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Baras, Rizal

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Title: Baras, Rizal  
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Baras, Rizal

Official seal of Baras
Baras is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Region CALABARZON (Region IV-A)
District 2nd District of Rizal
Founded 1500
Barangays 10
 • Mayor Kathrine B. Robles
 • Total 84.93 km2 (32.79 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 32,609
 • Density 380/km2 (990/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
Income class 4th Class

Baras is a fourth class municipality in the province of Rizal, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 32,609 people.[3]


In 1595, the Franciscan missionaries under the leadership of Fr. Juan de Placencia and Fr. Diego de Oropesa, founded a “visita” for Morong on the present site of Bosoboso, south of Painaan with Apostol Santiago as its patron saint. It was know as “Visita de Santiago” or Santiago until such time that it became Baras. Baras was then inhabited by 400 Aetas and other mountain people.[4]

In 1636, the town was transferred to a place called Ibayo, one and one-half leagues southeast of the first site due to the hostility of the Aetas and the mountaineers who burned part of the town and church in 1635. San Salvador became their patron saint. However, the town and church of Baras was burned by Chinese rebels in 1639, who were retreating from Manila to the Sierra Madre mountains.

The ecclesiastical administration of Baras was given back by the Jesuits to the Franciscan in 1679. Two years later In 1682, the town was transferred to its present site where they will not be menaced by marauding tribes of the mountaineers.

Baras was under the jurisdiction of the Province of Laguna from 1606 to 1853. Its administration was transferred to the newly created Distrito de las Monte de San Mateo in 1857. This district was changed to Distrito de Morong whose capital was in Antipolo but was later transferred to Morong.

In July 1895, the representatives of Katipunan came to inform the people of Morong, Tanay, Antipolo, Baras and Pililla about the cause of the secret society. The Katipuan of Baras established the Real or Military Camp at sitio of Gogo or Pamitinan. On November 21, 1896, the Katipunan attempted to capture the town of Morong but were driven by the Guardia Civil. By 1898, Baras had joined the Revolutionary Government of Emilio Aguinaldo.

After the defeat of the Spaniards in Morong, the Aguinaldo Headquarters ordered the establishment of the municipal township. A special election was held. However, the Revolutionary Government of Aguinaldo did not last last because of the outbreak of the Filipino-American War. On March 29, 1900, Military Order No. 40, by Governor General Meritt came in effect. This order was for the election of an Alcalde Municipal, Vice Alcalde, and the Municipal Council. This was implemented in October of the same year.

Act 942 was passed by the Philippine Commission in 1902, providing the establishment of the Province of Rizal to be comprised in part of towns from the former Distrito de Morong. Baras effectively became part of the new province. However in 1903, it was relegated to be a barrio under the town of Morong.

On January 16, 1906, Baras was annexed to Tanay as a barrio by Act No. 1442. But as Baras was not represented as a barrio of Tanay, and previously under Morong, there was a movement for the separation of Baras as an independent town. Under the leadership of Leopoldo Digma, the clamor was realized through Executive Order No. 57, dated November 24, 1920 establishing the Municipality of Baras.[4]

World War II and after

During the Second World War, the Imperial Japanese armed forces occupied and entered the municipal town of Baras in 1942. The local guerrillas of the General Marking Unit sieged and invaded the town of Baras and attacked the Japanese from 1942 to 1945. The local Filipino troops of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and the Philippine Constabulary units liberated the municipality of Baras in 1945. The guerrillas of the General Marking Units defeated the Japanese forces and it ended World War II.

The Military General Headquarters and Camp Bases of the 53rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army was established and active from 1942 to 1946 and built Camp Caparas in Baras. The military engagements of the Anti-Japanese Operations in Manila and Southern Luzon aided the local guerilla resistance fighters and U.S. military forces against the Japanese Imperial forces.

The town of Baras was razed to the ground on March 10, 1945. This signified the liberation of the town but also left many homeless. The rehabilitation of the town began. War damage claims were filed to the amount of P 300,000 to be used for the construction of new houses. Then mayor, Mariano Golla, focused on the improvement of roads and the construction of a public dispensary. Under his term, Baras was elevated to a fourth class municipality due to an increase in income.[4]

Under the succeeding administrations, improvements of road networks were implemented; seven liberty wells were constructed; the number of school houses were increased; river controls in Barangay San Juan and San Jose were constructed; rehabilitation of the existing government building continued; and a reforestation program was launched.


Baras is politically subdivided into 10 barangays (1 urban, 9 rural):

  • Evangelista
  • Rizal (Pob)
  • San Jose
  • San Salvador
  • Santiago
  • Concepcion
  • San Juan
  • San Miguel
  • Mabini
  • Pinugay (A majority of this area is under dispute with Antipolo, Rizal.)


Baras Town Hall

Places of Interest

St. Joseph Church

St. Joseph Parish

The oldest and most notable landmark in Baras is the St. Joseph Church, built by the Franciscan missionaries in 1682, the same year the town was transferred to its present site. It was completed in 1686 and was dedicated to St. Joseph, the town's patron saint.[4]

Other Places

  • The site of the 53rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, the military general headquarters, military camps and garrison was located at Camp Caparas in Concepcion, Baras, Rizal from 1942 to 1946. During the Battle for the Liberation of Manila on 1945, over 15,700 Filipino soldiers, tanks, armored fighting vehicles, military trucks, artilleries and many other equipments of the 53rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army sent the military operations from Military GHQ at Camp Caparas in Baras, Rizal for the military operations in the City of Manila in February to March 1945.
  • It was the site of the General Agustin Marking Guerrilla Unit which was founded in 1942 to 1945 at the guerrilla bases from the mountains in Baras, Rizal.


Baras is also the home the one of the Philippines' native martial arts', Sikaran, Its Grandmaster, retired Philippine Air Force Col. Meliton Geronimo, who descended from the ranks of “hari,” a term for accomplished sikaran master. In addition, he has also served as town mayor.[5]


  1. ^ "Official City/Municipal 2013 Election Results". Intramuros, Manila, Philippines: Commission on Elections (COMELEC). 11 September 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Province: RIZAL". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 23 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "History". Official Website of the Municipal Government of Baras, Rizal. 
  5. ^ "Sikaran". Official Website of the Municipal Government of Baras, Rizal. 

External links

  • Baras Rizal Online - Community website of the People of Baras, Rizal
  • Official Website of the Municipal Government of Baras, Rizal
  • Philippine Standard Geographic Code
  • Philippine Census Information
  • Local Governance Performance Management System
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