Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hermano Puli: Religion and revolution

Hermano Pule.jpg
Apolinario de la Cruz, aka Hermano Puli
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
On September 21, less than two months before the 175th death anniversary of Apolinario de la Cruz, a film about him (Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli) has began showing and has been in more than 30 cinemas. Such is the hype for the film, which is already called the "Heneral Luna" of 2016, that its official Facebook page has more than 220,000 likes to date. The synopsis of the film is as follows (spoiler alert):

Decades before the rise of liberalism in Spanish-era colonial Philippines, a young charismatic preacher leads a movement for equality and religious freedom for his fellow native Filipinos. He is hailed as the Christ of the Tagalogs, but is sentenced to death for heresy by both Church and State.

Then again, who is Apolinario de la Cruz? Known in history as Hermano Puli (Brother Puli), de la Cruz was born on July 22, 1814 at Lucban in Tayabas (now Quezon province). In 1829, he decided to become a priest. However, the secularization movement had not yet progressed at this time. This meant that natives cannot be ordained as priests in any religious order in the Philippines. Thus, de la Cruz was rejected. Three years later, in 1832, he with 20 others founded their own order. It became known as the Cofradia de San Jose. At the same time, he became known to the adherents of the confraternity as Hermano Puli. Meanwhile, support for the Filipino religious order spread from Tayabas to neighboring provinces of Batangas, Camarines Sur, Cavite, and Laguna. Renamed later as Cofradia del Senor San Jose i voto del Santisimo Rosario, membership of the order had grown to 5,000 by 1841.

Hermano Puli saw the increasing membership of the confraternity, and thus sought to gain recognition. However, he was denied and was asked by the Church to disband the order. The friars incited the colonial officials to think that Puli's following was an organization seeking to overthrow the government. This led to the confraternity being outlawed by the Governor General Marcelino de Oraa Lecumberri in 1841. The followers of Puli rallied to him at Mount Banahaw and resisted an attack from local forces by October of the same year. Then, they crowned him as "King of the Tagalogs," a title reminiscent of the legendary king Bernardo Carpio. By November 1841, reinforcements were sent from Manila. Overwhelmed by the Spanish forces, Hermano Puli himself was caught and executed after a brief trial. However, his story was not extinguished by the Spanish. No less than Jose Rizal regarded him as his hero. How is his story received by our people today?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

TYFH update: National History Month 2016

The Young Filipino Historian: August 2016 update

This is the blog's update for August 2016, and the 23rd update article published. August is National History Month in the Philippines, and this history blog launched a vigorous campaign all month long for this commemoration. It is fervently hoped that the rationale of these updates be appreciated and understood by the audience. Small successes may these be to many, but let us consider that you are always to be entrusted with small things first.


Last month, the blog had received more than 1,890 page views. This is a 27% decrease in page views earned by the blog in comparison to July 2016. Average page views since October 2014 equal to 1,635 to date.

Also, the official Facebook page of this history blog (you can like the page by clicking the like button at the sidebar), which was launched October 29, 2014, had reached 680 likes last August 28. Log in to your Facebook now and like the page!

The official Twitter profile of this history blog was already launched on October 27, 2015. Follow the Twitter profile here!

Other updates:
Read in 72 countries since February 3, 2015.
* Consistently within the Top 50 blogs in the Philippines.
* Updates feature undiscovered articles to read in this blog.
* National History Month commemorated.

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Popular articles this August:

Goodbye, Alibata? Quo vadis, Baybayin?
This brings us to the question of Baybayin's origin. Where did the script really originate? According to Teodoro Agoncillo, baybayin "was probably of Sanskrit or Arabic provenance." That is, there is no definite history of Baybayin, as evidenced by his use of a term signifying uncertainty.

Philippines in the Olympic Games
In this year's Olympics, the Philippines managed to (at least) repeat the success it had two decades ago with female weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz garnering a silver medal in the 53-kilogram division. She is also the first Filipina to win an Olympic medal. However, despite this success, her medal is only the third silver medal won by the Philippines up to this article's date of publication. Overall, the Philippines already won ten (10) medals in the Olympic Games.

Alternative Parties in the Philippines: Partido Komunista
The KAP convention on August 26, 1930 at the Templo del Trabajo (lit. Temple of Labor) formed the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP), or the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

See the most popular articles of all time at the sidebar.