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San Jose de Buenavista, Antique

San Jose de Buenavista is a 3rd class municipality having a population of 48,261 (as of 2000 census) or 9,639 households. Its projected population for year 2005 is 54,555. The average annual population growth rate is 2.54% (1995-2000) while population density is 10.85 persons/ ha or 1,885.2 persons/sq. km. It is the capital municipality of the province of Antique.

Composed of 28 barangays, San Jose has a total land area of 4,450 hectares. The upland area accounts for 10.90% while the lowland area, 89.10%.  It being a coastal municipality, it has abundant fishery resources with all its 13 coastal  barangays covered  under the Coastal Resource Management Program. It has an estimated coastline of 13.65 km.

Aside from fishing, people also depend on agriculture, business and employment for their sources of income.

Indicators Value



Income (2004, in pesos) 56,063,940
Class 3rd
Land Area (ha) 4,450
  Upland (ha) 485 
  Lowland (ha) 3,965
Coastline (km) 13.65
Population (2000) 48,261
  Growth Rate (%) 2.54
No. of Households 9,639
No. of Barangays 28
  Coastal 13


Historical Background
(Reprinted from Binirayan 2000 Souvenir Magazine)

In the middle of thirteenth century (year 1250), ten Bornean Datus and their wives, children, warriors servants and followers left Borneo and the cruelty, oppression and tyranny of Sultan Makatunao. They landed one day in December at Siriwagan, San Joaquin, Province of lloilo. After interrogating two Negritos, who were fishing, they were told that their leader, Chieftain Marikudo with his wife, Maniwantiwan were living in Sinugbo not far from the place. Then the Datus went downstream and found the Ati ruler. Negotiations were made and the ‘Barter of Panay" took place. Panay was bought in exchange for a gold salakot for Marikudo and a long, gold necklace for Maniwangtiwan. The other three datus sailed northward to Luzon, leaving the seven datus under the leadership of Datu Sumakwel.

Settlements after settlements were soon established from Malandog, which later spread outside of Malandog including Tubigon, now San Jose de Buenavista. A settlement was also established in Naganya (Egana). Barangay Odiong served as a water dock for boats of Malays coming from Malandog to eastern part of Hantique (Antique). To signal stopping and coming in of boats, the aduana (port) authorities made use of budyong or horns made from a carabao’s horn. The blowing of budyong took place at Telegrapo in Tubigon as this spot served as the signal and control tower. The rivers of Hantique (Antique) at that time were navigable, thus, the means of travel was by water.

The Spanish colonizers came to Hantique (Antique) in 1581 .With them came the Augustinian friars that Christianized the inhabitants who lived in Hamtic. They taught the people to believe in God and accept Christ as the Savior of the Roman Catholic faith. They built churches in Maybato, Asluman, Naganya (Egana) and Bugason (Bugasong).

There was no place called San Jose at that time. The place was called Tubigon* because it was under water. Tubigon was still a part of Hamtic and a "visita"of the church of Hamtic, meaning it has no parish priest of its own. The people went to Maybato to hear mass. The church was a big stone edifice, which gave the name "Maybato" to its vicinity. Moro pirates frequently plundered the shore of Hamtic and went as far as Maybato. These Moro pirates burned the church and took away the huge bell in the belfry. They had not gone far away from Mala-iba when their boat sank into the sea and in colloquial Spanish, Mala-iba means, ‘it had gone away", hence, the name of the place since then. It was in 1733 when San Jose, formerly called "Tubigon" was founded and in 1790, it acquired its land title through land grants issued by the then Governor-General Carlos Benequer de Marquina. Afterwards, it became a regular "curra"or parish having its first "curra paroco" or parish priest, Fr. Manuel Ibañes, OSA.

In 1872, San Jose became a town. Then in 1902, it was made the capital of the Province of Hantique (Antique). Government officials and church dignitaries came by boat to attend the ceremonies. Impressed by the marvelous view of the town, they added to the name San Jose, the word "de Buenavista," (meaning beautiful view) Hence, the present name, "San Jose de Buenavista."

Economy. As a center of trade and commerce in the province, San Jose de Buenavista has complete facilities and institutions such as: schools and colleges; health facilities; resort and recreation centers; a wet market; seaport, airport, transportation and communication facilities; cooperatives, banks and other financing institutions; hotel and lodging houses. The municipality is also the site of all dominant religious churches.

In 2002, the municipality has 33 policemen providing public safety augmented by barangay tanods per barangay. It has an average monthly crime rate of 0.33 percent. The crime solution efficiency is 94.70 percent. There is one fire station equipped with fire truck, fire hydrants and other fire fighting equipment being manned by 15 firemen and supervised by a fire officer.

There is one Rural Health Center and a hospital (Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital) which had recently availed added medical facilities aside from its renovation/rehabilitation.

The municipality has a total road network of 70.698 kilometers of which 29.688 kilometers - national road; 7.151 kilometers - provincial road; 9.093 kilometers - municipal road and 24.766 kilometers - barangay road.

San Jose has a total of four bridges along national roads classified into construction type: two concrete and two timber trestle. It has an aggregate length of 59.24 lineal meters.

Serving the communication needs of the population are the Bureau of Telecommunications and GLOBELINES Telephone Company with individual house connections. The post office is operated by the Bureau of Postal Corporation at the poblacion. Cellular phones and a number of calling stations both local and international are also available. The municipality is also serviced by a cable television and has two radio stations. Internet services are also available in the municipality.

Transportation facilities to and from neighboring municipalities and the rest of the provinces in Panay Island are public utility vehicles such as buses, vans and jeepneys. Within the municipality, tricycles and jeepneys provide transport services to the populace.

Water supply system in the municipality is generally classified into three types: level - I (dug wells and artesian wells) numbering to 3,047 units serving 26,672 population; level - II (communal faucets) numbering to five units serving 1,535 population and level – III (individual houses connections) one (1) system serving 16,001 population.

Total population served with potable water is 97.31 percent and the rest get water from doubtful sources.

Ninety six percent of the total barangays are energized by Antique Electric Cooperative (ANTECO); other areas unserved by the local electric cooperative are proposed for alternative energy sources.

Having a seaport contributed much to the rapid economic growth of town. Commercial shipping vessels ply San Jose to Manila and vice versa twice weekly. The Evelio B. Javier Airport is now undergoing rehabilitation, with funds amounting to P 40million.

Being a business center, there is a need for additional power installation especially at the coastal area and concrete paved roads to hasten the transport of products and enhance service facilities.

The Municipality of San Jose had been a Galing Pook Awardee. It has a housing project located at Barangay Supa, approximately 3 kilometers away from the town proper. The Supa Plains Subdivision is a housing project of the National Housing Authority and funded through the Resettlement Assistance Program. The first NHA-assisted housing project is a model/pilot project in the province. The land is divided to 109 families that belonged to the displaced and homeless/landless and families who are below poverty line with income less than P6,000/month.

Points of Interest. San Jose de Buenavista offers an array of activities of great interest to both local and foreign tourists. Antique's celebration of the Binirayan Festival is being conducted every April 30 to May 2 of every year. It's a theatrical presentation commemorating the landing of the ten Malay datus in Malandog, Hamtic, Antique in the middle of the 13th century to set up the first Malayan settlement or barangay in this country. Started in 1971, it is now attracting the attention of Filipino and foreigners alike.

In front of the Antique Provincial Capitol building is the EBJ Freedom Park in honor of the late Gov. Evelio B. Javier who was assassinated on Feb. 11, 1986 while depending freedom and democracy from the forces of martial law.

To add to the rich history of San Jose are the blends of the old and new faces of the town to include: the Old Capitol Building; Evelio B. Javier Memorabilia (New Capitol); ADF Handicrafts; Piedra's Restaurant; La Granja & Binirayan Hills; and the San Pedro Old Church.

Camp Autajay (also Piña Beach) offers a place for beach lovers. It is also an ideal 10-hectare lot for camping. 

How to Reach San Jose. San Jose de Buenavista is accessible via Asian Spirit, 3 times a week from Manila and from the major cities in the country through Iloilo City. It's a two-hour ride from Iloilo by choice from various buses plying the route. One can also take a longer route via Kalibo passing through the Northern Municipalities of Antique.

Sources: Provincial Planning and Development Office, Antique

The NSCB RD6 Office
is  at  Luna St. La Paz, Iloilo City, 5000 Philippines
Tel/Fax  No. (033)-320-0513
URL: http://www.nscb.gov.ph/ru6

Email: nscb6@yahoo.com

Updated 25 April 2011
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