MUNICIPALITY OF PINILI, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF PINILI, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Pinili

About these Historical Data

[Cover page]

History of the Town and Barrios
of Pinili

[p. 1]



In the year 1900 and in the years before that year, the place now called Pinili was a thick forest. What could be seen in the place then were narrow trails of wild hogs, deer, and a few planters who cultivated a very small portion of the land.

During the Filipino-American War in 1900, Mons. Gregorio Aglipay gathered many men in Ilocos Norte to resist the Americans. The Filipinos, being weaker in military tactics than the enemies, and with less superior arms, were sometimes beaten, so that they made their retreat to this place to save their lives. The determined leader of the Filipino soldiers, Mons. Gregorio Aglipay, ordered men to climb the tallest tree on the hill to watch for the coming of the Americans. When the watchmen saw that the enemies were coming, they (the watchmen) would give signals to the soldiers so that they could get ready for the fight. Then, a good time came when it was made the home of men as told in the following accounts.

During the American War, Mons. Gregorio Aglipay told the people to build scattered houses in a group so that it would be easy for them to help each other. In 1901, when the war was over, the people most of the time were Sandatahan (Filipino soldiers without guns), held a meeting. These people were natives of Badoc, Paoay, and Batac. They agreed to build their houses in a group and form a big barrio in the place which was once used as a refuge of Father Gregorio Aglipay. They made their covenant. Messers. Ignacio Lafradez and Gabriel Pagdilao were chosen to be their leaders.

The Municipal President of Badoc at that time suspected Mr. Ignacio Lafradez and Mr. Gabriel Pagdilao of initiating a revolution, so that these men were imprisoned in Badoc and then in Laoag. With these two, Mr. Buenaventura Lacuesta of Badoc was also imprisoned without knowing his fault. For lack of evidence, the Provincial of Ilocos Norte freed them.

In the same year, 1919, after the conference of Mr. Ruperto Valbuena with Hon. Faustino Adiarte, the sympathetic and helpful representative of the district at that time, a petition was made requesting the authorities of approve the organization of Pinili into a municipality. The petition was signed by about 1,300 men who were residing in the following barrios to compose the municipality: Pinili, Puritac, Badio, Apatot, Capangdanan, Baybayaoas, Puzol, Tartarabang, Salanap, Pugaoan, Liliputen, Sacritan, Dalayap, Upon, Buanga, Cabaroan, Tugay, Sto. Tomas, Baracbac, Lubong, Uneg Daga, Nagrigoan, and Insupit.

On November 28, 1919, the Provincial Board of Ilocos Norte passed a Resolution No. 883 requesting His Excellency, the Governor General, to order the separation of the barrios named above from the municipalities and their organization as a separate municipality called Pinili, effective January 1, 1920. On Dec. 20, 1919, the Governor General signed the Executive Order No. 92 ordering Pinili to become a municipality. The inauguration of the Municipalit of Pinili was held with a fitting ceremony on January 1, 1920.

[p. 2]



In 1904, sixteen years before Pinili became a municipality, a Philippine Independent Church was erected with the permission of Mons. Gregorio Aglipay. The church was built under the leadership of Messers Ignacio Lafradez, Gabriel Pagdilao, Roman Albano, mariano Coloma, Pedro Coloma, Modesto Pagdilao, Eulalio Panilo, and others. Most of the people of Pinili are members of the Philippine Independent Church.

The following Philippine Independent Church priests were successively assigned to Pinili: Rev. Vicente Albano, Rev. Fr. Simeon Flojo, Rev. Fr. Bernardo Flojo, Rev. Fr. Leandro Evangelista, Rev. Fr. Simon RaƱa, Rev. Fr. Apolinario Pulido, Rev. Fr. Bernardo Flojo, Rev. Fr. Marcelo Castro, Rev. Fr. Eustaquio Franco, and Rev. Fr. Regidor Lagasca (present priest).

In Pinili, there are some members of the Church of Christ.

Very recently, a Catholic Church was also established in this municipality with Rev. Fr. Faustino Balancio.

The three men, Messers Ignacio Lafradez, Gabriel Pagdilao, and Buenaventura Lacuesta, came at once to this place called Pinili and planned with the people to build a municipality instead of a barrio only. The people hastened to clear the land while Mr. Buenaventura Lacuesta went to Manila in 1901 to ask permission from the Philippine Commission to build a municipality. He was ordered by the authorities to send them a (place) map of the place that would consist the municipality, and the number of inhabitants. On his return to Pinili, the people hastened to build their houses, divided the site into blocks, and made the streets. He prepared that data he was required to submit. The southern part of the place selected for the town site was a part of Badoc, and the northern part was a part of Paoay. Those who were from Paoay and Batac settled in the northern part and those from Badoc settled in the southern part.

The settlement was called Pinili (meaning selected or chosen) because it was the place selected by the people to build their houses in a group; because the settlers were selected, and because Mons. Gregorio Aglipay chose it as a place of refuge during the Filipino-American War.

On July 7, 1902, the cruel cholera epidemic brought Mr. Buenaventura Lacuesta to his final resting place. Mr. Ignacio Lafradez and Mr. Gabriel Pagdilao were left to be their leaders.

Year after year, the number of settlers increased by leaps and bounds, so to speak. Under the dual leadership of Mr. Ignacio Lafradez and Mr. Gabriel Pagdilao, the movement of the separation of Pinili as a municipality was not strong because the two leaders oftentimes had misunderstandings.

On March 31, 1919, Mr. Gabriel Pagdilao died. The loss of their leader did not discourage the people in their great mission to make Pinili a municipality. On April 15, 1919, the people chose Mr. Ruperto Valbuena, then a public school teacher in Pinili, energetic and a native of Badoc, to assume the leadership in the movement. Mr. Ruperto Valbuena and the inhabitants of the place did their best to work for the separation of Pinili from Badoc, Paoay and Batac, their mother towns.

[p. 3]



The inhabitants of Pinili originally came from Badoc, Paoay, and Batac. The total population of Pinili in 1920 was 6,993 and it was increased to 8,325 [as of] this writing. Most of the people of the municipality are agriculturists.


The municipality of Pinili has sixteen barrio schools and one complete elementary school in the central. The total enrolment in these schools is 1,850.

The following is a list of school administrators in Pinili since 1920.

Supervising Teacher or District Supervisor:

1. Mr. Mariano Marcos
2. Mr. Justino Galano
3. Mr. Anastacio Gerardo
4. Mr. Agapito Cabanos
5. Mr. Hilario Ventura
6. Mr. Aurelio C. Albano
7. Mr. Pablo Agbayani
8. Mr. Gregorio Roasa
9. Mr. Melchor Calzado (Supervising Principal)
10. Mr. Vivencio Diaz
11. Mr. Gregorio Sales (Present Supervisor)


1. Mr. Ruperto Valbuena
2. Mr. Nemesio de la Cuesta
3. Mr. Vicente A. Lazo
4. Mr. Vivencio Diaz
5. Mr. Benito Caluya
6. Mrs. Caridad Aquino
7. Mr. Mariano Albano
8. Mr. Juan Campos
9. Mr. Melchor Calzado


(SGD.) Mr. Melchor Calzado

Mr. Gregorio Sales

[p. 4]


That was way back in the days of yore, when civilization was entirely different from the present day civilization and when natives lived under the rule of a chieftain. The chieftain of the tribe which inhabited the present barrio of Pugaoan was popularly known as Pedey. Chieftain Pedey's rule embraced the barrios now called Salnap, Bungro and Pugaoan. As chieftain or ruler, Pedey was among powerful among the tribe, serving as executive officer when it came to administration and commanding officer when his tribe was against another tribe. The practice then was to go to war against other tribes to find out who was the most powerful among the rulers, and Pedey proved himself mightiest among the rulers of the nearby tribes.

Pedey was strong. He had [a] well-developed physique and [was] unsurpassed in physical strength. He was able to carry each on his palms a tineja full of water, using bamboo branches to display the heads of rulers he captured in different encounters and, thus, he was called the notorious headhunter. That is why there are many bamboo clumps growing along the sides of the mountains of Pugaoan, as a result of the stacks Pedey displayed the heads.

Nagribcan, a barrio south of [the] Badoc River, was also the place of another tribe. This tribe was in constant war against the tribe of Pedey. Incensed by the repeated attacks of the chieftain of Nagribcan, Chieftain Pedey prepared for the counter-offensive. In this offensive, Pedey recalled all his able-bodied warriors and went to attack the enemies south of the Badoc River with spears, bows and arrows, and bolos. The warriors of Nagribcan proved invulnerable to the warriors of Pedey at the beginning of the fight. After hard fighting, and not either side surrendered to the other, Chieftain Pedey, who did not wish to be attacked again, determined to put an end to the subsequent encounters. With all his might, he resorted to his last tactic to vanquish the enemy. He blew the enemy with his mouth, and like a gust of [something, likely wind], all the warriors of the other side were shocked almost to death. They were jolted as if by lightning, and because the rival ruler of Pedey could not do anything to equal the strength of Pedey, he and his warriors surrendered with promises that he and his men would be an ally to him in all succeeding wars against other tribes. And because of the heavy blow from Pedey's mouth that almost killed the ruler of Nagribcan and his warriors, the place where Chieftain Pedey lived was named Pugaoan to indicate the home place of the chieftain blower.

With this legend about the place, it must be noted that Pugaoan is the barrio where the Polendeys are mostly found. This is so probably because they may be the direct descendants of the mighty ruler, Chieftain Peday of long ago.

Collected and submitted by:

Mr. Cesareo P. Albano

[p. 5]


WAY BACK during the Spanish regime, barrio Buanga was once a mountainous [place] and covered with thick forest situated near the boundary of Batac and Banna, Ilocos Norte. Buanga proved to be a good hideout during the revolutionary period and not only this, but more to its being most famous for hunting. Between the mountains, there is a river which has two branches, one coming from the east and the other from the west, whereby this resembles a letter "Y." The few natives decided to build their houses on three different sitios, namely: Gagabuten, Sulbec, and Agudaya. Along the banks of the eastern branch of the river was being called "Sulbec." The western branch was also called as "Gagabuten" while that of the southward flow of the river was called "Agudaya."

The settlers divided themselves into three groups, thereby assigning [the] Alcoy family, a notorious guerrilla of World War No. I [this part may be questionable because the Philippines was not directly involved in the First World War], to live in sitio Gagabuten. Sitio Sulbec was being inhabited by the Gamet and Sacalamitao families. As to sitio Agudaya, being the largest of the three sitios, [it] was inhabited by [the] families Andag, Agulay, Mata, Abrogena and Ababa. Clearing and conversion of these sitios to cultivated lands took a long, hard and very painful process. It is true that up to the present time, the family situation is the same as before.

Because this place was a virgin forest, hunting was the only way of livelihood of the inhabitants. Almost every place along the banks of the river were roaming places of wild animals. For this reason, the hunters have almost travelled to all parts of this place. Consequently, to their amazement, they found out a body of deep water at the mouth of the river. On the bank of the river, there stood or grew up together a giant sized "Bua," as it is being called in our native dialect, and a mango tree, both bearing many fruits. No matter how big the mango tree was, still the Bua or buyo tree could be seen towering above the mango tree. Around the place or under the trees was very cool [at] all times of the day. At noon, when the wild animals could no longer endure the heat of the sun, they usually came to this place to drink, bathe, and to cool themselves off. Inasmuch as this place was being deep because it was being bordered by high mountains on its three sides, it proved to be the best place to corner wild animals. To the inhabitants, this place was the best place for hunting for they would be able to catch all animals found in this place, besides bringing home mango and bua fruits.

This spot, therefore, became very common and after, all the people thought of naming the place as Buanga coined from the two words Bua ang Mango, which grew together like wife and husband.

This is how barrio Buanga got its name."

[p. 6]


In the early days when Pinili was not yet a municipality, a group of people lived on the slopes of a short range of mountains running from the northt to the south, until Badoc River. This settlement was considered as one district or barrio. The leaders found that the district was very big, so they subdivided it into smaller barrios. It was found out that the center as well as the richest part was found in this place, so they named it "Puzo," meaning heart. As time went on, the name Puzol was used more by the people as its name, and it has retained its name up to the present.
Mr. Domingo A. Ramos
Transcribed from:
History of the Town and Barrios of Pinili, 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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