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THE MALALAG

Malalag contains the Poblacion that is the seat of the Municipal Government, Bulacan, Bolton, Sta. Maria, New Baclayon and Sulop. At present, it has fifteen (15) regular barangays namely; Poblacion, Baybay, Bulacan, Bolton, New Baclayon, Caputian, Bagumbayan, Ibo, Pitu, Tagansule, Kiblagon, Rizal, San Isidro, Mabini and Lapu-lapu.

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HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT

 

Malalag derives from the color that describes its river running within the heart of the town.  The water flowing towards the bay appeared yellowish.  The natives referring to the river called it, “Malalag nga Tubig” that means “yellow water.”  The distinct appearance of the river had attracted the attention of migrants to the place.

 

Some pioneers related its name from the disagreement between a Spanish soldier and a misdemeanant Datu Alag, the latter being the famous chieftain among the early tribes.  It was said that Datu Alag made an appointment with the Spaniard and promised him to be his guide.  However, Datu Alag broke his promise and not one of his followers could tell where he has gone.  The Spanish soldier sensing that he was somehow tricked, became enraged and shouted, “Mal Alag, Mal Alag.”  The tribe members confounded by his words kept on repeating it.  The same story was told through generations, that even settlers coming from Visayas and Luzon have accustomed to call the place Malalag.

According to interviews conducted, during the early 19th century, the place was named after Governor General Edward Robert Bolton who met his death a week after his appointment.  The Malalag Bay was yet known as Casilaran Bay that typifies the abounding plants belonging to the palm family in the area (See Figure No. 1).  It came to be called as “Malalag” sometime during the second world war after a PNP barracks was established.  The same area, now known as Crossing Baybay and adjacent to the 434th Philippine National Police Mobile Force Company barrack, was the center of commerce where Chinese traders used to dominate the trading activities.  Also, the Malalag Wharf that is located about a kilometer away used to accommodate three to four sea vessels that loaded products mostly corn grains for transport to Visayas.

 

CREATION 

Malalag became a municipality by virtue of Executive Order No. 596 dated May 28, 1953 issued by H.E. President Elpidio Quirino (See Exhibit No. 1).  The same legal document provided that Malalag shall comprise the southern and southeastern part of Padada and separated from its mother municipality of Padada by a straight west-to-east line passing through the Bolton Barrio Boundary Monument No. 20, Sta. Cruz Cadastre 275 Davao.  Its boundary on the South was redefined under Republic Act 1008 stating among others that the boundary line between the municipalities of Padada and Malalag shall be from east to west of Balasinon River from the Gulf of Davao to Km. 327 of the Digos-Malalag-Makar Road and a straight line along latitude 6°36′ from the provinces of Davao and Cotabato (See Exhibit No. 2).  Even upon the creation of Sulop pursuant to Executive Order 295, the Padada-Malalag boundary as defined in R.A. 1008 was reiterated (See Exhibit No. 3).  For two decades, the boundary dispute arising from the encroachment of the Municipality of Sulop into the territory of Malalag remained unsettled.

Sometime in 1984, the municipality experienced its most trying years after the Supreme Court handed down the decision on Civil Case No. 1212 finally ending the boundary dispute between the Provinces of Davao del Sur and South Cotabato (See Exhibit No. 4).  Using the watershed theory, six barangays of Malalag were ceded to Malungon, South Cotabato including Banate, Malungon Gamay, Malalag Cogon, Biangan, San Miguel and Kawayan that were then the most progressive barangays due to their high agricultural production. The decision had tremendously reduced the town’s land area and population.

Eventually, the town suffered from the economic dislodgment and was reclassified from third to fifth class municipality.  Compounding the situation, was the infiltration of the communist rebels in almost all barangays between 1982-1987.  But in 1993, with the latest classification of the municipalities done by the Department of Finance, the town is reclassified from fifth to fourth class municipality (See Exhibit No. 5).

Originally, Malalag contains the Poblacion that is the seat of the Municipal Government, Bulacan, Bolton, Sta. Maria, New Baclayon and Sulop.  At present, it has fifteen (15) regular barangays namely; Poblacion, Baybay, Bulacan, Bolton, New Baclayon, Caputian, Bagumbayan, Ibo, Pitu, Tagansule, Kiblagon, Rizal, San Isidro, Mabini and Lapu-lapu.

The Municipality used to celebrate “Araw ng Malalag” every 2nd day of July, however, by virtue of Municipal Ordinance No. 10 dated May 21, 1990 and consistent with its charter day, the celebration was transferred to May 28, (See Exhibit No. 6).  On July 2, 1953, the first set of local officials were appointed and assumed office headed by the late Mayor Col. Antonio Lanzar.  Since 1954.