FIFTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PHILIPPINE COMMISSION
1904 IN THREE PARTS PART 1 BUREAU OF INSULAR
AFFAIRS, WAR DEPARTMENT
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PHILIPPINE COMMISSION TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE PROVINCE OF TAYABAS.
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR, PROVINCE OF TAYABAS,
Lucena July 8, 1904.
There are at present high schools established at Lucena, Lueban, Atimonan, and Marinduque, the first
and the last named being old and the other two recently established.
The college established in the municipality of Boac, island of Marinduque, was opened in January,
1902 for the teachlng of the subjects included In the three courses. It Is a private building, possibly the
best one In the island, and Its rent Is paid by the provincial treasury. The establishment of this institution
was solicited with a great deal of interest by the inhabitants of Marinduque in a written petition
addressed to the department of the interior.
The selection of the pueblos where the high schools are located has been amply justified. Lucena, the
capital of the province, was the first to demand a high school which would furnish a means of
educating Its inhabitants and those of the adjacent municipalities. Marinduque, which is separated by
sea from the rest of the province, and has a dense population eager for education.
That at Santa Cruz, island of Marinduque for girls, is a large building of strong materials, two stories
high, and carefully constructed. This was a private building, acquired by the municipality with funds
collected by popular subscription. The boys school, In the same pueblo, was formerly the municipal
building, and very large and solidly constructed, one which the council gallantly gave up In favor of the
education of the youth of the town.
Boac, Marinduque, is also provided with a boys school, constructed of solid materials, and a girls
school, built in 1903.
The roads from Lucena to Tayabas, from Lucena to Pagbilao, from Tayabas to Tiaong, from Tayabas
to Lueban, from Sariaya to Canda, from Unisan to Pitogo, from Pitogo to Macalelong, from Mulanay to
Catanauan, from Boac to Gasan, from Santa Cruz to Mogpog, from Santa Cruz to Torrijos, from Santa
Cruz to the anchorage grounds, a total of 13 1/2 miles of repair work 67 1/4 of new construction. Such
has been the work undertaken, in which many thousands of piculs of rice from the fund for the relief of
distress In the Philippines have been used. Nearly all of this work is done in such a manner that the
roads may be comfortably passed over by all sorts of vehicles.
The topography of the land traversed by the general highway uniting this municipality with the others in
the Island of Marinduque does not at present permit the use of vehicles, and large appropriations will
be necessary to overcome the many difficulties which it is not possible for the municipality of Santa
Cruz, owing to its small mercantile and industrial importance, to furnish.
In the northwestern part of the island of Marinduque there is a port called Balanacan, of excellent
conditions, being, perhaps, one of the best in the Philippine Archipelago. The lack of a good road,
which would place it in communicatlon with the municipality of Mogpog, in whose jurisdiction it
belongs, but situate at a considerable distance from it, accounts for the fact that up to the present time
it has not been used as a harbor and is of no advantage to the inhabitants of the island, not
withstanding that nature has placed this port there, promising them a grand future. An appropriation
has been asked for this work also, and the author of this report is aware of the fact that orders have
been given to make a study of the work and to immediately begin the preliminary labors for putting it
Another idea cherished by the provincial board with relation to Marinduque Is the opening of the road
between the harbor and the pueblo of Santa Cruz, which will avoid the present difficulties offered by
water communication that is often impracticable at low tide on account of the shallowness of the river.
It is sad to see extensive fields, at one time a magnificent demonstration of the wealth of the pueblos,
now the mute witnesses of its misery and prostration. An uninterrupted series of calamities which has
overtaken the country during the past six years has completely set at naught the superhuman efforts of
agriculturists in their struggle for existence. The present certainly is not the least critical period among
those in which Philippine agriculture was brought to its lowest stage. Never In the history of the
province was there a time when the invasion of locusts was worse, nor do we recollect any period
when the rlnderpest was so persistent as to have become of an endemic character.
The heat which, beginning in the month of March, ordinarily lasts until June or July, was uninterrupted in
the year 1903 until the latter part of October, and was of such intensity in this province and in the
pueblos of Marinduque that many streams and springs were dried up, a phenomenon absolutely
unprecedented in this part of the archipelago. Under such conditions it was of no avail to have draft
animals at hand. It meant nothing to the farmers that the locusts did not appear, as irrigated and
unirrigated lands lacking water and having borne the influence of extreme heat for over eight months
were compact masses of hard ground impossible to cultivate. The farmer felt his strength fall him and
lost all hopes of success. Such is the present state of those pueblos whose principal source of wealth
Is In the cultivation of rice.
The condition of the other munlcipalities which produce hemp and cocoa is less precarious. Lucena,
Tayabas, Pagbilao, and Sariaya on the south; Atimonan and Mauban on the north, and Boac, Gasan,
Mogpog and Torrijos in the island of Marinduque are in hard straits, but not as poor as Pitogo,
Catanaun, Mulanay, Tiaon, Lopez, Gumaca, Calauag, Infanta, Baler, and Casiguran. It will be stated
that the death of draft cattle can not in any way affect the cultivation of cocoanuts and of hemp, and
anyone having any knowledge of the subject can not doubt the truth of this. But there have been two
agents which have played a powerful Influence in defrauding cocoanut and hemp planters of their
hopes, in the same manner as rice planters on an extensive scale have suffered. These agents were
the drought and locusts.
It can be stated that the province has within the limited sphere of industry in the Philippine Islands
made some visible progress. Lucban. Boac, Santa Cruz, Pagbilao, Pitogo, Catanauan, Mulanay, and
other municipalities produce varied manufactured articles of more or less merit owing to the call for
them abroad. The making of hats of buntal, which find a great market In Europe, and those of burl,
consumed in and out of this province; mats, baskets, pocket cases, bolos, plain and ornamented with
gold and silver, saddles, fine textiles of sinamay, mixed with silk or cotton, bamboo and rattan chairs,
all of these things have been manufactured on a larger scale this year than formerly, and, thanks to
these industries, misery in all its nakedness Is not rampant in the Tayabas region.
In the pueblo of Santa Cruz, Island of Marinduque, wooden vessels of all sorts are made, but on a
smaller scale and of less excellent qualities than those made at Guinayangan and Unisan.
Copra Is the most valuable of these on account of Its abundance. It is produced in Lucena, Tayabas,
Pagbilao, Sariaya, Pitogo, Catanauan, and Mulanay in the south and central portions of the province;
Calauag, Lopez, Gumaca, Atimonan, and the Mauban on the north; and Boac, Mogpog, Santa Cruz,
Torrljos, and Gasan In the island of Marinduque. Next in importance comes hemp, which Is grown In all
the pueblos of Marinduque and Lucban, Mauban and Sampaloc. Rice, properly speaking, is not an
article of commerce, as its production such an extent that the market of Manila were supplied by It.
With regard to arrowroot, which Is produced In Marinduque, though shipped to Manila, it Is in no such
considerable quantity as to allow Its being enumerated in the same category as those above
mentioned. Sugar is not grown in any of the pueblos.
Consolidation of the Municipalities
As in other provinces of the archipelago, it was thought necessary to reduce the number of
municipalities in the province of Tayabas by consolidating those whose scant revenues and
population could not carry on a good municipal administration. In this class were the municipalities of
Unisan, Pitogo, Macalelon, Mulanay, Bondo, San Narclso, and Pagbilao on the coast of the old
province of Tayabas, and Mogpog and Torrijos in the Island of Marinduque. The proposed
consolidation was recommended by the provincial board to be carried out in the following manner:
Unisan, Pitogo, and Macalelon to be consolidated as one municipality with the name of Pitogo, and
with the seat of municipal government at the municipality of Pitogo; Mulanay, Bondo, and San Narciso
as the municipality of Mulanay, with the seat of municipal government at the municipality of the same
name; Pagbilao to be consolidated with Lucena, with the seat of municipal government at the latter
place; Mogpog with Boac with the seat of municipal government at the latter place; and Torrijos with
Santa Cruz, with the seat of municipal government at Santa Cruz. Moreover, as a recompense for the
excellent conduct of the small municipality of Sampaloc, it was recommended that it be allowed to
continue as an independent municipal organization after havIng the barrios of Bilocao, Banot, and San
Bueno, belonging to the municipality of Mauban, annexed to It. These recommendations of the
provincial board were approved by the honorable Philippine Commission, except in so far as they
related to the municipalities of Pagbilao, Mogpog, and Torrljos, and In consequence thereof acts Nos.
956 and 1003 were passed by the Commission reducing the 31 municipalities of Tayabas to 26.
The cholera first appeared In the Island of Marinduque about the beginning of September and lasted
over sixty days. It was of a virulence unprecedented in that island. Although official returns show only
501 deaths, it appears that the number of victims was very much larger, many being sure that the true
number exceeded 1,000. This Is attributed, and not without reason, to the poverty prevailing at that
time In Santa Cruz, many families without sufficient food for their proper nourishment having fallen
easy victims to the disease. It was for this reason that the provincial government, having a knowledge
of the painful situation in which the inhabitants of that municipality found themselves decided to petition
the honorable civil governor for relief rice, to be distributed gratuitously to the poor and when this
petition was generously granted the anguish of their condition was assuaged to the extent that
thousands of people who would otherwlse have perished were saved. The provincial governor sent
Doctor Baker, president of the provincial board of health, and two medical officers of the constabulary
as his assistants to that municipality to stay the disastrous ravages of the cholera. Lieut. Richard H.
Griffiths, now captain of the Philippine Constabulary, at that time commanding the detachment at
Marinduque, was the hero of the occasion, for without neglecting his duties as commanding officer he
was at the side of the cholera patients, caring for them, looking after their subsistence, and consoling
them. He made a house-to-house Inspection, even in the barrios where the epidemic was most
virulent in its development, and displaying the most humane sentiments and highest patriotism, gave
burial to the dead in the cemeteries. His self-sacrificing earned for him the admiration and affection of
all the islanders.
The municipalities of Mogpog and Torrijos, adjacent to that of Santa Cruz, were not saved from
infection. There were many deaths there, though not to such frightful extent as in Santa Cruz.
Sampaloc, Guinayangan. Lucban, and Lucena also felt the effects of the cholera, but to such a mild
degree that the attention of the majority of the Inhabitants of these towns was not excited to
any great extent.
Smallpox- After the Cholera this disease made Its appearance, first In the municipality of Guinayangan
on the 1st of July, and shortly afterwards in those of Gumaca, Infanta, Unisan, Pitogo, Macalelon,
Catanauan, Mulanay, Guinayangan, Altimonan, Mogpog, Santa Cruz, Torrijos, and Gasan. The
provincial board of health took the necessary measures for suppressing the disease, and the
president thereof, Doctor Mascufiana, went personally to the infected pueblos for the purpose of
Inspecting them and supervising the work carried on for the purpose of exterminating the smallpox. At
Atimonan, where the disease caused more ravages than anywhere else, the strictest sanitary
measures were adopted, and at the request of the provincial government the necessary help was sent
to that place by the insular board of health. This consisted of expert personnel and material which had
been telegraphed for. The disease still continues at Santa Cruz, Torrijos, Gasan, and Mauban, but at
the present time it is of mild character, and with the measures adopted by the provincial board of
health It is hoped that it will completely disappear within a short time.
Municipal boards of health
Out of the 26 municipalities which make up the province, but 13 - that is to say, one-half-have
organized municipal boards of health at the present time. They are: Lucena, Lucban, Sarlaya,
Tayabas, Mauban, Atimonan, Gumaca, Lopez, Pagbllao, Pitogo, Boac, Santa Cruz, and Infanta. All
of these boards are presided over by practicantes in medicine with the exception of those of Lucena
and Lucban, over which regularly licensed physicians preside.
During the year 1903 there was an unusual amount of activity in prospecting the remotest corners of
the different municipal districts. Groups of people of different classes devoted a great part of their
time to this work and a few of them had their efforts crowned with success. The greatest activity was
shown In Marinduque, doubtless owing to the good results obtained by an American who is
developing a claim of guano located in the municipality of Santa Cruz, Island of Marinduque.
I give hereunder a table of the number of claims registered with the provincial secretary up to and
including June 30 of this year.
Kind of Mine Location Registered Claims
Copper Santa Cruz 2
" Boac 1
" Torrijos 1
Iron Boac 1
Platinum Torrijos 1
Mercury Boac 1
Coal Gasan 1
Petroleum Santa Cruz 1
Guano Santa Cruz 2
" Boac 1
" Mogpog 1
" Gasan 2
" Torrijos 3