Katipunan was time-honored by the Franciscan missionaries who set foot in the Western part of Mindanao in order to propagate the Christian faith. Records show that Roman Catholicism was first introduced in Katipunan in the 1700’s.
The ceremonial splendor of the Roman Catholic rites gained the admiration of the local populace. Eventually, the group of missionaries established the “Parochia” at Lubungan and became a curacy in 1738 under the Bishopric of Cebu.The Franciscans controlled Lubungan until 1751 and later transferred the control to the Jesuits with its “residencia” located in Dapitan. Lubungan, which means a “graveyard”,was the age-old name of the town. Its original territory embraced the areas of the now municipalities of Manukan, Ponot, and Roxas, making it the biggest municipality of Zamboanga del Norte until 1950. The town became a haven of the Subanen settlers, the earliest inhabitants of the municipality. United States politics soon began to influence the course of events in the town after Spain ended its dominion in the country. On February 2, 1914, fifteen years after the Americans gained power over the country, Frank Carpenter, the Governor General of Mindanao and Sulu at that time signed into law Executive Order 21 instituting Lubungan as a duly constituted Municipality upon the recommendation of Provincial Governor Luis Lim.
The Local Governance of the town was pioneered by President Leoncio Adaza who became the first Municipal official in 1915 by appointment. Adaza was succeeded by Ubaldo Hamoy who served the town as the second municipal president. It was only in1919 that first election was held with Don Fernando Eguia as the first elected municipal president.
In 1936, the name Lubungan was changed to Katipunan by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 3832, through the recommendation of the Council of Katipunan under Resolution No. 8.From its beginnings as a town, the administration had changed hands form the time of President Leoncio Adaza to the epoch of Mayor Patchito T. Eguia then to the administration of Mayor Crisostomo T. Eguia and back to the present leadership of Mayor Patchito T. Eguia. Katipunan’s historical records show that there were 18 local chief executives so far who had administered the town for good. Below are the Municipal Presidents and Mayors of Katipunan from 1915 -2016, to wit:
- Mr. Leoncio Adaza 1915-1919 (Appointed)
- Mr. Ulbano Hamoy
- Don Fernando Eguia 1919-1922 (Elected)
- Mr. Alfonso Lagorra 1923-1925 (Elected)
- Mr. Roque Gurdiel1922-1928 (Elected)
- Mr. Francisco Miranda 1928-1930 (Elected)
- Mr. Benito Vallecer 1930-1933 (Elected)
- Mr. Jose Dalman 1934-1937 (Elected)
- Mr. Nicolas Limbaga 1938-1946 (Elected)
- Mr. Mariano Mendoza 1946 (Appointed)
- Mr. Salvador Eguia 1946-1948 (Elected)
- Mr. Dioscoro Lagorra 1949-1963 (Elected)
- Mr. Jose Gayapa, Jr. 1964-1979 (Elected)
- Mr. Rodolfo E. Kwan 1979-1986 (Elected)
- Mr. Cesar Sagario 1986 (Appointed)
- 1987-1992 (Elected)
- Mr. Renato Eguia 1992-1995 (Elected)
- Mr. Rodolfo Kwan 1995-1998 (Elected)
- Mr. Patchito T. Eguia 1998-2007 (Elected)
- Mr. Crisostomo T. Eguia, Jr. 2007- 2016 (Elected)
- Mr. Patchito T. Eguia 2016-present (Elected)
Katipunan as it changed over time was geographically reduced to its present territorial boundaries when some residents petitioned for autonomy. In 1951, upon the commendation of the Provincial Board headed by Ex- Governor Serapio Datoc, President Elpidio Quirino issued an Executive Order creating the Municipality of Manukan comprising the barrios of Manukan, Manawan, Disakan, and Ponot. The split of the two towns was based on the Dohinob Daku River boundary.
The granting of municipal status to Manukan inspired the people of Roxas to stand as an independent town free from the political control of Katipunan. Sometime in 1964, autonomy was granted to the Municipality of Manuel Roxas by virtue of the Executive Order No. 115 which was signed by President Diosdado Macapagal. The municipality of Manuel Roxas then became the composite of the barrios of Langatian, Denoman, Dohinob, Capase and Marupay. However, the said municipality was dissolved in 1966 upon the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Pelaez vs. Solicitor General.
In June 17, 1967 Republic Act. No.5077 was passed by Congress re-creating the municipality of President Manuel Roxas, thus constituting the new town as a distinct and independent Municipality and shall acquire a corporate existence upon the election of the new set of local officials.
It was Mayor Patchito T. Eguia who blazed a trail for a “New Katipunan”. The diminution of Katipunan, though it means reduction of practically all sorts of resources for the benefit of the town, has steadily moved forward. The new breed of political leaders who managed the new Katipunan continued to uphold the very ideals and values by which the town was founded. They provided the framework for economic, social and cultural development to facelift the Katipunan yesterday towards a “better Katipunan”.
At present, Katipunan has taken a gigantic stride as it plays its significant share towards national development and progress. With the leadership of Mayor Crisostomo T. Eguia, Katipunan turned out to be one of the promising municipalities in the province of Zamboanga del Norte. On the map, the town is named “Katipunan”, a changeover of its initial landscape, called “Lubungan”. The place is an agriculture-based community, one of the most peaceful places in the Zamboanga peninsula despite the occurrence of sporadic melee in the neighboring provinces. The townsfolk, through the leadership of Mr. Leon V. Eguia and Mr. Damaso Albarina, spearheaded the adoption of “Katipunan” from the name “Tipon”, which calls to mind the leader’s enthusiasm and optimism to unite the townsfolk towards a more dependable and stronger community, reminiscent of the Kataastaasan Kagalanggalangan Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan’s aim for people’s unity into one solid nation. The establishmentand acceptance of the name “Katipunan” beckoned the birth of a determined town.
Although the place is at the other extreme end of Luzon and was not directly involved in the revolution of the 19th century, it cherished, however a certain kind of nationalistic pride brought on by the memorabilia of Dr. Jose Rizal, one of the country’s heroes, which can be traced back to one barangay of the town Katipunan. It was named Barangay Dr.Jose Rizal, where the 42-hectare farmland of our national hero was situated. The said property was sold to Don Fernando Eguia, a native of Katipunan by Trinidad Rizal, the hero’s sister on condition that this barangay be called after the hero’s name, to look back upon a life spent on the place.
To live up to Dr. Jose Rizal’s ideals, Don Fernando used the names of the characters of the popular novel “Noli Me Tangere” of the patriotic icon to christen his children with. The warm friendship that Rizal had established with the Eguias’ persuaded Ms. Josefa Eguia to stay with Trinidad Rizal and Saturnina Rizal for 15 years. Before Trinidad Rizal’s death, she entrusted numerous valued memorabilia of Dr. Jose Rizal to Mrs. Josefa Eguia- Cruz, majority of which are still available and property kept by her. The only state-owned tertiary academic institution of the province, likewise was renamed Jose Rizal Memorial State University with its main campus at Dapitan City in which one of its satellite schools is in Katipunan once Katipunan National Agricultural School. The School bears the name of the national hero in recognition of his political, moral and educational legacies to the constituents of the province. These memorabilia of Dr. Jose Rizal are historical treasures that have made Katipunan proud through the years, as a vital part of the province of Zamboanga del Norte.