At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Commodore George Dewey sailed from Hong Kong to Manila Bay leading the Asiatic Squadron of the U.S. Navy. On May 1, 1898, the Dewey defeated the Spanish in the Battle of Manila Bay. The Spanish government ceded the Philippine archipelago to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris.
On June 12, 1898, the national hero, Emilio Aguinaldo led the declaration of Philippine independence from Spanish colonial rule. Philippines independence was not recognized either by the United States of America or by Spain.
The US granted independence to the Philippines on 4 July 1946 through the Treaty of Manila and July 4 was observed as Independence Day until 12 May 1962, when President Diosdado Macapagal issued Presidential Proclamation No. 28, which declared Tuesday, 12 June a special public Independence Day holiday throughout the Philippines, “… in commemoration of our people’s declaration of their inherent and inalienable right to freedom and independence.
The barangay fiestas of April and May have now accelerated into the Hinulawan Festival and the Philippine National Holiday of Independence Day celebrations. Streets are blocked nightly for parties and markets.
Toledo City came from Old Hinulawan and New Hinulawan.
Old Hinulawan was destroyed on June 3, 1863 when a series of earthquakes shook Hinulawan.
The first tremor toppled the newly built school, leveled several houses to the ground, and caused the church facade to collapse. It caused injuries and death to several residents from falling debris.
The quake that followed brought greater damage: complete destruction of the church and the convent; cracking of the lowlands in all directions; crumbling of the stonewalls along the Hinulawan river bank; and sagging of the ground, causing water from the sea and the river to rush in and flood the settlement to waist level.
A third temblor totally destroyed pueblo Hinulawan.
The survivors were rescued by residents of neighboring highland localities.
The refugees who survived the Hinulawan earthquakes slowly rebuilt their lives in the days that followed. With the help of the people of Barangay Tubod, some of the survivors cleared portions of the virgin forest and plateau in the vicinity of Tubod and constructed houses with roof made of cogon grass. Those who did not want to live in the new clearings built their homes at the foot of the Tubod highlands. They buried their dead in a cemetery in a certain part of the plateau not far from where they lived.
The area occupied by this particular group, a majority of the survivors, subsequently evolved into the New Hinulawan.
A minority of the refugees decided to migrate to other places: the hinterlands of Da-o, Bulok-bulok, Landahan, and Sam-ang as well as the pioneering settlements in the seafronts of Cabito-onan and Batohanon.
In those days pirate attacks against pueblos situated near the shores of Tañon Strait were rampant. To protect themselves against such attacks, the residents of New Hinulawan built a baluarte, or bulwark, made of chopped stone blocks piled along the shoreline. With the passage of time, however, the bulwark became dilapidated and fell apart, its remnants forever buried in the sand during the construction of the first municipio, or Municipal Hall building. The municipio itself was destroyed by Philippine Commonwealth troops and Cebuano guerrillas in World War II.
Many years later, a few among those who resettled in New Hinulawan decided to return to their former homes in Old Hinulawan when the depressed lowlands gradually became habitable. Old Hinulawan is the present-day Barangay Daanglungsod.
We live in a house at the foot of the Tubod highlands. One of the most exciting events of the Toledo 2014 celebration is the opening of the new McDonalds. Construction began in early April, with 24 hour shifts to meet the deadline for opening on June 1. People here call it McDo, with the accent on the last syllable and a strong long “o” sound. I’d rather have a McDonalds than an earthquake.