History Of Baco

Baco is the oldest town in Oriental Mindoro. It has two origins. First, it came from the word “Paco”, an edible fern which was abundantly grown up in the place and secondly Folk Stories passed down by elders relates that it came from the word “Baku-bako” the road potholes which was left by the frequent flooding due to heavy rain used to last 3 to 4 days.

According to an Anthropologist and Missionary Rev. AntoonPostma, this town became the first Official Capital f Oriental Mindoro in 1575 because this is the place where the First Parochial Church was founded in 1567. It had been the Cabezera town till 1678 and when Corregidor Joseph de Chavez became a Governor of Oriental Mindoro, Calapan    became its Capital.

Year 1692, Baco had been under the Spanish Mission said to be one of the oldest towns in Mindoro. Thoe original settlers were Spanish Friars who settled down along the shore of Tabon Tabon, then transferred to San Andres and was later moved to  Lumang Bayan because of the constant depredation of Muslim Pirates. The first Gomahan church was established in Lumang Bayan and after several decades it transferred to Calapan1733 thus foreboding the first Ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Mindoro.

There is a story about the early church of Baco and the priest who put a curse in the town.

It was said that after the church was established a Moro named Magyawi came. He stayed in the convent as his residence and told the priest to officiate mass only whenever he (Magyawi) is around. One day Magyawi went hunting for wild animals. He got inspired and overstayed in the forest. The priest got tired of waiting for him so decided to officiate the mass. When Magyawi returned and came to know that the priest violated his order, he tied up the priest and put him inside the crate. The missionary was confined without food. Not yet contented, Magyawi took a big bell and tied it to the crate and threw it into the river. But before doing it, the priest vowed and said “This town will never prosper unless one natural born Bacoeño becomes a priest.”

Another story said that somewhere in one part of Baco there was an old man who asked for water to drink but no one could ever relieve his thirst instead they chased him away. Before the old man turned around he said, “You will be having water abundantly”. As the time passed by it had been noticeable that this place has been eroded by water thus people remember the old man putting a curse on the place.

During the revolution in the year 1898 Bacoeño under the leadership of Captain CervuloLeuterio joined the uprising against the Spaniards and joined the Americans in the succeeding years (1899 – 1901).

Baco was incorporated with Calapan by the virtue of Act 1824 in 1902 and it gained its distinction as a regular municipality under Act 3498 upon the representation of Mariano Leuterio, a legitimate representative of Oriental Mindoro.

The foundation day of Baco is celebrated every January 25 based on Executive Order No. 4, signed at Manila on January 25, 1921by Francis Burton Harrison, Governor General of Philippine Island. This was approved upon recommendation of the Chief Executive Bureau concurred by the Secretary of the Interior, pursuant to the provision of Section 1 of Act No.2824. This was also in accordance with the Article six Chapter 64 of the Administrative Code of 1917 stating that the barrio of Baco separated from the municipality of Calapan and organized as an independent district in Poblacion. The town proper was transferred to barangay Alag in 1945 and then later to San Andres. However, because San Andres was being eroded by water, the people had again relocated the town site, a donated lot of Mr. Catalino Calderon, an ordinary settler of the town,  with almost 8 hectares in area, wherein the building was constructed.

The following had been the barrio captains since year 1896 to 1900 Juan Aceveda Sr., Pedro Quimbao, QuintinVillar, Gonzalo Aceveda, Bartolome Garcia and Cerbulo Leuterio and had been the President of the town of Baco formerly: Benito R. Villar, Herminigildo Atienza, Jose Samaco, Jose Lopez, Juan Aceveda, Braulio Aceveda, Froilan Aceveda and Paterno Sanchez.

Municipal Mayor who served during Japanese period were: Rustico Maliwanag, Froilan Aceveda and Vitaliano Alferez( 1942 – 1945).

The mayor who served from 1946 were RusticoMaliwanag (1946-1947), Vicente Ramos (1948-1951), Pedro Aceveda (1952-1955), Vicente Ramos (1956-1959), GaudencioZulueta (1960-1963), Wise ALmario (1964-1971), GaudencioZulueta (1972-1986), Julio Hernandez (1986-1992), Graciano P. DelaChica (1992-2000), ConradoZulueta (2001-2004), Graciano P. DelaChica 2004 to June 30, 2013, Reynaldo A. Marco July 1, 2013 up to present.

In the history of Baco, a foreign Missionary in the presence of Rev. Father Victor Tungkel, SVD who contributed great effort to uplift people's spiritual awareness. He instituted Baco Catholic High School that had been under his Administration as Kura- Paroko since 1965 – 1982 and established chapels in most barangays. The first parochial church then also was established named Banal na 

Santatlo. The town fiesta celebrates every 19th of March in honor of the Patron St. Joseph, Patron of the Worker.

Only 16.2 kilometers away from Calapan City, bounded by the town of Naujan in the North, Subaan Bay in South, Calapan in the East and San Teodoro in West. It has a short distance from Mount Halcon thus experiences heavy rainfall and flooding frequently. Baco covers 27 barangays, 5 of them are in a coastal area, 4 are near the mountain and the rest near the pilot area.

It covers 241.75 sq.km. Or 24,175 has. 12,960 covers forest land. Mangyan tribes who dwell in this place are Iraya and Alangan.

Baco now is a 3rd class municipality with a population growth rate of 1.17 percent NSO survey 2007. It is endowed with rich natural resources such as marble reserves, black clay and gold. It has 27 barangays and boasts of several natural scenic wonders: the Dulangan, Bayanan, and Lantuyang Waterfalls; the Mangangan Tunnel; Carayrayan River; CuevaSagrada (Sacred Cave); San Andres (The Sunken Town); Tiboy Rapids; Water Beach Area; Mayabig Core Dam; and Mt. Halcon, the third highest mountain in the Philippines.

As of NSO Survey 2010Baco has a population of 35,060. More Bacoeños are working abroad. Although it is a 3rd class municipality, its progress can be seen through its fastest development. Elementary schools and secondary schools had been put up. Adequate education can avail by the youth and a great number of graduates prosper.

Presently, the town is accessible to any land transportations. There are also Farm to Market Roads and barangay roads where farmers have easy access to transportation bringing their farm products to market. New public markets have been put up, too.

Though there were impediments occur and tried to obstruct the development of the town, still Bacoeñoes are trying hard to attain the desired quality of life among all constituents carrying out the strong faith that the curse left by the folktale banishes and that Baco through the help of the Almighty God moves on to progress.