Notes About Lopez, Quezon

MARIA GEMMA A. SUGUITAN-SAN JOSE c.2014

Where in the world is this place?  Why was it named Talolong,  why was the province called Tayabas? Why was it renamed Lopez, and the province, Quezon? And that’s not all. There are so many questions that we need to answer in our lifetime. But first, the bases.

Reference No. 1: HISTORICAL  DATA OF LOPEZ, QUEZON

The President of the Philippines, desiring the replacement of lost historical data regarding barrios, towns, cities, and provinces; issued E.O. 486 on 07 December 1951; and the Director of Public Schools, seeking the enrichment and vitalization of the curriculum issued General Memorandum No. 34 s. 1952  for the school officials and teachers to prepare a manuscript in compliance with the E.O. and that it should be given wide use in all classrooms. It was on this premise that Mariano Salumbides, District Supervisor, with the help of a District Committee created for this purpose, prepared a manuscript from the data secured in the locality. The committee was composed of classroom teachers Rafael O. Masaganda, Tirso N. Barrameda, and then Principal Pedro C. Requina.

In one of the first pages, an illustration of Don Mateo Lopez, “Founder of Lopez, Quezon” in his famous and only photograph available, is printed. But what do we know about him?  Does anybody know the biography of the town’s “founder” aside from what’s been written that he came from Tayabas? Was it Tayabas the town, or the province? He was said to be the first Capitan Municipal under the Spanish Regime. Really? But he became Capitan Municipal in 1860 and Talolong became a town three years earlier when the town’s leader was Antonio Olivares. When or why was Talolong renamed Lopez? Was it really from Don Mateo, or another Lopez? My statements are not meant to disregard him as ‘founder’ but we need to know the details.

In 1795, the town of Lopez was known as Visita Talolong and part of Gumaca, Tayabas. The term “Talolong” came from the river that meandered, and still meanders, its way to the south, east, and north thereof. “In 1860, the village became an independent municipality because of its population, size, and income. The town of Lopez that was once Visita Talolong became the leading municipality in the second district of Quezon.” But Lopez did not become a town in 1860. Neither was it separated from its mother town Gumaca in 1856 as we have known for the longest time. Lopez, according to the Spanish record Expediente at the National Archives, became a town by virtue of a decree by the Governor General of the Philippines Fernando Norzagaray on 30 June 1857.

During the Japanese occupation, the town of Lopez played an important role in the underground movement. In spite of the presence of a strong Japanese garrison, Guerrilla General Gaudencio V. Vera succeeded in leading a guerrilla force called the Vera’s Party. During the liberation campaign, the people of Lopez and nearby towns flew from Japanese atrocities and sought refuge in their guerrilla camps where the temporary government was organized. On 12 March 1945, the Japanese garrison in Lopez was furiously attacked by Vera’s Party and following the bloody encounter and subsequent retreat of the Japanese troops, the town was razed to the ground, reducing to rubble all public buildings and civilian houses.

The townspeople immediately began to rebuild their homes after liberation in the hope of restoring the beauty of their town and resuming business activities that Lopez used to have during pre-war days.

LIST OF BARRIO LIEUTENANTS IN VISITA TALOLONG

1796     Don Francisco de San Jose

1797     Don Joaquin de San Luis

1798     Don Miguel de los Santos

1799     Don Diego Almonte

1800     Don Jose Protacio

1801     Don Juan Capistrano

1802     Don Josef de San Juan

1803     Don Ventura  Bno.

1804     Don Fernando Geronimo

1805     Don Tomas Am. O. Dom.

1806     Don Mateo de San Juan

1807     Don Domingo Torres

1808     Don Francisco de San Diego

1809     Don Ignacio Quirino

1810     Don Tomas Am. O. Dom. (also in 1805)

1811     Don Ventura Bno. (also in 1803)

1812     Don Joaquin de San Luis (also in 1797)

1813     Don Lorenzo Villalva

1814     Don Antonio Oracillo

1815     Don Manuel Joaquin

1816     Don Pedro Geronimo (also in 1817)

1818     Don Josef Enriquez

1819     Don Juan de San Luis

1820     Don Juan Diego Evangelista

1821     Don Ignacio Quirino

1822     Don Josef Valencia

1823     Don Juan de San Luis (also in 1819)

1824     Don Fernando de San Juan (also in 1825)

1826     Don Manuel Antonio

1827     Don Manuel de los Santos

1828     Don Juan de la Cruz

1829     Don Pedro Geronimo

1830     Don Isidro Teodoro

1831     Don Fernando de San Juan

1832     Don Rufino de los Santos

1833     Don Francisco Vicente

1834     Don Felipe de los Santos

1835     Don Bnov. A. de San Luis

1836     Don Roque Bnvo. O. Dom.

1837     Don Manuel Florencio de San Buenaventura

1838     Don Fernando de San Juan (also in 1831)

1839     Don Felipe de los Santos (also in 1834)

1840     Don Gualberto de los Santos

1841     Don Leon Bno. O. Bernardino

1842     Don Francisco Evangelista

1843     Don Apolonio Fernando (also in 1844)

1845     Don Mariano Benedicto

1846     Don Luis de San Josef

1847     Don Miguel Antonio Lopez

1848     Don Jose Alejandro

1849     Don Antonio Basilio

1850     Don Timoteo Vidal

1851     Don Juan Villanueva

1852     Don Antonio Enriquez

1853     Don Pedro Arguelles

1854     Don Protacio Eugenio

1855     Don Antonio Olivares

1856     Don Carlos Matriano

After 1856 on 30 June 1857 Lopez became a town so the leader was already called Capitan, equivalent to mayor at the present time.

LIST OF CAPITANES IN VISITA TALOLONG (note that it should be PUEBLO already and no longer visita)

1857     Don Antonio Olivares

1858     Don Roque Sanchez

1859     Don Apolonio Villamor

1860    Don Mateo Lopez (see? he was not the first Capitan Municipal when the town of Lopez gained autonomy as a town)

1861     Don Jose Targa

1862     Don Pedro Arguelles

1863- 1864     Don Placido Almadrones

1865-1866     Don Francisco Matriano

1867-1868     Don Antonio Olivares

1869-1870     Don Prudencio Arroyo

1871-1872     Don Anacleto Sanchez

1873-1874     Don Mariano Villapando

1875-1876     Don Eustacio Argosino

1877- 1878     Don Gregorio Villamor

1879- 1880     Don Clemente Serga

1881-1882     Don Eugenio Noscal

1883     Don Eustacio Argosino (Estefania)

1884-1886     Don Eustacio Argosino

1887-1888     Don Romualdo Alano

1889-1891     Don Lorenzo Mondragon

1892-1897     Don Pio Salumbides

The town was enclosed with trunks of anahaw trees when on Holy Tuesday on April 1897, insurrectos who wore red bands and had long bolos came to Lopez and succeeded in recruiting members.  They did not hurt anyone but scattered the goods that were being sold by the Chinese. Citizens picked up the goods and took it for themselves. When the insurrectos left, the Spanish Governor arrived with the soldiers called casadores. They gathered all those insurrectos who were left in the town and had them tied within the convento. Because of this, those insurrectos who left came back and the fighting went on. Many died on convento grounds. They were buried in the tianggihan and those who were tied within the convent area were shot to death.  After August 13, 1897, the Philippines got its temporary freedom.

LIST OF MUNICIPAL PRESIDENTS

1897     Don Pedro V. Florido

1898-1899  Don Deogracias Argosino

On 03 April (or April 13?) 1900, Father Isabelo Martinez was captured by the Americans in Barrio Cawayan Ibaba. He was brought to Atimonan, though the local government was in the barrio. Then on 09 April 1900, Americans arrived in Lopez. The citizens ran to the forests.  On December 14, 1900, other prominent people in the town of Lopez were captured by the Americans and kept in the convent. On the third day they were also brought to Atimonan. Those who were kept in captivity were freed the day before Christmas that same year.

“Matapos makapaghuramanto, magulo pa rin” because there were still several banahao soldiers in the barrios. They were always being attacked in the forests and in the barrios. When American soldiers left, “dumating ang mga sundalong iskaut.” They also attacked the barrios and made the people go back to the town.

01 January 1901 Don Pio Salumbides was elected provisional president.

27 May 1901, the American Governor came to Lopez and a new election for municipal president was held. Sr. Nicanor Alano was elected but he only served for the entire month of May.  “Siya ay nagbitiw ng Kargo at naging Pangulo de Sanidad.”

1901-1903 Don Francisco N. Yngente. It was during this period that amilyaramiento for the land was started.

1903 was the year when there were councilors. They had their own district assignments. This was because “may nanggugulo sa kabukiran at hinuhuli ng tagalabas.”

01 January 1904-1905 Don Emilio Salumbides “Sa panahong ito ipinag-utos ang pagbabahay ng pook na kung tawagin ay agrupacion.” On 23 September 1905, a typhoon destroyed the roof of the Catholic Church.

1906-1907 Don Liberato V. Florido. On 19 May 1907, a strong earthquake destroyed the Catholic Church. Father Marcelo Vellon (called balong-balong)  had another church reconstructed. It was also during this year that a school was constructed “sa ibaba nitong bayan sa pamamagitan ng ambagan ng buong bayan.”

1908 Don Florentino Vilar did not finish his term because Liga Popular Lopenze talked to him. His term was continued by Don Francisco Yngente, who was the municipal presidente the following year, 1909.

1910-1912 Don Uldarico Villamor. It was during this year that the “kapistahan ng pamahalaang bayan” started every 30th of April. So this clearly shows that April 30 doesn’t necessarily mean that it was the town’s Foundation Day as we have believed for the longest time.

1911 “Nagpatabon ng Calle Anda” by talking to the people in the poblacion area. 1912, “ipinabago ang kusina at ipinatayong tanggapan ng bahay pamahalaan.

1913-14 Don Ildefonso Jugueta “naipatapos ang pagpapatabon ng Calle Anda at Calle Real. Nagkaroon ng Cementerio Municipal. 1914 “pinasimulan ang pagpapasukat ng railroad.”

1915-1916 Don Mariano Matriano “naipabago ang bubong ng pamahalaan at nagpalagay ng medya agua na yari sa yero. Nagpahukay ng malalim sa likuran ng presidencia at nagpalagay ng mga tubo sa imburnal. 1916, nagpatabon ng calle patungo sa camposanto ng romano at kalyeng dulo ng San Antonio going to the railroad.

1917-1919 Don Eustacio Escobar First time that there was railroad travel. “dito nagbago ang tasa ng amilyar at nagpatabon ng kalyeng patungo sa train station and calle municipal. Started the construction of mercado publico. Sa panahong ito nagkamatay, trangkaso, bulutong at cholera epidemic. Census at nagpatabon ng Calle Magallanes. Nagutom ang mga taong bayan at nag-agawan ng pagbili ng bigas sa presidencia.

16 October 1919-1921 Don Espiridion V. Siazon “pagkahalik at iwinagayway ang Philippine flag recognized by the Americans by letting it hang under the American flag. School was started to be built near Bocboc.  Sa panahong ito ginawa ang tangke ng palengke.

19 October 1922-1924 Don Marcelo Masaganda. July 1923 “dumating ang maraming balang. Sa panahong ito nagpatapos ng dalawang kuwarto ng bahay-paaralan sa bandang Bocboc. Dito pinasimulan ang pagpapagawa ng presidenciang cemento and the monument of Rizal.

How about 1925?

1926-1928 Don Marcelo Masaganda (also in 1922-1924)

1929- 1930?

1931-1934  Don Marcos Malabanan. On 07 July 1932, Tomas de Leon, a guard who was a policeman was killed in Hondagua because of a “basag-ulo.” It was during this term that fiesta of the local government and that of patronal were spent on 07 October  1933. It was also during this time that the school in Lalaguna was constructed.

LIST OF MUNICIPAL MAYORS

1934- 1940 Don Tomas V. Florido Dito nagpasimula ang patubig. It was during this time that community tax cedula was charged. The Parish Priest at that time was Rev. Fr. Lorenzo Menorca. On 14 December 1937 there was an election for Municipal President who shall be called mayor. It was also during this term that nagpatawad ng amilyar sa mga taong lumipas sa takdang panahon. 1939 December, Father Lagumen was succeeded by Fr. Nicolas Endencia. In the year 1940, different classes of residence certificates were charged at the following rates: Php 0.21, Php 0.50, Php 1.00, and Php 5.00. On 24 May 1940, former Municipal President Espiridion Siazon was interred.

1941 Dr. Alberto M. Aguila until 24 December 1941. When the Japanese arrived in Lopez, the civilians went into the barrios. On February 1942, a new municipal president Jose Vilar took charge until April of 1944. It was during those times that there was chaos in town. Many were captured by the Japanese and held in captivity at the house of Julian Ondoy, upon the orders of Ganap whose leader was Lamberto San Juan. Among those captured, some survived and others were killed by the Japanese. Many were killed, only a few survived.  The guerrillas in the barrios became fierce because of what the Japanese did. They also killed those who were collaborating with the Japanese Forces. General Gaudencio V. Vera was the leader of these guerrillas called Vera’s Party. “Itong kabukiran ng Lopez ay binagsakan ng bomba ng mga salipawpaw ng Hapon.” Many Japanese were killed in Bebito. The Japanese were led by Capt. Chigiwa.

1944, Municipal Mayor was Atty. Vicente Salumbides. It was in the month of October that the American Forces dropped a bomb (from an airplane) in the town of Lopez.

1945 Appointed Mayor Juan T. Tabien, Vice Mayor was Efigenio Panganiban, Councilors were: Eustacio A. Escobar, Pedro Masaganda, Mauro Pilarca, Pedro Cantillana, Potenciano Desembrana, Marcelino Noscal, Perpetuo Valencia,  and Jose Arriero. Secretary was Marcelo D. Masaganda, Treasurer was Eustacio S. Cruz. They held office at the camp in Lalaguna. The Japanese were already being defeated by both the guerrillas and the Americans, they burned the houses and they all gathered at the municipal hall. This took place on 11 March 1945.  It was there that the guerrillas  shoot the Japanese. It was then that they retreated.  On 01 July 1945, the office of the municipal government was transferred in the poblacion at the house of Ramon Mopera which was the only house that was not burned. After sometime, they transferred the government office to the soldiers’ camp.

1946-1947 Juan T. Tabien (also in 1945) This year the government office was transferred to the house of Mrs. Patrocinio Vda. de Florido. September 1947, “binangon ang mga haligi ng bahay pamahalaan sa harap ng Plaza Quezon. A new election was called this month of September through the leadership of Gaudencio V. Vera and the citizens agreed to have a municipal government without opponents. On 25 December 1947, a strong typhoon left houses in destruction. The roof of “simbahang bato” was destroyed, so Rev. Father Juan Rapinan had a new church reconstructed.

These were the “elected” municipal officials: 1948 President Efigenio Panganiban, Vice President Maximino Orlanda, Councilors Julio Imperio, Hermogenes Escobar, Leon Salumbides, Federico Barros, Tolentino Torres, Jesus Libranda, Graciano Barreno, and Ubaldo Merjudio.

1948-1952 Efigenio Panganiban. 1949 the road “tinampo” going to Catanauan was started. On 01 January 1952, Vice Mayor Primitivo Canete became mayor.  He served until 17 February 1952. There was a protest against the winning of Efigenio Panganiban and Ceferino Osuna won this protest. He was declared the winner in the past election and sworn to office by Governor Constantino in Lucena City on 18 February 1952.

1952 Mayor Ceferino Osuna, Vice MayorPrimitivo Canete, Councilors Jacinto Valencia, Felipe Cargar, Jesus Libranda, Manuel Bitoin, Dionisio Basila, Miguel Florido, Serapio Requinto, and Santiago V. Reyes.

On the previous page, the old map of Lopez was shown. It had a barrio called General Luna at the Lopez-Gumaca boundary, adjacent to Mal-ay, Sugod and Jongo. But we don’t have that Bo. or Brgy. General Luna now. What happened? Also looking at the map, one could see that in 1952 there were already a lot of schools within the municipality, even in remote barrios.

GROWTH OF EDUCATION IN LOPEZ

In the olden times, very few Lopenzes could recognize the alphabet. Later on, some who worked as helpers of the Spaniards were able to acquire sufficient knowledge of the cartilla and caton, which then might be called pre-primer respectively. When Lopenzes went to town to pay their tributos or buwis; to go to church, which was obligatory; or to buy simple household necessities, they had occasion to have contact with people from other places, such as Pitogo, Unisan, and Alabat. That thus afforded them opportunities to learn the ways of the people from other places.  

In spite of the lack of genuine desire on the part of the masses to acquire even the rudiments of the three R’s, the people saw the need, whether they liked it or not, to acquire even a smattering of Spanish and to be able to read and write even in a small way the Tagalog language. Few copies of the cartilla and caton were borrowed by half-interested parents for their children’s use. After the children had learned it, most parents would not attempt further education for their children, saying that further education was plain katarayan or coquetry. There were, however, an isolated few, with vision and foresight who viewed education levels for themselves in order to help their fellowmen along this line. They constituted the first batch of maestros and maestras who taught in their homes and later in parochial and semi-parochial schools established in the poblacion as early as 1860 under Spanish friars. Maestrong Pendong and Maestrang Sabel under the supervision of Maestrong Iniego Barranta, were among the early tutors of half-interested pupils; some of them were already young men and women. It was said that after a few weeks of tutorship, these early pupils not only learned a lot but they also changed their attitude towards education from half-hearted enthusiasm to genuine interest, so much so that some of them excelled their teachers in certain lines.

HOW THE STREETS CAME TO BE NAMED 1. ANDA, one of the longest streets where most of the people pass by in going to several barrios,  got its name from Spanish Governor Anda. 2. SAN ISIDRO was derived from San Isidro the saint. This was the street where the first procession passed by when the Saint’s day was celebrated on 15 May 1856 (1586 in the reference). 3. SAN FRANCISCO also came from a saint’s name. The image of St. Francis was kept in a house on this street . 4. ROSARIO, the street that ends at the church compound, was named after the patron saint of Lopez, Nuestra Senora del Rosario. 5. SAN ROQUE after the saint 6. MAGALLANES in memory of Magellan who “disccovered” the Philippines (for Spain, so they say) 7. IZQUIERDO after Spanish Lt. Izquierdo who built a strong fence along the west side of the town proper, to protect the town from moro pirates. 8. SAN ANTONIO from Saint Anthony, whose local image was owned by Cabesa Fermin Verdera. 9. SAN JOSE from St. Joseph, the image was brought here by a priest named calabasa during the Spanish time. 10. CONVENTO in front of the old convent of the Roman Catholic Church 11. GAINZA ends at a brook where there were many geese. Gainza is the Spanish equivalent of the term. 12. DEL VAL was from the family name of a Spanish priest. 13. VILLANUEVA from a prominent citizen who lived in that street, Mariano Villanueva. 14.  LOPEZ from the founder of the municipality, Don Mateo Lopez 15. REAL when Lopez was newly founded during the Spanish Regime, it was the longest and the busiest of all streets. It still is, up to the present time. 16.  MUNICIPAL from the old municipal building, as this street passes just in front of it. 17. CALLE JON was named after a short Spanish lieutenant commonly called by the townspeople at that time as Tinyente Jon. 18. DOLORES after the daughter of a prominent citizen Capitan Tasio. 19. COPI from Commission on Public Improvement sponsored by all barrio lieutenants during the presidency of Tomas V. Florido. 20. NOSCAL from Don Eugenio Noscal who was a prominent man and had been a capitan of the municipality. 21. EMBARCADERO was the place where boats loaded and unloaded their cargoes.

In 1952, there were only 87 barrios. Today, there are 95 barangays. 88 are rural, and 7 are in the poblacion area. Back then, population was 24, 917. Today, it is roughly a hundred thousand. It was located in a rolling mountain terrain mostly covered with forest and part of which had been cleared and planted mostly with coconut trees. People cultivated the highlands and the narrow valleys. We still have forests, I guess. Well, I’m not sure.

NOTES ABOUT THE BARRIOS: HISTORY/ LEGEND

Lopez is the town in Quezon Province with the most number of barangays. Nobody can even go around all those 95 barrios in a day.

In the year 2003, we had cultural mapping in our town during the strategic planning when I invited resource persons from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). It was a joint project of our museum, the NCCA, and the Local Government Unit (LGU). That was the first attempt, and it stirred awareness among the members. Then in the year 2008, my daughter worked on the Preservation of Cultural Heritage Program in Brgy. Matinik. She had a book about this historical place where our roots came from. And for this project, she was conferred the highest award given by the Girl Scouts of Philippines— the Chief Girl Scout Medal Award. In one of the meetings of the Lopez Heritage Conservation and Historical Society (LHCHS) in 2011, Mother suggested that we continue that project with the rest of the barangays in Lopez. Prof. Milagros Z. Loreto agreed to help with her students from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Lopez as researchers. (The latter have yet to be published soon). Other data came from my own personal research and from the database of Arella-Suguitan Museum in Lopez. For the benefit of interested readers and researchers, I am sharing some of those data here, to provide a bird’s eye view of what the town of Lopez had been blessed with. It is a town where people always wear the sweetest smile. In our own Salitang Lopez or Lopez Tagalog, we say, “Sa Lopez, ngiti nami’y walang kasing-tam-is!” Warm and hospitable Lopenzes always welcome visitors with the genuine smile that springs from the heart.

BACUNGAN

As one travels eastward on the newly-made Vera Road, one will reach the small and peaceful village of Bacungan after about half an hour. According to the stories handed down from the past to the present generation, the barrio got its name from a local plant called “bakong” which was found growing in abundance along a small brook running from the northern to the southern part of the barrio. This brook is gone and is now part of good-producing ricefields.

For a short period during the Spanish Regime, this barrio had for its cabezas  notable personages in the name of cabesang Pascual Arias, Pedro Zamora, and Regino Villanueva. They had no definite terms of office and one was succeeded only until incapacity took over him and when the people saw the need for a change of cabesa.

With the advent of the early part of American Regime, several prominent residents of the barrio took the reigns of rural government. Worth mentioning were Bonifacio Comentan, Silvino Anacion, Bernardino Perion, Rafael Pilarca, Lorenzon Comentan, and Exequiel Zamora. All of whom were referred to as teniente del barrio. Just before the Pacific War broke out, such men as Restituto Anacion, Gregorio Anacion, Benito Taba and Paulino Alano held the same position. The first post-war and who held the position in time of this writing was Marcos Alano. In his incumbency, valuable community improvements had been achieved, namely: the bahay nayon and the barrio chapel ermita just along the road. These two houses are situated at the foot of a mountain. Further up this mountain lies the boundary of Pamampangin and this barrio. North of Bacungan lies Maguilayan, San Roque, Canda, and Bebito. To the south is the barrio of Penafrancia and a part of Danlagan.

There are no enchanted places in this barrio nor are there stories of supernatural happenings. The barrio folks are contented of being farmers. In addition, the people make mats, fans, hats, and copra. The latter provides income for the family expenditures. The barrio’s produce are rice, vegetables, camote, cassave, poultry products, and coconuts. Approximately, the barrio yields 500 cavans of palay in one harvest.

BAGACAY 

To reach Bagacay from Lopez, one had to take the train to Hondagua. From Hondagua Railroad Station, one had to hike southward for he had to continue to travel  by walking about three kilometers more, making a total of about ten kilometers from Lopez poblacion.

Bagacay got its name from the thriving bamboo groves called bagacay. The dense growth of these plants made the place so well known locally . In 1917, Luis Villasaya became the first barrio lieutenant. Victorino Solano was the barrio lieutenant at the time the manuscript was made.

Farming was the most important industry of the people. Copra, rice, vegetables,  bananas, and root crops were some of its products.

BANABAHIN 

Banabahin is a barrio named so because of the presence of big banaba trees. Banabahin means plenty of banaba. Founders were Diego Erandio, Julian Maqueda, Francisco Maravilla, juan Quival, Alejandro Villasanta, and Agustin Mella. The barrio lieutenants from 1908 -1911 were Eusebio Danas, Francisco Valencia, Leon Alano, Armenio Valencia, Santiago Arandela, and Gavino Villegas. From then, the leadership was tansferred to the younger generation.

Banabahin is seven kilometers from the town. People travelled by foot and animal’s back. A road from the town to Lalaguna had been built. The inhabitants, numbering about 6oo, are mostly farmers. Rice and copra are the most important products. During dry season people engage in weaving anahaw fans, buri mats, bags, and in other home industries.

There is a primary school where the children of the farmers in this and neighboring barrios attend. The school site is located where it is easily accessible from the homes of the children attending classes.

This barrio was divided into two barrios, ilaya and ibaba.

BAYABAS 

This barrio was named after a common fruit named bayabas or guava which grew aplenty in the place. Old folks related that the name was adapted by non-Christian tribes long ago. In the heart of this place there grew along a pond, a very big bayabas tree which trunk had extraordinary circumference.

This barrio was estimated to be six kilometers away from the poblacion. As compared with its neighboring barrios, Bayabas has the least land area consisting only of 44 hectares. Inspite of its meager area, the people are self-sufficient, which is largely due to the ever productive rice fields and abundant-bearing coconut trees. Women weave anahaw fans. It had 258 inhabitants and 88 registered voters.

BEBITO 

A kilometer northeast of Lopez lies Bebito. The name was derived from a species of clam or bibe in the local dialect. It had been said that when a Spaniard asked a native whom he met on the hill between Canda and Bebito for the name of the place, the native who was selling bibe said, “Bibe ito, Senior.” (This is bibe/ clam, sir). Since then the hill had always been referred to as Bebito.

Bebito became a barrio during the early part of American Regime. This was formerly a part of a great barangay.

A road south of Lopez was constructed by the Spaniards during their time. It passed through the hill of Bebito.  Many people built their homes along the road. The people of Guihay found new homes there. The fields and hills were cultivated and rice and coconuts were planted.

When Americans came, local government was reorganized. An order was issued to the effect that any village having a population of thirty or more families may be made a barrio. The people along the road to Bebito took advantage of this order. They made a bahay nayon and took St. John the Baptist for their patron saint. Saturnino Angeles was elected the first barrio lieutenant. The name of the hill was adapted for the new barrio and made it its part. The hill between Guihay and Bebito divides the two barrios.

Rice and copra were the two chief products of Bebito. Anahaw were abundant. Nipa grew in its swamps. Anahaw fans were made and nipa roofings sold. Illiteracy was fairly low in this barrio. The children attend schools in the poblacion while others go to the school in Canda.

One hundred thirty-three families resided in the barrio, many of which are tenants and immigrants, from the Bicol Region.

BIGAJO

Bigajo was so named from the native plant biga and from the word ho which is a command for the carabao to stop walking. It was said that a Spaniard who met a native in that place asked the latter about the name of the place and the native muttered, “biga” “ho”.

Bigajo has been called by that name since 1901. Francisco Gonzales was the first barrio lieutenant. At the time of writing the manuscript, it was Justo Villasaya.

This barrio is about eight kilometers away from the poblacion. Most of the people were farmers, some were fishermen. Copra, fish, rice, vegetables, root crops such as gabi, ubi, etc., were the leading products.

BINAHIAN A, B, C 

Binahian came from the word bahi, the trunk of an anahaw tree. During the later part of the Spanish rule, the aetas settled in this place. Most of them were hunters. Bows and arrows were made from bahi. One day, they made a lot of bows and arrows that when they left the place they called it pinagbahian. The term gradually became binahian. Later, this term applied to the whole settlement which was divided into three barrios, Binahian A, Binahian B, and Binahian C.

BOCBOC 

The barrio of Bocboc was founded in 1896. It was named after a tiny insect that destroys wood, bukbuk. This barrio started with only ten families under the administration of Brigido Sena. The people were engaged in farming. Some are engaged in fishing while most of the women were fan and hat weavers. Some of its crops are corn, rice, fruits, and vegetables.

BUENAVISTA 

The first inhabitants of these barrios were aetas. They lived in makeshift homes and had no permanent settlement. After a clearing had been made use of and grass began to grow, they moved to another place. These settlers called this barrio kabutagin, the name having been derived from the betel nut butag, growing in abundance in that place.

As the first group of people who were resigned to stay permanently came, the aetas were driven far in the interior parts which were then a thick forest. The newcomers named this barrio tigas which meant hard. The barrio was composed mainly of lowlands where the water was deep on rainy months and the earth soft and sticky. During the dry season however,  the earth was hard. Later on a new name was adopted. A story came to pass that there lived in that barrio a very beautiful lady who was as white as the silver moon, with flowing hair and natural red lips. She was as alluring and as dainty as a dew. All the menfolks young or old would just want to have a glimpse of this heavenly creation that they sighed “What a nice woman and a magnificent view.” Buenavista, a Spanish word that meant good view, came to be adopted and still is the name the barrio carries.

Among the first cabesas of the barrio were Agapito Oriel and Patricio Osena. The teniente de barrio at the time the manuscript was written was Meliton Albarado. The Villasanta family were considered among the prominent residents of the barrio. Buenavista is approximately six kilometers from the poblacion, about an hour and a half walk would be needed to reach the place, via Pamampangin.

There was no school in this barrio. Pupils attended classes in Samat and Pamampangin barrio schools which are the immediate neighboring barrios. People were mostly farmers. Copra-making ranked second. Other minor industries included mat, hat, bay-ong and fan-weaving,  fresh-water fishing, and poultry raising. These minor industries provide a good source of income for most families, especially after the harvest and planting seasons. Not much palay was raised here, as the greater parts of the ricefields were submerged for a long time on rainy  months, thus hindering the production of rice.

Among the important products of this barrio were rice, coconuts, cassava, various root crops, fresh water fish, bananas, and some vegetables. Resins were tapped in large quantities and brought to town. It had no place of historical importance but the wild ducks that live in its swampy lands afford the hunter an excellent hunting ground.

BUYACANIN 

Buyacanin came from the word buya that means overeating, and canin means rice.   According to a legend the first settlers of the village always had an abundant supply of rice every year, so that the people called the place buyacanin. During the early times Buyacanin was a big barrio which included Villamonte and Samat. In the latter part of the Spanish Regime, the settlers of these two barrios worked hard for their separation. The first cabesa was known as Cabesang Bio.

Buyacanin is about three and a half kilometers away from the poblacion. It lies in a fertile agricultural region with an area of about 400 has. Half of the land area is rolling hills  covered by coconuts. One-fourth was a rich rice valley. The rest are marshes. Copra making and rice planting were the leading industries of the people. It had a population of about 150 inhabitants. The people were respectful and hospitable.

CAGACAG 

Long ago, most of the people living in this barrio were the Catabagans and negritoes. Their houses were built along the river and some were at the foot of the mountains. During those times there were plenty of big frogs in the river which the people called cabacab. Those were good to eat and when the natives had no food, they just went to the river to catch some frogs. At night, it was said that no sound could be heard but noise of those cabacab. This place was then fittingly called cabacab.

When the Spaniards came to the Philippines and scattered to different places, some came to this place. When they asked the natives about the name of this barrio, the natives invariably said that it was the barrio of cabacab. The Spaniards modified the name and since then it came to be called cagacag.

This barrio is a scenic one because of the river flowing through its center, taking a course from Ilaya to Ibaba. Different plants grew along this river.

Not long afterward, many people came to settle on this barrio. People from other barrios moved here because planting palay was very favorable. They built more houses along the bank of the river, and they formed the village of Cagacag.

One of the very first steps taken by the Americans when they arrived was to establish schools throughout the islands. Cagacag was lucky to have the first barrio school in this municipality.

During the early days there were only about thirty houses. At the time of writing there were 67.

During the Japanese Occupation, Cagacag was the first barrio in Lopez where the Japanese soldiers and the Vera’s guerrillas had an encounter.

The most important occupation of the people here was farming. Plenty of palay were harvested every year. After their work in the field they engage in copra-making. The women are good weavers of fans, which were exported to Manila. There are different plants like bananas, sugar cane, and vegetables. This barrio is eight kilometers from the town.

CALANTIPAYAN 

Calantipayan is about two and a half kilometers from the town. It is along the road, which makes travel easy. It is accessible by means of land transportation. The people here are always busy tilling the soil and making copra. Oftentimes they gather calantipays for viand, the plant from which the name of this barrio was derived.

CANDA ILAYA, IBABA 

During the later part of the Spanish Regime, three men from Gumaca came to the present barrio of Canda. They came by boat to Hayupag and hiked to the place, and established their settlement on the bank of a small river near the present school of Canda. They cleared the land and planted rice and coconuts. These men  were the founders of Canda Ibaba and Canda Ilaya.

Years later, immigrants came and found homes near the settlement. These people lived happily together. After a bountiful harvest one day, the settlers gathered to thank God for it. They adopted St. Barbara for their patron saint, patron of thunder and lightning, so that they may be spared from these elements. A prayer was composed thus,  “Ako Virgen Gloriosa, Alibughang si Barbara, Sa paraiso ay rosa, Nang castidad bula Canda.”

From this prayer, Canda was taken to name this settlement. As it grew bigger, the villagers were formed for mutual defense against their enemy. These villagers were to become the nuclei of the four barrios of Maguilayan,  San Roque, and the two Candas,

Canda became a barrio in American Regime. It is along the national road three and a half kilometers north of Lopez. Canda Ibaba is a kilometer farther north, having separated from Canda Ilaya a few years ago.

Farming is the chief industry and is the main source of livelihood of some 400 inhabitants of these barrios.  The children go to Canda Elementary School, perched atop a hill facing the national road.

CAWAYAN 

In the early part of the 17th century, there was a negrito village on a small river valley. An adventurer from the municipality of Gumaca who was only known by the surname of Garganta passed by this valley on his way to Piris. He was a dealer of beeswax which was made into candles. He married a woman from Piris (now Buenavista, Quezon). The couple settled on this valley which was inhabited by the aetas only. Out of this happy wedlock was born Severino, their first child.

Severino Garganta was of an inquisitive nature. He inquired about the name of the river but the aetas could not supply him with the necessary information, so he asked the head of the aetas to accompany him up to the mountains in search of the source of the river. There they found a big clump of bamboo cawayan, so that the name cawayan was given to the river. Later, the whole barrio was called Cawayan.

The descendants of Severino Garganta figured permanently in the development of the barrio of Cawayan were Jorge, Roman, and Severino Garganta II, named after the first son of Cawayan. The last was 66 years old on February 22, 1952.

Years passed. A great number of people came to settle in the barrio of Cawayan. The influx of new settlers in this barrio caused one of the leaders, Isidro Garganta, to ponder about the division of the barrio. The northern part was Ibaba while the southern part was Cawayan Ilaya. Later on, Cawayan Ilaya became Veronica in honor of patron saint Veronica, and Cawayan Ibaba became only Cawayan. The latter’s patron was San Roque.

Cawayan is in the southeastern part of the municipality of Lopez, eight kilometers away from the poblacion with 300 inhabitants. The barrio lieutenant was Vicente Tabien, also a descendant of the Garganta family. The principal industry is farming, with coconut and rice as the major products. Some of the former cabezas were Silvino Barreno, Nicolas Valencia, and Juan Erandio. Some of the former barrio tenientes were Fructoso Desembrana, Apolinar Garganta, and Julio Verdera.

COGORIN

Cogrin got its name from cogon grass. Cogorin mountain is noted for its interesting folklore about the lake at its summit and the unexplored caves facing the west. The division of barrio Cogorin into Ilaya and Ibaba took place in 1902.

COGORIN IBABA. Avelino Zamora was the first barrio lieutenant on this place. It had a population of about 300 inhabitants. The chief industry was farming. Coconuts and rice are the principal products in this barrio.

COGORIN ILAYA had Isidro Valencia as the first barrio lieutenant. Most of the inhabitants were engaged in farming. Coconuts, abaca, and rice were raised on this place. The forest bordering along its boundary was rich in commercial timber and rattan. Its rivers, lakes, and forests are good hunting and fishing grounds. This barrio had a population of around 250 inhabitants.

CONCEPCION 

Tinalpok was the former name of Concepcion. It was said that the change took place when Mariano Barrameda became one of the councilors of Lopez in 1902. At that time Pedro Barros owned a large coconut plantation in that place.  Because of his political influence and official capacity, Mr. Barros was able to change Tinalpok to Concepcion in honor of his beautiful daughter Concepcion who is still living now (1952).

The first barrio lieutenant in Concepcion was Hilario Arena. At the time of writing it was Antonio Alazo. There were a few inhabitants in this barrio but they were hardworking, engaged in farming, making copra, and raising poultry. The important products were rice, copra, vegetables, and chickens. Concepcion is about ten kilometers from the poblacion.

DANLAGAN

Legend has it that there was a place in Lopez frequented by people from other places for its mudfish. The usual conversation in ancient time was said to be like this: “Saan kayo pupunta?” (Where are you all going?) “Diyan lang sa dalagan.” (There, where mudfish abound.). Today, when somebody asks, “Saan kayo pupunta?” The answer would be, “Sa Danlagan, sisimba sa mongha.” Of course, it’s the priest who celebrates Holy Mass. It’s just that we tend to shorten sentences and we understand one another with that, as the statement actually meant, “We’re going to Danlagan to attend mass at the Monastery of St. Clare.” That sacred place is the most visited spot these days in Brgy. Danlagan, which has become part of the town proper. It can be reached by land transportation, even by a tricycle.

Located along national road, there are several auto repair and vulcanizing shops in this area. There is a junk shop, miller, copra buyer, and retail stores.There are special native desserts available for sale like sweetened grated coconut or bukayo, and macapuno candy. Some make coconut oil. Farming and fishing are major livelihood sources, small children learn and mingle at the Day Care Center, there’s a basketball court for public use, and barangay population is 3,164. They celebrate two festivities every year: May 15 is the Feast of San Isidro. It is really festive with banderitas, procession, throwing of coins, games like palo sebo, contests on dancing and singing, and public dance at the barangay hall. August 11 on the other hand, is the Feast of St. Clare where there are hermanos and hermanas who take charge of the celebration; the highlight of which is the procession. During summer, the youth group is busy with Summer Basketball League and they always get together for a Victory Ball. Danlagan boasts of being one of the cleanest barangays in Lopez, Quezon.

DE LA PAZ 

This barrio is situated in the narrow valley bounded on the north by Pandanan River and lofty hills on three sides. Sturdy homesteaders cleared the forests and swamps with the help of friendly aetas. De La Paz was once part of a barrio called Ginabihan founded in 1894. This place was known to the aetas as Ginotosan. It was made a separate barrio in 1910 and was named De La Paz after their patron Saint Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buenviaje.  First barrio lieutenant was Ramon Olea. There were few inhabitants, just numbering sixty people. Four-fifths of its lands belong to the Aguila, Matriano, Siazon, and Enteria families. The people send their school-aged children to Esperanza Ibaba where the school is located. Rice is raised in the valley and its fertile hills are planted with coconuts. the residents get some clams and fish from nearby river. Little weaving of mats was done at home.

De la Paz is about six kilometers from poblacion and reached either by a boat from Inalakanan or by hiking through Vera Road via Pamampangin or Maguilayan; or Canda via San Roque and Maguilayan.

DEL PILAR 

During the Spanish time, there was a small village just outside the poblacion of Lopez. There were only a few families living there. the people derived the name Inubakan from the three women who were abused by some men.

In 1910 through the efforts of Vicente Villapando, one of the early inhabitants in the barrio, a resolution was submitted to the municipal council to change the name to Del Pilar. With the help of former councilor Telesforo Arella, the resolution was approved and so since then the barrio was called Del Pilar.

ESPERANZA

 
Ginabihan. This was what this place was called. According to legend, somebody from Gumaca reached the place where taro or “gabi” abound. When asked by the people he met where he came from, he replied, “doon sa ginabihan.” It took sometime before the place was called Esperanza.

INALUSAN

 Not long after the Spanish Period, there were people in this place who were so deeply religious. They carried their burdens with a light heart, aiming to succeed in their undertakings. But their faith was tested by drought and famine.That was the ultimate test of their faith.
The faith of the barrio lieutenant remained unfazed. He gathered his people and asked his daughter who had been sick for so long, to lead the prayer. The young lady knelt and prayed hard to ask for bountiful harvest. She uttered, “Ina, lunasan mo po ang kahirapan naming ito,” asking for the intercession of Mary, Mother of God. She has barely said the last word when she fell and died.
With a heavy heart, the father shouted and cried, “From this day on, we will call this place Ina…lusan…” and that’s where the place got its name.

LALAGUNA

Not just lake, but history!
Lalaguna got its name from ‘the lake,’ one of the major sources of fresh water fish in this side of Lopez. One of the biggest barangays, it is also one of the most historic places in town, and in Bondoc Peninsula as well. Ten kilometers east of Poblacion, it can be reached by land transportation.On May 19, 1881, it was founded by Severino Villasanta, Juan Valencia, Juan Arias, Mateo Villate, and Diego Alano. A religious barrio, its chapel had been put up through community spirit. However, it was destroyed by a typhoon the same year that it was constructed. Juan Valencia was first barrio lieutenant, followed by Basilio Bitoin, and Juan Arias.A new chapel was constructed in 1883, and a bahay nayon or what is now called barangay hall, during the term of barrio captain Estanislao Alano. In 1885, Villaespina on the eastern side and Rizal Rural on the southern tip separated as barrio “Dilim.” From 1895 to 1899, insurgents lived there and clashed with soldiers. It enabled Americans to quell Filipino opposition. Everything was destroyed by these fights. In 1905, a destructive typhoon ruined the bahay nayon. It was in 1908 that the first barrio school was established, site was donated by supervising teacher Victor Oblefias. Liberato Florido and Victor Florido on the other hand, were the ones who donated an image of Nuestra Señora Del Rosario. In 1928, a private school branch of Eastern Tayabas Institute opened.Intermediate school was erected at the border of barrios Banabahin, Rizal, Kawayan, and Lalaguna; while a primary school building was erected simultaneously by the village one kilometer away from it.In 1952, there were a hundred permanent families living in this barangay. Farming, fishing, copra-making, weaving and handicrafts were major sources of livelihood. Copra was the leading export product, sold in Esperanza and poblacion. Rice came second. Buri, anahaw, and bamboos were local products.When World War II broke out in 1941, guerrilla  forces of Gaudencio V.Vera had an encampment at the hill near the primary school building. it was bombed on March 14-16, 1944 by Japanese planes, as Vera’s Camp became the seat of guerrillas in Bondoc Peninsula. In the year 1945, a provisional municipal government was established on this place with Don Juan T. Tabien appointed as mayor and Efigenio Panganiban as Vice Mayor.Today, Lalaguna is one of the most progressive barangays in Lopez. Dagat-dagatan which is rich in “isdang tabang” or freshwater fish is one of the most visited places in this village with 2036 population. Fish cages are interesting to see. There are schools of all levels, until secondary level, Lalaguna Rural Academy; and a chapel with San Juan Bautista as patron.Basketball court serves as recreation center in this barangay that can be reached by land transportation. There’s a bahay nayon where we had the weaving women interviewed by TV hosts from “Buhay Pinoy.” Lalaguna is one of the major sources of anahaw fans. There are rice mills and copra buyers, bakery, mini grocery, and sari-sari stores.Several festivities are celebrated in Lalaguna. They celebrate Valentine Fiesta on February 14, April 5 is feast of Zone San Vicente, April 19 is fiesta of Zone Central, May 19 is Hermanohan/ Mayuhan, June 24 is the feast of San Juan Bautista, December 28 is feast of Zone Dringking, December 29 is the feast of Zone Market, December 30 for Zone Riverside, and December 31 for Zone Provincia.CAMPO PUSA is an interesting lore. There are wonderful, marvelous tales villagers have shared about the mountain called Campo Pusa, a historical site situated in Lalaguna, which served as a hide-out of the Filipino soldiers led by General Gaudencio V. Vera. The mountain was said to be enchanted when somebody  unearthed a gusi or jar in 1898, full of bars of gold and jewelry. It was really heavy that he carried it down so he called on the neighbors out. But when he returned with them they were surprised to find out that the jar contained only mud and the treasures were gone. On moonlight nights, one can hear moaning from people who spoke different languages which were unintelligible. A ship seemed to come and go in the middle of the night and had a loud rumbling sound but there was no ship on sight.

Before the outbreak of World War in 1941, this place was covered with tall balete trees with thick foliage believed to be inhabited by large snakes. Down the mountain is a lake where crocodiles lived. The most astonishing fact according to the old folks is that thousands of cats lived there, which disappeared all of a sudden. All the cats had one color, pitch black with white. They lived in a cave near the mountain where they readily vanished in view when people came. This had been the reason why the place was called such. There were stories of sickness that struck people who tried to clear the place. When it was used as guerrilla camp, the Japanese bombed Campo Pusa. After that, the place became desolate and barren. The only remnant was the house whose owner thought that maybe the cats protected it, or the supernatural beings protected them from harm.

On June 24, 1997, another jar was unearthed but it was full of human bones and skull. I wonder if the bones and skull were kept or thrown away. Because Lalaguna could be an early settlement site even before the coming of the Spaniards, those bones could unearth great historical findings. I wish I had more time to do these things! But with regards to the cats, how can the mystery be explained? Its legendary lore is here to stay.

COL. SEVERINA ANACION-ROJAS is not just a famous figure in Lopez. She is a heroine who continuously struggles for a good cause. What’s more, she is Mama’s classmate and best friend.

Would you donate 3,411 square meters of land for a Veteran’s Park/ Guerrilla Shrine? She actually did, eight years ago on February 16, 2005. I was there when she presented the Deed of Donation to Vera’s Tayabas Guerrillas, then represented by the Commander of 4th Quezon Veterans District, Domingo T. Abellera. Her husband Roberto Rojas also signed the Deed of Donation, for marital consent. What a touching gesture from a kababayan who has so much respect for history and foresight of the future!

Eco-tourism park, museum, library, and a statue of General Gaudencio Verdadero Vera riding his mola are some of those in the blueprint. When she was interviewed by my daughter for “The Light”  in 2007, Col. Rojas said that since she was born in Lalaguna (where her ancestors lived) and where Vera’s Tayabas Guerrilla (VTG) Central Camp was located in World War II; she donated the lot to honor the great soldiers who died and the commander-in-chief of VTG, so that the young generation who haven’t seen them nor felt the harrowing experience and wrath of war will know what transpired in the past and treasure what those great men have fought for.

I fondly call her Tita Vener. Her grandfather Ato was a revolutionary soldier, while her two brothers Cristito and Godofredo were guerrilla members. Godo died in combat while fighting with the Japanese Forces in the vicinity of what is now Lopez National Comprehensive High School. His body was never recovered.

Col. Rojas of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) retired from service in 1987. She was a young nurse when she volunteered to join the PHILCAG contingent to South Vietnam as member of the surgical team, and recipient of several awards, like the Philippine Republic Merit Award of the Presidential Republic of Vietnam and Campaign medal and Ribbon PHILCON Awards. She is an Outstanding Alumna of LNCHS, active organizer of Batch 1956; Outstanding Lopezeño. Asked about what advice she could give to the young, she had these to say: “Destiny plays a part in our lives but thinking right in decision making is most important. Dream, then work for it to achieve your ambition. Don’t waste time but be patient. Do not act on impulse. Listen to good advice. Excel. Grab opportunities. Remember, health is wealth. Take good care of your health. Be guided by the Lord, always.” It was through her that a chapel was built to honor St. John the Baptist. (From “A Soldier in War and Peace” by Queen Sroges Rochelle S. San Jose, The New Light 2007).

Lopez has been so blessed having Tita Vener around. Until the present time, she still helps kababayans, especially the veterans, as much as she could. The first historical marker from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines was already installed on May 2014.

The statue of the brave man who led the guerrillas in Bondoc Peninsula had been enshrined at the future eco-park in Brgy. Lalaguna. Thanks to our kababayan, Col. Vener Rojas, who believes that history should be seen in the future!

MABANBAN 

Katabagan were the people in the place we now know as Mabamban or Mabanban, one of the 95 barangays in the town of Lopez. They were brown-skinned and straight-haired. One day, a mother with seven sons reached that place as they had walked away from the nearby town Catanauan to free themselves from the rage of  insurrectos or rebels who killed the head of their family during Spanish colonization. The widow and her sons got themselves acquainted with the natives and mingled with them, a local socialization process called “nakihalubilo, nakipagkabuhay” and cleared the place.
The new settlers, while planting palay and vegetables, noticed the diligence of the Katabagan tribe. They also saw the abundance of a certain plant which the natives called “bamban.” Its leaves were somewhat elongated and fruits, round. Each time the family would cut such plants, the natives would take it home and made those stems into “tain,” a fishing gadget used for catching shrimps and fish. Later on, the brothers learned how to make “tain” by themselves. It greatly helped them to sustain their meals everyday. It was because of this survival story that the new settlers named the place “Mabamban.” They had to honor the plant that helped them through in difficult times.

MAGALLANES

Uninhabited forest which used to be part of Veronica —that was what Magallanes was during the Spanish Regime. It was on November 4, 1928 when the family of Pablo Bilogan arrived in that place, followed by the families of Hilarion Panganiban, Gavino Climacosa, Isaac Andalion, Gerardo Nepomuceno and Maligaya; with the families Destor, Gonzales, Hernandez, and Ramos. They were from Magallanes, Cavite. The following year, the families of  Abellera, Atienza, Bautista, De Torres, and Maulawin arrived. They were from Batangas. They needed a place where they could plant palay, camote, and corn, so they started clearing the place; but were made to explain by the Bureau of Forestry. This incident drove others to return to their hometown in Batangas.
First clearing began along the banks of Balac River, the name ‘balac’ was given by the aetas and katabagans. Pioneer families settled along the fertile river banks. First settlement became the foundation of the barrio. Sitios Balac, Malatarin, Ibabang Bangahin and Ilayang Bangahin were all settled and well cultivated. Early settlers voted by raising their hands on what to name the place. It was changed to Magallanes through the initiative of Pedro Abellera, at the advise of Pablo Bilogan. The latter became first barrio lieutenant, followed by the former. In 1935, those in the northern portion sitio Malatarin became Magallanes A and southern part became Magallanes B. Division was primarily due to “disunity and discord.” Petition was sent to the Municipal Council and approved. That was during the term of Don Thomas Florido as Municipal Presidente. Abellera continued to be the barrio lieutenant of Magallanes B while Amadeo Ogaña became the barrio lieutenant of Magallanes A until his death in 1938. Crispin Talabong succeeded the two parts of Magallanes, A and B.
During the time when Japanese arrived in this barrio, villagers deserted it. Most settlers served and lived with Japanese Army and belonged to the group Sakdal, or Ganap;  When guerrillas came, all the pro-Japanese went to town. The people then had three factions: pro-Japanese, pro-Commonwealth Government, and those loyal to the Philippines became members of the Vera’s Party. Pro-Japanese settlers fled to Atimonan to escape guerrillas who confiscated their properties, palay, lands, and homes. Although they wanted to re-acquire their properties, pro-Japanese settlers did not return at once after liberation, for fear of getting hurt by the guerrillas. Then Vice Mayor Primitivo Cañete took steps in the peaceful return of all homesteaders in Magallanes. He made an understanding with Gen. Gaudencio Vera and also took steps to restore the organization of barrio officials. For once, Magallanes stood as one barrio and no longer divided into two.The school building that had been destroyed by the Japanese was re-established in 1949.In 1952, there were 63 families in this barrio and they had kaingin of their own. Each family was considered economically stable. No sitio was extinct or depopulated. After 1985, there was another dispute in the barrio (already called barangay); until Jose Brunzal was elected. He donated parcels of lot for the school, chapel, etc. Optimistic and solicitous, there was a community program of bayanihan spirit. The community had pigs, chicken and fowls, goats and cows, which they later sold. People planted vegetables and other crops and the money they gathered from selling went to their local funds. The place was close to nature with the mountains and cornfields all around. There’s a river called Lion River, fresh water fish are availabe like tilapia, dalag, and eel. Once the people lived by making hammocks made of rattan. People’s livelihood is mainly copra, and charcoal. Like all other barangays, there are sari-sari stores.Aside from Magallanes Elementary School, there was Magallanes Barangay High School, once an annex of Lopez National High School which has become Magallanes National High School. It was from this high school that I had been invited to be one of the jurors for Mr. and Miss MNHS and resource person in the creation of a theater group. There are churches of Christian Baptist, Iglesia ni Kristo, and Parish of Good Shepherd. In 2002, Juan and Nida Marquez donated an image of Nuestra Sra. De Guia to the barangay chapel.Since then they have celebrated the feast day every  January 26th. They also celebrate Mayuhan, Barangay Fiesta, and Quezon Day.In 2011, barangay population was 1,200. Magallanes is situated in the middle of four municipalities namely Buenavista, Catanauan, Guinayangan, and of course, Lopez. When Lopez-Buenavista Road was constructed, it paved the way for more developments (from the Historical Data of Lopez, Quezon 1952, The Light 1993).

MAL-AY 

Before Spain re-discovered the Philippines, there was a heartless ruler in an island. Anybody who would dare to oppose him would be killed by his men. Three heads of the family named Maliksi, Makupad, and Malakas, managed to run away from that island. In their journey to the unknown, they reached the place which is now called Mal-ay.
One day, the three men had a dispute on what to name the place they discovered. Each one insisted on his own desire, according to his own reasons. In the middle of this confusion, they agreed that the name should be good. They also committed themselves to a fight in order to know who is the mightiest among them. It was literally a power struggle. Whoever wins would be the one to name the place. They set a date and came to wrestle. One was killed, the other one surrendered. Malakas won. He called the place Malaya to denote freedom. Free, unconquered by anyone. As time passed by, Malaya was shortened and became Mal-ay (BPS 1952).
PAMAMPANGIN

During Spanish Period, Pamampangin was part of Bacungan, a barrio with vast rice fields and good annual harvest. Families from other places migrated to this place and the inhabitants lived by planting and harvesting all year round. There came a time when those who had farms on the other side of the mountain rarely came back to Bacungan where they used to live. Later on they decided to finally settle where their farms were that they needed to separate, as they continued to have good harvest. More people settled with the original settlers, more houses were built, until it became a barrio independent from Bacungan. Because of the panorama of rice fields surrounded by mountains and river bank, the barrio was called Pamampangin, from the Tagalog word “pampang” meaning bank or shore.
 

SAN ANTONIO

 Tambo was a large barrio during Spanish time. “Tambo,” a kind of wild grass that thrives in swamps was once abundant in that place. Tambuli, the carabao horn used to call people for a meeting, cannot be heard from end-to-end due to its vastness, so it was deemed proper to divide the place into three: Ilayang Tambo became Brgy. Rosario, Ibabang Tambo became Villahermosa, and Kabilang Tambo became San Antonio. The name was in honor of its patron San Antonio de Padua, whose feast is celebrated every 13th of June.

SAN MIGUEL (DAO) 

The settlement of Dao was organized in 1896. It was sparsely populated then. In 1913, Batanguenos explored the wilderness of Dao. Soon thereafter more and more of them were attracted to settle there. People were mostly farmers. Some engaged in poultry and hog raising. Coconuts, rice, bananas, corn, coffee, and vegetables were raised there.

Dao got its name from the tree, because of the abundance of this tree. Later on it was divided into two by authorities of the municipalities of Lopez and Catanauan. The southern portion was named Santa Maria under the jurisdiction of Catanauan, and the other portion bordering the Hogakhok River was named San Miguel, its patron saint. The latter is under the jurisdiction of Lopez.

VILLAHERMOSA
 When I was in high school in 1977, I had this article from “The Light,” the official student organ of then Lopez Provincial High School, now Lopez National Comprehensive High School; entitled, “Villahermosa, A Pilot Barangay.”
Villahermosa, as the name implies, is a beautiful barangay. “Villa” in Spanish means village, while “Hermosa,” means beautiful. Long ago, during the Spanish times, it was called “Tambo,” a kind of wild grass, which thrives in wet places or ponds. According to old folks, tambo was once abundant in that place.It was a vast land. Tambuli, the carabao horn used to call people for a meeting, cannot be heard from end-to-end, so it was deemed proper to divide the place into three: Ilayang Tambo became Brgy. Rosario, Ibabang Tambo became Villahermosa, and Kabilang Tambo became San Antonio. Villahermosa was such a beautiful place with its landscape and rows of green fields. It is near poblacion, and can be reached by land transportation. Jovito Arella was first to lead Brgy. Villahermosa. Farming and copra-making are basic industries.In the ’70s, people engaged in promoting cottage industry, green revolution, project compassion, and nutrition. The place was cited as the best in environmental sanitation. It is a distinct honor to the people of this pilot barangay to be visited by representatives from foreign countries, much more an agency of the United Nations as the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) which conducted a study tour to understand barangay movement. Gilcerio Caparros was cited as Farmer of the Year with his industry and abundant harvest.
Fast forward to 2013… Villahermosa is the destination of the future! Aside from the Day Care Center and  Villahermosa Elementary School, it is home to Quezon Provincial Training Center/ TESDA, and the Technological University of the Philippines-Lopez Municipal Institute of Technology Consortium. It has a Catholic chapel and an Iglesia ni Cristo Church. It is on this village that Arella-Suguitan Museum is planned to be transferred by its owners, Mr. & Mrs. Guillermo/Marietta Suguitan.There are 2,129 residents in this barangay. There’s a junk shop, warehouse, retail stores, copra buyers, hog raisers, hollow block makers, and videoke rentals. Plants of various kinds can be bought from this barangay. There’s a small water falls called busay, its river has hito, dalag, gurami, and shrimps. In the old times, fresh water fish was caught by means of salakab. Block Rosary is still observed. Mayflower Festival is celebrated on May 20th while barangay fiesta is April 5th.
Far from complete, these notes are merely re-listing of the important data. Real work is yet to start. We still have a long way to go. Help me in any way you can. Salamat.
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20 thoughts on “Notes About Lopez, Quezon”

  1. Hi. It’s great to come across your blog.

    I would like to add to the history of one of those personalities narrated here. If my research is accurate, the Pedro Barros you mentioned under barrio Concepcion is my great, great grandfather. In my research, he also happens to be the Municipal Treasurer of Lopez, and the Deputy Provincial Treasurer of Tayabas (around 1907).

    He has a son named Major Vicente R. Barros (U.S. Army, Philippine Constabulary, Philippine Scouts, West-Pointer) who was born there in Lopez and eventually became one of the cornerstone personalities during the American period when no one in the U.S. Army or Philippine Scouts with the the rank of Major, is a Filipino, with one exception (him). Vicente was a also a good friend of Gov. General Francis Burton Harrison.

    More power to all the sons of Lopez!

  2. Visita de Talolong started being populated in the year 1756, or 40 years before there was the first Capitan in 1796. We are just not sure yet if Talolong was already called as such before 1756, or before people from Mayoboc town sought refuge at the site fleeing the attacks by Moors of Mindanao. Yes, we could then be called Mayoboquins.

    1. We will finally unravel the mysterious past that had been “in hiding” or “silently sitting” for the longest time. This journey that we are now heading to has to find out the truth so that the youth to whom we will entrust the years to come will learn something from what we have gathered. Mahirap mabuhay ng hindi nalalaman ang nakaraan. Nangangapa, kundi man nawawala.

  3. Thank you for putting together such a detailed history of Lopez, ma’am! My grandmother is an Arella and my mother is a Florido. It’s great to learn about where they came from.

  4. I just came to see this blog. It’s great work and thanks for posting for us to learn many thing about the old Tayabas. My mother is an Argosino, and our roots are from Mondragon and Matriano as well. Can I ask your help for the source of the Gobernadorcillos that you wereable to find this. Thanks in advance Godbless!

    1. I know all the surnames you mentioned are from Lopez (old name Talolong). The source of those gobernadorcillos is at the National Library of the Philippines. Thank you for appreciating.

  5. M’am I am also interested in old photos particularly the Spanish colonial times to early American time of Talolong, Tayabas. If you can direct me to sites or if you have some photos that you could share 🙂

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