Chapter Two
4. The Unrecorded Uprisings

Elsewhere in the country, the encomienda system which allowed the friars and other favorites of the King to own vast tracts of land and live off the sweat of the Indios, had touched off short-lived pocket rebellions that are now recorded in Philippine history as significant chapters in the quest for final redemption from the Spanish yoke.

About Kalookan of this period, Serrano wrote:

"Before the stirring events of 1896, Caloocan had been known as a peaceful town.  It did not suffer from violent disorders and revolts caused by abuses in the collection of tributes, forced labor, agrarian unrest, religious controversy, or oppression of the people by Spanish officials.  Caloocan had no opportunities to produce leaders of the caliber and courage of Dagohoy, Diego Silang, Juan de la Cruz Palaris, or Apolinario dela Cruz."

Like most scholars of his generation, Serrano as historian depended a great deal on documents written, necessarily, by the Spaniards.  These writings are made up largely of reports of the Governors - General to the King or by local heads of the religious orders to their superiors in Spain. Thus, what remain in the archives are accounts of Spanish campaigns against the insurrectos, with emphasis of each uprising that they were able to quell, each rebel leader they were able to capture, slay or lead to the gallows.

Where the Guardia Civil was impotent to impose the will of the colonizer, the historical researcher faces a blank wall. Only vague reports, for instance, exist on the muslims whom the Spaniards never really conquered.

Was there peace in Kaloogan during the span of almost a century that preceded the Katipunan revolution of 1896? Did its people suffer the unjust collection of tributes in silence? Did they bow their heads to the recruiters of slave labor, to the impositions of the friars and the abuses of the landlords?

That there are no extant reports of open rebellion in Kalookan during this period is not proof that there was none. When, during the first decade of the 19th century, the agents of the Hacienda de Maysilo descended upon the cultivated homesteads to claim a share of the harvest, they were asking for trouble. They had no right to do so except for titles issued by the King, and to the hard-working peasants this did not mean anything. The mestizo's agents were waylaid (probably occasionally murdered) by the farmers who refused to share a grain of rice with anybody who did not sweat for it. All existing reports about Kalookan of this period decried its worsening peace and order conditions.