Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1901 Ilocano guerrilla

Subject: guerrilla / partisan
Culture: Ilocano Filipino
Setting: Spanish/American wars, Philippines 1890s-1910s

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

* Linn 1989 p30
"The Spanish considered the Ilocano provinces among the most loyal, and, with the exception of a few ilustrados such as Antonio Luna, there is little evidence of a strong independence movement in the north prior to 1898.  During the Revolt of 1896, the Ilocanos appear to have accepted Spanish claims that this was a Tagalog insurrection, for they sent troops and supplies to aid in the fight against the Katipuneros.  Despite this fidelity, Spanish officials and friars used the southern disturbances to conduct a purge of the region, arresting and torturing suspected radicals.  Perhaps as a reaction to Spanish terrorism, in March 1898, Isobel Abaya, a native of Candon, Ilocos Sur, attacked the constabulary quarters and executed a Spanish priest and two friars.  When this failed to generate sufficient popular support, he fled to the mountains and recruited a band of Igorrotes in Bontoc.  Shortly after Abaya's abortive revolt, the destruction of the Spanish fleet and the siege of Manila rendered the Spanish position in norther Luzon untenable.  In early August one of Aguinaldo's trusted subordinates, twenty-two-year-old Brig. Gen. Manuel Tinio, brought a strong force up from his native province of Nueva Ecija and captured the port city of San Fernando de La Union.  Despite his youth, Tinio was a veteran revolutionary who had fought in the Revolt of 1896 and had gone into exile with Aguinaldo.  Joined by much of the population, he brushed aside faltering Spanish resistance and placed the Ilocano provinces under the Philippine Republic."

* Linn 1989 p17
"Militarily, Luzon was divided into geographical districts and then subdivided into provincial and zone commands. Although Tagalogs dominated the upper revolutionary leadership, combat units were usually raised locally and led by officers form the provincial elites. In most areas these forces were loosely divided into partisans, or full-time guerrillas, and militia. The partisans were often survivors of earlier Republican or provincial regular forces and operated within a zone, usually in one or two small fifty-man bands, having their base camps in isolated barrios (hamlets or small villages considered part of a town or municipal jurisdiction) or mountain retreats. It was their job to cut telegraph lines, ambush U.S. Army convoys, and attack towns that had accepted American civil government. The militia operated as part-time guerrillas and otherwise continued their normal civilian pursuits in their native towns. They grew food for the partisans, provided information, and manned the numerous outposts that informed the regulars of any U.S. Army maneuvers. Although poorly armed and disciplined, the militia had more than enough strength to intimidate their fellow villagers into paying taxes and keeping silent. The distinction between the two forces was at best a hazy one, made more unclear by the fact that the militia often provided recruits for partisan units. Neither organization wore uniforms and both often lived in the same villages, posing as harmless peasants and 'amigos.' There was a great deal of merging back and forth: militia in an area which the U.S. Army was inactive could become full-time guerrillas, and conversely the partisans would abandon operations and assume civilian identities for months in the face of Army pressure. Exasperated Americans echoed the words of Capt. Delphey T.E. Casteel: 'One day we may be fighting with thousands of their people [and] the next day you can't find an enemy, they are all "amigos." They have hidden their rifles and may be working for you, for all you know.'"


* San Beda Alabang Museum
"ILOCANO SOLDIER, GEN. TINIO'S BRIGADE  1899-1902  Ilocano soldiers during the Philippine Revolution fought fiercely & tied up almost 10,000 US troops and hundred[s] of Macabebes inflicting heavy casualty to the enemy in terms of dead & wounded.  They were under the youngest Filipino general, Gen. Manuel Tinio at the age of 21 (younger than Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar at the age ofm [SIC] 24).  These soldiers was proud [SIC] to wore [SIC] the Filipino distinct & unique head gear, the Salakot made from dried 'Upo' (gourd) with a red sweat band underneath the hat.  They also used to wore [SIC] white shirt & trousers, the Ilocano checkered blanket, a haversack bag to store food, a captured Spanish Remington or Mauser webbing, water canteen made of dried 'Upo' & armed with a biolo [SIC] knife & captured rifles.  They were barefoot to facilitate speed during battles."


* Fryer 1969 p85
​"Bolo  A Philippine short sword or long knife with fairly wide single-edged blade."