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LAPIANG MALAYA

FLAGS AND SYMBOLS FROM 1800 TO 1900 CENTURY > FROM THE AMERICAN OCCUPATION UNTIL PRESENT DAYS

Valentin de los Santos was a Bicolano and established Lapiang Malaya in the 1940s ; on Sunday, May 21, 1967, this octogenarian man led a march from Taft Avenue in Pasay City to the Malakanyang Palace in order to overthrow then President Ferdinand Marcos. De los Santos' group was called Lapiang Malaya (Freedom Party), a millenarian sect that had around forty thousand members, mostly from the Southern Luzon peasantry. Armed only with long bolos, amulets and bullet-defying red, white and yellow-caped uniforms, the three hundred eighty men were met by the constabulary. When the group persisted thinking they were invincible, they marched against the military's superior weaponry. They were met with several shots and when the smoke cleared, thirty three of them lay dead. Those who survived including Delos Santos were charged with sedition and imprisoned. The old man was eventually confined to the National Center for Mental Health where he was mauled while sleeping. He became unconscious and died after a week. His attending physician placed pneumonia as the cause of his death.Ten years earlier, Delos Santos , called Tatang or Supremo, ran unsuccessfully in the presidential election won by Carlos Garcia. Tatang was described to be a charismatic leader and had simple goals in the movement: true justice, true equality and true freedom for the country. Many in the intelligentia saw him as a madman while his followers saw him as a medium able to communicate with God and even patriots like Rizal. He had the ability of linking the attainment of national freedom with the New Testament prophecy of the New Jerusalem. His group used amulets and formulated prayers in bastardized Latin.
The Lapiang Malaya followed the Katipunan: triangular symbols, colorful uniforms, the use of the title "Supremo", the notion of radical brotherhood and even the use of anting-antings (amulets).
Amulets have long been part of popular filipino belief. When combined with special oraciones (prayers), wearers of these believe themselves to be confident and daring to undertake suicidal missions. Anting-antings are very often handed down either as an inheritance or as a reward. When stolen, an amulet loses its power since it is meant only for its master. When bought, an amulet does not have power unless one consecrates this in a special ritual done on Good Friday. Another popular occasion when the birtud (or power) is gained is during the full moon with the ceremonial sacrifice of a black cat on a cemetery.

VALENTIN DE LOS SANTOS , "SUPREMO" OF THE LAPIANG MALAYA

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