The Balingaga Bells Return to the Philippines
Source: Embassy of the Philippines
Since 1950s, many individuals from the Catholic Church of the Philippines, Philippine Government and residents in Balangiga tried to reach out American Government to return the Balangiga Bells.
The 2 bells are exhibited at the F.E. Warren Air Force base in Cheyenne, Myoming while the 3rd bell is in Camp Red Cloud. The 3 bells were taken by U.S. army after the Philippine-American war in 1901 and took it as their trophy for winning the battle.
In August 2018, the U.S. Embassy issued a statement that the U.S. Department of Defense and notified the U.S. Congress that they have plan to return the bells to the Philippines. Swift action was made.
In November 15, 2018 U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis formally returned the bells and a formal turn-over ceremony was made.
Rare photo of US 9th Infantry Regiment Soldiers in the Philippines 1899 (philnews.com; Wikipedia)
The first bell is named Casta-Circa 1863 and has Augustinian emblem. The mouth diameter was 31 ¼ inches and 30 inches height. R. San Francisco was believed to be the parish priest at that time as his name was inscribed in the bell.
The second bell was made under Fr. Agustin Delgado. It was named Casta-Circa 1889 and has a mouth diameter of 27 ¾ inches and a height of 27 ½.
Meanwhile, the 3rd was acquired in 1895 under Fr. Bernardo Apacerio. It was the smallest bell and has mouth diameter of 20 inches and height of 23-24 inches.
Photo of Company C, 9th US Infantry Regiment with Valeriano Abanador (standing, sixth from right) taken in Balangiga. (Wikipedia)
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Source: Straits Times