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Teresa Magbanua

Teresa Magbanua y Ferraris, "Visayan Joan of Arc", was born in Pototan, Iloilo on Oct 13, 1868. As a young girl, she was said to have participated in little boys' brawls and took an active part in her brothers' fights against other boys from neighboring towns. She also loved to climb trees, swim in the Jaluar river and ride horses and carabaos. She preferred the company of boys more than girls.

This concerned her parents who sent her off to the College of San Jose in Jaro, Iloilo; in 1885, she was sent to Manila and enrolled at Santa Rosa College and then at Santa Catalina to train as teacher and at the same time acquire the basic rudiments of a graceful education fit for a lady which her parents so desired.

She finally obtained a teacher's certificate from the Colegio de Dona Cecilia in 1894. She taught at several schools in the province of Panay. When she married Alejandro Baldero, a rich landowner from Sara, Iloilo, she gave up her teaching career to work on the farm. While on the farm, she learned the rough ways of farm life, learning how to ride a horse and fire a pistol. By then however, the Philippine revolution had started and two of her brothers had become officers in the revolutionary army. Although her husband objected, she joined the revolutionary forces at the age of 28.

In the battlefield, she bravely led men soldiers. Her unit won the battle of Sap-ong near Sara, Iloilo. The commander in chief of the Revolutionary forces in the Visayas, General Martin Teofilo Delgado, commended her bravery and military abilities and entrusted her leadership in many military encounters throughout Panay island.

Nay Isa, as she was called remained childless and was widowed shortly after the outbreak of the war with the Japanese. Teresa sold all her property in Iloilo to help finance the guerrilla forces. She migrated to Mindanao and lived with her sister, Maria, in Pagadian, Zamboanga de Sur. Here she would die in Aug 1947 at the age of 78, with the rare distinction of having fought all of her country's colonizers.

Teresa Magbanua y Ferraris (born 1868, died August 1947) earned the distinction of being the only woman to lead combat troops in the Visayas against Spanish and American forces. Born in Pototan, Iloilo, Philippines on 13 October 1868, to wealthy parents, she earned a teaching degree and taught in her hometown. Having come from a family of revolutionaries, she immediately volunteered her services to the motherland and became an exceptional horseman and marksman. She led a large group of men in the Battle of Barrio Yoting, Capiz in early December 1898. She outfought the Spanish troops at the Battle of Sapong Hills near Sara.

She suffered greatly from the early death of her brothers General Pascual Magbanua and Elias Magbanua, at the hands of traitors.

Fifty years later, her heroism was once again displayed when she helped finance a guerrilla resistance movement by defenders together with the Allied Philippine Commonwealth troops and the Ilonggo guerrillas against the Japanese in the Battle for the Liberation of Iloilo.

She migrated to Mindanao after the war and lived with her sister Maria in Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur, where she died in August, 1947, exact day unknown.

Teresa Magbanua

The first woman in Panay to fight in the Philippine revolution. Known as the Visayan Joan of Arc. Born in Pototan, Iloilo, on November 4, 1871. Died in August 1947.

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