Rizal, the province, that is.
Been a Rizaleno for more than 20 years now. Formerly from Manila, I was in Grade 6 when we transferred to Antipolo, so we’d be closer to the all-girl school my sister and I go to. Lived most of my adult life in the City of Antipolo and yet, it’s only this year, that I have come to discover and appreciate the province. I’ve been to many places around the country, taking in the beautiful culture and history of each place. Little have I known that I have long been in the midst of the “undiscovered” gem that is known as Rizal Province.
Before I take my three children to visit and tour other places, I’ll make sure they’ll know and appreciate Rizal Province first. I’m happy to have had this “awakening”, and I write with love and pride in my heart, as I share with you many known and not so known facts about the Province of Rizal.
1) My birth certificate says I was born in Paranaque, Rizal.
I thought a clerk in the civil registry made a mistake when he typed my birth certificate. In my 20s, a city hall clerk (while I was applying for a marriage license) scolded me for writing “Paranaque, Rizal” as my place of birth. Wala sa Rizal ang Paranaque, iha. I asked my mom and she told me that Paranaque used to be a part of Rizal. So I searched. Up until 1977, Las Pinas, Paranaque, Muntinlupa, Taguig, Pateros, Makati, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Malabon, Navotas, Pasig and Marikina, including the cities of Caloocan, Pasay and Quezon City, belonged to Rizal Province. Presidential Decree 874 changed this political make up of the province and left it with the 14 towns it has now. If not for President Ferdinand E. Marcos, todays urbanites would be considered probinsyanos.
2) Rizal has lucky 13 + 1.
Rizal has 13 municipalities and 1 city. The municipalities are Cainta, Taytay, Angono, Binangonan, Teresa, Morong, San Mateo, Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Tanay, Baras, Cardona, Pililia and Jala-jala. Antipolo is the 1st and only city of the province, now considered as the economic and political hub of Rizal. The Provinical Capitol or capitolyo set its new office in Antipolo in 2009, transferring from its old site in Pasig.
3) Nuestra Senora dela Paz y Buenviaje lives here.
Spanish for Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, the Virgin of Antipolo’s miraculous patron is an object of pilgrimage from far and wide. She got her name when she traversed the stormy seas and survived a fire aboard a Mexican Galleon in the 1600s. Believed to have provided safe voyage for the El Almirante, Nuestra Senora dela Paz y Buenviaje is the patron saint of safe travels. Car owners drive up to the Antipolo Cathedral to have their new cars blessed. Seamen, pilots, foreign workers or anyone is who set to go on a journey pay pilgrimage to Our Lady for peace and safety. Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage has called the Antipolo Cathedral its home since after the war.
4) The Tipolo grove that is now Antipolo.
Antipolo is named after the Tipolo Tree, (artocarpus blancoi), said to have been abundant in the area (maybe up to the time that Jose Rizal hunted in the woods). The Tipolo Tree is a common plant related to Jackfruit or langka. Plenty as it was in the area where the Antipolo Cathedral now stands, it became significant in 1632 when Jesuits attempted to transfer Nuestra Senora to a church to be built for her in the nearby barrio of Sta. Cruz. As if in protest of leaving town, the image of Our Lady kept appearing atop a Tipolo tree. Thus, a pedestal was carved out of the wooden trunks of the Tipolo trees she miraculously appeared in. Thus, the town where she resides in now named Antipolo.
(First of a two part series…items # 5-10 on the next post)