Gen. Simeon Arboleda Ola
Guinobatan is one of the historical places in Albay. It is where a brave man led the Bicolanos to fight for their freedom in the hands of the American soldiers on the Philippine Revolution.
Simeon Arboleda Ola was the man who has the record in the history as the last general to surrender in the American Forces. He was born in Guinobatan, Albay on September 2, 1865. He was the son of Vicente Ola and Apolonia Arboleda. And because he was the man with critical and imaginative mind, he studied Philosophy at University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City. But on 1896, he stopped his studies and joined the local branch of the Katipunan in his hometown, the province of Albay and later became a leader. With the help of a parish priest, Father Carlos Cabido, Ola was able to acquire arms to support his men.
Simeon Ola is a bright leader; he knows how to make things possible and real. With his strong personality, he recruited men to join his force. Some of the prisoners soon joined his army after he connived with the jail warden in his town, Sergeant Loame.
On April 1898, he fought in the battle of Camalig, Albay and was promoted to the rank of a Captain by General Vito Belarmino, the zone commander of the Revolution Forces in the Bicol Region. On January 23, 1900, he was again promoted Major after a daring ambush mission that led to the capture of the three Americans, Dubose, Fred Hunter and Russel.
In February 1900, his cousin Jose Arboleda died on the bloody battle against the Americans in Arimbay Legazpi, City, but this sorrowful happening did not make his heart weak and dampen his soul, instead he continued to fight and more men had joined his force. He fought in the battle of Binogsacan in Guinobatan with the army of Colonel Engracio Orence.
For over a month of July in 1901, his army rested for a while and on August in that same year he continued his attacked in the town of Oas, Albay and also the American detachment at Macabugos, Ligao. This caused the Americans to feel disgusted on Ola’s revolutionary army. The Americans took him seriously because of his subsequent valiant attacks on Albay towns. So they set up recommendation to stop Ola’s activities and sent emissaries to negotiate for his surrender which he politely refuses.
Ola continued for some attacks, and on July 15, 1903, he ambushed the 31st Philippine Scout Garrison under the command of Sergeant Nicolas Napoli in Jovellar, Albay. The persistent effort of the peace panel and his battle weary men made Ola realized that he could never win the war. So he became open to the agreement set by Colonel Harry H. Bandholtz, the Assistant Commander of the Constabulary in Lucena, Tayabas for his surrender. On September 25, 1903 the negotiating panel composed of Ramon Santos, Eligio Arboleda, Epifanio Orosco, Frank L. Pyle, John Paegelow, J.B. Allison and Joseph Rogers went in his camp in Malangaton, Mapaco, Guinobatan. Eventually, on that day Ola had finally surrendered to Governor Bette and Colonel Bandholtz. Charge with sedition, he was put on trial and Judges Adam Carson and James Blount presided over his case.