Bais was organized into an independent town in 1801 but some time passed before it would be established as a parish by the Augustinian Recollects.
Before November 1872, the town was under the parish of Tanjay and, a few years later, of Manjuyod. Nevertheless, the parish priest of Manjuyod continued to minister to the town until it was appointed its down spiritual administrator beginning 1873.
One of the oldest missions in the Philippines founded in 1580, Tanjay once served as the mother church of the independent parishes of Dumaguete (1620), Siaton (1848), Amlan (1854), San Jose (1895), and Pamplona (1952) in Negros Oriental.
Its name was derived from the words Tanay, Tanai, and Taytay that originated from the beautiful and thickly settled river valley by mostly members of an indigenous group from Bohol, explained the book “Handurawan: Visita Iglesia Negros Y Recoletos” published by Tolle et Lege.
Dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, this church of Sibulan was the third built on site since the founding of the parish in the mid 19th century.
Although it became a parish in 1838, Sibulan already had a resident priest beginning in 1833. Fr. Mateo Saplad was credited with the construction of the first church and convent made of wood. Both structures were razed by fire in 1854.
A popular folktale claims it was because of an old man who was hard of hearing and dwelt by the banks of an unnamed river that this coastal town became known as Siaton.
The story continues that a band of Moro traders in search of drinking water approached him and he thought they were asking for his name. He replied “Si Aton” and that is how the place came to be called Siaton.
Bayawan started out as a mission established by Royal Decree of 1868 along with San Sebastian and Inayauan. It was then known as “New Tolong” and served as the seat of government from which the poblacion and Sta. Catalina (Old Tolong) was administered.
The mission supervised the town center and the barrios of Pangadban, Camayan, and Basay.
Designated as a town in 1850, Zamboanguita was initially under the spiritual administration of Dauin until it was established as a parish by the Recollects dedicated to St. Isidore the Farmer some 15 years later.
The first Recollect missionary assigned to Zamboanguita when it became a parish on May 21, 1866 was Fr. Faustino Sanchez. He arrived in the town in December of that same year and was parish priest until September 1867.
Hamabar was one of the names of Rajah Humabon, the leader of Cebu, a flourishing trading post and settlement since the 10th century. He was also known as Humabad.
Humabon was regarded as the “wisest and bravest man on the island” of Sugbu (Cebu), the “king and lord over eight chieftains and over 2,000 lancers,” according to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
“He was chieftain of the confederation of barangays and known as their supreme ruler. Cebu was then an entrepot, with a flourishing trade with Siam (Thailand), China, Borneo, etc. This was evident in the ornaments that adorned the bodies and clothes of its people, as well as in the fine china used in its royal houses and court.” the NHCP said.
Humabon was the chieftain of Cebu when the Armada de Molucca headed by explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Cebu in 1521.
The chronicler of that expedition, Antonio Pigafetta, described him as a short and fat man who had his face painted with fire in diverse patterns.
“We found the king of Zzubu at his palace, seated on the ground on a mat of palms, with many people. He was naked except for a linen cloth covering his private parts, and round his head a very loose cloth, embroidered with silk. Round his neck he had a very heavy and rich chain, and in his ears two gold rings hung with precious stones,” read a translation of Pigafetta’s writings.
Humabon was named Carlos after the Spanish king when he was baptized together with his subjects into the Catholic faith by Magellan. His young and beautiful wife, given the name Juana like the king’s mother, was gifted with the image of the Sto. Niño in gratitude for their hospitality.
In memory of this man stands Plaza Hamabar, located across the Archdiocesan Museum of Cebu in Mabini St.
The oldest dated house in the Philippines was hidden in plain sight inside a warehouse in Cebu’s Parian district for many years.
Jaime Sy, who owns the house and Ho Tong Hardware within the compound, stumbled upon its significance quite by accident. At the Ateneo, when he was in college, Sy was flipping through a book of old Jesuit houses in the Philippines by Fr. Repetti when he made out a structure that looked familiar. It turned out to be the family bodega in Cebu.