The Pulajanes were freedom fighters from the Visayas who refused to submit to the wicked imperialism of the Bald Eagle nation. Having roots in the Spanish-era Dios Dios religious movement, the Pulahanes came to life either with the blood compact ritual of the secret-society-turned-revolutionary-government Kagalanggalangang Katipunan nang manga Anak nang Bayan (KKK) or after the bolo-wielding members that formed part of the local troops under Leyte's Gen. Ambrosio Mojica in Leyte and Samar's Vicente Lukban refused to follow in the foosteps of the officials who surrendered or swore allegiance to the enemy Americans during the Philippine-American War (1899-1814).
The Pulahanes, marked by ritualistic beliefs, fearless zeal but mediocre strategy in battles, and extraordinary skills in hand-to-hand combat, were no bandits at all, as believed by imperialist American Governor-General for the Visayas, Smith, who said that they were not robbers or thieves by nature but "quite the contrary." While there are those who trace the unrest of the pulahans to abuses by lowlanders, the fact remains that they fought the Philippine Scouts and pale-skinned American soldiers with zealous courage.
Antithesis to Philippine Scouts?
The patriotic Pulajanes can be said to be the antithesis of the traitorous Philippine Scouts responsible for abetting, guiding and pointing out the location and weaknesses of Filipino/Taga-Ilog patriots to the pale-skinned enemies. Earlier in 1905, the Philippine Scouts, a.k.a. local puppies to invader United States forces, along with the Philippine Constabulary, effected the capture and execution of Samar Pulajanes' leader Col. Enrique Daguhob.
The Pulahanes proved so strong a threat that at one point, the imperialist U.S. forces needed to field 17 companies of Philippine Scouts and four American companies, as eight U.S. Infantry were operating against the Visayan freedom-fighters. Their resistance against the Bald Eagle invasion at the turn-of-the-19th-century would be ended only following the 1907 capture and execution of Pulahaje hero Papa Ablen Faustino who led the Leyte island's group in the continued fight against the imperialist Americans from 1906-1907.
The imperialist United States nation, which has vilely pursued degrading propaganda against the natives since Day 1 of the Philippine-American War, has portrayed the Pulajanes as 'outlaws,' 'insurrectionists,' rebels, and even 'fanatics.' The real nefarious characters, of course, were the invader Bald Eagles who, wanting of human conscience, conned Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo into thinking they're allies before stealing Philippine Independence by staging the Mock Battle of Manila and then invading the archipelago. The Pulahajes can be regarded as local Filipino/Taga-Ilog patriots who heroically tried to continue what the soldiers of the First Philippine Republic failed to do--freedom from despicable colonial rule for our dear Motherland.
Not Honored at All
It is sad that despite their valiant and dogged show of heroism, tragically ended by American imperialist suppression and murders, the Pulahanes until today have not been honored by the people they fought and died for. According to a historian online friend, there's no street or place named after the Pulajanes, no shrines, no statues, no memorials, no nothing. Beyond sad, this fact is tragic because it indicates that the Filipinos/Taga-Ilog remain under the psychologically hold of the true, nefarious outlaws--the Kalbong Agila people.
Ang patuloy na hindi pagkilala sa kabayanihan ng mga Pulahanes ay isang pagtatakwil sa kanila, na isang patunay naman na hanggang ngayon ay nakukubabawan pa ring ng Amerika ang isipan ng mga Pilipino/Taga-Ilog. Ang bagay na ito ba ay nakapagtataka samantalang hindi naman yata tayo tunay na pinakawalan ng mandaragit na bayan ng Estados Unidos?
"Curry Victim of Treachery." The New York Times. 26 March 1906.
Dios Dios and Pulahanism in Ormoc. http://ormochistory.blogspot.com/2008/06/dios-dios-and-pulahanism-in-ormoc.html
"For Martial Law in Samar." The New York Times. 14 May 1906.
"How the Scouts Slew a Filipino Demigod." The New York Times. 11 Sept. 1905.
Polo, Jaime B. Panulaan at Dulaang Leytenhon-Samarnon. Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1994.
Reposts are licensed to the respective authors. Otherwise, posts by Jesusa Bernardo are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Philippines.