CONTEMPORARY PERIOD

Just after the war, reconstruction of roads and buildings followed. The corpses of the dead left by the war were buried in one pit. People collected all the useful materials and made used for their temporary houses. The rapid rehabilitation of this town was greatly due to the help extended by the United States Government. The aid extended enabled or dispensary and the municipal building.

At this period, Mayor Albert Camacho was appointed as the leader of the town which lasted for a year. In his willingness to do well for his town, he donated the area where they built up the church. Later, it was moved down to Poblacion. Then came also the establishment of school in Balluay in the mid-1930’s which led the children back to school.

Livelihood for some people tried luck to hunt for treasure that had been buried by Japanese and other hidden wealth. They also opened the unexploded bombs and got the powder that remained. By doing this, they could earn money amounting to 50.00 pesos a day. However, this is a dangerous job because some of them met accident like the father of the popular singer named Mr. Guiniguin in Baguio. Hunting of treasures was really difficult because they need to have special instrument such as detector. Besides, they favored to dig at night. This was led lately by the Americans and some Japanese. Like Mr. Daniel Akia, a Filipino soldier during the war, turned to be a treasure hunter. He took men with him and when they had a prospect, they used to butcher pigs for the offer and for their food in digging.

This form of treasure hunting did not last and the search was lessened because the prospects were misled by the detector. At present, it is still believed that treasure still exists in the place and this could be one of the reasons shy many foreigners usually come to visit here.

The first migration of Kiangan came to Sablan. Late 1945, Mr. Pasadot and Dinab-anan were welcomed and accepted here to construct rice fields as laborers.

Later, swidden farming was resumed as the form of their livelihood and wet rice was continued and constructed. Likewise, they buy and sell type of business was maintained. The products were brought to Manila but most of the farmers preferred to sell their products in Baguio especially when roads were improved and commuter increased. Inspite of these, life was said to be scarce. Only camotes and other root crops were still the most available food. Lately, rice had increased gradually and became the staple food up to the present. Camote were being sold and they bought it for rice. In those times, eating canned goods such as sardines was something to be proud of.

In 1945-1951, Mr. Alfredo Quilacio became the mayor. At this time, the temporary school which was formerly made up of “tulda” was changed to GI sheets. Likewise, the school ground has expanded when the owner, Mr. Bato Bentres, donated some part of his land to the government. There was one time when there was a quarrel about a certain land but Mayor Quilacio tried his best in the settlement of the case and influenced both parties until the area became a government property and it is where the dispensary stands.

Mayor Alfredo Quilacio was elected when people were not yet educated so the system used was color voting. Voters used to select their candidate through a colored sash they used to select the colored ribbon of his choice and cast it in a box. This system was changed to secret balloting when the next term was succeeded by Mayor Fidel Sito.

Mayor Fidel Sito succeeded as mayor in 1952 to 1955. He was able to manage a business in which he owned a freight used in bringing the bananas to Manila. As a business minded person, he built the bridge connecting the barrio of Bagong and Pappa.

Now came the Kankanaeys and the first who came here was the former Miss Merenciana Adolfo, who was adopted by Mr. Alabanza, an Ilocano. He bought land from Mr. Abuan also an Ilocano. Merenciana stayed in Sablan particularly in Monglo where she was assigned by Mr. Alabanza to take care of his property. Later, she was followed by her town mates and relatives from Palina, Kibungan, whom Mr. Francisco Lawan accompanied, to help watch over the land. Later, many of them settled here as a clan and worked as farmers and tenants. They shared their products to Mr. Alabanza.

It was during this time the officials awaked when the area became populated. The municipality of Tuba formerly occupied a wide part of Sablan particularly Ampusa, Asin and some part of Yagyagan, but Sablan had enough evidences that they owned the particular area. This case was solved and it turned to be Sablan as the competent owner. This was bounding the Asin Hot Spring which about fifteen kilometers away from Baguio City. It got its name from its salted water and is actually famous because of its medicinal effect containing sulfur. People usually go to have their bath in either hot or cold temperature of water depending on their desire in the bath house and a swimming pool. At present, it was improved and is now one of the tourist spot.

In 1952, “El Paraiso” located in Yagyagan, was named by Mr. Cacho, a Spaniard who owned the area. “El Paraiso” was a wide coffee plantation and was managed by Mr. Manuelito Araneta. In 1965, a trucking company was built and is now the L T C along Naguilian road beside “El Paraiso”.

As population increased, more schools were built from urban to rural areas such as Talete, Bulluay and Bagong which were formerly made up of bamboo and cogon are now changed to wood and GI sheets. In 1955 to 1958 these were done when Mayor Juanito Polon was incumbent.

When the next election came, Mayor Luis Bosoy won in the election as mayor in 1959 to 1964. He spent less of his time in his cattle ranch and provided more of his attention with his people. With the willingness of the residents of Bayabas, they had exerted efforts and actions in providing of waterworks in Amocao, Bayabas where each house was provided with water pipes. By that time the people need not to go down the streams to fetch water. The establishment of water pipes was not only for household use but also irrigation for wet rice and was connected to the rice fields in Calamay, Bayabas.

Likewise, the road going to the municipal hall was cemented but did not last for long period of time. It was also during his term when the school in Banagan was built.

As the officials were changed, there were also many changes made under the mayorship of Mr. Michael Angel from 1965-1971. Segregation of some barrios were made like in the case of Bagong which was formerly a sitio of Balluay but now a barrio. Also Kamog became a barrio which was a former sitio of Pappa. This made up 8 barrios namely: Poblacion, Banangan, Bayabas, Kamog, Pappa, Bagong, Balluay and Banengbeng. Later, feeder roads were established which encouraged the people plant more products. Then came the wide plantations of fruits, vegetables and tiger grasses are now diversified.

The old municipal hall was changed into a more attractive building which is often visited especially when the dispensary was built beside it which extends great help to the willing people. A market was also built and is a great help to the people. They don’t need to go to Baguio to buy their needs especially during Wednesdays which was the market day in Sablan. The lowlanders and the natives used to sell their goods. It is not intended only for business purposes but also a means of diversion among the people. Other project made was the laying out of water pipes to the houses and for public use.

Road along Palali was formerly popped with housed wherein people squat themselves. The owner of the area, Mr. Romero wanted to settle this case and requested them to move out of the area since it is illegal. However, the officials made an arrangement with him and the settlers were allowed an area where they built their houses and they could even operate a business since Palali is also a stop-over of cars and buses going to and coming from the lowlands and Baguio City.

The former Catholic Church on top of the hill was moved to Poblacion. They made it bigger and adjoined the Saint Louis High School founded by Reverend Father Henry Mampay. A Crusaders’ church was also built in the place of Mr. Leonardo Pacalso. Also a Kingdom Hall, a Jehovah witness in Monglo.

On September 1971, Mayor Michael Angel resigned as mayor and his vice-mayor, Renato Garambas took place which lasted for a few months.

During the liberation, a place in Yagyagan was owned by a Turkish named Jordan Hadad. He built a hotel and under it is a recreation. At present it is now renovated but no more recreation. Beside it was the grand canyon which was their dwellings, but they sold it now to an American who married a Filipina.

In 1972, Mayor Empiso Caiso succeeded in the election as mayor. The projects unfinished were completed such as the extension of the municipal hall and the continuation of feeder roads. The dilapidated and undesirable school buildings were renovated as in Banengbeng, Poblacion, and other schools were concreted. Other equipment for office use were provided to cope up with the increasing services extended to the people.

The officials also realized that the youth are the future leaders and they must have a sound body and mind, so a wide plaza was built and a basketball court was established for sports. Ornamental trees were planted around which made the municipal view more attractive and cool and the visitors are pleased. Likewise, a sidewalk going to the school is provided for the children and other people for the purpose of insuring their safety.

On December, 1977, electric lights were made along the national road and houses were provided with electricity. This made a distinguishing change to the people such as owning of electrical appliances. This has made them do some extra job during night thus, adding more to their income and has increased in their standard of living.

This time, the municipal officials had thought of having evidence regarding the dispute about the boundary between Sablan and Burgos, La Union. However, the case was not yet settled so it brought to the higher competent authorities.

So far, Sablan is a fifth class municipality. With the help extended by the government, livelihood has improved a higher step to the leader. Sablan is named as the “Fruit Basket of Benguet” and it derived this as shown by its products, the quality of fruits of various kinds are best produced in the place. Also the adaptability of Durian which is popularly grown in Davao, was brought here and cultured by Mr. Alejandro Mendoza (Kagawad). The production of wet rice and other crops also increased.

The people of Sablan are also known for their creative handicrafts. Woodcarving was introduced as early as 1950 by a Kiangan named Mr. Alipio. These carvings are popularly displayed in the roads going to Asin and along Naguilian road which attracts more tourists. Bamboos are also made into various kinds of crafts. Sablan is also known for its broom weaving especially Triple “B” – Bagong, Balluay and Banengbeng. Most of the businessman from Manila come to Sablan and buy brooms in trucks, since this product is seasonal and thereby always in demand. Besides, it is the quality and durability that counts when it comes to the crafts and brooms.

Since Sablan is known for its good climate and location and it influenced the people to put up their business along the road. There are two piggeries in Palali and one in Calot. These commercial farms are owned by Mr. Agana and Mr. Faroland while the piggery in Calot is owned by Chinese merchant. There is also an orchard in Calot owned by an American, which is planted with American Lemon. The Garden of Eden can also be seen in Yagyagan, planted with different beautiful flowers.

Sablan is not only rich with its agricultural resources but also in natural resources. It was discovered that the whole mountain of Bagong contains gold mine and other traced minerals. The residents of the place were surprised to know that they are stepping on a mountain of gold. However, they rejected the offer that it is to be exploited because of the danger that might bring to the agricultural crops especially to the settlers.

A quarry in Monglo is one of the benefited mountain of stone in Sablan. This place is called “Pitpitan”.