The reasons for the rebellion are unclear, but they seemed to have originated in the suspicions of the Archbishop of Manila Miguel de Benavides, O. P., that the Chinese had ambitions to control the Philippines.
The Governor-General of the Philippines and failed conqueror of Cambodia, Luis Pérez Dasmariñas died during the rebellion when, overconfident of Spanish strength, he attacked the Chinese. When cautioned from attacking by his fellow officers, he famously derided them as cowards and retorted that "twenty five Spaniards were enough to conquer the whole of China". When Dasmariñas led a force of Spaniards to try to apprehend the Chinese, he and his men were all killed by the Chinese who mounted the Spanish heads they chopped off throughout Manila.
The rebellion was then quelled by the Spaniards, together with the support of Filipinos and the Japanese in the settlement of Dilao. The Japanese especially showed no mercy in the repression. Altogether 20,000 Chinese were killed. In 1603, there was a large massacre of around 20,000 Chinese, mostly of Fujianese Hoklo descent. The location was in Manila's Parian de los Sangleyes (the Chinese quarter), and in 1639 another huge mass killing of Chinese of Minnan origin. 
- Boxer, p.261
- Borao, p.1
- South East Asia, Colonial History By Paul H. Kratoska, p.135
- Frederic Henry Read Sawyer (1900). The inhabitants of the Philippines. S. Low, Marston and company. pp. 390–.
- John H. Chambers (16 October 2008). Everyone's History: A Reader-Friendly World History of War, Bravery, Slavery, Religion, Autocracy, Democracy, and Science, 1 AD to 2000 AD. Xlibris Corporation. pp. 297–. ISBN 978-1-4628-2167-9.
- Ancestors, Virgins and Friars: The Localization of Christianity in Late Imperial Mindong (Fujian, China), 1632-1863