Who’s Who in Bataan- The Baltazars of Orion

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  • 6 years ago

VICTOR TIAMBENG BALTAZAR was one of the more prominent sons of Francisco Baltazar and Juana Tiambeng. He was the one who organized and led the local Katipunan unit in Orion in the revolt against the Spaniards in 1898.

A native of Lati, Orion he joined a Katipunan unit Manila in 1896. Although based in Calle Sacristy, now Ongpin, he crossed Manila Bay many times to recruit men in Orion to join the secret organization. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant after organizing his own rebel unit called “Pangkating-Dampulan” named after their uniform made of dyed sinamay clothes and kundiman trousers.

In the morning of May 29, 1898, at around 8 o’clock, the hostilities between the Katipuneros and Spaniards in Orion started. The Dampulan rebels came down from the forests of Bilolo, Daan Pare, and Puting Buhangin and surrounded the church and convent of St. Michael Parish where the cuartel was situated. But Baltazar’s men could not approach the buildings because of the armed Spanish soldiers guarding the place.

Organizing themselves, the rebels marched towards Pulta (Daan Pare) where they ambushed the troop of Spanish Corporal Antonio Navarro who were returning to Orion after conducting a zoning operation in Limay, then a distant barrio of Orion. The battle in Daan Pare lasted for an hour. All the Spaniards were killed.

The victorious rebels returned to the church vicinity where they kept vigil through the night while continuously asking Frs. Ulpiano Herrero and Julian Misol, as well as the remaining Spanish and Filipino soldiers to surrender. In the morning of May 30, the priests came out of the church followed by Spanish soldiers carrying a white flag as a sign of surrender.

For his feat, Victor Baltazar and his men were regarded as heroes by the Orion residents. Thereafter, he took the two Spanish priests to Balanga to facilitate the surrender of the Spaniards in the capital town. Surprisingly, the two Spanish priests from Orion were able to persuade the Spaniards in Balanga to surrender after a four-day siege.

FR. PRIMITIVO LONZON BALTAZAR (1871-1942) was the first native of Orion to be assigned as parish priest of St. Michael The Archangel Church, from 1904 to 1940.

Fr. Baltazar, a grandson of Francisco Baltazar, was born in Barangay Wakas, Orion in 1882. His parents were Ceferino Baltazar and Ciriaca Lonzon. Two of his brothers, Luis and Jose, became the 2nd and 13th mayor of Orion, respectively.

“Padre Tibong,” as he was more popularly known, completed his studies of Licentiate in Canon Law at the UST Central Seminary and was ordained a priest in 1896. He was initially assigned as a parochial vicar in Binondo, Manila before becoming the parish priest of Orion in 1904.

During his 34-year stint in Orion, Fr. Baltazar was noted for his honesty, charity and philanthropic deeds. Just like Fr. Mariano Sarili of Balanga, he supported the education of many Bataenos who later on became successful and outstanding professionals. He retired from priesthood in 1940.

During the Japanese Occupation, he and other members of the Baltazar clan evacuated to Hagonoy, Bulacan. Old age and the hardships of the time caught up with Fr. Tibong. He passed away in an evacuation camp in Hagonoy in April 1942.

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Who's Who in Bataan

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