is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Antique
Antique is a province of the Philippines located in the Western Visayas region. Its capital is San Jose and is located at the western portion of Panay Island, bordering Aklan, Capiz, and Iloilo to the east. Antique faces the Sulu Sea to the west....
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...
. It is known as the "Rice Bowl" of the province. As of 2007, the National Census and Statistics Office records show that Sibalom is inhabited by a total of 53,934 residents and is projected to increase to 63,254 in the year 2017.
Sibalom is home to the University of Antique.
Hometown of former Obispo Maximo
Tomas A. Millamena , first Sibalomnon who took in the highest position at the Iglesia Filipina Independiente.
Sibalom's history is the story of the Sibalomnons. It does not begin with the Spaniard's coming.
There are, however, few records of pre-Spanish settlements in the locality. Save for oral tradition, what we have on hand today consists of accounts written by Spanish missionaries and officials of events as they witnessed them. But one can only imagine the attraction offered to the early Ati and Malay settlers of Antique. Fed by two rivers, the Sibalom River Valley is the most extensive flatland in the Province.
Early Spanish incursions into Sibalom were hindered by its inaccessibility by sea at a time when water was the main mode of travel. But the Spaniards eventually did come; Colonization did take place, though at a snail's pace.
In Sibalom, as in many other parts of the Philippines, the colonizing arm of the Spanish Empire was the Spanish Catholic friar. Just as eager to win subjects for the Spanish king as to embrace converts for the Christian God, the friars first came to Antique in 1581. But more than a hundred years lapsed before Sibalom formally became a visita of the Parish of Hamtic. And not until 1732 were Augustinian priests able to organize Sibalom into a parish.
By that time, Sibalom was a “flourishing little settlement of about two thousand inhabitants who occupied the site which up to now is called Barabanua.”
The priests ruled Sibalom both as representatives of the Catholic Church and of the Castil-ian Crown. This theocratic set-up prevailed even after the civil government under the Spaniards was already functioning. Don Pedro Antang was chosen as the first gobernadorcillo of the town in 1751.
The main task that confronted the friars was to bring together the scattered inhabitants of the land in settlements "bajo de las campanas" called reducciones. Under the watchful authority of the belfries; conversion and tax collection were facilitated.
From the point of view of Spanish colonial administrators, however, life in Sibalom was far from idyllic. Famine and outbreaks of diseases plagued the land. Resistance to Spanish civilization in Panay. Up to the termination of Spanish rule in the Philippines, the politico-military district of Antique still had the biggest number of reducciones in the entire country.
Sibalom was spared from Moro raids because of its inland location, the Pax Hispanica was tenuously maintained. A sizable number of the local population resisted resettlement. Many stuck to their old gods in the face of the Spanish cultural invasion. Branded as outlaws by Spanish authorities, they preyed on the Poblacion populace form their mountain strongholds. Up to the present day, old folks recall instances when the town was raided by these bands. " Binuyong" and "gin-ati" survive in our dialect today as vestiges of these experiences.
A local Gobemadorcillo, Don Agustin Rafael de Baladjay, played a prominent in another breach of the Spanish peace in 1841. A man who was reported to have possessed supernatural powers, Baladjay was gobemadorcillo from 1838, 1839 and 1841. He was accused by the Spaniards of fomenting rebellion among the mountain people who refused to be herded into the reducciones.
The Igbaong Rebellion also began in what was then part of the political jurisdiction of Sibalom. Led by Gregorio Palmero, this anti-colonial movement began in 1886 and continued for almost a decade. It posed a problem to the town of San Remegio which was separated from Sibalom in 1889. But these perennial disturbances did not prevent Sibalom from assuming an important role in the life of the province. It was chief source of agricultural products and was one of the main sources of revenues. In 1714, Sibalom was only a visita of Hamtic; by 1898, under Don Doroteo Atvior, Sibalom had forty-four cabecerias.
In 1844, the assignment of a new Spanish govemor- general in the Philippines introduced some changes in the social life of the people. Govemor-General Narciso Claveria decreed that the indio subjects of Spain be given Spanish surnames. Through this decree appears to have been implemented late in Sibalom, the family names now familiar to us were already in use by the early 1850's.
Before this decree, family names were of Visayan derivation, like Bantog, Soligon, Balighon, Bayong, Mamiong. Afterwards, family names were of Hispanic origin: Rojo, Loriega, Tordesillas, Gonzales, Vacera, Occena, etc. As a result of the change, Vicente became Alera; Damacano became Venegas.
In 1898, during the last year of Spanish sovereignty, Fr. Lorenzo Diaz, an Augustinian, was assigned in Sibalom. Construction of the Sibalom convent began under his direction. Destroyed during World War II, the convent was said to have, been beautiful. But the labor required of the people and the numerous contributions exacted of them in the building of the numerous contributions exacted of them in the building of the convent, incensed the populace against the Spanish authorities.
These grievances were still fresh in the minds of the people when the second phase of the Philippines Revolution began in September 1898 with the arrival of General Leandro Fullon in Antique. The people of Sibalom welcomed and joined the ranks of General Fullon's Revolutionary Army. Sometime before the capture of San Jose de Buenavista from the Spaniards, Sibalom served as the provincial capital of the Revolutionary Government.
A Revolutionary Government with Pedro Gella as president and Macario Lotilla as vice-president was established in Sibalom in 1898. In the Filipino-American War that followed, Sibalomnons backed the anti-American struggle. With the people's support, the guerilla movement in Sibalom continued until late in 1901. Gen. Fullon, who surrendered to the Americans in March 1901, convinced the revolucionarios of Sibalom to lay down their arms.
Under the American policy of attraction, prominent leaders in the Philippine Revolution were encouraged to accept responsibility in the American-sponsored government. Macario Lotilla, formerly Chief Supply Officer of the Revolutionary Army, became the first elected president of Sibalom in 1902.
Sibalom's subsequent history, including its role in the Second World War, are well known to the people.
Sibalom is politically subdivided into 76 barangay
A barangay is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines and is the native Filipino term for a village, district or ward...
s. From 1953 to 1955, Barangay Catmon was known as Barangay Pajarito.
- Valentin Grasparil (Bad-as)
- Bongbongan I
- Bongbongan II
- Catungan I
- Catungan II
- Catungan III
- Catungan IV
- Esperanza I
- Esperanza II
- Esperanza III
- District I (Pob.)
- District II (Pob.)
- District III (Pob.)
- District IV (Pob.)
- San Juan
- Tigbalua I
- Tigbalua II
Sibalom's tourism industry saw the light of day after the proclamation of Mt. Porras and surrounding areas as Protected Area. Declared Sibalom Natural Park by virtue of Presidential Proclamation 282 and the first Protected Area in the island of Panay, Sibalom now boasts of its local tourism potentials.
Foremost to the attractions Sibalom has to offer, is the Rafflesia, recently discovered to exist in Mt. Porras and surrounding Barangays. Dubbed as the biggest bloom in the world, its discovery catapulted Sibalom in the map of tourist stopovers in the Philippines. Aside from the park and its endangered flora and fauna, Sibalom also has century old industries and structures worth the visit of potential tourists, as well as boulders of gemstones to rock-hound and treacherous mountain trails to trek.
Through the assistance of the Provincial Tourism Office and the Provincial Government's Eco- tourism Program, the Municipality is in the process of developing its Tourism Framework in anticipation of a promising tourism industry within the next few years.
SIBALOM NATURAL PARK
Panay Island is in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It harbors many unique species of plants and animals some of which are on the brink of extinction, locally and globally.
One of the last patches of lowland forest in Panay Island is confined to the Municipality of Sibalom, Province of Antique.
About 5,000 hectares of forest in Sibalom - from Mt. Porras extending to Mt. Igmatindog - has been declared by the President of the Philippines on April 23, 2000 as a Natural Park. Of this forest size 672 hectares is undisturbed by any human activity while about 4,223 hectares constitutes the 50-year ole reforestation site.
DIVERSITY OF LIFE IN THE PARK
There has been no in-depth study of the plants and animals in Sibalom Natural Park; but what is known so far shows a great diversity of species. For example, of the 59 species of birds identified in Sibalom, half are dependent on the forest for their survival, and eight cannot be seen outside the Philippines like the Walden's Hornbill, Sayan Hornbill, White-winged Cuckoo-shrike, and Negros Bleeding-heart. Among the four mammals initially identified in the area are the Visayan spotted deer and the Visayan warty pig, both endangered and found only in the western Visayas (Haribon Foundation, 2001)
The Philippine dipterocarp trees such as "white lauan" and "apitong", and fruit trees such as "antipolo" and "malapaho" are found in the forests of Sibalom. The globally endangered giant flower, the Rafflesia sp., also blooms and blossoms in the park.
Different plants and animals thrive in various parts of the forest. For example, hardwood trees like Narra flourish; animals like deer and monkeys are seen on slopes of 300 to 800 meters above sea level.
The grassland serves as feeding ground for many birds such as munias, sparrows, and flower-peckers. It is also dominated by shrubs such as "katungaw-tungaw", "coronitas" and “cogon".
Sibalom is endowed with many rivers and lakes teeming with fish and other marine resources. Embedded in surrounding the Mau-it River are boulders of semi-precious gemstones such as Jade, Jasper, Chert, Onyx and Agate.
The people of Antique believe that the forests and mountains are part of their lives and existence. For them, a healthy forest helps stabilize climate, provides clean water and fresh air.