Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pedro Ambaristo and the Basi Revolt

Pedro Ambaristo lead one unique revolt against the Spanish colonizers on September 16, 1807. It was called the Basi revolt as it revolved in the love of the Ilocanos in their native wine basi (sugarcane wine).

This was to protest the Spanish expatriation of the production and sale of the wine basi by the natives on 1786. The Spanish administered the production of basi and Ilocanos were forced to buy from their stores. But on September 16, 1807, Ilocanos from Piddig, Ilocos Norte lead by Ambaristo rose in revolt. The movement quickly spread in nearby towns. The troops move southward toward Vigan which was the central government of the Spanish in Ilocos at that time, capturing each town they passed by from Spanish authorities. On September 28, 1807, the final battle occured in Bantaoay River (now an area in Gongogong, San Ildefonso, Ilocos Sur). The revolutionaries were defeated because the Spanish troops were well-prepared to defend Vigan from them. Ambaristo and two other leaders were captured and they were hanged in the plaza of Vigan the following day.

The bicentennial celebration of the Basi Revolt was commemorated this year in the site of the revolt's historical last battle in San Ildefonso, Ilocos Sur.

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