Sumilao, Bukidnon :
Sumilao is a 4th Class Municipality in the Province of Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines. According to the Population Commission 2007 census data, it has a population density of 21,720 people based on Population Commission 2000 census data or 3,268 households.
Origin of the Name :
The word “Sumilao” came from a Bukidnon phrase “Kon sumilaw da.” which means “When light comes again.”
A story that has been told that there lived a man named Walu who possessed supernatural powers. Many believed that he lives somewhere in Kilabong a place near Palaopao Hill. Time came when seven “baylan” (spiritual leaders who possessed special powers) who were living at the plain below fabricated degrading stories against Walu.
This angered him. Standing on the hill, he shouted at the top of his voice and pointed to the seven men rebuking them for their evil intentions. At this instant, bright, glaring light emitted from the tip of the pointing finger and the seven “baylan” were blinded. It was said that their eyesight will be restored when the same light will come again.
Oral history from the town’s old-time residents that before the Spanish colonization, the present site of the Poblacion was already inhabited. Four big buildings housing several families were already constructed. These families were directly controlled by a settlement datu or chief. They grouped together to protect themselves from the fierce “mangangayaw” or headhunters from the hills.
When the Spaniards came, Datu Manlomero and Opecio, with their men, fought against the conquistadores. Unfortunately, the natives were defeated due to the inferiority of their weapons.
So they laid down their arms and accepted the new ruler. They were baptized to the Christian religion. In 1860’s, the Recollect missionaries were already making visits to Sumilao.
When the Jesuit priests took over the missionary work in Bukidnon in 1870’s, Sumilao was already one of the rancherias of the Visita of Tagoloan. Regular missionary trips to Sumilao and Linabo were intensified by Fathers Juan Terricarbas and Eusebio Barrado. By 1887, there were 200 Christian residents of the Rancheria de Sumilao.
In January 1890, Sumilao was created into the first active mission station in Bukidnon, thus making her the nucleus of the Roman Catholic faith in the province. Mission de Sumilao assumed jurisdiction over the rancherias of Tagoloan up to Bugcaon, formerly all under the parish of Tagoloan.
Sumilao then later under the Residencia de Balingasag. The name Rancheria was later changed to Reduccion de Nuevo Cristianos. By 1891, Mission de Sumilao had 15 reducciones with a combined Christian population of 8, 399. The reduccion of Sumilao, however had 11, 340 inhabitants. Father Eusebio Barrado was the missionary curate during that time.
In 1893, Mission de Mailag (Mailag) was created. This reduced the number of reducciones of Mission de Sumilao. By 1894, the mission had only 4, 122 Christian inhabitants.
During the Spanish colonization period, the local datu were appointed to political positions by the missionary priests. These political leaders were under the administrative control of the higher authorities who are stationed at Misamis Oriental. Some of these local leaders were Capitanes Dalahigon, Alejo Yansao – alis Mandita, Akuman and Tao.
In 1907, the American took over the administration of Bukidnon. The town’s chief was then called President. In 1914, Sumilao was one of the communities created into municipal districts of Bukidnon pursuant to Executive Order No. 10 issued by Frank Carpenter, Governor of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu on August 15, 1914.
It was also during the American regime that a parochial school known as Little Flower Academy was established. Its operation, however, lasted only up to the period of World War II. The Catholic Church and the school building were bombed by the American fighter planes in 1944.
Mr. Juan Sumbalan was the president sometime in the 1920s up to the outbreak of the war. Under the Japanese military government, Mr, Restituto Parista was appointed as the town’s chief.
During the war, several young and brave men of Sumilao joined the guerilla resistance movement. Some of these men were Lieutenants Candido G. Sumbalan and Alejandro Sale.
Site Map :
Alalum Falls is one of the tourist spots in Sumilao, Bukidnon and located in Barangay Kisolon which is the seat of the Local Government Unit.