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September 25, 1903, General Simeon Ola Surrendered to American Colonel Harry H. Banholtz

General Simeon Ola: Known as the “longest fighting and the last General to surrender to American forces.” He was born in Guinobatan, Albay on September 2, 1865. He studied Philosophy at the University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City. In 1896 Ola joined the local troops of the Katipunan in Guinobatan, Albay and later became the leader, thereby, hampering his studies at the University.

General Simeon Ola Monument, Guinobatan, Albay
(Photo: Kape’t Kamalayan Facebook Page)

Some say he possessed an amulet (anting anting) that caused to him to disappear before the eyes of the enemy. But I think the what he possessed was a great deal of skills and his familiarity of the terrain, passage or tunnels that lead to caves in Guinobatan and nearby municipalities of Daraga and Jovellar. He used the forests and caves as refuge and to evade pursuing enemies. He is not a “hero in hiding” rather; he is a hero by virtue of his ability to sustain a fight against the Americans, longer than his contemporaries.

He was convinced to surrender when he realized that most of his townsmen surrendered already and were in good living conditions. Aside from the fact that his men were growing tired and weary. So, On September 25, 1903, Simeon Arboleda Ola, surrendered to American Colonel Harry H. Banholtz, over a year after the surrender of General Miguel Malvar to the Americans on April 16, 1902.

He surrendered on the condition that his men would be granted amnesty. He was put on trial and was proven guilty of sedition and was sentenced to thirty years in prison. In 1904, he was pardoned and returned to his place of birth and became the municipal president.

General Simeon Ola was not defeated, there was no confrontation between him and the Americans, he surrendered voluntarily.

For more details: Watch Ang Huling Heneral (The Last General)


Guinobatan, Albay LGU

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