History of Dalupaon
Dalupaon is the second largest barangay in the town of Pasacao, Camarines Sur in the Bicol region. From the year Spaniards first landed in Bicol in 1567 to the end of Spanish colonial period in 1898, government papers and private letters mentioned Dalupaes as one of the astilleros (shipyards) of Manila galleons in Camarines. American biographies written during American colonization of the Philippines from 1898 to 1946 mentioned Dalupaon as a barrio north of Pasacao. In 1975 under President Ferdinand Marcos, Philippine laws on barrio system was revised and the term barrio was changed to barangay, thus from 1975 to the present day, it has been called Barangay Dalupaon.
Dalupaon is formed by the barangay proper and sitios. The barangay proper comprises Zone 1 to Zone 5. Outside the barangay proper are five sitios: Calibayan, Langlangan, Suminabang, Taisan, and Balagon.
Dalupaon is facing Ragay Gulf and Quezon Province. It covers a total area of 1,685 hectares. It has a distance of 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Metro Manila. Travel from Metro Manila via Pan-Philippine Highway (Makarlika Highway) is about 8 hours and 41 minutes. Travel by plane from NAIA (Metro Manila) to Naga Airport takes 1 hour and 20 minutes and from Naga Airport to Dalupaon via Maharlika Highway, Danao-Pasacao road, and Caranan-Macad road takes another 2 hours.
Residents have diverse cultural backgrounds, as they have come from different parts of Bicol peninsula, Quezon province, and other regions across the Philippines.
For many decades, the means of transportation in Dalupaon has been by barotos (paddled, nonmotorized boats) and bancas (motorized boats called motorboats by locals) to and from the port of Pasacao, where the poblacion (central, downtown, old town, or central business district area) is located.
In 2018, the construction of national roads began from Caranan and Macad linking with the barangay. The highways on the coast are connecting with Sitio Balagon to the neighboring barangay of Tinalmud. For Pasaqueños, it’s a diversion road to the town of Ragay when traveling to Manila. It’s an alternative road to the Maharlika Highway of Pamplona, Libmanan, and Sipocot.
In 2020, the public road through the coastline was started to be built to link the barangay to the sitios of Calibayan, Langlangan, and Suminabang to the neighboring barangay of Caranan.
According to oral tradition, Dalupaon is derived from two Bicol words “ladop” and “paon,” meaning “to dive” and “fish bait,” respectively. Since pre-Hispanic Philippines, the main source of living in Dalupaon has been by fishing where natives either “ladop” or catch fish using “paon.”
Historical accounts passed down by word of mouth from the early generation to the 21st century generation indicate that the natives living by the shores of what is now called Dalupaon were often seen diving to look for food such as crabs and other seafood. They called it “dalup,” a term native to them, meaning “to dive.” It’s a local variant of “ladop,” the most popular and standard Bicol term in the Bicol Peninsula. The natives were always seen catching fish using baits, which they called “paon,” the same term used in other parts of the Bicol Peninsula, meaning “fish bait.”
In the early days before 1565 Spanish colonial period in Ibalong (now Bicol), a group of strangers riding Vintas from the land of the Moros (now Bangsamoro) was seen at the territorial sea of the natives living by the shores of what is now called Dalupaon. Moros were the Muslim inhabitants of the neighboring islands of Mindanao. They were notorious in Ibalong (now the Bicol Peninsula) as “Vagabonds of the South” for wandering from place to place in search for wealth. The group was led by a lakan (chieftain), who was often seen ordering his troops continuously to dive into the sea and look for hidden treasures.
Moros never again appeared in the territorial sea of the natives, but a group of Spaniards arrived in the shores of what is now called Dalupaon. They stepped on the ground and had dialogues with the natives accompanied with gestures. When they asked the natives about the name of the place and the sea while pointing to the sea, the natives misunderstood it, thinking the foreign soldiers were asking how to catch fish in the sea. Instead, they told the Spaniards that they had to perform “dalup” or they had to use “paon” to catch fish. Spaniards on their end assumed that the place was known as “Dalup y Paon,” the Spanish phrase for “Dalup and Paon.”
Old Spanish books, Spanish biographies, and official letters of Spanish government made years later in the 1600s mentioned that the place was called “Dalupaes” in the province of Camarines.
In 1610, as Juan de Silva, a Spanish military commander and governor of the Philippines, ordered the construction of 10 big galleons and 8 galleys, Spanish soldiers had selected the shores of Dalupaes as one among the three shipyards in the Bicol Peninsula.
Hundreds of years later when the Philippines was colonized by the United States after Spain lost to the United States in the Spanish–American War in 1898, American soldiers and missionaries learned about the shipyard north of Pasacao called Dalupaes or Dalup y Paon by Spaniards, but over the years of their stay in the barrio and as they heard historical accounts through oral tradition of the natives and the neighboring inhabitants, they Americanized the name of the place by shortening it to “Dalupaon.” Since then, all official records made by Americans mention that the place has been called Dalupaon.
Spaniards discovered the natural beauty of Dalupaon and its enormous wealth of natural resources—its thick forests rich in Narra, Mahogany trees, and bamboos, which led to the installation of a big sawmill in the coast.
Spaniards built a shipyard, and the coast was later called “Astillero de Dalupaes.” They constructed two galleons during the governorship of Juan de Silva (1609-1616), the Spanish military commander and governor of the Philippines. The two galleons were named “Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe” and “Santo Ángel de la Guarda.”
The galleons were used in trading between Manila and Acapulco and in defense of the Philippines against Dutch incursion in the naval battle of Playa Honda.
A proof that a Spanish shipyard existed in Dalupaon is seen near the shore within the area of Dalupaon Elementary School, and these are the remnants of a huge sawmill called “Camarín” by Spaniards. This assertion is backed by historical accounts in several repositories in Spain.
Dalupaon had played a vital role in the history of the Philippines, Spain, and the United States as well as the Japanese occupation and Dutch incursion during the World War II. Until today, wreckage of warships can be seen under clear waters of Sitio Suminabang.
Dalupaon is not only rich in marine and agricultural products but also blessed with beautiful tourist spots. It has four ancient caves: Suminabang cave, Balaycococ cave, Pantangan cave, and the Tetis cave, which are located in different locations.
Balaycococ cave has several compartments in it; one division is inhabited by giant lizards, the second compartment is inhabited by snakes, and other rooms are inhabited by giant bats.
Dalupaon has also a beautiful Cabugao Falls that can be developed and the Sawa Falls located at Sitio Calibayan.
In 1910, the barrio of Dalupaon was a Tagalog settlement of timber cutters and boat-builders, employees of a Manila lumber company. William B. Freer, an American teacher, established a school at the request of the company’s manager, who volunteered to pay the teacher’s salary from his personal funds. Freer took with him a young man who was to teach. The school opened in the little chapel which the generosity of the company had provided for the people. Within a week there were forty children in attendance, learning to use English conversational phrases, to read the first lessons of the chart, to count and to sing, and associating these esteemed privileges with the handsome American flag which floated above them. See The Philippine Experiences of an American Teacher in 1910 by William B. Freer.
In 1935, the first public school in Dalupaon was established by Mr. Leon Orea from the town of Pamplona. It lived shortly because in 1940, it was temporarily closed due to Japanese occupation of the country in the beginning of the World War II. It was reopened in 1946, when WWII ended, with one class.
In 1966, Dalupaon formed a community school, a government program for elementary schoolchildren tilling little plots of land in front of their countryside schools and learning the farming skills of their parents. The program also meant a three-way partnership between teachers, parents, and community in the insurance of a practical education both for the nation’s children, and the nation’s adults as well, using the vernacular as medium of instruction.
In 1970s, Catón was popularly used in Sitio Calibayan. Catón was literally a book composed of phrases, which was used to train beginners in reading. It was first used by Romans in the Middle Ages (476 AD to 1453) as an instruction manual to teach Latin. The same way people in Spain, former province of the Roman Empire, were educated by Romans. It’s the same way that Spaniards educated their subjects in the Spanish Philippines. Catón and Cartilla were used in Dalupaon by local teachers. These were the two main methods of systematic literacy education program, a system of free public primary education that was introduced by the Spanish government in 1870. Catón was an oral teaching method based on “question and answer” and oral instruction. Cartilla was a syllabic reading method for learning Spanish. Catón and Cartilla produced books for local children—the books instructing children of the Roman alphabet—along with printed religious poems.
In 1972, with students growing in high number and teaching was subsequently improved, the community school progressed and became a complete elementary school, thus Dalupaon Elementary School was formally recognized under Mr. Francisco Anacin.
In 1972, Sitio Balagon opened its public school.
In 1975, Mr. Ruben E. Almelor, Sr. initiated the opening of Dalupaon Barangay High School, the secondary school which was maintained and operated by the barangay. In the same year, the elementary school had 295 students while the barangay high school had 40 students under Ms. Rosario B. Bulalacao (who became Mrs. Rosario B. Misolas, and retired from teaching in Dalupaon National High School in 2018).
This History of Dalupaon is carefully documented and maintained by Dalupaon.com with references from various educational institutions in the world. It is preserved for future generations. From time to time, we are updating this page with new information verified with reputable institutions.
This page was last updated on June 7, 2020.