Santa Barbara Church and Convent is the seat of the Visayas Provisional Revolutionary Government led by General Martin Delgado in 1898. It also played host to the 117th Philippine Independence Day Celebration in 2015.
Long time ago, no one really knows how this town was started. However according to the stories that was passed through generations by our ancestors, it was said that in the year 1617, there was a small town and a few small huts in a place called Tabuc Suba in the banks of Tigum River until the present-day village of Tugas. After a few years, the people living in this area moved their residence downwards the river towards Itanan and enters in Carismo-an. In 1760, they transferred again to Catmon near the river in the belief that it is safe from floods.
In 1761, they transferred again to another place that is situated in a vast and fertile fields that is safe from great floods of Tigum river. In this place is where the residents found prosperity and security in life. They call this place Odtuan because it served as a resting place at noon by the travelers from Cabatuan and traders or merchants from Salog and Ogtong. Usually the people who went to the market pass the area at noon. In order not to mistake it with Oton or Ugtuan, in the end they called it Santa Barbara.
The missionary priests came and built a big church which was made of big blocks of stone. The natives who are residing were forced to gather huge stones in a far place of Coronado (present-day Leon) towards Angoy (present-day San Miguel). After more than twenty (20) years of forced labor, the construction of the church was finally completed. The chosen patron saint was Santa Barbara. The land was given to the Spanish officials and made it into a pueblo.
For the reason why they chose Santa Barbara as their patron saint is the belief of the residents that it brings good fortune in the place because it is no longer flooding with the help and guidance of the blessed protector from thunder, lightning and other calamities. Santa Barbara is also a patroness of the architects, marksman and miner.
Another history has told that during those times the pueblo was established before by paganism and the beliefs in babaylan or shaman seems like prevailing or dominant in the town in the surroundings of Odtuan. Day and night the agongs of the babaylan can be heard around that it seems like the bells of the Spanish churches can easily be defeated or overwhelmed. The parish priest during that time was Father Mateo Rodriguez; so he chose Santa Barbara to be the patroness of the town to defeat the beliefs of the pagans.