Today, August 23, is the anniversary of the historic Cry of Pugad Lawin, an event that traditionally marked the start of the active phase of the Philippine Revolution and occurred shortly after the underground Katipunan movement was unmasked. During the 1896 event, about a thousand Katipuneros gathered at Pugad Lawin, tore up their cedula (tax certificate) as a sign of defiance against the Spanish colonial government, and shouted “Mabuhay and Pilipinas!” (“Long live the Philippines!”). Several days after, the first battle between the Katipunan and the Spanish authorities took place and this is the Battle of Pinaglabanan (whose shrine was featured here in Vista Pinas back in 2008). The Cry has its own shrine and this is located in Barangay Bahay Toro in Quezon City.
Photo by Butch Bustria.
There’s actually quite a bit of controversy regarding the historical authenticity of the event. Depending on which historical provenance you read, the Cry (whatever that is) may have occurred on either the 20th, 23rd, 24th, 25th, or 26th of August in either Balintawak, Pugad Lawin, Bahay Toro, Kangkong, or Pasong Tamo. Before the Pugad Lawin version (espoused by noted historian Teodoro Agoncillo) became “official”, the accepted version was the 26th in Balintawak. I guess one nice book to read regarding this controversy is The Cry of Balintawak: a contrived controversy by Soledad Masangkay Borromeo-Buehler.
Nevertheless, what seems true (in a historical sense) is the fact that Katipuneros did tear their cedula. Despite the disagreement on the date and place and the surrounding events, I think it is still important to commemorate the start of the active Philippine Revolution.