FLAGS AND SYMBOLS FROM 1800 TO 1900 CENTURY > FROM THE AMERICAN OCCUPATION UNTIL PRESENT DAYS
THE PULAHANES MOVEMENT
The Pulahanes (literally "those wearing red" ), also known as Dios-Dios, were the members of a religious revival of Philippine beliefs that developed in the Visayas prior to the Philippine Revolution. At its peak, it numbered around 10,000-15,000 adherents. The movement was severely crippled during the Philippine Revolution after the Philippine Constabulary took over patrols in Samar, when the U.S. military declared the island as "pacified".
Pulahanes practiced a syncretic religious revival centered mostly on Philippine mythology and Folk Catholicism. Individual beliefs include the use of anting-antings as well as the revival of the babaylan.( Indigenous fighting techniqiues such as eskrima were also utilized in the elite and ferocious combat style) They practised a form indigenous martial arts called Derobio Eskrima and they specialize using a heavy, crescent-shaped Bolo knife in their battles. Religious rituals using bottles of holy oil, prayer books such as the Bible, consecrated anting-antings, as blessings before battles.
Americans have described Pulahanes as notorious fighters and are experts in hand-to-hand combat. War cries were also common among their fighters. They have also been described as "lacking in strategy" due to their high casualty figures in battles such as Massacre at Dolores. They have been the subject of many laws passed during the early American colonial period and have often been accused of "banditry".
The Pulahans were more of a religious organization made up of Waray people. "Pula" in Waray means "red"...also in Tagalog. They wore red trousers also, but this organization went as far back as the early 1890s prior to the Philippine Revolution.They have no connection to Aguinaldos "Red Brigade" or Bonifacios Katipunan...the Pulahans were just crazed religious fanatic killers who wore red...not just in their trousers but other clothing as well. Although,we do believe many of them participated in the revolution and Gen Lukban recruited many of them in Samar...They were responsible for the plotting of the Balangiga Massacre. They believed more in their religious sect then anything else...they would go so far as killing women and children. Also, in one US officers report, they mentioned this group had no special tactic or strategic skill, they just exploded out in hordes of bolo rushes. To this day Waray people are considered ruthless fighters.
According to some officers report, these groups would wave a white flag in front of them during battle, "believing" it would shield them from American bullets. But when you really think about it, waving a white flag means you surrender and not to shoot...and when the Americans stopped firing they may have believed the waving of their white flag is working and warding off bullets. As ignorant as these cults were, they were a force to be reckoned with, and most people feared them.
Waving a white flag can mean surrender or a flag of truce to talk. It can be used by both sides. One to say surrender or the other that is surrendering.
But still, it would stop firing from the other side to see what the white flag is about.
This is what everyone knows is the general "rule" in war. Wave a white flag, truce or surrender. But these pulahanes, , did not know that. They were mostly made up of uneducated illiterate high landers who knew nothing of the rules of war. They honestly believed the white flag was their anting-anting.
On their white flags there were some inscriptions (and maybe symbols) on it ; according to some other sources. the flags were white with a red cross in the middle and red too ..
A PULAHANES NEAR HIS WHITE FLAG
RED FLAG OF PULAHANES
THE RED CROSS FLAG OF THE PULAHANES MOVEMENT
About Pulahanes symbols and colors adopted by them :
The war against the Americans: resistance and collaboration in Cebu, 1899-1906 by Resil B. Mojares pag 171
..." These groups came to be given the generic name of Pulahanes , irregular, half organized groups of mixed political, religious , and criminal persuasions which flourished in Cebu (and elsewhere in the Country ).... " In Cebu, Leyte and Samar, their name came from the stripes of red (pula) cloth that decorated their clothes....".
" Their members are usually "diwatahan " (animists), use anting - anting, and are recorded to have observed esoteric rituals....".
Guardians of Empire: The U.S. Army and the Pacific, 1902-1940 by Brian McAllister Linn.
...." as well the red and black crosses which adorned their hats,coat collars, breasts and backs clearly show Christian influence...".
"Papa" Faustino Ablen on a picture taken after his capture, Ablen was one of the most important leaders of the Pulahanes of the southern part of the Philippines, he leaded a group which cult was called " Dios- Dios".