British writer and historian Robert Donald “Bob” Couttie has passed away in his adopted hometown of Balangiga, Eastern Samar last September 21 after a lingering illness. He was 70.
A former actor and playwright, Couttie is best known in the Philippines for his extensive research on the Balangiga massacre – perhaps the worst point in the Filipino-American war during the early 1900s.
Couttie eventually became involved in the decades-long campaign to persuade the United States government to return the three church bells that American soldiers took as war trophies. He became a frequent resource person for journalists writing about the issue, including ABS-CBN’s Jeff Canoy. The bells were finally returned to Balangiga in December 2018.
An independent scholar, Couttie has written numerous books over the years including “Chew The Bones Maddog Essays On Philippine History” and “Hang the Dogs: The True Tragic Story of the Balangiga Massacre.” This 2021, Couttie published the first volume of “Fool’s Gold: Fakes, Frauds, and Fallacies in Philippine History.” At the time of his passing, Couttie was already working on the second volume of that work.
Couttie has used his active presence on social media to comment on national and international issues, with him maintaining the blog “Bob’s Histories and Mysteries.” Last July, he was elected as a member of the prestigious Royal Historical Society in the United Kingdom. And as recently as September 4, he even had an appearance for Home Radio Naga 95.1 to talk about the persistent myths and hoaxes in Philippine history.
Interested parties may send their financial assistance using the following details:
Robert Donald Couttie
Gcash: +63 9392336633
Mobile number: +63 9392336633 (same)
PS: I never had the chance to meet Bob Couttie in person but I knew him while doing research on the Balangiga massacre. We eventually got connected through Facebook and I was able to buy two copies of his book “Fool’s Gold.”
Earlier this year, I invited him to be a guest in my Philippine history class but technological problems prevented that from happening – something that I truly regret now. He would have been a strong voice against the pervasiveness of historical distortions as the 2022 elections approaches.
Rest in peace, Sir! Thank you for your contributions to Philippine history.