The Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan City, Metro Manila commemorates the very first battle of the Katipunan against the Spanish colonial government during the Philippine Revolution. This is the Battle of San Juan del Monte also known as the Battle of Pinaglabanan. Pinaglabanan is Tagalog for “place of battle” or “battleground” which makes the latter name humorously mean “battle of the battleground.”
The battle took place on August 30, 1896, several days after members of the Katipunan tore their tax certificates (cedula) as a public sign of rebellion against the Spaniards in an event dubbed the Cry of Pugad Lawin (or the Cry of Balintawak). Andres Bonifacio led his men to attack a military depot in San Juan and they fought it out against 100 well-armed Spanish soldiers. It was a bit of a disaster as around 200 Katipuneros were taken prisoner and 153 were killed. Nevertheless, the battle inspired Filipinos to rise up in arms and the revolution quickly spread to Manila and Cavite.
The shrine is actually a relatively new 3-hectare park built around the sculpture done by noted sculptor Ed Castrillo called the “Spirit of Pinaglabanan” (1974). There is actually another sculpture on a site called the Pinaglabanan Monument located about 0.7 km away at the corner of N. Domingo Street and Pinaglabanan Street (Google Maps). This sculpture depicts a woman holding aloft a bolo (large knife) and supported by two children. This sculpture is depicted on San Juan City’s official seal.