HISTORY OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF SAN BENITO

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Historical Account of the Municipality


A thirty nine – (39) year old town situated along the sea. It lies at the Southwestern tip of the island of Siargao, Province of Surigao del Norte. Sometime during the Spanish era, before the 19th century very few inhabited the place. Among them were Juan F. Antolin, Estanislao Sulapas, Sixto Cariaga and Francisco Rivas. They settled in farming and fishing as their means of livelihood. Originally, the whole place was thickly covered with full blooming Talisay trees. Jesuit missionaries stationed in Sapao, now Sta. Monica loved to visit this place, being lovers of nature. This land then belonged to Juan Antolin, a native who sometimes act as Sacristan (attendant) to the Benedictine Friars in the Roman Catholic Church of Sapao. Said place then was donated by said owner and became sitio of Sapao and was named Talisay after the thick Talisay trees.When the Roman Catholic missionaries such as MSC, SVD and Order of Saint Benedict (OSB) spread the Catholic Religion in the place they brought along with them the image of San Benito. A chapel then was erected where an image and statue of San Benito was placed sometime in the year 1895. As time went by, sitio Talisay named after Talisay tree was changed to San Benito until it became a civil barrio of Sapao.Eutiquio F. Antolin became the first Teniente del Barrio. When Sapao was reverted to a barrio per executive order of the Military Governor during the American Regime, San Benito as ceded to the town of Numancia.As a political unit, San Benito and its people dreamed to become a municipality. In 1971, Congressman Constantino Navarro, Sr. instructed Mrs. Ines S. Ladub a daughter of Eutiquio Antolin to organize responsible personalities of San Benito to rally for the creation of the municipality.They went to Surigao City as proponents and convinced Congressman Navarro to conduct ocular survey of the place that decided and promised to sponsor a bill in congress of the Philippines for the creation of the town of San Benito. Being the biggest barrio of Numancia (now Del Carmen) San Benito was created as an independent municipality by virtue of Republic Act 6396 on September 17, 1971. The people dream became a reality through the sponsorship of the dynamic Constantino C. Navarro, Sr.Six (6) Barangays composed of San Benito as follows: Talisay, Sta. Cruz, Nuevo Campo, Bongdo and Maribojoc all of the municipality of Numancia (now Del Carmen) and San Juan of the municipality of Sapao (now Sta. Monica).The first chief executive of the town duly elected who assumed office on December 1, 1971 was Honorable Alejandro P. Glimane, a son-in-law of Eutiquio Antolin up to October 1979. He was succeeded by his son-in-law Hon. Mayor Henry B. Amedo who assumed office on November 1979 to May 1986. The next Mayor who succeeded was Honorable Mayor Jose S. Rivas who assumed office of June 1986 up to September 1989. Mayor Rivas was succeeded by Vice-Mayor Roberto G. Estoque Sr. after a tragedy that resulted to the death of Mayor Jose Rivas on Sept. 14, 1989 and was elected municipal Mayor in the May 1992 Synchronized National and Local Elections up to June 30, 1998. The youngest daughter of the then Municipal Mayor Alejandro Glimane and the wife of the Ex-Mayor Henry B. Amedo, Hon. Desideria G. Amedo assumed the mayor ship of the municipality and held office until June 30, 2001.After the 2001 local election, Hon. Julio Siasico assumed the post of administration as the new local chief executive of the municipality from July 1, 2001 up to September 8, 2001. The then municipal mayor and vice-mayor elect, Hon. Roberto G. Estoque, Sr. assumed the highest position of the municipality for the second time in adherence to the rule of succession in local governance due to the death of Mayor Siasico. After the 2004 election, Hon. Desideria G. Amedo again elected as the new Local Chief Executive of the municipality and held office up to year 2007. Following after the 2007 Synchronized national and Local Elections, hon. Asteria Glimane Bhandari took office as the present municipal Mayor succeeding her younger sister Hon. Desideria Amedo, who is now the new Municipal vice mayor of this municipality.Looking around, the town of San Benito has also a native hidden beauty. The undeveloped white beaches of the three islets facing the town, such as Pagbasayan, Kangcangon and Litalit each by crystal clear blue water of the Pacific Ocean. A water fall by the side of the town.

Among the three islets along the Pacific Ocean, the Island of Pagbasayan has a safe drinking water of its own. The islets are covered by coconut trees. When developed, the islets promise ideals tourist spot. In its perspective, the municipality of San Benito and its people cherished a wide vision of promising brilliant future.With the Spanish influence, under the Franciscan, Dominican and Benedictine missionaries, the feast of San Benito with its Patron Saint Benedict is lavishly celebrated every March 21. People living in this place adopted several superstitious beliefs and practices. One of this is “Pamanhikan” where the man serves in the girl’s house for a certain period of time before the girl’s parents permit her to receive the sacrament of matrimony.Despite the changes brought by the time, some these ancient traditions are still practice by most if not all of the residents.

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