Who are the Gomburza, and Why are They Trending?

They're not Majoha.
Photo/s: National Historical Commission of the Philippines

Netizens are calling out "Pinoy Big Brother" teen housemates for wrongly naming the three martyred priests known as Gomburza as "Majoha" in a viral clip released on Sunday.

Housemates Kai and Gabb were asked by host Robi Domingo to answer this question: "Ang tatlong Catholic priests na sina Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, Jacinto Zamora na hinatulan ng kamatayan noong panahon ng Kastila ay mas kilala sa tawag na...?"

Kai, who touched the buzzer first, tried by answering "Marjo" before taking it back. Gabb raised her hand to "steal", and answered "Majoha". Another housemate mouthed the word "Gomburza" before Domingo told them the correct answer.

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The Facebook video has been viewed more than two million times and shared more than 33,000 times since it was posted Sunday afternoon.

Netizens called out PBB for branding the video as as "pampa-good vibes".

"Hindi siya pampa-good vibes!!! Wag niyo gawing joke ang History! Pati kayo na official twitter account ng PBB, ang turing niyo dito is "good vibes" lang?" a netizen said

"Hindi po nakaka goodvibes, nakaka Alarma na ang PH history ay hindi alam ng kabataan. Eto yung paulit2 at hindi ko makalimutan mula Elem gang Rizal life&works sa college. Patawad Jose Rizal", said this netizen.

"Open the schools!!!" this netizen said. 

Some tagged DepEd to the post, with one netizen saying "parang andaming kailangan i-improve ah."

Another netizen said it was an eye-opener for Filipinos to address the crisis on education.

So, who are the Gomburza?

The three priests, collectively known by their portmanteau "Gomburza", were secularists whose deaths sparked the nationalist cause to push back against Spanish rule.

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Gomburza, or combination of the first syllables of their surnames, were wrongly implicated as the masterminds behind the Cavite Mutiny of 1872, where about 200 Filipino soldiers and workers in Cavite were up in arms against the Spaniards for abrogating the exemption of tribute and forced labor.

The Spaniards claimed the mutiny was an attempt to overthrow the colonizers, and used it as an excuse to maintain their hold in the Philippines. Massive arrests followed, including those who campaigned and supported liberal ideas.

Bacoor priest Mariano Gomez, Manila priest Jose Burgos, and Marikina priest Jacinto Zamora were among those arrested.

The three were outspoken about secularization or the movement to separate the church from the state and sought freedom for native priests (seculares) to be equal to their regular, or Spanish, counterparts. Their pursuit of secularization earned the ire of the Regulares.

A man named Saldua was said have been bribed to implicate the three priests, which led to the Spaniards accusing the Gomburza of sedition and treason without proof.

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The three were tortured and sentenced to die by the garrote, or a strangulation device used for execution.

On Feb. 17, 1872, the three priests were executed in front of around 40,000 people in Bagumbayan. Their accuser, Saldua, was also executed.

Their martyrdom fueled the revolt against the Spanish and had an impact on many Filipinos, including at that time the brothers Paciano and Jose Rizal.

Jose Rizal dedicated his second novel El Filibusterismo in their honor. In 1896, two decades after the three priests' martyrdom, Rizal was executed in Bagumbayan via firing squad for rebellion, sparking the Philippine nationalist movement.


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