Juan Cailles

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Juán Cailles
Juan Cailles.jpg
"Major General Juán Cailles, leading officer in Laguna"
Born(1871-11-10)November 10, 1871
Nasugbu, Batangas, Captaincy General of the Philippines
DiedJune 28, 1951(1951-06-28) (aged 79)
Allegiance First Philippine Republic
Flag of the Tagalog people.svg Republic of Biak-na-Bato
Philippine revolution flag kkk1.svg Katipunan
Service/branchPhilippine Army Seal 1897.jpgPhilippine Revolutionary Army
Years of service1899-1901
RankMajor General
Battles/warsPhilippine Revolution
Philippine-American war

Juan Kauppama Cailles (born Juan Cailles y Kauppama, November 10, 1871 – June 28, 1951) was a Filipino with of French-Indian descent. A member of the revolutionary movement Katipunan, he was one of the commanding officer of the Philippine Revolutionary Army who served during the Philippine Revolution and Philippine–American War. He later served as a provincial Governor of Laguna and a member of the Philippine Legislature.

Early life[edit]

Cailles was born in Nasugbu, Batangas, to Hippolyte Cailles, from Lyon, France and María Kauppama of Kerala in what was then British India. He was the fifth of seven children together with siblings León, Julia, Isidoro, Julio, Victoria and Cecilia.

His early education was at the house of Olvidio Caballero and he graduated from the Jesuit-run Escuela Normal in Manila (now Ateneo de Manila University).

He became a teacher and taught for five years in the public schools of Amaya, Tanza and Rosario, Cavite.

Philippine Revolution[edit]

When the premature discovery of the Katipunan in Manila forced its Supremo, Andrés Bonifacio to start the Philippine Revolution, Cailles organized a force composed of his pupils' fathers. To them, he remained Maestrong Cailles despite his successive promotions in military rank.

He took part in many encounters with the Spaniards, particularly in engagements resulting in the deaths of his superior officers, such General Candido Tria Tirona, Edilberto Evangelista, and Crispulo Aguinaldo, which caused his rapid promotion. With the Pact of Biak-na-Bato in 1899, hostilities ceased.

Philippine–American War[edit]

At the outbreak of the Spanish–American War in 1898, American forces arrived in the Philippines, defeating the Spanish at the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, subsequently seizing the capital during the Battle of Manila of 1898. The Philippine–American War broke out in February 1899 with the 1899 Battle of Manila.

Cailles succeeded General Paciano Rizal as Laguna's military commander in July 1900 at the height of incisive attacks by the American forces. Cailles formed six military columns led by Lt. Col. Regino Diaz Relova (Pila, Laguna, Bay, Calauan and Los Banos), General Severino Taino (San Pedro, Binan, Santa Rosa, Cabuyao and Calamba), Lt. Canuto Aritao (Lumbang, Longos, San Antonio, Paete, Pakil and Pangil),Major Roman Dimayuga/Lt. Col. Pedro Caballes (Santa Cruz, Pagsanjan, Cavinti, Luisiana and Majayjay) Col. Julio Infante (Magdalena, Liliw, Rizal, Nagcarlan and San Pablo), and Lt. Col. Fidel Angeles (who died in the Battle of Mabitac) in Siniloan, Mabitac and Santa Maria (Gleeck, 1981, p. 4–5).

On September 17, 1900, Cailles' troops outmanoeuvred and routed a strong American contingent led by a Colonel Cheetham during the Battle of Mabitac in Laguna Province. Magnanimous in victory, Cailles allowed Cheetham to recover the bodies of eight slain Americans from the field, together with all their personal belongings.

After serving as acting chief of operations in the first zone of Manila during the War, Cailles was appointed by Emilio Aguinaldo as military governor of Laguna and half of Tayabas (now Quezon Province). Aguinaldo's capture in Palanan, Isabela on March 23, 1901 convinced Cailles that the war was lost, leading to his own surrender to American troops on June 20.


Monument at Laguna Provincial Capitol

Cailles then directed his efforts toward rebuilding the country. He served as governor of Laguna[1]:507 from 1901 to 1910, and again from 1916 to 1925. After his second term, he was appointed representative of the Mountain Province in the Philippine Legislature in 1925 and reappointed in 1928. In 1931, Cailles was again selected governor of Laguna, and reelected in 1934.

It was during his term as governor that the Sakdal uprising flared up on May 2, 1935, in Santa Rosa and Cabuyao, Laguna. The revolt was suppressed in record time, thanks to Cailles’ firm administration and revolutionary experience. Cailles had also a hand in the capture of Teodoro Asedillo, the "Terror of the Sierra".

Cailles died on June 28, 1951, a victim of a heart attack.


  1. ^ Foreman, J., 1906, The Philippine Islands: A Political, Geographical, Ethnographical, Social and Commercial History of the Philippine Archipelago, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons
  • Gleeck, Lewis, Jr. Laguna in American Times: Coconuts and Revolucionarios. Manila: Historical Conservation Society, 1981, pp. 1–12.
  • National Historical Institute; Historical Markers: Regions I–IV and CAR. Manila: National Historical Institute, 1993.