Brief History of Suyo
Suyo Municipality has a mountainous terrain; it has adequate arable lands where the people could grow productive agro- agri-cultural crops. Suyo community has a cold and healthy climate because of its pine and broadleaf forest cover. Although limited, the presence of an irrigation system enables the people to plant rice thrice a year in Barangay Baringcucurong, and limited area of Poblacion and Suyo Proper. The lands are fertile and the climate is favorable for the production of tobaccos, coffee, cacao, banana, ginger, sweet potatoes, tiger grass, fruit trees and vegetables. Suyo is a “Watershed Municipality” like no other is also a natural “Water Provider.”
The earliest inhabitants of Suyo are usually found staying on the river banks or at the foot of its hills and mountains. The original inhabitants of Suyo were mostly engaged in natural trade or barter much just like most of the highlands in the interior mountains. In the pre-colonial period, there was no concept of socio-political territorial boundaries. In brief, there was no idea of private land ownership. Suyo has an egalitarian social organization, cohesive, harmonizing among them. They still practice group sharing of resources through community feasting called “gamal,” “peshit” or “kanyaw”.
Suyo’s pre-generational society was naturally endowed with abundance and natural beauty. It’s a land of wealth and honey, a mountain haven for all seafarers and travelers to dwell and take refuge or replenish their ships with goods for a long hard journey to the open seas.
The colonization of Suyo and the whole of the Amburayan river valley started only after (80) eighty years started after the colonization of the Philippine Archipelago by a Portuguese Navigator named Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 under the Spanish Flag. Spanish conquistadores from Juan de Salcedo, Admiral Pedro Duran de Monforte, and Lieutenant Col. Guillermo Galvey made various military expeditions in the whole of the Amburayan river valley areas and its interior river mountain including Suyo.
Suyo Brief History-ending
In the early part of the 1980’s, the Communist Party of the Philippine through its armed groups like the New People’s Army (NPA) started to launch its strategic expansion efforts through armed struggle in the interior towns of Ilocos, Sur. Suyo has become a solid base, a stronghold of the NPA insurgents who came from the North- Eastern part of Luzon brought about by the insurgency problems.
Bloody encounters between the government troops and the communist terrorists occurred day by day in the remotest part of the town. Now, the local insurgency has been transformed to a total people’s participation in community development.
The history of Suyo in a nutshell is more than a best seller storybook, a novel and an epic movie. But definitely, Suyo’s history is still evolving, an open-ended saga of the peoples’ struggles for its unique identity, sense of patrimony and a great challenge to protect, conserve and partake of the wealth and abundance of its natural endowment.
During the latter part of the Spanish regime in the Philippines, groups of people from the Mountain Province came to settle in the place now called SUYO. In 1872, the Spaniards organized the settlement into a Rancheria and in 1922 the Americans turned it into a township. Later on, it was changed to a Municipal district and by virtue of R.A 1515 and under Executive Order 61; Suyo became a regular Municipality in 1962. At present, Suyo is a fourth class Municipality composed of eight (8) Barangays and forty five (45) Sitios.
The town got its name SUYO from one Barangay named Suyo Proper because it was in this Barangay where the first seat of government was established under Wyet Infiel, the first township President. Suyo was derived from the Ilocano word “NAISUYO” meaning, thrown because according to the old folks; said Barangays were formed by soil that accumulated at the river bank when the river overflowed its banks.
As of the projected population of 2015, the Municipality has a population of 11,100 with the majority composed of those who originally settled in the place and the rest are those coming from other towns and Provinces because of affinity and employment. Some of its inhabitants, however, have migrated to other places like Mindoro, Mindanao, Palawan, Bicol Region, Baguio and Manila. Some have also gone abroad in search for greener pasture.
Aside from paganism, the first religious sect that won the inhabitants to its fold was the Iglesia Fillipina Independiente. Next was the Roman Catholic that established its Church in Barangay Uso, followed by the United Church of Christ in the Philippines at the Barangay Baringcucurong. Aside from those mentioned, there are now number of religious sects namely Jehovah Witness, Seventh Day Adventist, Pentecost, Iglesia ni Cristo, Santuala, Epiritista, Sagrada Familia, United Methodist Church, Crusaders of the Divine Church of Christ and Temple of God.
Formal education was first organized in the Municipality in the form of a Parochial school and opened by the Americas. At present, there are twenty two (22) public schools in Suyo, eleven (11) complete elementary, nine (9) primaries and one (1) high school with one annex.