Latest Stories

Why PH did not become a UK colony


MT. PINATUBO’S lahar claimed half of the San Guillermo Church in Bacolor, but it continues to inspire the growth of the Catholic faith in the town. E.I. REYMOND T. OREJAS

BACOLOR, Pampanga—The Philippines did not become a British colony and credit is due, in part, to the loyalty of the Kapampangan, particularly of Bacolor town, to Spain and their bravery in battles.

The not-so-little known roles Bacolor played in the course of the country’s history are remembered every Oct. 8, when the town served as the capital of the Spanish colony 250 years ago.

Bacolor was thrust into the maelstrom because of Britain’s Seven Years’ War in Europe, according to Robby Tantingco, executive director of the Center for Kapampangan Studies.

“The British invaded Spanish colonies, including Manila in October 1762. The colony’s lieutenant governor, Simon de Anda y Salazar, transferred the seat of government to Bacolor, a town far enough from Manila to make it out of reach for British attack but not that far for Anda to stage a counterattack,” Tantingco said.

Anda chose Bacolor as base of the resistance movement because aside from geography, it was “home to the King of Spain’s most loyal and brave subjects,” Tantingco said.

He said historical records show King Charles II (1661-1700) lauding the Kapampangan for their “great fidelity in my service.”

Local Castillians

Fray Gaspar de San Agustin, in a 1751 document, wrote that the Kapampangan were the “Castilians of these islands.” “One Spaniard and three Pampangans are equal to four Spaniards,” the Augustinian friar said.

Felipe del Pan, a 19th century Spanish journalist, observed that the Kapampangan were “the loyal companions of our disgraces and our glories.”

Pampanga loyalty also became evident in the battlefield.

The General Evening Post in London, in an April 1763 article, reported that “a thousand Malays (Pampangos) … armed only with bows, arrows and lances, advanced up to the very muzzles of the English pieces” when the British attacked Intramuros amid a typhoon on Oct. 5, 1762.

THIS MARKER in Bacolor, Pampanga, honors Spanish Lieutenant Governor Simon de Anda, who transferred the seat of government from Manila to Bacolor in 1762. TONETTE OREJAS

“(The Pampangos) repeated their assaults and died like wild beasts, gnawing the bayonets. Had their skill and weapons been equal to their strength and ferocity, it would have cost the English dear,” the Post said.

“Many Kapampangan in the region, those from Bulacan, Zambales, other provinces helped Spain defend the colony. That’s why we are not British,” said Tantingco.

Anda obelisk

Some 10,000 troops from Anda encircled Manila and Cavite. When the Seven Years’ War was over in 1763, Spain claimed victory in the Philippines.

“Royal fiscal Francisco Leandro Viana, who was in Manila during the 20-month British Occupation, told King Charles III in 1765: ‘The English conquest of the Philippines was just an imagined one, as the English never owned any land beyond the range of the cannons in Manila,’” Tantingco said.

Local officials unveiled on Oct. 8 a 15-foot tall obelisk in memory of Anda. The obelisk stands in front of the town hall, which is across the former site of the Casa Real, the seat of the

provincial government.

The obelisk is a replica of an Anda monument on Bonifacio Drive in Manila. But the one in Manila, built in 1876, was supposedly inspired by an obelisk built in Bacolor in 1853, said historian Francis Musni, citing a report by the El Oriente, a Spanish magazine.

Musni said the Anda memorial in Bacolor was destroyed when Spanish forces burned the town in 1899 to flush out Filipino revolutionaries.

The town council passed a resolution renaming the town Villa de Bacolor, an honorific title the King of Spain gave to Bacolor in gratitude for its role in the British Occupation.

Bacolor Mayor Jomar Hizon said Mt. Pinatubo’s 1991 eruptions and lahar flows, which buried the town, except for the St. William the Hermit Church, delayed the planned recognition rites.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Great Britain , History , Pampanga , War

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’
  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Supper power
  • Condo unit sales boosted Shang Properties earnings
  • ERC mulls over WESM price cap for May, June
  • Whatever happened to the ubiquitous pagers?
  • Huge 2013 net profits seen difficult to surpass in 2014
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Marketplace