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Lo que sucedio a los Lacandoles de Bulusan?

(Whatever happened to the Lacandolas of Bulusan?)

We learned from our Philippine History class that after Miguel Lopez de Legaspi's blood compact with Rajah Sikatuna in Bohol, he proceeded northwards to the island of Luzon and landed near a place now called Intramuros -- which was then a Muslim kingdom ruled by the brothers Rajah  Lacandola (Lakandula) & Rajah Soliman (Sulayman). The younger Soliman resisted the colonizers but Lacandola stayed on and befriended Legaspi and his men. With his knowledge of the local dialect & influence over the natives, he contributed much in forming  the nucleus of what was soon to be Spain's next colony.

In return for the favor granted to Legaspi by Lacandola, he & his descendants gained much favor before the King of Spain. 

During the latter part of the eighteenth century, there occurred a move seeking to make some sort of restitution to Lacandola and his descendants. They were exempted from paying their taxes and some of them later on demanded that they too be spared from communal services ("polo y servicios") which was then imposed on the natives as part of their taxes.

Investigations showed various descendants of Lacandola living as far as Nueva Ecija and Tayabas (present Quezon Province), aside from their usual places of residence (Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga).

To protect the integrity of the surname, the Claveria Decree of 1849 stated the name Lacandola as one of those which "shall not be adopted except by those who have a just title to possess them".

In his book, "From Ibalon to Sorsogon: A Historical Survey of Sorsogon Province", Luis Camara Dery stated that the parish records of the towns of Gubat, Bulusan, Sorsogon, & Albay Viejo "mentioned the Lacandolas as one of those exempted from paying the tributes" as stated in the population lists or padrones de almas  of the said towns.

 Migration could indeed be the reason behind this occurrence. The Licup family of Sorsogon was said to be of noble lineage of the Lacandolas.  But where are the Lacandolas of Bulusan? Have they migrated to yet another town? Or were they residents of previous visitas of Bulusan -- thus their presence in its population list? In this case, could it be possible that these Lacandolas and their descendants can now be found in the now-independent municipalities of Irosin, Barcelona, Sta. Magdalena, & Matnog? Or are there still actually Bulusan-based Lacandolas just hiding behind other surnames as a result of intermarriages? Are these people aware of their roots? That is, a royal one -- for Lacandola was a rajah, wasn't he?

It would indeed prove to be an exciting investigation. If you have any information about the Lacandolas of Bulusan, please don't hesitate to contact this site's webmaster.

Thank you.


This season on Bulusan Biography:

" A Tribute to a Hero"

A Tribute to a Hero

Col. Emeterio Funes:

Hero of Boco Pass


Fast Fact:

Did you know that family names beginning with the letter "G" are the most predominant in Bulusan? Current listing records 102 unique entries. It is closely followed by those beginning with the letters "F" & "E" with 68 & 34 entries respectively.  

Current Count: 415 unique family names

No. of Family Names due to Naturalization by Baptism: 5

Total: 420


Claveria Decree of 1849:

This decree by then Spanish Governor-General Narciso Claveria has indeed changed the Filipinos' way of life. Unauthorized migrations, tax evasion, & other abuses were  monitored with the help of this decree. The good side of course has been the closer family ties brought about by individual family names which made the process of distinguishing relatives an easier task.  

It has been a common belief that the so-called "original" Buluseños are those bearing any Spanish surname beginning with the letters "F" & "G". This may be true, considering that  the Claveria Decree ordered that the distribution of surnames be made in every town and that this be done "in accordance with the number of families therein" so as to determine the  "number of surnames that appear necessary". Caution was  further given to take  "care that the distribution be made by letters, in the appropriate proportions."  

The church was given the main hand in the performance of such activity. The respective parish priests of every town, with the aid of the gobernadorcillo (town mayor), another municipal official, and two competent & respected  principales -- shall distribute such surnames to the cabecerias (barangays). "Each cabeza shall be present with the individuals of this cabeceria, and the father or oldest person of each family shall choose or be assigned one of the surnames in the list which he shall then adopt, together with his direct descendants."


Present-day Sorsogon:

Today, the effect of this decree can still be seen not only in Bulusan but in other towns in the province as well.  A former visita of Bulusan until 1771, Gubat's family names are mostly  "E" starters, while most of Bacon's family names are preceded with the letter "D".  Irosin, Sta. Magdalena, Matnog, & Barcelona -- visitas of Bulusan by the time of the said decree -- also present a remarkable amount of "F" & "G" surnames.



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