History of Maragondon

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            The Municipality of Maragondon (Filipino: Bayan ng Maragondon) is a third class municipality in the province of Cavite, Philippines. Maragondon is 54 kilometers away from Manila going southwest. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 35,289 people. This municipality is in the east of South China Sea. The name of the city is often confused by immigrants and visitors from Cebu, mistakenly calling it as Marigondon, which is a barangay in Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines.

        The name Maragondon was derived from the Tagalog word madagundong or, Maugong,, meaning much sound. Actually the sound comes from a noisy river called “Kay Albaran” in the barrio of Capantayan. This area was the first townsite selected, but: because the river frequently overflowed its banks and inundated the place it was later transferred to its present site. The word madagundong not being pleasant to the ears, the people had it changed to Marigundong in honor of the town’s patron saint, Nuestra Senora Maria Asuncion (Our Lady of the Assumption). Soon after the establishment of the American regime, Lope K. Santos, an authority on Tagalog language and member of the geographic committee created to “investigate and revise” the names of Philippine towns and provinces recommended the change of “Marigundong” to “Maragondon”, definitely more pleasing to hear, the present name of the town. Incidentally, Maragondon has three foundation dates: namely, 1) 1644 when the Franciscan Fathers from Silang established their first visita or chapel; 2) 1690, the “FundacionEcclesiastica” nor founding of the regular parish by the Jesuits dedicating it to Our Lady of the Assumption; and 3) 1727, the “Fundacion Civil”, when the original barrio of Maragondon was separated from Silang during the administration of the Recollects and converted into an independent municipality with Gregorio Silvestre as the first “gobernadorcillo”.

              Maragondon belonged to the gomiento of Mariveles (now in Bataan province) until 1754 when Spanish Governor General Pedro Manuel Arandia (1754 – 1759) abolished the politico-military administration and restored Maragondon to Cavite province. Evangelization of Maragondon by the Franciscan Fathers had been going on for quite some time before the establishment of a regular parish by the Jesuits in 1690. But what is difficult to explain is that while the parish had been founded in 1627 or even 1690, the first priest assigned there began his ministry in 1774 or about a century later. Confounding the confusion, the first baptism in the parish occurred in 1802. All these findings are based on historical documents. The research conducted by Fr. Cornelio L. Matanguihan for the Imus Diocese reveals the following facts: 1) the first baptism was that of Mamerta de la Cruz, performed on May 16, 1802, according to Book 1 of the Church Records; 2) the first marriage, that of Zosimo de San Jose and Marcelina Villa on May 11, 1832, Book IV; and 3) the first death rite that for CeledonioManalo, on September 8, 1854, Book V. Fr. Matanguihan’s list of parish priests of Maragondon follows(1) Fr. Juan Cuadra (PP), 1774; (2) Fr. Diego Alvarez (PP), 1802, and Fr. Pedro Celestino (Asst.), 1802 – 1812; (3) Fr. Leon de los Santos (PP), 1812 – June 12, 1837; and Frs. Manuela Jimenez, AntinioMagtira, Mateo de Rivera, Antonio Martin, and Perfecto Rivera (Asst. Priests); (4) Fr. Anastacio de los Reyes (PP), June 12, 1837 – June 20, 1855; and Frs. Jose Martin (Asst.) Juan Aquino (Asst.), 1850, and Juan Villanueva (Asst.), 1850; (5) Fr. Manuel Jimenez (PA), June 20 – August 4, 1855; (6) Fr. Celestino Camacho, August 4, 1855 – February 20, 1858, (7) Fr. Manuel Jimenez (PP), February 20, 1858 – October 4, 1874; and Frs. Daniel Adriano, Roman Sta. Maria, Valentin Cuenca, Jose Cujuanco and Baldomero Eugenio de Jesus, all assisant priests; (8) Fr. Ambrocio Bautista (PA), “Economy”, October 4, 1871 – February 1878; (9) fr.BaltazarLecano (PA), December 18, 1878 – January 1879;(10) Fr. Calixto Marcelo (PP), January 1879 – May May 31, 1885 and Fr. CalixtoVillafranca (Asst.); In the second half of the nineteenth century the towns of Ternate, Magallanes, were mere barrios of Maragondon. Ternate was separated from Maragondon on March 31, 1857, under an agreement signed by tomas de Leon, Felix Nigosa, Pablo de Leon, Florencio Ninofraco and Juan Ramos in behalf of the Ternatenos; and by Roman Riego de dios, Cazinto Riel, Pablo Dino, EulalioLizardo and Francisco Villafranca in behalf of Maragondon. Furthermore, Bailen (now General Aguinaldo) and Alfonso seceded from Maragondon in 1858. Magallanes followed suit on July 15, 1879 under an agreement signed by Crisostomo Riel representing Maragondon and by Isidro Bello and company representing Magallanes. Maragondon played a significant role in the Philippine Revolution. Although the town belonged to the jurisdiction of the Magdiwang Council, its brave sons like the three Riego de Dios brothers (Emiliano, Vicente and Mariano), Esteban Infante, Crisostomo Riel, Vicente Somoza and Antero G. Reyes proved their unflinching loyalty to the revolutionary cause by not allowing themselves to be dragged away by Andres Bonifacio when the latter, defeated and unwilling to abide by the result of the Tejeros Convention, attempted to set up a separate government and army.

              All of them stuck to the Revolutionary Government headed by General Aguinaldo. Emiliano and Mariano Riego de Dios became top-ranking generals; Vicente, a colonel, commanded the revolutionary troops assigned at Noveleta, the Magdiwangheadquarters.GeneralEmilianoRiego de Dios was one of the three provincial governors of Cavite under the Revolutionary Government; and Mariano became the TaongAguila (Eagle man) who saved Aguinaldo from certain death in the Battle of Naik. General Mariano Riego de Dios, Colonels Riel and Infante were members of the Council of War that tried and convicted the Bonifacio brothers to death owing to their counter-revolutionary activities. Mariano Riego de Dios and Infante believed the sentence was quite harsh and abstained from signing the death verdict. This proved that the Council of War was no kangaroo court. They merely wanted banishment for the Bonifacio brothers. Aguinaldo agreed with them and ordered the commutation of the sentence from death to banishment to the mountain of Pico de Loro in Maragondon. But the senior generals, including Mariano Noriel, chairman of the military court and PiodelPilar, prevailed upon Aguinaldo to withdraw the commutation. The Bonifacios were executed in Mount Nagpatong, not Mt. Buntis as erronously stated in most history books on May 10, 1897.