Monday, August 6, 2007

The Municipality of San Vicente

San Vicente is a 5th class municipality located in the province of Camarines Norte, which is part of Bicol. It is roughly 350 kilometers south of Manila. The closest big towns are Daet (10 km) and Labo (15 km). South of San Vicente, about 120 kilometers away is Legazpi City, next to the famous and very active Mayon Volcano. It can be reached from Manila by car or bus such as Philtranco, Super Lines, and several other bus companies.

The municipality of San Vicente was already in existence even before the province of Camarines Norte became a separate and distinct province from Camarines Sur.

Prior to its creation 130 years ago, it was just a barrio of Talisay. The influx of people from other places led to its creation. It was named after St. Vincent Ferrer, the patron saint of the municipality.

Although San Vicente was made a municipality way back in 1877, its progress through the years could hardly be noticed. Its transition from a sleepy to a lively municipality has been very slow. Its development is very moderate.

Its slow march towards progress is attributed largely to its geographical location – it is in the inland part of the province. It is 10 kilometers by bus from Daet, the only municipality which it is linked by road.

The municipality is highly agricultural with abaca and coconut as its chief products. Majority of the farms are small, averaging less than a hectare in size. Most of the people depend on farming and home handicrafts, like the making of salakot, bilao and others.

San Vicente is proud of its peace and order condition. The spirit of helpfulness and cooperation still dwells in every inhabitant’s heart, particularly during hours of distress and unusual happenings.

It is more than this we-attitude that is practiced by the people, each one treating the other as more than a neighbor. A large segment of the population is related by blood.

San Vicente is the smallest municipality of Camarines Norte, composed of only nine barangays. These are:
Man Ogob
San Jose
Iraya Sur

It has a population of only 8,984 people in 1,765 households (based on Year 2000 Census). This accounts for only 1.91% of the total provincial population.


Its major schools are:
San Vicente Elementary School,
Cabanbanan Elementary School
San Vicente Parochial School
San Vicente National High School
Fabrica National High School

Tourist Attraction

Mananap Falls - This falls is about 60 feet high with deep water ideal for swimming, freshwater fishing, camping and nature watching. It also offers opportunities for back-packing and trailing. This could be reached after a 2-kilometer hike from Barangay Fabrica.

All noted scenic spots of the province cannot equal or surpass the Mananap Falls of San Vicente. Its distinctive beauty, its cascading crystal and its breathtaking panoramic view can hold spellbound tourist enthusiasts. To reach the place, one has to take a jeepney from the town proper to Barangay Fabrica where one starts the hike of more or less 3 kms. through coconut plantation and watershed reservation. It takes two and a half hours to reach the place due to steep pathways. There are times when one feels like taking his last breath so that he tends to sit on the wayside to regain his energy. Along the way, green palm plants ideal for outdoor decor and rock gardens and other exotic plants could be gathered. It is approximately 2,000 feet above sea level. The falls itself is about nineteen (19) ms high, 3.5 ms. wide and seventy-five (75) ms long with its water rushing into the deep and bluish portion of the river. Its strong current rolls fiercely down huge rocks and can perhaps run a hydroelectric plant. The area below the falls is estimated to be about 500 square meters which, if developed, will make a spacious natural swimming pool in which the water need not be recycled because the supply is abundant, clean and fresh. Below is another portion of the river where the water calmly flows away to rest upon a place that is like a swan with a golden crown. This is not a scenic beauty conceived only in the imagination or existing only in songs or poems. It is a living reality which can be seen, touched and compared with other picturesque views. Thus compared, Mananap Falls will pass with flying colors (or spumes-Ed. -

There are three operational resorts along the Mananap river:

Greenfield Resort
Villamin Resort
Barangay Iraya Sur Resort

Its town fiesta is celebrated on the last Friday of April. The patron saint of the San Vicente Parish, which was established in 1877 is St. Vincent Ferrer.

The Parish used to celebrate its fiesta every April 5, the date assigned by the Universal Church to celebrate the Memory of Saint Vincent Ferrer. In 1957, however, upon the prodding of Padre Pablo Balon, the municipal council headed by Mayor Benjamin Llamanzares petitioned Bishop Pedro Santos of Caceres to allow them to celebrate the town fiesta every last Friday of April because April 5, always fell within the Lenten Season and many times within the Holy Week. Friday, on the other hand, is the day of the week dedicated to Saint Vincent Ferrer. The petition was granted by the Archbishop so that in 1958, the town celebrated their fiesta on April 25 and then, every last Friday of April every year thereafter.

History of the Parish/Municipality

1771 - The barrio which was then known as San Antonio (now the town of San Vicente), located southwest of Daet was founded by the Bishop of Nueva Caceres (Fray Antonio de Luna, OFM) who expanded the Franciscan missions in Daet.

1773 – The Franciscans left San Antonio when Bishop de Luna died.

1783 – This was reopened and placed under the jurisdiction of the Parish of Talisay by the new Bishop of Nueva Caceres, Fray Domingo Collantes, OP (a Dominican).

1803 – It was established as a town and placed under the patronage of one of the great Dominican Saints, Saint Vincent Ferrer, and the town was renamed “San Vicente” in honor of the saint.

1820 - Padre Mariano Estanislao was assigned Coadjutor Priest of Talisay and established residence in San Vicente. Under the guidance of the Parish Priest of Talisay, Padre Domingo Valencia and later, Padre Tomas Matias de San Antonio, Padre Estanislao supervised the construction of a stone church until his transfer in 1840.

1842 - Padre Ignacio dela Cruz took over the supervision of the church’s construction.

1843 – The church was completed.

1864 – The church was solemnly consecrated by Fray Francisco Gainza, OP, and Bishop of Nueva Caceres. Padre Tomas Romero was its resident Priest since 1862.

1877 - Bishop Francisco Gainza, OP issued the Ecclesiastical Charter elevating the status of the visita into an independent parish of San Vicente.

1904 - During the incumbency of Padre Ismael Almoneda, the belfry was re-constructed and two bells, one big and one small, were installed. These bells were pealed in great jubilation to welcome the Most Rev. Jorge I. Barlin, the first Filipino to become a bishop, during his Visita Pastoral on August 24, 1906.

1934 - The retablo at the main altar fell to the ground during a strong earthquake during the term of Fr. Jose Florin. The image of Saint Vincent Ferrer lording over the main altar on its niche lost half of the index finger of the left hand in that catastrophe.

1958 - The convent made of wood and the roofing of galvanized iron was constructed under the supervision of Padre Pablo Balon. It was home to the Parish Priest who succeeded him for three decades until a new concrete convent was constructed during the term of Fr. Cirilo Edgar Eboña.

1963 - The bigger bell which the inhabitants claimed had a very sonorous sound fell from the belfry. Beginning that day the people of San Vicente forever missed the sound of their much loved bell. It sustained a crack and was never restored to its original state.

1965 - Fr. Vicente Cornejo installed a smaller bell donated by Don Manuel Lopez. The bigger bell was kept only in the bodega of the old convent for a long time until it was brought to Manila for re-casting but it did not find its way back home.

1972 - Fr. Pedro Espedido, Jr. dismantled the lateral altars and constructed the present altar following the liturgical reforms of Vatican II.

1985 - The body of the church was expanded and the belfry was transferred form the top of the pediment to the left side of the church during the time of Fr. Elmer Regnim.

1986 - The right side of the church was constructed upon the assumption of Fr. Cirilo Edgar Eboña as Parish Priest.

Gawad Kalinga Project

Alegre Pangarap – CFC Mississauaga East Chapter,Toronto GK Village (Ancop Canada) 2006Brgy. San Jose, San Vicente, Camarines Norte (KL)(GK Partner: CFC Mississauga East)


Daet Parochial School Class 67 said...

Hi Toti,

Thanks for doing a research on my beloved San Vicente. Much as I wanted to contribute information especially historical facts about San Vicente, where the family of my mother came from, I really don't know anything about the town and I'm one who will be very much interested to read just anything that will help me understand my San Vicente. One thing I know - we used to have an ancestral house there. It was right in the middle of a coconut plantation besides the San Vicente Elementary School. Before it was demolished for a reason that we, the third generations of the Moreno clan, still don't know - almost every afternoon, me together with my grandmother and cousins (this was during my elementary days and early part of my high school) would go there and tend to my lola's garden. I'm sure FAJ have seen the house. People tell us stories about the house, which they call 'dakulang harong' to be a haunted house. In fact, my Uncle would give a prize to any one of his nephews who can stay overnight in that house, and most of the time, it's only my eldest brother who can do it. My Mom's 'panata' while she was alive, is to collect donations for the church of San Vicente two to three months before the town fiesta. FAJ's clan - the Apo's and the Jacobo's is one of the more influential families in San Vicente together with names like the Alegre's, Llamanzares, Zano's-. When my brother run for mayor in 1971, as a graduate of Political Science, I was his political strategist. AND the question why San Vicente's growth is slow, even population wise - is the fact that there are not much land for housing in that town. Until those big estates (coconut plantations), are sold by the owners and their heirs - San Vicente's growth wll be towards the mountains not towards Daet. My brother who was unknown when he run for Mayor lost for only 200 votes and most of our campaigns were done not in San Vicente but outside. That's how FEUDAL San Vicente was, I don't know now. Regards and take care.


mharkervin said...

To my Dear Municipality of San Vicente Camarines Norte kindly please post the Centennial Year Celebration of 100 years of San Vicente year 1877 to 1977 please tnx..Elvie Villania

Sor Victorina de la Providencia, Mother Superior of Daet Parochial School

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