BALANGIGA, Eastern Samar: More than a century after local warriors here defeated the Americans, their descendants have preserved their independence from foreigners in building its local economy.
Fe Campanero, head of the local water district, noted that there has been no single foreign investor in their town.
Only businessmen from Bohol and Samar are doing business in the town, according to Campanero, surviving niece of Vicente Candilosas, one of the Filipinos who fought during the Balangiga encounter in 1901.
“I guess our independence showed in our business climate. No foreign investor is doing business here. I guess it showed our true colors of not letting foreigners do business here.”
She also observed that locals are getting good education from the best schools in Tacloban City (Leyte), Manila and Cebu.
“The parents really spend for the education of their children. The houses are small and some are made from nipa and plywood, but you can be sure, there is one or more professionals living in these homes,” Campanero said.
The people give value to education of their children so no oppression will happen again like how it was 115 years ago, according to her.
Balangiga, a fourth-class town, is home to more than 14,000 people, according to latest population count.
The town is about 90 kilometers east of Tacloban City, the regional capital.
It was the site of the famous Balangiga massacre in 1901, described as the United States’ worst defeat in a war overseas while Filipinos regard the attack as one of their bravest acts in war.