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Friday, September 11, 2009

Jose Torres Bugallon

Jose Torres Bugallon (b. August 28, 1873 – d. February 5, 1899) a revolutionary soldier, was officer in command of the Filipino army who fought the Spaniards in the Battle of La Loma in 1899. In 1896, he went to Toledo, Spain where he studied military organization and warfare. By December 10, 1898, after the Treaty of Paris, he worked as aide-de-camp of General Antonio Luna.

Jose's father was from Baliwag, Bulacan and his mother was from a well-known Gonzalez family of Pangasinan. He was in the guardian of Rufino Villacruz who was a well-known schoolmaster of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. In 1888, he studied at Colegio de San Juan de Letran where he took up his secondary course, with excellent grades. He entered the Seminary of San Carlos but his real passion was to became a soldier, he took up a military entrance exam. After passing the validation, he was granted to study at the Military Academy of Toledo, Spain, 1892, where he studied for three years and concentrated in the study of military organization and warfare.

Upon his return, he was appointed second lieutenant by the Spanish army and served under the 70th Infantry regiment . After the batlle of Talisay, Batangas,May 30, 1897, he was promoted to captain and was awarded the highest medal of San Fernando. He was also awarded with Cross of Maria Cristina and the Red Cross for Military Honor (Cruz Roja Del Merito Militar). After the Treaty of Paris, he obtained clearance papers. When the Americans came to the Philippines on February 1899, he joined the the rebels. Gen. Antonio Luna needed instructors for his officers in the European art of warfare at Malolos,Bulacan. He was the aide-de-camp and the recruiter of the Spanish war veteran. His knowledge was very instrumental in the reorganization and dicipline of the Filipino soldiers at that time.

On February 5, 1899, he was in La Loma defending the fronline. The Americans under Gen. Douglas MacArthur were attacking their defences at that time. They were outflanked, thus exposing Bugallon to the advanced firepower of the enemies, he was hit by a bullet in the thighs. Col. Queri told Gen. Luna that Bugallon was wounded, The general 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." After which, the general found him along side of the road. All that he could utter was "My..... don't expose yourself so much. Don't advance any further." He was withdrawn by Commander Hernando and Gen. Luna himself, he was taken to Kalookan medical station where he was given first aid by Dr. Jose Luna and Santiago Barcelona. Later was rushed by train to Malolos, Bulacan for hospitalization, somewhere after Lolomboy and nearing Bocaue, Bulacan, Bugallon asked "Have the reinforcement arrived?", But he was too weak to keep up and he was bleeding, he died in the greast of Gen. Antonio Luna.

Bugallon was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel after his display of gallantry in battle and heroism. The former town of Salasa in Pangasinan was renamed Bugallon in honor of Jose Torres Bugallon. This was law sponsored by Congressman Mauro Navarro of Pangasinan in 1921 to perpetute Bugallon's gallantry. His remains lies in Sampalok Church in Manila.