As the population grew, the petty quarrels of the residents also grew and these quarrels reached the attention of the office of the Governor in Himamaylan. The Hukom (Governor) ordered the Capitan (Mayor) of Sarabia (now E.B. Magalona) to look into the problem in Malihao which is a part of Saravia. The Gobernadorcillo (Capitan) recommended to the Governor that Malihao be converted into a Barrio under the Municipal Government of Sarabia in order that the problems will be attended to. The first “teniente del barrio” was a man known only as Tomas.
As the population grew, the barrio was subsequently converted into a Town and Gregorio Conlu was the first Gobernadorcillo (Mayor).
During Capitan Gregorio Conlu’s term, Moro pirates and “tulisanes” reigned unmolested. One day the Capitan’s household was ransacked by pirates. Capitan Gregorio was able to escape together with his secretary, Alfonso Pachera, but his wife, Capitana Tutang and their servant Micay were forcibly taken aboard the pirate’s boat, which immediately sailed toward the open seas. When Capitana Tutang was asked whether she knows how to swim, she replied that she could not. She and her servant were then thrown overboard, while the vessel was just outside the Malihao River’s mouth. The pirates sailed on, believing that Capitana Tutang and her servant will eventually drown. But that was not the case, for Capitana Tutang and her servant were good swimmers. While struggling in the water, she saw an apparition of a beautiful lady whom she believed was the Blessed Virgin. When she reached home, she prayed and promised to buy an image of the Lady who helped and saved her. But having been divested of her possessions, it took her several months of careful saving to accumulate a sizable sum for the purchase of the image from Barcelona, Spain. Since she did not specify what image she wanted, the Capitana received the statue of the “NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LAS VICTORIAS” which to her amazement closely resembled the image of the Lady who saved her and Micay from drowning.
In 1880, a year before the expiration of Capitan Gregorio’s term, two boat loads of Moro pirates entered the Malihao River to ravage the town (Old Town). At the mouth of the river, the pirates were met by a small banca and on board was a Lady who held a long sword and a very big man with a spear. Upon seeing this, the Moro pirates turned around and sailed back in fright.
Three months later, four vintas bearing Moro pirates approached the river’s mouth to sail inland. Again, the same banca with a Lady and a very big man with a spear stood guard at the inlet. The marauders steered towards the town of Manapla instead. They ransacked the town and upon withdrawal, took some residents as captives. Later, two captives were able to escape in the direction of Malihao. They related their ordeal and corroborated the story of the Lady and the very big man in the banca. The story spread like wildfire which eventually caught the attention of Fr. Crispino Hinolan, Parish priest of Saravia. He immediately went to Malihao to verify the story.
After a thorough inquisition, the priest declared that the town was saved by the Virgen Nuestra Señora de las Victorias and Saint Casimiro, her companion. The proclamation of the parish priest resulted to rejoicing among the inhabitants and they proposed that the name of the town of Malihao be changed to Nuestra Señora de las Victorias to commemorate the miraculous incidents. The suggestion was at once received with unanimous enthusiasm and acceptance. The citizens enjoined the Capitan to ask the Governor to approve the change of name. The Governor readily consented, but retained only VICTORIAS as the official name.
LAND DONATION BY ALEJANDRO ACUÑA YAP QUIÑA
In the year 1906, the usual meeting place of the people of the town is the Municipal Hall which is also the office of Secreatary Esteban Jalandoni. This place is frequented by a Chinese Businessman, Alejandro Acuña Yap Quiña, who always seeks the advice of the Secretary for all things he needed. One morning Secretary Jalandoni jokingly asked the Chinese businessman if he is willing to donate a piece of his land within which an official municipal hall building will be constructed. Secretary Jalandoni is pointing to an area which the present Victorias City Hall stands. Sr. Acuña Yap Quiña replied that the area is part of his hacienda Guinpana-an. He further said that “As a good citizen, I am willing to donate the piece of land provided that the seat of government will be transferred there”. Secretary Jalandoni invited him to attend the regular session so he can announce his intention to donate a piece of his property to the town.
On Thursday, October 2, 1906, Sr. Alejandro Acuña Yap Quiña attended the regular session of the town council. He announced his intention to donate a portion of his property as the site of the seat of government for the town of Malihao.
During the session of October 17, 1906, the good Alejandro Acuña Yap Quiña religiously complied with the resolution of the town council by presenting the donation documents, pinpointing the new town site in the area beside the Magnanud River.
On October 27, 1906, the acting Presidente Municipal, Segundo de Leon presented to the council in session, The petition of the people that the town proper should be transferred to the land donated by Alejandro Acuña Yap Quiña.
The Municipal council and the people went to the new town site to mark it’s boundary on October 30, 1906. Town officials present were: Presidente Municipal Segundo de Leon, Councilors: Gervacio Miraflores, Cipriano Jimenez, Vicente Cuison, Lazaro Javellana, Ysabelo Infante, and Mariano Servando. The Policemen present were Leon Danoy, Romualdo Moldez, and Sergeant Andres Espinosa. Municipal Treasurer Eugenio Torres, Clerks Juan Lagman and Panfilo Doromal. Townsfolk present were Filomino Calao, Juan Canlas, Chinaman Tan Muya, Martin Dichoso, Saturnino Acuña and Alfonso Zuela among others. Also present was Secretary Esteban Jalandoni.
Even though the town site was transferred to the land donated by Sr. Alejandro Acuña Yap Quiña, catholic masses are still held at the old town (Daan Banwa) every month. It was only until January 13, 1918 that a regular mass was celebrated in the town parish church known as Our Lady of Victory Parish.
It was early in the year 1917 that Manuel Lopez and Paz Tongoy donated the land and the brothers Miguel and Jesus Ossorio help build the church. The site for the Roman Catholic Cemetery was donated by Gonzalo Ditching and Simeona Jingco.
The present Lady of Victory Parish church was constructed at the same site of the old parish church. The Ossorio family came and offered to help build the new parish church. A “parish rectory” was also constructed when Fr. Lladoc was the Parish priest. The RECTORY was completed through “daigon” and contributions of parishioners and friends of the parish. The town usually celebrates its town fiesta every October, but since it falls on a rainy season, the town fiesta was changed into every April of the year.