“On this site Andres Bonifacio and one thousand Katipuneros met in the morning of 23 August 1896 and decided to revolt against the Spanish colonial government in the Philippines. As an affirmation of their resolve, they tore up their cedulas which were symbols of oppression of the Filipinos. This was very first cry of the oppressed nation against Spain which was enforced with use of arms.”
This is what a marker tells us. It commemorates the no-turning-back moment in the Philippine history, when those who advocate the use of arms against the 300+ years of Spanish occupation, principally the Katipuneros in Luzon, took a stand. Effectively a declaration of war, it was also a declaration against those who call for a “peaceful” political solution, epitomized by the national hero Jose Rizal. The marker is written in Filipino and reads in full:
Ang Sigaw ng Pugad Lawin (1896)
Sa paligid ng pook na ito, si Andres Bonifacio at mga isang libong Katipunero ay nagpulong noong umaga ng ika-23 Agosto 1896, at ipinasyang maghimagsik laban sa pamahalaang Kastila sa Pilipinas. Pinagpunit-punit ang kanilang mga sedula na naging tanda ng pagkaalipin ng mga Pilipino. Ito ang kauna-unahang sigaw ng bayang apu laban sa bansang Espanya na pinatibayan sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng sandata.
The marker is found along the Seminary Road, in barangay Bahay Toro of Quezon City. It stands silent behind the Pugad Lawin High School, just a stone’s throw from the Quezon City General Hospital. The marker marks the site of the Sigaw ng Pugad Lawin or Cry of Pugad Lawin.
The tree under which Tandang Sora rested is said to be near here, but I don’t know if it’s true. I didn’t expect this memorial to be here. I didn’t even know Pugadlawin is here and I bet it’s more likely you don’t know its location. I was invited to attend a wedding. Lo and behold, the church is located in Pugadlawin! Illustrates the point that you’ll find something if you’re not looking for it.
And the more I looked around, the more I realized that I know so little about the Cry of Pugad Lawin. I didn’t know Emilio Jacinto was present during that historic event. One statue in the shrine looked familiar, with his distinction hair style. Emilio Jacinto, the brains of the Katipunan, stands at the left side of Andres Bonifacio.
I didn’t know the statue, at the right side of Andres Bonifacio, holding what looks like a doctor’s bag. It’s most probably Dr. Pio Valenzuela.
At the back, there’s a statue of a carabao and a boy. I still can’t figure out what it represents. It looks like the carabao/water buffalo was laughing when the revolutionaries started tearing their cedulas. Look at the photo below. Carabao: “Hahaha!” Boy: “Hoy, kalabaw, tumahimik ka! May itak ang mga ‘yan. Gusto mo maging ulam?”
I didn’t know that there’s a debate as to the real site of the Cry of Pugadlawin. There was a time it’s called the Cry of Balintawak. There’s even a debate as to the date when Andres Bonifacio and the rest of the Katipuneros tore their cedulas. Some say the Katipuneros tore their cedulas more than once. Some say the Cry of Balitawak is a separate event. Perhaps the debates won’t be settled anytime soon. But some facts remain undisputed. The Katipuneros, led by its Supremo Andres Bonifacio, took a stand, tearing their cedulas in 1896 as a gesture of defiance against the Spanish colonizers.