Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pirates, typhoons and more Marinduque nightmares

Moro weapons

In those years during the 17th and 18th century, there were heart-breaking stories of piratical depredations in Marinduque where some villages at the peak of those raids were depopulated. One could just imagine the trauma of those families whose members were captured by the pirates for slavery. 
Moro pirate ship. Boac attacked in 1754, Gasan in 1764.

There was a time in June of 1754, when 17 Moro embarcaciones, sea vessels invaded Boac, Marinduque. Nine hundred of them landed and sacked the town and captured inhabitants. Then the town of Gasan was destroyed ten years later, in 1764, such that it was depopulated. Those who survived transferred the town sites to a sitio called "Maysia" (and I still wonder where that could be), and Laylay which is in Boac. Gasan's tributary population in that year was reduced to only 130.
Recreation of an ancient storm (Image linked to page)

Then there were extremely destructive typhoons that hit the region in those days giving more nightmares to the people. In "Typhoons in the Philippine Islands 1566-1900)" (Garcia-Herrera, Ribera, Hernandez and Gimeno), we find the following account from an entry dated November 13, 1844: "Some interisland ships were lost in the sea of Marinduque; the church of Gasan was blown down and several houses of Mogpog were ruined; more than 500 work animals perished in the floods of Boac."

Then, within 24-31 October 1875, in the center of the town of Boac, "the water reached a height of three meters, carrying to the sea various houses, destroying all the bridges, and causing the death of 130 animals. In Santa Cruz, Marinduque, the bastion was blown down, and the crops totally injured. In Gasan the storm destroyed 83 houses, inclined 35 and unroofed the church and convent."
Delubyo scene from a Teatro Balangaw play.

After that turbulent era, historic confrontations by Marinduquenos with pestilence, more harrowing typhoons,  political struggles and modern-day environmental disasters would come. It must be a good thing for Marinduquenos to know their history, even help trace and uncover more secrets we've never known before. In the process, one could get a sense of what it was like then.




Boac Church, Cemeterio de Tampus, Trivino-Lardizabal colonial house.

Then when we get to see the ruins of old bastions, or get to visit virtually abandoned cemeteries, or from old churches nestled on hilltops get to view with a certain awareness the colonial houses below, we could use those trips not only to recharge our own batteries but to make others aware of them, too. By knowing, it could be their turn to speak differently of Marinduque and shout about their new awareness everywhere. 


Susong Dalaga Hill

Susong Dalaga Hill
Susong Dalaga Hill from Bagtasan isthmus

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