Tabuelan, Cebu

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

The Municipality of Tabuelan was created by virtue of an Executive Order issued by President Elpidio Quirino under Executive Order No. 621. It was issued on September 23, 1953. The Governor of Cebu at that time was Sergio "Serging" Chiong Veloso Osmeña Jr.

It consisted of the barrios from Tuburan: Tabuelan (which was made the seat of the municipal government), Tabunok, Olivo, Tigbawan, Maravilla and Cantoba-on. It was created after a year Tuburan (its mother town) celebrated its First Centennial Celebration. Tuburan was founded in 1852 its first Capitan was Mariano Montebon.

Presently, the Municipality of Tabuelan is composed of 12 barangays, Bongon, Kanlim-ao, Maravilla, Kantubaon, Dalid, Mabunao, Kanluhagon, Olivo, Villahermosa, Tabunok, Tigbawan and Poblacion.

The acknowledged founder of Tabuelan was Martin Luyao. It was Luyao who donated the lot for the church and school. Martin Luyao became Cabeza de Barangay of Tabuelan. When Tabuelan was converted into a town, a street is named in honor of Martin Luyao. A descendant, Florito C. Luyao, continues the public and civic service of Martin Luyao.

Atty. Gervasio Lira Lavilles in his book, CEBU: History of its Four Cities & Forty Nine Municipalities wrote that the name Tabuelan has three attributes or sources. First version that it was derived from the word "Tubugokan" a kind of octopus which once was plentiful in the Batawang River and nearby sea. Another version was that it came from the word "Taboan" or market which used to be established in the southern bank of the Batawang River.

The third version was that it was derived from the word "Tabukan" meaning boat used in transporting people and articles of trade from one bank of Batawang River to the other.

In 1964, the following were its officials:

Manuel A. Ruelo, Mayor, Dionisio Purisima, Vice Mayor, Bruno S. Salubre, Municipal Secretary, Modesto Villafuerte, Judge, Jose B. Allego, Treasurer, Bernardo Espina, Chief of Police and Dr. Francisco Condor, Health Officer.

Its councilors were: Juan C. Luyao, Paulino Sotes, Gualberto Salubre, Gavino Montecillo, Emigdio Tudlasan and Eugenio Tuling.

Judge Modesto G. Villafuerte who served as the town's chief magistrate was from Argao, Cebu. He was admitted to the Bar on April 30, 1953. A member of the Villafuerte Clan of Argao, Cebu by the name of Bruce Villafuerte Rivera became a lawyer on May 10, 2006 and is now a law professor and handles cases of national interest.

Manuel A. Ruelo was the first appointed and elected mayor of Tabuelan and served for more than a decade.

Ten years after its conversion as a town, Tabuelan's population reached to 22,635 and in the 2010 census, it has a population of 22,292.

The present mayor of Tabuelan is Rex Casiano Gerona. The Vice Mayor is Raul Gerona. The Councilors are: Ramon B. Arellano, Zito Gallo, Geneses P. Bravo, Joel M. Gerona, Juan S. Menchavez Jr, Silvestre Momo, Joseph A. Cole and Celerina Salubre.

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