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The town of Antequera was already well-populated by the year 600 A.D. by the Eskaya tribe who lived there up to the year 1600 A.D. Their kingdom was located at the lowlands of Antequera, having barangay Viga, as their established capital and stretching towards the riverside valleys beyond the present day Abatan Bridge.
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Evidence of Eskaya presence, such as their writings, was found by Engr. Jes B. Tirol of the University of Bohol inside the Inambacan Cave which is located at barangay Villa Aurora. Some of the writings were covered with stalagmites measuring about thirteen inches high which geologists estimate to be one thousand three hundred years old.
Haring Lomod, otherwise known as Tamblot, was an Eskaya leader whose reign was in early 1600. He was the first Boholano who raised a revolt against the Spanish conquistadors and their feud stemmed from the white silver church bell or “lingganayng ugis”. The rocky ruins of the Viga church still exist up to this day.
The area which Antequera now occupies was once a barangay of the town of Maribojoc named Agad. The present day barangay of Celing was once the center of barangay Agad wherein records reveal that it was already well-populated and the land area occupied were the plains between Boho Spring and the hill in front of the present day Central School. Before and now, the Boho Spring remains to be the main water source of the local folks.
Because of its rich and fertile lands and abundance of water supply, many people from the neighboring barangays migrated and settled in barangay Agad. The barangay progressed until such time when the local leaders filed a petition for the barangay to be made into a town, and submitted a master plan of the “new” town to Governor General Romualdo Crespo. Barangay Agad eventually was declared an independent municipality in 1876.
The Americans took over the reign of government of the Philippines and Antequera, as well as other towns of Bohol, had to adjust to the drastic change in the system of government.
Having been ruled by the Spaniards for more than three hundred years, any other leadership was viewed with suspicion. A few skirmishes occurred but were quelled by the American forces. In due time, the people of Antequera, with all other towns and cities of the Philippines, peaceably lived with the Americans; and in preparation for the country’s independence, the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines was formed. Before the Commonwealth Government ended though, the Japanese came to invade all the islands of the Philippines, including the town of Antequera.
World War II erupted when the Japanese Imperial Army attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 8, 1941. Having an American military base in the Philippines, the country was likewise attacked by the Japanese.
The town of Antequera was occupied by the Japanese in May 1942 with their first garrison being the big house owned by the Napitan family located beside the present day market building. The Japanese eventually moved to a bigger barrack which was the Central School; and with the traces of war still in the school building, it is now one of the remaining memorials of World War II in Antequera. Antequera was freed only when the war ended and independence declared on the 4th of July, 1946.
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