BUKIDNON NEWS | UPDATES | CONTROVERSY – Don’t look now but it seems like there’s a very sensitive issue brewing up at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Bukidnon. Too sensitive, in fact, that Bukidnon Online can now imagine the repercussions. This issue may cause a lot of apprehensions (and immediate reviews on history, I daresay) not only on the part of the Bukidnon government but more importantly, on the people of Bukidnon.
A resolution has been lodged before the Provincial Board recommending the concerned offices to fully clarify the exact date of the Foundation Day of the Province of Bukidnon. It seems that Bukidnon may not be 92 years old after all.
Instead, the province may just be 95!
Last March 10, 2009, the Province of Bukidnon celebrated its 92nd Foundation Day. Hence, it can be deduced mathematically that the inception of Bukidnon’s Foundation Day is reckoned on March 10, 1917. However, according to the resolution authored by Bukidnon Second District Board Member Atty. Nemesio “Jun” Beltran, some historians noted that the province became a full-pledged province in 1914.
That means that Bukidnon should have celebrated its 95th founding anniversary last March!
Beltran’s resolution cited page 64 of Madronio M. Lao’s book “Bukidnon in Historical Perspective,” published in 1985, wherein he claimed that “the basis for the separation of Bukidnon from Agusan and subsequently creating it as a special province of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu on September 1, 1914;”
Lao’s claim was also reportedly validated by another historian, Ronald K. Edgerton. In Edgerton’s book, “People of the Middle Ground”, he wrote on page 151:
“When Bukidnon became a full province under the Department of Mindanao and Sulu in 1914, Fortich gained appointment as its first governor, a position that he retained until 1921. His years as governor were marked first by a continued close relationship with Dean Worcester, his mentor and principal supporter, second by a continued identification of Bukidnon with Worcester’s colonial policy of protecting tribal minorities in “special provinces” from the grasping hands of lowland Filipino politicians; and third by significant development of the province’s identity no longer as the backyard of Misamis, but as the frontier chapter in a larger Philippine national narrative.”
Now my question is — how come nobody bothered to check this a long time ago?