A Buffalo Soldier circa 1890

When the Americans successfully captured Magalang in November 5, 1899, there are different military units of United States Army stationed in Magalang. Their headquarters was located in the convent of San Bartolome Church. In 1900, the 25th Infantry composed of Black American units of US Army replaced the 17th Infantry. These units garnered their nickname as the Buffalo Soldiers. However, when they arrived in Magalang, they inflicted abuses on the natives, and one of these incidents caught the attention of the United States Senate is the Julius Arnold case. Julius Arnold is a military musician of Company M, 25th Infantry. He was assigned in Magalang in 1900. According to the book, Affairs in the Philippine Islands, on January 15, 1900, Arnold forced a married woman, Leonora Salas of Magalang to have sexual intercourse with him. Salas resisted Arnold on his rape attempt, and she was shot by Arnold using his service pistol. Salas died on the same day due to gunshot wound. Arnold was eventually arrested and he was "dishonorably discharged from the service of the United States, forfeiting all pay allowances due him, and to be confined at hard labor, at such penitentiary as the reviewing authority may direct, for the remainder of his natural life" by the court martial. When the hearing of his case was ongoing, he was temporarily jailed in the old Bilibid Prisons. On April 25, 1900, a final verdict of the case was promulgated, the court martial sentenced him to death, "and the court manifested undeserved leniency". He served his remaining jail terms in the old Bilibid prisons and later, he was executed. 

Photo Credits:

Buffalo soldier in the 9th Cavalry, 1890, www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_soldier: Retrieved: April 18, 2017


Affairs in the Philippine Islands, Hearings Before the Committee on the Philippines of the United States Senate, 1902, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. pages 2113-2114.     


Dakit Cordero during Maundy Thursday with Rev. Fr. Pedro N. Magtoto
 with the 12 apostolados circa April 18, 1957.

Magaleños are so very religious in different celebrations especially to the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ. During the observance of the Holy Week in Magalang, these are the unforgettable moments in pertaining to the sacred celebration of Jesus' suffering, death and resurrection:

PABASA- this is one of the most popular scenes that Magalang can offer during Holy Week. During my childhood days, the pabasa was officially started in Ash Wednesday and it will end on early morning of Maundy Thursday. Barrio or sitio chapels or the bisitas will be converted into puni is where the pabasa will be held. The elders and even the young ladies in each barrios and sitios were reading the pasyun by chanting. Nowadays, the church authorities imposed restrictions on pabasa to celebrate the paschal mystery on theological aspect. Thus, they reduced the annual pabasa days up to only three days, from Holy Monday until the dawn of Maundy Thursday. Before, one of the best examples of pabasas is the puni of my great-grandaunt, Eusebia Dayrit Cabrera (1910-1989) or fondly known as Apung Biang. When the Ash Wednesday was near, she will make a small makeshift puni on their house yard in sitio Mapaco in barrio San Francisco in which the pabasa will be held. She had the old pasyun book written by a certain Leoncio Layug; which the elders will be use in chanting the pasyun. During Spanish period, my great great grandfather, Eulalio Sarmiento Mamangun (1868-1900) of Apalit, who was employed as escribano (secretary) of tribunal (municipal hall) of Magalang that time; he is one of the known pasyun writers in Magalang due to his beautiful penmanship. 

MANDARAME or MAGSALIBATBAT- we couldn't forget these scenes in Magalang during Holy Week. This ritual is practiced mostly by men. A group of flagellants will gather in a remote place in their barrios to wound themselves by using blades and they will cover their faces by a cloth. After they wound themselves, they will further wound their lacerations by striking their back of their body by using burilyo. Others, they will carrying a heavy cross made of hard wood or banana planks. They will walk within the highways and they will make every stopovers in every puni to pray for their personal intentions and to repent their sins. The church authorities discouraged this ritual nowadays, however, many of some of our folks are still practicing this ritual especially to the present young generations.

DOMINGGU NING PALASPAS or DOMINGO DE RAMOS- this is the annual commemoration of triumphal entry of Jesus in the gates of Jerusalem during Palm Sunday. Magaleños will gather in a certain place to meet the parish priest who will acting as the Jesus Christ. Then, the priest will bless the palm leaves or palaspas until they will march into the main road until they will enter into the main doors of the church, with the choirs singing alleluia. The blessed palm leaves or palaspas which is believed that it will used to prevent Satan to enter our households.

DAKIT CORDERO- this ritual is held annually during Maundy Thursday. The parish priest together with the twelve apostles will get the cordero from the assigned caretakers. Then, the priest together with the apostles will conduct prayers and they will held a small banquet. The cordero will be carry to the church to offer to the mass of the Last Supper. During the mass, the priest will wash the feet of the apostles or so called pamanos bitis. Then, after the mass, a vigilia king santissimo will be held until the church doors will be close on 12 midnight.

VIERNES SANTO LAME- after the stations of the cross was held, a procession of original Viernes Santo images will be taken place on afternoon. The original image of Santo Entierro owned by Gueco family will be processioned together with the other images like of Mater Dolorosa (formerly owned by Luciano-Tecson family, but later, it was transferred to the care of the church) Veronica (originally owned by David family, but it was passed to Lacson family), and Maria Magdalena (owned by Gueco family). The processionals will be wearing white or black colored clothes and they walk barefoot.    

SALUBUNG- this is the commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus from the death. A procession will be held when the image of Mary, wearing a black cloth will be eventually meet the resurrected Christ in front of the church. Then, a young angel will remove the black cloth of Mary; signaling the sorrow and grief is eventually over. A joyous alleluia will be sing by the church choir.

Photo Credit:

Dakit Cordero provided by Dr. Ignacio P. Morales circa April 18, 1957.


Atanasia Pamintuan Lacson (seated, left), Rogelio Lacson Lacson (standing, center) and Emilio Baron Lacson (seated, right)

The Baron family are one of the leading landowning families in Magalang. Their vast landholdings are located in barrio Sta Maria, Sitio Cabayung Sarul in barrio San Ildefonso all in Magalang, and in the former town proper of Magalang in barrio San Bartolome in Concepcion, Tarlac. In my previous post, "Magalang According to Anuario del Comercio", it was mentioned that Barons are one of the leading rice and sugar planters of Magalang during Spanish period. The Barons traced their ancestry to the couple, Don Bruno Baron and Doña Maria Yutuc. The couple has five children; Silvestra, Guillermo, Faustina, Antonia and Juliana. 

Their firstborn, Silvestra remained unmarried while Guillermo married Marcelina David; and the couple had seven children; Mariano, Soledad, Lucas, Fausta, Virginia, Tiburcio, and Candido. Mariano, who owned Cabayung Sarul married Lucia Gueco Mercado. During the Huk insurgency in Magalang, he was ambushed and killed by alleged members of Huks. His siblings, Soledad married Mariano Bernarte, Lucas married Iluminada Dizon, Fausta married Alejandro Gervacio, Virginia married Alejandro Tañedo, Tiburcio married his first cousin, Felisa Baron Cuyugan and Candido married Teodora Punu Gueco. 

Atty. Jesus Mercado Baron, former Vice Mayor of Magalang

Faustina married Ruperto Castro Layug, and they had only son Felix. After Ruperto's death, she later married Timoteo Vasquez Lacson, son of Don Manuel Suarez Lacson. former gobernadorcillo (mayor) of Magalang in 1868 and Doña Magdalena Vasquez of Porac. And they had only son, Emilio whom he eventually married his aunt, Atanasia Pamintuan Lacson, youngest child of Don Pablo Suarez Lacson and Doña Martina Quizon Pamintuan! (Emilio's father, Timoteo and Emilio's wife, Atanasia are both first cousins and their both fathers are siblings). Apung Milyo and Apung Taning had a only child, Rogelio whom he died in 1949 due to appendicitis. 

Vivencio Baron Cuyugan

Antonia married Saturnino Pamintuan Cuyugan of San Fernando, and their children are; Regino, Felix, Arturo, Bernardo, Elenita, Vivencio married Felisa Amurao, Jose married Benita Gueco Tumang, Felisa married her first cousin, Tiburcio David Baron, and Segundino married Emerenciana Gueco. One of their famous children, Vivencio served as the first socialist mayor of San Fernando and first socialist mayor all over the Philippines. His tenure started from 1937 to 1942; and again in 1945. He obtained his law degree in the United States through his talent in boxing. He was the one of the founders of Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon or Hukbalahap, who fought the invading Japanese. He was relieved by the returning Americans because of his leadership in Hukbalahap. After World War II, he fought the rights of poor farmers and workers. He was later jailed and tortured together with his family in 1953 on charge that he was a communist. He died in 1971. 

The youngest children of Don Bruno and Doña Maria, Juliana married Sixto Magno but they had no children. One of the known descendant of the Barons is the former vice mayor of Magalang, Atty. Jesus Mercado Baron, son of landowner, Mariano David Baron and Lucia Gueco Mercado. 

Photo Credits:

Family of Emilio and Atanasia L. Vda. de Lacson courtesy of Lacson family

Atty. Jesus M. Baron: from the personal possession of the blogger 

Vivencio B. Cuyugan: Nat'l historical agency recognizes Pampanga's socialist mayor by Tonette Orejas, Philippine Daily Inquirer, newsinfo.inquirer.net: retrived: March 27, 2017

Published Source:

Nat'l historical agency recognizes Pampanga's socialist mayor by Tonette Orejas, Philippine Daily Inquirer, newsinfo,inquirer.net: retrived: March 27, 2017

Unpublished Sources: 

Baron Clan 090908 compiled by Mr. Gerardo P. Baron  



Magalang's main industry is agriculture. Since Spanish period, agriculture is one of the lucrative industries in the town. Aside from its economic importance, agriculture is one of source of food of Magaleños particularly rice. Aside from sugarcane and tobacco, rice is one of the important crops of Magalang and also of the whole Pampanga.  Thanks to the contribution of the agricultural experimental station La Granja Modelo de Luzon, (presently known as Pampanga State Agricultural University) and they collected rice samplings from different rice varieties from Magalang, in Pampanga and in neighboring provinces. Those rice samplings were exhibited in Exposicion Regional de Filipinas in 1895 held in Manila. 

According to Catalogo de Objetos Presentados en la Exposicion Regional de Filipinas, these are the different rice samplings presented by La Granja Modelo de Luzon

Twenty-one palay grains in different varieties: Binondoc, Ipanaplaya, Inalsa, Ipot-ibon, Sinampaya, Matabia, Dinalaga, Macan, Binanquero, Binantu, Sinantol, Binulacsac, Quiriquiri, Taguesa, Milagrosa, Dinalamulac, Inasinan, Binagutoc, Inines, Binacauan, and Tinumbaga

Thirty four samples with spikes in corresponding varieties: Caviteña, Dame, Mindoro, Baula, Mimis blanco, Quinalaturay, Tinicling, Quinastila, Pains, Mantica, Macaue, Gracia, Malaco, Bulilinsing, Masinang, Milagrosa, Municol, Lana, Matabia, Salabsab, Piniscal, Minayor, Pigit, Apucayre, Sabanilla, Sinanfabian, Sinutla, Alasan, Quinastaño, Malismalis, Tunas, Binacauan, Minatsupal, Tinumbaga colorado and Sinablayan. 

Forty five samples with spikes from province of Tarlac in corresponding varieties: Bamas, Malbuig, Matayusa, Terana, Mimis morado, Bulic, Bandera, Inurupil, Sisihin, Quinumpit, Sinumura, Quinamiling, Sinalance, Sucupan, Ducsum, Sinipit, Pugut, Inaumang, Batulinao, Principe, Calarahin, Sinampurin, Inaluman, Guinagracia, Ihermano, San Andres, Balasang, Sapandan, Cayasan, Binatu, Baxiguis, Bagutat, Sinagduy, Binanquero, Mimis colorado, Dinomero, Macan magempit, Dinalaga, Culauatechi, Inurtuc, Quinalasiao, Muncul, Tinumbaga, blanco, Caviteña and Pungul.

Six samples with spikes in different varieties: Malaca, Caviteña, Payus, Binatu, Quinastaño and Sinutla, cultivated in mentioned granja.

Photo Credit:

Rice Plants courtesy of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)


Catalogo de los Objetos Presentados en la Exposicion Regional de Filipinas Inaugurada en Manila el dia 23 de Enero de 1895, Manila, (1896) Tipo Litografia de Chofre y Compania Escolta Numero de 33 


Facade of Magalang Municipal Hall, 1928

Magalang municipal building was one of the imposing landmarks in Magalang, It is located within the town proper, across of Plaza de la Libertad going to San Bartolome Church. Ever since, the municipal building was the house of authority and local governance of Magalang. The building traced its roots to the old casa tribunal built during Spanish period. The old tribunal was probably built after the transfer of the town from San Bartolome. It was made up of wood, bamboo and nipa roofing. In 1868, it was robbed by the bandits led by Isidoro Guinto. In 1875, it was refurbished during the administration of Don Tereso Manalo, gobernadorcillo of Magalang. And during that time, they added the military barracks or so called cuartel. In 1896, the casa tribunal was further renovated during the administration of Don Paulino Gueco, capitan municipal of Magalang. The casa tribunal was used as one of the quarters of revolutionaries in 1896; and this place where Fr. Pedro Diez Ubierna, OSA; the last Augustinian parish priest of Magalang and two other Spaniards held their last holy confession; and later, they were maltreated by the revolutionaries. 

Old Interior of Magalang Municipal Hall, 1937

During the American period, the old casa tribunal was replaced with the new edifice during the presidency of Don Antonio Y. Luciano, municipal president of Magalang. The construction took place on 1922; and the contractor is the Manila Structural Company. Interestingly, according to The Philippine Journal of Science published in 1927, the materials used in the construction of the new municipal building was quarried locally. The basalt and quartz component of the building was quarried in the Quitangil river; while the seoriaceous basalt components was quarried along Paitan river. The new municipal building was finally inaugurated in 1924. Fortunately, the municipal building survived during the war and from different natural calamities struck the town. The interior of the building was renovated in 1994 during the administration of Mayor Daniel L. Lacson, Jr. In 2015, the National Museum of the Philippines declared the municipal building as one of the Important Cultural Properties of the Philippines; together with the San Bartolome Church and the heliograph towers of barrios Sta. Cruz and San Isidro. 

Photo Credits:

For facade of Magalang Municipal Building: The Port of Manila, Philippine Islands

For old interior of the municipal building: Luciano family through the assistance of Mrs. Marga R. Lacson and Mrs. Teresita Suba. 


Bartolo, Louie Aldrin L. and Dizon, Lino L.; The Magalang Book: The Historical Life and Culture of a Kapampangan Town (1605-2015); Manila, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2016

The Philippine Journal of Science, Volume 32, Bureau of Science, Manila, Philippine Islands; January to April, 1927


Magalang was initially mentioned as visita of Arayat in 1598. However, in April 30, 1605, the Augustinian chapter was officially declared Magalang as independent town separating from Arayat. It comprises the present town of Magalang, and the city of Mabalacat in Pampanga; plus, the present towns of Concepcion, Capas, Bamban, San Jose and city of Tarlac in neighboring province of Tarlac. Magalang was administered by the Augustinian friars since 1605 until 1771, when the parishes were brriefly secularized. It is only in 1849 when Magalang was given back to the Augustinians. In 1863, Magalang was relocated to the present town proper due to large flood from rampaging waters of Parua River. Interestingly, Augustinian friars are not only engaging in religious service in their respective parishes; but they also has huge influence over local government affairs. They also protecting the parish and the town from bandit attacks, and giving warnings to upcoming natural calamities. In Magalang, there are two Augustinian friars who experienced hardships during their tenure in Magalang. 

Fr. Ramon M. Sarrionandia- native of Yurreta (Vizcaya), son of Juan Sarrionandia and Juliana Magunagoicoechea. He took his solemn profession in Valladolid in 1854. Four years later, he arrived in Manila in May 26, 1858; and he became a zealous missionary in Pidigan, Ilocos (1862), Tarlac (1863), Magalang (1866), Minalin (1873) and Angeles (1877). He also became active in Tagalog missions where he was remembered for his good tenure. He built the magnificent church of Magalang in 1866, however, in 1868, bandits robbed Magalang and they attacked the church. Fr. Sarrionandia attempted to save the town by offering the bandits of two hundred pesos. But the bandits shoot him and he was slightly wounded. The bandits kidnapped a Spaniard, Don Carlos Vega and he was brought to Mt. Arayat. However, he was saved by the townspeople who valiantly pursued the bandits. His last assignment was in Angeles, where he built the present stone church, designed by Spanish chief engineer, Don Antonio de la Camarra. He also built three bridges crossing Abacan river. He later retired and he settled in Magalang and he died there on August 14, 1880.

Fr. Pedro Diez Ubierna- a native of Celada de la Torre (Burgos); Fr. Ubierna was born in January 18, 1869. He took his solemn profession in September 19, 1886. He arrived in the Philippines in 1893 and he was assigned in San Simon (1894), Floridablanca (1896) and Magalang (January, 1898). During the revolution, he was captured by the revolutionaries in Magalang convent. He was brought in old tribunal (municipal hall) of Magalang together with two Spanish prisoners. He laid his last wish to have confession to his coadjutor, Fr. Francisco Panlilio. However, while he laid his confession, the revolutionaries maltreated him harshly.  He was the last Augustinian parish priest of Magalang. He was became a friar prisoner until he was able to escape with his companions in 1899. After his captivity, he administered the parishes of Lubao and Floridablanca, where he repaired the cemetery and roofing of the church. He was assigned back in Manila where he was credited for the renovation of the convent. He became Definidor and Procurador of the province in 1926. He also wrote in the periodical, La Estrella de Antipolo. He died in July 12, 1945.

Photo Credit:

www.sacs-stvi.org retrieved, March 4, 2017


Bartolo, Louie Aldrin L. and Dizon, Lino L., The Magalang Book: The Historical Life and Culture of a Kapampangan Town (1605-2015); Manila, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2016

Perez, Fr. Elviro Jorde, Catalogo de Bio-Bibliografico de los Religiosos Agustinos Provincia del Santissimo Nombre de Jesus de las Islas Filipinas, Manila: Establicimiento Tipografico de Colegio de Sto Tomas, 1901

Rodriguez-Prada, Fr. Jose, Memorias de Un Prisionero Durante La Revolucion Filipina, Madrid, España; Imprenta de la Viuda e Hija de Gomez Fuentenebero, 1901


Five years after the transfer of Magalang from San Bartolome, presently known as balen melacuan; Magaleños are still in their painful phase of recovery due to destruction of the town caused by large floods swept by Parua River. In 1866, the Augustinian cura parroco of Magalang, Fr. Ramon Sarrionandia started the construction of the present edifice of San Bartolome Church. However, on August 12, 1868, Friday, a band of robbers or tulisanes robbed the town. Fr. Ramon Sarrionandia attempted to save the town by offering the demands of the bandits. However, he was shot by the bandits, and due to the incident, the Magaleños were united together to fight the bandits. This incident was published on the Spanish daily periodical, based in Madrid, known as La España. And this is how started:

About four o'clock in the afternoon, ten armed men forcibly entered the tribunal (municipal building) and they took one prisoner. These men are wearing chaquetas, while their leader, a certain Isidoro Guintu known as "Doro" was armed with a stick. The lieutenant, constables and the guards were taken by surprise and they are subsequently tied up. Another twenty men followed, and they are armed with rifles, midgets, revolvers, pistols and kampilans (bolos). This group sacked the houses at the right of the plaza up to the front of the church convent. Most Reverend Fr. Ramon Sarrionandia, who directed the construction of the new church alerted his people on the attack. He ordered the doors of the convent will be closed and to ring the bells to give warning for the attack of the tulisanes (bandits). When the tulisanes came, Fr. Ramon, known for his strong character and energy, opened the windows and asked them of what they need. The bandits subsequently demanded money. Fr. Ramon offered them two hundred pesos in exchange for not sacking the town again. The bandits demanded more money even the funds for the construction of the new church. When Fr. Ramon refused to their new demand, the bandits lost patience and surrounded the convent. They shoot the parish priest three times. Fortunately, Fr. Ramon was only injured and he was slightly maimed. He limped down on the stairs and he quickly escaped by riding on his carriage.

The tulisanes continued their looting around the town. They sacked the Chinese merchants and they took Don Carlos Vega, a Spanish sergeant as their prisoner. He was tied up and his two horses are taken away by the bandits. In meantime, the bantayanes rang the bells who peals reach the barrios; alerting the residents to the attack. One man took a horse and he ran to neighboring town of Mabalacat to report the incident. The commander of guardia civil quickly marched in Magalang to repel the bandits. The parishioners formed a rear guard to protect the parish priest's escape; they are equipped with bow and arrows, and spears. 

The bandits soon abandoned the town. But they are pursued by the alerted residents of the town led by Captains Eduardo and Felipe and the members of town principalia; who volunteered to pursue the bandits. The townspeople engaged with the bandits, and they rescued Don Carlos. The people of barrio Buensuceso joined the Magaleños to pursue the bandits on the thick forest of Mt. Arayat. The Magaleños managed to kill a bandit, and they recovered a midget, pistol, bolo and knives from the fleeing wounded bandits. Later, the cavalry arrived in the town in six o'clock in the evening to pursue the bandits. After the attack, the parish priest was given medical assistance. No one of the townspeople were reported killed or wounded. 

Photo Credit:

Magalang Church during construction; Juan D. Nepomuceno Center of Kapampangan Studies, Holy Angel University, Angeles City. 


Bartolo, Louie Aldrin L. and Dizon, Lino L., The Magalang Book: The Historical Life and Culture of a Kapampangan Town (1605-2015), Manila, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 2016, pages 82-84.  

From the Spanish periodical, La España, Madrid, España, August 13, 1868