Wednesday, June 8, 2011

History of Barotac Nuevo

Barotac Nuevo is Known as the Footbal Capital of the Philippines
Barotac Nuevo is a small town in the province of Iloilo. It is 34 kilometers from Iloilo City going to the North and was founded in 1811 by Don Simon Raymundo Protacio, a known leader of the place during the Spanish era. It is bounded on the north by Anilao, south by Dumangas, west by Pototan and east by the Iloilo Strait. Today, about 34,367 inhabitants enjoy the fruit of Don Simon Raymundo's shrewdness. It has a total land area of 9,787.6 hectares.


The town was found in 1811 by the recognized leader of the place during the Spanish era, Don Simon Raymundo Protacio. Tha name Barotac was derived from the acronym of the Sapnish word "baro" meaning mud and "tac" the last syllable of the vernacular term "lutac" which has the same meaning as mud. The word "Nuevo" which means new was added to identify it from a town some 30 kilometers up north called Barotac Viejo.

According to the native lore, Barotac Nuevo during the 15th century was known far and wide with its pure breed horses. And Tamasak, a white stallion was the strongest, fastest and handsomest horse in the locality. Tamasak was destined to be Barotac Nuevo's symbol. How and why is an interesting story. At that time, the Governor-General of the country was Manuel Gonzales de Aguilar. One time, de Aguilar was given a handsome horse that came from India. But there was no horse around Manila which could be used as its pair to draw the Governor-General's carromata. De Aguilar's men went around the islands looking for another horse until they reached the town of Dumangas in Iloilo. Malutac then was only an arrabal of Dumangas. They found Tamasak and wanted to buy the horse at any price but Don Simon would not sell it although he was willing to give it for free provided Malutac be made a pueblo.

The men went back to Manila and informed the Governor-General of Don Simon's request. The Governer-General agreed and immediately ordered the Gobernadorcillo of Iloilo to separate Barrio Malutac from the town of Dumangas and proclaim its townhood identity.


Education during the period was purely religious. The Christian Doctrine was the subject matter and the purpose was to spread Christianity all over the island. Seven corporal punishments were imposed on those who guilty. People were forced to go to school and those who disobeyed were caught by the guardia civil. Severe punishments like "Palmita" "San Sebastian" and "pinasong" or twenty - five lashes were suffered by the people if they were found guilty or if they could not memorize the required prayers. The priest who was esteemed and respected very much, recommend the teachers. The first teachers were Maetras Gregoria Celez, Rufina Siaotong and Nieves Batayola. The method of teaching was purely memory work.


During the first part of the American regime, robbery and looting were rampant causing the loss of many lives and the burning of houses. From 1889 to 1901, the destruction suffered by the municipality of Barotac Nuevo was the burning of house in Barrio Guintas, Talisay and Lanas.

Later, the Americans came to occupy the town. They were very friendly to the people. Since the people and the Americans could not understand each other, interpreters were employed. Lorenzo Mararejo an intelligent man, who has command of the Spanish language, became one, after he learned a little of the English language. They organized classes although the people were reluctant. However, the encouragement and kind attention shown by the Americans lulled many to attend school. They supplied the people with books, papers, slates and other school needs.

In 1901, a dreaded cholera epidemic broke out. Many suffered and died. Everyday, cartloads of dead were taken to the cemetery. This was the most horrible year for only one or two in a family survived. In some cases all members of the family died.

In 1911, the town was plagued by an intense heat ot drought called "panglaya". Plants withered and died and production was practically nil and did not meet the needs and appease the hunger of the people. Corn, the only crop that survived was the people's salvation.

The year 1912 was a period of development. Many improvements were made in the town, such as the building of roads, ridges, and the public market. Further improvements were also made during the administration of Bernardo Siaotong from 1926 - 1934. Among them are the moment of Dr.

In giving due honors and acknowledgement to Don Simon and his bejeweled Tamasak, a statue was erected at the heart of the municipality by the Late Mayor Bernardo Siaotong as a symbol of gratitude of the Barotacnons.

The radio house was constructed under the administration on Mayor Ramon A. Juarez.

In 1928, the Central Santos - Lopez Co., Inc. sugar mill was created at Barrio Salihid, two and a half kilometers away from the poblacion. This booted the economy of the town and employed a big number of residents in the place. However, due to the collapse of the sugar mill has stopped operating since 1985.

The constructions of the Jalaur bridge in 1931 - 1932 paved the way for an easy means of transportation and contact between the north and south of the Jalaur River. The former bridge was made of wood and was built so low it was often destroyed by floods. Transportation therefore at times was inaccessible, and a raft was usually used to ferry people and produce from one side to the other.

In 1931, a new steel bridge was built. This greatly helped commuters. In 1981, a concrete bridge was constructed beside the steel bridge, which had been demolished.


On April 16, 1942, the Japanese imperial forces landed in Iloilo. Matias Ray who came from the City of Iloilo on that day relayed and alarming news to the residents in the poblacion. Three days later truckloads of Japanese soldiers went to central - Santos - Lopez but left later in the day. A series of thirty - five truckloads of the invaders returned to Barotac Nuevo a week later and literally ransacked and plundered every house on their way. Thus began miserable existence of the town population. May 1942, a Japanese contingent garrisoned themselves at the Roman Catholic Church. The began courting the residents by appointing an influential man in the person of Jose. P. S. Bretana as their first Occupation Mayor, Monico Nicolo as Treasurer and Numeriano Bayona as Chief of Police.

Meanwhile, the civil resistance for Panay and Romblon which was headed by the late Senator Tomas Confesor was organized in Barrio Jalaud with Romulo Golez as first Deputy Governor for the Administrative District comprising the towns as Barotac Nuevo, Dumangas, Pototan, Dingle, Lambunao and Calinog as his area of responsibility. Golez in turn appointed Pedro Paranpan as Resistence Movement Mayor of Barotac Nuevo, Jesus Reyes as judge, Salvador Tuble as Treasurer and Ramon Bayona as food admininstrator, with Barrio Jalaud as the seat of the resistance civil government and later transferred to Barrio Talisay.


Aside from the legend and folklores transmitted from generation to generation, nobody among the Baratocnons bothered to record the events that transpired in Baratoc Nuevo. Existing records if any, during the Spanish and American regime were lost during the last war. It can be safely assumed however, that the aetas were the origins of the place, although only a few of them can be found presently.


The municipality of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo is 30 kilometers away from the city of Iloilo. Located in the northeastern part of the provines, it has 29 baranggays including Ilaud Poblicoan and Ilaya Poblacion. Its land area is 9,787,6887 hectares representing about 1.84% of the total area of the Province of Iloilo. It is a 5th class municipality with an annual income of P4,512,853.62 (1988 financial statement).


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