I. BRIEF PROFILE OF THE MUNICIPALITY
A. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT
In the early 1900’s, then Governor Juan Villamor of the Province of Ilocos Sur gave the name “Burgos” to this town in reverence to the Ilocano Martyr priest, Fr. Jose Apolonio G. Burgos. It has retained said name until now.
The Creation of the Town
The creation of the town started when Fr. Bernardo Lago founded Rancheria Nueva Covera in 1831, which later on became two Spanish Rancherias. However, due to a great body of water separating these two Rancherias – the Rancheria Nueva Covera was annexed to the adjacent town of Santiago by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act No. 934. Around 1920, the name “rancheria” was changed to township; it was presumed that Covera township was already granted its petition to join Baro township and form a single municipality. A bitter struggle among leaders of both townships ensured as to which township would become the center of Burgos Government. A big conference was held to settle the case.
The agreement was to make Baro Township to be the center of the municipality. However, every time there is a change in leadership, the Covera and Baro townships were declared the town centers alternately. The Municipality of Burgos however remained to be as such when Covera township was named barrio Luna during the leadership of Don Quintin Pilar.
It was during the term of Don Benjamin P. Escobar in1963 when Baro (now Poblacion) became the permanent and official seat of the local government of Burgos, Ilocos Sur through Executive Order No. 133, s. 1964 signed by then President Diosdado Macapagal.
Past Socio-Economic Development
The existence of the Burgos River and the absence of a bridge hamper the economic development of the Municipality of Burgos. Since the inhabitants found it hard to cross the swift river waters, they would wait for the river waters to subside so they could cross the river again.
The inhabitants are said to be gold miners at Mount Punsal and used to trade with the people of Sta. Maria. Inhabitants of Mambug and Masingit considered themselves descendants of the Itnegs and Kankanaeys from the adjacent Province of Abra. While inhabitants of Macaoayan and Lucaban traced their roots from the Mountain Province and considered themselves as belonging to the Igorot tribe.
During the American occupation, public schools were opened and English and Mathematics were taught introducing the American ways of life to the inhabitants. The construction of a new Municipal Building was done during the term of Mayor Benjamin Escobar along with the renovation of the Public Plaza.
The Japanese invasion from 1941-1944 affected the lives of the people as well as their properties. Because of this, the people and their leader had a very hard time to survive.
After several years of suffering, the townspeople heard a sigh of relief due to the establishment of a Commonwealth Government. Under this new governance, the Bato Township became the permanent and official seat of Burgos through Executive Order No. 133, s. 1964 signed by President Disdado Macapagal. Likewise construction of commercial, institutional and public infrastructure were done during this period.
The municipality and its people, once again faced another period of fear and confusion when martial law was declared. However, there were also positive outcomes such as the improvement of the Municipal Plaza, cementing of municipal and barangay roads and construction of annexed buildings of the municipal hall.
In September 1992, the super typhoon Gloring brought extensive destruction in the municipality which totally washed out the Bailey bridge that is very essential for the people near the Burgos River. It was however, reconstructed in 1994 to continue the economic prosperity of the municipality.
There was not much infrastructure development in the Municipality of Burgos in the early times due to the changes caused by foreign occupations. It was only during the term of Mayor Benjamin P. Escobar in 1963 when the construction of a Bailey bridge spanning the Burgos River was completed.
In 1980, the town plaza was improved, municipal and barangay roads were cemented and annexed buildings of the municipal hall were constructed. These progresses were made possible under the leadership of Don Brigildo Filart, Sr.
Atty. Rogelio F. Fabrigas continued the task of developing the municipality through infrastructure projects promoting livelihood programs and construction of pavements in the Barangays.
After the destruction of the Bailey bridge in 1992, the construction of a Reinforced Concrete Deck Bridge (RCDC) was started rebuilding the vital link for Burgos inhabitants.
In the early part of the 19th century, the Gobernadorcillos or Capitanes of the Rancherias were appointed by the Parish Priest of Sta. Maria. All other barangay officials were appointed by the Capitan or Gobernadorcillo.
The Municipal Capitan was a title given to the head of the Rancherias or settlements as prescribed by the Maura Law promulgated by the Spanish Colonial Government in 1893. The law provided for the election of the pueblo officials through “viva voce”.
Since the creation of the town, the Municipality of Burgos has been under different regimes of local officials who held the positions of Gobernadorcillos, Capitanes, Municipal Presidents and Municipal Mayors as listed below:
AMERICAN OCCUPATION COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT
Don Magao Amarga 1908 – 1911 Don Antonio Loaguen 1945 – 1946
Don Mannog 1911 – 1914 Don Domingo Manog 1946 – 1947
Don Marbag 1914 – 1917 Don Leocadio 1947 – 1951
Don Valentin 1917 – 1920 Don Fidel Escobar 1952 – 1953
Don Diego Foronda II 1920 – 1932 Don Juan Reinante 1954 – 1955
Don Mariano Lestino 1932 – 1935 Don Benjamin Escobar 1963 – 1980
Don Quintin Pilor 1935 – 1938
JAPANESE INVASION MARTIAL LAW YEARS
Don Juan Sison 1941 – 1944 Don Brigido Filart Sr. 1980 – 1986
Don Brigido Filart 1944 – 1945
EDSA REVOLUTION – TO PRESENT
Atty. Rogelio Fabrigas 1986 – 1992
Hon. Consuelo D. Brillantes 1992 – 2001
Hon. Nathaniel D. Escobar 2001 – 2010
Hon. Riolita R. Balbalan 2010 – present
During the term of Don Quintin Pilor in 1935, the Parochial Catholic Church was built. It was also during his term that Coreta was named Barrio Luna in honor of the revered Filipino hero, General Antonio Luna.
In 1963, Don Benjamin P. Escobar made possible the permanency of the Local Government of Burgos. Following this, in 1965, he worked for the construction of a new Municipal Building at Bato, renovated the Public Plaza constructing therein a stage called “Supan ni Kagisak”, and also for the construction of a bailey bridge spanning the Burgos River which was completed in 1968. Likewise, he was also one of the co-founders of the first secondary school, the Holy Name High School, in 1967 and was also awarded as one of the Most Outstanding Municipal Mayors of the Philippines in 1967.
Don Brigido Filart, Sr. in 1980 landscaped the town plaza, cemented the municipal and barangay roads, and constructed annexed buildings of the municipal hall.
The National and Local elections of 1988 yielded the first Lawyer Chief Executive of Burgos in the person of Atty. Rogelio F. Fabrigas. He continued the task of developing the municipality through infrastructure projects, promoting livelihood programs and construction of parameters in the barangays.
It was during the term of the first woman Chief Executive of Burgos in the person of Hon. Consuelo D. Brillantes, when the municipality attained more developments and prestige. In June 1994, the newly legislated public secondary school of Burgos opened its doors to all secondary school-age inhabitants. It was also during her term when the Municipal Civic Center and the new Health Center were constructed.
In May 2001, Hon. Nathaniel D. Escobar won as municipal mayor and he continues to implement more development projects such as concreting of barangay roads, opening of barangay roads, multi-purpose pavements, barangay halls, livelihood projects and health programs.
Glimpse to the future
The Municipality of Burgos is a growing town of Ilocos Sur which is establishing its seat to be a self-reliant government entity. Located between the two provinces of Ilocos Sur and Abra, the town would soon reap the lowland and upland cultures with agricultural and eco-cultural tourism as the key factors towards its bid of becoming the “model upland municipality” of Ilocos Sur.
As in the past, Burgos functions as an agricultural municipality with rice as its main agricultural product and closely followed by corn and quality tobacco such as Virginia and native. As such, most of its people are in to farming which also serves as their source of livelihood.
The town of Burgos would soon be ready to face the challenges in the face of any event and in keeping the town a better and safe place to live in with its people who are peaceful, religious, cooperative, hospitable, hardworking, and dedicated and responsive community leaders.