Simple rites mark 120th anniversary of the Balangiga encounter | Inquirer News

Simple rites mark 120th anniversary of the Balangiga encounter

/ 06:48 PM September 28, 2021

TACLOBAN CITY — The 120th anniversary of the Balangiga encounter which commemorated America’s greatest defeat in the hands of Filipinos was remembered on Tuesday, Sept. 28 without much fanfare.

“This the simplest celebration so far because all of our visitors are from Eastern Samar. No national figures,” said Fe Campanero, information officer of the municipal government.


The commemoration started with a Mass held at the St. Lawrence the Martyr Church, followed by the blessing of the three bells enshrined at the church’s grounds.


A wreath-laying ceremony led by Mayor Randy Graza was held at the monument of local hero Capt. Valeriano Abanador who led the uprising on Sept. 28, 1901.

A short program was held at the town’s gymnasium with its main guest, Sen. Cynthia Villar delivering her message online.

Villar paid tribute to the heroism and valor displayed by the Balangiganons 120 years ago.

This year’s celebration of the Balangiga Encounter was also covered with sadness following the death of Donald “Bob” Couttie, a British national who helped in the campaign to return the bells from the possession of the Americans.

Couttie, 71, passed away due to prostate and lung cancers. He was buried last Saturday, Sept. 25 at the town’s public Catholic cemetery.

The bells of Balangiga were returned by the United States government last December 11, 2018, 117 years after the American forces brought these artifacts.

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