History

If one to judge its size from its “Centro”, there will be the impression that Bigaa is such a small barangay. To open its length, he has to creed the maharlika highway from 4 kilometer (near the Catanduanes State Collages Amusement and Sports Stadium) to the Marcos Bridge in Sto. Domingo, then veer north ward along the bank upstream until the Hicming boundary flask eastward through the mountainous trails along hills of Kapakuhan to Nalunod up to the Calatagan boundary, then return straight to the starting point to complete the round around Bigaa’s vast perimeter.

This is one reason why residents call it BIG “A” – “A”. Before 1950, this vast agricultural plain was sitio of Calatagan. Nearly that year a special session by the Municipal Council was held in the residence of Pastor Zafe in Bigaa attended by Nazario Lumbao, Pedro Agunday, Pablo Valeza, Pedro Tabilin, Pomposo Tabios, Esteban Villafuerte, Segundo Meniano, Anacleto Tapia, Gervacio Panti, Pedro “bonal” Panti, Juan Benavidez Sr., Isidro Panti, Lucio Gianan, Pantaleon Taller, Benita Magtangob, Policarpio “ampoy” Calumpad, Segundo Suarez, Apolonio Arcilla, Eliseo Valeza, Placido Zafe, Pedro Lumbao and Pastor Zafe.

The session was presided by the then Virac Mayor Primo Panti together with the members of the Municipal Council. On that historic day, the incumbent Governor of Catanduanes Hon. Alfonso V. Usero was also present. The subject matter was primary the creation of Bigaa as a barrio separate from Calatagan. On the same occasion the residents also elected Pastor Zafe as the first Teniente del barrio of Bigaa.

September 16, 1950, was the day approved to be the founding day of Bigaa. The celebration was marked with simple, with mass celebrated in the morning at the newly constructed chapel during which the Presidente and the Presidenta of the jovenes of Bigaa namely Benito Tapia and Victoria Lumbao were married. It was whole day merrymaking for all residents, fanned by drinking spree, music and pantominas.

When this place was still a part of Calatagan, many years back this place was a lush verdure of varieties of plants punctuated with natural springs. The tiny rivulets of clear water that flows gently to Sto. Domingo river the whole year round invited the growth of overflowing plants, one of which was inedible “ BIGA-BIGA” which resembles gabi plants, the sap of which irritates human skin, This plants grow bounty in this continuously freshened earth that it served as the major landmark of this big sitio of Calatagan. People going this place would simply refer to it as “kabigaahan” the place where “biga-biga” abounds.

Through the continuous usage of “kabigaahan” to refer this place the word gradually metamorphosed until the prefix and suffix were discarded hence, the name BIGAA (minus the KA and the suffix HAN).

Civilization has created needs and wise utilization of lands because of the answer for survival and so useless plants were uprooted and were replaced with productive ones, Among these weeds out were the “biga-biga”, but its name refused to buried to oblivion, however was fossilized to become name of an emerging progressive barangay of Virac. Who knows that BIGAA came from the same of an offensive plant?

The development of bigaa is attributed to the people’s unity to the leadership of the province of Catanduanes, today the people boast of 2.249 kilometers barangay roads, school buildings, barangay health centers, concrete plaza with basketball court and semi-concrete chapel built from the people’s effort. The Barangay is also the site of coconut experimental from the Philippine Coconut administration which is the first of its kind in Catanduanes planted with hybrid coconut, and the first ipli-ipil mini forest which was started during the first ipil-ipil tree planting movement. It is also the recipient of paglilingkod. Bagong Lipunan services in the rural areas.

Today, Bigaa has 116 households with total population of 603, one third of which belongs to the youth group. Their literacy rate is 80%. The natural springs may not be there anymore, but the new tide of development is surely coming its way. And one will not be surprised that Bigaa will one day become a model barangay.

Who will think that Bigaa has a total of 308.7266 hectare of agricultural, plain and potential residential-commercial lots.

INDEED, BIGAA IS BIG “A” “A”