- Created on 21 May 2014
The town of Santa Lucia formerly called “Kaog or Dumangague” was founded on June, 1572 by Juan de Salcedo. However the first mission was established on January 5, 1586 by the Augustinian friars in whom they called “Ministerio de Kaog”, formerly annexed to the “Ministerio de Candon”. The first “visita” must have been built also in that year. This town was one of the oldest encomiendas in the Philippines. It is reported that in 1591, the encomiendas already had a monastery with two religious to take care of 3, 600 souls. Later in 1671, it became a regular parish under the patronage of Saint Lucy whose feast day is celebrated every 13th of December. The parish was composed of the following missions; Nagtablaan, San Tiburcio, Pias, Atabay, Colliong, Balidbid, Sorioan, Napalit, Arangin and Corrooy, all with a distance of more than two and half hours from the church. It had a sitio of Catechumares called Cub-cubbuot and a barrio called Ronda with more than 6,286 inhabitants.
Its inhabitants – Christians in the lowlands and various tribes of Non-Christians Igorots in the mountains were farmers who planted rice, corn, sugar, cotton, vegetables and fruits. Due to irrigation coupled with persistent work under the direction of Father Exequiel Lanza Forta, they enjoined two harvest of rice every year. Other industries were fishing, spinning and weaving cotton, salt manufacturing, cattle raising and poultry. Shaped by physical limitations of their environment, the inhabitants were industrious, thrifty and migratory.
Evangelization of Dumangague or Kaog were done by the Augustinian fathers who tamed the natives and started building edifices which remain to this day a monument to their architectural genius and patience. They succeeded building a one-aisle church with a great transept and a magnificent cupola resembling the St. Peter Basilica at the Holy See in Rome. It was rebuilt completely by Father Pascual Barrameda and Father Manuel Arguellas in 1808 and renovated in 1936. Distinguished for its Quasi-Romanesque, Pseudo Gothic and Bizombinate feature trimmings on the details of the façade and interior. Santa Lucia Church apparently was part of the Neo-Gothic revival that occurred during the late nineteenth and twentieth century’s.
A big convent was constructed to the northwest church. This was the headquarters of the Katipunan forces commanded by General Manuel Tinio during the revolution. Before the outbreak of the earthquake in July 16, 1990, the convent was used as “home” of the religious order, the Oblates of the Holy Spirit Sisters (OSS) but it was severely damaged by the earthquake.
For a span of four hundred years, more or less, town residents and people from other towns heard several miracles of Saint Lucy, especially to people suffering from eye ailments were cured. .Accounts of these testimonies by devotees of Saint Lucy can be read in an article published by Bannawag on December 13, 1986 in connection with town’s celebration of its 400th founding anniversary.
Spanish Colonization to the Philippine Republic
he early settlements appeared somewhat hazy to how many people were settled in Kaog before Captain Juan de Salcedo discovered the place in his expedition in 1572. However it may seem clear that the early settlers were Bagos or Igorots-people of the mountains, probably half-civilized according to Spanish standards.
An account by the late Senador Isabelo De Los Reyes, Editor of El Ilocano, and lifted by the late Rev. Fr. Juan Fronda, “The Early Settlements of the Fifth Missionary” (Ilocos Review, Vol. III, Nos. 1 and 2, pp. 11 to 12) states that Captain Salcedo reached Dumangague probably by June, 1572 and found many inhabitants in this place. He discovered the place rich in gold and since Salcedo was well received by the natives of the seacoast, he tried to go deeper in forest place (interior) only to be met by hostile inhabitants under a chieftain named Silita (probably a Bago in G-string) and ambushed Captain Hurtado, one of the subaltern and younger officers of Salcedo. Incensed by the incident, Salcedo left his flagship with more soldiers and succeeded in subjugating Silita. The chief begged for mercy and Salcedo did not only pardon him but also loaded him with gifts, telling him to call his companions and make peace.
Convince of the sincerity of Salcedo, Silita and his people presented Salcedo with many gifts mush provisions, gold and other precious things which Salcedo gallantly refused, giving impression that he did not come to exploit them. On June 12, 1572 Salcedo’s fleet left Dumangague and by nightfall, it arrived at Caoayan, a town close to Vigan on its northern periphery.
Under the Spanish colonial policy, the Ilocanos were ordered to cultivate tobacco, indigo, coffee and sugar. Due to the enforcement of unjust taxation and forced labor, the Ilocanos fought the Spaniards during the Philippine Revolution. During the revolution, General Manuel Tinio established his headquarter at the old convent west of the church. The local Katipuneros led by Lt. Evaristo Ramirez and Francisco Pre saw action in Balidbid in 1898 and raided the American Garrison in Salcedo, Ilocos Sur in 1899.
General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898. The Americans colonized the country and military law was enforced in 1898. Captain Paulino Parel (Last Governadorcillo) was executed in 1899 and civilian government was established in 1901. In 1941, thousands of Ilocanos were executed by the Japanese army and likewise experienced hunger and poverty. The people of Santa Lucia fled to the interior parts of the town to escape execution. A part of the Poblacion was burned by the Japanese army. On February 21, 1942 a mass induction of USAFE Forces was done at Nagtablaan by American USAFE officers.
After the war, the Filipinos started to build the foundation of the new Republic. Santa Lucians preoccupied themselves in the opportunities for development. They planted rice, corn, sugar, native tobacco and other crops, and later Virginia tobacco in 1958. They tried to hasten the pace of development in the municipality with its very limited resources, has been progressing quote well through the cooperative efforts of the leaders and inhabitants.