Profile of San Jose de Buenavista

In 1250, ten Bornean Datus (Chiefs), their wives, children, warriors, servants, and followers left Borneo and the oppression of Sultan Makatunao. In December, they landed at Siriwagan, San Joaquin, in the province of lloilo. After interrogating two men who were fishing there, they were told that the leader, Chieftain Marikudo and his wife, Maniwangtiwan were living nearby in Sinugbo. The Datus went downstream and found the Ati ruler. Negotiations commenced and the "Barter of Panay" was made. Panay was bought in exchange for a gold salakot (Chieftain's rattan hat trimmed in gold) for Marikudo and a long, gold necklace for Maniwangtiwan. The other three datus sailed northward to Luzon, leaving seven datus under the leadership of Datu Sumakwel.

Multiple settlements were established in Malandog, later including Tubigon, which is now San Jose de Buenavista, and a settlement was established in Naganya (Egana). Barangay Odiong served as a dock for boats of Malays coming from Malandog to the eastern part of Hantique (Antique). To signal boats stopping or arriving, the port authorities used budyong or horns made from a carabao’s (water buffalo) horns. The blowing of budyong took place at Telegrapo in Tubigon as this spot served as the signal and control tower. The Hantique rivers at that time were navigable and the main way of traveling.

Spanish colonizers came to Hantique in 1581. With them came Augustinian friars that Christianized the inhabitants who lived in Hamtic. They taught the people in Christian ways and built churches in Maybato, Asluman, Naganya (Egana) and Bugason (Bugasong).

There was no place called San Jose de Buenavista at that time. It was called Tubigon because it was under water. Tubigon was still a part of Hamtic and a “visita” of the church of Hamtic, meaning it had no parish priest of its own. The people went to Maybato to hear mass. The church was a big stone edifice, which gave the name “Maybato” to its vicinity. Moro pirates frequently plundered Hamtic and went as far as Maybato. These Moro pirates burned the church and took away the huge bell in the belfry. They had not gone far from Mala-iba when their boat sank and in colloquial Spanish, Mala-iba means, "it had gone away." In 1733, San Jose, formerly called “Tubigon” was founded, and in 1790, it acquired its land title through land grants issued by Governor-General Carlos Benequer de Marquina. Afterwards, it became a parish having its first “curra paroco” or parish priest, Fr. Manuel Ibañes, OSA.

About two hundred years ago, the site now occupied by San Jose de Buenavista was dense jungle and a favorite landing place of the Moro pirates who raided the countryside. During the invasions of 1743, the moros were reported to have penetrated as far as Catung-agan, but all were killed with the exception of three by the famous Manglo of Igmatongtong (Bugasong). The year 1776 saw a return of the Moros to Bugasong. In 1779, Badyangan (Patnongon) was the scene of their depredations, while Barbaza suffered in their hands in 1782 and 1787. The inhabitants gradually moved away from the coastal areas and settled in the mountains. Only two towns remained—Bugasong (founded in 1743) and Antike (founded in 1745) both belonging to the province of Oton. The Moro pirates landed in the neighborhood of Madrangca and from there, penetrated into the other regions of the province. It became clear that one of the best ways to stop them from landing at the point, was to cut down the jungle and prevent their surreptitious landings and invasions of the areas. Seven men began this hazardous undertaking in Malai-ba near the San Juan Spring under the leadership of Augustin Sumandi. In the year 1790, the sitio of Mala-iba changed its name into San Jose, not only to honor its patron saint but also to perpetuate the name of Augustin Sumandi's son, Jose. Government officials and church dignitaries arrived by boat to attend the ceremonies and were so impressed by the view of the town from the sea that they added the words "de Buenavista" to the town name. In 1802, upon petition of the people, San Jose de Buenavista became the capital of the province of Antique and Augustin Sumandi was appointed as its first Gobernadorcillo.

In 1872, San Jose became a town. Then in 1902, it became the capital of the Province of Antique. Government officials and church dignitaries came by boat to attend the ceremonies. Impressed by the marvelous view of the town, they added to the name San Jose, the word “de Buenavista” (meaning beautiful view), the town's current name.

Before the creation of San Jose de Buenavista into what it is today, it had three neighboring pueblos, Guintas, Antike and San Pedro. These pueblos, each under the Presidente Municipal, served for one year as follows:

Ceriaco Erena, San Jose de Buenavista 1901—1902
Ramon Javier, Antike 1901—1902
Nemesio Tinga, Guintas 1901—1902
Emigdio Moscoso, San Pedro 1901—1902
Anselmo Alicante, San Jose de Buenavista 1901—1902
Feliciano Mijillano, Antike 1902—1903
Apolonio Magbanua, Guintas 1902—1903
Agapito Capistrano, San Pedro 1902—1903

When the pueblos were fixed into one pueblo, San Jose de Buenavista, the following served as Presidente Municipal:

Martin Iglesias 1904—1905
Mariano Autajay 1905—1908
Jacinto Peña 1908—1910
Sixto Quilino 1910—1912
Vicente Javier 1918—1922
Antonio Ricarze 1919—1922 (He died in office, January 1922 and Jose Iglesias served the unexpired term for the whole year.)
Gregorio Esclavilla 1922—1928
Alberto Villavert 1928—1934
Antonio delos Reyes 1934—1937
Silverio Nietes 1938—1951
Julian Pacificador 1952—1954

In 1954, the title, Presidente Municipal, was changed to Municipal Mayor. When Hamtic was separated from San Jose de Buenavista in 1954, Municipal Mayor Julian Pacificador was transferred to Hamtic and Vice-Mayor Delfin Encarnacion took over as Municipal Mayor of San Jose.

Severa Panaguiton-Banusing 1956- 1963 (Still the first and only female mayor of San Jose de Buenavista)
Agerico Villavert 1964— 1967
Oscar Salazar 1968—May 7, 1986

In 1986, the incumbent Municipal Mayor did not finish his term of office when the EDSA Revolution, a peaceful civilian-backed uprising took place and brought President Corazon C. Aquino to power. Major changes were made in the national and local government offices which led to the appointment of an Officer-in Charge, Efren G. Esclavilla from May 8, 1986 to December 1987. Mr. Condrado V. Petinglay, Jr. served as Officer-in-Charge when Efren G. Esclavilla filed his candidacy to run for the mayoral seat. He was elected Municipal mayor for a term of four years from 1988-1992. The national and local elections held in May 1992 brought former Mayor Efren G. Esclavilla to the same mayoralty position.

The 1998 elections brought a new set of local officials under the leadership of incumbent Mayor Fernando Corvera and Vice Mayor Ronnie Molina. The two were reelected in the 2001 elections, where the latter was the Municipal Mayor.

2007 - 2016 Rony Lavega Molina

2016 - Present Elmer C. Untaran

Antique Provincial Seal

Gov. Rhodora Cadiao


Brgy. San Fernando

(C/O Precia Villavert Beach Resort)

San Jose de Buenavista

Antique, Philippines 5700

USA Tel: (718) 838-9626

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