Move to split province bared

Special to the Manila Times

BACOLOD CITY, Oct. 17, 1961 – A move to divide Negros Occidental into two provinces was bared by Rep. Agustin M. Gatuslao during a symposium sponsored by the Negros Press Club at Hinigaran where four of the five known congressional aspirants for the third district were the main speakers.

Rep. Gatuslao, brother of Gov. Valeriano M. Gatuslao and Himamaylan Mayor Jose M. Gatuslao, is running for reelection for congress in the third district under the Nacionalista banner.

He revealed that a bill to split this province was presented in the last session of Congress but failed to pass because of opposition in certain quarters.

“But this time,” he vowed, “I’ll press the division if I am elected, because the big size of the province demands it.”

Jacinto Montilla, LP official candidate, assailed Gatuslao for abandoning the welfare of the southern towns and barrios during the latter’s term of eight years as congressman of the third district. Montilla pledged that, if elected, he will emphasize the building of roads that will connect the hinterlands to the towns.

Other speakers were Dr. Macario Zafre (NP) and Cesar R. Borromeo (Ind.). Dr. Zafra, who is related to President Garcia, said that he will utilize his close relations with Malacañang to the advantage of the people in the third district.

Borromeo, a former newspaperman and past president of the Negros Press Club, said that his past reputation as a fighting member of the fourth estate is guarantee enough that he will protect the interests of the poor.

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The Gatuslaos: Five generations in politics

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Leadership Profile: Rep. Agustin M. Gatuslao

Source: Get to know your officials, 1st ed, 1958

Hon. AGUSTIN M. GATUSLAO

Representative

Third District, Negros Occidental

Rep. AGUSTIN M. GATUSLAO has the distinction of breaking a 50-year old no re-election tradition in the third district of Negros Occidental.

Garnering a convincing majority of nearly 17,000 votes over his closest rival in the last 1957 polls, Rep. Gatuslao now begins his second term in the lower House with renewed confidence from his constituents.

“Tio Tuting,” as he is fondly called, began his meteoric rise in Negros politics as municipal mayor of his home town, Himamaylan, in 1937, holding the same position for three consecutive terms until 1945.

Born in Himamaylan, Negros Occidental, on August 8, 1904, he is the fourth child of Don Serafin Gatuslao and Julita Monton.

Rep. Gatuslao finishd his elementary and high school education at the Colegio de San Agustin in Iloilo (now University of San Agustin). For his college education, he chose the University of Santo Tomas, where he obtained his bachelor of laws degree in 1926. He passed the bar examinations in the same year.

During his first term in the lower House of Congress, Gatuslao was a member of the following standing House groups: Committee on Provincial and Municipal Governments and Committee on Public Works. He was also a ranking member of the Commission on Appointments wherein he was the chairman of the sub-committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Rep. Gatuslao is married to the former Alicia Montinola of a well-known family in San Enrique, Negros Occidental,with whom he has five children: Hernan, a holder of a bachelor of science degree; Carminia, a bachelor of arts degree holder (cum laude); Florinda, Maria Theresa and Antonio.

“Tio Tuting” can be proud of his record in the public service as it has always been ‘stainless’ and dedicated to the welfare of the commonweal.

Gatuslao, indeed, is a legendary name in the history of Negros Occidental.

Finally, as Philippine politics becomes a more complex part of our endeavors as an independent nation, Rep. Gatuslao, with all resolve and determination, fervently hopes to be a more useful and a cmore active participant in our great task of making the Philippines a more respected country in the world. And surely, he will do it!

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Himamaylan Officials (1938)

Source: Negros Yearbook 1938

The Municipality of Himamaylan

Municipal Mayor……………………… Agustin Gatuslao

Municipal Vice Mayor………………. R. Montesino

Councilors

  1. Florencio Villfranca
  2. Isabel Segovia
  3. Dr. Felipe Gariloa
  4. Aquilino Gimotea
  5. Federico Limsiaco
  6. Jesus Nava
  7. Marcelo Pijuan
  8. George B. Wiles
Justice of the Peace………. Manuel Tongbanua
Sanitary President………… Dr. Juan Velmonte
Municipal Treasurer……… Quirino Lauron
Chief of Police…………….. Aurelio Calibho
Postmaster…………………. N. Capinpin
Supervising Teacher…….. Vicente Martir
Principal…………………….. Jose A. Macaraeg

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Himamaylan under the Commonwealth

Source: Negros Yearbook 1938

The Municipality of Himamaylan

GEOGRAPHY – The town of Himamaylan is approximately 80 kilometers south of the City of Bacolod. Its area is 22,803 Ha. and the estimated population for 1938 is 28,357. The Aguisan Peninsula provides Himamaylan with a navigable bay. However, despite its natural harbor, the locality lost much of its importance as a shopping center because it was too far south to be conveniently accessible to the inhabitants of the northern part of Negros Occidental. 

HISTORY – Himamaylan was perhaps the first provincial capital of the province. It is one of the oldest towns in Negros Occidental having been organized in 1748. The name of the locality is derived from “Hay himay babaylan” which literally means, “there is fatige and fanaticism in the town.” This commentary of the Spaniards who named the town of Himamaylan indicates that the pueblo was the seat of radical activities. In fact, the immediate cause of the transfer of the capital from Himamaylan to Bacolod was the assassination of the pueblo’s Alcalde, Don Juan Nepomuceno de Cordova. During the closing years of the Spanish era and the beginning of the American regime, Papa Isio and Capitan Macario Sido, brough chaos to the municipality in view of their bandit activities.

The notable personalities in the town’s history are Pedro G. Vasquez, Serafin Gatuslao, Rafael Ramos, Atanacio Abkilan, Jose Ramos, Juan Segovia, Agustin S. Ramos, Paulino Vallega, Gregorio Segovia, Francisco T. Ramos, Timotea B. Ramos and Agustin M. Gatuslao.

ECONOMIC SURVEY – Sugar rice and coconuts are the principal products of Himamaylan. The total value of assessed realy property is P2,749,540. The total income of the municipality is P66,470.24 for the preceeding year. The general Fund is P26,344.99; School Fund, P26,047.73; Puericulture Center Fund, P1,744.31 and the Provincial Fund (including Road and Bridge Fund) is P12,633.21.

The municipality has an average annual birth rate of 354 comapred to 282 deaths. The marriages registered annually has an average of 179. The total electors registered are: Male. 2,989 and Female, 1,312.

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Leadership Profile: Mayor Agustin Gatuslao

Source: Negros Yearbook 1938

The Mayor of Himamaylan belongs to one of the most prominent families of Negros Occidental. The elder Gatuslao, Don Serafin, has sired a clan which has distinguished itself in sugar, lumber and political circles. The incumbent governor is Don Valeriano Gatuslao. The outstanding lumber magnates of the province, concentrated within a family, are also the Gatuslaos. Possessing the right heritage and background, the YEARBOOK has wonderful expectation of Don Agustin, actual Mayor of Himamaylan.

Don Agustin has a brigh political future.

However, to Mayor Gatuslao politics has no definite charms. Yonder, Carabalan calls irresistibly. It is the primeval urge of Man to commune with Nature. More than that it is also the modern urge of Man to mould Nature to a fixed pattern set to the tempo of ever-changing conditions. Rich virgin forests nestle the Carabalan Mts. Timber worth millions of pesos. To forsake this fortune for a political career is the problem of the smart and loved Mayor of Himamaylan.

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Leadership Profile: Hon. Valeriano Gatuslao

Source: Negros Yearbook 1938

The political career of the incumbent governor of the premier province of the Philippines, Hon. Valeriano Gatuslao of Negros Occidental, is one that any public man can well be proud of. Governor Gatuslao is ranked among the country’s best provincial executives. His success becomes more impressive when it is recalled that he started his career in politics barely seven years ago. In 1931m he was just a councilor for the municipality of Murcia. However, his record as a town legislator impressed the province that three years later he was elected to the provincial board. On the death of Governor Gaston, Board Member Gatuslao was appointed Governor for the rest of the term of office.

It was during his incumbency as Governor, that Hon. Gatuslao proved his true worth. He can hold the office of governor as long as he desired because he has endeared himself to the electorate. His political leadership of the province is indisputable.

Governor Gatuslao was born 39 years ago in Himamaylan, the son of Don Serafin Gatuslao and Doña Julita Monton de Gatuslao. Don Valing obtained his college education in the University of Sto. Tomas where he was graduated with the degrees of Associate in Arts and Bachelor of Laws.

Don Valing, the handsome and popular sportsman and hacendero, is a former president of the Bacolod-Murcia Milling Company. His interests extend beyond sugar for the Gatuslaos are among the lumber magnates of the Philippines.

Governor Gatuslao belongs to the Nationalist party. He is one of the most loyal followers of President Quezon. He is married but childless.

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