Cajidiocan, Romblon

Cajidiocan, Romblon

Cajidiocan is a 4th class municipality in the province of Romblon, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 19,369 people in 3,911 households.

Variant Romblomanon language locally called Sibuyanon dialect (Sibuyǽnon Cajidiocanon style) is the native language of entire municipality.


The first recorded history of Sibuyan Island and Cajidiocan was in 1566 when this area was reported part of the Alcaldia of Panay in the Pintados with Ogtong (Oton) as its seat. When the Spaniards under Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legaspi came to Panay and established a settlement in Ogtong (now Oton, Iloilo), he appointed Gonzalo Ronquillo as deputy encomiendero over the place. Later, a new village attached to Oton was organized named Villa Arevalo in honor of Don Gonzalo's hometown in Avila, Spain named Arevalo. The village grew into a big metropolis that later the capital of the Alcaldia was transferred from Oton to Arevalo and finally in 1581 moved the seat of Spanish power to La Villa de Arevalo. The town became so important that it had jurisdiction over other important villages and areas like Tablas with a population of 200 residents, Cibuyan (Sibuyan) with 100 residents, Ambil (Hambil) with 50, Samara (Simara) has 70 residents, while in Banton it has 200 islanders and Dumblon (Romblon) with a population of 200.

Filled with the flame of success in their previous brief expedition in Lubang islands, Don Juan de Salcedo and Don Martin de Goiti, with the blessings of Adelantado Don Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, finally decided to conquer Luzon. The trip began soon for the conquest of Manila. From Iloilo they sailed on May 8, 1570 to Sibuyan island and reached it after 2 days of balmy sailing on high seas. Martin de Goiti, Spanish conquestador and Navigator under the service of Spain landed on Sibuyan Island in May 10, 1570. De Goite noted Sibuyan Island to be rich in Gold and mentioned that it was good source of fresh drinking water. Source of it was flowing through veins of various minerals as healtful and discovered natives as painted as the other pintados living along the coast and some Mangyanes or May-as living in high places.

Two days later, the conquestadores left for Banton. Kuanto, their favorite captured Ilonggo slave, though already seasoned to rough and high seas felt dizziness because big waves were unbearable at the vicinity of Banton island, where they discovered native painted or pintados people living in the island. The unwilling convert Kuanto, marveled at the number of goats that abound in the place. Here in Banton they discovered a struggling Spaniard left behind by the ill-fated previous expedition. While at Banton, Don Juan de Salcedo was sent by Don Martin de Goiti to reconnoiter the movement of a junk reportedly sighted by the slow-moving paraus. The young captain executed the order without hesitation. It was discovered that the object was actually a Chinese junk. The captain tried to outsail the junk but met at opposing violent wind, so they were forced to take shelter in one of the coves of Banton. The galleon La Tortuga overtook the Chinese junks but was fired upon. This forced the Spaniards to retaliate. The junks were subdued and they took possession of it, including the cargoes of silk, gold, etc. The soldiers ransacked the 2 junks. Don Salcedo showed the Chinese traders his compassion, he ordered the junks to proceed to Iloilo for repair without cost as compensation for the lost merchandize.

On November 2, 1571, The island together with Tablas and the settlements along Mahalud river in Panay island were established into a single encomienda under Don Alvaro de Angulo, belonging to Panay in the Pintados (Iloilo) province. Today, this is the present barangay of Majanlud, located east of Sapian municipality in Capiz province, one of the earliest settlement in the country. The islands of Romblon, including Tablas, Sibuyan, Banton, Simara, Sibale and Hambil belongs to this province which later was renamed Alcaldia de Arevalo in 1581.

In 1627, the Moro pirates attacked the islands of Romblon and inflicted considerable damage. This was, however, insignificant compared with the injuries the islands of Romblon, Tablas and Sibuyan sustained in the hands of the Moros, as the Moslems of Mindanao were then called, during the Moro depredation in 1707 when a good number of the inhabitants were held captives and brought back to Jolo as slaves. From 1636 until 1703 under the Bishopric of Numbre de Jesus in Cebu, the religious network was so extensive that in the islands of Romblon churches were constructed in almost every villages that already existed that time. Lead by a certain Agustinian Recollect priest by the name of Fray Agustin de San Pedro who arrived in the Philippines in 1623, his first appointment was in Mindanao and later he was assigned in Romblon beginning in 1635. In these islands, he spearheaded the construction of the forts particularly in Romblon town and in Banton. He earned the nickname 'El Padre Capitan' because he was fearless among the Moro pirates. He died a holy death in 1653. The Agustinian missions in Panay island which included the islands of Romblon was so prolific that they had expanded their churches to Romblon islands. Churches were started by El Padre Capitan in Romblon; Banton Island, visitas Turaya (Timaya) and Mainit; Tablas Island, visitas Cabalutan (Cabolutan), Odiongan and La Lauan (Alcantara); Cibuyan Island (Sibuyan), visitas Cauit (Azagra) and Cahidyocan (Cajidiocan). It's only a pity that the old historic facade of Santa Barbara parish church in Cajidiocan was not spared from careless renovation. The church was renovated in 1957 and completed in 1961 destroying much of the original barroque architecture of the building while its original retablo was replaced by a modern one of no artistic essence nor segnificance.

In 1716, Capiz was created a separate province out of the old Alcaldia or provincia de Arevalo formerly called Alcaldia de Panay in the Pintados and later to Ogtong. The new province included the islands of Romblon group and the valley of Aclan in northwestern Panay island.

Establishment of Pueblo Sibuyan:

In 1734 Philippine map published by the Spanish government, both visitas de Cajidiocan and Cauit (Azagra) already existed as part of pueblo (parish) of Romblon. A visita is a curacy without a permanent priest assigned. In 1744, under the destacamento de Romblon, then part of the ecclesiastical province of Panay, the recollect friars proposed to the people of the villages of Sibuyan that they baptized. The leaders met and considered the matter and told the friars that they are willing to be baptized, but they had conditions. They must be recognized and founded into a pueblo with their own governadorcillo and cabezas. They made it clear that they would elect these without intervention of the people from the mother pueblo of Romblon. They were to have their own maestro de campo, sargento mayor and infantry captain; these officials should not be charged the fees for the issuance of the government titles or for the media-anata (half of the first year's salary, paid into the royal treasury) for at least 10 years. They should be exempt from the tribute and personal services for like a ten-year period. Even the ten-years they should not pay the 3 reals nor the fees for burials, weddings, and other church services on account of their poverty. Finally, they should never be asked to sail on boats or serve as rowers, because they were highland people.

Although the people's desire for a pueblo status could be acted upon only by the government, the friars assured them that their petition would be approved. The people were therefore baptized in due course, the friar made the application for pueblo status in their behalf. The Manila regime approved their application with the predicable amendments. The new pueblo was required to have a celador; his salary was to be paid by the pueblo. The matter of the three reals and church fees was not an issue of government, and should be taken up with the curate. Finally, the people were informed of the provisions of the recopilacion on the powers of the governadorcillo. He must proceed against all wrong-doers; his authority covered imprisonment of all offenders for not more than one day, as well as embargo of property; from those absent from mass on religious holidays, for drunks and persons guilty of similar offenses he could order whipping of from six to eight lashes.

Pueblo Sibuyan was created in late 1744, and the seat of its pueblo or parish was located at visita de Cajidiocan's Casco de Poblacion. Cajidiocan out-weight Cauit on reasons that it was centrally located in the center of Sibuyan island. Thus pueblo Sibuyan was always referred to as pueblo de Cajidiocan and Cajidiocan to Sibuyan respectively. The new parish became the 3rd pueblo or parish to be created in Destacamento (Detachment) de Romblon under provincia de Capiz.

In 1779 pueblo Sibuyan church records on Bautismos included visita Cauit belonging to its parish. Later, settlements and missionary centers were established all over the island. These settlements were: mision de Cambulayan (founded in 1779), mision de Cabatangan (1790), visita de Pag-alad (1813), Mision de Naylog (1820), mision de Cambalo (1842), mision de Canjalon (1842), mision de Cangumba (1842), mision de Mabolo (1847), mision de Cambajao (1848), mision de Ipil (1848), mision de Danao (1848), rancheria de Espana (1855) and rancheria de Infiel (1861). All these settlements, missionary centers and visitas in the island of Sibuyan belongs to the island pueblo of Sibuyan under the province of Capiz. Capiz belongs to the Bishopric of Cebu and the friars reported in 1779 that existing fortifications are manned and maintained with-in its jurisdiction. In the islands of Romblon it was reported: 1 Romblon – with church fortification and stone bailiwick (bastion) constructed by indios and priest (El Padre Capitan), 2 Sibuyan – stone bailiwick constructed by indios, 3 Tablas – wood church fortification (Cabolutan), 4 Banton – Wood church fortification and wood fort constructed by indios and priest (El Padre Capitan). Padre Capitan constructed these baluartes (forts) and fortified the churches because of regular raids in the islands by these Moro pirates where they captured many of its residents and burned the churches of the visitas. One of their captives found on records was Teodora de los Santos of Cajidiocan, 32 years old and married when she was abducted by the Moro pirates in 1861 where later she was retailed at Lomlom island near Jolo Balangingi and sold to Datu Asivi of Jolo but she managed to escape to Zamboanga later. Thus, more stone Forts were later constructed as a necessity in the towns of Corcuera, Odiongan, Looc, Santa Fe (Catolog), Alcantara (Lauan), San Agustin (Badajoz), Cajidiocan and San Fernando (Pag-alad).

In 1850, people started using family names beginning with letter "R" as decreed by Spanish Governor-General Narciso Claveria issued in November 21, 1848. Pueblo Sibuyan was officially renamed Cajidiocan derived from the name of its seat (Casco de Poblacion) of visita de Cajidiocan. The name Cajidiocan was derived from a certain sugar palm tree known in vernacular as 'Idiok', hence the name 'Ka-idiokan' or 'Cajidiocan' meant a place where there is abundance of 'Idiok' palm trees. In July 23, 1848, officially in records, Pueblo de Sibuyan was changed to pueblo de Cajidiocan, however the name pueblo de Sibuyan continued to be used alternately with Cajidiocan, its new official name until March 19, 1853, when the PMC del Distrito de Romblon was established.

On March 19, 1853, the islands of Romblon was organized and constituted into a Politico Militar Commandancia del Distrito de Romblon under Commandante de Infanteria Don Ramon Vieytes as its first Commander (petty Governor) taken from Capiz province with four existing towns namely, Romblon which was designated as the new capital town, Banton which included Sibale, Cajidiocan originally known as pueblo de Sibuyan and Looc. The full text of the superior decree in Spanish: ‘El superior decreeto No. 206 del 19 de Marzo de Ano de 1853 mandato creacion Commandante Politico Militar del Distrito de Romblon de la provincia de Capiz”. On February 18, 1854 the royal order was confirmed by a superior decree. Full text in Spanish: “La real orden No. 57 del 18 de Febrero del ano de 1854 approvado la creacion de el Distrito Politico Militar de Romblon con denominacion de Commandante Militar de Romblon”.

The following year of 1855 recorded a tremendous leap on the creation of new pueblos or parishes under the new government of the second commandante de infanteria of Romblon under Don Joaquin de Prat y Parella who was installed in 1854 replacing Romblon's first executive Don Ramon Vieytes. 17 new pueblos or parishes were added to the existing four. However, visita de Sibale remained part of pueblo de Banton. The new pueblos that were created in 1855 were: Guintiguian (San Agustin), Simara (Corcuera), Odiongan, Andagao (Calatrava), Parpagoja (San Andres), Tingaray (Ferrol), Catolog (Santa Fe), Cabalian (sitio of Agmanic, Santa Fe, formerly a pueblo), Saban (sitio Sabang, Danao Norte, Santa Fe, formerly a pueblo), Lauan (Alcantara), Guinbirayan (barangay of Santa Fe), Cauit (now renamed barangay Azagra, San Fernando), Pag-alad (San Fernando), Isabel (barangay Cambalo, Cajidiocan), Princesa (sitio Cangumba, Azagra, San Fernando), España and Magallanes (Magdiwang) were all created into separate municipalities or pueblos including Rancheria de Infiel (Dulangan, Magdiwang) in 1861. Sibuyan that time had 8 numbers of pueblos or parishes, namely: Magallanes, Isabel, Cajidiocan, Cauit, Pag-alad, España, Rancheria de Infiel and Princesa named after Queen Isabella II's younger and only sister Princess Dona Maria Luisa Fernanda.

The Politico Militar Commandancia del Distrito de Romblon was converted into Politico Militar Commandancia dela Provincia de Romblon on January 11, 1868. This happened during the incumbency of Commandante de Infanteria Don Joaquin Corillo who was installed as Commandante of the province since 1866. As a consequence, Don Corillo being the first official Governor of the new province reorganized the local municipal government.

Thus 15 existing pueblos (municipios) or parishes were abolished, namely: Guinpuc-an (barangay Carmen in San Agustin, established in 1861), Cagbagacay (Santa Maria established in 1857), Odiongan, Andagao, Parpagoja, Tingaray, Catolog, Sabang, Lauan, Guinbirayan and the 5 former pueblos in Sibuyan namely: Pag-alad, Princesa which reverted to its old name Cangumba and ceded a part of its territory to form the new barrio of Otod in 1894, España, Isabel which reverted to its former name Cambalo and annexed back to Cajidiocan as a barrio and finally, Rancheria de Infiel or 'Ranch of Savaged or Wild People' established in what is now barangay Dulangan, Magdiwang which refers to Mangyanes or May-as tribes organized in 1861. The Rancheria's objective was to establish a homebase for local Spanish authorities and clergies right at the turf of these wild and savaged people in-order to tame and convert them including their children that fled to the mountains (who were against conversion) back into the mainstream of progress and development. However, all efforts failed, hence this pueblo was later abandoned and abolished in 1868. While the 7 pueblos retained were the following: Romblon, Badajoz (now San Agustin formerly Guintiguian renamed Badajoz on August 28, 1868) Banton, Corcuera, Looc, Cajidiocan, Azagra (representing San Fernando municipality), and one missionary center named mision de Magallanes (Magdiwang) and one semi-autonomous visita administered from pueblo de Banton named visita de Concepcion. Before the end of Spanish rule, four of these pueblos were restored, namely: Odiongan, Santa Fe, Despujols (San Andres) and España.

Civil government was established under the Americans on March 16, 1901. A total of 11 new municipalities were created in the province namely: Badajoz, Banton, Cajidiocan, Corcuera, Looc, Magallanes, Odiongan, Romblon the Capitol, Despujols, San Fernando and Santa Fe. The province of Romblon was abolished in July 15, 1907 and incorporated back to the province of Capiz as a sub-province due to insufficient income. Concepcion or Sibale however was separated from the rest of the province and incorporated into the province of Mindoro. For this reason, it was converted into a separate local government unit known as the Municipal District of Concepcion as attested by a Romblon map showing the provincial maritime boundary of Mindoro (now part of Oriental Mindoro) encroaching the island of Maestro de Campo published in 1914 and issued by the U.S. Army Map Service, Corps of Engineers. Please check Philippine Map Series S501 reprinted in 1954 for reference. On March 10, 1917, Romblon was restored as a regular province and the former municipal district of Concepcion belonging to Mindoro was recalled back to the province.

In June 8, 1940, the special municipality of Sibuyan was established through the passage of Commonwealth Act No. 581 sponsored by a Bantoanon legislature, Congressman Leonardo Festin. Cajidiocan was made seat of the Special Municipality of Sibuyan incorporating the 2 abolished municipalities of San Fernando and Magdiwang. Each former towns were represented by a special councilor at its municipal council based in Cajidiocan town. On May 26, 1946, the special municipality of Sibuyan was abolished through the passage of Republic Act No. 38 sponsored by newly elected congressman, Hon. Modesto Formelleza that took effect on January 1, 1947. Cajidiocan and the other two municipalities in the island of Sibuyan (San Fernando and Magdiwang) were restored back to its former status as independent municipalities.

Population of Cajidiocan at Various Time

/a – Population of the barrio included under Cambalo/b – Population of the barrio included under Lumbang/c – Population of the barrio included under Sugod/d – Population of the barrio included under Sugod. Is this the present-day sitio Panaguintingan? Hello Cajidiocanons/e - 2007 NCSO Census

Development of Cajidiocan's Barrios / Barangays:

Cajidiocan was one of the earliest established pueblo or parish in the province of Romblon. The first census showing breakdown of its barrios was in 1894 conducted by Spanish authorities reporting a total of 9 existing barrios in pueblo de Cajidiocan, namely: Casco de Poblacion, Cambijang, Cambajao, Sugod, Suong, Lumbang, Marigondon, Cambalo and Danao with a combined population of 3,257 in 1894. In 1896 additional 5 barrios were created, though only two were enumerated under census of 1896 which was reported in 1897. These were Taguilos and Cambicang (both taken from Marigondon). The three other barrios not enumerated were Cagban, Cansangil and Paningdongan. However, barrio Suong was abolished and absorbed by barrio Poblacion on same year making a total of 10 barrios, supposedly 13 barrios if barrios of Cagban, Cansangil and Paningdongan will be counted separately. Its total population in 1897 was 3,283.

At the end of Spanish regime, the territory of Cajidiocan extended only from barrio Danao in the north to barrio Cambijang in the south. The territory west of Danao in what is now barangay Cantagda was formerly part of pueblo de Magallanes (Magdiwang) then known as barrio Cabangajan. Barrio Cabangajan was abolished in 1901 and instead of joining Magallanes opted to join and be annexed to barrio Danao as sitio in Cajidiocan municipality. Romblon provincial government was established by the Americans in March 16, 1901. A total of 3 new barrios were created in 1901, namely: barrio Alibagon (taken from Cambajao), Gutivan (taken from Sugod) and Lico (taken from Marigondon). The American civil government, from 1899-1901, reduced the number of barrio to facilitate the military policy of concentrating the civilian population of the poblaciones. Thus, four former barrios were abolished, namely Cagban, Cansangil, Paningdongan and barrio Cambicang. These four former barrios were all abolished on same year and reannexed back to their respective mother barrios. In census conducted by the Americans in 1903, there were a total of 12 barrios, namely: Poblacion, Alibagon, Cambajao, Cambalo, Cambijang, Danao, Gutiban, Lico, Lumbang, Marigondon, Sogod and Taguilos with a total population of 4,464.

In March 10, 1917 Romblon was restored as a regular province after it was abolished in July 2, 1907 to become a sub-province of Capiz. On that same year of 1917, due to reorganization and the province's difficult financial status as a newly restored province, the former municipality of Magallanes was abolished and annexed to Cajidiocan. In 1918 official census, Cajidiocan had a total of 18 barrios. Twelve of which were located in Cajidiocan and 6 were from the former municipality of Magallanes, namely: Magallanes, Silum, Jao-asan, Ipil, Dulangan and Agsao. Magallanes was restored as independent municipality on March 1, 1933 with a new name, Magdiwang as a tribute to the Magdiwang faction of Andres Bonifacio, Supremo of the Katipunan.

In June 18, 1961, through Republic Act No. 3384, Cantagda was created into a separate barrio taken from barrio Danao while Lumbang was split into two barrios of Lumbang Este and Lumbang Oeste in June 17, 1967 with its old barrio Centro located at barangay Lumbang Este, while sitios attached to Lumbang Oeste were the following: Pawala, Guinalan, Cansuyat, Agnaga and Hagimit. Cajidiocan is site of Sibuyan District Hospital established through the efforts of then congressman Jose D. Moreno through the passage of R.A. No. 2400 in 1958. Today, the municipality of Cajidiocan included the territory of the former municipality of Isabel that existed as pueblo or parish during Spanish time. Presently, Cajidiocan has a total of 14 barrios or barangays to-date namely:


Cajidiocan is politically subdivided into 14 barangays.

* Alibagon
* Cambajao
* Cambalo
* Cambijang
* Cantagda
* Danao
* Gutivan
* Lico
* Lumbang Este
* Lumbang Weste
* Marigondon
* Poblacion
* Sugod
* Taguilos

External links

* [ Philippine Standard Geographic Code]
* [ 2000 Philippine Census Information]
* [ Cajiocan Website]

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