The Maniago Revolt 1660
Maniago Revolt led by Don Francisco Maniago, initially caused by natives’ protest against the polo and bandala (“polo” was forced labour and “bandala” was tribute in the form of food stuff. bandala was the Kapampangan word for food basket.) , later became a struggle to free the natives from Spanish rule. The rebels were weakened by Gov. de Lara’s cooperation of Arayat chief Macapagal.
The Maniago Revolt was an uprising in Pampanga during the 1660s. It was a revolt against the Spanish during the colonial period and was named after its leader, Francisco Maniago. During that time, Pampanga drew most of the attention from the religious group because of its relative wealth. They also bore the burden of more tribute, forced labor, and rice exploitation. They were made to work for eight months under unfair conditions and were not paid for their labor and for the rice purchased from them. Their patience was put to the limit and they signified their intention to revolt by setting their campsite on fire. The fight soon began and because the Spaniards were busy fighting against the Dutch, they were badly depleted by the Kapampangans. Maniago was very clever and was able to make his fellows believe in the idea of attaining freedom if they revolt. He succeeded not only in the attempt of having his natives believe in his propaganda but also the Pangasineses, Cagayanons and the Ilocanos. But sometimes, Maniago lied and exaggerated his claims. He once told his followers that a group of Pamapangos entered Manila and killed all the Spaniards there. However, he was very confident that he can actually persuade the chieftains of each town in Pampanga to kill the Spaniards and free the province from them. Although their motives were already executed, a Spanish governor named Manrique de Lara was able to neutralize the rebellion by using the “divide and rule” trick. He began with a “show of force” directed at Macabebe, one of the more affluent towns in the province at that time. The Macabebe was intimidated and became friendly towards the Spaniards, who responded in the same way. This strategy was also done to other towns in the province and in the end, Maniago and his followers did not have a choice but to agree in making peace with Governor de Lara. The Governor also tricked Maniago into leaving Manila with a bribe of being appointed as a master of camp in the Pampango regiment in the city. Maniago was never heard from again and according to one account, he was shot months later in Mexico, Pampanga. The Maniago revolt was the start of a much bigger and even bloodier revolt in Pangasinan. This battle was led by a man named Andres Malong who had heeded the call of Maniago to revolt against the Spaniards.