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Isabel and Pelayo.

It was December, a contingent of armed men and their commander sailed from a port in Batangas carrying ammunition and other war materiel. They were on board the "Isabel," a steamboat refurbished with a motor, sequestered from Spanish forces and placed at the service of the Philippine revolution. "Isabel " was heading for the Visayas which, like Luzon, was also in revolutionary ferment.

As she approached Pola, an island off Mindoro, "Isabel" developed engine trouble, so Gen. Pablo Araneta, head of expedition, sent someone to Catitlan with a telegram for Aguinaldo, who in turn dispatched a crew, from Batangas, to the rescue.

In no time, a bergantin Goleta materialized in the horizon, it was the gallant "Pelayo," captained by a BatangueAaAaAeA~o who willingly put himse under orders of the Visayan general, Pablo Araneta. Immediately, everyone on board the two vessels feverishly heaved weapons and ammunition from the disabled Isabel to the two-masted sailboat Pelayo which ferried them to their final destination, Lipata, Antique, despite strong northern gales and angry waves. The success of the expedition was vital as it carried not only war supplies, but also armed volunteers from Luzon.

In a letter to his younger brother Gregorio, the general said he was so deeply moved by the selfless patriotism of the Pelayo's captain that he could not find words to express his gratitude. A favorite family story, that expedition has astounding details. While stranded in the open sea, in the dark of night, buffeted mercilessly by northwinds, Gen. Araneta sends a telegram from Catitlan and it reaches Aguinaldo in the nick of time! I suspect the Pelayo just happened to be sailing by, but the captain decided to help, mindful of the dangers of transporting subversives. What " a selfless act of patriotism," it could touch anyone beyond words. (


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Title Annotation:Opinions and Editorials
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Jul 15, 2015
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