ministrators, and the tenants had to pay some form of rental for the use of the land. Before the establishment of the present sugar central, a smaller one was erected in Looc, another barrio of Nasugbu, which was later moved to the outskirts of the town proper. This central, however, was sold to give way to a more modern one, the present Central, which began its operation in 1927. However, the sugarcane industry was already a well-established industry in this region. The crushing of the canes at the start of the industry in this place was done by means of the wooden rollers pulled by cows and carabaos. Because of the rapid progress which this industry experienced during the first world war, iron mills rapidly took [the] place of the wooden meals. Constant program and bright prospects continued to favor the production of sugar so that in [the] years that followed the big central was established
The present populace of this barrio is composed mostly of the employees of the sugar central and their families and also the tenants in the adjoining haciendas. In this locality, as in others, we find a conglomeration of peoples. The first employees and laborers where recruited from Pangasinan and the towns of eastern Batangas. Of course, as years passed, there was a constant influx of more people here in addition to the natural increase of the earlier settlers. Economically, we can say that the people of Lumbangan are in a better condition than the other barrios, the stability of which is wholly dependent upon the stability of the sugar industry.
Realizing the increase of children reaching school age
and considering the distance from this place to the nearest school then existing, the authorities concerned opened a school in close cooperation with the Roxas and Company whose magnanimity of heart and benevolence have shown outward manifestations in their kindly gestures towards their employees and the community in general. This school gradually developed to the present Lumbangan Elementary School which has complete enrollment in all grades in the elementary. The enrollment last year, which totaled 684 pupils, all from this locality, is evidence of the good attitude of the people towards education. There are 12 teachers, including the principal. It may, therefore, not be long when the problem of illiteracy in this place may be entirely solved.
The owners of this Central did not overlook the religious aspect of life, so that a church was also built in the Central site, thus affording a place where people could pray, meditate and hear mass. It might be mentioned in passing, the story of the adoption of the patron saint of Lumbangan, St. Del Pilar. It was related by an old woman, the only witness to the incident, that at the present site where the church is built, she found a small image of the patron saint at the base of a banana tree. Unable to explain how the image was found in such circumstance, the only plausible reason find expression in a sort of miraculous incident. This news spread like wildfire. The people being deeply religious in nature, decided and convinced the owners of the Central that a church should be erected at the place where the image was found and adopted the St. Del Pilar as the Patron Saint whose feast day is in October.
With respect to the health conditions of the people, they (mostly employees and their families) are well-taken care of with the establishment of a hospital and improved working conditions.
The war in 1896 did not affect much this place because by then, there were but a handful of people here. The war in 1941 caught this place at the height of the milling season. There was but a short stoppage of milling for the Japanese realized the importance of sugar for their army and required the management to continue operation of the Central, but under their strict surveillance. During all the years that we were under the Japanese rule, the Central operated regularly in milling seasons, although the production was much below normal because some of the land was planted with cotton and other food products for the Japanese army. As regards to the buildings and the plant itself, they were not damaged till the latter days of January, 1945 when the American forces of liberation which landed in Nasugbu, in scaring the Japanese stationed at the Central, machine-gunned the plant, hitting the power house. The Japanese, in their hurry to leave the place, had no more time to explode the dynamites which they planted throughout the mill. Shortly after liberation, the Central resumed operations at a much-paralyzed capacity. There were not many lives either killed by the Japanese or killed in action. Somehow, the people knew how to get along with the Japanese who owned the Central as their garrison without, however, exposing themselves either as Japanese spies or guerrillas. It is noteworthy to mention that in spite of the existence then of underground activities, atrocities committed elsewhere in the islands were not committed here.
The presence of a modern distillery as an integral part of the Central was also partly instrumental in rehabilitating the sugarcane industry affecting favorably the planters, their tenants, the Central, and the employees. There was a great demand for alcohol to be used in the manufacture of wines and whiskeys and luckily, the distillery of this Central was one of the few plants in the Islands not damaged by war. All the molasses produced and even centrifugal sugar were converted into alcohol. One can just imagine the financial aid this alcohol boom gave towards the restoration to normalcy, both to the people of the Don Pedro District and to the government through the taxes paid by them to the government.
Immediately after liberation, the Central’s management rehabilitated the entire plant, introducing modern equipment, expanding the entire plant, thereby increasing the capacity, and constructing more and better houses for the employees and granting salary increases. Thus, we now have an additional one large apartment for 1k [unsure, blurred] families which was constructed more than a year ago, a large two-story concrete hospital completely equipped with modern conveniences and facilities, and a nice new laboratory inside the compound of the Central which will soon be completed and occupied by the personnel of the laboratory department. There are the new sites added to the physical structure of Lumbangan. However, other improvements in the community living at large have been made also possible through the close and cooperative efforts of the management and its employees, the school and the people. To elucidate the facts, evidences of these strides for improvements are worth mentioning.
The employees of the Central, particularly those receiving higher salaries, thought of organizing the Central Employees Savings and Loans Association, and in line with the functions of this, they established a cooperative store bearing the name CESLA (the shareholders are the employees, too). Although the people are engrossed in their work in the Central, especially during milling season, they still find time for recreation. There is the Central Don Pedro Athletic Association maintained and supported also by the higher salaried employees. Hence, the people, both young and old, afford some sort of recreation in games. The basketball game is the most popular and best-liked by the residents of the place. A good opportunity is also provided for those interested in shows. However, this is limited to the employees with high positions in the Central. The show is shown in the Club House once a week every Thursday night.
The school has also taken the initiative, with the support of the prominent residents of the place, to improve the sanitation of the barrio. To facilitate the accomplishment of this objective and the objectives along other areas (economic, social and spiritual), the barrio was divided into five puroks, each having its own officers and adviser with duties defined. Of course, the school personnel found a little difficulty in their initial step, but as it is, the people are becoming more conscious of their civic, social and economic duties. Thus, we can look forward to the time when the barrio of Lumbangan will be very much improved, making it a home of contented and happy people.
Miss Maria Soledad Roxas, Member
Miss Sofronia F. Cueto, Member
THE CENTRAL AZUCARERA DON PEDRO
One of the pioneers in the growing of sugarcane and in the manufacture of muscovado sugar, the western part of the Province of Batangas, comprising Nasugbu, Lian, Tuy, Balayan, Calaca, Lemery, Taal and San Luis, had from time immemorial been served by thousands of small and carabao-driven muscovado mills. Due to favorable prices which low-grade muscovado sugar hand enjoyed in the local as well as foreign merchants up to the early ‘20s, it was not until then that the first small central in Nasugbu was erected by the Vda. de Pedro F. Roxas y Berederos de A. R. Roxas to mill the cane produced in its vast hacienda in Nasugbu. This small central had long been dismantled.
The original plant of the present Central Azucarera Don Pedro was built and erected by the Mirrless-Watson Co., Ltd. of Glasgow, Scotland in 1926-1927. Its first crop, after signing up sugarcane planters previously dedicated to the production of muscovado sugar in the western part of Batangas, was harvested in 1927-1928. The founders of the present central, which was incorporated in October, 1930, were Doña Carmen Gargollo Vda. de Roxas, Don Ramon Roxas de Fernandez, Don Antonio Roxas y Gargollo, Don Enrique Roxas y Arguelles, Don Andres Soriano y Roxas, Don Alfonso Zobel y Roxas and Don Jose C. Zabarte.
Since its establishment more than 26 years ago, the Don Pedro Central has maintained a record of fine relations with its planters and an excellent showing of progressiveness and efficiency in the manufacture of sugar. From [an] initial production 115,805 piculs for 1927-1928, it gradually increased its output every year, reaching a peak of 784,518 piculs for 1933-1934, the last crop preceding the local sugar limitation in the implementation of the Jones-Costigan Act and, later,
the Tydings-McDuffy Act. Its production for 1940- 1941 increased to 650 4743 piculs from a loan of 501,409 piculs for 1934-1935, the first crop which was [blurred word] by force of limitation, for which the planters alone were compensated with benefit payments for the destruction of their came in the field. The Don Pedro Central has consistently established a quality ratio of 2.00 or more piculs of sugar per ton of cane.
The aggregate investments of the central in machinery, railroad track and rolling stock, buildings, equipment and supplies, distillery, etc., up to the outbreak of the war in December, 1941 totaled ₱6,575,000.00, including ₱360,000.00 [unsure, blurred] worth of quota rights purchased. While the damage to the meal as a result of the war, which was placed at ₱231,000.00, weird relatively slight, the losses of the central due to its inability to male the 1941-1942 crop where placed at ₱2,700,000.00, consisting of its share of 214,000 tons of cane in the field, which was estimated to yield 452,000 piculs of sugar and 1,282,000 gallons of molasses.
The cost of reconstruction and additional investments in the central after the war to date is placed at ₱4,500,000.00. From its present daily capacity of 2,800 tons of cane, a plan has already been approved to increase it to 5.300 tons, by increasing the speed of the mill rollers through a change in the mill gear ratios, and speed off the mill engines by changing the fly wheels and installations of long range valve gears.
When it comes to [the] enhancement of the efficiency of the mill, the owners and operators of the central have spared neither efforts