History of San Remigio
History of San Remigio

Before the place became a town, it was still under the civil and spiritual jurisdiction of Bantayan. 

In 1850, when Bogo became a parish, its spiritual administration was placed under Bogo’s. In 1863, when Bogo became a town, it became under the civil governance of Bogo, so Bogo was its matriz or mother town.

At this time, the identified visitas/ barrios from this place were: Kanghagas, Lambusan and Maraat (Victoria). 

Kanghagas was the largest among the three. Kanghagas was later renamed to Ysabel II to honor the then reigning queen of Spain, Riena Ysabela II. Thus, in effect, the three identified visitas/ barrios became Ysabel II, Lambusan and Maraat.

Around 1860-1863, the Spanish parish priest of Bogo, Fr. Jaime Micalet, petitioned the civil and spiritual authorities to create the visitas of Ysabel II, Lambusan and Maraat as a separate parish since it was hard and difficult for him to administer those barrios because of its far distance from Bogo.

A document pertaining to San Remigio from Ereccion de Pueblos (1818-1887) reads:

“El Presbitero Español Don Jaime Micalet, Cura Parroco de Bogo, con una franquesa y un disinteres, poco communes por desgracia, que por lo mismo le hacen honor, confiesa que no puede administrar los barrios de Ysabel II, Lambusan y Maraat, y propone en consequencia la creacion de una parroquia en dichos barrios. El Señor Obispo de la Diocesis prueba de una manera inconcusa que no es possible buena administracion de ningun genero a seis leguas de distancia de los llamados a ejercerla, y que los interes religiosos y civiles ganan mucho en la creacion de pueblos y parroquias en este pais tan despoblado y de tan admirable fertilidad…” This petition of Fr. Micalet received a Royal Approval from Spain in 04 October 1863 (because of the Patronato Real) and with a formal Ecclesiastical approval in 23 March 1864 and named as San Juan Nepomuceno Parish [Redondo: 165]. In effect, the birth of the new parish was separated from its matriz, Bogo. 

Likewise, the same petition of Fr. Micalet merited a favorable consideration for the development and betterment of the people of the said barrios— to create it as a town and have an independent civil jurisdiction from Bogo.

“Por Superior Decreto de 21 Noviembre de 1863 ha sido erigidos en pueblo y parroquia independiente de su matriz en la isla de Cebu la visita de Isabel II, con los barrios Lambusan y Maraat, tomando el nombre de San Remigio.” [Curas de Almas: 226]

[By Superior Decree dated 21 November 1863 has erected as a town independent from its mother town of the island of Cebu the visita of Isabel with the barrios Lambusan and Maraat, taking the name San Remigio]

It can be considered that Fr. Jaime Micalet was the father of the establishment of the parish of San Juan Nepomuceno and at the same time the father of the creation of the township of San Remigio.

Thus, in November 21, 1863, Gobernador General, Rafael Birmingham Echague, decreed that the component barrios of Ysabel II, Lambusan and Maraat became as Nuevo Pueblo de San Remigio. Why he named the town as San Remigio was only known to him. But one thing is for sure, that the naming of the town of San Remigio was attributed to the name of a saint, St. Remigius of Rheims (Spanish: San Remigio) (c. 435- 13 January 533; feast, every October 1).
 
Gov. General Rafael Echague was the same Governor General who established the town of San Remigio, Antique in July 1, 1864. He may have a penchant of the name or a personal devotion to St. Remigius of Rheims (San Remigio).

It was only in 2015 that the town government confirmed the official history of the naming of the town after a saint. For many decades before that, the history of San Remigio, Cebu, including the naming of the place, has been attributed to the legend of an unknown figure by the name of “Remigio Multon.” This widely popular but largely unsupported claim was perpetuated in the book of Gervasio Lavilles’ “Cebu: 4 Cities and its 49 Municipalities,” 1965 (see San Remigio, pp.165-166).

Who was Remigio Multon? Aside from Lavilles’ account whose source was not cited, no further account can be found nor is there any historical data about him.

In order to find the “lost” piece of the puzzle, town government and parish representatives travelled to San Remigio, Antique to research Remigio Multon, and to know the history of their town.

There, they found that the name Remigio (although surnamed Multo in Antique) is also present in its history as a Spanish officer whom the town was named after.

Believing that it was impossible for such a Spanish sentinel to have defended the two places, the it was concluded that the name Remigio Multo or Multon was simply a myth. Even in Antique, no one could say who he really was, or what he did to ever merit the naming of the town after him. The same could be said in San Remigio, Cebu. Gervasio Lavilles, the source of the Multon myth, was from Lambunao, Ilo-ilo and migrated to Cebu. He might have heard already about the mythical story of Remigio Multo(n) in Antique and in writing the history for San Remigio, Cebu, had applied the same mythical story.

(Based on the article printed in the 2014 Fiesta Souvenir Program) 


DATES TO REMEMBER:
04 October 1863-- Royal Approval (from Spain: Patronato Real) for the establishment of the visita of Ysabel II to become SAN JUAN 
NEPOMUCENO PARISH (Redondo)
23 March 1864-- ECCLESIASTICAL APPROVAL (from the Bishop) confirming the establishment of SJNP as a Parish (Redondo).
21 November 1863-- Official Date of the creation of the Visita of Ysabel II with the barrios Lambusan and Maraat to become a NUEVO PUEBLO DE SAN REMIGIO (Curas de Almas, Trota).


Sources:

1.) Jose, Regalado Trota. Curas de Almas Vol. II: A preliminary listing of parishes and parish priests in the 19th century Philippines based on the Guias de Forasteros, 1834-1898. Manila, 2008.

2.) Ereccion de Pueblos: 1818-1887. (This contains the Spanish and original texts of the Creation of Towns: photocopied from the National Archives)

3.) Redondo, Felipe y Sendino. Breve Reseña de lo Fue y de lo Que es la Diocesis de Cebu en las Islas Filipinas. Manila, 1886.

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