Magdiwang, Romblon

"Magdiwang" redirects here, for the political faction, see Katipunan.

Magdiwang is a 5th class municipality in the province of Romblon, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 12,032 people in 2,422 households.

Variant Romblomanon locally called Sibuyanon dialect (Sibuyanon Magdiwang-España style) is the native language of the municipality's inhabitants.


The history of Magdiwang begun sometime in 17th century when settlers of Malay stock and origin choose to live along the northern coast of the Island and along the riverbanks of the huge river now known as Nailog river. As Spanish local authorities and missionary clergies persuaded and convinced these pagan settlers to convert to Catholic religion and to pay tributes, many resisted and moved to the forest in order to avoid forced conversion.

Settlers who decided to remain in the lowlands encountered problems when merchants came to collect their products widely found throughout the islands. Despite the fact that these products fetched high prices at that time, merchants paid the natives so little that there was never enough for those people to meet their basic needs. This made some of the inhabitants retreat once again to higher grounds.

Eventually, more of them were forced to go back to the mountains in subsequent years. In the course of time, due to their non-participation in the colonized lowland society and also because of their resistance to political, social and cultural inroads of colonization, non-indigenous religions and cultures they became historically differentiated from the majority of Filipinos and became indigenous people once again.

Early records and manuscripts pertaining to olden Magdiwang referred to this place as ‘Rancheria’ as in ‘Rancheria de N-ylog'. Rancheria meant ranch of wild or savaged people or 'cimmarones' and 'mundos'. This referred to Mangyanes or Mangyan tribes who were widely settled in the area. A new name for these Mangyans was recently coined as Mangyan-Tagabukid, a name given by some anthropologist who conducted studies on these people without checking and digging-up ancient manuscripts and history on how and why these people were named as such in ancient times. Whatever they call them, lowland Sibuyanons call these indigenous people as ‘May-as’ tribe. (With excerpts from Mangyan-Tagabukid write-ups..) The name 'N-ylog' or 'Naylog' was derived from the name of the river Nailog or 'ilog' meaning 'river'.

The first written history of Sibuyan island where Magdiwang is located was in May 10, 1570 when Spanish conquistador and explorer Martin de Goiti on orders of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi the ‘Maestro de Campo’ (Master of the Camp) or better known as the ‘El Adelantado’, explored and conquered all settlements and native villages along their way in their search for Manila. With a team of 27 ships, 280 Spaniards and several hundreds Bisayan (Visayan) auxiliaries, they found native Pintados or painted (Tattooed) Visayan indios living in the island of Sibuyan. He noted the island to have a population of around 200 indios.

Just a little over a year in November 2, 1571 the islands of Cibuyan (Sibuyan) and Tablas including the settlements along the river Mahalud (or Maharlu / Mahanlur in some records) were organized into a single encomienda belonging to Don Alvaro de Angulo. Presently, this is the modern coastal barangay of Majanlud located east of Sapian, Capiz as one of the earliest settlement in Panay. The island of Tablas was again visited by another Spanish explorer in 1582 by the name of Don Miguel Lopez de Loarca who was a census officer dispatched by the Spanish authorities to evaluate the vastness and wealth of their new conquered territory. He was perhaps the second European to set foot on the island of Sibuyan. In his writings he noted native painted indios of around 300 souls (residents) in the island who already converted to Christianity. The island belongs to the province or alcaldia of Panay in the Pintados. The third European to set-foot in the island was a Spanish missionary and explorer, Father Pedro Cubero Sebastian who made religious and missionary exploration and investigation for the furtherance of the Catholic faith in 1667.

In 1716, Capiz was created a separate province out of the old Alcaldia de Arevalo (Iloilo), formerly called Panay in the Pintados province and later Ogtong (Oton). The new province included the islands of Romblon group and the valley of Aclan in northwestern Panay island.

A group of religious missionaries led by Don Valentine Ayala and a certain Ariola found settlement in this place. The settlement was known as fundacion (settlement) de N-ylog originally founded by religious missionaries under the jurisdiction of pueblo de Sibuyan with its seat located at Cajidiocan town. The first recorded existence of N-ylog (Magdiwang) was in January 22, 1820 when this northern settlement of the island was organized into ‘de la Mision de N-ylog’ or Naylog in some civil and church records found (Defunctiones, Bautismos and Casamientos) of peublo de Sibuyan.

On March 19, 1853, the District of Romblon was organized known as Politico Militar Commandancia de Distrito de Romblon under Commandante de Infanteria Don Ramon Vieytes as its first Commander (petty Governor) taken from Capiz province with four existing towns namely, Romblon which was designated as the new capital town, Banton which included Sibale, Cajidiocan originally known as pueblo de Sibuyan and Looc.

The full text of the superior decree in Spanish: ‘El superior decreeto No. 206 del 19 de Marzo de Ano de 1853 mandato creacion Commandante Politico Militar del Distrito de Romblon de la provincia de Capiz”. On February 18, 1854 the decree was confirmed by a superior decree. “La real orden No. 57 del 18 de Febrero del ano de 1854 approvado la creacion de el Distrito Politico Militar de Romblon con denominacion de Commandante Militar de Romblon”. The following year of 1855 recorded a tremendous leap on the creation of new pueblos or parishes under the new government.

17 new pueblos were added to the existing four. However, visita de Sibale remained part of pueblo de Banton. The new pueblos that were created in 1855 were: Guintiguian (San Agustin), Simara (Corcuera), Odiongan, Andagao (Calatrava), Parpagoja (San Andres), Tingaray (Ferrol), Catolog (Santa Fe), Cabalian (sitio of Agmanic, Santa Fe, formerly a pueblo), Saban (sitio Sabang, Danao Norte, Santa Fe, formerly a pueblo), Lauan (Alcantara), Guinbirayan (barangay of Santa Fe), Cauit (now named barangay Azagra, San Fernando), Pag-alad (San Fernando), España (barangay of San Fernando), Isabel (barangay Cambalo, Cajidiocan, formerly a pueblo), Princesa (formerly a pueblo now sitio Cangumba of barangay Azagra in San Fernando) and Magallanes (formerly Naylog now Magdiwang).

Please note that it was in 1855 when the former name and status of 'de la mission de Naylog' was changed to pueblo (parish) Magallanes, its new name in honor of the Philippine islands discoverer to the western world, Ferdinand Magellan or Fernando Magallanes in Spanish. Six years later in 1861, another pueblo was organized close to pueblo de Magallanes located in the upstream of the present poblacion named Rancheria de Infiel in February 21, 1861. This new pueblo was organized for the sake of the Mangyanes or May-as tribe located in what is now barangay Dulangan, Magdiwang. It was organized in-order that the works and missions conducted in the lowland villages will be carried-out more easily and could be extended even into the mountains and wilderness in trying to tame and convert these wild people and their children who fled to the mountains who were against conversion. The missionaries strongly believed that even religion had special mission in converting the wildest and the most ferocious natives. Thus the necessity for creating 'Racheria de Infiel' into an independent pueblo (parish) functioning both as a missionary and evangelical center.

Thirteen years later, the Politico Military Commandancia del Distrito de Romblon was converted into Politico Military Commandancia dela Provincia de Romblon on January 11, 1868. This happened during the incumbency of Commandante de Infanteria Don Joaquin Corillo who was installed as Commandante since 1866. As a consequence, Don Corillo being the first official Governor of the new province reorganized the local municipal government.

Thus 15 existing pueblos (municipios) or parishes were abolished namely: Guinpuc-an (barangay Carmen in San Agustin established in 1861), Cagbagacay (Santa Maria established in 1857), Pag-alad, Rancheria de Infiel (Ranch of Savaged or Wild People found at barangay Dulangan), España, Isabel (now barangay Cambalo, Cajidiocan), Princesa (formerly a pueblo, its territory now forms part both of sitio Cangumba in barangay Azagra and barangay Otod), Odiongan, Andagao, Parpagoja, Tingaray, Catolog, Sabang, Lauan and Guinbirayan.

The 7 retained pueblos were the following: Romblon, Badajoz (now San Agustin formerly Guintiguian renamed Badajoz on August 28, 1868) Banton, Corcuera, Looc, Cajidiocan, Azagra (San Fernando), and one missionary center named mision de Magallanes (Magdiwang) and one semi-autonomous visita administered from pueblo de Banton named visita de Concepcion. Magallanes was demoted as Missionary center from its former status as pueblo or parish. Before the end of Spanish rule, four pueblos were restored, namely: Odiongan, Santa Fe, Despujols (San Andres) and España.

Civil government was established under the Americans on March 16, 1901. Magallanes was one of the 11 new municipalities. The other municipalities in the province were Badajoz, Banton, Cajidiocan, Corcuera, Looc, Odiongan, Romblon the Capitol, Despujols, San Fernando and Santa Fe. The province of Romblon was abolished on July 15,1907 and incorporated to the province of Capiz as a sub-province due to insufficient income. Concepcion however was separated from the rest of the province and incorporated into the province of Mindoro due to its long distance from Capiz town, the capital town of Capiz province now known as Roxas city. For this reason, it was created into a separate local government unit known as the Municipal District of Concepcion as attested by a Romblon map showing the provincial maritime boundary of Mindoro (now Oriental Mindoro) encroaching the island of Maestro de Campo published in 1914 and issued by the U.S. Army Map Service, Corps of Engineers. Please check Philippine Map Series S501 reprinted in 1954 for reference.

In March 10, 1917 the province of Romblon was restored as a regular province. On that same year of 1917, due to reorganization and the province's difficult financial status as newly restored entity, the former municipality of Magallanes was abolised and annexed to Cajidiocan. In 1918 official census, Cajidiocan had a total of 18 barrios. Twelve of which were located in Cajidiocan and 6 were from the former municipality of Magallanes, namely: Magallanes, Silum, Jao-asan, Ipil, Dulangan and Agsao. Magallanes was restored as independent municipality on March 1, 1933 with a new name, Magdiwang as a tribute to the Magdiwang faction of Andres Bonifacio, Supremo of the Katipunan, taken from Cajidiocan and it was inaugurated on March 24 & 25, 1933 by Governor Manuel T. Alvero. While the former municipal district of Concepcion belonging to Mindoro was recalled back to the province.

In June 8, 1940, the special municipality of Sibuyan was established through the passage of Commonwealth Act No. 581 sponsored by a Bantoanon legislature, Congressman Leonardo Festin. Magallanes was abolished and was annexed to the new municipality with its seat at Cajidiocan town. The former town of Magallanes was represented only by a councilor at its municipal council in the municipality of Sibuyan based in Cajidiocan town. On May 26, 1946, the special municipality of Sibuyan was abolished through the passage of Republic Act No. 38 represented by Congressman Modesto Formelleza and took effect on January 1, 1947 when the Philippine President signed the Republic Act no. 38 restoring Magdiwang as a Municipality. Today, Magdiwang is composed of 9 barrios or barangays to-date.

Population of Magdiwang at Various Time

Land Area
Poblacion (U) /c 55.56 /d 645 404 718 759 902 1,292 1,535 1,706 2,092 2,264 2,327 2,516
Agdamang or Agdumlang
or Agdamlang
29 15
Agnonoc 34 15
Agsalay 28 145
Agsao 1,256.84 8 20 269 758 399 328 420 528 510 489 596 663 746 743
Agtiwa 58 48
Agutay 625.83 133 /d 200 612 634 677 951 974 1,117 1,224 1,220 1,380 1,536
Ambulong 401.48 46 31 160 313 375 458 547 651 741 1,034 1,075 1,065 1,240
Casing 15 17
Cabangajan 43 39
Canlomboy 3 44
Can-uac 51 21
Coyongcoyong 24 18
Dulangan 1,118.25 170 43 148 399 381 305 259 540 655 687 971 1,108 1,110 1,171
Guintac-an 19
Ipil 487.64 340 226 239 509 730 636 773 997 1,079 1,166 1,420 1,515 1,471 1,510
Jao-asan 2,737.34 108 194 539 424 505 458 562 673 648 837 924 1,000 990
Lantawan /e
Lumanbao 66 55
Magallanes 408
Malabago 14 23
Puao 162 99
Padulog 69 41
Pundol 26
Pisi 38 36
Pinamang-an 35 25
Silum 1,539.88 38 18 283 434 146 141 135 240 209 233 372 458 500 490
Tampayan 438.47 204 82 378 602 625 720 944 1,218 1,362 1,859 2,220 2,433 2,728
Tanasan 61
Tiailan 23 16
Tinap-anan 16 11
Tinimbauan 35 50
Total 8,661.29 1,835 1,844 2,275 3,047 4,325 4,308 4,802 6,601 7,504 8,149 10,405 11,447 12,032 12,924
/a – Municipality of Magallanes /b - Part of Cajidiocan in 1918 /c – Magallanes in 1894, 1896, 1903 & 1939. Magdiwang from 1948 to-present /d - Population not stated /e - Lantawan's population was included under Jao-asan /f - 2007 NCSO Census

Development of Magdiwang’s Barrios / Barangays:

The original land area of pueblo de Magallanes (presently Magdiwang) was impressive in size during Spanish time, perhaps one of the biggest in the province, if not the largest. During Spanish era, its boundary extended from what is now barangay Cantagda in Cajidiocan to barangay Agtiwa in San Fernando.

Herewith is tabulation of its existing sitios or barrios enumerated in year of 1894 census. Total number was 29 including the Poblacion, namely: 1. Guintac-an, 2. Tinimbauan, 3. Agtiwa, 4. Tailan, 5. Agutay, 6. Malabago, 7. Coyong-coyong (Colong-colong), 8. Agsao, 9. Pinamang-an, 10. Ipil, 11. Pisi, 12. Ambuyong (Ambulong), 13. Lumanbao, 14. Can-uac, 15. Canlumbog, 16. Pundol, 17. Pueblo de Magallanes, 18. Tampayan, 19. Poao, 20. Padulog, 21. Agnonoc, 22. Tinap-anan, 23. Casing, 24. Silum, 25. Cabangajan, 26. Dulangan, 27. Agsalay, 28. Jao-asan (its population recorded in 1894 represents both for Jao-asan and 29. Lantawan constituencies). Magallanes total population in 1894 was 1,835.

In 1896, the following were enumerated: 1. Tinimbauan (Guintac-an abolished and annexed to Tinimbauan), 2. Agtiwa, 3. Tailan, 4. Agutay (its population was not indicated in 1896 data), 5. Malabago, 6. Colong-colong, 7. Agsao, 8. Pinamang-an, 9. Ipil, 10. Pisi, 11. Ambulong, 12. Lumanbao, 13. Can-uac, 14. Canlumbog, 15. Pueblo de Magallanes, 16. Tampayan, 17. Poao, 18. Padulog, 19. Agnonoc, 20. Tinap-anan, 21. Casing, 22. Silum, 23. Cabangajan, 24. Dulangan, 25. Agsalay (Pundol, Lantawan and Jao-asan all abolished and annexed to Agsalay) 26. Tanasan (created taken from Tampayan), 27. Agdumlang (in some records: Agdamlang or Agdamang, location is unknown but it was created taken from Poao). Magallanes total population in 1896 was 1,844.

The American civil government, from 1899-1901, reduced the number of barrio to facilitate the military policy of concentrating the civilian population of the poblaciones. Thus, before the first official census under American administration was conducted in 1903, Magallanes municipality retained only 9 of its barrios, while 18 numbers were abolished. The 9 retained barrios were the following: 1. Agutay (which absorbed Tailan and Malabago); the former barrios of Agtiwa, Tinimbauan and Guintac-an were given to San Fernando municipality, while the former barrio of Cabangajan was also abolished and converted into sitio and annexed to barrio Danao of Cajidiocan; 2. Agsao (absorbed Colong-colong and Pinamang-an); 3. Ipil (absorbed Pili); 4. Ambulong (absorbed Can-uac and Lumanbao); 5. Tampayan (absorbed Tanasan, Poao and Agdumlang (in some records: Adamlang or Agdamang); 6. Silum (absorbed Agnonoc, Tinap-anan and Casing); 7. Dulangan (absorbed Pundol and Agsalay); 8. Jao-asan (this barrio of Jao-asan was restored taken from Agsalay and incorporated the former territory of barrio Lantawan); and 9. Poblacion with a total combined population of 2,275 in 1903 census.

In 1917, the former municipality of Magallanes was abolished and became part of Cajidiocan town. Due to this reorganization, a total 3 of its barrios were abolished, namely: Tampayan (it was annexed to Silum), Ambulong (annexed to Ipil) and Agutay (annexed to Agsao), while the rest, six in numbers, were retained and enumerated as barrios of Cajidiocan as shown in 1918 census which included the former Poblacion and enumerated as barrio Magallanes. These 6 barrios were: Silum, Ipil, Agsao, Dulangan, Jao-asan and barrio Magallanes. In 1933, Magallanes was restored as regular municipality taken from Cajidiocan with a new name of Magdiwang, and 3 of its former barrios were restored back to its former regular barrio status. Today, the municipality of Magdiwang included the territory of the former municipality of Rancheria de Infiel previously located in what is now barangay Dulangan that existed as a separate pueblo or parish during Spanish time. A total of 9 barrios or barangays composed the municipality of Magdiwang to-date, namely:


Magdiwang is politically subdivided into 9 barangays.

  • Agsao
  • Agutay
  • Ambulong
  • Dulangan
  • Ipil
  • Jao-asan
  • Poblacion
  • Silum
  • Tampayan

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