Local hero remembered in Quezon ceremony
LUCENA CITY, Philippines—Quezon Gov. David Suarez called on his province mates to emulate the patriotism of local revolutionary hero Apolinario de la Cruz, popularly known as “Hermano Pule,” and to join hands with the government in uplifting the lives of Filipinos.
“May we all have a little Hermano Pule in our lives. Let us all share and participate in government efforts to bring progress and development,” Suarez said in a ceremony celebrating Pule’s 173th death anniversary despite the heavy rain on Tuesday in Tayabas City.
He called Pule “our provincial hero who served as the catalyst of freedom in the country during the Spanish rule.”
Suarez and Col. Noelito Albano, deputy commander of the military’s Southern Luzon Command, led local officials and employees, members of nongovernment organizations, policemen and soldiers in a floral offering at the hero’s monument on a grassy junction of Maharlika Highway in Barangay Isabang.
Pule was born on July 22, 1815, in Lucban town in Quezon province. He had wished to become a priest but was discouraged by Spanish friars because he was a native, or an “indio.”
At 17, he founded the Cofradia de San Jose religious movement that attracted followers in Tayabas; the provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Cavite, Tondo in Manila, and some parts of the Bicol region. Membership reached around 5,000, according to historical records.
Pule tried to seek recognition for his organization from Spanish Church leaders, but Cofradia’s pure Filipino-only membership led authorities to suspect that it was a subversive group disguised as a religious society. Cofradia was forced to go underground.
Suarez said every Quezonian should be proud that the fight for freedom against the Spanish regime started in Quezon through the heroism of Pule and members of Cofradia de San Jose.
Pule’s heroism inspired three Filipino priests—Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora—whose martyrdom provoked the people to rise against the tyranny of Spanish rule and fight for freedom.
Pule killed Spanish commander Joaquin Ortega, the first fatality among Spanish officials, in a battle on Oct. 23, 1841, according to Gilbert Camaligan, chair of Hermano Pule Memorial Committee.
Ortega’s death infuriated Spain, which sent a large force of Spanish troops to get Pule, Camaligan said, citing historical research.
The revolutionary was eventually captured and killed. His body was cut into pieces and his head was placed in a cage, that was hung on a pole along the road leading to Majayjay town in Laguna.
Camaligan called on the Filipino youth to follow the valor and bravery of the hero.
Malacañang has declared Nov. 4 a special nonworking holiday in Quezon. The provincial government is already preparing for the 200th birth anniversary of the hero next year, Suarez said.