Fabrica, Sagay

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Fabrica is barangay (or barrio) of Sagay City in the province of Negros Occidental, Philippines. At the 2010 census, it had a population of 4,962 people.[1] It was formerly the biggest barrio in the Philippines, and one of the most cosmopolitan areas in the Visayas.[citation needed]

Fabrica was internationally famous since the early 1900s up to the year 1976, as the site of the largest lumber company and sawmill in the world, the Insular Lumber Company (ILCO), owned by the Americans. ILCO produced hardwood lumber which was well-known the world over, and was exported to the United States, Australia, and to many other countries in the world, bringing in dollars to the Philippine economy.

Fabrica was also the generic name of the barrios of Fabrica, Paraiso, and Central Lopez, where a sugarmill was located, making the area the most industrialized in Negros.

Facilities[edit]

Compared to the many barrios and towns in the Philippines in the early 1950s and 1960s, which were underdeveloped and stagnated in poverty due to poor agricultural crops, Fabrica was the most developed in terms of infrastructure, water system, electricity and lighting facilities. At that time, the majority of the towns and barrios in the Philippines did not have the same assets that Fabrica had.

Fabrica also had Insular Lumber Company Hospital (ILCO Hospital), at that time considered to be the most modern hospital in Negros Occidental and the Visayas, and one of the country's most modern hospitals, staffed by American doctors and nurses. There was even a funeral parlor, when the idea of having a funeral parlor was not yet in vogue in the early 1960s.

During its long boom years from 1910 to 1976, Fabrica had such amenities as two large movie theaters, a cockfighting arena, a number of medical clinics and drug stores. Many of the other towns and barrios during this time, not as well-off. It also had a vocational school, the Jeanjacquet Institute, operated by an American that taught dressmaking and tailoring. The barrio included three private schools - Faraon Institute, Holy Trinity Academy (closed in 2007) and the Holy Family School.

Fabrica was also the only barrio in the Philippines that had its own post office/postal service, with its own zip code (6123).[2] Fabrica was also linked to the rest of the Philippines by the two telegraph companies operated by the former Radio Communications of the Philippines, Inc. (RCPI) and the Philippine Telephone and Telegraph Company.

Importance[edit]

During the 1950s to the 1970s, Fabrica was the commercial and industrial center of the province of Negros Occidental and the Visayas. Many Chinese businessmen had invested and built stores here, especially in Barrio Paraiso. These two barrio's are linked by a large, steel bridge that spans the large and navigable Himoga-an river system, that leads to the national highway. The bridge was constructed by American engineers during the American occupation in the Philippines. The bridge is considered a landmark and still exists. On the other hand, many Americans, who were ILCO executives and their families, stayed in the American compound, which was part of ILCO industrial complex.

Among the well-known Filipinos who were born and reared in Fabrica are Gilopez Kabayao, the internationally famous violinist and virtuoso, and Plaza Miranda bombing survivor Ramon Bagatsing, the congressman of the City of Manila who became its legendary and longest serving mayor.

Closure[edit]

In 1976 the Insular Lumber Company closed its operations in Fabrica due to the scarcity of mahogany and other hardwood, the unsustainable logging of ILCO eventually resulted to the flood of 1969 that claimed unaccounted lives and washed their products (lumber) as far as 5 km downriver, the company left then and the barrio subsequently suffered an economic decline for a while because of the vacuum left by the Americans, sad to say most of the old-timers only remembered the economic effect of the company and not its impact on the environment that resulted recurring floods on the low-lying areas of the barrio until now. Several American homes built at that time and withstood time until now has its woods from the Philippines courtesy of Insular Lumber Company (ILCO).

Present times[edit]

Several years after ILCO left Fabrica, the place has developed its river cruise tourism project. The project is sponsored by the government of Sagay City. Recently, DepEd Secretary Jeslie Lapus rode one of the floating cottages that resembled like those found in Loboc River. The ride takes about 1 hour from the river port to the mouth of the Himoga-an River in Old Sagay.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "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 8 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Negros Occidental Zip Codes". Philippine Postal Corporation. Archived from the original on 12 February 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013. 

Coordinates: 10°53′30″N 123°21′20″E / 10.89167°N 123.35556°E / 10.89167; 123.35556