Andrés Novales

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Andrés Novales
Born 1800
Manila, Philippines
Died June 2, 1823(1823-06-02)
Manila, Philippines
Allegiance Spain
Years of service 1814–1823
Rank Captain

Andrés Novales (Manila, 1800–1823) was a Creole captain in the Spanish Army in the Philippines.

His discontentment with the treatment of creole soldiers led him to start a revolt that inspired even the ranks of José Rizal. He successfully captured Intramuros and was proclaimed Emperor of the Philippines by his followers. However, he was defeated within the day by Spanish reinforcements from Pampanga.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

His father was a Spanish Army captain and his mother was a member of a prominent family in the Philippines. He was a cadet at the age of nine and a lieutenant at fourteen. When he heard of an existing war between Spain and France, he sought his senior's consent to send him to Madrid. Despite being demoted to a volunteer soldier with no rank after arriving at Spain, he returned to the Philippines with a rank of captain.[2] Upon return to the Philippines, his zeal for service had not worn down. That made him be envied by other military officers in which the Governor-General Juan Antonio Martínez shall later use against Novales.

Novales Revolt[edit]

Novales later grew discontented with the treatment of Spanish authorities on Creoles. His discontent climaxed when peninsular were shipped to the Philippines to replace creole officers. He found sympathy of many Creoles, including Luis Rodríguez Varela, the Conde Filipino. As punishment to the rising sense of discontentment, many military officers and public officials were exiled. One of them was Novales, who was exiled to Mindanao to fight pirates. However, Novales was not stopped to secretly return to Manila.[1] On the night of June 1, 1823, Novales along with a certain sub-lieutenant Ruiz and other subordinates in the King's Regiment, went out to start a revolt.[2][3] Along with 800 Filipinos in which his sergeants recruited, they seized the royal palace, the Manila Cathedral, the city's cabildo (city hall) and other important government buildings in Intramuros. Failing to find Juan Antonio Martínez, they killed the lieutenant governor and former governor general, Mariano Fernandez de Folgueras. Folgueras was the one that suggested Spain to replace creole officers with peninsulars.[1] The soldiers shouted, "Long live the Emperor Novales!" (Viva el Emperador Novales). Surprisingly, the town folk followed Novales and his troops as they march into Manila. They eventually failed to seize Fort Santiago because Mariano Novales, his brother who commanded the citadel, refused to open its gates. Learning that Fort Santiago was still holding out the rebels, soldiers were rushed to the fort. Novales himself was caught hiding under Puerta Real by Spanish soldiers. At 5:00 pm of June 2, Novales was killed with Ruiz and 21 sergeants by firing squad in a garden near Puerta del Postigo. At his last minute, he declared that he and his comrades shall set an example of fighting for freedom. Mariano was also included in the execution, since he was the brother of Andres. However, the people pleaded for his freedom for he saved the government from being overthrown. Mariano went mad after the ordeal, receiving a monthly pension of 14 pesos.[2][4]


Novales was a self-proclaimed emperor, and his revolution lasted only a day. His fight for equality and freedom, however, set ablaze a series of other uprisings that eventually led to the formation of the Philippines as a nation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Joaquin, Nick (1990). Manila,My Manila. Vera-Reyes, Inc. 
  2. ^ a b c John Scott, John Taylor. The London Magazine, Volume 14. pp. 512–516. 
  3. ^ Struggle for Freedom 2008 Edition. p. 106. 
  4. ^
Regnal titles
New title Emperor of the Philippines
June 1, 1823
Succeeded by
(Title abolished)
Title restored in 1925 by Florencio Intrencherado