Sibuyan Island (the original) | Heritage and History
Sibuyan's Heritage and History

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Never in its geological history has it ever been connected with any part of the Philippine archipelago. Seismic forces pushed up a 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) peak from the earth’s crust, forming a series of smaller peaks and slopes. The peak is Mt. Guiting-Guiting (literally means "the saw-toothed mountain", in reference to its jagged ridge). Because of the steep slopes, much of its original forest remains untouched, and the rest is the island as we find it today.

The town of San Fernando was established in 1636 as Visita de Cauit in what is today Barangay Azagra. It is one of two visitas in Sibuyan Island, the other being Cajidiocan. In 1744, Cajiodiocan was turned into a pueblo (town) which included Visita de Cauit.

The first villages or barrios of Visita de Cauit were Pag-alad, Cangumba, Mabolo or San Roque, Canjalon, España or Canago, Agtiwa, Cangumon and Otod. After Romblon was made a separate district in 1853, and the local government reorganization of 1855, 17 new pueblos were created including Visita de Cauit.

In 3 February 1868, Pueblo de Cauit was renamed Pueblo de Azagra. One of Azagra's villages, Visita de Pag-alad was renamed Visita de San Fernando in 1882, in honor of Ferdinand Magellan.

Sibuyan's Heritage and History

NGO Project by Roadbook and Isledreams

The "Virgin Mary of Candelaria" is listed as a Restoration & Conservation project by the NGO Roadbook/Isledreams, located in Sibuyan Island
To see more about the NGO simply click here...

Virgin Mary of Candelaria in Azagra – Sibuyan Island

One of the most fascinating finds in the churches of Romblon is the old church of Virgin Mary of Candelaria in Azagra, a small barrio in San Fernando, Romblon in Sibuyan Island.

The 17th century Azagra Chapel stands out as one oldest, after the famous Sto. Niño Church in Cebu, existing religious edifice on the island. Built by Augustinian Recollect friars, the former parish was pastored by the now Saint Fr. Leon Inchausti.

The original walls made of shell-encrusted coral walls.

Azagra itself is a place with a rich, colorful past. According to San Fernando historical notes, it was first inhabited by Datu Puti, one of the 10 chieftains of Borneo who sailed to the country in the 13th century where it was first known as Punta Kawit. When the Spaniards came, it acquired the name Azagra and gained greater importance as a flourishing municipality. However, lack of water resources led to the relinquishing of the capital to one of its barrios, Pag-alad (now San Fernando) in 1900 where Azagra has since become a barrio (barangay) of the former.

Sibuyan's Heritage and History

Casa de San Fernando – Sibuyan Island

Casa de San Fernando located in Sibuyan Island is a Spanish Cuartel built of stone coral blocks with wooden beams. The structure is a unique built-heritage as a watchtower stood majestically at the back of the residence structure believed to have been built for the purpose by then Don Pedro Sanz, a Spanish Gobernadorcillo.

Source: National Museum, Manila (2013)
Photos: T. Hellwig