Kapampangan Revolt (1585): A Detailed Report

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 Letter of the Fiscal of the Audiencia of Filipinas, Licenciado Ayala, about the rebellion in Pampanga, dated 20 June 1585.

In the province of Pampanga which is ten to twelve leagues from this City (Manila), some Principales rose up in rebellion about the beginning of last April. One of them was named Don Juan de Manila and the other is Don Nicolas Managuete. Gathering a force of one hundred Indios, some voluntarily, others by force, they went to the next province of Candaba with fifty arquebuses, much gunpowder, and other arms. A chief of the Indios, some relative of Don Juan de Manila tried to restrain and contain their rebellion but they killed and robbed him of a great quantity of gold. From there they took a banca through the river where they met some bancas with almost forty Indios whom they all killed and stole their provisions and committed much harm and robbery. Your President dispatched later the Maese de Campo with thirty soldiers. God willed that the Indios with more than sixty arquebuses and armors were defeated and the two leaders were separated, each one going his way.

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Arcabuceros de Pampanga (Kapampangan harquebusiers) c. 1590s, wearing ‘‘turung’ (conical hats) and ‘balútî’ (armour).

The forces under Don Nicolas Mananguete retreated to a place said to be an impregnable hill to reinforce. When the Maese de Campo had enough armed men, he tried to defeat Mananguete asking him to surrender but he answered that he would only do that if Your Highness pardoned him and that he was sorry for what he did. Besides Your Highness’ pardon, he asked that a friar, his father confessor, go there to assure his safety. To avoid anymore injuries, the Maese de Campo did exactly as he asked. Thus Mananguete with all his followers went with the friar to his Monastery. There he was taken prisoner with many other Indios.

Regarding Juan Manila, the Maese de Campo heard that he, with the other Indios Principales, retreated to another place to plan another attack. The Maese ordered a siege with other Indios of the land. The Maese got a dozen of them in the guise of travellers. They went to the hide out of Juan Manila who went out to meet them with his men and were shot as they fled. They were all killed without exception. With this incident, the land has been pacified, the rebellion crushed and the Indios intimidated.

See also:  1585-86 Kapampangan Revolt: The Letter of Don Juan de Manila

From the library of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (東京外国語大学):

Licuanan, Virginia Benitez & Mira, Jose Llavador. (1993). The Philippines Under Spain: A Compilation and Translation of Original Documents. Book IV (1583-1590): 253-254. Quezon City, Philippines: The National Trust for Historical and Cultural Preservation of the Philippines.

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