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Dagohoy, The Celebrated Hero Of Bohol

          In 1596 Christian faith came to Bohol when two Jesuit priests arrived from Cebu and established themselves in the village of Baclayon, Bohol and started their mission of converting natives to Christian faith. With their success in Baclayon they extended their missionary work to other villages and places in Bohol. More Jesuit priests arrived to help until they were expelled in 1767. It was not known why they were expelled, but it was believed that their abuses and injustices done to the natives hindered the progress of the social condition on the island. The maltreatment of the natives by the Spaniards bred discontent and dissatisfaction among the converts which led the natives to flee to the mountains to join the crusade for freedom and revolted against the Spaniards. The first revolt was staged by a native priest, Tamblot, but it lasted only for six months.

          In 1744, it was in Inabanga that the Dagohoy rebellion started. The war for freedom of the Boholanos started in Inabanga because of injustice done to a loyal native by a foreign friar. The immediate cause was the refusal of the Jesuit father Morales to give a Christian burial to Sagarino, the Jesuit curate's constable who was killed while obeying a lawful order ot the priest. Sagarino was Dagohoy's elder brother. Angered by the injustice done to his brother by Father Morales, Dagohoy persuaded the natives to join him in a crusade for freedom. Several thousand natives followed Dagohoy. They abandoned their homes and plundered the estates of the Jesuits. Dagohoy became the revolutionary leader together with Ignacio Aranez, Pedro Baguio and Bernardo Sanote. Dagohoy proclaimed the Republic of Bohol on the mountains of Inabanga and Talibon now Cayelagan in 1744.

          At the height of Dagohoy's revolutionary exploits, the Spaniards sent expeditionary forces to Bohol to suppress Dagohoy's military build-up but they found out that he was a master of guerilla warfare. The Spaniards were defeated in every encounter. At the initial skirmishes the Spaniards won because of superiority in arms and they garrisoned in the towns of Loboc, Jagna, Talibon and Dauis. But in subsequent encounters the Spaniards suffered heavy casualties from the men of Dagohoy who mastered the terrain of the island. The rebel forces won battles after battles and the Spaniards were driven out of the island.

          It was believed that Dagohoy possesed some supernatural powers, an amulet, "anting-anting" or "dagon", a charm which protected him from being harmed by his enemies. It was said that the hero possesed the charm of "hoyohoy", a gentle wind which enabled him to jump from one hill to another, from one side of a river to the other side. Because of his power, the people called him "tawo nga may pako", a man with wings and another power where he could see in darkness even inside caves. He was also referred to as "ang tawo nga nakadagon sa hoyohoy", a man who possesses the charm of magical power from the gods of the gentle winds. This charm gives him the power to vanish and reappears as he wishes. In a different version of the same episode, it was said that Dagohoy's bodily scent could be sensed through the airwaves but could not be seen. Dagohoy's real name was Francisco Sendrijas, a native of Inabanga, Bohol. Because of his charm from the gentle wind the natives called him "Dagohoy" from the coined Bisayan words "Dagon sa Hoyohoy". Today, the Dagohoy surname is very rare in Bohol. The hero's kins are carrying the original surname of Sendrijas. However, if there are persons today carrying the Dagohoy surname, it is not by any means related to the Sendrija's family.

          Dagohoy's revolutionary exploits in Bohol was not only felt in the Visayas but throughout the length and breathe of the archipelago. Boholanos enjoyed political freedom 85 years under Dagohoy's leadership. Bohol independence started in 1744 and suppressed in 1829 after his death and the command was under the leadership of his son Handog and his brother Iwag who both committed suicide when their headquarters was crushed and destroyed by the Spanish forces.

Significant Historical Developments

          Historical Setting                                Muslim Raids On Bohol Coastal Towns
          Sikatuna, The Bohol Chieftain              Dagohoy, The Celebrated Hero Of Bohol
How Bohol Got Its Name                     Bohol Participation in the Philippine Revolution
Christianization of the Natives              Lonoy, Jagna Massacre

Bits of World War II History

          April 1942 Bombing of Jetafe                The Moalong and Ubujan Ambushcades
          June 1943 Japanese Kempatai             The Bohol Liberation
          Underground Movement                       How Bohol was Liberated

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