MUNICIPALITY OF GATTARAN, CAGAYAN, Historical Data Part 1 - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF GATTARAN, CAGAYAN, Historical Data Part 1 - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Gattaran, Cagayan



About these Historical Data

[Cover Page]

Republic of the Philippines
Department of Education
Division of Cagayan
Gattaran District



1. Mr. Eulogio Turingan
2. Miss Celestina Coloma
3. Miss Susana P. Marcelo
4. Miss Perpetua A. Ralleta
5. Mrs. Lourdes T. Santos
6. Mr. Juan P. Marcelo
7. Mr. Abraham Edisane



This compilation has been done by the teachers of Gattaran District (Gattaran and Lasam) using all available resources including the recollections of old people who were so generous to help the teachers in gathering the data. Due to the ravages of the last world war, records could hardly be secured for further reference. Hence, old people were mainly consulted.

To all those friends who, directly or indirectly, helped in furnishing the data in this compendium, the Gattaran District Teachers and the undersigned are greatly indebted.

Gattaran, May 9, 1953.

District Supervisor

[Table of Contents]

- oOo -


Foreword - Bernabe P. Santiago - D/S
History and Cultural Life of the Town Gattaran
Part One: History
Part Two: Folkways
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Aguiguican
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Baracaoit
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Calaoagan Bassit
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Calaoagan Dackel
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Capissayan
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Cullit
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Cumao
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Cunig
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Dummun
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Guising
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Lapogan
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Naddungan
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Palagao-Newagac
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of San Vicente
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Sidem
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Tagumay
Page 1

Pages 2-10
Pages 11-20
Pages 21-23
Pages 24-25
Pages 26-27
Pages 28-29
Pages 30-34
Pages 35-36
Pages 37-38
Pages 39-40
Pages 41-48
Pages 49-50
Pages 51-53
Pages 54-56
Page   57
Page   58
Pages 59-61
Pages 62-63

[p. 1]


1. Present official name of the town: GATTARAN

2. Former name or names and their meanings or derivations:

The former name of the town was "Gattac," meaning a steep bank of the river, and the people living in this place called themselves "I-Gattaran." When the Spaniards explored the place where Gattaran is now located, one of them inquired how the natives called the spot where they lived. They answered, "Gattac, and we call ourselves I-Gattaran." With this information, the Spaniards eliminated the letter "I" from the word "I-Gattaran" and, from that time on, they called the town "Gattaran."

3. Date of establishment: May 20, 1623.

4. Names and social statuses of the founders:

Vicar - Rev. Fr. Jeronimo Moser, Dominican Order.
Friars - 1. Rev. Fr. Francisco de Suejos, Dominican Order; 2. Rev. Fr. Braulio Prieto, Dominican Order.

5. Names of persons who held leading official positions in the community, with the dates of their tenures, if possible:



1. Don Francisco Guzman
2. Don Juan Bayucan
3. Don Andres Guzman


Municipal Presidents (in chronological order):

1. Mr. Agustin Tapiru
2. Mr. Antonio Pattuinan
3. Mr. Juan Bayucan
4. Mr. Elias Estabillo
5. Mr. Victorino Belleza
6. Mr. Luis Adviento
7. Mr. Ignacio Baculi
8. Mr. Juan Talamayan
9. Mr. Elias Estabillo (2nd Term)
10. Mr. Andres Mangupag
11. Mr. Juan Talamayan (2nd Term)
12. Mr. Mateo Castro
13. Mr. Marciano Talamayan


Municipal Mayors:

1. Mr. Melecio Adviento
2. Atty. Hipolito Mandac


Municipal Mayor:

1. Mr. Melecio Adviento

Neighborhood Associations:

1. Mr. Felipe Lozada, District President
2. Mr. Guillermo T. Cortez, District Secretary


Municipal Mayor:

Atty. Hipolito Mandac, until the latter part of 1942.


Municipal Mayors:

1. Atty. Candido P. Verzosa
2. Mr. Angel Mandac

[p. 2]


Municipal Mayor
1. Atty. Hipolito Mandac
1. Mrs. Trinidad L. Lozada


Municipal MayorS
1. Mr. Patrocinio Agbisit
2. Mr. Delfino Liban
1. Mr. Delfino Liban
2. Mr. Fernando Y. Villegas

Municipal Secretaries:

1. Mr. Ricardo Ramirez
2. Mr. Guillermo T. Cortez

Municipal Councilors:
(Under Agbisit)
1. Mr. Luis Rosacia
2. Mr. Joaquin Agatep
3. Mr. Cipriano Saguilig
4. Mr. Juan Tumaliuan
5. Mr. Rosendo Salvador
Municipal Councilors:
(Under Liban)
1. Mr. Marcos Bumatay
2. Mr. Andres Mangupag
3. Mr. Rosendo Salvador
4. Mr. Paulo de los Santos
5. Mr. Mariano Tumamao
6. Mr. Angel Jokico

Municipal Treasurers:

1. Mr. Arturo F. Rosales
2. Mr. Guadalupe Bayuga*
3. Mr. Agustin Balisi
4. Mr. Jose de Asis
5. Mr. Pacifico Calling (Actg.)
* Possibly Miss or Mrs. since Guadalupe is normally a name given to women.

Justices of the Peace:

1. Judge Candido P. Verzosa
2. Judge Vicente Calfo
3. Judge Pedro Tajon
4. Judge Ignacio Alonzo

Chiefs of Police:

1. Mr. Bonifacio Andres 2. Mr. Dalmacio Tobias
3. Mr. Andres Bucaling

Postmaster: Mr. Leodivico Labuguen

President, Sanitary Division: Dr. Antonio Nolasco
Sanitary Inspector: Mr. Jose Taguinod


Municipal Mayor: Mr. Delfino Liban
Vice-Mayor: Mr. Pantaleon Samoy

1. Mrs. Trinidad L. Lozada
2. Mr. Mariano Tumamao
3. Mr. Isabelo Santiago
4. Mr. Simeon Rodrigo
5. Mr. Juan Tarubal
6. Mr. Antonino Quiambao

Municipal Secretary: Mr. Guillermo T. Cortez

[p. 3]

Municipal Treasurers:

1. Mr. Jose de Asis 2. Mr. Pacifico Calling (Actg)
3. Mr. Roque Taguba

Justice of the Peace: Judge Ignacio Alonzo

Chief of Police: Mr. Andres Bucaling

Postmaster: Mr. Leodevico Labuguen

President, Sanitary Division: Dr. Antonio Nolasco
Sanitary Inspector: Mr. Jose Taguinod

6. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.:

The only historical structures existing today are the Catholic church and the stairs made of bricks. The stairs are west of the convent.

7. Important facts, incidents, or events that took place:


Gattaran, as a municipality of Cagayan Province, was the result of the fusion of the three former ecclesiastical towns of Nassiping, Dummun, and Gattaran proper. According to chronicles, Nasiping is the oldest among the three, and it was founded on June 15, 1596, with Santa Catalina, the Virgy and Martyr, as the patron saint; Dummun was founded on May 24, 1598 and Gattaran on May 20, 1623. For ecclesiastical convenience, inasmuch as each of these towns had but a few inhabitants with one parish priest to administer their religious affairs, in 1877, by Diocesan Order from the Bishop of Nueva Segovia (Lal-lo), they were merged into one municipality. It is said that Rev. Fr. Francisco Suejos, a priest of the Dominican Order, was instrumental in the establishment of Gattaran as a municipality, and Don Francisco Guzman was the first Gobernadorcillo. Don Francisco Guzman was said to be an intelligent native and the son of a rich and influential family. He first served as a servant, then as a sexton of the first Spanish friars. He learned easily how to speak and write in the Spanish language, and because of his inteligence, Rev. Fr. Francisco Suejos recommended him as the first gobernadorcillo of the municipality.

Rev. Fr. Nolasco de Media and Rev. Fr. Domingo Campo, both Dominicans, introduced improvements in the church and convents. They acquired images and pieces of furniture. Rev. Fr. Santiago Capdevela, a Dominican, was the last of the friars to introduce improvements. He constructed the mason stairs, which is existing until now west of the convent. The stairs, according to the old people, reached the banks of the Cagayan River, for at that time, the river was near the convent. These stairs were used as a landing by the Spanish travelers and the friars in going upstream or downstream.

The last friar to serve under the Spanish occupation was Rev. Fr. Braulio Prieto. Don Juan Bayucan and Don Andres Guzman were the last gobernadorcillos.

According to records, the population of Gattaran was 399 in 1746, and 346 for Nassiping. In 1801, the combined population of Nassiping and Gattaran was 966; and in 1897, it was 2,148.

During the Spanish occupation, the people were not much interested in agriculture. They only planted corn, tobacco, and vegetables for their own use on the lands not far from their homes. They

[p. 4]

also planted rice in small patches by the kaingin method. It was not, then, encouraging to plant rice for the ricebirds damaged the crops and, consequently, the people could not harvest much.

Wild animals, like carabaos, deer, and pigs were in abundance. Fishes of all kinds in the Cagayan River, creeks and ponds were also in abundance. Wild bananas were woven into bastas and were used in wrapping bales of tobacco. There were plenty of forest products like bamboo, rattan, lumber, honey, etc. It was easy to hunt and to earn money by selling bastas and the forest products, and so the early settlers did not pay much attention to agriculture and to acquire lands.

The leaders of the communities, instead of promoting the welfare of the masses, quarelled among themselves or with the friars, with the result that Gattaran was much behind compared to her sister towns in the province.


The first municipal executive was President Mr. Agustin Tapiru. He was followed by Presidents Antonio Pattuinan, Juan Bayucan, Elias Estabillo, Victorino Belleza, Luis Adviento, Ignacio Baculi, Juan Talamayan, Elias Estabillo (2nd term), Andres Mangupag, Juan Talamayan (2nd term), Mateo Castro, and Marciano Talamayan.

At the end of the administration of President Antonio Pattuinan in 1906, the worst inundation visited Gattaran. It was said that only the tops of the tallest trees at Fugo Island were seen. Great quantities of crops, animals, and properties were washed away and drifted to the sea.

During the administration of President Juan Bayucan, the barrios of Nassiping west of the Cagayan River, except Calapangan west of Tambak Creek, were annexed to Tabang, and those east of the river with Calapangan were annexed to Gattaran. This was in 1908, and it was the last existence of Nassiping as a town as it was annexed to Gattaran.

Capitan Elias Estabillo was the most impressive municipal president of Gattaran because he was instrumental in bringing in many Ilocanos from the Ilocos provinces to settle in the unoccupied lands of this town. This policy was followed by Capitan Luis Adviento.

Tobacco prices rose during the administration of Mr. Ignacio Baculi, and it was during his time that some barrios were beginning to build houses of strong materials.

The second term of Capitan Juan Talamayan may be called the Progress of Public Education. It was the time when the present site of the central school was donated by him, and the Central School Building, which was burned during the Second World War, was about finished. He also encouraged the opening of more schools in the barrios.

It was during the administration of President Mateo Castro when the Central School Building was finished. The present market site was acquired during his time, and a market building was being constructed.

The last to serve under the title of Municipal President was Mr. Marciano Talamayan, a nephew of Capitan Juan Talamayan. He continued the projects of Mr. Castro and tried to improve the town by laying out some streets. The whole municipality of Gattaran was surveyed by the Bureau of Lands. The chief of the Cadastral Party was Mr. Macario Sevalla, and later on succeeded by Mr. Domingo Alcaraz.

[p. 5]


Mr. Melecio Adviento was the first Municipal Mayor during the Commonwealth Government. The Cadastral hearing was administered by Judge Ceferino Hilario at Gattaran until all cases were finished. The construction of the present municipal building was almost finished when he left the chair.

Atty. Hipolito Mandac was the next mayor. During his administration, the municipal building was finished and was inaugurated in September 1941. Four months after the inauguration of this magnificent building, World War II broke out. The Japanese forces arrived in Gattaran on December 11, 1941. As a result of this invasion, the municipal government lost all its records, Cadastral titles (owners' copies), furniture, and equipment valued at ₱7,196.00. Mayor Mandac and his councilors continued to function under the resistant government until forced to surrender.


Mr. Melecio Adviento was the first and only mayor during the Japanese occupation. At first, he was the mayor, the secretary, and the treasurer of the municipality. Later on, Mr. Antonio Guzman was the secretary and Mr. Avelino de la Cruz the treasurer. Mr. Cruz was relieved by Mr. Pacifico Calling when he left. Mr. Leonardo Guiyab succeeded Mr. Calling. The administration was divided into three stages: (1) the Reign of Terror; (2) the Reign of Subjugation; and (3) the Reign of Confusion.

(1) The Reign of Terror

Not many days after the appointment of Mr. Adviento as mayor, his house was assaulted by a squad of soldiers headed by Capt. Francis Camp. There was no casualty in the assault but the granary of Mr. Adviento was burned and the fire transferred to three houses which were totally burned. In retaliation, the mayor, with Japanese officers and soldiers, after several days crossed the Cagayan River to the barrio of Callao and burned the schoolhouse and other big houses. Not many days after this, Mayor Adviento sent out an order to all residents of the Centro to come back to their houses and, upon refusal, the penalty of death and burning of their homes would be imposed.

(2) The Reign of Subjugation

Side by side with the reign of terror was also the reign of subjugation. By strict order, the people came in a group to the Centro to pay homage to the Japanese Emperor and to the Japanese officers and soldiers as well. They did this by standing in two rows before the Japanese garrison (Central School Building), and everyone was to bow in the way the Japanese honor their emperor. The healthy was well as the weak and invalid had to bow and stand and wait for his chance to get his ribbon (a piece of cloth 2" x 3" with a Japanese flag design). Anyone who was found without a ribbon was considered a bandit.

This was followed by a series of lectures from week to week by Mayor Adviento. People, by strict order, should come to town to here these lectures. These lectures dealt with the weaknesses and the impossibility of the U. S. Forces to regain the Philippines and also of the good that the Japanese made and their humanitarian mission to redeem Southeast Asia. Early in the morning, before these lectures, the people were required to line up in front of the central school ground to have some exercise directed by Japanese soldiers. The Japanese Governor Nicanor Carag and party also lectured about the project of the Kalibapi and advised the people to return to their homes and be at peace, for in the forest, people will not die of bullets but may die of malaria. These lectures were followed by the organization

[p. 6]

of the Neighborhood Associations. The association was a group of ten families with one acting as head leader and another as secretary. There were about three hundred sixty Neighborhood Associations in Gattaran. The duties of the head leaders were to inform the mayor about the presence of bandits, persons not known or familiar to his group, and many others.

Later on, these neighborhood associations were organized into districts under the administration of a district president. All in all, Gattaran had twenty-four districts. The District Presidents formed a league in which Mr. Felipe Lozada was the president and Mr. Guillermo T. Cortez was the secretary.

During this period, the Japanese Army gave an order to the District Presidents through the Mayor that inter-provincial commerce was going to be restricted by military authority, and later on was forbidden, resulting in the confiscation of rice and other commodities consigned to the Ilocos provinces.


It appeared for sometime that the condition of living was good and bearable, but after some days, Commander Sirayama established his garrison in Dummun and the people in the municipality began to be in confusion. The people were tortured without justifiable cause. Sirayama was the most feared Japanese officer among all Japanese officers in the municipality. Other garrisons were established in different places.

By order of the mayor, these garrison were given daily rations provided by the people through the Neighborhood Associations. The Japanese, in spite of these somewhat voluntary rations, went out in groups to get whatever foodstuffs they liked, and often at the point of their bayonets. People often lost all their chickens and pigs because of this practice.

The people were arranged in groups by the mayor to work from six to fifteen days with different garrisons in the municipality and, in some cases, in different towns as far as the interior forests of Gonzaga. People, of course, were paid for their rations and labor. They were paid with the Mickey Mouse money, but hundreds of pesos of this money could not even buy a suit.

The last part of the year 1944 was the worst year for the Japanese. They got suspicious of everything that the Japanese mayor had to evacuate also to somewhere in Tubungan for his safety.


After the massacre of Commander Sirayama and party at Peru, the guerrillas under Co. B, 11th Infantry got more active on the west side of the Cagayan River. The Japanese became more aggressive than ever before. Lt. Mariano Arce, CO of Co. B, ordered the evacuation of the people along the banks of the Cagayan River to farther west. He also gave orders that people on the other side of the river from the east should also evacuate and cross the Cagayan River for safety. This work was entrusted to Mr. Felipe Lozada and Mr. Guillermo T. Cortez. When the evacuation was in full swing, a squaded headed by Corporal Pedro Edrozo, B Co., massacred three Japanese at Calapangan Norte. In retaliation, about four hundred Japanese landed at Gongogon, Callao, and proceeded toward the south. They captured civilians who had not evacuated, including the bolo man on guard, and massacred them all. The corpses were burned in a single hip. Eighty-nine men, women, and children were burned on Feb. 15, 1945.

[p. 7]

A plstoon under Lt. Crisologo of F, Co., fought against the the Japanesge that went to Callao but was outmumbered and almost encircled. Two of his soldiers were killed. After this, the Japanese guarded very well the Tokyo side (Eastern side of the Cagayan River) so that the evacuation of the people from the eastern interior of Gattaran was difficult and risky.

To save the inhabitants from the east, an S-2 agent, Mr, Delfino Liban, the present mayor, was sent with volunteer guides to the eastern interior side of Gattaran to help the peopls evacuate through the thick forests and hills behind the Japansse line. This work was, of course, inconceivable, but it was successful and almost everyone in the east was saved except those who were under the custody of the Japanese. The first to be guided by Agent Liban on his mission was Japanese Mayor Adviento with his family, and others including Mr. Paul Foster, a U.S pilot whose plane crashed at Buguey.


The foot of and the hills of Tagao and Zinundungan Valley were so overcrowded. The people of East Gattaran, some from Lallo, Camalaniugan, and other municipalities established their residence in these places. The Military authority feared that epidemics and hunger might occur at any time. Lieutenant Rogelio Diesto of G Co. called for a conference to remedy the situation. As a result, the election of Military Municipal officials was conceived.

In March 1945, the election was made at the Co. G Headquarters at Macatabang. Only individuals who did not participate in the Japanese Administration were allowed to elect and to be elected. Atty. Candido Verzosa was elected Mayor, and Mr. Paulo de los Santos Vice Mayor. At first, the civil administration was agreable to the military and the residents were beginning to be at peace, but there was a time when the requirements of the army were too heavy for the civil officers that some were imprisoned in monkey houses.

When the Liberation Army permanently quartered in the Centro, the Civil Military Government transferred there. Mr, Angel Mandac was appointed to succeed Mayor Verzosa.

When the Province was liberated, Mr. Hipolito Mandac returned to the Executive Chair. The Vice-Mayor, Mr. Aurelio, Palingayan died already, and Mrs. Trinidad L. Lozada was appointed Vice-Mayor.

The work of this administration was to recover lost equipment, furniture and properties of the Municipal Government. It also reconstituted the lost records of the government, together with the hard work of rehabilitating the municipality, government, and people. In the work of recovery, only one long carriage typewriter was realized, in reconstitution, no success, and rehabilitation only little, even if Mickey Mouse Money was plenty for it was out of circulation already.


After the induction of His Excellency, President Manuel Roxas, the Liberal Party proposed for the appointment of Liberal members for the municipal officials. The appointed officials relieved the last officials under the Commonwealth Government and were the first to serve under the Republic by appointment. They were inducted on July 1, 1946.

This administration continued the work of rehabilitation. The people lost most of their farm animals and farm implements during the operations of war. They did not have ready money to buy what they needed, in spite of the fact that the people did their best to plant rice

[p. 8]

and corn due to crop failure during the early part of the administration of Mayor Agbisit occurred the worst hunger ever observed in Gattaran.

The first election of the Republic made Mr. Delfino Liban Mayor; Fernando Y. Villegas Vice-Mayor; and Messrs. Marcos Bumatay, Andres Mangupag, Rosendo Salvador, Paulo de los Santos, Mariano Tumamao, and Angel Jokico Councilors. They were sworn into their offices on January 1, 1948. The pet projects of Mayor Delfino Liban are the construction of barrio roads and improvements of the streets and the site of the municipal building.


Gattaran is about sixty kilometers long, from Allacapan two word the east to the Pacific Ocean, and more than twenty-four kilometers wide from Lallo toward the south to Alcala. It has sixty-two barrios and sitios before the creation of the municipality of Lasam. More than one-third of its area is level and adapted to rice, corn, tobacco and products. Most of its hilly and mountainous area is covered by commercial forest of every class of timber, rattan, and other forest products. It is said that mines of coal and iron exist in the mountains, but, as yet, they are not touched.

Two-thirds off the level area is already cleared and some are under cultivation. Because of the loss of farm animals during the war, the cultivation of the cleared area is not properly done. If agriculture will only return to its normal conditions in 1941, this municipality can have enough surplus to supply four municipalities of its size.

Up to this time, agriculture, lumbering, and the sale of rattan are the main industries. The merchants who deal in the commercialization of the excess agricultural products are the Chinese; lumbering is by both Filipinos and Chinese, and so too with rattan.


The estimated annual revenue and tax income of the municipal government is twenty-seven thousand two hundred sixty pesos.


Tulong Stone, the natural boundary between Rizal and Gattaran. A huge piece of stone crossing the Zinundungan Creek about 70 meters long and about 66 meters wide. Below this stone is a hollow 20 meters wide and 7 meters high. Through this hollow, the Zinundungan Creek passes through in reaching its bed on the Gattaran side of the creek. Mapaso Fountains are located about 45 kilometers east of the Centro at the source of the Dummun Creek. It is noted for its medicinal property. Both of these spots are hard to reach by the tourist for lack of good roads.

The Centro-Cumao Road, if finished and extended to Mabono, the Mapaso Fountains may easily be reached. so with the Tulong Stone. If the Callao to Peru Road is finished, it will be easy to reach it.


In 1903, the population of Gattaran was 2,082; and in 1918, 6,183; in 1939, 22,700; in 1948, 26,261. When Lasam became a town, the population of Gattaran became 15, 956, while Lasam got 10,305.


[Note to the reader: The bottom of this page under the heading "Sources of Information" was not included in the scan of the original document.]


Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of the People of the Municipality of Gattaran, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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