Before the Spaniards came, Amlan used to be called Ayuquitan Viejo.  A total of 19 barrios and 67 sitios comprised the town. Out of the 19 barrios, seven were coastal, namely: Calo, Lalaan, Viejo Ayuquitan, Tampe, Tandayag, Poblacion and Bio-os.  The hinterland barrios were:  Tambojangin, Siapo, Silab, Jantianon, Ayuquitan, Basak, Cansipit, Basiao, Jilocon, Tampe, Tapon Norte, Lala-an, Calo, Naiba, Cambaloctot, and Bandera.

The ruins of the old “municipio,” or the municipal hall.

In 1840, Padre Bracamonte arrived in Amlan and saw a couple eating a fruit and asked them the name of the place.  The couple mistook the question and replied “Alman,” referring to the fruit they were eating. Padre Bracamonte  took Alman as the name of the place and spoke of Amblang.

Satisfy your sweet tooth  with natural sugar – fructose – from this wild and small Alman guavas.

In 1848, the new town site was laid out. Father Patreceño had the trees and bushes cleared in the spot where the Amlan Central Square is now; a small brick church was built, and the people were encouraged to live around the new site. This marked Amlan as a pueblo.  This new municipality was under the jurisdiction of Tanjay for eight years for there was no local government organized at that time.

Amlan Church
The St. Andrew the Apostle Parish Church is built using brick and coral limestones.

During the early part of the American colonization, this part of town was officially called Ayuquitan Nuevo.  It was made the new seat of the municipal government because more people lived here than in Ayuquitan Viejo (Poblacion, San Jose today).  At one time, piracy was common and a temporary town or lungsod was created up in the hills of barrio Siapo.  The place is now presently called Guilungsoran.

A group of pirates who would regularly ransacked coastal towns at the turn of the 20th century.

On November 21, 1898, revolutionary activities were felt in the locality.  This soon died away when the American soldiers came to Dumaguete on board the warship, “Baltimore.” Among the soldiers who came to Amblan were Mr. Henry Fleischer and Mr Wanestine.   A local government was organized, and Mr. Antero Bandoquillo was appointed the first town president by the Junta Provincial in 1902.

USS Baltimore
The warship “Baltimore” as it sailed in the Pacific during World War II.

The Gabaldon-type school buildings were constructed in 1913, and the first principal was Mr. Lazaro Bandoquillo.  These structures were designed by American architect William Parsons and were funded through Act Number 1801 authored by Isauro Gabaldon, ex-governor of Nueva Ecija province and former member of the Philippine Assembly from 1907 to 1911.

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The main Gabaldon building, at Amlan Central Elementary School.

Japanese forces occupied Amlan on June 22, 1942, forcing some residents to seek haven in the hills and other hinterland barrios.  The Japanese converted the vacant house of Mr. Vicente Salatandre to serve as their military garrison.  Soon a civilian government was established with Mr. Nesterio Erum, a ex-USAFFE Captain, appointed mayor of the town.  Nippongo classes were organized.

Japanese soldiers as they occupied the Philippines back in the 1940s.

The Japanese soldiers were ambushed by Filipino guerillas for the first time in Tandayag near the rice fields owned by Luis Se-it. Two soldiers were killed and four were wounded.  After that, Japanese soldiers passing between Dumaguete and Bais were regularly harassed by guerillas, with Capt. Fernan de Asis leading the Amlan campaign.  Kandahunog, a deep ravine above barrio Siapo, was the birthplace of the resistance movement in Negros Oriental.  Because of the ambushes, Japanese soldiers took to the water to travel between Dumaguete and Bais.

The Japanese entrenched themselves in the Roman Catholic Church.  They started bombarding the NACOCO (National Coconut Corporation) plant, school buildings, and some of the town’s prominent family residences, including that of Don Jesus Montenegro and Don Joaquin Bocanegra.  In September 1944, the Japanese began to vacate their garrisons in Bais and Tanjay, and eventually in Amlan.

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The original location of the National Coconut Corporation (NACOCO) plant in Tandayag, Amlan.

On April 26,1945, remnants of the 164th Infantry went ashore at Sibulan, met with Reconnaissance Troop of the 40th Division, and attacked the Japanese forces in hill positions around Dumaguete.  Finally, the Japanese surrendered on August 15, 1945.

By virtue of Act No.  435, the Philippine Congress approved on June 7, 1950 the charter of AMLAN. Less than five years from its charterhood, Republic Act No. 1212 approved in May 9, 1955, saw 13 barrios separated from Amlan to constitute a new municipality, now known as San Jose.

philippine assembly
The Philippine Congress back in the day.
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