History of Castillejos, Zambales

“Early beginnings –

The settlement we now know as Castillejos was founded sometime in the middle of the 18th century. According to Agustin Dela Cavada in his Historias Filipinas, the creation of Castillejos took place – 1743, while that of Subic in 1769. The seniority of Castillejos over Subic is quite interesting in view of the fact that both towns were established by Tagalog families which, probably came from the province of Bataan, and we can be sure that the settlement at Subic, which on the beach preceded that in Castillejos, for this situated farther from Bataan, some seven kilometers in the interior on the side of the mountain owing to the exposed position of the beach to more pirates, those early families kept moving in land towards Castillejos thereby making it grow faster than Subic. Thus, Castillejos became a “Pueblo” in 1743, twenty six (26) years ahead of Subic, according to Dela Cavada.

FIRST PICTURE OF CONDITION

The oldest document so far found in the National Archives is dated July 6, 1802. That was 153 years ago. The document, which is among the reports of the Governadorcillos of the towns of Zambales to the Corregidor Don Manuel de Orendain, contains data on the number of fruit trees such as coconuts, cacao, pepper, etc. Planted in the town during planting drive instituted in the year 1799 to 1802. Don Ignacio de San Agustin was then Governadorcillo of Castillejos at that time.

 

EVOLUTION OF ITS NAME

Uguic was probably the first name of this town; but in the course of time, Uguic was written as Uguit by which name it was known until January 23, 1863. On that day, it was its own priest thereby putting an end to its spiritual dependence on Subic. And on that day it was given its own priest the “Caillanes” did not only celebrate for having been given a priest of their own but also name the town “Castillejos”.

RELIGIOUS DEPENDENCE

Castillejos was known by most people of San Antonio and San Marcelino as “Visita”. Even until first decade of the present century. It was really a “Visita” since its foundation until the 24th of January 1863. Before that date, the priest who officially resided in Subic set aside certain days of the week for the month when, on horseback and later in his carriage, he went to Uguic to make a visit (spiritual) to his flock. His flock comprised the people of San Antonio and San Marcelino who on those specified days went to Uguic to have their newly born baptized on their son and daughters married. On those days the people would say, “we are going to Visita, meaning Uguic, or Castillejos.

The religious improvement of the town was comparably slow. Despite the fact that Uguic was already a “pueblo” over a century old at the time of foundation of San Narciso (1840) and San Antonio, (1849) these two were able to get their ecclesiastical independence thereby recognizing it as “Pueblo”.

The religious improvement of the town was comparably the oldest people of Castillejos may still remember that at time of the Philippine Revolution of 1896-98, Father Pablo Calvilo was their Parish Priest. Father Calvilo indeed was the first and only priest of the town from 1863 to the end of the Spanish rule.

PUBLIC SERVANTS OF THE TOWN

It would be interesting to know the names of the Citizens of Castillejos who were called upon to serve as governadorcillos. Those men really deserve a place in the history of the town, for they rendered public service great sacrifice, having given their freely without compensation. The following were the governadorcillos and capitanes for the years indicated in the few extent documents in the National Archives.

GOBERNADORCILLOS:

1804 – Ignacio de San Agustin

1808 – Juan Dela Cruz (Captain Reformado)

1817 – Juan Dela Cruz (Captain Reformado)

1830 – Teodoro Perez

1832 – Teodoro Perez

1834 – Mariano del Pilar

1842 – Domingo Arroyo

1843 – Francisco Santiago

1846 – Emetrio Pascasio

1847 – Simon delos Santos

1848 – Bonifacio Cayetano

1849 – Romualdo Pablo

1850 – Bonifacio Cayetano

1851 – Geronimo de Guzman San Juan

1854 – Pedro Apostol

1855 – Bonifacio Tamorio

1856 – Pedro Apostol

1892 – Juan Perez

1893 – Vicente Viloria

 

CAPITANES MUNICIPALES:

1894 – Nicolas Villaflor

1896 -Florentino De Perio

1897 – Florentino De Perio, relieved March 8 by Florentino P. Magsaysay (by appointment)

1898 – Canuto Fontillas

Modestio Gallardo was also a Gobernadorcillo but the year of his incumbency cannot be determined. His name was also incidentally mentioned in the protest of Nicolas Villaflor who did not like the manner by which the elections of 1894 were conducted.

MAN OF INTEGRITY

In that electoral protest, Nicolas Villaflor showed a remarkable trait, for despite the fact that he was already elected Capitan Municipal, he complained that two of the delegates (electoral) were recorded as cabesas de Barangay, which they were not, and that a third delegate was recorded as one of the cleanest taxpayers, however he had no property. His protest was however, over ruled in Iba as well as in Manila, so he had to abide by the rules results of the election irregular as it was, and had to serve.

 

THE TERRITORY OF UGUIT

Before the establishment of the four Ilocano towns in Zambales in the first half of the 19th century, the area over which Uguit ruled as quite extensive, according to an old document, dated November 20, 1841, the dividing line between it and Cabangan started from a point on the China Coast at a place called Ua and ran eastward to the foot of the Zambales mountain. This line is now the boundary between San Antonio and San Marcelino, which at first were barrios of Uguit were transferred to San Narciso when this became a Pueblo in 1846, a new boundary line had to be drawn South of San Antonio, from China sea to the mountains of Zambales.

This increase the territory of San Narciso reduced considerably the area of Castillejos. And it was further reduced when San Antonio became a Pueblo in 1849 by the Cession to it of the mountainous area east of Castillejos.

On the South, the boundary with Subic was rather undetermined for sometime. On August 3, 1897, the representative of both town and the Inspector of the streets and bridges met at the CUESTA GRANDE and preceded to indicate with monuments the boundaries agreed upon (previously) by the two towns in the presence of the Governor of the province. The documents recording that took place on the third of August 1897 were dated September 9, 1897.

It seems that all was not well, for on the 7th of January, 1898 the Governor of Zambales at Iba, telegraph the politico-Military governor in Subic, telling that the Capitan Municipal of Castillejos reported that those of Subic erected a monument on the left bank of the Pamatawan River. He indicate that there was an old arrangement on August 3, 1897, about this matter; so he requested the Politico military Governor to advise those of Subic to refrain from taking possession of any territory until the Government provide otherwise.

On the following day the Provincial Board at Iba considered the matter and its session and decided to recommend to the Governor General that the division agreed upon be approved citing the points on which based its decision namely:

1. The principals of both towns agreed on the boundary, and those of Castillejos had already compiled with condition exacted of them to build 7 bridges and the entire length of the highway.

2. The territory laded to Castillejos was not yet inhabited and most of it belonged to its residents, hence its separation from Subic would not diminish the number of Cedulas.

3. It had been already experienced that Subic, owing to its limited population could not attend to the repair and unkeep the bridges and roads in question; and

4. The boundary line agreed was “El Punto Intermadio” entire ambos pueblos.

The decision of the board was approved and transmitted the same day by the Governor to Manila for final action of the governor general. It must be stated in this connection that the Politico-Military General those post was created only in December of 1897 was siding the town of Subic in this controversy of no records available so far.

 

PUBLIC WORKS

The construction of the road betweens Castillejos and Subic, which was involved on the boundary line of these town had been and old projects, thought and planned out even before 1852, for the administration of the provinces found it difficult to visit Subic owing to the mountain that had to be crossed and that during the rainy season Subic was all but isolated from the rest of Zambales. When Sr. Don Hipolito Fortacio was Alcalde of the province he made and attempt to build that road to make it suitable for vehicles, for until that time only horses and carabaos could use it and only during the dry season.

In as much as the towns of Subic and Castillejos did not count with sufficient population, the Alcalde called upon pueblos of San Marcelino and San Antonio to contribute labor. Any way the Alcalde said, they would not benefit from the good road, which until will enable them to export their product to and from Subic even during rainy season. Governor General Urbistondo whose approval was necessary because the labor to be asked from other towns, readily gave his consent.

NEW BARRIO UNDER UGUIT

The Alcalde Mayor, Don Prudencio Perez de Nenon was anxious to develop the wilderness within the jurisdiction of Uguit, and in 1842 he secured from the Governor, passports for fourteen (14) families from the Ilocos over and above the opposition of the officials of those provinces. The Alcalde settled the Viga River in the Sitio called “Aguiti” along the Viga River.

Those original families from the Ilocos were soon joined by others and by some who came from San Narciso and San Antonio. The Alcalde called the new village “Barrio San Marcelino” in honor of the Governor Marcelino Oras.

Those original families from the Ilocos in that Barrio did not proceed without interruption, for in March 1846, the Governadorcillos Meterio Pascasio reported to the Alcalde Mayor, Don Jose M. Rodriguez, that several individuals left the barrio and some of them reported found in Alusiis (Now San Narciso).

Attempts were made to have those apprehended and returned to San Marcelino but most of them could not be located. However, the cause for their disappearance were investigated and it was found out by the priest in Subic, Father Guillermo Royo, that there were not old men of authority to guide and advise them however, those were supposed to lead them were victimizing them with extortions and they did not like being ordered about by officials so much so that there develop general desire to be politically independent of Uguit.

The slow development of the town Uguit was also due to the abuse and punishment inflicted on by the Corregedire Jaoquien Sanchez, the reason why some residence of Uguit moved to other provinces.

Coming the most important element of the town, which is the population, the following figures serve to show the community has grown since its creation in 1743.

In the census year of 1938, the cultivated land area reduced a value of some 80,000, 7/8 of which came from palay, followed by mongo then cassavas. Reports also from census states that Castillejos, San Marcelino and San Antonio was consolidated under one administration and the heap of government was located in San Marcelino. That arrangement which has in accordance with commission Act. No. 945 to affect economy and to bring about better and less costly Government of the consolidated towns. In the report of the Governor of Zambales dated July 15, 1904, the officials were already pointing out that the consolidation Act defeated its own purpose for their developed difficulties in the enforcement of laws: and the residents, specially the leaders of the absorbed pueblos of November 5, 1907, the political leaders of Castillejos and San Antonio agreed to put an end to the consolidation by putting up for President a citizen for the later, who pledge to work for the independence of both town. Combined in his favor, he won over his rivals. But when his real program became known, to free Castillejos and San Antonio, those who opposed the separation charged him and of the councilors with irregularities. The case was brought to court to First Instance, but the respondents, defended by the now Justice Guillermo F. Pablo of the Supreme Court, were acquitted and reinstated in their positions.

Despite the interruption of their administration, those officials were able to comply with pledge to the election. Thus, Castillejos became again politically independent in 1910 and San Antonio in 1909.

The Presidents and Town mayors, since the beginning of the American regime to the present were:

American Occupation Official Position Date of Tenure

01. Estanislao Bernardino President 1900

02. Jose Del Fierro President 1901

03. Gerino Alvarez President 1903-1905

04. Matias Apostol President 1908-1910

05. Edilberto de Perio President 1910-1912

06. Juan N. del Fierro President 1913-1915

07. Juan Gallardo President 1915-1921

08. Juan Blanco President 1922-1940

09. Felix Fallorina Mayor 1941-1948

10. Sixto Cacho Mayor 1949-1953

11. Tranqulino Velasco Mayor 1954-1955

12. Tomas Ablao Mayor 1956-1965

13. Dominador Bundang Mayor 1966-1967

14. Rodrigo Trimor Mayor 1967-1986

15. Manuel Felarca Officer in Charge 1986-1987

16. Flordeliza C. Trinidad Officer in Charge – 1988

17. Enrique P. Magsaysay Mayor 1989-1992

18. Teofilo G. Pantaleon Mayor 1992-Sept.2000

19. Wilma D. Billman Officer In Charge Oct. 2000-May 2001

20. Wilma D. Billman Mayor 2001-May 20, 2002

21. Enrique P. Magsaysay Mayor May 21, 2002 – June 30, 2004

22. Wilma D. Billman Mayor July 1, 2004 – February 15, 2006

23. Enrique C. Clarin Acting Mayor Feb 16, 2006 – March 31, 2006

24. Wilma D. Billman Mayor April 1, 2006 – June 30, 2010

25. Jose Angelo M. Dominguez Mayor – July 1, 2010 – present

 

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