Calapan History, Philippines
Evolving from a mere village to being the first city of Mindoro Oriental in Mindanao, Calapan has dealt with series of foreign invasions but it never gave up gaining back its life and celebrating a culture of simplicity. Now, its vastness of clean and green surrounding comes along with modernization.
Calapan was an extension to Baco parish but as years passed, the situation was the other way around. Baco became part of Calapan. Named after a native wood kalap, Calapan was a favorite attack destination by Moro pirates in the early days. It was dawn of 1679 when settlements were identified. The majority of its inhabitants sought out for church walls where they could hide in times of assault. Upheaval against Spain was up and it led to the Battle of San Vicent, but the Spanish forces yielded when General Miguel Malvar propelled 100 Katipuneros from Batangas to fight against them. In 1733, the town convent was in place in Calapan that gave rise to more quarters surrounding the parish.
During America’s rule in the country, Calapan started to be urbanized. A number of ethnic groups congregated in the province of Mindoro Oriental particularly Calapan. Contemporary existence and social pleasantries were pioneered. Educational institutions, highways and Calapan Airport were erected while the harbor was renovated. In 1958, the Calapan Telephone System was established. During Japanese regime, Calapan was the prime city to be conquered by the Asian vanquishers. This drove most of its settlers to the mountains to join the militant group called Hukbalahap. Growth for Calapan took off continuously after the second global war. In 1903, it was officially proclaimed as the provincial seat of eastern Mindoro.
One popular bigwig in Calapan would have to be Macario Adriatico. Not only was he a member of the parliament, he was also a lawyer, intrepid public speaker and the first Filipino to make it to the Academy of Madrid in Spain. He brought prestige to Calapan further when he was appointed as the director of the Philippine Library and Museum. It’s noteworthy that the library is now divided into countrywide library, countrywide museum and countrywide records department.
After more than 150 years, Calapan was recognized as first and only component city of Mindoro on March 21, 1998 with the approval of Philippine President Fidel Ramos. There had been some setbacks that affected Calapan’s development after the second global war. They included the devastation of central commercial district in 1970, prison break in 1960, and fire disasters in the 1980’s. However, these didn’t prevent Calapan from achieving what its ancestral leaders envisioned the town to be: good-natured yet developing.
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