BRIEF HISTORY OF BARANGAY TOMINAWOG

The Barangay Tominawog, with a spawling population of 445 (1980 census) inhabitants belongs to the municipality of San Andres formerly Calolbon, province of Catanduanes. Its beginning is unique. Before it became a barrio in 1970 the place was then a jungle where big trees and thick talahib grass grew in abundance. Wild pigs and chicken roamed around. Fish in the sea nearby abound in plenty and one could easily have big catch without the use of fish nets or hook and line. This was during the Philippine – American war about 85 years ago.

Just after the Philippine – American war in 1898, four enterprising couples in search of greener pasture happened to land in the place. Seeing that the site was still uninhabited, they immediately made an ocular inspection. They found out that the land was very fertile, and suited for agricultural crops. Aside from being fertile, the site was located very near the sea. Very much satisfied of the land they had discovered the immediately cleared and planted short time root crops. Meantime that the crops are not yet ready for harvest, the settlers’ means of livelihood was hunting and fishing.

As years went on, some more settlers came and live permanently. In 1910, the barangay was founded by no less than ten strong and determined people. These founders were the following: Policarpio Navales, Basilio Satairapan, Rufina Aquino, Geronimo Manlangit, Isabelo Sollegue, Luis Malangit, Cornelio Sombillo and Valeriano Sodela.

For some years, Tominawog became the sitio of Agojo, a nearby and well organized community about 1 ½ kilometers west of Tominawog. Agojo one of the oldest barangay officials long before the coming of the Americans. The head of the barangay was then called Teniente or Barrio Lieutenant. Two years later, the population increased and the inhabitants were now ready for self -government. Soon in 1912 the first barrio lieutenant was nominated and the sitio of Tominawog was separated from her mother barrio. The first barrio lieutenant nominated was a robust, strong, short and amiable man in the person of Basilio Satairapan, one of the founders.

There were many stories told on how the barrio got its name. One story tells about a long big trunk of lawaan tree that bent towards the sea. The said tree was cut one of the first settler and before it fell and bent (nabawog) toward the beach thus obstructing travelers on the seashore. Because of the difficulty of the commuters or travelers in crossing the big round trunk they called the barrio Tominawog which came from the word “nabawog”. Another story tells about the passage of route of travelers from the tower to the western barrios. Since there was no trail yet the shortened the way to Agojo and Codon (two oldest barrios of Calolbon) from the town, travelers usually follow the patented shoreline of Tominawog which in bicol means “matawog”. To some people Tominawog was derived from Matawog (to go around the point).

Still others believed that the name Tominawog originated from the long beach that protrude about 1 ½ kilometers to the open sea now called Lagonoy Gulf presently situated or located. This long beach where pile of white sand and tall big rocks could be seen during low tide was named by the Spanish conquistadors as Tominawog. So Tominawog means protruding long beach.

The rapid growth of the barangay is attributing to the following factors to wit.

1st fine location – foremost factor in the rapid growth of Tominawog is its fine location. It is very near the sea. Nearby is a good fishing ground. The seashore formed a semi – circle and any kind of boat that can anchor except big ships.

2nd topography – another factor that adds to its rapid development is its topography. The land is level and very fertile. It’s very much suited for agricultural products as coconuts, rice, corn, camote, fruit trees, etc.

Before 1910, the first and succeeding settlers were all Catholics. Being a religious group of people they had to follow religious customs and tradition handed down to them by their ancestors. One remarkable religious activity they had observe was the yearly Santa Cruzan and Flores de Mayo during the months of May and June in their homes. So as early as 1912, a chapel was built where the present barrio church is located. The first barrio matanda settlers, one month of his nomination, the first mass was held on June 13, 1919. Saint Anthony was unanimously selected as their patron saint. The late father Roberto Floranza of Calolbon officiated the first mass.

Between 1915 and 1950, children of school age in Tominawog from grades I to IV enrolled or attend classes in Agojo. However, due to the increasing population, and after the assistance of Mr. Pedro Benedicto, persuaded the inhabitants to contribute some amounts for the purchase of one – half hectares school site. The school site was acquired from Mr. Eulogio Solano in the amount of one hundred fifty pesos. Soon a one – room makeshift PTA shack was constructed. This was made of nipa, bamboo and rattan. In the school year 1948 – 1949, an extension class organized. It was a grade 1 class and the first teacher assigned was Miss Gabriela Tacorda of Virac. When the next school year opened in 1949 – 1950, the grades III and IV pupils from Tominawog who were then attending classes in Agojo transferred to Tominawog. So in 1949 – 50 two teachers were assigned to handle the solid class of grade II and a combination class of III and IV. Eleven years later, another extension class was opened. The enrollment increased. In 1965 – 66, the barrio had complete primary class. Beginning with the school year 1970 – 71 a full pledge head teacher was assigned as head of the school.