A Brief History of Tayug
By: Marius Y. Ladio - Municipal Mayor of
HOW TAYUG GOT ITS NAME: The origin of
Tayug started when a group
of brave and pioneering Ilocanos left their homes in search for a new land. In
their wandering, they were attracted by an unusual tall bacayao tree
majestically conspicuous even from a great distance away from over the rolling ,
grassy plains. Curious, they went nearer the tree, and discovering the richness
of the surrounding, they decided to establish their settlement in the place.
They cleared the land and here, under that bacayao tree, they built their new
homes. At once, they called the place "LAYUG " which means
"tall" in the Ilocano dialect, in reference to the tall bacayao tree
which has become the distinguishing landmark of their new settlement. In the
course of time, however, the name LAYUG was changed to TAYUG for the convenience
of pronunciation. Today, that little settlement, then called LAYUG, is now the
MUNICIPALITY OF TAYUG.
THE FOUNDING OF THE TOWN: Tayug was organized as a township
under the province of Nueva Ecija on February 4, 1817. However, it was only a
month later, on March 10, 1817, when Tayug was definitely established as a
full-pledge municipality with a duly constituted civil authority - Don Lorenzo
Bernardo then becoming the town's first chief executive as "Teniente
On March 17, 1817, one week after
it was formally established as a town, Tayug celebrated its first town fiesta, a
religious festival honoring St. Patrick, the town's patron saint. The
celebration, which was officiated by Fray Escobar , was to become an annual
tradition to this day.
In 1837, during the incumbency
of town executive Don Leoncadio Gamboa, Tayug together with San Nicolas, was
segregated from Nueva Ecija and put under the jurisdiction of the province of
Pangasinan. But again, in 1851, Tayug was returned as a township of Nueva Ecija.
Not until the year 1864, during the term of Don Eugenio Vinluan did Tayug
finally became a part of Pangasinan.
TAYUG DURING THE
SPANISH ERA. Hearing of the abundance of food in Tayug, hundreds of
migrants known as the Macabebes arrived from the province of Pangpanga and
settled in Tayug. However, for selfish reasons, settlers, set their own
community, isolated themselves, and refused to intermingle socially and
economically with the town's inhabitants. This angered the residence, and the
friction exploded when the gobernadorcillo, Don Cipriano Diaz order the flogging
of the Macabebes. The new settlers were driven out of town, but on April 14,
1877, a band of bandits led by one known as Tangkad, a notorious criminal
character, from San Mateo, Rizal marched to Tayug, burned and plundered the
town, to avenge the beating of the Macabebes.
Tayug was not spared
from the atrocities of the Spaniards. One of the most horrifying episode during
the Spanish period happened on Oct 2, 1890 when a poor woman went to the parish
priest to beg that she be excused from paying the burial fees for her dead son
as she had no money. Despite of the fervent pleadings of the woman, Father Jose
Cienfuegos was unmoved and he insisted that she pay her dues to the church.
Unable to find money, the woman stole the remains of her son from the church and
buried her son without paying the burial fees. This angered Father Cienfuegos
and he had her arrested, and hogtied to the cross at the patio of the church. In
the presents of many church-goers, the priest beat the woman until she died. It
was said that a few days later, Father Cienfuegos was kidnapped and never found
again. Don Vicente del Prado was later identified as having ordered the
kidnapping in reprisal for the priest's brutality on the hapless woman.
In August 1896, in response to the
growing anti Spanish sentiments, the dreaded Guardian Civil arrested and
banished ten youthful members of Tayug's intellectual elite: Domingo Patajo,
Leoncio Allas, Antonio Flor Mata, and seven others. They charged with masonry
For all the Spanish brutality and
tyranny, Tayug responded with uprisings one after the other. Colonel Calixto
Villacorta staged a revolt and attacked the convent. Cora Parroco Fray Eduardo
Garcia escape by lowering himself from the convent's window by means of tied
In 1897, the nearby town of San
Manuel, a woman revealed the existence of Katipunan in Tayug. The Guardia Civil
was immediately sent to Barangay Legaspi and arrested the barangay head Domingo
Mendoza, Quintino Cabato, Regino Cada, Patricio Benigno and thirteen others.
Finding them to be members of Katipunan, the seventeen were later executed.
TAYUG DURING THE
AMERICAN REGIME: After the Spanish defeat at Manila Bay, the Americans occupied
the country. On November 11, 1899, the American Army arrived in Tayug. Don
Victor Rivera, who was then the Presidente Locale was asked to continue serving
as the town's chief executive under the American Military Government. On May 1,
1901, Don Domingo T. Patajo became the first Municipal President under the
In 1927, the first
carnival and exposition in the province was held in Tayug on consonance with the
celebration of its town fiesta.
In 1931, during the
incumbency of Municipal President Magin F. Ausena, the town plaza of Tayug then
complete with a zoo and botanical garden, was adjudged the most beautiful in the
province and one of the best in the country.
In January 10, 1931, the
Colorum uprising broke out in protest of the abusive tenancy condition.
The harrowing experience of blood and death had but won for Tayug the
epithet known all over the land: ANG BAYANG API. Pedro Caloza, the leader of the
Colorum and his followers attacked the local Philippine Constabulary barracks
killing the Commanding Officer Lt. Bachini and his junior officer Lt. San Pedro.
The Colorum rebels then occupied the town hall and burned all land records
there. The Colorums were in control of the town for sometime until the
Philippine Constabulary sent in a large contingent which assaulted the Colorum
garrison at the Roman Catholic convent. During the assault, a 20 year old,
Valentina Vidal, came out of the convent waving the Philippine flag. She was
shot and killed.
THE WAR YEARS. At the
outbreak of World War II during the Japanese landing in Lingayen, Pangasinan,
Tayug became the provincial capital. On December 25, 1941, the Japanese Army
The town was among the
first in the country to wage active guerilla against the Japanese invaders.
On April 14, 1942, a handful of guerillas led by Lt. Severino Antiporda attacked
and captured the Japanese garrison in Tayug. The guerillas hoisted the
Philippine and American flags in the municipal building.
The Japanese counter
attacked on May 3, 1942. The guerillas met the Japanese with such courage that
they held off the invaders, although outnumbered and inferior in arms, for nine
days. When the Japanese finally recaptured Tayug in May 11, 1942, the Japanese
staged a bloody reprisals. They burned the town and executed residents just
suspected sympathetic to the guerillas.
On March 23, 1944, Captain Ohto, the Commanding Officer of the Tayug Japanese garrison, beheaded eighteen
guerillas, including one American.
The 25th Division of the
United States Army commanded by a Major General liberated Tayug on February 1,
1945. On February 20, 1945, the American Civil Government was re-established
with Don Pedro F. Kagaoan as the Municipal Mayor.
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