History of Barangay Baras
Accounts say that before the arrival of the cross and the sword, the locally that is now the barangay of Baras was noted for its abundance of palo maria trees (Calophyllum inophyllum L.), known both as Alexandrian laurel and sweet-scented calophyllum in English.
The Pre-Spanish inhabitants and their descendants called the tree dangkalan, a Bikol name that adds tantalizing indications to Canaman’s link with Malay settlers from Borneo, perhaps with the 13th century datus and their barangays that landed in Panay, two barangays of which later on went to Batangas, for dangkalan is as well the local name word in Panay Visayan, Maguindanao and Tagalaog. Alternatively, the taga-Canaman also referred to the tree as dingkalan, which is another name used synonymously for palo maria, among other names, by the Tagalogs.
To the early taga-Canaman, the kernels of the bush-like tree, when crushed, were effective medicine for gas pains, indigestion, colic and rheumatism, while the tree itself was good for firewood (Later, the people would learn to use the paol maria leaves for animal feed).
But among the very first settlers, who were “kaingeros”, the trees were so many unwanted obstacles to their slash-burn type of agriculture. So they cut down a great number of those trees, which they left for some unexplained reason scattered about with the branches loped off the tree trunks.
Those early agricultural settlers must have come to the locality just shortly before the arrival of the Spaniards. For according to accounts, the Spanish colonizers thereafter saw those palo maria trunks, and the Spaniards had them cut into bars, which in the Castilian language is baras. Or perhaps, they had the trunks cut into uniform lengths measured in yards (Spanish, varas). A third version has it that the place was the first one glimpsed or discerned (barang in the bicol tongue) from Nueva Caceres, as the result of the massive tree cutting ordered by the colonizers when they attempted to transfer the town center and the original church from Poro to the locality in the 1600s. Whichever the correct version, thus did Baras acquire its locative, now its official name.
Baras, as of 2007 has a population of 2,311. The key-shaped barangay is officially a part of the poblacion, the center of which is about a kilometer away. It adjoins another poblacion barangay, Dinaga, on the west; to its south is barangay San Agustin; three-fourths of a kilometer to its north is Magarao.
Baras has St. Anthony for its patron saint, and holds its annual fiesta in June. Within its area are the Nordia Sports Complex with its bowling lane, tennis courts, radio stations and cockpit; private schools namely Mariner’s Polytechnic Colleges Foundation and Aeronautical School; and the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The key-shaped barangay is officially a part of the poblacion, the center of which is about a kilometer away. It adjoins another poblacion barangay, Dinaga, on the west; to its south is barangay San Agustin; three-fourths of a kilometer to its north is Magarao. It has an aggregate area of 174.0363 has. or 4.02% of the total land area of the municipality. It is made up of seven puroks .
Educational, Health and Service Facilities
Immediate need for health services in the barangay is undertaken by 4 Barangay Health Workers and supplemented by twice a month visitation by the Municipal Midwife. The residents can also access the services of the Municipal Health Office located in the town proper. Serious cases can be brought directly to Naga City which is about 5 kilometers from the barangay.
Barangay Baras has no elementary school. However, public elementary school can be accessed in the poblacion which is a kilometer away or in the neighboring barangay of Dinaga. The nearest High School is located in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Canaman which is about 1.6 kilometer from the barangay.
Tertiary Education facilities can be found in this barangay namely Mariners Polytechnic Colleges Foundation and Aeronautical Academy and Naga City (about 5.5 kms from the barangay).
A Day Care Worker (funded by the barangay with municipal counterpart) undertakes day care services to the children aged 3-5 years old.
Mode of Public Transportation
The entire 7 puroks of the barangay is traversed by a concrete provincial road serviced by public use jeepneys and “padyaks” (minimum fare is P5/person).
The barangay is served by several credit institutions (private and government) including those offered by private individuals. TSPI and CARD Bank, are the more prominent private lending institutions in the barangay. The Municipal Government also offers micro-lending services to identified sectors, including the micro entrepreneurs and farmers. Private individuals (5-6 or bumbay type) and compradors also offer credit services to individuals in the barangay.
Water & Electric Supply
Barangay Baras is serviced by the Metro Naga Water District. However, some of the people in the barangay do not use the water from the pipeline for drinking, some of them get their drinking water from water lorry that ply the area for a fee (at P6 per 16 liter container). Others who can afford buy from water purifying stations that deliver water to their doorsteps at P35 per 16-liter container. This situation is amplified by the CBMS results which revealed that 20.29% or 125 of the total 616 households in the barangay have no access to safe water.
As to electricity, all the seven puroks of the barangay has electrical facilities through CASURECO II. However, there are still several households with no electrical connections due to economic reasons.
The barangay has no Materials Recovery Facility and no established waste management system. Most of the residents dispose their wastes thru burning or in open pits. It can be mentioned that the barangay is reached by roving “Bote-Bakal-Plastic” buyers.
Peace and Order
The barangay is generally peaceful. Peace and order in the barangay is handled by the Barangay Tanods with regular detail duties and foot patrol every night. CBMS 2009 data shows that there were no households that were victimized by crime.
Barangay Baras has the following Barangay Officials, to wit:
Barangay Officials 2007-2010:
Punong Barangay: Susana Gamus
1. Victor C. Arroyo
2. Amando R. Sta. Ana, Jr.
3. Mario T. De Los Santos
4. Roderick P. Lara
5. Ruben S. Rentoy
6. Glenn A. Balona
7. Ana A. Basbas
8. Glenn S. Alcala – SK Chairman
Barangay Secretary: Mary Ann P. Regulado
Barangay Treasurer: Emma O. Daza (12-6-2007 to 3-30-2009)
Emelita C. Zape
Barangay Officials 2010-2013:
Punong Barangay: Rommel O. Amaro
1. Ryan C. Calisura
2. Jeremy S. Abante
3. Kristal Saez
4. Mark L. Astrologo
5. Benedict D. Severo
6. Joey Lopez
7. Glen Balona
8. Jeth Justin Martirez – SK Chairman