40. MAGALENOS AS FREEDOM FIGHTERS



In the observance of the History month this August; and the upcoming celebration of National Heroes' Day, we must remember the contributions of Magaleños for their heroic acts for attaining freedom and their determination to fight the individual rights of every Magaleños and every Filipinos. In this post, these are some Magaleños who valiantly contributed their acts to preserve freedom and uphold social justice:

Lorenzo D. Camaya- a native of neighboring town of Angeles, born in September 2, 1863 to Adriano Camaya and Inocencia Dayrit. They later migrated to Magalang to seek greener pastures. Lorenzo was appointed as teniente tres by the Spanish government in 1887. However, he secretly joined the Katipunan. In 1897, together with the young Major Servillano Aquino, they hatched a plan together with prominent elites of Magalang on how to liberate the town from the Spanish rule. Lorenzo in that time was initially enlisted as teniente under the command of General Francisco MacabulosDue to his later exploits, he was promoted to comandante (major). He fought valiantly in battle of Camansi together with other Magaleños like Candido Niceta and Carlos Guiao. He also fought the breakaway forces of General Pedro Pedroche in old Magalang church convent in 1898. He further promoted to coronel (colonel) of the revolutionary army; and he was assigned in Tarlac. He was captured by the Americans in 1900 and he was sentenced to death. He was granted pardon in 1904 and he returned in Magalang. He married Andrea Mendoza Lacson, daughter of former gobernadorcillo of Magalang, Don Aniceto S. Lacson in July 13, 1917. Two years later, Lorenzo died in November 21, 1919. His only child, Anunciacion was adopted by his nephew, Eusebio Aquino, who later become the local socialist leader of Magalang and second in command of Hukbalahap during Japanese occupation. 

Members of Katipunan Chapter of Barrio La Paz- a certain Juan Culantiro, right hand man of Lt. Lorenzo D. Camaya secretly organized a Katipunan chapter in barrio La Paz. The new members initiated pacto de sangre and they signed their signature using their own blood. Among the recruits are, Feliciano Torres, Gregorio Mallari, Froilan Pineda, Maximo Manabat and others. Their weapons used are talibong and a dagger.  

Members of Katipunan Chapter of Barrio Sto Rosario- the group of Capt. Gregorio Samia, Lt. Lino Tayag, Lt. Enrique Datu and their 83 recruits initiated the pacto de sangre with the forces of General Francisco Macabulos. Half of members of this chapter was placed under the command of Lt. Lino Tayag. He collected the members' contributions and he secretly delivered to General Macabulos, who was encamped in Camansi in Mt. Arayat. 

Eusebio Aquino- a native of Concepcion, Tarlac, he was related by blood to General Servillano Aquino. He later setup his blacksmith shop in barrio San Nicolas in Magalang, (in the present day old Pasudeco terminal). He was known for his skills in creating farm tools. He also served as supervisor in different construction projects. One of the projects he supervised is the construction of Shop Building (Industrial Arts building) of Magalang Elementary School in 1932. In 1934, he joined the local chapter of Aguman ning Maldang Talapagobra, founded by Pedro Abad Santos. In 1937, he was fielded by AMT in local elections, but he was defeated by the former police chief, Jose M. Navarro. He again, ran for mayoralty post in 1940 but he was defeated again by Jose M. Navarro. In 1942, he was the one of the founding fathers of Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon known as Hukbalahap. He was then second commanding officer of the entire movement; he setup his headquarters in Camansi in Mt. Arayat; and he was credited for saving several American soldiers who escaped from Death March and some American airmen. He led the Squadron 3-V together with his sons, Pablo (Commander Paul) and Felix (Commander Flax) and an amazona, Remedios Gomez (Commander Liwayway). This squadron inflicted heavy losses against the Japanese forces attempted to capture Camansi. His forces are also responsible to the early liberation of Magalang in January, 1945; before the Americans entered the town. After the war, Huks continued their resistance against the new republic of the Philippines. However, Tatang Bio, died and he was buried in the foothills of Mt. Pinatubo. His last wish that his remains "will not be retrieved until the fruits of the revolution become a reality". Tatang Bio married Ciriaca Gabriel of Mexico, Pampanga and they had five children; Abelardo, Aquilino (Commander Kinung, who also ran in mayoralty contest in Magalang in 1955, but he was defeated by his relative, Orencio A. Gueco), Pablo (Commander Paul) married Brigida Manaloto, Felix (Commander Flax) married Remedios del Mundo, (a daughter of Faustino del Mundo who will led a mafia shadow government in 1960s. He was later known as Commander Sumulong). An only daughter, Gloria married Peregrino Taruc, brother of Huk supremo, Luis Taruc.

Vivencio B. Cuyugan, Sr.- born in January 13, 1895 in San Fernando, Pampanga to Saturnino P. Cuyugan and Antonia Y. Baron of Magalang. He obtained law in Northwestern University in the United States. He supported his law studies in the United States through boxing. During his stay in the United States, he initially learned socialism through his lawyer, Clarence Darrow in Big Chicago Brawl in 1926. He met Darrow when the elder Cuyugan landed in jail after he defended a certain Marasigan, a native of Batangas. The latter lost his an ear when an apparent racists ganged up on him in a bar where Filipinos are banned. The Filipino community there pooled funds and hired Darrow to defend Cuyugan. He was freed in no time. Upon his return to the Philippines, he managed his vast estate in barrio Sta Maria in Magalang and he treated his tenants firmly and equally. His influence in socialism grew when he joined Pedro Abad Santos' Socialist Party of the Philippines. He later elected as municipal vice president of San Fernando in 1927 and 1931. In 1937, he was elected the first socialist mayor of San Fernando and whole over the Philippines under the Socialist Party of the Philippines. During the war, he was among the founders of Hukbalahap. He also organized the first Hukbalahap squadron in barrio Sta Maria in Magalang composed of his loyal tenants. He served as mayor of San Fernando until the liberation; however, the Americans removed him as mayor in 1945 due to his leadership of Hukbalahap. After the war, he continued his advocacy for the emancipation and upholding the rights of the farmers and workers. He also gave away his landholdings to his tenants. He also supported labor unions. He also known for his advocacy for the protection of the environment; who fought the Pampanga Sugar Development Company or known as Pasudeco; whom the socialists had accused of polluting the San Fernando River. However, the elder Cuyugan and his family were put to jail and tortured in 1953 on a charge that he was a communist. He died in Manila in March 16, 1971. He married Felisa Amurao and they had six children; Aida, Fernando, Fe, Vivencio, Jr., Panopio and Maria Luisa.

Photo Credits:

www.oocities.org. Retrieved: August 12, 2017

Sources:

Bartolo, Louie Aldrin L. and Dizon, Lino L., The Magalang Book: The Historical Life and Culture of a Kapampangan Town (1605-2015), Manila (2016), National Commission for Culture and the Arts, pages 35-42 and 63-71.

National historical agency recognizes Pampanga's socialist mayor by Tonette Orejas, March 17, 2017 www.newsinfo.inquirer.net. Retrieved: August 13, 2017.

Additional information provided by Vivencio Amurao Cuyugan, Jr., son of the late mayor Vivencio B. Cuyugan, Sr.

     




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