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Political History of Vallehermoso

Vallehermoso is the northernmost town of the province of Negros Oriental . It is bounded by Canlaon City in the west, San Carlos City in the north, Tañon Strait in the east and the municipality os Guihulngan in the south.
In 1571, when the Spaniards came to Negros island the most populated area was a place called Bagawines. It was under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Guihulngan .
However, the “Bukidnons” dominated the area. They inhabited in the wilderness and were known to be fierce. They waylaid strangers and travelers and robbed them of their possession and goods. Older folks in the municipality recalled a bukidnon became a “huramentado” or ran amuck he was called a “magahat” or “maghat”. A “maghat” or “magahat” is fierce and wild and usually tied and red cloth around his head to signify anger and war-like stance. These “maghats” were responsible for many killing in the area. They strapped the victim with a “lambat” or net. They usually did this in the place before Bagawines. This place was reffered to before as “kanlmbat”. This is where the Poblacion is now located.
The town was the privilege of having been the official recidence of the revolutionary leaders and hero of Negros Oriental ─Don Diego de la Viña y de la Rosa. Don diego de la Viña shaped the beginnings of the municipality, “Valle hermooso” when he saw the beautiful valley. In 1881, Don Diego del a Viña came from Negros Occidental in search for territories to conquer for him. The land he saw a top the mountains was the wilderness called Bagawines. Bukidnons, known to be unfriendly aboriginals inhabited the area. However, de la Viña sougth the tribel chief, named Ka Saniko and truck barter. For lands on coastal Bagawines, de la Viña offered wondrous articles from Iloilo , such as fine canes, well-crafted bolos and colorful patadyongs. Ka Saniko the moved further to Pinokawan. De la Viña with a number of Bukidnons cleared the land and constructed his residence, a casa tribunal and a chapel. In less than five years they transformed the valley into a hacienda of sugar cane, tobacco, coconut, rice and corn. He called it the “beautiful valley,” Vallehermoso.
De la Viva bought, bartered and did everything else possible to enlarge his landholdings until it stretch from Molobolo on the boundary of Guihulngan, north to Macapso on the boundary of San Carlos , west to the slopes of Canlaon where he pastured his cattle and horses. He opened a road to Negros Occidental, which paved the way for his historic involvement in the local revolution against Spain .
Don Diego de la Viña was an illustrado being born from a Spanish-Chinese parentage. He grew up in Binondo, Manila but went to Basque , Asturias in Spain to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Arts. Upon his return to Manila , he married a “Tagala” with whom he had four children. He brought them with him when he settled in Negros . Endowed with a pioneering spirit he searched for a place where he could establish a residence and fulfill his dream to carve out fortune. When he resided in Bagawines, he influenced the way of life of the bukidnons. They became civilized and tempered their warring tendencies. He inculcated to the bukudnona the love of work and the idea of religion. He frowned on laziness. In the hacienda, that De la Viña established unemployment was not known. His work in the plantation made him physically strong and spiritually active.
When his wife died, he remarried an Ilongga. He sired three children with his second wife. It was in the last quarter of 1988 when Don Diego de la Viña became involved in the revolution. His brother, Dr. Jose de la Viña was one of the delegates to the Macolos Congress. Dr. de la Viña regularly informed Don Diego of the latest development of the Republic government under Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. Gen. Aguinaldo duly commissioned Don Diego de la Viña with the rank of General de Brigada, Commandante del Ejercito filipino, Provincia de Negros Oriental. His son was also commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the Infantry. He secretly trained his peasant how to handle a rifle. He turned He turned their plowshares into bolos, “pinuti, “talibong”, “bahi”, spears and lances. Soon more and more men joined the group of de la Viña. He was soon around riding on a big white spotted horse during the “revolucionario”.
De la Viña became known as the “Tigulang or the Grand Old Man”. He was considered a “cacique”, for he was a man who has the say in all appointments, he became the judge of local conflicts and designed the improvements for the place.
In 1895, the Augustinian Recollect Father Meliton-Martinez de los Sagrados Corazones de Jesus y de Maria was appointed first Misionero de Bagauinis. Vallehermoso, parish of St. Isidore, separated from Guihulngan and became a municipality on January 1, 1913, by Acting Governor-General Newton Gilbert.
The towm’s political succession is for the most part, a dynastic line descended from De La Viña. In 1937, Ines Serion served her first term as the first lady mayor of Vellehermoso. She was known as the first lady Mayor of the Philippines in the entire country as well.
On October 11, 1946, the properous barrio Mabigo which was part of Vallehermoso became the municipality of Canlaon.
The municipality of Vallehermoso celebrates its annual fiesta in honor of ots patron St. Isidore The Farmer on May 15. The municipality celebrates its fiesta each year with pageantry and lavish food preparation. The community residents take pride in their hard won prosperity. For this year, 1999, the town fiesta with the theme “Vallehermoso in hte limeligth at the threshold of the Thrid Millenium.
During the Spanish Regime, Gregorio Baylosis was appointed as the Teniente del Barrio. In 1913-1918 during hte American Regime, Marcos Bernandez was appionted as the Municipal President. In 1937, the Commonwealth passed the law, giving women the right of suffrage. This paved the way in granting women full participation in political affairs. The first female candidate to win the election was Ines V. Serion. She gained acceptance and recognition as the first woman to be elected to the highest position in the municipal government in th  entire country.
World War II interrupted the political, social and economic progress of the town. A contingent of the Japanese Imperial Army occupied the municipality. They set up their headquarters in htr Poblacion at the house of Ciriaco G. Olladas in the early part of may until September 1942. The municipal officials designated by the Japanese Army on a transitory manner served the term only for a very short period. The guerilla units organized locally continuously harrased the Japanese, they however decided to abandon the town.
During the Commonwealth government, from 1919-1942, the following officials governed the municipality. Table 1 enumerates the name of the government official, their official positions and the period of the term of ofice. The period covers from 1919 to 1942.

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