Random Kidapawan Historiography

After a long time I found myself interacting online again with a friend from Kidapawan, Vincent Cuzon, who recently started a WordPress blog here. Exploring his blog led me to remember my efforts in the past at Kidapawan historiography.

One of these efforts was in collaboration with Vincent, a Facebook Page dedicated to pictures of the old Kidapawan. Since I left Facebook I understand that Vincent has been running it on his own. I hope that any Kidapawanon with old pictures reading this will contribute to that page.

I have since found myself being preoccupied with other concerns, but I never really lost interest in the historiography of my own hometown, and so I still find myself reading up on it whenever I could.

On this note I need to mention what is the first, and perhaps so far the only, comprehensive work on Kidapawan Historiography, the 2004 book ‘Lungsod na Pinagpala, Kidapawan: Kasaysayan, Pamahalaan, Paniniwala, at Tradisyon‘ by Amas teacher Ferdinand Bergonia.

The book's cover

The book’s cover

The book, written in Tagalog, is crudely written, with huge swathes of unnecessary detail on the history of topics only tangentially related to Kidapawan – made glaring by the very little it has to say about Kidapawan itself, it has problem with citing sources, it was written to be dated, and it has problems with objectivity (to the point that it becomes political – though the fact that the City Tourism Office published it may explain this). But because it is the first to discuss the city’s history, even the little it says about Kidapawan is very informative: the histories of the Baranggays (I have since exploited to death the origin story of Baranggay Mua-an); the list of Mayors; and the story of the transformation from municipality to city. For all its flaws there is little doubt that this is a very important book, and any subsequent attempt at writing Kidapawan’s history will invariably have to go back to Bergonia.

(I was also delighted to note that both sides of my family were mentioned! My paternal great grandfather, Crisostomo David, served as the second Baranggay captain of Nuangan – and first migrant to have held the position, while my mother’s family, the Galay, was cited as a pioneering migrant family in the city. I have Kidapawan in my bones!)

One other attempt at Kidapawan historiography I once encountered online – but which has since disappeared – is a collection of Baranggay histories in English by the local journalist Salmer Bernalte, and it was only after I read Bergonia that I realized Bernalte merely translated Bergonia’s work from the Tagalog.

At some point in the Facebook Page on old Kidapawan I engaged in an exchange with another son of the city, Roark Masbad, and again it was only upon reading Bergonia that some of the things kuya Wacky said made sense: yes, there was a Madriguera mayor, Alberto Madriguera, who served in the ’60s.

On that note then, and because no such list seems to exist anywhere online, let me provide here a List of Mayors of Kidapawan according to Bergonia:

Alcaldes during the time Kidapawan was part of Pikit (Bergonia makes no mention of them)

Appointed head of the Civilian Emergency Administration during WWII
– Datu Siawan Ingkal (1941- ?, )
– Datu Umbac (?)
– Filomino Blanco ()
– Ceferino Villanueva (?)
– Jacinto Paclibar (?)
– Alfonso O. Angeles Sr. (? – 1947)

Elected Mayors

– Alfonso O. Angeles Sr. (1948 – 1955)
– Gil F. Gadi (1956 – 1957)
– Lorenzo Saniel (1958 – 1959)
– Alberto Madriguera (1960 – 1962)
– Emma B. Gadi (1963-1964)
– Alfonso O. Angeles Sr. (1964 – 1967)
– Emma B. Gadi (1968 – 1971)
– Augusto R. Gana (1972 – 1980)
– Cesar M. Sabulao (1976, Appointed in the Sectoral Administration, Professional Sector)
– Augusto R. Gana (1980-1985)
– Florante Respicio (1986-1987, Appointed OIC)
– Augusto R. Gana (1988-1992)
– Joseph A. Evangelista (1992-1994)
– Luis P. Malaluan (1994 – 2004)

Since the writing of Bergonia’s book (and as of this writing), the following have been mayor of Kidapawan:

– Rodolfo Y. Gantuangco (2004 – 2013)
– Joseph A. Evangelista (2013 – )

It is also mentioned in poet Rita B. Gadi’s 2010 collection of poetry (published by UST Publishing House) that she served as acting mayor, though the years are not specified. Gadi is the daughter of Mayors Gil and Emma, so this is not unlikely.

Bergonia discusses neither the 1976 nor the 1986-1987 situations, although the fact that those were the key years of the Marcos-Aquino period would probably explain the turmoil.

Bergonia also does not discuss the interesting episodes in this list: why Emma Gadi replaces her husband Gil from the scene; why the tergiversation back and forth between Emma Gadi and Alfonso Angeles Sr in the 1960s; and of course the controversy (and subsequent melodrama) during Evangelista’s and Malaluan’s first terms.

I also found an article by Mindanao writer Carl Gaspar that briefly mentioned Augusto Gana, who dominated Kidapawan politics in the turbulent Marcos-Aquino period, as a landgrabber.

Oh the material for writing!

I have to mention of course that the copy of Bergonia’s book that I read is not mine. It belongs to poet Paul Randy Gumanao, who lent it to me some time ago.

One of the things that Vincent highlighted in his blog (and here my liver blossomed out of flattery) was that writeup I once wrote with Christian Cabagnot on the mansion of the late Sultan Omar Kiram. My knowledge of the lost Sultan’s dramatic story has since expanded with my time here in Dumaguete (Silliman’s Museum has an exhibit on his intimidatingly large collection of Maranao heirlooms).

Here are some pictures of the building that I found during the research (pardon the poor quality). The old pictures are courtesy of manong Marinius Austria (Faisal Kiram), the late Sultan’s son, while the newer ones are taken by Christian Cabagnot:

The porte-cochère of the Kiram Building, draped with the campaign streamers of Emmanuel Piñol, year unknown. Courtesy of Manong Marinius Austria

The porte-cochère of the Kiram Building, draped with the campaign streamers of Emmanuel Piñol, year unknown.

The mansion's North wing.

The mansion’s North wing. The building was designed with a fusion of Neoclassical and Maranao styles, incorporating both Greco-Roman pillars and the panolong and okir motifs typical of the Maranao Torogan

Sultan Omar Kiram himself, in front of his house. Year unknown.

Sultan Omar Kiram himself, in front of his house. Year unknown.

The building's front facade. It has very distinct salakot-shaped roofs. Picture courtesy of Christian Cabagnot, 2010

The building’s front facade. It has very distinct salakot-shaped roofs. Also observe the lovely mouldings with blue and yellow details. Picture courtesy of Christian Cabagnot, 2010

Now that I've been to Silliman University, I realized that the building was also heavily influenced by the work of Silliman builder Charles Glunz, particularly Guy Hall. This shot here shows it a lot: the bahay na bato structure, the ornamental mouldings and even the latticework ubiquitous around the Silliman campus. Kiram spent some years teaching in Silliman.

Now that I’ve been to Silliman University, I realized that the building was also heavily influenced by the work of Silliman builder Charles Glunz, particularly Guy Hall. This shot here shows it a lot: the bahay na bato structure, the ornamental mouldings and even the latticework ubiquitous around the Silliman campus. Kiram spent some years teaching in Dumaguete.

The building was partly demolished, and the damage can be seen here.

The building was partly demolished in late 2000s, and the damage can be seen here.

One of the Greco-roman pillars of the porte cochere adorned with the torogan panolong. Also courtesy of Christian

One of the Greco-roman pillars of the porte cochere adorned with the naga panolong after the building was destroyed. This is depressing.

But one thing has been consistent in my readings of Kidapawan historiography: the utter difficulty in finding materials. The fundamental characteristic of Kidapawanon identity, I speculate, is the drive to create identity rather than be defined by it. And so when there’s a piece of historiography produced, it always invariably becomes political capital, removed along with the party that produced, or commissioned it, once the party loses. The winners of Kidapawan discourse, it seems, are the neutrals.

Which is why I’ll be sending photocopies of whatever work I produce to all sides of the political spectrum!

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3 Comments on “Random Kidapawan Historiography”

  1. luvinbcan says:

    Datu inkal’s grandchildren is still present. 8 of them have houses at the back of USM-KCC in Sudapin. Angeles’ children are still around, as well as Tuburan. They could provide good info.

  2. carlocuzon says:

    I will try to visit the Kiram Building this month. I’ll post the latest photos if matuloy ako… Grabe pala talaga ka-intricate ng design oh. What a loss.


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