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The Battle of Tuburan (1898)

This is the narration of Don Tomas Alonso, lawyer, legislator, writer and warrior of the battle of Tuburan. The information provided by a woman interrogated by the Spanish authorities in Sudlon proved to be true; that the Cebuano revolutionaries abandoned Sudlon and transferred to Tuburan.

People in Tuburan expected the arrival of Don Luis Flores (a street in Pasil, Cebu City is named after him), president of the Revolutionary Government of Cebu. Awaiting him in Tuburan were Don Bonifacio Aranas, Don Solomon Manalili, Don Justo Cabajar (Kabajar) and the representatives of the revolutionaries from Iloilo and Negros to discuss on how Visayas will connect with the KKK of Luzon.

Who was B. Aranas? Don Bonifacio Salcedo Aranas (a street in San Nicolas District, near Taboan is named after him) was a young bachelor during the revolution and a native of Camiguin and went to study in Cebu. His brother, Teodoro Aranas, was coadjutor of San Nicolas. As he had college education he worked as government clerk. He asked Gen. Maxilom that he be allowed to go to Camiguin to spread the revolution but was betrayed by a classmate and was arrested in route to Camiguin. He was brought to Fort San Pedro. He challenged the Spanish Governor of Cebu to a duel. Because of his gallantry, he was allowed to wear his uniform when he was executed.

It was in the third Friday of May in 1898 that revolutionaries from Sudlon arrived in Tuburan. Just after having lunch, a courier arrived informing the group that the Spaniards were in Toledo going to Asturias. They believed that the mission is to attack Tuburan. Don Justo Cabahar, the Chief of Asturias, ordered his men to get ready. Don Bonifacio Aranas also ordered his men to get ready.

The defense plan was made and agreed that they would wait for the Spanish forces in Marmol, Tuburan (there is also a place called Marmol in Naga). Above would be the forces of Cabajar to feint an attack and while the Spanish forces would become busy defending the attack, the forces of Aranas would maneuver down to attack the rear of the Spanish forces. General Arcadio Maxilom, the successor Chief of Army of Leon Kilat, supervised the defense battle plan. It was on a Saturday that the battle happened.

The gallant revolutionaries were able to execute the battle plan. The Spanish forces broke loose, dispersed. As they became disorganized, they retreated. Our Cebuano ancestors won the battle and seized many weapons from the enemies.

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The battle of Tuburan must be told, retold, and handed down to our youths, that hundred years ago, brave Cebuanos stood up against its colonizers and won.

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