16th to 19th centuries: Before the arrival of the First Spaniards


·         The first recorded Visayan settlement of some 800 families from Bohol headed by Chieftain Pagbuaya, escaped from “treacherous” ternatans and landed in Dapitan.

·         Zamboanga Peninsula was a scene of many bloody conflicts between Moro and Pagan Malay, Chinese and Siamese pirates and other adventurers of the sea.

·         The region now known as Zamboanga was reportedly known as Sibugay, Sibuguey, or Sibuguei.



·         Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Urdaneta visited Dapitan, which was already an ancient city by, then, were received hospitably by Pagbuaya.

·         Dapitan, which also called Dapite, Dapito and El Dapyte, founded long before by immigrants from Bohol, who alternately traded and fought with the Moros.

·         Spaniards experienced hostility when they tried to establish their sovereignty over the people of Zamboanga.

 The Spaniards made their first appearance in
      Jambangan (now Zamboanga City) with a small Catholic mission
       established  at   La Caldera, now known as Recodo.


·         Some 200 natives of Dapitan became formal converts to Christianity.



·         Christian missionaries had established themselves well at Dapitan and neighboring settlements.

·         Spaniards sent expeditions against the Moros on the island of Basilan to the south.


An expeditionary force under the command of Captain Juan de Chaves
      landed at Zamboanga.


·         Spaniards fleet decisively defeated Tagal, the brother of the Sultan of Mindanao, off the coast of Puenta de Flecha.

Fort Pilar in Zamboanga City

·         Don Juan Chaves established the Spanish settlement of Zamboanga town known as Bagumbayan, and commenced the construction of Fort Pilar there.

·         Jesuit missionaries expanded their work from the northern part of the peninsula southward to Zamboanga and were forced to withdraw within two years due to native’s violent opposition to the Christian faith.

·         The Spanish colony and fort of Zamboanga was the principal seat of Spanish authority.

·         Spanish government withdrew the entire garrison at Zamboanga and sent them to Luzon to help drive the Chinese forces led by K T’sen away from the area.

·         The Moros was in command during he withdrawal of the garrison from the Fort Pilar.  Since then, the coasts of Mindanao and the Visayas were never safe.



·         The fort of Zamboanga was rebuilt during the Governor Bustamante’s term of office.


·         The authorities organized several volunteer companies of Filipinos, which were armed, given military training, and under the command of Spanish officer to keep the Moros in check prohibited.

·         The arrangement five years later, elevated the corregimiento of Zamboanga into a politico-military province.


·         Zamboanga was made one of the six districts of Mindanao and Sulu.


·         Dapitan, was then part of Misamis province, was made a politico-military comandacia under the administrative jurisdiction of Misamis.


·         The capital of Spanish government in Mindanao was at Cotabato town.


·         The town of Dapitan is not notable not only as one of the oldest in the Philippines, but also as the place Dr. Jose Rizal lived in exile. He arrived in Dapitan in July 17,1892.

Saint Mary's Academy now
The Oldest in Mindanao

·         1892- Establishment of St. Mary’s Academy operated by the Religious of the Virgin Mary at its present site.


·         June 19,1893-The Catholic Cemetery was constructed at the same site.



·         February 15,1894- Construction of the Roman Catholic Church at the same site. Dr. Jose P. Rizal designed the structure including the altar.



·         Rizal was the symbolic head of the Filipino propaganda movement that preceded the revolution of 1896.



·         Isidoro Medel and Melanio Ramos recruited a considerable force of natives to join the rebellion, which was at first unsuccessful and eventually overcame them.


20th century: At the early part of the 20th century

·         American entered Mindanao at the start of 20th Century, and control of Muslim provinces was exercised directly by the U.S military establishment.



·         On June 1, 1903, the Insular Government, creating the “Moro Province” encompassing the whole Mindanao with Zamboanga as the capital, issued Act No.787.

·         Five American Governors had administered the Moro Province from 1903 to 1913 namely: Major Gen. Leonard Wood (1903-1906), Brig. Gen. Tasker Lios (1906-1909), Col. Ralph Hoyt (1909), Capt. Charles Hagedon (1909), Brig. Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing (1909-1913)

·         1903-Judge William H. Taft, President of the Second Philippines Commission, decreed that Dapitan District, which included Dipolog and the neighboring township, must be separated to Cagayan de Oro of Misamis Province and annexed to the Provincial Mora that later became Zamboanga Province.



·         March 4,1904- during the time of Isidro Patangan, the President Municipal Dipolog was converted into a barrio of Dapitan by the American Officer, who was the Provincial Secretary of the Provincial Mora.



·         May 3 1905- Santa Cruz was erected by the Spaniards, the landmarks of Dipolog’s Christianity. It is the oldest existing landmark of Dipolog.

·         Dapitan was made a sub-district of Zamboanga at the same time annexed from Misamis and remained as such until January 13,1905.



·         In 1913, Act No. 2408 was passed under which the Moro Province was abolished and the Department of Mindanao and Sulu was established. The capital remained in Zamboanga. Seven provinces (no longer “district”) were created namely: Zamboanga, Jolo, Cotabato, Davao, Surigao, Agusan, and Bukidnon. This marked the transfer of the administration from the military to the civilian authorities. Frank Carpenter was the Department’s First Governor.

·         July 1,1913- General John “Black Jack” J. Pershing, Governor of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu, declared Dipolog as a Municipality. General Pershing also appointed Pascual T. Martinez as the first Municipal Mayor of Dipolog, under the American Regime (1913-1918)

APPOINTED/elected municipal/city officials of Dipolog:

      1913-1921-PASCUAL T. MARTINEZ             - Appointed

      1922        -GAUDENCIO BENDIJO         - Appointed (3 mos.)

      1922-1925-ISABELO Z. ECHAVEZ     - Appointed (ad interim)

      1926-1927-GERONIMO GONZALES             -Appointed

      1928        -FELIPE B. LACAYA     -Appointed (ad interim)

      1929-1930-FERMIN D. KAGATAN                 -Appointed

      1931-1935-GERINO LAYLAY Y. ZORILLA     -Elected

      1936-1937-GERINO LAYLAY Y. ZORILLA     -Elected

      1938-1946-VICENTE CALIBO                         -Elected

      1946-1955-FERMIN D. KAGATAN                  -Elected

      1956-1959-PASTOR R. BAJAMUNDE            -Elected

      1960-1963-VIRGINIO B.LACAYA                    -Elected

      1963-1969-FELICISIMO L.HERRERA       -last Municipal Mayor

      1970-1978-FELICISIMO L.HERRERA     -1ST City Mayors, Elected

      1978-1980-ROSELLER L.BARINAGA             -Appointed

      1980-1986-ROSELLER L.BARINAGA             -Elected

      1986-1987-DARIO B. LACAYA                -Appointed (OIC)

      1987-1988-LUIS PALOMA              -Appointed (Caretaker)

      1988-1992-ROSELLER L.BARINAGA             -Elected

      1992-1995-ROSELLER L. BARINAGA             -Re-elected

      1995-1998-ROSELLER L.BARINAGA              -Re-elected

      1998-2001-ROBERTO Y. UY                            -Elected

      2001-Present-ROBERTO Y. UY          -Re-elected



·         Zamboanga became a regular province on September 1,1914

·         The first civilian governor of Zamboanga Province was Luis G.Lim

·         February 2,1914, the municipality of Lubungan (New Katipunan) was created by virtue of Executive Order No.2 signed by Frank Carpenter, the Governor General of Mindanao and Sulu upon the recommendation of Provincial Governor Luis G. Lim with Leoncio Adasa as the first appointed Municipal President. In 1936, Lubungan was renamed into Katipunan upon the recommendation of the council of Lugbungan under Resolution No.8 and by virtue of commonwealth Act No.3832.

·         Appointed/Elected Municipal Officials of Katipunan:

·         1915-1919-LEONCIO ADASA                         -Appointed

·         1919-1922-FERNANDO EGUIA                      -Elected

·         1923-1925-ALFONSO LAGORA                     -Elected

·         1925-1928-ROQUE GURDIEL                        -Elected

·         1928-1930-FRANCISCO MIRANDA               -Elected

·         1930-1933-BENITO VALLECER                     -Elected

·         1934-1937-JOSE DALMAN                             -Elected

·         1938-1946-NICOLAS LIMBAGA                     -Elected

·         1946        -MARIANO MENDOZA                   -Appointed

·         1946-1948-SALVADOR EGUIA                      -Elected

·         1949-1963-DIOSCORO LAGORA                  -Elected

·         1964-1979-JOSE GAYAPA                            -Elected

·         1979-1980-RODOLFO E. KWAN                   -Appointed

·         1980-1986-RODOLFO E. KWAN                    -Elected

·         1986-1987-CESAR F. SAGARIO                   -Appointed (OIC)

·         1987-1988-REYNALDO T. GENOBATEN     -Appointed (Caretaker)

·         1988-1992-CESAR E. SAGARIO                  -Elected

·         1992-1995-RENATO T. EGUIA                     -Elected

·         1995-1998-RODOLFO E. KWAN                  -Elected

·         1998-2001-PATCHITO T.EGUIA                  -Elected

·         2001-Present- PATCHITO T. EGUIA           -Elected



·         1915- Holding of the first special local election of Dipolog from Municipal Vice-President (Vice-Mayor) down to five Municipal Councilors.



·         1918-1921-Pascual T. Martinez was elected and assumed office as first Municipal Mayor.

·         The Department of Mindanao and Sulu was abolished. The provinces were placed under the supervision of the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes of the Department of Interior.




1.       PABLO LORENZO – 1916-1919

                   Atty. Pablo Lorenzo of Zamboanga City was appointed Congressman in 1916-1919. He was one of the top legal practitioners in Mindanao. He is the father of Zamboanga City Mayor Ma. Clara Lorenzo Lobregat. Atty. Pablo Lorenzo served as Secretary of the Department of Education and Department of Public Works. He also chaired the Development Bank of the Philippines. In 1935 he was delegate of Zamboanga to the Constitutional Convention.


2.       TEODORO P. GIL –1919-1925

                   Teodoro P. Gil was appointed as the representative of Zamboanga Province in 1919-1922 and 1922-1925.

 VACANT       - 1925-1928


3.       TABUJUR TAUPAN – 1928-1921

                   Tabujur Taupan was appointed as the representative of the province to the National Legislator from 1928-1931. He was a Nursing graduate who had previously served as Vice Mayor of Zamboanga. He was very much loved by both Muslim and Christian for his fairness and integrity. He was a great Muslim.


4.       JOSE G. SAN VICTORES – 1928-1931

                    Jose G. San Victores was appointed representative of Zamboanga province in 1931 to 1934. He was born in Pateros, Rizal, but made his fortune in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. He was a cattle rancher and agriculturist. He finishes his Agriculture degree from the University of Illinois, USA, and he was one of the leading exporters of the Agriculture Development in Mindanao.


5.       DOROTEO KARAGDAG – 1934-1935

                    From 1934-1935, a brilliant Tagalog lawyer from Zamboanga who was a migrant from Bulacan, Doroteo Karagdag was appointed representative of Zamboanga Province. He was the last appointed representative of Zamboanga Province.

Florentino A. Saguin

In 1935 an election for the Constitutional Convention was held, and the elected Con-con delegates for the Zamboanga Province were. Florentino A. Saguin and Pablo Lorenzo.


6.       JUAN S. ALANO –1935-1941

                    In the first election under the 1935 Constitution, Atty. Juan S. Alano of Zamboanga and Basilan was elected to the House of Representative, representing the old Province of Zamboanga. A migrant from Malolos, Bulacan, rich businessman with vast landholdings.


In 1941, election, Atty. Matias C. Ranillo Sr. of Dipolog was elected as Congressman, serving from 1942 to 1945 but was extended up to 1946 because of the outbreak of the Second World War.



7.       MATIAS C. RANILLO, Sr. –1941-1946 After the end of World War II, the capital of Zamboanga Province was transferred from Zamboanga to Dipolog.



·       Zoning of Dipolog into blocks with narrow roads assisted by the Americans under General Pershing.

·       Imposition of an ordinance prohibiting traders/businessman from wearing “CARSONCILLO” while transacting business.


·         The first Public Hospital was established at the site presently occupied by Estaka Central School.


·         Operation of the first light and power industry, the Visayan Electric Company (VECO) to service the Poblacion of Dipolog, Earlier, Isabel Echavez, owned and operated an electric plant, servicing only a few residential houses, using a 25 horsepower Deutz generating set which was later on purchased by the VECO.


·         Inauguration of the Quezon Bridge making Dipolog more accessible by land from Dapitan and other northern places. President Manuel L. Quezon personally inaugurated the bridge.

·         December 22, 1936 – the municipality of Sindangan was created by virtue of E.O. 97 with Bartolome Lira, Sr. as the first appointed mayor.

·         December 23,1936- the municipality of Siocon was created by virtue of E.O. 77 with Dionisio E. Riconalla as the first appointed mayor.



·         Construction of the Dipolog of the Airport. President Sergio Osmena, Sr. aboard a Philippine Air Force plane on its maiden landing personally inaugurated the airport. The airport was later used the Americans Soldiers during the World War II.



·         Establishment of the Bureau of Telecommunications in Dipolog Along Rizal Avenue and Katipunan Street.

·         June 1940- Establishment of the first institute, the Andres Bonifacio Institute (now Andres Bonifacio College) formerly situated at the corner of Rizal Avenue and Magsaysay Street, offering vocational courses. It started with only 7 enrollees.



·         Establishment of the first private hospital owned by Dr. Vicente Ames, situated at General Luna Street (same site).



·         IN April 23, 1946 Congressional Election, Juan Alano (Nationalista Liberal Wing), a rich haciendiero in Basilan and had businesses in Zamboanga City and was elected Congressman of the lone district of Zamboanga Province including Basilan.



·         In November 11, 1947, the first post-war local election was held.  There were 3 candidates, namely: Felipe B. Azcuna, a talented, tall and imposing lawyer who was superb vernacular orator Katipunan, Guadalupe Adaza, a lady lawyer from Dapitan and Dr. Flaviano Medalle, Sr., from Molave with good medical practice.  Felipe Azcuna was elected and the elected Board Members were Romulo Garovillo and Braulio Villasis.



·         The capital of Zamboanga Province was transferred again on June 16, 1948 on the newly created town of Molave (provided the necessary building to house the government were constructed).  Four years later, the capital was transferred to Pagadian.

·         The municipality of Labason was created by virtue of Executive Order 79 on August 12, 1947 with Gil Sanchez as the first appointed mayor.


·         Appointed/elected municipal officials of Labason:


Name of Mayor



Gil Sanchez, Sr.



Gil Sanchez, Sr.



Generoso Tokong



Generoso Tokong



Graciano B. Canda



Graciano B. Canda



Graciano B. Canda



Graciano B. Canda



Francisisco Buctuan, Sr.

Appointed (OIC)


Sagrado Ocaya



Isabel G. Brillantes



Wiilfredo Balais



Wilfredo Balais



Sagrado Ocaya



·         The creation of the first 10 barrios of Dipolog Which is composed of Poblacion, Sikayab (now Sicayab) Guinles, Sianib, Miputak (still existing), Dansullan, Nipa-an (now Galas – Still existing), Olingan (existing). Tu-okan (now San Jose-existing) and Polanco.  The municipality of Polanco was formerly a part of the territorial jurisdiction of Dipolog prior to its separation in 1952.



·         In 1949 Presidential and Congressional Election, elected president was Elpidio Quirino and the elected congressman of the lone district of Zamboanga was Atty. Roseller T. Lim.


·         December 21, 1950, the municipality of Rizal was created by virtue of Executive Order 385 with Plaridel V. Medija as the first appointed mayor.

  Appointed/elected municipal mayors of Rizal





Plaridel V. Medija



Plaridel V. Medija



Robert P. Poculan



Robin M. Manigsaca


1988-June 30, 1992

Robin M. Manigsaca


July 1 ‘92-January 31 ‘01



·         December 21, 1950, the municipality of Rizal was created by virtue of E.O.385 Plaridel V. Medija as the first appointed mayor.


Appointed/elected municipal officials of Rizal

1951                        -PLARIDEL V. MEDIJA      -Appointed

1952-1959               -PLARIDEL V. MEDIJA      -Elected

1960-1985               -ROBERT T. POCULAN    -Elected

1986-1987               -ROBIN M. MANIGSACA      -Appointed

1988-Jun 30’92       -ROBIN M. MANIGSACA       

Jul 1’92-Jan 31’01   -PERFECTO C. CEBEDO    -Elected

Feb 1’01-Feb 18’01 –GABRIEL A. CATANE      -Acting Mayor

Feb 19’01-Jun30’01 –GABRIEL A. CATANE      -Succession

Jun 1’ 01-Present    -GABRIEL A. CATANE     -Elected



·         In March 13, 1951 local elections, the last election before the division of Zamboanga, elected governor was Felipe B. Azcuna and the two elected Board Members were Teofilo Buslon and Primo Bendijo.


·         June 16,1951, the municipality of Manukan was created by virtue of R.A. 665 signed by President Elpidio Quirino with Prudencio C. Tiu, Sr. as the first appointed mayor.

Appointed/elected municipal officials

1951-1960              -PREUDENCIO C. TIU, SR.   –Appointed

1961-1967              -VIRGILIO A. RAMOS     -Appointed

Nov.-Dec 1967       -INOCENCIO T. GO    -Appointed

1968-1976              -JOSE S. TEVES    -Elected

1976-1984              -JESUS A. RAMOS     -Elected

1984-1985              -BENEFICO T. PANAGSAGAN    -Acting Mayor

1985-1986              -JESUS A. RAMOS     -Elected

1986-1987              -JACITO C. RUEDAS, SR.     –OIC

Dec2-5 1987           -ELPEDIO M. SAGARIO    -Interim

Dec.6 ’87-Jan 1988-RANULFO M. SUAREZ    -Interim

1988- June 30 1992-JACINTO C. RUADES,JR.   –Elected

1992-1996              -EUGENE U.CABALLERO   -Elected

1996-1998              -EUGENE U. CABALLREO    -Elected

Apr-Jun 1998          -EUGENE U.CABALLERO    -Elected

1998-2001              -EUGENE U. CABALLERO    -Elected

2001-Present         -MARIA TERESA G. CABALLERO -Elected

·         August 22,1951, the municipality of Polanco was created by virtue of E.O. 467 with Benigno Ocupe as the appointed mayor.

·         August 22,1951, the municipality of Liloy was created by virtue of E.O.469 issued by President Elpidio Quirino with Arsenia Teves as the first appointed mayor.

Appointed/elected municipal officials of Liloy:

1951-1953              -ARSENIA TEVES         -Appointed

Jul-Dec 1953          -VICTORIANO MACAN   -Appointed

Jan’54- Apr’1955    -AQUILINO BOMEDIANO,SR.  –Appointed

1956-1959              -PROTACIO MARAON  -Elected

1959-1963              -AQUILINO BOMEDIANO,SR.   –Elected

1964-1968              -FLORENTINO T. DAAROL   -Elected

1969-1980              -FLORENTINO T. DAAROL   -Elected

1980-1986              -FLORENTINO T. DAAROL  -Elected

Apr1986-Dec1987  -BALTAZAR GIMOLATAN      -OIC

Dec1987-Feb 1988- JUSTINO FERNANDEZ       -OIC

1988-1992             -JAIME N. LIM             -Elected

June 30 1992        -DIONISIO SOLIVA      -Caretaker

July 1992-1995     -PEPITO BRACAMONTE   -Elected

1995-1998            -BECHU L. UY          -Elected

1998-2001            -BECHU L. UY       -Elected

2001- Present      -BECHU L.UY       -Elected


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