MUNICIPALITY OF SINAIT (ILOCOS SUR), History and Culture of - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF SINAIT (ILOCOS SUR), History and Culture of - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Sinait

About these Historical Data

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Part I - History

REFERENCES: 1. 1. Trongco ti Sinait, Ilocos Sur by Imprenta E. K. Campos
2. Sinait Town Fiesta and Fair, 1952 Souvenir Program
Before the discovery of the Philippines on March 16, 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan, the locality was only a small village of a little over one hundred natives who well called the TIRONGS. By nature, these primitive inhabitants were a seafaring and war-like people. In their quest for adventure and riches, they travelled in their fast picturesque sailboats to the adjoining and even distant places, most particularly to those settlements and villages along the east coast of Ambos Ilokos (now Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, and La Union) and also Pangasinan. In those advantures, the Tirongs always challenged the people they encountered now and then to a fight and fought fierce battles against them. Often, if not always, those sturdy and brave natives came out victorious. Even in their daily chores, these people showed their warlike characteristics. It was not uncommon and surprising to witness one group challenging another faction in the village to a fight, a game, or even in rice-planting, stripping maguey, and also in fencing (escrima). When the renowned Spanish conqueror, Juan de Salcedo, was sent to explore, colonize, and conquer the Ilokos territory during the early years of the Spanish regime, he found the Tirongs of Sinait in the apogee of that social state. Small battles were a daily occurrence so that in the year 1573, when the locality was organized and established into a "pueblo," Salcedo name the community as "SIN-NAIT," a word in the local tongue which means "challenge" or "contest." As a new pueblo, Sin-nait embraced and included in its territorial limits such distant places as "RANCHERIA DE PAUR," now the municipality of Nueva Era, Ilocos Norte, and the southern barrios of Badoc town, in the same province. The vast territory, however, became decimate with the advent of time and the municipality is now only about seventy square kilometers, more or less, in area. It is bounded to the north by Sta. Cruz Creek, which runs perpendicular to the Manila North Road towards the China Sea. In the year 1575, the natives fully realized the hardships of pronouncing the term "SIN-NAIT," and to do away with the predicament, Salcedo decreed that one of the letters "N" be dropped from the word. Since then, and up to the present time, the municipality has always been called SINAIT. Nevertheless, it was only in 1913 when the new name was "deeded" by the government. Upon the initiative of the then-Municipal President, the late Don Calixto Cabacuñgan, the municipal council enacted a resolution to that effect — that is, "SINAIT" was adopted as the official name of the community, which resolution was duly approved by the Provincial Board of Ilocos Sur and the defunct Philippine Legislature.


Land area
Gross Income
Voting Population

70 sq. kilometers more or less
12,031 (1951 estimate)
₱20,041.00 as of Dec. 31, 1951
3,532 electors (as of the last election on Nov. 13, 1951)
Third class
During the Spanish regime, the first administrators of Sinait were called the "CAPITAN BAZAR."
Name of Capitan Bazar
1. Don Juan Cruz
2. Don Salvador Baltazar
3. Don Francisco Isidro
Year of administration

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Name of Capitan Bazar
4. Don Francisco Isidro
5. Don Gregorio Quijano
6. Don Francisco Isidro
7. Don Andres Baltazar
8. Don Juan Agbayani
9. Don Gaspar Quijano
10. Don Nicolas Abella
11. Don Ignacio de la Cruz
12. Don Juan Narciso
13. Don Ignacio de la Cruz
14. Don Buenaventura de la Cruz
15. Don Andres Eusebio
16. Don Andres Baltazar
Year of administration
17. Don Francisco Isidro 1807 - During this year, the so-called Revolt of Ambaristo occurred. Ambaristo and companys stopped at Sinait to call a brave woman leader who lived in the western part of poblacion, so she would join the company. The brave woman was named Maria, possessed supernatural powers. She refused to join Ambaristo and Ambaristo finally met defeat at Bantaway River, at San Ildefonso, Ilocos Sur.
18. Don Ignacio de la Cruz
19. Don Luis de los Santos
20. Don Cipriano de la Cruz
21. Don Ignacio de la Cruz
22. Don Andres Gascon
23. Don Felipe Agdeppa
24. Don Pedro de la Cruz
25. Don Bartolome Bautista
26. Don Juan Eusebio
27. Don Martin Antonio
28. Don Mariano Mercado
29. Don Juan Narciso
20. Don Vicente Santiago
1821 - Strong cholera epidemic, add typhoons.
21. Don Martin Antonio 1821

Next Title of Administrator was Alcalde

22. Don Luis de los Santos
23. Don Nicolas Madama
24. Don Fabian Agdeppa

Third Title of Administrators was Gobernadorcillo

25. Don Fabian Agdeppa
26. Don Mateo de los Santos
27. Don Juan de la Cruz
28. Don Martin Antonino
29. Don Marcos Abella
30. Don Martin Antonino
31. Don Maximo Ortega
32. Don Francisco de los Santos
33. Don Vicente Santiago
34. Don Fabian Agdeppa
35. Don Apolonio Cabacungan
36. Don Aniceto Agbayani
37. Don Mariano Resureccion
38. Don Justo Agleppa
39. Don Placido Esteban
40. Don Fabian Agdeppa
41. Don Mariano Resureccion
42. Don Andres Antonio
43. Don Fermin Agbayani
44. Don Juan Nepomuceno
1836 - Arrival of Tirongs
1843 - Cholera epidemic
45. Don Liberato Antonio Executive Order of the Governor General, family names were changed.
46. Don Apolonio Cabacungan
47. Don Quiterio Domingo

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Name of Gobernadorcillo
48. Don Mariano Resureccion
Year of administration
49. Don Luis Lorenzo de los Santos 1850 - Construction of the bridges south of Sinait (three stone bridges)
50. Don Juan de los Santos 1851 - The convent of Sinait was struck by lightning. Records were burned.
51. Don Gregorio de los Santos
52. Don Fermin Agbayani
53. Don Dionico Macatiag
54. Don Dieo Ilar
55. Don Victor Yañoria
56. Don Gregorio de los Santos
57. Don Pedro Ines Antonio
58. Don Pedro Gonzalo Antonio 1859-1860 - (Fines for not working in road projects started.)
59. Don Eduardo Ines
60. Don Gregorio de los Santos
61. Don Francisco Ibarra 1862-1863 - Strong typhoon during Holy Thursday, June 3, 1863 very strong earthquake
62. Don Pelagio Ibañez 1863-1865 - Beginning of two-year terms of gobernadorcillos.
63. Don Esteban Porz 1865-1867 - Cholera epidemic
64. Don Jose Mañoria 1867-1869 - Strong flood. Many people and animals died.
65. Don Ireneo Agbayani 1869-1871
66. Don Esteban Ines 1871-1873 - Tobacco monopoly started here.
67. Don Esteban Perez
68. Don Andres Anselmo Yarte
69. Don Pedro Imperio
1877-1879 - Famine
70. Don Luis Ibañez 1879-1881 - Construction of the Roman Catholic Cemetery
71. Don Antonio Bayuga 1881-1883 - Appearance of a comet. After that, there was a cholera epidemic
72. Don Justo Ysaña 1884-1885 - Fire in the Poblacion
73. Don Hilario Dayoan
74. Don Cayetano Ines
75. Don Doroteo Ines
1885-1887 - J.P. Court inaugurated.
1887-1889 - Rinderpest.
1889-1891 - Influenza epidemic.
76. Don Adriano Agdeppa 1891-1893 - Establishment of Sinait Band.
77. Don Juan Yadao 1893 - Last term for Gobernadorcillos. The new administrators were Capitanes Municipal.
78. Don Felix Ines 1896-1898 - Philippine Revolution
79. Don Adriano Agdeppa 1898-1899 - Beginning of the revolutionary government.
80. Don Adriano Agdeppa 1900 - Filipino-American War.
81. Don Ciriaco Ibus 1900-1901 - Surrender of General Tiño.
82. Don Doroteo Ines 1901-1903 - Inauguration of civil government.
83. Don Severo Agayan 1904-1906 - Establishment of the Philippine Independent Church

Title - Presidente Municipal

84. Don Cristino Ilustre 1906-1908
85. Don Hilarion Yadao
86. Don Antonio Ines
87. Don Cristiano Ilustre
88. Don Brigido Yasaña
1908-1909 - Famine, typhoon and flood
1910-1911 - Appearance of Comet Halley
89. Don Antonino INes Erection of Gabaldon School, Oct. 1911.
90. Don Calixto Cabacuñgan 1912-1916 - May 9, 1913, Strongest typhoon that ever visited the Ilokos Region
91. Don Marcelino Yañoria 1916-1919 - Establishment of Intermediate School in Sinait
92. Don Eulogio K. Campos 1919-1922 - Famine, drought, establishment of local observatory.
93. Don Liberato Agdeppa 1922-1925 - Local chapter of Legionarios del Trabajo.
94. Don Santiago Ibañez 1925-1928 - Sinait Petit Carnival.
95. Norberto Dayaoan 1928-1931 - Establishment of the municipal market.
96. Norberto Dayaoan 1932-1935
97. Santiago Ibañez 1936-1939 - Fencing of the municipal yard.
98. Fructuoso Ramos 1949-1942 - Japanese Occupation.
99. Atty. Vicente Vera Cruz 1942 - Occupation Mayor; Mayor was killed.

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100. Don Pedro Idica 1943-1945 - Military Mayor. Military government established guerrilla activities. March 12, 1945 - Burning of the town of Sinait by the Japanese Imperial Forces.
101. April 18, 1945 - Liberation (Don Pedro Idica still mayor.)
102. Mr. Norberto Dayoan 1945-1946 - Appointed Mun. Mayor
103. Mr. Norberto Dayaoan Inauguration of the Republic of the Philippines, July 4, 1946.
104. Mr. Norberto Dayaoan
105. Atty. Juan I. Ines
1952- Purok activities implemented. Sanitation enforced. Food production intensified. Public improvements on the march. Rehabilitation of Sinait in progress.

It is among the customs, traditions, and practices that baptism, marriage, and birthdays are celebrated with native dances, the singing of native songs, with string bands providing music for these affairs. These affairs are usuall celebrated with the eating of native candies, and with recipes of cooked rice, the meat of pigs, cows, carabaos, goats and chickens. The affairs last for a day. Deaths and burials are celebrated with solemnity. Usually, a dead body is accompanied by bands to the cemetery. Pompous burial ceremonies are usually resorted to by those who could afford to do so.

The most popular legends of this municipality are those of "How the Crucifix of Jesus Came to Sinait" (Itataud ni Apo. Sto. Cristo), the novels of Dña. Ines Cannuyan and Lam-ang, of Calanutian, Sinait, Ilocos Sur, and of Nalbuan, Naguil-lan, La Union. Doña Ines Cannuyan was a rich woman of Calanutian, Sinait. She had hundreds of suitors from Sinait and from neighboring provinces. But she would only marry those who were richer and braver than she was. Many suitors failed to win her. Her body was buried at Mt. Dayawen in Sinait. Her grave was dug nine candles deep, and the whole grave was covered with gold bullions. Some of the popular songs of the masses are those of "Ca-Peling," "Bannatiran," and "Manang Biday." The Dallidallot (ballad) is usually sung at the barrio parties. At night, the young boys and girls usually gather in the houses of friends and spend the night making riddles and puzzles while the girls work on their cotton spinning activities. In the barrios, the people usually tell time by looking at the sun during the day and hearing the rooster crow at night. However, there are now many barrio houses provided with timepieces or clocks as there are thousands who have gone to Hawaii or America, and there are also several who still have their husbands, or brothers, in Hawaii or in the United States.

Some of the local authors who are from this town are — Professor Leopoldo Yabes of the University of the Philippines, who wrote the famous epic of Lam-Ang and Cannuyan; Don Eulogio K. Campos, who used to print novels and plays like Yuyeng ni Gasat, etc., Mr. Eufemio Inofinada, a local composer of the old and new worlds of music; and Professor Juan Campos of the Aglipay Colleges, who used to write scientific articles. If some are interested on the writings of Professor Leopoldo Yabes, which are in manuscript form, you may just as well communicate with him in U.P. "Yuyeng ni Gasat," an Ilocano novel, which is also in manuscript form, you may just as well communicate with Don Eulogio Campos, Sinait, Ilocos Sur. For the music of Zarzuelas, I have to refer you to Mr. Eufemio Inofinada, Sinait, Ilocos Sur.

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Additional Information about Sinait, Ilocos Sur:

Principal Occupations

In general, the people are devoted to agriculture. Practically every family has a small farm to tend and cultivate. Although the inhabitants are not self-sufficient in rice, they reap a very rich harvest of palay every year. Corn, tobacco, sugar, pigs, and poultry are raised in commercial scale. Maguey and maguey articles such as sack bags, twine, handbags, and market bags have enriched many families. As a matter of fact, maguey is the only money crop of Sinait of international importance. Also, not only a few people have engaged themselves in this cultivation of their fishponds and every year, bangus, shrimps, and crabs are reaped for local consumption and marketed in and outside Sinait. Vast areas of lands along the seacoast are being prepared and transformed into fishponds.

Next in importance is fishing. With a very rich coastline some ten kilometers long, a great number of people have become skilled fishermen. From the month of March till the early days of July every year, bangus fry are also caught in great quantities and these are not only cultivated in local ponds but also exported to Malabon, Rizal, and also to Dagupan, Pangasinan.

During the dry season, the families of these fishermen also engage themselves in another lucrative industry — "salt-making." The live in their small huts along the shore which are considered as their second homes. Then, too, the fishermen, in their off days, gather coral rocks or limestone and kiln them into lime for local consumption, or for exportation to other towns.

Like in other towns, sugar and sugar derivatives like "basi" and vinegar are also manufactured, through crudely from sugarcane.

Weaving is, likewise, a very distinct home industry among womenfolk, particularly in the barrios. Almost every family in the barrios has a weaving loom in the house which is used extensively. Ilocano blanket and cloths are woven, the weavers utilizing the cotton yarn spun by them. It is not hard to find samples of Sinait-made blankets and cloths because of their colors and designs. Excess products of the people are being sold in Manila, Pangasinan, and in the Cagayan Valley, where they are bartered with rice, palay, or corn.

A little tanning is done in Barrio Ricudo, and the leather therein cured or tanned are exported to Vigan, the capital of the province. Tin and galvanized pails, and water containers are also locally made for home use and for export to adjoining towns.

And last, but not the least, a new enterprise has been introduced by a venturous citizen, Eufemio Inofinada. This is the making of toilet seats out of cement. Ninety-nine per cent of the flush toilets in Sinait are provided with such seats, and even people from many towns in the province and in Ilocos Norte are buying the locally-made toilet seats.

All the above economic activities of the people have brought happiness and contentment to every home.


The Municipality of Sinait by itself composes the Sinait District, and in the entire district, there are seven complete elementary schools distributed in the poblacion, and in the barrios of Dadalaquiten, Sta. Cruz, Binacud, Cadanglaan, Baracbac, and Pug-os. Complete primary schools are also maintained in the barrios of Teppeng, Tubigay, Sabañgan, Masadag, Sapriana, and Cabarambanan. In all these schools, there are more than three thousand school pupils tutored by 64 classroom teachers. The urgent need for a secondary school was greatly felt after the last global war, when hordes of young people could not go back to school

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because of financial difficulties, economic instability, and fear of an uncertain future because of the lawlessness and lack of peace and order in all places. With the assistance of Atty. Juan Pacis Ipac of the Bureau of Local Governments, Malacañan, who obtained the necessary permit for the establishment of a secondary school, ex-Mayor Norberto Dayoan and the cash contributions amounting to more than ₱10,000 from all member of the former bolo battalion, who made a lot of sacrifices during the days of the guerrilla forces operating in Northern Luzon, the present Sinait Provincial High School was established which now has an enrolment of about 300 students.


This municipality is one of the few towns in the country that is studded with places of historical importance and spots ornamented by God with picturesque and fascinating views.

1. Roman Catholic Church — The Roman Catholic church and the adjoining convent or parish house, which were built in 1574 and the few succeeding years, are two of the oldest edifices existing in the country today. The massive and thick walls, the huge doors that close the passageways to the buildings, where formerly the dignitaries of the Church were admitted, which also contain a door for the natives — a door within a door, so to speak, and the iron and wooden grilled windows thus reflecting the architecture, are truly picturesque and fascinating.

2. Sto. Milagroso or the Black Christ — In the sanctuary of the Roman Catholic church is also enshrined the famous Sto. Milagroso which, as alleged by the devout Roman Catholic believers, is possessing of miraculous powers. People from other towns and provinces come to Sinait to pay their homage to the historical image every Friday of the week.

3. Aran Cave — This used to be the abode of a legendary cannibal called "Aran." It is a well-polished cave of marble and granite ten meters long and deep in the northern tip of the Marnay Mountain almost six kilometers northeast of the town proper. The place can be reached by bull-cart or jeep after harvest.

4. Bantay Balitok — This is a mountain fifteen kilometers east of Sinait. Parts are covered with trees but the greater part is barren or has no grass at all. On dark nights, this mountain is glowing with glittering lights. It is suspect that this mountain contains mines of gold or diamonds.

Submitted by:
(SGD.) Maximino V. Ines

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(bY Mr. Juan F. Espejo)

Many, many years ago, in a small valley surrounded by hundreds of bamboo groves and "madre de cacaos," at the northern tip of Ilocos Sur along the national highway, lived a group of peace-loving people. These people were farmers who tilled their small farms diligently. They became prosperous through the able leadership of Koro, who used to meet his people in the evening after their daily tasks were done. He was assisted by a modest, kind, beautiful wife, who used to serve the people a drink known as "tajo." His wife was known by the people as Sata, the kind.

Everybody respected and cooperated with them in all their undertakings until they were disturbed by another group of people who lived nineteen kilometers north of their place. The people of Koro fought back the invaders. Several invasions were made of their village, by they were all ably repelled by his people.

The invaders stopped or rested for almost two years to gain strength, to recover from their losses, and to prepare for another invasion.

At that time, Koro did not relax his preparations to defend his group. He worked hard to encourage the people. He vowed to his people that if the invaders ever tried to invade them again, he will capture the leader.

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After several months, the invaders tried hard to capture the place of Koro. Fighting lasted for almost a week. Several warriors of the two groups perished in the fight. The invading group lost so much that they were forced to retreat in disorder. The people of Koro took advantage of their disorderly retreat that his people rushed to them.

True to his words, Koro singled out the leader of the retreating force and subdued him.

The subdued leader was released only upon payment of a hatful of gold which his people paid. He was also made to promise Koro that he and his people would never cross the place marked by him. The mark was a cross on the path leading to the place of Koro. It was a cross over the duty path.

Not long after that, the Spaniards visited the place of Koro and Sata. They were warmly received by the people. Because of the hospitality of the people, the people placed a big cross on the spot where Koro marked the ground for others not to cross, and called it Santa Kores in honor of Sata and Koro. The people were proud of this name before, now and forever, for it symbolized the cooperation and bravery of the people.

Respectfully submitted:
Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of the Town of Sinait, 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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