Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Address on the Return of the Bells of Balangiga
delivered 15 December 2018, Balangiga Auditorium, Balangiga, Eastern Samar
[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]
His Excellency Gabriele Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio of the Philippines; National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the other members of the Cabinet; Eastern Samar Governor Marcelo Picardal1; U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission John Law; Balangiga Mayor Randy Graza; Most Reverend Archbishop Romulo Valles, my personal spiritual guidance counselor; the people of the wonderful town of Balangiga:
Mabuhay kayong lahat. [Tagalog]
I share your happiness and joy today.
The other distinguished guests, ladies and
I was born here -- but on the other side of the islands. I do not know what dialect you have adopted here. I think -- Waray kalipay.2 [Cebuano] Hangtod karon, araa na ang kalipay nato.3 [Cebuano]
Today's gathering is indeed a time to be truly sentimental as we welcome back our Balangiga Bells. It has been 117 years since these bells were taken away from us. Yet, we never lost hope that someday, these treasures will be returned to where they belong.
We know fully well that several efforts to return the bells have been made by both America and the Philippines. It has been indeed a long and tedious process, to the point that the outcome was disappointing sometimes.
But the long wait is over.
The rest of the Filipino nation joins the Diocese of Borongan in celebrating this historic event. Indeed, this victory is the result of the optimism and solidarity and patriotism of those behind the bells' return, just [like] when our forefathers fought for freedom against foreign domination more than a century ago.
But let me be very clear on this. There are some who are the [floor
leaders?] and the pedantic in the government. You know, the bells
Nobody but nobody can claim a singular credit for the generous act of the Americans. The bells are returned. The credit goes to the American people and to the Filipino people. Period.
On behalf of a great [or grateful] nation, I thank all the stakeholders who contributed to ensure the return of the Balangiga Bells to the country. The homecoming of these artifacts is truly a milestone in the shared and meaningful history of the United States and the Philippines, and heralds a new and more vibrant chapter in our bilateral relations.
More than just a part of the Balangiga Church,4 these bells are [a] significant element in our country's religious and historical narrative. They are [an] enduring symbol of our history and treasure.
I therefore trust that our kababayans5 in Balangiga and the rest of the country will ensure the protection of these gems and will continue to preserve and promote our culture and history.
I congratulate the Filipino people for forging a history that [we] could all forever be proud of. I am sure that our -- our ancestors are celebrating with us here on this remarkable victory and that does not only bring back the glory of the town of Balangiga, but also contributes in the full restoration of our dignity as a Filipino.
Daghang salamat. [Cebuano]
Daghang salamat sa
Daghang salamat kaninyong tanan.
salamat sa Filipino. [Cebuano]
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! [Tagalog]
1 Unable to locate biographical information for Governor Picardal
2 Three possible
renderings in English: 1: “Happy is the Waray.” 2: “Happy Waray
3 Four possible renderings in English: “Up to now, we have had our happiness.” 2: “Up to now, we have been happy.” 3: “Until now, we have had our happiness.” 4: “Until now, we have been happy.”
4 Parish Church of San Lorenzo de Martir, Eastern Samar
5 Tagalog. The “s” was added to anglicize the term to make it plural. There is no “kababayans” word per se in the Tagalog dialect.
Original Text, Audio, Images Source: pcoo.gov.ph
Original Image #4 Note: Enhanced screenshot from video:
Audio Note: AR-XE = American Rhetoric Extreme Enhancement
Page Updated: 10/12/20