Heritage Conservation Advocates
Huluga Chronology
vis-à-vis Scientific Study, Preservation and Tragedy
By Lourd Ostique
Administrative Officer, Museo de Oro, Xavier University
August 13, 2003. Updated April 10, 2023.

“The diggings by the Xavier group in Huluga Caves, our test pit recoveries at Huluga Open Site, (accidental surface finds) all point to the conclusion that the area has been continuously used by man from as far back as the late Neolithic or  probably early Metal Age, about 500 B.C.  Based on the findings of Huluga  Caves alone and using the method of cultural comparison, it is not far from the truth when one asserts that this area was occupied as early as two thousand years ago.  It’s probable that this date could be pushed back into greater time depth …” (Cabanilla, 1970)


Arrival of the first Spanish missionaries to Huluga then known as Himologan. The priests were Fray Francisco de la Madre de Dios and Fray Juan de San Nicolas.  Both belonged to the Recollect Order.

 Chronicles of the arrival according to Fray Luis de Jesus: “After having put Christianity on the best footing possible along the shores of Butuan, they went forty leguas farther on by sea, to look for another river called Cagaiang, as they had been told that its inhabitants were a people more docile than the other inhabitants, in order to enlighten them with the light of the gospel.  The lord of the land was an Indian named Salangsang.  He lived on a steep and inaccessible rock, which is a peninsula called Himologan.  It had no other approaches or mode of ascent than certain ladders made of rattans [bexucos], which resemble strong osiers.  When those were removed it was fortified and protected from the invasions of enemies.

"The customs of those people are like those related of the inhabitants of Caraghas.  The path opened for that undertaking was that Doña Magdalena Bacuya, a Christian Indian woman (the grandmother of the above mentioned Indian, Salangsang), being moved by zeal for the honor of God, and compassion for the blindness of those people, went to see her grandson.  Although with difficulty, she succeeded in gaining admittance for our ministers, who were at that time staying at the island of Camiguì without being able to accomplish that which they wished.

"Finally, fathers Fray Juan de San Nicolas and Fray Francisco de la Madre de Dios arrived there [at Himologan], and found the chief in the presence of five hundred Indians who lived in that place.  That site, perched on its summit, was a very agreeable residence capacious enough for that people to live in a house resembling a cloister, so large that they lived in it with all their families.  These had communication on the inside, while it was strongly enclosed on the outside…” [Source: Historia General, II, in The Philippine Islands, XXI, 231-233 pp.].

Time elapsed. After many generations, the Himologan was forgotten.



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