Francisco Dagohoy Day: Legacies of Dagohoy (Last of a series)

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Francisco Dagohoy Day: Legacies of Dagohoy (Last of a series)

Topic |  


According to R.A. No. 11444 known as Francisco Dagohoy Day law, we should extol the legacies and good deeds of Francisco “Dagohoy”Sendrijasevery July 4 of the year. 

To be consistent with the law, we should know the legacies left behind by Francisco Dagohoy. You might have another opinion but the following are the legacies of Dagohoy that I can determine.

Legacies of Dagohoy

  1. Love of Freedom and independence.  On July 4, 1744 Francisco Dagohoy declared his defiance against the Spanish government to live a free and independent life in the northern parts of Bohol. Some 3,000 Boholanos followed Francisco Dagohoy to establish a new settlement.
  2. Indomitable spirit of resistance against oppression.  Even before the declaration of Dagohoy, there were already rumblings by the people against Spanish oppression. In the establishment papers for the town of San Jose de Tagbilaran there is a statement that before the establishment of the town on Feb. 9, 1742 the people paid their tribute or taxes to the rebels in the hills (losmontes). It indicated that before July 4, 1744 there were already “rebels” waiting for someone to lead them.
  3. Religious freedom.  Francisco Dagohoy established a legacy of religious freedom. He allowed his followers to worship God in any way they want. There were those who followed the religion established by Karyapa and Tamblot, some followed the Christian religion, and some practiced animism. There is a so-called “Gaam records” that says that the dead were placed in trees or high cliffs so that the land will not be contaminated. This is a concept similar to the Zoroastrian religion.
  4. Love of education.  According to the Diary of Fr. Julian Bermejo, the Spanish and Cebuano forces that started from Boljoon, Cebu landed at Calape, Bohol and proceeded to attack the “Dagohoy settlement” at Agbonan (now: San Isidro, Bohol) and Agad (now: Antequera, Bohol). They destroyed the native church and school. It indicated that Dagohoy had an educational system in his dominion.

The best Boholano minds were gathered to study in the schools at Agbonan and Agad. Until the present so many honor students and board and bar topnotchers come from these places.

  1. Obedience to law and order.  The “Gaam records” are so far the only records written by a Spanish priest detailing the laws, regulations, and punishments during the Dagohoy regime in Bohol. Dagohoy had established a justice system. According to Fr. Juan de la Concepcion (1792), Dagohoy was the “caudillo superior (overall leader)” in Bohol.
  2. Spirit of self-reliance. Dagohoy established a society that was able to exist by its own resources and efforts. The Dagohoy society became progressive that it became the envy of the Boholanos that lived under the Spaniards. Food and provisions were aplenty and available. The so-called “catagdaan town (now: Catagdaan, Pilar, Bohol)” was the largest town in Bohol and the Boholanos and Muslims prefer to trade there rather than at Spanish controlled towns.
  3. Land reform.  Francisco Dagohoy established the first “land reform” in the Philippines. He confiscated and demolished the “San Xavier Estate” of the Jesuits and distributedthe lands to his followers. Even when the Augustinian Recollects took over the management of Bohol, they were not able to establish an”hacienda”.

The land reform of Francisco Dagohoy was so successful that even today 97% of Boholanos owns or has owner-like possession of a piece of land. It is not found anywhere in the Philippines.

  1. Diplomacy.  Through diplomacy Dagohoy was able to establish rapport with neighboring islands, the Moros, the British, and the Spaniards. It was a diplomacy backed with force in case of violation and the Boholanos held its own for 85 years.

The main reason why Dagohoy could not be defeated was because it was supplied with arms by the British. Those weapons were at par with the Spanish weapons.

  1. Concept of oneness of the Boholanos.These concept of oneness of the Boholanos is always misunderstood by outsiders to be a sign of selfishness. The Boholano concept of “Ija-ija, aho-aho” is always interpreted by outsiders and xenophile (Bis: Sagmak) as “his is his, and mine is mine”.

When Boholanos were still peddlers, they travel in groups. Ija-ija means you take care of your own supplies. Aho-aho means if anyone of us will be molested, we must group together to defend ourselves. It was not easy to bully the Boholano group because it was a requirement that before you can travel, you must first learn the martial art of arnis.

The oneness of the followers of Dagohoy was enhanced by the coded language of TIMORI. First the Boholanos will greet each other as “Sano” and “Sana”. If you can then converse in the TIMORI way, it means that you are a hard core Boholano. Today the TIMORI is still used in Tambongan and Cogtong, Candijay, Bohol. There are still other families in other provinces that can still speak TIMORI.

July 4 for Tagbilaran


The residents of Tagbilaran City can consider July 4 as an important date because it was


the date of the first election of town officials for Tagbilaran.

On July 4, 1742 in Baclayon, Bohol, Gen. Francisco Antonio Calderon de la Barca, the

Governor of the Visayas, supervised the election for the first officials for the new town of San Jose


deTagbilaran. The election was done by “viva voce” or voice vote.

The following were the first elected officials of Tagbilaran:


Gobernadorcillo (Mayor)  DonCalixto Marcos

Teniente (Lieutenant)  Don Ignacio Malimpin

AguacilMayor (Chief Constable)  Don Lorenzo Verano

Escrivano(Notary/Clerk)  Don Antonio Estanislao

JuezdeSementera (Arbiter/Judge for Farms)  Don Mariano Tomas

JuezdePalmas (Arbiter/ Judge for coco trees)  Don Josef Tanquiron

The officials were installed in Tagbilaran on July 11, 1742. Note that it was two (2) years

ahead of the declaration of independence by Dagohoy on July 4, 1744. However, Sotero, the leader

of the rebels in Tagbilaran, joined forces with Dagohoy.

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