Pinaglabanan Shrine

Satellite image of Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan City, Metro Manila.

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.

Enjoyed this article? Want to read more articles like this in the future? Then subscribe to Vista Pinas either by email or by feed reader/news aggregator. (Powered by Google FeedBurner.)

Article info

Posted on
February 21, 2008
Filed under
Landmarks / MonumentsMetro ManilaParks / Plazas
Previous article
Next article


  1. Rico wrote on February 23, 2008 @ 05:33PM

    I wish we take better care of our national monuments. Have you visited the shrine lately? Last time I was there it was really dirty!

  2. Eugene wrote on February 24, 2008 @ 03:22AM

    Hey Rico. I’ve never actually been to Pinaglabanan Shrine. But I’ve read that the place was a former squatters area. I guess vestiges of that still linger. If you look immediately to the north, the unmistakable signs of informal houses are visible.

  3. nathanya wrote on December 31, 2008 @ 12:18AM

    i loved historyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Napoleon Bonaparte wrote on April 3, 2009 @ 09:15AM

    The “Battle of San Juan del monte was actually a success, where Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Jacinto have captured arms and ammunitions stored by the Spaniards. When they pursued the survivors who fled to “El Deposito”, a fresh Spanish troops of reinforcements came, the katipuneros tried to retreat, but another group of Spaniards met them in “El Polvorin”, and a bloody hand to hand combat battle ensued! Both sides lost many men, and the katipuneros finally retreated to conserve their strength for future battles. It was not actually the first battle, for the first battle was the “Battle of Pasig” where the valiant General Valentin Cruz defeated the “Guardia Civils”. General Valentin Cruz went to Bonifacio’s headquarters, and joined them in the fierce and bloody battle of San Juan del Monte.

  5. ashley123 wrote on November 24, 2009 @ 12:49AM

    i think rico is cute

Join the conversation