Philippine Revolutionary Army
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Philippine Revolutionary Army

Ejército Revolucionario Filipino
Hukbong Pilipinong Mapaghimagsik
Seal of the Philippine Army (1897).svg
Ejercito en la República dela Filipina Emblem, 1897
FoundedMarch 22, 1897
Country Philippines
RoleMilitary Force
Size80,000 to 100,000 (1898)[1]
Garrison/HQKawit, Cavite[]
Nickname(s)Republican Army[2][3]
ColorsBlue, Red, Gold and White[]
AnniversariesMarch 22[]
EngagementsPhilippine RevolutionSpanish-American WarPhilippine-American War
PresidentSu Excelencia
Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo
Commanding GeneralGen. Artemio Ricarte (1897-1899)
Gen. Antonio Luna (1899)
Gen. Simeon Ola
Gen. Manuel Tinio
Gen. Pío del Pilar
Gen. Mariano Noriel Major General Juan K. Cailles
Gen. Gregorio del Pilar
Gen. Miguel Malvar
Gen. Tomás Mascardo
Col. Paco Román
Maj. Manuel Quezon
Marching Filipino soldiers during the inauguration of the First Philippine Republic in Malolos on January 23, 1899.

The Philippine Revolutionary Army (Filipino: Panghimagsikang Hukbo ng Pilipinas / Hukbong Pilipinong Mapaghimagsik; Spanish: Ejército Revolucionario Filipino), later renamed Philippine Republican Army[] (Filipino: Hukbong Katihan ng Republika ng Pilipinas; Spanish: Ejército en la República de la Filipina)[] was founded on March 22, 1897 in Cavite. General Artemio Ricarte was designated as its first Captain General during the Tejeros Convention.[4] This armed force of General Emilio Aguinaldo's central revolutionary government replaced the Katipunan's military force.[5]


Regular soldiers of the Philippine Revolutionary Army stand at attention for an inspection.

The revolutionary army used the 1896 edition of the Spanish regular army's Ordenanza del Ejército to organize its forces and establish its character as a modern army.[] Rules and regulations were laid down for the reorganization of the army, along with the regulation of ranks and the adoption of new fighting methods, new rank insignias,[] and a new standard uniform known as the rayadillo. Filipino artist Juan Luna is credited with this design.[6][7] His brother, General Antonio Luna commissioned him with the task and personally paid for the new uniforms.[8] Juan Luna also designed the collar insignia for the uniforms, distinguishing between the services: infantry, cavalry, artillery, sappers, and medics.[9] At least one researcher has postulated that Juan Luna may have patterned the tunic after the English Norfolk jacket, since the Filipino version is not a copy of any Spanish-pattern uniform.[10]Infantry officers wore blue pants with a black stripe down the side, while Cavalry officers wore red trousers with black stripes.[11][12] Soldiers and junior officers wore straw hats while senior officers often wore peaked caps.

Orders and circulars were issued covering matters such as building trenches and fortifications, equipping every male aged 15 to 50 with bows and arrows (as well as bolo knives, though officers wielded European swords), enticing Filipino soldiers in the Spanish army to defect, collecting empty cartridges for refilling, prohibiting unplanned sorties, inventories of captured arms and ammunition, fundraising, purchasing of arms and supplies abroad, unification of military commands, and exhorting the rich to give aid to the soldiers.[5]

Aguinaldo, a month after he declared Philippine independence, created a pay scale for officers in the army: Following the board, a brigadier general would receive 600 pesos annually, and a sergeant 72 pesos.

When the Philippine-American War erupted on February 4, 1899, the Filipino army suffered heavy losses on every sector. Even Antonio Luna urged Apolinario Mabini, Aguinaldo's chief adviser, to convince the President that guerrilla warfare must be announced as early as April 1899. Aguinaldo adopted guerilla tactics on November 13, 1899, dissolving what remained of the regular army and after many of his crack units were decimated in set-piece battles.[13]


The Filipinos were short on modern weapons. Most of its weapons were captured from the Spanish, were improvised or were traditional weapons. The service rifles of the nascent army were the Spanish M93 and the Spanish Remington Rolling Block rifle.[5] Moreover, while in Hong Kong, Emilio Aguinaldo purchased rifles from the Americans.[14] Two batches of 2,000 rifles each including ammunition were ordered and paid for. The first batch arrived while the second batch never did. In his letters to Galicano Apacible, Mariano Ponce also sought weapons from both domestic and international dealers in the Empire of Japan.[15] He was offered different breech-loading single-shot rifles since most nations were discarding them in favor of new smokeless bolt-action rifles. However, there was no mention of any purchase occurring. Another planned purchase was the Murata rifle from Japan but no record exists that it made its way into the hands of Filipino revolutionaries.

Crew-served weapons of the Philippine military included captured Spanish guns such as Krupp guns, Ordóñez guns, and Maxim-Nordenfelt multi-barreled guns. There were also improvised artillery weapons made of water pipes reinforced with bamboo or timber known as lantakas, which can only fire once or twice.[5]

Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the Supreme Commander of the Philippine Revolutionary Army.
Group showing General Manuel Tinio (seated, center), General Benito Natividad (seated, 2nd from right), Lt. Col. Jose Alejandrino (seated, 2nd from left), and their aides-de-camp.


Antonio Luna, notable Chief Commander of the Philippine Revolutionary Army.
Artemio Ricarte, the Commander of the Philippine Revolutionary Army.
General Gregorio del Pilar, and his troops around 1898.
Soldiers of the army stationed near the Barasoain church during a session of the congress.
Officers' and soldiers' uniforms, 1899-1902.

The evolution of Philippine revolutionary insignia can be divided into three basic periods; early Katipunan, late Katipunan and the Republican army.

Revolutionary Army ranks Tagalog Name Spanish Name Sleeve insignia Shoulder epaulette insignia
Minister Marshal Ministrong Mariskal Ministro Mariscal
PR Ministro Mariscal.svg
General Heneral General
PR General.svg
PR General SE.svg
Lieutenant General Tenyente Heneral Teniente General
PR Teniente General.svg
PR Teniente General SE.svg
Major General Heneral ng Dibisyon General de División
PR Mayor General.svg
PR General de Division SE.svg
Brigadier General Heneral ng Brigada General de Brigada
PR General de Brigada.svg
PR General de Brigada SE.svg
Colonel Koronel Coronel
PR Coronel.svg
PR Coronel SE.svg
Lieutenant Colonel Tenyente Koronel Teniente Coronel
PR Teniente Coronel.svg
PR Teniente Coronel SE.svg
Major Komandante Comandante
PR Mayor.svg
PR Comandante SE.svg
Captain Kapitán Capitán
PR Capitán.svg
PR Capitan SE.svg
Lieutenant Tenyente Teniente
PR Teniente.svg
PR Teniente SE.svg

Second lieutenant



Ikalawang Tenyente


Segundo Teniente

PR Alferez SE.svg

Revolutionary Army enlisted ranks

Revolutionary Army ranks Tagalog Name Spanish Name Sleeve insignia
Sergeant Sarhento Sargento
PR Sargento.svg
Corporal Kabo Cabo
PR Cabo.svg

Branch colors

In 1898, the Philippine government prescribed branch colors twice:[]

Branch 30 July 1898 25 November 1898
Infantry black deep red
Artillery red green
Cavalry green black
Engineer Corps violet
General Staff blue
Military Juridical Corps white
Commissary and Quartermaster Corps yellow
Medical Corps red cross

Recruitment and conscription

During the revolution against Spain, the Katipunan gave leaflets to the people to encourage them to join the revolution. Since the revolutionaries had become regular soldiers at the time of Emilio Aguinaldo, they started to recruit males and some females aged 15 and above as a form of national service. A few Spanish and Filipino enlisted personnel and officers of the Spanish Army and Spanish Navy defected to the Revolutionary Army, as well as a number of foreign individuals and American defectors who volunteered to join during the course of the revolution.

Conscription in the revolutionary army was in effect in the Philippines and military service was mandatory at that time by the order of Gen. Antonio Luna, the Chief Commander of the Army during the Philippine-American War.[16]

Flags and early banners of the revolution

General officers

During the existence of the Revolutionary Army, over 100 individuals were appointed to General Officer grades. For details, see the List of Filipino generals in the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War article.

Other notable officers

Manuel L. Quezon, a former president of the Philippines, rose to the rank of Major in the Army.
Francisco "Paco" Román - Aide to Lieutenant General Antonio Luna.
  • Colonel Agapito Bonzón
  • Colonel Felipe Salvador - Commander of the Santa Iglesia faction.
  • Colonel Apolinar Vélez
  • Colonel Alejandro Avecilla
  • Colonel Francisco "Paco" Román - Aide to Lieutenant General Antonio Luna.
  • Colonel Manuel Bernal - Aide to Lieutenant General Antonio Luna.
  • Colonel Pablo Tecson - Leader, Battle of Quingua.
  • Colonel Alipio Tecson - Supreme Military Commander of Tarlac in 1900 and exiled to Guam.
  • Colonel Simón Tecson - Leader of Siege of Baler; signatory of the Biak-na-Bato Constitution.
  • Colonel Simeón Villa
  • Colonel Luciano San Miguel
  • Colonel José Tagle - Known for his role in the Battle of Imus.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Lázaro Macapagal - Commanding officer in-charge at the execution of Andrés and Procopio Bonifacio brothers.
  • Lieutenant Colonel José Torres Bugallón - Hero of the Battle of La Loma.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Regino Díaz Relova - Fought as one of the heads of columns under General Juan Cailles in the Laguna province.
  • Captain José Bernal - Aide to Lieutenant General Antonio Luna.
  • Captain Eduardo Rusca - Aide to Lieutenant General Antonio Luna.
  • Captain Pedro Janolino - Commanding Officer of the Kawit Battalion.
  • Captain Vicente Roa
  • Captain Serapio Narváez - Officer of the 4th Company, Morong Battalion.
  • Captain Cirilo Arenas- Captain of Maguagui (Naic), Cavite.
  • Major Manuel Quezon - Aide to President Emilio Aguinaldo. Eventually succeeded him as the second President of the Philippines under the United States-sponsored Commonwealth.
  • Major Juan Arce
  • Lieutenant García - one of Gen. Luna's favorite sharpshooters of the Black Guard units.
  • Corporal Anastacio Félix - 4th Company, Morong Battalion the first Filipino casualty of the Philippine-American War.[17]

Notable foreign officers and servicemen

José Ignacio Paua, a Pure-blooded Chinese general.
  • General Juan Cailles - Franco-Indian mestizo who led Filipino forces in Laguna[18]
  • General José Valesy Nazaraire - Spanish.[18]
  • Brigadier General José Ignacio Paua - Full-blooded Chinese general in the Army.[19]
  • Brigadier General B. Natividad - Brigade Acting Commander in Vigan under General Tinio.[20]
  • Colonel Manuel Sityar - Half-Spanish Director of Academía Militar de Malolos. A former captain in the Spanish colonial army who defected to the Filipino side.[21]
  • Colonel Sebastian de Castro - Spanish director of the military hospital at Malasiqui, Pangasinan.[18]
  • Colonel Dámaso Ybarra y Thomas - Spanish.[18]
  • Lieutenant Colonel Potenciano Andrade - Spanish.[18]
  • Estaquio Castellor - French mestizo who led a battalion of sharpshooters.[18]
  • Major Candido Reyes - Instructor at the Academía Militar de Malolos. Former sergeant in the Spanish Army.[22]
  • Major José Reyes - Instructor at the Academía Militar de Malolos. Former sergeant in the Spanish Army.[22]
  • Major José Torres Bugallón - Spanish officer who served under General Luna.[18]
  • Captain Antonio Costosa - Former officer in the Spanish Army.
  • Captain Tei Hara - Japanese officer who fought in the Philippine-American war with volunteer soldiers.[23]
  • Captain Chizuno Iwamoto - Japanese officer who served on Emilio Aguinaldo's staff.[24] Returned to Japan after Aguinaldo's capture.[24]
  • Captain David Fagen - An African-American Captain who served under Brigadier General Urbano Lacuna. A former Corporal in United States Army 24th Colored Regiment.[25][26][27]
  • Captain Francisco Espina - Spanish.[20]
  • Captain Estanislao de los Reyes - Spanish aide-de-camp to General Tinio.[20]
  • Captain Feliciano Ramoso - Spanish aide-de-camp to General Tinio.[20]
  • Captain Mariano Queri - Spanish officer who served under General Luna as an instructor in the Academía Militar de Malolos and later as the director-general of the staff of the war department.[18]
  • Captain Camillo Richairdi - Italian.[18]
  • Captain Telesforo Centeno - Spanish.[18]
  • Captain Arthur Howard - American deserter from the 1st California Volunteers.[27]
  • Captain Glen Morgan - American who organized insurgent forces in central Mindanao.[27]
  • Captain John Miller - American who organized insurgent forces in central Mindanao.[27]
  • Captain Russel - American deserter from the 10th Infantry.[27]
  • Lieutenant Danfort - American deserter from the 10th Infantry.[27]
  • Lieutenant Maximino Lazo - Spanish.[18]
  • Lieutenant Gabriel Badelly Méndez - Cuban.[18]
  • 2nd Lieutenant Segundo Paz - Spanish.[18]
  • Lieutenant Alejandro Quirulgico - Spanish.[20]
  • Lieutenant Rafael Madina - Spanish.[20]
  • Lieutenant Saburo Nakamori - Japanese.[28]
  • Lieutenant Arsenio Romero - Spanish.[20]
  • Private John Allane - United States Army.[29]
  • Private Harry Dennis - United States Army.[29]
  • Private William Hyer - United States Army.[30]
  • Private Meeks (given name not specified) - United States Army.[29]
  • Private George Raymond - 41st Infantry, United States Army.[]
  • Private Maurice Sibley - 16th Infantry, United States Army.[31]
  • Private John Wagner - United States Army.[29]
  • Private Edward Walpole - United States Army.[29]
  • Henry Richter - American deserter from the 9th Cavalry.[27]
  • Gorth Shores - American deserter from the 9th Cavalry.[27]
  • Fred Hunter - American deserter from the 9th Cavalry.[27]
  • William Denten - American deserter who joined General Lukban in Samar.[27]
  • Enrique Warren - American deserter who served under Francisco Makabulos in Tarlac.[27]
  • Antonio Prisco - Spanish.[18]
  • Manuel Alberto - Spanish.[18]
  • Eugenia Plona - Spanish aide-de-camp to Baldermo Aguinaldo.[18]
  • Alexander MacIntosh - English.[27]
  • William McAllister - English.[27]
  • Charles MacKinley - Englishman who served in Laoag.[27]
  • James O'Brian - English.[27]

See also


  1. ^ Deady 2005, p. 55 (page 3 of the PDF)
  2. ^ Brian McAllister Linn (2000). The U.S. Army and Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899-1902. UNC Press Books. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-8078-4948-4.
  3. ^ Jerry Keenan (2001). Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American & Philippine-American Wars. ABC-CLIO. pp. 202, 205, 207-209, 212, 250, 295, 306, 310, 454. ISBN 978-1-57607-093-2.
  4. ^ "The Philippine Army History". Archived from the original on December 25, 2013. Retrieved .
  5. ^ a b c d "Philippine-American War, 1899-1902". Retrieved .
  6. ^ Alejandrino, Jose (1949). The Price of Freedom.
  7. ^ Opiña, Rimaliza (2004-11-14). "Military academy sheds West Point look". Sun.Star Baguio. Archived from the original on 2008-10-29. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Jose, Vivencio R. (1986). The Rise and Fall of Antonio Luna. Solar Publishing. p. 106.
  9. ^ "Uniformology II". Archived from the original on 2008-05-02. Retrieved .
  10. ^ Combs, William K. "Filipino Rayadillo Norfolk-pattern Tunic". Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Filipino Rayadillo Norfolk Pattern Tunic". Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ "Uniformology I". Retrieved .
  13. ^ Linn 2000a, pp. 186-187
  14. ^ Agoncillo, Teodoro (1960). History of the Filipino People.
  15. ^ Ponce, Mariano. Cartas Sobre la Revolución.
  16. ^ Gregorio F. Zaide (1968). The Philippine Revolution. Modern Book Company. p. 279.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Tan 2002, p. 249.
  19. ^ Linn 2000b, p. 97.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g Tan 2002, p. 108.
  21. ^ Tan 2002, pp. 108, 249.
  22. ^ a b Halili 2004, p. 169.
  23. ^
  24. ^ a b Ambeth R. Ocampo. "Japanese with a different face".
  25. ^ Bowers, Hammond & MacGarrigle 1997, p. 12.
  26. ^ Fantina 2006, p. 88.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Tan 2002, p. 250.
  28. ^ Consistency Is the Hobgoblin: Manuel L. Quezon and Japan, 1899-1934 by Grant K. Goodman, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Mar., 1983), p.79.
  29. ^ a b c d e Scott 1986, pp. 36-37
  30. ^ Scott 1986, pp. 36-37, 195
  31. ^ Hurley, Vic (2011-06-14). Jungle Patrol, the Story of the Philippine Constabulary (1901-1936). Cerberus Books. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-9834756-2-0.


In popular media

The Philippine revolutionary army has been mentioned in several books and films.



External links

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