22 March 1897
Blue, Red, Gold, White
Type of business
80,000 to 100,000 (1898)
"Republican Army""Philippine Army"
Kawit, Cavite, Philippines
Artemio Ricarte, Antonio Luna, Pío del Pilar, Mariano Noriel, Gregorio del Pilar, Miguel Malvar
Luna Sharpshooters, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Makapili
The Philippine Revolutionary Army (Filipino: Panghimagsikang Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas; Spanish: Ejército Revolucionario Filipino) was founded on March 22, 1897 in Cavite. General Artemio Ricarte was designated as its first Captain General during the Tejeros Convention. This armed force of General Emilio Aguinaldo's central revolutionary government replaced the Katipunan militia.
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. His brother, General Antonio Luna commissioned him with the task and personally paid for the new uniforms. Juan Luna also designed the collar insignia for the uniforms, distinguishing between the services: infantry, cavalry, artillery, sappers, and medics. 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. Infantry officers wore blue pants with a black stripe down the side, while Cavalry officers wore red trousers with black stripes.
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.
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.
The main weapon of the new Filipino army was the Spanish M93, also the standard infantry arm of the Spanish, and the Remington Spanish rifle. Crew-served weapons of the Philippine military included lantakas, Krupp guns, Hontoria guns, an Ordóñez gun, Hotchkiss guns, Nordenfelt guns, Maxim guns, and Colt guns. Also, there were improvised artillery weapons made of water pipes reinforced with bamboo or timber, which can only fire once or twice.
The evolution of Philippine revolutionary insignia can be divided into three basic periods; early Katipunan, late Katipunan and the Republican army.
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.
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
Foreign officers and servicemen
In popular media
The Philippine revolutionary army has been mentioned in several Books and movies.