Thursday, September 3, 2015

Albayanos remember Gen. Ola
By Bobby Q. Labalan

LEGAZPI CITY, Sept. 2 (PNA) -- Albayanos again enjoyed a holiday on Tuesday as they honored the province’s local hero, the late Gen. Simeon A. Ola, in his hometown in Guinobatan, Albay with simple and solemn ceremonies.

The day marked the 150th birth anniversary of Ola, the last revolutionary general to surrender at the end of the Philippine-American War.

Malacañang declared September 2 as an official non-working holiday in the province.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa issued Proclamation No 1110-2015 declaring Ola’s birth anniversary as special non-working holiday in the province.

“It is but fitting and proper that the people of the Province of Albay be given full opportunity to participate and celebrate the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” Ochoa’s declaration said.

Ola was a seminary student when he decided to join the local chapter of Katipunan in Albay and became one of its leaders.

He rose from the ranks primarily due to his bravery and military and leadership skills, which led to successful military campaigns against the Spaniards, and later against the American forces.

On September 25, 1903, he surrendered to Colonel Harry H. Banholtz, the American commander in Albay, more than a year after Gen. Miguel Malvar surrendered to the Americans on April 16, 1902.

Historians earlier regarded Malvar as the last Filipino general to have laid down his arms.

Ola’s surrender was anchored on the condition that his men would be granted amnesty.

He was put on trial and was proven guilty of sedition and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

But in 1904, he was given a pardon and returned to his place of birth, Guinobatan, and became the town mayor, then called municipal president.

Ola’s birth anniversary is fondly celebrated by the people of Guinobatan.

The regional police camp in Legazpi City was named after him. (PNA) LAP/FGS/BQL/CBD/RSM