Category: Military

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

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:


Teresita (Teresa) Magbanua

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 Guwardia Sibil late in the night.
When the guards on duty are already drunk, Nanay Isa would give out a
signal and her troops would sprang up from the bushes and grab away the
firearms of the drunk Guwardia Sibil.

Nanay Isa’s fighting tactis was deemed far more dangerous than the
overt fighting forces of the rebelde. To ferret out Teresita Magbanua
from her hiding, the colonizers persecuted the rest of the siblings of
Nanay Isa. To escapte 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 have 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 those 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 starts 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, everytime 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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