APRIL 27 - MILAOR DAY

All towns founded in the Spanish period always required formal recognition from the Superior Government in Manila or from the King of Spain, a few towns in the region, partic­ ularly those which were established in the later part of the Spanish regime, still have their royal cedual or expediments preserved in some archives in the Philippines or in Spain. But most of towns are less fortunate, among them in Mi­ laor. Although a thorough research in the various archives in the Philipines and in Spain is made, the official record of its foundation is never found. Nevertheless, secondary his­ torical documents which provides vital reference, indirectly though, are still abundant. On the basis of these documenta­ ry evidence and a competent knowledge of the bigger con­ text of colonial bureaucratic culture the choice for the foun­ dation date or the so-called Milaoar is made.
Existing historical records point to 1583 as the year when Milaor was formally introduced to a sustained and thor­ ough process of Christian conversion, although preliminary and sporadic evangelizations must have taken place around 1579. By 1585, an exurberant
Christian community already flourish in this place.

The summer months have al­ ready been the most propitious period for reli­ gious celebrations in the Philippines even among the pre-Hispanic Bikolanos. Post-har­ vest rituals and festivals as well as inter-island plundering raids highlighted this hot and dry season in the pre-colonial period. For these reasons, the Spanish missionary fathers likewise made us of this period to facilitate the integration of the natives to Christianity. Considering the climate con­ dition of the Philippines, the summer season provided aus­ picious time for launching a more sustained and vigorous evangelizing work than the rest of the year which were dom­ inated by rains and punctuated by cyclonic fury. The Span­ ish missionaries also took advantage of the slowing down in the phase of their agricultural work. This explains why most fiestas are held during the summer months including Mi­ laor's town fiesta. Among the Spanish missionaries the town fiesta was the peak of the converts spiritual commitment to their newfound spiritual life and must have been chosen to mark the culmination of their spiritual instruction.

The choice of April 27 as the foundation day is also based on a very historic event which took place on this date in 1900. On this date the municipal officials of this town were assembled by the visiting party of the First Philippine Com­ mission to decide on the future of this municipality under the American regime. The decisions arrived at during this assembly proved crucial to the life of the town as they left profound impact which are still being felt even until today.

 

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