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Quezon holiday for local hero

/ 12:05 AM November 03, 2015

MALACAÑANG has declared Nov. 4 a special nonworking holiday in Quezon province to commemorate the death of local hero Apolinario de la Cruz, popularly known as “Hermano Pule.”

“It is but fitting and proper that the people of province of Quezon be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” Executive Secretary Paquito “Jojo” Ochoa said in Proclamation 1143 signed on Oct. 28.

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Gov. David Suarez called De la Cruz “our provincial hero who served as the catalyst of freedom in the country during the Spanish rule.” Local government and civic groups will conduct floral offerings at the foot of his monument in Tayabas City and Lucban, Quezon.

De la Cruz was born on July 22, 1815, in Lucban town. He had wished to become a priest but was discouraged by Spanish friars because he was a native or an “indio.”

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At 17, he founded the Cofradia de San Jose religious movement which 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.

On suspicion by the Spanish friars that the movement was a subversive group, De la Cruz and Cofradia members were forced to go underground.

On Nov. 1, 1841, Spanish soldiers attacked De la Cruz and his followers. He escaped but was eventually captured and executed on Nov. 4 in Tayabas.

To serve as warning to his followers, the Spanish soldiers cut his body into pieces while his head was placed in a cage and hung on a pole along the road.

According to historians, the heroism of De la Cruz 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. Delfin T. Mallari Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon

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