BUGALLON, Pangasinan — The life of the late Lieutenant Colonel Jose Torres Bugallon, one of the ablest officers of General Antonio Luna, was again reminisced when the town named after him observed its 121st anniversary Tuesday.
“Bugallon Day, which coincides with the birthday of our local hero, Lt. Col. Jose Torres Bugallon, is an occasion very appropriate for a man whose passion was to serve, who stood up for others, who fought for us and laid his life to keep us free,” said town mayor Jumel Espino in his speech during the event.
The Mayor added that the event was to remind the townspeople, particularly the younger generation, of the town’s history and to honor heroism of then young military officer from the town.
Bugallon town was previously known as Salasa but was then renamed in 1921 to perpetuate their native son and hero’s gallantry.
Bugallon, schooled in a military school in Spain, returned to the Philippines and served the Spanish Army. But when the Philippines was ceded by Spain to the Americans, Bugallon joined the army of General Antonio Luna.
History accounts that Major Bugallon while under the command of General Antonio Luna was fighting in La Loma in Manila on Feb. 5, 1899 against American soldiers under Gen. Arthur MacArthur. It was in that battle that he was hit by a bullet in the thigh.
When Gen. Luna learned that the 25-year-old Major was wounded, he ordered, “ Bugallon wounded. Order forward. He must be saved at all cost. Bugallon is worth 500 Filipino soldiers. He is one of my hopes for future victory.”
Despite the attempts to save him, Bugallon died. Still, he was promoted by Luna to Lieutenant Colonel while on the verge of his death.
Bugallon has since been regarded as the “hero of La Loma.”
Meanwhile, the great grandson of Bugallon and an overseas Filipino worker, Julius Castro, expressed their family’s gratitude to the local government and the people of the town.
“Despite other things which are more trending today, the town is still giving importance to the celebration of Bugallon Day and the remembrance of my great grand father’s life,” he said.
Castro is the great grandson of Doña Manuela Torres Castro, the sister of Bugallon.
After the mass, parade, and wreath-laying ceremonies, townsfolk participated in other activities of the celebration as the carabao parade, palarong Pinoy, and sarzuela. PNA / northboundasia.com