For many years, Barangay O’Donnell was known as Patling. No one can precisely tell how it came to bear this name in the early days, there were different versions of etymology.
One of which is that the older days, when the area was just a huge wilderness and the Aetas were the only inhabitants of this place, they would shout from the high place to let the rest of their tribe know they were in the course of every travel, hunt and search food.
From their experiences, there was this place where shouts could be heard clearly and distinctively than from any other place in the area.
Eventually, someone from their tribe called the place “Patni” (which meant loud and clear in their language) and the mountain from where they shouted have been called “Poon Patni” or source of sound. As time went on, it develop into “Patling”. In another story, it was that of an echo similar to the sound of “Patling” was being heard from this place.
Soon after, Kapampangan and Ilocano lowlanders came to settle into the place. However, the diversity of the settler’s culture and tradition, the Aetas decided to retreat to the mountains.
When the country was under the rule of Spain, the Patling was still town of Pampanga, the authorities’ change the name into “O’Donnell”, in honor of the first Spanish governor of Tarlac.
Through the efforts of Father Patricio Ruiz, the first Augustinian priest to set foot in the area, a big magnificent church was built in the barangay; the first church in Capas with an altar said to be arrayed with the gold and silvers.
Not long after General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the Philippine Independence in 1898, the Americans came in the country and recognized it. It was under the governance of the then president (title for mayors 1900-1930’s) Eustaquio Samaniego of the town of O’Donnell (Pampanga), that O’Donnell was suggested to officially become part of Capas for socio-political reasons. The appeal was granted and O’Donnell became an official barangay under the Municipality of Capas.
Now, it is considered as the largest barangay of Capas in terms of land area with approximately fourteen square miles. Barangay O’Donnell lies on a land plateau, about a hundred feet above sea level, and inhabited mainly by Kapampangan’s, some ilocanos, Zambals and few tagalogs.
Residents here are engaged to farming while weaving is also common source of living in the barangay. The place also take pride of the New Asia Golf and Spa Resort, the first and only Golf resort in Capas which seats O’Donnell at the tourism table of Capas.
O’Donnell, also called Patling was the former settlement of the Aetas once ruled by Zamboñgol. The community was renamed to O’Donnell in honor of the first Spanish governor of Tarlac. Lying about 100 feet above sea level, the main industry of this barangay is farming whose main products are rice, sugarcane, gabi, sweet potato and vegetables. Mango in the area is harvested in substantial quantity. This was also leased to US Military Bases before.
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