Excerpts from Cantilan’s (Missing) Historical Streets
By: Euly V. Eleazar
Let’s start with the Linintian District. Standing at the eastern tip of Jose P. Rizal St. , facing the western part of the town, you will be on the Padre Modesto Casabana Marzo St. that is missing in the tourism map.
To the right-hand side, were the houses of the Arreo, Luga, Cuballes, Loren, Luarez, Buet and Arizobal families. The dead end of Marzo Street was the Cantilan Hotel (Canhot) that was part of the wooded Mirable area, home to some Puertos and Arrezas.
To the left of Marzo Street , the corner properties belonged to the Ruaza and Miraballes families. Adjacent to them were the residences of Maria Arizobal, Domingo Doloriel, Baye Ata, and the parents of Migdoy Duero whose property faced the house of the Mollanedas, known as the parents of Macario (Cayo) who was father of Madrid mayor “JoeMoll”; police officer Vicente “bulingot”; Petra (Sister Peter of the Cross, SPC); and of course CCMCL-USA’s favorite Game of the Four Winds (mahjong) player, Panoy, who can talk with his ivory cards, according to Geobert.
In the 1970s, the town officials have utilized the marshy end of Marzo Street , as a dumpsite for Cantilan’s garbage, which smelled obnoxious with its content of dead fowls and animals. However, it attracted squatters who in-migrated from other towns. They constructed makeshift abodes on stilts connected to each other by catwalks to make their huts accessible during high tide.
Another visibly missing street in the tourism map is the Eusebio Buniel Street . It is the street next to Marzo if you are coming from Barangay San Pedro (then Baybay I); scarcely inhabited Gapas-gapas and Sabang in the South, and Kansosyo, Kanhotchkiss and Kanbuyagat in the North-Northeast; or those coming from Consuelo, Huyamao Island and Kabituonan.
The old residents on Buniel Street (some of them have already passed to the Great Beyond) were Manuel Duero Millan and wife Engkay; Rufino Puerto and wife Irenea; Eladio and Pepay Cortez; the Orpinas (Clemens and wife Vita now live at the corner, enjoying their US pension); the Vicente Mirandas; Simeon Arreza (Ontong’s father); the Pablo Arrezas (the late Jaime Arreza’s father); the Realingos; the Hale Buniels; the Mateo Buniels (the late Boss Okoy’s father); and the Federico Cubillans. At the Southern dead end lived the late mayor Juan Orozco Buniel and family, and their neighbor Agrecio de los Arcos (father of “Totoy” the husband of Cirila Orozco de los Arcos, Dr. of Education, of SSIT). Beauteous Comadre Jeana Y. Palang lives on Buniel Street , as well as SSIT teacher, Mercinda Puerto and family. The street name honors Eusebio, uncle of Juan 0. Buniel. Eusebio was an acolyte of Father Marzo at Daan Lungsod, and new Cantilan . He was a survivor of the 1856 hurricane and tidal waves that demolished the original 1782 parish.
After Buniel Street is Coleto Street , named after Matias Coleto, a convent assistant in Marzo’s time. He was the father of Gov. Pedro Arreza Coleto and 10 other children. Matias’ brother, Francisco was a capitan and judge assigned by the Spaniards to the newly founded pueblo of Carrascal in 1895. The street was not named in honor of the late mayor Felix Guevara Coleto (20th century), first husband of widow Besing Buniel, who remarried in California to widower Craciolo (Lolok) Arienza.
Orillaneda Street was named after the maternal grandfather of the late Gov. Bernardino O. Almeda (of the then still undivided Surigao.)
Ortega Street is misidentified (unless there is a revision of a 1970s town resolution to that effect). What appears as Ortega Street now was the former Burgos Street that stretched from Falcon to Julve Street . Burgos Street was named after one of the martyred GomBurZa priests (Gomez, Burgos , Zamora ) who were shot by the Spaniards on suspicion of instigating the Cavite Mutiny.
In like manner, La Purisima Concepcion Street that became Ortega Street in the 1970s seemed to have been restored. Ortega Street honors former mayor Bernardino Ortega, builder of the old public market that was burned into ashes (videotaped by Geobert 0. Tuldanes), and the sheltered landing quay at Embarcadero where motor launches from Surigao and from other places docked before the current mountain road was constructed. This road was made through the efforts of Governor Coleto and pre-commonwealth Assemblyman Montano Arreza Ortiz I, father of the late vice governor Montano Balbuena Ortiz, Jr., and grandfather of Boy Tano of California.
Herrera Street then started from Falcon Street through La Purisima up to Rizal Street . The old church (circa 1857-1957) didn’t block the street then. During the period of Joseph Van den Berg (1957-1962), the century-old church—a monument to free labor of our Cantilangnon forebears, was demolished. When the present church was constructed, Van den Berg also erased the Herrera Street portion from La Purisima to Rizal Street . Only about 100 meters remains of the old Herrera Street , which is sandwiched between the Coleto Center tennis court grounds, (now Cantilan Sports Center , editor) and the public plaza.
Urbiztondo Street could be in honor of Mariano Urbiztondo, a pillar of the old church’s founding by Father Marzo. Capitan Mariano (1870s) was the grandfather of Vicente, who sired Arthur Lu., Arnold (Yayo), twins Conchita and Charito, and Pepe. Yayo’s son Cyrus, CCMCL-USA peace officer is a descendant of Mariano. However, Urbiztondo Street could also be in honor of three other notable capitanes from Daan Lungsod and modern Cantilan, namely: Cleto Urbiztondo, 1830; Pascual Urbiztondo (grandfather of Pare Godo), 1850; and Gregorio Urbiztondo (father of Tanting, Petring and Goroy (1870s). On this account, please don’t ask Mamar in California . I suspect this is beyond his expertise, he being focused on the pretty chicks of Cantilan and suburbs then (just a joke).
Orozco Street honors Capitan Miguel Orozco of the 1860s. He was a reliable parish worker of Father Marzo. Plaza Street honors Cabeza Antonio Plaza (father of Senon (Parot) Plaza and Mommy Unding Plaza Guillen Arreza from cabeza Tonio’s first marriage, and Adelmo Plaza son from the second marriage.)
Ortiz Street memorializes Capitan Victor Ortiz, father of former mayor Juan Duero Ortiz, who sired the illustrous lawyer Montano Arreza Ortiz, Sr., pre-Commonwealth Assemblyman, 1935 Constitutional Convention Delegate-Framer to the old Philippine Constitution and Judge, Court of First Instance of Butuan City and the present Agusans; Dr. Arcadio A. Ortiz, M.D.; Jesuit Pacifico A. Ortiz, Ph.D. (Pol-Sci, Fordham University), Manuel L. Quezon’s chaplain, UP Diliman chaplain, first elected president of Ateneo de Manila University, and 1971 Con-Con Delegate of Rizal province but resigned in protest of the 1973 Marcos Constitution; Concordia 0. Herrera and Zosima 0. Buniel. Capitan Victor originally owned the house constructed in 1857 that is now occupied by Juan Bartolome Ortega and his wife of the Ortiz-Bullo clan. The latter are the parents of Juanito, Flordeliz Susan, Gracia Corazon, Lulu Fenina, Floro, Jesus and Charito Ligaya. (Can they kindly furnish me a listing of their Mom’s ancestry?)
San Agustin Street at the town’s western end was dedicated by Father Marzo to the memory of Padre Valero de San Agustin, founding priest of Daan Lungsod (1760s) which became a regular parish in 1782. It celebrated its bicentennial anniversary in 1982.(The bicentennial was my “baby” as well as “Cantilan : A Cradle Of Towns” a phrase I coined at that time.)
San Roque Street is a 20th century creation. The few residents at that outskirts of town chose to identify and call their Purok as San Roque, hence the name of their street. The physical or civil improvements there started during the period of the late mayor Fabio Guazon Altrecha (1980-1986).
From North to South of Cantilan proper, Julve Street honors Jose Julve, who declared ownership of a huge tract of land that now encompass private structures, the whole Pilot Elementary School grounds, and some parts at the back of the Surigao del Sur Institute of Technology. Jose was the maternal ancestor of the late lawyer Magdaleno “Tub” Julve Estrada and his older siblings: Feling, Imong, Maring and Loling. Jose was also a close relative of Nicolas Julve, who in-migrated to Cavite City in the early part of the 20th century. Likewise, Jose was a close ancestral relative of present Vice Mayor Rolando U. Julve and the other Julves living along Pagantayan and Kabakhan. (The only Julve, who is not known to have blood relations with Jose is former Cabangahan captain Julve Nadao.)
Dela Pena Street honors a former mayor (his charcoal portrait with his Christian name is hanging in the Cantilan Tribunal).
Arizobal Street honors either Capitan Santiago Arizobal (a Moro fighter from Ilihan in Daan Lungsod of the 1840s) or Capitan Pedro Arizobal, 1880. It is more likely named after Capitan Pedro since the street is of Father Marzo vintage.
Rizal Street was the old Immaculada Concepcion that honored Cantilan’s patron saint. It was changed into Rizal Street in the 1920s to honor Jose Rizal, the American choice of a Filipino national hero who disfavored a bloody revolution.
Parallel to it was the old La Purisima Street that was also changed to Ortega Street in the 1970s but probably restored or reverted to La Purisima again with another town legislation.
Arreza Street (19th century) honors Capitan Francisco Arreza (1840s), who was another fierce Moro fighter of Daan Lungsod. He was believed to be an ethnic Manobo co-warrior (bagani) of Santiago Arizobal. (The author strongly believes that both men were either bagani Bangkayan or Sandigan before their Christianization. Unfortunately, some of the old baptismal records of the Cantilan parish from the 1600s were turned over by Father Maalman (personally told the author during their collateral readings of the remaining parish records in 1982) to Jesuit Francisco Demetrio of the Xavier University Museum in Cagayan de Oro City. Following Maalman’s revelation, the author did a research work at Xavier that year but only found some religious relics.
Falcon Street was constructed in Marzo time (1855-1878). It memorializes Capitan Mariano Arreza Falcon, who like the Urbiztondo town leaders and Miguel Orozco then led the construction of the 1856 bamboo and nipa church of Marzo . That old church preceded the first limestone church with iron sheet roofing that was destroyed by a typhoon and later reconstructed. Joseph Van den Berg demolished this church in 1957. The current church of Cantilan was built through the joint efforts of the town’s people under the parish administration of Maalman.
At the Southern end of Cantilan proper are Copper, Nickel and Iron streets , which have only miniscule historical value. These streets are the offshoots of local traumatic reminders of the Martial Law period in Cantilan. They bear the hue of that dictatorship that sipped from the central government in Manila into the marrows of the local leadership of this remote community.
Reposted from Cantilan FB Group
Posted by: Don Uriarte
Sources: Bebong Arreza, CANSATbatch79
Photo courtesy by: Edmund R. L. Ortega