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Wednesday, December 01, 2021
BACOLOD

Hofileña: Brief overview of Negrense 1898 uprising (2)

The Historian

AS OUR province commemorates the upcoming Cinco de Noviembre 1898 revolution against colonial Spain, this historic uprising in Negros on November 5, 1898 becomes one of the most historic events for our province.

Hence, we are reiterating this event for the inspiration of our people today and our previous columns have narrated the Cinco de Noviembre for the benefits of our fellow Negrenses.

In our column last week therefore, we recalled the message of the leader of the rebel forces in Panay. Roque Lopez, who sent a message to the Negros leader AnicetoLacson, urged him to start the uprising in Negros.

Consequently, Lacson rushed to Silay on November 3 where he met other Negrense leaders who also agreed to start the Negros uprising on November 5.

As our earlier column noted the Negrenses were not fully synchronized but there was a general agreement of action in all municipalities in the province. Following Lacson, the southern leader of the Negrenses Juan Araneta hoisted the Philippine flag to signal the start of the uprising among the southern municipalities.

Meanwhile, the northern leaders started the uprising with Francisco Abelarde overcoming the Spanish soldiers after brief fighting in Cadiz. While in Sagay, Gil Lopez and the Katalbas brothers forced the surrender of the Spanish civil guard.

Further north, Tomas Belmonte’s forces disarmed the Spanish troops in San Carlos, Calatrava and Escalante. In Manapla, CustodioDuyongan’s forces overcame the Spanish soldiers without bloodshed. In Silay, the small Spanish detachment surrendered after brief fighting and negotiation with soldiers led by Nicolas Golez and Vicente Benedicto.

In Bacolod, the first sign of the uprising was the cutting off of the telegraph lines on November 4 to Silay. Early morning of November 5, a firefight ensued near Matabang in Talisay between the Spanish contingent and advance groups of rebel soldiers.

Shortly after this initial encounter, the Spanish Governor Gen. Isidro de Castro, ordered all troops to gather at the Parochial House in Bacolod while he tried to contact the Negrenses forces under AnicetoLacson which had increased to about 8,000 men.

About two kilometers south of Bacolod, Juan Araneta, leader of the Bago forces, were poised to enter the capital city. On this instance, de Castro sent his emissary, Jose Luzuriaga, to negotiate with Juan Araneta but he replied that he and his forces did not come all the way from Bago just to hold a conference.

Meanwhile, from the top of the San Sebastian Cathedral, the Spanish forces using a telescope saw large formations of rebel soldiers heavily armed with rifles and cannons.

These turned out to be fake arms and cannons made of rolled sawali mats. Sensing that his hopes for reinforcements from Iloilo Spanish forces were not coming, Gen. de Castro finally signed his surrender agreement with Araneta and Lacson at the house of Eusebio Luzuriaga (beside the present City Hall) at 5 p.m. of November 6.

The Negrense forces then gathered to martial music at the old city hall where they heard the short victory speech of Juan Araneta followed by the raising of the Philippine flag. After this, the Negrenses were allowed to disperse and join the spontaneous celebrations in various public places and private houses.

By this time also, all towns north and south had been reported as captured except Himamaylan where the Spanish detachment held out but finally surrendered on November 8.

On the following days, the Negrense rebels gathered in Bacolod for their First Provincial Assembly which organized the historic if short lived Independent Cantonal Government of Negros. We will conclude our series on our next column.


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