Tuesday, March 02, 2010

History of Barbaza

Banwa Kang Barbaza, Ano Bala Ang Imu Ginhalinan?

In 1859, the town was transferred from Nalupa Viejo to Otñgol, probably by the order of Governor Barbaza of Antique. Nalupa Viejo was then called Jinalinan and Otñgol was then called Barbaza after the name of the governor. A church was created on the plaza where the present Rizal monument stands. A convent was also created in front of the church. Father Lorenzo Flores, a Filipino priest from Miag-ao was the parish priest of Barbaza. Many people from Nalupa or Jinalinan transferred their residence to Otñgol or Barbaza. When the town was still at Nalupa Viejo or Jinalinan, the cemetery was on the hill outside Esparar, between Esparar and Iglanot. In 1882 and 1887, many people died of cholera. Capitan Fermin Marquez was the president of that town at that time.
In 1898, the Filipinos rose against the Spanish government. In October of that year, the Filipinos or the insurrectos came here from Culasi. Father Seferino was not here at that time. He was with the priest in Patnongon. In his absence, two priests from the north came here. They were dressed in civilian clothes. They stayed with the Spaniard and his family, the Spaniard’s name was Tolido. On the following mornig, one priest left for the south. Tolido and his family went with him. The other priest stayed and waited for the coming home of Father Zeferino. Then the church was robbed. Garments and tabernacles were stolen. The people gathered around the convent and wept. The priest then gave the keys of the convent to Capitan Fermin Marquez.
Three days after that, Angel Salazar Sr., the Secretary of General Fullon came here at about 10:00 in the morning. He went to the Municipal Building and conducted an election. Francisco Ybera was elected president. At 4:00 in the afternoon the insurrectos came. General Fullon stayed in the convent. The insurrectos brought with them seven Spaniards from Culasi as prisoners. The insurrectos stayed in Casa Real or the Municipal Building. Two days after, the insurrectos went to the south leaving the seven Spaniards prisoners to Capitan Francisco Ybera. In Bugasong, the insurrectos set the casadores. There was a fight. The insurrectos were lowing after a day and a night fighting. The Filipino soldiers killed, bringing with them their ammunitions. Before they left the place, General Fullon told the people to flee to the mountains too. The seven Spaniards from Barbaza were sent to Bugasong by the insurrectos for the fear of the casadores anger for imprisoning those Spaniards. When the Spaniards arrived at Bugasong, they asked mercy from the people of the town, telling them that they have been treated well in Barbaza. At the same time there was also a fight at Culasi and the Filipino soldiers were also defeated. When the cassadores left, Capitan Fermin Marquez and Roman Bautista were made prisoners and were brought to Culasi. They were imprisoned for a month. The insurrectos remained in Barbaza and the nearby mountains for a month until the Americans came.
In 1901, there was a fight in Labañgan, Barbaza. The insurrectos burned the houses in Barbaza, except the church and the convent. A week later, houses, churches and convents in the barrios were burned except of those in Baghari. That was done by the American soldiers because they were accused of burning the town and because no principal of the town obeued when the United States Commandant orderd them to appear before him. The Americans sent a Filipino to General Fullon, ordering him to come and meet the American Commandant. Later, General Fullon and his subordinate officers assembled in Carapunan on the other side of Dalanas Riverand talked about a plan for peace. Finally, a meeting and a feast was held in Igpalge. The final peace agreement was made at Jinalinan in the house of Domingo Yongque. All ammunitions were turned over by the insurrectos to the Americans. Peace treaties were made and signed by the parties concerned. The Americans ordered a president to be appointed. Capitan Justiniano Barrientos was elected to serve a term from 1901 to 1903.
In 1902, Father Morales came and requested the people of Barbaza to join the Aglipayan religion.Capitan Justiniano Barrientos and Matao Andres were the ones asked. They replied, “If you want to do something against our established beliefs in God and religion, you may do it in Jinalinan but leave us here to be Romanistas”. So Father Morales and his companions went to Jinalinan and thus the people there became Aglipayans. In 1903, the three towns of Barbaza, Laua-an and Guisijan were joined into one municipality with Laua-an as the town proper. When the term of Capitan Justiniano Barrientos as president expired, Capitan Luis elected to serve from 1904 to 1905. In the same year, Jinalinan had their first Filipino priest. Then Capitan Justiniano Barrientos was again elected to serve for a term from 1906 to 1909. During his second term he worked hard to improve the lot of all people. He cooperated with the Spanish priests. In 1905, Bishop Roober was in Barbaza. In 1908, Fathers Calixto, Vaccing and Juan Fernandez who were priests in Bugasong, made visits up to Pandan. They made many improvements.
A chapel was erected in Barbaza but the typhoon destroyed it in 1903. Then a temporary church was erected among the ruins of the old church in the plaza. In 1909, Capitan Justiniano Barrientos transferred the Municipal Building from Laua-an to Barbaza. His house in Barbaza was used as a municipal building. That gave him more convenience in discharging his duties as head of the town. It was also during his time that Gabaldon building was constructed to be use as school building. This building is one of the present school buildings in Barbaza. Capitan Justiniano Barrientos donated one half hectares of land as site of that school building. In 1908, Father Santiago Cleven, a Mill Hill missionary arrived. He was later succeded by Father De Vries. Capitan Fermin Marquez succeeded Capitan Justiniano Barrientos. In 1910, Capitan Fermin Marquez built a permanent municipal building (the one that was burned by the Army during World War II).
In 1910, Father Pedro Stuart succeeded Father Santiago Cleven. Changes were made by the new priest. All people were under the jurisdiction of the priest. Ten years later, a controversy arose between the priest and the people because the priest wanted to take hold of the municipal properties.
Then Father Jose Hinterbuber succeeded Father Stuart. During Father Jose’s time, some improvements in the church’s life were made. He manages the transfer of the church from the plaza to the place where it is now. He erected a new convent and when this was completed, he opened a private school. Classes from grades one to seven were open. The school was called Saint Anthony Parochial School, after the name of the patron saint of the town of Barbaza. Many children attended the private school.
When Capitan Fermin died, Antonio Ybera was elected president of the town for three years. The people were disgusted during his time because no improvement in the town was made. In 1917, there was an election. Roman Bautista was elected president of the town. He held that office for three years. He improved the municipal building built during the time of Capitan Fermin. In 1922, there was another election. Rafael Necor was selected president. He improved the town plaza. He planted flowers all around. Antonio Inocentes was his Vice-President. Rafael Necor improved the balcony of the municipal building. He also had that building painted. When another election came, Antonio Inocentes was elected president. A public market was planned to be built. Inocentes wanted to be placed near the plaza but the people made petition and it was later constructed in Sitio Binangbang.
Rafael Juanitas was elected President for the term from 1937 to 1940. It was during his incumbency that the public dispensary was constructed. The barrios or construction of new streets to the barrios and named them after him. Pedro Gindap won the election over Rafael Juanitas in the election in 1938. During the term of Pedro Gindap he put up the Rizal monument on the plaza, in the town. He caused the construction of concrete bridges around the town. Concretes linings were made around the town plaza. Later he built up a bandstand on the plaza.
In 1941, when the war broke out Pedro Gindap was still the mayor of Barbaza. Destruction of public buildings and private houses were ordered by array officers. In 1942, Mayor Gindap joined the Japanese Imperial Forces which invaded our country. The mayor left the town of Barbaza and stayed with the Japanese in Laua-an. Not long after, the Japanese left Laua-an and fled to San Jose. The mayor went with the Japanese to San Jose for security’s sake. During the absence of Mayor Gindap, Antonio Nacionales was nominated mayor of Barbaza by the guerrilla officers. During the war, the municipal building was in the barrio Binangbang and later it was transferred to Jinalinan. The acting mayor stayed in Jinalinan too. His house was temporarily used as a municipal building. The town was left uncared because his people evacuated to the mountains. Later Antonio Inocentes requested the people to clear the town plaza and have it planted to rice. The crop raised was given to the army. In 1944, the American liberating forces came and liberated Antique from the handle of the Japanese. The people from the mountains returned to their old and forsaken homes. They rebuilt the burned houses and began life anew.
About the close of 18th century, as the result of the ravages of war between Spain and the Philippines, numerous lives have been lost and properties turned to ruins and ashes. At the later part of the Spanish rule in the Philippines, people had expected nothing more than that untimely death and destruction brought about by the dauntless insurrection from the hills. It is obvious to say that this poor and little town of Barbaza had been the recipient of those atrocities of war. It is really sad to recall that sometime in the year 1898, those that had risen in arms and fled to the mountains came down to town and burned everything they found. Nothing was left behind to the suffering masses but ashes. The church and all its properties were burned. “Rise in arms” was the password of those who had opened their eyes to the rule of Spain. The roar of guns and cannons were heard in the town.
Later at the earlier part of 1901, Americans came and wanted to put down the rule of Spain. The coward Spaniards fled and left the populace to the mercy of Americans. The church, convents and municipal buildings were burned first and later the houses of the people until the whole town was set to flame. Not a single barrio was left unburned. The Americans gained full control of the town. At the very start of their rule, they introduce their own form of government which is democratic in nature. That of Spain was entirely different. Her aim was to spread the Catholic faith. The Americans aimed to train us in the art of a democratic life. The Filipinos had established a great liking to this and progress toward higher standard of civilization was in full measure when the World War II came. At the end of December 1941, the ruthless Japanese came after the bombing of the Pearl Harbor and the horrible of our army on Bataan and Corregidor. Before their coming to this town, our soldiers came. They burned our church, convent and our newly constructed municipal building and nearly all the houses in towns and barrios. The most touching among all those burnings was the burning of our school building and school properties. That marked the beginning of slow-down of learning. People had to flee to the mountains with few things with them. There they had to expect enemies’ penetration and uncertain death to able bodied men joined the army and offered their lives for their country and love ones behind them. Those who died in line of service were Gonzalo Pecaoco, Leonardo Gindap, Rafael Nambong, Joaquin Andres and many others. In the mountains, our businessman Silvestre Pecaoco met his untimely death from the hands of the Japanese on the shore at Ipil. The Japanese were really wicked aggressors. They ended the life of our good Mayor, Rafael Juanitas, Alfredo Pedrosa, our lawyer and politician japes and met his untimely death from the hands of his own townsmen. A great number had died in the remote mountains.
It took years for the people of this town to hurdle these sufferings and tribulations of war, when at last the long awaited liberation day came. General McArthur fulfilled his promise “I shall return” on his going home to the United States from the Philippines after the fall of Bataan and Corregidor. People came down from the mountains where they evacuated filled with joy. Now, they had to start a new life over again in town. People built their temporary homes. The church was reconstructed and a temporary convent was built. The priest continued his daily church services. Continuation of classes was immediately opened in private houses until the ruins of Gabaldon Building were put up again. The municipal building was also temporary. Other offices had to be held in private houses until the present dilapidated building is set up. A marked progress was later seen when the aid of the American people arrived. Pedro L. Gindap continued his term as Municipal Mayor until 1968 that he was replaced by Fidel Yongque in 1968 and 1972. He returned to power in 1972-1976. His son, Carlo Magno Gimotea Gindap succeeded him from 1977-1985. Mayor David H. Daquila started his term as OIC in 1986 until he won the election in 1988 and gained control of the municipal government of Barbaza for three consecutive terms, 1988 to 1998. He was succeeded by Atty. Jose T. Maghari in LAMMP bet in Barbaza. Hence for the first time in Barbaza, it has seasoned practicing lawyer for a mayor.
In May 14, 2007, under the banner slogan “Katimbang sa Pagbag-o” Mayor Faith “Pingping” Estolloso Francisco ascended to power by overwhelming victory as the First lady Mayor and the youngest, the Barbazeños ever elected to the top post.

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