KANYOGAN FESTIVAL-MARTINEZ TIBIAO-APRIL 13, 14, 15, 2011
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MUNICIPALITY OF TIBIAO
(Reprinted from the Binirayan 2000 Souvenir Magazine)
Long before the Malays came, the Negritoes and the descendants of the Dayaks, Ibaloys, Itnegs, etc. from New Guinea who traveled west to Borneo passing through land bridges, inhabited Tibiao. They had their primitive beliefs, ways and customs, some of which are even practiced to this day. Later, it attracted other immigrants because of its fertile land and favorable climate, which is good for fishing and agriculture.
One of these prominent immigrants was Datu Oguid, who, together with his wife, children and faithful followers, also decided to settle in Tibiao. They anchored at the mouth of Calaugan brook, which is now a part of Poblacion Tibiao. At first, they happily settled along the land by a brook until Oguid realized that the settlement is very vulnerable to pirates and other armed adventurers because of its proximity to the sea. Therefore, Oguid with his family and followers moved on to the foot of the mountain which was at a safer distance besides being surrounded by a thick forest. The natives were friendly with the new settlers and they readily welcomed them to their place called Balanti-an. The settlement covered a large area of lowlands and highlands. Oguid divided the whole barangay among his sons and followers. The highlands were given to the natives while the plains and the lowlands went to Oguid’s sons. Oguid chose the hillside of Olid, after his name, to be the settlement as it was by a big river, now the Tibiao River.
After sometime, the relative of Oguid from Bornay knew of his prosperous life in Tibiao, Antique. They agreed to sail and meet Oguid. Oguid warmly welcomed them and the natives were entertained with food, drinks and merrymaking.
During those times Moro pirates usually robbed sailors and natives living near the shore. One day, they followed the riverbanks to rob Oguid and his followers. Approaching the gateway to Oguid’s Barangay, they were met by a giant who was Oguid’s faithful follower. Trembling with fear, the pirates fled away.
With Datu Oguid leading, Balanti-an was named barangay Oguid Pagsuguiron Amar. Being a converted Christian, Oguid went to Barbaza and requested, Father Eslao, a parish priest of the town to hold a mass in their barangay to thank God for their many blessings. Governor Barboza, Father Eslao, and the choir members and band arrived in their town.
Governor Barboza explained to the people present in the barangay that it was his policy to change the native names to Spanish. The barangay was made a barrio and Oguid Pagsuguiron Amar being a long word was changed into a short one. Datu Oguid and his followers planted a cross at the top of the mountain near Paris; Oguid and his followers planted a cross at the top of the mountain which was called “Cross” up to the present.
On November 6, 1815, Oguid together with his family and followers transferred their residence closer to the shore. They wanted to engage in trade and fishing to improve their livelihood. A wide plain between Palaypay and Calaugan brooks was selected as a good place for the people to build their homes. Juan Sarcino made a plan for the town. The land was cleared of all trees and bushes. The church and the convent were built. The plaza and the streets were laid out and the cemetery was completed. Oguid conferred with his followers and they decided to ask Gov. Barboza and the parish priest of Barbaza for a parish priest to be assigned permanently to their own town. Juan Sarcino with eight strong men of the town went to Salog, Iloilo to fetch Father Eulogio Cardones who was sent by the Bishop of Salog, now Jaro, to be the parish priest of the new town.
Population increased in the new settlements. Legend has it that one day, a group of roving Spaniards surprised a group of natives who were fishing and picking up shells by the river. One of the Spaniards asked a group of natives about the name of the place. The ignorant natives saw that the Spaniards were pointing to the place where “tigbaw” was abundant. Not comprehending the Spanish language, and thinking that he was asking the name of the grass plant “tigbaw”, the native answered “TIGBAW”. The equally uncomprehending Spaniards, thinking that the answer to their question was the name of the place, accepted what they heard as a fact. Thus, with a little help from a mispronounced word, the Spaniards listed the name of the place as “TIBYAW” or “TIBIAO” as it is known today.
Basically an agricultural community, rice, which constitutes the great bulk of the agricultural produce, is processed in 12 rice mills operating in the municipality. Other crops grown are vegetables, corn, watermelon and mango. Cattle, carabaos (water buffaloes), goats, chickens, ducks and swine are also commonly raised in the community. And of course, Tibiao is known throughout Antique as the original home of the famous Tibiao Bakery which has already branched out to the capital town of San Jose and Iloilo City.
Fish supplies primarily come from marine resources and are locally caught using conventional methods. Presently the three privately operated Otoshi-ami (Lambaklad) ensure an almost continuous supply of fish in the areas where they are situated. A very negligible percentage of bangus, tilapia and hito from brackish and fresh water sources supplement the community’s supply of fish.
Cottage industries in the municipality are not so lucrative. While there are ventures in pottery, bamboo crafts and saltmaking, the volume of produce is enough only for local consumption. Motorized tricycles facilitate mobility in some barangays; however, they are not sufficient to meet the demands of the populace.
Primarily, the Philippine Postal Service and the Telecommunication Office provide communication facilities with the latter providing a speedy medium for public use. In emergency cases, the radio communications facilities of the local Philippine National Police force and two privately owned ones are employed.
Broadcast media is the dominant link of the Tibiaoanons to the outside world. In addition, a minimum quantity of printed media of provincial, regional, and national circulation are also available.