MUNICIPALITY OF RIZAL (LAGUNA) Historical Data of - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF RIZAL (LAGUNA) Historical Data of - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Rizal, Laguna

About these Historical Data

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Division of Laguna
District of Nagcarlan



1. Poblacion
2. Tala
3. Talaga
4. Paule
5. Tuy
6. Antipolo
7. Pook
8. Laguan
9. Intablado

Respectfully submitted:



District Supervisor

[Note to the reader: This document was originally filed under the Municipality of Nagcarlan at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.]

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One of the sections of the town of Rizal, Laguna, which is the town proper, is known as Poblacion.

Formerly, when it was still the prosperous barrio of Nagcarlan, it was known as Pauli because of its river that flows westward and returns eastward. In other words, the river goes back and forth, which means "pauli-uli" in Tagalog. The word was shorted to "Pauli," which was the name given to the barrio.

In the year 1915 up to the latter part of 1918, the councilor of the barrio, Mr. Fortunato Arban had been working a secret plan of organizing the new town of Pauli. Eight other barrios planned to separate from the Municipality of Nagcarlan to be combined with Pauli to form a new town. These barrios were North Pauli, Tuy, Laguan, Intablado, Tala, Talaga, and Antipolo.

Not long afterwards, Don Juan Cailles, the Provincial Governor at that time, came to know of the plan. He lost no time in summoning Mr. Fortunato Arban to the provincial capitol to talk the matter over. He readily acceded to Mr. Arban and the proposed plan for the creation of the newn town was brought to Manila and presented to the Philippine Congress. It was endorsed to Governor Francis Burton Harrison, who approved it with Mr. Fortunato Arban as president and Mr. Agustin Vista the Vice-President. The appointed councilors were Messrs. Juan Isles, Inocente Sumague, Gregorio Isles, Ciriaco Zuasola, Felix Isles, Claro Munda, Pedro Urrea, and Wenceslao Isles.

In 1919, the first local election was held. Mr. Fortunato Arban was elected president and Mr. Agustin Vista vice-president. The elected councilors were Messrs. Luis Reclada, Pedro Urrea, Norberto Vista, Juan Isles, Inocente Sumague, and Felix Isleta.

At that time, there was no layout of streets so that the president made it a point to construct streets. He asked the help and cooperation of the people who, in turn, offered their services free. A public market was built at the expense of the municipality.

Still having in mind the education of the masses as a step towards progress, a primary school was established. The house of Mrs. Potenciana Solis de Arguel was rented to accommodate the school children. Later, the vice-president's home was also used as the enrolment increased. Then, the municipal government sought for a school site wherein to build the Primary Building. In 1920, a site for the Home Economics Building was purchased from the couple Ignacio Isles and Natalia Rubiato. The first intermediate class was opened the same year.

The next election was held in 1922. The following officials were elected: Mr. Agustin Vista - President; Mr. Pedro Isleta - Vice-President; and the councilors were Messrs. Fortunato Arban, Pedro Urrea, Narciso Asegurado, Pedro Sombilla, Leoncio Sombilla, Wenceslao Isles, Claro Munda, and Juan Lucido. During this period, the construction of the Primary School Building, which was begun in the previous administration, was completed. A Home Economics Building was also constructed. Another accomplishment was the installation of the waterworks sytem, but this was not finished. The tenure of office ended in 1925.

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Another president was elected in the person of Mr. Cornelio Viriña in 1925. The vice-president was Mr. Juan Lucido and, under their term, the water project was completed.

At the expiration of Mr. Viriña's term, Mr. Fortunato Arban was again elected in 1928 as president. Once more, he proved himself to be an advocate of uplifting the people through educating them, so there had been a rapid increase in the school enrolment. Another school building was needed, so that he made personal appeals to the people to pay taxes in order to have a new school building erected. His appeal was too much for the people to discard, so they had to cooperate with him. Thus, another building was built. It is the present Intermediate Building.

After his term, Mr. Clemente Sombilla took over the next election in 1931. Not much can be mentioned here. He was succeeded again by Mr. Fortunato Arban in 1934 up to 1937.

With the change in the form of government to a Commonwealth in 1937, Mr. Agustin Vista was once more elected president. His object this time was the improvement of the roads. He succeeded in securing the provincial officials' help in having the provincial road running through the town asphalted.

An excitement was to be witnessed in the 1941 election. It was during this time when the world was in its critical situation due to a threatening war. The candidates running for the presidency during this period were a Sakdalista in the person of Mr. Godofredo Asegurado and a Nationalista in the person of Mr. Pablo Urrea.

Mr. Pablo Urrea came out the victor, with Mr. Victor Sombilla as the vice-president. A few months later, World War II broke out. The Japanese came and took command over us. In spite of the constant grilling by the Nippons, Mr. Urrea stood fast in his post, bravely tackling the dangerous task of shielding the underground resistance movement in its actions, which were raging in the town. After two years, he shifted his responsibilities to the vice-mayor, Mr. Ismael Sombilla.

Mr. Ismael Sombilla was another man who deceived and fooled the Japanese for the same cause. He helped support the guerrillas by giving them food, clothing, and information.

About the middle of the occupation period, the responsibility was transferred to a councilor then Mr. Dionicio Limouando. The condition during this time was so critical that the inhabitants of Poblacion had vacated their places. Most of them went to the mountains. A truckful of Japanese soldiers was ambushed in the barrio of Pook so that in their return trip, the town was burned, leaving most of the Poblacion folks homeless. This happened on January 23, 1945. Some houses, together with the school buildings, the church, and the municipal building, were the only ones luckily spared.

Then, the town was soon liberated; and from the ruins of the houses sprang the so-called "barong-barong." Former activities were resumed. Schools were opened, and the governmental machinery began to function again. The former officials resumed their offices. During this short period, the front part of the municipal building was paved and a plaza constructed and named after the beloved Congressman of the Second District of Laguna, the Hon. Estanislao A. Fernandez, Jr.

The first local election after the liberation was held on April

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23, 1946. There was no rivalry witnessed in this election for the mayor was unanimously elected to office due to his winsome and magnetic personality and bravery, which won for him the full support and admiration of the people.

He was inexperienced in politics, but he showed great abilities in tackling the major problems of his administration. He has accomplsihed so many things as the reconstruction of the old wooden municipality [municipal hall?] to a semi-concrete building, and the replenishing of the plaza, which is now a worthy pride of the community. But more than all this is his fearlessness to right the wrong, his devotion to duty to the sacrifice of his family, and his honesty, which instills in the people complete trust that no harm can come to them as long as he is with them.

Another public building that is to be found in Poblacion is the Roman Catholic Church which was first set up during the coming of the Spaniards. It was first a make-shift shed with cogon roofing, sawali, and bamboo walls and tiled floors.

At the coming of the Americans, the people realized that the chapel was very small, so a very pious man by the name of Inocente Sumague took the initiative of soliciting contributions from the people for the construction of a larger church. Through his initiative, with the help of his father, Kabesang Kansi, they gathered men, too, who volunteered to go to the mountains with a group of Japanese to cut the best kind of logs. Some of them were enjoined to take the logs down to town. Women and children joined the long throng of men in pulling the logs up and down the hills tot own.

After two years of hauling logs, the construction of the church was begun. It was the Japanese Katjama and his companions who were contracted to construct the church for twenty-five thousand pesos. The people's help was once more enjoined here for sand and stones were needed to build the church. After seven years of toil, the church was made. That was in 1917.

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The undersigned wishes to thank Mr. Pedro Isleta, Sr., Mrs. Simeona Sarmiento, ang Mrs. Sianang Vitangcol for their cooperation in supplying the facts for this historical data.

The Philippines, like other countries, is rich in traditions, customs, and practices in domestic and social life, which are, until the present time, observed and practiced by the conservative citizens of the islands.

Birth and Baptism: One of the practices regarding birth is that when a woman is laboring in a certain house, neighbors and visitors are not allowed to step or just peep at the doorway, or else the woman will meet hardships. So, they must go straight to the laboring woman's room or inside any place in the house.

After a child is born, the immediate concern is to have him baptized. Sponsors are chosen long before the birth of the child. If a chosen sponsor is on the way, she is allowed to give birth first because it is believed that in case the godchild-to-be dies, the child she is giving birth to might die also. After the baptism in the church, the sponsor takes the child straight home without looking back nor stopping so that the child will not be forgetful when she grows up. It is the sponsor's obligation to pay the baptismal fees.

Courtship and marriage: Suitors undergo a series of difficulties during the period of courtship. To be successful, the suitor must show exemplary courtesy. He must take off his hat the moment he sees the roof of the maiden's house. When he reaches the stairs, he must wait for the maiden to tell him to go up. While in the house, he must bow and greet those present. If he happens to go in the evening, he must kneel before them and say good evening. He must not sit down or go as far as the sala unless he is told to do so. All these are acts of respect that a man must show. The maiden and the suitor cannot talk together freely. They sit apart and the woman's parents sit near them. Whatever may be the topic of the conversation, it must be approved by the parents. Arrangements for marriage are shouldered by the parents of both parties. The man serves in the house of the woman for months or for years. He fetches water, chops firewood, pounds rice, repairs broken parts of the house, and other works being done by the future in-laws. After the marriage ceremony, the bride stays four days with her in-laws while the bridegroom stays with his in-laws, too, for the same length of time. Only after four days are they allowed to live together.

Death: When a person dies, neighbors and relatives give help either in cash or rice. It is the belief that relatives or neighbors must not sleep near the dead person, or else he will always feel sleepy. Ejaculation of bad words should be avoided in front of or near the dead person because that will make one utter all sorts of words upon being surprised. Another belief is that, after four days, the soul of the dead person comes and visits the relatives.

Burial: The body of the dead person in the coffin is carried by several men from the house to the church. Relatives, neighbors, and friends pray for the soul of the dead together with the priest. From the church, the dead is taken to the cemetery. Again, a short prayer is said for the dead person's soul. As soon as the coffin is placed in the grave, people get a piece of earth and throw them on the coffin in the grave so that there may not be someone to die soon.

Legends: The San Miguel Spring:

The San Miguel Spring is the source of the water supply in the town.

Long ago, only a few people knew that a spring was in existence outside the town. These were the people living near the foot of the mountain. They fetched their water from this spring. They used pails and big bamboos called "bun-bong."

One morning, an old woman was on her way to the spring, she saw a handsome young man taking a bath. She did not continue on her way upon seeing him and began to think, who was he. She was reminded of San Miguel, the Saint. She immediately returned home and related what she saw in the spring. When the people heard her story, they all rushed to the spring, but much to their surprise, the man had gone and never seen again. Since then, the spring was named San Miguel.


Clouds: When it rains hard, coupled with a slight wind, the people will look out of the window to find out the direction of the clouds. If going south, they say a storm is coming.

Sky: When the sky gets clear and the clouds become red, the next day is a good planting day. During the night, if plenty of stars appear in the sky, the following day will be a sunny day.

Superstition: One of the superstitions is all about All Saints' Day. People believe that spirits of dead relatives come and visit the homes. Living relatives then prepare favorite dishes and pies to be placed on the altar, so that when the spirits

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see them, they will be happy because they aren't forgotten. So, when they return to the life hereafter, they will have continuous happy lives.

When a dead person is taken down from the house, all windows are closed at once. No one is allowed to peep out of the window as a belief that another might die at once in the same house.

Origin of the moon, sun, and beginning of an eclipse. Long ago, it was believed that the sun and the moon were inhabited by man. The moon was ruled by a beautiful princess named Bulan, while the sun was ruled by a handsome prince named Araw.

In those days, people could not determine the day from the night because both the sun and the moon rose and set at the same time.

One day, the beautiful princess of the moon Bulan and the handsome prince of the sun Araw met on their journey. They were very glad to see each other. Araw was very much attracted by Bulan's beauty, while Bulan, on the other hand, felt the same admiration. Since then, they began seeing each other. Not long after their frequent meetings, their parents were informed of their secret engagement. They were enraged. Each prevented one from seeing the other. The parents agreed that the sun must shine only during the day and the moon would shine only at night. The two complained. The parents pitied them and agreed to give them a chance to see each other once in a while. This is when there is an eclipse of either the sun or the moon. After their meeting or eclipse, they soon separate. The sun shines during the day and the moon during the night.

Popular Songs: For enjoyment in different occasions, the pandangos, kundimans, and lundays are means of entertainment. An example of the pandango is this:

Come on drink, drink the wine
That comes from my hand,
Even if this is poison, it will not kill
And if you get ill because of my will
Even if I'm far away, request someone to
fetch me, for I'll be willing to serve thee.
"Inom na, inom na sa kamay ko'y galing
Kahit ito'y lason ay di ka papatayin
Kung magkasakit ka at sa akin nanggaling,
Malayo-layo man ay ako'y ipagbilin.

Games: There are indoor and outdoor games. Some of the indoor games are the sungka, siklot, and huego de prenda. The siklot and huego de prenda may be played by many players. The winner in the sungka is determined by the number of seeds of tamarind, sigay, or stones accumulated in the big head of the "sungkahan" belonging to a player until she has all the seeds or stones that belong to her opponent.

Some outdoor games are "piko," "tubigan," and "San Pedro." These games are played by several players. Tubigan is the most popular game. It is being played until now by children. This is played by two opposing teams, one stays on the field and the other stays home. The team on the home runs across all lines which are well guarded by those on the field. When, a member is tagged while crossing the lines, the team on the field stays on the home. The winner is determined by the numberof homes made by a team.

Riddles: A few of the riddles are as follows:

1. A beautiful princess surrounded by swords.
2. Its trunk is hollow, the branches are like a saw, leaves like a sword, fruits are like bullets.
3. Sky above, sky below, water is in the center.
1. A person who does not look from whence he came can never reach his destination.
2. Needless is grass when the horse is already dead.
3. A person who can endure hardships can look forward to a bright future.
4. A true invitation is coupled with a pull.

Methods of Measuring Time: During the early days, there were no clocks or watches. People used the sun in determining the time. When the sun was overhead, they said it was noon and time to eat lunch. When it set, they left their work and proceded home. When the sun was not visible, they knew it was time to eat lunch if they felt hungry. The time in the afternoon was known as the day grew darker and darker.

Another method of telling the time was by the crowing of the roosters. The first crow at night was twelve o'clock. Only few crowings were made. Then, it would be repeated with or a little more crowing. It would then be two o'clock in the morning. With numerous crowing until twilight [dawn?], it was 5 o'clock.

These were the important ways by which old folks measured the time.

Transcribed from:
Historical Data of the Municipality of Nagcarlan, Province of Laguna, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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