Uniformology II


Photo Essay

Uniformology I

Uniformology II

Guardia Civil





More 1898 Philippine Army insignia and photos

BRASS COLLAR INSIGNIA, branch of service color; red for infantry, black for cavalry, green for artillery, yellow gold for engineers or sappers, and maroon for sanidad militar or the medical service. These collar insignia came in pairs and are pinned on each side of the collar. They were designed by the famous painter Juan Luna at the request of his brother, General Antonio Luna as an attempt to put form and regularity in the army. These were issued in limited quantities mostly to officers. The color for branch of service is shown at the bases of shoulder boards, sword tassles, or at times in the piping of tunics and trousers.



Who is fighting for the Philippine Republic and who is for Spain?

From this painting of the end of the fighting between Spanish and Filipino forces in the Philippine town of Baler, we can note several key features which distinguish Filipino troops from Spanish. Spanish officers wore cuff insignia while Filipino officers use shoulder boards. Filipino soldiers tended to be barefooted while Spanish troops ususally wore brogans or a pair of alpartagas sandals. Filipinos sometimes wore a red, white & blue cockade of the republican tricolor while the Spanish wore red & yellow/gold cockades.  Spanish NCOs also wear a distinctive red diagonal stripe which is detachable or lightly sewn at the ends.

Note, leather webbing and cartridge pouches issued for soldiers who use the Remington rifle are black while those for users of the Mauser rifle are brown/tan. Also note the royal blue trousers worn by Filipino infantry officers, and what appear to be high lace-up boots.

By the begining of the Fil-Am War, many Filipino soldiers along with some Philippine born Spaniards who had served in Spanish regiments formed the core of properly trained Philippine Army troops and were quite justifiably proud of their Spanish service. Some NCO's kept their Spanish Army chevrons and other Spanish decorations while serving honorably under the Republic, their oath to the Spanish king Alphonso XIII no longer binding.



Top: Remington "rolling block" rifle (top), Middle Left: Illustration of Spanish black leather webbing designed for troops issued with the Remington, note on the right top picture is a group of Filipino soldiers issued with Remingtons, often wearing only single right cartridge pouches. The lower rifle is the famous Spanish Mauser Modelo 93. Soldiers issued with Mausers tend to use a brown leather bag with a brown leather shoulder sling as typified by the the right middle picture of Filipino troops. Note the leather cartridge bag's sling has a curious extra leather shoulder pad. Bottom: A reenactor's impression of cartridge belts and pouches, but for a pistol? Bottom Right is an elite Presidential guard trooper with red pants and the German designed brown multi-cartridge pouches for Mauser users.


Reenactors from Buhay na Kasaysayan, an L.A. based Filipino-American reenactment group form up "the colors".