Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1828 Tagalog tulisan 
Subjecttulisan bandit
Culture: Tagalog 
Setting: banditry, Spanish & American wars, Cavite mid-late 1800s

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Warren 2002 p121-122 
"One of the most obvious results of the incessant slave raiding was the destabilizing effects of local migration and the advent of floating populations dispersed and motivated by fear.  The perennial fear of Iranun and Balangingi slave raids and the need for adequate food and shelter forced terrified Filipinos to abandon their villages and the sea.  Throughout this period (1790-1838), large and small scattered groups were constantly on the move seeking  resettlement opportunities.  They often remained within their province, flocking to larger municipal centers or moving well inland out of reach of the Iranun.  Some never settled down again, instead jointing the ranks of the remontados, or tulisanes beyond the pale of Spanish authorities."

* Freeman 1905 online p235-236
"Brigandage first came into prominence in Governor Arandia's time (1754–59), and he used the means of 'setting a thief to catch a thief,' which answered well for a short time, until the crime became more and more habitual as provincial property increased in value and capital was accumulated there. In 1888 the Budget provided an allowance of 2,000 pesos for rewards for the capture or slaughter of these ruffians. Up to the end of Spanish rule, brigandage, pillage, and murder were treated with such leniency by the judges that there was little hope for the extinction of such crimes. When a band of thieves and assassins attacked a village or a residence, murdered its inhabitants, and carried off booty, the Civil Guard at once scoured the country, and often the malefactors were arrested. The Civil Guard was an excellent institution, and performed its duty admirably well; but as soon as the villains were handed over to the legal functionaries, society lost hope. Instead of the convicted criminals being garroted according to law, as the public had a right to demand, they were 'protected'; some were let loose on the world again, whilst others were sent to prison and allowed to escape, or they were transported to a penal settlement to work without fetters, where they were just as comfortable as if they were working for a private employer. ...
    "The Philippine brigand—known in the northern islands as Tulisán and in the southern islands as Pulaján—is not merely an outlaw, such as may yet be found in Southern and Eastern Europe; his infamous work of freebooting is never done to his satisfaction without the complement of bloodshed, even though his victim yield to him all without demur. Booty or no booty, blood must flow, if he be the ordinary Tulisán of the type known to the Tagálogs as dugong-aso (blood of a dog) as distinguished from the milder Tulisán pulpul (literally, the blunt brigand), who robs, uses no unnecessary violence, but runs away if he can, and only fights when he must." 

* Bankoff 1996 p62-64
"Banditry in Cavite was related to the expansion of the estates owned by religious orders during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  The total amount of land held by these orders grew nearly 16 percent on average, while the area of certain haciendas increased by as much as 38 percent over this period.  Much of this expansion was at the expense of peasant cultivators.  Many families lost their customary right to forage and pasture on communal lands converted to private ownership through enclosure or outright usurpation.  Others were forced to pay rent on lands newly cleared and cultivated by farmers unaware of the proprietary claims of neighboring estates.  Those who were already tenants often experienced a marked deterioration in the terms of their contracts.  For whatever reason, many peasants felt aggrieved, cheated out of lands whose use they regarded as communal or whose produce had traditionally belonged to the cultivator.
    "As early as the 1820s, the intensity of banditry in Cavite can be directly related to changes in sharecropping agreements.  Tenants who were forced to pay a fixed rent irrespective of yield rather than a percentage of the harvest turned to banditry around Imus between 1822 and 1828."

* McCoy ed. 1994 p116 (John Sidel, "Walking in the shadow of the Big Man: Justiniano Montano and failed dynasty building in Cavite, 1935-1972" p109-161)
"[...] Spanish rule over Cavite ... spawned a tradition of predatory and 'criminal' activities, such that by the end of the nineteenth century the province was known as La madre de los ladrones, the 'mother of thieves.'  As the monastic orders -- spurred by the opening of Philippine ports to international trade in the early 1800s -- expanded their landholdings, intensified sugar cultivation, and supervised the erection of new towns in Cavite, the growth of Spanish 'rule by law' expanded the province's 'outlaw' sphere.  Preying on the wealthy inquilino families in the lowland towns, rustling cattle in the upland pastures, and kidnapping sugar merchants en route to Manila, Cavite's bandits fled via various river networks to the coast or hid in the dense forests covering the Tagaytay Ridge that rose two thousand feet above sea level along the southern border of the province.
    "Significantly, many of these outlaw elements operated in connivance with the local law-enforcement agencies of the colonial state, establishing the close connection between crime and politics that would endure in Cavite for years to come.  Cattle-rustling gangs typically consisted of disgruntled former cuadrilleros (town policemen) or cabezas de barangay in cahoots with local officials, who facilitated the approval or forgery of documents required for the sale of livestock.  Regular elections for the positions of cabeza de barangay and gobernadorcillo created a 'revolving door' of sorts, as the newly chosen town executives filled the ranks of the cuadrilleros with their clients.  Those discharged often switched from duties as pulisya to escapades as tulisanes (bandits).  In exceptional cases, banditry even proved an effective means of upward mobility within the ranks of the establishment: the famous tulisan Luis Parang was named capitan de cuadrilleros of Imus soon after his 1828 surrender and won election as the town's gobernadorcillo in 1834.  Similarly, the legendary Casimiro Camerino, whose gang of more than fifty men long operated out of the forests of Dasmarinas, was granted amnesty in 1869 and integrated into the provincial militia as a colonel and head of the Compania de Guias de la Provincia de Cavite."


* Rodell 2002 p115
"By the mid-eighteenth century, Christian Filipinos had taken to trousers that reached slightly below the knee and wore loose shirts of short sleeves called the baro, which over time became decorated with embroidery.  Other than the native hat, the salakot, there were very few other clothing items, and male clothing styles did not change markedly for a long period."


* Stone 1934 p125
"BOLO.  A general name in the Philippines for a sword or long knife.  As used it is nearly equivalent to the Malay word parang, a chopper or jungle knife."


* Ileto 1979 p22-23
"One method -- which has many variations -- of obtaining anting-anting was to exhume the body of an unchristened child, or an aborted fetus, placing this inside a bamboo tube pierced at the bottom.  The liquid that slowly oozed out was collected in a bottle and saved for Holy Week, during which time it was sipped by an aspirant until Good Friday.  Initiation rites were held on Holy Saturday or Easter Sunday to test the anting-anting powers of the individual.  A different way of obtaining anting-anting, this time in the form of an object, was to go to the cemetery on midnight of Holy Wednesday or Thursday and place bowls of food, a glass of wine and two lighted candles on a tomb.  Before the candles burned out, the food and drink would have been consumed by spirits who would leave a white stone in one of the empty vessels.  A struggle for possession of this anting-anting would then ensue between the aspirant and earth-spirit called lamang lupa.  Only extraordinarily brave or daring men used this method; these were the ones, it is said, who usually became rebel or bandit chiefs.  The more common, and less risky, way of obtaining anting-anting was simply [SIC] to get hold of objects used in or associated with Holy Week rituals.  The immense Lenten candle called cirio pascual, the candles used in the ceremony of total darkness (particularly the last one to be extinguished), the monstrance, the communion table, and even the bell that rang at 3:00 p.m. on Good Friday, were broken into fragments to serve as anting-anting.  In some towns, pieces of paper inscribed with magical incantations were immersed in holy water on Easter Sunday and thereby became anting-anting."