Category: Military

Bonifacio Day

November 30 is Bonifacio Day in the Philippines.

Who is Andres Bonifacio?

Andres Bonifacio is the antithesis to Jose Rizal, the unofficial national hero of the Philippines.  Accolades have been poured on Rizal’s memory from far and wide; there is even a brotherhood in his honour called the Knights of Rizal.  He was born from a well-to-do family. He was learned, well-educated; became a medical doctor, well-travelled, and a very accomplished writer and poet to boot.  It was his two books, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo that inspired the likes of Andres Bonifacio to rise up against the hundreds of years of colonialism from Spain.  For this reason, Jose Rizal was martyred at Bagumbayan.  This should have not happened as Rizal  often said  that he never wanted Filipinos to completely separate from Spain.  He did not want blood shed.  He was into “the pen is mightier than the sword”.

Allegedly  it was the American who mooted that Rizal be the National Hero because of his qualities, some says that this alleged encouragement from the Americans was to subliminally curve Filipinos’ fighting spirit. Hehehe

Anyway many of us, yes including me, are pro-Bonifacio.


Andres Bonifacio

Andres Bonifacio came from an ordinary family, he was to my mind as brilliant as Rizal.  He was well read but did not have the same opportunities as Rizal.  Bonifacio was self-taught.  As most Filipinos, he was also multi-lingual.  He spoke Tagalog, Spanish and a little English (and probably a few Philippine dialects as well).  He read voraciously including Rizal’s novels  (I read the novels too as part of our high school curriculum and it pained me to say that it did not hold my attention for long, found the novels rather laborious and tedious at times, sorry Rizal ;( !!! ),  which apparently touched him to the core, he found the hidden message that there was no other way to sling the butts of the Spaniards out of the country but through the swords and brutal force.

Like Rizal, Bonifacio was a member of the La Liga Filipina which folded eventually.  The members  were divided into two factions, one for reforms through peaceful means and the other was for a truly radical and, dare I say, more credible option of baring arms against the unacceptable long running subjugation from Spain.  Bonifacio was a member of the latter. He then founded the KKK which an acronym for kataastaasang Kagalanggalang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (I would translate this as Superemely Proud Organization of the Children of the Country, LOL), and  it was more known as Katipunan.  And this was the beginning of the end for the 333 years of Spanish colonialism of the Philippines.

But not a happy ending I am afraid, because we became a “colony” of the USofA.  And then the Japanese came…

I hope another Bonifacio or Rizal will rise up from the masses right now and do a total clean up of the Philippines inside and out.  It is a shame that the Philippines seems to be forever lagging as a Third World country when it has so much to offer to the world.

All the blood shed by brave Filipinos, the named (famous) ones  and those who died in obscurity, seem to amount to nothing as the country is gripped by a different force, a more heartbreaking one, CORRUPTION.

I hope this Bonifacio Day will jerk us from our stupor, and about time too.  There is a real freedom crying to get out.  It is time Filipinos to choose the people we put in office.  Choose the most learned, the most efficient, the most trustworthy, the most experience; not the has-been movie/tv stars, not the boxer, not your street preacher, not because he is good-looking, not because he has money, not because he is white in complexion, not because he speaks perfect English.  Choose the one who will promote the will of the people and the constitution.

Thank you Happy Bonifacio Day.

Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa
Andres Bonifacio

Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya
Sa pagkadalisay at pagkadakila
Gaya ng pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa,
Aling pag-ibig pa? Wala na nga wala.

Walang mahalagang hindi inihandog
Ng may pusong wagas sa bayang nagkupkop.
Dugo, yaman, dunong, katiisat pagod:
Buhay may abuting magkalagot-lagot

Ang nakaraang panahon ng aliw
Ang inaasahang araw na darating
Ng pagkatimawa ng mga alipin
Liban pa sa bayan saan tatanghalin?
Sa aba ng abang mawalay sa bayan

Gunita may laging sakbibi ng lumbay

Walang alaalang inaasam-asam
Kundi ang makita lupang tinubuan.

Kayong nalagasan ng bungat bulaklak
Kahoy niyaring buhay na nilantat sukat
Ng bala-balakit makapal na hirap
Muling manariwat sa bayay lumiyag

Ipakahandog-handog ang buong pag-ibig
Hanggang sa may dugoy ubusing itigis
Kung sa pagtatanggol buhay ang kapalit
Itoy kapalaran at tunay na langit

Aling pag-ibig pa ang hihigit kaya
Sa pagkadalisay at pagkadakila
Gaya ng pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa
Aling pag-ibig pa wala na nga wala
Gaya ng pag-ibig sa tinubuang lupa
Aling pag-ibig pa? Wala na nga wala .


Andres Bonifacio


From the Moon King

By Atty Alma Luna-Reyes

September 29, 2012 was a day of celebration among Filipinos in Southern California. But, of course, they have a reason to celebrate. An 8 foot statute of the Philippine National hero, Jose Rizal, was unveiled in the City of Carson in the morning and a thanksgiving gala was held at the Westin LAX in the evening.

The events had all the elements of festivities and the usual incidents that come along Filipino organized events. There were minor issues on seating arrangements, sound system glitzes and not only numerous but long speeches. The program was too long that some attendees, including a lady seated by our table (who happens to be a President of one organization) fell asleep during the program. In general, however, I did enjoy the evening. It was an opportunity to see and be with friends and do a couple of dance pieces.

What I want to take a closer look in the midst of all this celebration is whether Jose Rizal deserves all of the accolades. Should he be our National Hero? Or is Andres Bonifacio more deserving of the deference?

Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio opted for different courses of action. Rizal fought against the friars with the use of his pen. Bonifacio advocated for revolution. There is nothing wrong with advocating for something without revolt. In fact, a nonviolent means is the best way of achieving political change. Although I admire Rizal’s accomplishments, it seems like Rizal opted against the revolution because he was for the preservation of the status quo. This is why according to author Renato Constantino, the reason Rizal was given special attention as a hero by the American colonial administration because Rizal was interpreted to represent peaceful political advocacy, unlike more radical people whose ideas could inspire resistance against American rule.

If we look at Rizal’s life circumstances, he is among the rich. His family is one of the landed gentry of the province of Calamba. Rizal was able to travel and study abroad at a time when most Filipinoswere not even able to leave their home province. The success of Bonifacio’s Revolution may mean that Rizal’s family would lose their privileged position. There are also some historians who believe that Rizal did not actually advocate independence but merely wanted representation and better rights for Filipinos while remaining under Spanish rule. Bonifacio’s cause was more people-oriented. There was no indication of any type of self-service or of any type of self-preservation. He just fought to end the foreign rule. No properties to protect, no interest group to favor, no allegiance to anyone other than to the Filipinos. Contrary to popular belief and urban legends, Bonifacio was not an uneducated brute. He was self-educated and was well-read. He spoke Tagalog and Spanish and a little English as well. Despite this, his image is still that of the bare-chested insurgent and common man who launches himself into battle without regard for his safety.

Choosing Rizal as the national hero is for the benefit of the ruling class who will always favor preservation of the status quo. But in terms of nobility of the cause, passion, dedication and price of sacrifice, Bonifacio is by far more deserving of all accolades.

It bears noting that Jose Rizal is not the official national hero of the Philippines. In fact, the country does not have any official national hero. There has never been any law passed to recognize a national hero in the country.

Any Rizalitas out there? What do you think?

Mughal Empire (1500s, 1600s)

BBC History

Last updated 2009-09-07

Learn about the Mughal Empire that ruled most of India and Pakistan in the 16th and 17th centuries.




The Mughal Empire

Famous white domes and towers of the Taj Mahal The Taj Mahal houses the jewelled tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, much loved wife of emperor Shah Jehan ©

The Mughal (or Mogul) Empire ruled most of India and Pakistan in the 16th and 17th centuries.

It consolidated Islam in South Asia, and spread Muslim (and particularly Persian) arts and culture as well as the faith.

The Mughals were Muslims who ruled a country with a large Hindu majority. However for much of their empire they allowed Hindus to reach senior government or military positions.

The Mughals brought many changes to India:

  • Centralised government that brought together many smaller kingdoms
  • Delegated government with respect for human rights
  • Persian art and culture
  • Persian language mixed with Arabic and Hindi to create Urdu
  • Periods of great religious tolerance
  • A style of architecture (e.g. the Taj Mahal)
  • A system of education that took account of pupils’ needs and culture

Muslims in India

There had been Muslims in India long before the Mughals. The first Muslims arrived in the 8th century.

Gujurat mosque, a one-storey stone building with arches along its facade Ahmedabads Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) was built in the 15th century in Gujarat ©

In the first half of the 10th century a Muslim ruler of Afghanistan invaded the Punjab 11 times, without much political success, but taking away a great deal of loot.

A more successful invasion came at the end of the 12th century. This eventually led to the formation of the Delhi Sultanate.

A later Muslim invasion in 1398 devastated the city of Delhi.

The Mughal Empire grew out of descendants of the Mongol Empire who were living in Turkestan in the 15th century. They had become Muslims and assimilated the culture of the Middle East, while keeping elements of their Far Eastern roots.

They also retained the great military skill and cunning of their Mongol ancestors, and were among the first Western military leaders to use guns.



Gemstones in the arches of Humayun's tomb Jewelled archway in Humayun’s tumb in Delhi ©

Babur the first Mughal Emperor, was a descendent of Genghis Khan and Tamerlaine.

Babur succeeded his father as ruler of the state of Farghana in Turkestan when he was only 12, although he was swiftly deposed by older relatives.

Babur moved into Afghanistan in 1504, and then moved on to India, apparently at the invitation of some Indian princes who wanted to dispose of their ruler. Babur disposed of the ruler, and decided to take over himself.

He captured the Turkic Ghur’iat Sultanate of Delhi in 1526, imposing his rule on most of Northern India.

The Empire he founded was a sophisticated civilisation based on religious toleration. It was a mixture of Persian, Mongol and Indian culture.

Under Babur Hinduism was tolerated and new Hindu temples were built with his permission.

Trade with the rest of the Islamic world, especially Persia and through Persia to Europe, was encouraged.

The importance of slavery in the Empire diminished and peace was made with the Hindu kingdoms of Southern India.

Babur brought a broad-minded, confident Islam from central Asia. His first act after conquering Delhi was to forbid the killing of cows because that was offensive to Hindus.

Babur may have been descended from brutal conquerors, but he was not a barbarian bent on loot and plunder. Instead he had great ideas about civilisation, architecture and administration.

He even wrote an autobiography, The Babur – Namah. The autobiography is candid, honest and at times even poetic.

Babur was followed by his son Humayun who was a bad emperor, a better poet, and a drug addict. He rapidly lost the empire. He did eventually recover the throne but died soon afterwards after breaking his neck falling downstairs.

While Humayan was certainly disastrous as a ruler, his love of poetry and culture heavily influenced his son Akbar, and helped to make the Mughal Empire an artistic power as well as a military one.

Abu Akbar

Intricately decorated stonework around the arched doorway to Itimad-ud-Daulah's tomb Itimad-ud-Daulah’s tomb in Agra is considered a landmark in Mughal architecture ©

The third Emperor, Abu Akbar, is regarded as one of the great rulers of all time, regardless of country.

Akbar succeeded to the throne at 13, and started to recapture the remaining territory lost from Babur’s empire. By the time of his death in 1605 he ruled over most of north, central, and western India.

Akbar worked hard to win over the hearts and minds of the Hindu leaders. While this may well have been for political reasons – he married a Hindu princess (and is said to have married several thousand wives for political and diplomatic purposes) – it was also a part of his philosophy.

Akbar believed that all religions should be tolerated, and that a ruler’s duty was to treat all believers equally, whatever their belief.

He established a form of delegated government in which the provincial governors were personally responsible to him for the quality of government in their territory.

Akbar’s government machine included many Hindus in positions of responsibility – the governed were allowed to take a major part in the governing.

Akbar also ended a tax (jizya) that had been imposed on non-Muslims. This discriminatory tax had been much resented, and ending it was a popular move.

An innovation was the amount of autonomy he allowed to the provinces. For example, non-Muslims were not forced to obey Islamic law (as was the case in many Islamic lands), and Hindus were allowed to regulate themselves through their own law and institutions.

Akbar and Godism

Akbar took the policy of religious toleration even further by breaking with conventional Islam.

The Emperor proclaimed an entirely new state religion of ‘God-ism’ (Din-i-ilahi) – a jumble of Islamic, Hindu, Christian and Buddhist teaching with himself as deity. It never spread beyond his court and died when he did.

Fatehpur Sikri was the new capital built by Akbar, as a part of his attempt to absorb other religions into Islam. Fatehpur Sikri is a synthesis of Hindu and Islamic architecture.

Jahangir and Jahan

Akbar’s son, Emperor Jahangir, readopted Islam as the state religion and continued the policy of religious toleration. His court included large numbers of Indian Hindus, Persian Shi’a and Sufis and members of local heterodox Islamic sects.

Jahangir also began building the magnificent monuments and gardens by which the Mughals are chiefly remembered today, importing hundreds of Persian architects to build palaces and create magnificent gardens.

Jahangir’s approach was typified by the development of Urdu as the official language of Empire. Urdu uses an Arabic script, but Persian vocabulary and Hindi grammatical structure.


The architectural achievements of the Mughals peaked between 1592 and 1666, during the reign of Jahangir’s successor Jahan.

Corner of the Taj Mahal palace in golden sunlight The Taj Mahal, commissioned by Emperor Jahan, marks the apex of the Mughal Empire ©





Jahan commissioned the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal marks the apex of the Mughal Empire; it symbolises stability, power and confidence.

The building is a mausoleum built by Jahan for his wife Mumtaz and it has come to symbolise the love between two people.

Jahan’s selection of white marble and the overall concept and design of the mausoleum give the building great power and majesty.

Jahan brought together fresh ideas in the creation of the Taj. Many of the skilled craftsmen involved in the construction were drawn from the empire. Many also came from other parts of the Islamic world – calligraphers from Shiraz, finial makers from Samrkand, and stone and flower cutters from Bukhara.

By Jahan’s period the capital had moved to the Red Fort in Delhi, putting the Fort at the heart of Mughal power. As if to confirm it, Jahan had these lines inscribed there: “If there is Paradise on earth, it is here, it is here.”

Paradise it may have been, but it was a pricey paradise. The money Jahan spent on buildings and on various military projects emptied his treasury and he was forced to raise taxes, which aggravated the people of the empire.


Jahan’s son Aurangzeb was the last great Mughal Emperor.

Intricately decorated walls and towers make up Itimad-ud-Daulah's tomb Itimad-ud-Daulah’s tomb in Agra is considered a landmark in Mughal architecture ©

History’s verdict on Aurangzeb largely depends on who’s writing it; Muslim or Hindu.

Aurangzeb ruled for nearly 50 years. He came to the throne after imprisoning his father and having his older brother killed.

He was a strong leader, whose conquests expanded the Mughal Empire to its greatest size.

Aurangzeb was a very observant and religious Muslim who ended the policy of religious tolerance followed by earlier emperors.

He no longer allowed the Hindu community to live under their own laws and customs, but imposed Sharia law (Islamic law) over the whole empire.

Thousands of Hindu temples and shrines were torn down and a punitive tax on Hindu subjects was re-imposed.

In the last decades of the seventeenth century Aurangzeb invaded the Hindu kingdoms in central and southern India, conquering much territory and taking many slaves.

Under Aurangzeb, the Mughal empire reached the peak of its military power, but the rule was unstable. This was partly because of the hostility that Aurangazeb’s intolerance and taxation inspired in the population, but also because the empire had simply become to big to be successfully governed.

The Muslim Governer of Hydrabad in southern India rebelled and established a separate Shi’a state; he also reintroduced religious toleration.

The Hindu kingdoms also fought back, often supported by the French and the British, who used them to tighten their grip on the sub-continent.

The establishment of a Hindu Marathi Empire in southern India cut off the Mughal state to the south. The great Mughal city of Calcutta came under the control of the east India company in 1696 and in the decades that followed Europeans and European – backed by Hindu princes conquered most of the Mughal territory.

Aurangzeb’s extremism caused Mughal territory and creativity to dry up and the Empire went into decline. The Mughal Emperors that followed Aurangzeb effectively became British or French puppets. The last Mughal Emperor was deposed by the British in 1858.

Remembrance Day- Poppy Day 11th November

2014 especially commemorates the  centenary of the start of Word War 1 (WW1).  

A moving Remembrance Day tribute held annually at the Royal Albert Hall London. Each falling poppy leaf is a symbol representing those who sacrificed their lives in wars and conflict – BBC

Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) It is a memorial annually commemorated in the UK and Commonwealth Countries. Other countries involved in the World Wars and later conflicts hold Veteran Days around the same date.

At 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month 1918,  hostilities of War One (WW1) ceased and the guns fell silent. The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 formally ratified the ceasefire.

WW1 was one the bloodiest conflicts in European history leaving many millions on both sides including civilians dead.

A week or so before Remembrance Day, volunteers appear to sell replicas of the red poppy flower (poppies) as badges. Poppies were chosen as symbol of hope, renewal and remembrance for all those who made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in  wars and conflicts fought since WW1.  The poppies are sold for the British Legion, a charity for ex and veteran service personnel as well as families of those who perished and those wounded in wars and conflicts.

The poppies grow in fields in Flanders, a region of northern Belgium which saw some of the bitterest fighting in WW1 . The only living thing to survive and grow each year after the devastation were the poppy flowers.

We, who buy poppy badges, say we ‘wear them with pride’ for the sacrifice others made to protect the freedom and safety of our nations.

Artificial poppies were made  for the first poppy appeal in 1921 and had been imported from France.

In  1922 the Disabled Society , a charity established  in 1920 received a grant of £2,000 from the British Legion to employ disabled ex-service personnel to make remembrance poppies in England, A poppy makin factory was set up  in a former collar factory on London’s Old Kent Road and employed employing 50 disabled veterans. The factory made a million poppies within two months.

In November 1924, the Prince of Wales ( the future  King Edward VIII) visited the Poppy Factory, which made 27 million poppies that year. Most of the employees were disabled, and by then there was a long waiting list for prospective employees.

The old collar factory eventually proved too small as demand increased for poppies  and in 1925 the factory moved to the disused brewery site in Richmond that is still its home. The name of the charity was changed to the British Legion Poppy Factory at about the same time. In 1933 the factory was rebuilt on the same site.

As of 2011, the Richmond factory is still operated by Royal British Legion through a separate company, The Royal British Legion Poppy Factory Ltd, and employs approximately 40 full-time workers, most of whom are disabled, who make the poppies throughout the year in preparation for the period around Remembrance Sunday. In addition, the charity employs approximately 90 home workers who live within 10 miles (16 km) of the factory. Total production is approximately 36 million poppies each year, although it has been as high as 45 million and there were once 365 workers.

The Richmond factory also makes approximately 80,000 poppy wreaths each year

A separate factory, Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory, was opened in Scotland in March 1926 at the suggestion of Countess Haig, wife of Field Marshal Earl Douglas Haig

In 1998, the factory became an independent charitable company, The Lady Haig Poppy Factory Ltd, owned by Earl Haig Fund Scotland Ltd.

The factory is operated by the Earl Haig fund and also employs ex-service personnel, many disabled, making five million remembrance poppies in Edinburgh each year, to a slightly different design with four-lobed petals rather than two for English poppies, and 8,000 wreaths.

Lady Haig four-petal poppy

The nearest Sunday to 11th November is known as On Remembrance Sunday and churches hold memorial services.

On Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph – Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in London’s Whitehall,  a poppy wreath is laid by the reigning monarch  Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal Family.

They are   followed by wreaths  placed at the cenotaph by the Prime Minster, senior politicians, armed service leaders and  representatives from the Royal Army, Royal Navy, Royal Airforce, emergency services, police, fire , ambulance  services also  auxiliary services, military veterans, ex service personnel, who also parade past the cenotaph.  There is a poppy  Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.

Similar wreath laying  ceremonies  take place at local war memorials in the UK and Commonwealth Countries.

A two minutes silence is observed at 11am.

Lest We Forget


Flanders Field – a moving poem

Poppies growing in Flanders fields

Flanders Battle field

British Legion Poppy Badge

Field of poppy crosses


An example of a metal poppy pin badge

Poppy wreath laying at the  Cenotaph, London


Queen Elzabeth II laying a poppy wreath at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday

Old Soldiers laying their poppy wreaths and remembering old comrades


Mayor of London Boris Johnson wearing poppy badge on Remembrance Sunday



Teresita (Teresa) Magbanua

Teresita (Teresa) Magbanua – Joan of Arc of the Visayas

Teresa Magbanua

I opened my emails today and found a very interesting one from a friend who’s related to Teresita Magbanua, who was known as the Joan of Arc of the Visayas. Anyway I googled Teresita Magbanua and this was an entry from Wikipedia:

Teresa Magbanua y Ferraris (October 13, 1868 – August 1947) earned the distinction of being the only woman to lead combat troops in the Visayas against Spanish and American forces. Born in Pototan, Iloilo, Philippines on 13 October 1868, to wealthy parents, she earned a teaching degree and taught in her hometown. Having come from a family of revolutionaries, she immediately volunteered her services to the motherland and became an exceptional horseman and marksman.

Without the approval of her husband, she led a large group of men in the Battle of Barrio Yoting, Capiz in early December 1898. She outfought the Spanish troops at the Battle of Sapong Hills near Sara.
She suffered greatly from the early death of her brothers General Pascual Magbanua and Elias Magbanua, at the hands of traitors.

Fifty years later, her heroism was once again displayed when she helped finance a guerrilla resistance movement by the liberators together with the Allied Filipino soldiers of the 6th, 61st and 62nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, 6th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary and the Ilonggo guerrillas against the Japanese in the Battle for the Liberation of Iloilo. Teresa Magbanua was likely called the “Joan of Arc”.
She migrated to Mindanao after the war and lived with her sister Maria in Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur, where she died in August, 1947, exact day unknown.

This is my friend, Bob Gabuna, had to say regarding his ancestress:

My roots, were revoloutionary leaders. The lady-warrior, Teresita
MAGBANUA of Pototan, Iloilo that earned the moniker, “Joan of Arc” of the
Visayas, is my great-grandaunt. Two of Nanay Isa’s elder brothers
(Isa is her endeared pet name), Francisco and Pascual, were already generals
in the revolutionary movement; but, Nanay Isa is the most feared leader of the
rebelde (rebels) because of her exploits in conducting her revolutionary activities. Her
battle tactics is novel. The colonizers were stumped how to counteract it.

If you’ve heard of the modern “agaw armas”, of the underground elements in
procuring armaments for themselves in fighting the government forces? That
sort of warfare was the methodology employed by Nanay Isa.

Nanay Isa finished Education from UST, the Dominican operated school.
When she returned to her hometown, she “saw” the atrocities committed by
the colonizers. She quit being a classroom teacher and joined her two elder
brothers who were officers in the revolutionary movement.

Because the Panay liberators were ill equipped, she was given the mission
to procure arms for the rebolusionaryo. Employing her womanly wiles, she
would visit the garrisons and offer tuba to Guardia Sibil late in the night.
When the guards on duty are already drunk, Nanay Isa would give out a
signal and her troops would spring up from the bushes and grab away the
firearms of the drunk Guardia Sibil.

Nanay Isa’s fighting tactics was deemed far more dangerous than the
overt fighting forces of the rebels. To ferret out Teresita Magbanua
from her hiding, the colonizers persecuted the rest of the siblings of
Nanay Isa. To escape persecution, the rest of the members of the family
dispersed. Some went to Antique, some were able to escape in Negros,
some hid in nearby towns of Iloilo. Nanay Isa has 18 siblings plus one
(from a different mother). My direct ascendant, however, and two of his younger brothers
moved further in the southern part of Tablas Island—the largest island in the
Province of Romblon (an hour away of banca ride from Boracay Island).

A military decree was then issued during that period that all residents
in any given settlement must adopt the same letter for their family name.
In Pototan, letter P was imposed, hence, today, the municipality of Pototan
is peppered with family names that start in letter P. In Romblon, the
capital proper, letter M was given; Sibuyan, letter R was assigned; the
central part of Tablas Island and the three islands, letter F was imposed.
In Southern Tablas, letter G was issued.

There is a letter G in the surname of MAGBANUA. What my ninuno did,
they dropped the first two letters and transposed the remaining vowels.
Ergo, the new family name—GABUNA.

In my growing up years, every time I asked why our great-grandfather
and his brothers have to change family names, the elder cousins of my
father, including my aunts and uncles (both from the paternal and
maternal side), would place their pointing finger before their lips and
makes a hissing sound, “SSSHHH…hipos. Naglayas ang imo Lolo kay
ginpintasan kag ginhingabot”.

Crudely translated: Hush….keep silent. Our ancestors were compelled to
disperse and hide because they were persecuted and harmed.

For scores and decades, the second and third generation of Nanay Isa’s
descendants carried that emotional trauma and psychological burden.

General Douglas MacArthur

Douglas MacArthur

Douglas MacArthur

For us Filipinos the most famous quote ever uttered by the heroic General Douglas MacArthur would be without a doubt the “I shall return.”

Below is another quote to ponder:

There is no security in this life.  There is only opportunity.
– Douglas MacArthur






Believe Me
Or Not!
A five-minute immersion exercise in Contemporary Philippine History
Jose Sison Luzadas
Lingayen, Pangasinan


Source Internet

In his sentimental visit to the Philippines in 1961 where he was asked to trace his triumphant return to start the liberation of Luzon in 1945 starting from Lingayen, General Douglas Mac Arthur received a grand homecoming, reminiscent of the adulation given by the people of New York in 1951 when President Harry Truman fired him as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers.

If I were part of his entourage and Mac Arthur had asked me what is there pleasing to the ears of Filipinos like Claro M. Recto, Lorenzo Tanada, Luis Taruc and die-hard anti-American Filipino nationalists, I will suggest the following “MAKE-BELIEVE” speech to add drama and rhetoric he was already known for.


“Citizens and freedom loving people of the Philippines, I HAVE RETURNED FOR THE SECOND TIME, AND FOR A VERY SPECIAL REASON. I consider it more than an invitation of your government in inaugurating a highway named after me. It is for sentimental reason that I came to rectify an error in history long overdue for correction. With me are the Balangiga bells that were shanghaied by the US soldiers in the island of Samar a century ago in a mistaken belief that they were “priceless souvenirs of war.”

“You were with me in the battlefields of Bataan and Corregidor in 1941 and we were together again in mapping out operations after the Leyte and Lingayen invasion of 1944 and 1945 liberating the countryside facing death in defeating the same enemy. Because we have built a bond of brotherhood, camaraderie that encouraged and sustained mutual trust as allies and friends, I find no rationale keeping the bells in the state of Wyoming depriving the people of Balangiga of their cultural heritage.”

“When in the conduct of belligerency boils down to what is right and what is wrong, I find no justification for American soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division justifying them by the Articles of War of the Geneva Convention to pilfer and to keep any relic that belongs to the Balangiga Catholic Church.”

“Twenty-five years ago, I personally returned the sword that General Emilio Aguinaldo wore everyday until his capture in the jungles of Palanan. That sword was kept by my father General Arthur Mac Arthur for thee decades. In reminiscence to what General Ulysses Grant of the Union Army did by asking Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Appomattox Courthouse to keep his sword, I did the same out of respect and admiration of a defeated brave enemy. THERE ARE NO WOUNDS THAT CANNOT BE HEALED BY TIME AND BY MEN OF GOODWILL.”


Had this make-believe speech been delivered in Lingayen to the delight of Filipinos to hear including die-hard nationalists, Douglas will be another most admired American like Governor Francis Burton Harrison.

Now you can download “The Idol to generation of Filipinos”

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