Monday, March 5, 2012

*285. IS THERE A HERO FROM MABALACAT?

VENERABLE REVOLUCIONARIO. Emilio Dominguez, who rose to become a lieutenant who fought alongside Gen. Francisco Makabulos as part of the infantry brigade against the Spaniards, in his old age.

In 1996, when a call was sent out by Dr. Serafin D. Quiason, Chairman and Executive Director of the National Historic Institute for information on Pampango heroes and revolutionaries, the names of many illustrious Kapampangans from towns big and small, came to fore: Aguinaldo's officer, Isabelo del Rosario from San Fernando; Macario Yap (Arayat); Joaquin Gonzales (Apalit); Macario Bacani (Guagua); Cayetano Lopez (Magalang); Mamerto and Ruperto Lacsamana (Mexico); Tranquilino Arroyo (Candaba) , among many others. Yet, not one hero from Mabalacat was ever mentioned.

Do we have a local icon of heroism somewhere? A forgotten figure, perhaps, who deserves to be memorialized as one of Mabalacat's movers and shakers?

Surely, there are hundreds of Mabalacat Negritos who resisted Spanish dominion, but they remain anonymous to this day.

Local town historian and poet Querubin Fernandez cites a brave Mabalaqueno - Lt. Emilio Timbol Dominguez--who fought alongside General Francisco Makabulos in Tarlac as part of his infantry brigade against the Spaniards. In the same manuscript, he also mentions a Philippine-American War hero-- Captain Domingo Tanhueco Dizon, unit commander of the local Katipuneros, who led a group of Mabalaquenos and helped win the Battle of Camansi in Magalang. Tanhueco fled to Japan with Artemio Ricarte, when the Americans occupied the country, and died there in 1903.

Also during the revolutionary period, captured leader Bernardo Tanglao Sr. of Dolores, was made to suffer personal indignities for refusing to reveal the names of his companions who formed part of a contingent of Filipino freedom fighters.

Kudiaro Laxamana, an Ayta tribal chief and leader of the 55-155th Squadron, Northwest Pampanga Mountain District, distinguished himself by becoming a guerilla hero for his annihilation of 50 Japanese while harboring 10 U.S. airmen during World War II. Born in the foothills of Mt. Pinatubo in the Porac area, he rose to the rank of a Colonel, 13thAirforce, U.S.A.F, after having protected the life of Col. Gyle Merrill and Maj. Henry Conner Jr. of the 27th Bomb Group. He also served as a Vice President to Alfonso, King of the Negritos, who, himself was made an honorary U.S. Air Force Brigadier General #. His exploits were finally honored with a posthumous award on 28 January 1995 in Mabalacat. The plaque was accepted by his children Elena, Juanito and Indon Edwin.

Mabalacat Chief of Police Victor D. Medina, who originally hailed from Lara, San Fernando, served during the term of Mayor Jose Garcia in the 1930s. His battle with the Huks is legendary, earning the appellation "Sergeant York of the Philippines" with his sharp-shooting skills. An ambidextrous target shooter, it was said that he could shoot a coin in mid-air. In Barrio Dapdap, he gained prominence in dramatic fashion by killing 15 Huks and delivering their bodies in a gareta (bull cart) in front of the municipio.

Named by Gov. Sotero Baluyut as head of the elite Pampanga Police Force, he was sent on missions all over the province, killing notorious Huk Commander July, in the process. Unfortunately, luck ran out for Officer Medina when, on the eve of the town fiesta in 1952, he was gunned down in a restaurant while sipping his coffee.

Mabalacat's heroes may not be as well-known and as acclaimed as those of other towns, but their role in shaping our destiny and history cannot be denied. As ideals of patriotism and bravery, they stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of our national icons, for they had the same aspirations, fought for the same cause and pursued the same dream for a free and peaceful Philippines.

5 comments:

james santos said...

It's nice reading about the heroes of Mabalacat, my father's hometown. My father told me of his experiences during his childhood and mentioned Victor Medina because he met him and of Domingo Dizon because we are related to him I think. It's surreal to read stories which corroborates my father's stories.

alex r. castro said...

Lots of Mabalacat stories can be read in my book, "Scenes from a Bordertown & Other Views". Thanks for dropping by. Alex

jc medina said...

Victor medina was my great grand father, father of efren medina, we have a lot of old pictures of him. He was a novel man

alex r. castro said...

Hope you can share your photos of him, When I was doing my research for the Mabalacat book, I ouldn't find any photo of him.

Jesus Pasamonte said...

I have heard lots of stories about Victor Medina/Apung Bictul from my father who once served as a policeman under him.I cannot forget his picture hanging in the studio of Mr. Pascual which we used to look at after school. Much will be appreciated if you can secure one and post it. My father served also as police chief of Mabalacat