Dios Buhawi

Ponciano Elofre
Born Negros Oriental, Captaincy General of the Philippines
Died August 1888
Siaton, Negros Oriental, Captaincy General of the Philippines
Other names Dios Buhawi
Organization babaylanes

Ponciano Elofre, later called Dios Buhawi (Hiligaynon: Tornado/Whirlwind God), was a cabeza (head) of a barangay in Zamboanguita in Negros Oriental, Philippines, and the leader of a politico-religious revolt in Negros in the late 19th century against the Spaniards.

Revolutionary activities

As early as 1887, Elofre began his revolt when, as cabeza de barangay, he failed to collect all the taxes from his constituents. Spanish soldiers beat his father, Cris Elofre, to death in order to teach him a lesson. Thereafter, he rallied the people against the forced payment of taxes. Later, he included religious freedom as part of his agenda, and directed the celebration of the ancient rites of the babaylan (ancient Visayan shaman), a revival of the religious leader of the pre-Spanish era. He and his followers were later called the babaylanes, which numbered about 2,000.[1]


In August 1888, Buhawi raided Siaton, the town adjoining Zamboanguita, and was killed in the encounter with colonial forces. His wife, Flaviana Tubigan, continued the revolt, but lacked her husband's charm and charisma. She was succeeded by Ka Martin de la Cruz, of Tolong in southern Negros Oriental, Elofre's lieutenant, but his command of the babaylanes degenerated into banditry. When the Spanish authorities failed in their bid to capture him, on September 11, 1893, de la Cruz was killed in a trap laid by his own mistress, Alfonsa Alaidan.

The remaining Buhawi followers, conjectures Modesto P. Sa-onoy, were later recruited by Papa Isio when he began to organize his own group of babaylanes in another revolt against Spain.[2]

See also

Notes and references

  1. Modesto P. Sa-onoy (1992). Negros Occidental History. Today Printers and Publishers. pp. 110–118.
  2. Calma, Ma. Cecilia C. and Concepcion, Diana R.: The Revolution in Negros., Raison D'Etre, University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos Research Planning and Development Office, Bacolod City, 1998
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