MUNICIPALITY OF PAOAY, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF PAOAY, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Paoay

About these Historical Data

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[Note to the reader: The top of this page in the original document was torn and cannot be transcribed. Transcription begins at the end of line number 4 of the original document.]

This, as a trait, is good and praiseworthy. It is a motive power that underlies initiative, daring, risk and chance-taking. If properly interpreted, however, it makes one's town progressive; develops leaders. This trait may be demonstrated into its good effects, through the delicate rendition of a beautiful symphony. Each player, in performing his piece, is concentrated on that piece. He is a master and a leader in that, but under the baton of the conductor, his own is lost unconsciously, and we hear the melodious composition because the sounds of different instruments blend into one harmonious, perfect harmony. So that, if the individuals are all masters and leaders, instead of going their own way, they cooperate and pool their initiatives and strengths, and therefore achieve great goals and objectives. This is particularly demonstrated by the people of this town, who have risen and improved through the tribulations and setbacks, numerous as they were, in its upward trend to its present progressive state of affairs. Though individualists by nature, the people love progress and a way of life that detests stagnation. It has harnessed its individualistic nature and trait and geared it to that powerful wheel of cooperation which greatly lent to the present condition of the town, socially, politically, culturally and economically. To understand and gain a deeper insight into the well-being of the town, one must delve deep into the records of past administrations [and] their accomplishments, their shortcomings, for every man has his own limitations, the circumstances that influenced the present state of affairs. Such data have been secured from the records of the municipal officials, particularly the records of the church, but most notably, that of Capitan Constancio Diaz's records of events handed down from his forebears.

The town of Paoay was founded in 1701, during a time when the church and state were one and the church hierarchy enjoyed

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power and [torn] town executives was called CAPITAN BAZAR and the [torn] of being the first Capitan Bazar went to Don Martin [torn] Cura Parroco then was Fr. Gabriel Fabre, who directed the religious affairs of the locality for the next 37 years. From 1701 up to the present, the town passed through 44 parish priests and 137 town executives, at first called the Capitan Bazar, then in 1715, gobernadorcillo, and in 1822, alcaldes, then we had our Municipal Mayor. Right after the founding of the town, work immediately commenced to erect the Roman Catholic church, which up to the present is being visited by tourists, every now and then, these tourists and visitors marvelling at the marvelous worksmanship and the grandeur of the architectural designs. Laborers were paid, some were not, and work only stopped during the month of May to give the farmers enough time to attend to their fields and other household activities. Those who went to the forests for big logs were not allowed to come down until after a sufficient number has been cut down.

In 1703, the cornerstone of the municipal presidencia was laid. And for the whole of that year, concerted and enlivened work continued without letup. Those assigned to ration cattle never complained because they had deep respect for the authorities and they enjoyed the pride in such work. But this respect and obedience was not to last long. For in 1717, trouble began to arise. Hate, distrust, animosities pervaded the atmosphere, resulting in the refusal of the men to work in the church construction. In the ensuing year, trouble of a greater magnitude occurred which seemed to aggravate the fast worsening conditions then obtaining. Soldiers under Cabo General Jose Quevedo passed through the town on their way to Claveria with other forces hot on their heels. By 1719, two wily persons, Alvan and Gines, charged Capitan Felipe Muñoz before the Bishop of Vigan of investigating the growing dissension among the people, resulting in the imprisonment of Muñoz.

[In] 1721, during Don Basilio Acosta's [torn], marked the first signal triumph of the people to assert their rights and pri-

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veleges. They were allowed to pay their taxes in the form of produce which amounted to ₱0.25 or "binting," as it was and still is locally termed. In 1725, the big trees around the poblacion were ordered cut against the wishes of the owners. The owners protested but they were only imprisoned. When the church dignitary at Batac learned of this, he sent a detachment of troop under General Tomas Andaya and all officials were subjected to the whip, one by one, some receiving as high as 100 lashes. The following year, work was resumed, only to be ruined by a destructive earthquake. Undaunted by that natural calamity, work was continued with more vigor and by 1728, the roof was finished. Through the years 1729 to 1935, the Carretera Provincial was blazed [?] and constructed. In 1741, the weights and measures were introduced.

The years 1757 and 1770 will long be remembered in the history of Paoay because during these years, the cholera epidemic broke out, killing a majority of the inhabitants.

Branding of cattle (horses, carabaos and cows) was required since 1782. Again in 1783, famine swept the town, aggravated by the presence of locusts that destroyed the crops, if any, that withstood the drought. Another famine visited the town in 1805 through 1806. In 1808, small pox broke out.

1828 was the beginning, through a decree issued by Don Pablo Diego Rosete, of the forbidding of work on Sundays and holidays. The Laoa Bridge, known as the Capitan Antonio Diaz's Bridge, was constructed in 1829 during D. Juan de los Santos' term. In 1836, guards were placed along the seashore to prevent the encroachment of pirates into the place. The construction of a canal at Sacang was effected with the aim in view of draining the Paoay Lake and, thereby, making it a reservoir for the neighboring lands. This is, at present, functioning well, giving more produce to landowners at the western part of the town.

In 1842, the Calpac Bridge was constructed. Seven years later, the church and convent were burned, after which, due to trouble brewing up then, many Paoayeñs migrated to Zambales and

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Rinderpest visited the town in 1887 during Don Gabriel Dumlao's incumbency, with only about 300 surviving. The people had to go to Cagayan to buy their work animals. Despite this calamity, our native folk songs and folk dances began to flourish. D. Gabriel was fond of merriment and entertainment, and so were born the Rigodon, Dos Pascos, Patatos, Polka, Curracha, Amorasa, La Jota and the deathless and irresistible Pandanggo. And also the favorite ancient-modern pastime "cockfighting" was given more encouragement. The comedia was particularly in bloom during Don Pedro Pobre's reign in 1891.

The public market site was first created and used during Capitan Antonio Diaz's reign, later improved and a semi-permanent building erected during Capitan Constancio Diaz's first term of office. Together with many prominent men, among them Don Gabriel Dumlao, he organized the local Katipunan. When the Americans arrived, many of these men were incarcerated. Don Tito Clemente was the first town executive under the Americans. Because of depredations and abuses of the outside forces not yes surrendered or caught, the Americans surrounded the town one Sunday morning, rounded up all the men and imprisoned them. All day and night, they were not given food or water. Some of the more aggressive ones found a piece of carabao hide and immediately feasted on it. Barrios No. 1, 6, 9, 10 and 13 were subsequently burned by the Americans, only to be ordered stopped after the parish priest, Fr. Quirino Evangelista, and numerous women pleaded with the American captain. Thereafter, the town was fenced with posts with only four exits, the same as what the Japanese did on November 22, 1942.

In 1902, the policy of putting numbers on houses as adopted, and land taxation began exempting only the church properties. in 1907, Don Baldomero Pobre was chosen the first delegate to the National Assembly. It was during this year that the public school was constructed, only to be destroyed by another destructive typhoon. And also, the speaker of the defunct National Assembly in

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the person of Hon. Sergio Osmeña Sr. This was during the incumbency of Capitan Eulalio Diaz. It was at this that also that another destructive and devastating typhoon occurred, leaving the two churches, many houses, schools, and [the] Presidencia in ruins. Very few houses survived.

The policy of helping small-landed farmers to enable them to manage their lands better and purchase more farming implements was effected through the organization of the Rural Credit Association. Through this, the farmers could borrow a little sum to be used for the improvement of his farm. The machinery to make artesian wells was also introduced here, but the efforts were futile, as they failed to hit a good source of wholesome and pure water. These were accomplished during Capitan Florentino Carpio's reign.

In 1919, Capitan Constancio Diaz took over the reins of the government. Among his accomplishments were (1) creation and opening of classes in Salbang; (2) inauguration of the Gabaldon school; (3) separation of Currimao and Pinili from Paoay proper, hence becoming two towns; and (4) organization of the Puericulture Center and Club, the Mukeres.

Improvement of the roads to the barrios was undertaken by the administration of Don Primitivo Tabije. In 1928, under Capitan Pedro Quevedo, the East Central School was erected. The schools of Callaguip, Bacsil, and Nalasin were opened. Through the years 1934 to 1937, Pasil School was opened. The Central H.E. and Industrial Arts buildings were constructed; Suba School was opened and the public market was repaired and improved.

In 1938-1940 and 1942 to Feb. 8, 1945, Capitan Basilio Borja took over and guided the town during a time when the hordes [of] totalitarianism wanted to wrest and take control of the world. Perhaps, this was the darkest moment in the history of Paoay. Among the notable accomplishments during the first term of Capitan Borja were: the erection of a new and modern public market in the southern part of the town; donations were given to augment the

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fast dwindling funds of the Puericulture Center; as Military Mayor during the war, he exerted his tact and diplomacy, a high sense of patriotism and exemplary courage and was able to neutralize the ferocity of both camps, the Japanese on one hand, and the guerrillas on the other side. The outbreak of the war in Dec. 1941 marked the reign of terror that continued up to the complete annihilation of the Japanese hordes. The sword seemed to be perpetually hanging over one's head, to plunge down at the simplest mistake and provocation. The outside forces were very suspicious that the people began to feel more afraid of their own countrymen than the Japanese. Crimes, atrocities, and indescribable sufferings were committed and undergone, but what happened deserves only to be consigned to the past that deserves no recollection that would make wounds that have long healed bleed profusely again, and therefore may seek to destroy.

It was through the town of Paoay that the Japanese made their ignominious exit in their attempt to converge at Bataan, and left behind them the western and northern parts of the town in ruins and ashes.

Liberation came to a people who had gone through countless sufferings and hardships, sacrifices. Came the problem of rehabilitation and reconstruction that, once again, from out of the ashes of the past, a strong edifice, a strong nation once again flourished, gradually healed of its wounds and at the same time gaining the admiration of other nations of the tremendous progress attained by country in so short a time. The people of Paoay, always hopeful, ambitious, patient, and industrious, emerged from the Gethsemane, hence the present enviable progress obtaining in the locality.

The post-war election of 1947 saw internecine fight, bitter as it was, in the political arena. Ex-Mayor Mariano Dagollado, appointed by Pres. Roxas, abandoned and repudiated his only brother, who stood as the standard bearer of the Naciona-

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lista Party. The Liberal Party candidate, Ex-Chief of Police Julian Laguno, won and [was] re-elected in 1951. His accomplishments were: installation of a telegraph office and construction of a concrete steel-matting fence around the presidencia and public market; enclosure of the Gabaldon school with steel matting fence, under the leadership of Mrs. Caridad B. Aquino. Not to be outdone, civic-conscious organizations, the Paoay North Alumni Association and 1950 Summerian Organization of the same school, under the presidency of Mr. Vicente D. Quitoriano, a public school teacher, donated a concrete flagpole to the municipality. Steel bridges were constructed in Nalasin, Laoa, Callaguip, Taytay, Suyo, and Monte. The charity hospital was renovated to house the charity physician, nurse, and sanitary inspector. Health and sanitation, which were the foundation of a happy nation, also improved, bolstered by the presence of BCG teams to prevent the spread of TB, which is the scourge of mankind.

Paoay, therefore, has undergone a great transformation. It has withstood all sorts of natural disasters, undergone violent economic, moral, political, social and cultural changes. It can boast of having the most [number of] professionals, excepting Laoag. The judges of three towns came from Paoay. The senior member of the Provincial Board hails from Paoay. It has two secondary schools and two supervisors for the south unit.

Economically, Paoay is well above board. Socially, it is highly efficient. Spiritually and morally, it is beyond compare. Culturally, it can fare well with any other progressive town; and politically, it has accomplished what no other town in the entire archipelago has done. These, therefore, prove to show that the individualistic trait of the people has been harnessed to a point that every effort and energy was put to the realization of the welfare of the town as a whole, which is the obsession of any sane, right-thinking man. Paoay will always go with the trend of the times and will suffer in times of hardships and exude with pride and happiness in times of progress. (finished.)

[Note to the reader: These historical data were expected to come in two parts: the first dedicated to the history of a province, city, town, or barrio; and the second dedicated to folkways of the same. For the municipality of Paoay, either these were not written or were destroyed before the pages were scanned by the National Library of the Philippines. At any rate, the original document ended with page number 7 and, therefore, so does this transcription.]

Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of Paoay, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. The pagination in this transcription is as they appear in the original document.
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