Little did we know about the history of Borbon and its people in times of yore.
There are no specific accounts for Borbonanons’ way of life during the Spanish or American eras, even in the post World War II period.
We don’t even have a hub (municipal archive) where young generations can easily peruse in gathering minutiae or searching niceties and facts about our beloved hometown and our people. It turned out, Borbonanons nowadays rely only on diminutive details from oldies and some of them merely based on partial recollection of thoughts.
As our take, we also want to impart something shared by our ‘katiguwangans’ and post it here so others can take the pleasure of reading or perhaps sharing.
Let’s take a pick and start from our town’s historical landmarks.
First stop, Borbon Parish Church
In colonial times and during the Spanish era, Borbon was established as a parish by the Archdiocese of Cebu on September 15, 1862. The parish was under the Vicariate of San Guillermo de Aquitania and St. Sebastian, the martyr, is its patron saint. The common attribute for our patron saint was that he was tied to a post, pillar or a tree, shot by arrows, clubbed to death.
But what’s really the story of St. Sebastian the Martyr, the patron saint of Borbon.
According to the 18th-century Acta Sanctorum, St. Sebastian (Born C.256 and died C.288) was a captain of the Praetorian Guard, A Roman Soldier, Healer and Martyr. He has converted and healed so many Christians (prisoners, soldiers, common people, etc.) during his times. A Roman general reproached Sebastian for his supposed betrayal, and commanded that Sebastian will be led to a field and there to be bound to a stake to be shot at. “And the archers shot at him till he was as full of arrows as an urchin,” leaving him there for dead. Miraculously, the arrows did not kill him. The widow of Castulus, Irene of Rome, went to retrieve his body to bury it, and found he was still alive. She brought him back to her house and nursed him back to health. The other residents of the house doubted he was a Christian. One of those was a girl who was blind. Sebastian asked her “Do you wish to be with God?”, and made the sign of the Cross on her head. “Yes”, she replied, and immediately regained her sight. Sebastian then stood on a step and harangued Diocletian as he passed by; the emperor had him beaten to death and his body thrown into a privy. But in an apparition Sebastian told a Christian widow where they might find his body undefiled and bury it “at the catacombs by the apostles.”
Due to the miraculous works of St. Sebastian and as fondly introduced by Spanish clerics to our community, Borbonanons utterly embraced the patron saint. Borbonanons in early times were believed to be very devoted and pious Church goers. The original church of Borbon, unfortunately burnt at the epoch of World War II and it was believed to be one of the oldest churches in Cebu. Vestiges stayed as the sole taciturn witness are old stone walls which were now developed by our LGU into a town’s heritage to preserve our unique history and culture. Another heritage left after the burning of our old church was the century-old bell, which we can still find at our church’ bell tower.
Next pick will be the Municipal town hall. Bet the municipal building we have was not that old as you think?
Do you have old stories for our beloved hometown? Share your stories here.