Brief History Of The Municipality of Manapla


The Municipality of Manapla in the early times was originally inhabited by Negritos. In the later years people from neighboring places migrated here forcing the Negritos to flee to the mountains and to settle there permanently.


Manapla became a town after the island of Negros remained a military district until the middle of the 19th century under the Spanish regime. In 1856, Negros Occidental was raised to the category of politico military govierno. During Saravia’s term in the late 1860’s, Manapla was proclaimed a new municipality by a Vicar who was at the same time the Acting Governor of Bacolod. In 1870, Bernardo Gallo was appointed by this Spanish official as the first Capitan Municipal. The Municipality of Manapla has a territorial jurisdiction from Malugo River in the west, Sicaba River in the east, Guimaras Strait in the north and the mountains in the south. A portion of the land was donated to Bernardo as his real property and was bounded in the south by Barrio Tortosa, in the north by Barrio Chambery, containing an area now owned by the heirs of Bernardo.

Custodio Duyungan succeeded Bernardo Gallo as Capitan Municipal from 1881 to 1889. During his term in 1896, Negros established revolutionary committees in the municipalities in response to Aguinaldo’s call to arms. On the 5th of November 1898,the Negros revolution commenced but before the scheduled time of the uprising, Manapla started the revolt by hoisting the Filipino flag at the town plaza on the eve of November 4, 1898. Custodio Duyungan led this revolt without bloodshed with a cry: “LONG LIVE INDEPENDENCE, LONG LIVE LIBERTY!” A provisional government was immediately established with Senior Duyungan as Local Military Chieft.

Manapla will go down the pages of history as the first to openly declare a revolution against the Spanish colonizers through the brave and principled nationalist and freedom fighter, Custodio Duyungan.


Canoto Macasa replaced Duyungan as the third Capitan Municipal. Capitan Macasa was succeeded by Presidente Municipal Magdaleno Fuentebella in 1901, Alipio Aguirre, Sr. in 1902, Juan Jardeliza (1903-904), Isabelo Aguirre (1905-2908), Esteban Lacson, Sr. (1909-1912), Jose Turca (1913-1916), Emilio Jardeliza (1917-1920), Juan Duyungan (1921-1925), Perfecto Hinlo (1925-1928), Gregorio Lauron, Sr. (1933-1945).

Manapla led other towns in the production of sugar when North Negros Sugar Company, Inc. was established in 1917 at Barrio Purusima with “Muscovado” as its major product. The succeeding years were characterized by rapid material growth and development. The population gradually increased with the influx of migratory workers from Panay and other places as far as Cebu and Bohol. Sugar milling started and steam machines were employed. Large haciendas sprouted and cultivation of sugarcane fields was in a new development scale. North Negros Sugar Company later changed its name to Victorias Milling Company, Inc. and relocated to Victorias, then under the jurisdiction of Manapla and which later became a city.

North Negros Sugar Company later changed its name to Victorias Milling Company, Inc. and relocated to Victorias, then under the jurisdiction of Manapla and which later became a city.


There were two (2) Municipal Mayors during the second world war from 1942 to 1944 – Recardo Herrera, Acting Mayor of the Civil Government, vice the sick Mayor Daniel Gustilo and Andres Roaldo, puppet mayor of the Japanese Government. Daniel Gustilo continued his term in 1945. Nicanor Gayatin became mayor in 1946 when he was appointed by then Governor Rafael Lacson but he was replaced by Daniel Gustilo who served his second term from 1947-1955. Gustilo was succeeded by Enrique Hinlo (1956-1963), Rodolfo Miraflores, Sr. (1964-April 27, 1986), Edilberto S. Vocal, Jr. (April 28, 1986 – November 23, 1994).

Four (4) days after the town fiesta and on the eve of August 21, 1987 while the town was celebrating of the feast of its principal parochial saint Saint Roch, CCP/NPA rebels attacked the municipality and burned down the municipal building. The fire razed the entire building, the police headquarter and residences of OIC Mayor, Edilberto S. Vocal, Jr. and Mr. And Mrs. Victorino Ferraris.

The incident resulted to the loss of property worth millions of pesos, destruction of public records and documents, death of one civilian, two members of the NPA and the wounding of one paramilitary personnel.

That same year the Municipality of Manapla received a trust fund amounting to five million pesos (Php 5,000,000.00) from the President Corazon C. Aquino which was allotted for the construction of the municipal building.

After seven (7) years the new Municipal Hall was realized due to political will of DR. JOSE G. JO who governed as Municipal Mayor from November 24, 1994 to 2001. During its inauguration on May 4, 1995, he gave the Municipal Hall a new name “BALAY SANG BANWA”

In the year 2001, Vice Mayor Manuel “Manolet” M. Escalante III became the new mayor. During his incumbency, he focused on massive infrastructure development of Manapla through construction of roads, bridges, covered courts, electrification and water supply. These projects were very supportive of the needs of farmers and fishermen.

Social services that made an impact on the lives of Manaplahanons such as free accident insurance for all public school students, teachers and municipal employees were also prioritized. “Serbisyo sa Barangay” a program started under his administration, brought government services to the doorsteps of the people. He was also President of the Association of Chief Executives (ACE) and League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Negros Occidental chapter for three (3) consecutive terms and was appointed as Secretary General of LMP on his last term. His election to these positions of trust at both the local and national level is recognition from the national government of his capacity to govern. Under his administration the physical landscape of Manapla was changed because of the influx of investors.

In 2010 election, Mayor Lourdes Socorro L. Escalante succeeded her husband as the leader of the municipality. She sustained the programs and projects started by the former mayor. After the term of Mayor Lourdes Socorro L. Escalante, Mayor Manuel M. Escalante III won in the 2019 mayoralty election. He continued the projects he implemented during his term seeing that the municipality still needs more infrastructure projects such as Farm to Market Roads, Streetlightings, and the development of coastline of Brgy II and II-A. He also started the construction of the burned Public Market with a loan financed by the Land Bank of the Philippines. It was in the year 2020 when the COVID 19 pandemic struck us globally. It has been a big turning point in planning and bureaucracy and has affected the lives of the people in the community. Mayor Manolet has been at the forefront, taking action in preparation and response to this pandemic. Mayor Manolet together with the other officials and Department Heads are on prioritizing the programs, projects, and activities the municipality needed the most.
Vaccine Information and Management System
Vaxcert PH