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‘Battle of Macabebe’ marker unveiled

MACABEBE, Pampanga–The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and Mayor Annette Flores-Balgan on Tuesday unveiled a historical marker at the municipal hall honouring the brave residents and soldiers of this town who defeated the Spanish army in the 1898.

NHCP Deputy Executive Director Carminda Arevalo, historian Lord Francis Musni of the Holy Angel University Center for Kapampangan Studies (CKS), Flores-Balgan and other town officials publicly launched the “Labanan sa Macabebe (Battle of Macabebe)” marker at the town hall grounds in time for the start of the historic four-day war which began in June 25, 1898.

“Sinalakay ng mga rebolusyonaryo sa pamumuno ni Hen. Isidoro Torres ang umatras na puwersang espanyol sa Macabebe, 25 Hunyo 1898. Nakuha ang artileriya ng mga Espanyol, 28 Hunyo 1898 (The revolutionary soldiers led by General Isidoro Torres attacked the retreating forces of Spain in Macabebe on June 25, 1898. They got the artillery of Spain in June 28, 1898),” said the marker displayed in front of the town hall in between the main municipal building and police station in Poblacion.

Torres of Malolos, Bulacan was appointed by General Emilio Aguinaldo in 1897 as brigadier general for the military departmental zones in Central Luzon.

Arevalo also handed a NHCP manifesto signed by herself and other NHCP officials, Balgan-Flores and a representative of Vice Mayor Vince Flores that officially turned-over the historical marker to the Macabebe government.

“The NHCP has been turning over to Local Government Units (LGUs) historical markers to ensure their safety. There were some NHCP markers lost from robbers. It’s good to partner with LGUs because the markers are not just safe but are taken care of,” said Arevalo, who was accompanied by Musni and other CKS officials.

“The battle in Macabebe was one of the events of our history that the every Filipino should not forget, foremost by Macabebe residents. This battle between the Filipino and Spanish soldiers was instrumental in the success of the Filipino’s struggle for freedom,” said Arevalo in Tagalog language.

Musni, CKS consultant, who is a native of San Rafael and San Esteban areas in Macabebe, said the high-ranking Spanish soldiers, generals and priests had made the coastal Pampanga town as “last frontier.”

“The retreating Spaniards came from several areas in Pampanga, Central Luzon and other parts of Luzon as far as Ilocos provinces,” said Musni.

He said that the Filipino soldiers aided by Macabebe residents had shooed away the Spanish soldiers in a “supposedly bloody war” lasting for four days based on historical accounts.

“What’s more important is that the Filipinos seized the artillery of Spain on June 28,” said Musni.
Musni said that during the war in the late 1800s, the largest ever number of Spain’s colonizers and their soldiers and artillery in the country were in Pampanga and Cebu. The province in Visayas has the highest number among all the provinces and cities in the country, he added.

In her speech, Balgan-Flores said “we wholeheartedly accept the marker.” She added that the residents and officials of Macabebe are thankful to the CKS and NHCP for helping them know the interesting history of the town.

Balgan-Flores, who was unopposed for his re-election bid last May, is working closely with Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda, CKS, NHCP and other historians in promoting the “rich culture and history” of the first-class municipality.

In 2011, the NHCP turned over the historical marker of Felipe Songson (1611-1685) of this town. He was the second Filipino to be part of the Jesuits.

Songson’s marker was placed at Macabebe church’s grounds in Poblacion which is in front of the municipal hall.

Macabebe tourism officer Catherine Flores, Councilors Dennis Yumang, Carlito Tragora, Arlon Henson and Eminiano Yanga and San Vicente Barangay Captain Atty. Gerome Tubig and other village chiefs attended the simple ceremony which started at 9:00 a.m. ●JOEY PAVIA

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