One of the most beautiful and well-known barangay of Virac, Catanduanes that lies along riverbank of Sto. Domingo River is Tubaon. The inhabitants are still evident of the ancient wholesome traits of our forefather that of being hospitable, kind and helpful to everyone. Proof of this fine and lovely traits the people have recognized in competition being launched by the local government in line with cleanliness and beautification.
The barrio has a very interesting origin to be called. Before World War II, there were natives of Barangays Sta. Elena and Barangay Sto. Domingo namely Epefanio Vargas, Clemente Tria, Cornello Lumbao, Nicolas Zafe called “Badi”, Eduwarda Zafe who came to the place. They were attracted to the place because of the environment which was full of native plants such as herbal plants, big tree, bushes and even wild animals roaming around the places near the mountainsides which known before Sogod and Calanaga. The natives were attracted to have “kaingin” in the nearby mountains so that they could plant root crops, fruits, vegetable and coconut trees. Their harvests were sold to the capital town of Virac by means of cariton pulled by a carabao but sometimes they exchanged their produced food through “barter” system. They stayed in the place for several years.
When the natives stayed in Buyo for several years some of them built houses in Sitio Tubaon, which is a place before the cabisera of the barangay Buyo and about 5 minutes walking.
Since the place has plenty of coconut trees, some natives of the barangay used to earn a living by means of gathering “tuba” from coconut tree. Tuba is local wine which has different taste in that of commercial beverages/wine. Any of the neighboring barangays like Simamla, Buyo and Sto. Domingo went to the place just to buy “tuba”as pamatid uhaw every afternoon.
The term “tuba” is not the origin of the name tubaon.
Before Tubaon got its official name, there were fishermen who were fun of using local pesticides in fishing called “Tuba”. Tuba is being used in illegal fishing in the very deep blue river called Tubaon just along river bank of Sta. Cruz Street. The river is about 25 feet deep or about a height of 25 years-old coconut tree. This river has many big fish like banak, tilapia, carpa, banag, hito, eel, shrimps and others.
Since they were always using the name “tubahon”, in 1971 under the administration of Tenyente Ireneo Panti Sr. and acting Barangay Captain Jesus Faustino through the effort of Matanda Ireneo A. Quintal passed a resolution to the Municipal Councilor under the Administration of Mayor Primo Patti Jr. that tubahon be changed and had officially named “Tubaon” and be one of the barangays of Virac.
As time went on, a chapel was built near Alejandro Marquez residence, and it was brought to upper portion of his land near Blas Marquez residence. Since there was rapid population increase, a small chapel cannot occupy many devotees. It was transferred to Samar’s place. That was the times; a permanent church was built in this place through the kindness and generous heart of coupled Macario Samar and Juliana Sarmiento who donated a portion of their land.
Long, long time ago, Barangay Tubaon is a devotees of Saint Vincent Ferrer. A couple Mrs. Victoria Valeza and Valentin Marguez commemorate our Saint every 16th day of August at Sitio Ilawod. Their daughter Ignasia Marguez organized a youth association here in Sitio Ilawod. Mr. Albino Taller who was also a youth made a decision to build a chapel at Valentin’s lot which is now a residence of Mr. Alberto Marguez. After it was build, a novena was being held every year in this place. August 16 is the celebration or feast of Saint Vincent Ferrer. There were so many foods in that day of devotion. Parents, youth, children and visitors were all invited. There were singing contests, dance contest, playing of guitar of Ingkoy Tria, Violin of Mr. Felipe Ibayan. Poem was mention in this day, like:
Salog Tubaon, sela daraculaon
Dai mo madacop condi panaon
Dai mo pagbukudon
Baad ika mabuntog sa tubig na macuring rarom.
Pang-pang caining salog Tubaon
Sa tawo dara sa maraot na panahon
Sira dakop sa salog Tubaon
Saimong on-onon bagay sa
Tuba saimo sumsumanon
Sigurado eka mabuyong
Con ika mag-inum
Lingaw obligacion sa
Agom di mo na marumdom
Sa amay na aging aldaw
Malimpoyon, tan-aw bukid owayon
Alopo-op na mapution
Garo sida masilagon
Tamong nag buronbukon
Gamit nin mag-agom
Sa bago casalon
Salog Tubaon satong palinigon
Ngani sa maabot na panahon
Sa maabot na hiniracion.
After few years, youth association was reorganized because the officers of the association got married. The new association was headed by Mr. Juan Quintal and Cristita Marquez. The chapel was built in Julian Taller’s lot facing east near Orlando Samar’s residence. There was no road in that place during the time.
In 1951, Mr. Nail called the youth to be partner in education. He asked for help that he will put up a Reading Center. He appointed Mr. Ireneo Quintal to be a leader for the boys and Catalina Samar for the girls. Reading Center was put up near Teniente Panti’s residence with complete reading materials.
After two years, in 1953 Ireneo Quintal was elected as president while Manuel Panti was elected as vice president for the boys. Consolacion Marquez was a president for girls while Catalina Samar was elected as Vice President with the different line of officers and members.
In 1953, Barangay Plaza was established which Barangay Hall and Day Care Center is at present. Barangay road was made through atag. The people in the Sitio Ilawod helped each other to remove mango tree, lukban, santol and kapok.
The chapel situated in Julian Taller’s lot was demolished because of its position. It was rebuilt at the Dominador’s area through atag system every Saturday. It was made up of concrete pavement and light materials like lumber and nipa.
In 1957, the feast of Saint Vincent Ferrer in August 16 was changed to April 5 because it was the right day for our Saint. There was auditorium on vesper day and a mass on April 5. The priest who celebrated the mass was Msgr. Surtida of the Dioceses of Virac. After a mass there was baray-baray, others invited visitor to eat and drink tuba a local wine in their houses.
After one year, Ireneo Quintal, Youth President called for a meeting of youth and parents. In the meeting he requested to have Matanda and Segundo Matanda who will manage the chapel. Antonio Taller elected as Matanda while Macario Samar as Segundo Matanda and other officers of Sitio Ilawod. Year 1957, Teniente Panti was defeated in the election with Eustaquio Panti won as teniente then Ireneo Quintal was nominated as secretary.
In 1959, the San Vicente Chapel was relocated to Macario Samar’s lot in the since that the land is flat, at the middle of the barangay and donated to Saint Vincent but in December 1969 and New Year following year, typhoon Frida and Ema respectively destroyed the barangay chapel. It was rebuilt through atag of the youth and parents.
In 1969, active Matanda Benedicto Vergara called a meeting for a new sets of Centro Catolico Association fortunately Mr. Benedicto Vergara reelected as Matanda and Ireneo Quintal as Segundo Matanda. In November 1970, typhoon “Sining” hit Catanduanes which cause every Catandunganon suffered poverty due to loss of lives, belongings, including houses, landmarks and buildings. Strong wind broke down houses and chapel but it was rebuilt through unity and cooperation among the residence of Sitio Ilawod.
In 1970, before the declaration of Martial Law, Barangay Captain Floro Panti requested Mr. Ireneo Quintal to make a statue of a big man of 6 feet at the middle of camote plantation of Bailon Taller without the knowledge of the baranagy, around 8 o’clock in the evening he invited people of the barangay to watch it. They brought petromax, candle and even fire of wood. When they “Tapos na ang dayuhang Emperialismo, Mabuhay si Marcos, Mabuhay and Bagong Lipunan sa Pilipinas. That’s what happened in Sitio Ilawod.
In 1971, one month after the feast of Sain Vincent Ferrer, Mr.Ireneo Quintal was elected as Matanda Mayor while Mr. Benedicto Vergara was elected as Segundo Matanda. They announced and suggested to the folks that Sitio Ilawod be one of the barrio so that there is only one feast in Ilawod because Ilawod celebrated also the feast of Saint Anthony de Padua in the month of June. In short Matanda Ireneo Quintal passed a resolution that Ilawod become an independent barangay from Buyo. It was submitted on September 1971 to the Municipal Council of Virac through the help of Luis Guerrero of the Department of Local Government and Councilor Mariano Alberto of Virac who was in-charge of Buyo District.
On April 4, 1972 a day before the feast of Saint Vincent Ferrer, at the auditorium, Alkalde Jorge Arcilla proclaimed Tubaon as one of the Barangays of Virac. It was held at the stage of Buyo Elementary School. During the auditorium there was beauty pageant won by Ms. Arceli Marquez. Barangay Tubaon, the dream of every Tubaon on to become a Barangay of Virac. Captain Jesus Faustino was the first Barangay Captain of Tubaon. There was an election of Matanda in 1975, fortunately Ireneo Quintal was re-elected as Matanda and Jose Samar as Segundo Matanda until they pronounced that the feast be celebrated every last Friday of April as recommended by Father Nesting Sarmiento, the Koraparoko of Virac for the reason that there are so many celebration on April 5 so the people of the Barangay also amend to their suggestion. That’s why last Friday of April is the Feast of Saint Vincent Ferrer.