Masbate History, Philippines
Located in the center of the Philippine archipelago, the islands of Masbate were said to have been formed out of molten or volcanic rocks. Early settlers thrive on wild animals, fruits, and plants. These people made their tools out of bone, stone, and wood. These tools made by them can be found in the City of Masbate itself. They have preserved it to be able to show to the public what Masbate was in the olden days, before it was discovered.
Now, the city of Masbate has been given the nickname “wild west of the Philippines”. Some say that the reason behind that is due to some political rivalries, but most people would say that it is because of the popular Rodeo Masbateño festival that is celebrated in every month of April. In the Asian continent, only the Philippines celebrate this kind of rodeo show. Ranchers in the province started this on the year 1993 and both men and women in the city participate in its variety of competitions such as calf wrestling, calf lassoing, bull riding, and carambola.
It was on the year 1569 when the province of Masbate was discovered by a certain Captain named Luis Enriquez de Guzman. He saw scattered settlements along the coasts when he was on the process of anchoring his ship on the shores of Masbate. The people that he found were engaged with Chinese traders. “Kiva” ruins which resemble cave-like dwellings, possibly made by Indians who were with the traders, were discovered in Aroroy, Palanas, and Masbate, as well as porcelains jars that dated as far back as the 10th century were excavated in 1930.
Masbate became a separate province from Albay in 1864, but the bill declaring it to be an independent province was not approved until February 1, 1922. The Japanese invaded Masbate in the dawn of January 7, 1942. The Japanese came from Legazpi and landed in scattered places without encountering any opposition from the people. Economy of the province suffered a lot due to the Japanese occupation. Livelihood activities were limited to buying, selling, fishing, and even stealing. Sanitation and nutrition suffered, that resulted in a lot of diseases such as beri-beri and malaria has infected a handful of people.
April 3, 1945 was a memorable day to all the people in Masbate when it finally got liberated. Dr. Mateo S. Pecson, who was the acting governor during the time when Japanese invaded Masbate but refused to cooperate with them, was appointed by President Osmeña to operate the civil government in Masbate. After that, Masbate was able to recover gradually year after year and now, it is one of the main cities in the Philippines that has a lot to offer.
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