CEBU TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY
CEBU CITY CAMPUS
CORNER M.J. CUENCO & R. PALMA STREET, CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES Tel. No.: (032) 412-1270 Telefax: (032) 256-1537
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
LEGEND OF ORMOC CITY
MS.JOENORAMAE L. MATA
THE LEGEND OF ORMOC CITY
On July 16, 1595, Father Chirino and the other Jesuit missionaries arrived in Leyte. In May 1597, Fathers Alonso Rodriguez and Leonardo Scelsi founded the mission of Ormoc. This date marked the conversion of the Ogmokanons to Christianity.
Ormoc, being a seacoast village, was always raided and constantly harassed by Moro pirates every now and then. Piracy and brigandage were fought by the Malayans of Ogmok, Baybay and Palompon (mother town of Ogmok). These towns established a “grapevine” communication system- “runners” from watch towers built to inform and warn the inhabitants of the presence of Moro vintas sighted far out to sea.
Early in 1634, Raja Bungsu, ruler of Sulu, captured 300 natives from Ormoc after a successful attack in Camarines. To protect the people, the Jesuit Juan del Carpio constructed fortifications, which were attacked by the Maguindanaos before its completion. On December 3, 1634, the notorious pirate Katsil Kunalat (Kudarat) invaded Ogmok fresh from its invasion, pillage and plunder of the towns of Sogod, Kabalian, Kanamokan (now Inopacan) and Baybay. Fifty brave Ogmokanons fought the invaders furiously but were annihilated by sheer superiority of arms and number of the enemy. The defenders were massacred up to the last man inside the fort that defended the town and Carpio was killed.
In 1768, the Augustinians took over the missions in Leyte after the Jesuits were expelled. On February 26, 1834, Ormoc was separated from her mother town Palompon and created into a separate and distinct municipality. The following month, March 1834, saw the formal inauguration of the Ormoc Catholic Parish with Rev. Fr. Bibiano Luciano as first curate.
The line of chief executives of the Ormoc civil government is equally impressive. Immediately after the creation of Ormoc as a municipio in 1834, one Sofronio Cabiling was appointed Capitan to head the gobierno municipal. His successor capitanes were Gregorio Sacay, Epifanio Ortiz, Agaton Aparis, Inocentes Eamiguel, Rosendo Daffon, Fernando Bañez, Nicolas Torres, Mateo Solidor and Leon Aviles.
During the Philippine Revolution, Leyte became involved only several months after its outbreak in August 1896. The Revolutionary Government represented by General Vicente Lukban took possession of Leyte.
Shortly after the Americans defeated the Spaniards and later the Filipinos, a civil government was established in Leyte in April 22, 1901. However, an Ormocanon by the name of Faustino Ablen organized the pulahanes movement, a resistance group, which was eventually defeated by the American forces; but the heroism of Faustino Ablen became the symbol of the Ormocanons courage and bravery.
With the establishment of the American controlled civil government following the termination of the Spanish-American War at the turn of the century, Ormoc’s town executives assumed the title of Municipal President with Dr. Fernando Calderon acting as the first and last appointed official to this post. Atty. Victorio Laurente was the last elected Municipal President.
During the first term of Atty. Victorio Laurente, the Commonwealth Government came into existence on November 15, 1935. The town executive sported the title Alcalde Municipal or Municipal Mayor. Under this category the following mayors served the Municipality of Ormoc: Victorio Laurente, second term, 1938-1941; Catalino Hermosilla, 1941-1943 (replaced on the third year of his term by the Japanese Government appointing in his place Jose Codilla, 1943-1944. The Resistance Government appointed Potenciano Larrazabal, 1944-1945 ratified and confirmed later by the American Liberation Army. ...