to the arrival of the Spaniards, this coastal town of
Nasugbu had a population of one thousand people. Founded
in 1899, the municipality now has an estimated population
of 98, 558. The townsite was situated a kilometer East
of the present site. Historians recall that in 1896,
about five hundred people (who had taken up arms against
the Spaniards) perished from the hands of enraged Spanish
soldiers. The livelihood of the Filipino residents then
was to work for the hacienderos who owned practically
the entire town of Nasugbu. When the Americans came
the town people eventually built a new town. The new
town dwellers were to become the forebears of the community
who resisted the Japanese invaders, four decades hence.
The end of the second world war saw Nasugbu back to
its normal way of Life, slowly but imperceptibly accepting
the modern changes brought about the process of urbanization.
In the early 1970’s, the hacienda owners decided
to sell to the people, a majority of their landholdings,
over a period of ten years.
These lands became the abode of the adobe of the ever-growing
now living in 42 barangays throughout the municipality.
Nasugbu was part of the Tagalog region thu Chinese historians
referred to as "Mai" with the present-day
Balayan as the center. This region from Nasugbu and
Balayan to the eastern part of Laguna up to Paracale
in the Bicol Peninsula was said to be the most civilized
and prosperous during
pre-Hispanic times. Together with Lian,
Tuy and Calaca, Nasugbu became a part of Balayan when
Balayan was officially founded as a pueblo
in 1578. Nasugbu was thus under the jurisdiction of
both the civil and ecclesiastical authorities of that
. The curacy of Balayan and the
other newly installed curacies in the newly colonized
islands were under thedirect administration of the Archbishop
of Manila. The influence of the Catholic Church in Nasugbu
has been pervasive; the cultural fiber of Nasugbu is
indelibly entwined with the townspeople's religious
faith. The Jesuits arrived in the Philippines in 1628
and many of them were assigned to the newly created
Balayan Province. They took possession of large tracts
of cultivated lands and ranches in Balayan and Nasugbu.
Nasugbu's patron saint is a Jesuit, St. Francis Xavier,
who is also the patron saint of missionaries.
The Central Azucarera
departure 140 years
later, vast haciendas of
Nasugbu, Lian and Calatagan were leased by
King of Spain to Don Fernando de Araya, a Spaniard.
Upon the expiration of the lease, the Nasugbu Estate
was sold by the King to the Isaac family, the head of
which was a Spanish mestizo
. When Isaac died,
his widow Isabela sold the estate to Don Jose Bonifacio
Roxas, also a Spanish mestizo
, in the 1830's.
Don Jose foresaw the commercial potential of sugar cane
and planted large areas of the estate to produce it.
His only son, Don Pedro Pablo Roxas, managed the estate
during the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution. Don
Pedro's son, Don
Roxas saw the need for a modern milling plant for centrifugal
sugar. A sugar mill was thus constructed in 1912 in
the barrio of Looc, which was transferred in 1920 to
Sitio Campo. That mill, named after Don Pedro, was transferred
to Barrio Lumbangan where it has since grown to become
the Philippines' largest manufacturer of refined sugar.
Central Azucarera Don Pedro (CADP) has continued to
be a dominant presence in Nasugbu. It has also donated
the lands on which now stand the Plaza de Roxas, the
town plaza; the church of the parish of St. Francis
Xavier; and the munisipyo
The Discovery of the
French marine explorers led by Franck Goddio
first excavated the sunken merchant galleon San Diego
with its treasure trove in 1992. The San Diego sank
in Dec. 14, 1600 after a battle between Spanish forces
led by Antonio de Morga and Dutch naval forces led by
Olivier van Noort off the waters of Nasugbu Bay. The
ship's discovery was hailed worldwide as one of the
greatest archaelogical finds of the past century. A
trading ship hastily converted into a war ship, the
San Diego's astounding number (over 34,000) of artifacts
is a veritable showcase of the known world at the time,
as seen in its trove of Chinese porcelain, Celadonware,
Japanese katanas, Spanish casques, Portuguese cannon
and Mexican coin. With the discovery of the shipwreck,
historians refuted the claims made by Antonio de Morga
in Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas
has apparently glossed over his failures in the tragic
event. To commemorate the discovery, former Batangas
Gov. Antonio Leviste and his wife, Sen. Loren Legarda
opened the MV San Diego warship museum in Fortune Island,
some 14 km. from Nasugbu's Wawa Pier.
The Burning of Lumang
Hundreds of men, women and children of Nasugbu were
gathered and killed by Spanish troops who set the Lumang
Simbahan (Old Church) on fire in 1896. In his Batangas
y Su Provincia
, Manuel Sastron, a Spanish historian,
briefly described the church as he saw it in 1895, a
year before it was destroyed. Sastron wrote that the
church, which was then 43 years old, was well-attended
to by the zealous parish priest, Don Leocadio Dimanlig,
who was intimately called by the townspeople as Padre
Kadio. He served as parish priest of Nasugbu from 1895
to 1900 and was destined to see his church and the town
destroyed during the first phase of the Philippine Revolution.
Pilgrims, many of them from distant provinces, come
especially on Fridays to light candles and pray in the
The Liberation of Nasugbu
On Jan. 31, 1945, the four-kilometer strip of Nasugbu
Beach became the site of a historic landing that helped
turn the tide of war in favor of American forces in
the Philippines. This amphibious landing of troops and
tons of military equipment and supplies was ordered
by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to "establish a line
of advance on Manila from the southwest." Lt. Gen.
Robert Eichelberger, Commanding General of the US Eight
Army, personally led the landing of 8,000 men of the
11th Airborne Division commanded by Major Gen. Joseph
Swing. The landing began at 5 a.m. that day with the
boom of a naval gun awakening Nasugbueños fro
their sleep. The cannonade continued as almost a hundred
ships, big and small, dotted the waters of the bay.
By afternoon, Nasugbu was completely liberated and there
was along procession of people who returned to their
homes in the poblacion
. The 11th Airborne Division,
aided by guerilla units (ROTC Hunters, Blue Eagle, Fil-American,
LICOPA and CAGALAC guerillas) raced on the national
road to Tagaytay Ridge almost unopposed, for the remnants
of the Japanese forces in the area hastily retreated
to eastern part of Batangas. Together with the Sixth
Army and Eighth Army forces that had earlier landed
in Lingayen and in Zambales, respectively, and with
the invaluable help of the Filipino guerillas, the 11th
Airborne Division launched a double-pincer drive that
liberated Manila and its suburbs in February 1945.
got its name
According to legend, a group of Spanish soldiers was
allowed by their commander to go on a sight-seeing tour
of the friendlier villages on the western coast of Batangas.
The group chanced upon a native couple cooking rice
in a palayok whose lid rattled over the steaming rice.
In Spanish, the group leader asked the woman, “What
is this place called?
” As he spoke, the Spaniard’s
eyes followed the woman’s hand as she tried to
remove the excess water from the pot. The woman who
knew no Spanish thought that the stranger was asking
about her pot of rice.
“Nasubo na po iyan, eh, kaya ganyan
she replied. The Spaniard repeated the word “nasubo
and nodding his head towards his companions, introduced
the word to them. Together they chorused, “Nasubo…Nasubo
and the village began to be called by that name.