Speech of Babaylan Tamblot at the beginning of a battle in the mountains of Bohol

Thursday September 15, 2016 ()

Babaylan Tamblot
(An artist concept of Babaylan Tamblot)

(From an exhortation of Babaylan Tamblot of an early uprising against government and church (Jesuit parish priests) abuses and exactions, at the beginning of a battle in the mountains of Bohol, January 2, 1622. The attacking forces were also Filipinos and of equal numbers, a thousand fighting men on either side, so the sixteen Spaniards with firearms were the deciding factor, but the effect of the rain was obviated by the Spaniards' allies holding their shields, like umbrellas, over the Spanish guns.)

We people of Bohol like to live free. Now that we see our chance, let us not lose it.

Speech of Babaylan Tamblot at the beginning of a battle in the mountains of Bohol

Of all Filipinos, we have the reputation, as well as of being the tallest and of the finest Filipino features, of being the stoutest hearted. Now the time has come to rid ourselves of the oppression of the Spaniards. Let us show our spirit and live up to our reputation.

The Gods of our fathers have provided us homes in these mountains and for all our needs. We are not dependent upon others. Food, yes and drink, too, are in the trees about us, and from the plants here our wives and daughters can weave clothes for our wear. Here happily we may pass our lives, freed from the burdens of paying tribute to the Spaniards and tithes to the church.

Our allies and friends will soon be coming to our support. Unfailing in courage, we have naught to fear. Who would not prefer death to the conditions of a Castilian conqueror?

See, rain is falling. Is not that evidence that the diwatas have not forgotten us? What could aid us more than this downpour which makes the firearms of our enemies useless? The battle is already half won.

All the archipelago is awaiting our action. If we win this day there is not a Bisayan who will not rebel. But if we lose those who desire to throw off the yoke of Spanish oppression must continue on under it, and we ourselves, whoever do not wisely choose rather to die fighting here, will have again to place our necks under that same yoke, harder than ever to bear.

Sources:

  1. Gems of Philippine oratory; selections representing fourteen centuries of Philippine thought, carefully compiled from credible sources in substitution for the pre-Spanish writings destroyed by missionary zeal, to supplement the later literature stunted by intolerant religious and political censorship, and as specimens of the untrammeled present-day utterances, by Austin Craig, page 19, University of Manila, 1924.

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