The half-buried San Guillermo parish church of Villa de Bacolor
|Nickname(s): Athens of Pampanga|
Map of Pampanga showing the location of Villa de Bacolor
|Region||Central Luzon (Region III)|
|• Mayor||Jose Maria O. Hizon|
|• Total||71.70 km2 (27.68 sq mi)|
|• Density||440/km2 (1,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+8)|
|IDD : area code||+63 (0)45|
|Income class||3rd class|
Bacolor, officially Villa de Bacolor (Kapampangan: Balen ning Baculud), is a third class municipality in the province of Pampanga, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 31,508 people.
Don guillermo, a rich landlord, is believed to be the founder of Villa de Bacolor. Historical records show that Villa de Bacolor has been in existence as proposed settlement as early as 1571. When the Spaniards arrived they found "Baculud"; its original name meant "level ground" because the site was formerly part of the Luzon coastline until eruptions from ancestral Mount Pinatubo raised it above the ocean floor.
The first settlers of Villa de Bacolor were believed to be Malays that came from Atjeth Sumatra led by Panday Pira. It is believed to have been founded by Monmon, first cousin and sister-in-law of Malangsic, a son of Prince Balagtas. However, historians recorded the official foundation of Villa de Bacolor to have occurred in 1574 through a landlord named Guillermo Manabat, whose palatial house and resting place is now the site of the San Guillermo Church, hence the church's name.
The name Baculud was changed to Bacolor when the Spaniards came to the place. It was recorded to have been the first capital of Pampanga for two centuries (1698 to 1904) before San Fernando was declared the capital town of the province in July 1904. In 1757, the provincial building, Casa Real, was constructed at the place where the Bacolor Elementary School is now located.
During the British Occupation of the Philippines, when Manila fell to the British, it became capital of the exiled government of Governor General Simón de Anda y Salazar from October 6, 1762 to May 30, 1764. The provincial offices were temporarily moved to Factoria (now San Isidro, Nueva Ecija). It remained the former capital town of Pampanga until the provincial seat of government was transferred to neighboring City of San Fernando in 1904. Through a decree of the King of Spain on November 9, 1765, Bacolor became "Villa de Bacolor", one of the only three villas in the Philippines and was granted a Special Coat of Arms. Simon de Anda organized an army of natives for the defense of Bacolor and the aim of recapturing Manila.
The coming of the American colonizers broke up the military form of government and instead political and economic reforms were introduced. A civil form of government was organized and was inaugurated on February 13, 1901 by Com. William H. Taft which took place in the old "Escuala de Artes y Officios de Bacolor" (formerly named Pampanga School of Arts and Trade) now known as the Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University, the first state university in Pampanga.
The first provincial Civil Governor was Don Ceferino Joven and the first Municipal President of Bacolor was Don Estanislao Santos. Pampanga was acknowledged as the first province to have organized civil government in the Philippines by General Grant, the then President of the United States of America.
When the Second World War began to broke out, Japanese fighter and bomber planes invaded the municipal town in Bacolor on December 1941 until the entering the town was occupied by the Imperial Japanese forces on 1942. Many of all Kapampangan guerrillas and Hukbalahap Communist groups was opening the insurgency conflicts around the municipality of Bacolor and supporting added by the local soldiers and military officers of the Philippine Commonwealth Army military units was surprising attack by the Japanese during the occupation from 1942 to 1945 until the withdrawal and retreating guerrillas and Hukbalahap fighters by the enemy hands. On 1945, Filipino and American soldiers including Kampangan resistance and Hukbalahap freedom fighters liberated the municipality of Bacolor of defeating Japanese troops and ended in the Second World War.
In 1956, the sitio of Mesalipit was converted into a barrio.
On the morning of October 1, 1995, over 20 feet (6.1 m) of lahar from the slopes of Mount Pinatubo and surrounding mountains buried the entire town of Cabalantian among many others, killing hundreds of people. 18 out of the 21 barangays of Bacolor were buried. The lahar flows from the mountains raised the town to its current level of an approximate 37 meters above sea level. Subsidence caused the constant reclaiming of parts of Pampanga by the sea.
- Cabambangan (Pob.)
- San Antonio
- San Isidro
- San Vicente
- Santa Barbara
- Santa Ines
|Population census of Villa de Bacolor|
|Source: National Statistics Office|
Like other towns in the Philippines, Villa de Bacolor is governed by a mayor and vice mayor who are elected to three-year terms. The mayor is the executive head and leads the town's departments in executing the ordinances and improving public services. The vice mayor heads a legislative council (Sangguniang Bayan) consisting of councilors from the barangays or barrios.
The municipal building is the former site of the Venturas house, one of Bacolor's most prominent families. On July 8, 1953, the new town hall was completed during the tenure of Mayor Manuel de Jesus. Its construction was a project of Senator Pablo Angeles y David, a native of Villa de Bacolor.
A landmark in the town is the San Guillermo Parish Church known as the 'sunken church' and was one of the structures that was half-buried by the lahar flow. The church has since been renovated and is currently operational and may be accessed through what were once the second floor windows, now converted into doorways. The sunken church and town of Bacolor were used to shoot the 2009 television series May Bukas Pa. The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Cabetican is also famous for its annual pilgrimage and barrio fiestas.
Other notable landmarks in Villa de Bacolor include Memorial Kilometer Posts of the Bataan Death March along the MacArthur Highway; the oldest trade school in Far East, the Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University; the Simón de Anda y Salazar monument at the town hall; monument to the Kapampangan writer and revolutionary leader Juan Crisostomo Soto (1867-1918); and Monument to Felix Galura Y Napao.
Villa de Bacolor's festivals are the Feast of San Guillermo and Nuestra Senora del Santissimo Rosario (La Naval) which are celebrated every 10th day of February and 3rd Sunday of November, respectively.
The Sunken Shrine
Buried by the devastating lahar flows of Mount Pinatubo eruption in June 1991, the Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes of Cabetican (abbreviated as "Maluca") remains at the center of Marian Concordia Pilgrimages and Healing in Pampanga. Originally built as an annexe to the older, smaller shrine, it is under the care of Fr. Ronnie Cao, Healing Priest and Rector of the Archdiocesan Shrine.
- "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- "Province: Pampanga". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Archived from the original on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2012. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- "Bacolor". Kapampangan Online. Archived from the original on May 3, 2013. Retrieved April 12, 2011.
- "An Act Creating the Barrio of Mesalipit in the Municipality of Bacolor, Province of Pampanga". LawPH.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2011-04-12.
- "Province of Pampanga". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Municipal building". Baculud.com. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- "Historical sites". Baculud.com. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bacolor, Pampanga.|
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- Philippine Census Information
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