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History Of Simara

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It was known that the ancestors of Simara were escapees from a group of Christian captives. When their Moslem captors were on return voyage to Sulu from the Southern Luzon provinces, their vessels were overtaken by a storm and they were forced to seek refuge to a narrow bay along a narrow strip of Suba Valley now called San Roque. The captives escaped toward Pidapi where they met the first few primitive families of Simara.

 

After the Moslems had sailed away, two groups of escapees moved further to a wider lowland. As years passed by, the population increased. Some families transferred to Guintiguiban which was absorbed by the barrio of Mabini and to the interior rugged highlands.

 

In the book entitled "Naming the Province of the Philippines", revealed that in the year 1500, there were 150 existing families in the community of San Jose. During the short sojourns of the three Malays in Simara, the "Asi" dialect, a mixture of local and Malayan term began to flourish as the vernacular vehicle of communication. This dialect soon developed into common language spoken not only in the island of Simara but also in its sister islands of Banton on the north and Sibale island on the northwest. This was so because the earlier inhabitants migrated to Banton and Sibale from Simara and later on to Calatrava, formerly Andagao, San Andres and Odiongan in Tablas island. This disproved the allegation of another historical writer that Bantoanons did found the settlement called San Jose which later became Corcuera.

 

Suba
Suba Bay, Barangay San Roque. Click here for more photos.


Pidapi, where the ancestors of Simara met the first few primitive families.

In 1574,a foreign ship stopped at San Jose bearing a crew of white men armed with strange weapons and speaking a strange language. They were the first Spanish conquistadors to come to Simara. They converted the whole island into pueblo (town) to replace the name barangay for community of people. They built a presidencia (municipal building) and introduced a system of government. They named the head of the town Cabeza de Barangay. The last to hold this position was Facundo Fondevilla, popularly known as Cabeza Cundo of Simara. The conquistadors encouraged people to devote to agricultural activities. They planted coconut trees, breadfruit trees and different trees and different varieties of root crops.

 


The Spanish cross built in front of the Catholic church.

In 1621, the Recollect Missionary priests arrived. They preached brotherhood and peace among men and love of God. In 1726, a parish church for Simara was constructed. Agustin de San Pedro, a courageous Spanish fighter against Moro incursions came from Mindanao. He built a concrete watchtower on the top the hill overlooking the sea. The ringing of the bells from this tower would give awareness to the inhabitants of the landing of the Moro pirates at Tacasan. Christianity planted by the recollect fathers became deep rooted among the people of Simara. The old stone church constructed by the Recollects had been replaced with new one with modern materials and architectural designs.

 

Midway of 1910, an American coast guard cutter named Pathomer anchored at Punta, a rocky coastal point on the southwestern side of the island. A group of American surveyors and geodetic engineers surveyed places and sounded the depths of the sea around the island of Simara. They were the first Yankees to come to this remote island on a nautical mission accompanied by Filipinos who served as their guides and helpers. They accomplished their mission after staying in Simara for several weeks. They constructed lighthouse at a rocky point on the northeastern side of Tablas Island.

The lighthouse constructed by the Americans in 1910.

 


Corcuera Municipal Hall.

When the Americans succeeded in conquesting the country from the Spanish sovereignty, Simara Island was a part of Romblon, sub-province of Capiz until the end of World War I.

 

On January 1931, Simara was granted the local autonomous government by virtue of Chief Executive Order No. 292, Series of 1930 initiated by then Governor Manuel T. Albero. Simara then became the third island municipality in the province. The inauguration of Corcuera as a maiden municipality was held on February 3, 1931.

 

Simara was not spared by Japanese atrocities and many Simaranhons suffered in the hands of Japanese Kempetai. There were Simaranhon heroes during that period who gave up their lives in order that we may live in peace. One of them was young Florencio F. Faminiano who enlisted with the USAFFE on March 25, 1943. He was mercilessly tortured to death by the enemies on November 18, 1943 in Camugtong, San Andres. Others saw action during the war like Sgt. Pacifico Fajilan who joined the US Army and was assigned in Europe, Maj. Hidalgo F. Falceso, Armando Falceso, Cpl. Rufo Fallurin, Natalio Fabregas, Arsenio Faner and one Fallarna who died in Panay shot by a Japanese sniper. One of the best soldier of Simara was also an illustrious son of Simara. He was Inocencio Fondevilla Fallaria.

 

Cotta - a watch tower on the top of the hill overlooking the sea. The ringing of the bell would give awareness to the inhabitants of the landing of the Moro pirates in Tacasan. It was constructed by Agustin de San Pedro.

Spanish Cross - a big steelwood (tiga) cross in front of the Catholic church.

 

1574 - A foreign ship stopped at San Jose, bearing a crew of white men. They converted the island into Pueblo. They built a Presidencia (a Municipal Hall) and introduced a system of government.

1621 - A recollect missionary arrived. They preached brotherhood and peace among men and love of God.

1726 - A Parish Church for Simara was constructed.

1835 - A galleon named "Legazpi" sank near the island due to the very strong typhoon, "Bagyo Uguis".

1901 - A very strong typhoon devastated the entire island. The whole roof of St. Joseph Church was blown away.

1931 - Inauguration of Simara as a maiden municipality.

 

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Last Updated on Friday, 20 February 2009 18:22  

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-1 #1 Guest 2010-05-17 09:30
eow puh!!
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