Monday, January 17, 2011

Bataan Diary(Bagac)

BAGAC                                      “BAMBOO GROVE”

BAGAC is the biggest municipality in Bataan in terms of land area (23,120 hectares). It is located in the southwestern part of Bataan facing the South China Sea. It was established as a regular town by the Spaniards in 1873, with St. Catherine of Alexandria as its patron saint.
     Bagac had been in existence for a long time as a distant barrio of Mariveles, formerly a corregimiento (district) under the territorial jurisdiction of the Province of Cavite. After Morong was established as a town in 1607, Bagac became one of its barrios since the latter’s population and income cannot support a municipality. During this period, Bagac comprised of the sitios of Saysain, Banawang, Tiis, Sinapsap, Kabayo, Salmon, Paysawan and Parang na Mahaba. Later on, immigrants from different parts of the archipelago arrived in Bagac and developed its idle lands.
     Mariveles and Morong, together with the barrio of Bagac became part of the newly-recognized province Bataan in 1754. Bagac finally became a regular town in 1873.
     The town is accessible via the Governor Joaquin J. Linao Highway. It is bounded in the north by Morong, in the south by Mariveles, and in the east by Pilar and Orion. It is composed of 14 barangays, namely Bagumbayan, Banawang, Binuangan, Binukawan, Ibaba, Ibis, Pagasa, Parang, Paysawan, Quinawan, San Antonio, Saysain, Tabing-ilog and Atilano Ricardo. These barangays are classified as either town center barangays, coastal and upland barangays.
     Bagac is primarily an agricultural town. It is also a fishing municipality. It sits on top of a vast potential “goldmine” that is rich in natural wonders and historical places. It has high tourism potentials complete with a showcase of pristine coastal and marine marvels. Heartbreaking coral reefs, white sand beaches, seaside resorts and rugged mountains beaming with rainforests, caves, waterfalls, and World War II historical markers are Bagac’s principal tourist attractions. Bagac, as far as history is concerned, is the second starting point of the 1942 Bataan Death March.
     Several fairly-priced resorts can accommodate visitors anytime. Montemar Beach Resort is an exclusive world-class destination in Bagac. People can easily access the Montemar cove by using rental boats. Four other beach resorts operate in Bagac, namely Morning Breeze, Fajardo’s, Sun Moon and Bagac Beach Resort. A number of other exotic beaches and coves are still untapped and can be transformed into first-class resorts by potential investors.
     “Old Town” is Bagac’s newest tourist destination. It is a 50-hectare seaside property where “relocated” ancestral houses can be found. It replaced the old BNPP Housing Complex as Bagac’s primary tourist attraction.
     The town had a population of 24,202 peole as of 2007. These people are mostly skilled in farming and fishing, as well as in the fields of masonry, carpentry and welding. They are also into garment manufacturing and lately, on processing of food products.
     Bagac’s name was simply derived from the Visayan word “Bagak” and/or “Bagakay.”          When translated to Tagalog, “Bagak” literally means “Kawayan.” “Bagakay“ means ‘kawayanan.” Bamboo tree is Bagak’s English transcription.
     It is a established fact that men from the southern islands of the Visayas and Mindanao constituted the biggest number of early settlers in Luzon during the pre-Spanish time. The Visayans, specifically the Warays, also travelled north to be part of the booming barter trade in Manila. A big number of these seafarers possibly ended up in the western part of Bataan after missing the North and South Channels leading into Manila Bay. They were the ones who gave Bagac its name based on the great number of bamboo trees growing along its shores and at the foot of Mount Bataan and Mount Mariveles.
     “Longos-Kawayan,” a reef jotting out of Biaan (Mariveles) used to be the unloading point and/or stockyard of bamboos cut from the Bagac forest area. The name alone fortifies the actual derivation of the name of Bagac town.
     It could also be concluded that these Visayan seafarers were the ones who gave the names of Kinawan, Binuangan, Paysawan. Caibobo, Salamang, Pasinay and Saysain. These names are definitely not common Tagalog words.
     Fr. Rodrigo Aganduru y Moriz de San Miguel, an early missionary from Villadolid (Spain) and recognized as the founder of Morong and Bagac, surely found these seafarers already settled in the two distant villages. He merely adapted ‘Bagak’ as the name of the thinly-populated barrio as given to him by the natives. In the case of Morong, it can only be surmised that its name originated from him (Fr. Aganduru because of its Spanish derivation.
     The bamboo and other hardwood trees at the foot of Mount Bataan and Mount Mariveles suffered great devastation when the Cadwallder-Gibson Lumber Company started its operation in Paysawan from 1915 to 1928. Another conflagration of the same intensity hit the Bagac and Morong areas during World War II.
     Still, the bamboo trees survived the terrible defoliation. Nowadays we still see numerous patches of bamboo groves along the plains and mountainous areas of Bagac and Morong to remind the people of their great history.

Bagac’s Legend
     A few years after the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines some of them traveled along the seacoast looking for a place to live in. They had with them an Aeta as guide. Travelling without a fixed direction, they happened to pass by the place which is hidden between two sharp points extending to the sea. In their conversation, the Aeta uttered the word “lumbak” which meant lying between two hills. As they were crossing the place, they sighted a flock of herons flying overhead. When the Spaniards inquired about the white herons from their guide, the Aeta answered “tagak.” From these two syllables, “Bak,” from the word lumbak and “Gak” from the word tagak, was derived the name Bagac. Since then it remained and still is the official name of the town.

                                Bagac Municipal Mayors
No.                               Year                                          Mayor                                          Vice Mayor
 1                             1901-1903                            Vicente Nojadera                                        xx
 2                             1903-1905                            Ildefonso Batol                                            xx
 3                             1905-1907                            Exequiel Robles                                          xx   
 4                             1907-1909                            Eugenio Loreto                                 Leoncio Marquez
 5                            1910-1912                             Leoncio Marquez                              Cornelio Blanco
 6                            1912-1916                             Eugenio Loreto                                 Lucio del Rosario
 7                            1916-1919                             Wenceslao Cerezo                           Doroteo Dilig
 8                            1919-1922                            Esteban Nojadera                             Elias Mandocdoc
 9                            1922-1925                            Esteban Nojadera                             Valentin Calma
10                           1925-1928                            Eugenio Loreto                                  Elias Mandocdoc
11                           1928-1931                            Esteban Nojadera                            Bartolome Marquez
12                           1931-1934                            Esteban Nojadera                            Isidoro Mandocdoc
13                           1934-1937                            Zoilo Gutierrez                                 Valentin Calma
14                           1938-1941                            Alfonso Marquez                             Isidoro Mandocdoc
15                           1941-1942                            Zoilo Gutierrez                                Manuel Loreto
16                           1942-1944                            Lazaro J. Dizon                                         -none-
                               1944-1946                            Angel del Rosario                                   -none-
                               1946-1947                            Zoilo Gutierrez                                           xxx
17                           1948-1951                            Angel del Rosario                           Apolinario Malabanan
18                           1952-1955                            Fortunato Tuazon                            Primitivo Flores
                               1956-1959                            Angel M. del Rosari0                      Apolinario Malabanan
                               1960-1963                            Fortunato Tuazon                            Teofisto Quiroz
                               1964-1967                            Atilano Ricardo                               Eufracio B. Flores
                               1968-1971                            Emiliano Cascasan                        Teofisto Quiroz                
19                          1972-1976                             Atilano Ricardo                               Angel B. Teopengco
                              1976-1979                             Atilano Ricardo                                       -none-
20                          1979-1979                             Tomas Dilig                                              -none-
21                          1979-1980                             Ernesto Cascasan Sr.                            -none-
                              1980-1986                             Ernesto Cascasan Sr.                     Teofisto S. Quiroz
22                          1986-1988                             Tomas Dilig                                      Guillermo Mendoza Sr.
23                          1988-1992                             Norberto Ricardo                             Melquiades Teopengco
                              1992-1995                             Norberto Ricardo                             Armando Bantugan
                              1995-1998                             Norberto Ricardo                             Antonio de Leon

24                          1998-2001                             Melquiades T. Teopengco               Jose R. Bantugan
25                           2001-2004                            Norberto Ricardo                            Jose R. Bantugan             
26                          2004-2007                            Armando Ramos                             Christian B. de Leon
26                          2007-2010                            Rommel del Rosario                       Romeo T. Teopengco
                              2010-2013                            Rommel del Rosario                       Guillermo Mendoza Jr.

   Barangay                    Barangayhood)           Area                  Population                    Bgy. Captain
                                      (Date created)           (hectares)           (2007 Census)            (as of October 2010)   
Atilano Ricardo                                                     278.95                   2009                       Eva T. Shaikh
Bagumbayan                  Mar. 28, 1967                   59.89                     1916                       Eddie Salvacion
Banawang                                                            5641.17                  2381                       Ernesto Tamoro
Binuangan                                                           1439.18                   575                        Mamerto Boniel
Binukawan                     Dec. 28, 1967                  1062.85                  1898                       Panfilo Mojica
Ibaba                             Mar. 28, 1969                  118.55                    1686                       Remedios Paguio
Ibis                                                                    1286.48                  1226                        Adelmo Gonzales
Pagasa                                                                125.02                     3372                       Armando dela Cruz
Parang                          Jan. 9, 1961                      2225.37                  2684                       Rolando C. de Vega
Paysawan                      Mar. 13, 1970                   1108.63                  647                         Rizaldo Flores
Quinawan                      Feb. 4, 1972                     2260.13                  553                        Julio Tadia
San Antonio                  June 11, 1971                   669.62                    1301                       Leonido Evangelista
Saysain                                                              6781.39                   2770                       Jayson Lazaro
Tabing-ilog                    Mar. 28, 1969                 62.77                      1184                       Melanio Mendoza

                  Total:                                             23,120.00                24,202

No comments:

Post a Comment