The Pateros 1896 Revolution, Part2

by: Elmer Nocheseda

The Aftermath

Lieutenant Manuel Sityar inspected the aftermath of the battle in Pateros in the mid morning of Sunday, August 30, 1896. The main road that connects Pateros with Pasig and Taguig was deserted and showed signs that there was intense fighting that happened there the night before: the walls were broken, there were blood stains everywhere, and dead bodies lying on the street. He met with the Augustinian priest of Pateros, Fray Tomas Espejo at the convento, together with the incumbent Gobernadorcillo, or town head, Don Anacleto de Borja, who reported that his cuadrilleros, or policemen like Alejandro T. Santos, Nicolas B. Cruz, Miguel Rosales, and Severo T. Santos, have all joined the uprising.

Gregorio Salva, was asked to replace B. Morcilla in preparing the acta or expediente, or report of the incident under the direction of Directorcillo, or municipal administrator, Esteban Quiogue. They were helped by Gregorio Flores and Francisco Kalamina in gathering the report.

At Dulumbayan they saw the horrifying scene of battle. The lifeless body of Crispulo Rojas, a guardia civil, was lying on the ground with his shattered brains from gun shot. He sustained other wounds in his body, which according to the expediente were five critical hacks of bolo. There were many other dead bodies surrounding him. Three dead Katipuneros were identified as Pedro Rosales, Eusebio Hermosa, and Guillermo Manalo. The brave men who sustained wounds were Francisco C. Diego, Julian de Luna, Cipriano Ungco, Cipriano Ison, a man called Polavieja, and Severto T. Santos. The other bodies were unnamed.

Lt. Sityar was relieved of his post on the ground that the civil guards failed to arrest and capture any of the rebels that took part in the uprising. He was assigned to Laguna which was also seething with revolt. The command of the Spanish cuartel in Pasig was assigned to an insolent and overbearing Spanish officer, Capitan Federico Duran, Capitan Jefe de Infanterias de Linea, who arrived in Pateros with a reinforcement of sixty soldiers in the afternoon of August 30. When he saw the bodies of the fallen Katipuneros, he was heard to have said, "I am usually moved to compassion and give deference to the dead, but to these dead, I find it hard even to lift my cap."

The dead bodies of katipuneros were gathered in several caretas and were buried in a common grave in the Libingang Luma in Pateros, while the body of the civil guard was brought to the Pasig Cemetery for his proper burial.

Arrest, Torture, and Deportation

At the secret behest of the cura parroco, Fray Tomas Espejo, the brazen and vindictive arrest of the suspected members of the Katipunan, The townspeople who came to that fateful Sunday to hear mass were each required to roll their sleeves, and anyone found to have any gurlis, scar or mark, was considered connected with the Katipunan and was peremptorily and imperiously put behind bars in jail.

Some were arrested, tried, and sentenced to be deported to Marianas Island, now called Guam. They were Mamerto, or Mentong Bakuna, Marcos Rodriguez, Mariano Pangilinan, Pedro Cruz, Nicolas Roxas, Baldomero Cruz, Valentin de la Cruz, Gervacio Samson, among others. However, Francisco Imson and Cayetano de la Cruz never reached Guam for they were tortured to death in Fort Santiago.

On the night of Tuesday, September 1, 1896, Teniente Alejandro T. Santos, Corporal Severo T. Santos and Sargento Matias Cruz, Cristino E. Cruz, and Pantaleon Samson were arrested. The next morning, they were brought to Pasig Church convent and together with the other arrested from Pasig were marched to Bambang bordering the Pasig River where they were put onboard the Oeste (later named Otalora) which sailed for Manila on September 2, 1896. They disembarked at Fort Santiago where they stayed overnight. At 11:00 pm on the night of September 3, they were put onboard the government ship Venus which deported them to the island of Marianas.

Pateros Heroes

Macario Almeda was given an índulto or temporary reprieve under the General Amnesty program issued by Governor-General Ramon Blanco on August 30, 1896. However, he was later arrested together with Marcos Lozada for continuing covertly their revolutionary efforts.

Two weeks after the fateful veinte-nueve de Agosto, Capitan Federico Duran, together with Spanish Sargent Talero arrived in the Pateros tribunal at around 9:30 am on Monday, September 14, 1896. He met with Capitan Anacleto de Borja and ordered him to produce the persons of Macario Almeda and Marcos Lozada, the reported leaders of the uprising in Pateros. Those who joined this Saturday uprising were later called as nag-Sabado.

It is said that the evidence leading to their arrest were gathered by the cura, Fray Tomas Espejo. He decided to work on Poleng, the unsuspecting wife of Macario and tried to extract from her, through the confessional box, some vital information that would pin the case against her husband. This information formed the basis for their arrest.

Capitan Duran told Anacleto de Borja: "I want to see these people whose names were on the list. We are going to Taguig, but upon our return, I expect to see them here. "

In the face of this direct order delivered in threatening tone, Kapitan Cleto was placed in a tight situation and frightening dilemma. He found no recourse but to obey the orders of the Spanish captain. He went to the house of Kabesang Bino, or Gavino Samson, and bade him to fetch Kabesang Cario, or Macario Almeda on the guise that Kapitan Cleto wanted to see him at the tribunal with his libreta as a resagado, which means that he was still under paid in his due taxes to the town’s treasury. He also requested Kabesang Bino to fetch Marcos Lozada.

While they were conversing, Kabesang Bino saw Jose España Cruz passing by who was actually heading for Tulay na Bato to have the cloth he was carrying tailored. He was requested by Kabesang Bino to see Macario and tell him that Kapitan Cleto wanted to meet him. When Jose reached Tulay na Bato, he saw Marcos Lozada was sitting at the counter of a store owned by a woman named Petra. Macario was also informed of Kapitan Cleto's request. Both proceeded to the tribunal with their libretas.

When they arrived at the tribunal, Kapitan Cleto was not there. He was in close huddle with Fray Espejo and Capitan Duran in the Church convent. They arrived at the tribunal and saw the two waiting for them. Capitan Cleto locked all the doors and interrogated the two with regard to their involvement in the August uprising. Both denied any involvement.

However, Fray Espejo told the two: "Hijos, I have positive knowledge that you two are connected with the Katipunan. Your connection with the uprising speaks of treason against Spain. You better tell the truth and I will do my best to help you out."

"But Father," Almeda interrupted, "I swear to God, that our souls are yet unblemished and we have not known of any crime or sin that we have committed into this day. If our defense of what is right and our affiliation with Katipunan is a grave crime against the government, then let our souls be unto God and our bodies to the government. That is all I can say now."

It was a very brave and open declaration and acknowledgement of their abiding faith in the righteousness of the Katipunan.

And with that declaration, the priest said, "Bueno, I could not do anything else for you."

The two leaders were locked up in jail and were heavily guarded. Directorcillo Esteban Quiogue, who was also a Katipunero, took every opportunity to request Macario Almeda never to incriminate the other members of the Katipunan.

Lt. Sityar later recounted that in the search that was undertaken in the house of Macario Almeda and Marcos Lozada were found the listas de afiliados, or the lists of members of Katipunan. In good fortune, these were lost in the hands of the authorities, as they contain many names of the prominent members of Pateros society.

The Execution

At 4:00 pm of Tuesday, September 15, 1896, Capt. Duran and Sgt. Talero arrived at the Tribunal de Pateros. He ordered both prisoners, Macario and Marcos, to be tied abot-siko. They were ordered to march toward Pasig. On their way, they would pass the Tulay na Bato and in front of his house, Macario hollered to his wife: "Poleng! Poleng! I will be leaving you now. Look after our child!" They have a son named Eugenio, who was only three years old then.

When the bound prisoners and their captors reached an area where two big mango trees stood at the boundary between San Joaquin and Pateros, they doggedly and stubbornly refused to be goaded any further past the boundary of Pateros.

From the lips of Macario Almeda came out probably his last fighting words daringly in utter disdain, "If you really think we did something wrong, then shoot us right here for we want to die here in Pateros."

Having said it, both leaders knelt down and refused to be budged anymore. Sprang to action by order of Capt. Duran, Sgt. Talero gave the two stubborn heroes, the coup-de-grace they have both dared Talero to do. They died on the spot. Macario was 29 years old.

A young herdsman watching over his carabaos witnessed the gruesome execution. He hurriedly informed one Josefa Aviles, the wife of Angel Francisco, a katipunero who went to the place where Almeda and Lozada died a gallant death. He wasted no time in informing Almeda's wife, Poleng, of the fate that befell her husband.

The longest road, the Calle Real or the main road that connects the town of Pateros to Pasig and Taguig is named after Macario Almeda, while the street In Sto. Rosario nearest the site where they were executed was named after Marcos Lozada, the two noble heroes of Pateros.

In 1922, a fitting monument was erected to honor the Pateros Martires del '96 by the Kapisanang Tabak ng Lahi (KAP. T.N.L.), whose members were the veterans of the 1896 Philippine Revolution and the 1899-1902 Philippine - American War. The Kapisanan was established in 1919, right after the abolition of the Flag Law that prohibited the display of the Philippine Flag.

The monument was erected on the lot donated by Gregoria Calingo where the twin roads to Taguig meet. It was designed and executed by the Pateros-born scuptor Victor Barrientos who was one of the early graduates of the School of Fine Arts of the University of the Philippines in 1917.

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Elmer Nochseda
Elmer I. Nocheseda of Pateros, Metro Manila has made collecting palaspas from different towns in the Philippines his lifetime passion. Together with his wife, Dra. Naomi Sotto-Nocheseda, they have a veritable collection of interesting palaspas forms they have collected through the years from different areas in the Philippines.