In the murky past, Tudela was a sitio of Poro. The people then were worshippers of anitos, caves and giant tress.
They wore fetishes, which they believed, made them proof against witchcraft, the evil eye and evil tongue,
these fetishes or anting-anting were strung around their waist.
When communities began to form, the first settlement was located in Mag-a-gay-ay Bluff,
a dismembered branch of a hill to the north.
The early settlers chose this strategic bluff to protect themselves from moro raids.
The Moro raiders could not climb the steep southern and western portions.
On the eastern and northern sides, they planted thorny vines called “hagmang” or “buot”.
It is impossible for barefoot raiders to go uphill. If the Moro raiders climbed up on the southern or western sides,
the defenders rolled down boulders.
During these early Moro depredations, one chieftain named Mandayang became a folk hero on account of his anting-anting.
He was the chieftain of Mandayang, Barangay McArthur. Sitio Mandayang is named in his honor.
Tales of his exploits are still remembered today by old residents of Tudela.
When the Moro vintas landed, Mandayang met them on the shore and made the raiders kneel on the coral reefs.
Before the Spaniards came, Tudela was covered by virgin forests.
Wild carabaos roamed the hills and forests.
Some people hunted the wild bulls, using their domesticated carabaos as lure.
The hunter tied his carabao to a tree, and then climbed up with a spear.
After some time of patient waiting, the bull came attracted by the scent of the female.
Then the hunter should spear the wild bull. If lucky, he made a big kill.
The hunters then gathered at Gin-awitan for a week of feasting and dancing.
That’s how Gin-awitan, now Barangay Santander, got its name.
When the Moro raiders ceased making raids and taking captives, the growing population settled on the Tudela plains.
Tudela was only a barangay of Poro. The Spanish Guardia Civil replaced the Moro raiders.
They came to prey on the beautiful women. When they came, the women fled and hid in the forests.
Many of them became mothers but not wives because their boyfriends met them in the woods.
When Juan Pugosa, alias Moyon, became the leader of Tudela and Don Sergio Osmeña provincial Governor of Cebu Province,
Manong Moyon met the Governor at his office. He asked the governor to make Tudela a separate municipality.
Don Sergio told Manong Moyon the move was a big leap and a tremendous responsibility.
You need a municipal building and school buildings. Manong Moyon answered, “Give us a try.
No man can learn to swim unless you throw him into the sea.” Osmeña then told Pugosa,
“I am convinced by your positive attitude.
Go home. Your town is a separate municipality.”
Manong Moyon can be rightly called the Founder of Tudela.
He became the first capitan as the early town head was called.
With his leadership, the first Municipal Building was constructed in the place where market stores now stand,
across the street where the giant Kaompang tree now stands.
-- Mr. Clemente Estrera
-- Mrs. Rachel Estrera Labajo