The Visayas’ ‘Joan of Arc’
TERESA Magbanua is known in history as the “Joan of Arc of the Visayas” for her impressive feat as a woman general who battled against the Spanish, American and Japanese forces.
Born on Oct. 13, 1868 in Pototan, Iloilo, Teresa or “Nay Isa” was a restless child. She would later be sent off to several colleges in Manila by her parents Don Juan Magbanua, a judge in the Court of First Instance in Iloilo City, and Doña Alejandra Ferraris.
When t he Philippine Revolution reached Iloilo, she, along with her two brothers, j oined t he Panay- based Visayan arm of the Katipunan. Magbanua enlisted under her uncle, General Perfecto Poblador.
Magbanua was credited as the only woman to lead troops in the Visayan region during revolution under the command of General Martin Delgado.
She fought in several key battles. On Dec. 3, 1898, her forces fought and defeated Spanish troops at the Battle of Barrio Yoting, which took place in Pilar, Capiz. She led her troops into this, her first battle, on horseback.
Her efforts during the Battle of Barrio Yoting earned Magbanua t he nickname “Visayan Joan of Arc.”
Magbanua also l ed her troops against Spanish forces at the Battle of Sapong Hills near Sara. She prevailed despite the odds being heavily in favor of the Spanish.
Shortly thereafter, Magbanua shifted to fighting American c ol onial f orces during the Philippine–American War.
During World War I I , Magbanua also helped finance the guerrilla forces fighting the Japanese by selling all her properties.
She l ater migrated t o Mindanao where she died in 1947.
Magbanua was a terrific female warrior who led groups of men in attacking Spanish soldiers. As a result, she was often called “General” by some of her followers even though she was not officially considered as such.
S h e b r a v e l y f o u g h t American forces in Jaro in 1899 despite personal setbacks. Her two brothers died in the hands of fellow Filipinos. Elias, then 19, was gunned down by a Filipino guide working with the American forces. Pascual, on the other hand, was brutally killed by Filipino bandits.
( Sources: filipiknow. net, choosephilippines. com, wikipedia.org)