HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 45 no. 1 - 4 (1999)

Revisiting the Trail of thee Dios Buhawi Movement and its Impact on the Revolutionary Struggle in Southern Negros Oriental (1888-1898)

Earl Jude Paul L. Cleope

Discipline: History



There is a need to look at the Revolution from multiple discourses and textualities, especially by doing more studies on class distinctions and regional, provincial, and local variations. This is because New Historicism further enlarges the scope of possibilities offered to the historian. The Revolution is the product of many circumstances, conditions, peoples and personalities involving their actions and motivations, discourses and, finally, the unintended consequences of intended actions. Even though every perspective can have something to contribute, it is not beyond them to recreate a rich landscape and kaleidoscope of the historical fact.


This study is a modest attempt to deviate from the traditional and common practice of Cognitive History towards the call of modern historians to view history from the perspective of New Historicism. That is, to avoid simplistic explanations of historical facts but try to take new ways in seeing things. In this sense, the writer will try to think of things that have not been thought of in trying to look at familiar facts from the unfamiliar point-of-view. With this in mind, the paper will delve into the so-called 'insignificant rebellion' prior to the Revolution in 1896 that culminated in 1898. Moreover, most histories written about Negros focus only on the Occidental side which, to a point, is one sided in the whole context of the Revolution.


This paper briefly presents the rebellion in southern Negros Oriental, spearheaded by Dios Buhawi, which was a precursor to the struggle of Leon Kilat in Cebu; Papa Isio in Negros Accidental; and the eventual march of Felipe Tayko to Dumaguete to join Gen. de la Viña in the ultimate liberation of Negros Oriental. Relevant sources of information will be taken from the unpublished Cebuano manuscript of Juan Gadiane, the anthropological study made by Donn Hart from 1950 to 1972 and other sources.


In consonance with the theme of the seminar, the paper will try to elucidate the assumption contrary to the popular notion that these so-called remontados, bandidos, and tulisanes were plain bandits and robbers, hence their activities were unimportant to the revolutionary struggle. The impact of Buhawi's movement to the whole gamut of the revolutionary activities in the island as well as in Cebu did, in fact, offer consequential contributions. Further, the paper will explore the involvement of Felipe Tayko in the final phase of the liberation of the southern towns. Eventually, the paper will corroborate the published works of Cullamar, Ochosa, and the study of Modesto Sa-onoy about the exploits of Papa Isio in Negros Occidental.