Si, amigos! If
only NHI did its research in Iligan historical sites better (which I
doubt very much they did with the Macaraeg-Macapagal house, which was
more pressed to them), they would have been aware that not very far away
lay the remnants of the Fuerza dela Nueva Victoria which, once verified
(as I am sure it will) could change the way the present Philippine flag
Local historians believe government should fund further
research into determining if there is a need to redesign the sun in the
Philippine flag with nine instead of eight rays. As every grade school
student knows, the eight rays of the sun in the Philippine tricolor stand
for the eight provinces in Luzon which first rose in revolt against the
Spanish colonizers in 1896.
But my good friend, columnist and local historian Antonio
"Nono" J. Montalvan II says extant historical sources indicates
there was one other Katipunan-led revolt in the islands which occurred
during that same period in 1896 but which has not been recognized by Filipino
"The Calaganan Mutiny" is detailed in the letters
of Vicente Elio y Sanchez to the Manila-based Spanish newspaper La
Oceania Española and two other historical sources but has never
been linked to the "Cry of Balintawak" led by Andres Bonifacio.
One reason for this could be that Elio's letters never got past Spanish
censors anxious to douse the smoldering flames of revolution which had
started smoking in Luzon.
The mutiny broke out in September 29, 1896 (Iliganons,
take note of this date!) among the so-called Disciplinarios or
conscripts consisting mostly of convicts from Luzon, who were pressed
into battle against the Moros in Lanao. They raided the Spanish armory
in Fort Nueva Victoria in Kalaganan (present day Balo-i, Lanao del Norte)
and proceeded to Cagayan to attack the town, being joined by some Moros.
On the way, they ransacked convents and homes of Spanish
Manticao, Naawan, Initao, Alubijid and El Salvador, Molugan and Opol.
However, a joint force of Spanish soldiers and Filipino Voluntarios (among
of whom was Don Apolinar Velez of Cagayan de Misamis) repulsed them in
Sta. Ana, Tagoloan.
From Cagayan, they proceeded to Bukidnon where they were
joined by a band of natives. They next attacked Balingasag, and raided
the outpost of Gingoog on January 1897. By that time, news of Rizal's
execution had reached Cagayan and Misamis, and this further fanned the
flames of the local Katipuneros. It took the Spanish gunboat Mariveles, recalled
from the Tercio Distrito de Surigao, to subdue the resistance. This
is the only known Katipunan revolt in the whole of Mindanao.
What appears to be remarkable about this particular mutiny
is that besides happening barely a month after the Katipunan revolt in
Luzon, there appears to be a direct link between it and the Katipunan
revolt through a courier sent to Iligan with the object purpose of inciting
the mutiny (Ruiz de Santa Eulalia, 1925).
Another version from the Jesuit historian Pastells contends
that some Katipuneros captured from the Manila outbreak were deported
to Iligan and it was this same group which instigated the Misamis rebellion
(Schereurs translation, 1996).
Still another link was Pio Valenzuela, who was sent by
Andres Bonifacio to see Jose Rizal in Dapitan and convince him to support
and instigate a similar revolt in Mindanao. Valenzuela is believed to
have made a side trip to Cagayan de Misamis (as Cagayan de Oro was then
known) or at least sent contacts to see his first-degree cousin Baltazar
Valenzuela of Lapasan, where he earlier migrated from Polo, Bulacan.
However, Montalvan cautions that a direct link between
the Katipunan revolt in Luzon and the Calagan Mutiny have yet to be established
"beyond a reasonable doubt" but there appears to be extant sources
which appear to indicate that such a link did exist.
Another unique aspect of the revolt which merits attention
at this particular time in Mindanao's history was the participation in
it of Mindanao's tri-people: Christian immigrants, forty Bukidnon natives
and Manobo baganis (or warriors) from Butuan, and ten Moros, making
it not only a Katipunan revolt but one in which all three of Mindanao's
tri-people was represented.
Montalvan concurs that should a direct link be established
between Bonifacio's Katipunan revolt in Luzon and the Calaganan Mutiny,
then the people of Mindanao can rightfully petition the national government
to add a ninth ray to the sun in the Philippine flag.
What needs to be done at this point is to verify primary
sources where the Calaganan Mutiny is described in detail, such as those
found in the National Archives and other corroborative documents also
found in various locations in Manila.
This, is what NHI should instead have done, rather than
declaring the Macaraeg-Macapagal a historical heritage site without I
am sure even a perfunctory evaluation of its historicity relative to other
heritage sites nearby, such as the Fuerza de la Nueva Victoria in Balo-i.
I pray the tri-peoples of Mindanao, especially their
historical and civic leaders, unite in petitioning NHI to further investigate
the story of the Calaganan Mutiny. In the future, perhaps we can create
"Calaganan Mutiny historical trek" that would take Mindanaoans
young and old through Balo-i; Manticao; Naawan; Initao; Alubijid; El Salvador;
Molugan; Opol; Cagayan de Oro; Sta. Ana, Tagoloan; Bukidnon; Balingasag,
As my Pilipino and Philippine History
teachers used to say,
"Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan, hindi darating