In the beginning, New Corella was a nameless, tiny speck of the earth with no specific identity of its own, except for the vastness of its virgin forests. Lawaan, Guiho, Apitong and Narra trees as well as the horde of other timber species proclaimed themselves as exemplars of nature in view of their unperturbed, serene colonies. Its mountain peaks glided gradually down to the smallest planks of hills, as if expressing a gesture of grace by coming to terms with the seemingly endless vast plains and lace-like creeks below.
It was said that about the early part of the 20th century, tribal kingdoms already existed in pock marks in the depth of the timberlands before they were explored by civilization. Each has a primitive government approximating that ancient version of Malayan barangay, the precursor of our present barangays. Each Kingdom was ruled by a Datu who was Commander-in-Chief, judge and lawmaker. Tribal colonies were jealous about their frontiers, and incursions into their domain were a taboo, and were harsh to the point of savagery towards those who by chance wandered into their territories. This in turn caused tribal conflicts and wars with neighbors.
Some kingdoms valued as gold the luxury of peace, and abhorred enmity and bloodshed. One such kingdom was ruled by Datu Bugsuan, a just ruler who was profoundly loved and revered by his subjects.
Datu Bugsuan has a beautiful daughter named Mopiha who was betrothed to Prince Aliwig, who came from a friendly kingdom. On warm days, Mopiha would wander into a creek, and as her wont, wade into the crystal-clear pool, clad on her own bare flesh; the water to herself.
Mopiha’s attachment to the creek was deep and resolute, and out of love for nature caused her father to decree that no part of the creek should be desecrated and that life on its waters were to be preserved. Fishing was restricted and allowed only on important tribal feasts. Even on these seasons, fingerlings were not to be want only destroyed.
When Datu Bugsuan died, Mopiha inherited his kingdom and under the conjugal rulership with her husband, Prince Aliwig, she earned the love and respect of her people because of her beauty, wisdom and just heart.
Until her death at a ripe age, Mopiha left a legacy of a sublime love for nature, which is now a paradox to the present generation. Out of her father’s laws, Mopiha perpetuated her kinship with the flora and fauna. Forests were to be their protective canopy and their destruction was equivalent to their death. Wild animals, birds and edible plants were to be their food; but in hunting, they had to be discerning and highly selective to ensure that their quarry would not become extinct, and this the tribesmen did through hand-drawn and air-blown weapons. The creek was assured of unmolested existence, as a result of which it became home of teeming fishes and crustaceans.
For the love of their tribal queen, the aborigines perpetuated their memory of her by naming the crystal-like lace of waterways, Mopiha of Mopia which became the first reference to New Corella.
In 1935, five years before the outbreak of World War II, a group of Boholanos, headed by Catalino Sayon, a young agricultural graduate and fresh from his adventures in the United States, arrived in the small barrio of Bugwak, part of the former district of Saug, now the municipality of Asuncion to seek for lands that they hoped to till and cultivate. Catalino’s group included Felomino Mantica, Buenaventura Mantica, Nemesio Irig, Geronimo Daray, AnecitoCajes and Jacinto Buagas. It was about this period also that a group of Leyteños arrived for the same purpose of discovering agricultural lands in this part of Mindanao.
Not satisfied with the hilly terrain around Bugwak, the Boholanos moved on further north. Utilizing the Mangguaangans and Mandayas as guides, the group 66 arrived at Mopia where they were amazed of its wide irrigable agricultural lowlands. Determined to stay for good, the Boholanos made their individual land possessions and started clearing their respective claims.
The plain became the haven for the second, third and fourth waves of Boholanos and other Christian settlers, and after a year, the barrio of New Corella was born, a name given after an old town of Corella, Bohol. New Corella became the fourth barrio created within the eastern part of the vast Saug District.
New Corella as a municipality came into being through a Presidential Proclamation in 1964 and was fully established in 1965 when the first set of municipal officials were sworn into office by then President Diosdado Macapagal in Manila.
Appointed as first municipal mayor was Engr. Prospero Amatong who held office only for eleven months because after the elections in 1965 the Supreme Court declared its creation as illegal and unconstitutional. In 1966 Congressman Lorenzo Sarmiento filed House Bill No. 394. This was enacted and approved on June 18, 1967 through Republic Act 4747, thus marking the rebirth of New Corella as full fledged municipality.
The following are the municipal mayors who were elected from the birth of New Corella as a municipality up to the present: Arcadio E. Omega, 1968-1971; 1972-1980; Miguel C. Darunday, 1980-1986; Daniel B. Turan, 1986-1987(OIC); 1988-1992; and 1992-1997 and Hon. Turan served from 1986-1988 and was re-elected in the May 1995 election. Hon. Turan was followed by Hon. Jose Recarido P. Federiso. He served from 1998-2001 and was re-elected during the May 2001 election. And last May 2004, he was re-elected and is on his third term as the Municipal Mayor of New Corella.
Hon. Nestor L. Alcoran followed as the new mayor of New Corella from 2007-2010 and was re-elected in 2010, serving 2010-2016.
In 2016, Hon. Rhodora S. Alcoran was elected as the first lady Mayor of New Corella for the term 2016-2019. Mayor Rhodora as a woman, a mother and a teacher by profession, she gives priority programs on education and ensure that all Barangays have Elementary Schools. During her stint Macgum Integrated was established and in the year 2018 and in the year 2019 Mangguangan, Cabidianan and Sta. Cruz Integrated Schools were opened. In 2019 Mid-term elections, Mayor Rhodora who seek re-election was defeated by a young and dynamic lady in the person Jorjan B. Federiso in the mayoral race. Mayor Jorjan B. Federiso was elected on May 13, 2019 as the youngest lady Mayor on the Municipality of New Corella. Hon. Jorjan B. Federiso will serve the term 2019-2022.
New Corella is known for its governance innovation and best practices for which gain recognition from the national, regional and provincial government agencies. New Corella was conferred with Gawad Galing Pook award in the year 2004 for its implementation of Sustainable Integrated Area Development where the participation of the grassroots in development process is ensured. In 2012 New Corella was conferred with National Crown Award for Nutrition. In 2016, New Corella was a post qualifier to the Seal of Good Local Governance. In 2017, New Corella Rank 1st in Davao Region for the Competitiveness Index under the pillar of Government Efficiency and a Hall of Famer Red Orchid Awardee for its implementation of the Anti-Smoking Initiatives.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representative of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. Barrios of New Corella, New Bohol, New Cortez, New Sambog, Del Pilar, Limba-an, Mesaoy, Camansi, Macgum, Sta. Cruz and Sitios Sawaon, San Roque, Caso-on, Maputi, Carcor, Sto. Niño, Viga, Casangoy, Mandapa-an, New Anda, Dasing, Capatagan, Lunao, Cabidianan, Sambayon, Banglasan and Kanikid in the Municipality of Asuncion, Province of Davao, are separated from the said municipality, and constituted into a district and independent municipality, to be known as the Municipality of New Corella, same province. The seat of government of the new municipality shall be in the Barrio New Corella.
SECTION 2. The first mayor, vice mayor and councilors of the new municipality shall be elected in the next general election for the local elections for the local official.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon its approval.
Approved, June 18, 1966