Recruitment and Beginnings
Arrival from Manila
The First Martyrs
Amulets and Anting-anting
April 3, Palm Sunday
Massing of Forces
First Encounter
Revolutionaries Gain Ground
The Retreat Begins
Betrayal and Death
Regrouping in the Mountains
Final Victory
The Author

The Retreat Begins
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THREE days after katipuneros drove the Spaniards to Fort San Pedro, the former still wanted to storm it. The Spanish occupation of a portion of Cebu made them uneasy. But the problem was how to get inside. And there was no way to get there except by scaling the walls, which meant they had to have ladders.

Moreover, they had to face the bullets of the fort's defenders, which did not look too inviting to the revolutionaries. They knew a lot of lives would be wasted. No one, except Leon Kilat, appeared willing to risk his life this way.

In the meantime, unknown to revolutionaries, the arrival of steamer Venus brought some good news to the beleaguered Gen. Montero. The Spaniards in Iloilo had sent a message to Manila asking for reinforcements for Cebu, offering some bright hope for their salvation.

But by Wednesday, April 6, their supplies inside the fort were dwindling rapidly. Montero tried to remedy the situation by sending some soldiers to Lutao to secure food. But they were seen by katipuneros who were only too eager to gun them down. So they beat a hasty retreat to the fort.

In other places, the success of the revolt in the city and San Nicolas prodded on residents in other towns to take up arms also. In Carcar that Tuesday, April 5, shouts of "Viva Katipunan!" and "Viva Filipinas!" were heard in Valladolid.

The Carcar uprising was led by the Enriquez brothers (Severino, Nicanor and Jaime) and the Regis brothers (Magno and Eliseo). One of their trusted man was Apolinario Alcuitas who was later to go down in history as a traitor to the revolutionary cause.

The Carcar group swelled as it marched up to the tribunal and the Catholic convent. There they looked for the priests and were able to capture three Agustianians, while two others escaped. A few guardia civil defending the tribunal in were killed and their rifles seized.

A group subsequently went to Sibonga where they captured the parish priest Fray Emiliano Diez who had escaped from Carcar. The group was led by Jaime Enriquez and Antonio Miņoza.

Miņoza went farther to Argao 18 kilometrs away with another group. The parish priest Fr. Antolin Frias was nowhere to be found. Some of the guardia civil surrendered, while others joined the katipunan.

In Barili, the most important town in the western coast of Cebu, the pro-Spanish officials fled to Cebu city by sailboat. One of the prisoners there, Aguedo Batobalonos, broke out of his cell and freed other prisoners. Then they burned documents of the court and the treasury. The guardia civil also surrendered. By Wednesday, Batobalonos had a few hundred followers. By Thursday, they were joined by the KKK from Dumanjug led by Nicolas Godines and Saturnino Echavez.

In Opon and Cordova, katipuneros led by Pascual Tuada and Pio Lopez also took up arms against the Spaniards. The guardia civiles detailed in Opon could not be found, while the priest also fled to the fort.

But the priest of Cordoba, Fray Jose Baztan, could not escape the angry residents there. Earlier, he had aroused their anger by requiring them to carry massive rocks for building and lashed them if they did not follow his orders. He was captured by the revolutionaries and executed at the town plaza on April 4, 1898.

In Mabolo, Mandaue and Consolacion, residents also took up arms after the learned of the successful April 3 uprising. They were led by Francisco Llamas, Luis Abellar and Mariano Hernandez. In Mandaue, the guardia civil and priest also fled. The same was true in Consolacion. The priest Fray Agustin Martel had beaten them to the draw.

The tide turns

By early morning Thursday, April 7, unknown to katipuneros, the cruiser Don Juan Austria chartered merchant steamer Churruca arrived from Manila. Aboard were loyalist troops commanded by Gen. Celestino Fernandez Tejeiro. These were seasoned veterans.

Much as the katipuneros tried to prevent them from landing on the beach at the northeastern end of M.C. Briones st., they appeared helpess. Immediately, the mood at the fort changed. Their morale was boosted. There was shouting and rejoicing among the fort's occupants.

Then the two generals Montero and Fernandez sat down to plan a counterattack. All non-combatants (the Spaniards, mestizos, pro-Spanish Flipinos) were to stay inside fort. Then three groups would be deployed by the soldiers. Others were to remain to guard fort.

The gun boat Paragua and Don Juan Austria took positions at sea between Kawit island and barrio Pasil of San Nicolas. To the shock of San Nicolas parishioners, the two boats started bombarding huts in San Nicolas, resulting in the panic of many residents.

After a few hours, the gunboats changed targets. They began hitting Lutao, Carbon, Ermita, areas facing the sea, putting these places in flames. Katipuneros had in the meantime retreated. But the boats avoided hitting the Recoleto barracks, apparently acting on instructions from Recollect priests holed in at the fort.

The Parian residences of the Chinese and and a few Spanish mestizos were also burned down by loyalist soldiers. They were mad because some of them gave assistance to the katipunan.


Sensing that they were up against a better-armed enemy, the katipuneros started a retreat, with a lot of them finally looking for refuge in the mountains of Cebu. They abandoned their positions in the city. Those from Lutao joined the large group from Recolletos and took positions beyond the Forbes bridge. The cruiser would later drive them off by massive bombardment, leaving behind a good number of casualties.

Those at Parian and Tinago retreated towards Puente de la Revolucion at the southern end of Colon st. Here they tried to hold their ground. In the early afternoon of Thursday, the counter-attacking Spaniards renewed their attacks against the two groups, inflicting a large number of casualties on the latter. The bolos and massed attacks now proved to be ineffectual. So were the amulets given by Leon Kilat.

The massive attacks forced the Katipunan forces to disperse outside the city. A group led by Leon Kilat proceeded to Kabkab (Carcar), thinking that because there was a group there, they would not starve. Kabkab was also far from the sea, thus, making it difficult for the ships to bombard them. Little did Kilat suspect that his retreat would end tragically.

With him in Kabkab were Andres Abellana, Gervacio Padilla, Luciano Bacayo and Nicanor Enriquez. They were tired and sad due to the deaths of their relatives. Many of them were wounded.

The others, like Luis Flores and Candido Padilla, found sanctuary in other towns. Some went to the mountains of Sudlon, while others fled as far as Negros and Camotes island, thinking that the hand of the Spaniards would not reach them any longer.