Baco is one of the oldest towns of Mindoro. After Minolo which is now a sitio in barangay of Puerto Galera, Baco became the official capital of the province since 1575. The place was also called Voco, Bato, Bacoy. This town remained as the cabezera until 1679 when Corregidor Joseph de Chavez was the governor and the capital was transferred to Calapan.
The original settlement where the Spanish friars started their mission was in in the coastal barrio of Tabon-Tabon but because of the constant depredation of Muslim pirates it was transferred later to Libtong (now Lumangbayan) where a church was constructed on top of a hill.
There is a story about the early church of Baco and the priest who put a curse on the town. It was said that thirty years after the church was established, a Moro hunter named Magna’vi came. He made the convent his residence but allowed the priest to remain and continue saying mass on one condition, that no mass will be held whenever he is not in town. On the second year of his stay, the Moro left to hunt for mid game in the interior. He got engrossed in his hunting and overstayed in the forest. Meanwhile, the priest decided to conduct mass in the absence of the Moro. When he returned and found out that the priest violated his order, he tied the priest and put him inside a chicken crate (tangkal). The missionary was confined without food except jackfruit. Not content with that, Magnawi then took the big bell from the bellfry, tied it to the crate and threw it into the river. Before he died, the priest casted a curse on the town. He vowed that the town would never prosper unless it is founded on a safer place mth a church building and priest living there permanently. The people then relocated their settlement near the seashore where they founded another town and constructed a new church. But this did not exist long because it was destroyed by water. Many of the people again decided to leave the place and built a new church in honor of San Andres. This time far from the shore.
During the revolution in the year 1898, the people of Baco under the leadership of Capitan Ccrvullo Leuterio joined the uprising against the Spaniards and the Americans in the succeeding years (1899 – 1901)
In 1902 Baco, together mth San Teodoro was incorporated with Calapan by virtue of Act 2824. It gained back its distinction as a regular municipality under Act 3498 in 1920 upon the representation of Mariano P. Leuterio, a native son, who was then the representative of the province.
The town was again transferred to Alag in 1945, then it was transferred to San Andres, but because it was being eroded by water the people had to relocate again. In 1948, the town proper was relocated to barrio Calabugao where the town site was donated by Catalino Calderon. A new municipal building was constructed here.
Only 15 kilometers from the capital, Baco is now a 5th class municipality with a growth rate of 3 .32 percent. It is endowed with rich natural resources such as marble reserves, black clay and gold. It has 27 barangays and boast of several natural scenic wonders; the Dulangan waterfalls, the Mamangan tunnel and Mt. Halcon, the fourth highest mountain in the Philippines.
Baco has a total land area of 24, 174,000 hectares. Its parish church is now known as is the Blessed Trinity parish. The Baco town fiesta is being held every November 30 in honor of Patron Saint San Andres.
The list of officials of Baco recorded from 1896 to present. 1896 to 1900
Juan Aceveda Sr, Pedro Quiambao, Quintin Villar, Bartolome Garcia, Gonzalo Aceveda, Cerbulo Leuterio. 1900 to 1924
Benito R. Villar, Brigido R. Atienza, Jose Lopez, Juanito Aceveda, Jr. 1935 – 1946
Braulio Zulueta, Froilan Aceveda, P;itcmo Sauchez, Vitaliano Alferez, Benito Villar.
1947 – l 998
Vicente Ramos, Pedro Aceveda, Wise Almario, Gaudencio Zulueta, Julito Hernandez, and Graciano dela Chica
The municipality of Bansud was formerly a part of Bongabong. This town was created by virtue of Rep. Act. No. 2514 sponsored by then Congressman Jose Leido Sr. The Bill was signed by President Carlos P. Garcia and its inauguration was made on July 4, 1959, coinciding with what was then the 13th Independence celebration of the Philippines and the Independence Day celebration of the United States of America (The Philippine Independence Day had been changed to June 12 since the presidency of Diosdado Macapagal)
Bansud, incidentally is the thirteenth municipality of Oriental Mindoro. It has also thirteen barangays.
According to stories handed down by the old generation, the name of the town was given by the Mangyans who used to settle the area near the mouth of Bansud River. The delta’s fertile soil provided the natives with bountiful crops, hence they lived peacefully and in relative comfort until settlers from Marinduque and Romblon arrived. The settlers who were mostly Tagalogs and Visayans pushed the Mangyans inland but the name of the place remained. The Original name, “Basud” which means delta in the native toungue, was eventually changed to Bansud. The present inhabitants now are lowlanders made up of Marinduquenos, Batanguenos , Romblomanons, Bicolanos and Ilocanos. The aborigines moved inland and occupied the areas on the hills.
The first appointed Mayor in 1959 was Leon S. Mampusti. He was elected the following year and held the position until 1964. Alejandro E. Minay won in the next election but Mampusti regained the post. He occupied that position until he retired due to old age (85) in 1977. Noel C. Averion, a member of the Sangguniang Bayan was appointed as officer-in-charge but he was soon replaced by Dr. Prudente D. Soller in August 27 by order of President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Soller then won in the next election and remained as mayor up to the present except for a short interlude after the EDSA revolution when Averion was again appointed as OIC.
Bansud has under its territorial jurisdiction six towering mountains namely: Mt. Merill – l400 meters, Mt. Hitching – 1200 m, Mt. Uraidex – I 000 m, Mt. Porter. 800 m, Mt. Rice 800 m, Mt. Frilshigh 800 m.
Mainly agricultural, Bansud ranks sixth in the production of palay in the province, eight in the production of poultry and livestock and third in the production of corn.
The principal tourist spots are the waterfalls of Malo, Manihala, Langcawan and Paypayama and the sandy beaches of Proper Bansud and Proper Tiguisan.
The total area of Bansud is 260, sq. km. Its fiesta being held every January 17-18 & 19, Divine Savior Parist.
The town of Bongabong was said to have been established in the 16th century. Its first name was “Binagao”, a Mangyan word that means ‘big and dangerous river ‘. The area near the Bongabong river which is now Barangay Anilao was called Sucol and it was where the Kuta and church was erected during Spanish times. This was when the first Jesuit missionaries from Naujan came to spread the gospel to the natives during the 17th century. The Recollect order from Mangarin later took over. Because of the frequent attacks of the marauding pirates, the people moved to the sitio of Mararog. It was only later when the town was moved to its present site. But the old ruins of the kuta in Anilao still remains and the cannons of the Spanish ship Tortuosa still stand as symbol of its glorious history.
After the revolt against the Spaniards, Juan Naguit, the revolutionary leader, changed the name of the town to Sumilang to signify its being the first town to be born under the Mindoro Revolutionary government.
The present name according to an anecdote was taken from an incident that happened during the American regime. It was said that an American soldier shot the fruit of a bettle nut called locally as “bunga”. The” bunga” and the sound of the gun “bong” were combined into one word and came to be associated with the place.
In 190 l during the uprising against the Americans many residents were garrisoned at the kuta in Anilao while
the soldiers were burning their houses and properties. A ship, the Fortuosa el Quiros, which ran aground at the Sucol River was also burned by the white invaders. The local insurgents were led by Antonio Jalos.
When the area was “pacified” by the Americans in 1902, the first civil government was organized with Isidro Umali as town president under the Philippine Commission. The town then was downgraded it having been placed under the jurisdiction of Pinamalayan.
It was only on November 7, 1927, after repeated efforts of the leaders and constituents of Bongabong when the town was eventually granted the status of a regular municipality. This was by virtue of Legislative Act. 3415. The town was finally linked by road to the rest of Northern Mindoro when the 112 kilometer highway from Calapan was finally completed and opened.
During the guerilla campaign against the Japanese in 1944, the infamous “Jurado ambush” happened in the remote area in the barrio of Sumague, this town. ·When the Americans returned, Bongabong was the first town in Eastern Mindoro to be liberated by American forces who leap-frogged from San Jose. (January I, 1941)
Bongabong is now a third class municipality and is growing by leaps and bounds due to the efforts of local officials and private entrepreneurs. It has currently 35 barangays. Mt. Davidson and Mt. Chekdon are within its territorial boundary. These high peaks are the source of water that flow to the big Bongabong River( it used to be called Sucol River). Its black and gray beaches that stretch from Labasan all the way to Masaguisi provide scenic vista to nature lovers.
The total land area of Bongabon is 49,824.000 hectares. Its patron saint is St. Joseph. and fiesta is held on March 15.
The following are the town leaders since the American period:
Juan Naguit, Camilo Umali, Antonio Jalos -1898 -1904; Isidro Umali (govierno de aldea) -1904; Juan Gozar (presidente de aldea) 1907 -1909; Leonardo Ubal 1914 – 1917; Fausto Abao 1919; Rosendo Umali 1922 -1930; Rosendo Umali 1948-1951 ; Ismael Manalo (liberation), Dr. Angel S. Rodriguez 1952-1959; Felipe V. Manalo 1960-1963; Ernesto Umali 1964 – 1968, Pedrito A. Reyes 1969-1971; Jose A. Enriquez 1972 -1979; Renato U. Reyes 1980 – 1995; Alex Enriquez 1995 to present.
Before the advent of the Spanish conquistadores, a group of people from the island of Panay arrived in Mindoro. They organized a settlement and called it Calido in honor of its founder.
As years went by the settlement grew and developed into a town. The town was headed successively by the following Capitanes: Jacinto Fajado, Narciso Fandino, Gabriel Contreras and a certain Captain Faigao who was known as a ruthless leader.
It was said that during one of his inspection, Faigao saw the dirty surroundings of his town and castigated all the townsfolk. In his anger, he invoked nature to vent his ire on his town, thereupon, a big flood occurred and washed the whole community clean. The people fled to higher grounds in sitio Damagan where a baluarte (fort) stood.
After the calamity, the capitanes called a meeting. Through the suggestion of Capitan Pandino they agreed to transfer the town to Kaburayan, a place where there were plenty of vines called buray. Pandino said the place is ideal because its vantage position gave them a panoramic view of the sea where the Moro pirates and other enemies usually comes from. The town progressed but after many years, an epidemic swept the community. Old believers said the plague was brought by a sinister bird that shows up whenever there are people dying. The bird was called “bulalacao”. This name stuck to the place up to 1906 when Glicerio Ordonez was the municipal president.
On December 24, 1940 a big fire razing 90% of houses in town occurred. Another fire also of the same magnitude hit Bulalacao on July 6 1950. Because of these conflagrations which the townsfolk attributed to its name which is synonymous to a burning meteor, the town council headed by Mayor Lazaro Visconde asked Congress to change the town’s name to San Pedro. The wish was granted by virtue of R.A. 2789. The new name however, brought problems and complications to the populace. Mails were delivered very late if ever they reach the town because it was usually brought to San Pedro, Laguna.
Through the initiative of Mayor Felipe Z. Familara a new request was sent to Congress to grant back the old and historical name of Bulalacao.
Bulalacao is the southernmost town of Oriental Mindoro. It sits on a mountainous terrain rich in mineral deposits (coal) and possibly oil. It is well known as the land of bawang (garlic). The people of Bulalacao has its own dialect similar to the Ilonggo, Kanaray-A but most can speak tagalog.
Its fiesta falls on June 29 in honor of the patron saint, St. Peter.
Some of the interesting places in this southern town are: Sitio Rizal, named after the national hero. This is the place where Gat Jose Rizal rested while on the way to his exile in Dapitan, Zamboanga; Caram Cave in barangay San Miguel; Talisay beach lined by big shady talisay trees; Suguicay cove considered as the safest haven for small bancas during adverse weather; the islands of Aslom and Silad; and Mt. Agong where giant limestone rocks can be found. Buyayao Island, an international tourist destination popularized by Freddie Elizalde during his stint as head of President Assistant on National Minorities (PANAMIN).
The succession of leaders of Bulalacao are: Kapitan Pandino -1901-1903; Tenyente Morris-
1903-1905; Glicerio Ordonez -1905-1907; Felix Templanza – 1908-1910; German Ramirez -1910-1911 ; Potenciano Contreras – 1911-1913; Felix Templanza 1914- 1915; Exequiel Dimatulac -1915-1916; Teotimo Cusi 1916-1928; Juan Templanza -1928-1931 ; Arturo Salas- 1931-1934; Jose Gonzales – 1934-1938; Generoso Villas -1938-1941; Eugenio Maka 1941-1945; Juan Templanza -1946-1947; Generoso Villas -1948-1953; Ricardo Bago 1954-1958; Lazaro Visconde 1959-1967; Felipe Familara -1968-1971; Dolores Bago -1972-1986; Guillermo Salas 1986-1995; Gemma Salas -1995-1998;
Calapan, the capital town of Oriental Mindoro is the urban center of the province. It is the main center of government and commerce in the whole island. All cargoes bound for Batangas and Manila pass through the port of Calapan making this the busiest ferry boat routes in the whole country.
There are twelve commercial banks in· Calapan, three government (DBP, Land Bank and PNB) and two rural banks.
Communication facilities are available in Calapan with a local telephone company, PLDT, Bayantel, Extelcom, Mobiline, RCPI. PT &T. There are four amateur radio groups: OMARC, Mangyan Amateur Radlo Club, Kabalfr.at and Pugad Lawin. There are two radio stations DZOM and DWMI, four weekly commercial newspapers (Island Sentinel, Halcon Star, Peoples Courier, Island Observer, Southwest Times).
Because Calapan has been the capital of Mindoro since 1679, the history of this town has been adequately written about in the early chapters of this book.
The municipal leaders of Calapan since its founding:
Alfonso Madrigal -1758; Felipe Madrigal 1759; Feliciano Garcia -1760; Sebastian delos Angeles -1761; Diego de San Miguel -1762; Geronimo de San Agustin – 1763; Miguel Fernando – 1764; Felipe Manuel – 1765; Francisco Zamora – 1766; Diego de San Miguel -1767: Andres Evangelista -1768; Francisco de! Espiritu Santo ~ 1769; Bartolome Calma – 1770; Juan Salvador -1771; Cayetano Macalalad -1772; Felipe Manuel – 1773; Jose Fernando – 1774; Francisco del Espiritu Santo – 1775;
Joaquin dela Cruz – 1776; Nicolas dela Concepcion -1777; Agustin Roman 1778; Domingo Soriano -1779; Jose Fernando – 1780; Juan G. Madrigal – 1781-1782; Agustin Guillenno -1783; Miguel Custudio -1784-1785; Domingo Soriano -1786; Basilio Nicolas – 1787; Agustin Guillermo – 1788; Juan Victorio – 1789; Juan Francisco – 1790; Mariano Rivera – 1791; Vicent delos Angeles – 1772; Felipe Apolinario -1773; Lorenzo Sto. Nino – 1774; Mariano Quiambao -1795; Javier Fajardo – 1796; Pedro Basilio – 1797; Jose Pantoja -1798; Manuel Alejo – 1799- 1800; Mariano Rivera – 1801; Nicolas Mariano- 1802; Manuel del Espiritu Santo – 1803; Mariano Rivera 1804; Agustin Nepomuceno -1805; Juan_ Barrientos 1806; Mariano Rivera 1807; Miguel Roman 1808-1809; Pedro Gonzales – 1810; Claudio Fulgencio – 1811-1812; Juan Serfain -1813; Nicolas Mendoza – 1814; Fernando Guillermo 1815; Juan Gonzales -1816; Vicente Nicolas – 1817; Nicolas-delos Santos – 1818; Jose Pantoja – 1819; Manuel del Espiritu Santo – 1820; Vicente dela Rosa – 1821; Marcos San Miguel -1822; Francisco delos Angeles -1823; Juan Roman – 1824; Juan Gonzales – 1825; Manuel Zamora – 1826; Jose Isidro – 1827; Leon de Mendoza – 1828; Jose Francisco – 1829; Marcos de San Miguel – 1830; Anselmo Guillermo – 1831; Juan Gonzales -1832; DomingoPantoja-1833; Manuel Zamora-1834; Juan Roman – 1835; Gregorio Fulgencio – 1836; Francisco Marcelino – 1837; Patricio Santo Nino; 1838; Jose Rafael – 1839; Jose Ramos – 1840; Domingo Pantoja – 1841; Patricio Santo Nino – 1842; Domingo Pantoja – 1843; Rufino Pantoja – 1844; Patricio Santo Nino – 1845; Gregorio Nicoias – 1846; Carlos Gonzales – 1847; Jose
Rafael – 1848; Fulgencio del Mundo – 1849; Mateo Quiambao – 1850; Nicolas Alcanices – 1851; Benedicto Acedillo – 1852; Aniceto Mendoza – 1853; Geronimo Abela – 1854; Fausto Orense – 1855; Luis Lino Barrientos – 1856 Pascual Alcedo -1857; Fausto Vega Alberto – 1858; Bonifacio Avena – 1859; Manuel Acob – 1860; Julian Figueroa – 1861; Manuel Adeva – 1862-1866; Alejo Marasigan – 1867 -1868; Jose Basa – 1868; Dionisio Luces Luna – 1869-1870; Lucas Alberto – 1871; Mariano Barcelona – 1872; Isidro Alveyra – 1873; Dionisio Luces Luna – 1874; LucianoM. Adriatico – 1875- 1876; Leoncio Martinez – 1877-1878; Fabian Pangilinan – 1879-1880; Manuel Vega Alberto – 1881-1882; Dionisio Luces Luna – 1883; Pedro Luces Luna – 1884-1885; Antonio Arce Ignacio – 1886; Cirilo Arias – 1887; Manuel Adeva- 1888; Don Feliciano Alveyra – 1889; Paulino Abela – 1890; Manuel Adeva – 1891-1892; Benigno Paras – 1893; Manuel Adeva – 1894; Francisco Pangilinan – 1895-1898; Fernando San Agustin 1898 -1899: Francisco Pangilinan -1900 – 1901; Felix E. Lopez- 1901.
Pres. Mun. Toribio Gonzales -1902; Antonio Luces Luna – 1903 -1904; Antonio Arce Ignacio – 1904 -1905; Luciano Lopez – 1905-1907; Jose Vega Alberto – 1908; Agustin Quijano – 1909; Leonardo Garcia – 1910-1911; Antonio L. Luna – 1912-1915; Agustin Quijano – 1916-1922; Quirico Alcanices – 1922; Hermogenes Adeva – 1922-1924; Felix del Rosario – 1925- 1934; Demetrio Aboboto – 1934-1937;
Mayor Benigno Sales – 1938- 1941 ; Epifanio Cueto – 1941-1942; Antonio L. Luna (Japanese Occupation) -1942-1944; Francisco Infantado (American Liberation) – 1945-1946; Damaso Abac – 1946 : Demetrio Aboboto – 1946· Rodolfo A. Ignacio – 1946-1947; Felimon Samaco 1948-1949; Diosdado Gutierrez, Sr. -1952; Gregorio A. Paras -1952-1955: Antonio L. Adriatico – 1956-1962; Felix Cuasay -1962-196 : Nestor E. Aboboto- 1968-1972; Jose P. Leido – 1972-1980;
Cesareo M. Cueto – 1980-1986; Conrado G. Paras (OIC) -1986-1988; Rosalia I. Umali – 1988-1995; Aman C. Panaligan
– 1995- 1998;
Calapan Town fiesta – January 1. Patron Saint, Sto Nino.
Area: 265.2 sq.km.
At the turn the 20th century, a group of families from the western part of Marinduque arrived by banca in a place south of Pinamalayan. They settled the coastal area and called it Tambong owing to the abundance of a species of wide-leaf plants called tambong. The newcomers traded with the Mangyans and opened the vast hinterland for economic crops particularly rice and corn.
When the Pinamalayan to Bongabong road was opened, the settlers moved to the roadside and the barrio of Maligaya was born. The name was given because of the happiness of the people in their new found wealth and progress in this bountiful land. More people arrived from other regions and soon the area was teeming with newcomers eager to clear homesteads or conduct business among the inhabitants.
It was inevitable that Maligaya and the neighboring barangays will become a new town. With the leadership of Nicolas Jamilla through the help of the then Mindoro governor Rodolfo Ignacio, Maligaya together with 25 other adjacent barrios petitioned Congress to carve their area from the municipality of Pinamalayan and create a new town. Subsequently Executive Order No.117 was passed by President Diosdado Macapagal on October 2 1964. Jamilla was appointed as the first Mayor in 1964. He was elected in 1967 and continued to assume that position until Martial Law was declared in 1972. He ran in the election of 1980 without any opposition. He was replaced by an OIC when Cory Aquino ascended but regained the mayorship in the election of 1987. He was later on defeated by Jaime de Castro by a measly five votes. He filed an election protest but it became moot and academic when he died before the Commission on Election (Comelec) can make final judgement on the protest.
The name Gloria was taken from Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the only daughter of President Macapagal and is now a Senator of the Republic of the Phlippines.
Although Gloria is the youngest town to be added to the original eleven towns of Oriental Mindoro-provinces in 1966, it has since then rose to the 4th class rank with income increase at an average rate of 30 percent annually.
By the year 1988 Gloria will have the distinction of being the gateway to the commercial airport to be opened in Baragay Pambisang Munti of Pinamalayan but which is nearer to Gloria (5 kilometers).
Total Land Area – 23,800 hectares.
Patron Saint: Sacred Heart Fiesta (December 8)
The name of this town was derived from the Mangyan word “‘un man malay!’ which means I don’t know or in Tagalog Ewan ko or anong malay ko.
During Spanish times, Mansalay was under the jurisdiction of Mangarin. The barrio was first led by Eulalio Filosopo, Felix Fetalver, Ramon Oracion, Patricio Cobarrubias and Victorino Salazar.
In 1905 under the American government, the town was consolidated wiith Bulalacao, Tikling, Caluya and Mangarin with the seat in Bulalaco. After the American-Filipino war, the people returned from their evacuation areas in the interior and settled in the present town which they originally called Pookan. Mansalay was eventually given the status of a municipality during the term of Mariano P. Leuterio as Representative. Since then migrants from Batangas, Romblon, Marinduque, Panay, Ilocos, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, Pangasinan and Occidental Mindoro continue to arrive.
The leaders of Mansalay since 1916
Exequiel Dimatulac -1916; Teotimo Cusi -1919-1919; Ildefonso Maliwanag-1931; Lucio Suarez Sr. -1934; Marcelo I. Cabrera -1941; Andres E. Torrefiel – 1948; Mariano Marciano -15?50; Marciana V. Merino – 1952-1956; Eleuterio A. Presto -1956-1960; Gerardo P. Cobarrubias – 1960-1964; Sergio F. Maliwanag-1964-1986; Fausto Sangil (OIC) 1986-1988; Fernando Faustino (OIC) 1988-1989; Sergio F. Maliwanag – 1989-1993; Celestino Papasin – 1994-1998;
Places in Mansalay with tourism potentials include Mansalay beach, Palaylay point, Del Mundo Beach, Cagulong Beach, the mountain ranges of Mansoil point, Bugtong point and Knob Peak.
The Mangyan settlement in Panaytayan is a favorite destination of ethnological scholars. This is where Dutch anthropologist Antoon Postma is dwelling among the members of the Hanunuo tribe.
The Airport at Bgy. Wasig, if put into commercial use, will play a very important role in the development of this southern Mindoro town.
Land Area: 51,314 sq.km. Patron St. Santa Catalina
Town Fiesta – November 26.
The town of Naujan was established in 1639 under the Royal Decree of King Phillip II of Spain. Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards however, traces of earlier civilization existed as evidenced by the unearthed artifacts of Chinese origin dating from the Sung, Yuan and Ming dynasties. This reinforces the theory that natives of Naujan had been having trade relations with the Chinese during those early years. Its name, according to legend, came from the word “Na – Ujao”.
During the 17th century, a Recollect priest built a church with wall made of stone in barrio Bancuro. This church served as house of worship and at the same time as a fort and place of refuge against Moro invaders. But in 1842 the Moros were able to conquer the fort and burned it. The settlement was then transferred to Lumangbayan along the sea coast in 1898 when the insurrection against Spanish rule started in Mindoro. The moro raids had ceased by then but the new problem was the emergence of groups of tulisanes operating around the lake area. Valeriano Gasic was then the presidente municipal of Naujan. Gasic went underground when the Americans started their rule of Mindoro. He was dubbed by the Arneri· can as a tulisan and public enemy number one of the government. He was captured in a wooded area east of Naujan Lake and was sentenced to life imprisonment. This was later commuted to five years of exile in Culion Island, Palawan where he died.
On January 4, 1905, Naujan was recognized as a full pledged municipality.
The municipal leaders of Naujan Spanish era: 1894- Valeriano Gasic; 1903 – Bonifacio Evora and Carlos Basa Sr.; 1911-Leon Garong;
American era: 1916-1922 – Agustin Garong; 19221927 -Jose L. Basa; 1928 -1934 – Santiago Garong; 1935-1940 -Porfirio Cornia;
Japanese occupation: 1941 – Cirilo Gaba (went underground); Agustin Garong Sr., Felicisirno Garing; 1945-Marciano Roldan; PCAU (Philippine Civilian Affairs Unit) Ambrocio Silva; American Liberation: 194 7 – Cirilo Gaba; Republic of the Philippines – 1948-1951 – Marcian Roldan; 1952-1959 – Amando G. Melgar; 1960-1962 – Porfirio Cornia; 1962 1967 – Manuel R. Marcos; 1986- 1987 – Dr. Rolando R. Mendoza (OIC); Dec. 1-7 1987 – Arnulfo Bautista (OIC); Dec. 8-Feb. 1988 – Audel Arago; Feb. 1988 – 1997 – Nelson Melgar;
Naujan is the biggest municipality of the province composed of 70 barangays with a total land area of 528 square kilometers. Geological survey has revealed the presence of iron deposit in San Andres. Calcite and other non-metalic minerals are found in Masaguing.
The most significant tourist attractions of this townare the famous Naujan Lake, the baklad at Bancuro where banglis is being caught mostly by the lake concessionaire, the Lagarian-Estrella beaches, the 257 meter Dig Dome hill, Pungao hot spring The town plaza is one of the most well-kept in the province. The Mangyan reservation in Metolza, the simbahang bato and the Balwarte in Lumangbayan.
Land Area: 528.0 sq.km. Patron St. San Nicolas de Tolentino Town Fiesta – S eptember 10.
The town of Pinamalayan is close to the shore at the mouth of the river of the same name. The name of the town was said to be taken from the word “ipinamalay” which means to make aware or to show the way. According to an old story, the early settlers of this town came from Marinduque. While they were on their way to Mindoro in their big bancas, they encountered turbulent weather and lost their direction. They prayed to God Almighty for deliverance and guidance, whereupon, the weather cleared and a rainbow appeared on the horizon. The crew shouted “ipinamalay” (it was made known). They followed the direction of the rainbow believing that at its end lies a pot of gold and good fortune. They finally landed at what is now barangay Lumangbayan and established the first settlement which they named Pinamalayan. They found good fortune in the new land which brought them prosperity because of the good soil and abundant resources.
Some other sources attribute the name Pinamalayan simply to the fact that the area was once a vast area planted to rice, hence the name “pinagpalayan” or “pinamalayan”. Since then the place grew and became a town. However during the entire 18th centm)i Pinamalayan was one of the coastal areas frequently attacked by Moro pirates.
People were decimated and many fled to the interior for safety. lnspite all these, the town site remained in that place until 1914 when it was transferred by the Americans to its present site.
In the year 1888 to 1890 the territory of Pinamalayan included the settlements at Pola, Sumagui, Anilao. At that time the gobernadorcillo Juan Morente, Sr. was replaced by his <;on, Juan Morente, Jr. who assumed the position until 1898 when the uprising against the Spanish government broke out. Morente Jr., joined the revolutionary forces as a captain. Juan Medina replaced him as the town head. When the Spaniards surrendered, Morente Jr. became the governor of the province of Mindoro while Cornelio Nable was appointed as the municipal president.
In April 28, 1904 under the American government, the towns of Pola and Bongabon were consolidated with Pinamalayan by virtue of Act 1155. It was only in January 12,1912 when Pola regained its status as a regular town. Bongabon likwise regained its township status in March 1919 uinder Act 2824.
During the American period the town was transferred to its present site. The American planners saw to it that this new town will be laid out properly according to modern planning system. Wide roads with proper drainage system and symmetrical vertical and horizontal roads. A big plaza was constructed in front of the municipal building. The Pinamalayan town still stands as a model in town planning to all the municipalities in Oriental Mindoro.
When the Japanese occupied Mindoro in 1942, Dr. Abelardo Bunag, the mayor then, joined the underground movement. The Japanese appointed Carlos Aguilocho followed by Manuel Medina until the Americans returned in January 15, 1945.
The town steadily grew from 1947 to 1990 under different administrations. There are now two private colleges and three secondary schools and several barangay high schools. A private sports complex owned by the Reyes family was constructed in barangay Pag-asa.
The interesting tourist destinations in this town are the beaches at Pili, Bongo!, Banilad and Ranzo. At the peak of Mt. Longos, one can see the panoramic vista of the stretch of sea that separates eastern Mindoro from Marinduque and the Tres Reyes islands. Other areas that would interest mountaineers are the towering ranges of Mt. Dumali, Mt. Bayer, Mt. Worcester, the Agus hill and Bongol Pt.
Land Area: 556 sq.m. Patron St. – San Agustin Town Fiesta – April 25.
The leaders of Pinamalayan since the American era: 1901-1902 – Cornelio Nable; 1902-1903 – Juan Aguilucho; 1903-1904 – Vicente Dominguez; 1905-1906 -FlorencioMorente; 1907-1912-Juan Morente, Jr.; 1913- 1915 – Jesus Dominguez; 1915-1916 -Jose Benitez; 1916- 1919 – Elias Semilla; 1925-1928 – Carlos Aguilucho and Francisco Luarca; 1928-1929 – Aniceto Villamin; 1929- 1934 – Conrado Morente; 1934-1938- Felipe Venturanza 1938-1940 – Carlos Aguilucho; 1941-1942 – Abelardo Bunag; 1942-1943 – Carlos Aguilucho; 1943-1945 – Manuel Medina; 1946-1947 – Tomas Vtllarnin; 1948-1951 – Dominador Madrid; 1952-1955 – Remigio Pio Baldos; 1956-1967 – Dominador Madrid; 1967-1968 – Santos Frane (OIC); 1968-1972 – Jose Reynaldo Morente, Jr.; 1973-1979 – Crispulo La Rosa; 1980-1986 – Emilina Baldoz; 1986-1987 – Reynaldo Mambil; 1988 – Lydia L. Olea (OIC); 1988-1995 – Manuel 0. Morente, Sr.; 1955-1998 – Wilfredo L. Hernadez, Sr.
The quaint little town of Pola sits on a hilly area adjoining the waters of Pola Bay that curves from Dayap to Anahaw points. Its name was derived from the color of the soil in the locality which is reddish brown. In tagalog this is termed “pula”. This name remained until the Spaniards came and adopted it as the name of the town.
The Poblacion sits at the estuary of the Pula River encircled by rocky hills to the west providing the people with a suitable haven for fishing and nipa weaving.
This settlement was under the supervision of the Recollect Missionaries during the 17th century whose main station is Naujan. During the 18th century at the height of the Spaillsh -Moro wars, Pola bay became a convenient stop-over and launching area of the moros for their sporadic attacks in the bigger settlement of Naujan and Calapan. Because of this the population in the settlement never grew because many of them were dispersed deeper into the hills to avoid capture by the Muslims.
In the years during the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution (1898) in Mindoro, Pola was one of the towns where agitation against Spanish rule was more manifested. This was because of a certain Esteban de Castro from Taal, Batangas who instigated the unrest.
When the Americans came in 1901 local government was established until 1904. But on April 28, 1904, Pola was reverted back into a barrio by virtue of Act 113 5 of the Philippine Commission. The town was consolidated with Bongabong and Pinamalayan with the latter as seat of the municipality. This was in accordance with the American administrators’ desire to reduce the fifteen (15) municipalities of Mindoro to eight (8) for economic reasons.
The leaders of Pola expressed their desire to be reverted back to a town and on 1910 under Executive Order
31 Pola was separated from Pinamalayan. The order took effect on January 1, 1912.
In 1962, the municipality of Socorro was carved out of Pola, reducing its area to the present 13,662 hectares.
The principal tourist spots are the Bayanan beach, the Tayuid islet, the Calima point, and the excavation areas all along the Pola coast. Places in the inland areas that may also be considered as interesting scenic areas are Barangay Matula-tula overlooking Naujan Lake. Sitio Bahid and Tagbakin provide a commanding view of the surrounding area and are coolly enveloped by calamansi and citrus growths.
Area 130.2 sq. km. Patron – St. John the Baptist
Town Fiesta – June 24
Officials of Pola since 1900
Rosendo Comia (1900), Jose Basa Sr., Gregorio Basa Sr. (1901), Mamerto Umali, Juan Pineda, Martin Loreto Reyes, Santiago Lafuente, Francisco Umali, Ramon Acapulco, Guillermo Raymundo, Anastacio Gaba, Ramon Calanog, Agustin Quijano, Gervacio Laracas, Hilarion Senatin, Apolonio Francisco (1922-1925, 1941-1945, 1947-1951), Eleuterio Alikpala (1925-1928), Gervasio Laracas (1928-1931), Manuel Genabe (1931-1934), Eleuterio Alikpala (1934-1937), Pablo Laracas and Gregorio Holgado (PCAU 1945-1946), Pedro Aceron, Rosauro Venturanza, Romualdo Dandy Martinez, Jose Jarninola (OIC) 1986 -1987, Romualdo Martinez, 1988-1998.
Puerto Galera is the oldest settlement in Mindoro. It was founded by Juan de Salcedo in 1570. Even before the Spaniards set foot in the Philippines, there was already a thriving settlement in Minolo, which is now a sitio of the town. The earliest cabezera of Mindoro during Spanish times was Minolo. It was founded by Augustinian friars in 1574. It was transferred to Lagundian (now Barangay. San Isidro) at the mouth of Muelle Bay, but was later moved to the present site inside the cove because of the constant Moro raids.
The name of Puerto Gal era was taken after the galleons which used the bay as refilling station and repair area. It means “port of galleons” or in Spanish “Puerto de Galera”.
The galleon trade between Manila and Acapulco lasted for more than a century and Puerto Galera became an important stop-over of these vessels during the 18th century.
Surviving under the vicissitudes of time, an epitah in Spanish engraved on March 18, 1897 on a wooden cross in Muelle beach is inscribed ‘· Ultima Tierra Que Pesaron Los Tripulantes del Canoneros Mariveles El 18 De Noviembre de 1879″. This cross, a relic of past century, was renovated in 1938 by a Spaniard named Luis Gomez.
In 1672, the capital of Mindoro was later transferred to Baco.
The municipality of Puerto Galera now has thirteen barangays. The municipality is rich in mineral deposits of marble, gold, lime and silica granules: Its major economic activities are tourism, mining and fishing. Its numerous coves and sandy beaches and colorfull undersea coral garden are the prime interests of many tourists who flock all year round. It has white sugary sand in many of its beaches particularly in White Beach, Talipanan and Haligi beaches. There is a museum in the old convent where unearthed artifacts of precious Chinese jars are displayed. Further inland is the famous Tamaraw falls.
Puerto Galera with its zig-zag roads and steep ravines is considered as the Little Baguio of Mindoro. Its combined panoramic landscape and exotic scenery is also a navigator’s haven seeking refuge during inclement weather in its excellent harbor which is effectively protected by an island at the mouth of the bay. The bay 15 also renowned to botanists and biologists for its bountiful specimens of marine flora and fauna.
At present Puerto Galera leads all locality in tourism. It has become an international tourist destination but it seems that the influx of tourism has affected the ecological balance of this once nature haven.
The Legend of the “black rice” in Puerto Galera
Newcomers in this scenic town never stop to marvel and wonder about the petrified black rice sand that used to litter the shores of Muelle Bay, this town. According to stories told by old-timers, There was a big rice warehouse constructed near the docks during the early years of the Spanish era. This was opposite the stone convent built by the friars.
One day, an old beggar came and ask for a cup of rice. The caretaker of the bodega shooed away the beggar who sadly left the place. That night a big fire consumed the whole warehouse and all the rice in it The burned rice spilled into the shore where it was wash, l away by the waves. Since then the shores of Mulle bay It has been littered with these black rice which had been turned into a stone-like material that do not decay, rot or melt in the water. For so many centuries the black rice sand of Puerto Galera remained as a mystery. Through the years, the black rice was never depleted until the present time when the then officials of the town constructed a pier at the site.
The whole beach area had been filled with soil where stores, restaurant and various establishments now stand. The garbage and pollutants dumped daily on the beach and shore have almost totally covered the whole area where the famous and legendary black rice used to be found in abundance. What nature had preserved and nurtured for hundreds of years, the people of Puerto Gal era had wiped out in barely two decades.
223.5 sq.km. Patron St. – Lady of Fatima
Town Fiesta – May 13.
Former Town officials of Puerto Galera
Isidoro C Suzara (1919-1921), Leoncio Axalan (1922-1925), Urbano C. Atienza (1925-1928), Anacleto Atienza (1928-1931), Estanislao Cobarrubias (1931-1934), Ariston Y. Atienza (1934-1937), Leoncio Axalan (1938-1941), Rafael Garcia (1946-194 7), Estanislao Brucal (1 948-1955), Rogelio Cataquis (1955 – 197 1), Herminigildo Atienza, (1971-1980), Rogelio Cataquiz (1980-1986), Pablo Lineses (1986-19]1) Gregorio Delgado (1986-1998).
Roxas started as a small settlement at the banks of Tilding River. The place was settled by a mixture of people coming from Panay, Romblon and Batangas.
The community was first recognized as a barrio of Mansalay. Its first name was Tikling, based on the river of the same name. Later it was renamed Paclasan a word that was derived from “palasan”, a specie of palm that grows abundantly on the marshy surroundings. This name remains up to the present as a barrio in this town.
The growth of the settlement in Paclasan was rapid even before the outbreak of World War II such that people then had already manifested their desire to have their own municipality. These desire was finally realized in October 15, 1948 when then President Elpidio Quirino enacted Executive Order No. 1.81 mandating the separation of barrios Paclasan of Cantil, Danggay, San Mariano, San Aquilino, San Miguel and San Isidro from Mansalay. The seat of the government would be in Paclasan. The new town would be called Roxas in honor of the late President Manuel A. Roxas. The order took effect on November 15, 1948.
Up to the year 1950 Roxas was hardly accessible by motorized land transportation from northern towns of Mindoro. In April, 1950, the Everett Steamship Company inaugurated a route from Manila, Tilik (Lubang), Calapan, Roxas and Odiongan (Romblon). The Sta. Clara, steamer called once a week. This was followed by M/V Bastan and Lanao, Paclasan then served as port of business center. The town then has no telegraph service.
Since then Roxas has grown into the busiest commercial trading post in Southern Mindoro. It has now one private Catholic High School, several National high schools, and one tertiary level school, the Roxas Colleges. RC started as Fabella Institute in 1947.
Roxas is now considered as the gateway to Odiongan in Tablas Island with daily trips of big outrigger motorized
bancas. It is also a convenient jumping point for tourists who wish to proceed to the internationally famous Boracay Island.
Some significant points of Roxas today:
- It has since become the seat of church and education in the southern part of Oriental Mindoro.
- It has one of the most modern gym auditorium in Oriental Mindoro.
Total Land Area: 8710 has. Patron St.: Santo Nino Town Fiesta – January 23-24-25.
Leaders of Roxas since its founding Andres Torrefiel (appointed Nov. 15,1948), Jose Maulion, Francisco Famero, Serafin Dalida, Nonoy Suarez, Gelacio Yason.
The town of San Teodoro was first known as Subaan owing to the fact that it is being traversed by Subaan River.
As a settlement, it was first organized under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Baco during Spanish times.
Before the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution, the head of the settlement was Kapitan Juan Roxas. During the American-Filipino war in 1902, the American forces headed by Theodore Hutchine and Sargean Teodoro Viray attacked Subaan on February 1902. The people evacuated to the nearby hills. When the fighting subsided, they went back to the lowland and established the town in a new site. They named it San Teodoro in honor of three Teodoros. Theodore Hutcruke, Teodoro Viray and Theodore Roosevelt, president of the United States of America.
The first appointed president of San Teodoro during the American regime was Melecio Apolinar. At one time San Teodoro was a barrio of Puerto Galera. In 1902, it was under the jurisdiction of Calapan until 1919. In February 16, 1929 the town became a municipality by virtue of Act 3498. Its first appointed mayor was Blas Apolinar.
It is in this municipality where the Saclag Settlement Farm School for Mangyans is located. This was establisbed way back in 1930. It has a long coastline and a wide stretch of gray sandy beaches from Tacligan to Lumangbayan. San Teodoro is also noted for the crystal clear water at the Lambingan and Binay bay falls, the Tiboy river resort, Punta beach and Wawa beach. Spelunkers are welcome to explore the Aras cave which has a rich stock of guano deposited by bats which had used it as their nocturnal habitat for centuries.
Land Area: 36,911. has.
Patron St – La Purisima Concepcion
Town fiesta – December 8
The leaders of San Teodoro since its founding
Melencio Apolinar -1920-1921; Blas Apolinar – 1921 Emilio Ponce -1929-1931; Espiridion Dimaculangan -1931 -1934; Francisco Arenillo -1934-1937; Exequiel Fernandez -1937-1940; Tomas Mendoza – 1941-1947; Melanio Tuazon Sr. -1948-1951; Faustino Aldaba -1952-1955; Maximo Feraren- 1956-1963; Melanio Tuazon Jr. -1964-1967; Claro Patulan 1981-1986; Antonio Chua (OIC) 1986 -1987;Antonio Chua -1989 – 1994; Oscar Aldaba – 1994 to present.
The town of Socorro was formerly a part of Pola. It became an independent municipality by virtue of Republic Act. No. 3609 which was approved by the fifth congress of the Philippines in June 22, 1962 and signed by the then President Diosdado Macapagal. The bill for creating the town of Socorro was filed by Oriental Mindoro Congressman Luciano A. Joson. It was inaugurated on July 27, 1963. The name was inspired by the Congressman’s wife Socorro.
The twenty six barangays of Socorro are mostly planted to fruitcrops as calamansi, citrus, rambutan, coffee, banana. Although it is an inland town, it has within its boundary the southern portion of Naujan Lake. This lake is nearest to the Mindoro national highway in Barangay Pasi by only 150 meters to its shore. Its first mayor upon its founding up to 1967 was Paulino B. Cabrera.
He was followed by Eusebio Villanueva who held that position until his deathin Nov. 10 in 1983. He was succeeded by Tomas de Claro. Feliciano A. Montalban was appointed as Officer in Charge Mayor after the EDSA revolution on Feb. 26, 1986. Then the present mayor, Melinda Perez, won the next election and served for three consecutive terms.
Although relatively young, Socorro has surpassed in terms of progress the older towns ofi’,findoro because its location is in the crossroad of commerce in the Pinamalayan-Pola-Victoria area (PIPOVIC). It has a private high school run by the Catholic parish, the Mina de Oro Academy (formerly owned by the Villanueva family) and a big national high school in Leuteboro.
Area: 149.4 sq. km.
Patron Saint – Holy Family
Town Fiesta – September 19
The town of Victoria started as a small barrio of Naujan known then as Borbocolon. This word in the local dialect means big continuously gushing water.
Coincidentally, Borbocolon is the place where the first flowing artesian well was constructed. During the early years travelers on public and private transportation always stop by the roadside to drink fresh cool water gushing generously from the well beside the road in km. 32. Since then people have discovered that they only have to drill a few meters of pipe into the earth and water will flow without interruption. Today while many towns of Oriental Mindoro are still suffering from water shortage or lack of potable drinking water, it can be said that the eternal fountain (of water) can be found in the town of Victoria.
The town was proclaimed as a municipality by virtue of Executive Order no. 620 of the late President Elpidio
Quirino. It was named after Victoria, the president’s daughter.
Victoria, among all Mindoro towns, has the biggest concentration of Ilocano migrants. The barangays of Urdaneta, Alcate, Macatoc and Bethel are largely Ilocano.
The first appointed mayor of the town is Marciano Roldan who was a former Mayor of Naujan. He stayed in this position until his retirement and was replaced by his vice mayor Gelacio Ocampo.
The present Mayor is Levi Arago,Sr. also known as the ” Durian King of Mindoro”. He is the eldest son of the late Aurelio Arago who was dubbed as the “Rambutan King of the Philippines” during the sixties.
Victoria, like the town of Socorro, is at the crossroad of commerce. Its geographical location along the national highway is ideal for marketing agricultural products. It is like a main river gathering the flow of tide from the different tributaries and streams coming from the mountainsides. Hence, Victoria today is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Oriental Mindoro.
The Mindoro College of Agriculture and Technology, is situated in barangay Alcate. The swampy areas along Naujan Lake in barangays Duongan, Malayas and Bambanin are traditional mating place of migratory ducks from China. Nature scholars and lovers can observe and study the plight of this diminishing species of wild fowls. On the western sector in the uplands, the virgin forest that used to be the pride of Victoria has been gradually destroyed by illegal loggers but is now being checked. With the introduction of commercial tree farming it is expected that forest growth will again envelope this lush area of the municipality.
Total Land Area: 286.0 sq.kms.
Patron Saint: Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
Town fiesta – October 15