The Municipality of San Rafael


In the early part of the 16th century, our country was a famous hideout of the seahawks due to its numerous and scattered islands. The mountain ranges invited the attention of foreign ships especially seahawks to land for recreation and protection from strong winds, or defeat of sea battles. The Spanish offshore patrols often searched for these seahawks as they were dangerous to the interisland commerce, especially to the galleon trades.

One day, part of the remnants of an unknown and defeated seahawk under the command of a tall, big. handsome and bearded Captain landed at a place now called Balaring. While they were still building their settlements, they were attacked by another forceful pirate looting their homes bringing with them their things and wives of the natives. Due to this, they were forced to move to a nearby place, now called San Juan, also a barrio of Barotac Viejo. Here they were welcomed by the natives and lived harmoniously among them. But life on the shores was not easy. Oftentimes pirates and the Spanish offshore patrols landed and confiscated their food stocks, abusing their women, bringing them home.

Once, when they were pursued by the enemy, the captain and his followers fled further into the mountains. This time, it was far from the reach and cruelty of the enemies, at was is now known as Daan-Banwa, a sitio of San Rafael. After several years here, they moved further north, about two kilometers. Being located in the center, the place became prosperous. The Captain and his followers became friendly with the natives and there were intermarriages. His wife bore a child on the patron day of San Rafael. Hence, the boy’s name was Rafael. He was of exemplary character. He became the best leader they ever had, guiding them, counseling, helping, and being their protector.

About the latter part of the 16th century, he died, and in his memory, they named the place San Rafael. Because of its proximity to Barotac Viejo, it because a barrio of Barotac Viejo. However, the defunct Congress of the Republic of the Philippines created San Rafael as an independent municipality by Republic Act No. 5471, authored by Congressman Jose M. Aldeguer of the 5th District of Iloilo, and was approved on June 21, 1969.

Source: The League of Municipalities (Iloilo Chapter) | “A Testimonial Program” | Pototan, Iloilo | January 8, 1998


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