The record shows that Palta was then a Sitio of Sto. Domi8ngo. During that time, Palta was still a wild forest inhabited by wild animals such as wild pigs and wild chickens. Due to the fertility of its soil, and also with the growing population of Sto. Domingo,the people moved southward for a better land for farming. This was the reason why the early settlers of this place were all farmers. They were God-fearing people. The first Patron Saint was San Vicente De Ferrer then later on, it was change to Nuestra Seniora de Salvacion. San Vicente de Ferrer remains the Patron Saint of Palta Small until now. They practiced the early tradition of our forefathers such as the Bayanihan System and the likes. They believed in superstitious belief and generally, they are industrious people. There was no read yet in going to Sto. Domingo. If someone wants to go to this barrio, he should have to walk or ride on a horseback while Sto. Domingo has a tiny ride or pathway in going to Virac proper. Every time the Alcalde Mayor wants t to communicate with his constituents, he could reach only as far as Sto. Domingo. He just send message to “KAPASIGAN” (nowPalta) to invite the leaders for a dialogue or meeting on administrative matters. Every time the leaders in “KAPASIGAN” were invited, more often than not, they FAILED to attend the meeting. It was then why the Alcalde Mayor used to utter words as “PALTA” or “PALTANDO” whi9ch means ABSENT or FAILURE. From then on, they permanently called this place PALTA. That was where Palta got its name and finally, in 1876 marked the birth of Palta as one barrio of Virac. It was then Governor Eustaquio Joson who drawn the boundaries of Palta adjacent to Palawig and San Jose which belong to Calolbon( now the own of San Andres). Pursuant to Republic Act 3590 that was ratified on September 1972, barrio Palta was divided into three barangay. The eastern part became barangay Cabihina, the central part became the barangay of Palta Big and the western portion became what is now barangay Palta Salvacion. Palta Salvacion is composed of three districts namely Pena Francia, Lalaogon and Palnab districts. It has nine barangay roads or streets aside from the provincial road that divides Palta Big and Palta Salvacion. They are Mapagbigay St., Pena Francia St., San Jacinto St., Lalaogon St., San Antonio St., San Pedro St., Palnab St., and Sta Veronica St.,. 1955 the Diocese of Legaspi made Palta as a Parish of Nuestra Sra. De Salvacion having FR. EribertoMarubis as our first parish priest. Almost 100% of our inhabitants were all Roman Catholics even until now.
MEANS OF LIVELIHOOD
Early inhabitants depend mostly their livelihood in farming. They planted rice, corn, camotes and various root crops to support their daily consumption. They also raised animals such as pigs, chicken, carabao and the likes. They formed “Bayanihan System” wherein at scheduled date they gathered in one farm to work for “free”. They called this in a vernacular term “COMBENIO” these early inhabitants were also noted to be industrious as they have abundant farms. Their products were not intended for sale. They just plant to support their livelihood. Later on, they developed the vast leveled land into rice fields for planting rice. About 80% of them have their farms in the place they called “MALAGIBOG” situated in the northwest of Palta Small- a vast land owned by Imperial Family residing in the town proper of Virac. There they plant sugarcane and other root crops to earn money to support their miscellaneous needs. Some of them engaged in fishing in Palawig or making copra to support their daily needs. MEANS OF RECREATION Some of them engaged in gathering “TUBA” a local drink coconut wine which they extract through a bladed tool they called as “KAGOT” .they drink on leisure hours especially on Sundays. In their hut (PAYAG) they have a bamboo bell which they used to call or invite their neighbors to a drinking spree ( huts are distant from one another). They called this is a vernacular as “PUSTAHAN”. During Sundays some of them go to Sto. Domingo to engage in cockfight called as “TUPADA” while some of them gathered in plaza to play softball, volleyball. Basketball or even boxing. Oftentimes they went to the river or sea for an excursion.
CUSTOMS AND TRADITION
The early inhabitants of Palta were noted for having strong family ties and strong cooperation. The spirit of Bayanihan was strong. For instance, you want to build a house, your neighbors will work freely called “ DOKSOY” or “ATAG” . The same thing if you want to transfer your house from one place to another. It also true during the mourning of the death of one family member. Your friends will donate their hours and labor to make coffin. The women assist in preparing foods and snacks for the visitors. During funeral, the men, one by one, carries the coffin just walking from Palta to Virac church then to cemetery. The same thing happen during occasions such as weddings, baptismal, or novenas. During moonlights, the bachelors are serenading their love ones. They brought with them TUBA and PULUTAN. If the girl puts a lighted lamp or candle on the window , it means that the bachelors serenading are welcome to enter the house. If its not, meaning to say they are not welcome. There was a long courtship before the boy’s parents will go to girl’s house to offer respect to the girl’s parents. If they are accepted, the boy will serve the girl’s family for months through fetching water, working in the farm and gathering fire woods and eventually, wedding ceremonies will follow. If there’s one family members who goes to manila or other distant places for work, their parents suffer much agonies and worries. In making barrio projects such as building church and public roads, the men will offer free labor while the women prepare foods and drinks. Every afternoon before going home they gathered to enjoy drinking spree. All are free until they finished the projects. Our early inhabitants produced many skilled persons although they don’t have formal education .they are skilled in different. They were the likes of Alipio Tabuzo, Oben Papango, PetroniloBagadiong, NemesioGurrobat, Ramon Ramirez, musician Isidoro Talan and many others. They contributed mainly the development of our barrio of being what is now.
PALTA DURING JAPANESE TIME
Palta was almost a ghost barrio during the early part of World War II, which broke out in the Pacific Ocean in 1941. Most of the inhabitants evacuated to the mountains located on the western part of the barrio which called “ DULAW” because they were eluding Japanese soldiers. Any civilian who failed to bow to a passing soldier will either be slapped, kicked, or stuck by the butt of his gun, if not pinned to the ground with a bayonet. Another reason people chose to reside temporarily in the mountains during the war were to plant crops for sustenance’s. There they also raised live stocks such as pigs, chickens , goats, horses and carabao. Viand for the day was also one of the problems of the inhabitants as they could not go to town proper or went on fishing in Palawig because of fear to the Japanese soldiers. In order to solve the problem , as one community , they have to slaughter their livestock and even carabaos which were distributed to all households living in the mountains for free.
The early waves of inhabitants got no formal education. They devoted their time and effort in farming and fishing roe ran a living. There were no schools yet during the early part of 19th century. Some of our parents used to go school in barrio Calatagan, Virac, and in BAlite. What we have were “ CATON” teachers. They taught mainly on religion such as ‘ DOCTRINA CRISTIANA”. They were Felipa Vergara and ColasaGurribat. Several others followed. It was only after the World War II when school building was constructed here. First constructed was the Palta Primary School then later on, the Palta Elementary School. In 1996, the first barangay high school was established in Plata-having Mr. Santiago G. Gurrobat Sr.,Estela Arcilla, Mrs. Perlas , Mrs. DIanela and Mr. Molet are the pioneer teachers. Being an agricultural barangay, it does not hinder our parents in sending their children to school and it produced many professionals.
Every year new settlers are coming and population of Palta has expanded thus resulting Palta as thickly populated barrio. The first Teniente Del Barrio, which is equivalent to Barangay Captain today, was appointed by Alcalde Mayor. He was Baltazar Aguilar. The tenure of office is two years and from such time, the barrio constituents elected the barrio officials. No honorarium were given then. Several persons became Teniente Del Barrio. They were Adriano Tabios, Alipio Tabuzo, Macario Alcantara, Petronilo Bagadiong, Pedro Vargas, Ramon Ramirez, Nemesio Gurrobat, Eustaquio Alejandro, Estanieslao Tabios, Antonio Gurrobat and Eugenio Arador. From among these Teniente Del Barrio, it was Alipio Tabuzo who served the longest term for 23 years. Pursuant to Republic Act 3590 that was ratified on September 1972, barrio Palta was divided intothree barangays. The eastern part became Barangay Cabihian, the centrasl part became the barangay of Palta BIg and the western potion became what is now barangay Palta Salvacion .from 1972 to present year (2005), the Barangay Captains who served Palta Salvacion were EStanislao Tabios, Leonoro Gurrobat, Charles Tapel Jr. ( as OIC) , Alnado Chavez (appointed as OIC), Eddie Manlangit, Carmen Cajuday , Jesus Melgar, Noel Cabrera (for only 5 months ) and Muela T. Bagadiong ( 2002-present).