Apolinario de la Cruz ( Hermano Pule ) was born on July 22, 1814 in Barrio Pandác in the town of Lucban in Tayabas Province (now Quezon). In 1829, , he decided to become a priest and tried to join the Dominican Order in Manila. During these times, Roman Catholic religious orders were closed for native people (indios). Apolinario decided to work at San Juan de Dios Hospital. During this time, he studied the Bible and other religious writings.
In 1832, de la Cruz founded the Cofradia de San José (Confraternity of St. Joseph), composed of indios. He was known to his followers as:" Hermano Pule". The Filipino brotherhood fostered a practice of Christian virtues. The Cofradia prohibited Spaniards and mestizos from joining without de la Cruz's permission.
Authorities, including Spanish Governor-General Marcelino Oraa and Roman Catholic Archbishop Jose' Segui regarded the Cofradia as heresy and an abomination of universal Christian values, ordering its dissolution. Despite its religious prohibition, the Cofradia's numbers continued to grow.
Feeling an attack on their religious freedom from Catholic authorities, Hermano Pule rallied about 4,000 followers at Barrio Isabang on the slope of Mount Banahaw and was able to resist an attack by Alcalde-mayor Juan Ortega and his 300 men on October 23, 1841.However, reinforcements came on November 1st, with Colonel Joaquin Huet who annihilated the Cofradia forces, allegedly massacring hundreds of old men, women and children who joined Hermano Pule in Alitao in defying the Catholic leaders of the Church.
After the attack Hermano Pule fled to Barrio Ibanga but was captured by authorities the following evening, and on November 4, 1841 he was executed by a firing squad at the town of Tayabas. After he was killed, the authorities cut off his head and placed it on a stake.
THE RED FLAG ADOPTED BY THE COFRARIA DE SAN JOSE'
IMAGE OF APOLINARIO DE LA CRUZ A.K.A. HERMANO PULE
According to some spanish sources : "... in october 31 an advance party of spanish troops was attacked by Cofrades of Hermano Pule, waving a red flag, fighting with more vigor and enthusiasm than military know how and prudence..."