Madridejos, Cebu

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Fishing boats at Madridejos.JPG
Map of Cebu with Madridejos highlighted
Map of Cebu with Madridejos highlighted
Madridejos is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 11°16′N 123°44′E / 11.267°N 123.733°E / 11.267; 123.733Coordinates: 11°16′N 123°44′E / 11.267°N 123.733°E / 11.267; 123.733
Country  Philippines
Region Central Visayas (Region VII)
Province Cebu
District 4th district of Cebu
Barangays 14 (see § Barangays)
 • Mayor Salvador S. Dela Fuente
 • Total 23.95 km2 (9.25 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 34,905
 • Density 1,500/km2 (3,800/sq mi)
Demonym Lawisanon
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6053
Dialing code +63 (0)32

Madridejos is a fourth class[2] municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines. In the 2010 census there was a population of 34,905 people.[3] It is one of the three municipalities that make up the island of Bantayan, which lies to the west of the northern tip of Cebu. It is bounded to the south by the municipality of Bantayan, and on all other sides by the Visayan Sea.

There is a light station – LS Madridejos[4] – about 50 metres (160 ft) north of the mean high-water mark at Kota point (11°18′00″N 123°43′42″E / 11.30000°N 123.72833°E / 11.30000; 123.72833).


Madridejos is administratively subdivided into 14 barangays:

PSGC code[5] pop. (2010)[3] Name
072228001 1870  Bunakan
072228002 1071  Kangwayan
072228003 3088  Kaongkod
072228004 2071  Kodia
072228005 2042  Maalat
072228006 2583  Malbago
072228007 4662  Mancilang
072228008 2153  Pili
072228009 3768  Poblacion
072228010 2201  San Agustin
072228011 1874  Tabagak
072228012 3645  Talangnan
072228013 2212  Tarong
072228014 1665  Tugas


Lawis was the old name of Madridejos. Even up to the present day people still use the name Lawis. In the vernacular term of “Promontory”, the portion carved out to constitute the municipality of Madridejos being the peninsula located on the northern side of Bantayan island facing the Visayan Sea.

During the time of Governor Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera (1635–1644), the Visayas were continually harassed by the Moros, who worked dreadful havoc, capturing, massacring, robbing, sacking churches, and burning everything there was.

History credits Loreto the Mangubat as the first to settle in this part of the Island of Bantayan. He was then the founder of Lawis (meaning point to the sea) in the middle of the 16th century. It was also Mangubat who proclaimed it a visita (beginnings of a parish) of the town of Bantayan.[dubious ][6][circular reference][7]

Lawis was the first organized settlement in the northern part of the island of Bantayan where barrio Mancilang of Madridejos is now located. Mangubat initiated the construction of the kota or fort used as a refuge and defence against the Moro pirates who plundered towns along the sea coast of the Visayas. [b] He also erected a church whose ruined walls and post from the ravages of wars and Moro raids can still be seen in the northernmost part of the town.

He was a direct descendant of Lapu-Lapu, the Cebuano Hero. At the age of 13, he was taken to Spain for training. In 1873, he went back to Madridejos at the age of 50. He was the arm bearer of Spain. He was called Captain. His name was changed to Lazaro because he came back to the town on St. Lázaro’s Day (December 17). He was married to Lucia Maru, a native of the town.

Ruins of Kota at Madridejos

The Kota was built in 1880. The people of the town grouped at the Kota when they can hear the sound of the “Budyong” (a kind of shell) for safety, warning the people Moros are coming in vintas.

Kota was built by forced labor. People were told to work every Saturday, only once a week, failure to report to help in the construction received punishment: 25 lashes of a whip and one day imprisonment. Nonoy Isidro Mancio, a native, was the chief of those who watched for the coming of the Moros.

Blowing of the Budyong [c] – served as signal of the coming of the Moros. A watch tower was built in Kaongkod, a barrio about four kilometers (2.5 miles) from the fort. It is the place from where the approach of the Moros could easily be seen, to give a timely warning to the town folks of their coming.

The general scenery of Lawis was that of a quiet place, of virgin grounds covered by small shrubs and lantana. When more people discovered Lawis and flocked to it, the place became a visita.[10]

In 1917 Barrio Lawis became a town named Madridejos. This was the name given to the third town of Bantayan Island in honour of Benito Romero de Madridejos the former Archbishop of Cebu.[d] The town's feast day is celebrated annually on 8 December.

History of immaculate conception parish church[edit]

Madridejos, Cebu Bantayan Island [e]

In the year 1600, before Madridejos was made into town, there was a barrio called Lawis at the tip of Bantayan island. In this barrio was a chapel built by the Augustinians who also built the parish church of Bantayan in the year 1580.

The chapel was located within the Spanish Fort near the seashore. Inside the chapel, accordingly to old timers of the barrio, there was a framed picture of La Virgin Purisima Concepcion which was the object of devotion and before which the Holy Rosary was played every afternoon. Once a month and during church feasts, the chapel was visited by the priest of Bantayan to say mass and celebrate its annual feast.

In the year 1700 there was a carved image of La Virgin Purisima from batikuling wood. This image was carved in Bantayan. It was 16 inches (41 centimetres) tall and was placed on the altar of the first chapel built by the Augustinian priests near the seashore of barrio Lawis.

Aforesaid image is owned by the relatives of the grandfathers of now most reverend Juan O. Beltran HP

One Fulgencio Casas together with Alejandro Bacolod, formerly known residents of Barrio Lawis agreed to buy a bigger image of the virgin in manila. They sailed on a paraw (or Batel) a big sailboat owned by Florencio Pasasadaba. They were able to buy an ivory head and hands of the virgin, carved in Spain out of elephant tusks. On their travel to Manila they took with them a jar of tuba for their drink. Miraculously, the jar was never emptied of its contents even how plenty when they arrived in Madridejos.

Captain Lazaro Mangubat ordered that the body and feet of the virgin be carved in the town of Bantayan. But before this was done, it was reported lost and allegedly hidden somewhere. It was retrieved by Juanita Bacolod, Maria Almodiel and Rufina Tayad. Then it was reported lost the second time, but miraculously the head of the virgin returned to Madridejos on its own. So the body and feet of the virgin were hurriedly carved in Madridejos by a certain Venancio Desonitado, a famous carver at that time in Bantayan Island.

The image of the virgin was dressed in white linen with a blue mantle. The chapel near the seashore was transferred to the center of the town near Concepcion Street upon order of Captain Lazaro Mangubat. He was also the architect of the road plans of the town of Madridejos. When the image of the virgin of the Immaculate Concepcion had already been installed, it was blessed by a priest from Bantayan Island.

A miraculous event happened when the Muslims tried to raid the town to loot and capture the residents and sold them as slaves. A beautiful lady was seen dressed in white with a blue mantle. The invaders never had a chance to land. People believed that the lady who protected them was the Virgin of the Immaculate Concepcion.

There were times they observed that the clothes of the image were wet and damp although there was no rain, and was full of amorseko (crab grass) [f] – a kind of weed in the fields. During the time of the El Tor Epidemic a beautiful lady was observed ministering to the sick mountain folks.

Since old times, in every month of October the Virgin is brought in a fluvial procession and the Holy Rosary is played. The feast was celebrated every eight day of December, until Lawis became a parish in the year 1928. She is still the protector of every Lawisanon who comes to ask for help and protection.

Second World War[edit]

  • 1942 - occupation by Japanese Imperial forces.
  • 1945 - liberation by the Philippine Commonwealth troops of the 3rd, 8th, 81st, 82nd & 83rd Infantry Divisions of the Philippine Commonwealth Army which landed in Madridejos at the front of battles against Japanese forces in the Battle of Bantayan.[citation needed]


Population census of Madridejos
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 25,746 —    
1995 26,506 +0.55%
2000 29,020 +1.96%
2007 30,673 +0.77%
2010 34,905 +4.82%
Source: National Statistics Office


Fishing fleet leaving Madridejos, early evening.
Beach and walkway at Kota Point, with the light station past the end of the walkway.

The main industries of Madridejos are fishing, poultry and tourism.

Because of its rich fishing grounds, Madridejos earned the name of Little Alaska of the Philippines: the first canning factory in the country was established in Madridejos, but it lost its sustaining impact in the history of the municipality after it was bombed during World War II. At present, poultry raising is a booming industry and Madridejos contributes a substantial quantity of eggs produced for sale to the neighboring provinces.

Madridejos also hosts a fairly substantial tertiary college – Salazar College.[13]


Madridejos can be reached by boat from Cebu City via Santa Fe with 75-minutes ferry service to San Remigio (Hagnaya) via Island Shipping or SuperShuttle Ferry. Bus (jeepney) travel to Madridejos via the municipality of Bantayan takes about one (1) hour.

There are currently NO overnight boats from Cebu City to Bantayan Island, nor are there any scheduled commercial air flights, but many private air companies fly smaller Cessna and Piper aircraft into Bantayan Airport.


  1. ^ [8] translated in [9](p258)
  2. ^ However Fray Juan de Medina wrote: "The incumbent of the benefice has now built a small fort; but I believe in my soul that, when the Indio catches sight of the enemy, he will abandon it instantly."[a]
  3. ^ Some sort of horn – could be a conch shell or the horn of a carabao
  4. ^ Benito Romero O.F.M. † (appointed 28 January 1876 - died 4 November 1885)
  5. ^ Thanks to: Rev. Fr. Cristobal Garcia at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, to whom this written history was submitted, as required by the Archdiocese of Cebu, on the occasion of the solemn processional of the thirty nine (39) images with the titles of “La Virgin Purisima” joining the said procession of the International Marian Year.
  6. ^ Formal description at Kew [11] Description with photographs [12]


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Cebu". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Philippines Standard Geographical Code
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ de MEDINA, Fray Juan (1893) [1630]. Historia de los sucesos de la orden de n. gran P. S. Agustin de estas islas Filipinas: desde que se descubrieron y se poblaron por los españoles, con las noticias memorables / compuesta por el venerable Fray Juan de Medina [History of the Augustinian Order in the Filipinas Islands] (scan) (in Spanish). Manila: Chofréy y Comp. OCLC 11769618. "Page numbers 487–488 used twice" 
  9. ^ BLAIR, Emma Helen & ROBERTSON, James Alexander, eds. (1905). The Philippine Islands, 1493–1898. Volume 23 of 55 (1629–1630). Historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord BOURNE;. Cleveland, Ohio: Arthur H. Clark Company. ISBN 978-1153716369. OCLC 769945716. "Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the close of the nineteenth century." 
  10. ^ SPICER, Edward Holland (1967) [1962]. Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on Indians of the Southwest, 1533–1960. Tucson, Az: University of Arizona Press. ISBN 978-0-8165-0021-5. "609 pp. / 6.12 in x 9.25 in" 
  11. ^ CLAYTON, W Derek; VORONTSOVA, Maria S; HARMAN, Kehan T & WILLIAMSON, H. "World Grass Species: Descriptions, Identification, and Information Retrieval" (Online database). GrassBase – The Online World Grass Flora. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 1 December 2012. "Dallwitz (1980); and Dallwitz, Paine and Zurcher should also be cited" 
  12. ^ GALINATO, Marita Ignacio; MOODY, Keith & PIGGIN, Colin M (1999). Upland Rice Weeds of South and Southeast Asia (Online book). Manila: International Rice Research Institute. pp. 66–67 – Chrysopogon aciculatus. ISBN 978-9712201301. 
  13. ^ "SCSIT – Salazar Colleges and Institute of Technology". Retrieved 21 March 2013. 

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