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Map of Romblon showing the location of Calatrava

Calatrava is a 5th class municipality in the province of Romblon, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 8,878 people in 1,674 households.

Bantoanon or Asi is the native language of Poblacion, Pagsangajan and San Roque, while both Asi and Ini are used in Talisay, Linao and Pangulo. Onhan is used by majority of Balogo's inhabitants, however in some of its sitios, both Asi and Ini are also being used regularly by its native residents.



Calatrava, once a barrio in the town of San Agustin is situated along the northeastern coastal plains and rugged terrain of Tablas Island. It is bounded on the north and west by Tablas Strait, on the east by municipality of San Agustin, and on the south by the municipality of San Andres. The municipality has a total land area of 4,752.51 hectares constituting 3.50% of Romblon's land area. During pre-Spanish period, the place was called ‘Andagao’ named after a medicinal plant growing in abundance everywhere in the locality especially in places along the shore.

The word Calatrava was derived from the dialect word according to prevailing notion of the inhabitants. ‘Calat’ derived from Bantoanon word ‘kayat’ or in English meant ‘scattered’ and ‘grava’ which means gravel. Legend tells us that this place once abounded with numerous pools of water and some few houses were scattered around it. At the arrival of the Spaniards perhaps on orders of then Romblon governor Don Jose Fernandez de Terran here in Andagao (Calatrava) in 1881, they were surprised to find numerous pools of water with few houses scattered apart. They went house to house and asked for the name of the place. One farmer they asked did not understand the question and answered ‘nag-kayat’ meaning that the houses were scattered. The Spaniards thought that the man was giving them the name of the place. The Spaniards then added ‘grava’ meaning gravel for there were thick piles of gravels all around also. It is not only abundant in the sense that it was confined to this specific area of the locality as the gravels were widely scattered throughout the community, so much so that the word ‘calat’ plus ‘grava’ with the letter ‘g’ in the word ‘grava’ finally dropped, aptly fits the name of the place. Hence, it was named ‘Calatrava’ which remains to this day. As a matter of fact, there was a place in Spain called Calatrava, which might have inspired the Spanish authorities to name the place after that of their native place in Spain.

There was an influx of settlers towards northern Tablas coming from Banton and Romblon islands and also from central Tablas from early 1810s until 1830s because of its rich fishing banks, fertile soil, heavily wooded islands and verdant mountains ideal for establishing new settlements and farmlands in their quest for expansion of private lands and territories. What impelled these people to travel? Reasons were, the islands of Romblon and Banton were both small, densely populated and could hardly support the islanders. The Bantoanons were the first settlers of the municipality and joined later by migrants from Odiongan of which, like them, spoke the Bantoanon idiom. Today, this group of people made up the great portion of its residents while the northern barangay of Linao, Pangulo and Talisay have significant Romblomanon residents while Onhan settlers originally from Central Tablas decided to settle in the southern barangay of Balogo.

Around late 1830s, the village of Andagao was organized into a fundacion (settlement) attached to visita de Odiongan under pueblo de Banton. In the course of time, a Spanish friar named Padre Jose Aznar from the parish of Banton visited the place of Andagao and planned the construction of its first church made of wood and limestone sometime in 1839. Immediately, under the leadership of Elueterio Asuncion, then its cabeza de barangay who hailed from Odiongan and one of the respected leader from the new settlers, spearheaded for its church construction. Since then, Andagao immediately progressed and developed.

In 1850, people started using family names beginning with letter "F" as decreed by Spanish Governor-General Narciso Claveria issued in November 21, 1848. Thus, the name Eleuterio Asuncion, then the teniente de visita of Andagao was changed to Eleuterio Fetalino in compliance to Governor-General Claveria’s decree.

Romblon separated from Capiz province when the "Politico Militar Commandancia del Distrito de Romblon" was organized on March 19, 1853. Romblon then had only four established pueblos or parishes, namely Romblon, the capital town, Banton, Cajidiocan (formerly and officially known as Sibuyan) and Looc. Andagao, being a visita then was included under pueblo de Banton together with visita de Odiongan. Two years later after the PMC del Distrito de Romblon was established in 1855, 17 new pueblos (municipios) or parishes were created. Finally, Andagao became one of the new municipalities in the Distrito de Romblon. This was Calatrava’s first proclamation as a pueblo or parish (its present equivalent is municipality).

In January 11, 1868, PMC del Distrito de Romblon's status was elevated into full-pledge province known as Politico Militar Commandancia dela Provincia de Romblon, there was reorganization in all local municipal government. As a consequence, only seven pueblos were retained, one missionary center, and one semi-autonomous visita under pueblo de Banton. A total of 15 pueblos were abolished and one of them was Andagao. Andagao reverted to its former status as a visita and it was annexed to pueblo de Guintiguian (renamed Badajoz in August 28, 1868, now San Agustin) because similarly, the former pueblo of Odiongan where Andagao was formerly attached as a visita was similarly abolished and it was annexed back to its mother pueblo of Banton.

In June 14, 1881, Andagao was renamed Calatrava during the term of the controversial "Governador y Commandante de Politico Militares", Don Jose Fernandez de Terran (1880–1883). It was also speculated that then inconvent Spanish Governor-General Don Fernando Primo de Rivera (1880–1883), at one time a gallant soldier himself, born in Jerez de la Frontera in Andalucia, Spain could have suggested in renaming the visita to Calatrava because he was inspired by the Military Order of Calatrava formed north of his city Jerez in the town originally called Oreto but renamed Calatrava by the Moors in the early 17th century. The military confraternity was formed by monks as an inspiration of Don Diego Velázquez, a Cistercian monk himself with the objective of defending strategic crucial towns and cities in the Andalucian region from the Moors invasions and attacks, hence the military order of Calatrava was formed.

In March 16, 1901, American civil government was organized in the province of Romblon, Calatrava remained part of Badajoz municipality until June 4, 1940 when all the municipalities of Romblon were abolished by the passing of Commonwealth Act No. 581 or better known as the 'Festin Bill'. The town of Badajoz became part of the new Special Municipality of Tablas with its seat at Odiongan. Badajoz was represented with one special municipal councilor at its municipal council in Odiongan. Calatrava, being a barrio of Badajoz then, was not represented. On June 4, 1943, Calatrava, together with Alcantara and Libertad were organized into emergency municipalities sponsored by the guerilla movement regime under the Revolutionary Republic of the Philippines. This was Calatrava's second proclamation as a municipality. On May 26, 1946 Commonwealth Act No. 581 was repealed through the passage of Republic Act No. 38 sponsored by Romblon's new Congressman in the person of Hon. Modesto Formelleza of Odiongan. Badajoz regained back its independent municipal status and Calatrava reverted to its former barrio status and was annexed back to Badajoz municipality as a barrio.

On June 15, 1968, through the passage of Republic Act No. 5317, Calatrava became Romblon's 15th independent constituency known as the municipal-district of Calatrava, this was Calatrava's third proclamation as an independent entity, taken from the municipality of San Agustin. In June 23, 1969, the municipal district of Calatrava was converted into full-fledged municipality through the passage of Executive Order No. 184, a law which states 'converting all existing municipal-district into regular municipalities'. Today, Calatrava is composed of seven barrios or barangays.

Population of Calatrava at various times

Land Area
Poblacion (U) 25.16 2,076 1,063 1,123 1,484 1,596 1,907 1,813
Balogo 1,452.35 554 1,115 836 942 1,233 1,462 1,554 1,803
Calatrava 525 615 1,023 1,352 2,788 2,981 1,542
Linao 450.27 1,050 1,563 882 894 1,181 1,118 1,468 1,573
Pagsangahan 1,150.56 599 645 642 599 732 713
Pangulo (U) 639.31 862 978 1,147 1,329 1,178 1,272
San Roque 438.79 504 599 704 782 983 1,319
Talisay 596.07 936 934 1,072 848 1,056 1,233
Total 4,752.51 525 615 1,023 1,352 2,788 2,981 3,146 4,754 5,682 6,115 7,463 7,734 8,878 9,726

/a – Part of the Municipality of San Agustin /b - 2007 NCSO Census


Calatrava is politically subdivided into 7 barangays.

  • Balogo
  • Linao
  • Poblacion
  • Pagsangahan
  • Pangulo
  • San Roque
  • Talisay

External links

Coordinates: 12°37′16″N 122°04′16″E / 12.621°N 122.071°E / 12.621; 122.071



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