Sunday, January 17, 2010
THE ANCIENT GUBATNON
The Gubatnon forbearers could have been those who have settled in Jupi or Tigkiw-na-Saday or Bulacao during the Formative Filipino Period (1,000 BC to 500 AD). These assertions were supported by archeological explorations in Barangays Jupi and Bulacao by a team from the National Museum in the 1960's.
The excavations made in Jupi unearthed an ancient jar and vessel decorated with strips of clay. It had been concluded that the early settlers in Barangay Jupi had been there by 800 AD. or even earlier. Meanwhile in Tigkiw-na-Saday, also a rural and hilly sitio of barangay Tigkiw like Jupi, a burial site was discovered in 1978 which suggested that the group of people that lived there had probably settled in that place between 200 BC. to 200 AD. If this could have happened, it can be estimated that from then on, the settlement in Gubat had already early existed for more than 2,000 years.
Recent diggings in Barangay Ariman, the place where the river that originates in Tigkiw meets the sea, also reveal that the people who lived in this town were influenced if not actually populated by a number of foreigners. The jars removed underneath revealed that they were used as burial jars as some of them contained necklace beads and some precious stones.
THE PRE-SPANISH GUBATNON
A 1572 document mentioned that there were already 41 settlements within Sorsogon during that time, 34 along the Sorsogon Gulf and 7 in eastern Sorsogon. Gubat once belong to that settlement along the eastern coast the others being Bacon, Bontugan, Danlog, Bulusan, Busaingan and probably Tagdon. When the Spaniards arrived in Sorsogon in 1569, they were surprised to find the inhabitants living peacefully. Fr. Jose Castaño, a missionary, described the early Bicolanos (including the early Gubateños) as a race of impetuosity and valor fond of social dealings; more intelligent and vigorous, more active, industrious and warlike, and adjusted to live in compact villages.
Fr. Colin describe the Bicolanos as "being devoted to the cultivation of their lands; they harvested palay; they know how to make farm tools with which they tilled the soil. They used a coarse mortar to separate the grain from the husk of the palay and at the same time, it served to whiten and, polish the rice. They had instruments for fishing and household utensils made of bamboo and wood.
They wore clothing which they themselves wove from cotton and pineapple. They didn't go around naked, rather they wore collarless robes which were well-made, the length of which reaches the ankle. They were always reserved and careful in covering their persons with extreme diligence, circumspection and modesty in which point they excel all nations.
The woman very prudent and modest, is stranger to any form of triviality. The attire is modest and elegant. The man carried on his head a sort of turban or small girdle cloth called putong, made of fibers of abaca and pineapple".
Antonio de Morga observed that the Bicolanos were of medium height with a complexion like stewed quinces; and both men and women are well-featured. They have very black hair, and thin beards; and are very clever at anything that they undertake, keen and passionate, and of great resolution.
ORIGIN OF THE NAME
Long ago when people still fear the wrath of "rabrabs" who devour people particularly the newborn, the people of the villages, now called the town of Gubat, was not spared. In fact, the town became the favorite hunting ground of "Tagulipnan" because the settlement was already populated due to the bountiful catch of the fish in the sea. The beast would often lurk during moonlight nights.
Tagulipnan is known to be a nocturnal half-bird and half-man monster that possesses the power of invisibility. It was believed that after devouring a victim Tagulipnan would hibernate for 15 days when the moon does not give light, and would appear as soon as the moon provides its earliest trickle of light.
The early settlers tried to engage the beast to no avail. Many times had they relocated their houses to escape the menace of the beast but many times also they were haunted and caught bringing even more death. And when the people would put a heavy resistance, the beast would use his power of invisibility and would struck with awed anger. The helpless victims would soon learn to hide their babies.Some of them escaped the death verdict but some of them are caught especially when the Tagulipnan would sneak without being seen.
The people, led by Aramag, Maragadao and Mararag, made a covenant to fight it out to the last man, knowing that they'll die anyway.
Tagulipnan had foreseen the event and instead of fighting the settlers face to face, inflicted them with more sufferings by driving all the fish in the sea nearby and caused typhoons to destroy the crops.
Helpless as they were when Tagulipnan reigned over the skies, they renewed their faith in the Supreme Being and asked for his blessing and help.
One day, a warrior named Mardawan and flanked by three soldiers appeared before the asthonized villagers. They wondered where the warrior with shining armors came from. Aramag readily informed Mardawan of the sufferings they experienced under the grip of Tagulipnan.
Soon, Mardawan and the three soldiers, accompanied by Aramag, Mararag and Maragadao, kept watch over a hill where Tagulipnan usually wait for the sacrifice. When the beast showed up the warriors and the local leadership awaited for the attack. The monster, however, eluded them by using his powers. At day break, the warrior heard the news that another have been snatched from the arms of his mother by the unseen beast.
This prompted Mardawan to seek divine help. He requested a day's communication with his Supreme Superior and at day's end, he was ready for the final encounter.
As soon as sun set and the moon gave its reflected light, Mardawan and the three soldiers stood guard on the top of the hill overlooking the settlement, Mardawan sounded the "bodyong" and all the fish in the sea nearby soared above with all their force towards Tagulipnan.
The beast tried to use his powers, but the multitude number of "bugiw", "malasugi" and "manabang" pinned down Tagulipnan before he could use his powers. The once vicious beast now lay prone on the ground with hundreds of "bugiw" and "malasugi" still pinned and in the beast's lump body.
The villager swiftly learned of the raid by school of fish. Soon they were shouting "Ginubat" "Ginubat" with joy and happiness.
At the sound of another "budyong" call, the people came out from their hiding place and buried the remains of the monster along the shore. A merry making was held on that day.
The people, up to now, never fear the resurrection of the Tagulipnan because it was believed that the burial site of the beast is the hilly part of the Barangay Buenavista traversed by the provincial road to Barcelona which now is the Department of Agriculture Breeding Station.
The three soldier believed to have stayed on guard over the burial ground in case Tagulipnan is freed from its graveyard and given life again. "Tolonggapo" or the three coral reefs in the middle of Gubat Bay are thought to be the three who came with Maradawon.
Maradawon was believed to have transformed himself to Handawan Island, which until now, is the fish sanctuary and other marine products which continuously provide the Gubateños with food supply.
b) The Raids
The prevailing settlements in the Philippines during the pre-Spanish period were usually located in the mouth of rivers and along the shore. Aramag was then the name of the first settlement in present day Gubat. It was located in the mouth of Ariman and Aropag rivers with houses scattered around it. It was the center of the activity since in those times the major means of transportation was by boat through seas and rivers.
It was in this place that another version of why the name of Gubat came about originated.
Several years after Magellan set foot on Mactan Island, Christianity was spread throughout Luzon.In the Eastern part of province of Sorsogon, the Franciscan missionaries established only two churches. One of them was built in Bacon and another one in Bulusan. These two towns developed much earlier than Gubat. It was also the period when the raiders sometimes called the "Joloans" made frequent raids all over Visayas and Luzon.
Meanwhile, a group of missionaries started their voyage by sea from Bacon to Bulusan. Halfway, they encountered a heavy storm that destroyed their ship forcing them to land at Aramag in the morning of June 13, 1731.
Before reaching the heart of the settlement, the missionaries heard several villagers shout "Gubat!" "Gubat!" (Raid! Raid!) to give warning to the people after a number of Moro joangas were seen nearing the shore for the surprise attack. The friars, thinking that they had made the villagers scamper around, tried to pacify them. The villagers, nevertheless, continued to shout "gubat!" "gubat!" ignoring the friars.
The friars escaped the Moro raid by taking the hills southward until they reached the settlement at Bulusan. Somehow, the name "Gubat" struck and thereafter, it was used whenever the place is being referred to.
Aramag, the former name of Gubat, is thought to have been adopted by Alamag, a sitio of Tabi which is bounded on the east by barangay Ariman, the site of the earliest settlement in the municipality.
EARLY SETTLERS AND ORIGIN
As in all parts of the Philippine Archipelago, the early settlers of the town may had been the Aetas who must have came from Central Asia during the Paleolethic Period or some 250,000 years ago.
However, the actual settlers could have been people in the advance stage of civilization because in the archeological find in Barangay Jupi in 1968 revealed that one burial jar unearthed contained some bones and a stone ax. The presence of shreds porcelain and potteries suggested that the early settlers were in constant touch with foreign traders particularly from China.
In the Tigkiw-na-Saday burial site find suggested that the early settlers that actually lived there thrive between 200 BC to 200 AD.
THE FIRST GUBATNON WITH A NAME
After the legendary ten Datus from Borneo bartered Panay Island with a Golden Salakot from the native Negrito ruler, Marikudo, the two Bornean datus named Datu Dumangsil and Balkasusa sailed North and settled in Kumintang (now Batangas) and Kaliraya (now Quezon) and later migrated to the Kabikolan.
Gat Silo, a direct descendant of one of the two datus established settlement in Aramag. His reign was inherited by his direct descendant, Bintolan. Bintolan's time was full of misfortunes as his reign marked the frequent Moro raids forcing him to evacuate his people to Malobago (now Rizal), Cacogonan (now Cogon) or Bulalacao (now Bulacao).
DON PEDRO MANUEL MANOOK: THE FOUNDER
The municipality of Gubat has a street in the poblacion named after Manook, and a barangay also called Manook.
Similarly, the town's history recounts the Pedro Manook's. Discussed in this section is Don Pedro Manuel Manook, the Founder.
Fr. Francisco Combes, in his writings during the middle of the 17th century, relayed that when Juan Miguel Lopez de Legazpi visited Bohol, it was Pagbauya, son of Raja Catona (Sikatuna), as the first native to befriend Legazpi. Pagbauya was instrumental to the famous blood compact of Legazpi and Sikatuna as he was the one who introduced the two to each other.
Combes wrote that Legazpi made full use of his Boholanos "ally" especially the brave son of Pagbauya who was Christianized and named Pedro Manuel Manook. According to Combes, the name "Manook" meant to one who gets easily heated like an iron. Don Pedro was then in his twenties, for generally, only person at this stage, are impetuously brave.
Don Pedro Manuel Manook distinguished himself in serving the Spaniards. He was with Legazpi in the conquest of Kabikolan and Manila. He was also with the Spaniards in various battle against the raiders from Mindanao and Sulu,where, in an encounter, he personally defeated the twelve joangas under the Joloan king almost capturing the latter. Don Pedro settled in Gubat and was one of the founders of the Municipality of Gubat. He must have rebuilt the settlement in Gubat from the ruins of the pre-colonial destruction during the half of the 16th century. He faithfully served the Spaniards, and upon his death, he directed his children to inter him as a Christian and he was buried in the Cebu cathedral.
SUBDUING THE NATIVES
It was customary policy of the Spaniards colonialist to achieve their ends whatever means they employ. The Spaniards initial moves when they chance upon a village or provincial settlements was to send interpreters, not with gifts or presents, not to preach to them or speak to them things venerable about God, but to order them to submit to the Spaniards conquistadores and pay tribute immediately, and to be friendly with the Castillans.
Since the Spanish will was new to the inhabitants, it led to confusion which later drove them to the hills. The angered Spaniards follows and mercilessly kill them.
It was instinct that made the natives of Sorsogon to resist the Spaniards. Although they never attacked the Spaniards, still they defend themselves in all then villages and would not surrender unless cornered by a force of arms.
So in 1569, Spanish Captain Luis Enriquez de Guzman sent Captain Andres de Ibarra the following year to Kabikolan to subdue the inhabitants.
THE ATTACKS OF THE MINDANAOANS AND JOLOANS
The first major attacks of the Moro raiders in Ibalon and other provinces started in the year 1616 and continue almost every year thereafter. The heaviest raid by the Moro attacks happened in 1740 and 1746 giving heavy destruction to Gubat.
Whenever Moro raiders attacked the province of Sorsogon, almost all developed towns or villages that the raiders knew were attacked.
The fiery battle participated in by a Gubateño was recorded on October 25, 1818, when a naval squadron composed of the launches of Albay Viejo, Gubat, Malinao and Casiguran, intercepted more than 20 pancos of raiders near Tabogon Bay. The squadron was led by Don Jose Blanco; Don Bernardo Hantelman, Chief of the launch of Casiguran; Don Pedro Vera, chief of the launch of Albay; and Don Pedro Luis (Cabang) , chief of launch of Gubat. The squadron was able to defeat the raiders at sea.
The raiders brought havoc to many villages and the natives. Most affected by the pillage is the development of the town because the people were forced to move inland to escape being captured or killed.
The population of Gubat from 1782 onwards show some considerable decreases in number. Example was in 1783. In 1790 the population decreased by 139 from 3023 in 1789 and 2884 in 1789. The decrease was noticeably prevalent until 1793 when the municipality counted 2484 residents. From 1794 to 1799 there was an increase in population but would decrease again in 1800 and 1801. Again there was a decrease in 1812 by 387 persons, and 1823-1824. This was perhaps caused by Moro raids.
Year Population Year Population
1782 - 2,550 1797 - 2897
1783 - 2,296 1798 - 2957
1784 - 2,474 1799 - 3215
1785 - 2,682 1800 - 3164
1786 - 2,825 1801 - 3129
1787 - 2,865 1802 - 3200
1788 - 2,985 1811 - 4449
1789 - 2,985 1812 - 4060
1790 - 3023 1813 - 4073
1791 - 2884 1814 - 4173
1792 - 2519 1815 - 4397
1793 - 2484 1816 - 4597
1794 - 2604 1817 - 4692
1795 - 2757 1818 - 4907
1796 - 2776 1819 - 5105
1820 - 5273 1830 - 5458
1821 - 5371 1831 - 5356
1822 - 5011 1855 - 7759
1823 - 4972 1856 - 8083
1824 - 4896 1857 - 8113
1825 - 5104 1858 - 8147
1827 - 5374 1859 - 8369
1828 - 5339 1860 - 8693
1829 - 5490 1886 - 10499
The Spanish war against the Moro raiders was too costly for them that on January 1, 1799, a commander of the Spanish Naval fleet recommended that the war against the Moros could be undertaken by the native inhabitants themselves but directed and assisted by the colonial government. Subsequent, the various towns in the Kabikolan held their "juntas celebradas" (general meeting) where the inhabitants committed themselves to contribute men and vessels and participate actively in the war against the Moro raiders.
The town of Gubat held their meeting on April 21, 1799 and decided also to build two (2) "lanchas" which incidentally were commanded by Capitan Pasados Don Juan Alexo and Don Juan Phelipe Prado, both well-known for their bravery against the Moros.
The impact of the Moro raids in Gubat and vicinity, due to its exposed location along the San Bernandino Strait, was manifested by the numerous baluartes and castillos that dotted its coastlines. By 1799, then the seven towns comprising Sorsogon (Bacon, Bulusan, Casiguran, Donsol, Juban, Gubat and Sorsogon) dotted their coastlines with baluartes.
The town of Gubat and its four visitas of Tagdon, Danlog (Barcelona), Ariman and Bagacay had their respective baluartes and castillos. Bagacay has one baluarte, Gubat, 4; one watch tower (castillo); and one baluarte each for Tagdon and Danlog. The defenses of Gubat centered on its church. The church was surrounded by four baluartes de piedra and a castillo. The stockpile of arms for these baluartes included 6 bronze (caliber 0.5, 1, 2, 4), and 5 cañones de fierro (caliber 2, 3, 4).
POLITICAL ORGANIZATION: ENCOMIENDA
When the expeditionary forces of Juan de Salcedo and Captain Chavez reached the Kabikolan, as Father Francisco Colin, writes, they observed that the ancient Bicolano society was called the Barangay composed of three distinct classes the datu, or principal; the dulujan or workers which constitute the majority of the society; and the oripon or slaves.
Immediately after the villages in the Kabikolan were subdued by the conquistadores, the native political organization called the barangay was replaced by the encomienda system.
The encomienda system was the first form of political organization that the Spaniards established in the province of Sorsogon. It was the cheapest means by which the Spanish rulers could reward the faithful service rendered to them by the conquistadores.
On May 16, 1572, Legazpi divided Sorsogon into various encomiendas. On May 23, he assigned the villages of Bacon, Bantogan (Prieto Diaz), Ariman (Gubat), Danlog (Barcelona), Bulusan and Busaingan (Sta. Magdalena) to Pedro Arnedo. In 1582, the encomienda had a population of 2940. It was called the Encomienda de Bacon y Busaingan.
This encomienda was then taken over by Captain Antonio de Vera in 1627, who later gave it up to Ayudante Martin de Adaro in the same year. Adaro and his wife, Doña Ynes de la Peña supervised the encomienda until 1673 when, after the death of de la Peña, it was next awarded to Captain Miguel de Castelu. The encomienda or the villages particularly, were freed from the encomiendero's rule in 1695.
The establishment of the encomiendas in the province was not only for the purpose of collecting tributes (taxes) from the inhabitants but also for the evangelization through the Franciscan Friars.
As soon as Gubat became a separate parish from Bulusan in 1777, Fray Geronimo Cabello was assigned the first Parish priest of Gubat. He initiated the construction of a church made of bamboo and nipa, and when it was destroyed by a typhoon, he decided to build a strong church made of lime and stone.
The church however, crumbled after a strong earthquake that preceded the disastrous eruption of Mt. Mayon in February 1814.
Soon the parish church was built, but it was transferred to the present day site at barangay Pinontingan. It was typical for the Spaniards to construct the church facing the presedencia. However, in the 50s, the church council decided to transfer the main door for the church from the eastern side to the western side as it now appears. The parish celebrates the fiesta celebration every 13th of June in honor of St. Anthony of Padua, and to commemorate the arrival in Gubat of the first friars.
The friars did not only concentrate on the christianization of the Gubateños but also helped in the proper identification of inhabitants. The reason why the majority of Gubateños are surnamed with the Letter "E" as the first letter, as in other towns with the respective letter-assignments, was attributed to an order of Alcalde Mayor Narciso Claveria. Following that order, Don Juan Fernando, the gobernadorcillo of Gubat in 1849; assigned surnames to the people of Gubat with the help of Father Ramon de Sta. Ana. The surnames assigned to Gubat begins with a letter "E", as in Bacon/Prieto Diaz, "D"; and Bulan, "G".
When the encomienda system was installed, the first thing that friars did was divide it into various cabecerias or barangays each headed by a cabeza de barangays or district chief. Gubat, as a visita of Bulusan for almost 150 years, was headed by a Cabeza de Barangay. From 1750, the visita was headed by a Tiniente Mayor under the following persons.
Don Francisco Sioson - 1750
Don Juan Olivares - 1751
Don Pedro Manook - 1752-53
Don Pedro Bergara - 1754
Don Luis Gulaybar - 1755
Don Francisco Olivares - 1756
Don Juan Magbanua - 1757-58
Don Juan Olivares - 1759
Don Pedro Demayo - 1760
Don Pedro Acacio - 1761
Don Juan Hermogildo - 1762-63
THE FOUNDATION OF GUBAT
On June 13, 1764, Gubat became a new pueblo independent from the town of Bulusan. Don Pedro Manook was chosen as the first alcalde actual de naturales.
The third Tiniente Mayor and the first gobernadorcillo of Gubat, who was Don Pedro Manook, was not Don Pedro Manuel Manook who was with Miguel Lopez de Legazpi sometime in 1564. The generation between the two great Manooks comprise about 200 years.
Don Pedro Manook first initiated the expansion of the pueblo from Cacogonan (Cogon) to Pinontingan, and Malobago.
The list of presidentes of Gubat and their terms are:
Don Pedro Manook - 1764
Don Francisco Diason - 1765
Don Domingo Espiritu - 1766
Don Juan Olivares - 1767
Don Francisco Bergara - 1768
Don Andres Bonifacio - 1769
Don Juan Mariano - 1770
Don Juan Sacay - 1771
Don Juan Hermogildo - 1772
Don Pedro Demayo - 1773
Don Pascual Magpayo - 1774
Don Francisco Cristobal - 1775
Don Francisco Clemente - 1776
Don Juan Olivares - 1777-78
Don Juan Bonifacio - 1779
Don Sixto Fajardo - 1780
Don Juan Bonifacio - 1781
Don Francisco Nicolas - 1782-83
Don Juan Bonifacio - 1784
Don Juan Mariano - 1785
ELECTORAL SYSTEM UNDER THE SPANISH RULE
Leadership during the Spanish Era was one wherein the Cura Paroco pulls the strings. Prevailing them was the manner of choosing who would be the gobernadorcillo of the town. And in most cases, when there were no oppositions or contradiction against a candidate coming from the principales, and the Guardia Civil, a mere certification from the cura paroco, will catapult a prospective leader into the seat of gobernadorcillo. This form of favoritism occurred in the towns of Magallanes, Barcelona, Pilar and Gubat.
In this town during the 1881 Local elections, Don Juan Guardian topped the election with Don Juan Escurel in second place. What the Cura did was to issue a certification that Don Juan Guardian was ignorant of the spanish language and that Don Juan Escurel speak the language fluently.
The Alcalde Mayor of Albay had no choice but to concur with the Cura. Don Juan Escurel was recommended and he was appointed as gobernadorcillo of Gubat for the 1881-1883 term.
During the period, the manner of selecting a gobernadorcillo did not include the participation of all people in the town. Only a few, actually twelve (12) local residents, were chosen to form the electorate. The members of the electorate then choose, by majority vote the gobernadorcillo form among the candidates.
The 1881 election in Gubat, besides the Cura Paroco, centered on the following persons:
Don Juan Guardian- Candidate
Don Juan Escurel- Candidate
Don Rafael Hernandez- Candidate
Don Paulino Escobedo- Electorate
Don Pedro Espeño- Electorate
Don Estevan Sta. Ana- Electorate
Don Florentino Jason- Electorate
Don Valentin Pura- Electorate
Don Liverato Estrellado- Electorate Don Antonio Solano- Electorate
Don Juan Escurel- Electorate
Don Vicente Enciso- Electorate
Don Antonio Escosa- Electorate
Don Remigio Estavillo- Electorate
Don Ambrosio Escobedo- Electorate
The list of Gobernadorcillos that headed the town of Gubat are as follows:
Don Diego Fajardo - 1786
Don Agustin Benoso - 1787
Don Juan Bonifacio - 1788-89
Don Gregorio Pura - 1790
Don Agustin Benoso - 1791
Don Juan Eugerio - 1792
Don Francisco Nicolas - 1793
Don Fernando Rosales - 1794
Don Francisco David - 1795
Don Andres Camacho - 1796
Don Juan Alejo - 1797
Don Felipe Prado - 1798
Don Jose San Buenaventura - 1799
Don Juan Domingo - 1800
Don Agustin Benoso - 1801
Don Juan Eugerio - 1802
Don Juan Bergara - 1803
Don Francisco Antonio - 1804
Don Jose San Buenaventura - 1805-06
Don Pedro Asia Lonasco - 1807
Don Jose San Buenaventura - 1808
Don Nicolas Baldovino - 1809
Don Esteban Mariano - 1810
Don Jose San Buenaventura - 1811
Don Pedro Asia Lonasco - 1812
Don Juan Eugerio - 1813
Don Feliciano Roberto - 1814
Don Francisco Ygnacio - 1815
Don Luis Pura - 1816
Don Agustin Benoso - 1817
Don Francisco Semeon - 1818
Don Juan Ygnacio - 1819
Don Francisco Paulino - 1820
Don Nasario Castañeda - 1821
Don Pedro Benedicto - 1822
Don Gregorio Pura - 1823
Don Juan Paulino - 1824
Don Pedro Luis Cabang - 1825
Don Francisco Quinto - 1826
Don Juan Francisco - 1827
Don Juan Gregorio Millano - 1828
Don Gervacio Fajardo - 1829
Don Lorenzo Pura - 1830
Don Nicolas Baldovino - 1831
Don Rodocindo Cleto - 1832
Don Santiago Solano - 1833
Don Basilio Micael - 1834
Don Aurelio de Guzman - 1835
Don Mariano Romualdo - 1836
Don Martin Marcelino - 1837
Don Micael Leonardo - 1838
Don Roman de Jesus - 1839
Don Andres Salazar - 1840
Don Nazario Quinto - 1841
Don Juan Lamberto - 1842
Don Mariano Faustino - 1843
Don Fabian Simeon - 1844
Don Roman de Jesus - 1845
Don Clemente Pura - 1846
Don Francisco Sator - 1847
Don Juan Simeon - 1848
Don Juan Fernando - 1849
Don Andres Salazar - 1850
Don Servando Escurel - 1851
Don Mariano Endeno - 1852
Don Mariano Espinola - 1853
Don Camilo de Lelis - 1854
Don Esteban Fajardo - 1855
Don Pantaleon Lelis - 1856
Don Tiburcio Besid - 1857
Don Vidal Ereño - 1858
Don Camilo de Lelis - 1859
Don Domingo Ereño - 1860
Don Pablo Enaje - 1861
Don Vicente Ensisco - 1862
Don Tiburcio Besid - 1863-64
Don Esteban Fajardo - 1865-66
Don Pio Enaje - 1867-68
Don Remegio Estavillo - 1869-70
Don Juan Escurel - 1871-72
Don Tomas Endeno - 1873-74
Don Juan Bautista Pura - 1875-76
Don Gavino Encela - 1877-78
Don Rafael Hernadez - 1879-80
Don Juan Escurel - 1881-82
Don Rafael Hernadez - 1883-86
Don Juan Escurel - 1887-88
Don Eugenio Espedido - 1889
Don Cirilo Fajardo - 1890-91
Don Antonio Camara - 1892-94
Don Rafael Hernadez - 1895-97
Because of the municipal reforms made in 1893, the title given to the head of the town was changed from gobernadorcillo to capitan municipal. In this case, Don Antonio Camara and Don Rafael Hernadez were the first and last capitan municipal, respectively.
Some the more important accomplishments during this period include the construction of the municipal building.
In 1861, Don Pablo Enaje, the gobernadorcillo, formulated a development plan for the poblacion. His plans consisted mainly of the physical arrangement/ structure of the town residential center which was readily approved by the Alcalde Mayor of the Province of Sorsogon.
Enaje proceeded with the construction of the poblacion streets and named them after christian saints.
In 1882, Don Rafael Hernandez implemented the clearing and opening of the long poblacion street which he named Calle Real (now Quezon St.).
The completion and success of a self-help project for the reconstruction of the parish church prompted Don Gavino Encela in 1878 to construct a municipio through similar means. So that in that year, the needed materials such as coral stone, lime, tangguli and others were provided by the Gubateños is exchange for the cedula. The municipio, however, was completed several years after Encela initiated the construction in 1878.
GUBATNONS AND THE REVOLUTION
The participation of Gubateños in the fight for freedom from Spanish rule was not well documented except for a few whose exploits mirrored the desire of Gubateños for freedom.
The Spaniards' disrespect to the Gubateños capability was again demonstrated in 1892. It was the year when the liberalism spread in the Kabikolan probably because of the writing of Dr. Jose P. Rizal and other patriots.
In 1892, Don Juan Escurel topped the election in the election for gobernadorcillo. However, he was disqualified because the Guardia Civil and the Administracion Depositaria de Hacienda of Albay certified that he was known for his anti-spanish views. His disqualification made Don Antonio Camara the town's gobernadorcillo.
To preempt the natives of Sorsogon and Albay from joining the revolutionary movement, able-bodied residents were enticed to enlist in the guardia civil. One such recruit was Baldomero Escobedo who witnessed the execution of Dr. Jose P. Rizal at Bagumbayan field.
Also during that period, a company of native volunteers and militants was organized in effort by the Spaniards to quell dissent. So on February 11, 1897, just over a month after the execution of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the governors of Albay and Sorsogon sent over 500 Bicolano volunteers to Cavite and Central Luzon to reinforce the Spaniards fighting off the Katipuneros.
In July 1897 however, these men who served the Spanish Army's campaign against the Katipuneros in Central Luzon returned to Bicol and spread the news that the fight for independence is growing in the countryside.
Two months later, during the first week of October 1898, two Filipino generals sent by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo liberated Albay and Sorsogon from the hands of the Spaniards. The two generals were Ananias Diokno and Riego de Dios.
On October 6,1898 Gen. Diokno, through Don Mariano Adriatico supervised the first election of the revolutionary government. The elected leaders were:
Jefe de Pueblo/Presidente - Angel Camara
Vice Presidente - Faustino Escurel
Delegado de Rentas - Santiago Camara
Delegado de Policia - Luis Silvestre
Delegado de Justicia - Rafael Silvestre
Cabeza de Malobago - Luis Esteller
Cabeza de Payawin - Vidal Floranda
Cabeza de Carriedo - Antonio Camara
Cabeza de San Ignacio - Ramon Hernandez
Cabeza de Jupi - Bonifacio Adao
Cabeza de Tiris - Lorenzo Estargo
Cabeza de Bagacay - Florencio Espedido
Cabeza de Calao - Florentino Joson
Cabeza de Buenavista - Esteban Esperida
Cabeza de Bulacao - Andres Pura
Cabeza de Sta. Ana - Ciriaco Endeno
Cabeza de Bentuco - Juan Bon
Cabeza de Union - Potenciano Ereño
Santiago Camara , right, Delegado de Rentas
UNDER THE AMERICAN RULE
When the shooting incident on February 4, 1899 in Sta. Mesa, Manila precipitated the Filipino-American war, Sorsogon and the Bicol peninsula were not immediately drawn into the war. But in May 1899, when the Americans blockaded the gulf of Sorsogon, Col. Armando Arian, then the military governor, convened all the town presidentes, and enjoined them to fortify their towns and arm their ablebodied men with bolos, and arrows.
The Americans came to Sorsogon on January 20,1900 under Brig. Gen. William A. Koabbe and established many garrisons in the province. Koabbe located Company "C","I", and "L" in Gubat. The other companies were stationed in Donsol, Bulan and Sorsogon.
Col. Arian, instead of engaging the Americans, opted to withdraw to Albay and then to Nueva Caceres where he became sick. The soldiers under him suffered the same fate because of the long walk, and the exposure to rain and the hot weather. It was in Naga where a Gubateño sergeant wrote to his father about their plight. The letter reads:
"Cuidadano Sr. Fernando Escota,
Sa awa ng mahal na Dios, wala na anumang balakid ang aking paglakad kaya ngayon ay narito na kami sa Naga.
Gayon pa man Tatay, walang ibang pakay itong aking sulat kundi huwag ninyo akong kalilimutan sa paghingi ng patnubay sa Mahal na Dios, at sa kay Sr. Antonio de Padua, pati na kay Nuestra Sra. de Salvacion na iligtas ako sa anumang mga kapahamakan at hindi ako magkasakit pati na ang akoy makauwi nang maluwalhati sa bayang nilakhan.
Kaya Tatay, ikaw ang nakakaalam diyan sa lahat at si Serapia at Lucena, mag-ingat sila sa mga kasamaan dito sa mundo, lalo na ang huwag madagtaan ang kanilang pagkababae. At huwag kayong makalilimot sa Mahal na Dios sa pagde"devocion".
Mr. Citizen Fernando Escota
By the grace of God, our travel was peaceful and we are now in Naga (City). Yet, Father, the purpose of this letter of mine is for you there not to forget me in praying for Almighty God, to protect me as well as to St. Anthony de Padua and Nuestra Sra. de Salvacion to presence me against any harm and sickness that I may able to return home safely:
So, Father, you are the one who knows everything there, also with Serapia and Lucena, that they be careful against all worldly evils, especially in preserving their womanhood. Please do not forget praying before Almighty God.
Col. Amando Arian's flight to Nueva caceres when the American Forces stepped on Sorsogon soil delegated the command to Lt. Col. Emeterio Funes as politico military governor.
In March 1900, Colonel Funes' forces attacked the garrison in Gubat and burned part of the town in an attempt to drive away the Americans and also to arrest the spreading pro-American sentiment in the town. The attack, however, failed because they were poorly armed. Besides, a part of the attacking forces was sent to Bacon to besiege the town and execute its American-appointed town presidente. The attacked also failed.
Because of the superior power of the Americans, Col. Funes finally surrendered on February 21, 1901.
The Sorsogueños however did not stop their fight for freedom. Shortly after Funes has surrender, Francisco de la Cruz, a lieutenant under Funes, established a Katipunan society to carry on the resistance against the americans. He immediately organized 400 armed men and, until his capture in November 1901, posed a threat to the occupation force.
Antonio Colache reorganized the insurgents and he was assisted by his comrades-in-arms like Isaac Gimao, Esteban Diño, and Francisco Estipona, a Gubateño.
The exploits of Colache and his men included the killing of a pro-american police sergeant in Bulusan, the ambush by Colache himself on a detachment dispatch to locate him, he was a hero.
Like Funes, Colache was also captured by the Americans together with his assistants like Captain Isaac Gimao and Pablo Encinares on May 24, 1903.
The following persons served the American regime as presidente of Gubat:
Don Angel Camara - 1898-1900
Don Florentino Escurel - 1901-1903
Don Cipriano Rocha - 1904-1905
Don Ireneo Rocha - 1906-1907
Don Getalio Escurel - 1908-1909
Don Antonio Rocha - 1910-1911
Don Procopio Fajardo - 1912-1915
Don Valentino Fajardo - 1916-1919
Don Pascual Escurel - 1920-1922
Don Clemente Villarroya - 1923-1925
Don Justino Encinas - 1926-1931
Don Cayetano Garcia - 1932-1934
Don David Lelis - 1935-1937
The following municipal leaders were called Mayors:
Don Esteban Escalante - 1938-1940
Don Angel R. Pura - 1941
THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION
At the outbreak of World War II, Gubat was immediately occupied by the Japanese Army. In fact on December 14, 1941, six days after the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, the Japanese under Lt. Naito established their garrison in the munisipio.
Three months after, on March 18, 1942, the first enemy engagement occurred when Rafael Padrique a PC soldier, tried to free Lt. Demdam, a prisoner of the Japanese. The gunbattle occurred in sitio Balig-ang, in barangay San Ignacio. Padrique was able to kill four Japanese before being himself killed by the Japanese.
Fortunately, the Gubatnons did not experience Japanese atrocities mainly because the majority of the Gubatnons soldiers saw action in Bataan and vicinity where the heavy fighting is concentrated. Most of the Gubatnons then saw frequent dogfights between American fighter planes and Japanese Kanikaza fighters which fought over the control of San Bernardo strait. The pass where navies of the war protagonist usually traverse en route to Manila from the Pacific.
The Gubatnons also experienced the in-fighting of guerrillas who, instead of fighting only the Japanese aggressors, quarreled with another guerilla unit. Because of the many guerilla units organized within the province, they often times maneuver things to gain political control. Among the units organized were those under the commands of Gov. Salvador Escudero; Maj. Licerio Lapuz, former Provincial Commander; one by Lt. Manuel Escudero, one by Ceferino Malig and one by Manuel Olondriz.
One casualty by the intramurals between the guerilla units was the abduction and summary execution of Captain Osmundo Espaldon, a native of barangay Buenavista. Espaldon caught the ire of Escudero's group when he refused to join the latter. He died on December 30, 1943.
Another incident was the killing of Clemente Villarroya by the guerrillas on suspicion that he was supporting another unit. Villarroya was the former presidente municipal who served in 1923-1925.
In 1969, Congressman Salvador R. Encinas honored with a monument located in the municipal compound the following Gubatnon soldiers who, like himself, fought the Japanese army.
Victory celebration, August 15, 1945
SORSOGON WAR VETS RECALL BLOODY FUED
Almost six decades after the Philippines was liberated from Japanese forces in 1945, war veterans in Gubat, Sorsogon are still disturbed by a bloody rivalry that had hounded the guerilla movement during that period of turmoil.
Retire US Army Colonel Rafael F. Holazo, 90, who stays in Gubat, said the rivalry involved two groups fighting the Japanese—one organized by a former Sorsogon governor, and another formed by a former Philippine Constabulary officer.
Ex-Gov. Salvador Escudero initiated the formation of one group in April 1942, while an ex-PC commander known only as Lapuz formed another unit, which operated in the entire Bicol.
Holazo said he was then amnsargant major of the Philippine Scouts Regiment of the US Army when he was sent to Sorsogon to look into the matter. He found out the two factions demanded loyalty from the recruits, thus splitting the guerilla movement in the province.
The rivalry is a hirtorical scar that is bitter left untouched and forgotten, he said.
But candid accounts made by several veterans revealed a story of power struggle, a battle for supremacy and official recognition from Allied command between Escudero and Lapuz.
Escudero, whose members were mostly civilians, earned recognition from the Allied command from the Allied forces under Gen. Douglas McArthur and assumed leadership of the resistance movement in Sorsogon in the latter years of the war.
The Lapuz group, organized by “Moting” Espaldon in Gubat in April 1942, was composed mostly of survivors of the infamous Death March, police and military personel who were active before the war broke out.
EDUCATION AND CULTURE
As recounted by the Ibalong Epic, the education of the Bicolanos probably begun after the visit into the region of some foreigners but necessarily be not this Spaniards. The Handyong or the epic, tells about the white men (tawong-lipod) who came from the Botovara settling and
ruling Bicolandia and its natives. The group was headed by Handyong who gave the Bicolanos wise laws and government. Handyong's friend include Kimantong who taught the people how to make boat rudder (timon) and sail (layag), the flow (arado) and harrow (surod), the ganta, the yoke, bolo and hoe; Hablom, who taught the art of weaving (hablon); Dinahong, who taught pottery, and Sural, who taught the art of writing (surat).
Centuries before the Spaniards landed on Philippines soil, the people of Sorsogon have been using a native 1433 calendar divided into twelve months of 30 days each, except the last calendar which had 36 days. The early Bicolanos themselves had also developed their own system of writing. The historian Antonio de Morga observed that the language used in Manila extend not only in Camarines but also to the rest of Bicolandia. The early Bicolanos use three vowels (a/e/i/o/u) and twelve consonants. De Morga noted "that all natives write in this language".
Five years after Miguel Lopez de Legaspi landed in the Spaniards. The subjugation was began in 1569 by Spanish Captain Luiz Enriquez de Guzman and finished by Capt. Andres de Ibarra in 1570. The fury of the Spanish arms left a lasting impression in the minds of natives that most of them took the hills to flee. In 1583 the Franciscan friars began their evangelical work in the province and won the hearts of the people. So the inhabitants would learn Christianity and they stated to worship and pray. The children aged up to 14 would start their day with a mass, then to the "convento" to learn.
In Gubat, the "caton or the cartilla" was introduced during the middle part of the 18th century. When the Parish of Gubat was separated from Bulusan in 1771, Fray Geronimo Cabello was assigned as the first parish priest. He continued the cartilla in the convento until during the middle of the 19th century when classroom teaching was introduced. A year after the Americans took the reign of government in 1900, Dr. Bernardo Monreal was elected Provincial Governor of the Sorsogon. Immediately, he implemented the construction of the first concrete school building made of lime and stone in Gubat that now bears his name. Years later the Gabaldon and Alonzo building were added to the monreal building. The school building catered only to elementary pupils. High School students then would have to go to Sorsogon to enroll.
In 1924, Father Tomas Dernales opened the Gubat Catholic School but due to lack of funds and the introduction of free elementary education, this folded up in 1936.
The first supervising teacher appointed to head the Gubat Central School (now Gubat North Central School) was Mr. Alvaro Cover, an American. The Principal Teacher was Mr. Antonio Rocha and the pioneer teacher were Miss Ursula Escurel, Mr. Juancho Esquivias, Mr. Victorino Pura, Miss Clotilde Fellone and Mr. Placido Geva.
In 1915, Mr. Herbert Helpert, an American, was appointed supervising teacher. His staff include Mr. Miguel Escarcha as principal teacher and teachers Ms. Filomena Erpe, Mr. Leon Fajardo, Ms. Maria Pura, Ms. Maria Escober, Ms. Maria Maligaso, Ms. Genoviva Holazo, Ms. Ines Esporlas, Mr. Damian Espeño, Mr. Antonio Enaje and Mr. Lucas Hapa. In 1916, Mr. Helpert was succeeded by Mr. Dicker. Mr. Escarcha remained as principal teacher. Mr. Ditan and Mr. Antonio Derpo were as new teachers.
In 1917, Mr. Miguel Escarcha was promoted to supervising teacher. Mr. Anacleto Apostol was appointed principal teacher to succeed him. The fooling year, Mr. Leon Tiansay succeeded Mr. Apostol until 1921. In 1922, Mr. Escarcha was succeeded by Mr. Leon Buitizon. Mr. Sagnip became the principal teacher. During this year, the new teachers were ms. Sulficia Fajardo, Ms. Eugenia Espedido, Ms. Vicenta Escober, Rosendo Ines Valero, Hilaria Pareja, Trinidad Figueras, Benita Briñola, Salvador Holazo, Simeon Dineros, Honorato Ordillos, Marcelo Barrameda, Cenon Escoto, Eulogio Veñosa and Narciso Escandor.
In 1935, Mr. Getulio Ferreras became the supervising teacher and Ceferino Ladioray was the principal teacher. The following year, 1936, Mr. Ladioray was transferred and was succeeded by a lady principal; Ms. Natalia Dagñalan. Her teachers were Ms. Gloria Enciso, Avelina Endaya, Encarnacion Escarcha, Dolores Espaldon, Honorata Esporlas, Sulficia Fajardo, Trinidad Figueras, Benigna Gozon, Correa Luna, Gumercinda Sape, Lourdes Encinas, Presentation Garcia, and Messrs. Mariano Aytona, Timoteo Escultura, Hose Espaldon, Gregorio Estonanto, Isaias
Estropigan, Sr., Florencio Fresnoza, Miguel Grafilo, and Mr. Crisologo Ragos. The same teaching staff continued to serve the Gubat Central School up to the beginning of World War II. In 1938-1941, however, Mr. Graciano Perez succeeded Mr. Getulio Ferreras who was transferred to another place. Mr. Moises Barrameda, Mr. Jose Dionesa and Ms. Maria Rempillo were the new teachers.
The postwar years, 1945-1946 saw Mr.Getulio Ferreras, tasked as Gubat Central School Supervising Principal while Miss Natalia Dagñalan remained.
Mr. Roman G. Enguerra
Mr. Juan Oscillada
Mr. Jose L. Espenida
Mr. Juan Farenas
Mr. Juan Quiñones
Mr. Gregorio Oliva
Mr. Eugerio Floranda
Mr. Alejandro Escota
Mr. Antonio G. Fulay
Mr. Juan D. Fajardo
Mr. Jose L. Espenida
Mr. Carlos Estrellado
Mr. Francisco de Leon
Mr. Angel Escurel
Mr. Tito Escandor
Mr. Dionisio Fajardo
Mr. Patronilo Estropia
Mr. Pascual Entico
Mr. Cornelio Eco
Mr. Antonio G. Fulay
Mr. Roger de Monteverde
Political Eagles of 1934
Mayor Angel Pura, Sr.
Mayor Alejandro Encinas
Ariman is derived from the name of a river which originates from sitio Ariman (Odoc) of Barangay Bentuco, this municipality. The river's mouth to the Pacific Ocean is where barangay Ariman is located.
The historic Ariman is believed to have been the place of early settlers in the town. One version of the origin of the name "Ariman" was that instance when the Spaniards, looking for the route inland, asked the villagers which river will lead to the mountains. The villagers replied "Arin man", meaning "whichever" route one takes, all will lead up to the mountains.
A former sitio of Barangay Buenavista, Ariman officially became a barangay in 1906 in honor of Nuestra Señora del Carmen and San Francisco de Asis. The First Teniente del Barrio was Custodio Estrellado. The breeding station as seen from the picture above was constructed in this barangay. Today, what remains is the foundation still visible from the road.
Elders oftentimes related that the early settlers in Tan-awan, the previous name given to Bagacay, were composed mainly of people who came from the island of Samar. These Samareños occupied themselves by clearing lands, through "kaingin". Stories handed down to the present inhabitants tell that these Samareños came to the place to flee the marauding pirates during the early 17th century.
Nevertheless, Tan-awan was one of the places in Gubat that was frequently raided by the Moro pirates who came to loot, capture men and women and children to be sold as slaves. Because of the frequent raids, the natives, with the aid of the Spaniards, built a watch tower near the seashore to serve as a warning post in case of Moro attacks. On this watch tower which was called Moro de Centencion, was raised a red flag whenever there was an attack to warn the people of Tan-awan, Montufar and Gatbo.
The word "bagacay" was attributed to a man from Calao who went to the poblacion to pay his tribute. But when asked from what place he had came from, the man failed to recall the name of the place. He, however, explained that the place is noted for the plant "borobagacay", a species of bamboo thriving well beside the river banks. From then on, the old Tan-awan name was replaced by the new name Bagacay.
BALUD DEL NORTE AND BALUD DEL SUR
"Balud" to the Gubateño means wave, and oftentimes this was referred to the place where huge waves as high as a tree would threaten the residents thereat.
The story tells about properties in the place being destroyed and engulfed by the big waves. It was on a time when the residents were on performing their daily routine when three huge waves appeared in the horizon posing a threat to the place.
Out of the three waves, only one was able to hit land. The wave however, was not that strong to cause heavy damage. The religious attributed their safety to the miraculous acts of Señor Sto. Niño, then the Patron Saint of the town.
Originally, there was only one place called "Balud". In 1965, when Republic Act No. 3590 was enacted by Congress, the place was divided into Balud del Norte and Balud del Sur.
The first Teniente del Barrios for Balud del Norte and Balud del Sur were Constancio Billones and Loreto Flestado, respectively.
Barangay Benguet was formerly known as Enob-oban, a sitio of barangay Malobago(Rizal). The progress of barangay Benguet started first as an "ermita", on the place of religious worship and activities. The ermita was established to relieve the early inhabitants of the inconvenience in observing every religious activity in the mother barangay which was Rizal.
Before the establishment of the ermita, religious activities were held in different places in the sitio. This prompted the residents to look for a permanent place where the patron saint could be housed. With the benevolent gesture of Alfonso Estavillo, a hectare of land was donated for the construction of the chapel and the place of religious activities.
The establishment of the ermita attracted the residents to build their houses near the chapel. Soon they initiated the separation from barangay Rizal to create a new barangay. The group of residents who wanted the creation of a new barangay was composed of Marcelo Escalante, Domingo Estorninos, Alfonso Estavillo, Rufino Escasinas, Juan Encela, Mariano Federeso, and Gervacio Endraca. Endraca became Benguet's first Teniente del Barrio.
Barangay Benguet was established in 1896 during the time of Presidente Municipal Valentin Fajardo. The name "enob-oban" was retained until the year 1908 when it was changed to Benguet through a suggestion by Presidente Municipal Clemente Villarroya who compared the place to that of Benguet in the Mountain Province because the settlement is on a plateau.
The name Bentuco was coined from the name of a tree "Boro-bentuco", which during the early day thrived abundantly in this place. As the settlers increase in numbers, a settlement was established. The growth of the settlement resulted to the cutting down of trees, boro-bentuco among them, the needed space.
Bentuco was officially recognized as a barangay in August 10, 1920 and its first administrator of Eduardo Dellosa, Teniente del Barrio.
Cadaop in 1926
Before 1937, the residential houses of this community were claimed to be part of several barangays like San Ignacio, Sta. Ana, Cogon and Cota na Daco. Because of this situation, the residents were subject to different governmental decisions that often bring misunderstanding. So in 1937, the inhabitants of sitio Beriran, through the initiative of Apolonio Erlano, Segundo Escuriaga and Ignacio Espallardo decided to establish their own barangay.
The first Teniente del Barrio of Beriran was Apolonio Erlano who administered the affairs of the barrio until the outbreak of World War II in 1941. In 1958, Barangay Beriran was officially recognized as a separate political unit.
This barangay was so named after a big beriran tree which grew at the center of the barangay a the time of the establishment of the community.
Barangay Buenavista is among the earliest settlement that existed in Gubat, it being along the shore. The name Buenavista was adopted and used by the inhabitants after it was uttered by a Spaniard.
When the Spaniards came to rule over the islands, and when these lorded over Gubat, the trail used by Spaniards going to Bulusan was via Malobago and Danlog. Before reaching Malobago a settlement had to be passed. This was the settlement at Buenavista.
Three Spanish soldiers on horseback departed for Bulusan via Malobago. As the three reached the top of the trail, they notice that the eastern side provide a scenic view. The Spaniards commented "Muy bien es este lugar-buena vista". The other added, "Si, Si, muy bien pasar otro este calle para vista la blanco de agua mar".
The conversation was overheard by a native and repeated if throughout the settlement. Since, then, the inhabitants called their beautiful place Buenavista. The barangay was host to a national Boy Scout jamboree held in 1958.
Bulacao is a shortened word derived from bulalacao (bulalakaw) or meteor.
According to stories told by the elders, the early settlers were a group of nomadic hunters headed by a woman named Maria Boncala. The hunters chose the place because it provided them bountiful game and fertile land.
One night, while some of the hunters were waiting for their traps to catch wild animals, a "bulalacao" or meteor, which shot from above, landed nearby. The hunters saw this and started to look for the bulalacao for they believed that the possession of the anting-anting (amulet) will give them powers.
They continue their search day and night until a stranger passed by and asked them the name of the place. The hunters readily replied "bulalacao" not understanding the language the stranger was using.
After a few weeks, the stranger returned accompanied by some couples together with their belongings. The strangers who were from Albay sought the permission of Maria Boncala to stay in the place and was granted.
Barangay Bulacao is one of the oldest barrio or barangay in Gubat. It was believe that Bulacao was recognized as a barrio in 1870 and its first head was Tomas Escurel.
Barangay Cabigaan had been a sitio of Bulacao. The sitio was headed by a "Segundo Teniente del Barrio" whose appointment came from the Teniente del Barrio of Bulacao was Leon Funelas, then a 60-year old resident and assistant to the Teniente del Barrio of Bulacao with respect to the administration of the sitio.
In January 1952, Leon Funelas called a community assembly and there discussed various matters affecting their sitio. Among the thing approved and given priority attention was the establishment of their own Ermita, a center for religious activities which at that time is the dominant pre-occupation of the people. Not long after the community assembly, the barrio folks through self-help, constructed a barrio chapel to house their patron saint San Isidro.
The construction of the barrio chapel and later the construction of a temporary school building, caused the concentration of regular activities in the sitio that they seldom go, if ever, to their mother barangay for their religious and other activities.
A few months later, Mr. Eutiquio Esquillo donated a one-hectare lot to the sitio to be used as a school campus.
The concentration of activities in their own sitio lead to the severance of this sitio from their mother barangay and eventually to its registration as a separate barangay.
Barangay Cabigaan derived its name after a plant of the giant gabi family known locally as "Biga", which, at that time and even up to the present, thrived abundantly along the sides and banks of creeks. "Cabigaan" means a place Biga is abundant.
Barangay Cabiguhan was named after a palm tree known locally as "bigo". The bigo tree thrived abundantly in that place during the early days. "Cabiguhan" means a place where bigo is abundant.
Before 1940, Cabiguhan was a sitio of barangay Jupi. It was declared a separate barangay on May 15, 1940 and its first Teneiente del Barrio was Andes Heron.
Barangay Carriedo, total land area was originally part of Barangay Payawin and Barangay San Ignacio. In fact, both barangay claims Carriedo as their sitio.
In 1860, a group of fine elders spearheaded the move to separate their place from the two barangays. The group made a success and named their barangay Carriedo from the letters of their family names - Camara, Sarmiento, Buenaobra, Esparas and Fajardo.
Not long after this barrio have been established, they vote to elect their first barangay administration and their Hermano. As a result of that election, two of the five elders were elected to the following positions. Esparas as Teniente del Barrio and Camara as Hermano. During those times, these two position positions are associated with each other.
The first patron saint of Carriedo was Sra. de Salvacion, however, during the Filipino-American War, the chapel was burned including the image of the patron saint. After the war, the people replace the burnt image with a new one, but this time they called it Sra. Dela Paz de Buenviaje. Others recall that the origin of the name of the barangay was through the image of Patron Saint Sra. Dela Paz de Buenviaje because below the image is engraved "Carriedo, Quiapo, Manila", the place where the image was made.
Barangay Casili derived its name from a freshwater fish belonging to the eel family known locally as "Casili". This fish u to now, can be chance upon in the barangay creeks and rice fields.
The terrain of the barangay is hilly and between these are creeks with water that do not dry up even during summer.
Barangay Casili had been a sitio of Payawin until June 1948 when it finally became a separate and distinct political unit. On the elections held in the barangay immediately after its creation, Mr. Jose Nicolas was elected as its first Teniente del barrio.
The name "cogon" was derived from the name of the plant belonging to the grass family known locally as "cogon". Its first name was "Cacogonan" meaning grassland.
Cacogonan was first inhabited by Gubateños who stayed after fleeing from the Moro raids on the poblacion and other places. The place was such a refuge because they were concealed by the high and abundant cacogonan.
Cogon had been a sitio of Barangay Tiris and it became an official barangay only in the year 1914. Barjildo Estabaya was the first Teniente del Barrio.
COTA NA DACO
The word "cota" or "kuta" in the local dialect denotes a concrete structure. The origin of the name of this barangay was derived from such word.
Before the poblacion was divided into eight (8) barangays, Cota-na-Daco was a purok located on the northern part of the poblacion. The purok was being distinguished by a landmark called the "cota-na-daco", which in actuality, was the concrete remnants of a bridge on the Mararag river constructed during the Spanish time. The "cota" has now been replaced by a modern bridge constructed on the same location.
There also existed the cota-na-saday which is not far from where the "dako" is located. It is, however, a box culvert installed for a creek. The box culvert is not within the jurisdiction of the poblacion.
When Republic Act No. 3599 otherwise called the Revised barrio Charter, purok Cota-na-Daco became a full pledged barangay. The first Barangay Captain of Cota-na-Daco was Cesar Estillero.
Barangay Dita was formerly a sitio of Barangay Jupi. Before it became a barangay, the sitio was named Caragomoy, After a plant called the same name which was abundant in that time. But because of a big "Dita" tree that have grown at the center of the sitio, the people change the name of their sitio to Dita.
Barangay Jupi is said to be the oldest village in the municipality of Gubat. The settlement thereat began long before the coming of the Spaniards. In 1968, a group of archaeologists from the National Museum unearthed a jar in Jupi. It was found out that the jar was a burial; vessel that contain porcelain beads. Other materials dug out from the site revealed that the settlers of Jupi had been there between 1000 BC to 500 AD.
The name of the barangay is derived from a plant locally called "jupi". The plant "jupi" belongs to the water lily species which, during the early days, grew abundantly in the place.
Barangay Lapinig got its name from a huge lapinig tree that use to serve as its landmark.
Lapinig has been a sitio of Barangay Jupi until 1939. The sitio is about three and a half kilometers from the "visita" of Barangay Jupi. Because of the distance, the inhabitants found it very difficult to observe both civic and religious activities in the area. So in 1937, the people of this place decided to separate and create their own barangay. The recognition, however, was delayed so that the actual realization came only in 1939. The first Teniente del Barrio was Leoncio Deblois.
Luna-Candol is coined from Luna Street, a street in the poblacion, and Candol, a sitio of Sta. Ana.
Before 1967, the place was made a purok of the poblacion. I t was headed by Teniente del Barrio Esteban Escobedo. His successors were Mauricio Endonela and Pedro Din.
When the place was recognized as official barangay in 1967, the position title of the Teniente del Barrio was change to Barangay Captain. The first Barangay Captain of Luna-Candol was Rufino Gabuyo.
The barangay serves as the transportation center of the town ever since. The Altaco, a bus company that served Gubat and its adjoining towns, park along the streets of Luna Candol.
This barangay derived its name from a bird call.
According to old stories, during the early years when the place was still a forest, birds of various species inhabited the place. While other birds provide the early inhabitants with pets, one such bird annoy the people - the bird called Lucpao.
Lucpao is a nocturnal bird that only a few have chance to see the bird. The bird seldom cry, but when it begins to cry or starts its bird call, the annoying/disturbing call ends at daylight. The bird's cry sounds like "Pao-Pao" and its loud and awful cry is feared by children.
As the years passed by, more settlers come to this place. Soon they have cleared a place and concentrated therein houses. Meanwhile the Lucpao continued its disturbance to the people. Soon the place was attributed as the place with "mga pao-pao". Soon the people decided to call their place Manapao.
Barangay Manapao had been a sitio of Barangay Sta. Ana. Due to the far distance to the center of their mother barangay, the people thought of separating and forming a new barangay. On September 4, 1955, Manapao was declared as a new barrio. In the election that followed, Francisco Esperanzate was elected as the first Teniente del Barrio.
Barangay Manook derived its name from a street name, which also got its name from Pedro Manook who in 1752 became a Teniente and the first gobernadorcillo of Gubat.
After the first World War, and during the term of Presidente Municipal Valentin Fajardo, the name of the longest streets in the poblacion were changed. Real Street became Quezon Street and Taft Street became Manook Street.
Although Manook Street lies in the barangays of Panganiban, Pinontingan, Paradijon, Luna-Candol, Manook and Cota na Daco, the name Manook refers to the place of Barangay Manook.
Before its recognition as a barangay, it was called Purok Seven and its first Teniente del Barrio was Tomas Detera.
In 1967, pursuant to the provision of R.A. No. 3590, otherwise known as the Revised Barrio Charter, the puroks in the poblacion of Gubat was created into barangays. Jose Sarmiento, Jr., was elected as its first Barangay Captain.
Barangay Naagtan had been a sitio of Barangay Bulacao until its establishment in 1947.
The barrio was originally called "Naabotan". Naabotan is a Gubateño word meaning "caught by surprise". According to the elders, the was without a name. However, one day, a group of people passing a portion of the place unintentionally caught by surprise two young romantic sweethearts. The news of the incident spread around. When people would go to and from the sitio, the would often pass by way of the "Naabotan". Throughout the years, the place was called Naabotan.
As timer passed, the people realized that the name somehow caused some embarrassment. Later, they adopted the word "Naagtan", a more pleasing word.
The first Teniente del Barrio of Naagtan was Alberto Endeno.
Before the year 1901, Nato was a sitio of Barangay Jupi (then called San Vicente) which at the time is under the jurisdiction of Pueblo Bulusan.
This place was named after a tree called "nato" which the early inhabitants used as materials in the construction of their chapel. As a sitio of Barangay Jupi, the people were grouped into a "Cabohan" under Cabeza Eustaquio Castillo who, at that time, has 21 families under him.
In 1901, Presidente Municipal de Gubat Capitan Cirilio Fajardo, allowed the sitio of Nato to separate from Barangay Jupi, However, it was in 1903 that Nato was officially recognize as a barrio. Its first Teniente del Barrio was Pedro Escoto.
Barangay Nazareno had been a sitio of Barangay Rizal and was formerly known as Tagaytay.
The establishment of the barangay was influenced by religious fervor of the inhabitants of this place, because although a sitio, they have their own Ermita where they conducted their religious activities. With the concentration of their activities which were usually associated religiously, the inhabitants decided to create their own barangay.
In 1971, the people of the sitio passed a petition addressed to the Provincial Board of the Province of the Sorsogon requesting that a new barangay be created. Because the name Tagaytay is already a name of one of the barangays of Gubat, the favored the named Nazareno to honor their patron saint.
On September 1,1972, Nazareno was created by virtue of Provincial Board Resolution No. 351, which implemented the provision of R.A. 3590. Juanito Escueta served as the first Barangay Captain.
Barangay Ogao has been a sitio of Barangay Tiris. During the Second World War, in October, 1943, the resident s led by some respected leaders decided to secede from their mother barangay and thus established their own. This decision to secede was put in effect in October , 1943 when the inhabitants grew in number. They have chosen on e of its residents by the name of Dionisio Fajardo as first Teniente del Barrio.
Not long after the establishment of their barangay, the inhabitants started their next activity which was the establishment of the Ermita. To them, the Ermita was equally important with their barangay government not only because they have to house their patron saint Dolorosa which came from Danao, A sitio of Barangay Bagacay, but also because th Ermita was the center of their religious activities. So, by November of the same year, through bayanihan, the people were able to establish their Ermita and construct their barrio chapel. After the completion of their barrio chapel, the first mass held in the barangay.
Immediately after the end of the war, the residents constructed their first school house and Grade I class was organized.
Barangay Ogao was named after a locally known as "Ogao" which thrived abundantly in this place during the earlier times. This barangay was located at the eastern part of the municipality and it is bounded on the North by Barangay Paco, on the South by Barangay Tiris, on the East by Barangay Tiris and on the West by Barangay Tagaytay.
Although this barangay established in 1943, it become an official barangay only after the liberation in 1945.
The name of the barangay was derived from a vegetable plant locally known as "Paco". The plant belongs to the fern family. According to old folks, the "paco" plant grew abundantly elsewhere in the place until harvested by the people for food purposes. But at present, the plant still thrive in the place.
Paco was formerly a sitio of Barangay Tiris. Although only a sitio, it possesses its own Ermita and Patron Saint. Because of these religious facilities, more and more religious activities were being held in the sitio. The people begun to observe these activities in their own ermita rather than in the visita because of the distance between the two centers.
As elsewhere in these days, a place can only be declared a fully-pledge barrio if it had a barrio site. Because of the people's desire to separate from their mother barangay, cousins Carlos and Benito Espenocilla donated two hectares of land to be used as two visitas and school campus. In April 1932, when there were already 30 house holds in the barangay site, the people decided to separate from Tiris to form their own barrio. In the election held that year, Benito Espenocilla was elected Teniente del Barrio, and Carlos Espenocilla, Hermano.
Barangay Paradijon started as a cluster of houses whose occupants were fabricators of clay materials such as "coron" the forerunners of the "kaldero" or kettle; "caraja" or frying fan; or jar, and clay toys. This occupation is perhaps the oldest means of earning a living beside farming in this town.
The coron was bartered with food from Samareños who came purposely for the clay product. The clay utensils were loaded in a "paraw" and transported to Biri and other parts of Samar. It is safe to presume that this practice had been copied from foreign traders that came to this place if not invented by themselves.
"Paradijon" is the local word for coron makers. Because the people then used this clay utensils until the metal utensils overtook its popularity, they always refer to the cluster of houses as the "paradijon" or coron makers. Other local word associated with "paradijon" are " Para-kalot" or clay gatherers; "Paradusang" or clay refiners/clay purers; and "parabayang" or clay product polishers.
Paradijon became a purok like the other poblacion barangays and was recognized as a barangay by virtue of R.A. 3590.
People used to call the place "Dancalan" because of its abundance of dancalan trees that use to dot along the lines near the shore. In 1950 it was declared a barrio with Pio Esperida as the first Teniente del Barrio. Later on, it was referred to a purok when only 33 barrios were officially registered. The poblacion barangay were all called "puroks".
By virtue of R.A. No. 3590, the place was declared as a barrio and it used Panganiban a Bicolano World War II hero. The barangay came to life in the ealy 50s during the Magsaysay regime. Panganbian was the site of a rock causeway aimed at converting the twon into a major seaport. In 1968, however, after years of construction and waiting for the first big ship to call, Typhoon Welming came and pounded repeatedly the structure. It was destroyed partially but it succumb to more and stronger typhoons that visited Gubat later on.
The Rock Causeway
Patag is so named because of its geographical location in a plateau.
The place was a sitio of Barangay Nato and it officially become a separate and distinct political unit on March 1945. Carlos Dematera Sr. was the first barangay head.
When the Spaniards came to this place, they discovered that the people already lived in cluster with houses built near each other. This lead to naming the place "Visita", a Spanish word which means a center for activities. The Spaniards noted that the people were very superstitious who believed in the "anitos". This belief became a forgotten activity especially after the Spaniards gave the "visita" an image of St. Rafael. With constant "christianization" the inhabitants were convinced enough that the built their own small chapel to house the image of the saint. Later on, the place was known as San Rafael in honor of the image of a saint the Spaniards originally gave.
The Americans then built the road to Sorsogon and along with it the bridge in its jurisdiction. During the construction of the road from the town of Sorsogon to Bulusan, the American recruited mans laborers from this place. An afternoon while the Americans "capataz" was inspecting the workers along the "visita", he noticed a native with a bunch of "payaw" leaves carried on his head. The curious American asked the native the source of the leaves. The native, unable to reply in the foreign language, but can comprehend the question, replied, "Payawan" (from the payaw plantation). Later on, the "Payawan" was change to Payawin.
Payawin is among the original barangays of Gubat. In the election held on October 6, 1898, Vidal Floranda was elected Cabeza de Payawin.
The succeeding barangay heads include Isidro Estipona, Vicente Espedido, Agustin de Chavez, Benito Dogillo, and Celenido Estopin.
"Pinontingan" is a synonymous with "pondohan", a dialect which means a place for anchorage.
In the early years when Gubat was not yet connected to other towns of Sorsogon, the major means of transportation was through the sea. The traders were the frequent users of this "pondohan". The “pondohan” became popular later as pantalan.
Prior to becoming a barangay, Pinontingan serves as a purok of the poblacion Gubat and like other puroks, it was headed by a Teniente del Barrio. Jorge Bagacay served as the first Teniente del barrio of Pinontingan and he was succeeded by Fausto Estaras. Ciriaco Escandor succeeded Estaras.
In 1967, the existing puroks in the poblacion of Gubat was recognized as full-pledge barangays. However, Pinontingan was not included because of a some requirements the barrio officials would have to submit. Eventually, in May 20, 1974, Pinontingan was officially recognized as a barangay. The first Barangay Captain was Quirico Funtanares.
Barangay Rizal, whose original name was Malobago, had already existed or the settlement thereat had already flourished before the Spaniards came in 1731. Malobago is derived from the malobago tree that once thrived in this area. Rizal was used to honor the National hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal.
The old name of the barangay was notoriously spread because of its connotation. In the Spanish word "Malobago" was implied to mean "malo vago" or bad whip because strangers were often whipped when they would stroll in the place. The practice continued until 1916 when the respected Villarroya family initiated the move in changing the name Malobago to Rizal.
In 1830, Malobago became a barrio. Gregorio Estiller stood as the Cabeza de Malobago. In 1895, the barangay was officially recognized as a barrio. The barangay is well-known for its white beach. The picture presents the beach attire of the 30s.
Sangat was once a forested area where wild monkeys and animals lived. Among the monkeys, grown ups became so big that children and adults who settled in this area fear the monkey's presence.
The early settlers of this place were "Kaingeros" who cleared the forest to plant various kinds of crop plants. Their produce were well enough due to the fertile soil. However, they were not free from problems because often times the monkeys became pests which destroy their crops. The posed a threat to the children.
On e day, while the father was clearing the portion of a thicket, his young son was snatched by a big monkey and roosted or perched high on tree branches. The young son, however, was saved by his own father after chasing away the monkey.
The incident was circulated around the settlement and sooner, the people were beginning to use the word "sang-at" (roost) to refer to the place.
Sangat had been a sitio of Barangay Union. In 1952, Sangat became a new barangay and its first Teniente del Barrio was Juan Quiñones.
San Ignacio is one of the original barangays of Gubat. It is believe that the barangay was founded long before the town of Gubat was established. It was said that the San Ignacio was founded at the time when Barangays Buenavista and Payawin was established sometime between the 17th and 19th centuries. It was said that San Ignacio was recognized as a barrio in 1800.
According to the old folks, San Ignacio was administered politically by a series of baders belonging to the Flestado clan. It was believe that the first barangay head was Catalino Flestado and succeeded by person coming from the same clan until Ponciano Flestado being the last member of the clan to head the barangay.
Sometime in 1914, after the death of Ponciano Flestado, the title of the position of the barangay head was changed to Teniente del Barrio. So, the people held an election to elect their barangay head. Pedro Espallardo was elected as the first Teniente del Barrio. He served for one term of two years.
After the term of Pedro Espallardo, the succeeding Teniente del Barrio that serve San Ignacio were, Lorenzo Jarabejo, 1916; Ireneo Jerusalem, 1918; Juan Ervas, 1920; Valentine Escartin, 1922; Antonio Berosa 1924; Angel Joven, 1926; Juan Demonteverde, 1928; Leonardo Fellone, 1930; Leoncio Escanilla, 1932; Carlos Estremera, 1932-42; Anacito Jerusalem, 1944; Wilberto Pura, Jesus Sunga, 1948; Ernesto Jarabejo, 1950-62; Antonio Escarcha, 1964; and Bienvenido Espedido, 1966-88; Rafael Enaje, 1989-92; Salvador Pura, 1992 to present.
Barangay San Ignacio was named after their Patron Saint, St. Ignacio de Loyola, the image of which came from Barcelona, Spain. It was given to the barangay by the pueblo of Bulusan sometime in 1600.
Sta. Ana is one of the few original barangays of Gubat and the oldest which has not has change its name.
In 1830, Sta. Ana was still a sitio of Gubat. As the year passed, more and more people established their residences in the place. Later on it became a barrio and named it Sta. Ana.
The inhabitants of the barangay believed that the early settlers of the place was headed by a woman named Ana. Her major responsibility was to settle disputes of the residents. When she became old and weak, she gathered the people to a meeting and asked them to remember her name even after her death. She suggested that the people should venerate the image of Saint Ana and be made the patron saint of their barangay. The people obliged and to this date, the barangay celebrate its fiesta in honor of its Patron Saint Sta. Ana.
T A B I
Tabi was once a sitio of Barangay Buenavista. Perhaps it is the oldest settlement in the municipality since it was named "alamag". Before Gubat had a new name and change from Ariman, the original name of Ariman was Aramag.
The barangay fit its present name from the Tagalog word meaning "at the side". The settlement in Barangay Tabi are located in such a way that all of them are located beside the river. In Tagalog, "ang mga bahay ay nasa tabi ng ilog". So, whenever the houses were referred, they simply say "sa tabi ng ilog". Later on "sa tabi" were frequently used meaning at Tabi.
During the American occupation in the beginning of the 20th century, the people of this barangay who fled to hide from the Americans were encouraged to return to their settlement. So in 1901, Tabi began its organization as a barrio through the efforts of Cabeza Esteban Esperida, Cabeza Simon Encinas, and Cabeza Victor Bagasala. In 1902, Barangay Tabi became an independent barangay, Eduardo Erlano was appointed as the first Teniente del Barrio.
Formal education in Tabi begun in 1902, Through the benevolence of Victor Bagasala, 3.5 hectares of land was donated by him to became the school site. He also donated the lot which now become the barangay site. The first class was organized by Mr. Arsenio Rocha in a self-help school building.
"Tagaytay" is another local word meaning plateau. The inhabitants called their barangay as such because the barrio site in which they choster their houses is situated on a plateau stretching from Barangay Tiris to the boundary of its adjoining barangays.
It was told that during those years when this place was still a thick forest, settlers from another town came to stay. a man from Labo, Camarines Sur, came to settle. He was Mamerto Panuga. He cleared enough area to plant various crops. As the years passed the settlement on the top of the plateau grew bigger. It became a sitio of Barangay Tiris.
Although it is nearer for the inhabitants to go to Barangay Nato than to go to Barangay Tiris, Tagaytay remain a sitio of Barangay Tiris until March 27, 1941 when the place was officially recognized as a barangay. After a year, on April 5, 1942, an election was held and Porferio Panuga, a son of Mamerto, was elected as the first Teniente del Barrio.
The name "Tigkiw" was given to this barangay by an American who happened to come to this place sometime in the year 1890. According to the stories of elders, sometime in that year, The American reached the place and chanced upon a man watching a bird perched on top of a big tree. When the American asked the old man the name of the place, the old man, thinking that he was being asked about the name of the bird, replied "tique na tama" which means a bird species belonging to the family. The American understood the answer as "tigkiw". The word spread and later on, the place was known as Tigkiw.
Tigkiw is comprised of the Tigkiw-na-Daco (Tigkiw major) and Tigkiw-na-Saday (Tigkiw minor). The first settlement, however, was in Tigkiw-na-Saday where burial site was discovered. It was estimated that Tigkiw-na-Saday was inhabited since 200 B.C.. The first official administrator of Tigkiw was Hilario Hermogino.
In the year 1889, this village was named Peñafrancia in honor of its Patron Saint Nuestra Sra. de Peñafrancia. After the Spanish American War, the people of this village was obliged by the government to pay land and personal taxes. As a result, the name Peñafrancia was registered in the tax registry records of the municipality, implying recognition of the village as a barrio with territorial jurisdiction that include Ogao and Tagaytay. At the time, the houses are located at the foot of a hill and near the river. It was headed by Andres Espenocilla as the Teniente del Barrio.
In 1905, a new Teniente del Barrio was chosen in the person of Benito Espinola. It was also the year when a very strong typhoon hit the village causing the river to overflow causing heavy flooding and erosion or landslide. The residents evacuated the place in favor of the poblacion, a safer place then.
After the flood, the residents return to the barangay and begun to rehabilitate the place. In 1910, the people moved a top the hill, in the present location, for fear of another flooding.
The name Tiris was derived from the local meaning of landslide which is "Tiris". The people continued to develop their barangay and in 1918,they were able to establish their first school class with Florentino Roldan as its first teacher.
Barangay Togawe was named after a giant tree locally known as Togawe. The elders tell stories about the giant togawe tree that once stood directly on the source of Maragadao river. It was said that the creek/river was abundant with fish and thrived by shrimp called locally as "pukot".
Whenever the inhabitants catch fish and shrimps in the river, they would always start downstream and would end up at the source near the togawe tree. So that when asked "Where will you end up?", the answer would be, "Until the Togawe tree".
Barangay Togawe is formerly a sitio of Barangay Tabi and it became an official barangay in 1937. Its first Teniente del Barrio was Crispin Encinares.
The earliest recorded history of Barangay Union was way back in 1898 after the Philippine Revolutionary Government under Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo sent Gen. Ananias Dideno to supervise the government in Sorsogon. In the election held on October 6, 1898 supervised Gen. Mariano Adriatico, Potenciano Ereño was elected as Cabeza de Union.
Before the later part of the 19th century, Union served as a sitio of Barangay Sta. Ana. Because of the desire of the inhabitants of the sitio (union) to established their own barangay, the inhabitants organized into groups and conducted an inventory of houses to determine whether their sitio can qualify and become a new barrio. The survey revealed that their sitio had forty houses built in its jurisdiction. Using this number, the people hurried downtown to ask the permission of the Presidente Municipal to let them establish their own barrio. Convince that the residents were determined to pursue their desire, the Presidente Municipal granted their request on condition that a lot of one hectare be donated as barangay site.
The Funtanares family readily donated the required lot and no sooner, the barrio was formally established and named as such by the Presidente Municipal to commemorate the unity of the people in their desire.
Barangay Villareal, before it became a barangay, was known as Maragadao and it was a sitio of Malobago (Rizal). It was recognized as a barangay in 1918 during the term of Presidente Municipal Clemente Villarroya.
The name Villareal was first used in lieu of Maragadao after the first set of barrio officials was inducted to office. The officials adopted the name Villareal in Honor of Presidente Municipal Clemente Villarroya as their gesture of gratitude for making sitio a separate barangay.
The first set of barrio officials were Anacleto Encela as Teniente del Barrio; and Rufo Espenida, Vidal Encinares, Francisco Escandor, Leoncio Estrellado and Eugenio Encinares as barangay councilors.