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Edge of the Forest

The writing of this book began with the authors desire
to contribute to the continuing historical narrative of the
City he considers home for the last twenty years. Like the
Citys founding fathers, the author believes that
Dasmarias was destined to achieve greatness. It was
fated to become a city. The story of how this was achieved
is narrated in this book.
A number of published and unpublished literatures have
already been written about Dasmarias. Among these
literary works was a book written by Dr. Emmanuel F.
Calairo entitled Liping Kabitenyo: Talambuhay ng Kilala at
di Kilalang Kabitenyo.1 The book, as the title suggests, is a
short biography of Cavite historical personalities whose
lives made them part of the provinces pantheon of heroes.
Included in the list of renowned Caviteos are the native
sons of Dasmarias, Placido Campos and Francisco
Barzaga. Another literary work, albeit unpublished was a
masteral thesis submitted in 1990 by Aquino I. Garcia to
the De La Salle University-Manila, College of Liberal Arts,
entitled, The Town of Dasmarias: From its beginning in
1866 to 1917.The conversion of the former visita of
Tampus to the municipality of Perez-Dasmarias, the
cancellation by the Americans of its municipal status, and
its restoration to township were taken up in this work.2
Another unpublished work, also a masteral thesis deals
with the municipality. This was a thesis submitted to the
University of the Philippines in 2004 by Romulo C.
Brillantes entitled Internal migration and development as
seen in local government unit: the case of Dasmarias,
Cavite. Submitted as a requirement for a course in Urban
and Regional Planning, Mr. Brillantes explains the process
of urban migration that led to the increase in the towns
population and its subsequent growth and development.3

Edge of the Forest

The Dasmarias coffee table book that was launched
during the recently concluded 2014 Paru-Paro Festival is
another addition to the growing number of literary works
about Dasmarias. The book features a short historical
narrative of the City, mentioned some of its renowned
native sons and daughters, and more importantly
highlighted the accomplishments of the Barzaga
Although it does not claim to be the definitive book on
the contemporary history of Dasmarias, this book begs to
be different from those mentioned because it will focus on
story of its journey to cityhood. A story that is of a stuff
made for telenovelas, with its ups and downs, victories
and defeats, heroes and villains, and blood, sweat, and
tears. It narrates how cityhood proponents have to contend
with oppositions from individuals and groups who vowed to
thwart the success the cityhood project for personal
reasons. This is a story waiting to be told.
The authors choice for the title of this book, illustrates
the Citys importance then and now due to its strategic
location. But for the purpose of this book, the narrative
begins in 1989 when municipal officials first conceived of
the plan to convert the town into a city all the way to 1995
when they officially launched it through a resolution and
will continue until the ratification of the City Charter in
2009. It will narrate how its proponents conceived,
planned, deliberated on, and implemented the plan to
successfully push for cityhood and explain how, despite
their best efforts, it ended unsuccessfully in 1998 and
again in 2000. In knowing how the plan failed, the readers
will get a glimpse on the identity of the politicians and the
process that went with the lawmaking process in the
Philippine legislature.

Edge of the Forest

Readers will identify the names of local personalities,
both in the public and the private sectors, who
spearheaded the project, those who sustained the efforts,
and finally those who succeeded. The identities of these
national figures from the House of Representatives and the
Senate who extended help, facilitated the process, and led
the project to success, and those that sought to frustrate
its success will also be revealed.
The issues separating the cityhood proponents and the
oppositors that initially derailed the completion of the
project will be uncovered. Details of the debates, the
negotiations, and the compromises that took place in the
open stages of the Sangguniang Bayan and the floors of
the Philippine Congress, and in the privacy of the
protagonists chambers will be investigated so that an
objectively complete picture of the narrative could be
It will also sheaf through the provisions of the Local
Government Code of 1991 that set the benchmark for
cityhood and steered municipal officials through the
process. Towards the end of this book, the reaction of the
townspeople will be discussed. After all, both proponents
and oppositors claim that all the efforts, time, and money
spent in the question of Dasmarias cityhood were for their
benefits. How the Dasmarineos were convinced to accept
the transformation will be part of the discussions in that
chapter. In order to complete the narrative, a chapter on
the effects of cityhood on the government, on the physical
set-up, on the residents, and on the Citys other
stakeholders will also be written.
This book contains primary sources on the minutes of
meetings, committee reports, debates, and public hearings
that were carried out by the Committees on Local
Government of both House of Representatives and the

Edge of the Forest

Philippine Senate; minutes of regular and special sessions
from the archives of the Office of the Secretary of the
Dasmarias Sangguniang Panlungsod; and interviews of
principal protagonists.
Readers are forewarned that the conversion of
Dasmarias into a city was all but smooth sailing. They
must remember that it took fourteen years for the city to
attain that status inasmuch as its proponents have to
contend with oppositions from various quarters, each with
their own hidden agenda. But the readers will not find in
this book the politics behind these agenda because this is
not apolitical history of Dasmarias; therefore, politics will
not be the main preoccupation of this book even if some
individuals named herein were politicians while some are
still actively engaged in the business of politics. It will be a
different topic and another book altogether.
The purpose of this book is to document for present day
Dasmarineos this high point in its history so that they
may revel on it and remember it for posterity. This is also
for those who will come later because the author believes
that no Dasmarineo, mindful of his heritage can afford to
ignore this important milestone. Fellow Caviteos and
future researchers will also find this book useful and an
important part of the continuing history of the province.
This narration of numerous public hearings and
consultations, and indeterminate number of personal
negotiations were spent in the cityhood process. This is a
testament to the town-peoples earnest desire to elevate
Dasmarias to the next level of its development.
There were thirteen other bills filed with the House of
Representatives Committee on Local Government during
the Fourteenth Congress with Dasmarias included among
them. Congressman George P. Arnaiz, representative of the
Second District of Negros Oriental, has declared on record

Edge of the Forest

that of all the thirteen pending applicants for cityhood,
Dasmarias is one of the only two municipalities that have
so far met the requirements set by the Local Government
Code of 1991 as amended by Republic Act No. 9009 of
With this foreword, the author earnestly hopes that this
book will contribute to a more generous understanding of
the City of Dasmarias and the Dasmarineos.


Emmanuel F. Calairo, Talambuhay ng kilala at di-kilalang Kabitenyo (Cavite: Cavite Studies

Center de la Salle University-Dasmarias, 1999).

Aquino I. Garcia, The Town of Dasmarias: From its beginning in 1866 to 1917 (MA thesis,
De La Salle University-Manila, 1990).

Romulo C. Brillantes, Internal migration and development as seen in local government unit:
the case of Dasmarias, Cavite (MA thesis, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 2004).

Records of bills filed on the committee on local government during the 14th Congress showed
that there were seven municipalities from Luzon, three from the Visayas, and three from Mindanao,
they were; (1) San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, (2) Dasmarias, Cavite, (3) Bian, Laguna, (4)
Catarman, Northern Samar, (5) Midsayap, North Cotabato, (6) Baler, Aurora, (7) Ipil, Zamboanga
Sibugay, (8) Kalibo, Aklan, (9) Daet, Camarines Norte, (10) Mabalacat, Pampanga, (11) Binalbagan,
Negros Occidental, (12) , Rosario, Batangas, and (13) Narvacan, Ilocos Sur. See, Congress/ accessed October 14, 2014.