History of Alaminos
Alaminos used to be a part of Bolinao which was one of the nine
towns in the northernmost part of Zambales. A certain Suyang led
a group of Zambals in search for a greener pasture. The group journeyed
north from the mountains of Zambales, their native land. Eventually,
they came upon a shoreline and decided to settle there. Fishing became their
main source of livelihood. They named their settlement after their leader—Suyang.
Suyang (already existing as a barrio of Bolinao as
residents have known), located on a large mountain base, was reestablished by
Gaspar Montoya, Don Nicolas de San Jose, Don Domingo de Guzman,
Don Nicolas Purificacion and others. It was a beautiful plain which
offered a beautiful panorama surrounded by enchanting forests interposed
alternately in its verdant fields. The barrio rose approximately to a height of
some 15 or 20 meters above sea level.
In 1735, the people of Barrio Suyang built their church, convent and a
tribunal house. They subscribed voluntarily for the acquisition of the image of
the Patriarch St. Joseph as patron of the barrio. At first, the settlers
considered their new home a paradise. Aside from the bounty that the sea
brought them, the place commands a panoramic view of Capurwapurwan and Cabaruyan
Islands (Hundred Islands and Anda, respectively).
Unfortunately, after a brief period of time, the settlers found the place not
suited for habitation. Typhoons frequented the area, continuous pestilence of
their livestock was observed which give them a notion that this was caused by
evil spirits. These events made the settlers decide to look for another place
It was in 1737 that the transfer of the said barrio took place. The people
brought along with them, the image of Patriarch St. Joseph (their patron
saint), together with all the furnishings and fixtures of the church, the town
hall, private houses and other buildings. The new site was named Casborran
(perhaps pertaining to the plants that robustly abound in the area) by the
The barrio was located on a high level site approximately one meter above
sealevel. The place has a clayey soil and with no irrigation facilities. The
water from the wells was brackish and was unfit for drinking.
In 1744, a delegate of the Superior Government of the Philippines made a
visit to Barrio Casboran. The inhabitants therein took the opportunity
of presenting a petition to convert the barrio into an independent town. It
was, however, in 1747 when the petition was approved converting the same into a
town independent from its mother town, Bolinao.
The material progress and prosperity of the new town enticed several prominent
citizens of Dagupan, Pangasinan to migrate to the place. Among them were:
Andres Ballesteros, Don Antonio Nicolas and Don Diego Ballesteros.
These three prominent migrants were accompanied by Francisco Aquino and
Garcia of Lingayen. These group of migrants offered their cooperation
with the people of Casborran which resulted to an agreement with the
†Taken from Anak Apo na Alaminos by F Montemayor and
1994 Town Fiesta Souvenir Program
a. That the two tribes (migrants and inhabitants) would govern the town jointly
and firmly in such a manner that should one from Pangasinan govern the town,
invariably, he should take as his assistant or second in command a man of Suyang
b. If a Suyang man would come out to be the Gobernadorcillo, his
Teniente Mayor should be from Pangasinan, and thus successively alternating in
all positions committed to them.
The noteworthy peace and harmony between the two tribes was broken in
to dissension and disagreement among the inhabitants caused by the ill-advised
ambition of leaders to rule without the benefit of election. Frustrated by the
turn of events, Don Antonio Nicolas, sensing that his old position was
weakening, he and his followers left the place and settled in barrio Pocal-pocal
and Tanaytay. However, his followers abandoned him in
1763 and returned
gradually to the town of Casborran.
That event led Don Antonio Nicolas to return to Pangasinan and
engaged the service of Palaris, head of rebel group in San Carlos.
Guided by the former, Palaris and his rebel followers embarked for Casborran.
Finding no residents, they burned the chapel, the convent, town hall and
private houses and looted everything they found of value. Some of the followers
of Palaris left the place after ten days while the others who remained
in Casborran disowned Palaris. They decided to stay and live in
the place. In the meantime, some of those in hiding came out after the rebels
left. When the conditions normalized, the inhabitants rebuilt the ruined
buildings as well as the private houses.
Don Antonio dela Cruz was elected Gobernadorcillo in
1764 succeeding Don
Nicolas Purificacion. Due to the refusal of the former to extend
material provisions to the Provincial Vicar when the latter made a visit to the
town, the latter became furious and ordered the complete demolition of the
town. He left the place taking with him the priest, the patron saint, ornaments
of the church and the bell. All these things were brought to Sitio Nansangaan
(perhaps along Inerangan) where the people settled and later renamed the place
into San Jose.
Not too long thereafter, the town of Casborran was rocked with
dissension among the inhabitants. Even the prominent officials did not wield
their influence to unite the disconcerted spirits of the inhabitants. The town
was in chaos that ultimately led to its reversion into a barrio. Thereafter,
the descendants of Suyang migrated to Bani. In
1766, Don Jose de
Cervantes, Lord Delegate, visited the province and made the following
observation in so far as the people of San Jose were concerned:
a. the inhabitants were not rendering tribute to the treasury;
b. that differences of opinion caused antagonism; that inhabitants lived far
apart, independently and separately; and
c. that the circumstances and conditions of the land occupied by the barrio
(San Jose) were not conducive to progress and expansion.
The foregoing observations prompted the Lord Delegate’s order to transfer
immediately the barrio to a new site where the seat of Alaminos now
occupies. Likewise, he united all factions then existing among the inhabitants
that led ultimately to the restoration of tranquility in the place.
For unknown reasons, the inhabitants of Casborran renamed the place into Salapsap
or Sarapsap (pronounced by the Spanish as “Zarapzap”) which was
derived from a river or sitio of the same name. Salapsap means “cascade.”
Those mainly responsible for establishing the barrio were of Suyang origin.
Among them were: Don Nicolas Purificacion, Don Andres de San Jose
and Don Antonio dela Cruz.
Barrio Sarapsap consisted of a big portion of land of bare mountainous
areas well suited for pasture but not suitable for agriculture except the
sloping areas. The lower portion of the terrain could be planted with palay.
Its water supply came from surface wells. In 1769,
Don Diego Ballesteros
was elected the first teniente and in 1774, the first Gobernadorcillo of Salapsap.
The chapel, convent, tribunal house and a school building were constructed made
of makeshift materials. However, the chapel and the convent were burned in
The residents of Sarapsap agreed to rebuild the two edifice with durable and
lasting materials. In 1840, they laid the first stone of the church. Among the
distinguished personalities in the construction were: Don Leonardo Pansoy,
Don Sebastian Abalos, Don Felix de Castro, Don Pablo de Francia,
Don Domingo Montemayor, and several others. It was supervised by
Manuel Bosqueto and Fr. Jose Tornos.
Fr. Victoriano Vereciano, parish priest, helped in the solicitation of
funds for the subsistence of the laborers, and suggested the idea of finishing
the town hall initiated by Don Felix de Castro. Fr. Andres Romero,
who succeeded Father Vereciano upon the death of the latter, worked for
the enlargement of the cemetery and rebuilt the chapel therein. Due to the
revolution in the northern part of Zambales, the work was interrupted on
With the establishment of Salapsap, progress went its way. By the middle
of the 19th century, Salapsap was considered a progressive town north of Zambales.
Its rapid growth attracted the attention of Spanish authorities, and in
the Spanish Lieutenant Governor-General of the Philippines visited Zarapzap.
Being a fair administrator, the Lieutenant Governor-General captured the high
esteem and sympathy of the inhabitants. Under the leadership of
Montemayor, Zarapzap was renamed, “Alaminos” in
1872, in honor
of Lieutenant Governor-General Alaminos, the then Governor-General of
And from a mere settlement of adventurers, sprung the town of Alaminos.