The CEDULA during the Spanish colonial period, was an identification card and residence tax certificate that had to be carried at all times. A person who could not present his or her cedula could be arrested and imprisoned by the Guardia Civil.
|Photo courtesy of GMA 7|
On August 23, 1896, a crowd of katipuneros was gathered around their Supremo, Andres Bonifacio, in Kangkong, Balintawak. Bonifacio spoke of how the secret organization had been betrayed to the Spanish authorities and warned of the dangers they all now faced. Armed revolution against the Spanish colonizers was the answer, someone suggested, and the Katipunan should start it. A few members disagreed but were outvoted by the rest.
The crowd shouted their approval. They tore their cedulas and declared themselves free from Spain. The cedula had until then been the people's only passport to freedom in their own country.
The air rang with the people's jubilant cries: "We are free from slavery!" "Long live the Tagalogs!"
The katipuneros decided to wrest Manila and the Tagalog region from the Spaniards and achieve final and lasting independence for the nation. The attack on Manila was set for midnight of August 29.
Here are samples of cedulas during the Spanish and American wars.
|1896 Cedula Personal issued in Manila. This is similar to the cedula torn by the Katipuneros|
|1896 Provincial Cedula Personal issued in Iba, Zambales|
|1896 Cedula Personal complete and unused|
|1898 Cedula Personal issued to Chinese residents by Aguinlado's revolutionary government in Pangasinan|
|1898 Cedula Personal issued by Aguinaldo's revolutionary army in Santo Tomas, La Union|
|1900 Certificate of Registration used by the US Military Government in the Philippines. (Melvin Lam Collection)|
|1896-1897 Cedula Personal issued in San Fernando, La Union|
Source: 100 Events that shaped the Philippines by Adana Book Service and National Centennial Commission.