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On February 27, 1767, King Charles III of Spain expelled all the Jesuits from the Spanish Empire and all its territories, including the Philippines. They, then, left the country in batches between August 1769 and January 1770. They were replaced by the Franciscans who arrived in Catbalogan on September 25, 1768. Fr. Jose Anda was the last Jesuit to minister Laoang and Fr. Antonio Toledo, a Franciscan took over the administration of Laoang with the titular St. Michael the Archangel upon his arrival in November 1768. In the same year, Pambujan was founded as a visita of Laoang. (The word visita was a seventeenth-century ecclesiastical term for a village serviced by a non-resident priest.)
To prevent the onslaughts of Moro invaders the Governor General proposed in 1814 the construction of defensive plans. Fr. Jose Mata, the parish priest of both Laoang and Palapag was cited for being the first to have launched a construction of muralla in Laoang at his own expense.
To give ease to the constant shuttling of the parish priest between Palapag and Laoang, the residents of Laoang petitioned for a permanent minister. In 1840’s, during the term of Fr. Manuel Lozano, an earthquake damaged the church. Between 1848 and 1852, Fr. Sebastian Almonacid renovated the stone church and convent and directed the construction of the tribunal and school, both of stone and wood. On August 4, 1863, Pambujan separated politically from Laoang.
In 1869 a great fire broke out in the town and besides many other buildings it consumed the entire roof and wooden materials of the church, belfry and convent, reducing them to ashes. Five years later the church, the belfry, and convent were reconstructed. – From wikipedia.org