History of Dinalungan
Long before the arrival of Spanish colonizers in the Philippines, Dinalungan was inhabited by pure Dumagat Tribe, of which could not be ascertained. They are deemed responsible for the naming of the locality of Dinalungan which according to early indigenous settlers means a place rich in forest resources. Life then in Dinalungan was very primitive but contented, because of it’s inspired by abundant blessing of the ocean and in the forest and harmonious relationship among inhabitants.
On 18th of August 1926, two (2) men whose major activities were hunting of wild animals and gathering of almasiga resin, accidentally reached Dinalungan. They befriended the Dumagat tribe for obvious reasons. Bartering goods was the way of commerce then. These men were Eusebio Vargas and Bonifacio Vargas from Nueva Ecija and Infanta, Quezon (Tayabas then). After two (2) weeks of stay the two left the locality bringing with them wild animals “tapa” and almasiga resin. When they got back to Dinalungan, eight families followed immediately. They were led by Vargas, Bautista, dela Cruz, Acosta, Gazeta, Sumawang, Rada, Inocillas families, which then was followed by other prominent families from different places. Means of transportation then were banca sailboat, by horse and by foot. Basic commodities come from Baler and Casiguran while Isabela from the North during summer reachable by horse and by hiking of able-bodied men.
In 1938 Dinalungan become part/ jurisdiction of Casiguran with GavinoDela Cruz as first appointed Barrio Lieutenant. It was in his leadership that a primary school was established and the first teacher is Mr. Pedro Torre Sr. from Casiguran. The first school was erected in SitioBulo (Brgy. Dibaraybay now) for its strategic location then. Later, the place was also chosen by Japanese for their garrison during occupation.
The Second World War made life hard for Dinalungan residents. Several prominent men including GavinoDela Cruz were killed. The barrio of Dinalungan like other barrios was severely destroyed. After the war the able surviving residents rebuild the community under the leadership of Esteban Gazeta. The primary school was also reconstructed and opened with Eusebio Moral and Timoteo Flores as teacher and Head Teacher respectively. It was also after the war that Chinese loggers arrived in Dinalungan to assess the viability of logging, the area being so remote. Having seen the richness of timberland, it did not take too long that logging in the locality started. They built a road that was required for operation, consequently, trade and commerce remarkably improved in the locality for there was at least transportation accessibility was established for the increasing population. Simultaneous with development in the late 50’s an airport intended for small aircraft at Barangay Dibaraybay was constructed servicing several logging concessionaries operating in Dinalungan and Casiguran area. This airport now still exists and form part of the Cadastral Map of the Municipality.
From 1947 to 1965, seven (7) Lieutenants have succeeding administered the community before its conversion into Municipal District. The last three Barrio Lieutenants were Marcelo Acosta, Ismael Duaso and Manuel Bote.
In 1967, a year after municipal conversion, Dinalungan Barangay High School was established. The first teacher was Mr. Rogelio Villanueva. Pioneer students held classes at private residential houses in the absence of a school building. Then, in 1969 it was moved to elementary school compound where there was available school building. It stayed there until 1990 before it was transferred to the present site and it was renamed JUAN C. ANGARA MEMORIAL NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL in honor of the father of the lot donor Senator Edgardo J. Angara.
On the road network development, it was only after killer typhoon “PITANG” in 1970 the Dinalungan-Dipaculao road construction put into high gear. Philippine Army Engineering Brigade was tasked to interlink roads from Barangay Abuleg-DinadiawanDipaculao. It did not take very long to finish because there was already logging roads constructed in the previous year. The historic first overland trip from Casiguran to Baler was recorded in 1974 only, using a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Subsequently, vintage weapon carrier type vehicle serves as passenger carrier as an alternative to motorboat in the 80’s then jeepney in 90’s and later D’liner bus in the year 2000 routing Casiguran-Cabanatuan and vice-versa.