Capt. Don Pedro Origuel Feb 26, 2010 16:07:52 GMT -5
Post by friscohare on Feb 26, 2010 16:07:52 GMT -5
My Lolo told me the story about two Philippine soldiers from Majayjay, Laguna during the Philippine American War in 1899. He told it to me when I was 15 years old and since then I did some research.
The first soldier was Andres Conejos, my great, great, grandfather, the second son of the "cabeza de barangay."
The second soldier was his commanding officer, Captain Pedro Origuel. Captain Origuel graduated from Ateneo in 1890 and became an infantry captain in 1896. Dada Andres was part of Capt. Origuel's company.
In March 1899, General Juan Cailles ordered Captain Origuel and his company to Laguna's capital, Santa Cruz, to guard the city's resources against the Americans.
In American Major General Henry Lawton's report, he said that Santa Cruz is "the richest and most important city of La Laguna Province... and is the outlet for the produce of the rich country to the south and southeast. The insurgents were reported here in force and full of confidence..."
Their mission was to capture Santa Cruz and the cities around Laguna De Bay. The American troops set off in bancas and other boats to Santa Cruz on April 7, 1899. They arrived on the morning of April 9.
However, the boats sat there in Laguna de Bay. Capt. Origuel, seeing that the American boats were idle, believed that the Americans would not attack. He turned to Andres and told him to go back home to Majayjay. Capt. Origuel gave Andres his horse and rode home.
According to Gen. Lawton, "The landing was accomplished with much difficulty owing to the stiff breeze blowing and consequent rough sea." This explained why the boats idled for a while, possibly hoping that the sea would calm down before disembarking from the boats.
The Americans disembarked and attacked in the afternoon. On April 10, Capt. Origuel was killed.
Ever since my Lolo told me this story, it made me wonder, What if Capt. Origuel did not send Dada Andres home? Would Lolo be here telling this story to me? Would I even have existed had he been killed at the Battle of Santa Cruz?
So, when I went to Majayjay this December and saw the statue of Don Pedro Origuel, I made sure to take pictures and told my younger siblings about the man that sent Dada Andres home.
Today, Captain Origuel is considered a "Bayani Ng Majayjay." A barangay and a street is named for him in the town. Interestingly enough, my Lolos and Lolas on both sides of the family live in Barangay Origuel on Origuel Street.