History Of Victoria
A virgin land called Borbocolon was once a thick forest, home of wild animals, endemic plant species and nomadic aborigines called Mangyans. The Mangyans inhabited the area until after the turn of the 20th century.
On January 14, 1915, the Philippine Government under the American colonial authority earmarked P30,000 (a big sum at that time) for the construction of a 68-kilometer highway from the capital town of Calapan to the Southern town of Pinamalayan. This was the single biggest infrastructure project that opened up the vast hinterlands of Mindoro, which at that time was a sparsely populated underdeveloped island province. A great portion of this new highway traveresed the area, which now constitutes the Municipality of Victoria. The Phase II of this Mindoro South Road Project was the extension from Pinamalayan to Bongabong, which was constructed later.
In order to "clear" the area which was intended to be granted as homesteads to permanent "Christian settlers", the provincial government issued an order "that all mangyans in the vicinities of the townships of Naujan and Pola and Mangyans of east of Baco River including those in the district of Dulangan and Rubi's Place in Calapan, will be transferred to the area of Tigbao, east of Naujan lake, not later than December 31, 1917." Thus, the exodus of the Mangyans to the hinterland and their banishment from their lowland abode, where they used to roam freely, was eventually and systematically undertaken.
In 1923, when Juan Navarro of Naujan was elected governor of Mindoro, he donated one hectare lot from his vast hacienda (the Malayas-Malinao Estate), for the establishment of the Malayas Settlement Farm School for Mangyans. Carlos Basa, his town mate, was appointed as principal. The project was short lived because of the resistance of natives to stay permanently in one place and their aversion to imbibe Christian education. There is hardly any trace of this school now but it was actually on the shore of the lake in Sitio Labahan.
Soon, settlers from Luzon started to arrive. The local government, in their desire to re-populate the province, provided free transportation, tools, farm implements and supplies to pioneer settlers. They were granted homestead titles containing an area of up to 24 hectares per family.
The Mindoro National Highway from Calapan to Pinamalayan was finally completed and inaugurated in 1932. This main transportation artery opened up vast fertile plains and the verdant forested hills of Mindoro. This marked the beginning of exploitation and development of the island of Mindoro, particularly the northeastern part of the province. The influx of migrant workers brought about the birth of many communities which eventually evolved into sitios, barrios and towns.
Meanwhile, early settlers found out that they could extract free flowing water by simply drilling pipes into the soil. They drilled one along the newly constructed road, which gushed freely with fresh cool, sparkling water. This was probably the first free-flowing artesian well in Mindoro and everybody including travelers who passed by would stop to partake of the water.
The gurgling, surging waters of the nearby stream and the gushing, splashing fountain of the artesian well might have influenced the people to call the place Borbocolon. "Bolbok" in the vernacular means surging water. "Na bolbok ang tubig sa bukal" (the water in the spring is surging), so they say.
Borbocolon had these humble beginnings till it became Victoria as we call it today.
Borbocolon and nearby barrios turned out to be a vast agricultural land after they were cleared, cultivated and planted with fruit plants and seasonal crops by the industrious settlers who found those places as their permanent abode. These first settlers include Eugenio Rolda, Canuto Marcos, Cornelio Gito, Martin de la Peña, Casimoro and Simplicio Pesigan, Jose de Villa, and Cenon Gaud of Borbocolon; Iluminado Salva, Pablo Apostol, Federico Tenorio, Fabia Macato, Francisco Jugno, Remegio Labador, and Valdez family of Babangonan; Marcelo Fontanilla, Segundo Almeniana, Melecio Vergaño, Demetrio Campo, La Madrid Family and Santiago Balingit Corpuz of Macatoc; Elino Javier, Narciso Javier, Benito Javier and Flaviano Nerona of San Narciso; Gelacio Africa, Eugenio Hora, Simon Gayutin, Juan Caberto, Pedro Santua, Pedro Nitura, and Rodolfo Avencilla of Malayas; Tomas Ordoñ, Sixto Quinones and Rufino Avecilla of Ordovilla; Juan Dalimot, Antonio Dalimot, Juan Nitura, and Prospero Antolin of Buliran; Geronimo Laudencia, Severo Lobrin, Manalo Family and Macalintal Family of Gusay; Telesforo Macalintal, Luis Macalintal, Rufino Gaba, Mariano Petilo and Tomas Adao of Pakyas; Felimon Carle, Tomas Clarin, Jose Godoy, Antonio Peralta and Eleda family of Merit; and Dominador Villegas and Manuel Villegas of Malbog. Trails, winding pathways, homestead roads and lumber roads have been turned into provincial, municipal and barangay roads connecting barrios to the national highway.
In 1950, a son of Tomas Ordoña of Ordovilla, Maj. Silvestre Ordoña who was an enlisted US army soldier, came to settle with his family in Ordovilla. Others say, it was a political strategy to designate Maj. Ordoña as Postal Agent for Borbocolon and adjacent barrios for him to have access to the barrio folks. The main idea is to have him campaign for not less than 5,000 inhabitants to sign a petition for the separation of Borbocolon and adjacent barrios from the Municipality of Naujan. However, strategy turned out to be advantageous.
The petition was made possible through the efforts of the leaders of the southern barrios of Naujan who were formed by Maj. Ordoña into an organization, which was named "Borbocolon-for-Regular-Municipality Club".
Following was the composition and set of officers of the Borbocolon-for-Regular-Municipality Club:
Silvestre V. Ordoño
Sgt at Arms
Other members who were barrio leaders include Rodolfo Avecilla, Lucio Hernandez, Fe Marquez, Antonio Dalimot, Jose Lubrin, Pedro del Mundo, Candido Echada, Geronimo Laudencio, Venancio Bulagay, Jose Godoy, Jose de Villa, and Jose Cayetano.
Maj, Ordoña, as president of the club, was responsible for the preparation of necessary documents and for securing necessary endorsements of petition to the Office of the then President Elpidio Quirino. In April 1951, the petition was finally endorsed to the Office of the President through Representative Raul T. Leuterio.
It was also in the early 50s when the Philippine Rural Community Improvement Society (PRUCIS), an organization led by Lt. Col. Severino Luna gained its popularity as an outstanding rural organization of the Philippines. In August 1952, the Club was incorporated with the PRUCIS and was renamed Victoria Rural Community Improvement Society (VIRUCIS). The conversion of the club into a PRUCIS chapter was very instrumental to the petitioners' call for independence as they have proven their capability to implement programs on their own. Technical and legal assistance were provided by Lt. Col. Luna in the completion of the necessary lacking documents pertaining to the creation of the Municipality. These documents, include among others, certifications from the different government offices and the subdivision plan of the proposed townsite.
The presence of large areas of government properties in Macatoc and Buliran made them the alternative townsites. However, VIRUCIS members were apprehensive of the said sites considering that they were not so accessible from the Mindoro National Highway. It was a very timely decision for the former Vice Mayor of Naujan Marciano Roldan to settle in Borbocolon who offered portion of his properties to be the site of the town. This offer opted the nearby landowners to do the same, which finally led to the preparation of a Subdivision Plan of the proposed townsite. Mr. Felimon Ordoña, a private land surveyor was commissioned to prepare the plan. Marciano Roldan became the Executive Director of the VIRUCIS and became actively involved in all matters pertaining to the creation of Victoria. Plans became concrete and approval of the petition became more possible.
In December 1952, a delegation led by Silvestre Ordoña, Marciano Roldan and then Vice Mayor of Naujan Timoteo Apostol was accompanied by Representative Raul T. Leuterio and Lt. Col. Severino Luna to the Malacañan where they met President Quirino and his daughter Victoria. The delegates discussed their plans for the proposed municipality, including among others their intention to have it named after President's daughter. Instructions were made for the Chief of the Local Government Division Juan Ipac and Executive Secretary Marciano Roque to prepare the papers necessary for the creation of an independent municipality to be named Victoria.
By virtue of Executive Order No. 620 dated September 18, 1953, a portion of the Municipality of Naujan, Province of Oriental Mindoro was organized into an independent municipality under the name of Victoria. The newly created municipality was composed of the barrios of Borbocolon, Babangunan, Bambang, Buliran, Gusay, Pakias, Ordovilla, San Narciso, Merit, Malayas, New Macatoc and Old Macatoc.