historylubang                                                                                     Link to Occ Mindoro Histroy Homepage

Town of Lubang


 

HISTORY OF LUBANG

 By Rudy Candelario

Translated in English by Benjamin Walata

 

I – DURING THE SPANISH REGIME

 

 

            The name of this town came from lumbang, a kind of tree which grew profusely in this island during the early days.  Due to constant use for so many years, the name became Lubang.[1]

 

            Lubang was already a progressive community in 1570, when Captain Juan de Salcedo and his Spanish soldiers, together with Visayan warriors, visited this place.  The said leader was surprised when he saw the stone fort of the natives and a device for hurling stones to the enemies.  The male inhabitants of this place defended themselves against the Spaniards but due to the superior weapons and expertise of the invaders in combat, the defenders surrendered after hours of fighting.  That year, Salcedo put the < xml="true" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" prefix="st1" namespace="">island of Lubang under the jurisdiction of Spain.[2]

 

            According to some historians, the ancestors of the inhabitants of Lubang might have learned how to construct a stone fort and a device for throwing stones from Chinese merchants who bartered goods with them, prior to the arrival of the Spaniards to the Philippines.  The potteries and kitchen utensils excavated from some parts of the island proved the existence of active trading between the people of Lubang and China.

 

            In 1572, Miguel Lopez de Lagazpi, the appointed governor general of the Philippines, declared Lubang as an encomienda of Felipe de Salcedo, the younger brother of Captain Juan de Salcedo.  As an encomendero, Felipe de Salcedo has the right to collect taxes from people living within his encomienda or the vast tract of land entrusted to him.  However, the government expected him to develop his encomienda.[3]

 

            When the Spanish government organized Corregimiento de Bonbon in 1574, Lubang, together with Batangas and the island of Mindoro, became parts of the corregimiento, a civil territory which was equivalent to a province at present.  However, after a few years, Lubang was separated from Mindoro and made as a part of Cavite.[4]

 

            In a report of a Spanish missionary to the head of his congregation, he mentioned that in 1591, Lubang, the encomienda of Felipe de Salcedo has a population of two thousand from whom the encomendero was able to collect five hundred tributos or taxes.  It was also stated in the report that the island needs a priest who would teach the Catholic faith to the people

 

            Even during that time, the sea vessels going to other parts of the Philippines and to foreign countries passed the sea around the island of Lubang.  Sometimes, sea vessels going to foreign countries dropped anchor in this island to complete its preparation for its long voyage.  An example of this was the expedition composed of three ships and one hundred fifty men with some Dominican priests bound for Cambodia, which dropped anchor in Lubang in 1596, to prepare a few things needed for the long voyage.

 

            The island of Lubang is also near Manila Bay, thus, any battle of warships in the said bay during that time, reached the sea around Lubang.  An example was the Battle of Manila Bay in 1600.  In the said battle, the Spanish warships defeated the Dutch frigates and foiled the attempt of the latter to colonize the Philippines.  In the report of a missionary friar, it was mentioned that Almirante, the battleship of Oliver Van Noordt was captured by the Spaniards and brought to Lubang for repairs.

 

            Lubang was also mentioned in a report about the trade blockade made by the Dutch & British battleships at the sea near Manila.  It was mentioned that on April 29, 1622 a Chinese sea vessel was burned by the Dutch and the British in Lubang.

 

            In 1654, Fr. Domingo Navarette, a Dominican missionary, visited Lubang and other communities in Mindoro.  In his book, he mentioned that the island was beautiful; two hundred taxpayers were living there; has plenty of coconut and cotton plants; and has a stone fort and deep canal which the inhabitants used in defending themselves against a band of marauders called camucones.[5]

 

            The missionary narrated that it was December when he visited Lubang.  A few days after Christmas, a Chinese champan was battered by a storm at the sea near the island.  Two Augustinian Recollect priests and a woman slave jumped to the sea hoping that they could save themselves by swimming towards the shore.  Unfortunately, the three drowned.  Their companions who were left aboard the ship survived for the sea vessel did not sink.  It ran aground the shore of Lubang.  The survivors were taken care of by Fr. Bernardo Ramirez, the missionary priest in the island.      

 

            During the height of Moro piracy in the different villages of Mindoro, one of their victims was Fr. Antonio de San Agustin, an Augustinian Recollect missionary who visited Lubang.  The said missionary was returning home after visiting Cuyo and the neighboring islands when the sea vessel where he was aboard was intercepted at the sea near Lubang by thirteen vintas full of datus and warriors from Jolo.  Being sick, the missionary was not able to escape.  He was mercilessly killed by the pirates in captivity.  The tragic incident took place in 1658.[6]

 

            Lubang was also mentioned as a place where erring government officials were exiled.  An example was the banishment of Fiscal Diego de Corbera and his wife, to this island, in 1556.  After a few months, the said official died.

 

            The people of Lubang feared a certain government official.  He was Justo de Tierra Alta who was assigned here in 1795.  The said official was cruel and the inhabitants were very glad when government authorities transferred him to another place.

 

            Lubang was known during the Spanish regime as a peaceful community.  However, its reputation was tarnished when Corregidor Benito Garcia del Mazo, who served as one of the administrators of Mindoro, was killed in Tagbac, a sitio of the pueblo of Lubang, in 1795.

 

            In the desire of the leaders of the Catholic Church to propagate Christianity in Lubang, the Archbishop of Manila assigned parish priests to this island.  One of them was Fr. Muriel who built a church at the center of the parish in 1865.  Some able bodied males of Lubang were forced to work by the Spanish authorities in order that the house of worship would be finished.

 

            Aside from the aforementioned missionaries, some of the friars who served in the island during the Spanish regime were Frs. Francisco Bazan, Joseph de Montemayor, Francisco Xavier de Castro, Paulino Saret, Lorenzo Lopez, Silverio dela Paz, Timoteo Sanchez, Tomas Roldan, Luis Reyes and Victor Lopez.

 

            In 1882, there was an outbreak of cholera in Lubang.  Many people died.  Fearing that the people under him would also get sick, the leader of Looc did not allow Fr. Tomas Roldan, the parish priest of Lubang, to enter his territory.[7]

 

            In 1896, since the ships from other parts of the Philippines and foreign countries passed through the sea around Lubang, the Spaniards constructed a lighthouse in Cabra, a small island under the jurisdiction of this pueblo.  The said lighthouse is still being used at present.

 

            When Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was still a young businessman, he bartered goods with the people of Lubang.  He befriended some leaders of this island.

 

 

II – DURING THE REVOLUTION AGAINST THE SPANIARDS        

 

 

            When the Katipunan movement spread in the different parts of the country, a local chapter of the said movement was organized in the house of Mariano Aguilar or Kabesang Nano in Tilik, a village of Lubang.  Those who were mentioned as Katipunan members were Emiliano Cajayon, Pio Cajayon, Quintin de Lemos, Angel Surita, Gregorio Tria and Candido Aguilar.[8] 

 

            From Tilik, the movement spread to the community which is now the center of the municipality of Lubang.  Esteban Quijano was the acknowledged leader of the Katipuneros in this place.

 

            In 1898, when the Filipinos revolted against the Spaniards, the group of Katipuneros led by Emiliano Cajayon and Esteban Quijano captured the Spaniards, including the priest in Lubang.  The captives were detained in the house of Angel Surita in Tilik, forced to work under the intense heat of the sun and then transferred to Taysan, Batangas, the detention center for all Spaniards captured in Mindoro.

 

            Under the revolutionary government organized by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in 1898, a revolutionary junta was formed to administer the island of Lubang.  Brigido Cajayon was appointed as head of the junta.  He was assisted by Fructuoso Zubiri and Balbino Tameta.[9]

 

            Manuel Alveyra of Lubang was appointed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo as head of the revolutionary government of Mindoro in 1899.  Unfortunately, the said leader was killed by the soldiers from Cavite who were under his command.[10]

 

 

III – DURING THE AMERICAN REGIME

 

 

            In 1901, the American soldiers landed in Tilik and Sitio Binasal of Barrio Vigo, two communities of Lubang.  They burned Tilik and captured the Katipuneros who revolted against the Spaniards.  They placed the whole island under the jurisdiction of American authorities.  They organized a military government and appointed Toribio Aguilar as its head.

 

            The Katipuneros who were captured by the American soldiers were imprisoned in Calapan.  Among them were Emiliano Cajayon, Domingo Castillo, Candido Aguilar, Mariano Aguilar, Gregorio Tria, Francisco Muñiz, Quintin de Lemos and one who was known only as Kabesang Tubing.

 

            When Mindoro was made as a sub-province of Marinduque on June 23, 1902 by virtue of Act 423, Lubang was separated from Cavite and made as a part of Marinduque.  Nevertheless, the administration of the island proved ineffective due to the complex system of communication from Boac, Marinduque which was the center of the provincial government.  As a result, the Philippine Commission which was administering the Philippines during that time in the name of the United States, decided to make Mindoro a free but not a regular province.  Lubang was removed from Marinduque and made as a part of Mindoro on November 10, 1902 under Act 500.[11]

 

            In 1905, a public elementary school was established by the American government in Lubang.  Agustin Craig was the first American mentor who was assigned to teach the schoolchildren in this island.

 

            On June 4, 1905 by virtue of Act 1280 of the Philippine Commission, Lubang was created as a municipality.  Tilik was made as the center of the municipal government.  Those who served as municipal presidents of Lubang, when the seat of the municipal government was in Tilik, were Juan Villamar, Agaton Abeleda, Mariano Zubiri and Juan Villaflores.[12]

 

            Governor General Leonard Wood visited Lubang in 1912.  During his visit, he inspected the houses and yards of the Filipinos to find out if the executive order for cleanliness and orderliness is being followed.  He found out that sixty families were not following the order.  To discipline them and to serve as examples to those who did not observe cleanliness and orderliness in their home, Gen. Wood ordered the imprisonment for twenty four hours of the father or mother of the families who have dirty yards and houses.[13]

 

            That same year, Secretary of the Interior Dean C. Worcester also visited Lubang.  As a result of his visit, the government constructed the pier in Tilik, its public building, bridges and the main road of the island.

 

            In 1916, Looc was separated from Lubang and made as a separate municipality.  Tilik remained as the seat of the municipal government of Lubang. Agkawayan became the center of the municipality of Looc.[14]

 

            A strong typhoon battered Lubang in 1918.  It brought great damage to the crops of the farmers.  Many houses and buildings were destroyed, including the church built by Fr. Muriel, fifty three years ago.

 

            It was also in the year 1918 when the seat of the municipal government was removed from Tilik and transferred to the place where it is located at present.  Municipal President Juan Villaflores finished his remaining one year term of office in the new center.

 

            The farmers of Lubang remembered the municipal president who encouraged them to plant different kinds of crops in their farms.  He was Mariano Zubiri who was fondly called Marianong Gubat by his constituents due to his interest in agriculture and forestry.  Twice, he served as leader of Lubang.  The first one was from 1912 to1913 and the second one was from 1925 to1928.

 

            Even before the spiritual care of the inhabitants of Mindoro was entrusted to the congregation of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), the leaders of the said religious order have already sent Fr. Enrique Demond, SVD to Lubang.  Seeing the need of a Catholic school in the island, the said priest established Stella Maris School.  A year later, he entrusted the management of the school to the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit (SSpS) sisters.  Stella Maris School holds the distinction of being the first Catholic school in Mindoro.[15]

 

            When Fr. Benito Rixner, SVD was assigned as parish priest of Lubang, he worked for the construction of a church in the island, to replace the old one which was destroyed by a typhoon.  In 1935, a concrete church was built at Poblacion, Lubang.

 

            In 1937, the vicar apostolic of the Apostolic Prefecture of Mindoro, Bishop William Finnemann, SVD, DD visited Lubang.  He was warmly welcomed by the people, led by Mayor Leandro Abeleda, Sr. and Fr. Demond who at that time was reassigned as parish priest of the island.[16]

 

            Aside from the aforementioned leaders, those who served as municipal mayors of Lubang, from the time the seat of the municipal government was transferred to what is now known as Brgy. Poblacion, up to the Japanese occupation of the island, were Eulogio Zubiri, Hilario Tria, Vicente Valbuena, Andres Tapales, Augusto Abeleda, Domingo Valbuena, Octavio Masangkay and Cipriano Torreliza.

 

 

IV – DURING THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION OF THE ISLAND

 

 

            A few months after the outbreak of World War II, a group of Japanese soldiers aboard thirteen motorboats, under the command of Captain Ichi, landed in Tilik.  They put up a garrison in this place.  They obliged the male inhabitants cut the big trees in the forests of the island.[17]

 

            In March 1942, thinking that it was a battleship, Japanese warplanes bombed La Estrella del Caltex, an American ship at the sea near Sitio Tangway, Tagbac.  Some bombs which did not hit the target exploded at the part of the sitio where there were many houses.  As a result, the houses were burned.[18] 

 

            War broke out when Fr. Juan Weber, SVD the successor of Fr. Demond was the parish priest of Lubang.  Perhaps due to old age and extreme anxiety, he died in 1942.  He was buried at the cemetery near Brgy. Poblacion and after the war, his remains were exhumed and brought to Germany.[19]

 

            Based on the stories of the old-timers in the island, the Japanese soldiers who were assigned in Lubang were not cruel to the inhabitants.  However, they obliged the people to farm so that the soldiers would have food.  They also obliged the male inhabitants of the island to cut big trees and construct the airstrip for the warplanes of the Japanese.

 

            Driven with their desire to regain the independence of Lubang, a group of guerrillas was formed by Major Alberto Abeleda and Captain Carlos Valbuena of Lubang.  Nevertheless, the existence of the said group remained secret for its members didn’t have enough weapons to fight the enemies.  The group waited for the arrival of the U.S. led Allied Forces which liberated Mindoro from Japanese occupation.

 

            Like what happened in other parts of Mindoro, due to their uncertain future and the extreme anxiety felt by islanders, the schools in Lubang including Stella Maris School ceased to operate.  In addition, vast farmlands were not planted with crops for many of the farmers evacuated to other places or hid in the mountains.

 

            On October 24, 1944 American warplanes bombed the Japanese warplanes at the airstrip of Lubang.  The explosion of bombs was heard at Barrio Maliig which was three kilometers away from the airstrip.  The warplanes also bombed the Japanese battleship which passed by the sea near Barrio Vigo   

            After paralyzing Japanese airpower, the U.S. led Allied Forces landed in Tilik on February 28, 1945.  The Japanese soldiers retreated to the mountains.  While retreating, they burned the houses at the western part of the town’s center.

 

            The group of guerrillas helped in liberating the island from Japanese occupation.  After a day of fighting, the Japanese soldiers were driven to the mountains.  On March 1, 1945 the group of American soldiers under the command of Lt. Campbell occupied Poblacion, Lubang.

 

            The Japanese soldiers hid in the forests of Lubang for more than a year.  They were hunted down by the combined Filipino and American troop.  In 1947, thirty of them surrendered to Lt. Tyler Holland, the commanding officer of the U.S. Task Force Division.[20]

 

            Despite the surrender of their companions, three Japanese soldiers led by Lt. Hiroo Onoda continued hiding in the forests of Lubang.  They killed four inhabitants of Vigo whom they accidentally encountered while looking for food.  The victims were Melecio Telebrico, Felipe Tanglao, Domingo Tanglao and Servando Tanglao.[21]

 

 

V – AFTER THE WAR

 

 

            In 1958, the road from the pier of Tilik up to the center of the municipality of Looc was constructed by the engineering battalion of the Philippine Army.  The following year, they improved the airstrip which was constructed during the Japanese occupation.  As a result of the implementation of these projects in the island, transportation became faster.[22]

 

            Since the pier in Tilik became busy, the government constructed a lighthouse was constructed in this place.  The following year, recognizing the strategic location of Lubang Island, the government constructed Gozar Air Station on the mountain overlooking Barrio Ambulong which is now called Brgy. Sorville.  Expert members of the Philippine Air Force watch the airspace at the central southwestern part of our country, by means of radar and other sophisticated equipments of the station.  The families living at Sorville and a sitio of Binacas benefited from the services of the electric plant and the potable water system built by the radar station.

 

            When barrio high schools proliferated in our country, two schools were opened in Lubang.  They were Tilik Barrio High School and Cabra Barrio High School.  The secondary school at Tilik grew and it is now called Tilik National High School.  On the other hand, after six years, the barrio high school in Cabra was closed due to lack of enrollees.[23]

 

            To provide better health services to the people, the government established a hospital in Lubang in 1969.  The said hospital was a great help to the poor patients, especially those who need immediate medical attention.

 

            A sea vessel full of Vietnamese refugees was stranded in the shore of Barrio Tangal in 1970.  The municipal government took care of them for a few weeks before sending them to the refugee processing center in Bataan.[24]

 

            In 1971, Kozuka, the Japanese straggler who was the companion of Lt. Onoda in the forest of Lubang for twenty seven years, was killed during a bloody encounter with a group of Filipino soldiers who were hunting them.  His remains were buried in the cemetery of Tilik.[25]

 

            The Catholic Church helped solved the problem of clean drinking water in Cabra.  In 1972, with the financial assistance of his friends in other countries, a windmill which drew water from a deep well was constructed by Fr. Bernhard Kassellmann, SVD in this island.  Moreover, Fr. Lois Ortner, SVD dug two wells in this place when he was assigned as the parish priest of Lubang in 1992.[26]       

 

            Within the period after the war up to the declaration of martial law, those who served as municipal mayors of Lubang were Aurelio Orayani, Sr., Juan Villaluz, Francisco Sanchez, Leandro Abeleda, Jr., and Raul Virola.

 

            Old residents of Lubang remembered Hon. Francisco Sanchez as the municipal mayor who encouraged the farmers to dig deep wells and buy motorized water pumps in order that they could farm their land during summer.

 

            With the assistance of Gov. Arsenio Villaroza and Congressman Felipe Abeleda, Mayor Sanchez built the municipal grandstand and multi-purpose social hall and started the concreting of roads at the town’s center.

 

            Mayor Raul Virola built a fence around the municipal plaza which was installed with electric lights by his predecessor Mayor Leandro Abeleda, Jr.  Moreover, he constructed a building for the offices of the different agencies of the national government.

 

 

VI – DURING MARTIAL LAW PERIOD

 

 

            When the implementation of Mindoro Integrated Rural Development Project (MIRDP) was intensified during martial law period, Lubang Electric Cooperative (LUBELCO) was organized in Lubang.  Electricity flowed to a great number of houses not only in this municipality but also in Looc.  In addition, water systems were established by National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in some barangays, thus, the farmers were able to harvest palay twice a year.

 

            The vocational high school which was established in Tilik in 1971 was transferred to Poblacion, in 1972.  After three years, the government was able to buy a lot near the town’s center.  The buildings of the vocational school were constructed there.  At present, the vocational school now known as Lubang National High School holds extension classes in the island of Cabra.[27]

 

            On March 10, 1974 the thirty years hiding of Lt. Hiroo Onoda in the forest of Lubang came to an end.  On that day, he heeded the request of his countryman Yukio Suzuki and the order of Commanding Officer Taniguchi to surrender.  The Japanese soldier surrendered to Major Gen. Jose Rancudo, chief of the Philippine Air Force at Gozar Air Station, Brgy. Sorville.  He was brought to Manila and he formally surrendered his samurai to President Ferdinand Marcos.[28]

 

            It was also during martial law period when water systems for clean drinking water were established in the barangays of Lubang.  In addition, the concreting of the main road of Lubang was done and a concrete pier was built in Tilik through the efforts of Assemblyman Pedro Mendiola, Sr., the representative to the Batasang Pambansa of Occidental Mindoro.

 

 

VII – AFTER THE PEACEFUL EDSA REVOLUTION    

 

 

            After the non-violent EDSA Revolution, President Corazon Aquino removed all municipal mayors in Occidental Mindoro and replaced them with OIC mayors.  In Lubang, the first OIC Mayor was Antonio Orayani.  However, less than a month afterwards, he was replaced by OIC Mayor Amancio Dimaranan.

 

            When elections were held in 1987, the people of Lubang entrusted to Mayor Alfredo Lim the rein of the municipal government.  With the assistance of Congressman Jose Villaroza, he constructed the roof of the municipal playground and the social hall of Lubang.

 

            When Fr. Lois Ortner was assigned as parish priest of Lubang, he worked for the construction of a water system for potable water and for irrigation purposes at Brgy. Binacas.  His congregation and friends abroad helped him solicit funds for the said project.  It was finished and people started to use it in 1992.[29]

 

            In 1998, Mayor Policarpio Tesorio succeeded Hon. Alfredo Lim as municipal mayor of Lubang.  Being an active leader of religious organizations and movements, aside from implementing the infrastructure projects in his town, he also helped in the formation of Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) in the parish.

 

            Col. Juan Sanchez, a retired military officer and son of a former mayor of Lubang, was elected municipal mayor of this town in 2001.  He strived to preserve the customs and traditions of the people, especially the religious celebration in honor of Blessed Virgin Mary every month of May.

 

            During the May 10, 2004 Elections, Hon. Policarpio Tesorio and Col. Juan Sanchez both ran for municipal mayor of Lubang.  Mayor Tesorio was declared winner.  Col. Sanchez protested the election of his political opponent.  A division of the Commission on Election (COMELEC) declared Col. Sanchez as the duly elected municipal mayor.  He replaced Tesorio as the head of the municipal government.  Tesorio appealed the decision to Comelec en banc.  Up to the present time, no final decision was promulgated by the election body regarding the protest and counter protest filed by the two politicians who are eager to serve their town mates, as municipal mayor of Lubang.   

 

 

HISTORY OF THE TEN BARANGAYS OF LUBANG

  

I.  BINACAS

 

 

            The name of the barangay came from the Tagalog word bakas, meaning footprints.  In the rocky portion of the seashore of this place, one could find numerous footprints of a man, a woman and a horse.  According to old residents of this barangay, their ancestors told them the story of two lovers from the center of the island of Lubang who eloped.  The parents and relatives of the lady pursued them.  Riding on horseback, the lovers reached the shore of this place.  When the pursuers arrived, they saw the footprints of the lovers and the horse on the rocky shore, but the couple, including the horse disappeared.  They searched for hours but they were not able to find the lovers.  They assumed that the couple preferred to drown themselves in the sea than to be separated from each other.  Since that time onwards, in memory of the lasting love of the couple whose footprints were found on the rocky shore, this part of the island of Lubang was called Binacas..        

 

            During the Spanish regime, a few ships sank at the sea of Binacas. A number were disabled by typhoons.  One was a Spanish battleship which was greatly damaged by the fusillade of a Dutch frigate during the historic Battle of Manila Bay.

 

            Binacas was one of the villages attacked by Moro pirates during the Spanish regime.  The Spaniards assigned a watchman on the hill near the seashore of this place to warn the villagers every time the vintas or fast sailboats of the pirates appear in the horizon.  The Spaniards also appointed the defenders of the village whom they called cuadrilleros.

 

            The hill of Binacas was called Bantayan by the people.  It served as the lookout area, during the American occupation of the island of Lubang.

 

            The people who decided to settle permanently in Binacas were composed of the families of Martin Cueva, Benito Cueva, Tranquilino Cueva, Undo Tovillo, Segundo Garcia and Francisco Garcia.  Later on, their relatives from other places arrived, hence, during the early part of the American occupation of Lubang, they requested the government authorities that their community be elevated to the status of a barrio.  In 1910, Binacas was created as a barrio.  Soriano Villaluna was appointed as its first teniente del barrio. The said leader worked for the establishment of an elementary school in his community.

 

            When World War II broke out, the Japanese soldiers rarely visited Binacas.  According to the survivors of the war, the soldiers whom they have met in this barrio were not cruel.  Compared to residents of other barrios, they did not experience constant fear and anxiety.

 

            After the war, many families of fishermen decided to live in this barrio for its sea abound with fishes.  Some farmers were also encouraged to cultivate the lowlands and planted it with palay and corn. 

 

            Through the efforts of the people, leaders of the barrio and the local government officials of Lubang, the road and bridge connecting Binacas and the nearby barrio of Ambulong or Sorville were constructed, including the barangay hall, day care center, multi-purpose pavement and concrete stage in the plaza.

 

            When the national government established Gozar Air Station in 1957, electricity reached one sitio of Binacas which was near the radar station.  The road going to the center of the barrio was also improved.

 

            When Fr. Lois Ortner, SVD was assigned as parish priest of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish-Lubang, in 1992, one of his projects was the building of a water system in Binacas.  With the financial assistance of his foreign friends and charitable institutions abroad, the project was completed.  As a result, potable water flowed to Binacas.  The project also helped irrigate the farms with water coming from a spring in the mountain of the barangay.

 

            Aside from Soriano Villaluna, those who served as leaders of Binacas were Lucio Cueva, Adriano de Lara and Angel Tangi.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captaun Faustino Tamares.[30]

 

 

2.  CABRA  

 

 

            Cabra is a small island at the north-westernmost part of Lubang, Occidental Mindoro.  The name of the island was given by the first Spanish soldiers who reached this place.  According to the story heard by old residents of this place from their ancestors, when the foreigners arrived in this island, they saw the herds of goats, majority of which were females.   In the Spanish language, a female goat is called cabra.  They called the place as La Isla de Cabra.  Years later, the name was shortened to Cabra.

 

            The Spaniards established the community of Cabra in 1885.  Since the ships going to Palawan, Mindanao and other countries, passed the sea surrounding the island, the Spanish government built a lighthouse here, in 1889.  Up to the present time, the lighthouse still guides the ships & motorboats passing the sea around the island, especially during stormy weather.

 

            Due to their strong connections with Spanish authorities, Manuel Alveyra and Antonio Muñiz were able to get land titles showing that the whole island of Cabra was their property.  However, since they did nothing for the development of the island, they were not able to prevent the people from settling in this place.  Among the first settlers were the families of Simeon de Lemos, Melecio Sales, Joaquin de Lemos, Domingo Insigne, Buenaventura de Lara, Pedro Villas, Jacinto Tulaylay and Paterno Martinez.

 

            In 1917, during the American regime, an elementary school was opened in Cabra.  The first teacher in this place was Mr. Sixto Masangcay.  After seven years, Mrs. Susana Tameta was also assigned here.

 

            During World War II, the Japanese soldiers rarely visited this island for the waves of the sea between Cabra and Lubang oftentimes grew big.  Despite the rare visits, the farmers were not able to cultivate their farm due to the prevailing uncertain situation in the country during that time.        

 

            After the war, the population of Cabra increased.  Four sitios appeared in the island; namely, Libis, Kay Sameon, Buli and Kalsada.  Each sitio has its own patron saint:  St. Joseph of Libis; Our Lady of Antipolo for Kay Sameon & Kalsada; and Holy Family of Buli.

 

            A barrio high school was opened in Cabra in 1966.  However, after six years, it was closed due to few enrollees.  In 1977, a group of Protestants led by Mr. Albano and Eduvigis de Vera founded Magnificat Academy.  The said secondary school lasted only for five years.  At present, Lubang National High School, the former vocational school at the center of the municipality, holds extension classes in the island.  

 

            On December 6, 1966 the alleged apparition of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception on top of a hill in Cabra, hugged the headlines of major newspapers in the country for a week.  Many devotees of the Blessed Virgin from different parts of the country went to this island to visit the hill of the alleged apparition.  A chapel was built by the Catholic Church on the hill aptly called Burol by the families residing around it.

 

            Potable water was the problem of the people of Cabra for years.  In 1972, Fr. Bernhard Kassellmann, SVD built a windmill in the island.  However, the quantity of water drawn by the windmill was not enough for the needs of the inhabitants, thus, when Fr. Lois Ortner, SVD was assigned as parish priest of Lubang, he dug two deep wells: at Sitio Kay Sameon on January 2, 1991 and at Sitio Buli on February 8, 1992.  The said priest also helped solicit financial assistance for the improvement of a small pier for motorboats in the island.

 

            The leaders who served as teniente del barrio, capitan del barrio and barangay captain of Cabra were Tomas Sales, Leandro Pacheco, Feliciano de Lara and James de Lara.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Wilbert Sales.[31]

 

 

3.  MALIGAYA    

 

 

            Life for the first settlers of this place was happy and peaceful, thus, they decided to call their community Maligaya, a Tagalog word which means happy.

 

            The ancestors of the inhabitants of this place were already trading with Chinese merchants, even before the arrival of the Spaniards in the Philippines.  From the merchants and sailors of Chinese junks, the ancestors learned how to weave clothes, construct a stone fort and make more advanced weapons for warfare.  Their culture was influenced by some aspects of the Chinese culture, an example of which is great respect and obedience to their parents.

 

            Since during that time, groups of men were already attacking and plundering communities, the people of Maligaya decided to build a stone fort where they could hide and defend themselves.

 

            One of the deckhand of Captain Juan de Salcedo wrote that when they visited Lubang Island in 1571, they found out that the civilization of the people living in this island was more advanced, compared with the people of other communities which they have visited during that time.  He narrated that they were surprised when the defenders of the island hid inside the stone fort and fought the Spanish soldiers using more advanced weapons for warfare.  Nevertheless, the Spanish soldiers defeated the defenders of the island and put Lubang under the jurisdiction of Spain.  It was believed that the ancestors of the inhabitants of Brgy. Maligaya were the ones who fought the Spaniards for the stone fort in the island of Lubang could be found in this community.

 

            Maligaya was one of the communities visited by the Spanish missionaries, when they propagated the Christian faith in Lubang.  The inhabitants of this place helped in the construction of a wooden church and belfry in the area which is now the center of the municipality of Lubang. 

 

            During the American regime, they called the fort in Maligaya as Fort of Sta. Catalina.  At first, the people used to visit this place but after many years, since nobody took care of the historic structure, it was destroyed by the elements and thick bushes grew around it.  At present, a well known individual in the area claims that he is the owner of the land where Fort of Sta. Catalina was built.

 

            Since Maligaya was adjacent to the center of the municipality of Lubang, the children in this community studied at the elementary school opened by American authorities at the town’s center.  When Fr. Enrique Demond, SVD established Stella Maris School in 1923, it gave opportunities to elementary school graduates of Lubang to acquire secondary education.

 

During the Japanese occupation, some inhabitants of Maligaya were among the laborers who were forced to work by the soldiers at the airstrip of Lubang.  Although the Japanese soldiers were strict, they were not cruel to the laborers.

 

After the war, the number of inhabitants of Maligaya increased until it was made as a sitio of Poblacion, Lubang.  The municipal government was able to improve the roads in this community.

 

In 1962, when Hon. Francisco Sanchez was the municipal mayor of Lubang, Maligaya was created as a barrio.  NemesioTerrenal, Jr., was elected as the first capitan del barrio of this place.

 

During martial law period, a concrete road was constructed at the center of Maligaya, which by that time, like other barrios was already called a barangay.  Lubang Electric Cooperative (LUBELCO) was able to supply electricity to the houses found in this community. 

 

The people of Maligaya helped in taking care of the Vietnamese refugees who were stranded in Lubang, during the latter part of Decade 70’s.  Deeply religious, they became active members of the different religious organizations and movements.

 

With the cooperation of the inhabitants, leaders of the barangay and the support of the provincial & national officials, a barangay hall, day care center, stage, plaza and children’s playground were constructed at Brgy. Maligaya. 

 

Aside from Capitan del Barrio Terrenal, those who became leaders of Maligaya were Tirso Oliva, Agustin de Lara, Aristoteles Viguilla and Romeo Pag-ilagan.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Conrado Verdera, Jr.[32]

 

 

4.  MALIIG

           

      

            According to old residents of this place, the name of their community came from a tragic incident which happened during the height of Moro piracy in the island of Mindoro.

 

            Since Lubang was a progressive community during that time, it was frequently attacked by Moro pirates.  Great damage was brought to lives and properties by the piratical raids, thus, the inhabitants thought of constructing a fort.  In addition, they trained hard in armed combat.  When the pirates attacked again, they valiantly defended their community.  They were able to defeat the enemies and they captured some pirates.  To avenge the death of their town mates in the past years due to piratical raids, they brought their captives to a forested area in one part of Lubang.  In that place, they cut the necks of the pirates.  Since that time, the forested area was called Pinagputlang Leeg or the place where necks were cut.  Years later, the name was shortened and it became Maliig.

 

            Families of farmers and fishermen from Cavite, Bulacan, Batangas and Bataan who settled in other parts of Lubang transferred to Maliig, during the Spanish occupation of Mindoro.  They cleared the forested area and converted it to ricefields and cornfields.

 

            The first settlers of Maliig were composed of the families of Eustaquio Aguilar, Maria Insigne, Poten Villaluz, Modesto Torregoza, Ildefonso Torregoza, Aniceto Aguilar, Graciano Torregoza and Telesforo Zapata.  The Spanish authorities designated Aniceto Aguilar as the cabeza de barangay.  He was succeeded by Telesforo Zapata and Graciano Torregoza. 

 

            The people of Maliig could not forget the three calamities which happened in their place.  The first one was the cholera epidemic which happened in 1879, when like other places of Lubang, many people died in this community.  The second one was the strong earthquake which occurred in 1902 and the third one was the super typhoon, on October 16, 1918 which destroyed many houses.

 

            During the American regime, the authorities opened a primary school in this place.  Cirilo Tarriela donated a piece of land where the schoolhouse was built.  Through cooperative labor, the parents of the schoolchildren were able to build classrooms.

 

            Before World War II broke out, a few families of Maliig evacuated to the mountains and forests of Lubang.  They avoided the Japanese soldiers, especially when a warship of the enemies was bombed and sank by the warplanes of the Filipinos and Americans on the sea which was under the jurisdiction of Maliig. 

 

            The able bodied males who were left in this community were among the laborers who were forced to work by the Japanese soldiers at the airstrip of Lubang.  Although the soldiers were strict, they were not cruel to the laborers.

 

            Before the arrival of the U.S. led Allied Forces in the Philippines, American warplanes bombed the airstrip built by the Japanese at the center of the municipality of Lubang.  Due to the loud explosions, the people of Maliig were greatly afraid.  They thought that the bombs would be dropped in their community.

 

            After the war, the people strived to improve their lives.  The number of inhabitants increased, gradually, and the total land area planted to palay, corn and fruit trees widened.             

 

            With the assistance of the municipal government, the leaders of the barangay were able to build farm to market roads, electric service was extended to many houses, a water system was established and tanks for potable water were installed.  The leaders were also able to construct a barangay hall, day care center, concrete stage and playground at the plaza of the barangay.

 

            Aside from the aforementioned cabezas de barangay, those who served as leaders of Maliig were Ricardo Aguilar, Juan Villas, Rufino Masangkay, Simpracio Aguilar, Anastacio Samonte, Simon Villaflores and Rufino Navarro.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Roberto Terrenal, Sr.[33]

 

 

5.  POBLACION 

 

 

            Big trees called in the native dialect as lumbang grew in this place, before the coming of the Spaniards in Mindoro.  The ancestors of the inhabitants of this community named their settlement after the tree.  After many years one letter disappeared from the name and it became Lubang.

 

            In the history written by a teacher in 1950, it was mentioned that this community was established by Bernardo de Guzman, the leader of families of farmers from Bulacan who decided to settle in this place permanently.  1750 was written as the date of the establishment of this community. 

 

            It was also mentioned in the said history that Muslim traders bartered goods with the first settlers of this place.  When the Spaniards occupied the Philippines, as a sign of protest against their subjugation of the natives, the Muslim traders became pirates.  Lubang was one of the islands of Mindoro which they raided and plundered.

 

            From old baptismal records, it was learned that Fr. Timoteo Sanchez was assigned as the missionary priest of Lubang in 1863.  The following year, Fr. P. Muriel succeeded him.  The said priest built a church made of strong materials in this community.  Through the power of the gobernadorcillo of this place, they obliged the inhabitants to work without compensation, for weeks, in order that the house of worship would be finished.

 

            In 1882, there was an outbreak of cholera epidemic in Lubang.  Fearing that his fellow villagers would also get sick of the dreaded disease, the cabeza de barangay of Looc did not allow anybody from Lubang to enter his village, including Fr. Tomas Roldan, the parish priest.

 

            The public elementary school was established in Lubang in 1905, during the American regime.  Agustin Craig, a teacher from the United States, was assigned by  government authorities to teach in the public school.

 

            In 1918, the center of the municipal government which was formerly located in Tilik was transferred to this place.  That same year, the church built by Fr. Muriel was destroyed by a strong typhoon.  It was rebuilt by Fr. Benito Rixner, SVD in 1935.  After thirty years, it was improved and widened by Fr. Bernhard Kassellmann, SVD.

 

            When Fr. Enrique Demond, SVD was assigned in this community in 1922, he founded a private school, Stella Maris School.  It was the first Catholic school in the whole island of Mindoro.

 

            When World War II broke out, an airstrip was constructed by the Japanese soldiers in Lubang.  American warplanes bombed the Japanese warplanes in the said airstrip in 1944, prior to the arrival of the U.S. led Allied Forces in Mindoro.  When American soldiers led by Lt. Campbell liberated the town’s center from Japanese occupation, the houses at the western part of the Poblacion were burned.

 

            Years after the war, elected municipal officials of Lubang strived to develop the town’s center.  A public hospital was opened here in 1969.  After four years, Lubang Vocational High School which was established in Tilik in 1971 was transferred here.  Later on, this school was renamed Lubang National High School. 

 

            In 1975, by virtue of a decree of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, Poblacion, Lubang was divided into different barangays.  The barangays were named as Araw at Bituin, Bagong Sikat, Banaag at Pag-asa, Likas ng Silangan, Maginhawa and Ninikat ng Pag-asa.

 

            During martial law period, concrete roads were built at Poblacion, the houses were provided with electricity and a water system for clean drinking water was established.  Through the cooperative effort of the municipal & provincial officials as well as leaders of the national government, the municipal hall and the plaza were improved.  Buildings for the different agencies of the government were also constructed.

 

            At present, the leaders of the different barangays of Poblacion are Brgy. Capt. Leonardo Villas who succeeded Joselito Villas of Araw at Bituin; Brgy. Capt. Colito Bobadilla, Jr.; the successor of Cesar Villamar of Bagong Sikat; Brgy. Capt. Wilbert Daulat of Banaag at Pag-asa; Brgy. Captain Antonio Aguilar who replaced Lorencito Dueñas of Likas ng Silangan; Brgy. Capt. Roberto Tabor who succeeded Morito Tabor of Maginhawa; Edilberto Masangkay of Paraiso; and Juan Masangkay of Ninikat ng Pag-asa.[34]

 

 

6.  SORVILLE

 

 

            The original name of this village was Ambulong.  The name came from a kind of plant which grew abundantly in this hilly area, before the outbreak of World War II.

 

            During the war, the forests of Ambulong became the hideout of a group of guerrillas and individuals who avoided the Japanese soldiers.  This was one of the places where the people gathered a kind of root crop which served as substitute for rice.  Some old-timers of Lubang mentioned that the Japanese soldiers hid in its forest for many years.

            When peace was restored, a great part of Ambulong was bought by the family of Juana Torreliza.  The lowland was converted into ricefields and the grassy hills were made as pastureland.  

 

            On the 1st day of July, 1957 on a high mountain near Ambulong, the Philippine government started the construction of Gozar Air Station which would serve as guard on the air space at the central southwestern part of the Philippines.  To hasten the delivery of construction materials, the engineering battalion of the Philippine Army built the road from the highway of the island of Lubang to the air station.  After four years or on November 16, 1961 the construction of the air station was finished and it started its operation.  Many soldiers were assigned at the military facilities and some of them married the maidens of Ambulong.

 

            During the latter part of Decade 60’s, Col. Romulo Soriano was assigned as the commanding officer of Gozar Air Station.  The said official requested from the authorities of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) that the government buy the land owned by Juana Torreliza and convert it as a housing subdivision for soldiers.  The request was approved, thus, many soldiers who were assigned at Gozar Air Station bought lots and built houses in the subdivision.

 

            Since Col. Romulo Soriano was the PAF official who strived that the soldiers could own house and lots, the housing subdivision was named Soriano Village.  Later on, the name was shortened and became Sorville.  After two years, there were more families living in this place than other parts of Ambulong.

 

            In the early part of 1970, due to the increasing number of inhabitants, a complete elementary school was established by the government at Sorville.  The soldiers who retired while assigned at the air station, decided to settle in this place.  They requested the municipal government that their place be made a barrio.  Members of the municipal council approved the request and Sorville was elevated to the status of a barrio in the latter part of 1971.  In the first election held at the new barrio, a retired soldier, Aurelio Ventura was elected as the first capitan del barrio.  The sitios under the jurisdiction of Ambulong were placed under his jurisdiction. 

 

            Even before the national government actively promoted the electrification program at the different parts of the Philippines, during martial law period, electric current already flowed to the houses of Sorville, through the electric plant at Gozar Air Station.  With the help of the said station, a water system for clean drinking water was constructed by the municipal government in this place.

 

            Through the efforts of Brgy. Captain Ventura and the leaders who succeeded him, additional school buildings were constructed at Sorville.  The inhabitants were able to construct a playground and barangay hall at the plaza.  It was easy to maintain peace and order in the community for almost all household heads were retired soldiers or are in active duty.

 

            When Japanese straggler Hiroo Onoda surrendered to the commanding officer of Gozar Air Station in 1995, many residents of Sorville witnessed the official turn-over of the old soldier by PAF officers to the Japanese government. 

 

Aside from Aurelio Ventura, those who served as barangay captain of Sorville were Saturnina Geronimo and Evaristo Quinan.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Domecito Bote.[35]               

 

 

7.  TAGBAC

 

 

            The name of the barangay came from a medicinal plant which looks like ginger that grew profusely in this place during the early days.

 

            In the early days, anybody who passed this area, when asked by people whom he would met as to the place where he come from, would answer: In the area where there are plenty of tagbak.  When the Spaniards occupied Lubang, the spelling of the name of the place was changed, thus, when the foreigners listed the communities found in the island, they listed Tagbac.

 

            According to stories of old-timers of this place, in one part of Tagbac which the people called Kabila, the seashore of Sitio Kusangloob at present, the champans or ships of Chinese merchants who bartered goods with their ancestors, used to anchor.  It was mentioned in history that from those merchants, the people of Lubang learned how to make more advanced weapons for warfare which they used in fighting the Spanish soldiers who landed in the island in 1572.

 

            Old folks also frequently mentioned that in the middle part of the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, a ship of the foreigner ran aground the shores of Tagbac when it was buffeted by waves.  Some passengers who were rescued were members of the family of Maria Papa.  The inhabitants of this community took care of them for weeks before they were able to return to the place where they came from.

 

            The first settlers of this place were composed of the families of Dinoy Tarras, Mariano Legazpi, Domingo Villas and Calixto de Lara.  Despite the dreaded disease of malaria, they persevered in clearing the forested area and converted it into productive farms.  They also helped the Spanish friar assigned at the center of the island, in building a chapel in their community.  The materials used in building the house of worship were not durable, thus, at present no ruins could prove that during the early days a chapel existed in this place.  It would have served as proof to the spread of Christianity in the island of Lubang.

 

            During World War II, Japanese warships bombed in the sea of Tagbac, La Estrella del Caltex, an American ship.  The said ship sank, but a few bombs which did not hit it, exploded on the shore and caused the burning of some houses in the community.

 

A group of guerrillas made Tagbac as one of their hideouts, during the war.  The group was under the command of Major Alberto Abeleda and Captain Carlos Valbuena..  Among their soldiers were Juan Aguilar, Felipe Rason, Salvador Muñiz, Santiago Abeleda and Juan Tobillo.

 

After the war, there was a rapid increase in the number of inhabitants in Tagbac.  This community was made as a sitio of Lubang before it was officially created as a barrio in 1952.  Esteban Tejoso was elected as the first teniente del barrio.  With the assistance of the municipal government and the people, an elementary school was opened and a schoolhouse was constructed

 

Years later, the roads and bridges connecting Tagbac with other barrios were constructed.  Electricity also reached the houses in this place.  In addition, a day care center, barangay hall, concrete stage and the playground in the plaza were constructed.

 

The Catholic Church also helped in improving the life of the people in Tagbac.  As a result of the formation program implemented in this barangay by the priests and religious sisters assigned at the town’s center and the visits of Bishop Vicente Manuel, SVD, DD to this place, the Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) of Tagbac became active.  Through the efforts of its members, the chapel constructed by Fr. Bernhard Kasellmann, SVD was made bigger.  At the start of the new millennium, when San Isidro Labrador Parish was created as a parish, Tagbac was made as its center.  The chapel was again made bigger by BEC members.

 

Aside from Esteban Tejoso, those who served as teniente del barrio, capitan del barrio and barangay captain of Tagbac were Felipe de Lara, Sesinando de Lara, Segundo Morales, Donato Saballo, Rodolfo Tarras and Redentor de Lara.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Isagani Tamayosa.[36]

 

 

8.  TANGAL           

 

 

            The name of the place came from a kind of tree, the powdered bark of which is being mixed with tuba, a wine extracted from the juice of coconut flowers, in order that its taste would become more potent and easily intoxicate the person who would drink it.  The powdered bark of that tree is called tangal, hence, the name of the place.

 

            This place was a forest during the Spanish occupation of Mindoro.  It has a swamp where nipa palms abound, the leaves of which were being woven into shingles and used as roof of houses.

 

            The part of the sea facing Tangal, like that of Tagbac and Binacas was also a part of the historic Battle of Manila Bay.  According to the story handed down for generations by the ancestors of the inhabitants of Tangal, the battle of the Dutch and Spanish warships which started at Manila Bay reached the sea of this barangay.  A part of the story stated that a galleon of the Spaniards sank at the sea near the area.  For years, there were groups of divers who searched for the treasure chest which was allegedly a part of the cargo of the sunken galleon.

 

            During the American regime, the farmers cleared the forest of Tangal and turned it into farmland.  Some of them built huts near the seashore, together with families of the fishermen.

 

            When World War II broke out, although the Japanese soldiers were civil in dealing with the inhabitants of Tangal, the lives of the latter were also affected.  Due to the uncertain condition of the whole country during that time, majority of the farmers were not able to plant palay, thus, food became scarce.

 

After the war, the number of inhabitants of Tangal increased.  It became a sitio of Tagbac.  A few years later, the sitio grew.  The inhabitants requested the members of the municipal council of Lubang that Sito Tangal be elevated to the status of a barrio.  Their request was granted.  In 1950, Tangal was created as a barrio.  Manuel Cajayon was elected as the first teniente del barrio.  Under his administration, an elementary school was opened by the government in this community.

 

With the cooperation of the people, leaders of the barangay and local officials, the road and bridges connecting Tangal with Binacas and Tagbac were constructed.  According to old-timers of this place, most of the wooden bridge or those structures called Bailey bridges were constructed during the administration of Hon. Francisco Sanchez as municipal mayor of Lubang.

 

Since Tangal is facing China Sea, a sea vessel full of Vietnamese refugees was stranded in this community, in 1970.  The inhabitants and the local government of Lubang helped them.  After staying in Tangal for a few months, they were sent to the refugee processing center in the province of Bataan.

 

In 1971, a calamity occurred in Tangal.  That year, big waves from the sea destroyed the houses near the seashore.  Fortunately, the inhabitants were able to evacuate to higher grounds.               

 

            Fearing that a similar calamity would occur again, no family dared to build a house near the seashore of Tangal for three years.  They only built shelters in that place when a concrete chapel was constructed by Fr. Bernhard Kassellmann, SVD in the area damaged by big waves.

 

            During martial law period, through Lubang Electric Cooperative (LUBELCO), electricity reached the houses of the inhabitants of Tangal.  A multi-purpose pavement, day care center, concrete stage and barangay hall were also constructed.

 

            At present, barangay leaders and fishermen were helping members of the local police force in driving away illegal fishermen at the part of the sea under the jurisdiction of Tangal.  They were driven by their desire to preserve the marine resources in their barangay.

 

            Aside from Manuel Cajayon, those who served as capitan del barrio and barangay captain of Tangal were Marcelino Tarras, Fructuoso Tarras, Francisco de Lara, Emiliano Torres, Estelito Pag-ilagan, Eugenio Guimba and Eduardo Tarras.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Richard Insigne.[37]

 

 

9.  TILIK     

 

 

            Families of farmers and fishermen from the provinces of Batangas, Cavite, Quezon and Bataan were the first settlers of this place.  Among them were the families of Aguilar, Cajayon, Tria, Castillo and de Lemos.

 

            The original name of this community was Bantayan.  However, during the Spanish occupation of Mindoro, a few foreign soldiers landed on the seashore of this place.  Since they could not locate the trail, they forced their way through the thorny branches of aroma trees.  Some thorns were embedded in their pants and shirts.  While removing the thorns, some settlers of Bantayan saw them.  In the Spanish language, the foreigners asked the settlers the name of their settlement.  Since they did not understand what the Spaniards said, the settlers thought that the foreigners were asking them to identify the thorns embedded in their pants.  They answered TINIK.  Perhaps the foreigners did not hear the answer clearly or they could not pronounce the word properly, thus, what they repeated as the name of the place was TILIK.  From that time onwards, the place became known as Tilik.

 

            In the history written by a teacher in 1950, it was mentioned that Tilik was created as a pueblo in 1750.  It was also mentioned that when the Filipinos revolted against the Spaniards, a local chapter of the Katipunan was organized in Tilik, at the house of Mariano Aguilar, known during that time as Kabesang Nano.  Active members of the movement were Pio Cajayon, Quintin de Lemos, Mariano Aguilar, Angel Surita, Gregorio Tria and Candido Aguilar.

 

            In 1897, the group of revolutionaries surrounded the church & convent in Lubang and captured the Spanish priests & soldiers staying there.  They detained their captives in the house owned by Angel Surita.  They forced their prisoners to work under the heat of the sun for a few months.  They sent their captives to Taysan, Batangas where other priests and soldiers captured in Mindoro were imprisoned until 1901.

            In 1898, Alejandro Albano, an Aglipayan minister arrived in Tilik.  Since there were no priests in the whole island of Lubang during that time, many islanders were convinced to join the religious sect.

 

            In 1905, under the American regime, Lubang became a municipality and the seat of the municipal government was placed in Tilik.  However, in 1918, the center of the municipal government was transferred to the place where it is located at present.  Tilik became a barrio.  The former municipal hall was made as a post office and after a few years it was converted into a school building.

 

            During the American regime, when Gov. Gen. Leonard Wood was the administrator of the Philippines, he strictly implemented cleanliness in all communities.  Mrs. Maria Castillo, an old settler of Tilik, recalled that when the said governor general visited Tilik, he ordered the imprisonment of ten persons for twenty four hours because their houses and yards were dirty.        

 

            In 1922, a pier made of wood was built by the Americans in Tilik.  It was repaired in 1938.  When the late Assemblyman Pedro Mendiola, Sr. was elected as the representative of Occidental Mindoro to the Philippine Congress during martial law period, a concrete pier was constructed in Tilik.

 

            When World War II broke out, thirteen motorboats full of Japanese soldiers under the command of Captain Ichi, arrived in Tilik.  They established a garrison in this place.

 

            On February 28, 1945 the American soldiers liberated Tilik from Japanese occupation.  With the restoration of peace, this community progressed, gradually.  The first graduation ceremony for elementary school graduates was held in 1949. 

 

To serve as guide for sea vessels, the government built a lighthouse in Tilik in 1959.  In order that their children could acquire secondary education, a barrio high school was opened by the association of parents and teachers in this place in 1966.  Sto. Niño Nursery & Kindergarten was established, the following year.

 

During martial law period, concrete roads and bridges were built in Tilik, electricity reached most of its houses, a barangay hall and day care center were constructed and a water system for clean drinking water was established.

 

Those who served as leaders of Tilik were Lorenzo Valenzuela, Jorge Balibay, Cleto Zurita, Julio de Lemos, Emilio Quiñones and Reynan Balibay.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Rustico Tria.[38]

 

 

10.  VIGO   

 

 

            The name of the barangay came from a tree called malabrigo by the families who first inhabited this place.  After so many years of constant use, the name grew shorter and became Vigo.

 

            Families of farmers from Batangas, Bataan and Cavite were the first inhabitants of this place.  A public school teacher who wrote the history of this place in 1950, mentioned that among the original inhabitants of this place, the family of Fausto Tanayan was the first family who stayed here permanently.  The teacher also mentioned that Vigo became a community in 1353 and Dangay, one of its sitios at present, started as a small settlement in 1796.

 

            During the Spanish occupation of Mindoro, a missionary friar built a chapel in Vigo.  Government authorities also tried to educate the people through a system called cartilla.  Old-timers of this community mentioned the names of the first teachers of cartilla.  They were Maestrong Tolo, Ani and Enbin.  Moreover, according to them, the teacher who actively taught the Spanish language was Maestrong Jose Cueto.

 

            The Spanish authorities imposed high taxes, a repressive law which the inhabitants of this place refused to obey.  Many inhabitants, majority of them indigenous people, preferred to transfer from one place to another or lived in the mountains, to avoid paying taxes.     

 

            In 1901, the American soldiers landed in Tilik and Sitio Binasal of Vigo, before occupying Lubang.  The whole island was placed under their jurisdiction.  In 1902, a primary school was opened in this community.  At first, classes were held in a privately owned house.  It was only in 1904 when the American government constructed a schoolhouse in this place.

 

            The chapel built by the missionary friar was destroyed by a typhoon in 1905.  Through cooperative labor, the inhabitants built a temporary house of worship.  It was replaced by a concrete chapel when the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) missionaries took care of the spiritual welfare of the people of Lubang.

 

            The people of Vigo raised carabaos and cattle.  Unfortunately, their livestock did not increase in number due to a disease called rinderpest by the old-timers which repeatedly killed large number of domesticated animals from 1904 to 1922.

 

            In April 1909, almost all houses in Vigo were razed to the ground by a big fire which occurred in this place.

 

            Two projects which the American government implemented in Vigo were the construction of the provincial road through this community in 1925 and the bridge over its river in 1940.

            During World War II, Japanese soldiers occupied Lubang.  Old-timers of Vigo stated that the enemies were not cruel to them.

 

            When the U.S. led Allied Forces came to Mindoro, the Japanese soldiers in Lubang hid in the mountains.  Nevertheless, in 1947, thirty of the so called stragglers surrendered to 1st Lt. Tyler Holland, the commanding officer of U.S. Task Force Division.

 

            The Japanese stragglers who did not surrender continued hiding in the mountains.  Within the seven year period of struggling to avoid the government soldiers who were hunting them down, coupled with stealing food from the farm of the inhabitants in order to survive, four men of Vigo became the victims of the stragglers.  They were Melecio Telebrico and Felipe Tanglao whom they killed in 1945; Domingo Tanglao in 1949; and Servando Tanglao in 1952.  The farmers of Vigo collectively heaved a sigh of relief when the last Japanese straggler of Lubang, Lt. Hiroo Onoda, surrendered to Phil. Air Force Chief Major General Jose Rancudo, on March 10, 1974 at Gozar Air Station. 

 

            The people of Vigo strived to make their barangay progressive.  At present, their barangay is one of the progressive places in Lubang.

 

            Among the leaders who served Vigo were Raul Villaflores and Dante Poblete.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Manuel Villaflores.[39]

 



ENDNOTES/SOURCES OF INFORMATION:

 

[1] Rosalinda Zubiri, The History of Lubang, 1991, p. 1

[2] Editorial Staff, STAA Souvenir Program, 1970, p. 163

[3] Gregorio Zaide, Philippine History, 1961, p. 100

[4] Editorial Staff, STAA Souvenir Program, 1970, p. 164

[5] J.S. Cummins, The Travels of Navarrete, 1962, p. 76

[6] Antoon Postma, Mindoro Missions Revisited, Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society,

  Vol. 5 (1977), p. 259

[7] Teresita Pacheco, Ang Kasaysayan ng Looc, 1990, p. 4

[8] Bernardita Tanglao, A Brief History of Tilik, 1950, p. 3

[9] Editorial Staff, STAA Souvenir Program, 1970, p. 164

[10] Florante Villarica, Oriental Mindoro from the Dawn of Civilization to the Year 2000 A.D., 1997, p. 33

[11] Volker Schult, Mindoro: A Social History of a Philippine Island in the 20th Century, 1991, p. 51

[12] R. Zubiri, The History of Lubang, 1991 p. 4

[13] Ibid

[14] Teresita Pacheco, Ang Kasaysayan ng Looc, 1990, p. 4

[15] Editorial Staff, Golden Jubilee Souvenir Book of the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan, 1986, p. 12

[16] R. Zubiri, The History of Lubang, 1991, p. 4

[17] R. Zubiri, The History of Lubang, 1991, p. 10

[18] Interview with Mr. Romeo Puli, February 5, 1998

[19] Interview with Mr. Ramon Guimba, February 6, 1998

[20] R. Zubiri, The History of Lubang, 1991, p. 6

[21] R. Zubiri, The History of Lubang, p. 7

[22] T. Bautista, Ang Kasaysayan ng Brgy. Burol, 1990, p. 3

[23] B. Tanglao, A Brief History of Tilik, 1950, p. 8

[24] Interview with Brgy. Captain Eduardo Tarras, February 4, 1998

[25] Governor’s Office, Sentimental Journey of Lt. Hiroo Onoda, 1996, p. 28

[26] Interview with Brgy. Capt. Faustino Tamares, February 2, 1998

[27] Interview with Mr. Ramon Guimba, February 6, 1998

[28] Governor’s Office, Sentimental Journey of Lt. Hiroo Onoda, 1996, p. 29

[29] Interview with Brgy. Capt. Faustino Tamares, February 2, 1998

[30] Interview with Brgy. Captain Faustino Tamares

[31] Interview with Brgy. Captain James de Lara

[32] Interview with Brgy. Captain Romeo Pag-ilagan

[33] Interview with Brgy. Captain Roberto Terrenal, Sr.

[34] Rosalinda Zubiri, The History of Lubang

[35] Interview with Brgy. Captain Aurelio Ventura

[36] Interview with Calixto de Lara & Romeo Puli

[37] Interview with Mr. Ramon Guimba

[38] Benardita Tanglao, Brief History of Tilik

[39] Interview with Brgy. Captain Manuel Villaflores

 

 

REFERENCES

 

A.  Published Materials:

 

     1.  AVSC Staff

          1986 Golden Jubilee Souvenir Book of the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan

     2.  Cummins, J.S.

          1962 The Travels of Navarrete

     3.  Governor’s Office

          1996 Sentimental Journey of Lt. Hiroo Onoda

     4.  Postma, Antoon

          1977 Mindoro Mission Revisited: Phil. Quarterly of Culture and Society, Vol. 5

     5.  Schult, Volker

          1991 Mindoro, A Social History of a Philippine Island in the 20th Century

     6.  STAA Staff 

          1970 STAA Souvenir Program

     7.  Villarica, Florante

          1997 Oriental Mindoro from the Dawn of Civilization to the Year 2000 A.D.

     8.  Zaide, Gregorio

          1961 Philippine History

 

B. Unpublished Materials:

 

1.      Bautista, Teresita

1990 Ang Kasaysayan ng Brgy. Burol

     2.   Pacheco, Teresita

1990 Ang Kasaysayan ng Looc

     3.   Tanglao, Bernardita

           1950 A Brief History of Tilik

 

     4.   Zubiri, Rosalinda

           1991 The History of Lubang

 

C.  Resource Persons:

 

1.      Brgy. Capt. Aurelio Ventura

2.      Brgy. Capt. Eduardo Tarras

3.      Brgy. Capt. Faustino Tamares

4.      Brgy. Capt. James de Lara

5.      Brgy. Capt. Manuel Villaflores

6.      Brgy. Capt. Roberto Terrenal, Sr.

7.      Brgy. Capt. Romeo Pag-ilagan

8.      Mr. Romeo Puli

9.      Mr. Ramon Guimba

10.  Mr. Calixto de Lara