Before the ranching settlers arrived in Quezon in the early 20th century, this mountainous and bucolic land was inhabited by the nomadic Manobo tribe. These natives lived mostly along the banks of the Pulangui River, around the edges of thickly-forested hills or near lush watersheds of which Quezon is abundantly blessed with.
The Mid 20th Century
After the Second World War, an influx of migrants from other parts of the country began arriving in Quezon. The opening of a bridge over the Pulangui River in the early 1960s increased the pace of migration even more.
On November 18, 1965, under Executive Order No. 199, Quezon came to be recognized as a Municipality under the Province of Bukidnon with Upper Pulangui as its official name and Crispin C. Bernadas as the first Municipal Mayor. By virtue of Republic Act No. 4802 dated June 18, 1966, sponsored by then-Congressman Cesar M. Fortich, Barangay Poblacion, then referred to as Kiokong, became the seat of Government of the Municipality of Upper Pulangui. On June 21, 1969, the Philippine Congress passed Republic Act No. 5961 to amend R.A. No. 4802 s. 1966, transferring the seat of government to Barangay Salawagan. This law, however, was not implemented as another law, R.A. 6240, was passed on June 19, 1971, transferring again the seat of government from Salawagan back to Barangay Poblacion. In honor of the 2nd President of the Republic of the Philippines, Upper Pulangui was later renamed as the Municipality of Quezon.
The 21st Century
The turn of the century brought forth massive changes to the community. Advances in information and communications technology, the modernization of agricultural practices, and improved local governance dramatically changed the way the locals lived. From the increase in the number of cellular sites, the arrival of a multi-national corporation to the automation of the electoral process, the citizens of the once laidback town of Quezon gradually learned to keep up with the rest of their peers in the region.
Despite its being a first-class municipality, Quezon took some time to move forward with its development goals because of the precarious peace situation in the municipality. Due in part to its mountainous topography, Quezon had been an ideal hotbed of communist rebels. Their presence hampered progress and threatened the lives and properties of both locals and foreign investors.
In 2016, when President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was sworn into office, the passage of several laws drastically improved the country’s peace process and addressed social issues, allowing the town to surge onward. By virtue of Executive Order No. 70 s. of 2018, “Institutionalizing the Whole-of-Nation Approach in Attaining Inclusive and Sustainable Peace…” the Municipal Government of Quezon, under the administration of Hon. Mayor Pablo Lorenzo III tenaciously pushed for the efficient delivery of basic government services to far-flung areas and intensified its efforts to end the local communist armed conflict.
Through effective governance, a thriving economy, and the cooperation of its resilient and highly-adaptable citizens, the Municipality of Quezon is well on its way to achieving sustainable peace and a brighter, prosperous future for all.
Historical Growth of the Population
The first censal year of the municipality was considered to be in 1970 when it was created as a separate municipality from the municipalities of Dangcagan and Maramag.
In the first censal year, the municipality had a population of 38,084. This significantly increased to 52,324 in 1975 with 6.56% average growth rate. This population growth was attributed to in-migration to the municipality’s vacant and vast fertile lands, with the industrial firms, Bukidnon Sugar Company (BUSCO) and Naredico Logging Company, as catalysts.
From 1975 to 1980, the municipality registered a low average growth rate of only 2.64% due to out-migration caused by the rebellion of the natives headed by Datu Lorenzo Gawilan and the fanatic group at Lipa known as the Rizalians headed by Teodoro Day-uman which disturbed the peace and order of the municipality. These further decreased the growth rate to 1.60% in the next 10 years, from 1980 to 1990 or an average of 1.63% for 5 years, since peace order condition in the municipality was significantly disturbed.