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HISTORY of CULASI (Spanish Period)

 originally written in Spanish by

Presidente Municipal ANGEL LORENZO

published on June 16,1917

ably assisted by Municipal Secretary GERVACIO Tamba MECENAS

translated into English by

Judge GEORGE Mecenas VALENTE

Chronology of Events

   Sometime in the middle of 17th century in the center of a beautiful and picturesque delta formed in the mouth of a river, whose crystalline waters run smoothly until it reached the sea towards the northern part of said delta now known by the vulgar name of LIPATA point, stood a small number of bamboo houses roofed with cogon grass for those dwellers were natives who came from the main central part of the Alcaldia (now province) of Iloilo. The Christian religion was therefore something unknown to these simple people. Nevertheless, they had a singular system of government, this kind of a family who had no king but the eldest among them nor law by the will of the elders to whom they submitted certain difficult questions to be resolved or decided. In their writings, they used characters similar to Chinese characters in certain manner until the year 1735, when they already used and wrote letters which we used today. They lived in a house and they fished. They had plenty because they planted palay, camote, maize and others.

   Here, this picturesque settlement in the center of that beautiful delta was called CULASI from the name of a big tree which grew in the river basin of this river, therefore so named for the river as it meandored gently along the delta made its turn exactly as if by command making the letter "C" before it flowed into the sea.

   In 1735, appointed as the first Capitan of this town by order of the Spanish government was El Señor Don Juan Oguid. Eighteen years after the implantation of the new regime or in 1752, notwithstanding the peaceful groupings of the people, a certain Marcel altered the public order and insinuated that they should not pay tribute to the constituted government inspite of the heavy penalty. The Capitan threatened with death those who refused to obey. These peaceful people filled with terror abandoned their homes and established themselves on the hills of NALIPAO (now Esperanza), few kilometers distance from the present place towards the east in the year 1753.

   In 1780,  the capitan of Culasi, El Sr. Don Carpio,  who remained or stayed in Nalipao, transferred anew the town to LAGUNA, a beautiful valley surrounded by the mountains of Tanque, Mabugo, Dayuan, Samalague, considering that the site of Nalipao was not large enough to afford the convenience and comfort of daily life of inhabitants, beside the new site of Laguna offerred the security and protection against Moro depredations who invaded our shores, and it was for the welfare of the great majority of the people residing near or close the barrio.

   In the year 1789, the Capitan of this municipality was El Sr. Magsuguid. The barrio (arraval) of Nalupa (now Barbaza) which was then an integral part of this town, was separated from Culasi the same year 1789 by order of the Alcaldia-Mayor (now governor) of Iloilo.

   Equally in the year 1796, when the capitan of this town was El Sr. Don Joaquin. The barrio of Pandan was separated from Culasi to organize as a distinct municipality.

   In the year 1803, the capitan of this town, El Sr. Don Bandoy noted that the number of inhabitants continued to increase and the beautiful valley of Laguna became considerably small for the people and he believed that it was prudent to transfer again the said town in this site where it is here today (Centro Poblacion) where you find it, because the Moro depredations were no longer frequent as it was in the previous years.

   In the year 1827, the capitan of this town was El Sr. Don Marcelino. In this year, the Politico-Military Governor El Sr. Orieta (sometimes spelled Ureta) attempted to transfer the town of Barbaza to Nalupa Nuevo (now Laua-an). He denounced the Filipino parish priests of the towns and the case reached Manila as the governor wanted to have his own way.

   In this year (1827), there was also a terrible earthquake so terrible the earth opened forming considerable deep caverns.

   In the year 1834, during the term of Capitan El Sr. Don Fausto Alpas, this town sufferred a terrible famine of such a consequence that a great number of inhabitants died, such that the price of palay increases and rose by six centavos per ganta.

   In the year 1839, the town of Culasi was razed to the ground the fire burning the Roman Catholic Church and its two ancient convents and eighty new houses of the inhabitants and two storehouses of Padre Gualberto Manzanilla.

   In the year 1841 during the term of Capitan El Sr. Gregorio Fernando, this town sufferred again much hunger or famine which increased or hiked the price of palay by six centavos per ganta; 3 years later or in the year 1844, another terrible earthquake occurred which opened the bowels of the earth and created yawning deep chasms in the mountain of Madja-as and others in other towns.

   In the following year, 1845, during the term of Capitan Julian de los Santos, there occurred in this town a sensational litigation between the parish priest of the town and the Provincial Governor Don Manuel Yturriaga which disturbed the whole province therefore all the chiefs and heads of offices of this province were called by competent authority to give their testimony in the capital.

   In 1846, cholera epidimic plagued the town of Culasi and a great number of inhabitants in all the towns of the Province of Antique died.

   In 1855, the inhabitants of this town were made to undego forced labor in building a Frigate and three Lorchas. They were made to work without rest even on Sundays.

   In 1882, during the term of Bernardo Cordero, there was again a recurrence of cholera.

   In 1888, another  recurrence of cholera plagued the people of Culasi

    In 1895, the name gobernadorcillo was changed to Capitan Municipal and the first to enjoy the privilege was Don Ramon Alojado.

   In 1897-98, Don Juan (Magbanua) Xavier became the Capitan Municipal of this town. In 1899, the provisional Philippine government was established and Don Juan Xavier was elected Alcalde Municipal. In 1900, Col. Scott established the American Government in Culasi and Don Xavier was appointed Presidente Municipal. 

   As a resume, it is our legitimate pride here in CULASI to know that this town, from our narrative, was the mother town of the municipalities now of Laua-an, Barbaza, Tibiao, Sebaste, Pandan, and Libertad.

   Even today, CULASI stands as the largest municipality in the North District of Antique.