HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 53 no. 1 (2007)

Bruna ‘Bunang’ Fabrigar: The Historical Pulahan Leader in Samar

Daniel C. Talde

Discipline: Philippine History



My paper documents the story of Bruna “Bunang” Fabrigar of the Pulahan Movement in Samar, looking into her personal life/story, her contribution to the movement, and the circumstances that influenced her to join the movement.

I used primarily memory documents to give an in-depth account of her life, drawn from the very people who saw, met, and lived with her in the municipality of Paranas, Western Samar and its neighboring towns. The memory documents were supplemented with textual data that have bearing on Pulahanism, millenarianism and women in history.

My paper showed that, aside from her being a fantastic resistance fighter, Bunang was an attractive woman, tawhanon (humane), a tambalan (faith healer), and an efficient farmer, among others.

Bunang’s Pulahanismo shared the characteristics of the other Pulahanismo of the major islands in the Visayas for being categorized by authorities as an organization of outlaws and for having a seditious-religious creed. These characterizations made Pulahanismo fall into the realm of millenarianism for adopting an illogical and mystical path to redemption. As peasant millenarians, most Pulahanes adopted confrontation as a form of resistance.

Bunang’s role as a historic Filipina was manifested by her strong commitment to freedom and self-determination in her specific social setting.