Teresa Magbanua Y Ferraris was born on 13 October 1868 in Pototan, Iloilo to Don Juan Magbanua, a judge, sat on the Court First Instance in Iloilo City and Dona Alejandro Ferraris, the daughter of Captain Benito Ferraris.
Teresa studied education in college at the Colegio de San Jose in Jaro, Iloilo. In Manila, she earned a teaching certificate at Colegio de Dona Cecilia, and a master’s degree from the University of Santo Tomas. Then she went home to Pototan and became a teacher. Later on Teresa married Alejandro Balderas.
When the war broke out, Iloilo was not involved in the revolution until 1898 when a local revolutionary organization pledged its support to the national cause. Teresa, like two of her brothers, became a general in the revolutionary forces. Teresa’s involvement in the military was opposed by the local military commanders and by her husband.
During the Philippine-American War, Teresa participated in several battles against American forces. The revolutionary forces gradually took over all of Panay, until in December 1899 they entered the town of Jaro in triumph. In recognition of her military contribution, Teresa was given a prominent part in the celebrations, leading her disheveled troops on a prancing white horse.
While not an active fighter during World War II, Teresa did what she could to resist Japanese forces during the Japanese forces during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. She sold her personal belongings to purchase food, which she would then give to the local guerillas. Shortly after the outbreak of the war, her husband Alejandro Balderas died and Teresa sold her propert in Iloilo to help finance the guerillas.
After the end of World War II, Teresa moved to Pagadian, Zamboanga and lived with her sisters. Teresa never remarried after her husband’s death and had no child. Teresa died in August 1941 with her burial unannounced and only attended by relatives and close friends.
Teresa ‘s efforts and bravery earned the nickname “Visayan Joan of Arc”. Today, it is hard to find traces of Teresa Stayhatuta’s legacy. But let us not forget that the women of the Revolution also deserve their place in the sun.
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Locsin-Nava. Ma. Cecilia. n.d. Review of Teresa Magbanua: Woman Warrior. Reviews of Women’s Studies. Accessed September 21. 2020. https://journals.upd.edu.ph/indexphp/rws/article/viewFile/3093/2910.
Teresa Ferraris Magbanua. Visayan ‘Joan of Arc.’ I Cebu Lifestyle. The Freeman Sections. The Freeman I Philstar.Com.” 2016. Web.Archive.Org. March 10. 2016. https://web.archive.org/web/20160310100252/http:/www.philstar.com/ceb u- lifestyle/2014/03/02/1296265/teresa-ferraris-magbanua-visayan-joan-arc.
Umali. Justin. “Teresa Magbanua Was the Visayan Joan of Arc”. 2019 https://www.esquiremag.ph/long-reads/features/teresa-magbanua-a2212-20191105-lfrm
Ma. Jossel Emmanuelle P. Manalo