Sabado, Marso 31, 2012
TALACOGON: HISTORY AND MORE
Recent findings show that Philippine Archipelago was once a part of mainland China-considering its matching shorelines.
This is proven to be true by the artifacts and jewelry unearthed in many diggings along the Agusan River which were dated to the Ming and Tang Dynasties of ancient China.
The unrecorded traders of the past (Malays, Indians, Chinese and Muslims), thru water crafts called barotos, entered the Agusan River via Masao and paddled up to the farthest part of the river tributaries in La Paz and Loreto. However, since this upper portion of the Agusan Valley upward, were flooded during the rainy seasons, these pioneer traders capsized in their baroto thus losing all their precious merchandise, so that they had to establish their settlement somewhere at higher elevated land which was later called Talacogon (probably from Taga cogon or cogon land due to the abundance of this grass during those times). Thus, Talacogon become the hub of commerce and civilization before other municipalities were established in Agusan which was then a part of Surigao.
During the early 1800’s, the Spanish friars had already permanently established the Roman Catholic religion in the Municipality. In fact, it was in the early 1970’s that other religions were able to put up a church in Talacogon. Economic progress was slow, mainly because of lack of accessibility as commerce and industry had to pass via the Agusan River from industrialized places of the North to the vast natural resources of the South.
Today, Talacogon, is the last frontier in Agusan del Sur. It is already accessible by road from the highway, and is the last focal point being the ideal exit of natural resources from the south (La Paz) from the west (up to Bukidnon), and from san Luis in the north. Actually, it is in the heart of the Agusan Valley.
Although Talacogon had been sluggish in its development during its century and a decade of existence yet it has produced some of the most famous personalities both in Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte.
The late former Assemblyman, Governor and Con-con delegate, Hon. Apolonio D. Curato, was born in Caimpogan, formerly a sitio of Talacogon. Butuan City ex-mayors, Silvestre Osin and Figurado Plaza were also Talacognons. The late Mayor and former Governor Felixberto Dagani of Cabadbaran has his ancestors in Talacogon. And our very own, the late former Congressman and Governor Democrito O. Plaza (popularly known as D.O. Plaza) was a very successful businessman and politician. Today, Talacogon is recovering from its prolonged lethargy and is flexing its muscles to the tune of modern civilization.
It is hoped, and it will come to pass, that it was the 1st bastion of civilization and, therefore may become the last victim of modern man’s folly – the destruction of our social values (drug addiction), the destruction of our natural resources (denudation), and the ultimate destruction of our souls thru lack of religion and loss of moral values.
NATURAL FEATURE OF THE MUNICIPALITY
The town is located in the Southern Central portion of the defunct Province of Agusan, (now divided into two provinces, the north and the south), which was formerly a Sub-Province of Surigao, and situated along the Agusan River, now a part of Agusan del Sur. Its wide tract of lowlands is suitable for rice production. Though of course the overflowing of Agusan River occurs once a year during its rainy days, during the months of November-December, the inhabitants could still harvest rice in two to three times a year depending on the variety of rice planted. However, there are upland areas also good enough for any kinds of major crops that could be planted. Its fertile uplands grow big lawa-an and gubas and many more trees fit for logging which invite concessioners to establish logging operations in Talacogon. Per Geodetic survey, Talacogon is 4 below sea level which easily accumulate water during rainy seasons. The weather condition of Talacogon is variable. Its variability help much in crop rotation, but, its most important product are rice and corn.
POLITICAL AND EDUCATIONAL SET UP
Organized and established as a municipality during the Spanish Regime, sometimes in the year 1872, Talacogon is one of the oldest municipalities among the three municipalities that belong to Agusan Province. Its original jurisdiction covers up from Esperanza, Bayugan, Prosperidad, San Francisco, Trento, Bunawan, Veruela, Sta. Josefa, Loreto, La Paz, San Luis, all of these were former daughters municipalities of Talacogon. Since the time it has been established as a municipality, the succeeding executives were the following: The first was the late Capitan Don Vicente Otaza, then followed by the late Capitan Diego Guerrero, then the late Maurecio Goloran, Roman Corvera, Eduardo Rocero, Santiago Novo, Matias Balinton, Romualdo Flores, Gregorio Quijada, Pedro Corvera, Venancio Mondejar, Quirino Pujida, Pio Edillor, Martin Mondejar, Cipriano Goloran, Mario Buco became the first mayor under the commonwealth, followed by Vevencio Curato, Venancio Balinton, Orencio Mondeajr, Teofilo Plaza Sr. (all deceased). Former Mayor Melchor Durango, Apervado S.Curato (deceased) of the new Republic of the Philippines. Former Mayor Consolador Curato, Isaias C. Masendo; a two termer mayor (1992-2001 and 2007 at present, Cesar P. Juaton and the (2001-2004).
The former seat of its government was along a creek called Talacogon Lake Creek, which later on was moved and transferred one kilometer way south east just along the Agusan River when people from different places came in for business and agricultural purposes. Now the Municipal Hall is located on the heart of the Poblacion, particularly located at Barangay San Agustin.
The first christian education introduced in Talacogon, was the Spanish Education brought about by Father Pio Urios a Jesuit who also brought along Christianity, which was later on, carried by succeeding Jesuits like Father Domingo Babe, Pedro Eras, Francisco Navot, Felipe Homo, jose Canudas, Ignacio Vela, and Cristobal Saster. Later on, when this order was relieved, the catholic priest which composed of Hollandres under the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, now ruled the Catholic religion of Talacogon.
The first feasible transportation of Talacogon is through water following Agusan River which will cost one to navigate from Butuan to Talacogon in full 10 hours, that is, coming up against the current, to Talacogon and 8 hours going down to Butuan.
The construction of the road from Prosperidad to Talacogon, covering a distance of 27 kilometers, had improved the Socio-Economic of Talacogon.
The Electrification Program, in Talacogon gave its new birth of being linked to modern civilization because four-wheeled transportation like jeepneys, trucks and all kinds of motors are now coming to Talacogon. The completion of the Talacogon Bridge invites people from different places to settle in Talacogon not only for agricultural, but, for business and many potential materials to be of great use. If the national roads to Davao and Bukidnon be materialized, the Talacogon will have more chances to become the business distributing center in Central Mindanao. If Agusan del Sur will be divided into two provinces, still, Talacogon has more chances to be the capital of the Occidental Agusan.
DATE OF OFFICIAL RECOGNITION
Official records can no longer be retrieved because the old municipal hall was burned during the war. Hard copies were not backed up with the new technology at the local, hence retrieval of files will be done at the national archives.
Surigao was once the mother municipality of Talacogon during the Spanish Regime where Agusan also belonged in this province. Spanish Government was in Surigao. It has a wide scope that Talacogon was once among the barangays. Since Talacogon became the business center during the Spanish Regime, whereby the church and the state were combined, the Jesuits, through their vested powers, issued authority recognizing Talacogon a municipality, (records could not be found due to war destruction.)
Parts of the Municipality of Talacogon which now became municipalities
By virtue of the Executive Order No. 147 and Section 2 of Rep. Act # - 1515, the following place became municipalities which was formerly a part of Talacogon.
1. La Paz
3. Sta. Josefa
5. San Luis
By operation of the provisions thereof, they are declared and considered as one of the municipalities comprising Agusan Province. Such provision was done in the City of Manila, the 31st day of March, 1965, by his Excellency, the President Diosdado Macapagal, President of the Philippines, duly recorded by Mr. Ramon A. Diaz, Executive Secretary.
Official seal of Talacogon signifies the four major crops produced in the municipality namely;
- Logo is brown and green represents the thinker and after plantation crops such as rubber, etc.
- Logo of corn in fresh whites and yellow green, another farm products
- Logo of rice is yellow orange.
- Logo of mudfish which are abundant in the vast marshes and lakes.
- Yellow color in the outer circles signifies the acquired freedom.
African Daisy is the Official Flower of Talacogon. It is chosen by many because of its adaptability in terms of the locality’s soil and climate. It can bloom flowers the whole year round which is very lovely to look at and its inviting color is very attractive.
Green Color is the official color of Talacogon since the municipality/area is a timber land, forest products are abundant and the soil is fertile. Farmers too enjoyed their good harvest whole year round.
PRESENT DAY TALACOGON
The Municipality of Talacogon has a total population of 33,229. Male population exceeds in terms of number compared to female. A total of 17,299 or 52.10% male while the female has a total of 15,930 or 47.90%.
In the municipality, the population age bracket 22-50 years old rank highest with a total of 12,137 persons, followed by those who belong to age bracket 7-12 years which has a total population of 7,328, following closely are those who have the age-bracket of 13-16 and 17-21 with a total of 5,331 and 5,311 and lastly, those who belong to 61 years old and above with only 3,408 persons.
In year 2000 to 2005, there was an increase of population that was probably the result of the migration due to the operation of industrial plant in the area and the number of births during that period. The growth rate for the period was 2.44%.
Giving consideration to the age-group 17-60 years old which totals to 16,657 labor force or 49.7% of the total population, employment rate is 10,835:16,657 or 65%. Five percent (5%) work on regular basis in the government. Farming dominates in number with 47% Farmer could be considered as under-employed in as much as they are not working as full-time farmers. Only few are engaged or belong to seasonal employment like carpentry/masonry, barber, etc.
It is generally peaceful and crime rate is very low where physical injury is the common crime committed. It is not elevated to the higher court because the members of the Lupong Tagapamayapa of every baranagy do their functions well that results to amicable settlement. There is an existing Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council headed by the Municipal Mayor, wherein during the occurrence of disaster and natural calamities, the Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council and the Barangay Officials are vigilant and helpful when incidents happened .
Thanks to Sir Balong Remedio of the Municipal Planning and Development Office.