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About Bongabong
Learn more about this historical landmark that showcases nature's bounty amidst globally competent business enterprises..

About

The town of Bongabong is at present one of the most progressive and fast growing municipalities in the province of Oriental Mindoro w/ a total land area of 404.27 Sq Km or 40,427 hectares and stretching far and wide crossing the vast agricultural lands from the boundary of Sumagui, Municipality of Bansud, Or. Mindoro starting at “Dalapian Creek” to Bato crisscrossing two long rivers up to the interior of the so-called “Bongabong River ending at Barangay Morente and Batangan at the South before Roxas Town.

 

History

As earlier written and published in the Mindoro Yearbook of 1901  by the late Prof. Macario Landicho it is here verbatimly quoted thus: “Originally the town is located at the banks of the wide river bearing its name. Later, it was called “SOCUL”, a Visayan name for measure. Actually located at the bank of the Socul River , the townsite which lies on a rolling plain about ten kilometers to the interior where an abrupt intermittent of valley and steep mountains meet. The rolling topography extends from Sumagui to the interior, broken by successive ranges of low hills towards the Bongabong River and to the town of Roxas. ” The background is mountainous. Mt. Davidson and Mt. Checkdon are within its territorial boundary. These high speak are the sources of water that flow to the Bongabong River used to be called Sucol River . The black and gray beaches that provide scenic vista to the lover of natures stretch from Barangay Labasan all the way to Barangay Masaguisi and Cawayan. These were occupied first by the Jesuit missionaries in the early part of the 17th Century were the Recollect Order during the Spanish times (first Jesuit Missionaries from Naujan) came to spread the gospel to the natives. That due to constant attack by the Moros and of the difficulty of transportation then, in 1737, the provincial chapter of the Recollect order from Mangarin who later tool over transferred to Mararog owing to the yearly depredation of the Moros abandoning “KUTA” at Barangay Anilao. “The original settlement at Anilao was known as “KUTA” due to the big, concrete church and fortress which the Jesuits built for the protection against the Moros.” At present in the said location still stands a part of the destroyed church, a relic and the remnant of Spanish cannon. The cannon could be seen and still at the town plaza, a symbol of the town’s glorious past.

Mindoro revolution

           

The revolution of the island of Mindoro (Oriental and Occidental) started in this historic town for it is first municipalities who fought and expressed its grievance against the cruelty and tyranny of the Spaniards against our forebears. It started in Bongabong on May 22, 1898 up to the surrender of Calapan on June 30, 1898. It was instigated, planned, organized and launched by the people from Cavite and Batangas w/ the help of local leaders. From the historical footnotes of Mindoro it states that two companies of the “Mindoro Battalion” were commanded by captains Ruperto Hernandez and Estanislao Cayton both from Batangas. The revolution which started in Bongabong was led by Col. Juan Naguit, a native of Cavite . He led a band of local Katipuneros armed only w/ bolos and knives in attacking the church of Sucol (now Bongabong). Col. Naguit exhorted his rag-tag band shouting “Oras na mga Kapatid”. Two Spaniards were killed in the encounter. This, as written in the Schultz book, signaled the uprising against the Spanish authority in the whole island of Mindoro culminating in the eventual surrender of the entire Spanish forces in the capital town of Calapan on June 30, 1898 wherein General Aguinaldo then took control of its administration and led his forces to Calapan in 1898.

 

UNDER AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

            In 1898, a revolutionary government was created in Bongabong wherein CAMILO UMALI was appointed president and held said position up to 1901. And in 1901 the American forces came to Bongabong and established a military government as a result of the American invasion of Mindoro in that year. During the uprising against the American many residents were reported garrisoned at the Kuta in Anilao while the soldiers were burning their houses and properties. A ship, the Turtousa, w/c ran aground at the Sucol River , was also burned by the American invaders.

            In 1902, a civil government was established after the area was pacified by the Americans wherein ISIDRO UMALI appointed first president by the American government. Under the Legislative Act. 1135 of the Philippine Commission the town was downgraded. It was annexed or placed under the jurisdiction of Pinamalayan due and owing to its inability to support itself. It was reorganized under an “ALDEA” with JUAN GOZAR as its president.

 

THE JURADO AMBUSH

            It maybe known that during the guerilla campaign against the Japanese in 1944, the infamous “JURADO AMBUSH” happened in the remote area in the barrio of Sumagui, the part of this town but is now a barrio of Bansud and during the liberation when the Americans returned, the American forces who leap-frog from San Jose made it’s 4th landing in its black-gray beach near the old cemetery w/  Ex-Mayor Ernesto L. Umali in the company of the  liberation forces.

 

BINAGAO, SUMILANG & BONGABONG

            The town was already in existence by the latter part of the 17th century and numerous articles on this have been written in the past, but contemporary  writers cannot officially determine how Bongabong got its name. the closest assumption, however, is that the name Bongabong was derived  from the Mangyan word “BINAGAO”, meaning a big and turbulent river, attributed from the first settlers, known as Mangyans. This turbulent and wide river is now called Bongabong River the longest span bridge connecting Barangay Hagan & Lisap in the south. The town had been given several names, since it was first known as “BINAGAO” during the Spanish times. During the short-lived Revolutionary administration, the town’s name was changed to “SUMILANG” by Col. JUAN NAGUIT w/c means “sumikat ang araw” signifying its being the first town to be born under the Mindoro Revolutionary government. The present name according to an anecdote was taken from an incident that happened during the American Regime. It runs this way: “One early morning, an American soldier armed w/ rifle while leisurely walking along the bank of the Sucol River (now Bongabong River) saw a betel tree called locally as “bunga” laden w/ fruits and upon seeing the nuts in cluster fired his weapon making the betel nut his target and comes out w/ a sound of a gun “bong”. The “bunga” and the sound of the gun “bong” were combined into one word and came to be associated with the place and became “BONGABONG”. From then on up to December 7, 1927 when Legislative Bill No. 3415 of the colonial Philippine Commission was passed and approved, the name BONGABONG was recognized, a municipality with glorious past.

            In 1938, it started its progress. New lands were opened to different settlers. Immigration increases coming from Southern Tagalog provinces, Visayas, Ilocos Regions, Central Luzon, Mindanao and from neighboring province of Batangas , Marinduque and Romblon who are industrious and peaceful loving people and God-fearing individuals. Sawmills were constructed with settlers rushed work and invest there parts. Due mainly to the opening of many sawmills then in 1945 up to 1948 the population increased to its unprecedented level and boom this sawmill industry resulted in more people in quest for work and for permanent settlement coming from the different regions of the country. Foreigners came and stayed permanently and made profitable businesses more particularly the Chinese which leads among 15 municipalities in Oriental Mindoro in Lumber production after liberation and in which fact gave a big boast to economic development.

People

Dissolve cultural boundaries!

Immigration increases coming from Southern Tagalog provinces, Visayas, Ilocos Regions, Central Luzon, Mindanao and from neighboring province of Batangas , Marinduque and Romblon who are industrious and peaceful loving people and God-fearing individuals. The Bongabong community continues to grow as more and more people are attracted to work and live in the area.

 

Economic Resources

The vast land resources of Bongabong serve as its primary strength as they are highly suitable for agricultural production. Agricultural and forestry are the leading natural resources and the average land holding in the farmers is between five to hectares. The dominant product of the town is rice while copra production only runs second. Coconut plantation are now located not only along the coastal plains but is also in the interiors. Aside from rice and coconut, people also raise corn vegetables, root crops, bananas and all kinds of fruit growing trees. Cattle, hog and poultry raising are also sources of the livelihood of the populace w/c contributed to the economic progress of the place. The coastal areas from Dalapian up to Barangay Cawayan are excellent fishing ground and greatly contributed to the income of town. 

       Other comparative advantages include a rich marine fishing ground off Tablas Strait, large and developed brackishwater fishpond areas, abundance of milkfish and prawn fry and fingerlings in the wild, and the growing number of Tilapia fishpond areas because of its acceptability as alternative enterprise and protein source.

 

Municipality of Bongabong - Administration
 

            In 1920, it was made a municipal district under Act. No. 2824. and finally on December 7, 1927, after repeated efforts on the leaders and constituents of Bongabong, the town was eventually granted the status of a regular municipality. This was created as true and separate municipality during the time of Ex-Congressman Raul Leuterio thru Legislative Act. No. 3415, an Act recognizing the Districts of Bongabong and Puerto Galera, province of Mindoro , as Municipalities w/c took effect and approved on December 7, 1927 (BONGABONG DAY). This town was finally linked by road to the rest of Northern Mindoro when 112 kilometers highway from Calapan was finally completed and opened.

 

TOWN LEADERS FROM 1898 UP TO PRESENT

From 1898 Revolutionary Government, American Government, Liberation up To Present

 

1. JUAN NAGUIT, CAMILO UMALI     & ANTONIO JALOS  -1898-1904

 

2. ISIDRO UMALI                   

 Govierno del Aldea   -  1904

 

3. JUAN GOZAR 

 Presidente de Aldea -  1907-1909

 

4. LEONARDO UBAL                

     1914 - 1917 

 

5. FAUSTO ABAO                            

1919-22

 

6. ROSENDO UMALI                   

 1922 – 1930 (elected)

 

7. BRIGIDO  MANALO                            

 1931 – 1933 (elected)

8. BRIGIDO MANALO                                    1934 – 1940 (elected)

9. ROSENDO UMALI                                    elected 1941 until the outbreak of the WWII

10. JACINTO P. ISLER                                Mayor during the Japanese occupation 1943-44

11. ISMAEL V. MANALO                                         Guerilla appointed Mayor–Guerilla–Japanese Conflict   

      

12.  ROSENDO UMALI   

1948 – 1951 Mayor

 

13. DR. ANGEL S. RODRIGUEZ                                elected – 1952 & 1959 – (2 terms)

 

14. FELIPE V. MANALO                                             elected 1960 – 1964

 

15. ERNESTO L. UMALI           

  - 1964-1969

 

16. PEDRITO A. REYES        

  - take over as Mayor by succession 1969-71 when Mayor E. Umali run for Congress

 

17. JOSE A. ENRIQUEZ             

- elected 1972-1979

 

18. RENATO U. REYES          

  - elected 1980 – 1996

 

19. ALEX I. ENRIQUEZ            

  - Mayor by Succession when Mayor. R. Reyes was dismissed to run as Mayor in 1996. Serve as Mayor from July 11, 1996 up to present.

Bongabong is politically subdivided into 36 barangays

  • Anilao
  • Batangan
  • Bukal
  • Camantigue
  • Carmundo
  • Cawayan
  • Dayhagan
  • Formon
  • Hagan
  • Hagupit
  • Kaligtasan
  • Labasan
  • Labonan
  • Libertad
  • Lisap
  • Luna
  • Malitbog
  • Mapang
  • Masaguisi
  • Morente
  • Ogbot
  • Orconuma
  • Polusahi
  • Sagana
  • San Isidro
  • San Jose
  • San Juan
  • Santa Cruz
  • Sigange
  • Tawas
  • Poblacion
  • Aplaya
  • Bagumbayan I
  • Bagumbayan II
  • Ipil
  • Mina de Oro

 

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