The American Occupation

Anxiety and deprivation of social and political rights of the people were partly relieved at the close of the 19th century when the Philippines was ceeded to America by Spain by virtue of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. The first political change under the Americans was the changing of the title of the town head from Kapitan to President/Pangulo. The first municipal President was Rufino Ortiz. He was remembered during his term for cutting the affiliation of Infanta and Pollilo to the Province of Laguna. By this time Infanta and Pollilo Islands became a part of Tayabas Province. President Ortiz required all the inhabitants to plant coconut, at least 200 trees in every barrio. He also lead the establishment of the first Escolafia on the very site of the present Quezon Park of Infanta.

Rufino Ortiz was succeeded by Colonel Pablo Astilla who served from 1908-1910. It was thru him that the construction of the monument of Dr. Jose Rizal was made. Don Gregorio Rutaquio secceeded Pablo Astilla from 1911 to 1916. His period was noted for the educational progress and literary upliftment of the townspeople. Then in 1917-1919 Agustin Pumarada served as the president. No available records of accounts of what he had accomplished could be found.

The incumbency of President Esteban Junterial (1920-1922) suffered great difficulties due to natural calamities when another typhoon ravaged Infanta. That calamity had focused of the national and provincial leaders. Governor-general Leonard Wood paid his second visit to Infanta and gave assistance to the battered area and the people. The following year April 25, 1923 Governor Wood paid his second visit to Infanta. The town was under the stewardshipof President Florencio Potes(1923-1928). It was thru him that the construction of the present old municipal building was made. Through him Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon with the Secretary of the State General Crame, Senator Soriano and Tayabas Governor Jose Perez visited Infanta. In addition to his accomplishment, the construction of the Infanta-Famy Road became faster.
President Landelino Suaverdez succeeded President Florecio Potes (1929-1931). It was durig his incumbency that a strong typhoon and flood engulfed Infanta. The typhoon lasted for two days. Infanta was under water. Folks often recall this tragic event, the 1929 flood which washed away almost all living animals and hundreds of people died . This was a very disastrous calamity that brought the national leaders to visit Infanta. Foremost was the president Manuel L. Quezon, Governor Leon Guinto Sr. and the National Red Cross.

It wasn´t all typhoons and floods or earthquakes though, for there was a big change During the time of Faustino Junterial, Sr. His term of office was characterized by a peaceful atmosphere. The people were able to rehabilitate their homes and farms. During the four years of his term no calamity was experienced by the people of Infanta. President Faustino Junterial, was succeeded by President Fabian Solleza (1935-1939). It was again durig the term of President Solleza that another devastating typhoon with flood came to Infanta. That was November 11, 1937. For the second time President Manuel L. Quezon came to Infanta with Governor Leon Guinto, Sr. and Father Segma. During his term the Infanta-famy road was completely openedfor travel. This contributed much to the progress fo Infanta and its people.

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