History of Barangay San Nicolas
Barangay San Nicolas is one of the distant barangays of Canaman. One of several of the municipality’s barrios that dot the length of the Bicol River on Canaman’s coasta settlement, its lower western part of which practically faces the municipality of Libmanan. In fact, San Nicolas is more accessible from Libmanan than from the poblacion of Canaman, a fact that partly explains its historic role in the formation of the famed Tangcong Vaca Guerilla Unit (TVGU) under taga-Canaman Juan Q. Miranda during the Second World War. And although San Nicolas was originally under the jurisdiction of the Parish of Canaman, it has been, since 25 of August 1954 when Archbishop Pedro P. Santos issued Episcopal Order N. 1133/54, a part of and under the “river parish” of San Vicente Ferrer of Libmanan.
Inferential evidence indicates that present-day San Nicolas was established in the early part of the 1800’s. Because rather remote and not easy to reach, San Nicolas during its early days was sparsely populated. Consequently, the residents had great difficulty in maintaining their barrio chapel; improving it was almost out of the question. Therefore, a deeply religious man of substance by the name of Capitan Colas, whose last name time has removed from living memory, daonated – or was prevailed upon to donate – a parcel of land to the church, the proceeds from the produce of which would be used for the improvement of and upkeep of the barrio chapel.
San Nicolas then became the name of the barrio for two reasons: first, as the residents’ way of showing their gratitude to the generous donor of the land; and second, appropriately enough, in honor of San Nicolas de Tolentino, the chosen patron saint who pet crocodile moreover aptly fitted the place, the Bicol River at the time being infested with the saurians.
On March 8 1942, the idea of an armed resistance movement against the Japanese occupation forces in Camarines Sur, as conceived and espoused at great personal risk by another taga-Canaman, Elias Madrid, was formally organized in San Nicolas, Meeting with his nephew, Juan Q. Miranda, then a sergeant in the Philippine Army, in Miranda’s house ostensibly for the sergeant’s birthday, Elias and his brothers Modesto and Policarpio, Raymundo Martinez, and Libmanan-born Leon SA. Aureus, formed the Tangcong Vaca Guerilla Unit (TVGU). Miranda was chosen commanding officer with the original guerilla rank of Captain; Elias Madrid, as Finance Officer with the original rank of First Lieutenant, and Aureus as Executive Officer with the same rank as Madrid’s. Among the very first to join up that very same day were Damaso R. Requejo, then as now Municipal Mayor of Canaman, who was commissioned a lieutenant in S-2 (intelligence), and the mayor’s younger brother, Leoncio, later himself elected town executive as well.
(Taken from: Canaman Through the Centuries by Jose V. Barrameda, Jr.)
Barangay San Nicolas is located in the western part of the municipality of Canaman and is about 7.5 kilometers from the poblacion. It has an aggregate area of 410.9000 has. or about 9.5% of the total land area of the municipality. It is made up of seven puroks namely Zone 1, Zone 2 , Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6 and Zone 7.
It is bounded on the north by barangay Barobaybay of the Municipality of Magarao, on the south by the Bicol River, on the west by barangays Palo and San Juan and on the east by Cut-off Channel 1. The barangay’s terrain is generally flat with slope of 0-3%. As to the soil type, barangay San Nicolas has Libmanan Clay and Canaman Clay. It is predominantly an agriculture area with palay as the main crop.
Educational, Health and Service Facilities
Public elementary education in the barangay is catered by the San Nicolas Elementary School which offers Grade I to Grade VI or complete elementary education served by three (3) female teachers. And an enrollment of 106 pupils.
The nearest High School is located in Barangay Fundado and Mangayawan, all of Canaman which is about 1 km from the barangay. The nearest Tertiary Education facilities are located in barangay Baras, Canaman , about 8.5 kms. from the barangay which offers maritime and aeronautical courses, (MPCF and AAP, respectively) or in the various schools in Naga City.
A Day Care Worker (funded by the barangay with municipal counterpart) undertakes day care services to the children aged 3-5 years old.
Health services in the barangay is undertaken by three Barangay Health Workers and supplemented by a Provincial paid Midwife. The residents can also access the services of the Municipal Health Office located in the town proper situated 7.5 kms from the barangay.
Mode of Public Transportation
Before the advent of the farm-to-market roads, people of San Nicolas depend on the Canaman River for their transportation. However, the new millennium paved the way for land transportation, reducing their travel time to about 30 minutes from San Nicolas to Canaman poblacion. About 8 public utility trimobiles ply the route of San Francisco-Canaman and vice versa costing P20.00 plus P10.00 from San Nicolas –San Francisco or a total of P30.00 only (one way trip).
The barangay is served by several credit institutions both private and government including those offered by private individuals. TSPI and CARD Bank are the 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 offers loan to a maximum monthly interest of 20% while compradors offer credit services to farmers payable either in cash or in kind.
Water & Electric Supply
In the past, drinking water is not a problem in the barangay. In the early 1900s people get their drinking water at the Canaman River. In the 1940s, water at the Canaman River is no longer fit for drinking hence the people resorted to open dug wells for their drinking water. Later on, in the 60’s, shallow wells and deep wells became their source of potable water. However, in the 80’s, water from the deep well is no longer potable. A notable number of efforts were made to look for potable water but the efforts were all in vain. This forced the people to buy water from water vendors that ply the area at P20.00 per container (16 liters capacity); others buy drinking water in Naga City at P10.00 per container. At present, the water trucks (lorries) delivers almost daily in the neighboring barangays like San Francisco and Fundado, however, it can only reach San Nicolas through individuals who buy and sell drinking water. This situation adds cost to the water per container (16 liters per container). Nevertheless, due to the on going construction of the Canaman-Libmanan Sky Bridge and widening of the road network, delivery trucks of potable water could easily reach the consuming households of San Nicolas.
It can be noted that up to this day, a good number of people in the barangay still bathe and wash their clothes at the Canaman River, others installed shallow tube wells for their daily water needs.
As to electricity, all the seven puroks of Barangay San Nicolas have electrical facilities through CASURECO II. However, there are still 39 households with no electrical connections mostly 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. Some irresponsible residents throw their garbage in the river despite the continuous information education campaign on waste management given by LGU Canaman and other concerned agencies.
Peace and Order
The barangay is generally peaceful. Only minor incidents such as public disturbance usually caused by intoxicated residents were recorded in the barangay blotter. Peace and order in the barangay is handled by the 11 Barangay Tanods with regular detail duties and foot patrol every night. There are also 11 Barangay Lupon members responsible for giving solutions to peace and order related incidents.
Barangay San Nicolas has the following Barangay Officials, to wit:
Punong Barangay: Edna T. Pante
1. Jojit P. Camacho
2. Leonardo M. Canaveral
3. Bayani T. Caudilla
4. Vilma F. Remolacio
5. Romulo B. Remolacio
6. Lolito V. Tarusanan
7. Jaime S. Caudilla, Sr.
8. Anna Liza SJ. Estrada – SK Chairman
Barangay Secretary: Romulo Tuscano
Barangay Treasurer: Naida Escalante