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The Early Years of Capiz State University Main Campus

Tomorrow we celebrate the 103rd year of Capiz State University Main Campus, which was originally established as an intermediate school for boys. While school records show that the founding year was 1917, I have the feeling that it may have actually been established years earlier considering that intermediate instruction was offered along primary education (I guess I need to do more sleuthing here). The Division of Capiz was founded in 1902 with E.F. Coddington as the first superintendent and in the same year the secondary school (present-day Capiz National School) was opened.

The trade school originally shared the same building with the Capiz High School in what was originally the municipal prison (the present location of the Roxas City Hall). The carcel was remodelled for school purposes. The school originally catered to intermediate learners and offered woodworking as the only course. On August 29, 1918, however, the carcel burneddown of unknown cause. The provincial government starte…
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How the Aklanons helped the Spaniards conquer Mindoro

Fray Gaspar de San Agustin noted how the Spaniards, in helping the natives of Aklan and Ibajay, managed to extend their presence in Mindoro. It is, however difficult to discredit the contribution of native soldiers who made this voyage a success. Fr. San Agustin begins:“In the month of January of 1570, two native leaders visited the governor [Legazpi]. One of them came from the village of Aklan, on the island of Panay, while the other came from Bahay [Ibajay] river. They asked him for help against the natives of the coast of Mindoro who were great pirates and from whom they received great harm. The governor gave them Captain Juan de Salcedo, whom they had specifically requested, along with thirty soldier from his company, under orders to pacify and reduce some of the villages to the service of His Majesty on the same island of Panay on his way back.”Barely twenty years old, Salcedo pacified villages on his way to Aklan via the Aklan river, where some 500 Aklanon warriors were waiting …

When the Spaniards moved to Panay

When the Spaniards moved to PanayJust to contextualize things before I begin, Capiz did not yet exist as a geopolitical unit or as a province that it is today when the Spaniards came here in 1568. But it is a source of pride to know that somewhere along the banks of Panay River that flows in this province, the Spaniards had set foot, established a community, and turned the pages of our history into the next chapter. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and his Spanish troops arrived in Cebu some time in 1565 but they never really felt safe there. When the stomach is empty all else failed and when food supplies became scarce and dwindled, it was time to move out and look for a safer place where provisions were abundant. Food has a significant factor in the success (or failure) of the Spanish expedition in the Philippines.   Spanish soldiers were dying from famine and the most miserable had to partake of herbs. Add to this, they had to compete with the “rats and other vermin  came to devour the food…

“Not a Trace” of Capiz for Rizal

On July 31, 1896, Jose Rizal boarded S.S. España in Dapitan. He was bound for Manila after receiving permission from the Spanish authorities to leave for Cuba where he would serve as a military physician. The steamer made delightful stopovers in Dumaguete (August 1), Cebu (August 2), Iloilo (August 4), Capiz (August 4), and Romblon (August 5). However, not a sliver of Capizwas seen by the patriot since the steamer docked far away from the port. Of this brief stopover, he wrote:“The night was rainy and dark when we arrived at Capiz or what seemed to us as Capiz. Ships always anchor at a great distance from the mouth of Tibas [Libas], they say where there is a great marine corporal who acts as governor, administrator, etc., with regard to the mail. A boat was lowered with the second officer and the steward aboard and we expected it to come back within an hour in order to continue our voyage. But, it was not so. Although it left at around 11 o’clock at night, it did not return until the …

When Capiz was almost surrendered to the British

Did you know that Capiz was almost surrendered to the British forces? In 1762, Manila was occupied by the British forces but instead of showing allegiance to the Spanish authorities under Governor General Simeon de Anda y Salazar, certain local leaders chose to collaborate with the British, like the following gobernadorcillos, Jose Pasarin of Bulacan, Antonio Zabala of Vigan, and Felix Galan of Pagsanjan. Meanwhile, the alcalde of Panai (now province of Capiz), a certain Quintinilla decided to sheepishly turn the province to the invaders.In 1842, Spanish diplomat and adventurer Sinibaldo de Mas wrote this portion of Capiz history in the first volume of Informe sobre el estado de las Islas Filipinas en 1842 (Report of the State of the Philippine Islands in 1842):En la provincia de Panai se descubrió que el alcalde Quintinilla estaba corrupto por el inglés, á quien tenia dispuesto entregar la provincia, pero advirtiéndolo con tiempo los frailes agustinos Fr. Tadeo de la consolacion prio…

Early 20th Century Brickmaking in Capiz

Capiz had a thriving brick-making industry at the turn of the 20th century. In the 1903 Philippine census, Capiz was one of the provinces, alongside Bulacan, Rizal, Iloilo, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Marinduque, Masbate and Pampanga, where the country's 27 brick and tile plants were located. During the Spanish period, bricks were supplied in church constructions. A kiln was identified in Calivo, which supplied the bricks in the construction of the Calivo church in the 1870s. The La Manchega in Capiz was recorded as supplying bricks for the churches in Loctugan and Panay in the 1890s. 
In the American Philippines, brick-making was ranked 16th in terms of capital investment. The industry was the 8th largest employer in the country, 17th in terms of monthly wage paid, and 15th in terms of value of products. Data from the Bureau of Public Works show that the annual value of brick products reached P457,900 based on the 1913 figure. Capital investments amounted to P237,543 with raw materials…

The Story of Lee Liong Building

Passing byRoxas Avenue, one could not help but sigh at the sight ofthe deserted building that the locals call Lee Liong. This is the oldest surviving pre-war building in the city’s business district and the only art deco structure in the city center. It definitely merits restoration or at least a decent sprucing up. However, the property is in the private hands and has been untouched since it has fallen over protracted court battles involving two families and the state. The property was originally owned by the landed Dinglasan family. In March 1936, they sold this 1,574-square meter property on the junction of what is now Roxas Avenue and Pavia Street to Lee Liong, a Chinese citizen for P6,000.00. The immigrant then built the concrete art deco building which he used both as a commercial and residential structure. The ground floor was used for his lumber business,while the upper floor served as his family’s home. In February 1944, Lee Liong died and the property passed on to his widow …