Sunday, February 26, 2012

*283. DR. MIGUEL P. MORALES, Mabalacat's 1st Post-War Mayor

THE MORALES MAYORALTY. Dr. Miguel Pantig Morales, first elected mayor of post-war Mabalacat, comes from a long line of politicos who served the town in different capacities, a tradition now being continued by grandson, Marino, current mayor of this first class municpality. Ca. 1933.

The Moraleses are well-known in Mabalacat as a long-standing political clan of the town, a tradition that was started by Quentin Tuazon Morales (b. 1856/d.1928) who became a teniente mayor of barangay Poblacion in the late 19th century. When he moved his family to Sta. Ines, he became a cabeza of that barrio. His youngest son with Paula Cosme Guzman, Atty. Rafael Morales, also was elected as consejal (councilor) in the 1930s.

Feliciano Morales, Quentin’s brother, was also a cabeza of barangay Quitanguil. But it would be his son with Juana Pantig--Dr. Miguel Morales--who would solidify the Moraleses’ reputation as a family of politicos, by being elected as the first mayor of Mabalacat, after the Liberation.

Born on 23 September 1893, Miguel was educated in Mabalacat under Maestro Bartolome Tablante and in Angeles under Maestro Pedro Manankil. For his higher education, he was sent to the Liceo de Manila and Colegio de Ntra. Señora del Rosario. While still a student, Miguel gave vent to his literary pursuits, with many of his prose and poems seeing print on “E Mañgabiran”, a widely circulated newspaper. He wrote under the pen name “M. L. Amores”. Miguel was also an active member of the social club, “Sibul ning Lugud”, which he served as Vice President.

His main ambition though was to pursue a career in medicine, and so in 1915, Miguel enrolled at the University of Santo Tomas for his medical degree which he finished in 1920. After his residency at the San Juan de Dios Hospital, he took the board exams and passed with flying colors.

The young doctor then went back home to Mabalacat to practice his profession and became an established medico-cirujano. During this time, he married his first wife, Jovita Gabriel of Betis, with whom he had five children. A second marriage to Felicidad Carlos would result in three more children.

In 1933, Dr. Morales was appointed as a Medico de Sanidad (head of the health department) of Apalit. He settled his family in Mawaque during the war years but kept his Apalit office. Though times were difficult, he offered his medical services for free, gave food to victims of the war and aided the Americans who participated in the infamous Death March. In 1945, he was finally transferred back to Mabalacat.

A grateful town elected him as its mayor in 1948, the first post-war town head so chosen by local ballot. As mayor, he was responsible for building the wooden Morales Bridge, which provided the vital link between Sta. Ines and Poblacion. Mayor Morales also organized the first hydroelectric power plant, later operated by the Tiglaos. He was at the forefront of a campaign against the rising Huk movement when he was assassinated in 1951.

Today, the Morales name lives on in the political scene with the term of Mayor Marino Morales, his grandson. For two decades now, Mayor Boking, as he is called, has been the chief executive of Mabalacat, the longest serving mayor in the Philippines. By a twist of luck and technicalities, he survived the electoral protests of chief rival Anthony Dee and the challenge posed by his estranged daughter Marjorie Morales-Sambo who ran—and lost—against him in the last election. The elevation of this first class municipality into a city will give Mayor Morales another chance to extend his term as the first city mayor of Mabalacat—that is, if his winning streak continues.

1 comment:

Red said...

Very nice info, For all I know the bridge that connect Poblacion and Sta. Ines is the "Lambingan" Bridge, lovers used it for during the dark hours. Morales Bridge ya pala. lol