Diego Silang y Andaya Was a rebel leader who conspired with British forces to overthrow the Spanish in the northern Philippines and establish an independent Ilocano nation. His revolt was fueled by grievances stemming from Spanish tributes and abuses, and his belief in self-government, that the administration and leadership of the Roman Catholic Church and government in the Ilocos Region (at this time did not include Pangasinan) should be led to trained Ilocano officials.
Born in Aringay, Pangasinan (an area in present-day Caba or Aringay, La Union), he worked as a messenger for a local Castilian priest in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Bright, passionate and conversant in Spanish, he ferried correspondence from the Ilocos to Manila, journeys that gave him his first glimpse of colonial injustice and that planted the seeds of rebellion.
Spain allied with France during the Seven Years' War against Great Britain. In so doing, the British sought to diminish the Spanish Empire. British naval forces took over Manila in the early 1760s that inspired uprisings in the farthest north of Ilocos Norte and Cagayan, where anti-Spanish sentiments festered. While Silang initially wanted to replace Spanish functionaries in the Ilocos with native officials, and volunteered to head Ilocano forces against the British, desperate Spanish administrators transferred their powers to the Catholic Bishop of Nueva Segovia (Vigan) who in turn rejected Silang's call. 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 in their behalf and promised him military reinforcement. The British force never materialized.
He was killed by one of his friends, a Spanish-Ilocano mestizo named Miguel Vicos who was paid by church authorities to assassinate him.
After Diego Silang's death, his wife, Josefa Gabriela, took over the revolt and fought courageously. A strong force was then sent against her. This time, she was forced to retreat to Abra. Riding a fast horse, Gabriela led her troops towards Vigan, but she was driven back. She fled again to Abra, where she was captured. On September 20, 1763, she and about 100 followers were executed by the Spanish authorities.
DIEGO SILANG BUST
NOTES ON FLAG AND SYMBOLS OF DIEGO SILANG
“...No satisfecho Silan con este mandamiento, despachò para Bangui á un tío suyo Pangasinán, llamado Nicolás Cariño, con la mayor parte de sus paisanos habitantes en esta provincia, con una bandera que llamaban de Jesus Nazareno a hacer guardia en el camino de Cagayan.Estos molestaron esta Amanian pidiendo a los pueblos frecuentemente gente y bastimentos. fingiendo llegada de Cagayanes. Enfermó gravemente dicho Cariño, por lo que pasó á Laoag donde estuvo en casa de D. Francisco..."
From : Historia de los sucesos de la Orden de N. gran P. S. Agustín, de estas Islas Filipinas.. by Fray Juan de Medina. - Manila 1893
".... No se nombrava Silan General, sino es Cabo mayor, porque el titulo de General se lo dio' a Jesus Nazareno, que se venera en una ermita de Vigan, a quien tenia devocion .."
page 336 From : " Historia de los sucesos de la Orden de N. gran P. S. Agustín, de estas Islas Filipinas... by Fray Juan de Medina
Probably the flag of Silang was a religious standard or a gonfalon more than a personal flag with particular personal symbol
ONE OF THE IMAGES OF JESUS NAZARENO (JESUS OF NAZARETH ) KNOWN AT DIEGO SILANG'S TIME