Kinapundan is original name and spelling of the old pueblo /town located in a low and marshy land to the left of the river (Kinapundan River) that takes its name. It is confined on the north with the mountains at the center of the island; on the east south – east with the town of Giwan (Guiuan), and on the west-southwest with that of Balangiga. Kinapundan is Malayan word, which means being hinderedor separated. Its root word is “Punod” meaning in Samarnon – Bisaya “Ulang”, so “punod-punoran”, or “Ulang-Ulangon” means something that hinders a step or separates one from the other. Thus, the old pueblo/town proper, which is just beside the river, is separated from the pueblo/town of Balangiga by the river.
The prefix “Kina” is a past participle form of Bisayan verbs that have the future “Ka” to which is interposed the particle “IN” as in “Katahapan-kinatahapan” (being doubted), “Kabuhi-kinabuhi” (being alive), “Kapundan – Kinapundan” – (being hindered or separated).
Quinapondan is a Spanish form of the Malayan “kinapundan”. Since there is no letter “Q” in the Malayan Alphabet, “Kina” is changed to “Quina” during the Spanish regime, as the Spanish friars would like to retain its original spelling.
The common notion that “Quinapondan” comes from “Kinapul-an” where its root word is “Pu-ol” meaning, “Full – stomach” or “feeling of contentment” is a recent development. The story narrated in Waray dialect runs this way:
“An unknown fire swooped over the mountains and fields of the town burning every living plants. When the fire subsided rain followed. Thereafter edible root crops grew and rice of unknown variety sprouted. The residents had no difficulty in looking for their food; they just went to the fields and harvested rice, camote and cassava and palawan (swamp taro). Everybody had enough food and even surplus. There was abundance since the land was fertile; Farming became the principal means of livelihood in the lowland as well as in the upland. Those living along the coast engaged themselves in fishing as the sea was abounding in fishes and marine products. On the occasion of over production and over catch, farmers and fishermen would set a day for barter, the modern day “ Tabo” or market day. People from nearby localities, like Guiuan,Mercedes,Salcedo and neighboring villages thronged to the town to barter marine products with food stuff. Since everybody was contented, “Puol”, they called the place “Kinapul – an”.
Apparently, The early residents, who were in hiding and far away from the Poblacion, were still in a state of shock or developed a kind of common amnesia due to the horror that occurred in Balangiga on the fateful day of September 28, 1901 where Capitan Lope S. Anguren led the 4th attack unit and subsequent retaliation of the American Forces enforcing “ The Kill and Burn” order of the 6th separate Brigade under Brig. Gen. Jacob Smith in the neighboring villages including Quinapondan.
Considered the “Rebel Stronghold” in 1901 by the retaliating US marines, Quinapondan residents suffered similar or even worst horrendous atrocities to what Balangiga residents experienced. Led by Capt. David Porter, the US forces invaded and set afire the entire town and its environs twice: October and December, 1901 respectively. Rice stocked in the barns were scattered and burned in the fields. Bananas were cut down and root crops uprooted to deprive the Insurrectos food supply. Smith’s order was to make South Samar and the entire island a “Howling Wilderness”.
As regards its spelling the Spanish form remained down to the American period and the Philippine Commonwealth. With the advent of the Philippine Republic, Quinapondan underwent again a change from “Pun” to “Pon” in R.A. No. 61 dated October 17, 1946. Despite its change, however, the Spanish spelling was still in use.
After years from its recreation into municipality, the local government officials decided to settle once and for all the conflicting spelling by passing and approving an Ordinance (SB Resolution No. 2000-51) dated July 3, 2000, by making permanent the use of “Pon” instead of “Pun” in Quinapondan.
When Spanish missionaries, particularly the Jesuits (SJ), arrived in Guiuan on December 8, 1595 and made it a pueblo/ town and at the same time as “Cabeccera” (Center) of their missionary activities in South Samar, Mercedes, Salcedo, Quinapondan and Balangiga were its Visitas or mission catchment areas. By 1768, the Jesuits were expelled from the Philippines and the Augustinians (OSA) took over the missionary activities and made Balangiga a pueblo in 1770. But in 1773, it became dependent again either on Guiuan or Basey for sacerdotal and religious services. When the Franciscans (OFM) took charge of the mission in 1804, Balangiga became independent ecclesiastically and politically from Guiuan on April (1) 3, 1854, and Quinapondan, although a pueblo with corresponding “Capitanes Municipal”, came under Balangiga’s supervision as regards religious needs of the people due to the shortage of religious personnel.
On October 25, 1894, Quinapondan became an independent parish from Balangiga with Rev. Fr. Bernardo Aparicio as parish priest and St. Nicolas of Tolentino as the patron saint celebrated every 10th day of September. At this stage, the pueblo/town had two seats of administration, one in Barrio Pinamaut (Brgy. Sto. Niño) and the other in the poblacion. In fact two residents from Barrio Pinamaut were appointed Capitanes municipal: Betero Sajorda and Rafael Lavilla. This arrangement was due to the fact that sea travel was the common and practical means of transport that time. To replace Fr. Aparicio in 1895 was Rev. Aparicio in 1895 was Rev. Fr. Vicente Pela.
But by 1897, Rev. Fr. Pedro Pana, OFM took charge of the parish. He appointed Lope S. Anguren as “Capitan municipal”. On October 7, 1897 a destroyer typhoon (tsunami) hit southern Samar causing destruction of the parish church, the school and the tribunal (Municipal building) of Quinapondan. Practically the houses in the poblacion and nearby villages were all destroyed and wiped out. This necessitated Fr. Pana to transfer the civil and ecclesiastical administration to Barrio Pinamaut (Brgy. Sto Niño) in a semi – permanent status. It had remain there till 1904 ( January 1, 1904 per Phil. Com. Act. No. 960). Another reason for the transfer was the “Epidemic caused by smallpox and cholera which from time to time struck Samar Island, taking a heavy tool. Moreover, the pueblo itself was situated in a marshy place and not very healthy’. While in Barrio Pinamaut, Fr. Pana built a church of light materials and a parochial house (convent) also of wooden materials. Likewise he directed the construction of the road from Quinapondan to Balangiga.
The Philippine Republic
After World War II, the Philippines was granted independence by its American masters on July 4, 1946. In October 17 of the same year, Quinapondan was recreated municipality by virtue of R.A. No. 61 during the Senate Presidency of Jose Avelino and congressmanship of Adriano Lumontad of Oras for the 3rd District of Samar (Now Lone District of Eastern Samar). The Appointed municipal mayors were: Gregorio V. Anguren, Panfilo C. Pabelonia
By November 1947 the regular election was conducted and the appointed municipal Mayor was the late Gregorio Anguren; Vice Mayor-Jacinto Macawile; Councilors: Victor Terencio, Luis Lavilla, Panfilo C. Pabelonia and Crispin Valdemoro. Other appointed office Personnel: Treasurer- Melecio Gabriano, Chief Clerk- Antonio Amande, Mailofficer- santiago Verzosa.
During this period Quinapondan appeared to be a town with public officials apparently managing its affairs. The Japanese Imperial forces appointed Crisanto Castillo as caretaker with whom they conferred every time they were in the Poblacion. Pelagio Quinto’s house used to be their temporary shelter as their barracks were in Sta. Margarita and in Naga.
On the side of the guerillas, Lt. Panfilo Pabelonia was the detachment Commander of Quinapondan with Lt. Serafin V. Lavilla in Pinamaut and Lt. Felix G. Barsana, Sr., alias Commander Posporo (match) in Letid (Brgy. San Pedro). Camp No. 7 situated in Estakahan was their main camp. In this camp, the Quinapondan guerillas received Lt. David Richardson, a US Navy who refused to surrender to the Japanese forces and worked instead as an American guerilla under Col. Kangleon of Leyte, in Homonhon and Manicani Islands, and in South Samar Section.
Philippine Revolutionary Government
Fr. Pana and Capitan Lope however had to part ways for in 1899 the Philippine – American war broke out and Capitan Lope was recruited to join the Insurrectos (the Philippine Revolutionary Army) under Gen. Vicente Lukban whose headquarter was located in Matuginao, Gandara Samar. Capitan Lope was based in the camp nearly two years. He was made second – in – command to Commandante Eugenio S. Daza of Borongan.
He was in charge of the four base camps of the Insurrectos in Quinapondan and presided preparatory meetings regarding the forth-coming Balangiga event. He named Valeriano Abanador, the police chief of Balangiga, as leader of the attack against the US soldiers on Sept. 28, 1901. Likewise Capitan Lope led the Quinapondan contingent during the actual attack. Simon Osias replaced Capitan Lope when he left for Matuginao, Gandara.
Likewise Fr. Pana OFM had to leave the town parish since the Spanish Missionaries (friars) in the Visayan mission left for Mindanao. Again Quinapondan as a parish became a catchment serviced by Rev. Fr. Donato Guimbaolibot, parish priest of Balangiga.
Company C of the 9th US Infantry Regiment arrived in Balangiga on board the transport boat “ Liscum” on August 11, 1901. The US soldiers relatively peaceful presence in Balangiga was however cut short by their abuses committed against the civilians which triggered the worst single defeated of the US Army soldiers during the “Balangiga Massacre” on September 28, 1901. The Quinapondan Contingent led by Capitan Lope was designated as 4th attack Unit. In shameful revenge, “The Kill and Burn” literally implemented making Samar the “Howling Wilderness”.
On January 1, 1904, Quinapondan was annexed to Balangiga as a barrio by virtue of the Philippine Commonwealth Act No.960.
Change of Spelling
As mentioned earlier, the original spelling was Kinapundan. During the Spanish time "Kina" was changed to "Quina", making it "Quinapondan". In R>A No. 61, Quinapundan becameQuinapondan. But the Spanish form was still in use. To settle the conflicting spellings being used interchangeably, the local government officials passed and approved an ordinance (SB Res. No. 2000-51) dated July 3, 2000, making permanent the use of "Pon" instead of "Pun".