Catigbian History: From Dirt to Gold
Catigbian history is rich and inspiring. From a lowly village considered to be as low as “dirt”, it has evolved into a colossus - admired by many. Aiming for gold, it is now fast becoming Bohol’s progress hub.
Catigbian was named after a plant called “Katigbi” which was observed to grow a lot in the area. With its lush surroundings and beautiful terrain, a few people came to settle in the village, cleared the lowland and developed rice paddies while the upland portions were converted into corn fields.
The village developed into a full-blown community when it was made into a resettlement site for some of the 19,420 survivors pardoned by Governor Ricafort when the Dagohoy Revolt was finally suppressed in 1829. Thus, unfortunately, it carried the name of “Rebel Town”. In 1879, its population was recorded at 2,759.
During the Filipino-American War, following the capture of Tagbilaran by the Americans on March of 1899, Catigbian’s Poblacion was burned down for it was believed to be the hiding place of the insurgents. The inhabitants fled to the neighboring barangays and towns.
In 1903, the province of Bohol was reorganized. Catigbian was annexed to Balilihan under Act No. 370 of the Philippine Commission. It was part of this municipality for 46 years until it was separated from Balilihan and made into an independent municipality in June of 1949. At its inception as a municipality, Catigbian had 15 barrios within its territorial limits.
Within the 46 years when it was still a part of Balilihan, way back in the year 1939, Catigbian became the refuge of cattle rustlers. Known to be a town of rebels, having the cattle rustlers in its midst did not make the reputation of the town any better.
In the year 2007, the census recorded Catigbian’s population to have grown from a meager 2,759 in 1879 to 23,333 people distributed in more or less 4,094 households. The town has grown and is growing with more people choosing it as their homeland primarily because of its rich natural resources and also because business has boomed in the area.
The local government of Catigbian, with the help of the people, have been working hard to erase the bad image of the town and to assure neighboring towns and provinces as well as the whole world that their place is not a dangerous place to live in. From dirt, it now aims for gold!
The present administration, with Mayor Roberto Salinas at the helm, is now geared towards full development by the construction of infrastructures, educating its constituents by establishing public schools and inviting private ones in, and implementing projects to enhance the livelihood of the people.
Assuring that the town is a safe and peaceful place; its officials opted to host the 17th Provincial Jamboree of the Boy’s Scouts of the Philippines in 2005. Though poor, yet armed with a magnanimous spirit, the Catigbianons showed a unified front.
The BSP Encampment was a success! It was attended by 2682 scouts; making the encampment the largest scouts gathering in Bohol history. They proved to one and all that their place is safe even for young children.
Hosting the scouting event paved the way to making Catigbian a tourist destination and an investor’s Mecca since it is blessed with many caves, hanging bridges, handicrafts, and its livestock market is the biggest not only in Bohol but in Region VII.
In 2006, laurels were added to the town’s concerted efforts for development when it was hailed as second to Ubay as the Best Market in Bohol; and 3rd after Bayawan City in Negros and Pardo in Cebu as Region VII’s Best Markets.
Not satisfied with these accomplishments, the town again put their best foot forward and hosted the Provincial Athletic Meet in 2008. It was a great challenge for the town, for to properly host the meet, the town has to put up so many facilities to provide for the athletes and guests.
Yet with unity and determination, the Catigbianons were successful even to the extent of laying out Bermuda grass on newly paved 70,000 square feet ground (which was the official athletics venue) four days before the main event. That was a feat unequalled in Bohol’s history!
But Catigbian’s feat and glory does not end there. In truth, the aim for development has just started the ball rolling. For one and as compared to other Bohol towns, it has successfully established annually the Katigbawan Festival in consonance with their Foundation Day in June.
The event brings in the buck, so to speak, luring in more tourists and investors; a feat that the festival has achieved in so short a time than what the town could do in months or years of developmental and promotional pursuits.
Not yet satisfied, and before leaving 2008 behind, Catigbian again came into the limelight. Finally, after years of conscientiously implementing sustainable quality standards and upholding consumer rights in the marketplace, the town bagged the Best Market Award for 2008.
Yes, 2008 to the Catigbianons was fruitful and they ended the year with a big BANG! To them, 2009 holds a lot of promise. Together they lifted themselves up from dirt . . . . together, with the same vision, they can procure gold!