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BARANGAY ALAPANG

MISSION/VISION/GOALS

Mission

To empower the constituents to reach out to concerned support agencies in the implementation of sustainable economic development towards the improvement of basic services rendered to the public.

Vision

A community that is God-loving, environmentally-clean, through proper solid waste management, where healthy, mentally-fit, and educated residents enjoy a well-balanced ecology, through accelerated progress in livelihood and employment, resulting to ultimate dynamic progress.

Goals

A community with an accelerated progress on agriculture, livestock, and other gainful employment of the residents geared towards self- sustaining and supportive barangay residents.

BARANGAY ALAPANG

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Pre-Spanish Period

Alapang was once part of Alno which was part of Tackdian.  Tackdian was composed of Shilan, Bahong, and Acop during the pre-Spanish times.  It is said that there were waves of migration into the Tackdian area during the 14th and 18th century.

The first wave of migration was the iuwaks.  The iuwaks were said to have a wet rice culture.  They came in the late 14th century possibly through the Aringay-Naguilian or via Dalupirip following the river upstream to Ambuklao then to Balangbang.  Written records show that Tackdian is considered one of the earliest settlements in La Trinidad where they built rice terraces and traded with lowlanders.

During a cataclysmic volcanic eruption in 1641, only a handful of inhabitants survived the earthquake and flood.  Large boulders spewed from the earth mostly towards the area of Alapang.  “Alapang” was derived from the Ibaloi term “Adafang” meaning the powdery substance from limestone.  Through the years, these boulders have blackened as it is found today.

Rolling hills of what is now the valley proper of Tackdian was flattened and in its stead, a lake was formed.  Remnants of freshwater marine fossils have surfaced and are found in Alapang, Bahong, and Shilan.

The second wave of migration occurred in the early 1700s.  While following tracks of flecked footed deer, hunters sighted the once lush rice lands of the iuwaks and survivors of the earthquake.  These hunters were from the nearby settlements in Datacan, Pasdong, and Palew who traced their migration origins from Ahin, Tinek and Kabayan.

These hunters were in a constant search of food, living as they did by hunting and foraging root crops such as camote and gabi.  Later, they wandered in search for sites suitable for rice cultivation as those they once worked in Nagey and Abiang, both in Atok.

With the earliest wave of migration was Poskey who is said to have come from Marouk, Buguias and reputed to have slain the feared legendary “badatek” of Balakbak, Kapangan.  With a brother and a sister, they started from Marouk, settled for a generation or two in Atok, moved further on to Datakan and set out once more to their permanent settlements.  The sister’s family is said to have stayed in Basil, Tublay where they planted gabi, cassava and other root crops.  The other brother is said to have gone to a place called “Kaptangan”, somewhere in Tuba and Sablan.  Poskey’s family being inclined to rice planting decided to fertile valleys of Tackdian.  Among Poskey’s descendants are Baniwas, Pihasso, Safang, Quidno and Binay-an.

Later migrations in the same century were the two brothers Kalishis and Pashawang who came from the nearby settlements of Abiang in Atok.  Pashawang is said to have stayed and engaged in the thriving gold mine activities in Tublay while Kalishis moved further on to Tackdian.  Among his present day descendants are the Garoys, Visayas, Taboras and Balictans.  Other mentioned earlier settlers were Bongyu, Oras, Akvet and Na-ay whose descendants are the Carbonels, Gadgads, Dorianos and Pilay among others.

Tackdian in the late 1700s was once again a thriving community as the inhabitants set up permanent settlements.  From the intermarriage of the first wave of migration by and between the subsequent second wave of migrations was born the Tackdian Ibaloi.

Spanish Period

Upon the arrival of the Spaniards in 1846, the Spaniards held political control over the area by organizing political units, the Rancheria.  It is still not clear but it seems that the barangay was still not a part of La Trinidad being the capital town of the Distrito de Benguet.  The areas of Alapang, the present day Bahong, Tawang, Acop, Pangablan, and Alno were separate from what was then La Trinidad.

During this era, the Spaniards introduced many social changes into the lives of the Ibalois.  Education and Catholicism were introduced.  Only a handful of inhabitants were able to go to school.  With regards to religion, many were baptized, attaching their Spanish family names to their first names but continuing to follow the customs of the Ibaloi.

Forced Labor or polo was introduced to the people wherein they were required to pay tribute to the Spanish government by offering ten days of free labor, thus term diez dias.  The people were forced to work on the construction of trails which connected the lowlands to the highlands and the inner portions of the Cordilleras.  From Trinidad, particularly Tili, the trail leads north passing through Betdi (Acop’s place) - Caponga-Pitkil-Sapiangao ending in Atok Central.  The construction also of the Presidentia, the Spaniards’ residence at Poblacion required polo.

A recount of a certain Carame Villena, the eldest child of Duclang Malco and Dubeng tells of the Spanish cruelty.  Her father, as a boy served as a “mutchacho”, a household help for a Spanish family and was assigned to take care of many horses.  Aside from polistas, there were also cargadores or baggage carriers to the officials, teachers and other foreigners carrying the sadan chair where the Spaniards sits comfortably.  The chair has poles to which the cargadores carries on his shoulders.

The people were also forced to work on agricultural lands as the Spaniards introduced coffee and corn.  Remnants of what is to be called Benguet Coffee variety are still found in Bahong formerly owned by Pihasso and now under the care of Mayonki.

The Spaniards also included a handful of natives to join their ranks and files particularly to fill up the positions of “Capitanes” and “Cabeza de Barangay”.  Records show that Valdez and Balbalang served for Alno.  These native officials simply served as liaison officers between the indigenous people and the Spanish authorities. As a symbol of their authority, they were given the “baston”, cane made of wood.

American Period

In July of 1899, the Filipino Revolucionarios reached the area of La Trinidad.  With the Assistance of Ora Cariṅo, Clemente Laoyan, Juan Leygo and many others, they burned the Commandancia Politico Militar, the seat of Spanish Rule in Benguet which was located at Puguis.  Then, they were able to drive away the Spaniards towards the north, in the area of Cervantes and Bontoc.

Alapang became a strategic point as the Americans soon arrived.  American Negroes first arrived and stood guard in what is known today as Camp Dangwa, formerly known as Camp Holmes, for possible Spanish attacks.

The Americans tried to befriend the Ibalois by offering corned beef, clothes and money.  Since they did not know the use of money, they gave these to their children to play with.  During the American Period, many social changes were also introduced by the new rulers.  The Tacdian Elementary School was established in 1913 by the Americans.  The right to suffrage was also established.  Baniwas, who hails from Alapang and remains to have one name held the position of Presidente of La Trinidad for two terms from 1906-1908.  It is quite clear now that Alapang as a part of Alno was now considered a part of La Trinidad during this time.

In about 1910, the Americans established the Trinidad Agricultural School (now Benguet State University).  The school was an experimental farm school that studied the susceptibility of American vegetables to the La Trinidad conditions.  Among these were lettuce, strawberry, cabbage, and many more.  Consequently, many idle lands became converted to the production of these products.

World War II

During the arrival of the Japanese in 1941, La Trinidad was in chaos.  Wilson in the Skyland of the Philippines writes” . . . Many were imprisoned and tortured.  On October 2, 1946, the merciless execution of four Igorots and one Ilocano triggered the guerilla movement...”  Many families fled the valley area and sought safe places.  Men left their wives and children to join the guerilla forces.  Called the “bolo” men, basically because the weapon they had were their useful bolos.  In the memories of the old folks are the hardships they experienced as they fled and as their husbands getting summarily killed.  Through the years, guerilla activities intensified.

The leadership of Dennis Molintas and Bado Dangwa led the guerillas to skirmishes and battles in 1944 until the impending defeat of the Japanese Imperial Army in January 6, 1945 when liberation strategies started with an attack on Baguio.

Post World War II to Present Times

Reconstruction efforts started right after the war, agricultural activities started to peak as residents of La Trinidad continued to produce vegetables for the market, earning for it the distinction of the Salad Bowl of the Philippines.

During the incumbency of then Municipal Mayor Cipriano Abalos and then Barrio Lieutenant Alejandro Carbonel of Sitio Samuyao, Alapang became a distinct barangay from Alno in 1967.  Incidentally, Alapang is proud to have produced such a leader as the late Mayor Abalos.  Mayor Abalos hails from Alapang and held three terms as Municipal Mayor in 1964 to 1979.

The new barangay was first led by Barangay Captain Francisco Bugtong.  He was followed by Barangay Captain Eusebio Mariano in 1972.  Upon the lifting of Martial Law in 1982, barangay Captain Castro Chiok served Alapang for five years.  He was succeeded by Mr. Feliz Ebbes as OIC Barangay Captain until the elections in March 28, 1989 wherein Mr. Marcelo Abela inherited the barangay leadership.  The barangay election of May 9, 1994 produced Punong Barangay Vincent A. Cuyopan, then Ms. Mercedes Chiok, Santa Laigo, Vicente Segundo and at present, Rolando Leon.

Contemporary Transition

At present, the barangay remain essential rural, save for the commercial buzz along the national highway.  It continues to produce vegetables.  In 1989, the barangay, along with nearby barangays was a recipient of the Highland Integrated Rural Development Project under the Japanese International Cooperative Agency.  This project consist of market support infrastructure such as a farm-to-market road, irrigation system and warehouse; rural waterworks, human resources development and cooperative building.  This project significantly facilitated the social and economic improvements in the barangay.

Furthermore, the ecological balance remains stable as the barangay is home to a communal forest named after the barangay.  The forest has been zealously protected and nurtured over the years.  The forest was established in 1922 during the American Period.  In July 20, 1935, an amendment by the Bureau of Forestry was made for the forest to include 34 hectares.

Another point of interest in the barangay is the ancient caves bear the boundary of Alno adjoining the communal forest.  This site is being explored for development as a tourism attraction.

The inhabitants of Alapang were originally of the Ibaloi Benguet tribe but due to immigrations and inter-marriages the present population became a mixture of Ibalois, Mountain Province, low-landers and other Cordillerans.  The native Ibaloi occupies the lower irrigated portion of the barangay engaging in farming.  And the Ilocanos and other low-landers occupy the upper portion mostly within the Camp Dangwa area, composed of the PNP members, retirees, office workers and businessmen.

Barangay Alapang

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