Monday, September 1, 2014

Palace order to rectify historical errors on “Unang Sigaw ng Nueva Ecija unheeded

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija – Three years after Malacañang called on the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to look into several “historical errors” about events involving the “Unang Sigaw ng Nueva Ecija,” these have yet to be corrected which would have set the heroism of Gen. Mariano Llanera and other revolutionaries in its proper perspective even as Novo Ecijanos observe today the 118th anniversary of the historic revolt.

Among these errors are accounts that up to 3,000 revolutionaries from this town marched towards San Isidro and that they used a “musikang bumbong” in assaulting the Spanish garrison in the afternoon of September 2,1896.

          In 2011, Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) said the NHCP, led by its executive director Ludovico Badoy should conduct a thorough research on the historic event and make facts and figures “accurate” and “realistic” to give justice to its heroes.

          This after local historian Jose Hipolito said one of these errors include accounts that up to 3,000 revolutionaries from this town marched towards San Isidro with the use of a “musikang bumbong” where they assaulted the Spanish garrison in the afternoon of September 2,1896.

          “That is fatally wrong. The fact is only 753 revolutionaries laid siege in San Isidro and they marched there accompanied not by “musikang bumbong” but by a brass band,” Hipolito said.

          He said that the 3,000 supposed revolutionaries were too bloated a number and would clearly constitute an “overkill” on the part of Llanera’s group since they were up against only 100 Spanish soldiers.

          Hipolito said he knew of no one who conducted a realistic and in-depth research about the revolution and its heroes. “I was the only one who went to the National Archives to conduct my own research,” he said.

          Aside from the glaring historical inaccuracies, Mayor Gloria Crespo-Congco also questioned that the center of celebrations for the annual event is often held in the provincial capital Palayan City and not in this town. She said she had nothing against holding festivities in other towns to commemorate the event for Novo Ecijanos to appreciate history but said Cabiao’s role should be given utmost importance.     

The late 69-year-old head of the marching band that stormed the Spanish garrison in San Isidro also said Cabiao should be given recognition as the rightful venue for anniversary rites.

          Raul Nogoy, Banda, ’96 leader said San Isidro (then known as Factoria) can not be considered as the center of the celebrations neither because this was where the Spaniards held fort.

          The provincial government, led by Gov. Aurelio Umali, Vice Gov. Jose Gay Padiernos and third district Rep. Czarina Umali, has held various activities to usher Nueva Ecija Day consisting of a harana, health caravan, quiz bee, sikad Novo Ecijano, muscle showdown, agri-aqua ctrade fair, hair and make-up Olympics, aerobics competition, Binibining Nueva Ecija pageant, boxing competitions, the search for the outstanding young Novo Ecijanos   and the 1st governor’s cup shooting competitions.

          Today’s provincial government-led activity will be held at the old provincial capitol, according to provincial administrator Al Abesamis.

          When asked for his reaction regarding the issue over the venue, Abesamis did not return text messages.

          Local officials in Cabiao said it is only fitting that organizers consider the town as the center of celebrations because General Llanera was from Barangay San Roque here.

          The event marks the day when Llanera and Gen. Pantaleon Valmonte led home-grown revolutionaries, armed only with 100 guns, bolos and pointed sticks in assaulting the Spanish garrison in San Isidro on September 2,1896, two days after the “Unang Sigaw ng Balintawak.”

          Waving black and red flag, the revolutionaries caught the Spanish guardia civil by surprise.

For its role in the revolution, the province earned its place in the Philippine flag as one of the eight rays of the sun, each ray representing the province that revolted against the Spaniards. 

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