Thursday, May 3, 2012

History of Dupax (Part 1): How the Town Got its Name

[NOTE: I would not like April to fly away completely -- like a covey of tulin moving on to other payaws once harvesters sickle all the rice panicles and leave the rice-eating birds nothing more to feast on in their earlier feeding ground -- without a peep-squeak on Dupax, such as why it celebrates its fiesta in April instead of May like many other towns. Well, as shown in the following excerpt from an 11-page document titled HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF DUPAX, it is simply because the founding of Dupax took place in an April -- April 22, 1731 to be exact. I just rediscovered the document in my files and found it is a mother lode of info on Isinay country that are worth revisiting even if only for this blogsite. Incidentally, the brittle, yellowing and by itself a historic piece of document was entrusted to me in 2008 yet by my mother, Magdalena Pudiquet Castro, who found it in the files of my deceased father, Vicente Mambear Castro. Here's Page 1 of the said "artifact" which carries no author nor even publication date but which, based on a list of Dupax mayors it contains, was most probably written and typewritten in 1951, the year I was born.]

DUPAX IS THE present official name of the town which was once a very fertile hunting ground of primitive people in the southeastern part of Nueva Vizcaya.

The name originated from the Isinay word "dopaj" which means lying down with complete relaxation as did the first hunters after heavy meals which consisted mostly of the meat of wild animals. This was believed to be the common sight in Dupax in the days of old.

The first known settlers were the Mala-ats and the Igorots with Dayag and Tiun Pising as their respective leaders or heads. Most of the Igorot tribe were the Isinays who were known to have come from Pantabangan and from the Burobor mountains. This tribe was more civilized than the Mala-ats.

Religious missionaries of the Agustinian Order arrived at the place as early as in June 1726 under Fathers Nicolas Norbante and Agustin San Juan. These priests stayed with each of the hostile groups and tried to convince them to come down and live together at the place now called Dupax, and at the same time took steps for their conversion into the Christian fold.

Spanish soldiers arrived later for the maintenance of peace and order while the missionaries went on zealously with their avowed purpose.

The real founding of Dupax took place on April 22, 1731 when Fathers Norbante and San Juan planted the cross in honor of Nuestra Señora del Socorro in a little chapel on a spot a few yards south of the present church.

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