Balangiga bells on the way home

Photo via US Embassy


By Eimor P. Santos/CNN Philippines – The historic Balangiga bells, seized by American soldiers from a church in Eastern Samar in 1901, are on their way home.

Photos released by the United States Embassy on Saturday showed two of the bells’ journey home –after being removed from display at an air base in the western U.S. state of Wyoming to being loaded onto a truck for transportation.

The bells left Wyoming on November 15, the same day these were formally turned over to the Philippine government in a ceremony led by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Romualdez then said that the two bells will be shipped to a facility in Philadelphia for restoration, before sending it to South Korea, where the third bell is located in a U.S. military museum.

The bells are scheduled to arrive at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on December 11, where a “simple ceremony” will be held, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

He said President Rodrigo Duterte “will be there,” contrary to earlier reports that he would not be attending the arrival ceremony.

“The program is like this. So the aircraft that will be bringing the three bells will arrive before lunch in Villamor Air Base. They are going (to) unload and then they are going to remove it from the crate, put it in the display,” Lorenzana said in a chance interview on Friday.

Historians believe one of the bells signaled the attack the Filipinos launched against American troops stationed in Balangiga town in Eastern Samar on September 28, 1901. The attack, which killed 48 American soldiers, was reportedly in retaliation for oppressive treatment that Filipinos received from the foreign soldiers.

The American soldiers retaliated, destroying the town and killing thousands of Filipino soldiers and locals in what came to be known as the Balangiga Massacre, historical accounts said. The American soldiers seized all three bells from the Balangiga Church, and a 1557 cannon as war booty.

President Rodrigo Duterte resurrected a decades-old fight for the return of the Balangiga bells during his second State of the Nation Address in 2017.

“Give us back those Balangiga bells. They are ours. They belong to the Philippines. They are part of our national heritage,” Duterte said in his speech.

Although some U.S. officials earlier opposed plans to return the bells, the U.S. Department of Defense notified Congress as early as August 2018 that it intends to repatriate the bells.

Find more like this: News

  • ‘The first Pixnoys’: Filipinos will finally see themselves in Pixar short film
  • Palace on passport mess: Do not pass requirements burden to applicants
  • No pneumonia outbreak in the Philippines —DOH
  • What is behind the sharp fall in number of Filipino workers in the Middle East?
  • Russian vessels visit Philippines as 2019 begins
  • Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

    Entertainment

  • ‘The first Pixnoys’: Filipinos will finally see themselves in Pixar short film
  • Filipino wins UAE’s largest singing reality show ‘The One’
  • Lea Salonga releases album of traditional Pinoy folk songs
  • Lea Salonga gets first Grammy nod with Broadway musical album
  • 7 New Pinoy Movies To Stream Right Now
  • MORE...

    Features

  • Showcase of PH culture, heritage
  • US and Philippines: Friends, Partners, and Allies
  • A Transgender Paradox, and Platform, in the Philippines
  • The Box That Brings Christmas to the Philippines
  • ‘Pinoy Aquaman’ swims 23 kilometers for peace in Mindanao
  • MORE...

    Tourism

  • Philippines island Boracay reopens for test run following huge cleanup
  • Philippines closes ‘cesspool’ tourist island of Boracay
  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • El Nido to impose daily visitor limits in 3 iconic tourist sites
  • MORE...

    Sports

  • Pinoy gymnast Carlo Yulo earns historic qualification in worlds
  • Finding a way to bring the NBA to the Philippines
  • First Filipino table tennis Olympian Ian “Yanyan” Lariba dies at 23
  • Skateboarder Margielyn Didal wins 4th gold for Philippines
  • Asian Games gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz receives Air Force promotion
  • MORE...

    OFW News

  • DOLE suspends OFW deployment to Kuwait
  • Some OFWs turn to vlogging to beat loneliness, share life abroad
  • Overseas Filipino Bank to serve immigrants, workers
  • The ‘bagong bayani’ of the Philippines
  • Which countries pay OFWs the highest?
  • MORE...

    Environment

  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • Luzon has greatest concentration of unique mammals
  • Mindanao plants 3M trees in an hour, challenges world record
  • Fighting for sharks in the Philippines
  • MORE...

    Pinoy Places
    and Faces