Victoria, Oriental Mindoro (barangay)
The barangay was named after Victoria Montesa, wife of the first Barrio Captain and one of the first settlers of the barrio. The first settlers were from the three distinct families, Montesa, Mugoy and Montoya, whose descendants still own the vast majority of land in the barrio. However, some tracts of land have changed hands considerably due to financial considerations and population impact.
The first settlers cleared the land of trees and planted rice and vegetables. Everybody is helping one another as workers are difficult to come by on those days. One of the homesteaders, Domingo Pupa Mugoy, literally used his bare hands to uproot the trees that dotted his homestead with the help of his stepsons,from his second wife, Espiridiona Montoya,wife of one of the early homesteaders. Land was fertile and blessed with overflowing water from the rivers and creeks surrounding their lands.
Geography and people
As of 01 Aug 2007, the barangay have a population of 1,897 as per NSCB. It is considered as a rural area.
The barangay is a typical idyllic place you can see in most rural towns in the Philippines. The barrio have one major barangay road leading to the elementary school. The road is unpaved and dusty, and during rainy season, muddy. The National Highway traverses the outer boundaries of the barangay.
The economy of Victoria rests solely on agriculture, mostly palay (rice). But about 25 years ago, coconut farms also thrived, however, due to population increase, many coconut farms were turned into housing sites and subdivided into lots especially those near the National highway. Household income of the majority of inhabitants are below poverty level and there are very few business enterprise, with mostly small groceries and sari-sari stores dominating the business landscape. Most dwellings are made of light materials and a few concrete houses. A major portion of the populace work in the rice farms surrounding the areas. A few have decided to work overseas and these are evident in their houses.
There is one ricemill and a piggery operation.
There is one elementary school, Victoria Elementary School, located near the riverbank offering complete basic education from kindergarten to Grade 7. Children have to travel by foot or any means of transport to the nearest complete elementary school in either Libertad, about 3 km away or San Aquilino about 4 km away, to enable them to finish their elementary schooling. Secondary schools are mostly located in the town of Roxas, but with the nearest government secondary school at the next barangay of San Aquilino.
There is an existing health clinic in the barangay, primarily manned by Barangay Health Workers who are trained that can be relied upon for minor ailments and accidents. However, municipal health workers also visits the barangay once a week to dispense medicine and conduct primary health care functions.
In the olden days before electricity, the primary and sole means of entertainment was the barrio benefit dance, held once a week, usually during a Saturday or Fridays, especially if the barrio fiesta is forthcoming. Young men and women, gather at the barrio basketball court (sometimes the only paved space in the barrio), for a night of dancing and fun. Clad in their Sunday's best, with slippers and worn out shoes, they will frolic the night away until the wee hours of the morning of the next day. The dance is mainly for fund raising for a certain local beauty candidate as beauty pageants in the rural areas differs from beauty contest that we normally knows. In the barrios, these dances are used to raise funds for fiesta, of which the candidates for Miss Victoria will win not by beauty alone but by how much money she can raise for the fiesta. Thus it is not always the most beautiful who wins these contests.
Music is provided by a portable amplifier and turntable, run by car batteries, with vinyl records before the advent of Cassette tape and Compact Disc. Music can be heard even kilometers away as there was hardly any noise during the night except the music blaring from the basketball court. This attracted even the young men and occasionally, young women from neighboring barrios.
During Martial Law, a general permit and curfew pass for all those who are attending must be secured from local Military detachment in order to celebrate such barrio dance. People are then advised that those living far away from the venue must remain until 4 am in the premises to avoid being caught by the Military and police forces during curfew, which starts from 12-4 am.
The residents belongs to different religious denomination, majority of which are Catholics, followed by Iglesia Ni Kristo and other Christian denominations. There is a Catholic chapel, opposite side of the river near the elementary school in a lot donated by Mr. Jimmy Gadon, former barangay councilor.
The first fiesta, in reverence to the Patron Saints, the Holy Family, was held on 27 December 1974,with the first Mass celebrated at the home of the then SSGT, now 2LT (Ret)Teodulfo P. Casa, PAF who also served as a barangay chairman for 2 terms after retiring from the military (he died on 5 Feb 2012) and Feliciana Mugoy, daughter of Domingo Mugoy and Espiridiona Montoya, the first settlers of the barrio, as the Chapel was not built yet by then.
Past Barrio Captains / Barangay Chairmen:
- Mr. Rufino Montesa Sr
- Mr. Saba
- Mr. Salvador Galicia
- Mr. Iluminado Ilacio
- Mr. Teodulfo Casa
- Mr. Gemar Montesa - also a former Municipal councilor
- Mr. Ulyssis de Torres
- Noe Saba
- Eduardo Villamin
- R. Ojeras
- Olympio Montaño