MOGPOG BEFORE AND DURING THE SPANISH ERA
There is no authentic account on the existence of Mogpog before the coming of the Spaniards. Information gathered from the old folks of the community stated that the place now the town proper was once a wilderness and was covered mostly of “lipa” and guava trees. Later, the vast plains and fertile valleys attracted people. They cleared the wilderness and established their permanent settlement. When the Spaniards arrived, they found a small village existing under a Filipino chief. The Spaniards occupied this place, which was ruled by the “gobernadorcillio”, whose residence was at Calapan, Mindoro. The Filipino chief became a mere tax collector for the Spanish government. He was known as “Cabeza de Barangay”. The people were taxed heavily and in most cases, the lands of delinquent taxpayers were sold at public auction. This was the reason why the rich people of Boac owned most tracts of land in Mogpog, then and until now. As early as the 19th century, Mogpog was just a barrio of Boac. The people felt the need for an independent existence as a municipality. Through the efforts of the “principalia”, a petition was sent to the governor of Calapan, Mindoro asking for the creation of this barrio into a separate municipality. Mr. Nicolas del Rosario became the first “captain”. From 1807 to 1898, Mogpog had 68 “capitanes”.Inspite of the benefits that the people of Mogpog enjoyed under the Spanish rule, they were still dissatisfied and discontented. They felt oppressed for even their local officials to whom they looked for protections were in most cases became accomplices of the Spaniards in abusing them. When the revolution spread throughout the country, the patriotic sons of Mogpog joined the rest of the Filipinos in the fight for freedom. The Mendez brothers led the local “insurrectos” in defying the Spanish authorities. During the short-lived Philippine Republic from the 1899 to 1900 under Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the Municipal Government of Mogpog was recognized with Don Fernando Lagran as president. During the Spanish time, Mogpog made notable improvements along economic, social, education and religious life. Spanish missionaries taught Christian religion to them. Filipino teachers were trained by the missionaries to help in the propagation of Christian faith. Among these early teachers were Maestra Leonides Muhi, Wenceslawa Larrosa, Don Fernando Lagran, Ramon Maria Coll and the mother of Mrs. Estefa Ringor. Strict discipline was imposed and different kinds of punishments were inflicted. Hence, many students evaded themselves from going to school. People were industrious and engaged mostly in farming. Food was bountiful and the land was cheap. It was said that a piece of land could be exchanged for a bolo, tuba wine or any of the articles which both parties agreed upon. Many forms of amusement and recreations were introduced such as cockfighting and social gatherings.