Diego Silang was a revolutionary leader who conspired with British forces to overthrow Spanish rule in the northern Philippines and establish an independent Ilocano nation.

DIEGO SILANG     

Silang worked as a messenger for a local Castilian priest in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Fluent in Spanish, he ferried correspondence from the Ilocos to Manila, journeys that gave him his first glimpse of colonial injustice and that planted the seed of rebellion. The seizure of Manila by British naval forces in October 1762, and the subsequent surrender of the Spanish Philippines to Britain during the British occupation of the Philippines, inspired uprisings in the farthest north of Ilocos Norte and Cagayan.

 

Silang initially wanted to replace Spanish functionaries in the Ilocos with native officials and volunteered to head Ilocano forces against the British. The Spanish administrators instead transferred their powers to the Catholic Bishop of Nueva Segovia (Vigan), who rejected Silang's offer. Silang's group attacked the city and imprisoned its priests. He then began an association with the British who appointed him governor of the Ilocos on their behalf and promised him military reinforcement.

 

The British force never materialized. Diego Silang was killed by one of his friends, a Spanish-Ilocano mestizo, whom church authorities paid to assassinate Silang. After Diego Silang's death, his wife, Gabriela, took command of the revolt.

16 December 1730

to 28 May 1763

Family Links

 Gabriela Silang - wife

Death Bicentennial

#875 to 877, 12 Jun 1963

the issue coincided with the 17th Anniversary of the Republic and the ongoing Arts and Philatelic Exhibition

Diego Silang Revolt Bicentenary

#871, 15 Nov 1962

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