The origin of Taboan Market, Cebu City

CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal - The Freeman

In Cebu there are century-old markets such as Carbon and Taboan. But when did the Taboan market start? The story written by Don Inocentes Avila, printed in the book “Ang Kagubot sa Sugbo 1898” tells of the post revolution events of Cebu City. Weeks after the Battle of Tres de Abril (April 3, 1898) while the Spaniards were overlooking the city from Fort San Pedro (Avila called it then as “Himangpangon”), the center of Cebu, the San Nicolas District (called by Avila as the Kingdom of Tupas) became a ghost town because the Spanish soldiers arrested almost everyone as they were all suspected to be members of the KKK. Majority of the San Nicolasnon were arrested as it should be remembered that the leaders of the Katipunan of Cebu were from San Nicolas.

The people of San Nicolas went to the mountains to avoid arrest or interrogation in Fort San Pedro. In the San Nicolas Church there was mass being celebrated but nobody attended. In the Tribunal (government office) there were no officials who came out. The officials of San Nicolas like Capitan Tiago Ferraris, Teniente Luciano Bacayo, Treasurer Trinidad Velez, and other officials absented themselves. However there was Teniente Indong with the secretary who was his sibling. They were forced to revive the town. Teniente Indong accepted to become the capitan but how he could lead the town when there are no inhabitants?

The Spanish governor of Cebu then gave Capitan Indong the key to the prison of Fort San Pedro, released from prison were Don Pedro Enriquez de Bracamonte (who was then appointed as Capitan Municipal), Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, Don Prudencio Camara, Don Lucio Herrera, Don Placido Datan, Don Agapito Nadela, and other leading men of San Nicolas. With their release and leadership San Nicolas became a busy town again. They allocated a lot called as Tagbu-an where consumers from the city and the producers from the mountains could meet.

It is near the river of Pahina near the house of Tomas Cabras in the street called then as Hyles (now Tres de Abril St.) and at the end of Calle P. Arsenio del Campo (now known as P. Espeleta). The place became the center of trade in the Visayas where produce from the mountains and seas were sold. It later became as Taboan because of the order of Capitan Indong that those who come from the mountain to sell their produce were not to cross the bridge called then as “Puti ug Pula” to spill over into the other part of the city so that the trading will be focused in San Nicolas.

In this way, those whose houses in Pasil were burned because of the revolt soon recovered and the economy of San Nicolas recovered because of the market called “Taboan”.

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