Everyday History
A reenactment of the Negros Revolution
Daily History Philippine Revolution

The Negros Revolution began: Nov. 5, 1898

On this day in 1898, the Negros Revolution began in the town of Silay and spread to other parts of Negros Occidental. The landed elite called hacendados and hacenderos, with the support of sharecroppers and laborers, instigated the revolution in the sugar cane-growing region.

The revolutionaries, armed with fake cannons and rifles and led by Juan Araneta and Aniceto Lacson, marched to the Spanish garrison in Silay. Guardia Civil commander Lt. Maximiano Correa and his men surrendered without a fight after realizing that the revolutionaries were to burn the building should they refuse.

The following day, the revolutionaries marched to Bacolod, the capital of Negros Occidental. Armed with fake cannons and rifles made of bamboo, wood and coconut, they laid siege to the Bishop’s Palace where the Spanish forces took refuge. The Spanish forces, believing the revolutionaries were armed, agreed to negotiate for a surrender.

After the Spanish forces surrendered, the revolutionaries established and proclaimed a provisional government in Bago, Negros Occidental with Aniceto Lacson as president. Ananias Diokno, representative of President Emilio Aguinaldo’s First Philippine Republic witnessed the proclamation and informed Aguinaldo of its establishment.

Revolution in Negros Oriental

At the time of the proclamation, the Spanish still occupied Negros Oriental and its capital city Dumaguete. The revolutionaries sent a military expedition led by Gen. Diego de la Viña to liberate the southern half of the island. They arrived in Dumaguete on Nov. 24 only to find that the Spanish had fled the city and sailed to Cebu. A provisional government for Negros Oriental was established and elected Demetrio Larena as president.

With the liberation of Negros Island, the different town mayors of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental convened in Bacolod on Nov. 27, 1898 as a Camara de Diputados (Chamber of Deputies). Just like the Malolos Congress convened in Bulacan, the Camara de Diputados drafted a constitution. The charter provided for the establishment of a unified government for the whole island called Republica Cantonal de Negros.

The cantonal republic recognized the authority of the First Philippine Republic and became part of its Federal State of the Visayas. Again, Lacson was elected president, with Larena being elected as his vice president.

The Republica Cantonal de Negros existed until March 4, 1899 when the Americans arrived and took control of the island.

References

Sa-onoy, Modesto P. Parroquia de San Diego. Bacolod City, Philippines: Today Printers and Publishers. 1992. pp. 49-50

Rodriguez, Caridad. “Don Diego de la Viña and the Philippine Revolution in Negros Oriental.” Philippine Studies
Vol. 34, No. 1. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University. 1986. pp. 61-76

Ariola, Jose Paolo. “El cañon de Cinco de Noviembre.” SunStar Bacolod. November 7, 2006. Accessed through web.archive.org.

Negros Occidental to commemorate Al Cinco de Noviembre.” SunStar Bacolod. November 3, 2006. Accessed through web.archive.org.

Pacete, Ver. “The fate of the Federal Republic of Negros.” SunStar Philippines. November 3, 2016.

Trivia Question

Who was the rich landowner who negotiated the Spanish forces’ surrender in Bacolod and later became governor of Negros Occidental during the American occupation?

Yesterday’s answer: Manila Mayor Antonio Villegas

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