Gomez to keynote Balangiga's Encounter Day

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010


BALANGIGA, Eastern Samar -- A simple commemoration activity, this was how Balangiga Mayor Viscuso de Lira described Wednesday's celebration of the Balangiga Encounter, a historic event dubbed as the worst single defeat of American soldiers against Filipinos during the Filipino-American War.

In an interview with the town mayor of Balangiga Tuesday, he said although the event is being celebrated provincially under Republic Act 6692, a law enacted by Congress, this year's celebration was entirely funded by the municipal office of Balangiga, which is why they will make it simple yet memorable.

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The 109th Balangiga Encounter is to be graced by Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez (4th district, Leyte), who was personally invited by Eastern Samar lone-district Representative Ben Evardone, according to Mayor de Lira.

De Lira added that since staging a re-enactment of the encounter is too expensive, a 25-minute dance-drama presentation, depicting what had happened on September 28, 1901 in Balangiga that changed the military history of America and subsequently changed the lives of Samarnons during the American era, will be presented.

The commemoration of Balangiga Encounter is a celebration of the triumph of Filipinos who were against American rule of the country in early 1900's.

Dressed in women clothes, they successfully held a surprise attack that killed more than 50 American soldiers and had wounded some who manage to escape to Basey by riding a boat.

The said event caused for American troops to conduct a counter-attack, killing almost the entire population of Balangiga and taking two church bells of the said town which is now believed to be in a military base in the state of Wyoming while the other bell which is the smallest is believed to be displayed at the 9th Infantry stationed in Korea.

Numerous pleas to the American government to return the said bells to the country by both Philippine government and Catholic Church were made, but the Us government is not giving up citing the said bells are property of the US government and they are war booty of the US troops making it sacred to the American government for it serve as memorial for those who had been killed in encounter.(Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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