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Unit III: One Past but Many Histories: “Controversies and Conflicting views in Philippine History.

Module 9: Cavite Mutiny

Writer: John Mark D. Bugarin, MPA | Social Sciences Instructor- URS Taytay Campus

Question to Ponder:
 Have you heard the term “DDS” and “yellowtards” in social media?
 Are you wondering why netizens are intensely arguing on various issues today?
 Can you perfectly identify which side is telling the truth and which is telling lie?

Throughout the Philippine history, Filipinos were confronted with various

controversies and issues. Some were already settled, many are yet to understand.
History is subjective. It can be affected by the availability of resources, interpretation of
historians, and the evolution of people’s thinking. However, the conflict that you are
about to discover in this module is the contradiction of perspective among the witnesses
of the controversial Cavity mutiny in 1872. This historical controversy has two opposing
sides. On one hand was the Spanish perspective highlighting the mutiny as well-
orchestrated and extensive Filipino rebellion to overthrow Spanish colonial rule in the
islands. On the other hand, was the Filipino perspective denying the proposition of the
Spaniards and underscoring that it was just a mere mutiny of selected workers of
arsenal who were rudely affected by the abrupt and preposterous policies of Gov. Gen.
Rafael Izquierdo during that time.

 Evaluate historical situation in multiple perspective.
 Formulate arguments base on the available information.
 Develop analytical skills in making stand on a certain issue.

by  Chris Antonette Piedad-Pugay, retrieved from http://nhcp.gov.ph/the-two-faces-of-the-1872-cavite-mutiny/

1872 Cavite Mutiny: Spanish Perspective

       Jose Montero y Vidal, a prolific Spanish historian documented the event and
highlighted it as an attempt of the Indios to overthrow the Spanish government in the
Philippines. Meanwhile, Gov. Gen. Rafael Izquierdo’s official report magnified the event
and made use of it to implicate the native clergy, which was then active in the call for
secularization.  The two accounts complimented and corroborated with one other, only
that the general’s report was more spiteful. Initially, both Montero and Izquierdo scored
out that the abolition of privileges enjoyed by the workers of Cavite arsenal such as non-
payment of tributes and exemption from force labor were the main reasons of the
“revolution” as how they called it, however, other causes were enumerated by them
including the Spanish Revolution which overthrew the secular throne, dirty propagandas
proliferated by unrestrained press, democratic, liberal and republican books and
pamphlets reaching the Philippines, and most importantly, the presence of the native
clergy who out of animosity against the Spanish friars, “conspired and supported” the
rebels and enemies of Spain.  In particular, Izquierdo blamed the unruly Spanish Press
for “stockpiling” malicious propagandas grasped by the Filipinos.  He reported to the
King of Spain that the “rebels” wanted to overthrow the Spanish government to install a
new “hari” in the likes of Fathers Burgos and Zamora.  The general even added that the
native clergy enticed other participants by giving them charismatic assurance that their
fight will not fail because God is with them coupled with handsome promises of rewards
such as employment, wealth, and ranks in the army.  Izquierdo, in his report lambasted
the Indios as gullible and possessed an innate propensity for stealing.

       The two Spaniards deemed that the event of 1872 was planned earlier and was
thought of it as a big conspiracy among educated leaders, mestizos, abogadillos or
native lawyers, residents of Manila and Cavite and the native clergy.  They insinuated
that the conspirators of Manila and Cavite planned to liquidate high-ranking Spanish
officers to be followed by the massacre of the friars.  The alleged pre-concerted signal
among the conspirators of Manila and Cavite was the firing of rockets from the walls of

     According to the accounts of the two, on 20 January 1872, the district of Sampaloc
celebrated the feast of the Virgin of Loreto, unfortunately participants to the feast
celebrated the occasion with the usual fireworks displays.  Allegedly, those in Cavite
mistook the fireworks as the sign for the attack, and just like what was agreed upon, the
200-men contingent headed by Sergeant Lamadrid launched an attack targeting
Spanish officers at sight and seized the arsenal.

       When the news reached the iron-fisted Gov. Izquierdo, he readily ordered the
reinforcement of the Spanish forces in Cavite to quell the revolt.  The “revolution” was
easily crushed when the expected reinforcement from Manila did not come ashore. 
Major instigators including Sergeant Lamadrid were killed in the skirmish, while the
GOMBURZA were tried by a court-martial and were sentenced to die by strangulation.  
Patriots like Joaquin Pardo de Tavera, Antonio Ma. Regidor, Jose and Pio Basa and
other abogadillos were suspended by the Audencia (High Court) from the practice of
law, arrested and were sentenced with life imprisonment at the Marianas Island. 
Furthermore, Gov. Izquierdo dissolved the native regiments of artillery and ordered the
creation of artillery force to be composed exclusively of the Peninsulares.
        On 17 February 1872 in an attempt of the Spanish government and Frailocracia to
instill fear among the Filipinos so that they may never commit such daring act again, the
GOMBURZA were executed.  This event was tragic but served as one of the moving
forces that shaped Filipino nationalism.

A Response to Injustice: The Filipino Version of the Incident

        Dr. Trinidad Hermenigildo Pardo de Tavera, a Filipino scholar and researcher,

wrote the Filipino version of the bloody incident in Cavite.  In his point of view, the
incident was a mere mutiny by the native Filipino soldiers and laborers of the Cavite
arsenal who turned out to be dissatisfied with the abolition of their privileges.  Indirectly,
Tavera blamed Gov. Izquierdo’s cold-blooded policies such as the abolition of privileges
of the workers and native army members of the arsenal and the prohibition of the
founding of school of arts and trades for the Filipinos, which the general believed as a
cover-up for the organization of a political club.

       On 20 January 1872, about 200 men comprised of soldiers, laborers of the arsenal,
and residents of Cavite headed by Sergeant Lamadrid rose in arms and assassinated
the commanding officer and Spanish officers in sight.  The insurgents were expecting
support from the bulk of the army unfortunately, that didn’t happen.  The news about the
mutiny reached authorities in Manila and Gen. Izquierdo immediately ordered the
reinforcement of Spanish troops in Cavite.  After two days, the mutiny was officially
declared subdued.

      Tavera believed that the Spanish friars and Izquierdo used the Cavite Mutiny as a
powerful lever by magnifying it as a full-blown conspiracy involving not only the native
army but also included residents of Cavite and Manila, and more importantly the native
clergy to overthrow the Spanish government in the Philippines.  It is noteworthy that
during the time, the Central Government in Madrid announced its intention to deprive
the friars of all the powers of intervention in matters of civil government and the direction
and management of educational institutions.  This turnout of events was believed by
Tavera, prompted the friars to do something drastic in their dire desire to maintain
power in the Philippines.

       Meanwhile, in the intention of installing reforms, the Central Government of Spain

welcomed an educational decree authored by Segismundo Moret promoted the fusion
of sectarian schools run by the friars into a school called Philippine Institute.  The
decree proposed to improve the standard of education in the Philippines by requiring
teaching positions in such schools to be filled by competitive examinations. This
improvement was warmly received by most Filipinos in spite of the native clergy’s zest
for secularization.

       The friars, fearing that their influence in the Philippines would be a thing of the past,
took advantage of the incident and presented it to the Spanish Government as a vast
conspiracy organized throughout the archipelago with the object of destroying Spanish
sovereignty. Tavera sadly confirmed that the Madrid government came to believe that
the scheme was true without any attempt to investigate the real facts or extent of the
alleged “revolution” reported by Izquierdo and the friars.

       Convicted educated men who participated in the mutiny were sentenced life
imprisonment while members of the native clergy headed by the GOMBURZA were
tried and executed by garrote.  This episode leads to the awakening of nationalism and
eventually to the outbreak of Philippine Revolution of 1896.  The French writer Edmund
Plauchut’s account complimented Tavera’s account by confirming that the event
happened due to discontentment of the arsenal workers and soldiers in Cavite fort.  The
Frenchman, however, dwelt more on the execution of the three martyr priests which he
actually witnessed.


DIRECTIONS: Identify what is being referred to in the following statement.
_______________ 1. He is a prolific Spanish historian who documented the event and
highlighted it as an attempt of the Indios to overthrow the Spanish government in the
_______________ 2. He is the Governor General of the Philippines when Cavite Mutiny
_______________ 3. The native clergy were actively calling for this movement and
transformation which the idea was primarily originated in Spain.
_______________ 4. Izquierdo’s report was address to whom?
_______________ 5. This is Izquierdo’s description of the 1872 Cavite mutiny.
_______________ 6. He is a Filipino scholar and researcher who wrote the Filipino
version of the bloody incident in Cavite.
_______________ 7. This is Tavera’s description of the 1872 Cavite mutiny.
_______________ 8. The date when 200 men comprised of soldiers, laborers of the
arsenal, and residents of Cavite rose in arms.
_______________ 9. He is the leader of the 200 men conspired to assassinate the
commanding officer and Spanish officers in the Cavite arsenal.
_______________ 10. They were native clergies associated with the Cavite mutiny and
were sentenced to death through strangulation.


1. Jose Montero y Vidal
2. Gov. Gen. Rafael Izquierdo
3. Secularization
4. King of Spain
5. Rebellion
6. Dr. Trinidad Hermenigildo Pardo de Tavera
7. Mutiny
8. January 20, 1872
9. Sergeant Lamadrid
DIRECTIONS: Using the Venn Diagram below, dissect the two perspectives on the
1872 Cavite mutiny. Write on the left side the key claims of Spaniards, on the right side
the key claims of Filipinos, and on the middle the common claims of both sides.
Spanish Version Filipino Version

DIRECTIONS: Response to the following questions precisely. You may cite references
but make sure to properly mention your source. You will be rated base on the rubrics
presented below.
Exceptional (5 points) Proficient (3 points) Needs Improvement (1 point) Points Points
No. 1 No. 2
Clearly follow the purpose & Moderately follow the
Does follow most of the
directions of activity and purpose & directions of
FOCUS purpose & directions of activity
never diverges from the activity and never diverges
and diverges from the topic
topic from the topic
All contents are parallel to Most contents are parallel to Some of contents are parallel
the topic or activity the topic or activity to the topic or activity
Properly organize ideas, Moderately organize ideas, Not organize ideas, sequence
sequence and structure sequence and structure and structure
CONVENTIONS Uses articulate and Uses appropriate language, Uses slang and
appropriate language,
word choice and sentence
sophisticated word choice unsophisticated word choice
and sentence structure
Total Points:

1. What is your stand in this 1872 Cavite mutiny? Do you agree with the statement
of Jose Montero y Vidal or to the account of Dr. Trinidad Hermenigildo Pardo de
Tavera? Why do you think they have these opposing and conflicting
2. Correlate the conflict of perspectives on 1872 Cavite mutiny to the conflict of
views on various issues in this period of pandemic. Why do you think people
often resulted to these conflicts and what is your suggestion to mitigate if not
eradicate these conflicts in peoples’ views and perspectives?