Gregorio Aglipay was born in Batac, Ilocos Norte, Aglipay was an orphan who grew up in the tobacco fields in the last volatile decades of the Spanish occupation of the Philippines. He bore deep grievances against the colonial government, stemming from abuses within the agricultural system and the radical ecclesiastical reforms he championed. Arrested at fourteen for not meeting his tobacco quota, he later moved to Manila to study law under the private tutelage of Julian Carpio.
After two years of study under Carpio, Aglipay continued his studies at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and at the University of Santo Tomas. After obtaining his degree, he then entered the seminary in Ilocos Sur in 1883 and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood seven years later. He began a career as an assistant priest in various parishes around Luzon. Despite being a Catholic priest, Aglipay, like other Filipino revolutionaries, joined the Freemasons.
Establishment of the Filipino Catholic Church.
In 1898, the Katipunan was led by two leaders, Andrés Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo. Archbishop Bernardino Nozaleda asked Aglipay to confront the revolutionary leaders, offering them a level of autonomy for the Philippines if they would end the rebellion. Aguinaldo, in turn, sent Colonel Luciano San Miguel to Aglipay with the intention of getting him to join the rebellion. In the course of Aglipay's journey north, the Philippine-American War started. When Aglipay returned to Manila and discovered that the Americans had attacked, he joined the revolution. On 20 October 1898 he was appointed Military Vicar General of the revolutionaries. The next day, Aglipay sent a letter to various clergy asking them to ask the Pope to appoint Filipinos in all local church positions. On 5 May 1899, Archbishop Bernardino V. Nozaleda excommunicated Aglipay from the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1902, with the Philippines now a territory of the United States, Isabelo de los Reyes was working towards the formation of a Filipino national church, and on 3 August he suggested that a church independent of Rome with Aglipay as its Supreme Bishop be established. Aglipay, a devout Catholic at the time, initially did not accept. He was approached by Jesuit priests, Francisco Foradada and Joaquin Villalonga. They attempted to get him to sign a document swearing his allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church. Aglipay said he would sign it if the Church would continue to work towards appointing more Filipino priests. Foradada asked him why he wanted more Filipino priests so badly, as he felt they were inefficient and vicious; this statement offended Aglipay . He severed his ties with the Roman Catholic Church, and accepted de los Reyes' offer.
On 18 January 1903, Aglipay was appointed Supreme Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church by the bishops of Manila, Cavite, Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Cagayan, Pangasinan, and Abra.
While visiting other churches while travelling abroad, Aglipay rejected the Trinity, becoming theologically Unitarian, however the church refused to accepted his amended theology. Aglipay's unitarian and progressive theological ideas were evident in his novenary, Pagsisiyam sa Birhen sa Balintawak, 1925 and its English translation: " Novenary of the Motherland", 1926
GREGORIO AGLIPAY, FOUNDER OF THE IGLESIA FILIPINA INDEPENDIENTE
THE CHASUBLE OF O.M. GREGORIO AGLIPAY
During the Flag law banned ( September 6, 1907 - October 22, 1919 ) The Iglesia Filipina Independiente continue her patriotic mission by using the religious vestment with a designed of a Philippine Flag. Those vestment were used during mass, and during the elevation of the host and chalice the national hymn was played and the Philippine Flag was elevated also together with the host and chalice... **
The Philippine Flag and the I.F.I. *
For the period of the US military government in the Philippines,, there was an unwritten ban on the Philippine flag and use of the national colors. Once a civil government was recognized, the unwritten ban was relaxed. However, due to the patriotic nature of Filipinos and their use and display of their flag and the national colors, and several incidents related to their patriotism, the Flag Law was passed. The Flag Law or Act No.1696 (An act to prohibit the display of flags, banners, emblems, or devices used in the Philippine islands for the purpose of rebellion or insurrection against the authorities of the United States and the display of Katipunan flags, banners, emblems, or devices and for other purposes) was passed on September 6, 1907. The US flag was used as the official flag of the Philippines 1898-1946.
As a product of revolution and a nationalist church, the IFI Clergy lead by Supreme Bishop Gregorio Aglipay designed their clerical vestments with images and colors of the Philippine Flag and used it during their mass celebrations. The last two lines of the Philippine National Anthem was also sung during the Holy Eucharist celebration, when the priest raises the bread and the chalice. This nationalistic action of IFI becomes her living tradition that can be seen when the flag was displayed beside the altars of the IFI Churches, and when the clergy and congregation sung the National Anthem after the celebration of the Holy Mass. In addition with this, IFI clerical vestment designs are usually inspired with Philippine Flag colors and symbols. The Philippine Flag was also the inspiration of the official logo of IFI and even most of the diocesan and sectoral logos of the church.
"The chasuble is the outermost liturgical vestment worn by clergy for the celebration of the Eucharist in Western-tradition Christian Churches that use full vestments, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches, as well as in some parts of the United Methodist Church."
NOTES ON A FLAG OF THE IGLESIA FILIPINA INDEPENDIENTE :
Asian studies: Volums . 5-6
Philippine Center for Advanced Studies, University of the Philippines. Institute of Asian Studies, University of the Philippines. Asian Center - 1967 -
1 At various times the Colorum society in Pangasinan operated under two different names. In April, 1930, when the society was ... It had a flag of its own — a Filipino flag with suns taking the place of the stars. The flag bore the words: Bato a ...
Philippine magazine: Volume 27- 1930 -
The "Colorum" flag. The flag bore the words: "Batoa poon tilaoag. Batoa poro", meaning "Stone it the source of light. Pure stone". Also "Pa nagoayaoya ti Eglecia Pih- pina Endipindienti" — "For the Liberty of the Philippine Independent Church.