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Rosario Batangas Philippines

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rosario of Batangas 1946-1951

Chapter VII
Under The Third Philippine Republic
First Independence Day Celebration
Early Post War Developments

First Independence Day Celebration
A simple ceremony in front of the makeshift municipal building of Rosario marked the celebration of the 1st Independence Day of the Third Philippine Republic on July 4, 1946. A platoon of Bataan veterans, led by Lt. Indalecio T. Magsino, participated in the lowering of the American flag, and the raising of the Filipino flag. The Alcalde or Mayor Recto planted a commemorative Independence Tree (a narra seedling) infront of the "municipio."

In the same year the town's first private high school - Padre Vicente Garcia Memorial Memorial Academy (PVGMA) - was founded by Dr. Melecio Z. Bolaños, Crisanto A. Gualberto, Fidel Luna, and Mayor Jose P. Recto among others.

Courtesy: PVGMA: The Golden Years 1946-1996 Souvenir Program

Dr. Melecio Z. Bolaño
Dr. Melecio Z. Bolaño


Early Post War Developments
Before the war, Rosario was the premier town of Eastern Batangas. It took the town several decades to regain its pre-war prestige in the province. It had sunk to the lowest classification - a fifth class municipality. This was not due alone to economic devastation it suffered during the war. It was more on the account of the violence of its local politics, and the quality of some leadership it unfortunately had.

In 1947, the Grand Old Man of Rosario, Don Antonino Luancing, was appointed mayor when Mayor Recto left for the Justice Department to become a fiscal. The 1st post-war local election was to be held that year. Don Antonio did not run for the mayorship of the town.

Dr. Crisanto A. Gualberto, who earlier had been freed of charges of collaboration and released from prison, now ran for mayor against guerilla Major Isaac Farol. Dr. Gualberto was the pre-war political kingpin of the town. He was not discouraged by the rough election campaign he had been through. He lost the election but passed the test of nerve of the campaign harassment unscathed. (He later studied law and became the municipal judge of Rosario).

Mayor Farol appointed guerilla Captain Angel Arias as chief of police. Captain Arias was tough chief of police. Locally he was almost legendary in maintaining peace and order in the trouble spots of the town.

Shortly after the election in 1947, Lumang Bayan, with several other barrios in the north, agitated to become a separate municipality. They succeeded early in 1949 and became the Municipality of Padre Garcia - named after its famous son, Padre Vicente Garcia. The new municipality carved about a third of Rosario's territory.

In the Presidential Election of 1949; Mayor Farol, though a Liberal Party member, supported fellow Batangueño Dr. Jose P. Laurel, a Nacionalista, for president. Pres. Quirino was recorded to have been given zero-votes in Rosario. Quirino was re-elected president. When Batangas guerilla leader, Francisco Medrano, rose in rebellion, Mayor Farol mobilized his former guerilla force to join Medrano, but the rebellion ended soon.

By 1950, the Hukbalahaps were active in this Southern Tagalog area. In some parts of the area, the Huks were able to enter and ransack some towns. In Rosario they were able to stay as near as Bagong Pook and its adjacent barrio of Quilo-quilo in Padre Garcia for sometime. In the mountain barrios of Rosario, they were able to attract sympathizers and even won some adherents. Among those who became active in the Huk movement was Nemesio Banaag of barrio Tulos. Locally, he became known as Commander Linda. He later surrendered to the authorities.

To counter the Huk's threat of entering the town proper, Mayor Farol and Captain Arias had heavily armed civilian guards, they were former guerillas and they guarded the town at night. Rosario was for sometime an armed camp at night until the threat was over. The Huks never made an attempt to enter the poblacion.

In the brooding politial turmoil that was to subject Rosario for decades after the war, saw the emergence of a club. Led by the political and some social and business leaders of the town, a caucus was held at the residence of the Chief of Police, Captain Angel Arias. Purportedly it was for the holding of a reception and ball for the coming town fiesta in April 1951. A club was organized with membership from among the elites of the town. It adopted the name: Batikan Club. Jose E. Agoncillo was elected its preident.

The club ceased to exist after the incumbency as club president in 1956 of then Chief of Police Felicisimo H. Luna (later became a mayor). It was brought back to life after 23 years later by then Ex-Mayor Jose E. Agoncillo in 1979. Since then, the club has fostered fellowship, cooperation, unity and service to the community.

The Batikan Club is considered as one of the most enduring and successful socio-civic organizations in the province. Prominent personages of the province, of Metro Manila and even national figures would had been less acquainted with Rosario, if it's not because of the Batikan Club which had them as guest speakers.

Mayor Farol ended his term in August 1951 to run for provincial board member in the election of that year. He had Teodoro Cuartero, a fellow guerilla from barrio Cahigam and was a member of the landed Cuartero family, appointed as acting mayor. He was to be pitted against Captain Arias who also had resigned as chief of police to run for mayor.

Arias had Jose E. Agoncillo as his running mate, and the support of Dr. Crisanto A. Gualberto, the former alcalde of Rosario. Cuartero was supported by former Mayor Farol. In the campaign trail, both candidates had heavily armed body guards with them. Although the political climate was tense, the voting was not marred by violence. Arias and Agoncillo won the election, but subsequent events ushered Rosario into an era of violent politics lasting until 1990.

This post is the first of a series of three posts covering Chapter VII - Under The Third Philippine Republic of the book Rosario of Batangas: Its Origin and Developments, 2008 Edition. Reprinted by permission of the author, Conrado T. Reyes.

Read related articles:

Chapter VII - Under the Third Philippine Republic
Political Episodes of the Era
Other Significant Developments
In Calm Political Atmosphere
The "Araw ng Rosario"

7 comments:

anthony.jb.bolanos said...

My father is Engr. Melecio Martinez Bolanos, while his father is the late Dr. Melecio Zuno Bolanos. According to my 76-year old dad, his grandfather is a revolutionary hero, Col. Melecio Bolanos. This blog post confirms my dad's stories, and I'm happy to know historical information about my roots. - JB Bolanos, anthony.jb.bolanos@hotmail.com

anthony.jb.bolanos said...

I hope the blogger can get in touch with me as I'm conducting a Bolanos Family Tracer study. Maybe Mr. Blogger you can help me with this project. Thanks!

Jess P. Zuño said...

From my dad's WWII photo albums, among the Bataan survivors during the first celebration of independence day in Rosario, I think he was the most senior among the USAFFE vets: Capt. Jose M. Zuño, Inf.,USAFFE.
Aside from his Bataan experience, he was at one time the Operations and Training Officer as well as the Combat Platoon Commander of the FAIT guerillas in the area. Before reporting back to active duty once the Philippines was secured, he worked as a civilian employee with the 325th Evacuation
Hospital (US Army) in Rosario (where the PVGMA is now located). He reported back to active duty and was attached to the AFWESPAC (US Army Forces-Western Pacific) which was earmarked for the invasion of Japan (that did not happen). He left the army as a captain and was in that celebration.

brendasamson said...

Im Brenda Samson-Tangonan, happy ako at meron ng website at napakatiyaga mo sa paggawa ng wegsite na ito.. Malaking tulong ito sa mga students..May suggestions sana ako, mas maganda kung madagdagan ang details.. about sa description of the areas sa mga barangays, most specially yung mga nasa uplands, like: Antipolo, Calantas, Leviste, Palacpac, Matamis at Tulos. at magkaroon din ng number of Household per barangays, para mas detalyado.. Tnx and more power!!

Jami said...

Indalecio Magsino or our Mamay Daling just passed away this morning. Good to know he's part of our history before he died.

mazzini said...

Ako po ay taga San Juan Batangas. okay po itong blog ninyo. malaking tulong po ito.

Agnes.ablaza@yahoo.com said...

My great grand father's real name was ANTONINO BOUQUIR LUANCING not "Antonio"Married to nee Adela Bulanos of San Juan, Batangas.
I am the grand daughter of one of his two son's, who is Jaime Bulanos Luancing married to nee- Pacencia Macaraeg Carino. Jaime had children... Dr. Augusto Carino Luancing (deceased)... Manuel C. Luancing (deceased) and their youngest and only daughter, who is my mother, nee Corazon Carino Luancing married to Dr Pedro Lat Sancianco of Tanauan, Batangas. I am now Agnes Sancianco-Ablaza

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