HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 64 no. 1 (2018)

The Dominicans in the Parish of San Pedro Telmo in Aparri, Cagayan, 1680-1898

Regalado Trota Jose



The paper attempts to put together aspects of the Spanish-era history of Aparri through a reconstructed list of Dominican parish priests from the parish’s foundation in 1680 until the end of the Spanish regime in 1898. The basic source for this list is the Acta Capitulorum or Acts of the Chapters of the Dominicans, which were usually held every two years. The Acta are a hardly used but very invaluable source, because they provide clear information on the acceptance of certain localities as “houses” or Dominican communities – the equivalent of parishes in those days – as well as on names of parish priests and their assistants, the elevation of missions into parishes or vice versa, and other conditions. From such a compilation for Aparri, for instance, we can see that the nearby parishes of Camalanyugan and Buguey (both accepted much earlier in 1596) at one time or other became visitas of Aparri, which was a younger establishment. The ministers of Aparri also took care of the inhabitants of the Babuyanes Islands, who were resettled in nearby Dao and Bangag in the late 18th century. Data such as these provide leads to population movements and the rise and fall of the fortunes of towns. A list of parish priests also gives us glimpses into the stature of towns. For example, Aparri was administered by such singular characters as Domingo Fortó (builder of the church in Tumauini, Isabela), Julian Velinchon (who later became provincial of the Dominicans in the Philippines), and Julian Malumbres, a veteran missionary who had worked extensively in Ifugao. The church and convento were built by Fr. Agustin Calvo, who was parish priest from 1864 to 1890.