Ludovico Arejola

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LUDOVICO AREJOLA Y PADILLA (b. January 31, 1861 – d. May 21, 1940) was a major leader in the Bicol-American War in the fight for Philippine independence. He was born in Nueva Caceres (now Naga City); the capital of Camarines Sur. He was born to Antonio Arejola and Emeteria Padilla. His father, Antonio Arejola, was exiled by the Spanish authorities to Africa. He had his secondary studies at the Holy Rosary Seminary in Naga. After that, he took up Bachelor of Arts at Letran, and later pursued on Law studies at the same institution. Because of imposing resistance, he was arrested on October 10, 1896. With the other people who were arrested, they were tortured in Nueva Caceres. He was sent to Bilibid by ship, where he and his companions suffered terribly as they were put inside the place in the ship where the cattle were also kept. Their bound feet were also trussed to their tied wrists. He then returned to the Philippines after. He was appointed by President Emilio Aguinaldo to become the Coronel de la Milicia Territorial which had the responsibility of organizing the milicias (military services) in Ambos Camarines and Catanduanes. Later, he was promoted to the rank of General. He was also tasked by President Aguinaldo for the solicitation of contributions for the Philippine revolution. General Arejola divided Ambos Camarines and Catanduanes into five military districts. He was offered the governorship of Ambos Camarines by Governor General Taft, but he turned down the offer. General Ludovico Arejola organized a large guerrilla army that fought the Americans at Agdangan, Baao. The Americans were there not to actually end the resistance of Bicol region, but to open new and set up new hemp ports for abaca fibers that were in demand in the American market. After their fight with the Americans, in the mountains of Minalabac, he set up a camp and settled there for more than a year. The resistance was not entirely composed of men. There were also 8 women involved in the resistance. They were called the Damas Benemeritas de la Patria. These women tended to the sick and injured. They also brought clothes and the other needs of the Bicolano guerillas. Because of a rampant sickness in the ranks, persistent and relentless American operations, battle casualties, acute lack of firearms and ammunition and atrocities done by the US soldiers on innocent civilians, General Arejola opted to surrender to the Americans for the greater good, together with his men. On March 31, 1901, he formally surrendered to 1Lt. George Curry, 11th Cavalry USV and to 2Lt. George V.H. Mosely, 9th Cavalry. After the surrender, the two officers escorted General Arejola to Nueva Caceres where the Arejola family also surrendered to Col. Edward Moale, CO of the 15th US Infantry. Together with General Arejola, his 30 officers (1 Colonel, 3 Lt. Colonels, 5 Majors and 21 Junior Officers) and 800 men surrendered to the two American officers. They also turned in 43 rifles, 12 revolvers and hundreds of bolos (machete-like bladed weapons).

References

  • [1] Skyscraper City
  • [2] Bicol Mail
  • [3] Naga City History
  • [4] Philippine-American War