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Town of Mamburao


 

HISTORY OF MAMBURAO

 By Rudy Candelario

Translated in English by Benjamin Walata

 

 

I – DURING THE SPANISH REGIME

  

The name of the municipality came from May Bulao, an expression of the indigenous people which means There’s Gold.  The expression was oftentimes uttered by the indigenous people, during the early days, every time they found pieces of gold after sifting the sands from the bed of a river near their settlement.  They called the river where they discovered gold as May Bulao.

 

The group of lowlanders who first lived near < xml="true" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" prefix="st1" namespace="">May Bulao River also called their settlement by that name.  Years later, the name became Mamburao.[1]

 

Prior to the coming of the Spaniards in the Philippines, Mamburao was already a progressive community, a center of commerce where Muslim traders lived.  The old potteries and kitchen utensils dug from this place showed that Chinese traders used to visit this community during the 10th century.  Their sea vessels could enter the deep river of Mamburao and during stormy weather they dropped anchor at the sheltered coast of what is known now as Brgy. Tayamaan.

 

Written history stated that on the 1st day of January 1570, a company of warriors from Panay, led by Captain Juan de Salcedo, aboard fifteen sailboats, passed by the villages of Iling and Mamburao before proceeding to Lubang.  In Mamburao, they defeated and drove away the Muslim warriors who were reported to the Spanish authorities as pirates.  It was also stated in the report of a Spanish historian that in 1572,  the Spanish soldiers confiscated two Chinese champans or sea vessels full of goods at Bato River, approximately five miles from the town of Mindoro.  Local historians believed that the town of Mindoro mentioned in the report was actually Mamburao, since the distance of Bato River of Sta. Cruz from this municipality, at present, is approximately five miles.[2]

 

During the Spanish regime, the government controlled trade in the different parts of the Philippines.  They sent an expedition to Sulu to vanquish the Moros and place them under the jurisdiction of the Spaniards.  However, the Moros fought back and one of the methods they used in resisting Spanish domination was to attack the communities which were under the control of the foreigners.  As a result, the former Muslim traders became pirates.  It was mentioned in history that Mamburao was one of their headquarters in Mindoro.  When they were defeated and driven out by the Spaniards from the community, as vengeance, they raided and looted repeatedly the coastal communities in Mindoro, including their former headquarters.

 

When Calavite was erected as a parish in 1580, one of the communities placed under its jurisdiction was Mamburao.  It was mentioned that in 1679, this community was one of the places visited by Fr. Diego dela Resureccion, the Spanish missionary belonging to the Order of Augustinian Recollects, who was assigned as parish priest of Calavite.

 

In 1757, the corregidor of Mindoro reported to the Governor General of the Philippines that Mamburao was one of the villages which disappeared from the map due to the frequent plundering and burning of this place by the Moro pirates.  In 1766, it was reported that the Spanish soldiers drove out the pirates who used Mamburao as their temporary resting place.

 

In 1772, it was stated in another report that the Spanish soldiers attacked the pirates who were based in Mamburao. Many pirates escaped and hid in the mountains.

 

The last plundering and burning of Mamburao by the pirates happened in 1842.  Fr. Miguel Claro, the Spanish friar assigned in this place was able to escape to the mountains.  Unfortunately, due to the hardships he experienced in the mountains, and the extreme depression he felt because of the burning of the church and convent he painstakingly built, he lost his mind.  When the Spanish soldiers found Fr. Claro in the mountains, they brought him to Manila for medical treatment.  Nevertheless, the said missionary was not able to recover from his mental illness.[3]

 

To avoid the pirates, many families evacuated to other places.  It was mentioned in the history written by a teacher from Talaotao, one of the barangays in Golo Island, municipality of Looc, that the ancestors of the inhabitants of this place were from Mamburao who left their original village due to the frequent raids of Moro pirates.[4] 

 

When the pirates stopped raiding the villages in Mindoro, Mamburao was made a pueblo by the Spaniards.  A wide territory was placed under its jurisdiction.  It included the territories which are now under the municipalities of Paluan, Abra de Ilog and Sta. Cruz.

 

In a book written by Dr. Remigio Agpalo, a noted professor and former chairman of the Political Science Department of the University of the Philippines, he mentioned that his great, great grandfather, Simeon Agpalo, together with some relatives from San Marcelino Zambales, settled in Mamburao in 1865.  The first time they arrived here, they found only ten houses near the seashore.  Through hard work and perseverance, they were able to clear the forest near their settlement.[5]  Years later, the number of inhabitants increased when settlers from the provinces of Batangas and Cavite, followed by families  from the municipalities of Paluan, Looc and Lubang of Occidental Mindoro, came and stayed in this place. 

 

Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo mentioned in his autobiography that he bought a big sailboat and bartered goods with the inhabitants of Mindoro, together with his brothers Benigno and Crispulo.[6]  This business activity of the late general might have started in 1885 for the capitan municipal of Paluan, Capitan Mariano Abeleda and the leader of Sablayan, Capitan Pedro Fernandez became his friends.  Although, it was not mentioned in his autobiography, it was believed that Gen. Aguinaldo set foot in Mamburao for the wide plain under Brgy. Balansay at present, became his property.

 

It was mentioned in an old document of the Order of Augustinian Recollects (OAR) that one of the members of their congregation whom they want to be included in the list of saints of the Catholic Church, Fr. Vicente Soller, was assigned as parish priest of Mamburao in 1891.  The said priest was able to build a convent and a church in this pueblo.[7]  He served the people of this place until the year 1898.  It was also mentioned in the records of OAR that Mamburao was one of the places visited by St. Exequiel Moreno when the former head of the Spanish friars in Mindoro, visited the parishes in the island.. 

 

In 1898, Mamburao was one of the places where the Filipino revolutionaries led by Capitan Mariano Abeleda and Capitan Agustin Liboro searched for Spanish friars and soldiers whom they would capture and imprison.

   

 

II – DURING THE AMERICAN REGIME

 

 

            The independence gained by the Mindoreños lasted only for two years.  During the last part of 1901, American troops under the command of Major William Pitcher, attacked Mamburao and burned all houses and buildings, including the church and convent built by Fr. Vicente Soller.  Some foreign soldiers abused the civilians and the people who sought shelter at the headquarters of the soldiers were truly pitiful to look at.[8]

 

            When Captain Robert Offley was appointed as governor of Mindoro by American authorities, in 1902, he established a village for the indigenous people at Sitio Tii which is now Brgy. Fatima.  He opened a school and appointed a president & councilor to manage the place.

 

            In 1905, by virtue of Act 1280, the American government ordered that the number of municipalities in the island of Mindoro be reduced from fifteen to eight.  Mamburao remained as a municipality.  Placed under its jurisdiction were Paluan, Abra de Ilog and Sta. Cruz which were reverted to their former status as barrios.  However, in 1910, by virtue of Executive Order No. 31, Paluan and Abra de Ilog were again created as municipalities.  In 1949, by virtue of Executive Order No. 210, Sta. Cruz was separated from Mamburao and elevated again to the status of a municipality.[9]

 

In the early part of the American occupation of Mamburao, they opened a primary school in this municipality.  In the beginning, classes were only form Grade 1 to Grade IV but in 1916, classes were opened for pupils from Grade V up to Grade VII.  The elementary school graduates who pursued secondary education, enrolled at Mindoro High School in Calapan, then the capital of the province of Mindoro.

 

In 1936, still under the American regime, the spiritual care of the inhabitants of Mindoro was entrusted to the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) after more than three hundred years of being under the Order of Augustinian Recollects.  Mamburao remained as a parish.  It was one of the towns visited by Bishop William Finnemann, SVD, DD during his second year of being the prefect apostolic of the Apostolic Prefecture of Mindoro.[10] 

 

The American government appointed municipal presidents in Mamburao.  After a few years, the municipal presidents were elected by the people.  Those who served as municipal presidents were Luis Villar, Sinforoso Mercene, Mariano Villarosa, Jose Mercene, Vicente Sison and Pascual Castillo.

 

In the history of Sta. Cruz written by a teacher in 1950, it was mentioned that one politician from Brgy. Mulawin served as a member of the municipal council of Mamburao.  He was Councilor Petronilo de Borja who also served, temporarily, as municipal president of Mamburao.[11]

 

 

III – DURING & AFTER WORLD WAR II

 

 

            When World War II broke out, Mamburao was occupied by the Japanese soldiers.  During that period, Francisco Niebres continued serving as municipal president of Mamburao under the supervision of Japanese authorities.

 

            The people of Mamburao experienced extreme fear and hunger during the Japanese occupation.  The support given by the inhabitants to enemy soldiers and members of the group of freedom fighters aggravated the problem of shortage of food.  Some families were tortured by soldiers of either of the two opposing groups, on mere suspicion that they were supporters of the Japanese or the Filipinos.

 

            The people of Mamburao were very happy when the U.S. led Allied Forces landed in San Jose, on December 15, 1944.  That same year, Mamburao was liberated from Japanese occupation.  The group of guerrillas in this town helped the soldiers of the Allied Forces in liberating other towns of West Mindoro from the enemies.

 

            When peace was restored in 1945, a group of educators in Mamburao established West Mindoro Academy (WEMA).  The said school gave opportunity to the youth to acquire secondary education.  After a few years, WEMA was sold by its founders to the Society of the Divine Word.[12]

 

            That same year, the American authorities appointed Eduardo Arguelles as the municipal president of Mamburao.  When an election was held in 1947, Mayor Agaton Cosuco was elected as the head of the municipal government.

 

            Life was difficult for the people of Mamburao during that time.  Many got sick of malaria.  Only few stores, big houses and school buildings could be seen at the town’s center.  Aside from the roads which connected this town to Sta. Cruz, Abra de Ilog and Paluan, no highway linked Mamburao to the towns at the southern part of West Mindoro.  Sailboats were the usual means of transportation when going to Manila, Palawan and Batangas. 

 

            On June 13, 1950 President Elpidio Quirino signed Republic Act No. 505 which divided Mindoro into two provinces --- Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro.  The formal division of the two provinces took place on November 15, 1950 when Mayor Damaso Abeleda of Paluan was appointed by President Quirino as the first governor of Occidental Mindoro.  San Jose was designated as the first capital of Occidental Mindoro but since January 1, 1951 Mamburao became the capital of the province.[13]

 

            In the election held on November 13, 1951 Mayor Hospicio Pacal was elected as the head of the municipal government of Mamburao.  With the assistance of the provincial and national government, he started development projects which were continued by his successors, Mayor Domingo Niebres and Mayor Raymundo Regudo.  Those projects were the building of an airport in this town and the improvement & construction of roads and government structures.

 

            Due to inadequate funds and fast succession of provincial governors, the capitol was not immediately constructed in Mamburao.  The site where it should be constructed was also frequently changed.  According to the book written by Dr. Agpalo, in 1952 when Hon. Federico Castillo was the governor of Occidental Mindoro, the proposed site of the capitol was the lot located north of Mamburao River, on the land owned by Jaime Rosales.  However, in 1956 when Gov. Mariano Tajonera was the chief executive of the province, the proposed site of the building was the land owned by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo at Balansay.  The construction of the capitol was only realized in 1960, during the first year of administration of Governor Arsenio Villaroza, on the site which he himself selected.  With the support of Congressman Felipe Abeleda, the provincial government was able to get funds and the building was constructed on a place called Dapi.  Through a resolution, members of the Provincial Board expressed the gratitude of the provincial government to the benevolent individuals who donated the land where the capitol was constructed.  They were Marcelino Cosuco, Luciano Flores, Raul Flores, Francisco Alcaide and Joaquin Villaroza.[14] 

 

            In 1964, Governor Villaroza was reelected as the chief executive of the province.  Again, with the support of Congressman Felipe Abeleda, he worked for the construction of a provincial hospital and public high school in Mamburao.  The following years, with the cooperation of Mayor Cesar Servando and Congressman Pedro Medalla, Sr., additional buildings for government offices were built in Mamburao, the concrete pier in Tayamaan was constructed and concrete roads and bridges at the town’s center were built.

 

            During this period, Hon. Ricardo Quintos, one of the two delegates of Occidental Mindoro to the 1970 Constitutional Convention, established Golden Country Farms, Inc.  The said corporation put up a cattle ranch, poultry and mango farm in Mamburao.  It became the supplier of double yolk eggs in different parts of the Philippines.  Unfortunately, the operation of the said corporation stopped during martial law period.[15]

 

            Due to the uncontrolled cutting of trees in the mountains northeast of Occidental Mindoro, a great calamity hit Mamburao, in 1970.  That year, after days of heavy rains, Mamburao River destroyed the dikes which controlled its flow and floodwaters rushed to the town’s center.  Many domesticated animals were carried away by the current, concrete bridges and roads were eroded, big houses & buildings were destroyed and some persons died.[16]

 

            Due to their extreme fear that a similar calamity would occur in the future, many families in Mamburao constructed houses on higher grounds.  As a result, the number of houses increased at the lower portion of the hill where the provincial capitol was constructed.

 

            During martial law period, electricity flowed into many houses and buildings of Mamburao from the power plant of Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (OMECO) at Sitio Pulang Lupa, Central, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.  Portions of the national highway connecting Mamburao and other towns of the province were widened and covered with concrete.  A system for potable water was established in this town.

 

            The implementation of the infrastructure projects and the electrification program of the government contributed greatly to the progress of Mamburao.  The flow of goods and services became fast and different commercial establishments appeared in this town.

 

            In 1980, Hon. Bienvenido Ignacio was elected as municipal mayor of Mamburao.  He repaired and improved the municipal hall built by Ex-Mayor Cesar Servando.  With the support of Assemblyman Pedro Mendiola, Sr., he built the public market at the western part of the town’s center and started the construction of a river wall at Mamburao River.                     

 

            In 1983, by virtue of the papal bull of Pope John Paul II, Occidental Mindoro was created as another ecclesiastical territory known as the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose.  That year, the first vicar apostolic, Bishop Vicente Manuel, SVD, DD visited Mamburao.  Through the cooperation of Fr. Ramon del Rosario, SVD formation and training of lay leaders were intensified by Bishop Manuel in this municipality.[17]

 

            After the term of office of Mayor Ignacio, the people of Mamburao again entrusted to Hon. Cesar Servando the reins of the municipal government.  The said mayor completed the construction of the river wall at Mamburao River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IV – AFTER THE PEACEFUL EDSA REVOLUTION

 

 

            In 1986, when President Corazon Aquino ordered the replacement of all municipal mayors in the country, appointed as OIC Mayor of Mamburao was Hon. Natividad Simbulan.  She served for ten months.

 

            During the first election held after the peaceful EDSA revolution, Mayor Esmenio Verdera was elected as the head of the municipal government.  Two of his visible accomplishments were the improvement and beautification of the municipal hall and the construction of the fence around the municipal compound.

 

            In 1993, the public high school opened by the late Gov. Arsenio Villaroza became a national high school and was called Occidental Mindoro National High School.  Occidental Mindoro Community College which was opened by the association of parents and teachers was made as a branch of Occidental Mindoro National College of San Jose.

 

            In the election held last 1994, Mayor Allan Aquino was elected as the head of the municipal government of Mamburao.  In coordination with the provincial and national governments, more concrete roads were constructed in this municipality.  Trucks for hauling garbage were also purchased by the municipal government.

 

            Two tragic incidents shocked the people of Mamburao in 1997 & 1998.  The first one was the killing of Tayamaan Brgy. Captain Michael Quintos and his brother Paul, by unidentified gunmen.  The second one was the shooting of Vice Mayor Roger Abeleda.  Many believed that politics was the motive behind the crimes.[18]

 

            Despite the trials and difficulties it encountered, Mamburao is becoming progressive.  At present, this town has telephone lines, cable television, passenger jeeps going to different municipalities of the province and beach resorts for both foreign and local tourists.

 

            In 2004, Joel Panaligan was elected as municipal mayor of Mamburao.  The town’s chief executive is confident that with the cooperation of the people and the support of the local and national officials, his municipality would become more progressive.     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HISTORY OF THE SEVEN BARANGAYS OF MAMBURAO

 

 

1.  BALANSAY

 

 

            Residents of this place believe that the name of their community originated from one of these two Iraya words:  bansay, a buri palm; and balingasay, a kind of tree.  After years of constant use, the word evolved to Balansay.

 

            Like the old communities of Mamburao, the indigenous people belonging to the Iraya tribe were the first settlers of this place.  Some families built their huts near the bank of the big river found here.  The said river was used as a port during the Spanish occupation of the Philippines.  In one report of a Spanish friar to the head of his congregation in 1666, he mentioned that like Mansalay and Dangay which are now parts of Oriental Mindoro, Balansay is also a puerto or port.  The said missionary reported that he was able to baptize some indigenous people in this place.

 

            In the history written by a teacher in 1950, it was stated that the inhabitants of Balansay grew when many families from the pueblo of Mamburao transferred to this community due to the frequent raids conducted by Moro pirates.

 

            When Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was still bartering goods with the people of Mindoro in 1885, he might have gone to Balansay or his sailboat dropped anchor in this port for he was able to acquire a wide agricultural estate within the area of jurisdiction of this community.

 

            During the American regime, two groups of families of farmers and fishermen from Lubang and Boac, Marinduque settled in this place.  Farming, fishing and working as sawmill laborers were their means of livelihood.

 

            It was mentioned in the history of Balansay, written by a teacher in 1950, that the first leaders of this community were Simeon Custodio, Felipe Fernandez and Agustin Custodio.

 

            In 1916, many inhabitants of Balansay died due to a smallpox epidemic.  Despite the outbreak of the deadly disease, the survivors decided to stay in this place.

 

            When World War II broke out, the people of Balansay hid in the mountains.  The indigenous people taught them how to survive in their hiding places.

 

            After the war, the people returned to their homes.  They tried to make their farms more productive.  In order that their children could acquire education, they requested the government to open a primary school in Balansay. 

 

            In 1947, a class for Grade 1 was opened in Balansay.  The number of pupils steadily grew, additional teachers were assigned here and after many years, the primary school became a complete elementary school.    

 

            In 1951, the people requested government authorities that Balansay be created as a barrio.  The municipal councilors of Mamburao approved the request.  It was also approved by the members of the provincial board of Occidental Mindoro.  In 1952, Balansay was elevated to the status of a barrio.

 

            During martial law period, the national highway from Mamburao to other municipalities in the southern part of Occidental Mindoro, which passes through Balansay was widened and improved.  Electric service also reached this place.

 

            Although members of the rebel group or the New Peoples’ Army (NPA) strengthened their anti-government activities in the remote areas of Balansay, during martial law period, the people of this community remained loyal to the government.  They strived to raise their economic situation, despite some disruptions in the peace and order condition of their community.

 

            Through the cooperation of the inhabitants, leaders of the barangay and local & national officials, a barangay hall, day care center, plaza, concrete stage and multi-purpose pavement were constructed in Balansay.

 

            Aside from the aforementioned personalities, those who served as leaders of Balansay were Guillermo de Lemos, Fedencio Panaligan, Mario Custodio, Eliseo Custodio, Emilio Tarcena, Iluminado Bulalacao, Juanito de Vera, Libertador Custodio and Armando Ramirez.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Ariel Castigador.[19]

 

 

2.  FATIMA

 

 

            Tii was the original name of this community.  According to the story told and retold by old residents of this place, a foreigner asked the name of this community from a man fishing in the river.  The man thought that the foreigner was asking for the name of the fish he was trying to catch.  He answered TIGI.  The foreigner heard the word TII, hence, he called this place by that name.  It so happened that their community has no name yet, thus, inhabitants called it TII.

 

            Tii was a forest during the Spanish occupation of the Philippines.  Aside from a few families of indigenous people who built huts in their kaingin, no other group of people settled in this place.

 

            During the early part of the American regime, government authorities established communities which would be the permanent settlements of the indigenous people.  To encourage the Mangyans belonging to the Iraya tribe to stay in one place, the government opened a school for their children.  A school was built in Tii.  The governor of Mindoro during that time, Captain Robert Offley, appointed a president and a councilor who would manage the affairs of the indigenous people in Tii.

 

            At first, many children of the Iraya tribe, some of which came from the nearby communities of Talabaan and Balansay, attended classes in the school of Tii.  However, after a few years, their number decreased until the government was forced to close it.    

 

            When Talabaan was created as a barrio in 1905, Tii became a sitio under its jurisdiction.  As years passed, families of Ilocano farmers from Luzon arrived and settled in this place.  Among them were the families of Gallardo, Alafriz, Ignacio and Pamanilay.  They cleared the forests and converted it into cornfields and ricefields.  The indigenous people who tilled kaingins in the lowland transferred to the mountains.

 

            When World War II broke out, in order to avoid the Japanese soldiers, the inhabitants of this place hid in the mountains.  Within a period of almost three years, in order to survive, they have learned to eat root crops and dried sap of buri trunk.

 

            After the war, the inhabitants of Tii returned to their homes.  Some of their relatives decided to settle also in this place.  In addition, families from other towns of Occidental Mindoro bought farmlands in this sitio.

 

            In 1965, Tii was created as a barrio of Mamburao.  Heeding the request of the inhabitants, the government opened an elementary school in this barrio.  The school building was constructed inside the lot donated by Gaudencio Gallardo.

 

            Due to his active leadership in the cooperative labor done in the barrio and his being kind to those who asked his help, when an election was held in Tii, Gaudencio Gallardo was elected as its first barrio captain. 

 

            The farmers thought of irrigating their ricefields.  They dug deep wells and every summer, by means of motorized water pumps, they irrigate their farms.

 

            During martial law period, electric service reached this place.  Moreover, the national highway connecting Mamburao with Sta. Cruz was improved.  The said highway passes through this barrio, now a barangay.

 

            The families in Tii agreed that their patron saint will be Our Lady of Fatima.  They also decided to change the name of their community with the name of their patron saint.  As a result, in 1979, Tii became Brgy. Fatima.

 

            Through the cooperation of the residents, leaders of the barangay, national & local officials, a day care center, barangay hall, concrete stage and multi-purpose pavement were constructed in Brgy. Fatima.

 

            Aside from Gaudencio Gallardo, those who served as leaders of Fatima were Ricardo Alafriz, Dominador Gallardo, Arturo Alafriz and Roman Paguio.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Alberto Quiñonez.[20]      

 

 

3.  POBLACION

 

 

            This place started as a village of the municipality of Mamburao.  Its name came from May Bulao, an expression of the indigenous people which means There’s Gold.  The expression was oftentimes uttered by the indigenous people, during the early days, when they found pieces of gold after sifting the sands from the riverbed near their settlement. 

 

            Before the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, due to their extreme fear of the Moro pirates, the indigenous people of this village, then known as Mamburao transferred to the mountains.  The pirates established their headquarters in this place.

 

            In 1570, a large group of Spanish and Filipino warriors under the command of Capitan Juan de Salcedo drove the pirates out of Mamburao.  Nevertheless, since the Spanish soldiers did not stay in this place, the pirates returned after a few months.

 

            When Calavite Parish was entrusted to the Order of Augustinian Recollects in 1679, Mamburao was one of the villages visited by the missionaries assigned in the said religious center.  However, due to the frequent raids of the pirates, the lives of the Spanish missionaries were oftentimes put in danger.

 

            A Spanish friar mentioned in his report that in 1757, Mamburao disappeared from the map because this village was burned by the pirates.  When people again settled in this place, Fr. Miguel Claro, a Spanish missionary built a convent here.  Unfortunately, after a few years of silence, the pirates again raided Mamburao.  Fr. Claro was able to escape and hide in the mountains.  However, due to the destruction of his church & convent and all the improvements in the village, the said priest became despondent and eventually  lost his mind.

 

            In a book written by Dr. Remigio Agpalo, he mentioned that his ancestor Simon Agpalo, together with some relatives from San Marcelino, Zambales settled in Mamburao, in 1865.  The first time they arrived here, they found only ten houses near the seashore of this village.  Through hard work, they were able to clear the forest around their settlement.  Years later, the number of inhabitants increased until the village became a pueblo or town.

 

            When the Filipinos revolted against the Spaniards, Mamburao was one of the places where the revolutionaries led by Capitan Mariano Abeleda and Capitan looked for the Spanish soldiers.

 

            In 1901, the American soldiers occupied the center of the pueblo of Mamburao.  When they entered the pueblo, they burned all the houses and buildings, including the church. 

 

            In 1905, under Act 1280 which reduced the number of municipalities in Mindoro, the former towns of Paluan, Abra de Ilog & Sta. Cruz were placed under the jurisdiction of the municipal officials based in what was already known as Poblacion, Mamburao.  The American authorities opened a primary school here and in 1916, it became an elementary school with classes from Grade I to Grade VII.

 

            When World War II broke out, the people of Poblacion, experienced hunger.  The farmers could not plant palay in their farm, fearing that upon harvest, the Japanese soldiers or members of the pseudo guerrilla group would confiscate the grains.

 

            When peace was restored in 1945, the people of Poblacion tried to make their place progressive.  Groups of families engaged in farming, fishing, trade and industry, from Lubang and Batangas settled here.

 

            In 1951, a few months after Mindoro was divided into two provinces, Mamburao was made as the capital of Occidental Mindoro.  Provincial offices of the different government agencies were established at the town’s center.

 

            The economic progress of Poblacion happened, gradually.  The construction of concrete roads which were started in Decade 60’s was vigorously pushed through in the middle part of Decade 80’s.  Commercial enterprises were established.

 

            In 1975, upon the order of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, the town’s center or Poblacion were divided into barangays.  Poblacion, Mamburao was divided into eight barangays.  The leaders of each political unit strived to make their barangay progressive.  The present leaders of the eight barangays, namely; Brgy. Captain Emmanuel Olfato of Brgy. 1, Rolito de Jesus of Brgy. 2, Ronaldo Flores, Sr. of Brgy. 3, Rex Servando of Brgy. 4, Randy Fontanilla of Brgy. 5, Alejandro Montealegre of Brgy. 6, Enrique Pantoja of Brgy. 7 and Laudelino Sison, Jr. of Brgy. 8, continue to implement their own programs for development, including the projects started by their predecessors.[21]    

 

 

4.  SAN LUIS      

 

 

            Lig-ang was the original name of this barangay.  According to the story of old residents of this community, many years ago, a housekeeper cooked rice on a makeshift stove made of three stones placed near each other.  The stones were not firmly planted on the ground, thus, when the water with rice boiled, the kettle shook and the stones moved.  As a result, the kettle tipped sideward.  In the dialect of people from Batangas,  the shaking of the content of the kettle which would result to its tipping, is called lig-ang.  Due to that incident, this place was named Lig-ang.

            Lig-ang was a forest during the Spanish occupation of Mindoro.  The indigenous people belonging to the Iraya tribe used to get here root crops for food and lumber for their huts.

 

            During the American regime, the vacant land in this area was bought by a well off individual known only as Don Luis.  However, he did not develop the land, hence, it remained a forest.

 

            In 1930, the families of Lastre and Mulingbayan from Balayan, Batangas settled in Lig-ang.  To be able to plant palay and corn, they cleared the forest.  Their relatives came and also farm in this place.  The number of inhabitants increased until Lig-ang became a sitio of Mamburao.

 

            Five years before the outbreak of World War II, the road joining the town of Abra de Ilog and Mamburao was constructed by the national government.  It passed through Sitio Lig-ang.  Nevertheless, no passenger jeep regularly plied the Mamburao-Abra de Ilog route.  The residents of Lig-ang traveled by hiking and riding on horseback. 

 

            When World War II broke out, like the people of other communities, the inhabitants of Lig-ang hid in the mountains to avoid the Japanese soldiers.

 

            After the war, the people returned to Lig-ang.  They tended their farms and made it more productive.  They requested the government authorities that a primary school be opened in their community. 

 

In 1948, the primary school in Lig-ang was opened.  Years later, it became a complete elementary school.

 

The population of Lig-ang grew when many families of farmers from Central Luzon migrated to Mindoro, during Decade 50’s.  The said migration took place due to the intensified campaign of the government soldiers against members of the Hukbalahap movement.  The peace loving farmers of Central Luzon avoided any kind of conflict.

 

When the required number of inhabitants for the elevation of a barrio to a sitio was met, the people of Lig-ang requested government authorities that their community be created as a barrio.  The request was granted and in 1951, Lig-ang was created as a barrio of Mamburao.

 

In order that Lig-ang would have a barrio site, Don Luis sold a portion of his land to the barrio officials at a much reduced price.  Moreover, he donated the lot needed for the barrio plaza and other projects of the community.

 

To perpetuate the memory of his benevolence, the people of Lig-ang decided to register San Luis as the official name of their barrio.  It was the custom during that period that whenever the name of a benevolent person is being used as the name of a barrio, the word San is affixed to his name although the person being honored is not a saint.

After many years, electric service reached the households in San Luis.  With the cooperation of the residents of this community and the support of local and national officials, the leaders of this barangay were able to construct the barangay hall, day care center, waiting shed and plaza.  

 

The persons who served as leaders of San Luis were Francisco Mulingbayan, Eduardo Mulingbayan, Luderio Paglicawan, Mariano Mulingbayan and Sancho Mulingbayan.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Oscar Olleros.[22]

 

 

5.  TALABAAN

   

 

            The original name of this barangay was Talabahan.  The persons living in nearby sitios gave this name for they used to gather oysters or talaba and other marine life in the swamp of this place.  As years passed and for unknown reasons, the letter h disappeared from the name of the barangay and only Talabaan remained.

 

            Like other communities at the northwestern part of Mindoro, a few families of the indigenous people belonging to the Iraya tribe were the first settlers of this place.  The missionaries were not able to visit them, during the Spanish occupation of Mindoro due to the thick forest surrounding their settlement.

 

            A few years before the American occupation, the families of Anoba, Tadeja and Pajayon from Zambales; Tañedo from Tarlac and Cortuna from Abra de Ilog, West Mindoro settled in this place.  They occupied the vacant land and converted it into cornfields and ricefields.  Later on, Talabaan became a sitio of Mamburao. 

 

            The population grew when people from other places transferred to this community and permanently settled here.  In 1900, this sitio was made as a barrio of Mamburao.

 

            In 1910, the American government organized a settlement of the indigenous people in the nearby sitio of Tii, Brgy. Fatima at present.  They opened a school for the Iraya in the said community.

 

            Since Tii was near Talabaan, the families of indigenous people living in Talabaan sent their children to the school established by the Americans.  However, due to poverty and the culture of the indigenous people to transfer from one place to another, their children stopped going to school.  As a result, after a few years, the elementary school in Tii was closed by the government.

 

            The inhabitants of Talabaan requested the authorities of the American government to open a primary school in their barrio in order that their children would not hike for hours to attend their classes at the elementary school of Mamburao.  The government granted the request and in 1935, a primary school was opened in Talabaan.

            Meliton Anoba donated a portion of his farm to the government for the buildings and campus of the primary school.  When the said benevolent person learned that the Catholic Church needs a lot for its chapel and cemetery, he also donated a portion of his farm to the church.

 

            Due to the generosity of Meliton Anoba, his barrio mates elected him as municipal councilor of Mamburao, during the American regime.  In the desire of Councilor Anoba to facilitate the flow of transportation from Mamburao to his barrio, he allowed the construction in his farm of a portion of the feeder road from the national highway to Talabaan.

 

            Aside from Meliton Anoba, the leaders who served as teniente del barrio, capitan del barrio and barangay captain of Talabaan were Liberato Cortuna, Lolito Tapales, Blas Cortuna, Amado Bernardo, Recaredo Tadeja and Rex Alfaro,  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Arlene Crisostomo.[23]      

 

 

6.  TANGKALAN    

 

 

            During the early days, it was in this place where the travelers from Mamburao to Abra de Ilog would always see chicken cages or tangkalan.  When asked as to their place of residence, people who built huts here would answer In Tangkalan.  As a result, the early settlers who formed a community here, called this place by that name.

 

            Tangkalan was a forest during the Spanish occupation of the Philippines.  This was one of the areas where the indigenous people belonging to the Iraya tribe used to hunt wildlife and gather root crops & fruits during lean months. 

 

            During the American regime, the families of Daprosa, Eje and Villanueva from Calapan, Oriental Mindoro and the family of Contreras from Balayan, Batangas settled in this place.  Government authorities allowed them to occupy this forested area as their homesteads.  After they have cleared the forest and made the land productive, many of their relatives and friends decided also to settle in this place.  The community grew until it became a sitio of Mamburao.

 

            In 1935, when the Department of Public Works and Highways constructed the road connecting Abra de Ilog with Mamburao, it passed through Tangkalan.  Despite the said development project, whenever a resident of this sitio wanted to go to the center of any of the two towns, they have to hike or ride on horseback because no passenger jeep regularly ply the Abra de Ilog-Mamburao route.

 

            When World War II broke out, many residents of Tangkalan hid in the mountains to avoid the cruelties of the Japanese soldiers.

 

            After the war, groups of farmers together with their families from Central Luzon arrived and settled in this community.

 

            Since their children have to hike for hours in order to attend their classes at Mamburao Elementary School, the parents requested the government authorities that a primary school be opened in their sitio.  Their request was granted and in 1950, a Grade 1 class was opened in Tangkalan.  That same year, this community was made as a barrio of Mamburao.  After six years the primary school in this barrio became Tangkalan Elementary School.

 

            When the trips of passenger jeeps plying the Mamburao-Abra de Ilog route became regular, many residents of Tangkalan built their houses along the national highway.  Their leaders constructed a few waiting sheds on both sides of the main thoroughfare.

 

            When Congressman Pedro Medalla, Sr. was the representative of Occidental Mindoro to the Philippine Congress, he worked for the widening of the national highway and the construction of concrete bridges in the province.  This project was continued by Asemblyman Pedro Mendiola, Sr.  The farmers benefited from the project for they could easily bring their agricultural products to the public markets.

 

The rebel group known as New Peoples Army intensified their anti-government activities in the barrios during martial law period.  Occasionally, they would invite some barangay leaders to their hideout. Unfortunately, Brgy. Captain Venancio Camonino who was invited to the hideout of suspected members of the rebel group, during the last days of martial law, was not able to return to his community.

 

Through the cooperation of the inhabitants, barangay leaders and national & local officials, a barangay hall, day care center, concrete stage and multi-purpose pavement were constructed in Tangkalan.  At present, the gravel & sand portion of the national highway which passes through Tangkalan was turned into concrete by the provincial government.

 

            Aside from the aforementioned leaders, those who served as teniente del barrio, capitan del barrio and barangay captain of Tangkalan were Fidel Ablan, Juan Ablan, Jose Umali, Cora Abeleda and Villardo Umali.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Percival Lemos.[24]

 

 

7.  TAYAMAAN 

 

 

            The name of the barangay came from a medicinal plant called tayam which grew abundantly in this place during the early days.  To cure chest pain and cough, the medicine man of the indigenous people used to boil the roots of the said plant and tell the sick person to drink the solution.  When asked as to where did he get that medicinal plant, the medicine men would answer From Tayamaan. 

 

            Due to the inward shape of the coast of this place which made it a good harbor, the Chinese traders bartered goods with the indigenous people living in this area during the pre-Spanish era.  They avoided the pirates who also sought shelter at the coast of Tayamaan during stormy weather.

 

            When the pirates made Mamburao as their headquarters during the height of their piratical activities in the Philippines, they used to unload in Tayamaan the goods they have forcibly taken from the places they raided.

 

            The indigenous people left Tayamaan when the pirates used this place as harbor for their vintas.  With the exception of its coast, the wide plains of this place became a forest again.

 

            Since the sea near Tayamaan is a good fishing ground, a few families from Lubang, Romblon, Panay and Cebu decided to settle in this place.  They built huts along the coast.  Aside from fishing, they engaged in logging and farming.  Despite the presence of malaria, they stayed in this settlement until the Japanese soldiers occupied Mindoro in 1942.  The people evacuated to other places, to avoid the foreign invaders.

 

            When peace was restored, the families who evacuated to other places returned to Tayamaan.  Years later, families of Ilocano and Bicolano farmers also migrated to this place.  The community grew until it became a sitio of Mamburao.

 

            In 1949, the people of  Tayamaan requested the Municipal Council of Mamburao that their sitio be created as a barrio.  The request was granted.  Tayamaan was elevated to the status of a barrio in 1950.  Sario de Luna was elected as the first teniente del barrio. 

 

            In order that their children would not walk for kilometers to be able to attend classes at Mamburao Elementary School, the parents requested the government authorities to open a public school in Tayamaan.  The Department of Education granted their request.  In 1960, an elementary school was opened in this place. 

 

            Due to his benevolence, active service and good relationship with the people, Teniente del Barrio de Luna served as the leader of Tayamaan for twenty five long years.  He retired in 1975, during martial law period.  He was succeeded by Brgy. Captain Rolando Rosales. 

 

            During martial law period, when Hon. Cesar Servando served as municipal mayor of Mamburao, a concrete pier was constructed in Tayamaan.  The number of sea vessels which loaded and unloaded goods & passengers in this pier increased.

 

            During the administration of Brgy. Captain Segundo Maguad, a number of school buildings were constructed in Tayamaan.  It included the building donated by the officers and members of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

 

            In 1998, a tragic incident happened when Brgy. Captain Michael Quintos of Tayamaan and his brother Paul, both sons of former Assemblyman Ricardo Quintos, were killed by unidentified armed men in a party which they attended.  A group of men, together with a well known politician of Occidental Mindoro were tried before the court and sentenced with the maximum penalty for allegedly committing the crime.  The case is presently on appeal before the Supreme Court.   

 

            Aside from the aforementioned leaders, those who served as barangay captain of Tayamaan were Silverio Taroma, Salus Sanchez, Domingo Umeres and Tita Aguilar.  The leader of the barangay at present is Brgy. Captain Norberto Inmenzo.[25]

 



ENDNOTES/SOURCES OF INFORMATION:

 

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

[2] Remigio Agpalo, The Political Elite and the People, 1972, p. 32

[3] Antoon Postma, Mindoro Missions Revisited, Philippine Quarterly of Culture & Society,

  Vol. 5 (1997), p. 260

[4] Delia Venturero, Ang Kasaysayan ng Brgy. Bulacan, 1990, p. 3

[5] R. Agpalo, The Political Elite and the People, 1972, p. 37

[6] Emilio Aguinaldo, Mga Gunita ng Himagsikan, 1948, p. 18

[7] Decree on the Martyrdom of the Servants of God, Congregation for the Causes of Saints, 1997, p. 4

[8] R. Agpalo, The Political Elite & the People, 1972, p. 45

[9] R. Agpalo, The Political Elite & the People, 1972, p. 166

[10] AVSJ Staff, History of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose, 1995, p. 2

[11] Elias Dotimas, Ang Kasaysayan ng Mulawin, 1998, p. 1

[12] Rodolfo Acebes, The Mindoro Guardian Special Edition, 1994, p. 8

[13] R. Agpalo, The Political Elite and the People, 1972, p. 50

[14] R. Agpalo, The Political Elite and the People, 1972, p. 56

[15] R. Agpalo, The Political Elite and the People, 1972, p. 166

[16] Interview with Mr. Orlando Miñon, Dec. 6, 1998

[17] AVSJ Staff, History of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose, 1995, p. 4

[18] The Mindoro Guardian, November 30, 1998

[19] Interview with Ms, Indac de Vera

[20]Interview with Brgy. Kagawad Joselito Fulgrncio

[21]Information supplied by Dr. Remigio Agpalo

[22]Interview with Brgy. Captain Sancho Mulingbayan

 

[23] Interview with Brgy. Captain Sancho Mulingbayan

[24]Information supplied by Enrico Tadeja & Nilda Ubaldo

[25] Information supplied by Brgy. Captain Tita Aguilar

 

 

REFERENCES

  

A.  Published Materials:

 

      1.  Acebes, Rodolfo

           1994:  The Mindoro Guardian, Special Edition

      2.  Agpalo, Remigio

           1972:  The Political Elite and the People

      3.  Aguinaldo, Emilio

           1948:  Mga Gunita ng Himagsikan

      4.  Editorial Staff

           1970:  STAA Souvenir Program

 

B.  Unpublished Materials:

 

      1.  AVSJ Staff

           1956:  History of West Mindoro Academy

           1995:  History of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose

      2.  Congregation for the Causes of Saints

           1997:  Decree on the Martyrdom of the Servants of God

      3.  Dotimas, Elias

           1998:  Ang Kasaysayan ng Mulawin

      4.  Venturero, Delia

           1990:  Ang Kasaysayan ng Brgy. Bulacan

 

C.  Resource Persons:

 

      1.  Dr. Remigio Agpalo

      2.  Brgy. Capt. Sancho Mulingbayan

      3.  Brgy. Capt. Percival de Lemos

      4.  Brgy. Capt. Tita Aguilar

      5.  Brgy. Kag. Joselito Fulgencio

      6.  Ms. Indac de Vera

      7.  Ms. Nilda Ubaldo

      8.  Mr. Enrico Tadeja