MOBO IN THE GALLEON TIMES
(A glance why Mobo must celebrate Galleon Festival?)
In the midst of the 14th century the simple but dazzling history of Mobo begin. The original Poblacion of Masbate then was “Daan-na-Lungsod”, a sitio located a kilometer away from the town proper. Stone ruins of the old “Commandancia” pieces of Spanish Artillery, stone walls of the Old Church, shipwreck of Galleons and the Old Cemetery are testimonials of the glorious past of “Daan-na-Lungsod”.
When the Spanish explorers and missionaries made landfall in this island, they saw island that displayed aura of advanced civilization prosperous flourishing and verdant. A civilization that is already engaging into bartering and trading business. MABOO is the center among the coastal settlements in inland river barangay. The business center of trade and commerce was in Maboo. Contrary to the expectation of the Spanish Colonizers, Maboo was not a Neolithic nor Paleolithic civilization but it was an advanced and progressive civilization.
MABOO – a thriving and flourishing barangay where the river and mountain stream converged. It was a settlement where the hill and inland stream contribute a lot to its bounty; settlement of toil and plenty. The uphill, hilltop, hillside and lowland by the river bank and the passages and promontories were densely occupied for the native’s dwelling. The stream teeming with fish and barnacles serves as a fishing ground and access passage for floating logs. Logs coming from unimaginable bulk were towed down the river wild on the shallower eddies by the cutting area. Farther downstream the logs passed through the “tabukan”. The wide yet wild Maboo River as the trading center was used for docking barter/tyanggi, for mooring dug out boats to safety.
Today, the boatyard retain its name; The inter-island barter trading boats were built and tested but only few Galleon boats were built their weighed anchors for Manila and bound for Acapulco, Mexico. The sails of the Galleons were cloths called liencos or mantas woven in the Ilocos Region. So thus the Galleon El Salvador was built in Mobo, Masbate. Aside from building the flagship Salvador, Mobo served as dockyard for Galleons needing repairs. The Sagawsawan river in Barangay Fabrica offered a safe place for these Galleons because of its depth. While only El Salvador was reportedly built in the Royal astillero of Mobo, there were no accounts for how many Galleons were repaired in its dockyard.
On the west-side of Maboo was bounded by the hill as far as the eye could see. On the same hillside was the graveyard of the settlement which was in use until the arrival of the Spaniards. In distant time with the residency of the Spanish colonizers with the establishment of local government, an administration of adobe bricks was erected on the same vicinity; ‘cabildo’ that housed the residence of the high ranking official, ‘audencia’ ends the ‘commandancia”.
Another story reveals that Spanish missionaries took care the locals in preparing for the sacraments through catechism, which included some civil instructions. Cut limestone, sun-dried clay bricks, and lumber for the upper structure and furnishings were used to construct the church. Lumber was not a problem because it can be found anywhere. The church was prominently located near the riverbank of the waterway’s mouth, where the stream converged.
The church was nearly finished in the second quarter of 1570, and it was a time for joy and thankfulness. The Friars blessed the church in honor of Nuestra Señora de la Salvacion as a sign of gratitude for her mother protection and for guiding them to safety during the terrible storm that almost took their lives. The newly constructed church was dedicated to Nuestra Señora de la Salvacion. As the primary patron, they named the church after San Nicolas de Tolentino. They dedicated the church to san Nicolas de Tolentino as the new found settlement’s Principal Patron and protector of the Mobo people.
A new community’s spirit was forming an environment that would eventually lead to the elevation of a “Pueblo” a “Lungsod” and that was where our Mobo have labored and captured. Maboo/Mobo a place somewhere upstream, where the waters glided and whirled. Overlooking from the Poblacion where the old Lighthouse was situated is the Amazing bay of Mobo, the wonderful Sagawsawan and Banadero river flourishing the landscape and highlighted by the docked Spanish Galleon were the iconic scenery of the town of Mobo during this glorious times.