Paulix B. Robosa from “Baao Vignettes”
The following is a reconstruction of the history of Baao based on various existing sources and documents found locally and elsewhere. The earliest year the village was referred to was in Fray Gaspar de San Agustin’s 1698 Conquistas de las Islas Filipinas, lo temporal por las armas del Señor Don Fhelipe segundo el prudente y la espiritual por los religiosos del orden de nuestro padre San Agustin. On page 355, Libro 2, the villages of Baao, Bula and Naga put up a protracted resistance to the entry of Spanish colonizers upon their arrival in 1576. This suggests that even before 1590, Baao was organized enough to mount resistance against foreign invaders.
1590 – Fr. Peter Baptist, Father Custodian of the Franciscans in the Philippines journeys to the Bicol region and founds several villages with the encomienda Bao among them.
1591 – Baao is first mentioned in an official document as the village of Bao in the census of 1591. The census describes Bao as an encomienda of the heir of the Spaniard Sebastian Perez and is a visita or visited by a friar from Nabua. Baao population - seven hundred four.
1597 – Fr. Peter Baptist is martyred in Japan and will eventually be canonized as St. Peter Baptist making Baao distinct as one of the few towns in the Philippines founded by this martyr-saint.
1611- A strong typhoon is recorded
1656- Baao is again mentioned in an official document in the tablas capitulares or acts of corporation of the Franciscans as a visita of Bula and continued to be mentioned as such until 1793.
1678- Official government taxation in the region begins
1679- First mention of a priest administering to the town by the name of Fr. Alfonso Caparros from the “Catalogo geographico… (1877) of Rev. Fr. Eusebio Gomez Platero
1684 - Construction of a church made of wood on the site where the town transferred from Layoan. The site was located at a place where rivers Langday and Bay once flowed together and met. The former chapel in Layoan was made of nipa and bamboo.
1691- Strong typhoon.
1693 – Gomez Platero mentions another priest who administers to the town at this year, Fr. Matias Guadalupe
1696- A cholera epidemic and a strong typhoon are recorded.
1698- Strong typhoon
1700 – Locusts devastate the region.
1702 – A strong earthquake is recorded for two days and two nights.
1705 – A cholera epidemic is recorded and news of a Moro invasion
1706 – Church destroyed by a strong typhoon
1709 – Cholera epidemic
1711- Strong earthquake
1713 – Epidemic of unknown cause
1714 – Strong typhoon for two days and two nights.
1716 – Don Gonzalo Gumabao becomes the first recorded Teniente del Visita of Baao and serves up to 1718.
1719 - Don Cipriano de Torres becomes Teniente del Visita and serves up to 1721. He also serves again in 1723, 1729 and in 1741.
1720 – A new church was built of stronger materials until the town moved to its present site.
1722 – Don Luis Martines becomes Teniente del Visita.
1724 – Don Mariano de Nieves is Teniente del Visita and an epidemic ensues.
1725 – Don Luis Martines becomes Teniente del Visita again and serves up to 1727.
1728 – Don Eustaquio Mariano is Teniente del Visita and a strong earthquake is recorded.
1729 – Don Cipriano de Torres is Teniente del Visita and a cholera epidemic breaks out on this year.
1730 – The position of Teniente Segundo is instituted.
1731 – The village under Don Justino Eusebio moves to its present site and a church of stone began to be constructed.
1732- Don Josep de los Reyes is Teniente del Visita and serves as such in1737,1738,1742, 1747 to 1751,1758 and again in 1774. Altogether he served a total of ten years as Teniente of Baao.
1733 – Don Luis Martines is Teniente del Visita and serves up to 1736.
1739 - Don Philip Dimaague (Dimalacao?) is Teniente del Visita and a strong earthquake is recorded. Don Philip Dimalacao serves again in 1761 and 1769.
1740 – Don Diego Tomas de Aquino becomes Teniente del Visita and an epidemic ensues.
1743- Don Bernardo de la Trinidad is Teniente del Visita and serves up to 1745 and again in 1766.
1746 – Don Alonso del Espiritu Santo becomes Teniente del Visita and news of Moro invasion arrives this year.
1747- Don Josep de los Reyes is Teniente del Visita and serves up to 1751 when a Cholera epidemic ensues.
1752- Don Melchor Angel is Teniente del Visita and crops are destroyed by swarms of locusts this year.
1753- Don Lazaro Quilbano is Teniente del Visita and Bula, the village to which Baao is connected as a visita becomes independent of Nabua to which it was also connected as a visita.
1754 – Don Pablo Ramos is Alcalde de Naturales and serves as such again in 1756, 1759,1762 and in 1767. This year the region experiences a rice shortage.
1755 – Don Jose Tomeo is Alcalde de Naturales and serves as such in 1757, 1760.
1756 – Don Pablo Ramos is Alcalde de Naturales and locust swarm devastates crops.
1757 – Don Jose Tomeo is Alcalde de Naturales and a Moro raid reaches Nabua.
1758 – Don Josep de los Reyes is Alcalde de Naturales and Cholera reaches the town along with news of a Moro invasion.
1763 – Don Fernando del Sacramento is Alcalde de Naturales and a death of a member of the Baaoeño Principalia is recorded in an incident in Nabua.
1764 – Don Florentino Atigo is Alcalde de Naturales.
1765 - Don Ventura Guillermo is Alcalde de Naturales and will serve again in 1770 and 1781. The province is devastated by plague.
1771 – Don Alfonso Caceres is Alcalde de Naturales and will serve again in 1791. This year Baao is mentioned in church records as independent of Bula in ecclesiastical matters with a certain Fr. Jose Jesus de Maria as curate.
1772 – Gomez Platero mentions a curate or parish priest for the town in the name of Fr. Jose Jesus de Maria.
1773 – Don Florentino Simon is Alcalde de Naturales. Trouble ensues with neighboring town of Nabua regarding the capture of a group of Nabua fishermen by the Baaoenos, Commissioners are sent from Naga to keep the peace.
1775 – Don Alejo de los Reyes is Alcalde de Naturales. He will serve again in 1780, 1783, 1789, 1793 and in 1798.
1777 – Don Manuel Alejo is Alcalde de Naturales.
1778 – Don Francisco Elomena is Alcalde de Naturales. Locust swarm devastates crops.
1779 – Don Ventura Antang is Alcalde de Naturales and will serve again in 1784. Plague is reported.
1781 – Strong Typhoon
1782 – The title of Alcalde de Naturales for the town chief is replaced by Gobernadorcillo to end the problem of mistaking it for Alcalde Mayor which was the title of the Provincial Governor. Don Pedro de San Juan is the first Baaoeño Gobernadorcillo.
1783 – Plague is reported
1785 – Don Francisco Mattheo is Gobernadorcillo and will serve again in 1788 and in 1792.
1786 – Don Pascual Uriel is Gobernadorcillo.
1787 – Don Felipe Lumaad is Gobernadorcillo. Strong typhoon reported.
1790 – Don Fernando Benjamin is Gobernadorcillo. Baao population 1,770 families
1792 - Don Francisco Mateo is Gobernadorcillo. Baao population: 1,939 families.
1793 – First Parish priest of Baao in church records appears by the name of Fr. Domingo de Palencia. Baao becomes independent of Bula as a “visita”, It can be presumed that Baao at this point becomes a “Pueblo Civil” or township. Baao population: 1,947 families
1794 – Don Juan Dimacatin is Gobernadorcillo.
1795 – Don Calixto Lopez is Gobernadorcillo. Recruitment of young men for the army is recorded this year.
1796 – Don Gil Benjamin is Gobernadorcillo. Locust swarm and plague are reported.
1797 – Don Pedro de San Juan is Gobernadorcillo and Rev. Fr. Jose Fuensalida is Parish priest.
1799 – Don Manuel de San Esteban is Gobernadorcillo and Rev. Fr. Pedro Antonio de Santisima Trinidad is Parish priest.
1800 – Don Alfonso Caceres is Gobernadorcillo. Strong typhoon and plague reported.
1801 – Don Antonio de San Jose is Gobernadorcillo and Fr. Jose Diaz del Rosario becomes Parish priest and serves for 21 years, one of the longest terms as Parish priest of the town.
1802 – Don Vicente Marcelo is Gobernadorcillo.
1803 – Don Roque Raymundo is Gobernadorcillo.
1804 – Don Francisco Alfonso is Gobernadorcillo.
1805 – Don Teodosio de Sta. Ana Bagaporo is Gobernadorcillo and government recruits young men to be sent to Manila.
1806 – Don Policarpio de Sto. Domingo is Gobernadorcillo. This year 28 Baaoeños are recorded captured by people from Nabua allegedly for rustling carabaos.
1807 – Don Blas Candelaria is Gobernadorcillo.
1808 – Don Temoteo de San Jose is Gobernadorcillo. In September of this year a boundary dispute erupts between the people form Baao and people from Nabua. Scores on both sides are recorded killed in the incident including members of the Principalia. Names of two Mesia brothers emerge as heroes. The incident reaches the provincial government and was unresolved for years to come.
1809 – Don Pedro de San Juan is Gobernadorcillo.
1810 – Don Juan de San Pascual is Gobernadorcillo.
1811 – Don Geronimo de Leon is Gobernadorcillo. In June a strong typhoon is recorded and in October a strong earthquake is recorded ruining the bell tower of the church which remained unrepaired until the 1850’s.
1812 – Don Inocencio de Los Reyes is Gobernadorcillo and serves up to 1813.
1814 – Don Anselmo de Sta. Rosa is Gobernadorcillo and debris from the eruption of Mayon Volcano reaches the town.
1815 – Don Vivencio Ignacio is Gobernadorcillo.
1816 – Don Mario Evangelista is Gobernadorcillo.
1817 – Don Juan Magtarayo is Gobernadorcillo.
1818 – Don Inocencio de San Simon is Gobernadorcillo.
1819 – Don Mariano Lucas is Gobernadorcillo.
1820 – Don Antonio de San Bruno is Gobernadorcillo.
1821 – Don Mariano Imperial is Gobernadorcillo and a cholera epidemic reaches the town.
1822 – Don Vicente Ambrosio and Don Francisco Jacinto becomes the town leaders with the title of Alcaldes and Fr. Lazaro de la Cruz becomes an interim Parish priest for 11 years. An order from the colonial government arrives in June ordering the election of two alcaldes in two voting.
1823 – Don Pedro Arroyo and Don Antonio Soriano becomes alcaldes.
1824 – Don Mariano Lucas and Don Gil G. Gumabao becomes alcaldes.
1825 – Don Francisco Tiburcio becomes alcalde.
1826 – Don Anselmo de Sta. Rosa becomes alcalde.
1827 – Don Juan Totanes becomes alcalde.
1828 – Don Ambrosio Bagaporo becomes alcalde.
1829 – Don Mariano Doroteo becomes alcalde.
1830 – Don Rafael Imperial becomes alcalde
1831 – Don Antonio Soriano becomes alcalde and plague is recorded.
1832 – Don Manuel de San Antonio becomes alcalde.
1833 – Don Gil G. Gumabao becomes alcalde and Fr. Tomas Franco becomes interim Parish priest.
1834 – Don Guillermo Bernardito becomes alcalde and young men are taken from the town to serve as sailors to guard against moro attacks. Fr. Thomas Antonio Guadalajara becomes interim Parish priest.
1835 – Don Geronimo de la Fortuna becomes alcalde. Recruitment of young men to fight against the moros continue. Fr. Tomas Manso becomes interim Parish priest.
1836 – Don Francisco Gumabao becomes alcalde. Fr. Antonio Estevez becomes interim Parish priest.
1837 – Don Claudio de San Luis becomes alcalde. Fr. Francisco de Madrid becomes Parish priest.
1838 – Don Rafael de los Angeles becomes alcalde.
1839 – Don Juan de Sta. Ana becomes alcalde.
1840 – Don Raymundo de los Santos becomes alcalde.Typhoon is recorded.
1841 – Don Juan Agustin Esplana becomes alcalde.
1842 – Don Pascual Soriano becomes alcalde.Recruitment of young men continue.Fr. Francisco Roque become Parish priest.
1843 – Don Alejo de Sto. Domingo becomes alcalde.
1844 – Don Domingo de San Miguel becomes alcalde. A strong typhoon is recorded. Fr. Juan Ramos becomes interim Parish priest and replaced by Fr. Andres Barrachina.
1845 – Don Domingo Nunez becomes alcalde. Governor General Narciso Claveria visits Bicol.
1846 – Don Gregorio de Sto. Tomas becomes alcalde.
1847 – Don Juan de San Pedro becomes alcalde.Fr. Francisco Cabrera becomes Parish priest
1848 – Don Antonio Fermin becomes alcalde. Parochial convent is rebuilt under Fr. Cabrera.
1849 – Don Maximo Guevara becomes alcalde and serves up to 1850. The Decree of Narciso Claveria is inforced in Baao and Baaoenos begin to change their names into names beginning with the letter B.
1850 – Jorge Imperial Barlin, the future first Filipino Catholic Bishop is born in Baao to Mateo Alfonso Barlin and Francisca Imperial. Parish church is repaired and repainted under Fr. Cabrera.
1851 / 1852 – Don Lucas Placido Sanchez becomes Alcalde
1853 – Don Fulgencio Bona Purificacion becomes Alcalde and a Tribunal of stone is erected in the town.
1854 – Don Francisco Felices Imperial becomes Alcalde.
1855 – Don Mateo Alfonso Barlin, father of Mons. Jorge I. Barlin becomes Alcalde.
1856 – Don Antonio Babeda Ignacio becomes Alcalde. A typhoon is recorded in the month of October. Fr. Andres Barachina become Parish Priest.
1857 – Don Juan Bolivar Reyes becomes Alcalde. A typoon is recorded in the month of November.
1858 – Don Francisco Fajardo becomes Alcalde.
1859 – Don Damiano Sanchez becomes Alcalde.
1860 – Don Juan Badilla becomes Alcalde.
1861 – Don Francisco Barrameda becomes Alcalde.Fr. Severino Pastoral becomes interim Parish Priest.
1862 – Don Tomas Guevarra becomes Alcalde. Fr. Romualdo de Madrilejos becomes interim parish priest for seven months and Fr. Prudencio de los Santos for two months until the appointment of Fr. Jacinto Franco who will serve for seven years.
1863 – Don Juan Arroyo becomes Alcalde. Order comes from the government increasing the duration of the term of the Alcalde to two years.
1864 / 1865 – Don Jacob Imperial becomes Alcalde. Earthquake is recorded.
1866 / 1867 – Don Santiago Mesia becomes Alcalde.
1868 / 1869 – Don Juan Gumabao becomes Alcalde. Fr. Ignacio Garcia serves as interim parish priest for six months until the arrival of Fr. Jesus Gonzalez who will serve for three years.
1870 / 1871 – Don Juan Baliuag becomes Alcalde.
1872 / 1873 – Don Mariano Barrameda becomes Alcalde. Fr. Isidro Pons becomes parish priest.
1874 / 1875 – Don Bartolome Ballesteros becomes Alcalde.
1876 / 1877 – Don Liberato Bigay becomes Alcalde and a flood inundates the town. Fr. Pablo Gomez become parish priest. Fr. Eusebio Gomez Platero, famous Franciscan historian serves as interim parish priest.
1878 / 1879 – Don Marcelino Barrameda becomes Alcalde and transportation from the town to Naga improves with the completion of the Pawili Bridge. Fr. Vicente Rojo becomes parish priest.
1880 / 1881 – Don Fulgencio Sanchez becomes Alcalde.
1882 / 1883 – Don Juan Bernas becomes Alcalde and a cholera epidemic breaks out. Fr. Carlos Cabido becomes parish priest.
1884 / 1885 – Don Nicolas Beltran becomes Alcalde. Fr. Mariano Herrejon becomes parish priest until replaced by Fr. Mateo Atienza interim for five months and then Fr. Juan Ravalo serves a month as priest in-charge until the appointment of another famous Franciscan historian, Fr. Jose Castaño who will serve for ten years in the town.
1886 / 1887 – Don Eulalio de Austria becomes Alcalde.
1888 / 1889 – Don Genaro Bañaga becomes Alcalde and a cholera epidemic is recorded this year. In September, a corporal of the Civil Guard reported to his Alferez Comandante in Iriga that printed materials subversive in nature was being circulated in the town. Members of Baao Principalia; Don Nicolas Beltran, Don Eulalio de Austria and Don Damian Sanchez were implicated with the distribution of Tagalog translations of the writings of the propaganda movement.
1890 – Don Ignacio Arroyo becomes Alcalde for a year.
1891 / 1892 – Don Pedro Badong becomes Alcalde. Fr. Joaquin Manteca becomes parish priest.
1893 / 1894 – Don Mariano Bañaga becomes Alcalde.
Maura Law Effective 1895 Gobernadorcillo changed to Capitan Municipal
1895 / 1897 – Don Juan Guevara serves as Alcalde for three years. In September of 1896, a reign of terror erupts and some of Baao’s principalia are arrested and imprisoned.
1898 / 1899 – After the declaration of Philippine Independence, Don Paulino Bernas is appointed by the Aguinaldo government to serve as Alcalde. Because of the succeeding war with the Americans, Baao became camp ground to passing Filipino troops with Spanish prisoners heading for Albay
1900 – On February 25, this year, the battle of Agdangan is fought by the Bicolanos including Baaoeño soldiers and officers against three companies of invading American soldiers, because of this the town was almost deserted until peace was restored. The Americans appoint Don Fulgencio Sanchez Alcalde and Don Eugenio Dato Teniente alcalde from April 1900 to June of 1901.1901 – In June 1901 the first elections under the American government was held for the positions of Alcalde and Teniente alcalde.
During the Holy Week services in Baao, especially during the Holy Thursday liturgy reenacting the "Washing of the Apostles' Feet", the roles of the twelve apostles are played by several reputable men of Baao who are traditionally chosen for their good moral character, if not for their closeness to the Parish Priest. Unless one resigns or is incapacitated, the 'office' of an apostle is held for life.
Click for more pictures: Group: 1, 2, 3, 4. Individuals: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.