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Busuanga History, Philippines

With unknown longevity of tourist attractions, we leave our minds some questions that sometimes the past events can only answer. To learn the most amazing stories behind a few of the must-see tourist spots, take a journey to Busuanga.

The humble beginnings of this municipality of Palawan started as early as 3,000 Before Christ. When nomadic groups travelled through land bridges from mainland Asia, some drifted off the Philippine Archipelago. Later did the Malaysans and Indonesians arrive to explore the island for thousands of years until they found out about Busuanga. Then, the Chinese traders did business with the natives of Calamianes Region.

After more than a century before the country was Christianized, an Arab missionary named Mahdum from Malacao came to introduce Islam in Sulu, which is a neighboring town of Busuanga. This religion must have spread and influenced the lives of early and present settlers in Mindanao. It’s no puzzle why our ancestors had dominance in Islamic-pagan culture long before Spain ruled for 333 years.

Busuanga was named after a big river blessed by the natives after a disaster took place. After more years of struggles, the island was able to recover. Existing schools were re-opened and more were built. The United States extended its support to fund the rehabilitation of people from poverty. The economic depression was no way a discouragement to recover. In 1950, Busuanga was a full-pledged municipality leading to the settlement of 13 barrios. Then-Governor Gaudencio Abordo made everything possible to create the New Busuanga. The first town mayor by virtue of appointment, Mayor Adriano Custodio led the first few months of its founding years up to December 1952.

The territory of Busuanga now covers one-third of Busuanga Island with a population of 16,287 people as per 2000 census. Strategically nestled close to big bodies of water, it has evolved into a spot of gentle landscape and a great holiday destination. It’s interesting to know that Japanese ships are on standby under the sea used for transporting goods.

A locality conflict between northerners and southerners arose when Mayor Tiburcio Baracoso moved the seat of government to Salvacion in the south. It wasn’t a wise act but anther transition made a difference. When northerner Antonio Capague won the election in 1955, he undoubtedly brought the municipal site back to New Busuanga. The succeeding mayors didn’t impose further transfers, thus the municipality remained until 1974.

After all the political and socio-economic conflicts, Busuanga has risen to be the Philippine’s last frontier.

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