Aroroy, Masbate

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Map of Masbate with Aroroy highlighted
Map of Masbate with Aroroy highlighted
Aroroy is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 12°30′N 123°24′E / 12.500°N 123.400°E / 12.500; 123.400Coordinates: 12°30′N 123°24′E / 12.500°N 123.400°E / 12.500; 123.400
Country Philippines
Region Bicol (Region V)
Province Masbate
District 2nd district
Founded 1904
Barangays 41
 • Mayor Enrico Z. Capinig (NPC)
 • Vice Mayor Manuel Valera Jr. (NPC)
 • Total 440.30 km2 (170.00 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 76,139
 • Density 170/km2 (450/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
Zip Code 5414
Dialing code 56

Aroroy is a first class municipality in the province of Masbate, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 76,139 people.[3]

History and Origin of Name[edit]

The town of Aroroy (Al-Oroy its former name), which came from the Spanish word for gold-"oro", was established back in 1822 upon the arrival of a Chinese expedition. The Chinese fleet was composed of seven vessels called "pancos". They entered Lanang River, which is part of Puerto Barrera, the former name of the area now covered by Aroroy. A Moro named Talcum guided this expedition. They were sent by the Chinese merchants who came to Aroroy to explore for gold coins near Lanang River.[4]

During that time, when the present Masbate province was still part of the province of Ibalon (present-day Albay),[5] a captain from the Spanish Army named Gregorio Cordero of Tondo, Manila was exiled in Masbate for the killing of his superior officer. Instead of being incarcerated in the castle of San Pascual in Burias Island, where political and military prisoners were imprisoned by the Captain-General of the Philippine Islands, he was brought to Masbate. Accompanied by his two daughters and a son, they established residency in the Port of Magdalena, municipality of Masbate. He had with him four (4) "Faluas" or Spanish vessels named – Jesus Maria Y Jose, Sacramento, Salvacion and Santa Ana for use in the vigilance against Moro pirates who preyed on the three (3) islands of Masbate, Ticao and Burias.

When the Spaniards discovered the Chinese expedition, Cordero and about one-hundred fifty (150) men, who believed him to possess amulets (anting-anting) which made him invulnerable, sailed to Lanang River to find out the nationality of the said seven (7) vessels which entered Lanang River. When investigated as to where they were going, the aliens answered in their Chinese manner that they were going to "Al-Oroy" meaning to the Gold or in Spanish “Al-oro”. Not satisfied with the results of the investigation with the belief that these are Moro vessels, Cordero and his men established their headquarters for over three (3) months in the presentpoblacion of Aroroy, which was known as Al-Oroy taken from the Chinese reply.

Another expedition of Spaniards from Manila headed by a certain Sarmiento came to explore the gold in the river near Al-oroy in 1861. This expedition was aided by natives of Al-oroy which includes among them were certain Toribio Bunayag, Jose Pusing, Norberto Pusing and Protacio Fabon. Said natives abandoned expedition during the same year because of assaults who are dedicated to pan the riverbeds with bateas and/or limbasan to recover the gold nuggets themselves. This led to the death of Sarmiento and since then said river was called Rio Guinobatan or “River of Assaults”.

Since then the site of Al-Oroy became a "vista" or barrio of the town of Baleno but later was transferred to the town of San Agustin in the interior part of Port Barrera. In 1904, when the towns of Baleno and San Agustin were combined, the name Al-Oroy was changed to Aroroy. It was also in 1904 when Aroroy became a municipality because of its strategic location. San Agustin now is just a barangay of the Municipality of Aroroy.


Aroroy is geographically located between 12 degrees and 13 degrees Latitude and 123 degrees and 124 degrees Longitude or at the northernmost part of the province of Masbate, Bicol Region. It is bounded on the north by the Masbate Pass, to the East by the municipality of Baleno, to the West by the Sibuyan Sea and to the South by the municipalities of Milagros and Mandaon.[6]


Aroroy is politically subdivided into 41 barangays.[2]

  • Ambolong
  • Amoroy
  • Amutag
  • Baga-uma
  • Balawing
  • Balete
  • Bangon
  • Cabangcalan
  • Cabas-An
  • Calanay
  • Capsay
  • Concepcion (formerly Sawmill[7])
  • Dayhagan
  • Don Pablo Dela Rosa
  • Gumahang
  • Jaboyoan
  • Lanang
  • Luy-a
  • Macabug
  • Malubi
  • Managanaga
  • Manamoc
  • Mariposa
  • Mataba
  • Matalangtalang
  • Matongog
  • Nabongsoran
  • Pangle
  • Panique
  • Pinanaan
  • Poblacion
  • Puro
  • San Agustin
  • San Isidro
  • Sawang
  • Syndicate
  • Talabaan
  • Talib
  • Tigbao
  • Tinago
  • Tinigban


Population census of Aroroy
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 53,060 —    
1995 55,110 +0.71%
2000 58,751 +1.38%
2007 62,635 +0.89%
2010 76,139 +7.36%
Source: National Statistics Office[3][8]


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Masbate". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Municipality of Aroroy-Integrated Coastal Management Plan" (PDF). Local Government Unit of Aroroy, Masbate. Retrieved 3 June 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  5. ^ "History of Masbate City". Local Government Unit of Masbate City. Retrieved 3 June 2014.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  6. ^ "Sustainable Solar Market Packages (SSMP)-Aroroy, Masbate" (PDF). Department of Energy. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "An Act Changing the Name of the Barrio of Sawmill, Municipality of Aroroy, Province of Masbate, to Concepcion". Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  8. ^ "Province of Masbate". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 

External links[edit]