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Saturday, March 15, 2014

This Week in Philippine History and Culture (March 15 to 21)

Mar. 15, 1565: Bohol chieftain Sikatuna and Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi did the sandugo blood compact in the Visayan island. The act was done to establish their friendship and begin amicable relations between the two parties. It is celebrated and commemorated annually through the Sandugo Festival in Bohol.

Mar. 15, 1818: Revolutionary general Mariano Alvarez (d. August 25, 1924) is born in the town of Noveleta in Cavite province. Alvarez was known as the president of the Magdiwang faction of the anti-Spanish secret society Katipunan. In 1981, the Carmona Resettlement Project in Cavite was incorporated as the municipality of General Mariano Alvarez in his honor.

Mar. 15, 1941: The Philippine Airlines takes its maiden flight between Manila (from Nielson Field) to Baguio City with a Beechcraft Model 18. This milestone made the Philippine's flag carrier the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia operating under its original name.

Mar. 16, 1521: After leaving the Landrones (presently known as Mariana Islands), Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sees what is now called Samar Island. Magellan was sailing westward looking for the Moluccas. 

Mar. 16, 1960: Araneta Coliseum, considered the biggest coliseum in Asia during its time, is inaugurated. The facility, commonly known as "The Big Dome," was named after its owner J. Amado Araneta. It opened with a boxing match between Gabriel "Flash" Elorde and Harold Gomes for the World Junior Lightweight. Elorde's win was witnessed by more than 33,000 spectators. The cost of general admission then was 80 centavos and reserve section was five pesos. 

Mar. 17, 1957: Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay (b. August 31, 1907) was killed when the presidential plane, Mt. Pinatubo, crashed into Mt. Manunggal in Cebu.  Magsaysay was the first Philippine president to die while in office.

Mar. 18, 1928: Fidel Valdez Ramos, the first post-EDSA Revolution President of the Philippines, is born in the town of Lingayen in Pangasinan province. Ramos ran in the 1992 presidential elections under a coalition of Partido Lakas Tao (Tagalog: "People Power Party") and the National Union of Christian Democrats. 

Mar. 18, 1968: The Jabidah commando was said to be massacred in Corregidor island. The alleged massacre resulted from the failed "Operation Merdeka", a plot to destabilize Sabah. The plot was intended to capitalize on the instability by either intervening in the island on the pretext of protecting Filipinos living there, or by "the residents themselves deciding to secede from Malaysia."

Mar. 19, 1723: Josefa Gabriela Silang (d. September 29, 1763), the first Filipino woman to lead a revolt during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, was born in the town of Santa in the province of Ilocos Sur.

Following the assassination of her husband Diego, Gabriela continued the revolt Diego started against Spanish authorities. The masses who admired Gabriela named her "Generala" due to her policy of harassment against the enemy. The women's advocacy organization GABRIELA (short for General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Action) was named after her. 

Mar. 20, 1942: General Douglas MacArthur says the famous line "I came out of Bataan and I shall return." while conducting a speech in Terowie, South Australia. MacArthur was the commander of the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East when the Philippine Commonwealth was in exile in Australia. The exiling followed the Japanese Imperial Army's invasion of the Philippines. Two years later, on October 20, 1944, MacArthur in the shores of Palo, Leyte. 

Mar. 21, 1947: The Joint United States Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG) was established as a result of the military cooperation agreement with American advisers placed in all branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. JUSMAG played a crucial role in suppressing the Hukbalahap Rebellion, a Communist insurgency that lasted from 1946 to 1954, against the Philippine government.

SOURCES:  The Kahimyang Project and Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia

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