Barrio Uyugan And The Oldest Spanish Bridge
Uyugan means “where the people like a flowing water as they came down from hills settled permanently.” It is one the smallest and youngest municipalities in the province. Originally, it was just a barrio of Ivana, the neighboring municipality. It finally became an independent municipality upon the initiative petition of Don Alvaro Gutierrez and other leaders of March 1, 1909.
Located in middle of town, this is likely the oldest bridge in the entire province. Built by the Spaniards in 1850 completed by 1860, it has withstood the test of time and still being used to date. There wasn’t much to see in this entire barrio except this oldest bridge. So we didn’t spent too much time lurking around the area. But here’s the story of Barrio Uyugan:
When Spanish colonizers first arrived in Uyugan, they succeeded in subjugating all the idjangs (hilltop fortresses) on the island, except the idjang of Panao. They negotiated amicable conferences with Panao, but to no avail. This kindled a war between Panao’s men and the Spaniards. Because of their inferior armories, Panao and many of his men were killed on top of the idjang they were defending. With Panao’s death, survivor warriors and their families fearing for their lives hid in different places. After several months, the Spanish conquistadors on the island sent a group of missionaries to contact the scattered people. They befriended the people and convinced them to recognize the laws and become Catholics. The people came down from the hills and lived in the lowlands near the coast. The place chosen to be their permanent residence is now called Uyugan. During the Spanish period, the church was built, roads connecting the town proper with its barrios were opened. Children were taught the four R’s in school. However, abuses committed by the Spanish rulers such as forced labor without pay, forced tribute and unreasonable punishments, were also prevalent. Discontent among the people led some brave men top join the secret society of Filipino revolutionaries known as the Katipunan. The late Don Eusebio Cabugao was one of the well known veterans of this society. From the American period to the present, there were several marked improvements in Uyugan. School houses, the municipal hall, health center, the theaters, sea walls, flood control wall, and bridges were built. Roads to the barrios were macadamized and widened. Seaports were also improved.