Last updated on September 30, 2019
The territory that now comprises the city of Valencia is combined from thirteen Barangays of the City of Malaybalay, Bukidnon.
The earliest inhabitants in the area, presently comprising part of the Poblacion, were Bukidnon natives who founded a settlement along the banks of Pulangi River and the confluence of the dumanggas River. The pioneers were led by Darwin Dumanggas Manangkila together with the families of the Binalhays, Laugas, Dongogans, Gua-ans, Lanayans, and the Arenzos. The first site of the settlement was a sitio named “Panglibatuhan” because the area was thickly forested by tree species called by the natives as “Malibato trees”.
In 1911, a one-room barrio school was opened, and its first teacher was the late Leon Galorport. The school site is approximately the present location of the Poblacion Barangay High School. Galorport, who came from his hometown, Valencia, Bohol named the school “Valencia School”. When the sitio became a barrio of Malaybalay, the resident agreed to name it “Valencia”. Finally, when the southern portion of Malaybalay was separated as a new municipality, the petitioners agreed to name the municipality as “Valencia”. The barrio which was Valencia is now Barangay Poblacion and is the seat of the city government of Valencia.
The rich natural resources found in the territory eventually attracted Christian settlers from the highly populated coastal areas of Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon islands.
The prime mover in the creation of Valencia as a municipality was Teodoro Pepito, who spearheaded a petition by the residents of barrio Valencia and neighboring barrios to convert the territory into a full-fledged municipality. The petition was forwarded to the Provincial Board of the Bukidnon province for consideration. The Provincial Board passed a resolution approving the creation of the Municipality of Valencia and forwarded the same to the Office of the President of the Philippines.
By virtue of the provisions of Executive Order No. 360, the municipality of Valencia was formally born on January 16, 1961. In 1961, President Carlos P. Garcia appointed Teodoro Pepito and Ernesto Garcia as the mayor and vice mayor respectively. Upon the election of President Diosdado Macapagal in November 1961, another set of municipal officials were appointed, with Lucilo Alkuino as municipal mayor and Solomon Gao-ay as vice mayor. Thus, between 1962 and 1963, two sets of municipal officials have served the municipality of Valencia.
During the regular local election in November 1963, Pepito won and became the first elected mayor, with Ernesto Garcia as the vice mayor. Mayor Pepito was re-elected in 1967 and again in 1971. However, before his term expired in 1975, martial law was declared by President Ferdinand Marcos in 1972 and elections for local officials were suspended. Mayor Pepito continued to hold office as mayor until 1978, when he retired from government service. The vice mayor, Absalon Catarata, succeeded as municipal mayor until 1979, when President Ferdinand Marcos appointed Santiago Dablio as acting mayor of Valencia.
In 1980 local elections, Absalon Catarata was elected municipal mayor, with Romulo Makalood as vice mayor together with all the councilors in the opposition ticket. In February 1986, the People Power Revolution in Manila took place and Corazon Aquino became the President of the Republic.
During the campaign for the approval of the new constitution, the municipal government under the leadership of Absalon Catarata wholeheartedly supported it. In January 1988, Catarata was re-elected as mayor and his running mate, Berthobal Ancheta was elected as vice mayor together with seven councilors under his party. Months later, he was elected president of the Bukidnon Mayors League and similarly as president of the Mayor’s League of Region X.
On the evening of April 21, 1988, Absalon Catarata was fatally shot by an unknown assassin in front of his residence while waiting for his service vehicle which would have fetched him to an evening program at the town plaza. After his death, Vice Mayor Berthobal Ancheta became the municipal mayor, and Afrodisia Catarata, the wife of then Mayor, was appointed member of the Sangguniang Bayan. In the synchronized elections of 1990, Mayor Berthobal Ancheta was re-elected while Afrodisia Catarata was elected as vice mayor up to June 2001.
By virtue of Republic Act 8985, an act converting the municipality of Valencia in the province of Bukidnon into a component City known as the City of Valencia on January 12, 2001. In 2001 elections, Jose Galario, Jr., former Chief of Police of the City was elected as City Mayor; while the son of then Mayor, Absalon Catarata and former Vice Mayor Afrodisia Catarata was also elected as the city’s vice mayor in the person of Leandro Jose Catarata. During the 2004 local elections, both the incumbent mayor and vice mayor run for the position of city mayor. Jose Galario, Jr. emerged as the winning candidate together with Benjamin Verano as vice mayor.
In the 2007 elections, incumbent Mayor Jose Galario, Jr. lost to his rival, Leandro Jose Catarata for city mayor. Benjamin Verano was re-elected as vice mayor of the city. In the 2010 general elections, incumbent Leandro Jose Catarata was reelected for a second term; while Benjamin Verano, Sr., Catarata’s running mate, won the vice mayoralty position of the City of Valencia. However early in 2010, Verano died at office and was replaced by Azucena Huervas, the president of Valencia’s Association of Barangay Captains.
On June 9, 2014, Vice Mayor Azucena Huervas assumed the mayorship of the city after the conviction of Mayor Galario for violating the Anti-graft and Corrupt practices Act (RA 3019) in relation to his order transferring Ruth P. Piano from Budget Office to a non-existing office of City Liaison Officer.
May 9, 2016 Elections, Mayor Azucena P. Huervas was elected by the people of Valencia against her rivals, Amie G. Galario, Renato Centillas, and Leandro Jose H. Catarata.