Why is Dagohoy Day on July 4?

Topic |  

Why is Dagohoy Day on July 4?

Topic |  


Boholanos have always been proud of the Dagohoy Revolution. However, what almost everybody could say is it lasted for 85 long years and the “longest revolt in the Philippines against the Spaniards.” What is available in our history books is that it started in the year 1744 and ended on August 31, 1829. The question is “When did it start?”

On August 26, 2007, I wrote in this column that the date was July 4, 1744 and nobody took up the challenge to make it official. On June 22, 2014, I wrote again that the date was July 4, 1744. Fortunately, then-Congressman Rene L. Relampagos took up the challenge to make it official. He filed a Bill in the House of Representatives supported by the other Boholano congressmen. (Note: I do not know who filed the counterpart Bill in the Senate.)

On August 28, 2019, the consolidated Bill from the Senate and House of Representatives, signed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was approved by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte with the provision that it will take effect fifteen (15) days after the publication in the Official Gazette. Now we have already Rep. Act No. 11444 declaring July 4 of every year as “Francisco Dagohoy Day”.


Working or Nonworking Holiday?

Section 1 of said law says that July 4 of every year will be a “special working holiday in the entire Province of Bohol.” What is strange is that in the next sentence it says “Upon proclamation of the President, July 4 of every year shall be a special nonworking holiday in the entire province of Bohol.”

Now which is which? Is it a working holiday or nonworking holiday? The succeeding sentence uses the word “shall” that is mandatory.

Be that as it may, it is the DepEd Region 7 that is tasked to spearhead the activities of the celebration.

July 4, 1744

As far as I know, I have been the only one who put forth the date July 4, 1744 as the date when Francisco Dagohoy declared his defiance against the Spaniards and therefore declared the independence of Bohol.


The date July 4 was not taken from thin air. It is the result of careful analysis of the best historical records including the original Spanish records available.


Most of the historical records we study in school are written in English. They are translations from the original Spanish records. Translations are alright, but it is much better if you can base your analysis from the original Spanish texts from which the translations were based.

Fortunately I was able to obtain the original Spanish records from the American Dr. John Dumont and U.P. Professor Emmanuel Romanillos.

Dr. Dumont supplied me with the works of Teresita Roble Rosales whose Masteral Thesis was “El Colegio de Loboc” and Doctoral Dissertation is “Coquesta. Espiritual De Bohol”. They were all presented to the faculty of the Universidad de Madrid, Spain and written in Spanish.


Prof. Romanillos is a former Augustinian Recollect priest who speaks many languages. He obtained his Master’s Degree from the Gregorian University in Rome. He went to Spain and researched in the Spanish Archives and obtained the original records.

His professorial lecture at the University of the Philippines is about the Francisco Dagohoy revolution in Bohol. He has an unpublished book about Francisco Dagohoy written in English. I asked him to give me copies of the original Spanish records so that I can base my analysis on the original records. Translators will base their translation on their own experience and true enough we have differences in how to translate some Spanish words into English.


When Prof. Romanillos was researching in Bohol about Francisco Dagohoy, he was surprised that most of those he interviewed would say that Francisco Dagohoy was fighting the Japanese.

I told him that Mr. Sotero Misa whose Masteral Thesis was “The Life and Struggle of Francisco Dagohoy” was a guerrilla officer during the Japanese war with the nom de guerre (war name) of Francisco Dagohoy, Jr. He was fighting in the areas where Prof Romanillos was making interviews.

The Masteral Thesis of Mr. Misa is a very important source of local information because it is based on interviews and affidavits executed by the nephews and close descendants of Francisco Dagohoy.

Important facts

It was Mr. Sotero Misa who definitely established that the real name of Francisco Dagohoy was Francisco Sendrijas. The word “Dagohoy” came from the words “Dagon Sa Huyuhoy = Talisman from the breeze”. He also definitely identified the constable-elder brother of Dagohoy was named “Sagarino”.

Teresita Roble Rosales’ “Conquesta Espiritual de Bohol” has the name “Ibong” as the apostate who killed Sagarino.

Prof. Romanillos has the proper sequence of the events including the time when it was later on Fr. Gaspar Benito Morales who was killed.

I followed up the story of Prof. Romanillos based on the original Spanish texts like the Spanish text diary of Fr. Narciso Hernandez De Jesus Maria. (Note: The history book of Dr. Gregorio Zaide is based on an incomplete Spanish text.)

Most of the references say that the body of the brother of Dagohoy (Sagarino) was left rotting and unburied for three (3) days in front of Inabanga Church.

Dagohoy’s Independence Day

There is no recorded date available as to when Dagohoy declared Bohol’s Independence from Spain. However, by diligently following the sequence of events, we can conclude that it was July 4.

On a day of obligation, all the people of Inabanga were required by the priest to attend the Holy Mass.

Based on the dates of assignments of Fr. Gaspar Benito Morales in Inabanga (Note: He had two stints), it can be discerned that the day of obligation was the fiesta or Feast Day of St. Paul who is the Patron Saint of Inabanga.

The Feast Day of St. Paul and St. Peter is June 29. (Note: Later on, in order to avoid conflict from Loboc, Bohol the fiesta of Inabanga was changed to June 30). After the Holy Mass it was found out that a person named Ibong was absent. Father Morales declared him to be an apostate and ordered his arrest.

Early the next day (June 30), constable Sagarino, the elder brother of Cabeza de Barangay Francisco Sendrijas, with some companions went in search of Ibong. Ibong was later on found in his hiding place. However, Ibong refused to be arrested and engaged constable Sagarino in a duel. During the duel it was Sagarino that was killed and ibong escaped.

A messenger was sent back to Inabanga to inform the priest and Francisco as to what happened. Francisco Sendrijas, with some companions hurried to the site. However, along the way they met the group carrying the dead body of Sagarino. The two groups arrived back in Inabanga on the evening of June 30.

The priest refused to be disturbed in the evening. The next day (July 1) Francisco requested the priest to perform the burial rites for Sagarino. The priest refused because according to church laws, a man who died in a duel cannot be buried in hallowed grounds. And besides, the burial fee of two pesos (P2) was not paid.

Francisco Sendrijas, the brother of Sagarino, and a Cabeza de Barangay, got angry. Constable Sagarino died in compliance to the order of the priest to arrest the apostate. And why would Fr. Morales demand a burial fee of P2 when it is his personnel who will be buried?

The records say that the dead body was left in front of the church for three (3) days and unburied. The three days will be July 1, 2, and 3.

On the fourth day (July 4) when Francisco found out that his brother was still unburied, he declared his defiance against Fr. Morales and Spain and brought his whole barangay to the mountains.

Since the family of Francisco Sendrijas was in charge of the San Xavier estate of the Jesuits (supposed to be in what is now Cawayan, Inabanga), they plundered the place and brought the provisions to the mountains.

So we can say that the date of the Declaration of Independence by Francisco Dagohoy (Sendrijas) was on July 4, 1744.

The Declaration of Independence of the American Colonies was on July 4, 1776. So Bohol’s Declaration of Independence against Spain was exactly 32 years ahead of the Americans. After eight (8) years of fighting the American Colonies won against the British and it is then called “American Revolution” because it was successful.

The Boholano declaration of Independence lasted for 85 years spanning twenty Spanish Governor-Generals. We can say that the Boholano declaration was also successful and therefore it was the “Dagohoy Revolution”. It was recognized by the Muslims in Mindanao and the British who were in Cagayan de Sulu island, near Palawan.

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