PART II THE AMERICAN REGIME

 

1. SHORT-LIVED FREEDOM

With the end of Spanish rule in Dagupan Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo President of the First Philippine Republic, appointed Don Juan Solis Galvan as municipal president.

The people were so happy. They were free at last to govern themselves. Their freedom was short-lived. Soon after the Katipuneros succeeded in ending Spanish rule, the American landed in the Philippines

Their aim was to colonize our country. They were interested with the natural resources of our land. They wanted the Philippines as a market for American products.

 

2. FILIPINOS VS. AMERICANS

Our people did not like the Americans to rule over us.  They decided to drive the Americans out of the country.

On February 4, 1899 the Filipino-American war began. This was a battle between the two forces in La Loma, Quezon City. Among the Filipinos who died in the battle of La Loma was an army officer from Pangasinan. His name was Jose Torres Bugallon. He studied at the Spanish Military academy at Toledo, Spain. He graduated with highest honors, He helped Gen. Antonio Luna organize the revolutionary army.

The main street in Dagupan, which passes the downtown area, was named after him. His native town of Salasa was also given a new name in his honor. This is the town of Bugallon.

 

3. AGUINALDO IN PANGASINAN

Since the start of the Filipino-American war the Philippine army was losing the fight.The reasons were: 1) The weapons of the Filipinos were no match to the superior arms of the Americans 2) The Filipino soldiers were already exhausted from fighting in the Katipunan revolution set against the Spaniards.

Thus President Aguinaldo was forced to move his government from place to place. By early November, 1899 Aguinaldo made Bayambang, Pangasinan his temporary capital.

While he was in Bayambang he called all his commanders to a conference in northern Luzon. In this conference, it was decided that Aguinaldo will hide in the mountains of northern Luzon while the Philippine army continues to fight but shift to guerilla warfare.

 

4. DEL PILAR IN DAGUPAN

During all the time that Aguinaldo was in Bayambang, General Gregorio del Pilar was in Dagupan with some 2,000 men. He was guarding Lingayen area against any American invasion that may attack Aguinaldo in Pangasinan.

As Aguinaldo and his men were deciding that they shift their strategy into guerilla warfare, the Americans decided to launch a three-pronged attack against Aguinaldo in Pangasinan.

The target date for the attack was November 23,1899. One force will attack from the east, to be led by General Lawton, another force will attack from the Lingayen Gulf area, to be led by General Lloyd Wheaton, while an advance force will be led by General MacArthur.

 

5. AGUINALDO MOVES TO POZORRUBIO

About November 14, 1899, an advance party of American troops under the command of General MacArthur arrived in Pangasinan. Major Swigert led this advance contingent. As this developed, Aguinaldo moved out of Bayambang and proceeded north. He stopped in the house of Apolinario Salcedo in POZORRUBIO. He was with his wife, Hilaria, and his son, Miguel.

General Del Pilar left Dagupan to escort the Filipino president in his retreat to the north. He also slept in the Salcedo house in POZORRUBIO.

 

6. WHEATON IN SAN FABIAN

While Aguinaldo was in Pozorrubio, Gen. Wheaton arrived in San Fabian. On his march towards Pozorrubio, the Filipino troops ambushed his group in Barrio Macayug on the Bank of the Bued River in San Jacinto.

Here a six-hour battle was fought. The Filipinos suffered heavy casualties. But Major Logan of the US Army was slain. The Dagupan Katipuneros participated in this fight. As the battle raged in Macayug, Aguinaldo continued on his march to the north.

 

7. TORIBIO JOVELLANOS

In 1900, while many Filipino leaders were still fighting the Americans, the new foreign invaders put up a military government to rule the country.

In Dagupan, the Americans appointed Don Toribio Jovellanos to the position of Municipal President.

In Pangasinan, Don Manuel Maramba, who was a colonel in the Katipunan, was still waging guerilla warfare against Americans.

In view of the prevailing political climate at the time, it was obvious that the main task of Don Toribio, as the municipal president, was to win over his people to accept American rule.

Who was Don Toribio? He was a weather observer in the employ of the weather bureau since the Spanish period. He was a career man as a weather observer. He was one of two brothers doing the same job. His brother, Cesar, was also a Weather Observer in Manila.

It seems that Don Toribio succeeded in his mission in winning over Dagupenos to accept American rule. Two historical facts will attest to this: 1) Don Toribio Villamil, a ranking Katipunan officer, took the oath of allegiance to the United States and was appointed in 1901 as municipal president to succeed Don Toribio, and 2) According to the Biography of Don Manuel Maramba by 1901 there were only two towns in Pangasinan where the Americans were not harrased by Filipino Guerillas: Dagupan and Calasiao.

 

8. CIVIL GOVERNMENT

On February 14, 1901, the Philippine Commission came to Dagupan to establish civil government for the province of Pangasinan. This was officially established in Dagupan on February 16. Don Perfecto Sison was appointed provincial governor while Don Fabian Villamil was appointed municipal president of Dagupan. The seat of the provincial government was later moved to Lingayen, after the said town was finally pacified.

 

9. FIRST ELECTION

The first election to be held in Dagupan was done about the close of 1901. At stake was the position of Municipal president for the two year term corresponding to 1902 and 1903. The poll was held at the plaza. Voting was by viva voce. There were two candidates who vied for the position: Juan Villamil and Quitereio Favila.

Villamil was a scion of the ruling Villamil clan in PANTAL, while Favila was the son of Gov. Macario Favilla. There was an improvised platform. The two candidates were seated on opposite sides of the stage..

It was this election which originated the este contra weste political alignments in Dagupan. The dividing line was the river. Favila lived on the eastern side of the river; he belonged to the este faction. Villamil resided on the western side of the river; he belonged to the weste group.

 

10. SCHOOLS OPEN

After the establishment of civil government, the public school system as we have now, started during the first term president Villamil. The school was opened on a house near the plaza. English was the medium of instruction. The teachers were American soldiers.

 

11. THE SECOND ELECTION

The second election in Dagupan was as interesting as the first. This was in fact, the very first election where ballots were used. As in the first poll, the election was also held at the public plaza.

The opponents were Don Juan Villamil, who ran for re-election, and Don Mariano K. Laurel. The two were brothers- in -law. The wife of Don Juan was Sofia K. Laurel, a sister of Don Mariano.

Laurel resided on the eastern side of the river; he belonged to the este faction. Again Villamil won.

                

        12. LIFE IN EARLY DAGUPAN

Dagupan in the 1990s was a very small town. The plaza served as the market at the same time. The present public market was a swamp at the time ; its water was up to the waistline. Much of what is now the downtown area, along Torres Bugallon Avenue, was mangrove.

There was nowhere to fetch drinking water in the poblacion area. Water had to be fetched from PUGARO, or Pogo, Lasip and Malued and brought to town by boat.

MANGIN and Tebeng were connected to the town by only an inlet, which was impassable during the rainy season. It was deep with Mud. People from Lucao had to come to town by boat.

Transportation between Dagupan and Urdaneta was by bullcart. The road was narrow and unraveled. The mud narrow was knee deep during the rainy season. The road between Dagupan and San Carlos was equally drab. It was impassable during the wet season. Travel through the Agno River during the rainy season was dangerous. The water gets turbulent when the current is strong. 

 

13. MAYOR BRING PROGRESS

Progress came slowly to the community as every succeeding municipal president, or municipal mayor tried his best to serve the town. Don Juan Villamil built the original Dagupan Elementary School on the bank of the Toboy River, on what is now the Magsaysay Park. This building was destroyed in 1945 during the liberation of Dagupan by the forces of Gen. MacArthur.

Don Modesto Coquia constructed the first Artesian wells in town. One of those two wells in town continues to serve our people. It was tapped as a source of water supply for the huge water tank behind the city hall. He also brought electric service to town.

Don Mariano K. Laurel built the first concrete bridge for Dagupan. This was the Original Quintos Bridge along Jose Torres Bugallon avenue across the Toboy river.

Don Antonio Llamas Fernandez purchased for the government the lot on which the present public market in the downtown area now stands. He also built the original market building with tile roofing. This was burned in the big fire that hit Dagupan in1952. He also built streets in the roads to the barrios.

Don Jose Jovellanos improved the public plaza and built the Rizal monument. The plaza served as a vast playground in those days.

Don Guillermo de Venecia constructed the presidencia building in 1962. This is what we are still using as our city hall.

The West Central School was constructed during the term of Don Jose Paras Calimlim. The site of this school was originally the residential lots of several families the Calimlim, Fernandez, Arzadon, and Bernal families. He also built the the road to Tebeng.

Don Jose Fernandez Llamas constructed the huge water tank behind the city hall. He also built several Artesian wells in the barrios.

During the first term, Don Angel Fernandez constructed the original Bonuan Boquig Elementary School and the Gregorio del Pilar Elementary School in Bonuan Gueset. He also graveled our major roads to the important barrios.

 

14. THE AGLIPAYANOS

The success of the Katipunan revolution shook the Roman Catholic Church.

In Dagupan, Padre Adriano Garces left the Roman Church and joined the Aglipayan movement. When he defeated, many of the prominent Dagupan families followed him. In 1902, he established a temporary church along Galvan Street, on the present site of the clinic of Dr. Aurelio Banal.

Then Don Pedro de Venecia, one of the top leaders of the Katipunan revolution in Dagupan, donated his lot in the Philippines Independent Church, adjacent to the public market. On this lot now stands the Aglipayan church. 

One son of Don Pedro, Father Santiago de Venecia became an Aglipayan priest. 

On November 27, 1905, Father Gregorio Aguila Gaerlan was elected parish priest of the Dagupan Aglipayan church. He married Casimira de Venecia, daughter of Don Pedro. 

Under the leadership of Padre Gaerlan, the influence of the church in the community reached its peak. In 1906, Don Gregorio Beltran, one of the prominent Aglipayan leaders, was elected municipal president. After his term as town executive , he became a priest. As a fitting reward for his fruitful labor in Dagupan, Padre Gaerlan was consecrated bishop on May 9, 1935.

 

15.  THE CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

During the most critical period in the history of the church, the two catholic schools in the community rendered invaluable service to the cause of Roman Catholicism in Dagupan.

These schools were the parochial school in the convent, which was for the children and the Colegio de San Alberto Magno. For lack of schools of their own to accommodate their children, the Aglipayans sent them to Colegio de San Alberto Magno. Eventually, the School won most of the youth back to the Roman Catholic Church.   

 

16.  THE PROTESTANTS

In 1906, the Rev. Ernest Lyons arrived in Dagupan. He was an American Methodist Missionary. He was accompanied by the Rev. Felipe Marquez, a ranking Katipunan officer from San Manuel, Pangasinan. The two introduced Protestantism in the community.

Among the first converts to Protestantism in Dagupan came from the ranks of the Katipuneros, including Leon Palaganas, Lorenzo Vinluan, Santiago Javier, Emilio Cabugao, the Velasquez, Aquino and Oviedo clans of Carael, the Quebrals and Ravanzos of Calmay.  

 

17.  THE CANE SUGAR INDUSTRY

The first decade of the American regime was a period of economic growth in the farming communities of Dagupan such as Malued, Lasip, Pogo, Caranglaan, Tebeng, Bolosan, Salisay and Longos.

During this period cane sugar became a major farm product. The big Land-owners of the farming communities started to put up carabao-drawn sugar mills, called in the dialect DAPILAN.

In Malued, the barrio which produced the greatest amount of sugar in Dagupan, there was a time when there were seven carabao-drawn-sugar mills. 

Agustin Siapno and his wife Emiliana Sibayan had three sugar mills of this type. They were the parents of one time City Mayor Gaudencio Siapno.  

The cane sugar industry resulted into the manufacturer of numerous sugar-based native delicacies such as the BOKAYO, BOKARILYO, and various kinds of pastilyas. Puto and other native cakes are also sugar based delicacies. Also, there were other sugar products such as the GINOYOR,NILOSOR,PAKASIAT, and others.  

Cane sugar in those days, were contained in big eastern containers called pilons. These pilons were manufactured in San Carlos and Binmaley.   

 

18.  COMMERCIAL CENTER

The commercial center of early Dagupan was the plaza and surrounding areas.

The growth of the commercial center from the public market along Torres Buggalon avenue up to Quintos bridge and beyong on the other side of the river started in 1908. 

The pioneer Filipino businessman was Don Pedro Flor Concuera. Don Pedro was a migrant from Batac, Ilocos Norte. He first settled in Binmaley, where he met Dona Vicenta Vinluan, who later become his wife. From Binmaley they moved to Dagupan in 1907. They had one child; Rosario. They rented a space at the Llamas Building in front of the plaza, and put up Bazaar Flor. They sold dry goods and jewelries. Business was good. After sometime, They acquired the corner lot on Calle Nueva and Torres Bugallon avenue, adjacent to the public market, and some other properties in the vicinity of Fernandez street. 

They erected their own commercial building close to the public market, thus began the shift of the commercial center, from the plaza to our present downtown area. Since he arrived in Dagupan, Don Pedro has been several times a member of the municipal board as a councilor. He died in 1926.  

 

19.  POLITICS AND THE PROFESSION

Starting from the era of the Spaniards and during the entire American regime, wealthy Dagupenos prepared their children for politics and professions. They sent their promising young children to the best schools in Manila and abroad: Don Mariano Nable sent his son, Feliciano, to study engineering in England; Don Guillermo de Venecia sent his son, Policronio, to study medicine in Germany, Don Pedro de Venecia his son, Gualberto, to study medicine in Japan; one son of Don Mariano K. Laurel studied aviation in Germany, (Procopio), while another son , Cornelio, studied medicine in Japan.

Thus, while Dagupan was a fast growing business center, business and the various traders were left open to new migrants.    

 

20.  THE ZARATES

Among the few of the old Dagupan families who went into business are the Zarates. At the height of the sailboat business , Don Sinfroso Zarate and his wife Dominga Geminiano were operating a fleet of sailboats. From this business the couple grew wealthy.

The second generation Zarate, who went into the business was Don Saturnino Zarate. He was married to Concordia Tamayo of Malasiqui. The couple had two distilleries in Dagupan during the days of the American period. Their distilleries were named San Juan and La Salvadora. Don Saturnino served also as municipal councilor of Dagupan for many years.

Don Crisologo Zarate is the third generation businessman. He is a grandson of Don Sinfroso, the sailboat magnate. Don Crisologo was married to Dona Victoria Quintos, a scion of the Quintos clan of Dagupan, who were related to the Rizals. Don Crisilogo was one time a city councilor of Dagupan. He is a philantrophist. He donated to the government the site of the Dona Victoria Elementary School in the Bani District. The school was named in honor of his wife.  

As a businessman, Don Crisologo has varied interests. He is an insurance executive and has heavy investments in real estate. He was co-founder of the Dagupan City Rural Bank and served as its first president. He owns the Zarate building which houses the Vina Theater, the building which houses the Philippine Bank of Commerce, and the Victoria hotel. Management of the hotel was under his supervision. Don Crisilogo's contribution to the growth of the economy of the city is quite impressive.  

Don Crisologo has preserved the old Quintos house in its original state on account of the house’s historic significance. It was this house where Dona Trinidad Mercado Rizal stayed when she visited the ailing Leonor Rivera sometime in 1891. Most possibly, It was also on this house where the hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, stayed, when he visited his sweetheart, Leonor, in Dagupan. Dona Teodora Alonzo y Quintos was a blood relatives of the Quintos clan of Lingayen and Dagupan. She was the mother of the Rizals.  

 

21.  THE PANTRANCO

Economic and social progress, to a large extent, depend on the efficiency of a system of transportation that serves a community. The extensive road network of Pangasinan, and the birth of the Pangasinan Transportation company (PANTRANCO) were two factors responsible for the rapid growth of Dagupan into a city.

Credit for the extensive road network of Pangasinan goes largely to the late Governor Daniel Maramba. As governor, he built the roads that connected western Pangasinan to Dagupan; he also improved the road in the eastern towns that made travel to Dagupan very much easier. 

Pantranco was organized in 1917. It started its operations with only six buses. Its main terminal and the Victory hotel was in Dagupan. Two Americans: A. L. Ammend and Max Blouse, founded the company. When Frank Klar, also an American, retired as provincial treasurer of Pangasinan in 1918, he bought the company.  

It was Frank Klar, and his son-in-law, the late Don Rafael Gonzales, who first expanded the company's operations to cover the whole of Central and Northern Luzon. Sometime in 1970, ownership of the company passed into new hands this time the Manila Trading Company. Today, Pantranco buses are operating as far as Southern Tagalog and the Bicol region.  

 

22.  BLAS F. RAYOS

In 1925, two important institutions were born that expanded Dagupan towards Bani District. These two were the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital ( now known as the Pangasinan General Hospital) and the Dagupan Institute ( now the University of Pangasinan).

The hospital was established on lot donated by Don Teofilo Sison. Its first director was Dr. Raymundo Camacho. 

The story of the University of Pangasinan is deeply linked with the career of Dr. Blas F. Rayos as an educator. The school was founded in 1925 by Dr. Mariano delos Santos, Dean Francisco Benitez, Andres Jacinto, Amado Ll. Ayson, Blas F. Rayos and Miss Isabel Alisangco.  

Starting with 25 secondary students in 1925, the school grew steadily over the years. In the process the school provided the province and the city with young leaders. The man largely responsible for the growth of the school is Dr. Rayos, president of the university.  

The man was born of former-fisher folk in a barrio of Lingayen on February 3, 1895. As a grade school pupil, he had to study his lessons on the back of his father’s carabao; which he has to take to the pasture after school hours. While he had struggle to overcome poverty, he consistently finished his courses, from the primary grades to the university, at the top of his classes. 

From grade school up to university, he was a working student, He obtained three degrees from the University of the Philippines: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of science in Education, and a master of Arts in Education. Later, He was awarded a Doctor of Education degree by the University of Manila.  

Dr. Rayos is a man of varied interest and activities. He is clearly involved in the operations of the Young Men’s Christian Association. He is also chairman of the Dagupan Beautification Committee which undertook the recent improvements in the Dagupan City Plaza, The post office and the Magsaysay Park.  

To boost economic development in the Western Pangasinan, he opened the Pangasinan School of Fisheries in Lucap. Alaminos. He is also engaged in livestock production in Anda, Bolinao and other towns in the west.  

 

23. THE TANNERIES

Roman Llanillos and Tomas Nieto were migrants from Meycawayan, Bulacan. They were arrived in Dagupan in 1924. They established the first tanneries in Caranglaan.

Besides his tannery, Nieto also established a footwear factory - The La Suerte Shoe Shop on Torres Bugallon avenue.  

From tannery, the Llanillos have since then expanded into the jewelry pharmacy and movie-house businesses. 

Another Tagalog migrant, who pioneered in the footwear business was Faustino Mendoza. He was the first to put up a footwear shop where he made manufactured made-to-order shoes. Today, two of his children: Ernesto and Brigido, have continued their fathers trade. The two are now with the La Suerte Footwear.  

 

24.  POLITICS IN 1930

During the first week of February, 1930, then Councilor Numeriano Tanopo, Sr. as chairman of the finance committee of the municipal council sponsored an appropriation measure. Among other things the measure raised the salary of then Municipal President Jose P. Calimlim from P1,440 a year to P2,000 per annum. This is equivalent to a raise from P120 a month to P166.66.

Councilor Andres Tamondong and another councilor opposed the measure. Tamondong wanted the presidents salary raised from P120 to P130 a month only.  

In a by-lined article by Pascual Lozano, the Tunong newsmagazine issue of February 8, 1930. raised hell against the Tanopo measure. 

During the local elections to 1930, the TUNONG reported that in the mayoralty fight between Jose P. Calimlim and Jose F. Llamas, the latter campaigned on a platform to work for the conversion of Dagupan into a City. That early, Llamas described his platform as a "dream of Dagupenos since long ago". Llamas defeated Calimlim in that electoral fight.  

 

25.  VERNACULAR WRITING

The decade before the outbreak of the Pacific war in1941 was the golden age of the Pangasinan culture. This was the decade of two vigorous vernacular news magazines, the TUNONG and the Silew, both published in Dagupan.

TUNONG brought into full bloom the genius of Don Juan Mejia as a vernacular writer. While editing the Tunong, He wrote his literary masterpiece, and epic on the life and times of the National hero Dr. Jose Rizal. This was written in verse in classical Pangasinan. He also wrote a Pangasinan grammar and a dictionary. 

After Don Pablo's death in 1937, Miss Maria Magsano put up Silew magazines. This magazine serialized Miss Magsano's novels which were awaited with keen anticipation every week by her fans.

 

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