Provincia de Yloilo y Distrito dela Conception

Finding unique information specifically related to the history of Miag-ao is often just a hard chase like a detective story, passion for our town’s history and often by serendipity. The record called Memoria exemplifies all of that. A record of history found in the National Archives by Salvador ‘Jun’ Acsay, Jr. provides a glimpse of Miag-ao history (1800-1893) previously unknown or forgotten, but essentially fill the gap of knowledge of a century of lost Miag-ao history.

—Jonathan R. Matias

About the Memoria

The manuscript was written during the time of Friar Rev. Maximo Gonzales, Cura Paroco of Santo Tomas de Villanueva, Miagao by “un escribiente” (secretary) about the events in Miagao during his time. The status of the Paroquia (Parish), the construction of the road from Tacas to Aguiauan and the establishment of the church and the school in the barrio of San Sebastian (now, Aguiauan).

The manuscript described the Province of Iloilo relating with taxes, economy, products, people, territorial boundaries of every town, and the creation of the pueblo (towns). It was also a compilation of records about complaints against Friar Rev. Maximo Gonzales that even reached up to the Audiencia Provincial and up to the Augustinian Provincial Order. The court case was about the conflict caused by the establishment of the school in San Sebastian.

The Manuscript confirms that Miagao was created as a pueblo (town) in 1716 with 18,400 souls, representing the population of men only (women were not counted). It had copies of Aeta (Ordinances) and reports of the gobernadorcillo to the Provincial Governor. Some certifications as well as elections and certificate of votes in election of gobernadorcillo in 13th May 1893. The manuscript has the record from the General Civil Administration of a directive in creating the barrio of San Sebastian with 200 cedulas (taxpayers). There is even a record of Pedro Monteclaro’s appointment as a judge and so much more, yet to be translated

Summary by Salvador “Jun” Acsay, Jr.

To view the entire Memoria, please CLICK Here.

Court Case between the Parish of Miag-ao and Igbaras

Below is the partial translation of this court case which forms the bulk of the writings in Memoria. Because the Spanish writing style and Spanish words were from an era 200 to 300 years ago, translation had been challenging at best. Here we have the translation of this part of Memoria by the husband and wife team of Emilio Sanchez and Chen Tantengco Sanchez. Emilio is native Spanish from Zaragoza, Spain while Chen is native of Barangay Cubay, Miag-ao.

Example of the writing style of the period

Literal description of the Proceedings in the Court on the dispute between the towns of Igbaras and Miag-ao regarding two schools that were established in the place called Aguiauan, along with the other things that are referred in them.


Novales vs Father Maximo.

Mr. Chief Constable. The current government of the town of Igbaras entrusted us, the four past and current captains who sign below in our name and in the name of the community of this town, to present ourselves before you in the best way possible and say:

Having received various notices that the people of Miagao were preparing with great enthusiasm to carry out an inspection near the boundaries of our territory, we gathered all the information that we deemed most prudent and capable of uncovering the truth:

Three of the most distinguished individuals were sent to investigate the matter themselves, and they found that what was said in the simple narrative of this event was indeed true. They immediately presented to reason the harms that are to follow to our town. But there is even more, as the people of Miagao are not content with having us in the greatest constriction with such short boundaries that make up about a quarter or so of their boundaries, as your honor and all those who have traveled through those parts can attest. These boundaries are made up of continuous mountains, gorges, and landslides. Despite having endured this unjust distribution that was made out of passion and sustained by prepotency until now, they are reducing the area assigned to our boundaries.

And they have taken such measures that, in a short time, they will achieve, without any pretensions to improvement, even if they could annihilate this town. In addition to having always been good neighbors, fulfilling their obligations, paying their taxes and duties, and never having any complaints against us from the Lord Mayors. With our industry and hard work, we have made a place full of ravines and gorges useful for God and the King, among the greatest in this province. It is dear that the same people who are gathering at that site have informed us that, once the two schools that are being built are finished, a large house is planned for the meetings of another reduction that already has a separate census, although they are private and without heirs for the account that they must give to your honor. And to make this happen, they have removed eight families to compose the population, taking many subjects from the center of the town, removing several of them from their ancient cultivations (most of them say it is against their will) so that they can cultivate the new site. They even say they have two families from Igbaras to whom they will also attract.

They offer sufficient lands to increase the population with their registered residents. This has been reported by them, as well as others who live or have been forced to live elsewhere.

It is worth noting, sir, that having learned about the reports we have taken and that we were going to present them, they are threatening us with losing the resource, making various speeches in support of the reduction. But the main reason they have, which they believe will decide against us, actually favors us. They say they will respond that they do not intend to establish a visit in any place, and that they only intend to establish two schools for the education of the children who live in the Aguiauan site in Miagao, up to a distance of one league.

READ our ongoing translations:


Copy of document in Memoria regarding the proposed appointment Don Pedro Monteclaro and Don Anselmo Firmeza as governadorcillo in 1893.

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