Pule was born on July 22, 1815, in Lucban town in Quezon province. He had wished to become a priest but was discouraged by Spanish friars because he was a native, or an “indio.”
At 17, he founded the Cofradia de San Jose religious movement that attracted followers in Tayabas; the provinces of Laguna, Batangas and Cavite, Tondo in Manila, and some parts of the Bicol region. Membership reached around 5,000, according to historical records.
Pule tried to seek recognition for his organization from Spanish Church leaders, but Cofradia’s pure Filipino-only membership led authorities to suspect that it was a subversive group disguised as a religious society. Cofradia was forced to go underground.
Suarez said every Quezonian should be proud that the fight for freedom against the Spanish regime started in Quezon through the heroism of Pule and members of Cofradia de San Jose.
Pule’s heroism inspired three Filipino priests—Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora—whose martyrdom provoked the people to rise against the tyranny of Spanish rule and fight for freedom.
Pule killed Spanish commander Joaquin Ortega, the first fatality among Spanish officials, in a battle on Oct. 23, 1841, according to Gilbert Camaligan, chair of Hermano Pule Memorial Committee.
Ortega’s death infuriated Spain, which sent a large force of Spanish troops to get Pule, Camaligan said, citing historical research.
The revolutionary was eventually captured and killed. His body was cut into pieces and his head was placed in a cage, that was hung on a pole along the road leading to Majayjay town in Laguna.
Camaligan called on the Filipino youth to follow the valor and bravery of the hero.
Malacañang has declared Nov. 4 a special nonworking holiday in Quezon. The provincial government is already preparing for the 200th birth anniversary of the hero next year, Suarez said.