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Monday, August 13, 2018

US confirms plan to return Balangiga bells to Philippines



"Ibalik niyo sa amin ang mga kampana ng Balangiga. Sa amin iyan. Ang mga iyan ay pag-aari ng Pilipinas. Bahagi ng aming pamanang pambansa," ("Give us back those Balangiga bells. They are ours. They belong to the Philippines. They are part of our national heritage,"). President Rodrigo R. Duterte SONA 2017, July 24, 2017.

Lookback: Before turning Samar into a 'howling wilderness' US first mastered the technique in MARINDUQUE by establishing concentration camps in all the towns, burning houses by the hundreds (in one account 324 houses were burned in just one town in five days), burning tons and tons of rice so the people would go hungry, killing cattle, carabaos, horses and treating males 15 years old up as enemies. Some 600 males were taken to Polo island in Sta. Cruz as prisoners. In Samar it was worse, 'Kill everyone over 10' was the order. 


But of the Marinduque experiment Gov.Gen. William H. Taft said: 'The severity with which the inhabitants have been dealt with would not look well if a complete history of it were written out.'


MANILA, Philippines — Taken as war booty by American soldiers more than a century after they last tolled to signal an attack on their comrades, the Balangiga bells may finally return home.

The United States embassy in Manila yesterday confirmed the intention of the US Defense Department to return the Balangiga bells to the Philippines.

Trude Raizen, the embassy’s deputy press attaché, said Defense Secretary James Mattis has notified the US Congress of their intention to return the bells more than a century after they were removed by US soldiers from the church of Balangiga town, Eastern Samar in 1901.

“No specific date has been identified for the return of the bells. We’ve received assurances that the bells will be returned to the Catholic Church and treated with the respect and honor they deserve,” Raizen told The STAR.

“We are aware that the Bells of Balangiga have deep significance for a number of people, both in the United States and in the Philippines,” she added.

The return of the Balangiga bells was among the constant demands of President Duterte from the US government.


On Friday, prominent Eastern Visayas historian Rolando Borrinaga shared initial information about the possible return of the bells.

He cited Bellevue, Nebraska Mayor Rita Gomez Sanders, a Filipino-American, who heard of the news from her district congressman.

Borrinaga said the announcement was apparently made to time with the fiesta of San Lorenzo de Martir in Balangiga last Friday.

Asked why Mattis has to notify the US Congress of their intention, Borrinaga said concurrence of the legislators is necessary as provided for in the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2018.

“I think the lobbying for the concurrence would not be as ‘bloody’ as the lobbying for inclusion of the provisions to return the bells in the NDAA 2018,” he told The STAR yesterday.

The ringing of the bells signaled an attack by Filipino guerillas on US troops belonging to the 9th US Infantry Regiment. The attack killed 48 US soldiers, including their commander.

In retaliation, Gen. Jacob Smith ordered troops sent on a punitive mission to turn Samar into a “howling wilderness.” The US soldiers set the town on fire and killed all Filipinos 10 years old and above or those fit enough to carry a rifle, as ordered by Smith. The operation left more than 2,500 Filipinos dead.

One of the bells is currently in the possession of the 9th Infantry Regiment in South Korea, while the other two are in F. E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.



It was in 1994 during the Ramos administration that a request for the return of the bells was first made. No action was taken on Ramos’ request, which was repeated in 1996.

In 2012, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead wrote a letter to then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opposing the return of the bells.- Philstar

Also read:

Balangiga Bells at kung paanong ipinatupad muna sa Marinduque ang ginawa sa Samar ng mga Kano


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Labanan sa Paye, Kapitan Teofilo N. Roque, iba pang labanan sa Marinduque laban sa Kano

Kapitan Teofilo Navaroso Roque

Ipinagdiwang kahapon dito sa Marinduque ang makasaysayang Labanan sa Paye (July 31, 1900), na isang mahalagang bahagi ng Philippine-American War sa Marinduque (1900-1902). Isa ito sa dalawang makasaysayang kabanata noong 1900 na hindi na makakalimutan sa lokal na kasaysayan. 

Ang Digmaan sa Marinduque

Si Martin Lardizabal, military governor ng Marinduque ang nag-organisa ng Hukbong Rebolusyonaryo ng Marinduque ayon sa pag-uutos ni Mariano Trias ng Southern Command. 

Nagsimula naman ang panibagong pakikibaka, sa panahong katatapos pa lamang ng Spanish-Philippine War, nang dumating noong Abril 25, 1900 ang dalawang US Navy ships. Dumaong malapit sa Puerto Laylay, lulan ang isang batalyon ng 29th USV Infantry sa ilalim ni Col. Edward Hardin.

US soldiers wading ashore at Laylay, Boac, April 25, 1900

Matapos ang pakikipag-usap sa ilang mga prominenteng residente ng Boac, dumeretso ang mga sundalong Amerikano sa mala-citadel na simbahan ng Boac at ito ang ginawa nilang kuta. Walang pagtanggi o labanan na naganap. 

Pagkatapos ng ilan pang pagmamanman na wala pa ring anumang insidente, nagpasya si Hardin na tahimik ang isla. Iniwan ang Company A at naglayag papunta sa iba pang masasakop na mga isla sa labas ng Marinduque.

Si Lardizabal naman ay nagkasakit at hindi na magampanan ang kanyang tungkulin. Hinirang niya si Lt. Col. Maximo Abad bilang kanyang kapalit na mamuno sa hukbong rebolusyonaryo. Mayo 6, 1900 nang ang Hukbo ay hinati sa apat na guerilla units.

Si Teofilo Roque ang namuno sa 2nd Guerilla para mangalaga sa teritoryong Boac-Mogpog (kung saan naganap ang Labanan sa Paye).

May mga prominenteng personalidad sa kilusan na may kaugnayan sa isat-isa. Halimbawa, biyenan ni Abad si Kapitan Fausto Roque ng 1st Guerilla, at pinsan naman ni Fausto si Teofilo. Dahil dito, naisulat ni Andrew Birtle, isang US historian, na ang revolutionary struggle daw sa Marinduque ay matatag na nakaugat sa middle at upper classes ng isla na may kakayahang gamitin ang kanilang kapangyarihan at pagkilala ng mga tao para ang kilusan ay suportahan ng mga mamamayan.


Lumang larawan sa may simbahan ng Sta. Cruz, Marinduque


Labanan sa Sta .Cruz


Noong ika-19 ng Mayo 1900, umabot sa 57 ang mga kawal Amerikano ng Company D/38 na nagmartsa papuntang Sta. Cruz, at nakarating doon ng 7:00 ng umaga, Linggo. Nadatnan nila ang may mga 1,000 katao na dumalo sa maagang misa.


Karamihan sa mga tao ay sakop ng paningin ng mga Amerikano bagamat pansin din nila na ang mga gerilya ay naka-deploy sa ibabaw ng isang burol.

Nagsagawa ng tinatawag na ‘bush tactic o Indian style’ na paglusob ang mga Amerikano. Sa pangunguna ni Major Charles H. Muir biglaang rumatrat at nasapol kaagad ang ilang mga Filipino mula sa kanilang pinagkukublihan. Nagtalsikan papunta sa ibat-ibang direksiyon.

Anim kaagad ang namatay na mga Filipinong sundalo at isa ang nabihag. Napagtagumpayan ng mga Kano ang unang labanan sa Marinduque na wala silang casualty.

Matapos ang pangyayari, nagpasya ang may karamdamang si Martin Lardizabal na sumuko na lamang. Nanatili para sa pakikipaglaban sina Abad at mga kasamahan sa kabundukan.

Battle of Paye Historical Landmark

Labanan sa Paye

Samantala, ang komandanteng Amerikano sa Boac, si First Lieutenant William S. Wells ng Company A, 29th USV naman ay tila naging kampante sa panahong iyon dahil tag-ulan. At dahil walang nagaganap na ano mang insidente o engkuwentro sa lugar. Nanatili na lamang sila sa loob ng simbahan.

Sa isang pambihirang pagkilos ni Wells, nagsagawa siya ng isang reconnaissance march sa kanayunan hanggang makarating sa Balimbing. Ito na ang naganap na pagsalakay sa kanila ng mga gerilya ni Teofilo Roque noong Hulyo 31, 1900.

Habang nasa tabing ilog ang mga sundalong Amerikano, sinalakay sila ng mga pwersa ni Roque, nasugatan ang dalawang Amerikano at binihag ang dalawa pa. Ang isa sa mga binihag ay nakilalang isang negosyanteng Ingles na matagal nang naninirahan sa Boac, kilala lamang bilang si ‘Macky’ o R.D. Macky.
Kuha ito sa Simbahan sa Sta. Cruz, Marinduque na ginawa ring kuta ng mga Kano.
Ganito rin ang naganap sa simbahan ng Boac na una nang ginawa nilang kuta.
Larawan mula sa mga Koleksyon ni Curtis Shepard.

Ang nagulantang na mga Amerikano ay umatras at tumakas sa kahabaan ng mga 7-milyang layo mula sa Paye hanggang nakabalik sila sa Simbahan ng Boac.

Ayon sa tala, nang gabing iyon, ang mga nagwaging mga gerilya ang nagsunog sa isang bahagi ng Boac na tinatawag na Mataas na Bayan, malapit sa simbahan sa pagsisikap na tuluyang palayasin ang mga Kano.

Nagsilikas ang mga naninirahan sa bayan at halos walang taong natira. Paralisado naman, di makagalaw, nanginig sa takot, 'cowering', ang Company A sa loob ng simbahan.  

Ang pagkatalo ng mga Amerikano sa Paye ay isang maliwanag na babala, sapagkat ito ay hahantong sa isa pang malaking pagkatalo ng puwersang banyaga, pagkaraan ng anim na linggo sa Labanan sa Masaguisi, mas kilala sa tawag na Labanan sa Pulang Lupa -  ang tinaring mismo ng mga US historians bilang “one of the worst reversals suffered by US forces...  sending shock waves through the American high command."




(May kasunod)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Cong. Velasco pushes environmental initiatives for Marinduque


Cong. Lord Velasco stresses a point in meeting with
DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu (left)

Congressman Lord Allan Velasco met on Tuesday with Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to discuss proposals benefiting the environment of Marinduque.

Velasco sought Cimatu's assistance in the construction of a Gabion Dam to be built on the downstream of the Maguila-guila Siltation Dam. It will serve as a filtering station to prevent sediments from flowing down the Mogpog River to nearby communities. It will also serve as a preventive barrier to protect against flash floods.

With the degradation of existing structures in the Marcopper site, this infrastructure is necessary to avert another potential mining disaster. Considered by the United Nations as one of the most severe environmental disaster in history, the Marcopper Mining Disaster occurred in Marinduque back in 1996 and continues to affect the lives of many people on the island-province.


Cong. Velasco also advocated for the approval of the Bamboo Demo Farm Project in Marinduque. He presented the Work and Financial Plan of this project to Sec. Cimatu and asserted that the development of bamboo nurseries within the province will be cost-efficient and sustainable, as the province saves on importing bamboo from other provinces and the attendant transportation costs. 

Finally, Cong. Velasco advanced his idea of setting up Central Sewage Treatment Facilities in every local government unit on the island.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Don Piroco Mansion, Pedro Lardizabal, Ricardo Paras, Sr, Founding of Marinduque


Old marker prior to 1973: "Kapitan Piroco Mansion. Owned by Kapitan Municipal Pedro Lardizabal (better known as Kapitan Piroco). In this mansion Commissioner William H. Taft conferred with Marinduque prominent leaders on March 13, 1901. William H. Taft established the civil government of the province in this place and appointed Ricardo Paras Sr. first civil governor.”

Sa Don Piroco Mansion. 
Akalain mo, year 1901. Ang mga mahahalagang nagaganap sa Marinduque ay reported sa pahayagan sa US. Ang isang ito ay tungkol sa maagang pag-uusap sa ating bayan na isinusulong ng mga 'intelligent delegations from all towns on the island'. 
Nangako naman si Gov. Gen. WILLIAM H. TAFT na babalik siya para sa organisasyon ng hiwalay at independenteng MARINDUQUE. Ang matinding gusto ng mga tao, ihiwalay sa Tayabas ang Isla ng Marinduque at mga nakapaligid na mga isla rito.
William Howard Taft, would-be US president after Marinduque visits

 Ang totoo, 19 na taon pa ang lumipas bago nahiwalay bilang isang lalawigan ang Marinduque noong 1920. Hindi na ito bilang isang 'sub-province'. Si Taft naman ay nahalal na PRESIDENTE NG USA mula 1909-1913. Iba na ang nagpapatakbo sa Pilipinas by 1920 - si Gov. Gen. Francis Burton HARRISON na at siya ang pumirma ng tinatawag na Marinduque Charter (Act 2280), na nagdeklara sa separation from Tayabas ng Marinduque.

Francis Burton Harrison

Sa sumusunod na report na ito sa, ibaba na matiyagang kinalap ni @Curtis Shepard at nai-post sa kanyang website tungkol sa Marinduque, ay sinasabing pabor daw ang mga mamamayan natin sa hiwalay na probinsya at sang-ayon din daw ang mga mamamayan (na mukhang maagang paggamit ng  'fake news') sa karahasang ginagawa sa mga lumalabang 'insurgents'.

Ito po ang detalyadong report sa diyaryong nalimbag sa Massachusetts, The North Adams Transcript, March 18, 1901:

Sample ng North Adams Evening Transcript.

THE NORTH ADAMS EVENING TRANSCRIPT Massachusetts
ANOTHER ANXIOUS ISLAND
Wants Americans and Believes in Harshness
Romblon Island, March 18— By mail Boac Island, Marinduque, March 16:
The question of attaching this island Marinduque to the province of Tayabas was discussed by the American Philippine commission since their arrival here and has been decided in the negative. The sentiment of the people wholly favor forming a separate province. The population of 50,000 was represented during the discussions and the commission has met intelligent delegations from all towns on the island. There are 300 insurgents still in the mountains of Marinduque. but otherwise the inhabitants are anxious for the pacification of the island and 'to accept American sovereignty.
Judge Taft announced that Captain Hale and the chairmen of the various committees of natives formed to organize municipal law in the towns of Marinduque, Judge Taft promised commission he will return and organize the province of Marinduque. Major Smith commanding the American garrison, on this island has issued an order requiring all natives to live in the five principal towns where American troops are stationed.
Those natives who continue to live in the country be considered insurgents A few insurgents have recently been killed or wounded in these towns and supplies have been destroyed.
The inhabitants of this island favor the drastic policy towards the insurgents.
The American Philippine commission will soon prepare a recommendation to President McKinley on the character and form of the general civil government to be established in the archipelago.
The matter has yet received but informal consideration.

Ricardo Paras, Sr. (Photo from Province of Quezon)
Nagturo din siya kay Dr. Rizal, nagturo din sa Boac, sumama sa Rebolusyon, naging delegado sa Malolos Congress, pagsuko ni Aguinaldo ay bumalik na sa Boac, at naging unang civil governor ng Tayabas at sub-province of Marinduque.

1901-1902 RICARDO G. PARAS, SR.* Provincial (Civil) Governor of
Tayabas and Marinduque.
1902-1904 RICARDO G. PARAS, SR.* Lieutenant Governor.
1904-1907 RICARDO G. PARAS, SR.* Provincial Governor
(Paras was delegate to the Malolos Congress in 1898; appointed provincial governor by Pres. William H. Taft from 1901-1902, then as lieutenant governor from 1902-1904 and provincial governor from 1904-1907)
1919-1920 VICENTE TRIVINO (elected) Lieutenant Governor
(Trivino was aide-de-camp of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and participated actively in revolutionary activities during the Philippine-American War; was first appointed provincial governor under the Marinduque Charter (1920). Act No. 2880 Feb. 21, 1920, which separated the sub-province of Marinduque from the province of Tayabas)
1920-1922 VICENTE TRIVINO (hold-over) Provincial Governor


Ricardo Garcia Paras. Sr. (Calapan, August 12, 1861 - Manila, May 1, 1938) was a Filipino revolutionary and politician. 


Paras studied at Ateneo Municipal University and taught the Philippine national hero José Rizal. After completing his Bachelor of Arts diploma, he worked as a teacher at a public school in Boac in the province of Marinduque. Following the failure of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato, he joined the Philippine Revolution. He was elected as a delegate on behalf of the Marinduque Province in the Malolos Congress, which established the Philippine Constitution of 1898. When the revolutionary government of Aguinaldo eventually ended, he returned to Boac.

In 1901, Paras was nominated by US governor William Howard Taft as first governor of Mindoro and Marinduque province. 

On May 4, 1903, a nomination was taken as governor of Tayabas. On February 1, 1904, he became the first elected governor of Tayabas (and sub-province of Marinduque), on behalf of the Progresista Party, the former Federalist Party. At the end of his term in 1906, he was succeeded by Manuel Quezon as Governor. After that he worked for the Bureau of Constabulary for 25 years.

Paras Sr. died in 1938 at the age of 77 years. He was married to Andrea Mercader and had ten children with her. Their eldest son, Ricardo Paras, became later a politician and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. (Wiki)

Also read:

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Pres. Duterte signs electric coops emergency and resiliency fund into law


Financing restoration/rehabilitation of power infra damaged by calamities.

Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, Chairperson of the House Committee on Energy, expressed gratitude to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for the enactment of Republic Act No.11039 into law.

The law institutionalizes the emergency and resiliency fund for Electric Cooperatives. With its passage into law, these cooperatives will be better served in the future to address the adverse effects of calamities and disasters.

Consistent with this policy, the new law seeks to assure the availability of funds for Electric Cooperatives in times of fortuitous events or force majeure. Accordingly, thirty percent (30%) of the allotted fund will be used for the electric cooperatives’ disaster prevention, disaster preparedness and disaster mitigation measures.

Making it easier for electric coops to cope when disaster strikes

Meanwhile, sixty percent (60%) will be used for the restoration or rehabilitation of the electric cooperatives’ damaged infrastructures after a fortuitous event or force majeure. And to cap it off, ten percent (10%) will be reserved for the repayment of outstanding obligations incurred by the cooperatives for the purpose of financing the restoration / rehabilitation of their infrastructures damaged by a fortuitous event or force majeure.

Congressman Velasco hopes that the enactment of this new law will mitigate the worries and problems of Electric Cooperatives, especially during the occurrence of natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes.



“These are the meaningful changes that I envision as Chairperson of the House Committee on Energy,” said Velasco. “Hopefully, with the support of the Duterte Administration, more laws that will have beneficial impact on our country such as RA 11039 will be passed in the near future,” he added

Rep. Lord Allan Velasco (left) and Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte



Kahalagahan sa kasaysayan ng Don Piroco Mansion (Maharlikang Tahanan ni Don Piroco)




Ang 'Maharlikang Tahanan ni Kapitan Piroco'

Sa mga bahay na nasunog sa Boac, Marinduque nitong July 2, 2018, nag-iisa ang tinaguriang ‘Maharlikang Tahanan ni Kapitan Piroko’ o mas kilala sa bansag na Don Piroco Mansion na idineklara noong 1973 ng National Historical Institute bilang isang Heritage House. 

'Don Piroco' ang tawag sa nagmamay-ari ng bahay na si Kapitan Municipal Pedro Lardizabal, na may naging mahalagang papel sa kasaysayan ng Marinduque kasama ang marami pang iba.

Noong 1992, ang mansion na ito ay na-convert bilang isang paaralan na nag-aalok ng teknikal na edukasyon para sa mga mag-aaral sa kolehiyo hanggang sa isa pang paaralan ang pumalit at umupa sa lugar para naman sa maritime education. Sa kalaunan ay lumipat na sa ibang lokasyon.



Mula noon ang Kapitan Piroco Mansion, gawa sa mga antigong matitigas at malalapad na kahoy lalo na ang sahig at kilala bilang isa sa pinakalumang bahay sa lalawigan ay tila inabandona na, iniwan para kainin na lamang ng mga elemento.


Sa maikling paglalarawan sa isang website, sinabi ng NHI (now NHCP), na dito raw sa tahanang ito ay 'kung saan hiniling ng mga mamamayan na ang Marinduque ay makagawa ng isang hiwalay na lalawigan'.

Kasunod noon, si Ricardo Paras, Sr. ang naging unang civil-governor ng Marinduque. Kasabay daw nito ang opisyal na paghihiwalay mula sa lalawigan ng Tayabas (ngayo'y Quezon), ng Isla ng Marinduque kasama ang mga islang nakapaligid dito - 98 taon na ang nakalilipas mula Pebrero 21, 1920. (Basahin sa ibaba ang pagtutuwid sa mga claims na ito),

Kaugnay nito, may bagong mahalagang impormasyon para sa mga mananaliksik ng kasaysayan na marahil ay nalimutan na. Ito ang isang litrato ng isang marker bago ang pag-install ng isang opisyal na marker ng NHI noong 1973. 

Sinasabi rito:


Kapitan Piroco Mansion marker prior to the NHI marker.

"Kapitan Piroco Mansion. Owned by Kapitan Municipal Pedro Lardizabal (better known as Kapitan Piroco). In this mansion Commissioner William H. Taft conferred with Marinduque prominent leaders on March 13, 1901. William H. Taft established the civil government of the province in this place and appointed Ricardo Paras Sr. first civil governor.”
(Above image courtesy of Agnes Apeles whose sister-in-law had the marker prior to the one installed by the National Historical Institute (now NHCP)

Don Piroco Mansion burning. Photo: Cielo Miciano Opis

Aerial view of the fire. The mansion at upper right.

PAGTUTUWID:

Idaragdag ko lamang bilang pagtutuwid na ayon sa aking ginawang sariling pananaliksik na malaon ko nang napost sa Marinduque Rising at may pamagat na Governors of Marinduque ay ganito naman ang nakasaad:
1901-1902 RICARDO G. PARAS, SR.* Provincial (Civil) Governor of
Tayabas and Marinduque.
1902-1904 RICARDO G. PARAS, SR.* Lieutenant Governor.
1904-1907 RICARDO G. PARAS, SR.* Provincial Governor
(Paras was delegate to the Malolos Congress in 1898; appointed provincial governor by Pres. William H. Taft from 1901-1902, then as lieutenant governor from 1902-1904 and provincial governor from 1904-1907)
1919-1920 VICENTE TRIVINO (elected) Lieutenant Governor
(Trivino was aide-de-camp of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and participated actively in revolutionary activities during the Philippine-American War; was first appointed provincial governor under the Marinduque Charter (1920). Act No. 2880 Feb. 21, 1920, which separated the sub-province of Marinduque from the province of Tayabas)
1920-1922 VICENTE TRIVINO (hold-over) Provincial Governor

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Cong. Lord Allan Velasco lauds DOTR port projects in Marinduque


Laylay Port. Further development to improve trade in the area.

The projected completion of five port projects in Marinduque will soon be realized with news coming from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) conveyed to Marinduque Congressman Lord Allan Velasco.

Velasco commended the efforts made by the DOTr in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Marinduque District Office as agencies tasked with the bidding and implementation process of said port projects. 

One at Polo Island and another port project in Biga (Sta. Cruz) .
Photo: Daniel Emir Tumanon

A total of P 95-million has been allocated under the supervision of the two agencies to bring the much needed infrastructures for ports projects, specifically in barangays Polo and Biga in Santa Cruz, barangays Suha and Marlangga in Torrijos, and barangay Laylay in Boac.

View from Suha where tourism industry will be improved with the needed port infra;
as well as in Marlangga (Torrijos)

Velasco is positive that "these ports will help our barangays who mainly depend on fishing for livelihood by improving trade in their areas". 

He is hopeful that "the completion of these ports can also help supplement the province’s major port in Balanacan to enhance the local tourism industry in Marinduque".

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Boac Fire of July 2, 2018: Heritage house, ancestral homes, two historic sacred images went on fire!

Two venerated antique images of the the Blessed Mother in her manifestation as Mater Dolorosa and Santo Rosario were unfortunately reduced to ashes. These sacred images are taken out only for joining religious processions during Holy Week and on their Feast Days.

Then I wonder, is this the same image of the Santo Rosario that figured in the year 1897, in a very tragic local history episode? 

The ancestral Roque house burning. Fire reportedly started in one of the ground floor shops.

Not a single life was claimed by the fire that razed Boac’s commercial district but residents are mourning the loss of ancestral houses that have withstood typhoons, floods and war.

Yesterday at about 5:30 in the morning a resident called the Boac Fire Station to report a fire breaking out on Mercader Street in Brgy. Mercado across the ‘Blue Building’ . Prompt responses were undertaken by the fire marshalls, including appropriate calls to fire brigades from the other 5 municipalities of Marinduque.

But after nearly three hours of firefighting that also involved countless volunteers and passers-by lending a hand, it became clear that it was to be the biggest fire the town ever saw in a hundred years.

Parts of the small barangays of Mercado, Malusak, San Miguel and Murallon were affected. Around 17 shops that rented out the ground floor of most of these houses in Boac’s commercial center were gutted together with the ancestral houses they occupied.

Kapitan Piroco Mansion, Heritage House

Maharlikang Tahanan ni Kapitan Piroco

The ancestral houses razed to the ground were:  the Don Piroco Mansion also known as ‘Maharlikang Tahanan ni Kapitan Piroco’ as tagged by an NHI marker installed in 1973. This is the only heritage house from among the houses reduced to ashes that had been declared by the National Historical Institute (now NHCP), as such a Heritage House in 1973.
Don Piroco Mansion, declared as a Heritage House in 1973

In 1992 this mansion was converted into a school (ESTI) that offered technical education for college students until another school (Lighthouse Maritime School), for maritime education leased the premises, later moving to a new location. The Kapitan Piroco Mansion of old hardwood flooring and walls appears to have been abandoned since then, left to the elements.

In a brief website description, NHI states that this was ‘where locals requested that Marinduque be made a separate province’.  Ricardo Paras, Sr. thereafter became first governor of Marinduque after the island’s separation from the province of Tayabas (now Quezon), 98 years ago on February 21, 1920.*

*Pls read 'Pagtutuwid' in Ang Kahalagan sa Kasaysayan ng Maharlikang Tahanan ni Don Piroco for clarification.


Update: This is a photograph of a marker prior to the installation of an official one by the NHI in 1973. It states: “ Kapitan Piroco Mansion. Owned by Kapitan Municipal Pedro Lardizabal (better known as Kapitan Piroco). In this mansion Commissioner William H. Taft conferred with Marinduque prominent leaders on March 13, 1901. William H. Taft established the civil government of the province in this place and appointed Ricardo Paras Sr. first civil governor.”  

(Image courtesy of Agnes Apenes whose sister-in-law had the marker prior to the one installed by the National Historical Institute, now National Historical Commission of the Philippines).


The Roque-Enriquez Ancestral House.

The Roque Ancestral House
(How it was before and the power of Marinduque’s socio-economic elite)

This was the house of Tomas Roque (1841-1907), Boac Gobernadorcillo from 1877-1879 and 1897-1898. He figured in the local distribution of Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo” together with Marcelo Mirafuente of Boac; was authorized by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in 1898 to recruit and train soldiers who eventually became active in the Paye and Pulang Lupa battles. “Tomas Roque Street” in Boac was named after him.

On the other hand, it was Capt. Fausto Roque, during the Philippine-American War who commanded the 1st Guerilla. 

Capt. Teofilo Roque of the Battle of Paye fame who commanded the 2nd Guerilla was a cousin, and Col. Maximo Abad, hero of the Battle of Pulang Lupa was Fausto Roque’s brother-in-law.
Happiness in the Roque House

In Andrew Birtle’s The U.S. Army's Pacification of Marinduque, Philippine Islands, April 1900-April 1901 we find the following account:

The civil and military leadership of the resistance movement on Marinduque was firmly rooted in the island's middle and upper classes. The insurrection was also in many ways a family affair. Abad's brother-in-law, Captain Fausto Roque, commanded the 1st Guerrilla. Both Fausto's father and uncle were important insurgent leaders in the civilian community, while his cousin, Teofilo Roque, commanded the 2d Guerrilla. Martin Lardizabal also had family ties with the insurrection… 

Thus American military authorities faced not only a difficult physical environment, but an opponent that was intertwined with the island's socio-economic elite and capable of using the power and prestige of that class to mobilize support for the insurrection.

Now old photos and memorabilia of some of those names are gone.
(Right) ChuWing'S Panciteria (Roque House in the background)

The Chi Ancestral House (Pansitan)

Most of our Boakeno oldtimers must have gone to ChuWing’s panciteria to eat. According to a July 3 post from Chuwing’s granddaughter, Karlene Chi, that store was opened way back in the 30s or 40s. Her dad and his brother grew up in that kitchen, she said. ‘It is devastating to think that the history and that kitchen is gone’, she added. She also regrets that (Internet) pictures and memories are all that’s left for the family.

Mirafuente House (right) before fire engulfed the house.

The Mirafuente Ancestral House
Popularly known as the house of “Sisi” (Moises Mirafuente), many students studying in town are quite familiar with this family-owned shop that occupies the ground floor of the two storey-building. That’s where they could buy all sorts of school supplies, colored papers to make Christmas lanterns with and jobos dyes they never seem to run out of stock with.


The Lim House

Lim House at corner Magsaysay and Rosario Sts.

This old house was originally owned by Col. Rufino Deogracias, Sr. and later leased to the father of the late Msgr. Rafael M. Lim who would, in 1978 be appointed by Pope Paul VI as the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Boac. His assumption as the new Bishop transpired on the same day of the Canonical Erection of the Diocese.

The Lim family used to run a grocery store and bakery at the silong before it became a popular photography studio, also selling photo supplies. The Lims acquired ownership of the property in the mid 70’s. 


The Lim house burning


VenMar burning on the right (across PNB)

The VenMar (also Chi) House

The VenMar shop (for Aven and Marina), sells all school supplies in one store and various items such as plastic containers, linoleums, brooms, etc in the adjoining store. Cramped but that’s the way it is in most of these small shops.

But the religious of historic Boac, often finding solace in their time of need and sadness by praying and comfort through solemn devotions to Mother Mary would be very shocked to hear this one.

Two venerated Marian images now gone up in flames!

Images of Mater Dolorosa and Santo Rosario. Gone up in flames

From an FB post by Jerwin Ola and personal reports from others who've heard of the news comes this one. Two antique images of the Mother Mary in her manifestation as Mater Dolorosa and Santo Rosario were reduced to ashes. The two sacred images have been kept at the Chi’s especially-built bodega located in the middle of their property. These venerated images are taken out only for joining processions during Holy Week and on their Feast Days.

Many devotees talk about the fabulous crown and other adornments of the santas purportedly made of gold. Now also gone are the intricately designed iron and silver carrozas always bedecked with fresh flowers during processions.

Ownership of these Marian images has been traced to the Lardizabals.


Our Lady of the Rosary (Santo Rosario)

Then I wonder if this is the same image of the Santo Rosario that figured in a very tragic episode in our local history?  On Nov. 10, 2010, I wrote for this blog, ‘Boac, 1 de Noviembre 1897’.

Excerpts:

“1 de Noviembre 1897” was the name of a street at the back of the original “Casa Real” building in Boac running in the north-south direction. It was so named to mark a local episode during the Filipino-Spanish war that followed the “10 de Octubre 1897” gruesome raid on the Casa staged by the local revolutionists from Mogpog led by Fabian Medenilla that resulted in the death of Medenilla and his comrades that they had attempted to set free from the Casa – Remigio Medina and the top leader of the revolutionary forces in Marinduque at that time, the poet Hermenegildo Flores. The tragedy in Boac occurred after a long procession in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. (Santo Rosario).

Now, was this the same Our Lady of the Rosary (Santo Rosario), that was burned by this fire of July 2, 2018? 
Considering that this religious icon has been called 'isa sa pinakamatandang santo sa Boac', most probably it's the same.

The ChuWing Panciteria and Chi house gone.

It is time for extended prayers and deep meditation by the great, God-fearing and loving people of Marinduque. 


Susong Dalaga Hill

Susong Dalaga Hill
Susong Dalaga Hill from Bagtasan isthmus

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