Long time before the Spaniards inhabited our place; the northern part of central Guindulman was a large swampy area where nipa palms, mangroves and bungawong trees thrived abundantly. In the upper portion of this large swamp was a large plateau where only three families lived as natives of this place.
These tree families were headed by Ka Ihong, Ka Tolibjo, and Ka Ponso. The three were the best of friends. Whatever Ka Ihong did, Ka Tolibjo and Ka Ponso were there to help. Whoever had a work on their kaingin they had to help each other. When the three of them finished each farm-work, they didn’t leave any time idle. They went down together to “katunggan” to catch fish and other sea foods such as clams, crabs, prawns, and “tamilok”, which were abundant during the early days.
One time, while eating “paw” (common root crop in this locality) as their “baon”, with clams and kinilaw as their viands, one of them suggested that it would be better if they divided the whole swamp into three equal parts. On every part or area of their share there was a river teemed with fish and other sea foods. These rivers were named after their names. Ka Ihong accepted the river on the northern part of the “katunggan”. Ka Tolibjo also accepted the river on the southern part while Ka Ponso accepted the river towards the west which until this time known as “Tumuran”. In the Tumuran there was a huge stone which could be seen only during low tide.
When the Spaniards arrived in our place, they were fond of roaming around nearby central. They were adventurous people. One day two Spaniards rode a boat and paddled towards the western part of Tabajan. At that time the three natives of “Katunggan” were bathing themselves at Tumuran because their whole bodies were muddy after getting the different seafoods. They did not notice yet the arrival of two Spaniards. The Spaniards had noticed that their boat could not go on sailing because a big stone, as big as a carabao was blocking their way. Upon seeing the three natives bathing nearby, one of the Spaniards shouted in their own language that caused the three natives run away in different directions because of fear. They had not seen the paleface people like the Spaniards since their birth. One Spaniard was shouting at the natives and asked what place was it but no once of the three natives understood the language. Each of them thought they were “engkantos”. Ka Ihong the bravest of the three natives went back and try to listen what the Spaniards were talking. Although he did not understand their language, he managed to point to the very big stone submerged underwater of the river and shouted “Bato! Bato! Bato!”. The Spaniards were contented of Ka Ihong’s answer so they kept on repeating what Ka Ihong had been telling to them. Ka Ihong thought that the Spaniards had asked him what object was under the water that blocked their boat that is why he answered “Bato”. The two strangers went back to their boat at Central believing that the place they had just visited was Bato; thus the present name Bato.
Barangay Bato is situated in the northern part of Central Guindulman. It has a distance of 1.8 kilometer from Central. On the eastern part is Trinidad. On the west is barangay Catungawan. On the north is barangay Casbu and on the south is barangay Bulawan. It is a plateau. It has an area of 181.20 hectares. On the southeastern part of this place is the “pawanan”. In this pawanan the people get the different kinds of materials for making mats such as anihiw, tikog, and bikaw. On the northern and southern part are large rice fields.