Cebu’s population in the 1880s
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - January 24, 2020 - 12:00am

In his book published in 1887, Fr. Felipe Redondo reported about the population of the Diocese of Cebu which covered almost all the provinces of Visayas and Mindanao.

“According to the General State of the Diocese of Cebu in December1867, the said Diocese had 657,159 ½ souls paying tributes, 98,520 souls exempted from paying taxes due to age, sickness and privilege, or a total of 1,977,409 souls in the 265 parishes and missions that composed it; from this number were separated those who would form the new diocese of Santa Isabel of Jaro, upon its establishment, independent from Cebu, numbering 211,479 ½ tributos, 42,708 those exempted under the three categories, and 936,839 total number of souls which composed the 117 parishes and missions that existed in the Iloilo districts, including the Command of Concepcion, Capiz, Antique, the Island of Negros, Calamianes, Romblon; and Mindanao, 1st District, that is, Zamboanga with Tetuan; 4th District, Vergara or Davao, 5th District, Pollok and Tamontaca, and 6th District, La Isabela of Basilan; those that were left for the Diocese of Cebu are the parishes that are given by districts and vicariates.”

The City of Cebu in 1867-68 had 12,518 while in 1884-85 it had 11,533. The town of Talamban had 7,658 in 1867-68 while in 1884-85 it had 10,838. The other parishes (towns) of Southern Cebu included Opong (Opon, now Lapu-Lapu City), Cordoba, San Nicolas, El Pardo, Talisay, Minglanilla, Naga, San Fernando, Carcar, Sibonga, Argao, Dalaguete, Boljoon, Nueva Caceres, and Oslob which had a total population of 164,046 in 1867-68 and in 1884-85 had 234,837. The City of Cebu was administered by the diocesan priests while the Southern Cebu parishes were administered by the Calced Augustinians.

The Northern Cebu Vicariate was composed of Mandaue (12,611 souls), Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela, Danao, Carmen, Poro, San Francisco, Pilar, Catmon, Sogod, Borbon, and Tabogon with 90,837 souls in 1884-85.

Western Cebu Vicariate was composed of Bogo, San Remigio, Daanbantayan, Bantayan, Santa Fe, Tuburan, Balamban, Asturias, Toledo, Pinamungajan, Barili, Dumanjug, Ronda, Moalboal, Baidan, Alegria, Malabuyoc, Ginatilan, and Samboan with a population of 184,116 in 1884-85. Barili had the highest population in the vicariate with 15,748 in 1884-85, while Ronda the smallest population with 3,392.

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