Geographical location and brief history

Low tide in Bara creates a vast empty space.

Low tide in Bara creates a vast empty space.

Bara is located in the province of Masbate which lies at the center of the Philippine archipelago between latitudes 11 degrees 43 minutes north and 21 degrees 36 minutes north, 123 degrees 9 minutes east and 124 degrees 15 minutes east. The province covers a total land area of 4,047.70 kilometers. Masbate is the biggest cattle raising province in the region. Its main economic activity is agriculture with copra, rice, corn, and tobacco as its main product. Fishing is also a major industry in the province. Mining is also one of the biggest sources of income in the province.

The islands of Masbate were formed out of volcanic rocks over one hundred years ago. The province is part of Sibuyan Sea Group of islands. The general surface configuration of the province ranges from slightly undulating to rolling and from hilly to mountainous.

Christianization began in Masbate in 1569. Colonial period started in 1569 when Captain Luis Enriquez de Guzman anchored in the shores of Masbate. Chinese traders visited Masbate and founded small settlements during the Shri-Vijayan and Madjapahit periods. The Americans came to Masbate in 1900 to extend their pacification campaign. The first Japanese elements arrived in Masbate in the dawn of January 7, 1942 from Legazpi. The Japanese occupation reduced Masbate to economic shambles. Economic activities were limited to fishing, buying/selling, or stealing. Barter transaction prevailed. In 1945, Masbate was re-colonized by the combined United States and Philippine Commonwealth forces with the recognized Masbateño guerilla units, which attacked Japanese Imperial forces beginning the battle of Masbate.

 

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