Past Governors of Bicol – Masbate

Masbate is known as “the wild, wild west of the Philippines” and “the poor man sitting in the pot of gold”. Thanks to recent developments, the province is starting to shelve these names. Election observers for the May 2010 elections found Masbate to be relatively peaceful compared with the previous elections, and that the National Statistics Coordination Board noted Masbate “sliding in the list from being the poorest province in the country in the year 2000 with 70.2% poverty incidence to the 8th most poor in 2006 with 59.5%.

Unknown to many, however, Masbate is one of the early settlements in the Bicol Region. Artifacts dating back to as early as 10th century were found in Kalanay (now Aroroy), and when Captain Luis Enriquez de Guzman anchored on the shores of Masbate in 1569, he found tiny settlements spread along the coasts engaged in flourishing trade with China – an explanation why there are a number of Chinoys in the island-province. Masbate is also said to be the place where the Christianization of the Bicol started.

In part because it is the source of class lumber for the construction of galleons during the Spanish period, Masbate was declared a province in 1864. In 1908, this was revoked and Masbate was annexed to Sorsogon. Masbate again became an independent province on February 1, 1922.

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Past governors of Bicol — Catanduanes

Catanduanes was once a part of Albay. On October 26, 1945, it was emancipated from Albay and was declared an island-province by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 687.

Based on records, gubernatorial elections for Catanduanes started in 1948. According to Prof. Alex De Guzman, when the island was still in transition to becoming a full-pledge province, it was headed by Lt. Governor Felipe Olesco Usero. The complete list of governors of Catanduanes from 1948 to present is as follows:

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Ramon Santos and the Bikolano Martyrs of 1896

One of the highly commented articles here in Biklish is the Past Governors of Bicol (though that, actually, discusses only the governors of Albay).  At the end of the article is a wish (or hope) that one day, we can come up also with the basic biographies of said governors.

Luckily, we have Netizens and Biklish friends who have contributed also some information on the names listed in the article. The most active of these are the descendants of Saturnino Benito.

But while searching for the biographies of the other governors of Albay, I came across the special report of Joe Barrameda published in Bicol Mail and entitled: The Bicol Martyrs of 1896 Revisited. The report is interesting as it supports our claims that:

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Past Governors of Bicol – Albay

It’s hard to recall the past when you are not a part of it. For this reason, I am sharing a listing of the past governors of Albay to aide future researchers and maybe compensate for the lack of initiative of our Bicolano teachers and professors who prefer to teach their students on the facts and profiles of the different states of the US rather than the facts and profiles of the Bicol provinces where they and their students live.

1900 Gen. William Kobbe
1901 Gen. James M. Bell
1902 – 1904 Gen. Arlington Betts
1904 – 1906 Ramon Santos
1906 – 1908 Charles H. Reynolds
1908 – 1912 Domingo Samson
1913 – 1916 Leoncio Duran Imperial

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