The pioneer families of Moalboal, Cebu

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

Moalboal, a southwestern town of Cebu, which is 89 kilometers away from Cebu City, the capital of Cebu, was derived from the old Visayan word, Bocalbocal. Legend has it that a spring once existed in the town. However, there are those who say that it comes from the word Bol-anon as the town was founded by Boholano pioneers.

The acknowledged founder of Moalboal, Laurente Sabanal, was a Bol-anon who killed a guardia civil who abused him, escaped and discovered the town. The founder is also known as Laguno (also spelled as Llaguno).

The leading families of Moalboal were migrants from Bohol. To name a few: the Gadors, Gakos, Cabarons, Babieras (members of the clan that became mayors: Petronilo Babiera, 1937 to 1940 and Angel Babiera as officer in charge), Lambo, and Reboble.

The first historical record of the town is March 16, 1852 when Father Agustin Melgar performed the first baptism in Moalboal, the latter which used to be part of the town of Badian. The last Capitan del Pueblo of Moalboal was Pedro Gako.

When the Americans replaced the Spaniards as colonizers of the Philippines in 1899, when in 1917 Moalboal was declared to be an independent town, separated from Alcantara, the first to be appointed as municipal president was Melecio Lambo.

The Cabaron clan produced mayors such as Atty. Pedro G. Cabaron (he became a lawyer on May 16, 1950), Inocentes Gabunilas Cabaron, and the wife of the latter, Yvonne. Aside from mayors, it also produced lawyers, such as Aurelio C. Cabaron, admitted to the Bar on January 25, 1954, Pacianito B. Gabaron, who became a lawyer on March 6, 1964, Arturo G. Cabaron, who was admitted to the Bar on March 8, 1972 (appointed as Assistant Provincial Prosecutor of the Province of Cebu), Francisco C. Cabaron, who became a lawyer on January 25, 1952, and Liberato T. Cabaron, who became a lawyer on April 30, 1977,

The Gador clan produced lawyers and government executives, such as Vicente B. Gador, who became a lawyer on March 12, 1960, and served Central Visayas as director of the Land Transportation Office, a namesake, Vicente L. Gador Jr. also became a lawyer on May 12, 1999 and is also a Senior Official of the Land Transportation Office.

Amado Gador who was admitted to the Bar on June 12, 1939 was appointed Ad Interim on February 28, 1946 by President Sergio Suico Osmeña as 3rdAssistant Provincial Fiscal of Cebu (his co-appointees from Cebu were Mariano M. Florido as Second Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Cebu, Gaudioso Sosmena as First Assistant Provincial of Cebu, Cipriano Villordon as Fourth Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Cebu and Jose Clavano as Fifth Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Cebu while on February 21, 1946 an Ad Interim Appointment was made on Jose C. Borromeo as Provincial Fiscal of Cebu.

Amado Gador after serving as Assistant Fiscal of Cebu was appointed City Attorney of Ozamiz City on May 17, 1951 confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Amado, also attempted to run as mayor of Ozamiz City but his Certificate of  Candidacy was declared filed beyond the filing period. Amador questioned the issue up to the Supreme Court which decided in favor of the COMELEC on January 22, 1980.

Other members of the Gador clan from Moalboal that became lawyers were Serapio F. Gador, who became a lawyer on March 12, 1957, Jesus B. Gador on March 12, 1969, Jose F. Gador (March 6, 1964), John Jephone V. Gador (admitted to the Bar on May 3, 2004).

In 1964, the following were elected as officials of the town: Geronimo Estimo, mayor, Pedro Mendoza, vice mayor, Remegio Tabanag, municipal secretary, Antonio B. Platon, judge, Miguel C. Gako, treasurer, Benito S. Baicoco, chief of police, Dr. Esmeraldo Padron, health officer. As Councilors: Pacifico Tapales, Atty. Monico G. Gabales (became a lawyer on February 7, 1963), Paulino Infante, Marcelo Abrenica, Andres Tarongoy, Esperidion Pableo, Jesus Nuevo, and Escolastico Gabales.

Others who served as mayors of Moalboal were  Atty. Pedro S. Mendoza (admitted to the Bar on February 8, 1963), Marcelo T. Abrenica (an Abrenica also became a lawyer, Conrado C. Abrenica on April 30, 1977), and Onofre Tapales.

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