The Philippine Empire: Revolutionary War 1823-1826 (Revised)

Note: This was a major revision of the old one since by that point, it was realized that the TL itself had become too idealistic. The threadmarks of this new thread shall be sourced from my test thread.
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Prelude to 1823
Its the early 19th century, and Spain had nearly of its empire vanished into oblivion due to the Peninsular War, the staggering debts to Britain and economic ruin. Even at home, widespread unrest is common in every aspect of Spanish society, particularly in the army that culminated in Trienio Liberal, a short lived period of liberal and popular rule from 1820 to 1823. Spain sought to reconquer parts of its empire following their break from Spanish yoke while it suppresses any form of liberalism in its entirety.

In one of its colonies, and perhaps the most farthest, the Philippines, numerous insulars and some principalia had been influenced by Enlightenment ideals as well as the concept of democracy that first spread through the American and French revolutions. They sought to reform the whole of Philippine society: land reform, secularization, male suffrage, freedom of the press and free enterprise, as defined by the Cadiz Constitution of 1812. These individuals were led by Luis Rodriguez de Varela, who was a prominent insular in the Philippines that supports reforms in the government. He established the Sons of the Country in 1798, which was composed of the enlightened individuals of Philippine society.

Like the entirety of the Spanish empire outside of mainland Spain, the Philippines (part of New Spain), they were on the side of the ousted king Ferdinand VII, and this support further intensified with the passage of the said constitution. However, things would change for the worst.

In Spain itself, Ferdinand abolished the constitution, and his supporters, mainly liberals soon found themselves in a situation where they were excluded and persecuted in the recently restored, conservative society and government. They were opposed to the constitution's abrogation, and the new American states were cautious of abandoning their independence, and an alliance between local elites, merchant interests, nationalists rose up against the Spanish in the New World.

The Philippines at this point was controlled by the loyalists and conservatives who were opposed at such point to introduce reforms since it would erode their influence and power across society and the government. It was managed by the loyalist governor-general, Mariano Fernandez de Folgueras, which introduced many changes such as the spreading the vaccine, which was introduced by his predecessor Aguilar. He also established the Nautical School of Manila[1], as well as the first Manila newspaper, El Aviso al público in 1806. He also strengthened and fortified coastal towns against a possible English invasion. However in his second term, bowing to absolutist policy pressure had increased, also taxations were at all time high against foreigners, which caused many of them to left despite facilitating free trade. He retired for the second time and the position went to Juan Antonio Martinez, which with him brought many Peninsulars in Folgueras's counsel.

Martinez, which was more aligned to loyalists and conservatives, took the absolutist policy to the next level. He started to implement the policy of deporting liberals and those who were accused of conspiring against the government, as well as replacing military officers, which were mostly Insular, with Peninsulars which caused widespread disgruntlement among the former, like Varela who along with his co-founder Jose Ortega was expelled on February 18, 1823. Their deportations led to Domingo Roxas, a young intellectual to inherit the leadership of the organization.

The disgust, disgruntlement and distrust continues to increase between the two sides as days passes...

[1] - Renamed the Philippine Merchant Academy, in OTL
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Preparations for Revolution
Even before 1823, radical members of the Sons have been preparing for an armed revolution. As late as the month of September 1822, they began recruiting either peasants, or middle-class men who were suffering from the hard labor that the Spanish had implemented in place, they also began crafting bamboo spears, bows, and locally made knives such as balisongs and bolos. Blacksmiths who were members of the Sons began making bronze lantakas with copper and tin either imported or bought from the highlanders whose their lands had plenty of minerals such as the 2 mentioned. Rich patrons of the Sons bought ammunition and guns from Chinese smugglers.

By January of 1823, the Sons had at least 70,000 members in Luzon, and fewer than 8,000 in Visayas and Mindanao. Out of 70,000 members of the Sons in Luzon alone, about 40,000 of them were irregular Indios, while at least 4,000 of them were soldiers of the Spanish army, mostly of Latin American origin. Principalias who were persecuted for supporting liberal ideals also joined the Sons, and most of them were gobernadorcillos. A group of pagan Aetas and Dumagats also joined the Sons as voluntary raiders for pro-Spanish settlements.

They also began designating leaders and assigning the number of troops in the provinces of Central Luzon, the first region they would liberate from Spanish yoke. After the deportations of Varela and Ortega, the notion that the feud between the Sons and the Spanish colonial government would be solved became obsolete, and thus, the choice of a armed revolution became popular among them.
Panitan mutiny
The mutiny was led by a certain Diego Uban[*], a captain of the provincial militia of Cavite.

Uban was a local who had a long history of their community being raided by bandits at the interior, as well as being raided by bandits incoming from the mountains. Thus, he entered the militia as only an irregular of the Maragondon chapter. His reputation in the chapter grew when a band of bandits landed in his inland community, as usual to raid and to capture supplies such as livestock. He led, with only 50 men armed with either bolos, kalasags and sibats against a band of 200 bandits, which was defeated due to the bravery of his force. He was celebrated across his entire village as a local hero, and as a consequence he was raised to a lieutenant rank, later becoming a captain after initiating a surprise attack on bandits again who recently raided Barrio Mabato.

However, when Martinez started the policy of replacing military officers with peninsulars, Uban was one of those affected with the said policy, however Indio officials like him were in a more dire situation as unlike their insular counterparts, they were immediately removed since they were of native or Sangley mestizo background. This alienated the already sour relationship between Peninsulars and Indios. To those who were removed, this was unacceptable since all of their hardwork and time in gaining these positions would be immediately replaced by those originating from Spain.

Undeterred, he decided to start a mutiny in protest. On March 14, 1823, Uban, with a force of 100 rose in Barrio Panitan[1] uprose and attempted to seize the town from the local gobernadorcillo by advancing into the poblacion. However, at that time he was in Barrio Palayungan, thus giving him a warning and immediately sent 250 troops of the militia to crush the uprising. Uban was defeated at afternoon and he and 10 other soldiers were exiled to Mindanao on March 15, while the rest were pardoned.

Although he is not a member of the Sons, Martinez used the mutiny as a primary reason to dissolve and persecute the Sons once and for all, forcing them into starting the revolution much earlier than what is planned. On March 17, several members had gathered in Biñan, and there they have started their rebellion. The war of independence has begun.

[*] - Fictional name
[1] - Renamed and became the municipality of Magallanes on 1879
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Now, for the "spread of the revolution" part, considering that the Spanish had mostly communications operate on the sea, the news about that ATL mutiny would probably spread by rumors, adding to the fact that now ATL Martinez orders the dissolution of the Sons.

Or the revolts could be simultaneous, not knowing that there are also other revolts occurring at the same time.
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Beginning of the Revolution
Revolution in La Laguna
The gobernadorcillo[1] of Biñan, Juan Monica Mercado, joined the revolutionaries on the same day they started their rebellion. Since he declared himself as an Indio, despite being of Sangley descent, and although he was part of the principalias of Laguna, he nevertheless joined the Sons in 1819.

Mercado's sudden decision to join the revolutionaries caused his status as one of the most trustworthy persons of the Spanish government in the islands to vanish, he was now implicated as an outlaw, and had the San Isidro Labrador estate that his grandfather had established confiscated by the Spanish. Undeterred, he led a force of 500, mostly irregular Indios and some of the Real Alcaiceria de Biñan to recapture his estate, to his surprise, most soldiers that were stationed in the estate immediately surrendered, then defected to his side. He turned San Isidro Labrador into his military complex. Afterwards he invited all blacksmiths and fletchers to work for him, at least in his areas under his control.

From Biñan, he immediately took entire towns until Bay, and the few hundred soldiers in western Laguna of the provincial militia defected to the rebels because of discrimination. They ultimately tried to cross to Manila through the Zapote River after capturing San Pedro, but was unsuccessful due to the lack of bridges that would carry them to continue their march towards Manila. Returning from victory, Mercado fortified his positions and built bamboo towers across western Laguna.

In the northern fringes of Laguna[2], about 200 soldiers in Morong accompanied by 100 Indio peasants, seized the town, drove the friars and gobernadorcillo out and later took the towns of Baras and Tanay. Another rebel movement in the mountains of Barrio Balite[3] of San Mateo emerged, and unsuccessfully tried to take the main plaza.

In the southern towns of Nagcarlan[4] and Liliw, rebel farmers took control of the said towns on March 20.

Revolution in Bulacan
When news of the Panitan mutiny had first reached Bulacan, the revolutionaries kept their ground, they only revolted after another reports that Laguna had begun rebelling had followed, about two days after it started.

The first instances of revolution in Bulacan happened in the northern towns of San Ildefonso and San Rafael, where rebel farmers took the entirety of both towns since they were void of Spanish presence. Friars fled to Bulakan while those who remained initially bowed to pressure of the said rebels. Those who did not comply were forcibly expelled to nearby towns.

On March 23, 1823, bands of rebels in Hagonoy took the town plaza, forcibly expelled all friars who did not comply to demands, and marched to conquer the towns of Paombong and Calumpit. They also took barrios of Macabebe, Pampanga. After that, another uprising occurred in Bigaa (Balagtas in 1966 OTL) initiated by 30 soldiers who had 500 Indios joining them on the way. They took northern Bulakan, Guiguinto and Bocaue.

Fifth Ilocano Revolt
Ilocanos especially those in the province of Ilocos Norte had their memories afresh since the revolts of Almazan (1661), Silang (1762), the inhabitants of Piddig (1807), and of the cailanes (1814). They seemed to never forget the cruelty to the Spanish despite efforts of reconciliation between the two, like the restricting the private manufacturing of basi in 1786 that caused the 1807 revolt. Continuous revolts against Spain for the rest of the late 1800s and 1810s paved the way for the division of the 3-centuries old Ilocos province into two: Norte and Sur.

When the news of the revolt broke out in Laguna on March 17, Ilocanos, under the pretext of freeing themselves from the tobacco and basi monopoly as well as the unbearable forced labor (polo y servicios), rebelled. Fighting once more in the name of the red-yellow striped banner, they took over the entirety of the province of Ilocos Norte, while small scale mutinies occur in its sister province Ilocos Sur.

Saralogo Ambaristo[5], Pedro Mateo's companion which initially escaped to the mountains on the urging of Mateo after the battle of the Bantaoay River went into vain, went down to the mountains accompanied by 50 Igorots and Ilocano insurgents of the 1814 revolt, and assumed the leadership against the Spanish. He initially took the title of alcalde mayor[6], which was previously only exclusive to Spaniards (except in some cases such as Andres Malong becoming the alcalde mayor of Pangasinan in the 1660s), and replaced all pro-Spanish gobernadorcillos with pro-rebel ones, those who initially pledge fealty to the Ilocano rebels are allowed to maintain their positions. Immediately after he took control of Ilocos Norte, the basi monopoly was abolished and expelled friars who did not cooperate with Ilocano authorities. Since many of his warriors are members of the Sons, he is one of those who rally support for Philippine independence.

Timawas and mutineers of the middle-class that were subsequently pardoned by the Spanish in 1814, as well as the former provincial militia were composed of the first Filipino-established military unit: the provincial guard of Ilocos Norte.

Cavite Uprising
Ever since the Panitan mutiny occurred, Martinez ordered the increasing militarization of the said province on the basis that it would stop the province from joining the revolt as well as suppressing banditry once and for all. This caused the Caviteños' daily life to be harder as there were curfews at 7:00pm and taxations against the local populace increasing, causing many more to turn to banditry along the wilderness. Many those who became bandits were either members of the Sons or those who refused to pay tax for the government.

Luis de los Santos, more popularly known by the name Luis Parang, was a bandit from Cavite el Viejo[7]. He initially turned to banditry by the early 1810s, and has ever since been a headache for the Spanish authorities in Cavite. The center of Caviteño banditry at this time were the mountains, and the town of Imus, which served as a main shelter and hideout for his group of bandits. He was accompanied by his apprentice Juan "Upay" Silvestro. His group of bandits raided communities, taking livestock and the harvest then going back to the mountains.

He was already leading a three-year uprising against Spain in 1823 when revolts first broke out in Laguna and Bulacan. Joined by the Sons who were also initially persecuted by the government, he expanded his rebellion and allowed revolutionaries coming from neighboring Laguna and prepared for an all-out war. He decided to first initiate his revolt on Imus[8], the center of banditry, on March 29, 1823, in which they killed the local gobernadorcillo and caused Cavite to forment rebellion. By April 3, the towns of Silang, Imus without the areas near to Cavite el Viejo, San Fransisco de Malabon[9] except the northern areas and coast, most of Maragondon except the Ternate area, and Indang except its northwestern part were in rebel hands. They also took parts of northern Batangas.

Revolutionary raids and uprisings on Tayabas
Mercado then turned his eyes on Tayabas[10], a sparsely populated province south of Laguna.

Sending a force of 900 to conquer the said province led by his bandit-turned captain Luis Balat on April 7, they passed the relative roads of the wilderness, reaching rebel-controlled Nagcarlan on April 9. Along his road bound for Tayabas he took the towns of Bay, San Pablo[11] and Calauan, offering almost no resistance to Balat's forces, with some even joining them along the way.

From there, they began to conduct raids along Spanish-controlled Tayabas, while also taking the towns of Tiaong[12] via San Pablo on April 13 and Lucban[13] on April 18.

Meanwhile, in Tayabas itself, small scale agrarian uprisings occur in the remote countryside. An attempted revolution was conducted by several soldiers in the capital town, but was quickly suppressed and all participants were tried in the Casa Comunidad and leaders were executed right away and the soldiers exiled to Mindanao.

Small-scale rebellions of Tondo
On the orders of Martinez, several of his Peninsular officers laid defenses in the province of Tondo[14] to prevent any revolutionaries incoming from neighboring provinces of Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan from inciting rebellion against the Spanish. Curfews became more widespread, mandatory conscription was imposed for Indios, Sangleys and insulars alike, and the walled city of Intramuros was heavily militarized while the town of Binondo was kept an eye with suspicion.

This new set of events basically made the lives of Tondenses even more hard and challenging as often their households were inspected by authorities to see if there is any Sons or there is any weapons hidden. Captured Sons were often sent to penal facilities to teach them a lesson, while friars were given more power to act as government officials in behalf of the governor-general. Friars would often preach to the masses that the revolutionaries in other parts of Luzon were not only rebelling against mother Spain, they were also rebelling against God.

Several, but small scale uprisings and rebellions began to occur in Tondo especially in its eastern and northern parts mostly isolated from the center of Manila, mostly led by either bandits from Laguna and Cavite or prominent Sangleys that were facing discrimination by the Peninsular authorities. But, for the most part, Tondo was almost devoid of any sight of rebellion thanks to the policy of Martinez militarizing the province.

Spanish response and rest of April and May 1823
Aside from militarizing Tondo, Martinez sent orders to various alcalde mayors of Bulacan, Cavite, Tayabas and Laguna to mobilize the provincial militias and disciplinaries in order to crush the various rebellions occurring simultaneously. Small-scale battles akin to that of a skirmish and guerilla attacks became common in the months before June.

The first battle occurred in Barrio Trenchera[15] between rebel forces and the Spanish coming from Batangas to crush the rebellion. This concluded with a rebel victory as bandits, who were also common in this part of San Pablo for years, joined the rebels after promises of tax-free society and charged at the enemy forces at two flanks.

This staged the ground for most of the future battles of the Philippine War of Independence: front war battles combined with guerilla-style tactics, characterized by a large number of casualties and loss of equipment.

The Spanish, using their large reserves of loyalist Indios and soldiers, launched their counteroffensive against the rebels in every directions. This started on Cavite which the Spanish initially launched raids against Parang in his headquarters in the wilderness, which largely failed due to Parang's tactics of waiting for the enemy to strike then ordering his own men to strike the enemy in their headquarters. This caused rebel victories on Barrio Lucsuhin (April 14), Barrio Banaba (April 17), Barrio Latag[16] (April 21), and Barrio Pasong Santol (April 26). These victories repelled any chances of the Spanish retaking eastern Cavite. In Maragondon, the entirety of the provincial militia stationed in its west defected to the rebels since they were mostly composed of Latin Americans and Indios.

In Bulacan, the Spanish attempted to retake Bigaa on April 8 but was repulsed by rebel forces through hit and run tactics, they tried it again on April 11 but this time the rebels defeated them again and took Quingua[17] that same day accompanied by the peasants of the town. Afterwards the rebels in Hagonoy took Paombong on April 12, one day after the second battle of Bigaa, then Malolos a day after. They then started a siege of Bulakan on April 17. Baliuag fell to rebels coming from recently captured Angat on April 15.

In Laguna, the Spanish amassed a number of 1,000 men designed to defeat Mercado and exile him to Mindanao. Marching from Pagsanjan, they reached Bay on April 23 and afterwards retook the town with the rebels retreating to Los Baños. The rebels then retreated further to Calamba on April 26, further growing the confidence of the Spanish that this rebellion by Mercado would be crushed instantly. Unknown to them, Mercado actually intended to retreat further to Calamba, while a 800-man force sent by Balat from Nagcarlan would attack the flank of the Spanish army. Once the Spanish entered Calamba, the force of 800 attacked its flank by blocking the supply route then attacking the soldiers manning the artillery, forcing to divert some soldiers in the front to be sent to help defend its flanks. With the front now less defended by the Spanish, Mercado charged with only him and 2 sub-lieutenants leading it. The battle was a decisive victory, and it ensured that the Spanish would never recover western Laguna as it had 1,200 casualties, with most of the surviving ones being incorporated into the Laguense rebels.

The situation in Tayabas is less in favor for the rebels, since the entirety of the populace supported the Spanish thinking that they were a large group of bandits trying to pry on their livestock and harvest. Nevertheless, rebels took Mauban with minor fighting on April 30.

May had entered, and by this point the Spanish have been experiencing series of defeats except in Tayabas wherein a force of 200 sent by Balat to conquer the province was defeated at the battle of Tayabas on May 5. They attempted to retake Nagcarlan but was repulsed by a series of skirmishes along the road to the said municipality.

In Ilocos Norte, the Spanish attempted to reconquer the said province from Ilocos Sur but was repulsed by Ambaristo's forces on Badoc on May 13 and took the Ilocos Sur towns of Sinait (May 16), Cabugao (May 20) and Maysingal (May 26). To prevent another Spanish attack, Ambaristo ordered the garrisoning of Maysingal while preparing for a siege of Vigan in the future.

Back in Manila, Martinez has been considering to relocate to Pampanga or Iloilo, since by this point Tondo was surrounded on all sides by rebels. He nevertheless prepared 3 galleons from Cavite el Viejo in case scheduled for September. He might be forced to change his decisions initially soon.

[1] - Equivalent to today's position of mayor
[2] - Separated as Morong in 1853 with parts of Tondo (Manila) province
[3] - Renamed and became the municipality of Montalban in 1871. Annexed back to San Mateo in 1903 and separated again in 1908. Renamed Rodriguez in 1982 but is still de facto known as Montalban (possible de jure name once again in the future).
[4] - Included Rizal (municpality, Laguna) until 1919
[5] - In OTL, he was among those executed for the Basi Revolt along with Mateo. In ATL, he escaped to the mountains on Mateo's advice only to lead the Ilocanos to revolt once more.
[6] - Equivalent to today's position of governor
[7] - Renamed Kawit in the early 1900s
[8] - Included Dasmariñas until 1867
[9] - Included Rosario or Salinas until 1845, and renamed to Malabon in 1914 then General Trias in 1920
[10] - Renamed the province of Quezon in 1946
[11] - Included Alaminos (Laguna) until 1873
[12] - Included Dolores until 1835, western Candelaria until 1885, and San Antonio until 1957
[13] - Included Sampaloc (Quezon) until 1892
[14] - Renamed the province of Manila in 1859 and included eastern Rizal until 1853, excludes Valenzuela as it was a part of Bulacan as Polo (renamed in 1960) until 1975
[15] - Renamed and became the municipality of Alaminos (Laguna) on 1873
[16] - Renamed and became the municipality of Carmona in 1856. Includes General Mariano Alvarez until 1981
[17] - Renamed Plaridel (Bulacan) in 1930
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Revolution in the Walled City
Its been nearly 3 months, and the Spanish were struggling to quell the various rebellions occurring in Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna. To Spaniards' embarrassment, they lost an entire province (Ilocos Norte) to rebels farther north. Dissent was brewing in other provinces, such as Ambos Camarines[1] and Zambales where there are large numbers of Indios and mestizos that is possible to launch rebellion. It seems that Spanish rule in Luzon was beginning to collapse. Martinez hastily conscripted thousands of Indios, often voluntarily from Pampanga, the most loyal province in Luzon. Meanwhile, he sent various ships south warning of the impending revolution that might come to Visayas and Spanish Mindanao. It also dosen't help the fact that Dagohoy's free state in Bohol and subsequent raids made by Suluan datus made the situation more of a headache. However, one insular captain in Intramuros named Andres Novales would bring in the revolution inside the capital of Spanish Philippines.

Novales, in particular, was unlike any other insular military officer who was affected in Spain's replacement policy. He, unlike other insulars who either complained it to their superiors or protested in front of the Palacio del Gobernador, he complained bitterly of the injustice of the governor towards him in private, and added that those who had no confidence in his honor would repent, and that he would soon be back. He also advocated for a countrywide revolution to topple the Spanish. To him, it is unfair for people like him to had served their posts under Spain for their lives, only for them to be replaced by some peninsular who knew nothing of the place they were born or served on.

He himself had served Spain, first as a cadet at the age of 7, and lieutenant at age 14. He joined, despite a relatively young age, the Spanish resistance against Napoleon's forces who invaded the peninsula due to possible disloyalties. Despite being demoted to a volunteer soldier with no rank after arriving in Spain, he returned to the Philippines with the rank of captain. His zeal for service had not waned, earning him the envy and ire of other military officers in the Spanish army. He joined the Sons in 1819.

When revolution broke out in March 14, Novales held a meeting with his lieutenant, Ruiz Calba[2], his brother who was also a captain, Mariano, his trustworthy and closest apprentice (maybe) French-born medic, Paul de la Gironiere, and other officers of the King's Regiment. They debated on whether to join the rebels as Andres's elder brother Mariano had some ties with Martinez himself, as he was personally appointed as the officer in charge of Fort Santiago. Mariano and Paul stated that if they joined and defeated, they would be tried and executed as traitors. Ultimately, the debate ended with no result concluding in favor of both sides. However, Calba and Andres had different plans.

On June 1, Andres, with Calba, the entirety of the King's Regiment as well as 800 Indios recruited by his sergeants, went out to start a revolt. Around 2am in the morning, with everybody in the capital asleep, rapidly seized every important building in Intramuros, the Manila Cathedral, the Palacio, the Ayuntamiento de Manila, and other building deemed vital of importance. The archbishop of Manila, Juan Antonio Zulaibar tried to flee by jumping out on the Archbishop's palace window but was captured shortly afterwards. Calba then went afterwards to stab Folgueras due to him being the one suggesting the policy of replacing insulars in the military with peninsulars. To their surprise, the entirety of the townsfolk of Manila joined them in the way, shouting cries like "Viva la independencia!" and "Viva el emperador Novales!". Martinez was nowhere to be found.

Afterwards, he went to Fort Santiago, where Mariano was stationed. There ensued a standoff, with Mariano at first hesitant to join his brother since he feared that this would be the end for him and his brother. He later joined however when he was promised to become the general of the army, by his brother.

The next day, he crowned himself emperor with the support of the soldiers, Manileño townsfolk, Sangleys and insulars present at the city and even some local clergy from nearby towns. He named himself Andres I, Emperor of the Philippine Islands.

[1] - Split into Camarines Norte and Sur in 1919 (divided in 1829, 1857 and reunited in 1854 and 1891)
[2] - Identified only as Ruiz
Spread of the Revolution
With the main government in Manila cut off, Spanish rule in Luzon collapsed overnight.

As soon as news reached that Manila fell to rebels, all of a sudden uprisings and rebellions began to occur in the remaining Spanish Luzon provinces. Martinez, who was in Pampanga[1] at the time of Manila's fall, was surprised and shock on how such a fortified city fell to rebels. He later realized that it was the Novales brothers who he deeply trusted to man the fort, was behind this. He ordered the garrisoning of Pampanga, and parts of Bulacan that had not yet fell to the rebels.

The revolution rolled on the island like a typhoon in a matter of weeks. Sparsely populated provinces such as Nueva Ecija[2], Zambales[3], Pangasinan and Bataan had largely rebelled and the entirety of the provinces became aligned with the rebels, with major towns and capitals falling much later. Only loyalist barrios, and fortifications held out against the rebels.

Taking advantage of the chaos, the Palmero brothers named Antonio and Andres respectively, which reside in Ambos Camarines, started a rebellion in the town of Libmanan, about kilometers away from Nueva Caceres[4], the province's capital. Through midnight, rebellion quickly succeeded town by town in the days following, farmers, soldiers as well as former prisoners of fortifications joined the rebel movement. By June 5, all of Camarines fell to rebels when Nueva Caceres capitulated to the Palmeros.

Meanwhile, down south, in Albay, Jose de Azcarraga, which recently returned from Manila, also started a rebellion. Taking place the same day as Camarines' fall, he marched to Legaspi and overthrowed the provincial government of Albay and installed himself as governor on June 6. There was no resistance since most of the local populace, supported them. Bicol being one of the most rebellious regions of the Philippines gives a certain reason why most of its provinces rapidly fell to the rebels.

Demoralized and exhausted, the Batangas provincial militia and discplinaries started a rebellion in their province on June 7. Accompanied by forces from Laguna and Cavite, most of the province fell by two days later, with the coastal towns continuing to held out. Tayabas also fell to rebels when simultaneous uprising perpetrated by farmers and disgruntled soldiers that were members by the Sons. Only Sariraya, Tiaong, Atimonan, Mulanay and southern barrios of Tayabas[5] remained to held out against the revolution.

The province of Cagayan[6] fell to banditry after Manila's fall. Bandit attacks were quite common in the province. Pampanga and Ilocos Sur meanwhile, was heavily militarized and prepped the population for war.

[1] - Pampanga from 1801-1848 includes southern Tarlac, southern Nueva Ecija and San Miguel in Bulacan
[2] - Nueva Ecija from 1801-1856 includes most of its OTL territory, southeastern Pangasinan, southern parts of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino, the territory of Quezon towns of Real and General Nakar, eastern Bulacan(?) and most of Aurora
[3] - Zambales until 1903 included western Pangasinan
[4] - Renamed Naga in 1919
[5] - This area of Tayabas town was called Buenavista then later Oroquieta (not to be confused with the Misamis municipality). Renamed and became the muncipality of Lucena in 1879
[6] - Cagayan before 1839 included the CAR provinces, Isabela, most of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino and northernmost Aurora
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The Declaration of Independence
After liberating most of Tondo by June 6, Andres I felt its time that other rebels shall recognize him as emperor of the archipelago. He sent envoys to numerous rebel leaders in provinces under control by the rebels. Those who attended by June 7-8 are either representatives of the leaders themselves, defected principalia or even local clergy. Arrving at the same days between, they went to the Palacio del Gobernador, which was now the residence of the emperor.

They later decided to convene in the Manila Cathedral that afternoon, therefore the First Imperial Assembly was first conducted on this day, June 9. There, they discussed on what the Philippine state should look like. The assembly was a 50/50, one half believed it should be a republic while the other half it should be a federation. Both seems that monarchy had bring no benefit to Filipino people for the past 248 years. However, Andres I, driven by personal glory for himself and the spread of freedom and liberty in the islands, threatened to declare a dictatorship and imprison all those who refused to acknowledge his legitimacy as emperor. In a matter of minutes, everybody in the church accepted this new title that of Andres. This included Roxas, which was threatened by Andres's behavior.

They also talked on what to do with the Moros, which largely conducted raids on Christian settlements. They shelved this but a plan was drafted in which the Filipinos would send an embassy to discuss terms with the Moros, especially about the ending of slave raids. As for the church reforms, it would depend on the future generations to enact various such reforms.

The Constitution of 1823 defines a Filipino as:
  • who is able to speak Spanish
  • who is to renounce any foreign loyalties, and;
  • who professes Roman Catholicism as their religion
They were later amended to those who is able to speak their native language (Tagalog, Kapampangan, Ilocano, Cebuano, etc) since it was highly unpopular by the masses who almost did not speak Spanish and the sentence containing the official religion of Catholicism as the official faith since the Assembly desires to include the whole archipelago, including the animist higlands and Muslim sultanates. The right to vote was given to Filipino males aged above 19.

The Real Audiencia of Manila was divided into the Senate and Representatives. It also provided an independent judiciary that of Spain. A civil code yet has to be promolugated and defined by the Emperor and the Senate in the future. Provincial legislatures were also established, at least in the territories they controlled.

During the meeting, the Assembly assigned the following commanders to liberate the following territories:
  • Andres I himself would lead the liberation of Pampanga
  • Mariano and Calba would lead the liberation of Ilocos Sur
  • Roxas, who would liberate Cagayan
  • Parang, who would take the remaining loyalist towns of Batangas and Cavite
Andres, besides becoming emperor, also wanted an official to become the leader in charge case if he was far away campaigning. He decided to put Varela, as posthumous president.

Andres also wanted to ensure that Philippine independence shall be secured in the following years. He thus appointed Ventura de los Reyes, which was one of the two Philippine deputies to Cadiz (the other being Pedro Perez de Tagle, dying in 1819) as the chief ambassador of the Philippines accompanied by Roxas. His first task was to take Varela from Spain back to the Philippines, while he wanted Ortega to join him in establishing an embassy in Britain. He also sent a party of consuls and ambassadors to the nearest British colony of Singapore.

Inspired by the French colors and that of Latin America, the Philippines adopted a darkblue-red bicolor with the coat of arms in the center. It was also agreed that the civil flag would be the same, just without the CoA.


Bicolor de Filipinas (de estado)


Bicolor de Filipinas (de civil)


Escudo Filipino
He also established a national bank in the Philippines, that authorizes to make Philippine peso, although at the moment, he allowed the usage of Spanish currency since it was the most circulated in the Philippines at the time.

To promote economic growth while at war, he decreed that tariffs against foreigners were removed, and the tobacco monopoly abolished. He also removed the polo y servicios, preferring to replace it with involuntary servitude. The said forced labor was now designed as a criminal punishment. Slavery was also abolished, at least extending it non-Christians.

Thus, after these preparations, for 4 days, Andres declared, that on June 12, 1823, the Philippines is now independent along with the signing of the Declaration of Independence that same day. The folk of Manila cheered and celebrated this newly found freedom.
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Establishment of the Philippine Army
Since the Spanish first started their rule in the Philippines, most of the soldiers and marines that comprise the Spanish army and navy here are mostly Indio, while most of the officers are either insular or had come from New Spain and Peru. For hundreds of years, the Indios were used by the Spanish to suppress other Indio rebellions and uprisings, such as in 1762 against Silang. The military officers, meanwhile, enjoyed the full 246 years that they were the ones managing the army here.

All of that would change by the early 1820s, when Ferdinand VII, on Folgueras's advice, the replacement of insulars and Latin Americans with peninsular ones. This led to the subsquent revolution that led to the Spanish demise in most of Luzon, with the fatal blow occurring under Andres Novales in June 1.

The need for a standing army and navy later became one of Andres's top priorities. He first prioritized on the army.

At the time of the revolution, Luzon had at least provincial militias and disciplinaries, Luzon Dragoons, disciplinaries for Malabon, Pasig, Mariquina[1], Tondo[2] and Manila[3], as well as soldiers from the Spain and Mexico dragoons stationed in the Philippines.

Thus, Andres decreed the sub-division of the Luzon Dragoons, into several dragoon regiments and units named after a province, a region, a town, river or island. He also planned to establish dragoons in Visayas and Mindanao once they liberate the said regions. He renamed the provincial militias, into provincial guards, and it would be modeled after that of the provincial guard of Ilocos Norte. He reformed the raising of ranks by granting them based on their merit and accomplishments and not just the ones who were born into wealth. He also allowed the entry of Indios and Sangleys into it.

Most soldiers were composed of irregulars, so his brother Mariano became the primary training captain. He introduced to the said soldiers on how to march in formation, where to eject their feces, where to camp and where to position their guns and artillery. By August, he has a total of 8,000 regular troops, along with 24,000 irregulars that were mostly reserves. This became the first iteration of the Philippine Army. There were two brigades (total of 3,500) and 9 regiments (each with 500).
  • Brigade of His (Her) Majesty (about 2,500 men, the main brigade under the emperor's command)
  • Brigade of the General (about 1,000 men under the General's command)
  • 1st Baras Regiment
  • 2nd La Naval Regiment
  • 3rd Soliman Regiment
  • 4th Mariquina Regiment
  • 5th Malabon Regiment
  • 6th Silang Regiment
  • 7th Bulacan Regiment
  • 8th Santa Maria Regiment
  • 9th Tabuco Regiment
The irreuglars were not given regiments, because, as Calba had said that they were still untrained and unexperienced. Most of the brigades and regiments were largely composed of former Spanish army cavalry, infantry and artillery.

[1] - Renamed Marikina in 1901
[2] - Annexed to Manila City in 1901
[3] - Only consists of Intramuros before 1901
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Conquest of Ilocos Sur
Preparations for the Campaign
Having reorganized his forces, Andres had ordered a meeting in the Palacio with his army officers on which province they should conquer first. Most of them wanted Pampanga to be the first, however, some argued that the enemy in Ilocos Sur would take advantage of this to pounce on the Philippine army while they combat the Spanish in Pampanga. It was ultimately decided that Ilocos Sur[1] would be the first target.

They had 3 advantages over the Spanish. First is that most roads were either infested with bandits or was too rough for any large scale army by the inferiorly-equipped Spanish to march on to Ilocos, while the Filipinos, at least had guns that were mostly smuggled from Qing China. Second is that some soldiers came from Ilocos, who migrated to Nueva Ecija and some in Bulacan as workers, that knew the terrain and pathways. And third is that communications were sparse from Ilocos and Pampanga, they ultimately had to use Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan[2] as routes for possible communication.

To ensure that the Spanish would be focused only on the Filipinos in Bulacan, the Bulacan, Tabuco and Malabon regiments would be stationed in Hagonoy to make it look like that the rebels would amass a large force to take Macabebe[3], a coastal town in Pampanga that would be the possible way to escape into Iloilo had Martinez was defeated in Pampanga in the future. Alarmed, the alcalde mayor of Pampanga ordered the garrisoning of Macabebe of around 900 professional soldiers to defend the said town.

Departure to Ilocos and Beginning of Conquest
Andres initially led the campaign aided by his brother while Calba shall be in-charge of the defense in their territories of control. They departed by August 13 after days of preparations. However they had difficulty on crossing the rough roads and wide rivers due to the terrain, as well as to aid their supply truck from getting harassed by bandits. It took nearly a week, and that week they sped their march and thus was exhausted. They decided to rest on the town of Aringay[4], a Pangasinense town on August 20. They continued northwards until they reached Bangar[4] on Ilocos Sur on August 23.

It was in Bangar that the conquest of Ilocos Sur has officially begun. Shortly after capturing the town, they continued northwards, with thousands of farmers, workers and peasants joining them on the way, that is until they reached Candon, where a fortified line set up by the Spanish surprised them. Candon was especially an important town as it was a major producer of tobacco in the country due to Basco's policies. So it is no wonder why this town was defended by a force of 1,100 men, mostly Indio loyalists who had not forgot how what they thought to be Pangasinense rebels marching to subjugate Ilocos once more just like in 1661.

Unknown to Andres I, Ambaristo also prepared about 1,000 forces for his own march to Vigan on August 25.

The Order of Battles
The Spanish, once again tried to reconquer Ilocos Norte by crossing the Bantaoay River. However like the first one, they were surprised when the rebels on the other side of the river fired artillery from their bamboo lantakas that caused panic among the Spanish forces. As a result they were driven back to Maysingal.

To prevent a third time, Ambaristo decided that it should be the time that they besiege the Spanish in Vigan to submission. Finally, with his force they marched down to Bantay and encountered heavy resistance. Although victorious, Ambaristo suffered over 300 casualties, over 1/4 of his army due to the fact that the enemy force conducted a suicidal attack on them. To symbolize his victory in Bantay, the monument that honored Miguel Vicos, a Spanish-Ilocano mesitzo who assassinated Silang on May 20, 1763, was removed and replaced with a monument of the latter on September 2.

After this victory on Bantay, they continued their march southwards until they reached the outskirts of Santa Catalina on August 29, a town away from Vigan. To ensure a nearly-surrounded siege of the city, Ambaristo decided that instead of continuing to Vigan, they would instead occupy the Ilocos Sur towns in the Vigan Gorge[5] just to make sure that the Spanish would not use the region as a source of reinforcements to assist in repelling them. They expected to encoutner resistance but was surprised that the entire population of Ilocanos and Christianized Tingguians (or Itnegs) supported them, partly due to the forced labor and tobacco monopoly. There is, however resistance in Bangued where the cuadrilleros there refused to comply with Ambaristo's demands, so a battle ensued in the poblacion where nearly all of them, about 70 were killed while the others were imprisoned. Having completed his objective by September 8, he returned to the Ilocan coast 2 days later, where they besieged the border towns of Vigan.

Down south, Andres attempted to charge the Spanish at Candon but was repulsed by heavy gunfire, giving him 100 casualties. His brother Mariano tried to do the same on August 30, 3 days after the first attack, but like the previous one they were again once defeated, gaining 140 casualties. They ultimately decided that they would settle and take the time for his army to rest since there were signs of desertion and mutiny.

The situation in southern Ilocos Sur remained like this for the next 2 months: uncertain stalemate, high chances of mutiny and increasing desertion on both sides. There were also recorded conspiacies on both sides, the most serious being the plot where Andres I and Mariano would be assassinated. Those who participated in plot were punished, some where hung while others were sent back to work in the polo y servicios.

Andres I also had to return to Manila with two of the regiments as there were rumors that he was gonna be overthrown by the friars led by the archbishop himself.

Fall of Ilocos Sur
By this point, everybody in Ilocos Sur had gotten tired of the never-ending curfews, high taxations among locals including some principalia, intensifying of forced labor and increasing raids either by bandits or Igorots from the highlands. The situation got so bad that natives near Pangasinan and Ilocos Norte began to defect to those provinces, and joining them as such. Buying from the black market became common as crop yields were either given to the militia as rations or being sold by the government overseas.

The Ilocanos stationed in Candon, by this point was exhausted from nearly 2 months of siege, so they decided to start a mutiny. Mariano's scouts had informed him that the Spanish forces in the said town was beginning to unravel itself. Mariano was hesitant but nevertheless led a charge hoping that this might be the time that they were able to march towards Vigan. The mutineers, upon seeing that Mariano and his forces was on the way to their defenses, opened the roads for him and defected to him. The Spanish commander and loyalists were then imprisoned. Mariano also incorporated the mutineers as the Candon Voluntaries, and all of these events happened on October 28, 1923.

Continuing, they marched until they reached Narvacan, another town that is important to the Spanish as it was the last town that controlled the road en route to Vigan. They nevertheless marched directly to the town, where they were met with volleys of gunfire and from flying bamboo spears by the Spanish who threw them out of the house windows. In a fragment of one of his captain's writing in his memoirs he stated the following:

Written on the day of June 30, 1856

We had reached Narvacan by November 3, 1823 after resting in the town of Santa Maria. When we had entered the town itself, we were met with rain of spears and few shots of gunfire from the Spanish. The roads we encountered were almost void of people except for the soldiers themselves. The colonel of the Soliman regiment was mortally killed when he was directly stabbed by a spear in his heart, so his corporal who was his camp-de-aide became the new colonel. Some soldiers had their body parts stabbed by the projectiles, cut off by medics. The general brother's trusted medic, the Frenchman Ironero (Gironiere) oversees the operations.

When we checked out our surroundings, there is nothing but a field of bamboo spears and impaled bodies with it. We hurried and went to the church to help us to bury the dead. The parish priest who was neutral, unlike others ordered to establish a new cemetery for burying the dead. We gave our last farewells to those killed and buried them fit for a military burial, at least for soldiers...

Mariano decided to temporarily halt his advance to replenish losses. They continued on November 10 without those who were wounded, that were stationed in Narvacan for treatment and reached Vigan that afternoon.

Mariano then noticed that there were also Ilocano forces near to Vigan in the north. The Spanish, upon seeing Mariano's large force, by then was demoralized and exhausted, saw the final nail of the coffin, and surrendered on November 13. The Ilocanos of the province welcomed and cheered Mariano and Ambaristo as their liberators from the Spanish.

[1] - Ilocos Sur from 1818-1846 includes northern La Union, Abra and small parts of Mountain Province
[2] - Pangasinan from 1576-1850 consists of OTL central Pangasinan, northern Tarlac and southern La Union as its current size was only defined in 1901 and 1903 respectively
[3] - Includes Masantol until 1878
[4] - La Union towns were part of Ilocos (later Sur) and Pangasinan until 1850
[5] - It was also known as "El Abra de Vigan", literally "The Gap of Vigan" in Spanish. This area would be separated and would become OTL province of Abra in 1846, firstly as a commandancy
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Friar Conspiracy
Andres I arrived back at Manila with the Majesty's Brigade on September 10.

Immediately, he summoned all friars throughout Manila in the Palacio, including the archbishop Zulaibar, which was rumored to be the leader of the conspiracy. Zulaibar denied any involvement of the said conspiracy and so an investigation made by Calba was immediately put into action. The investigation took from September 11 to October 5 and it was discovered that indeed, a conspiracy was unraveled from secrecy. To the surprise of many, it was not Zulaibar that was the leader but rather, a friar named Eulogio Geron[*], who opposed the insular takeover of Novales.

The conspiracy was said to have planned the overthrow of the emperor, his cabinet and the insular officers. It would be orchestrated by seizing power in the Palacio then taking over other important buildings in Intramuros. There, they planned to declare Geron as de facto governor-general until Martinez had returned from La Pampanga to retake authority. It also involved the imprisonment of the Novaleses, their military officers, and the deportation of those who oppose the friars and peninsulars.

When the report about the investigation was made public, nearly the entirety of the populace, was angered. For the Indios, this meant more forced labor, for the Sangleys, more suspicion and discrimination, and for the insulars, more oppression and favor for the peninsulars. Reports coming from towns that there were numerous friars imprisoned, had their estates burned, or had their lands confiscated. Friars and priests that had nothing to do with it or uninvolved, were also affected. The participants of the conspiracy were forcibly relieved of their posts for life, while Geron was exiled to the mountains of Sierra Madre.

However, Andres knew that toppling all friars would be a disaster as there would be no parish priest, or more importantly, as translators. He knew that friars, especially in the countryside are fluent in the native languages. Therefore he ordered the protection of friars, but this protection would be invalid once the friar had shown opposition against the insulars.

[*] - Fictional name
Since you are making Pedro Pelaez de Tagle alive in 1823, be careful on this. He is the Marquess of Las Salinas before his death in 1819. So, you have two peers alive Varela and Tagle. Peerage, higher social rank, matter during that time. Point of view of them having a higher social standing than someone who is not a peer. Even the Insulares and the Peninsulares in Philippines would respect and listen to Tagle more than Andres Novales. He is both valuable abroad and locally. Locally since it is easier for other Spanish to surrender to him or accept him as emperor compared to Andres when he is a few ranks away from becoming a monarch, king or emperor.

Although you are trying to create a new nation, Varela and Tagle accepting orders from Andres while they are both alive.... Varela, an intellectual could give way but Pedro Pelaez de Tagle is also a career soldier like Andres Novales who was present in Cadiz Constitution in 1812. He has just as much experience or more in military(de Tagle was part of the Peninsular War) than Novales and with a social rank to boot.

If de Tagle were alive in ATL, it is more likely that he is the one who would become the emperor. Otherwise, he will be convinced to take over by the belief of himself or those surrounding him. The British would more likely support him than Andres or any Filipino without social rank. That is why be careful on de Tagle being alive. He is not only part of nobility but a seasoned military veteran.
Otherwise, he will be convinced to take over by the belief of himself or those surrounding him.
Possibly, in this ATL, a conspiracy would happen (like what happened in 1828, planned by the Palmeros OTL) or a military coup, just like what happened in several Latin American nations.

Well, I could think of this later, possibly at the end of this TL or a postwar TL.
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Possibly, in this ATL, a conspiracy would happen (like what happened in 1828, planned by the Palmeros OTL) or a military coup, just like what happened in several Latin American nations.

Well, I could think of this later, possibly at the end of this TL or a postwar TL.
Is your pod earlier or equal than 1819 or is it later like 1820+
You know what, lets put this on the shelf for some time. But I will do this scenario that of Tagle, in the end of this TL or early post-revolution TL.
If you did a lot of research about de Tagle to keep him alive and give way to Andres despite being Andres's senior in the military and also a creole. In Otl, rebellions went by seniority. The Bayots who were older went to rebel first in 1822 that is of course with seniors in the Spanish army in the Spanish East Indies like de Tagle and San Martin dead already in 1822. After 1822 with Bayots arrest and failure of the rebellion in 1822, only did Andres become the leader of the rebellion at least among the Sons, members of the army.

Do note the affects of Tagle does not end with there. He is married to future wife of Paul Proust de la Gironiere. So Anna, with de Tagle alive, isn't a widow. Whether or not Paul would have stayed in the Philippines without marrying Anna or joined the army at all is something you should research. de Tagle is a known figure with writings about him since he is part of the Peninsular war, Cadiz Constiution and nobility. So to is Paul de la Gironiere with his own autobiography.