General Manuel Tinio was one of those well-to-do heroes of our Revolution. He was no doubt the youngest general in the Revolutionary Army, being a mere lad of twenty when he commanded a citizen army to help destroy a colonialist power and resist the imperialist designs of another. He was a revolutionary not only in the limited sense that he participated in a revolution but, mainly, because he fought in the Revolution during its fiercest, when many of his class were abandoning the cause—and he fought it in a region far from his own. His Tinio Brigade symbolized the democratic character of the anti-American resistance in the Ilocano provinces during the war years of 1899-1901: indio and mestizo, gentry and peasantry, Ilocanos and Tagalogs made up its fighting core; and Tinggians, among others, gave it support. The history of that brigade is the history of that war.
The Tinio Brigade, can be ordered from:
AVA, PoBox 21104, Oxnard, CA, 93034, USA.
US$19.95; plus $4.5o shipping (USPS Priority Mail w/tracking)(Or request bookrate)
Payment by Money Order only please.
(1877 - 1924)
Manuel Tinio was born in Aliaga, Nueva Ecija on June 17, 1877, His parents were Mariano Tinio Y Santiago and Silveria Bundoc. He was educated in private schools and then at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila where he studied his segunda ensenanza from 1891 to 1896.
In April 1896, he joined the Katipunan. When General Mariano Llanera ralliedthe people of Nueva Ecija to revolt, he gathered forces in his hometown and carried on the fight against the Spaniards in the forests of the province. In an encounter on January 14, 1897, he inflicted heavy casualties on the enemies.
On June 6, 1897, in recognition of his services, he was conferred by the Assembly of Puray the rank colonel and the command of a brigade. He took pat in the attack of San Rafael, Bulacan that was led by General Mamerto Natividad. To rescue his hometown Aliaga, he fought against a formidable army of 8, 000 men mobilized by General Primo de Rivera. In this encounter, the Spaniards suffered heavy casualties and he put to flight the column of Spanish General Nuñez who was serioulsy wounded. He and his men held the town for three days but fell back when pressed by General Ricardo Monet.
He won a number of skirmishes against the Spanish cazadores in several other towns of Nueva Ecija. He assisted in the taking of an important Spanish convoy on its way from Kabiaw to San Isidro. General Natividad was killed in this encounter.
By virtue of the Truce of Biak-na-Bato, he and other revolutionary leaders went to Hongkong as exiles.
When he returned to the Philippines, he as made second in command of the first zone of Nueva Ecija on 1, 1898. Then he was appointed to lead an expedition to Northern Luzon. With 300 Mauser guns captured in Hagonoy, the young colonel proceeded to conquer within 15 days the provinces of La Union, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Benguet, Tiagan, Amburayan, Lepanto, Bontok and four towns of Kagayan. He met resistance only in San Fernando de la Union and in Aparri. In these provinces, Tinio captured 3, 000 guns.
On August 14, 1898, he occupied Vigan and by the 17th, the other principal towns of Ilocos, namely Bangar, Tagudin, and Laoag. Upon his arrival, the friars including the Bishop of Nueva Segovia, Msgr. Jose Hevia Campomanes escaped by boat to Aparri. He used the palacio of Vigan, the former residence of the Spanish governor, as his headquarters.
In the next three months, he consolidated under his command the territory extending from the barrio of Rabong at the southern boundary of La Union to Cape Bojeador, the northernmost point of Ilocos Norte. Desirous of establishing complete peace in Ilocos Sur to enable the citizens to take up their customary occupation and to encourage commerce to go on as before, he issued on August 18, 1898 one of his first decrees for the Ilocos. It consisted of six articles and called for "the considerate treatment of the Spanish peninsulas and insular and the confiscation of their general property; sending to his headquarters the deserters from the Spanish army who wanted to join the Filipino army; prohibition of the use of firearms to all citizens; continuance of existing municipal system in towns where elections were not yet held; rigorous punishment for all who committed abuses; and orders for strict compliance of all these provision."
On the same day, he appointed Francisco Rivero Paz de Leon as temporary president of Ilocos Sur and the following day, he ordered the reinstallation of destroyed telegraphic lines. He gave more orders such as the inventory of the property left by the Spaniards, the establishment of a new government in the districts of Lepanto andTiagan and the formation of rancherias within Narvacan up to Tagudin into towns.
As his battalions were still incomplete by November 1898, he made known his need for volunteers between the ages17-30 who wanted to serve the revolutionary army permanantly.
On November 11, 1898, he was promoted to the rank of General of Division. He was only 21 years old.
When the Philippine-American War broke out on February 4, 1899, the young general offered his services to General Antonio Luna, chief of operations north of Manila. But his request was not granted. Nevertheless, he and his men prepared for action. In cooperation with Lt. Col. Blas Villamor, he established trenches and fortifications in strategic points in Ilocos a means of defense. He also distributed his 2, 00 men along the more than 270km coast from Tagudin, Ilocos Sur to Bangui, Ilocos Norte. These were accomplished before mid-March 1899.
Is chance to fight the Americans came in connection with their treat of General Emilio Aguinaldo and his men to the north.
His soldiers totaling 285 formed the rearguard of Aguinaldo’s column in the march to Manaoag, Pangasinan, escorting the president’s mother and son, together wit the wounded and sick soldiers. In the afternoon of November 14, on the way to Pozorrubio from Manaoag, he and his men had a surprise encounter with the enemies coming from Nueva Ecija led by Major Swigert. The Filipinos drove them towards Binalonan, enabling Aguinaldo to continue the flight northward. He also intercepted in San Jacinto the advance of General Lloyd Wheaton who came from his military base in San Fabian.
When the Americans disembarked in Pandan, Ilocos Sur, he fortified himself in the mountain of Tangadan, southeast of Abra, and established his headquarters in the town of San Quintin, about two-miles fromTangadan.
On December 3, 1899, Tinio ordered his men to raid Vigan, which was occupied by Colonel Parker. The raid lasted the whole night but was not successful, They withdrew and the next day, the small force defending Tangadan was attacked by the enemies. After a day and night of fighting his troops abandoned Tangadan.
With its capture by the Americans, Tinio changed his military strategy in dealing with the enemies. He divided and organized his brigade into guerilla units and posted them along the road and strategic locations from the rancheria of Danglas to Ilocos Norte, with instructions to ambush the passing enemy through tambang. By March 22, 1900, each town under Tinio’s jurisdiction had its own columnas volantes. To facilitate the movement and maneuver of his troops, Tinio ordered the local presidents to furnish him with detailed maps and plans of the towns.
Appraising his mission in the Ilocos region, the young Tagalog general wrote:
I have endeavored to propagate and implant here the society of the Katipunan, which has produced surprising results. I have prepared the sprit of then habitants so that aside from inculcating in them the fucund germ of the high ideals of liberty, they have come to show implacable hatred towards the invader, passion which some citizens, armed only with bolos have manifested to the Americans who dared to travel far from their detachment.
The local citizenry proved helpful to the troops by supplying them with abundant ammunitions, and, acting as polistas they served as vigilants in spying for the approaching enemies. Tinio, a Tagalog was thus successful in welding together the cooperative spirit of the Ilocanos for patriotic cause. To achieve this goal, Tinio used persuasion and threat. He for instance, implored the local president of Bangui to in calculate the idea of patriotism to the principales and the barrio cabezas. He also circularized the crimes punishable by deaths and severe penalties. To traitors who kept friendly relations with the Americans, he sent letters warning them to repent or else be punished rigorously. Even Pedro Legazpi, a town presidente and a personal friend of Tinio received such a letter for showing damnable conduct. Tinio also kept an eye on his soldiers whom he ordered, under severe punishment, to refrain from opening communications with the enemies.
By midJune1900, Tinio exerted to establish arsenals in various points of his jurisdiction. To do this job in La Union, he assigned Joaquin Alejandrino whom him appointed as chief of the province on June 26,1900
General Tinio, believing that "firmness is one of the conditions necessary to obtain our coveted independence, carried on the fight. He would never surrender, As American deserter John Allane attested. He waited for the action until a new president was elected. When Allane surrender men and about 40 of them had arms.
On May 1, 1901, obeying Aguinaldo’s appeal, Tinio gave up with his 36 officers to General J. Franklin Bell. General Arthur MacArthur put importance to his surrender by releasing 1,000 Filipino soldiers held prisoner.
After more than 4 years of fighting, Tinio retired to Licab and engaged in farming. He acted as governor of Nueva Ecija since the election of Isauro Gabaldon to the first Philippine Assembly in 1907 and was elected to the same position on November 5 of the same year. He resigned from the governorship and on July 1, 1909, he was appointed by Governor General James F. Smith as the first director of the Bureau of Labor. On October17, 1913, he was appointed Director of Lands, the first Filipino to occupy the position which he held up to 1914.
As director of the Bureau of Labor, Tinio showed his ability as administrator and as excellent conciliator. Governor-General William Cameron Forbs commended his work in the improvement of the bad situation caused by srikes and "in the enlightenment of the people in regard to strikes and their effects."
After leaving the government service, Tinio toured Europe. Upon his return he entered politics and headed the Nationalista Party in Nueva Ecija. He died on 1924 February 22, 1924