A Holocaust: “Pesteng Balang” in Pampanga

The author, Ma. Florina Y. Orillos-Juan is a history professor who also teaches in De La Salle University-Manila. Even though I studied history there I haven’t encountered her. Anyway, she is a historian and a number of her articles, as I have researched are about the epidemics of insects in the lands. She can write well about history, science and environment, connecting the three broad subjects beautifully.

As much as it has been said, the holocaust have been there as part of nature since way back when. It was also mentioned in the bible although the one in the bible has something to do with God’s wrath upon the people. In this article, the holocaust was mentioned to have been back and have destroyed co many crops it its wake.

This article is an article about “Kasaysayang Pampook” or about the history of a certain place at a certain timeframe and a certain event. In this case, it’s about Pampanga in the year 1800s during the epidemic holocaust that wiped out the entire land for harvest.

Basically the first part focuses on the composition, the study of the insect “Balang” and how does it really affect the crops. It is really important to study the life of a “pest” to formulate a better solution for the complete elimination of it. In every life stages of the pest, there is a corresponding devastation it brings to the crops. Since the pest comes and goes in seasonal behavior, it is better for the places affected to be vigilant and alert in order to successfully drive out or eradicate the pending attacks.

The 2nd part of the article talks about the focus of the paper, which is Pampanga in the year of the Spaniard’s colonialism and how it came to be. It is said that Pampanga is the “economic heartland”. How is that so? Pampanga has a vast land covering the provinces that are now part of the other provinces like Bulacan and some towns in Bataan. Because the land of Pampanga has rich harvest of crops, it supplies Manila as well. The article has rich history and facts about the composition and coverage of the province of Pampanga which has been hit badly by the holocaust. The information relayed on this article has indeed credible facts and figures although of course as I’ve not read much from other sources, I could not properly confirm the facts. What’s interesting about this article is that there is a table that consists of all the towns covered by the Province of Pampanga and it showcased the tally of the town, the gravity of the destruction every time the pests invade the crops, counts of roughly how many sacks of “balang” and “locton” was captured, the methods used by each town to eradicated the pests and the feedback.

The holocaust that happened wasn’t just a simple tragedy to the Kapampangans. It also affected the supply in the nearby provinces and Manila as it is dependent on the crops sent from Pampanga. So the topic is very sophisticated and broad to be able to talk about in just a simple short article. However, in this article, the author was able to briefly describe the parameters and simplify the complexity of the topic in layman’s language.

Reply greatly appreciated!

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