Philippine Revolutionary Army


Philippine Revolutionary Army
Ejército Revolucionario Filipino
Panghimagsikang Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas
Seal of the Philippine Army (1897).svg
Emblem, Ejército en la República de la Filipina (1897)
ActiveMarch 22, 1897–November 13, 1899
Country Philippines
RoleMilitary Force
Size80,000 to 100,000 (1898)[1]
Garrison/HQKawit, Cavite[citation needed]
Nickname(s)Republican Army[2][3]
ColorsBlue, Red, White, and Gold
AnniversariesMarch 22[citation needed]
EngagementsPhilippine Revolution
Spanish–American War
Philippine–American War
PresidentSu Excelencia
Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo
Commanding GeneralGen. Artemio Ricarte (1897–1899)
Gen. Antonio Luna (1899)
Gen. Simeón Ola
Gen. Manuel Tinio
Gen. Pío del Pilar
Gen. Mariano Noriel
Gen. Juan Cailles
Gen. Gregorio del Pilar
Gen. Miguel Malvar
Gen. Tomás Mascardo
Gen. José Alejandrino
Gen. Licerio Gerónimo
Col. Paco Román
Maj. Manuel Quezon
Marching Filipino soldiers during the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic in Malolos on January 23, 1899.

The Philippine Revolutionary Army later renamed Philippine Republican Army,[4] (Spanish: Ejército Revolucionario Filipino; Tagalog: Panghimagsikang Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas) was the official armed forces of the First Philippine Republic from its formation in March of 1899 to its disollution in November of that year in favor of guerilla operations in the Philippine–American War.


Regular soldiers of the Philippine Revolutionary Army stand at attention for an inspection.

The revolutionary army used the 1896 edition of the Spanish regular army's Ordenanza del Ejército to organize its forces and establish its character as a modern army.[5] Rules and regulations were laid down for the reorganization of the army, along with the regulation of ranks and the adoption of new fighting methods, new rank insignias, and a new standard uniform known as the rayadillo. Filipino artist Juan Luna is credited with this design.[6] Juan Luna also designed the collar insignia for the uniforms, distinguishing between the services: infantry, cavalry, artillery, sappers, and medics.[7][8][9] His brother, General Antonio Luna commissioned him with the task and personally paid for the new uniforms.[6] At least one researcher has postulated that Juan Luna may have patterned the tunic after the English Norfolk jacket, since the Filipino version is not a copy of any Spanish-pattern uniform.[10] Infantry officers wore blue pants with a black stripe down the side, while Cavalry officers wore red trousers with black stripes.[11][12] Soldiers and junior officers wore straw hats while senior officers often wore peaked caps.

Orders and circulars were issued covering matters such as building trenches and fortifications, equipping every male aged 15 to 50 with bows and arrows (as well as bolo knives, though officers wielded European swords), enticing Filipino soldiers in the Spanish army to defect, collecting empty cartridges for refilling, prohibiting unplanned sorties, inventories of captured arms and ammunition, fundraising, purchasing of arms and supplies abroad, unification of military commands, and exhorting the rich to give aid to the soldiers.[5]

Aguinaldo, a month after he declared Philippine independence, created a pay scale for officers in the army: Following the board, a brigadier general would receive 600 pesos annually, and a sergeant 72 pesos.

When the Philippine–American War erupted on February 4, 1899, the Filipino army suffered heavy losses on every sector. Even Antonio Luna urged Apolinario Mabini, Aguinaldo's chief adviser, to convince the President that guerrilla warfare must be announced as early as April 1899. Aguinaldo adopted guerilla tactics on November 13, 1899, dissolving what remained of the regular army and after many of his crack units were decimated in set-piece battles.[13]


The Filipinos were short on modern weapons. Most of its weapons were captured from the Spanish, were improvised or were traditional weapons. The service rifles of the nascent army were the Spanish M93 and the Spanish Remington Rolling Block rifle.[5] Moreover, while in Hong Kong, Emilio Aguinaldo purchased rifles from the Americans.[14] Two batches of 2,000 rifles each including ammunition were ordered and paid for. The first batch arrived while the second batch never did. In his letters to Galicano Apacible, Mariano Ponce also sought weapons from both domestic and international dealers in the Empire of Japan.[15] He was offered different breech-loading single-shot rifles since most nations were discarding them in favor of new smokeless bolt-action rifles. However, there was no mention of any purchase occurring. Another planned purchase was the Murata rifle from Japan but no record exists that it made its way into the hands of Filipino revolutionaries.

Crew-served weapons of the Philippine military included captured Spanish guns such as Krupp guns, Ordóñez guns, and Maxim-Nordenfelt multi-barreled guns. There were also improvised artillery weapons made of water pipes reinforced with bamboo or timber known as lantakas, which can only fire once or twice.[5]

Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the Supreme Commander of the Philippine Revolutionary Army.
Group showing General Manuel Tinio (seated, center), General Benito Natividad (seated, 2nd from right), Lt. Col. Jose Alejandrino (seated, 2nd from left), and their aides-de-camp.


Antonio Luna, notable Chief Commander of the Philippine Revolutionary Army.
Artemio Ricarte, the Commander of the Philippine Revolutionary Army.
General Gregorio del Pilar, and his troops around 1898.
Soldiers of the army stationed near the Barasoain church during a session of the congress.
Officers' and soldiers' uniforms, 1899–1902.

The evolution of Philippine revolutionary insignia can be divided into three basic periods; early Katipunan, late Katipunan and the Republican army.

Revolutionary Army ranks Tagalog Name Spanish Name Sleeve insignia Shoulder epaulette insignia
Minister Marshal Ministrong Mariskal Ministro Mariscal
PR Ministro Mariscal.svg
Captain General Kapitán Heneral Capitán General
PR General.svg
PR General SE.svg
Lieutenant General Tenyente Heneral Teniente General
PR Teniente General.svg
PR Teniente General SE.svg
Major General Heneral ng Dibisyon General de División
PR Mayor General.svg
PR General de Division SE.svg
Brigadier General Heneral ng Brigada General de Brigada
PR General de Brigada.svg
PR General de Brigada SE.svg
Colonel Koronel Coronel
PR Coronel.svg
PR Coronel SE.svg
Lieutenant Colonel Tenyente Koronel Teniente Coronel
PR Teniente Coronel.svg
PR Teniente Coronel SE.svg
Major Komandante Comandante
PR Mayor.svg
PR Comandante SE.svg
Captain Kapitán Capitán
PR Capitán.svg
PR Capitan SE.svg
Lieutenant Tenyente Teniente
PR Teniente.svg
PR Teniente SE.svg
Second lieutenant Alpéres

Ikalawang Tenyente


Segundo Teniente

PR Alferez SE.svg

Revolutionary Army enlisted ranks

Revolutionary Army ranks Tagalog Name Spanish Name Sleeve insignia
Sergeant Sarhento Sargento
PR Sargento.svg
Corporal Kabo Cabo
PR Cabo.svg
Private Sundalo Soldado
Recruit Rekluta Recluta

Branch colors

In 1898, the Philippine government prescribed branch colors twice:[citation needed]

Branch July 30, 1898 November 25, 1898
Infantry Black Deep Red
Artillery Red Green
Cavalry Green Black
Engineer Corps Violet Khaki
General Staff Blue Blue
Military Juridical Corps White White
Commissary and Quarter-master Corps Yellow
Medical Corps Red Cross Yellow
Military Administration Rayadillo
Pharmacists Yellow and Violet Piping
Secretary of War personnel Blue
Philippine Military Academy Blue
Chaplains Violet
Signal Corps Hemp

Recruitment and conscription

During the revolution against Spain, the Katipunan gave leaflets to the people to encourage them to join the revolution. Since the revolutionaries had become regular soldiers at the time of Emilio Aguinaldo, they started to recruit males and some females aged 15 and above as a form of national service. A few Spanish and Filipino enlisted personnel and officers of the Spanish Army and Spanish Navy defected to the Revolutionary Army, as well as a number of foreign individuals and American defectors who volunteered to join during the course of the revolution.

Conscription in the revolutionary army was in effect in the Philippines and military service was mandatory at that time by the order of Gen. Antonio Luna, the Chief Commander of the Army during the Philippine–American War.[16]

Philippine Revolutionary Navy

The Philippine Revolutionary Navy was established during the second phase of the Philippine Revolution when General Emilio Aguinaldo formed the Revolutionary Navy. On May 1, 1898, the first ship handed by Admiral George Dewey to the Revolutionary Navy is a small pinnace from the Reina Cristina of Admiral Patricio Montojo, which was named Magdalo.[17] The Navy was initially composed of a small fleet of eight Spanish steam launches captured from the Spaniards. The ships were refitted with 9-centimeter guns. The rich, namely Leon Apacible, Manuel Lopez and Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio, later donated five other vessels of greater tonnage, the Taaleño, the Balayan, the Bulusan, the Taal and the Purísima Concepción. The 900-ton inter-island tobacco steamer further reinforced the fleet, Compania de Filipinas (renamed as the navy flagship Filipinas), steam launches purchased from China and other watercraft donated by wealthy patriots.[17][18]

Naval stations were later established to serve as ships' home bases in the following:[18]

  • Ports of Aparri
  • Ports of Legaspi
  • Ports of Balayan
  • Ports of Calapan
  • Ports of San Roque, Cavite

On September 26, 1898, Aguinaldo appointed Captain Pascual Ledesma (a merchant ship captain) as Director of the Bureau of the Navy, assisted by Captain Angel Pabie (another merchant ship captain). After passing of the Malolos Constitution the Navy was transferred from the Ministry of Foreign Relations to the Department of War (thereafter known as the Department of War and the Navy) headed by Gen. Mariano Trías.[17][18]

As the tensions between Filipinos and Americans erupted in 1899 and a continued blockade on naval forces by the Americans, the Philippine naval forces started to be decimated.[17]

Flags and early banners of the revolution

General officers

During the existence of the Revolutionary Army, over 100 individuals were appointed to General Officer grades. For details, see the List of Filipino generals in the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine–American War article.

Other notable officers

Manuel L. Quezon, a former president of the Philippines, rose to the rank of Major in the Army.
Francisco "Paco" Román – Aide to Lieutenant General Antonio Luna.
  • General Águeda Kahabagan y Iniquinto - Commander of the Reserve Corps from April 6, 1899. The only female General in the roster.
  • Colonel Agapito Bonzón
  • Colonel Felipe Salvador – Commander of the Santa Iglesia faction.
  • Colonel Apolinar Vélez
  • Colonel Alejandro Avecilla
  • Colonel Francisco "Paco" Román – Aide to Lieutenant General Antonio Luna.
  • Colonel Manuel Bernal – Aide to Lieutenant General Antonio Luna.
  • Colonel Pablo Tecson – Leader, Battle of Quingua.
  • Colonel Alipio Tecson – Supreme Military Commander of Tarlac in 1900 and exiled to Guam.
  • Colonel Simón Tecson – Leader of Siege of Baler; signatory of the Biak-na-Bato Constitution.
  • Colonel Simeón Villa
  • Colonel Luciano San Miguel
  • Colonel José Tagle – Known for his role in the Battle of Imus.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Lázaro Macapagal – Commanding officer in-charge at the execution of Andrés and Procopio Bonifacio brothers.
  • Lieutenant Colonel José Torres Bugallón – Hero of the Battle of La Loma.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Regino Díaz Relova – Fought as one of the heads of columns under General Juan Cailles in the Laguna province.
  • Major Manuel Quezon – Aide to President Emilio Aguinaldo. Eventually succeeded him as the second president of the Philippines under the United States-sponsored Commonwealth.
  • Major Eugenio Daza – Area Commander Southeastern Samar and overall Commander and chief organizer of the Balangiga Encounter.
  • Major Juan Arce
  • Captain José Bernal – Aide to Lieutenant General Antonio Luna.
  • Captain Eduardo Rusca – Aide to Lieutenant General Antonio Luna.
  • Captain Pedro Janolino – Commanding Officer of the Kawit Battalion.
  • Captain Vicente Roa
  • Captain Serapio Narváez – Officer of the 4th Company, Morong Battalion.
  • Captain Cirilo Arenas- Captain of Maguagui (Naic), Cavite.
  • Lieutenant García – one of Gen. Luna's favorite sharpshooters of the Black Guard units.
  • Corporal Anastacio Félix – 4th Company, Morong Battalion the first Filipino casualty of the Philippine–American War.[19]

Notable officers and servicemen and their ethnic background

  • General Juan Cailles – Franco-Indian mestizo who led Filipino forces in Laguna[20]
  • General José Valesy Nazaraire – Spanish.[20]
  • Brigadier General José Ignacio Paua – Full-blooded Chinese general in the Army.[21]
  • Brigadier General B. Natividad – Brigade Acting Commander in Vigan under General Tinio.[22]
  • Colonel Manuel Sityar – Half-Spanish Director of Academía Militar de Malolos. A former captain in the Spanish colonial army who defected to the Filipino side.[23]
  • Colonel Sebastian de Castro – Spanish director of the military hospital at Malasiqui, Pangasinan.[20]
  • Colonel Dámaso Ybarra y Thomas – Spanish.[20]
  • Lieutenant Colonel Potenciano Andrade – Spanish.[20]
  • Estaquio Castellor – French mestizo who led a battalion of sharpshooters.[20]
  • Major Candido Reyes – Instructor at the Academía Militar de Malolos. Former sergeant in the Spanish Army.[24]
  • Major José Reyes – Instructor at the Academía Militar de Malolos. Former sergeant in the Spanish Army.[24]
  • Major José Torres Bugallón – Spanish officer who served under General Luna.[20]
  • Captain Antonio Costosa – Former officer in the Spanish Army.
  • Captain Tei Hara – Japanese officer who fought in the Philippine-American war with volunteer soldiers.[25]
  • Captain Chizuno Iwamoto – Japanese officer who served on Emilio Aguinaldo's staff.[25] Returned to Japan after Aguinaldo's capture.[25]
  • A Japanese national named Tobira ("Tomvilla" in American records) who was adjutant to General Licerio Geronimo.[26]
  • Captain David Fagen – An African-American Captain who served under Brigadier General Urbano Lacuna. A former Corporal in United States Army 24th Colored Regiment.[27][28][29]
  • Captain Francisco Espina – Spanish.[22]
  • Captain Estanislao de los Reyes – Spanish aide-de-camp to General Tinio.[22]
  • Captain Feliciano Ramoso – Spanish aide-de-camp to General Tinio.[22]
  • Captain Mariano Queri – Spanish officer who served under General Luna as an instructor in the Academía Militar de Malolos and later as the director-general of the staff of the war department.[20]
  • Captain Camillo Richairdi – Italian.[20]
  • Captain Telesforo Centeno – Spanish.[20]
  • Captain Arthur Howard – American deserter from the 1st California Volunteers.[29]
  • Captain Glen Morgan – American who organized insurgent forces in central Mindanao.[29]
  • Captain John Miller – American who organized insurgent forces in central Mindanao.[29]
  • Captain Russel – American deserter from the 10th Infantry.[29]
  • Lieutenant Danfort – American deserter from the 10th Infantry.[29]
  • Lieutenant Maximino Lazo – Spanish.[20]
  • Lieutenant Gabriel Badelly Méndez – Cuban.[20]
  • 2nd Lieutenant Segundo Paz – Spanish.[20]
  • Lieutenant Alejandro Quirulgico – Spanish.[22]
  • Lieutenant Rafael Madina – Spanish.[22]
  • Lieutenant Saburo Nakamori – Japanese.[30]
  • Lieutenant Arsenio Romero – Spanish.[22]
  • Private John Allane – United States Army.[31]
  • Private Harry Dennis – United States Army.[31]
  • Private William Hyer – United States Army.[32]
  • Private Meeks (given name not specified) – United States Army.[31]
  • Private George Raymond – 41st Infantry, United States Army.[citation needed]
  • Private Maurice Sibley – 16th Infantry, United States Army.[33]
  • Private John Wagner – United States Army.[31]
  • Private Edward Walpole – United States Army.[31]
  • Henry Richter – American deserter from the 9th Cavalry.[29]
  • Gorth Shores – American deserter from the 9th Cavalry.[29]
  • Fred Hunter – American deserter from the 9th Cavalry.[29]
  • William Denten – American deserter who joined General Lukban in Samar.[29]
  • Enrique Warren – American deserter who served under Francisco Makabulos in Tarlac.[29]
  • Frank Mekin - American deserter from the 37th Infantry who served as a lieutenant under General Juan Cailles.[34]
  • Earl Guenther - American deserter and canteen keeper from the 37th Infantry at the Paete garrison who served under General Juan Cailles.[35]
  • Antonio Prisco – Spanish.[20]
  • Manuel Alberto – Spanish.[20]
  • Eugenia Plona – Spanish aide-de-camp to Baldermo Aguinaldo.[20]
  • Alexander MacIntosh – English.[29]
  • William McAllister – English.[29]
  • Charles MacKinley – Englishman who served in Laoag.[29]
  • James O'Brian – English.[29]

See also


  1. ^ Deady 2005, p. 55 (page 3 of the PDF)
  2. ^ Brian McAllister Linn (2000). The U.S. Army and Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899–1902. UNC Press Books. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-8078-4948-4.
  3. ^ Jerry Keenan (2001). Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American & Philippine-American Wars. ABC-CLIO. pp. 202, 205, 207–209, 212, 250, 295, 306, 310, 454. ISBN 978-1-57607-093-2.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d "Philippine-American War, 1899–1902". Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Jose, Vivencio R. (1986). The Rise and Fall of Antonio Luna. Solar Publishing. p. 106.
  7. ^ "Uniformology II". Archived from the original on May 2, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2008.
  8. ^ Alejandrino, Jose (1949). The Price of Freedom.
  9. ^ Opiña, Rimaliza (November 14, 2004). "Military academy sheds West Point look". Sun.Star Baguio. Archived from the original on October 29, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2008.
  10. ^ Combs, William K. "Filipino Rayadillo Norfolk-pattern Tunic". Retrieved May 18, 2008.
  11. ^ "Filipino Rayadillo Norfolk Pattern Tunic". Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  12. ^ "Uniformology I". Retrieved May 20, 2008.
  13. ^ Linn 2000a, pp. 186–187
  14. ^ Agoncillo, Teodoro (1960). History of the Filipino People.
  15. ^ Ponce, Mariano. Cartas Sobre la Revolución.
  16. ^ Gregorio F. Zaide (1968). The Philippine Revolution. Modern Book Company. p. 279.
  17. ^ a b c d Zulueta, Joselito. "History of the Philippine Navy". Philippine Navy. Archived from the original on February 17, 2010. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  18. ^ a b c "THE PHILIPPINE NAVY" (PDF). De La Salle University-Manila (ROTC). Archived (PDF) from the original on September 14, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Tan 2002, p. 249.
  21. ^ Linn 2000b, p. 97.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g Tan 2002, p. 108.
  23. ^ Tan 2002, pp. 108, 249.
  24. ^ a b Halili 2004, p. 169.
  25. ^ a b c Ambeth R. Ocampo (July 3, 2015). "Japanese with a different face".
  26. ^ Report of the United States Philippine Commission to the Secretary of War for the period from December 1, 1900, to October 15, 1901
  27. ^ Bowers, Hammond & MacGarrigle 1997, p. 12.
  28. ^ Fantina 2006, p. 88.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Tan 2002, p. 250.
  30. ^ Consistency Is the Hobgoblin: Manuel L. Quezon and Japan, 1899–1934 by Grant K. Goodman, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Mar. 1983), p.79.
  31. ^ a b c d e Scott 1986, pp. 36–37
  32. ^ Scott 1986, pp. 36–37, 195
  33. ^ Hurley, Vic (June 14, 2011). Jungle Patrol, the Story of the Philippine Constabulary (1901–1936). Cerberus Books. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-9834756-2-0.
  34. ^ The Bamberg herald. June 27, 1901
  35. ^ San Francisco Call, Volume 87, Number 23, 23 June 1901


  • Bowers, William T.; Hammond, William M.; MacGarrigle, George L. (1997). Black Soldier, White Army: The 24th Infantry Regiment in Korea. DIANE Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7881-3990-1.
  • Deady, Timothy K. (Spring 2005). "Lessons from a Successful Counterinsurgency: The Philippines, 1899–1902" (PDF). Parameters. US Army War College. 35 (1): 53–68. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2009.
  • Fantina, Robert (2006). Desertion and the American Soldier, 1776–2006. Algora Publishing. ISBN 978-0-87586-453-2.
  • Halili, Christine N. (2004). Philippine History. Rex Bookstore, Inc. ISBN 978-971-23-3934-9.
  • Linn, Brian McAllister (2000a), The Philippine War, 1899–1902, University Press of Kansas, ISBN 978-0-7006-1225-3
  • Linn, Brian McAllister (2000b). The U.S. Army and Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899-1902. UNC Press Books. ISBN 978-0-8078-4948-4.
  • Scott, William Henry (1986). Ilocano responses to American aggression, 1900-1901. New Day Publishers. ISBN 978-971-10-0336-4.
  • Tan, Samuel K. (2002). The Filipino-American War, 1899-1913. University of the Philippines Press. ISBN 978-971-542-339-7.

In popular media

The Philippine revolutionary army has been mentioned in several books and films.



External links

  • Philippines Independence Armies: Insignia 1896 – 1902
  • "Artemio Ricarte". Archived from the original on August 9, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
  • Images of Filipino Republican Army rayadillo tunics