San Jose de Buenavista has grown from settlements founded as a visita. A visita is a settlement where the church was the center of the activities of the community. San Jose de Buenavista used to be a part of the town Antique (founded in 1745) and was a visita of this town. The visita was a settlement in a place called Tubigon near the Malandog River where a church was erected. The church was a big stone edifice, which gave the name “Maybato” to its vicinity. Moro pirates frequently plundered the shore of Hamtic and went as far as Maybato. These Moro pirates burned the church and took away the huge bell in the belfry.
Sometime in 1787-1790, Governor General Felix Berenguer de Marquina granted the estate of the whole Malaiba – a sitio of the town Antique, to Agustin Sumandi. Sitio Malaiba was promoted to the rank of town in 1792 and Agustin Sumandi was appointed as its first gobernadorsillo. The name of Sitio Malaiba was changed to San Jose adopting the name of its patron saint.
Government officials and church dignitaries arrived by boat to attend the ceremonies and were so much impressed by the marvelous view of the town from the ea that they added to San Jose the words “de Buenavista.”
In 1802, upon petition of the people, San Jose de Buenavista became the capital of the Province of Antique. It had three pueblos – Guintas, Antique (Hamtic) and San Pedro.
San Jose de Buenavista and Hamtic were separated in 1954 by virtue of the Executive Order No. 03 of President Ramon Magsaysay.
According to dance literatures, two boys named Esco and Piton danced during the inauguration of the founding of San Jose de Buenavista and the dance was later known as Escopiton Malandog.
1787 – Agustin Sumandi obtained a land grant from the Governor General, Carlos Berenguer de Marquina which gave tittle to whole Mala-iba, a part of the town of Antique in the province of Bugasong.
1790 – The town of Antique became the Capital town of the province. Sitio Malaiba changed its name into San Jose.
1792 – Elevated to the Rank of a Town. Government officials and church dignitaries arrived and added to the name the words “de Buenavista”.
1802 – San Jose became the capital town of the province. Agustin Sumandi, was appointed as its first Gobernadorcillo
1901-1902 – Ciriaco Erna
1902-1903 – Anselmo Alicante
1904-1905 – Martin Iglesias
1905-1908 – Mariano Autajay
1908-1910 – Jacinto Peña
1910-1012 – Sixto Quilino
1912-1919 – Vicente Javier
1919-1922 – Antonio Ricarze (Died in Office Jan 1922)
1922 – Jose Iglesias
1922-1928 – Gregorio Esclavilla
1928-1934 – Alberto A. Villavert
1934 – Presidente Municipal was changed into Municipal Mayor
1934-1937 – Antonio delos Reyes
1938-1951 – Silverio V. Nietes
1952-1954 – Julian F. Pacificador
1954 – Hamtic was separated from San Jose Mayor Julian F. Pacificador was transferred to Hamtic. Vice Mayor Delfin V. Encarnacion took over as Municipal Mayor.
The following were the Municipal Mayors thereafter:
1956-1963 – Severa P. Banusing
1964-1967 – Agerico A. Villavert
1968-May 18, 1986 – Oscar J. Salazar
1986 – Incumbent Municipal Mayor did not finish his term of office in several of Transition Counterpart during the term of President Corazon C. Aquino which appointed the officials of the national, provincial and local government units.
May 19, 1986 to January 4, 1988 – Efren G. Esclavilla was appointed as Officer-In-Charge
Feb. 2, 1988-1998 – Efren G. Esclavilla – Elected as Municipal Mayor
July 1998 – June 2007 – Fernando C. Corvera – Elected as Municipal Mayor
July 2007 to June 30,2016 – Rony L. Molina – Elected as Municipal Mayor
July 1, 2016 to present – Elmer C. Untaran – Elected as Municipal Mayor