Sogod, Southern Leyte

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Sogod
Municipality
Municipality of Sogod
Sogod Poblacion as seen from Sogod Bay
Sogod Poblacion as seen from Sogod Bay
Official seal of Sogod
Seal
Map of Southern Leyte showing the location of Sogod
Map of Southern Leyte showing the location of Sogod
Sogod is located in Philippines
Sogod
Sogod
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°23′N 124°59′E / 10.383°N 124.983°E / 10.383; 124.983Coordinates: 10°23′N 124°59′E / 10.383°N 124.983°E / 10.383; 124.983
Country Philippines
Region Eastern Visayas (Region VIII)
Province Southern Leyte
Congressional District Lone District of Southern Leyte
Founded September 6, 1571
Established May 18, 1700 (as a barangay)
Incorporated June 10, 1853 (as a municipality)
Barangays 45
Government
 • Type Sangguniang Bayan
 • Mayor Imelda U. Tan
 • Vice mayor Rufo C. Olo
 • Town Council
Area[1]
 • Total 192.70 km2 (74.40 sq mi)
Elevation 15.0 m (49.2 ft)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 41,411
 • Density 210/km2 (560/sq mi)
Demonym Sogodnons
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6606
Dialing code 53
Language Cebuano, Tagalog, Waray-Waray, English
Income class 2nd Class
Classification Partially Urban

Sogod (pronounced [ˈsuɡud]), officially the Municipality of Sogod, is a second class municipality in the province of Southern Leyte, Philippines.[1] Founded in the early 1600s, Sogod became a regular municipality on June 10, 1853. The name of the municipality originated from the Cebuano word, sogod, meaning "to start". Sogod was one of the few indigenous settlements on Leyte Island during the pre-Hispanic era.

Having a total land area of 192.7 square kilometers, Sogod is the second largest municipality in the province. According to the 2010 National Statistics Office (NSO) census, it has a population of 41,411 inhabitants.[2]

It is located along the Southern Leyte section of the Pan-Philippine Highway, 126 kilometres (78 mi) south from Tacloban City, the regional center of Eastern Visayas. Sogod is mostly mountainous with flat fertile plains in the central and southern area. Numerous river systems feed the terrain with alluvial soil, sustaining the production of rice, corn, copra, tobacco, abaca and root crops. Mining and quarrying is one of the main assets of the municipality.

The municipality is home to the Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) Main Campus, the only state university in Southern Leyte province, and the Saint Thomas Aquinas College (STAC), one of the oldest Catholic educational institutions in the province, established since 1946.[3]

Lies within Sogod Bay, the town is the center of trade, commerce and industry.[4]

History

A view of Sogod’s history before the coming of the Spaniards may be termed as a “Lost Horizon”. This is due to the dearth of materials on his subject, and the little information we have at present comes from the testimonies of the early Spanish missionaries and chronicles whose works cannot be verified properly. Hence, the difficulty of making the exact chronological order of the town’s past an exhaustive survey.

Origins

The ruins of the old Baluarte was used to safeguard the village of then Sugut from Moro pirates.

The history of Sogod began long before the arrival of the Spaniards. Natives of then Sugut village found a settlement near the banks of the Subangdaku River in the enclaves of Seilani (present-day Southern Leyte province). The baluarte in Barangay Zone III, near the present public market, marks the reminder of the ruins of an old church and a watchtower established around the area.

In 1543, Ruy López de Villalobos led an expedition to Leyte and Samar and landed in the village of Abuyo (present-day municipality of Abuyog). The Spanish conquistadors were informed by the villagers that a trading center existed in the southeastern part of the island. Sugut, a local term for Chinese vessels (Junk), played a key role in making the settlement a thriving center for trade and commerce. During the pre-Hispanic era, Chinese merchants used to trade the natives with gold, porcelains and slaves.[5]

The economic progress of Sogod was later accounted when the Legazpi expedition in 1565 came to visit the country. The town was described as a large and thickly populated village facing the island of Panaon. Seventeen years later, the Spanish chronicler, Miguel de Loarca noted that Sugut was one of the aboriginal villages of Leyte, together with Cabalian (San Juan), Ormog (Ormoc City) and Tandaya (Carigara) on 1582.

On September 6, 1571, El Adelantado Miguel López de Legazpi, first Governor-General of the Philippines, assigned Juan de Trujillo as the first encomendero (trustee) of Tandaya (Carigara town was established as a pueblo on July 16, 1595). An encomienda was not actually a piece of land, but a favor from the Spanish monarch under which the Spaniard receiving the favor was given the right to collect tributes or taxes from the inhabitants of an area assigned to him. The man who received this favor was called an encomendero. During the elevation of Tandaya as an encomienda, many villages and settlements in Leyte were drafted in the encomienda system. One of those villages which are qualified to be an encomienda was Sogod.

Etymology

The commune was object to frequent Moro raids so that a baluarte was built to warn villagers against the approach of the raiders. In such crisis, Datu Mangkaw shows a colorful personality. He was a known as a net-fisherman. Already a fishing ground that it is today, Sogod then had houses clustered close to shore around the watchtower. He is an expert in the art of casting the net, "Laya", he could send out the casting net in a perfect circle in the sea. As the community grew bigger, the residents agitated for a name for their place. Meetings after meetings were held presided by Datu Mangkaw. But every time a meeting is ongoing, a shoal of fish would be seen by the subtle wave of the surface or quick shifting shadow beneath the surface. The eyes of the pondering datu kept stalking it, interfering with the meeting. Satisfying his unequalled fisherman's instinct, he would leave the meeting unattended and his body language was being watched by the attendees, feasting their eyes on the artful slide of the feet of the datu so as not to disturb the surface, his eyes fixed on the school. Then, he shared his catch with the people for the asking, even by strangers. After which, shouts of "Sogod, sogod!" (vernacular for "to begin") would reconvene the meeting. Thus the word "Sogod" became the name of the village then and the town as it is today.[6]

Datu Mangkaw

Datu Bangkaw, locally known by the Sogodnons as “Mangkaw”, led the 1622 Leyte revolt. The revolt centers on the intolerance of the Spanish friars. After Legazpi’s landfall in Cebu on February 13, 1565 and obtaining a coalition with Datu Urrao of Samar on February 22, 1565, he befriended the young Bangkaw and became his ally. In return of Legazpi’s good deeds, he supplied the Spaniards with food and other resources. Bangkaw became a convert to Catholicism and aided the Jesuits in propagating the faith to the Leyteños.[7]

However, Bangkaw apostatized and returned to Paganism. Because of this, the apostate got the ire of the padre cura (friar-curate) and incited the Kalgaranons (eponym for the town folks of Carigara) to rise in arms against the Spanish monarchy. Bangkaw’s short-lived revolt spread like wildfire from Carigara to other parts of the province and threatened the emerging Catholic faith in Leyte. Eventually, the provincial governor of Cebu sent troops in Carigara to suppress the insurgency. The Spanish army, with more than a hundred Cebuano soldiers under Spanish officers, outnumbered Bangkaw’s army. The attack was held in a valley in Carigara: between the barrios of Sogod and Hiraan. A Street in Barangay Zone I is named after the datu.[8]

The municipality was one of Bangkaw’s bastions in administering the island of Leyte. He would travel from Tandaya, riding on a local fishing vessel known as baroto, passing to Dulaque (Dulag town) and Abuyo to the frontier village of Limasawa. Sogod, a midway between these mentioned settlements, was deemed to be a pahuwayan (stop-over) by the datu.[9]

The First Missionaries

The Jesuits arrived and established a mission station in the commune on 1616. It was at the baptism of Datu Mangkaw and his household, that Father Fabricio Sersali laid the foundation of the Christian faith in Sogod. A chapel of light materials was constructed near the seashore (Barangay Zone III). The Sogod mission was attended by the Jesuits from Carigara, Hilongos and Cabalian residencias (mission residence). During the Muslim raid of 1603, the chapel was burned and Father Ventura Barcena was brought as captive to Tawi-Tawi. In 1634, Father Francisco Lauzon was killed during an encounter with the pirates. Spanish authorities cited that Sogod was prone to Moro raids because of its nearness to Mindanao. Again on September 27, 1705, the Moros attacked the village and killed Father Pedro Oriel, the stationed cura at that era. Many residents were exploited as slaves by these pirates. Properties were also seized.[10]

On account of these assaults, the Jesuits in Cabalian undertook the construction of a concrete church and baluartei in 1718 upon the order of Bishop Sebastian Faronda, Diocese of Cebu. In 1720, the Jesuits continued assigning priests into the settlement and the church construction was completed. These structures were razed to the ground when the Moros returned to Sogod in 1754. The Kampanang Bulaw (Golden Bell), the town’s prized possession, was reportedly thrown into the rice fields of Punong (Barangay La Purisima Concepcion). Some elders assumed that the bell was tossed to a nearby quicksand in Barangay Zone III which is now the site of the Bus Terminal.[6]

New Municipality

On May 18, 1700, Sogod was lawfully established as a barrio (district/ward). Meanwhile, Consolacion, a barangay six kilometers from the Sogod poblacion, was founded on February 3, 1730. The barrio once had the sitios of Maak, Punong and Buac as part of its territory. Sogod and Consolacion were visitas (satellite barrio with chapel) of Maasin (1755) and then ceded to Malitbog (1768) during the Jesuit expulsion.

From 1774 to 1785, Augustinian-initiated municipal schools and four rural secondary schools were established in Sogod. These schools were situated in the barrios of Hipgasan (Barangay San Pedro), Buntuk (Bontoc town) and Consolacion. The Augustinians pursued the work left by the Jesuits, serving the spiritual and pastoral needs of the Sogodnons.

A move to create Sogod an independent pueblo was pushed by the tenientes del barrio (village chairmen) of Sogod, Consolacion, Libagon and Buntuk. These chieftains were Juan Cavales (Cabales), German Catajoy, Antonio Prima, Enero Cegales (Segales), Juan Dagaas, Juan Barcelon, Silverio Bilisa (Billesa) and Miguel Tubia.

On June 10, 1853, Juan Antonio de Urbiztondo and Jose Torres y Busquet, the provincial administrator of Leyte, formally declared the township of Sogod, separating it from the mother-municipality of Malitbog. The civil jurisdiction of Sogod covers the barrios of Punta, Magkasag, Mayuga, Libagon, Nahulid, Pinamasilan, Maak, Consolacion, Punong (Barangay La Purisima Concepcion), Buac (Barangay Buac Gamay), Malupao (Barangay San Isidro), Hipgasan (Barangay San Pedro), Sogod Poblacion, Malangsa (Barangay Santa Cruz), Buntuk, Divisoria, Union, Zamora (Barangay Buenavista), Paku, Hilaan, Bunga and Ta-a.

On May 14, 1866, Sogod was established as a parroquia (parish), under the advocacy of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The formal inauguration of the parish took place on August 8, 1869, by virtue of a Real Aprobacion (episcopal decree). Father Don Tomas Logroño was the first parish curate to be officially assigned in the area. During his term, the barrio of Libagon was temporarily created as a parish on 1869.

However, in 1886, Father Felipe Redondo, a Jesuit historian reports that the church, which was made of light materials, and the rectory were in bad condition. The old church traces to the initiative of the secular priest who built the church in the late 19th century. Today, there are no remains of Jesuit architecture in Sogod.[10]

The newly created municipality was governed by duly elected Gobernadorcillos, Presidente Municipales and Municipal Mayors like:[10]

Barangay Etymologies

Benit
The sitio, formerly under the territorial jurisdiction of Barangay Magatas, was established as a barangay on June 21, 1959, through the mandated provisions of Republic Act No. 2563.[11]
Buac Daku and Buac Gamay
Although "Burak" is the generic Cebuano term for "flower" (burak in Cebuano; bulaklak in Tagalog), now virtually unused, it specifically refers to the ilang-ilang (Cananga odorata), a tree whose flowers are very fragrant, and whose oil is used in the perfume industry. Barangay Buac Gamay houses the Consolacion Catholic Cemetery. Currently, Buac is divided into two villages with Buac Gamay in the south, occupying a small parcel of this large barrio, and Buac Daku in the north.
Cabadbaran
It is named after a local shrub or tree known as "Badba-an", which abounds in the area even at present. The barangay was officially established on June 21, 1959, through the provisions of the Republic Act No. 2563.[12] It was formerly a sitio of Barangay Libas.
Consolacion and Maac
This barangay is one of the oldest existing barrios in the municipality of Sogod. It was founded on February 3, 1730. It was earlier known as “Maak" which originated from the word “Maa,” or river current. The barangay straddles along five minor rivers: Buac, Combongbong, Maak, Magapso and Panong. Situated in a floodplain, these rivers would create flooding during the rainy months of June, July, September, October and November. Maak, which was renamed Consolacion during the Spanish era, was then originally undivided. Prior to the increasing population of the area, the barangay council decided to expand the area of the barangay. During the barrio’s enlargement, two major sitios in the barangay existed, Consolacion poblacion and Maak. The rapid growth of Sogod had benefited the village’s growth. As the years passed, more barrios were detached from Consolacion. The villages of Javier, Maac, Mahayahay, Maria Plana and Salvacion were created as a result of the barrio’s expansion.
Dagsa
Dagsa was made a barangay on June 21, 1959 through the mandated provisions of Republic Act No. 2563. The village was formerly a sitio of Barangay San Isidro.[13]
Hibod-Hibod
It was created as a barangay through the mandated provisions stated by the Republic Act No. 2563, dated June 21, 1959. Hibod-hibod was formerly a part of Barangay San Isidro.[14]
Hindangan
The barangay is named after the Hindang, also known as Anubing (Artocarpus ovatus), a tree reaching a height of about 30 meters and a diameter of about 100 centimeters. The tree is used to be an ilhanan (marker) of the barangay's location during the early-1920s. Hindangan was made as a barangay on June 21, 1959, through the provisions of the Republic Act No. 2563.[15]
Hipantag
This interior barangay was established on June 19, 1965, through the provisions mandated by the Republic Act No. 4306. Hipantag is only accessible by footpath with its starting point in Sitio Balintulay in Barangay Kahupian. It is one of the farthest barangays of Sogod.[16]
Immaculada Concepcion (Concepcion I) and La Purissima Concepcion (Concepcion II) 
This large village was named after its patroness, Nuestra Seniora de Inmaculada Concepcion. Sitio Punong, located along the shores of the municipality, was renamed as La Purissima Concepcion. The sitio was separated from Inmaculada Concepcion on June 21, 1959 through the provisions mandated by the Republic Act No. 2600.[17] The sitio was known to be a favorite fishing site during the 1960s, earning its name Punong (local term for fishpond). Mangko (Euthynnus affinis) once thrived the shores of this village.
Javier
Daniel Falcon Javier, a former teacher and principal of the Cebu Normal College (now Cebu Normal University), was a native of Barangay Consolacion. His achievement as a principal of the university and providing education, health and extensive farming activities to the communities of Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte and in Barangay Bugho, Abuyog, Leyte, gave prestige in naming the sitio after him. Bugho was renamed after him, eight (8) years after the barangay was elevated a municipality on 1957. The barrio was formerly a sitio of Barangay Maac.
Kahupian
It is the largest and northernmost barangay in the municipality of Sogod. Local residents of Kahupian accounted that the village was once flourished by the Hupi fruit. Because of this phenomenon, the place was coined "Kahupian," an area where the fruit is abundant. It was created as a barangay on June 19, 1971, under the mandated provisions by the Republic Act No. 6230. The sitios of Bood Taas, Tabunan, Hap-on, Kabugua-an, Tigbawan, Lubong Sapa, Kahupian-Centro and Pangalkagan (Sitio Balintulay) were drafted to the barangay during its creation.[18]
Kanangkaan
Named after the Nangka (Artocarpus heterophyllus), a species of tree in the mulberry family, Kanangkaan is one of the villages situated near the riverbanks of Subangdaku. Local villagers of this barrio narrated that a cluster of Nangka serves as boundary markers for the village’s territory. Kanangkaan became the adapted name of the barangay during its recognition as a barangay by the local government.
Kauswagan
It was created as a barangay on June 21, 1959 through the Republic Act No. 2563.[19] However it was on June 19, 1960 that the Republic Act No. 2810 was passed to ensure that the jurisdiction of the new barrio will be the sitios of Kantabuan, Baycasili, Mamingaw, Tag-abaca and Kampuwa. The name of the place means progress. Kauswagan was once a sitio of Barangay Libas.[20]
Libas
This large farming barrio is named after the Libas (Spondias pinnata), a medium-to-tall tree reaching a height of about 25 meters and a diameter of about 60 centimeters. The tree is endemic in the place and the villagers choose the tree as the namesake of the barangay. Coconut farming is the main livelihood of the people of Libas. Situated along the Bonbon River, Libas is one of the most populous barangays in the municipality.
Lum-an
It was once a sitio of Barangay Libas. The village is known for its waterfalls.
Mabicay
This landlocked barangay was formerly a sitio of Barangay Tampoong. Mabicay was established as on June 21, 1959, through the Republic Act No. 2563.[21]
Magatas
Magatas is landlocked village situated in a valley. The name of the barangay is derived from the word “Gatason”, because of the water flowing from the stream are whitish pr milk-like in color. This gatason phenomena originated from the kinds of trees found in the slopes of the barangay.
Mahayahay
It is one of the former sitios of Barangay Consolacion. "Mahayahay" is a local exclamation for airy or refreshing. Most of the residents here rely on farming and fishing.
Malinao
Malinao, earlier known as Ilo, was a sitio of Barangay Buac Gamay. In the vicinity of this small-sized barrio lies a large reservoir, which was described by the locals as Malinao or clear. This reservoir (or lake) is the main bulk of water supply in the southeastern villages of the town. The sitio was elevated into a barangay status on June 21, 1959 through the mandated provisions of Republic Act No. 2563. The Republic Act No. 2810 of June 19, 1960 reviewed the proper metes and boundaries of the village.[22]
Maria Plana
The barangay was formerly a sitio of Barangay Mahayahay. It was formally established as a barangay on June 21, 1959, through the provisions of Republic Act No. 2563.[23]
Milagroso
It existed as a barangay on June 21, 1959, through the provisions stated by the Republic Act No. 2563. The name Milagroso is vernacular for miraculous. Milagroso was once a part of Barangay San Roque. A circumferential road connects the barrio from Barangay San Roque and Barangay San Pedro.[24]
Olisihan
In the former days, the sitio of Olisihan was located in the top of a mountain ridge. The abundance of Olisi trees got the attention of the natives. The residents called it "Olisihan", a haven of Olisi trees. When the national highway was constructed in the mountains of the municipality, many barrio folks moved near the road, leaving the old site abandoned. The populace still remained in this area. Olisihan was formerly a sitio of Barangay Suba until it was granted as a barangay on June 21, 1959, through Republic Act No 2563.[25]
Pancho Villa
This densely populated barangay was formerly known as Pinamonoan. The named was changed in honor of the first Filipino boxer Pancho Villa. It was a sitio of Barangay Suba until June 21, 1959 when it was created as a barrio through the Republic Act No 2563.[26]
Pandan
The barangay was named after the Pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius). Settlers of this barrio once remarked that the village is thriving with Pandan. Barrio Pandan has become the site of a new 10-mega volt ampere Sogod power substation, solving the power supply shortage in the whole Sogod Bay area.[27]
Rizal
Named in honor of José Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines, Barangay Rizal has been the residential suburb of the town. Being a university town, Sogod has been the favorable site of students coming from the other parts of the province. The barangay is home to various low-price lodges, dormitories and apartments for students enrolled at the province's only state university. It was on June 21, 1959 that Rizal was elevated as a barangay through the provisions of Republic Act No. 2563.[28]
Salvacion
The zone expansion of Consolacion prompted to the creation of a new barrio called Salvacion. Two educational facilities are located in this highway barangay: the Consolacion Elementary School and the Consolacion National High School.
San Francisco Mabuhay
The barangay was founded on 1952 after the World War II. San Francisco Mabuhay is a combination of two words that lead to the creation of this far-flung barrio. Francisco Garlet, the teniente del barrio of this commune, spearheaded the move to declare the sitio as an independent barangay. Thus, the barrio was named Francisco. During its establishment, loud shouts of "Mabuhay, Mabuhay!" would circulate through the villagers. In addition, "San" (Spanish for Saint or Holy) was placed before "Francisco", as an honorary title of the founder of the new village. Later, Mabuhay was attached to the official name of the barangay. The place was recognized as a barangay on June 21, 1959 through the mandated provisions of Republic Act No. 2563.[29]
San Isidro
The village is known locally as Malupao. Nestled along the town's rice producing area, the barrio folks renamed it after San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers.
San Jose
The growth and expansion of the poblacion lead to the creation of this barangay on June 21, 1959. Representative Nicanor E. Yñiguez issued Republic Act. No. 2563 to established villages in the then 3rd District of Leyte.[30] San Jose's pebbled shorelines are dotted with beach resorts which attracted local tourists. Named after its patron saint, residents celebrate the annual fiesta of San Jose every March 19.
San Juan
The barangay was formerly known as Agta, a legendary creature that resides on trees and far-flung places. Many residents believed that the Agta owned and lived in the present site of the village. A certain educated stranger later emerged in the barrio and changed the name of the barangay. It was decided that barangay will be named after its patron saint, San Juan el Bautista. It was made a barangay on June 21, 1959 under Republic Act No. 2563. The sitios of Hubasan, Agta Proper, Manduduknay, Kabas-an and Cabadbaran were merged to the newly created barangay on June 19, 1960.[31]
San Miguel
San Miguel was once a mother barangay of the barrio of Pandan. According to old folks, the village got its name from a big tree called "Batang" found in the place whom the folks believed was floating in water when once there was a flood. Being predominantly Catholic, the residents decided that the barangay will be renamed in honor of their patron saint, San Miguel Arcangel.
San Pedro
The barangay was named after the Hipgasan River which passes through the village. The villagers changed its name after its patron saint, San Pedro Apostol.
San Roque
The barangay is named in honor of San Roque de Montpellier, the patron saint of pilgrims. San Roque is the site of the Southern Leyte State University (SLSU), the province's state university.
San Vicente
San Vicente was founded on 1950. Situated in the foot of a mountain, the place was subjected by mudslides. Hence, the word Anas, vernacular for "landslides", was adapted by the villagers as the name of the place. However, the name was later changed to the village's patron saint, San Vicente Ferrer. On June 21, 1959, the place was formally established as a barangay through the provisions of Republic Act No. 2563.[32]
Santa Maria
It was officially carved out from Barangay Libas on June 21, 1959, through the provisions of Republic Act No. 2563. The patron saint of the barangay is the Santo Niño de Cebú.[33]
Suba
Located along the Subangdaku River, Suba was once a barangay composed of Hipantag, Kahupian and San Francisco Mabuhay. It was dissolved on 1959, when the Congress approved the moved to create Hipantag, Pancho Villa and San Francisco Mabuhay to be barangays; Kahupian became a barrio on 1971.
Tampoong
It is one of the densely populated barangays in Sogod, having a population of more than 1,700 inhabitants.
Zone I
Zone I was formerly named after its patron saint, San Antonio de Padua. It is the residential, educational, and commercial core of the poblacion. The barrio houses the municipal hall, Regional Trial Court (RTC), Sogod Central School, Sogod SPED Center, Sogod National High School and other educational and commercial establishments.
Zone II
This barangay is popularly known by the residents as Kalanggaman, meaning a haven for birds.
Zone III
This historic barangay was formerly known as San Lorenzo Ruiz, the village's patron saint. Much of its site was the former locus of a Hispanic-era pueblo of Sogod. Barangay Zone III is the economic hub of the town with Sogod Integrated Market and Doctor Gonzalo Yong Bus Terminal as its prime landmarks.
Zone IV
It is the smallest political subdivision in Sogod.
Zone V
It is the most populous barangay in the municipality. Barangay Zone V is also the largest barangay, in terms of land area, among the poblacion districts. The barangay is the site of Southern Leyte Provincial Public Safety Company (SLPPSC) Headquarters, Gaisano Capital Mall of Sogod, Corrompido Specialty Hospital and among others.
  • Barangay articles that contains an asterisk (*) sign contains confusion and requires further analysis on the exact history of the said barangay. Please notify, edit, and add additional information to the articles above.

Geography

The town covered a total land area of 236.4 square kilometres (91.3 sq mi) until 1953.[34] On June 15, 1950, the Congress enacted Republic Act No. 522, creating the municipality of Bontoc. The act was proven to be lax in nature. The juridical boundaries of the newly-created township were not fully indicated, causing much tension between the municipalities of Sogod and Bontoc.

On April 4, 1959, a plebiscite headed by the Provincial Board of Leyte was conducted in the barangays of Lawgawan, Pangi, Santa Cruz, and Tuburan (the barangays of Casao and Taa were formerly a part of Barangay Santa Cruz and Barangay Libas at that time). The purpose of the plebiscite is to determine whether the people in these barrios would like to remain with the municipality of Sogod or with Bontoc. The plebiscite was conducted on August 1, 1952, and the results show that more votes were cast in favor of Sogod than those in favor of Bontoc.

After several months, the Provincial Board of Leyte recommended the Bontoc-Sogod dispute to the House of the Representatives and to the President of the Philippines. The resolution included the Sogod-claimed barangays, excluding the barangays of Lawgawan, Pangi, Santa Cruz and Tuburan, to be part of the municipality of Bontoc (Republic Act No. 522) and the placing of Granada Creek, an arm of the irrigation canals in Barangay Talisay, as the permanent boundary between the two towns. The barrios claimed by Sogod are the following:

  • Baugo
  • Bunga
  • Dao
  • Esperanza
  • Hibagwan
  • Himakilo
  • Mahayahay
  • Mauylab
  • Pamahawan

Several months later, on December 28, 1959, President Carlos P. Garcia, promulgated Executive Order No. 368, which reconstituted the barangays and sitios which organize the territorial jurisdiction of the municipalities of Bontoc and Sogod.

Many complaints and petitions were sent to the Provincial Board of Southern Leyte and to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) to reconcile the barangays to Sogod, but all are in vain.

Rice paddies in Barangay Salvacion with the Abuyog-Liloan Cordillera in the background.

As a result, the land area of the municipality was reduced to 19,270 hectares (47,600 acres) in land area. The municipality is situated in the northern portion of the province of Southern Leyte and in the south-central side of Leyte Island, facing the Sogod Bay.

The town is located 10°23'10 North Longitude and 124°58'48 East Latitude. It is approximately 72 kilometres east from the city of Maasin, the provincial capital of Southern Leyte; 127 kilometres south from Tacloban City, the regional centre of Eastern Visayas and the provincial capital of Leyte; 106 kilometres from Ormoc City, a port city on the northwestern coast of Leyte.

The town is bounded on the north by the municipality of Mahaplag, approximately 38 kilometres northbound via the Maharlika Highway; in the east are the municipalities of Silago, Hinunangan, and Saint Bernard; in the southeast is the municipality of Libagon, about 22 kilometres eastbound via the national highway; facing to the south is Sogod Bay, the only water form that divides the province from west to east; 6 kilometres southwest lies the municipality of Bontoc; in the west are the towns of Bato, Hindang, Hilongos, and Inopacan.

The Mahaplag-Sogod mountain rim is the boundary line of the two provinces of Leyte and Southern Leyte. Two bridges in Sitio Balintulay, Barangay Kahupian serve as markers for the boundary. In the east and west sides of the municipality are much similar to the north. The slopes serve as barricades from the municipalities facing the eastern Pacific. However, feeder roads in this part of the town are impassable during the rainy season. Frequent landslips occurred in this region. The southern part is bordered by rivers and creeks. The Santa Cruz Creek serves as a demarcation line between the towns of Bontoc and Sogod. Gakat Creek functions as boundary between Sogod and Libagon.

Topography

The municipality has flat-to-rolling plains in the southern part, with rivers crisscrossing the lowland. The rivers of Subangdaku and San Francisco are the major waterways of the town. The headwaters of these rivers are at the Abuyog-Liloan Cordillera and Mahaplag Cordillera. The rivers flow southward from the villages of Kahupian, Pancho Villa, San Francisco Mabuhay and San Juan to its mouth at the Sogod Bay near the Sogod poblacion.

Numerous springs are located in the town. Some of them are situated in Barangay Consolacion, Hibod-Hibod, Kahupian, Lum-an, Pancho Villa, and San Juan. The Magaupas Spring in Barangay Pandan and Banat-e Spring in Barangay San Pedro supplies the water needs of the Sogodnons. The distribution of water in the town is spearheaded by the Sogod Water District (SWD).

Rugged peaks covered the town’s northern area. These slopes are dotted with thick rain forests which served as habitat for rare species of flora and fauna, like the Philippine Eagle and Tarsier. Of the twenty-four mountains in Southern Leyte province, five are located in Sogod. These are the mountains of Bitanhuan (3,169 feat/966 meters), Cagbano (725 feet/221 meters), Capuloan (2,583 feet/787 meters), Llave (2,583 feet/787 meters) and Panjongon (1,259 feet/384 meters).[35]

Recently, two new species of frogs belonging to the genus Platymantis were discovered specifically inhabiting the montane and mossy forests of the Nacolod Mountain Range (the Hinunangan-Silago-Sogod corridor of Abuyog-Liloan Cordillera) in Southern Leyte. Both species differ markedly from other known species of Philippine Platymantis frogs by their body size, coloration patterns, and advertisement calls. The two species are allied to two different species groups, the Platymantisguentheri group and Platymantishazelae group. This is the first time that a Platymantis species belonging to the Hazelae group has been discovered in Mindanao faunal region, of which the island of Leyte belongs to.[36]

There are three mountain ranges that separates the municipality from the other towns of the province, these are: Baybay-Maasin Cordillera, the Abuyog-Liloan Cordillera and Mahaplag mountain range.

  • The Baybay-Maasin Cordillera consists of rolling hills and varied upland plains. This area is known for its lush and productive coconut and abaca plantations. Rice paddies formed the rest of the agricultural thicket of the area.
  • The Abuyog-Liloan Cordillera is regarded as the bounty for endangered animals such as tarsiers, eagles, deers and monkeys. The mountain range has an altitude of about 2,000 above sea level. In the recent years, this part of the province had experienced deforestation. Due to massive exploitation of hardwood in the area, it resulted to severe flowing of the Subangdaku River and landslides in Sogod’s mountain villages. In mid-1980s, the Philippine Government issued the banning of timber cutting in the entire country, leading to the massive restoration of the forests in the country.
  • The Mahaplag cordillera is an arm of the Abuyog-Liloan mountain range and has the same characteristics with the other mountain ranges. Being isolated by human activities, it is also home to rare species of flora and fauna.

Sogod is a coastal town. The bay that divides the province into two regions is named after the municipality. Noted for its rocky beaches and mangrove thickets, the town has the shortest shoreline in the province.

Subangdaku River

Main article: Subangdaku River
Subang Daku River

Subangdaku is the largest river in the province of Southern Leyte that empties into Sogod Bay.Based on physical description of rivers, Subangdaku can be considered a braided river since there are several channels that divide and reunite forming an alluvial fan with very wide floodplain. It is this floodplain that becomes flooded during a strong typhoon of heavy rainfall and the time when sediments of various sizes are deposited. The larger materials are deposited first while the finest materials such as silt and clay are deposited last as the river moves towards its mouth to meet the sea. This is a natural occurrence.[37]

The town of Sogod and some barangays along the banks of Subangdaku may be affected by a strong flood similar to that experienced with Typhoon Amy in 1951. Typhoon Amy had the strength and volume of water that caused sediments of various sizes to roll downstream sweeping away several villages, vegetation, and farm animals. Older persons in the villages have never forgot such devastation. After the typhoon, lots of logs were seen floating in Sogod Bay together with dead bodies. For months, the people of Sogod and surrounding villages did not eat fish caught from the bay.

Recent typhoons did not result to the terrible destruction brought about by Typhoon Ami. Flooding happens only during heavy rains. Some of the destroyed agricultural lands were those long the floodplain that were reclaimed by local people when this portion dried out possibly as a result of quarrying and rechanneling activities.[38] The river has been known to meander along its course, ever changing its way over time.

In 2001, portion of the road and banks in Barangay San Miguel along the river have been destroyed.[37] The road slip hampered the economic activities of the local residents as well as national because the destroyed portion is part of the Philippine National Road. The local officials blamed the rechannelization and uncontrolled quarrying of gravel and sand at the side of river as the cause of the flood. At a meeting on March 18, 2002, a government agency alleged that the reason of the incidents of flood and other environmental problems in the river was due to the Philippine Fault System which caused rocks to rumble down. However, the reason was contended because the fault is a geological feature and environmental problems in the province just occurred that time.[37]

Exploitation

For years, following the floodings of the river, Subangdaku created an issue over the province. The quarrying in the area became rampant and destructive. After many attempts of conserving the site, the issue remained unsolved until today.

In June 9, 1993, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) recommended to the then Southern Leyte Governor Oscar Tan, for the rechannelling of the river in order to “redirect the flow of water straight to the bridge (present Subangdaku Bridge in Barangay Suba) waterway.” A permit was granted to Shemberg with the “objective of rechannelling the meandering Subangdaku River, thereby protecting the existing infrastructure, the lives and properties of Sogodnons” in July 13, 1993. Rechannelling was commenced shortly after. In 1998, a group of Sogodnons complained about the destruction in the river allegedly due to the quarrying operations of Shemberg. Supporting papers in 1998 backed the continued rechannelling operations of said company, thus quarrying and rechanneling activities were resumed.

Shemberg-Rockland Marketing Corporation was granted an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) by the Regional Department of Environment of Natural Resources (DENR-8), through the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-8), to conduct quarrying operations in the river. Although the ECC allowed them to extract 60,000 cubic meters per year (ECC granted by DENR Regional Executive Director Augustus L. Momongan on June 25, 1993), some sectors in the local community believe that what was extracted was more than this amount. For instance, it was alleged that small operators and local residents also collect sand and gravel and sell them to Shemberg. In addition, on June 5, 1998, MGB-8 issued a renewal of permit (SAG No. IP-98-011) to Shemberg Marketing Corporation (SMC) allowing it to extract 350,000 cubic meters for five years, renewable for the same period and volume. This amount has increased by 10,000 cubic meters annually. Aside from Shemberg, there were also other operators that extracted SAG such as Reeline Commercial Aggregates and a Gaudencio Ang.

On December 12, 2001, Typhoon Nanang brought heavy rains causing bank erosion and damage to a road in Barangay San Miguel. Shemberg however denies responsibility for the destruction. It reports that its total concession area is only 19 hectares which occupies about 2 kilometers of the river and that its “upstream boundary is located near the concrete structure, at the bend of San Miguel and is approximately 300 meters downstream of the newly collapsed road pavement.”

The Save Subangdaku Movement (SSDM) requested for assistance from the people hearing mass at the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parishduring the celebration of the town fiesta on December 15, 2001.

The local officials blamed the rechannelization and uncontrolled quarrying of gravel and sand at the side of river as the cause of the flood. At a meeting on March 18, 2002, a government agency alleged that the reason of the incidents of flood and other environmental problems in the river was due to the Philippine Fault System which caused rocks to rumble down. However, the reason was contended because the fault is a geological feature and environmental problems in the province just occurred that time.

In response, the Institute for Environmental Conservation and Research (INECAR) team visited Sogod in May 20–23 and September 2–3, 2002 to investigate the alleged impacts of quarrying in the river. Some of the local residents, the SSDM in particular, feared that the cause of the destruction of a portion of the road in Barangay San Miguel was quarrying. They were also worried that the present destruction is a prelude to a larger destruction that will affect the town of Sogod itself and adjacent villages when the rainy and typhoon season comes.

The team identifies the probable reasons why the roadslip and erosion occurred in Barangay San Miguel are: a) increased in energy upstream as a result of rechanneling downstream and b) the river has been fragmented by quarrying operations creating channels that are directed towards the area of the barangay concerned.[37]

The provincial government pushed for immediate rechanneling of Subangdaku considering that the river has been tagged by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-8) as very susceptible to flash floods. The restoration led to the construction of dikes along the barangays of Suba, San Isidro, San Miguel and Inmaculada Concepcion in 2007.[39]

An irrigation dam was constructed beneath the Subangdaku Bridge I in Barangay Suba to control the flow of the current to the farmlands in the southeastern portion of the municipality. However, the dam was destroyed after strong river currents breached the infrastricture in January 2011.

The Subangdaku Bridge II was inaugurated on March 2013, connecting it to Barangay San Miguel and Barangay Inmaculada Concepcion. The construction of the new viaduct was part of the restoration plan in Subangdaku.

Today

The provincial government is seeking for the immediate suspension of two-decade-old quarrying operation in the river after numerous violations done by the permit holders. Last August 20, 2013, Governor Roger Mercado told the press that the government is "waiting for the complete assessment report from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) and Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)."

The suspension of sand and gravel extraction of Subangdaku will give way to delineation of the areas as part of the revised rechanneling plan. Extractors are to resume operations after implementing the rechanneling plan, under the supervision of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO).

The governor added that the Cebu-based Shemberg Marketing Corporation "keep on renewing from MGB-8 since 1993." The quarrying firm never sought an approval from the provincial governor and committed a grave violation under existing environmental laws and the local government code.

Records of the MGB regional office showed that as of June 2013, there are two existing sand and gravel industrial permits. Shemberg Marketing Corporation has the biggest concession area at 19 hectares. Selena Salas, a permit holder from Cebu City were given go signal to quarry in 12.53 hectares.There are two pending application for sand and gravel industrial permits in the area. These local firms are owned by Emily Chiongbian and Rodolfo Gervacio with a combined proposed extraction area of 13.73 hectares.

Despite of the clarion for suspension, MGB clarified thatthe provincial government of Southern Leyte has no authority to suspend quarrying operations along Subangdaku. The latter can only recommend for suspension of sand and gravel extraction but it has to be approved by the MGB regional office. The office also added that the permit holders have no violations.[40]

Sogod Bay

Main article: Sogod Bay

Sogod is situated at the head of Sogod Bay. The bay, home to a variety of fishes, provided food and livelihood to the people of Sogod and nearby municipalities.

The Subangdaku River is a major tributary of the bay, emptying into the bay at the municipality of Sogod. Human activity, such as quarrying and rechanneling, within the rivers watershed has disturbed the river's ecology. This has resulted in degraded habitats of Sogod Bay and major water quality issues of the area.

Sogod-Bontoc Boundary Dispute

On June 15, 1950, Congress passed Republic Act No. 522 creating the municipality of Bontoc, formerly a barrio under the municipality of Sogod. The newly-constituted town was composed of the barrios of Beniton, Bontoc, Catmon, Divisoria, Hilaan, Mahayahay, Paku, Santa Cruz, Taa, Union and their corresponding sitios.

A boundary dispute however, later arose between the municipalities of Bontoc and Sogod with the latter claiming that the former exercised jurisdiction not only over the barrios above-mentioned but also over other ten barangays allegedly belonging to Sogod.

The Provincial Board of Leyte issued Resolution No. 617 directing the holding of a plebiscite among the barrios of Pangi, Taa, Santa Cruz, Tuburan, Lawgawan and their corresponding sitios on June 17, 1952,. The purpose of the plebiscite is to determine whether the people in these villages would like to remain with Sogod or with Bontoc. The plebiscite was conducted on August 1, 1952, and the results show that more votes were cast in favor of Sogod.

On April 4, 1959, the Provincial Board of Leyte issued Resolution No. 519 recommending to the President of the Philippines and/or to the Congress of the Philippines that Republic Act 522 be amended to include in the said republic act the following barrios claimed by Sogod but not included in the said law, namely: Baugo, Bunga, Dao,Esperanza, Hibagwan, Himakilo, Mahayahay, Mauylab and Pamahawan. The Board also recommended that a law be enacted annexing to the town of Sogod the barrios which are nearest to Sogod and are claimed by the latter but are included in the law creating Bontoc, namely: Lawgawan, Pangi, Santa Cruz, Taa andTuburan.The board further recommended that the boundary line between the two municipalities be placed at Granada Creek.

Presidente Carlos P. Garcia promulgated Executive Order No. 368, which approved the recommendation of the provincial board of Leyte and reconstituted the barrios and sitiosunder the territorial dispute between the two municipalities with Granada Creek as its boundary line, on December 28, 1959.

However, on July 14, 1960, then Executive Secretary Castillo sent a telegram to the Provincial Board of Southern Leyte which states as follows:

BY DIRECTION OF PRESIDENT PLEASE SUSPEND IMPLEMENTATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDER 368 SERIES 1959 RECONSTITUTION (sic) BARRIOS AND SITIOS TO COMPOSE MUNICIPALITIES OF SOGOD AND BONTOC AND READJUSTING TERRITORIES SAID MUNICIPALITIES UNTIL FURTHER ADVISE STOP TO DETERMINE TRUE WISHES OF INHABITANTS PLEASE SUPERVISE HOLDING OF PLEBISCITE IN BARRIO AND SITIOS AFFECTED ADVISING THIS OFFICE IMMEDIATELY OF RESULT.

SEC. CASTILLO (P. 20, Rollo)

The Provincial Board of newly established Southern Leyte passed Resolution No. 62 suspending the implementation of Executive Order 368 on July 18, 1960. The Board also created a committee to conduct the holding of a plebiscite in the barrios and sitios affected by the Executive Order and to finally settle the boundary dispute.

On June 24, 1970, the municipality of Sogod filed Civil Case No. R-1706 for certiorari and prohibition with the Court of First Instance of Southern Leyte (now Regional Trial Court [RTC]), to enjoin the provincial board and provincial governor from taking cognizance of the long pending boundary dispute between the two municipalities and to enjoin Bontoc town from exercising territorial jurisdiction over the said barrios. However, the trial court dismissed the action for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case on August 31, 1973.

On December 17, 1973, the trial court denied petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition was filed alleging that the respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the case.[41]

Climate

Precipitation is throughout the year making agriculture favorable. Two climate conditions exist: Type D, which is characterized by rainfall more or less evenly distributed all year round and Type E, with no dry season and a very pronounced maximum rainfall from November to January.[42]

Type E affects the eastern part of Sogod and Type D affects the western part of Sogod. The Subangdaku river serves as a dividing line between the two climate conditions.

Climate data for Sogod, Southern Leyte, Philippines
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29
(84)
30
(86)
31
(88)
32
(90)
33
(91)
32
(90)
31
(88)
31
(88)
31
(88)
31
(88)
31
(88)
30
(86)
33
(91)
Average low °C (°F) 23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
24
(75)
25
(77)
25
(77)
24
(75)
24
(75)
24
(75)
24
(75)
24
(75)
23
(73)
23
(73)
Precipitation mm (inches) 415
(16.34)
261
(10.28)
233
(9.17)
68
(2.68)
131
(5.16)
170
(6.69)
132
(5.2)
234
(9.21)
301
(11.85)
185
(7.28)
259
(10.2)
242
(9.53)
2,631
(103.58)
Source: http://www.sunmap.eu/weather/asia/philippines/southern-leyte/sogod

Demographics

Population census of Sogod
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 31,342 —    
1995 31,062 −0.17%
2000 37,402 +4.06%
2007 39,864 +0.88%
2010 41,411 +1.40%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]

People

While ethnicity of the municipality is widely Boholanos and Cebuanos, most people in Sogod are farmers and fisherfolks. The Surigaonons, Tagalogs and the Waray-warays comprise the minorities in the town.

Population

The Sogod District Hospital registered a total population of 40,064 individuals, fairly divided among the town’s forty-five (45) barangays. But as of 2010 National Statistics Office (NSO) Census, the municipality of Sogod has 41,411 inhabitants. The town ranks second, after Maasin City, in terms of population in the province.

Of about 3,382 inhabitants, Barangay Zone V is the most populous barangay in Sogod, followed by Barangay Zone III and Barangay Maac with the population of 1,934 inhabitants and 1,869 inhabitants, respectively.

But the barangay with the lowest population is Barangay Lum-an, having a population of only 90 individuals; followed by Barangay Hindangan and Barangay Buac Daku with the population of 116 individuals and 119 individuals.

Pandan, Rizal, San Jose, San Miguel, San Pedro, San Roque, Tampoong and Casao and Santa Cruz in Bontoc are the immigration barangays within the poblacion. Migrants from other barangays of Sogod, especially those of the hinterlands, move and settle in these areas.

Nowadays, mountain barangays like Benit, Lum-an, Hindangan, Hipantag, Maria Plana and Santa Maria are experiencing a decline in numbers in population. Employment and livelihood lead the people from these barangays to migrate to the poblacion and other urban centers in the province (i.e. Baybay, Maasin, Ormoc and Tacloban). The distance of these barrios from the town proper is one of the factors that greatly affected these areas.

This migratory pattern is called Rural Exodus. It is exacerbated when the population decline leads to the loss of rural services (such as business enterprises and schools), which leads to greater loss of population as people leave to seek those features.

Language

Cebuano is the major language spoken in the municipality. The speech variety used by the people has also Boholano (Bol-anon) intonation because of its proximity to Bohol province.

Waray-Waray and Surigaonon is regarded as a secondary language. However, Tagalog is still the lingua franca when conversing to other ethnic groups.

Natives also understood foreign languages such as English, Chinese and Spanish.

Religion

Most Reverend Precioso D. Cantillas, S.D.B., D.D. (Left), head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maasin, and Reverend Monsignor Nestor Astillo (right), parish priest of the Immaculate Conception Parish of Sogod.

The majority of the population of Sogod belongs to the Roman Catholic Church with a percentage of about 93% of the total population. 7% adheres to Protestantism and Islam. The present parish church, which was constructed in the 1960s, is one of the largest churches in the whole Roman Catholic Diocese of Maasin. Sogod is considered to be the stronghold of the Catholic faith in the whole province because of its large number of adherents, despite growing proselytism by Protestants.

Sogod was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1616 as a mission station. Datu Bangkaw, together with Father Fabricio Sersali, constructed the first Catholic chapel in the village (made out of cogon and nipa). Following the construction of the chapel, the mission station in Sogod was attended by the Jesuits from the residencias (residence) of Hilongos, Cabalian (present-day San Juan town) and of Carigara, main headquarters of the Jesuit mission in Leyte.

Religions in Sogod
Roman Catholicism
  
93%
Protestantism
  
6.6%
Islam
  
0.4%

Other Christian sects such as the Seventh-day Adventist Church, United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Members Church of God International, Filipino Crusaders World Army (Moncados), Sogod Fundamental Baptist Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches of the Philippines (CAMACOP)-Sogod Alliance Church, Assemblies of God and among others, set and maintain their churches in christening the town.

Every barangay and sitio has its own Roman Catholic chapel under the guidance of a patron saint. The municipality is under the intercession of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Sogod parish is the seat of the Vicariate of the Immaculate Conception, which is composed of six parishes (Bontoc, Barangay Consolacion, Barangay Divisoria, Libagon, Sogod and Tomas Oppus parishes). The Consolacion parish was created on 1967, under the patronage of the Holy Child Jesus (Santo Niño) and celebrates their fiesta on every Last Saturday of January.

Culture

Beliefs

Although most people are Christians, a very few who live in remote villages of the municipality hold-on to Pre-Hispanic influences in making offerings and sacrifices before planting their crops. Farmers ritually sacrifice chickens and pigs to ensure that the spirits or elementals which they believe to be the cause of good harvest will grant them.

Religious Events

The town fiesta is celebrated in the municipality with prayer, foods, drinks, dance and music. Every barangay in the town have their own distinct date of celebration. Sogod pays homage to the patroness, Immaculate Conception of Mary, every 14th and 15 December.

Roman Catholicism

Catholicism is a deeply rooted institution in this municipality within 93% of the entire populace embracing the faith. On May 8, 2011, the Diocese of Maasin underwent reshuffling of the appointment of priests of their respected assignments.

Monsignor Nestor S. Astillo, PC and Father Pepito Generan, Jr., are the new parish curate and parochial vicar of the Immaculate Conception of Mary Parish of Sogod. Father Jose Benito D. Labrador replaced Father Norberto Cordoves as parish priest the Holy Child Parish of Barangay Consolacion.

Sogod, under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maasin since 1968, is divided into two parishes, namely:

  • Holy Child Parish, Barangay Consolacion
  • Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Barangay Rizal (Poblacion)

Holy Child Parish

Holy Child Parish

The Holy Child Parish of Barangay Consolacion was established in 1967 by the Bishop Teotimo Pacis, Archdiocese of Palo. As of the 1993 census, the total Catholic population is 9,616.

At present, the parish has maintained a number of mandated religious organizations which are active in the various fields of church apostolates, namely: Catholic Women's League, Legion of Mary, Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement, and cofradias (confraternities) like the Birhen sa Lourdes (Our Lady of Lourdes), Sagrada Corazon (Sacred Heart), Inahan sa Kanunayng Panabang (Our Lady of Perpetual Help), San Jose (Saint Joseph) and San Antonio (Saint Anthony of Padua). Other organizations are the Knights of the Santo Niño (established by Father Oliver Edulan), Lay Ministers, Catechists, Catholic Faith Lay Apostolic Movement of the Philippines (CF-LAMP), Parish Emergency Action Team and the Knights of the Altar (KOA).

From September 1992 to March 1993, the parish launched an intensive doctrinal and spiritual formation program through the Catholic Faith Lay Apostolic Movement of the Philippines (CF-LAMP), a local group tasked of defending the Catholic faith from proselytizing sects. This program has brought about remarkable conversations especially among the nominal and indifferent Catholics that the effects have been dubbed balik-Simbahan. One of the fruits of this program is that the barrio faithful have also embarked on renovations and extensions of their respective chapels.

It is the hope of the parish to mold, form and activate small Christian communities so that they will ultimately become the images of Christ here on earth – that of a worshipping, evangelizing, and serving community.

  • The titular name of the patron, which was carried by the parish as well, is the name Holy Child.
  • Schedules may change, varied, delayed or postponed. Some has no exact date or reference.

Immaculate Conception Parish

Immaculate Conception Parish

"Sogod", Cebuano term meaning "to start" and this word aptly describes this booming town located at the innermost part of the bay on the southern portion of Leyte island. One look at the map of the island, and one certainly cannot miss this town.[43]

Aptly so, because Sogod is where thousand start their journey to other parts of the archipelago. In other words, this town is a junction to many places. One can take a ride to the capital city with ease, for buses and jeepneys go there by the hour. You need to go to a regional office in Tacloban City, and several buses a day can take you there. The ferry terminal in Liloan is just an hour's ride away, and Mindanao is almost at the doorstep from there. A trip to Manila is not a problem, for long-distance transport is available. Indeed, Sogod is a good place to start when one wants to go to somewhere.[43]

Demised Mariologists may turn in their graves, but the patroness of Sogod can also be said to be a Sogodnon. For, technically speaking (may God allow the use of this phrase in His divine plan), Immaculada Concepcion speaks of the beginning of the Incarnation. The Blessed Virgin, chosen by God to become the Mother of his Son, is starting her earthly life through an "Immaculate Conception" in her mother's womb. Aptly chosen as the patroness of the parish as well by the community, indeed.[43]

Immaculate Conception Shrine

Of course, under the mantle of the Our Lady, the Sogodnons have already begun their journey towards salvation. It all began when the people of Sogod started building a church of light materials. But Moro pirates, as legend tells it, razed the structure to the ground. Unfazed, the people again started to build another church – now made of strong materials, and a watchtower. The Moro invaders returned and burned and destroyed the church and the watch tower. In spite of these tragedies, the people remained where they were. It is regarded as a test of faith to see their churches burned time and again, the Sogodnons transformed their community into a church with a capital 'C'. This community – God's people became a parish on May 14, 1866, under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary by virtue of a Real Aprobacion. Another leg of the journey had been overcome.

The history of Sogod Parish seems to be an endless cycle of starts and beginnings (Even its present church building which was started in the early 1960s and considered one of the biggest in the diocese is still unfinished.) But this is where one can find the charm of the place and its people. Undaunted by events that somehow destroy what they had begun, the Sogodnons can always be counted to rise up and start all over again.

  • The chaos of the Japanese occupation (1941-1944) brought during the Second World War resulted in the disarray of the Catholic populace, most of whom struggled for survival during the nadir point of Sogod’s history. The end of the Second World War re-awakened the people’s awareness of their being a Church community, but it was long and tedious process. The Filipino priests encouraged the establishment of traditional mandated or devotional religious organizations or cofradias. But one of the extant documents states that only few Catholics attended Holy Mass regularly. Another report stated that majority of the faithful could not avail of the Church’s services due to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the hinterland barrios. In general, the local clergy had difficulty in tending to their apostolic tasks. Unfortunately, due to the war, the town lost majority of its records and documents that could give an accurate historical account of the parish of Sogod.
  • Schedules may change, delayed or postponed.

Economy

Banking and Finance

Major industries
Charcoal (Burnt Coconut shells), Abaca Fibers, Ceramics, Furnitures, Garments,
Hollow Blocks, Gravel, Sand, Rice Refining, Textiles, Saw Mill
Major products
Rice, white corn, sugar cane, copra, Abaca production, root crops, bread,
Coconuts, Poultry, Hog Raising, fisheries
Gaisano Capital Sogod is one of the largest well-known department stores in the province.

At present, the municipality still relies much on the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) from the national government. However, it is worthwhile noting that local revenue collection has been increasing from year to year without passing a new revenue-raising ordinance. Sogod is now classified as a second class municipality.

The total Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) share of Sogod for the fiscal year of 2012 was PhP 64,820,215.00 and PhP 24,200,000.00 for the local-sourced revenues that become one of the fastest growing economies in province.

Gaisano Capital Group, one of largest shopping mall chains in the country, opened its first branch in the province during the town’s 158th founding anniversary on June 10, 2011.[45]

Generally, rice is the staple food of the province of Southern Leyte. Rural folks, however, prefer root crops which is abundant in the place. Native delicacies of the municipality include tres marias, suman, bocarillo, salvaro, bibingka, dawa-dawa, ampaw, puto, biko, empanada, and starhoy.

Industry

Manufacturing and trade

Port of Sogod - trade route used for export that links to Cebu City, Mindanao and other neighboring provinces

Manufacturing is small scale: charcoal (burnt coconut shells or uling), abaca products, ceramics, coconut oil, furniture making, hollow block making, and gravel and sand. Export products are copra, abaca, abaca handicrafts and fiber craft items.

Minerals

As of 1992, the province of Southern Leyte's metallic reserves totaled 771,830 metric tons. All of the municipalities and one city in the province have mineral deposits including Sogod. The town has magnesite, gold, silver and copper deposits. However, Sogod's mountains are unexplored and the soil is not suitable for mining due to soft clay surface.

Metalworks

Except for blacksmithing, work is undertaken principally in the poblacion and in the barrios of Sogod, turning out working bolos, machete and steel fabrication of window grills and other household needs; metalwork for the past years changed but the old process in molding metals are still being used. The body repairs of vehicles are carried out by small metal shops, doubling as jack-of-all-trade. Metalwork is concerned with an accessory fabrication for pump boats that abound in the town's waters and building construction where steel had replaced the disappearing wood as housing material.

Media

Two provincial newspapers are circulating in the town, these are the Southern Leyte Times (English) and the Southern Leyte Balita (Cebuano). The newspapers are based in the capital city of Maasin and gives accurate and constructive news in the province of Southern Leyte and Leyte. National newspapers such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star and the Manila Bulletin have reached the town before the establishment of provincial newspaper companies.

Radio Station

There are two radio stations operating in Sogod: Radyo ng Bayan Sogod (DYSL-FM 104.7), a branch of the Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS), and the Radyo Natin Sogod (DYSC 101.1 FM), one of the radio stations owned by Radyo Natin Network.

Cable Television

The Sogod Cable TV, owned by Congressman Roger G. Mercado, provides forty (40) to fifty (50) channels with affordable payment for every month. Recently, the cable television upgraded its facilities expanded their services eastward, providing excellent receptions from the barrio folks. Also, Dream Satellite TV and Cignal Digital TV are operating in the town and in other places in the province.

Local Government

Municipal Officials

The second automated Philippine elections, held on May 13, 2013, had elected new local officials for the whole province of Southern Leyte.

In the municipality of Sogod, Imelda Uy-Tan (LP), current barangay chairwoman of Barrio San Roque and spouse of Mayor-turned-Vice Governor Shefferd Lino Siengco Tan, won against her rival opponent, Isidro Estrera (NUP). Her running mate, Vice Mayor Rufo Olo (LP) also won against former Mayor Edmund Villa (NUP).

Tan had won over 6,266 votes despite Estrera’s 4,623 votes in the mayoralty race while Olo managed 5,255 votes and Villa with 5,162 votes for the vice-mayoralty position.[46]

These are the 2013-2016 elected municipal officials, effective on June 30, 2013:

  • Mayor: Imelda U. Tan
  • Vice-Mayor: Rufo C. Olo
  • Sangguniang Bayan Members (Municipal Councilors):
    • Jose Ramil Golo
    • Jackson Yap
    • Napoleon Regis
    • Tommy Dejarme
    • Jose Autida
    • Nilo Casil
    • Reynaldo Golo
    • Eliseo Faelnar
    • Salvador Olayvar (Association of Barangay Councils President)
    • Christine Joy Olo (Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President)

Political Subdivisions

Sogod Municipal Hall

Sogod is politically subdivided into forty-five (45) barangays; ten (10) districts compose the poblacion (town proper) of the municipality. These are the barangays of Rizal, San Jose, San Pedro, San Roque, Tampoong, Zone I, Zone II, Zone III, Zone IV and Zone V.

Barrio Kahupian is the largest subdivision in the municipality. Though rustic and sleepy, villagers of Kahupian boast of the Agas-Agas Bridge, the highest viaduct in the Philippines. This massive engineering feat is vital for the Pan-Philippine Highway. Agas-agas, Cebuano for flowing water or constant mudslides, link the two provinces of Leyte and Southern Leyte.

Kahupian is locally known as the seedbed of abaca and copra industries in Sogod. The abaca is a large herbaceous plant of the banana family that yields Manila hemp. The hemp is extracted from the trunk or pseudostem. The fiber was originally used for making twines and ropes; now most abaca is pulped and used in a variety of specialized paper products including tea bags, filter paper and banknotes. While the copra is the dried coconut meat extracted into coconut oil, an edible oil used for food, medicine and industry. These industries brought great economic impact to the local farmers of the town.

Sogod Municipal Trial Court alongside with the municipal jail.

The barangay of Kahupian has a total population of about 1,400 individuals, each distributed in six sitios, namely: Balintulay, Centro, Hagna, Kabernal, Lubong Sapa, and Silao Bato.

Other large villages are San Francisco Mabuhay, Hipantag, Kauswagan, Javier, Hindangan and Magatas. All of these barangays are located in the northern mountainous area of the town and are accessible by habal-habal via feeder roads (with the exception of Barangay Javier, which is reachable by jeepneys and motorcabs plying, via the national highway, for Libagon town).

Zone IV, situated in the centermost area of the poblacion, is the smallest subdivision in the entire municipality of Sogod. It is the residential and commercial hub of the town having a population of more than 500 inhabitants. The barangay is the site of the Sogod Auditorium, Police Station, Firemen’s Hall, the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) Office, Rural Health Unit (RHU) Building, a government-run birthing facility and other national and provincial offices.

Most of the smaller barangays are found in densely populated areas in the municipality, particularly in the poblacion and the southeastern part. These barangays are Zone I, Zone II, Zone III, Zone IV and Zone V, San Jose, Rizal, Mabicay and Consolacion.

These are the districts that constitute the municipality of Sogod:[34]

Education

Number of Schools
Saint Thomas Aquinas College (STAC).JPG
Saint Thomas Aquinas College
Literacy Rate 98%
Pre-Elementary : Public: 28
Private: 6
Elementary : Public: 28
Private: 7
Secondary : Public: 3
Private: 1
Tertiary : Public: 1
Private: 2

Recently, the municipality of Sogod is divided into two school districts. The school districts under the Department of Education (DepEd), oversee the implementation of programs and thrusts of the department. The School districts are consists of Sogod (Sogod Central School) as the center of the west district and Barangay Consolacion (Consolacion Elementary School) as the center of the east district.

Secondary education is being provided by three National High Schools and a Catholic-run institution, which makes the municipality as a thriving centre for education in the north-central part of the province. Last year, Representative Damian G. Mercado filed two house bills, namely: House Bill No. 1743 and House Bill No. 1739, establishing National Vocational High Schools in the barangays of Kahupian and San Isidro. Students from the northern barangays of Benit, Hibod-hibod, Hipantag, Kahupian, Magatas, Pancho Villa, San Isidro, San Juan, San Francisco Mabuhay, San Isidro, San Vicente and Suba would travel to the poblacion or to Barangay Polahongon in Mahaplag for basic High School education. The House Bills are now waiting for approbation in the Congress.

Tertiary Education is being concentrated by four educational colleges with Ormoc City Institute of Technology as the latest addition to the town’s educational facilities.

List of Elementary Schools

List of Secondary Schools

Name of School Address
Consolacion National High School (CNHS) National Highway, Barangay Salvacion
Libas National High School (LNHS) Barangay Libas
Saint Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) Concepcion Street, Barangay Zone IV (Poblacion)
Sogod National High School (SNHS) Flores Street, Barangay Zone I (Poblacion)

List of Colleges and Universities

Name of College/University Address
Ormoc City Institute of Technology - Sogod Branch (OCIT) Panfilo Regis Building, Leopoldo Regis Street, Barangay Zone V (Poblacion)
Saint Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) Concepcion Street, Barangay Zone IV (Poblacion)
Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) Main Campus Concepcion Street, Barangay San Roque (Poblacion)

Health

Sogod District Hospital

The health services in the municipality are attended by doctors, nurses, midwives who are assigned in the Sogod District Hospital (SDH), the Rural Health Centers (RHC), and Barangay Health Stations (BHS). One of the oldest existing health centers, Sogod District Hospital has a total bed capacity of fifty. Three private-owned hospitals are also operating in the town.

Many medical clinics are also located in the town, offering a wide range of healthcare services in Southern Leyte province.

List of Hospitals

Name of Hospital Address
Consuelo K. Tan Memorial Medical Center, Inc. (established in 1960) Osmeña Street, Barangay Zone II (Poblacion)
Corrompido Specialty Hospital (established in 1960) Leopoldo Regis Street, Barangay Zone V (Poblacion)
Pudpud Polyclinic and Specialty Hospital National Highway, Barangay San Miguel
Sogod District Hospital (created on June 18, 1960, through the provisions stated by the Republic Act No. 2693) Osmeña Street, Barangay Zone I (Poblacion)

Transportation

Sogod Bus Terminal

Jeepneys, habal-habals and potpots are a common means of public transportation in the municipality. A converted army jeep outfitted with many decorations, jeeepneys are often used for short trips and are an integral part of the town’s public transportation system. Habal-habal is a motorcycle modified to seat more than two persons. It is used by commuters plying for the interior and far-flung areas of the municipality. A potpot is a type of an auto rickshaw carrying nine to twelve passengers, including the driver.

Jeepneys in the town bound for these routes:

  • Sogod – Bato/Hilongos
  • Sogod – Maasin City
  • Sogod – Malitbog/Padre Burgos
  • Sogod – TONC
  • Sogod – Paku
  • Sogod – Libagon
  • Sogod – Himay-angan/Liloan
  • Sogod – Saint Bernard/Hinunangan

Most habal-habals in the Sogod Bay area are at the municipal bus terminal. These motorcycles terminate at:

  • Mahaplag town proper
  • Polahongon
  • Kahupian/Kabernal/Lubong Sapa/Hagna
  • San Vicente/San Juan
  • Magatas/Benit
  • Buac Gamay
  • Dagsa
  • Matalwa
  • Milagroso
  • Libas/Kauswagan/Pangi
  • Taa/Guinsangaan
  • Hilaan/Pamigsian/Beniton
  • Paku/Buenavista
  • Catmon
  • Dao/Mauylab
Motorized tricycles are Sogod's primary transportation.

The potpots in Sogod are classified into three color types: blue, white and red. The blue potpots roam around the vicinity of the poblacion and the barangays of Santa Cruz, Mabicay, Tampoong, San Pedro, San Roque, Rizal, Pandan and San Miguel. The white potpots cover the western areas of Sogod Bay, covering from Barrio Casao, passing through Bontoc town proper and Barrios Divisoria and San Vicente, to the poblacion of Tomas Oppus town. And the red potpots span the eastern section of the bay, starting from Barangays San Miguel and Suba to Barangay Nahulid of Libagon town.

The town of Sogod can be reached via land, air and sea. Sogod is a three-to-six-hour-ride from Cebu City via sea travel (ships dock at the ports of Bato and Hilongos) and a three-day drive from Manila through the Pan-Philippine Highway.

Sogod is also accessible by air from Manila through Tacloban City’s Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport. Though heavily damaged by Typhoon Haiyan, the airport remains integral in travelling to the town. From the Tacloban Transport Terminal in Barangay Abucay, one can take a Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) or a bus bound for Sogod.

Buses from the cities of Baybay, Maasin, Ormoc and Tacloban terminate daily at the town’s Doctor Gonzalo D. Yong, Jr. Bus Terminal. The town is a vital link connecting Visayas and Mindanao because of its nearness to the ports of Liloan and Benit in San Ricardo town. These seaports provide daily trips to Surigao City, the gateway of Mindanao.

Infrastructure

Agas-Agas Bridge

Agas Agas Bridge, the highest bridge in the country, located at Barangay Kahupian as part of the Maharlika Highway. Note the zip line at the left.

The PHP 1.024-billion Agas-Agas Bridge is a prestressed concrete beam bridge on the Pan-Philippine Highway. It is a major link for motorists traveling from Luzon to Mindanao.[47] Agas-agas have the tallest piers that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has constructed, The project is aided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The finished bridge has a length of about 350 metres (1,150 ft) and a height of 292 feet (89 m) above ground.[48] The center span is 177 metres (581 ft) in length supported by a 241-foot (73 m) and a 246-foot (75 m) piers from the ground.[49]

The mountainous Agas-Agas section of the Pan-Philippine Highway in Southern Leyte is prone to landslides during heavy rains, much more when typhoon strikes the province. The bridge was constructed in 2006 to avoid the troublesome section and cut down the driving time for motorists.[50]

Seeing its high tourism potential the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) submitted to President Gloria Arroyo the plan to turn the bridge into a haven for enthusiasts of bungee jumping, paramotor, downhill skateboarding, zip-line, rappelling and other extreme sports. Seeing the panoramic beauty of the mountains and rivers around during the inauguration on August 9, 2009, the president signed the construction of the bungee jumping platform along the bridge as well as other tourism amenities.

The Agas-Agas Bridge zipline, now known as “Zipline Leyte”, opened in April 2011.[48] The twin zipline, one of the longest in the country at 880 m (2,890 ft), glides diagonally above the bridge and the Subangdaku river gorge below it.[51]

Communications

The influx of advance technology especially in the arena of telecommunication poses as an imperative tool for the municipal government to boost the development of its agro-commercial trading.

Globe Telecoms, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular have cell sites in the municipality. Globelines and Bayan Telecommunications (BAYANTEL) extended their services in the province through construction of telephone lines in the towns of Sogod and Bontoc.

These telecommunication facilities are concentrated in the town proper and their offered services, particularly on telephone services, have not reached many barangays. A number of household have fax machines, internet connections and satellite TVs all located at poblacion and all forty-five barangays own handheld radios. Almost all of the Sogodnons possesses a cellular phone for communication.

Tourism

Sogod Coastline in Barangay San Jose

Due to the scarcity of funds, the local government unit (LGU) of Sogod heeds for the reservation of tourist sites. The main attraction of the town is the Agas-Agas Bridge, the country’s tallest bridge. Inns and hotel accommodations are concentrated in the poblacion.

Other local attractions include the Banat-e Spring of Barangay San Pedro, the CTL Farms in Barangay Concepcion Pasanon Falls in Barangay Dagsa, the Lanao Spring in Barangay San Juan, the Calvary Trail of Barangays San Roque and Milagroso, the mighty Subangdaku River in the barangays of Suba and San Miguel, the Buac-Malinao Reservoir of Barangay Malinao, La Caridad Farms in Barangay Buac Gamay, Labong Cave in Barangay Javier, the Magapso Fish and Marine Sanctuary of Barangay Maac, the black sand beach of Barangay Consolacion and the Prima, Cabadoy and Palanca Pebble Beaches in Barangay San Jose.

Agas-Agas Adventure Park

The newly completed 1-kilometer long zip line has become an added feature of the Agas-agas Bridge. A Provincial Pavilion has been constructed atop of a promontory overlooking the deep ravine of the Agas-agas gorge. Parking lot, food and souvenir kiosks were also set up by the locals of Kahupian village to cater the arrival tourists wanting to see this massive engineering feat.[52]

Cainting Cave and Falls

A hidden cave has recently been discovered by foreign visitors trailing in the northern mountainous area of the town. Undisturbed by human activities, the cave matched with a cascading falls has not yet been fully explored. This site served as meeting point of three rivers which offers a scenic junction of a natural pool. The presence of leeches locally known as “limatok” added to the excitement of the trip. This site is a part of the lush Sogod Rainforest.

It can be reached after a five-kilometer walk from the road proper in Barangay Pancho Villa to the barrio of San Francisco Mabuhay. Pancho Villa is a 20-minute habal-habal ride from Don Gonzalo Yong Bus Terminal in the poblacion. Cainting Cave and Falls is located near the famous Agas-agas Bridge of Kahupian.[53]

Magsuhot Park

The 500-hectare forested Magsuhot National Park, located three (3) kilometers from the Pan-Philippine Highway, has four 20-meter high waterfalls falling into a common basin located three (12) kilometers away from the park. The park includes the 60-meter high Lum-an Falls and Mahayhay Falls. Both of these sites are found in Barangay Lum-an.

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External links