MUNICIPALITY OF LUMBAN (LAGUNA), Historical Data of Part I - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF LUMBAN (LAGUNA), Historical Data of Part I - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Lumban, Province of Laguna



About these Historical Data

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District of Pagsanjan


Prepared by:

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Part One - History

The town of Lumban lies along the border of Laguna de Bay, nestling snugly at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Lumban was, for a time, the center of all missionary activities in Laguna. Rev. Fr. Juan de Plasencia had his residential home in this place, which was then the head mother of the towns of Laguna. The original church of wood and thatch was destroyed by fire and was replaced by the first stone church ever built in the province. The 12th day of February 1560 was an epoch in history, because on that day, this place was declared a town and named Lumban.

The Poblacion derived its name from a tree called lumbang, which was growing abundantly in this locality. Its real name is Lumbang, but the Spanish friars made it Lumban. During the Spanish regime, the oil used for the lamps came from the lumbang trees.

During the early part of the Spanish regime, Capitan Heneral Gomez Perez Dasmariñas appointed Juan Tanawin as Capitan. Next to him was the Teniente Mayor, who acted as secretary to the Capitan. Then next was the Teniente Sementeria, who was in charge of the fields. Next to him was the Teniente de Ganado, who took charge of the animals.

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The first Maestros Municipal were Tomas Hocson, Mariano Abella, and the Maestras Municipal were Bernardina Valdepeñas, a native of this place; Felisa Rivera of Pagsanjan; and Felicidad San Jose of Magdalena; and Eusebia Saldaña, a beautiful lady from Pakil.

In 1845, the Capitan Heneral of the Philippines was Don Narciso Claveria. (The Capitan of the Philippines was Manuel de Jesus.) Some Filipino names such as Pitonggatang, Budhi, Bedloc, Vala, Magyanon, Banlong, Langopez, Baroc, and Tolo sounded very awful to the ears of the friars. For this reason, Don Claveria changed these family names and, instead, Spanish family names were used which were taken from Spain.

After the declaration of the town by the Royal Audiencia in 1590 to be an independent municipality, a nipa municipal building was erected. Since then and throughout the Spanish regime, the town was ruled by a kapitan and later changed to alcalde municipal, all number 261 from the first down to the last kapitan.

At the latter part of the Spanish regime, Jose Babeda was appointed Hepe Local. The Vocales were Marcelino Dimaano, Andres Morales, Tiburcio Casedo, and Froilan Carga. The Secretario was Eugenio Aquino. The Hepe de Policia was Capitan Mateo delos Reyes. The Hepe Local acted as treasurer.

Formerly, the towns of Paete, Longos, San Juan, Pagsanjan, Cavinti, and Sta. Cruz were once the barrios of

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Lumban. It was said that three brothers from the other places, namely Gabriel, Dionisio, and Antonio Puhawan, came to this town and succeeded the Aetas who made the caingins in the place before 1410. These three brothers were responsible for the first celebration of the town fiesta. The story is still retold that when these three brothers were working on their kaining in the present site of the Roman Catholic Church, they saw the image of the town patron, San Sebastian, on top of the big sampaloc tree. Having noticed the appearance of the patron saint, they knelt and prayed. They told the incident to the early inhabitants of the place. Then began the first town fiesta. These three brothers were the ones who managed the making of the church.

In 1898, during the American occupation, the Hepe Local elected in our town was Raymundo Ebarvia; the Vice Hepe Local was Jose Mercado. The consejeros consisting of the Delegado de Justicia was Don Jose Rabacca, Delegado de Policia was Don Regino Sanchez, Delegado de Rentas was Don Martin Aaliwin, and the Secretario was Felipe Ranay.

Later on, the Hepe Local was changed to the Municipal President up to 1935, when the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines was inaugurated.

During the revolution from 1896 to 1900, the following soldiers, Dionisio Alvarez, known as alias Porong, Mateo Gonzales, known as Alias Motio, and Delfin Casedo died.

During World War II, the following incidents took

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place in our town. On January 17, 1942, the Japanese came to this town just to see the attitude of the people, and then returned to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. In February 1942, the Japanese returned to this place and stayed in our school. The used the desks for fuel. In March 1942, the Japanese came again with ninety American soldiers as prisoners. They were guarded in the old show house of Lumban. In June 1942, Thursday, the Fil-American guerrillas entered the show house and killed seven Japanese guards. They were able to get only one American soldier, George Lightman by name. They escaped by means of boat. Many Japanese came to run after the guerrillas. The Japanese took away the American soldiers from the show house, and they were taken to the houses of Victor Pacheco, Elpidio Pacheco, and Ignacio Cacalda. They selected eleven stout Americans and killed them. The same month, June 1942, they inaugurated the wooden bridge made by the Americans through the command of the Japanese. In July 1942, General Morioca of the Japanese came to the town just to see it.
In October 1943, two trucks of Japanese came with ammunition. They went to Segunda Pulo and they shot the house where Colonel Reynato Reynoso and Major Bernal lived. In July 1943, two trucks of Japanese came and they ordered all the men of Lumban to go to the church. The spies pointed out the guerrillas. In July 1943, many trucks of Japanese came and they ordered all men from 15 years old to go to the municipal building, but because of the hard rain, they were told to go inside

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the church. They forced the people to surrender and the first to surrender were the heads of the town headed by the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Alejandro Lualhati, who surrendered to free the people. On July 16, 1943, all people were released except Ambrocio Reyes, Leopoldo Samonte, Eduardo Barreto, Juan Sabido, Emilio Borromeo, Juan Villamor, Eulogio Abayari, and Guillermo Carga. They were taken to a place near the cemetery of Longos. They were all killed. On July 18, 1943, the Japanese took Mamerto Badillo and Juan Badillo, and they were shot to death in the cemetery of Lumban. On July 19, 1943, the Japanese captured guerrilla heads Colonel Reynoso and Major Bernal. They were tied and escorted by the Lumban people with pointed bamboos. Upon reaching the cemetery, the Japanese ordered the Lumban people to strike them with the bamboos near the pit where they fell dead. On October 14, 1943, the Japanese inaugurated the independence of the Philippines. There was a parade around the town for four days, and the two bands of Lumban went around.

On February 15, 1944, the Japanese took the following men — Juan Llantos, the municipal treasurer; Arsenio Aquino, Ramon Estrellas, Francisco Ferrer, Damaso Ballestero, Hermogenes Garcia, and Dedios Pagkatotohan to Sta. Cruz, and they were imprisoned where they met Ricardo Aalunan, Isidro Baduria, and Bruno Garcia as prisoners.

In January 1945, many Japanese came and they occupied big houses as Tabia's house, Samonte's house, Cabatbat's house

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Baduria's house, etc. One Saturday in June 1945, Ricardo Baldomeca and Silvestre Macabuhay shot a Japanese and a Kapili spy in Primera Pulo. The Kapili was hurt but the Japanese soldier was killed. So, he told the Japanese to search for Baldemeca, who was finally caught. He was tied and taken to the Presidencia, where he was punished. Some of the punishments were upon hanging, two cavans of rice were placed over his head, and one night he was told to dig a pit in front of the church. There, he was struck with a bayonet and was killed. In February 1945, the people of Lumban evacuated to different places. The Japanese soldiers got rice, hens, pigs, and vegetables of the people. The same month, Jiro Yamaguchi, a Japanese commander, lived in the house of Mr. and Mrs. Segundo Samonte. The commander fell in love and was attracted by the beauty of Miss Cecilia Samonte, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Segundo Samonte. Cecilia got angry and spanked Yamaguchi. The commander became angry and told Cecilia that he would kill her parents. Cecilia succumbed and they were married by the Spanish priest. They had a son and, at present, a Grade One pupil.
On March 24, 1945, the Japanese burned all the houses. They used coconut leaves for the purpose. On March 26, 1945 (Holy Monday), they burned again the houses with the use of gasoline. On March 27, 1945 (Holy Tuesday), Urbana Mercado was struck with a bayonet by a Japanese guard on her way home. The Japanese killed Vicente Dagle and Miguel Paule on March 29, 1945. Their bodies were cut and thrown away under the Lumban Bridge.

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In April 1945, the Japanese met and killed Sebastian Abe, a native of the place, when they were on their way to the mountains. In April 1945, Thursday, the Americans came and the Japanese ran away.

During World War II, many lives were lost as mentioned above. The church was totally dilapidated. The school was destroyed by shrapnel and so with the municipal building. Almost all houses were burned.

At present, the church is rebuilt through the initiative of the parish priest. The school and municipal building were fixed through the war damage fund.

In Lumban, Laguna is located the largest hydroelectric power installation in the Philippines at present. It is the Hydroelectric Plant at Caliraya. Actual construction of the plant was started in 1939, and for this purpose, the project was divided into different parts, namely: diversion tunnel, dam, and dykes; Cabacab creek evacuation; waterway line; penstock and surge tank; powerhouse substructure; powerhouse superstructure; trailrace canal and accessroad; transmission line; and Makati substation.

Like most construction projects, the Caliraya job was a race against time and a struggle against natural forces and technical problems. Work was carried on day and night. Towards the end of 1941, when war reached our shores, nightwork was carried on under blackout conditions. When the work was stopped on December 29, 1941 in view of the Japanese occupation, Caliraya was almost with one generating unit out of three.


Transcribed from:
Historical Data of the Municipality of Lumban, Province of Laguna, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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