In the annals of Philippine history, no event has been depicted with such color as the “Cry of Pugad Lawin,” an event in which the formerly secret Katipunan movement of Andres Bonifacio decided to wage a revolt against the Spanish colonial government to gain independence. It was a bold decision symbolized by that bold act by the Katipuneros led by the movement’s Supremo (leader) Andres Bonifacio of tearing up their cedulas or residence certificates which were seen as a symbol of their subservience to Spain in a place called Pugad Lawin (Hawk’s Nest) on August 3, 1896. The rest, they say, is history, the Philippine Revolution in this particular case.
At the same time, no event has also brought so much controversy as this particular event. Even today, questions are still being raised about the veracity of the venue and date ever since these details were raised by Philippine historian Teodoro Agoncillo as the “definitive” information regarding ”the Cry.” (then known as the Cry of Balintawak, but then again, Pugad Lawin was considered before as part of the greater area of Balintawak which adds more confusion to an already-confusing issue) But we will let the historians carry on with the debate in this issue as the rest us will at least take the present facts presented to us as the “definitive” history.
Regardless of the debate, there is no question about the great significance of this event and the place where it happened, at least the site that historians are telling us. Being a site of great significance in our history, I had this thought that, given the huge significance of this site, finding the place should not be hard to find. Unfortunately, it was not the case regarding the Pugad Lawin site. For one, it is not located along or nearby a major thoroughfare but somewhere in the “deeper” part of what is now Barangay Bahay Toro in Project 8, Quezon City. One would have to take a tricycle along Congressional Avenue nearing EDSA.
Once you’re there, first thing you may notice is that for a site that’s of great historical significance as Pugad Lawin, you cannot help but wonder and sigh at the view surrounding the place. Without elaborating further, let’s just say that Pugad Lawin deserves to have better surroundings than what it has right now. Then again, that is the reality we have to live by as a product of urbanization and the problems along with it.
But what is more frustrating is the fact that despite its importance, it is not readily accessible to anyone who wishes to visit the place. You see, the site today is now part of the Pugad Lawin High School complex. So while it benefits from the good upkeep being maintained in the school grounds, (as it should be) it is closed to the general public at times when there are no classes. Such was the case when I visited the place last time. Since it was a holiday, the site is closed and I had trouble finding whoever’s in charge of the area to grant me access. So I had to content myself with taking photos from the outside gate.
I understand the need to have it well maintained which may be the reason why it was included in the school grounds but It’s frustrating that accessibility to people who wish to visit this historic site is compromised as a result. I hope a way can be found to make this place more accessible so the people can better appreciate its significance.
© The Urban Roamer