How Gingoog Came into Existence
They were a small band of Manobos. For years they had lived in the mountains about three kilometres from the sea, in a place called Luwan, meaning load. It was a slope;, they could easily load things on their backs. It was located somewhere between Kagayhaan (Cagayan de Oro) and Butuan-Masao (Butuan City). On it, they planted various root crops. Fished near the shore and hunted small game. The men wore G-strings and shirts of fine sinamay. But the primordial urge to gravitate to water was upon them. They longed to settle closer to the sea. Bingue and Binguela, the brother and sister team were the acknowledged leaders of the group. They were joined by Ondok, Mankinaug, Aguipo, Sabaa and a few others. When they reached the edge of the bay, they discovered a spring next to a huge lawaan tree, and they named the spring Minlawaan, after the tree. From here, they see the towering and majestic Balatukan Mountain to the north. Gazing seaward, they could see as far as Sipaka to the West and Punta Diwata to the East. Finding the place ideal, they started the ritual of the diwata. No one would go on a journey or make an important decision without performing this age-old ritual to their Gods. From a large root of the lawaan, they fashioned a wooden basin. From the earth, they moulded a cooking pot. They placed the pot upside-down in the basin and, pouring water in the basin, Binguela- the seeress- intoned: “Magbabaya, ihindo kay ta bugta na amo ag lungsuran alan sa mga sulud day sabua das a kabuhayan.” (God, lead us to the land where we may live, for there is only one means of livelihood for us). The Manobos then left the site of the diwata to await the result. They returned the following day. To their surprise and joy, the water from the basin was gone except for the water in the upside-down pot! They believed this signalled a good future. So they named this place their new home- GINGOOG, meaning good luck. Thus was born Gingoog (pronounced Hi-ngo-og), the City of Good Luck, more than a century and a half before the arrival of the first Spaniards, on that significant day on March 16, 1521. The natives continued to grow in number. In 1723, Father Felix Garcia, a Jesuit missionary from Butuan, arrived. He was the first white man to visit Gingoog. His mission was to spread Christianity. He baptized the natives: Bingue to Bingue Jurado; Binguela to Binguela Jurado; Ondok to Santiago Gundaya; Mankinaug to Javier Gundaya, and Bantoo, a man from Balingasag, Misamis to Bartolo Condeza. There were men named Duliguiz to Rodriguez. Other baptized were Sixto Camara and Juan Condeza. Not long after, immigrants from other places began to pour in, like the Gomez family from Catarman, Camiguin and the family of Principe Guno from Candagas, Guindulman, Bohol whose son, Saud was baptized to Antonio Guno. After the baptism, Fr. Garcia told the natives that the place was not safe from the pirates. Instead, he suggested that they would buy cannon in Surigao so that this could be their best protection. The priest, after knowing the reason of the natives’ reluctant, said: “I would recommend you to the government you to the governor of Surigao so that you sinamay would be allowed as a barter to the cannon. “The natives agreed. So, with 15 other companions, Santiago ”Ondok” Gundaya led the group in going to Surigao. Reading the recommendation of Fr. Felix Garcia, the governor readily accepted sinamay as barter to the cannon. This led them to built a watchtower, where in Manbanata whose strength was extraordinary, brought the cannon with his one hand to the top of the watchtower. The time had come that the pirates did attack Gingoog. But the cannon were more powerful. With only one firing, the pragata of the pirates was pulverized including all those on board.
From Daanlungsod to Gahub-Mangiskis
Fr. Gregorio Parache, 39 years of age and the most active among the Jesuit priests, arrived in Gingoog from...
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