was a babaylan
or native priest from Bohol
who led the Tamblot Uprising
in 1621 to 1622 during the Spanish era. He opposed the new religion spread by the Spaniards and fought against the subsequent conversion of the Boholanos to the Catholic faith. He challenged the Spanish priest, and when he won, he earned the trust of the people. He exhorted them to return to the faith of their forefathers and free themselves from Spanish oppression, leading 2,000 followers in what was dubbed as the "Tamblot Uprising
" or "Tamblot Revolt".
Tamblot features in the Bohol provincial flag as one of the the two bolos or native swords with handle and hand-guards on top. These two bolos, which are reclining respectively towards the left and right, depict the Dagohoy and Tamblot revolts, symbolizing that a true Boholano will rise and fight if supervening factors embroil them into something beyond reason or tolerance.
Little is known about Tamblot except that he was a babaylan
of Barrio Tupas, in Antequera
town who led a number of his pagan followers to wage a religious war against the Spaniards for fear that their Bathala will be replaced by the God of the Catholic Religion. Further, he was a tumanan
or a hermit, a biki
or high priest of the local organized religion in Bohol
dedicated to the god Ay Sono. The other priests or biriki were Kator Kukon of Tagobas of Antequera; Hibor Tasing of Ilihanan, Cortes; Bula-od of Batuan, Bohol; Tam-isan of Loon, Bohol; Tagbakan of Tubigon, Bohol; and Pagali of Carigara, Leyte.
Tamblot was a sab-o
or seer who could know the future. He received a bugna
or revelation from his god. The Boholanos, even before the coming of the Spaniards, already believed in the first man, the flood, paradise, and the punishment after death. (Blair & Robertson, Vol. 29, p. 283). These are beliefs similar to Christianity
. They had a tabernacle-like worship place at Malabago, Cortes.
When the Boholanos began to convert to Christianity, Tamblot issued a challenge to the Spanish priest as to whose God was more powerful. The challenge was to produce rice and wine from a bamboo stalk. The Spanish priest prayed to his God, of course in Latin, and then cut the bamboo stalk from a groove, but no rice and wine came out. Tamblot then prayed to Ay Sono and then cut the bamboo stalk from a groove and out came rice and wine. (“Medina’s Historia 1630-34,” Blair & Robertson, Vol. 24, p. 116). Tamblot won the challenge and the people sided with Tamblot. Only the towns of Baclayon and Loboc remained loyal to the Spaniards. The Spaniards said it was trickery and the work of the demon. Yet the same account in “Medina’s Historia” said that when Alcalde Mayor Juan Alcarazo was hit by a stone, got wounded and fell to the ground, he arose cured by calling on the Holy Child. It was called a miracle! But when Tamblot produced wine and rice from the bamboo stalk, prayed for rain and the rains came and the leaves turned into fishes, it was called trickery or the work of the demon. This is really biased reporting. The Spaniards did not deny the events but only attributed it to different sources, demon for Tamblot and Holy Child for the Spaniard.
The Tamblot uprising
The Tamblot uprising
was one of two significant revolts that occurred in Bohol
during the Spanish Era. The other one was the famous Dagohoy Rebellion
, considered as the longest rebellion in Philippine history. This rebellion was led by Francisco Dagohoy
, also known as Francisco Sendrijas, from 1744 to 1829.
The Tamblot Uprising in 1621 was basically a religious conflict.
Tamblot exhorted his people to return to the faith of their forefathers and free themselves from Spanish oppression; this was dubbed as "Tamblot Uprising".
The revolt of Tamblot(1621-22)
In 1621, the flames of a religious revolt engulfed the island of Bohol
. This disturbance was incited by Tamblot who exhorted the people to return to the faith of their forefathers and convinced them "that the time has come when they could free themselves from the oppression of the Spaniards, inasmuch as they were assured of the aid of their ancestors and diuatas, or gods." Tamblot led the people, specifically of the town of Malabago, in an uprising against the Spaniards. The people sided with Tamblot because in the face to face contest of power, Tamblot performed more miracles than the Spanish priest.
On the later part of 1621, around 2,000 Boholanos responded to Tamblot's war call and began the uprising at a time when most of the Jesuit fathers, the spiritual administrators of Bohol island, were in Cebu celebrating the feast of the beatification of St. Xavier.
News of the revolt reached Cebu, and immediately the alcalde-mayor of Cebu, Don Juan de Alcarazo, rushed an expedition to Bohol consisting of 50 Spaniards and more than 1,000 Filipinos. On New Year's Day, 1622, the government forces began the campaign against the rebels. In a fierce battle, fought in a blinding rain, Tamblot and his followers were crushed. The gallant valor of the Cebuano soldiers in this fight gave victory to Spain.
On January 1, 1622 the fighting begun. On January 7, 1622 the town of Malabago was conquered by the Spaniards and burned to the ground. So after an existence of 22 years the town of Malabago disappeared.
When the Spaniards overran the camp of the Boholanos, they destroyed 1,000 houses, and stole various jewels of silver and gold. These were given to the Cebuano and Pampago soldiers of the expedition.
Another version of the history says that in the following battle, fought out in a torrential rain at at Malabago, Cortes, Bohol, the mayor was wounded and the Spanish had to retreat. Six months later, in a second attempt, the rebels where victorious again, but then some Spanish priests from Loboc managed to enter the camp of Tamblot and assassinate him. Then, without their leader, the insurgents where easily defeated, and Spanish power was restored. After these events, the Spanish more firmly established their power in Bohol.