HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF MABINI

Presented by Vice-Mayor Alimar R. Briana
During SOMA 2009

According to old folks, the municipality of Mabini used to be a part of the Province of Zambales and was surrounded by mountains, forests, and valleys. It was originally called “BALINCAGUIN” that was derived from the Zambal phrase “BALI LAN CAGUIN” which means “ABODE OF BATS”. It is no wonder that this place got its name from the numerous caves wherein these flying mammals used as their natural habitat. These caves are found in the hills and mountain ranges that connect the Municipality to the Zambales mountains on its western side, and to the mountains of Tarlac in the south-western portion. Researchers claimed that the municipality was founded in 1610 by the Spanish missionaries who were Augustinian Recolletos Fathers, however, there were no official records that show if there were any other religious order who took over the parish until the emergence of Don Isidro Puzon who was believed to be the founder of the municipality.

Balincaguin, as per records, began to exist as a town in the year 1800 under the leadership of Don Isidro Puzon. In those days, the head of the town was called “CAPITAN”, which is equivalent to the position of the town mayor today. It had a population then of 770 families, majority of which were Ilocanos who migrated to the municipality to settle permanently due to its fertile soil. These settlers grouped themselves on a plain situated near the mountains and called the site “CONVENTA”. They produced superior quality of rice which was marketed to Manila and even to China. Other agricultural products were corn, sugar cane, cotton, etc. Aside from agriculture, there were home industries like saddle-making, knapsack-making, and hat-weaving. They also engaged in raising cattles, carabaos, horses, and goats. During those days, numerous bats inhabited the town and this drove the people to catch them. The catching of bats continued for many years until finally in 1930, these winged creatures had gone deeper to the forests.

After the Philippines’ declaration of Independence on June 12, 1898, a great surge of nationalism had swept the whole country. The townspeople noted the change and immediately demanded from the town officials a change of name of the town. Names of Filipino great men were submitted to the Municipal Council. The people in the place saw the spirit of idealism and patriotic character of Apolinario Mabini who was then the Chief Advisor of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. After a careful evaluation of the individual activities of the Filipino heroes, the local residents decided to change the name of the municipality from Balincaguin to Mabini so that in 1930, the town’s name became Mabini after “THE GREAT SUBLIME PARALYTIC” and “BRAINS OF THE REVOLUTION”. A monument of Apolinario Mabini now stands infront of the Municipal Building.

In 1904, the Municipality of Mabini was merged with the western municipalities like Anda, Alaminos, Bani, Bolinao, Burgos, Dasol and Infanta.These municipalities comprise the First District of the Province.

MAJOR HISTORICAL AND SIGNIFICANT EVENTS

There were no records which tell about the municipality’s foundation year except on the existence of the Patronal Church that was built by the Spanish friars or Augustinian Recolletos Fathers in 1610.

Three great floods devastated Mabini. The first one was in 1832 when Conventa was flooded. It was a big flood as evidenced by the fact that the Catholic Church and convent and all other houses erected therein were under water. Aware of the danger of repetition of the incident, the settlers transferred the town site to upper grounds where it is now presently located.

Sometime in 1852, the Catholic Church was struck by lightning and was burned down. The church, although with concrete walls, used to be sheltered with cogon grass which was known to be a friend of fire once it is dried.

Nothing important or of great significance took place after the said incident until sometime in 1881, forty-nine years later after the first flood devastated the town, another one occurred. It had a more disastrous effect to livestock, human lives, and properties than the first one. It was popularly called as “The Flood of Don Nicolas” because the head of the town at that time was CAPITAN DON NICOLAS RIVERA. The 20-meter hill that is commonly called OLUMBUAYA HILL which means “Crocodile’s Head” was almost under water.

With the blessings of God Almighty, no calamity of grave nature took place in this municipality for many years. In 1925, the people of Balincaguin began to rejoice when an illustrious son of this small locality was elected Representative to the Second National Assembly, in the person of DON CIRILO BRAGANZA. Then in the latter part of 1930, the name Balincaguin was changed to Mabini by a Congressional Act through the recommendation of Municipal Council of this place headed by DON LOPE BRAGANZA, the incumbent Municipal President that year.

The third disastrous flood occurred in 1957. This flood was even published in the leading newspapers to be the most fatal catastrophe that happened in this place. This flood was commonly called “The Flood of Don Osting” because the mayor at that time was DON JUSTO DE GUZMAN, JR. The Olumbuaya Hill was totally submerged and the people were caught unaware of the impending disaster because it was past midnight when the flashflood occurred. More than seven hundred people living in the lower valley and other low-lying barangays perished and approximately eighty per cent of their homes and animals were swept away by the rampaging water and were carried away by the strong current towards the next town and into the China Sea. Because of this event, some of the affected families decided to move to another place to reside permanently.

Another flood occurred in 1992 but with less devastating effect due to the early preparation of the inhabitants. This time, the people were forewarned of the coming disaster. The local disaster committee had been organized to help in the evacuation of affected families. The only significant effect of this flood was the destruction of the 164 linear meter Braganza Bridge which at that time was newly rehabilitated and the damages to crops and livestock amounting to millions of pesos.

In December 1999, an earthquake of 6.5 intensity whose epicenter was a few kilometers from Mabini, shook the houses and other structures of Western Pangasinan and Northern Zambales bringing damages to the century-old Sto. Nino Church and making the town of Mabini in the limelight as the church is one of the oldest landmarks of the town. Luckily, the tremor came three days before the traditional Misa de Gallo or Dawn Mass or else, hundreds of churchgoers perished on that fateful early morning. With enthusiasm and vigor of civil and religious leaders, the Sto. Nino church was repaired and restored.

Because of the accidental burning of the old book called “Padron” in which the names of the officials, prominent people of this municipality, and the priests were written, this town has no record of the persons who held offices such as: Cabeza de Barangay, Juecea de Comentera, and Tinientes del Barrio. Only the names of Capitanes, Presidentes, and Mayors have been preserved, as follows:

1.
Capitan Isidro Puzon 1800
2.
Juan Mendoza 1801
3.
Roberto Espinosa 1802
4.
Juan Eusebio 1803
5.
Francisco Dizon 1804
6.
Pascual dela Cruz 1805
7.
Nicolas Galla 1806
8.
Antonio Mendoza 1807
9.
Lorenzo Pinoliar 1808
10.
Domingo Alejandro 1809
11.
Francisco dela Rosa 1810
12.
Francisco Paragas 1811
13.
Juan Salazar 1812
14.
Vicente Dizon 1813
15.
Jacinto Mendoza 1814
16.
Nicolas Galla 1815
17.
Jacinto de Mendoza 1816
18.
Roberto Espinosa 1817
19.
Benito dela Cruz 1818
20.
Jose dela Cruz 1819
21.
Miguel Roque 1820
22.
Mariano de Mendoza 1821
23.
Basilio dela Rosa 1822
24.
Gregorio Galla 1823
25.
Simeon Carambas 1824
26.
Antonio Francisco 1825
27.
Jose dela Cruz 1826
28.
Juan Rivera 1827
29.
Vicente Dizon 1828
30.
Juan Rivera 1829
31.
Vicente Dizon 1830
32.
Francisco de Aquino 1831
33.
Sabas Rodriguez 1832
34.
Jacinto de Mendoza 1833
35.
Antonio Domingo 1834
36.
Juan Damian 1835
37.
Miguel dela Cruz 1836
38.
Juan Estrada 1837
39.
Juan Dizon 1838
40.
Juan Rivera 1839
41.
Urbano Ferrer 1840
42.
Hilario dela Cruz 1841
43.
Agapito Francisco 1842
44.
Nazario dela Cruz 1843
45.
Carlos delos Reyes 1844
46.
Ambrosio Ramos 1845
47.
Claudio de San Miguel 1846
48.
Cecilio Estrada 1847
49.
Gregorio de Mendoza 1848
50.
Martin Rivera 1849
51.
Capitan Cipriano de Mendoza 1850
52.
Santiago Balcorta 1851
53.
Juan Bautista de Guzman 1852
54.
Cipriano de Mendoza 1853
55.
Agapito Braganza 1854
56.
Leoncio Estrada 1855
57.
Ponciano Padilla 1856
58.
Cicilio Estrada 1857
59.
Agapito Braganza 1858-1860
60.
Juan Bautista de Guzman 1861-1862
61.
Canoto Ferrer 1863-1864
62.
Pedro Rodriguez 1865-1866
63.
Juan Bautista de Guzman 1867-1868
64.
Felix Erum 1869-1870
65.
Martin Rivera 1871-1872
66.
Agapito Braganza 1873-1874
67.
Domingo Rodriguez 1875-1876
68.
Pedro Rodriguez 1877-1878
69.
Hipolito Braganza 1879-1880
70.
Nicolas Rivera 1881-1882
71.
Patricio Braganza 1883
72.
Quirino de Guzman 1884
73.
Antonio Erum 1885-1886
74.
Guillermo Valderama 1887-1888
75.
Aniceto Rivera 1889-1890
76.
Escolastico del Barrio 1891-1892
77.
Bruno Braganza 1893
78.
Cirilo Braganza 1894-1895
79.
Bruno Braganza 1896
80.
Aniceto Rivera 1897-1900
81.
Cirilo Braganza 1901
82.
Bruno Braganza 1902
83.
Marcelo Braganza 1903
84.
President Paulino Mendoza 1904-1905
85.
Francisco Bustamante 1906-1907
86.
Jacinto Braga 1908-1909
87.
Paulino Rodriguez 1910
88.
Marcelo Braganza 1911-1912
89.
Simeon del Barrio 1913-1916
90.
Modesto Ferrer 1917-1920
91.
Jose Braganza 1921-1926
92.
Modesto Ferrer 1927-1928
93.
Lope Braganza 1929-1934
94.
Mayor Pedro Rodriguez 1935-1940
95.
Mamerto Rodriguez 1941
96.
Felimon Erum 1941-1944
97.
Angel Taoatao 1946-1947
98.
Demetrio Braganza 1948-1955
99.
Justo de Guzman 1956-1959
100.
Juan Barrocan 1959
101.
Crispulo Braganza 1960-1963
102.
Demetrio Braganza 1964-1971
103.
Demetrio Braganza 1972-1976
104.
Juan Supangan 1976-1980 (By Succession)
105.
Dominador Braganza 1980-1986
106.
Ariel de Guzman June 1986-Nov.1986 ( OIC-Appointed)
107.
Dominador Braganza Dec. 1986-Nov. 30, 1987
108.
Virgilio Braganza Dec. 1987- Jan. 1988 (OIC-Appointed)
109.
Dominador Braganza Jan. 1988- Dec.22, 1989
110.
Romeo Boling Dec.23, 1989- June 30, 1992 (By Succession)
111.
Ariel de Guzman July 1, 1992- June 30, 2001
112.
Alimar Briana July 1, 2001- June 30, 2004
113.
Ariel de Guzman July 1, 2004- June 30, 2007
114.
Carlitos Reyes July 1, 2007- Present


The municipality is situated on the western part of the province of Pangasinan about 322 kms. North from Manila. It covers a total land area of 23,897.83 hectares or about 4.045% of the province’s land area. The municipality is generally hilly. The highest elevation , with 600 ft. above sea level, is located along the boundaries of Brgy. Villacorta and Municipality if Sual.

Starting with a population of 3,101 families in the year 1903, the municipality reached a population of 23,338 in the year 2007 as the latest NSO survey result. As of the first quarter of this year, there are 11,976 registered voters as validated by the COMELEC.

Reports of revenues as recorded by the Office of the Municipal Accountant states that the annual income of this municipality is P 51, 206, 255.60 which were totaled from the local taxes, permits and licenses, service income, business income, and other income such as the IRA or Internal Revenue Allotment. This municipality is already classified as a Third-class Municipality since June of 2008.