HISTORY OF SAN JOSE

The history of the town of San Jose dates back to 1601 when this town was a barrio of Lagonoy under the name of Danlog. The old Parish Priest of Lagonoy, Fr. Salvador Mendoza, decided to build a church in a place called “Cabayawasan” because of the presence of so many guava trees in the area. The construction of the church began in 1818. It was a cooperative effort of the people of Lagonoy who worked on the northern part and the people of Danlog on the southern part. Most of the materials and labor were either free or as payment for weddings and baptism.

In 1813, the town of San Jose was officially established under the name of Patrocinio, from the word Patron, meaning “model”. Then it was changed to Patrocinio de San Jose from the Patron Saint, Patriarca de San Jose. Later in 1883, it was shortened to San Jose which is its present official name. Its founders were Fr. Salvador Mendoza, then the parish priest of San Jose and Don Macario Agustin, the first Capitan Municipal of the town.

After the founding of the town, progress and development became eminent and this could be attributed to the cooperative efforts of the church and the state. In 1877, the foundations of the municipal building was laid when Venancio Obias was the Capitan Municipal. His successors continued to work but the structure was completely destroyed by a very strong typhoon in 1898 called “Bagyong Ogis”, so named because the bark of the trees were shredded off and trunks turned white. A big house owned by Capitan Gregorio Patrocinio was made the temporary “tribunal”.

Many prominent men took turns in holding the reigns of the government from 1813 up to 1903 as Capitan Municipal, Juez de la Paz and Maestro Municipal.

When the people of Naga decided to take up arms against the Spaniards, Elias Angeles, then the leading “Guardia Civil” of Naga convinced the people of San Jose to join the movement. Ariston Prila, a “Cabeza de Barangay” from Kinalansan heeded the call.

In the early part of 1903, when the Americans reached the town there were a handful of revolutionaries led by Jose Valencia and Nicomedes Mata but they fled when they realized that their resistance was futile. The American Government was easily established and continued its pacification campaign while pursuing its goal of effecting changes in various aspects of the lives of the people.

During the Japanese occupation, Japanese soldiers reached the town in the later part of 1942. Most of the people had evacuated to the far flung barangays and up to the mountains of Goa and Lagonoy while some joined the guerrilla movement. Filipino-Japanese Government continued with an appointed Mayor. Filipino volunteers manned the defences of the town hall which served as garrison while the Japanese Imperial Forces had Goa for its headquarters. Schools were opened by the authorities to allay and to give confidence to the people.

With the end of the Pacific War and the celebration of Independence in 1946, the people slowly rehabilitated their lives from the ravages of the war and returned to their usual milieu with renewed vigor.