Visit San Andres

San Andres

The name calolbon, said old – timers of yesteryears, used to be “Calolobong”. They refer vaguely to its origin from the bicol expression “ naca lobong” because the houses of the original community along th banks of the river up to the barrio Carangan looked almost submerged when viewed from the sea. So the early Spanish explorer must have misunderstood the native guide who informed then “naca lobong’ houses to mean  the name of the town. Unfamiliar with the dialect, they placed “Calolbon” on the map. Usage in the course of time dropped out the “g”.

Two ruins and a cave reveal interesting epidosed in the history of this town. The Luyang Cave below the Calolbon – Virac highway witnessed the bloodness massacre of natives who fled from Moro pirates during the 17th century. The native sought refuge inside Luyang, but the marauders traced them. The Wily Moros then uprooted sili plants abounding there, stuffed them at the mouth of the cave and added dried leaves, then set them affire and suffocated the hapless natives. In the memory of this massacre, a requiem mass is said at the cave entrance on April 26 each year.
Old sources say that when the town’s Catholic Church was contructed about the end of the 18th century, there was a much bigger unfinished church at the left front of the present church. Parts if its foundations are still seen among the squatters shanties in the town’s section called campo.

 At the eastMap of Catnes Tranparent BG of the poblacion are the patios of the former Catholic Cemetery have been used for many years as a sturdy fence for a lush plantation. This cemetery was abandoned when the use if the present site beyond the west and stated during the early years of American Rule. Tradition say that the superstitious inhabitantsclamored to have the cemetery transferred from the east to west of the poblacion because they believed a cemetery is the pace where the sun barred progress and portended more deaths for young people than old ones.

 The first parish priest on record was Rev. Cornelio de Jesus who manistered to the town’s spiritual needs for 29 years (April 1798 – November 1827). The priest who saw the end of the Spanish domination and the beginning  of the American regime was Rev. Pio Imperial (June 1893 – May 1902) two priests guided Catholicism in this town for two decades: Rev. Roberto Floranza (May 1019 – July 1920) and Rev. Jose R. Alberto taking spiriatual care of the people.

The town’s first Captain on record during the Spanish time was Juan Gasang, whose term covered eight years ( 1798 – 1806 ). With the exception of Capitanes Cristobak (1806), Felix Santelices (1835 – 1842) and Teodoro Santelices (1843 – 1847), the rest served a two years term each. The last Captain was Alipio Vargas (1899 – 1900).

American occupation started with a Controversial Municipal President, Deogracias Belmonte (1901 – 1904). Branded pro-American without trial, Belmonte was almost beheaded in the cemetery of Pandan, catanduanes on December 8, 1899 by the insurrectors headed by Comandante Florencio Eras. The father of the late Senator Jose O. Vera saved Belmonte’s neck.

The term “Municipal President” for town head was last used by Roberto Inigo (1931-1935). He was succeeded during the Commonwealth by Emilio Surban, the first to be called “Municipal Mayor”. The Japanese Occupation found Jap – appointed Mayor Felizardo Santelices almost executed by Filipino Guerrillas. It came about in mid – 1944 when a Jap plane force landed on the rice fields near the the poblacion and Santelices ordered  that the pilot to taken to the Jap garrision in Virac instead of being handed over to the geurillas. Impartial sources say that, had Santelices  turned over the pilot to the guerillas they would have killed the pilot and Japanese reprisal would have been a merciless burning of the poblacion and massacre of innocent civilians.

Sometime in 1964 the natives of Calolbon got the biggest surprised of their lives. A bill presented in Congress renaming the town – San Andres was approved as republic Act No. 3948 on June 18 of that year.

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