Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hermano Pule

Apolinario de la Cruz (July 22, 1814 - November 4, 1841), known as Hermano Pule or Puli ("Brother Pule"), led a major revolt against Spanish rule of the Philippines based on a struggle for religious freedom and independence.

He was born on July 22, 1814 in Barrio Pandác in the town of Lucban in Tayabas Province (now Quezon). In 1829,  he decided to become a priest and tried to join the Dominican Order in Manila but the Roman Catholic religious orders were closed for native people (indios). Apolinario, then  decided to work at San Juan de Dios Hospital where he studied the Bible and other religious writings.

In 1832, de la Cruz founded the Cofradia de San José (Confraternity of St. Joseph), composed only of Filipinos. The Cofradia prohibited Spaniards and mestizos from joining without de la Cruz's permission. Authorities, including Spanish Governor-General Marcelino Oraa and Roman Catholic Archbishop Jose' Segui regarded the Cofradia as heresy and ordered its dissolution. 

Expecting an attack on their religious freedom from the Catholic church, Hermano Pule rallied about 4,000 followers at Barrio Isabang on the slope of Mount Banahaw and was able to resist an attack by Alcalde-mayor Juan Ortega and his 300 men on October 23, 1841. However, reinforcements came on November 1st, with Colonel Joaquin Huet, who annihilated the Cofradia forces, massacring hundreds of old men, women and children who joined Hermano Pule in Alitao in defying the Catholic leaders of the Church. 

After the attack, Hermano Pule fled to Barrio Ibanga but was captured by authorities the following evening, and on November 4, 1841 he was executed by a firing squad at the town of Tayabas. After he was killed, the authorities cut his body into four pieces and his head was placed on a stake.