Pangasinan Islands Philippines
The Katipunan, a nationalist secret society, was founded on July 7, 1892 with the aim of uniting the peoples of the Philippines and fighting for independence and religious freedom. The Philippine Revolution began on August 26, 1896 led by Andres Bonifacio, the leader of the Katipunan. On November 18, 1897, a Katipunan council was formed in western Pangasinan with Roman Manalang as Presidente Generalisimo and Mauro Ortiz as General. General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine independence on June 12, 1898. Dagupan City, the major commercial center of Pangasinan, was surrounded by Katipunan forces by July 18, 1898. The Battle of Dagupan lasted from July 18 to July 23 of that year with the surrender of 1,500 soldiers of the Spanish forces under Commander Federico J. Ceballos and Governor Joaquin de Orengochea.
The Battle of Dagupan, fought fiercely by local Katipuneros under the overall command of General Francisco Makabulos, chief of the Central and Directive Committee of Central and Northern Luzon, and the last remnants of the once mighty Spanish Army under General Francisco Ceballos, led to the liberation of Pangasinan from the Spaniards. The five-day battle was joined by three local heroes, Don Daniel Maramba from Santa Barbara, Don Vicente Del Prado from San Jacinto and Don Juan Quezada from Dagupan, whose armies massed in Dagupan to lay siege on the Spanish forces, making a last stand at the brick-walled Catholic Church.
Maramba led the liberation of the town of Santa Barbara on March 7, 1898 following a signal for simultaneous attack from Makabulos. Hearing that Sta. Barbara fell into rebel hands, the Spanish forces in Dagupan attempted to retake the town, but were repulsed by Maramba's forces. Thus, after the setback, the Spaniards decided to concentrate their forces in Lingayen to protect the provincial capital. This enabled Maramba to expand his operations to Malasiqui, Urdaneta and Mapandan, taking them one after the other. He took one more town, Mangaldan, before proceeding to Dagupan to lay siege on the last Spanish garrison. Also on March 7, 1898, the rebels under the command of Del Prado, and Quesada attacked convents in a number of towns in Zambales province, located west of Lingayen, which now constitute the western parts of Pangasinan.
Attacked and brought under Filipino control were Alaminos, Agno, Anda, Alos, Bani, Balincaguin, Bolinao, Dasol, Eguia and Potot. Then the revolt spread to Labrador, Sual, Salasa and many other towns in the west. The towns of Sual, Labrador, Lingayen, Salasa and Bayambang were occupied first by the forces of Del Prado and Quesada before they proceeded to attack Dagupan.
At an assembly convened to organize a central governing body for Central and Northern Luzon on April 17, 1898, General Makabulos appointed Del Prado as politico-military governor of Pangasinan, with Quesada as his second in command. His appointment came few days before the return of General Emilio Aguinaldo in May 1898 from his exile in Hongkong following the signing of the Pact of Biac-na-Bato in December 1897. Aguinaldo's return gave fresh impetus to the renewal of the flame of the revolution. Thus, on June 3, 1898, General Makabulos entered Tarlac and from that day on, the fires of revolution spread.
So successful were the Filipinos in their many pitched battles against the Spaniards that on June 30, 1898, Spanish authorities decided to evacuate all their forces to Dagupan where a last stand against the rebels was to be made. Also ordered to go to Dagupan were all civilian and military personnel, including members of the voluntarios locales of towns not yet in rebel hands. Those who heeded this order were the volunteer forces of Mangaldan, San Jacinto, Pozorrubio, Manaoag and Villasis. Among those brought to Dagupan was the image of the Most Holy Rosary of the Virgin of Manaoag, which at that time was already the patron saint of Pangasinan.
When the forces of Maramba from the east and Del Prado from the west converged in Dagupan on July 18, 1898, the siege began. The arrival of General Makabulos strengthened the rebel forces until the Spaniards, holed up inside the Catholic Church, waved the flag of surrender five days later. Armed poorly, the Filipinos were no match at the very start with Spanish soldiers holed inside the Church. They just became mere sitting ducks to Spanish soldiers shooting with their rifles from a distance. But the tempo of battle changed when the attackers devised a crude means of protection to shield them from Spanish fire while advancing. This happened when they rolled trunks of bananas, bundled up in sawali, that enabled them to inch their way to the Church.
Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia