History of Aroroy
by: LUPO “TAPPY” C. ESPENILLA Sangguniang Bayan Secretary Source: National Archives, Manila National Library, Manila Legislative Library, Batasan Complex, Q.C
Part IThe History of Aroroy dates back to 1827, exact month of which was not written in the “MEMORIA DEL DISTRITO DE MASBATE Y TICAO”. A Chinese fleet of seven vessels entered the Lanang River inside the Fuerto Barrera. The expedition sent by the Chinese merchants was guided by a Moro named “TALCON” to explore vociferous veins near the Lanang river. By that time, Masbate was yet a part of Albay Province. Not long before that time, a man by the name of GREGORIO CORDERO, a native of Tondo, Manila and a captain in the Spanish Army was exiled to Masbate as military prisoner for having killed his superior officer in the Spanish Army. Instead of living in Burias where political prisoners were kept, he preferred to reside in Magdalena, a town in Masbate. He had two daughters and a son. Gregorio Cordero had four “fanlas” or Spanish vessels named: “Jesus Maria y Joseph, Sacramento, Salvacion and Santa Ana”. These vessels were used for the vigilance of Moro pirates who preyed on the three islands of Masbate, Ticao, Burias. Cordero was believed to possess amulets or “anting-anting” which made him invulnerable. With his four “fanlas”, he had about 150 men. One day he had an expedition to Lanang River. Accidentally, he encountered the Chinese fleet. Cordero asked and investigated the Chinese as to where they were going. They answered in a Chinese way, “alo-lo”, meaning to the gold mine, in Spanish, “al-oro”.
The Name of Al-oroy
After that incident, Gregorio Cordero with his men camped at the mouth of Fuerto Barrera and established his headquarters in the present site of the town of Aroroy. He befriended the natives. Cordero told the natives about the story of the Chinese explorers. The natives were clarified on the expression “alo-lo”. After a few months, Cordero returned to Magdalena, Masbate. The natives little by little tried to enlarge the sitio, which they named the place “al-oroy”.
Among the prominent natives who helped in the development of “al-oroy” were Toribio Bumayog, Jose Pusing, Norberto Pusing and Protacio Fabon.
From Al-oroy to Aroroy
The name “Al-Oroy” lasted until the arrival of the Americans, which was changed to Aroroy up to the present. Before the year 1900, “Al-Oroy” was a sitio and later a barrio under the PUEBLO of San Agustin. But by the year 1903, the two barrios of San Agustin and Baleno were fused to AROROY because of its strategic location in point of contact. Aroroy was chosen as the new PUEBLO, the equivalent of today’s MUNICIPALITY. The American regime saw the retention of forms of the PUEBLOs which made up of Poblacion and its barrios. An innovation largely on paper came in 1931 with the passage by the Philippine Legislature of ACT No. 3861 where it provided for the appointment of Teniente del Barrio formerly called “Cabeza de Barangay”.
Baleno, A Barrio of Aroroy
Under the books “Tracing your Philippine Ancestors” and “History and Cultural Life” both authored by W. Bance, compiled at the Legislative Archive of the House of Representatives, it appeared in index D-4 that BALENO was a barrio of Aroroy from 1903 to 1949. Baleno was formerly called “Daan-lungsod” (Index D-5) It was only on JULY 18, 1949 when Barrio Baleno was created into a municipality along with the towns of MOBO, CAWAYAN, MANDAON, BALUD and USON by virtue of EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 244 E.Q., under REPUBLIC ACT No. 292
AROROY FECHA DELA PROMULGACION26 DE ENERO 1903 (ENACTED INTO LAW ON NOVEMBER 17, 1903 BY VIRTUE OF ACT NO. 993)
From the years 1827 to 1846, Masbate was part of the Province of Albay, until it was separated on October 19, 1846 where Masbate was annexed to the Provincial Government of Sorsogon. In 1898 however, the Military Government under the then Republic of the Philippines, appointed VICENTE TRIVINO of Boac, Marinduque as the first Civil-Governor of Masbate. His government lasted some 20 months when in March 1900, the American occupation Army occupied the Province of Masbate. When civil government in Masbate was restored on January 18, 1909, BONIFACIO SERRANO, a native of Pandacan, Manila and a bemedalled soldier in the Korean War was elected as the first Governor of the Province of Masbate. The election was held on February 24, 1902. Eleven months after, Governor-General William H. Taft issued a “CODEGO MUNICIPAL LEY NUMERO 82, PARA LA ORGANIZACION DE GOBIERNOS MUNICIPALES EN ESLAS FILIPINAS”, where AROROY was created into MUNICIPALITY on January 26, 1903 per “GACITA OFFICIAL P-81 FECHA DELA PROMULGACION QUE CREA LA MUNICIPIO Y RIVERA FUERTOS” and enacted into law on November 17, 1903 by virtue of Act No. 993. On February 01, 1904, AROROY elected its first “Presedente” in the name of MATIAS INOPIA. Ma. Joaquin Z. Bayot was also elected as Provincial Governor of Masbate where confirmation of their election was contained under “EJECUTIVA ORDEN NUMERO 12 FECHA 7 DE MARSO 1904” signed by LUKE E. WRIGHT, Governor-General. Their terms however ended in 1906 when the Province of Masbate was again annexed to the Province of Sorsogon due to the economic slump experienced by the Province. MATIAS INOPIA was succeeded by FRANCISCO VALDEMORO, SR., who served as MUNICIPAL PRESIDENT from 1906 until 1908. On February 15, 1921, by virtue of the representations made by Congressman DON PABLO DELA ROSA, Masbate was restored as a province, separate and independent from Sorsogon. To make this write-up authentic we have included a complete list of all the Municipal Presidents or Mayors that has served the municipality of Aroroy, namely:
|1903||Florentino Vital – First Appointed Mun. President|
|1904-1906||Matias Inopia – First Elected Mun. President|
|1904-1906||Matias Inopia – First Elected Mun. President|
|1906-1908||Francisco Valdemoro, Sr.|
|1943-1944||Tomas Marcaida (Japanese Occupation)|
|1944-1946||Ramon Alejo, Sr. (Post Liberation)|
|1956-1971||Agustin C. Capinig|
|1972-1986||Moreno C. Dela Rosa|
|1986-1988||Eias C. Castillo (OIC) Edsa Revolution|
|1988-1998||Herminio L. Valdemoro, Sr.|
|1998-2007||Arturo Vicente P. Maristela|
|2007-Present||ENRICO Z. CAPINIG|