HISTORY OF BANGA

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Beneath the fair Manduyog Hil covered with verdant vegetation, nestled the present Town Proper of the Municipality of Banga, Province of Aklan,whic was founded in the year 1783 as mere settlement by a group of families embued with pioneering spirit. Bernabe Teodosio and his young wife, Diego Eulalio Teodosio together with Esteban Masigon and the Muntuya Families, established the settlement in the present site. Induced by the fertility of the soil coming from the hill, and accessibility of water transfortation tranversing larger areas covered by the Aklan River, they selected this place. At the time of the settlement, the place was thickly covered by tall, straight Banga Palm Trees from which the town derived its name. Because of the abundance o fthe said palm trees growing wild and uncultivated, the pioneers have to fell the support of their growing families.

Before the settlement at the present site of Banga, the first settlememnt was it what is now sitio Opong-opong of barrio Cupang in 1676. However, because of its closeness to the Aklan River, which overflowed its banks annually, the settlers thought it wise to transfer to site to the farther and elevated place at sitio Agbueakan of Barrio Tabayon in the year 1781. The land being clayish, its fertility was soon depleted that the settlers have to transfer again to the present town of Banga where they began to lay-out plans for the establishments of a town for residential purposes which were close to their farmlands. The population having increased, the residents agreed among themselves to construct streets against forest animals and other native tribes.

Upon the imposition of American sovereignity in the Philippines in August 13, 1898 hostilities betweeen the natives and the Americans began and a revolutionnary organization then called "Revolutionist" spring up rapidly as a symbol of opposition of foreign domination. Hostilities, however, did not later last long and the native revolutionaries were ill-equiped compared to the superior arms of the Americans. The "Pas de Aklan" a very historical document in the Aklan Section of the Province of Capiz was drafted and signed at the town of the Banga on March 29, 1901, terminating the Filipino-American hostilities. The signing of the document took place at about 9:00 o'clock in the morning at the present Municipal Park at the corner of Rizal and San Jose Streets. Hundreds of of people gathered on the public square to witness the important occasion on which symbolized the restoration of peace and order in Aklan. The document was signed by Col. Severino Cavivis and Simeon Mobo on the part of the Filipino Revolutionaries and by Capt. C. G. Morthon on the part of the American forces. A barrio in the municipality of Balete was named after Commandant Morthon.

From January 1, 1904 to December 31, 1911 Banga, with Lezo and Numancia were merged together as "arabal" of the municiplaity of Kalibo. However, on January 1, 1912, Banga was made a seperate and independent Municipality through the untiring efforts of the late Don Baltazar Teodosio. A year after, an election was conducted and the first Municipal President elected was Francisco Lachica. A great calamity fell on the people of Banga on October 21, 1943 at about 10:00 o'clock in the morning at the junction of Rizal and Mabini Streets and at the National Road fronting the 5th Capiz Cadre at barrio Libas of Banga, which is about three kilometers from the town. It was in these two places were groups of people induced by the desire to please, welcomed the Japanese Imperial Forces who ordered the civilians to squat and immediately thereafter, they wer cold blooded massacred. A bout 70 persons died that very day. Four continous days from October 21, 1943, the Japanese soldiers were on a mission to kill civilians on eight mainly for purposes of paralyzing the increasing guerilla activities. Around 200 people died during the four-day operation.

On April 17, 1942, at about 2:00 o'clock in the morning, the Japanese Imperial Forces landed at Culasi, Capiz. One hour after, at about 3:00 o;clock the 5th Capiz Cadre at Libas, Banga was burned by the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE). At about 8:30 that morning, the Banga Rural High School building was likewise burned. Then followed the Banga Elementary School Building and the Home Economics Building at about 9:00 o'clock that same morning. During the Japanese occupation, practically 95% of all the permanent houses in the Poblacion were raised to the ground by the USAFFE and later by the Guerillas to prevent them being occupied by the Japanese Forces. After the landing of the American Liberation Forces in Panay in mARCH 18, 1945, the first Municipal Mayor appointed by the Philippine Civil Affairs Unit was Dr. Boanerjes M. Venturanza.

The first elected Mayor after the liberation was Mr. Jose C. Requiola, Sr. who served from 1946 to 1951 then followed by Atty. Vicente R. Teodosio who served from 1951 to 1959, Dr. Napoleon G. Macahilig from 1959 to 1963, Atty. Tomas Raz from 1963 to 1971 and Atty. Sergio R. Rigodon from 1972 to the present. From the period of liberation to the present, Banga had kept up with the march of progress. It could boast of one the best if not the best plaza in the whole Province of Aklan. It has at present a population of not less than 22, 500 people.