Juan Faller Climaco

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Juan Faller Clímaco (24 December 1859 – 16 July 1907) was the second governor of Cebu—the first governor to be elected to the position. He was also a Cebu revolutionary during the Philippine-American War.

Early years

Juan Clímaco was born to a wealthy family in Toledo, Cebu on 24 December 1859. He was married to Maria Regina Ramas.[1][2] Before the Philippine revolution against the Spaniards, he served as gobernadorcillo of Toledo and was popularly called "Tan Hantoy" ("Tan" as short for kapitan or captain).[2] He wrote the monograph of the municipality of Toledo for the Philippine Exposition that opened in Madrid on 1 April 1887, which was described as subversive and counterproductive to the intentions of the exposition. At that time, all municipalities were asked to answer 81 questions intended to introduce the Philippines as a Spanish colony to Spain and to the entire Europe.[3]

Philippine-American War

Upon the establishment of the revolutionary council by Luis Flores, Clímaco was chosen as chief of staff with Arcadio M. Maxilom as general. He financed the revolutionary efforts and was assisted by Andres Jayme, who was his deputy and aide. He was later promoted to general by Emilio Aguinaldo.[2]

Flores called for a meeting among Cebu officials of the Philippine Republic on 10 February 1899 to discuss the war against the American forces. Clímaco was designated to the task of war preparations.[4] By 21 February 1899, when the American forces landed in Cebu and demanded surrender, Clímaco threw support on the anti-American revolt led by General Arcadio Maxilom and traveled to Samar to gather arms.[5] Flores, together with Julio Llorente, who would later be appointed as the first governor by the Americans, agreed to surrender the province.[6]

On 2 October 1900, Clímaco wrote a memorial delivered to the United States Congress advocating for Philippine independence and justifying the cause of the revolt. In addition, he wrote a manifesto on 1 April 1901 urging the revolutionaries to continue the fight for independence should the news of Emilio Aguinaldo's capture would be proven true. Maxilom and Clímaco, together with 40 of their men, 30 rifles, and 4 canons, surrendered to the Americans on 27 October 1901, marking the end of Cebu's organized resistance.[4]


In 1902, upon the installation of Cebu's civilian government, the first election for governor was held.[2] Then incumbent governor Julio Llorente, who was appointed by the Americans a year earlier, ran for another term. However, Clímaco won over Llorente on 5 February 1902 and assumed office a month after[4] The Americans were initially not too pleased with his election particularly for his role in Cebu's anti-American revolt. However, he cooperated with the U.S. forces, and called for peace during the speech he made in his inauguration and rehabilitation of infrastructures including schools, postal delivery system, public works, and agriculture.[7]

He ran again for the second term and was reelected on 4 February 1904.[2] During his term as governor, he initiated the construction of the road that connects Tabunok, Talisay to Toledo[2] now known as Manipis Road,[3] as well as the establishment of an electrical system called Visayan Electric Company (VECO). The port of Cebu was expanded, marking it as the country's modern harbor then.[8]

Later years

William Howard Taft appointed Clímaco as part of the delegation for the St. Louis Exposition in the United States and then appointed Sergio Osmeña Sr. as acting governor. On Clímaco's arrival in Hong Kong, he got sick and was unable to complete the trip.[2] Osmeña succeeded him as governor on 6 March 1906.[4]

Clímaco died on 16 July 1907 at the age of 47.[1]

Historical commemoration

  • The J. Climaco Street, which stretches from Magallanes Street to Sanciangko Street in Cebu City, was named after him.[1]
  • Barangay General Juan Climaco in Toledo, Cebu, formerly known as barangay Magdugo, was also named after him.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Oaminal, Clarence Paul (October 11, 2013). J. Climaco Street, Cebu City.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Oaminal, Clarence Paul (March 14, 2014). Juan Faller Climaco, first elected governor of Cebu.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bersales, Jobers R. (January 4, 2017). Toledo in the eyes of Juan Climaco, 1886, part 1 (en).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Mojares, Dr. Resil. Today in the History of Cebu.
  5. Bersales, Jobers R. (December 28, 2016). Remembering December 29, 1899 (en).
  6. Bersales, Jobers. The judgment of history (en).
  7. Mojares, Resil B. (2014). The history of Cebu, Philippines., Cebu (Philippines : Province),, University of San Carlos. ISBN 9789719972235. OCLC 953176470. 
  8. Newman, Jenara Regis (2015-09-15). Viewing a slice of Cebu history (en).