Short History of San Juan Batangas

San Juan is located at the Southeastern tip of the province of Batangas, 43 kms from the provincial capital of Batangas City and 120 kms from Manila. Composed of 42 barangays, San Juan has a total land area of about 29,500 hectares. It is bounded by Quezon Province in the north and by Tayabas Bay in the east and south. The northern boundary is defined by Malaking Ilog, which has the largest watershed areas among the rivers in Batangas. The towns of Rosario, Taysan and Lobo can be found on its west.

San Juan was formerly part of the pueblo of Rosario. Records indicate that starting 1837, tenientes or deputies were assigned as administrative rulers of the village. In 1843, San Juan was recognized as a separate municipality and cabezas de barangay were assigned instead of deputies. The Recollects, headed by P.Fr. Toribio Mateo, established the pueblo of San Juan in 1881. The town was named after San Juan de Nepomuceno.  San Juan’s Poblacion was established along the coast in a low lying area bordered by two rivers: Ilog Bambang on its south and Ilog Bancoro on its north. Because of these, flood constantly threatened the town center. A huge flood hit the town in 1883, according to church records, destroying houses, drowning livestocks and planted crops and seriously damaging the church and the convent. Because of this the people decided to move the poblacion to Calit-Calit, a place 7 kilometers further inland. In 1890 the bagong bayan or new townlocation in Calitcalit was formally approved by the government.

The decision involved Governor General Fernando Primo de Rivera and a Fray Celestino Yoldi who was assigned to build the new church and convent in Calit-Calit. The decision to transfer the town to Calit-Calit was opposed by some people, particularly by principales because the materials used in the construction of their houses were first class (Erecciones de los Pueblos: Batangas, 1767-1896). Some decided to stay in the old town center, which is now known as Pinagbayanan, literally meaning former town.

Location of the town of Pinagbayanan, San Juan, Batangas