manirá sa tabíng ilog, bagay na 'di maikakaila na siyáng talagáng hilig ng tanang anák ng Pilipinas, saa’t saán mang pulo at bayan.
(Tagalog or, stated more clearly, the name “tagalog” has no other meaning but “tagailog” which, traced directly to its root, refers to those who prefer to settle along rivers, truly a trait, it cannot be denied, of all those born in the Philippines, in whatever island or town.)
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."
|Sovereign Tagalog Nation
Haring Bayang Katagalugan
One of several variations of Katipunan flags
Marangál na Dalit ng̃ Katagalugan
("Honorable Hymn of the Tagalog Nation")
|Historical era||Philippine Revolution|
|- Established||August 1896|
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. The American historian John R. M. Taylor, custodian of the Philippine Insurgent Records, wrote:
|“||The Katipunan came out from the cover of secret designs, threw off the cloak of any other purpose, and stood openly for the independence of the Philippines. Bonifacio turned his lodges into battalions, his grandmasters into captains, and the supreme council of the Katipunan into the insurgent government of the Philippines.||”|
Several Filipino historians concur. According to Gregorio Zaide:
|“||The Katipunan was more than a secret revolutionary society; it was, withal, a Government. It was the intention of Bonifacio to have the Katipunan govern the whole Philippines after the overthrow of Spanish rule.||”|
Influenced by Freemasonry, the Katipunan had been organized with "its own laws, bureaucratic structure and elective leadership". For each province it involved, the Supreme Council coordinated provincial councils which were in charge of "public administration and military affairs on the supra-municipal or quasi-provincial level" and local councils, in charge of affairs "on the district or barrio level".
In the last days of August, the Katipunan members met in Caloocan and decided to start their revolt (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:
|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 Finance||Enrique Pacheco|
|“||Immediately before the outbreak of the revolution, therefore, Bonifacio organized the Katipunan into a government revolving around a ‘cabinet’ composed of men of his confidence.||”|
Milagros C. Guererro and others have described Bonifacio as "effectively" the commander-in-chief of the revolutionaries. They assert:
|“||As commander-in-chief, Bonifacio supervised the planning of military strategies and the preparation of orders, manifests and decrees, adjudicated offenses against the nation, as well as mediated in political disputes. He directed generals and positioned troops in the fronts. On the basis of command responsibility, all victories and defeats all over the archipelago during his term of office should be attributed to Bonifacio.||”|
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 Ilustración Española 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.
An 1897 power struggle in Cavite led to command of the revolution shifting to Emilio Aguinaldo at the Tejeros Convention, where a new government was formed. Bonifacio was executed after he refused to recognize the new government. 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.
Repúbliká ng̃ Katagalugan
Reconstruction of Sakay's flag
|Vice President||Francisco Carreón|
|Historical era||Philippine–American War|
|- Declaration of Independence||1902|
|- Capture of Macario Sakay||July 14, 1906|
In 1902, General Macario Sakay, a veteran Katipunan member, established his own Tagalog Republic (Tagalog: Repúbliká ng̃ Katagalugan), and held the presidency with Francisco Carreón as vice president. In April 1904, Sakay 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.
|Vice President||Francisco Carreon|
|Minister of War||Domingo Moriones|
|Minister of the Government||Alejandro Santiago|
|Minister of State||Nicolas Rivera|
The republic ended in 1906 when Sakay and his leading followers were arrested and the following year executed by the American authorities as bandits. 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.
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