Benguet History

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Early in the 19th century after the Spanish explorer Guillermo Galvey's report of his expedition, the Spanish government organized the mountain region into six commandancias politico militar", namely: Benguet in 1846, Lepanto in 1852, Bontoc in 1859, Amburayan in 1889, and Kayapa and Cabugaoan in 1891. The Province of Benguet, as now constituted, has portions which were parts of the Districts of Lepanto, Bontoc and Amburayan.

The early commandancias were divided into rancherias. The commandancia of Benguet was divided into 41 rancherias, with La Trinidad as the capital. It was named in honor of Don Galvey's wife Trinidad. The first "Kapitan" of Benguet was Pulito of Kafagway, now Baguio City, which was then a minor
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The American established civil government in Benguet by 1900. On August 13, 1908, Benguet became a sub-province of the Mountain Province together with Amburayan, Apayao, Bontoc, Ifugao, Kalinga and Lepanto. During the 1930s, mining companies began massive operations to work the gold mines in the area. This attracted many lowlanders to work and settle in the area, especially in towns surrounding the mines, including Itogon.

During World War II, Benguet was the site of fierce battles fought by Igorot guerrillas and American forces to open up the western flank of the Japanese defenders during the final days of liberation in 1945. By authority of the President of the United States, the US Philippine Commission enacted Act No. 49 on November 23, 1900, establishing a civil government for the Province of Benguet. The officers of this government were a provincial governor, provincial secretary and a provincial inspector. All these officers shall reside and have their offices in the township of Baguio, which shall be the capital of the province. The governor shall be the chief executive of the province. Until such time as a treasurer shall be appointed for the province, the governor shall act as provincial treasurer, subject to the provisions of the general law. He shall also make known to the people of his province through proclamations or communications delivered to the presidents of each township, all general laws or governmental orders. Mr. H. P. Whitmarsh, a Canadian
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