The foundation of this barrio dates back in 1764. The barrio was previously called Isla Rosa.
In the previous years, all the houses in the barrio were razed to the ground by fire, in such a way that all the residents left the place. Only after 5 years had passed that a group of settlers returned and settled in the island once again.
It was also known that in 1768 the Moros that holed-in in the sitio called Guijus of the province of Masbate, attacked and ransacked the barrio and captured its inhabitants for trade slavery. The inhabitants of Maripipi, feeling depraved caused by the ravages of the Moros, agreed to wage war against the enemy. In the sitio Awang, the inhabitants dug up a camouflage to capture the invading Moros. They killed 15 Moros and the rest ran away after the bloody fight between the inhabitants and the attackers. In order to protect themselves from the attack of the Moros, they built a bulwark to serve as a watchtower in the sitio called Hagonoy. This bulwark was guarded by warriors, who were identified as the Kapitanes Valle, Rosanto, Toraldo, Rubic, Antonio Radam, Florentino Gahudo and Ignacio Curut.
The town was enclosed with a rough terrain. Its shores is likewise outshout by the rampaging wave of the sea in the east and northeast.
Source: Manuel Artigas y Cuerva, Resňa de la
Provincia de Leyte
Manila 1914, pp.306-307;317
There were bulwarks or watchtowers, and a big ditch separating the town from the shore. There were also seawalls (only a few left), and they were superior compared to the cement used nowadays proven by the destruction of the wharf. The cement used was taken from powdered burned shells and wood mixed with other ingredients.
An island town located at the northenmost part of Leyte, way back in 1860, Maripipi was a town located at Danao (present name of barrio) up to 1870. In 1871, it was transferred to Daan Bungto, 2 kilometers away from the seashore. This is located at the foot of Mr. Borobatidor, the present weather vane of Maripipi. The town was established at the site to safeguard the populace from the fierce Moros. In 1899, it became a town site and continued until the third year. It became a barrio of Kawayan in 1902-1914 for 12 years, but eventually turned back to being a town again in 1915.
Maripipi island has no recommended anchorage. Presumably, trading launches took up offshore. Its shores are clear and steep-to. Cliffs details show the shores to be approachable with at least 10 fathom depth, at a distance of more than a quarter of a mile offshore. Population of Maripipi island was 5,433. This municipality consisted of 8 coastal barrios, the largest of which was Binalayan, on the southcoast, with a population of 1,485. The Poblacion of Maripipi situated on the east shore has less than 1,000. The first Cura Paroco was Fr. Fernando Pardo in 1874-1897.
Documented Facts About Maripipi
Source: Ereccion de Pueblo de Cebu, sin pagina, Legajo No. 1:
In 1645, Maripipi was a part of Cebu. Then became a part of Carigara, an old name of Leyte in 1765. During that time, under the Jesuit Administration, there existed a baluarte made of lime and stone.
Source: Ereccion de Pueblo de Leyte, Legajo No. 2, Bk. I, National Archives:
In bishopric of Santisimo Nombre de Jesus of Cebu, there is one Cura in the city and outside the walls is that of parian of Mestizos and Sangleys: that of Barili in the same visitas of Maripipi, Panamao (now called Biliran), and Limancawayan. Visitas means a barrio with chapel or church and had acquired the status of the town because of its tributes that exceeded the required amount to be paid by a certain pueblo.
Source: Blair & Robertson - The Phillipine Island, Vol. XXI, p.193 & Vol.XXVIII, p.164:
The bishop of Cebu, Fray Pedro de Arco, asigned the Recollect for the spiritual administration of an islet and small village called Maripipi, not very far from Cebu. About six hundred souls were instructed there with great care and vigilance. The erection of the convent was accomplished by Fr. Fray Chriszostomo de la Ascension, who was its first friar. He erected a small building which was rebuilt afterward because of an accidental fire. They extended to make a comfortable dwelling, well suited to purposes of devotion. That convent had devout confraternity of our Lady of Solitude.
MARIPIPI ISLAND HISTORY
Maripipi is located in the northernmost part of the sub-province of Biliran. It is an island-municipality with a coastal circumference of twenty-four kilometers. The town is separated by a narrow channel from the island of Biliran. Southwest of the island is the Visayan sea and Northern lies the Samar sea. It is almost equidistant to Leyte, Samar and Masbate, so that during the Spanish Time, Maripipi was a vital link in the chain of islands used as stepping stone for the Luzon-Visayas commerce. Maripipi was often a calling place for the Spanish galleons.
The island was first named Isla Rosa (Rosette Island) before it became Maripipi. Legend has it that the island is a tomb of Maria and Pepe, two lovers. The parents of Maria were against Pepe. Having eloped against the parents' wishes, Maria's irate father scoured the four corners of Leyte with a flotilla of bancas searching for them. After a long and ardous search, the flotilla found the lovers in this unchartered island - dead by their own hands.
The whole island is believed to be an extinct volcano, once active during our ancient past. As such its soil is rich but rocky. Coconuts are planted around the island, while the lowlands are planted with rice. Traders from Cebu, Bicol, Masbate and Samar come to the island for trade.
As early as 1595, Maripipi, which was inhabited by a pagan tribe, was visited by Fr. Diego Sanchez, the Jesuit missionary of Carigara. The Jesuit missionaries of Samar also visited the island but they never stayed long. The local chieftain became impatient with the priest's inattention for he was anxious to convert his whole island-clan to Christianity. So the whole village boarded a flotilla of bancas and crossed to Tinago, Samar, surprising the missionary. They passed their catechism easily for the native chief had previously taught his clan. They were baptized en masse and soon returned to their island-kingdom.
The town also suffered from Moro attacks. The pirates had their hideout in Guiyum, Masbate, and periodically ravaged the town. The inhabitants had to make traps in their clay soil with sharp bamboos underneath. These camouflaged traps checked the marauders.
Almost the whole island of Maripipi is an inexhaustible supply of kaolin, ideal for ceramics. Almost every home is a factory for clay pots, flowerpots, jars and other ceramic products. The municipality monopolizes the pot-making industry in the whole province.
Before it became a municipality, Maripipi was a barrio of Naval. It was inaugurated as a town in 1867. Its ceramics industry has received recognition and its market has reached as far as the Mindanao province.