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of Turtles and Men



  • Felix B. Imperial, a Mugmates/Blackjets stalwart and highly successful businessman in Staten Island, NY: "Bishop Barlin was an Imperial, too, but I'd rather that Baao be forever Baao."

  • Sancho B. Bacagan, marketing man and hard-core Mugmate, has a simple yet loaded question, "If it ain't broke, why fix it?"

  • On board "R.S. Baao," Dr. Jun Bismonte pursues his passion for fishing off the western coast of Florida. Of course, he learned the tricks as a young lad in Qui Palna.

    Fruto Ll. Ramirez, S.J., Dean at the Loyola School of Theology, sent the following email response, which I quote:

    "References to "Bao" (Baao) are found in three historical documents published in Emma Helen Blair & James Alexander Robertson (eds.), The Philippine Islands: 1493-1803 (52 vols.; Cleveland, Ohio: 1903).

    "[1] In Blair-Robertson, The Philippine Islands, vol. 8, pp. 96-141:

    'Account of the Encomiendas in the Philipinas Islands - A detailed account of the encomiendas in the island of Lušon and the other Philipinas Islands, both those belonging to his Majesty and to private individuals, pacified and hostile, with instruction and without it; with the names of the encomenderos, the number of tributaries in each encomienda, the number of ministers of instruction in them, and the number they lack and need; the capitals and the alcaldes-mayor established therein, who maintain peace therein, and governs them in peace, justice, and civilization, in their present condition. May the last, one thousand five hundred and ninety-one.' [Note the date: 31 May 1591]

    "The list of encomiendas was ordered by Gov. Dasmari˝as and sent by him to the King of Spain on June 20, 1591. Among the encomiendas listed is Bao [together with Nabua, Bula, and Buy (Buhi?)].

    "The pertinent passage reads:

    'Bao: Minor son of Sebastian Perez - These fathers of Nabua visit also the encomienda of the minor son of the late Sebastian Perez, called Bao. It has one hundred and seventy-six tributes, or seven hundred and four persons. Like Nabua, the capital, it used to have four friars, but now has not more than two. These encomiendas are not well administered, but five religious would be sufficient for it.' (The Philippine Islands, vol. 8, p. 119)

    "[2] In Blair-Robertson, The Philippine Islands, vol. 28, pp. 104-162:

    'The Religious Estate in the Philippines - [This survey of religious affairs in the islands is taken from the Chronicas de la Apostolica Provincia de San Gregorio de religiosos descalzos de N. S. P. San Francisco en las islas Philipinas (Manila, 1738) of the Franciscan chronicler Fray Juan Francisco de San Antonio, vol. 1 pp. 172-175; 190-210; 214-216; 219; 220; 223-226]'

    "The pertinent passage reads:

    '657. The discalced Franciscan religious of this province of San Gregorio have administration in what they own in that bishopric, in a convent of the village of Naga, contiguous to the city of Nueva Caceres, in the province of Camarines. A commissary-provincial lives there, and they have a good infirmary. They also minister in the villages of Canaman, Quipayo, Milaord, Minalabag, Bula, and Bao, Naboa, Yraga, Buhi, Libong, Polangi, Oas, Ligao, Guinobatan, Camarines, Cagsaua, and Ligmanan, where they minister to 52,555 souls.' (The Philippine Islands, vol. 28, pp. 154-157)

    "[3] In Blair-Robertson, The Philippine Islands, vol. 28, pp. 163ff:

    "Religious Condition of the Islands - [The following is from Historia general, by Juan J. Delgado, S.J. (written in 1751-54), pp. 141-158. The chapters here presented are from part I, book II.]