Francisco Dagohoy, (born Francisco Sendrijas) was a Boholano who holds the distinction of having initiated the longest revolt in Philippine history, the Dagohoy Rebellion. This rebellion against the Spanish colonial government took place on the island of Bohol from 1744 to 1828, roughly 85 years.
Little is known of Francisco Dagohoy's lifestyle before the rebellion, or even his early life. The only information known is that his real name was Francisco Sendrijas and he was born in 1724, and that he was a native of Brgy. Cambitoon, Inabanga, Bohol. He was also cabeza de barangay, or one of the barangay captains of the town.
His name derives from an amulet ("dagon" in Cebuano) he wore which people believed gave him the charm of a gentle wind or "hoyohoy" (or huyuhoy) and the power to jump from hill to hill or across rivers. He was believed to have clear vision inside dark caves and be invisible whenever and wherever he wanted. The name Dagohoy is a concatenation of the Visayan phrase dagon sa huyuhoy or "talisman of the breeze" in English.
The Dagohoy Rebellion (1744–1828)
The Dagohoy Rebellion was one of two significant revolts that occurred in Bohol during the Spanish Era. The other was the Tamblot Uprising in 1621 led by Tamblot, a babaylan or native priest from Bohol which was basically a religious conflict.
Unlike the Tamblot revolt, the Dagohoy rebellion was not a religious conflict. Rather, it was like most of the early revolts which were ignited by forced labor (polo y servicios), bandala, excessive tax collection and payment of tributes. On top of these injustices of the Jesuit priests, what triggered Dagohoy most was the refusal of the Jesuit priest to give a Christian burial to his brother who died in a duel. This caused Dagohoy to call upon his fellow Boholanos to raise arms against the oppressors. The rebellion outlasted several Spanish Governors-General and several missions.
In 1744, Gaspar Morales, the Jesuit curate of Inabanga, ordered Francisco's brother, Sagarino, who was a constable, to capture an apostate fugitive. Sagarino pursued the fugitive, but the latter resisted and killed him. Morales refused to give Sagarino a Christian burial because he had died in a duel, a practice banned by the Church.[a]
Infuriated, Francisco instigated the people to rise in arms. The signal of the uprising was the killing of Giuseppe Lamberti, Italian jesuit curate of Jagna, on January 24, 1744. The rebellion rolled over the whole island like a typhoon; Morales was killed by Dagohoy afterwards. Bishop Miguel Lino de Espeleta of Cebu, who exercised ecclesiastical authority over Bohol, tried in vain to mollify the rebellious Boholanos.
Dagohoy defeated the Spanish forces sent against him. He established the Bohol Republic a free government in the mountains of Bohol on December 20, 1745, and had 3,000 followers, which subsequently increased to 20,000. His followers remained unsubdued in their mountains stronghold and, even after Dagohoy's death, continued to defy Spanish power.
The Francisco Dagohoy Cave in Danao was the headquarters of Dagohoy. One of the many crystal-studded passages within Dagohoy's cave had an underwater route leading to dry land, and it is said that every time Spaniards searched the cave, Dagohoy would swim underwater through this passage to hide in the breathing space. Twenty Spanish governors-general, from Gasper de la Torre (1739–45) to Juan Antonio Martínez (1822–25), tried to quell the rebellion and failed. In 1825, General Mariano Ricafort Palacin (1825–30), a kind and able administrator, became governor-general of the Philippines. Upon his order, Alcalde-mayor Jose Lazaro Cairo, at the head of 2,200 Filipino-Spanish troops and several batteries, invaded Bohol on May 7, 1827. The Boholanos resisted fiercely. Cairo won several engagements, but failed to crush the rebellion. In April 1828, another Spanish expedition under Captain Manuel Sanz landed in Bohol. After more than a year of hard campaign, he finally subdued the patriots. By August 31, 1828, the rebellion had ceased. In a chivalric move, Governor Ricafort pardoned 19,420 survivors and permitted them to live in new villages at the lowlands. These villages are now the towns of Batuan, Cabulao, Catigbian, and Bilar.
No one is certain when or where Dagohoy died. It is probable that he died of old age or sickness a little before or after the 1800s. What is certain is that the revolution did not end with his death.
Dagohoy is acknowledged in Philippine history as the initiator of the longest insurrection on record. His revolt lasted 85 years (1744–1828).
A historical marker on Dagohoy's grave in the mountains of Danao, Bohol has been placed in his honor. The Dagohoy Marker in Magtangtang, Danao, 92 km (57 mi) from Tagbilaran was placed by the Philippine Historical Commission to honor the heroic deeds of Dagohoy. Magtangtang was Dagohoy's headquarters or hideout during the revolt. Hundreds of Dagohoy's followers preferred death inside the cave than surrender. Their skeletons still remain in the site.
The Dagohoy Memorial National High School in Dagohoy, Bohol is named in his honor.
- Constantino claimed that Dagohoy's brother Sagarino was a renegade who had abandoned the Christian religion and that Father Morales ordered a native constable to arrest Sagarino. Sagarino resisted arrest and killed the constable before he himself died.
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- Dagohoy Marker, Bohol