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>>History of Moalboal  

Brief History of the Town

            The town proper of Moalboal, Cebu is situated in a wide cove the beauty and loveliness of which can, in a small measure resemble Manila Bay. Looming across the town proper is Pescador Island, which location wise typifies Corregidor Island; to the cove’s right stands Tongo Point, which by location may be the counterpart of Bataan Peninsula; to the cove’s left is Badian Point which may well be the Cavite Harbor.  Indeed, Moalboal Bay is Manila Bay as to its location aspect.  It’s beautiful sunset with its grandeur and magnificence is an attraction to many people.


             How Moalboal Got Its Name

            How Moalboal got its name has puzzled not a few people.  Many and varied are the conjectures on how and why it has been so named.  However, only three possibilities have come into focus.

            Legend  states that a Spaniard was walking around the place and met a townfolk near the bubbling underground spring situated along the coast of the town.  The Spaniard asked the folk in Spanish as to the name of the place.  The folk unable to perceive the Spanish language answered “bokal-bokal” for he discerned that the Spaniard was asking about the bubbling spring.  Bokal-bokal was a tongue twister to the Spaniard hence MOALBOAL.

Others claim that Moalboal is so named after the itinerant peddlers from Bohol who peddled their wares from barrio to barrio in Moalboal.

A great majority believe that Moalboal was founded by settlers coming from Bohol Island.  In this connection, it has been said that one Laurente Sabanal of Bohol who was captured by the Spaniards for killing a “guardia civil” escaped from his captors, took a small boat to Southern Cebu.  He landed in a place with wide fertile plains and a sea that teemed with fish.  He settled here and lived a Robinson Crusoe existence.  Sometime later, he returned to his hometown in Bohol and invited his relatives and friends to emigrate to his newly-found place.  Year after year, more Boholanos came to Moalboal.  Not long afterwards, the town of Moalboal came into being.

Today, many people in Moalboal still speak the dialect with the Boholano accent and intonation.  The leading citizens in the town are the Babieras, the Cabarons, the Gadors, the Redobles, the Sabanals and other.

            There is a legend that said Laurente Sabanal who was popularly known as “Laguno” became the first ruler of the town.  It was also said that he possessed extraordinary powers because he was gifted with the “oracion” which granted him supernatural powers.  It was bruited about that he would use this power to scare the Moro raiders who rode on their fast vintas.  Laguno would cause to be floated on Moalboal Bay coconut husks, barks of trees and other objects, which upon his ministration through his “oracion” would appear to the incoming pillaging invaders as their armed enemies.  As a consequence, no raids were made.      

            When Laguno died, he was buried in the sandy shore where he made his defense  against any invaders.  On his grave was placed a marker, a log, a symbol of the utmost respect of his people and a symbol for his exemplary life.  Today, this log which is almost buried in the sand, can still be seen, is a reminder of Laguno’s heroism and bravery.  A street along the shore where he was buried was named after him.

     The Town and its Parish

            During the Spanish time in view of the fact that the church was united with the state, the creation of a parish was under the joint and concurrent authority of the Bishop and the Governor of the Province.  Regulating this authority was the Real Order of July 31, 1874 applicable to the Philippines since June 2, 1886, which was later amended by the Royal Decree of July 10, 1894.  Because of this setup, parishes in Cebu were established by virtue of the local religious authorities.  This was very true of the establishment of the town of Moalboal as a parish.

            Sometime in the year 1851, the Spanish Governor passed a Decree approving the petition which was the erection of Moalboal as a parish.  By the following year, Jan. 20, 1852, the corresponding decree from the Bishop was received.  And on Feb. 6, 1852, San Juan Nepomuceno Parish, Moalboal, Cebu was officially established.

            A logical connotation can be stated that Moalboal as a town was erected also when the Moalboal Parish was erected on Feb. 6, 1852.  The first recorded event that happened in the town was a baptism done by Fr. Agustin Melgar on Mar. 16, 1852.

       The Town’s First known Officials

            The first known record of the town in March 16, 1852, when Father Agustin Melgar performed baptism rites in the municipality.  Before that time, baptisms of Moalboal residents were done in Badian, Cebu.  Moalboal then was a part of Badian parish.

            Several “gobernadorcillos” and “capitanes” during the Spanish regime ruled the community.  The last “capitan del pueblo” was Capitan Pedro Gako.  The first municipal president was Melecio Lambo who was appointed by the military governor of Cebu during the early part of the American regime.  At that time the municipality of Alcantara was a part of Moalboal.  In 1917, Alcantara was made a separate municipality.

            The only available record, the minutes of the municipal council session in 1917 show the following officials. 

  1.     Sr. Perfecto Babiera Presidente Municipal
  2.     Sr. Isidro Tabañag Vice Presidente
  3.     Sr. Feliciano Beros Concejal
  4.    Sr. Bartolome Bana-ay Concejal
  5.    Sr. Roque Cabaron Concejal
  6.     Sr. Isaias Tabañag Concejal
  7.     Sr. Anacleto Gocotano Concejal
  8.     Sr. Feliciano Bandilles Concejal
  9.     Sr. Dionisio Visitacion Concejal
  10.    Sr. Agustin Go Sarcol Concejal
  11.    Sr. Victorio Babiera Concejal
  12.    Sr. Juan Buaya Concejal
  13.    Francisco Gako Secretario Municipal



  1. Capitan Pedro Gako 1907
  2. Capitan Melecio Lambo 1908-1909
  3. Presidente Andres Gako 1909-1912
  4. Presidente Perfecto Babiera 1913-1920
  5. Presidente Nicomedes Gabutero 1921-1928
  6. Presidente Tranquilino Babiera 1929-1932
  7. Presidente Vicente C. Gador 1933-1934
  8. Mayor Vicente C. Gador 1935-1936
  9. Mayor Petronilo Babiera 1937-1940
  10. Mayor Onofre Tapales 1941-1943
  11. OIC Angel Babiera 1943
  12. Appointed Mayor Vicente C. Gador 1945-1946
  13. Appointed Mayor Angel Babiera 1947
  14. Mayor Petronilo Babiera 1948-1955
  15. Mayor Geronimo B. Estimo 1964-1967
  16. Mayor Pedro C. Cabaron Sr. 1968-1986
  17. Appointed Mayor Pedro S. Mendoza 1986-1987
  18. OIC Manuel E. Buaya 1987
  19. Mayor Marcelo T. Abrenica 1988-1991
  20. Mayor Pedro S. Mendoza 1992-1994
  21. Mayor Marcelo T. Abrenica 1995-1996
  22. Mayor Cezar B. Mahinay 1997-1998
  23. Mayor Inocentes G. Cabaron 1998-2007
  24. Mayor Yvonne L. Cabaron 2007-2010
  25. Mayor Inocentes G. Cabaron 2010-up to present

 The Parish Priests of the San Juan Nepomuceno Parish from the time of its founding to date.

  1. Rev. Fr. Agustin Melgar 1852-1881
  2. Rev. Fr. Pedro Brigaudit 1881-1890
  3. Rev. Fr. Evaristo Ayata 1890-1896
  4. Rev. Fr. Juan Aballe 1896-1899
  5. Rev. Fr. Mariano Baluyot 1899-1900
  6. Rev. Fr. Pedro Alburo 1900
  7. Rev. Fr. Cecilio Sanchez 1901
  8. Rev. Fr. Ubaldo Enriquez 1901-1909
  9. Rev. Fr. Sancho Abadia 1909-1914
  10. Rev. Fr. Francisco Blanco 1914-1916
  11. Rev. Fr. Emiliano Veloso 1916-1921
  12. Rev. Fr. Eleuterio Pilapil 1921-1935
  13. Rev. Fr. Angel Jomawan 1935-1936
  14. Rev. Fr. Ruporto Guerrero 1936-1948
  15. Rev. Fr. Dionisio Flores 1948-1949
  16. Rev. Fr. Tomas Villamor 1949-1950
  17. Rev. Fr. Demetrio Gonzales 1953-1958
  18. Rev. Fr. Diomedes Juazan 1958
  19. Rev. Fr. Jose Flores Jr. 1958-1968
  20. Rev. Fr. Francisco Silva 1968-1977
  21. Rev. Fr. Aquino Padilla 1977-1987
  22. Rev. Fr. Joseph G. Torres 1987-1998
  23. Rev. Fr. Reymilo T. Talaugon 1998-2004
  24. Monsignor Daniel Sanico 2004-up to date





Last Updated on Friday, 03 September 2010 02:41