History

Long before Ynopacan became a Spanish pueblo (town), historians had proven that there were already settlers in Ynopacan. Early villagers in this locality lived in peace as the community continued to expand. However, the peaceful village of Ynopacan had been disturbed when warriors of early Malay Mohammedan Sultans of the Islamic Sultanate of Central Mindanao and Sulu, attacked the villages within the Western Coasts of Leyte. Since then, resources for human consumption have slowly diminished due to the rampant attack made by the constant Mangayaw or Moro Piracy. Villagers and their leaders were abducted and sold as slaves to the Dutch Colony- which was in that time was in war with Spain; and properties of the villagers were subjugated and pillaged. This continued for around 70 years, in between late part of the 16th until the middle of 17th centuries. The Moro pirates, who had then afforded terror to Inopacan, were lastly led by Katchil Kulanat, or otherwise known as Sultan Corralat or Sultan Kudarat. Sultan Kudarat upheld the law of “No Mercy” during his reign and so did other Moro Sultans before him. The Moros had only ceased attacking the villages when Islam had weaken, and when many of the Filipinos started an uprising against the Spanish regime.

Nearly middle of the 19th Century, around 1843, Spanish manuscripts of Book 1 of the Baptismal Archives of Hindang, Leyte, showed that Ynopacan had already been widely used as address of the early populace. In the book, “Leyte Town: Histories and Legends”, written by Francisco Tantuico, Jr., he stipulated that “sometime” in 1852, Ynopacan was a barrio of Hindang. This statement thus suggested that an evolution of events regarding the political stature of Ynopacan had happened around or after 1852.

Meanwhile, certain documents had shown that Don Quirimon Alkuino, former Gobernadorcillo and Illustrado (lawyer) of Baybay, along with Ynopacan leaders, worked hard in convincing the Governor General and Vice Royal Master of the Philippines, Don Antonio Urveztondo, in declaring Ynopacan as a Pueblo. Thus, on December 6, 1852, the Governor General finally declared Ynopacan as a Pueblo, along with a written request that they create a bastion and a seaport area. Following this declaration, the Governor General in a letter to Don Jose Torre Y Busquet, Alcalde Mayor of Leyte, directed the latter to announce the declaration of Ynopacan as a colonial town of the Leyte Province on January 20, 1853.

After a while, Ynopacan leaders appealed that they be given a separate parish for Ynopacan for reason of distance from the Hindang Parish. For this intention, all needed communications and requirements were submitted and compiled at the Office of the Governor of Leyte on March 21, 1885. And with help from a Spanish Illustrado, Jose Alcober Grijalvar, coupled with the strength of the local political and religious leaders, the present site of the church became the heart of worship among the early populace. This then convinced the King of Spain to enact a Royal Order declaring Ynopacan as an independent parish from Hindang on October 22, 1888. On July 1, 1891, the former Bishop of Cebu, Most Reverend Martin Alcover Garcia wrote a bull on canonical erection of Ynopacan as a new parish independent from Hindang; which later, was approved by the Governor General of the Philippines on December 16, 1891.

It was believed that in 1892 to 1914, Fr. Gregorio Sosing, who was the parish priest of Hindang at the time, was temporarily assigned to perform the spiritual and ministerial administration for Ynopacan until Ynopacan’s first parish priest, Fr. Hilario Lopez, was finally assigned as resident priest in 1904.

It was noted that during the American occupation, the name Ynopacan spelled with “Y” was changed to “I” as Inopacan, and was thenceforth extremely used to identify the progressive municipality.

Subsequent to the town’s founding as a Municipality and a Parish, the communities which lived through the years, had become a witness to its societal evolution within the sphere of religion, economy, and politics. These influences had all been a conduit to its history; and its experience, manifested the town folks’ strong presence in the selection of governance; and the leaders’ toils in bringing their constituents comfort thru the priorities they made based on the mission and vision of the municipality.