Guinobatan, Albay

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Official seal of Guinobatan
Map of Albay with Guinobatan highlighted
Map of Albay with Guinobatan highlighted
Guinobatan is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Coordinates: 13°11′N 123°36′E / 13.18°N 123.6°E / 13.18; 123.6Coordinates: 13°11′N 123°36′E / 13.18°N 123.6°E / 13.18; 123.6
Country Philippines
Region Bicol (Region V)
Province Albay
District 3rd district
Barangays 44
 • Mayor Ann "Gemma" Y. Ongjoco
 • Total 244.43 km2 (94.37 sq mi)
Population (2015 census)[3]
 • Total 82,361
 • Density 340/km2 (870/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 4503
Dialing code +63 (0)52

Guinobatan is a first class municipality in the province of Albay, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 82,361 people.[3]

It is the birthplace of General Simeón Ola, the last Filipino general to surrender to the Americans after the Philippine-American War.


The territory of Guinobatan borders a number of municipalities. Guinobatan shares a border with the Municipality of Camalig, with the Municipality of Jovellar on the south,the Municipality of Pio Duran on the south-west, and on the north-west, the City of Ligao. On the north-east, the town shares with Malilipot, Sto. Domingo, Daraga and Tabaco City and with the City of Legazpi, a common point in the crater of Mayon Volcano.[4]


Guinobatan is politically subdivided into 44 barangays.[2]

  • Agpay
  • Balite
  • Banao
  • Batbat
  • Binogsacan Lower
  • Binogsacan Upper
  • Bololo
  • Bubulusan
  • Calzada
  • Catomag
  • Doña Mercedes (Naologan)
  • Doña Tomasa (Magatol)
  • Ilawod
  • Inamnan Pequeño
  • Inamnan Grande
  • Inascan
  • Iraya
  • Lomacao
  • Maguiron (Libas)
  • Maipon
  • Malabnig
  • Malipo
  • Malobago
  • Maninila
  • Mapaco
  • Marcial O. Rañola (Cabaloaon)
  • Masarawag
  • Mauraro
  • Minto
  • Morera (Tukaran)
  • Muladbucad Grande (St. John)
  • Muladbucad Pequeño
  • Ongo
  • Palanas
  • Poblacion
  • Pood
  • Quitago
  • Quibongbongan
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose (Ogsong)
  • San Rafael
  • Sinungtan
  • Tandarora
  • Travesia

Disputed Barangays (R.A. 5778)

  • Matanglad (Pio Duran)
  • Salvacion (Pio Duran)



In the research work "Guinobatan Through the Times," the following version of the legend is stated:

  • In a region on Mayon’s slopes lay a village. It was dotted with huts whose roofs were made of nipa, as well as with a number of stone houses. In the village was a church, and inside the belfry was a Golden Bell. So great was the bell thatwhen rung, the sound could be heard from miles away. The sound could even reach the land of the Moros. The Moros, made curious by the sound of the bell, sentspies so that they would know what kind of bell was producing so loud and peculiar a sound. The spies were amazed and surprised to find out that the townspeople rang was made of pure gold. They went back to the land of the Moros eager to report their findings to their superiors.Motivated by greed,the Moros assembled a squad to plunder the bell. When they arrived at the village, they pillaged the community and torched houses. They attempted to force the people to tell them where the Golden Bell was. Their attempts failed.Many were still ableto flee. The fleeing townsfolk knew where the bell was, and they hid the bell underneath the roots of trees. However, an old man was left in the village. Ashe was the only person left in the town, Moros tortured him so that he would tell the raiders where the Golden Bell was. The old man, however, did not know.Finding no use for the old man, the Moros killed him. They tried to pursue the townspeople, but they were too far away to be captured. Instead, they went to the woods in search of the Golden Bell. They uprooted every tree underneath which they believed the Golden Bell was hidden. Their efforts proved futile. Hence, with empty hands the Moros went back to their land, while the townspeople went back to the village to rebuild their lives, which had always been under threat from Moro pillagers and natural calamities; from bad harvests and oppressive encomienderos. The townspeople also kept the valued Golden Bell safe from anyone who tried to steal it. Seeing the uprooted trees, the townsfolk named their area “Guinobatan” meaning “a place where trees were uprooted.” So ends the legend.[4]

Some versions also state that the town's name is derived from "Ginabutan," meaning "a place where trees or plants were uprooted."[5]

History under foreign rule[edit]

Luis Nee, a botanist,reached Bikol in January 1792, accompanying the expedition of Capt. Alejandro Malaspina. Nee explored towns near Mayon and including the area now known as Guinobatan. He noted that “trees grew in exuberance making the foothills impenetrable in many parts.”[6]

Dr. Leonilo Palacio of Guinobatan’s Republic Colleges mentioned in an essay entitled “Guinobatan and its Church” that “in 1672, the Parish of Guinobatan was already mentioned in books as a “visita” of the Municipality of Camalig.” [7]

In 1890, the title of the gobernadorcillo was changed to “Capitan Municipal” The Municipal Law of 1894 guaranteed that the term of the local executive would be extendedfrom two years to four years. Also among the salient provisions of the law was the election of 12 vocales, equivalent to today’s councillors. In 1895, the Colegio de San Buenaventura was also built, making Guinobatan the centre for higher education in Albay.[4]

Cabezas and principales elected the gobernadorcillo until 1863. Until 1847, Guinobatan belonged to Camarines. During the said year,the towns of Quipia, Camalig and Donsol (now in Sorsogon) were ceded to Albay,in exchange for the towns of the Partido de Lagonoy. From 1730-1818, the town transferred from one place to another. In 1730, it was on a site now called Binanuahan. From there, it was the relocated to Bubulusan. During the eruption of 1814, citizens opted to evacuate to higher ground, in Mauraro.

American occupation[edit]

During the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War (1898-1911), most of the schoolhouses built by the Spaniards were destroyed by constant artillery fire, most of which came from the Americans. As part of the “pacification” campaign of the Americans, engineers and architects were sent to the Philippines to oversee the construction of public works. Engr. Edward K. Bourne and famed urban planner Daniel Burnham, among other American architects and engineers,were instructed to go to Manila.In response, the Philippine Commission passed Act No. 268 which created the Bureau of Architecture and Construction of Public Buildings. Mr. Bourne was appointed as its head. In 1907, the Philippine Assembly was formed. Angel Roco of Mauraro, Guinobatan represented Albay in the Assembly. The same year,Assemblyman Isauro Gabaldon of Nueva Ecija authored an act which appropriated Php 1 million between 1907 and 1915 for "construction of schoolhouses of strong materials in barrios with guaranteed daily attendance of not less than sixty pupils…” Passing into law as Act No. 1801, the act became known as the“Gabaldon Act.”Among the salient provisions was that no school could receive more than Php 4,000 unless the municipality to which the school belonged contributed at least 50% of the total amount granted to the school by the Gabaldon Act. The Gabaldon Act stipulated that only on land owned by the municipality could schools be constructed. Fifty-one "Gabaldons" were completed by 1911, and by 1916, four hundred five more were constructed. Among those completed between 1911 and 1916 was Guinobatan Central School blg. 1 or the Guinobatan East Central School's Gabaldon Building.

World War II and Japanese occupation[edit]

Began in World War II, When the Japanese fighter and bomber planes invaded the town municipality of Guinobatan on December 1941 until the occupation by the Imperial Japanese forces was entered the municipal town between 1941 to 1942. When the built of the military garrison and bases of the Imperial Japanese Armed Forces was station's active in Guinobatan. During the conflicts and insurgencies against the occupation, the Bicolano resistance groups and local military force of the Philippine Commonwealth Army was invading sieges around the municipal town on 1942 to 1945 was battled to attack by the Japanese Imperial forces until the invading siege was retreating by all Bicolano guerrilla force from the Japanese until the arrival of Allied forces before liberation. On 1945, combined Filipino & American troops including Bicolano resistance fighters was liberated the town municipality of Guinobatan was defeating attack by the Japanese Imperial forces until the end of World War II. When the built of the general headquarters of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and Philippine Constabulary was station's active in Guinobatan from 1945 to 1946 during and after the Second World War.


Population census of Guinobatan
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 58,926 —    
1995 65,512 +2.01%
2000 71,071 +1.76%
2007 74,386 +0.63%
2010 75,967 +0.77%
2015 82,361 +1.55%
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority[3][8][9]

The population of Guinobatan, Albay, in the 2015 census was 82,361 people,[3] with a density of 340 inhabitants per square kilometre or 880 inhabitants per square mile.


Guinobatan hosts an annual festival in the celebration of Our Lady of Assumption, its patron saint. Until 2013, the town festival was called "Arandurugan Festival." In August, 2013, Guinobatan celebrated Longganisa Festival, named after the local product listed under the Department of Trade and Industry's "One Town, One Product" program.


  1. ^ "Municipalities". Quezon City, Philippines: Department of the Interior and Local Government. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: Albay". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d PSA; Census of Population (2015), "Region V (BICOL REGION)", Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay, retrieved 20 June 2016 
  4. ^ a b c Dy and Tuson, 2012. Guinobatan Through the Times: Essays on Our Heritage. Marcial O. Rañola Memorial School
  5. ^ Municipality of Guinobatan. 1996.Arandurugan Festival Souvenir Program: Guinobatan, Albay
  6. ^ Mallari,Francisco, S.J. 1999. Vignettes of Bicol History. Quezon City: New DayPublishers
  7. ^ Dy and Tuson. 2012. Guinobatan Through the Times. Marcial O. Rañola Memorial School
  8. ^ NSO; Census of Population and Housing (2010), "Region V (BICOL REGION)", Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay, retrieved 29 June 2016 
  9. ^ "Province of Albay". Municipality Population Data. LWUA Research Division. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 

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