Taytay ni Juan

(First posted November 14, 2014; Current post edited)
P O S I T I O N   P A P E R



This paper comes to present a historic matter of utmost and foremost significance: the founding day of the town of Taytay, now a first class municipality of the Province of Rizal, Republic of the Philippines.

The aforesaid town came into being four hundred thirty-five (435) years ago as of this date of presentation. True to its meaning, “Taytay” proved to be the “bridge” of civilization and Christianization of the eastern side of Laguna Lake—of what is now the provinces of Rizal and half of Laguna. Taytay was even founded earlier than Antipolo City, Rizal Province’s current seat of Capitolio and Diocese.

However, Taytay and its townspeople had failed and continue to fail, in commemorating and celebrating such a significant occasion simply by having no recognized foundation date, to begin with.

In effect, the town and people are denied of their rich heritage, history, and identity, as Christians, Filipinos, and Taytayeños.

Henceforth, the foundation date is hereby presented for everyone’s favorable attention and appreciation. Accordingly, this may serve the aid of passing a resolution and/or enacting an ordinance recognizing the 24th day of June 1579 as Taytay’s foundation date.

  1. The Church’s Historical Tablet of 1992. In his writing titled Salaysay ng Parokya ni San Juan Bautista dated 17 February 1992, the late Honorable Vice Mayor Serving de Leon, a leading church worker, presented the history of St. John the Baptist Parish of Taytay. As to the founding of the said parish church, he solely based his historical facts on the book written by the Franciscan missionary Fr. Felix de Huerta, a scholar and historian—the Estado geográfico, topográfico, estadístico, histórico-religioso de la santa y apostólica Provincia de San Gregorio Magno, de religiosos menores de scalzos de la regular y más estrecha observancia de N.S.P.S. Francisco, en las islas Filipinas—first published in 1855, then in 1865.[1]

The book gives a short summary of all the towns founded or administered by the Franciscans at that time, including a list of the main writers of their Provincia, Bishops, saints, superiors, et cetera. It is an essential resource for our country’s local town culture and history.

In recognition to the initiative of Hon. Serving de Leon, the National Historical Institute (now the National Historical Commission) “added more data” and placed the corresponding Historical Tablet at the left wing of the church’s façade in that same year of 1992; inscribed therewith is as follows:

“Simbahan ng Taytay — Dating yari sa mahihinang kagamitan na ipinatayo ng mga misyonerong Pransiskano malapit sa baybayin ng Laguna de Bay, 1579. Nahiwalay bilang Visita ng Santa Ana de Sapa, 1583. Inilipat sa kasalukuyang pook ni P. Pedro Chirino, S.J., 1591 at bininyagan ang bayan ng pangalang San Juan del Monte. Ipinagawa ang unang simbahang bato sa labas ng Maynila. Muling ipinagawa ang ikalawang simbahang bato na higit na malaki ni P. Juan de Salazar, 1630. Nasira ang bubungan ng malakas na bagyo, 1632; ipinaayos sa pamamahala ng mga Sekular, 1768; at sa mga Agustinong Rekoletos, 1864. Muling nasunog noong Digmaang Filipino-Amerikano, 1899; pinalaki para matugunan ang lumalaking populasyon noong mga unang taon ng 1970’s.”

Indeed, the Church’s founding was revealed. But a lot more is yet to be discovered, expounded, qualified and even “corrected.” All along, many seemed unaware that the founding of St. John the Baptist Parish Church and Taytay town both stood and rooted on the same historical origin and development, and that, they have since existed in a symbiotic relation. It presupposes that “one could not have existed without the other. They are inseparable.”

  1. The founding of Taytay. The founding day of Taytay as a town and parish are but one and the same historic event. As in many other towns and political jurisdictions which cherish history and tradition, Taytay fiesta is ought to be celebrated is both the town’s patronal feast and foundation day—a “two-in-one” celebration. And this is the rationale for the continuing appeal to have a municipal resolution and/or an ordinance officially declaring June 24, the feast of the Parish patron saint, as the foundation day of Taytay, to be also known as “Araw ng Taytay.”

So goes this presentation. Patiently, we go through the rigors of digging deep down the historic past, notwithstanding the pity that much of our historic heritage is “kept secret” and “unknown” for centuries, for they are hardly revealed in standard history textbooks nor taught in schools.

Forthwith, one may find certain strange and unfamiliar words—Hispanic terms, entities, names of provinces, towns, etc.—but are found in historical records and cross-references, which, however, will be explained and defined in the course of this presentation.

  1. Reduccion a pueblo. A key to understanding the early stage of historical events and developments hereinafter narrated is to become acquainted and familiar with the system reduccion a pueblo employed by the Spaniards in forming the early towns—among which was Taytay.

When the Spaniards arrived, the natives then were living in scattered villages or barangáys. Through reducción, a barangay was turned into a sitio. Several sitios then formed into a barrio, barrios into a pueblo (town) with a core barrio as población, complete with a church/convent, a casa tribunal (courthouse), plaza, market, cemetery, etc.; and the pueblo thus became the Municipio. Several municipios formed into a provincia, provincias into a región particular. And all the political units and territories of the archipelago would be under the central government in Manila. (See Appendix A: Ang Karahasan sa Historia ng Filipinas)

3.1. This is not to say that only via reduccion were towns established by the Spaniards, in the period from Magellan in 1521 until Legazpi in 1565 onward with the Augustinian missionaries in 1579. But in the particular case of Taytay, reduccion by the Franciscans had it accomplished in 1579. It was in 1578 that Fray Juan Portocarrero de Plasencia, the “Father of Reduccion,” was among the first batch of Franciscan missionaries who arrived in our country. [See also: Founded through reduccion]

3.2. The Spanish Crown instituted the encomienda, a legal system (socio-political-economic) “to protect the settler-inhabitants from exploitation and from their tribal enemies, to teach Spanish language and educate them in Christian faith.” The encomienda system replaced the “native tribal-slavery social system” prevailing among the scattered, wandering and warring tribal natives. To have encomienda materialized, reduccion had been employed, thus, paved the way for the creation of towns and provinces, especially in the early period of Spanish rule.

3.3   There existed the ecclesial authority (Church/friars) which was distinct and different from the colonial government (State/civil-military authority). The “Church” and the “State” during the Spanish colonial era tend to be regarded and viewed generally as “only one and the same entity.” The contemporary legal concept of “separation of Church and State” could not have sprung up during the era of “Discovery and Exploration”, but perhaps, not until the milieu of the “Propaganda Movement and Katipunan revolution for Filipino nationhood.”

3.4   The Missionaries used to work with the team of twos or threes in short and limited period, but at times alone in remote places. The parishes were different from what we know today of “one parish-one resident parish priest” setup. Characterized by great mobility, a single priest would have been in-charged of more than one physical areas and/or fields of responsibility, i.e., a multi-tasking function.

Examples: The founding of Taytay [and other towns] is attributed to the linguist Fray Juan Portocarrero de Plasencia (circa 1520-1590), although he was with Fray Diego de San Jose de Oropesa (circa 1535-1590) in many cases; thus, they were called the “Padres de las Reducciones” and “Apostles of Laguna and Tayabas.”[2]  The founding of Quiapo Church is attributed to [Saint] Fray Pedro Bautista de Belasquez, although he was a co-founder with other Franciscan confrères. In 1591, the historian Fray Pedro Chirino was the first Jesuit resident missionary who took the mission with Taytay as his base station; initially became its parish priest, then later became both of Taytay and Antipolo at the same time.[3]

  1. The Legends of the name “Taytay.” Giving each one a name is nature’s way of affirming the origin of every person, a place, an event or anything. A person’s name would indicate his family lineage and origin. A place or event is named based on its inception, characteristics, and significance. For that matter, Taytay has got a name that’s rooted in its genesis.

Legends and folk tales are entertaining in suggesting the origin of a town—and how it got its name. It is a convenient way if there’s dearth of available facts. However, they may have elements of truth as pertaining to history for they convey deep symbolic meaning as well as spiritual beliefs and culture from which they originate. And Taytay is one such town having, at the least, three noteworthy legends of its own, each one proudly asserting as the true origin of the town.

One legend says Taytay was derived from Tagalog word “tatay”, meaning father, which is synonymous with “Padre” (priest), or “tata” (uncle). Another says it was from tagaytay trees” that once-upon-a-time abound in town. And there goes a claim that it was from the word “taitai” which meant bridge to the Negrillos (Aetas) wandering in the hills of Taytay and mountain ridges in Antipolo in the olden days. (See Appendix B: Taytay Legends and History)

4.1. Nevertheless, this presentation tends to favor that the name “Taytay” must have originated from the word “taitai” which meant bridge to the first inhabitants (Negritos, Aetas), considering the existence of many bodies of water such as creeks, streams and a river in the locality.[4]  And as said earlier, somehow, there could be “elements of historical truth” in a legend or folklore.

The Spaniards had nearly everywhere the archipelago in search of settled places and cultivated lands, and they found sparse population and great scarcity of food. Laguna and Camarines seemed most populous, and the Negritos who seemed more numerous, were noticed on the island of Negros, and in the vicinity of Manila and Batangas were mingling with the Tagálog population.[5]  In Taytay and nearby places, they were found in the interior and forested hills of Tikling, Antipolo, San Mateo and foothills of Sierra Madre and Mt. Banahaw.

It is interesting to note that after the conquest of Manila in 1571, Tondo was initially included in the creation of the La Pampanga province. Miguel de Loarca, a conquistador in the company of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, conducted the first census in 1583, the year Taytay officially became a Parroquia (parish). It was reported that “Tondo and Pampanga spoke the same native language.” Jose Villa Panganiban, a former commissioner of the Institute of National Language in 1972, wrote that “the dividing line between Tagalog and Kapampangan was the Pasig River…and that Tondo originally spoke Kapampangan.” Whereas, “tulay” in Tagalog and “tete” in Pampango both meant “bridge” even until today. Moreover, using the old Baybayin script, “Taytay” and tete” would be written representing exactly the same “alphabet characters” (related to section 14).[6]

Fray Pedro Chirino, the first Jesuit parish priest in Taytay, had aptly described the mission area in his Relacion de las Islas Filipinas in 1604, viz., “at that time, the village of Taytay lay along the water on the banks of a marsh or stream formed by waterfalls from the mountains of Antipolo, which emptied into the river near the same mouth by which it flows out of the lagoon. It was situated in a most beautiful and extensive valley, formed between the lagoon and the mountains; and so low that each year, when the waters of the lagoon rise on account of the floods from the many rivers which enter it, the valley is flooded and submerged as in Egypt by the Nile, and remains thus inundated from August until October or November…”

Also, there exists a Barangay Taytay in Nagcarlan, a remote town at the foothills of Mt. Banahaw in Laguna where Fray Juan Portocarrero de Plasencia once established his mission home base. There is also a Barangay Taytay and a Taytay Falls in its nearby town of Majayjay, which is now a wonderful tourist attraction. Nagcarlan and Majayjay are both riverine-rich. They were among the first towns of Laguna that Fray Plasencia founded after that of Taytay and Antipolo in Rizal.

  1. Founded through Reduccion. Driven by the missionary spirit of Saint John the Baptist, the Franciscans set foot in Taytay being the first town on the eastern side of the Laguna de Bay from their mission central base of Santa Ana de Sapa in Manila passing through Pasig River, then across the lake. The natives living near the lake already had an existing political and economic system, no matter crude, when they were gathered and resettled by the Franciscan missionaries to be formed via reduccion a pueblo.[7]

Reduccion was the technical term used in Spanish laws concerning the Indies (the Philippines included), in gathering the natives into pueblos or township. In principle, this system was supposed to be employed to colonial subjects jointly by the Church and the State. However, in the Philippine experience, the task was mainly and practically done by the friar-missionaries. Consequently, “Church influence would manifest in State affairs.”

5.1. Through reduccion, Taytay town was formally established when a church was built out of light materials and called it “Visita de Santa Ana de Sapa” in 1579. It was then at this precise moment that Taytay—now a larger village, a pueblo, a town—came into being, as a juridical entity as well as an actual territorial unit. This was the birthday of “Niño” Taytay.

5.2. Taytay, a “visita,” a satellite settlement of Santa Ana de Sapa, was separated and became independent from the central mission post; thus, a “matured pueblo” elevated to parish level (Parroquia) in 1583. Saint John the Baptist has since been the patron of the town and the parish as would be affirmed by the succeeding and related events.

5.3. Due to incessant flood, the town of Taytay was relocated to a higher ground in 1591. The townspeople followed suit only until after the church was rebuilt atop a hill. Customary of Catholicism, Taytay town was dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and christened “San Juan del Monte” [which means “Saint John of the Mountain”].[8] [9]  “San Juan” got the “del Monte” tag in reference to the hilly terrain of the new relocation site of the town.

5.4. “Niño” Taytay had become the “Señor” Taytay for centuries, but still, the townspeople continued to call their town Taytay, and Taytay it has remained to this day.[10]

5.5. By faith and tradition, historical and—to a profound sense and certain period of time—legal, Taytay and San Juan del Monte were one and the same juridical entity and territorial unit, considering the functional existence of both ecclesial and civil authority.

Thereupon, the founding of Taytay or San Juan del Monte as a town through reduccion is put in proper perspective. [See also: Founded through reduccion]

  1. Taytay and Cainta were important Tagalog towns at that time as regards to the Spanish plan of colonization. And so, some might point to the earlier period of Spanish exploits as the inception or origin of Taytay town, like when Manila was founded by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi on June 24, 1571, since Taytay belonged to Namayan Kingdom which was part of Manila.

The succeeding pacification campaign led by Captain Juan de Salcedo, Legazpi’s 21-year old daring grandson, had started on August 15, 1571, the feast of the Assumption. After a few days, Taytay peaceably bowed into submission. However, Cainta, led by its headsman named Gat Maitan, put up a gallant stand and fiercely fought the Spaniards but were defeated. Even though subjugated, the four hundred natives, men, and women remained defiant, and so were mercilessly slain even though already held in captivity.[11] [12]

Yet, Cainta had officially declared that its foundation day was 1571—originally dated on August 15, then changed to November 30 with St. Andrew being the town’s patron; another one on December 1 in honor of Our Lady of Light, its present poblacion parish patron saint.

From thereon, Salcedo marched over the mountains to the Pacific coast and south into Bicolandia, discovered the gold mines of Paracale and Mamburao, then back to Manila. For so short a time—just a few months—Salcedo could not have established many towns with only 150 pacification soldiers,[13]  together with Fray Alonzo de Alvarado and probably with a handful of Augustinian missionaries. Not even a church was built in Taytay and, much less, in the recently devastated Cainta.

On one hand, San Mateo was another town quick to claim to have been founded by Salcedo in 1571, although had its first church built only in 1596—25-years later—while it was still a barrio of Tondo.[14]

(Nevertheless, Cainta and San Mateo’s viewpoint and appreciation of historical facts pertinent to their respective founding date is their judgment call. Due respect is deemed appropriate.)

The Coming of Franciscan Missionaries, 1578
  1. With St. John the Baptist from the start. Our spiritual Fathers choose names, dates, and events for sublime reasons. No wonder, history is replete with “names and date events of religious and cultural significance.” Fray Juan de Plasencia[15] did just that when he prophetically chose to leave his home country of Spain for the Christian mission in the Philippines on the 24th day of June 1577, the feast day of San Juan Bautista, his namesake and Taytay’s “patron saint apparent.”[16]

Having passed through Mexico, he and his group of friar-missionaries arrived on the 2nd day of July 1578. Only fifteen of them survived while eight died during the perilous voyage. When Fray Plasencia set foot in Taytay, this murky village proved to be the “doorway” of Christianization and civilization of the rest of the villages in the eastern side of Laguna de Bay, the largest lagoon in the island. Thus, “prepared the way of the Lord” and dedicated the founding of Taytay via reduccion in honor of Saint John the Baptist.

  1. Franciscans established their mission center in the ancient Kingdom of Namayan, also called Kingdom of Sapa—composed of the communities of Meycatmon, Calatongdongan, Dongos, Dibag, Pinacauasan, Yamagtogon, Meysapan (now Pasay), Malate, Dilao (now Paco), Pandacan, Quiapo, Sampaloc, San Miguel, San Juan del Monte (San Juan City, not Taytay), San Felipe Neri (now Mandaluyong), San Pedro Macati and Taytay—which was under the rule of Lakan Tagkan. Erstwhile Namayan was Christianized and named Santa Ana de Sapa.[17]

It would appear that administrative and political records of Spanish Manila indicated that the above-mentioned settlements were already recorded as parts and “visitas” of Santa Ana de Sapa in 1578. Santa Ana de Sapa with all its “visitas” was placed under the ecclesial jurisdiction of the Franciscans just upon their arrival. From thereon until the period of the Philippine Revolution (1898), 2,367 Franciscan missionaries had come and gone to our shores, founded 233 towns and administered 1,124,278 souls[18] out of about 6- or 7-million inhabitants throughout the archipelago.

  1. The encomienda system.[19] [20] The encomienda of La Laguna had been granted to conquistador Martin de Goiti,[21] Legazpi’s companion, as early as July of 1571 despite having not yet actually organized into townships, or into a province as a whole.[22] In 1591, twenty-six years since Legazpi enforced the encomienda system into the Islands in 1565, there were 267 encomiendas in the Philippines, of which thirty-one were of the king (encomienda de la real corona), and the remainder of private persons (encomienda de perticulares).[23]  Santa Ana de Sapa, of which Taytay was included, belonged to the Royal Crown.[24]

The most populous encomienda was La Laguna with 24,000 tributantes (taxpayers) and 97,000 inhabitants. Ranked third were the combined Manila, Tondo, Cavite-Marigondon, and Taytay encomiendas, with 9,410 tributantes of about 30,000 inhabitants.[25] Taytay encomienda alone had 500 natives in 1582.[26] There were about 400 households in Taytay, while only 100 households in Antipolo in 1591 [both encomiendas had already been granted to Juan Pacheco de Maldonado]; and in that same year, Taytay encomienda also listed 600 tributantes and inhabitants of 2,400 to 3,000.[27]

Taytay encomienda was part of Santa Ana de Sapa [under the jurisdiction of Manila-Tondo], and Manila was the center of Spanish colonial administration. Thus, Taytay was strategically situated being the connecting point to the eastern side of Laguna de Bay comprising of the towns of Angono up to Morong-Tanay which were then still parts of La Laguna.

  1. “Lupang Arenda.” Take notice that the lakeshore town of Taguig [on the West] was at the opposite side of Taytay [on the East] of Laguna Lake. They were both encomiendas under the scope of Santa Ana de Sapa. The two towns were separated only by a narrow tip portion of Pasig town. Adjacent to Pasig was the area situated on the lakeshore of Barangay Santa Ana of Taytay. It was a tract of agricultural land considered as a “friar estate” which is still known today as “Lupang Arenda.”[28]

“Arenda” is a term designating lease of fixed assets or of prerogatives, such as land, or of special rights, such as engaging in agriculture, mining, the collection of duties and taxes. The so-called “arenda” rights are directly associated with the Spanish encomienda.

According to former Taytay Mayor Felix M. Sanvictores (1925-1931), “Lupang Arenda was donated by Juan Valerio Gonzales and Cristobal Paramdam to the Municipio in 1740. Aside from their own farmlands, Taytay farmers were also benefiting from farming in the “arenda” as well as fishing in the wide rivers flowing down the lake and in the vast flooded farmlands near the lake during the rainy season.”[29]

Of recent memory, Lupang Arenda was an agricultural arenda—and swampy—approximately 200 hectares along the endmost part of the lakeshore area of Barangay Sta. Ana. That vast tract of land now had become a relocation site for informal settlers, declared “public domain in varying aspects,” and converted from agricultural-arable land to housing use by virtue of executive orders-proclamations-policies of the Presidents in succession from Corazon Aquino up to Benigno Aquino III at present.

By all indications, Lupang Arenda must have been a tract of land within the territorial bounds belonging to the encomienda or the first resettlement—purportedly the very origin of the early Taytay town. Moreover, the area as an agricultural encomienda might have encompassed not only Barangay Santa Ana but also parts of Sitio Bangiad and Barangay San Juan, since they were the first three villages formed into a new settlement as can be gleaned from section 16 and section 17.2.

  1. “Santa Ana Banak festival.” Incidentally, both Taguig town (now a city) and Barangay Santa Ana of Taytay were among the earliest farming and fishing villages that became encomiendas under Santa Ana de Sapa which honor and celebrate the same patron saint: Santa Ana, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ. Santa Ana has since been popularly labeled “Banak” (a species of fish) by local folks; hence, “Santa Ana Banak festival” has been celebrated in Taguig and Barangay Santa Ana of Taytay on the feast day of patroness Santa Ana on the 26th day of July.[30]
  2. When the Spaniards came to the country, they found the natives living in either linear or nucleated communities scattered along water routes and river banks, as well as in mountain ridges; in Taytay’s specific case, mainly along lakeshore and waterways leading to the same lagoon.

In dealing with such conditions, the Franciscans were inspired by Fray Plasencia’s system of reduccion which was one of their first tasks and the most difficult one. The scattered settlements of natives were gathered—“reduced” and “resettled”—in central locations, forming them into pueblos-towns. Communities reduced to one compact village, formed into “doctrina” that enabled even a single friar Christianize the natives (Indios). The resettlement was called differently in diverse circumstances: mission, conversion, reduccion or doctrina. But they were all essentially the same.[31]

12.1.  Bajo la campana. The beginning of the resettlement was signaled by the erection of a church. The physical layout of the resettlement was “ecclesio-centric”—the church at the center of the site. The settlers dwelled within the hearing distance of church bells, or metaphorically, “under the peal of bells”[32] [33] that served as “criers” telling townspeople when and what to pray, when to go to church, go home in the evening, and announce church services, i.e., reduccion bajo la campana.[34] [35]

[Related story: Under the peel of the bell]

“The bell tolls the Ave Maria at dawn, at noon, and at night; and, besides this, someone is careful to go through the streets at night, sounding a little bell, and in a loud voice admonishing the people to offer prayers for the souls in purgatory and for those who are in a state of sin. These, as well as other pious and devout customs, had been introduced into [the] villages,” also narrated Fray Pedro Chirino.[36]

The oldest existing religious organization in Taytay is the Cofradia de Anunciata [de Taytay] founded in 1878. It once had kept a record they called “the black book” which listed all the demised townfolks. Until the end of the 1960’s, there was a man of the Cofradia who dutifully went around the town ringing a small bell, shouting to publicly announce “who died on that day, from what family or clan (name, surname or label-bansag) the dead person belonged to, and when the burial would be.” [More about Cofradia de Anunciata de Taytay]

Church bells are rung to signify the time for faithful to go to church to worship, for prayer and liturgies, and for other important occasions such as the death of a parishioner, other “emergencies, and exigencies.” It was customary for churches not to ring bells during Holy Week, but to resume only at the Easter Vigil. A Church in the midst, on a mountain high or elevated plane, with the campana mounted at the apex of the bell tower, bespeaks of a “sacramental sign of the Church’s high spiritual plane in governance.”

12.2.  Cuadrícula pattern. Houses were arranged and built around following a grid pattern or cuadrícula, a system of streets and blocks that were laid out with regular precision. This method of utilizing space was so efficient. Such model of town planning by the Spaniards was a standard way in all places and at different periods of time. It was also adopted as the standard form or technical scheme in creating poblaciones and cabezeras, towns and cities. It had been carried out since the days of nipa huts and colonial structures of the Spanish era until the present condos and supermalls.  [Related: Cuadricula pattern]

Such system had become the “trusted padrón” in the New World until today. We may compare this to present-day planning and development, zoning and housing, land titling and conversion, subdivision, and geodetic survey practices, and distinguish the peculiarities.

12.3.  With reduccion a church and a convento were built, then a public plaza in front, escuela (school), tiangge (market), botika (drugstore) cemetery, roads, bridges, court of justice (tribunal or casa real) and government hall (presidencia municipal), and also introduced commerce and trade, agriculture-farming, among many others. Most of the towns and cities throughout the country practically originated from the reduccion to pueblosbarangay to sitio, sitios to barrio, barrios to pueblo–town with a poblacion, to several pueblos and cabezeras grouped into the province as described in section 3.

However, such physical pattern of town-building in the Hispanic past was dramatically “obliterated” which started during the American occupation and in a much faster pace nowadays. Taytay’s spacious town plaza is now the location of a covered court gym and the emergency hospital. The escuela primaria in the plaza has gone while St. Catherine Academy beside the Church was transferred to Gregoria Heights after it got burned in 1995. The public market was turned into a town plaza (Kalayaan Park) and a new market was built in a farther location. A much farther new Municipio is now outside the poblacion, while the old Municipio is being renovated as “ancestral home.”

Serving de Leon told an old story about a bridge called “Taytay” by the Dumagats (Aetas) that connected the poblacion to the cemetery. It is now the bridge along camino real Rizal Avenue that crosses the Taytay River along Maria Clara and the opposite Pulumbarit street; while the said cemetery was the present site of San Isidro Elementary School (SIES).[37]  SIES was first established as a primary school in 1956 and later as a complete elementary school in 1958. It was a 15,000-square meter lot, a “lupang mitra” previously registered to the Archbishop of Manila in the Rizal Registry of Deeds until a deed of donation was executed by Maria C. Tancinco and Dr. Cecilio G. Cruz in favor of the Municipality of Taytay on June 5, 1972.

  1. Teaching, evangelizing the natives. Fray Plasencia was also an exceptional linguist, administrator, educator, and evangelist. He became Custos or Superior of the Franciscan Province of Saint Gregory the Great in the Philippines in 1579-1580 and 1584-1588, but this did not impede him in his work with the native language. He authored several religious and linguistic books, most notably, the Doctrina Christiana,[38] the first book printed in the Philippines in 1593, which had Tagalog and Chinese versions, aside from its Spanish original.
  2. Use of “Baybayin. Before the coming of the Spaniards, the natives wrote on a variety of materials like leaves, palms, the bark of the tree, fruit skin, bamboo culm. They use a dagger or pointed metal as a writing tool. Only In the Spanish era Filipinos started to use ink and write on paper and kept records of their property and financial transactions.[39]

In 1601, the natives had little “notebooks” where they kept records of Church catechism lessons written in their “native characters and letters” they called “Baybayin”—a Tagalog term which refers to the letters in writing the language. It was their “alphabet.” It was derived from the Tagalog root word “baybay” which means “spell;” and “baybayin” is “to spell out.” It is a syllabary-and-phonetics application of the aforesaid native tongue.

Baybayin first appeared in book prints of Fray Juan de Plasencia‘s Doctrina Christiana in 1593, on Fray Pedro Chirino‘s Relacion de las Islas Filipinas y de lo que en ellas han trabajado los padres dela Compania de Jesus, 1557-1635 in 1604, and on Fray Pedro de San Buenaventura‘s Vocabulario de Lengua Tagala in 1613 in Pila, Laguna.[40] Baybayin remained widely in use up to the end of the 19th century.

  1. Another work of Fray Plasencia was the Arte y Vocabulario Tagalo, a grammar and dictionary of the Tagalog language. It was most useful because of the ease it facilitated understanding and knowledge of a native language so alien to missionaries.[41] Mastering the native language to further evangelization, religious instructions, as well as training in missionary works proved more efficacious than administrative undertaking.

There was a catechetical instruction using the ingenious practice of community recitation or singing of the Tocsohan—a Tagalog word that means “teasing game”—where one party asks the question and the other party answers, the questioning and answering roles being given reversed alternately after the correct answer has been given. It became a practice by friars to apply group dynamics to make the learning process pleasing to the children. The emphasis was on learning by rote memory, although understanding also tested by regular question periods.[42]

  1. New Community, Church Founded

“Visita Santa Ana de Sapa,” 1579. The town of Taytay was one of several towns in the province of Rizal—other towns were in the provinces of Laguna and Quezon—founded by Fray Plasencia.[43]  Taytay was established in a swampy area near the Laguna Lake in 1579, in the place called Mabulo where Sapang Putol was situated which later became the barrio of Santa Ana.[44] A church was built out of light materials. The newly-formed community, a pueblo-town, was called “Visita de Santa Ana de Sapa.”

Taytay town became a parish, 1583. As said earlier, Santa Ana de Sapa was the mission center of the Franciscans where they first founded a parish in 1578 in the former Namayan kingdom. It became a town in Manila a year after (1579). Taytay “visita” was founded on that same year (1579). It became a “full-grown” town independent and separated from mother Santa Ana de Sapa and was also placed in the district of Manila four years after (1583).[45]

Being independent had qualified Taytay, thus, elevated to the level of a parish (parroquia) with Fray Pablo de Jesus as the first parish priest who also became Custos or Superior of the Franciscans in 1580-1583. Its patron saint was Saint John the Baptist, who was also the patron saint of Quiapo Parish when Manila was inaugurated as a new Diocese in 1579.

16.1.  Both the parishes of Taytay (attributed to Fray Plasencia) and Quiapo (attributed to Saint Fray Pedro Bautista) were founded and named Saint John the Baptist Parish by the very same congregation of Franciscans from Santa Ana de Sapa central.

  1. The “Visita” or Inspection. It was a regular feature of colonial government for investigation of complaints, administration of justice, and other aspects of civic administration, including finances and civil works. It was usually initiated when complaints against specific colonial officials were lodged with the government in Madrid.[46] The objectives of the visita were to ensure efficient service on the part of the government authorities. Wrongdoers were either fined, dismissed from office or expelled from the colony or received a combination of all these punishments.[47]

The visita system applied to places such as the pueblos, encomiendas, and to the much-developed haciendas and villas, where Spanish claim and/or presence had been established. In concrete practice, the places discovered, explored or founded by the Spanish conquest, and significantly, when a place had been reached by reduccion—a pueblo realized—it would be named a visita ready at any time for inspection and subject to Spanish governance. Moreover, a visita could also be anything like a person/s, organization/office, barangay/sitio, barrio, village/town, pueblo, encomienda, province, region or the state.

17.1. De facto status. In the particular case of Taytay, it had already been a “visita” of Santa Ana de Sapa upon the arrival of Franciscans in 1578, or probably even earlier, immediately when Manila was founded in 1571—but on de facto status, meaning: “assumed theoretically” or “on paper only,” since there existed no official decree and Taytay has not yet been actually reached by reduccion and developed into township that had both the actual and clearly defined territorial and juridical components in place.

17.2. Perhaps, the name “Taytay” had already been loosely used in reference to our “subject village” even before the 1571 founding of Manila. When the first three barrios of Mabulo (now Barangay Sta. Ana), Sampoga (now Barangay San Juan), and Bangyag (now Sitio Bangiad) were gathered and formed into a “new town” in 1579,[48] a “visita” was officially established. Hence, that “new-born town” had to be given a name for practicality and formality. That intent was required for documentation and administrative purposes of the Spanish government.

In the strict sense, “Visita Santa Ana de Sapa” was not the new-born town’s name. It appeared to have been given in haste; technically, it was only a label that merely indicated that such a “visita” was formally established by the Franciscan missionaries who were from “Santa Ana de Sapa”, a district of a wider territorial scope. In the same token, the label “Visita Santa Ana de Sapa” could also be given to each and any of all the communities/visitas aside from Taytayviz., Meycatmon, Calatongdongan, Dongos, Dibag, Pinacauasan, Yamagtogon, Meysapan, Malate, Dilao, Pandacan, Quiapo, Sampaloc, San Miguel, San Juan del Monte, San Felipe Neri, San Pedro Macati—inasmuch as they were all under the same jurisdiction of Santa Ana de Sapa. Categorically, all the above-mentioned entities were satellite “Visitas” of “Santa Ana de Sapa.”

17.3.  Whether the name “Taytay” existed earlier than “Visita Sta. Ana de Sapa,” let alone used freely and continuously, although once briefly interrupted by “San Juan del Monte” through the centuries, none negated the fact that “Niño” Taytay—as a new and distinct entity—had come into being at the precise moment it was formed into township and established on record legally as a “Visita” in 1579.

  1. Abuses, Law and Order. The original holders of feudal encomiendas amassed considerable booty. Gobernador-general Guido de Lavezares (1572-1575) checked the system of extortion of the greedy encomenderos in the Visayas. Towards the end of Gobernador-general Francisco de Sande’s term (1575–80) a furious quarrel broke out between the frayles-priests and the encomenderos for the former preached against the abusive encomenderos. King Philip II commanded protection of the natives from the extortionist feudal chiefs. The natives were then granted liberty to pay tribute either in money or in kind. That well-intentioned regulation resulted positively in agriculture and trade “as the natives preferred to work without coercion, not on account of extreme want.”[49]

Gobernador-general Dr. Santiago de Vera, the president of the new Real Audiencia in Manila (1584-1590), was quoted as saying that “the state of things in which he found the country, the injustices which were committed on every side, the violent means to which the oppressed found themselves obliged to resort for self-defense…” [50] This prompted the gobernador-general to commission Fray Plasencia in writing the book “Relacion de las Costumbres de Los Tagalos” in 1589.[51]  It ushered the early legal system of our country which preserved and put into the letters of the first “Civil Code” the customs, traditions, and beliefs of the natives. It was used by the alcaldes mayores (provincial governors) in their administration of justice.[52]

Putting together the once scattered natives, the warring and wandering pagan tribes into one community practically needed “governing rules, law, and order,” hence, the aforesaid “Civil Code.” Later, it was also called the “Codigo civil y Codigo penal consuetudinarios de los Filipinos” (“Civil and Penal Code”). A manuscript copy of this “Civil Code” was “retrieved” at the Franciscan convent in Manila by Dr. Pardo de Tavera and published it in Madrid in 1892.

  1. Although the Franciscans had been employing the reduccion system since the beginning of their Philippine mission, Fray Plasencia, the founder of Taytay town, formally presented the “Reduccion master plan” only during the first Synod of Manila in 1582 presided by Bishop Domingo Salazar. It was unanimously approved by the ninety ecclesiastical and religious leaders and six captains or heads of civil government who attended. The sessions lasted until 1586; that was for four years.

Among the matters tackled in the Synod was the governance of the new colony, the teaching of catechism in the native dialect [relative to “Dortrina Christiana” and its Tagalog translation, grammar, and vocabulary written by Padre de Plasencia himself] and the declaration of human rights of both native Christians and non-Christians. A few years later, Plasencia would be compelled to also write the Relacion delas Costumbres. The Synod “agenda” had the strong approval of Gobernador-general Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa even before his demise in 1583, and Santiago de Vera who became the gobernador-general in 1584 until 1590.

  1. There were natives who rejected the Spanish reduccion-doctrina, “irritated” by bajo la campana, refused to pay tribute or render labor, nor be converted to Christianity. They chose to be hostile, remained to the hills or fled farther to the mountains and became the “remontados, cimarrones, ladrones, tulisanes” as tagged by the Spanish authorities. Abuses in the agricultural encomiendas became the causes of agrarian revolts.

One such misfortune befell the Chinese who had immigrated to Manila. They came not to farm but to trade, but they were forcibly transported to Calamba by the cruel Gobernador-general Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera to work in the agricultural encomienda. The land was fertile but poorly drained and malaria-infested. In 1639, more than 300 of the Chinese settlers fell sick and died. This triggered their revolt. They rushed to the cabezera of Calamba and cut the greedy Alcalde-mayor Arias up into little pieces, killed another two priests, created anarchy and set out 5,000-strong toward Manila. Part of the throng went northward by-passing Manila, and they desecrated the churches of Taytay and Antipolo on their way toward San Mateo and the foothills of Sierra Madre.[53]

  1. The Arrival of Jesuit Missionaries, 1591

After twelve years of founding several towns and parishes in Manila and other provinces, the Franciscans had given up the towns of Taytay and Antipolo due to lack of personnel. The ecclesial jurisdiction of Taytay, including the visita of Cainta, which was an annex of Taytay, were transferred to the newly-arrived Jesuit missionaries in 1591 who served until 1768—that was for 177 years.[54]

Fray Pedro Chirino, a distinguished historian, became the first Jesuit parish priest of Taytay. He celebrated his first Holy Mass as a missionary in the swampy resettlement in the lakeshore area on March 25, 1591, the feast of the Annunciation. The place was “inundated to such an extent that the streets could be traversed only by boats…but also, although the floor of the church had been raised and repairs made to guard against the water, it flowed in over the steps, even to the main altar.”[55]

Fray Chirino forced the issue with his desire to build the church on the hill and relocate the village to where the cemetery was located. At first, the townfolks moved slowly but not until the church had been dismantled and the cross removed. It turned out that “without the church and the cross, no one dared to sleep in the old village for fear of the demons at night.” 55

  1. Taytay named “San Juan del Monte, 1591.” Fray Chirino told that“the village of Taytay improved its location by removing from the marshes and overflow from the lagoon shore. The village had formerly dedicated its church to the glorious St. John the Baptist, and, upon its removal to the new site, in devotion to him the name San Juan del Monte [“St. John of the Mountain”] was given to it.”[56]

Like his predecessors, Fray Chirino reaffirmed the town to be under the patronage of Saint John the Baptist for once and for eternity. In faith, the name “San Juan del Monte” is already written in Heaven and that is irrevocable,[57] no matter the name “Taytay” is still in use today. The aforesaid site is believed to be the very same location of the present St. John the Baptist Parish Church.

  1. Two “San Juan del Montes. Be not confused. As also mentioned earlier in section 8 and section 17.2, aside from Taytay town, another, but smaller village, was also named “San Juan del Monte.” That other village became a barrio of Santa Ana de Sapa town, which turned into a small encomienda [smaller than Taytay] and also christened “San Juan del Monte” by its Franciscan founders. When Fr. Felix de Huerta wrote his Estado Geografico, Tofografico, Estodestico, Historico Religioso in 1855/1865, he referred to San Juan del Monte (the former barrio that already became a town at the time of his writing) and Taytay town as two different and separate entities—which however, both under the same jurisdiction of Santa Ana de Sapa.[58]

San Juan del Monte barrio of 1590 is now the San Juan City of Metro Manila, the historic site of “Pinaglabanan” where the opening salvo of the Philippine Revolution took place in 1896. It celebrates its foundation day on June 24, the feast day of its acknowledged patron, Saint John the Baptist. While our own beloved town of San Juan del Monte (Taytay) of 1591 has no officially recognized foundation day yet, though also celebrates June 24 feast day of its patron, Saint John the Baptist.

Taytay Under Civil Authority
  1. No conquest, not a colony, only a province.” In his book, The Friars in the Philippines published in 1899, Fray Ambrose Coleman, a Dominican, contended that “there was no conquest in the strict sense of the term…The Spaniards in most places simply showed themselves to the natives; and the missionaries of religious Orders who accompanied the conquistadors and soldiers persuaded the untutored savages to submit to the King of Spain, through whom they would obtain the two-fold blessing of civilization and Christianity.”

It is interesting to note that Filipinas—also called then as el Estado Filipino or la capitanía general de Filipinas—had been under the Viceroyalty of New Spain or Virreynato de Nueva España (known as México) from 1565–1821. The country was no longer under Mexico from 1821–1898, and so the administrative affairs were placed directly under the Spanish Crown.

In other words, Filipinas under Spain was never a colony, but a province of Spain (Provincia de Ultramar). Even the creolesilustrados of the Propaganda Movement were living in Spain and Europe undisturbed while pursuing their goals; they claimed that “they only aim for Filipinas to be a province of Spain, and that they were only up against abusive friars.” The creoles (born in our country but of Spanish ancestry) and ilustrados (Spanish-educated Filipinos) became the elite class of a people of “Filipino identity” representing all the natives and fighting for nationhood under the banners of the Cross, the French Revolution, while claiming allegiance to the sovereign Cádiz Constitution and the Spanish Cortes (the first sovereign parliament of Spain). In effect, the gobernador-general was “alone and the only foreigner” representing the Spanish Crown in the archipelago, and still had to account of his stewardship of the province of Filipinas—for a terminus of about 4 to 5 years—before he could even return to his mother country of Spain.

  1. “We are Filipinos!” After almost five centuries, all of us from generation to generations, from different origins—whether datu, maharlika, alipin, tulisan, creole, ilustrado, propagandista, revolutionario, erehe, filibustero, fanatiko, devoto, masa, elitista, sindikato, politico, reformista, rebelde, fascista, socialista, komunista, or what-have-you—still carry the memorial name of King Philip II as proud “Filipinos of Filipinas kong mahal.” And while the faith closest to our hearts, or at least of the overwhelming majority, is “the one brought by the Kastila.”

Come hell or high water, no matter what, regardless of creed, bloodline, philosophy, political persuasion, economic status or socio-civic standing, how the late Sen. Jose ‘Ka Pepe’ Wright Diokno succinctly puts it during the darkest hour of martial rule in our history, transcends all generations, viz.,“There is one dream that all Filipinos share: that our children may have a better life than we have had. So there is one vision that is distinctly Filipino: the vision to make this country, our country, a nation for our children.”

  1. Friars/priests’ influence. Contemporary historians are just quick to surmise that the Spaniards came for “God, gold, and glory.” Colonizers came to the country with the Augustinians (Orden de San Agustin, 1565), Franciscans (Ordo Fratrum Minorum, 1578), Jesuits (Compañia de Jesus,1581), Dominicans (Ordo Praedicatorum, 1587) and Recollects (Orden de Agustinos Recoletos, 1606). The Religious Orders possessed great knowledge and skills in various fields that they were regarded as “Paladins of Cloth.” They built churches, convents, monasteries, schools, banks, hospitals and leprosarium, orphanages, observatory, medicinal and botanical gardens, public works and artisans, aside from educating the populace in reading, writing, sciences, arts, music, and literature.

“Spaniards colonized the Philippines to fulfill the death wish of Queen Isabell I who would donate all her wealth for the conversion of the Indies.” This was fulfilled by King Philip II. King Charles I of England also dreamed of obtaining the Philippines to increase his personal fortunes and treasury. Ironically, in the early 1600’s, Spain realized that the Philippines was only “a drain to Spain’s treasury.”[59] During his reign, King Philip III issued a decree in 1619 that included abandoning the Philippines. But Fray Fernando de Moraga, a barefoot friar who was the 1607 parish priest of Santa Ana [de Sapa], journeyed to Spain despite his advanced age and feeble health and had pleaded and convinced the King to revoke it for the sake of Christianity.[60]  Thus, Fray Moraga came to be regarded as the “Savior of Filipinas.”

  1. In the early formative years of administration, the friars “headed” the towns/pueblos for they were the ones who gathered the “different and disparate” communities. Frank Karuth, F.R.G.S., president of the Philippines’ Mineral Syndicate, an English corporation interested in mining, had wide knowledge and experience with the natives and the friars in remote provincial stations. In 1894, he reported that “in the communes or parishes, the priest, especially if a Spaniard as was generally the case, exercised supreme power. He was the father and counselor of his people and helped them not only with spiritual advice but also in their material interests. The Spanish priests, friars of strict Orders, had come to the islands for aye and good, and with scarcely any exception performed their duties faithfully and devotedly.”[61]

Fray Chirino arrived at Manila in 1590 and went almost immediately to Taytay where he learned Tagalog and was joined in 1592 by Fray Martin Enriquez. Fray Juan de Oliver helped them with the native language. “Enriquez learned the language in three months and in six wrote a catechism in it, a confessionary, and a book of sermons for all the gospels of the year in the said idiom.[62]  Fray Chirino had thoroughly grasped the fundamentals of the Tagalog language and letters as evident in his book where he expressed particular appreciation of the translation of Ave Maria into the native tongue (“Aba guinoong Maria”), and the Tagalog alphabet were seen in prints in 1604—the first appearance in a European publication. He was “mesmerized” to discover that the Tagalog language possessed the qualities of the four world’s greatest languages of the time: Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Español.[63]

But the missionaries who survived the perilous voyage to our country were yet to confront the continuing survival saga in Taytay and neighboring missions. Enriquez took charge of Taytay when Chirino was reassigned to Panay. An epidemic struck Taytay, so Fray Antonio Sedeño sent Brother Juan Prospero who knew some­thing about medicine to help care for the victims of the epidemic. Worn out due to hard work, “Enriquez also fell sick for he did not bother to protect himself from the malarial mosquitoes” that abounded in the waterlogged mission and so died on February 5, 1593 at the age of twenty-eight; he was buried “somewhere” in Taytay, most probably in the church’s premises. Fray Francisco Almerici took his place but also fell sick and had to be called back to Manila. This left Fray Sedeño and Fray Ramon Prat who took turns in taking care of Taytay for a week. Fray Almerici, completely recovered, was sent back to Taytay, and the following year Fray Diego Santiago was sent to assist him.[64]

Fray Santiago, the missionary under whose direction the building of the first stone church in Taytay had begun, fated not to see it finished. He was in Manila during the Dutch attack in 1600 and was appointed chaplain of the flagship that battled the Dutch. Despite beckoning of his companions, he opted to administer confession to a wounded officer rather than jump off to safety where he was on board the sinking ship with Bartolome Calvo, a Jesuit lay Brother; both Santiago and Calvo heroically died at the age of twenty-nine. Then a year after, old superior Almerici went to claim the apostolate left by Santiago among the Aetas in the mountains about six miles away from Antipolo, but final illness overtook him in the settlement which he gave the name of Santiago. Chirino hurried to the side of Almerici and took him to Manila where he died on December 2, 1601, at the age of thirty-five.[65]

Fray Sedeño was in Taytay sometime in 1593 until 1595 when he became the first rector of the College of Manila and the first vice-Provincial of the Jesuits in the country upon its creation being under the Provincial of Mexico. As testified by Fray Chirino, Fray Sedeño was assigned to Cebu mission but died shortly due to “the burden of hardships and torments that fell upon a person so feeble, infirm, old and exhausted” on Sept. 1, 1595.[66]

  1. The alcaldes mayores (provincial governors) used to remain only for three years in any one province and never could have understood much of the native language. They were much busy with “official business,” unmindful of the peculiarities of the districts they ruled. On the other hand, the fray-missionaries lived in the midst of their parishioners, well-acquainted with each of them in their daily practical lives. Who could be the real jurisdiction then if not the missionary priests?[67]

Guillaume Le Gentil, a French astronomer, once set foot in Manila in August 1766 for “observations on natural history, geography, physics, astronomy, navigation, winds and tides.” He said in his book Travels in the Indian Seas (1761) that “the monks [friars] are the real rulers of the provinces…Their power is so unlimited that no Spaniard cares to settle in the neighborhood…The monks would give him a great deal of trouble.”

Passing on to the 20th century, Rev. David Abeel, a Protestant missionary, said: “The Church of Rome has here proselytized to itself the entire population. The influence of the priests is unbounded.” In 1858 Mr. Crawford, a former Singapore governor, declared at a public missionary meeting: “In the Philippine Islands the Spaniards have converted several millions of people to the Roman Catholic faith, and an immense improvement in their social condition has been the consequence.”[68]

  1. When Taytay was relocated to the improved hill site in 1591, “a ditch was dug at the base of the hill, along with the edge of the village, by which water could come in from the stream which they formerly had. Along the streets and around the village were groves and palm-trees planted, which enriched and beautified the village.” Then from 1599-1600, “a beautiful temple [Taytay’s first stone-church] was built with a third of its cost paid by the King as he did for all the churches.”[69] Onward, we came to know of places and streets in Taytay named after crops introduced by the friars—such as Sitio Sampalukan, Sitio Bayabas; Calle Mabolo, Dalanghita, Camachile, Avocado, etc. In other places, were Manggahan, Santolan, Caniogan, Sampaloc, Piña, Kamias, Chico, Langka, Anonas, Durian, etc. Of course, four out of the five barangays were named after the Saints: Santa Ana, San Juan, San Isidro and Dolores; and lately, a sitio named San Lorenzo Ruiz.

For Nick Joaquin, our own distinguished National Artist in Literature and a contemporary historian: “the friar poured his blessings into our soil, shaped our economy by what he put in…Our history and daily lives are determined by the crops he brought in: tobacco, maize, cotton, coffee, cocoa, naranja, guava, melon, sincamás, achuete, avocado, pineapple, chile, peanut, squash, cabbage, tomato, industrial sugar, and ad infinitum…hearing convent yards as veritable plant nurseries, imported seeds tried out, nurtured, bred, crossbred, developed, and then given out for general culture.”[70]

  1. Of Martyr and Saint. Fray Diego Luis de Sanvitores had the longest period of mission in Taytay (1662-1668). He trained here for about two years a Bisaya boy—Pedro Calungsod—his would-be assistant, sacristan, and catechist. Fray Sanvitores and Calungsod went on a mission to Marianas Island (Guam) in 1568 where they both died a martyr’s death after four years, on April 2, 1672. Sanvitores was beatified on Oct. 6, 1985; Calungsod on March 5, 2000. Calungsod was canonized on Oct. 21, 2012, in the Year of Faith, thus became the second Filipino Saint, who was once a “batang Taytay.”
  2. Political and social organization. This was the weakest aspect of the culture of the early Filipinos in the pre-Hispanic era. Their state did not embrace the whole nation, not even a tribe; it included simply the immediate community where they belong. Outside of one’s community were considered enemies or foreigners. On every island were a multitude of small and disparate communities, each on their own and independent of the other, hostile to each other and were frequently at war.[71] The small communities—the barangays—did not guarantee an organized socio-political and religious network comparable to European standard nor to the Hispanic Americas. Most natives were subsistence farmers or fishermen occupying an area for a living.

The villages or barangays were grouped together forming bigger territory where affairs were conducted by the datu-chiefs. In some cases, all were obedient to a single chief known as hari, (like Lakan Tagkan of Namayan-Santa Ana de Sapa in 1571), as rajah, (like Sulayman of Maynila in 1571), or as sultan (like Kudarat of Maguindanaw in 1581–1671). Usually, their “kingdoms” embraced only a few-kilometer territory.

With the coming of the Spaniards, the role of the tribal chiefs evolved with the grouping of the barangays into pueblos-towns, towns into provinces, until the whole archipelago became one state of a national in scope (el Estado Filipino or “Bansang Filipinas”).

  1. Some aver that “we would have eventually achieved all these advancements even without Spain and the friars” by pointing out the “international trade contacts” and the “existence of civilization” in the pre-Spanish Philippines, as indicated by the Lumban Laguna Copperplate Inscription (“April 21, 900 A.D.”).[72]

But this presentation begs to disagree. We take notice that none of the alien traders had the concern to teach us their skills and knowledge of the wheels-and-axles, arts, architecture, agriculture, livestock, spices, sciences, or what-have-you. All the things that the Javanese, Chinese, Siamese, and Arabs could have brought here and taught us, we had to wait for Spain and the friars to bring and teach us.

  1. Despite those trading ships from Siam, China, Java or Arabia coming to us, they were one-sided for we knew nothing of ships from our country going elsewhere to trade with them and to other parts of the globe. It was the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade that opened our country to an active role in international trade on a global scale. Manila became the point of exchange between East and West, and that was the era when our country rightly became the “Pearl of the Orient Seas.”

The Manila Galleon trade. It was inaugurated in 1565 after the 64-year old Augustinian friar and navigator Andres de Urdaneta who came with Miguel Lopez de Legazpi—who also became the first prelate of the Philippine islands—discovered the return route from the Philippines to Mexico which lasted until 1815 when Mexican War of Independence ended Spanish control of Acapulco ports.

And when Mexico finally seceded from Spain in 1821, the Philippines had that chance to become “independent”. We were one of the two imperial provinces attached then to Mexico. The other was Guatemala, which comprised most of Central America. Guatemala joined Mexico, but we chose to remain a province under Spain. When the “revolutions” of the Spanish-educated CreolesIlustrados of the 1870s and Katipunan of 1896 broke out, they had no fear of economic upheaval, because they were fully aware of the country being economically independent of Spain. But in the next years under America, this independent economy became colonial—one that was entangled with the markets, factories and dollar currency of Uncle Sam. Even several decades after political independence on July 4, 1946, and until today, we are still terrified of the economic repercussion that separation with the US would result.[73]

  1. Civil governance. When founded in 1579, Taytay town was a part of the province of Tondo. Like all towns of the colony, Taytay must have been headed by a gobernadorcillo (= municipal mayor). It was under Tondo Province headed by an alcalde mayor (= provincial governor) who also governed as the judge. The central government of the colony seated in Manila was headed by the gobernador-general who was the commander-in-chief of the military, the president of the Real Audiencia (Supreme Court), the vice-real patron who also had power over ecclesiastical appointments and even supervision rights to missionary works. The gobernador-general was the source of power for the various level of civil governance.
  2. The principalia. The old-time tribal chiefs had been incorporated into the civil government. The Spaniards were undermanned and so accepted the authority of “co-opting” native leaders rather than turn the existing system upside-down. These tribal leaders would develop the principalia class—a native elite with whom the Spaniards were in close alliance and yielded part of their power and authority; exempted from taxes, enjoyed the title address of Don (and Doña), and controlled the positions in the local governments.

Services required by the Don were not regarded as exploitation by the “townfolks-constituents” who were slaves of the Don in the “former set-up.” For when abuses became rampant, the Don would speak in their stead and behalf, not fearing to appeal to higher authorities and even to the King of Spain himself. This brings to mind the “visita as a legal system” and the “law and order objectives” of Fray Plasencia’s Civil Code, the Relacion delas Costumbres of 1589. (In the 1670s, the principalia of Pampanga complained to King Charles II about the rice quota imposed on Pampanga farmers. The King ordered “the total extirpation of the abuse and injustice committed.”)[74]

  1. The cabeza de barangay. The village of Mabulo, the first community reached by the Franciscans in 1579 was named Barrio Santa Ana in honor of Francisco Santa Ana, a revered headsman.[75] Most probably, he was the “first cabeza de barangay” upon inception of the pueblo-town of “Niño” Taytay. In a graceful expression of “inculturation,” the Christianized headsman was named after two of the Order’s “favorite” patron Saints, San Francisco of Assisi, the avowed Order’s namesake, and Santa Ana, the grandmother of our Lord Jesus.

During the turn of Fray Chirino in 1591, there were 400 households in Taytay, hence, four datus who each had governed a barangay. For greater convenience of the government, it was customary in the planning of villages to be divided into districts to become the barangays. In each barangay were appointed those who were to provide for all contingencies, and the inhabitants were called collectively catongohan.[76] As per Relacion de las Costumbres of 1589, Fray Plasencia “prescribed and described a barangay (equivalent to barrio) to be developed and composed of 100 houses under the headship of the cabeza de barangay.”

Atty. Isidro Sanvictores Sr. relayed that “in the early Spanish era, there were two good friends named [Don] Ignacio de Borja of barangay Bangyad and [Don] Juan Magdalena of barangay Santa Ana who consulted each other decided and helped build a church…It was completed and maintained by the taxes extracted from the lands donated by Don Ignacio de Borja and [Doña] Maria Magdalena Maningning…It was customary of wealthy Taytayeños to donate their riches to the Church should they die without an heir; Maria Magdalena Maningning was one of those.”[77] Until today, few elders would still mention about “Lupang Maningning” and we are aware of the existing Maningning Creek traversing Barangay Santa Ana.

Atty. Sanvictores was a parish lay leader who co-initiated with Fr. Pedro Hilario, the parish priest (circa 1960), in a vigorous fund drive for building the third stone-church which we have now. It was “painstakingly” completed until 1983. Sanvictores also served as Municipal Officer-in-charge of Taytay in 1987.

  1. The gobernadorcillo. Any native-Indio or Chinese mestizo, literate in Spanish, 25-years of age, and had been a cabeza de barangay for four years, would qualify for town’s gobernadorcillo office.

In his book published in 1604, Fray Chirino, the Taytay parish priest in 1591-1593, wrote that the missionaries made use of an official whom they appointed, called a “fiscal.” Every parish and mission station in the Philippines had its “fiscal,” a kind of “deacon without orders.” Fray Chirino identified Don Mateo Apay, who held that office in Taytay. Don Mateo and his wife Doña Magdalena Polosin belonged to the datu class, had wide lands and a large family. Don Mateo’s duties were “to take care of the church, help instruct cate­chumens, visit the sick, and bury the dead. He was a kind of ‘living rule’ who set an example of Christian living in the community and admonished those who were inclined to set the opposite example.” While the Annual Letter of 1605 defined the “fiscal” as “one who teaches catechism to the ignorant, strengthens the weak, visits the sick, and if they are dangerously ill sends for the priest. He incites sinners to confession, solicits alms, helps bury the dead, reprehends the guilty, gives advice, promotes charity, inflames zeal, corrects what he can, and what he cannot, deplores.”[78] By indications of his functions, Don Mateo Apay could be the “earliest gobernadorcillo of Taytay” recorded during the time of Fray Chirino (circa 1591-1592).

And before departing Taytay in 1593, Fray Chirino narrated about “another fiscal or gobernadorcillo,” a pueblo chieftain named Don Francisco Amandao, “an aged man of excellent judgement and a devoted friend of his, who upon occasion of certain illness allowed himself to sacrifice to the devil, offered half of his body to the anito. Half of his body at once became paralyzed, thus lived several years giving public testimony of his infidelity. In great repentance for his sins, he died a Christian death.”[79]

However, Jose M. Tamayo, a Taytayeño, wrote an account which recorded that “we had Francisco Posdan Amagsila as Taytay’s first gobernadorcillo in 1651.”[80] The title of gobernadorcillo was changed later to capitan municipal in 1894.

In sum, the civil government was eventually assumed by native-Indio administrators who were former tribal rulers like the datu, rajah, lakan or gat. Tribal rulers evolved into cabeza de barangay and gobernadorcillo.

  1. Nick Joaquin had parting words to say: “What one finds is a departure from the Spanish policy in America, where a ruthless Hispanicization was pushed. But in the Philippines, both friar and conquistador seemed intent on creating, not a New Spain, but an independent Indian Christian culture. In this, they were influenced, in one way or another, by the Laws of the Indies, a product of the American experience. Philip II would not even allow the term “conquista” to be used here, lest the word justify the use of force against the native or be an insult to his feelings. Certainly, the Spaniard in the Philippines showed more respect for the native cultures than he did in, say, the Caribees—a respect that explains the survival of our old cults, dialects, place-names, and barangays.” (Emphasis added)[81]
  2. New political subdivision. The towns of Antipolo, Cainta and Taytay [from the Province of Tondo], and the towns of Morong, Baras, Tanay, Pililla, Angono, Binangonan and Jalajala [from the Province of La Laguna] was formed in 23 Feb 1853, with Morong town as the capital and named it Distrito delos Montes de San Mateo;[82] however, this was changed to Distrito Politico-Militar de Morong in 1857.

In 1860, the Province of Tondo became the Province of Manila. Mariquina town was the capital of Manila during the revolutionary government of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo in 1898. The Province of Morong had for its capital the town of Antipolo for the period of 1898-1899, and the town of Tanay for 1899-1900.

  1. Philippine Revolution. The culmination of the revolt against Spain was the establishment of the First Philippine Republic or the Malolos Republic—regarded as the “first Constitutional Republic in Asia.” It was formally established with the proclamation of the Malolos Constitution on January 23, 1899. The said Constitution was titled “Constitución Política de la Republica Filipina” and was written fully in Spanish and the style of the document was patterned after the Spanish Constitution of 1812.[83] The Republic lasted only until the capture and surrender of Emilio Aguinaldo to the Americans on March 23, 1901.
  2. Under American occupation. In 1901, a civil government in the Provinces of Manila and Morong was organized and created Rizal Province—named after Dr. Jose P. Rizal—by virtue of Act No. 137 by the First Philippine Commission. Rizal Province was composed of twenty-six municipalities, fourteen from the old Province of Manila (the towns of Las Piñas, Malabon, Makati, Parañaque, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Navotas, Muntinlupa, Taguig, Pateros, Pasig, Marikina, San Mateo, and Montalban); and 12 from the Distrito Politico-Militar de Morong, (the towns of Angono, Baras, Binangonan, Cainta, Antipolo, Cardona, Jalajala, Morong, Pililla, Tanay, Teresa and Taytay). The seat of the Provincial Government was Pasig.
  3. Japanese invasion. The Philippines—while “under American protectorate”—was invaded by Japan in December 1941, but abandoned by Uncle Sam who set his eyes on Europe with a token promise of “I shall return” by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Although left alone, the country had mustered armed resistance, thus born the Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon (HUKBALAHAP) and fought a guerrilla war. When the Japanese established Kapisanan ng Paglilingkod sa Bagong Pilipinas (KALIBAPI) in December 1942 headed by its Director-General Benigno S. Aquino. it was tasked to write the new constitution and establish the new National Assembly, resulting in Aquino’s appointment as Speaker. The country “declared independence as the Second Philippine Republic” in October 1943 under the Presidency of Jose P. Laurel and his KALIBAPI government. There was no change in political territorial subdivisions during the three-year Japanese occupation.
  4. The American and Japanese occupations merely institutionalized their own forms of administration aimed at perpetuating their imperialist agenda. Nick Joaquin, the Artist, and Historian put it straight: “…they never fully intermingled with the main Filipino culture due to the duration of their rule and their passive treatment of our kultura. For some, the best decades were the peacetime, the 60’s and 70’s. There were leaps in plenty during these years but these developments are nothing more than concessions—the years of American rule was a new struggle this time against imposed cultural and economic domination.”
  5. In 1975—under martial rule of Pres. Ferdinand Marcos—the 12 towns of Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Taguig, Pateros, Makati, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Malabon, Navotas, Pasig, and Marikina were incorporated to the newly created Metro Manila by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 824. The remaining 14 towns of Rizal Province were Taytay, Cainta, Angono, Antipolo, Binangonan, Cardona, Teresa, Morong, Baras, Tanay, Pililla, Jalajala, San Mateo and Montalban (now Rodriguez).

The EDSA Revolt in 1986 “restored democracy” in civil government. Antipolo became a component city of Rizal Province in 1998 and now the new seat of the provincial government replacing the old Capitol in Pasig which has long been outside the jurisdiction of Rizal Province. Antipolo City is the present seat of the Capitol, the center of civil authority in Rizal Province.

Although there were changes of political subdivisions at the provincial level, Taytay as a town or municipal entity remains until present.


Taytay initially as a “visita” in 1578, then became a parish in 1583. As a parish, it had been under the ecclesial authority of the Diocese of Manila for exactly four hundred years. It only became under the new Diocese of Antipolo when the latter was canonically erected on June 25, 1983,[84] the day immediately after the feast day of Saint John the Baptist. But Taytay as a church remained as the Saint John the Baptist Parish then and now. Both the Antipolo Diocese and Taytay Parish signified their adherence to the role of living up and preserving the name, spirit, and tradition of the humble “Saint John the Baptist who prepared the way of the Lord.”

One cannot imagine the missionaries reaching the highlands of Antipolo and the rest of Rizal uptowns without passing through the “doorway” which Taytay provided. One may say that Johannine Taytay, indeed, “prepared the way of the Lord” in this part of the land.

  1. History moved on. Other parts of the parish of Taytay became independent and separated. New parishes were formed: the Christ the King at Barangay Muzon in 1984, San Lorenzo Ruiz at Barangay San Juan in 1992, San Antonio de Padua at St. Anthony Subdivision at Barangay San Isidro in 1997, Mary Queen of Peace at Meralco Village, Barangay San Juan in 2002, and St. Arnold Janssen at Sitio Simona, Barangay San Isidro in 2003.[85] But just like the natural family, they were of the same family tree which is Saint John the Baptist Parish in the poblacion.
  1. Pistang bayan is fiesta patronal. Throughout the country, celebrating pistang bayan (town fiesta) has become a time-honored tradition. A most common is the yearly fiesta patronal (patronage festival), which is dedicated to a patron saint of whatever territorial entity (town, barrio, parish, chapel) is observing it, as such is religious in nature and had centuries-old Hispanic cultural heritage.

At times, the fiesta is associated with the foundation day based purely on historicity, or on legends. Others interject with deliberate ideology or a combination of sorts. While rare are the ones with “confused or distorted” perspective. It has been observed in recent memory two Taytay town fiestas celebrated in a year—one on the 3rd Sunday of February, another on June 24. Aside from the five barrio/barangay fiestas.

  1. An affront to religious sensibility. It is of much regret, though, the introduction of hamaka festival” in lieu of Taytay town fiesta that is celebrated in February; not of the festival per se, nor the “hamba-makina-kasuotan” it is supposed to promote; but the careless choice and use of the word hamaka” which had become a historic symbol and word of piety linked to the “hamaka pilgrims” of Our Lady of Antipolo, patroness of our Diocese. [See also: Founding year of Taytay Parish]
  2. There ought to be only one town fiesta. Many towns—in fact, almost all—celebrate by way of the traditional fiestas we have been accustomed to: featuring parades, revelries, entertainment, musicals, fireworks and various forms of festivities, oftentimes with the lavish display of hospitality like the usual “handaan” and at times, with fireworks and excessive booze. It is considered “fitting for such a special day to be a holiday,” whether officially declared or not.

Four hundred thirty-five (435) years have gone by since the town of Taytay came into being, but its birth date is yet to be formally recognized. Celebrating its birth date, however, is not just about parties, jubilant celebrations and holidays. This is a historic event rich in heritage and tradition but regrettably left unnoticed.

Henceforth, it is deemed proper and fitting to celebrate the traditional fiesta in cognizance of Taytay town’s foundation day which is directly linked and coincided with the fiesta of its patron saint, John the Baptist, every 24th day of June of the year.

  1. We had emerged from almost five centuries of Christian faith and culture. Such historic encounter shaped and united us as a people, town, country, and nation—and that’s what we are today. And we could not just shrug off and disregard them as for a tree to cut off its roots, or as a person having no known parents, that is, “putok sa buho” in local parlance.

Frank acknowledgment and clear depiction of the historical past is a challenge and worthy of study. For all we know, a lot more of the historic past is just silently standing on the sides along with our path to the future. We’ve got to move forward but without leaving once more our task of recognizing our beginning and founding past.

It is a sworn duty bestowed upon the Municipal Government Officials to recognize, protect, preserve and promote the cultural and historical heritage of Taytay. First and paramount as a Town, People, and Government, Taytayeños are morally-bound to recognize, honor, revere and commemorate the founding of Taytay a.k.a., San Juan del Monte.

Inasmuch as it is concluded with certainty and finality as to our town’s name, origin and inception day, we are now to commemorate its 436th year of founding on June 24, 2015.[86]

History is so generous to our present generation, and most especially to the current breed of incumbent Public Officials, in giving us this once-in-a-lifetime privilege of having the honor of fulfilling this solemn duty and tradition.

Wherefore, premises considered, let a resolution and/or an ordinance be enacted declaring 24th of JUNE 1579 AS THE FOUNDATION DAY OF TAYTAY, ALSO KNOWN AS SAN JUAN DEL MONTE, AND PROUDLY CALL IT “ARAW NG TAYTAY.”

  1. Acknowledgement

It all started two years ago when it was decided to come up with a book on the history of St. John the Baptist Parish and the town of Taytay. At the outset, the objective was to “ascertain the historical roots of the Parish and the town of Taytay.” It was modified to expound on the “history of Faith” since we were then at the threshold of celebrating the 2013 Year of Faith.

The project was accomplished in ten months’ time, though in apparent haste; hence, the book Lakbay-Pananampalataya – Parokya ni San Juan Bautista – Taytay, published on 15th September, Feast of Birheng Dolorosa, Year of Faith, 2013. Still, we are “in search for more”—so busy and eagerly rediscovering the past.

  1. The Presentor

Jose “Ding” A. Fernandez

Author : “Lakbay-Pananampalataya – Parokya ni San Juan Bautista – Taytay”.
Blog site/ s: “Taytay ni Juan”, “Lakbay Taytay” and “Kislap-Pintig”
Creator-Publisher: “lolaana88” YouTube Channel
e-Publisher-Editor : “Espiritu at Buhay” newsletter
e-Publisher-Editor : ARISE Bulletin
ProLife couple-coordinator, St. John the Baptist Parish (SJBP)
Basic Ecclesial Communities leader St. John the Baptist Parish (SJBP)

Art Director: Proprint, Philippine Agenda, Philippine News and Features (PNF)
Lecturer: Center for Advocacy Communication Services (CACS)
Chair: Ad hoc Committee, Alliance of Rizaleños for Integrity and Social Enlightenment (ARISE!)
Human rights advocate Artist for BALAY Rehabilitation Center, Inc.


Appendix A: Guillermo Gomez Rivera. Ang Karahasan sa Historia ng Filipinas

Appendix B: Taytay legends and history; Lakbay-Pananampalataya.

[1] Fr. Felix de Huerta, a Franciscan friar-missionary, was a zealous and much-dedicated administrator of San Lazaro Hospital (1850 to 1878). San Lazaro was the first ever leprosarium in the Far East founded by the Franciscans in 1632. Fr. Huerta was also responsible for two enduring and beneficial projects—the Monte de Piedad Savings and Mortgage Bank intended to provide a savings bank for Manila’s poor which charged moderate interest rates; as well as the Manila’s water supply system with 153 hydrants in 1882. Sadly, only a street close to the San Lazaro Racing track was named in his honor: “Felix Huerta” without even the reverend title of “Padre.” 

Fr. Felix de Huerta’s book, the Estado Geográfico, is regarded as a record of histories of Catholic parishes. It has now become an essential tool of histories of municipalities in the Philippines established in the Spanish era.

[2]Cf. Catalogo Biografico de los Religiosos Franciscanos de la Provincia de San Gregorio Magno de Filipinas. 1880; p.18. Fr. Eusebio Gomez Platero y Fernandez Portillo, one of the early chroniclers of the Province of St. Gregory the Great (Franciscan Province of the Philippines), wrote a short biography of all the missionaries that worked in the Philippines from the inception of the Province to the time of publication of his book. He wrote in a sober but objective and extremely reliable style.

[3] Fr. Horacio de la Costa, SJ. The Jesuits in the Philippines 1581-1768.Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1961; “Mission Stations”, p. 137, 142

[4]TAYTAY konek ka ba? Taytay ni Juan blog post 

[5] Cf. David P. Barrows. A History of the Philippines. New York-Cincinnati-Chicago.1903; p. 89-90; accessed 18 Aug. 2014

[6] TAYTAY konek ka ba? Taytay ni Juan blog post

[7] Cf. Renato Constantino. The Philippines – A Past Revisited.  Quezon City. 1975; pp. 60-61.

[8] Chirino del P. Pedro. Relacion de las Islas Filipinas y de lo que en ellas han trabajado los padres de la Compania de Jesus1557-1635. Roma, 1604; 2 Edicion, Manila, 1890; Capitulo XX, p 69 

[9] Fr. de la Costa, Op. cit., p. 138

[10] Ibid.

[11] Cf. Relacion de la Conquista de la Isla de Luzon, Manila, 1572; Retana, Archivo del Bibliofilo Filipino, vol. IV, p. 24

[12] Barrows, Op. cit., p. 137-138

[13] Barrows, Ibid.

[14] A controversy exists. According to Fray Gaspar de San Agustin in his book Conquistas de las Islas Filipinas, San Mateo was founded in 1572 (not in 1571 as presently claimed) as an annex of the town of Pasig. Fray Juan de Medina in his Relacion de los Conventos Y Pueblos Fundados por los PP. Agustinos, also recorded the establishment of the parish of San Mateo in 1572. Another account was that of Father Cavada, an Augustinian priest, who said that the first chapel in the country with San Mateo as patron was built on the riverside in 1596 south of the present poblacion which was then only a barrio of province of Tondo. (Pasig was also a town of Tondo.)

[15] OFM Philippines-Archives accessed July 2, 2014;
Endnotes [1]: All of the early chroniclers of the Province of St. Gregory [the Franciscan Order in the Philippines] agree to this fact. Cfr. La Llave, IV tiennio, cap. 10; Santa Inés, I, pp. 512-522; San Antonio, II,  p. 512 ss.; Huerta, pp. 499-500; Gómez Platero, pp. 17-18.  Sources on the birth and family background of Juan de Plasencia are unfortunately few and sketchy. However, this various information contained in the accounts of these chroniclers would serve enough to reconstruct the more important events in the life of Fray Plasencia.

[16] Fray Plasencia and his companions, left Seville for the port of Sanlucar de Barrameda on 31 May 1577. They journeyed through the high seas on the night of the June 24. OFM Philippines-Archives; accessed 13 Sept. 2014

[17] Fr. Felix de Huerta, OFM. Estado Geografico, Tofografico, Estodestico, Historico Religioso, de la Santa y Apostolica Provincia de San Gregorio Magno, de religiosos menores de scalzos de la regular y más estrecha observancia de N.S.P.S. Francisco, en las islas Filipinas. Imprenta de M. Sánchez y Cía, Manila, 1865; pp. 50, 53

[18] Fr. Eusebio Gomez Platero y Fernandez Portillo. Catalogo Biografico de los Religiosos Franciscanos de la Provincia de San Gregorio Magno de Filipinas, 1880; p.184

[19] Cf. Teodoro A. Agoncillo. History of the Filipino People, Eighth Edition, 1990; pp. 83-84

[20] An encomienda was a grant from the Spanish Crown to a meritorious Spaniard, like for example Legazpi, to exercise control over a specific place and the natives therein. The receiver of encomienda—called the encomendero—was “entrusted” (“encomendar” as translated in Spanish) to exploit the natives for labor, imposed tribute/tax according to the limit and kind set by higher authorities. In return, the encomendero was duty-bound to protect the natives from tribal enemies, to keep peace and order, to assist the friar-missionaries teach and Christianize the natives. Encomienda was a legal system instituted to protect the settler-inhabitants from exploitation and to educate them in Christian faith; it, therefore had tenets of the civil and ecclesial governance in function.

History blogger, Jose Mario ‘Pepe’ Alas, posited that “the distribution of land during the early years of Spanish rule had to start somewhere, and that was done through the encomienda system. The encomendero was also required to support the missionaries and to train the indios assigned to him how to grow various crops and raise farm animals. Through the encomienda system, the indios learned modern farming methods. Through the encomienda system, the carabao was imported from Vietnam to facilitate rice farming. All this stimulated modern agriculture.”  (Filipinoscribbles. The-truth about the encomienda, July 18, 2012; accessed July 25, 2014)

[21] With the success of Legazpi’s expedition (with his first 6 Augustinian companions), the king of Spain had ordered that the Islands should be settled, and divided into encomiendas to those who conquered and won them. Legazpi, in turn, given the Filipinos in encomienda to his captains and soldiers as fast as the conquest proceeded—even without the reduccion employed. Goití was an encomienda grantee for he accompanied Legazpi in 1565 in the exploration and colonization of the East Indies in the Pacific. He helped Legazpi found Manila on 24 June 1571 but killed by Chinese pirates led by Limahong who attacked Manila in 1574.      

Reduccion as a “development concept” would only come later with the arrival of Fray Plasencia and the Franciscans in 1578, and then formally upheld unanimously by the first Synod of Manila convened in 1582 by Fray Domingo Salazar, the first Manila Bishop. It also had the backing of the civil authority with the issuance of an ordinance by Governor-General Santiago de Vera.

[22] Fr. Pablo Pastells, SJ. Historia General de Filipinas. Barcelona, Spain. 1926; Vol. 2, p. 17

[23] Relacion de las Encomiendas, existentes en Filipinas. Retana, Archivo del Bibliófilo Filipino, Vol. IV

[24] Cf. Teodoro A. Agoncillo. History of the Filipino People, Eighth Edition. 1990; p. 84

[25] Barrows, Op. cit., p. 161;  accessed 18 Aug. 2014

[26] Cf. Catolos, Bedaña, Santos. Tanay Tercentenary Souvenir, 1640-1940: The Towns of Rizal Province. 1940; p. 133

[27] Fr. de la Costa, Op. cit., p. 137

[28] During Pres. Corazon Aquino’s term, informal settlers were relocated in the “floodway” areas of Taytay. Pres. Fidel Ramos issued Proclamation 704, allotted about 200 hectares in the same site to accommodate illegal settlers in Metro Manila. Pres. Erap Estrada promoted the same policy of his predecessors. After typhoon Ondoy, Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issued an Executive Order for the relocation of displaced Arenda settlers to other places, elsewhere but not in Lupang Arenda. Pres. Benigno Aquino III is being petitioned to declare Lupang Arenda as “suitable for habitation and housing use, and legitimize the resettlement of tens of thousands of informal dwellers.”

[29] Cf. Atty. Isidro T. Sanvictores. Kasaysayan at Kabihasnan ng Taytay. Pang-ala-alang Palatuntunan sa Pista ng Bayan sa Taytay, Pebrero 1959.

[30] Mano po Lola Ana”, Taytay ni Juan blog site, by Jose A. Fernandez 

[31] Cf. J. Specker. Die Missionsmethode in Spanisch America im 16. Jahrhundert mit besonderer Berchsichtigung der Konzilien und Synoden (Schoeneck/Beckenried: NZM, 1953); p. 22.         

Cf. chronicler Santa Ines, II, p. 364. As shown in a letter dated 9 October 1598 to early Spanish chronicler Lieutenant-General Dr. Antonio Morga, Fray Alexander Valignano, visitador of the Jesuit missionaries in Japan, preferred the term “conversion.” Fray Chirino used the term “mission” all throughout in his Relacion book. 

[32] Cf. Jose A. Fernandez. Lakbay-Pananampalataya, Parokya ni San Juan Bautista, Taytay (15 Sept. 2013); p. 21 

[33] Cf. Agoncillo, Op. cit., p. 80

[34] Cf. Alicia Coseteng. Spanish Churches in the Philippines Philippines. Quezon City, 1972)

[35] Fr. de La Costa, Op. cit., p. 141

[36] Cf. Chirino. The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 (English edition); explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the Catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the beginning of the nineteenth century; [Vol. 1, no. 12]; Ch. XX, p. 257-258;

[37] Serving-Liling de Leon. Salaysay ng Parokya ni San Juan Bautista, 17 February 1992  

[38] OFM Philippines-Archives; Accessed July 2, 2014; Doctrina Christiana was taught as quite dogmatic, reduced to the essential minimum. It included the following: a syllabary (phonetics), the Pater Noster, the Ave Maria, the Credo, the Salve Maria, the Articles of Faith, Ten Commandments, Commandments of the Holy Church, the Sacraments, Seven Mortal Sins, Fourteen Works of Charity, the Act of Contrition and Catechism consisting of thirty-three questions and answers, all in Spanish and Tagalog and transliterated into the pre-Hispanic Filipino Syllabary Alphabets. Here was prospected the simplest, easiest learned and most essential tenets of the Catholic Church.

[39] Paul Morrow. Baybayin – The Ancient Script of the Philippines; Accessed 13 Sept. 2014

[40] Doctrina Christiana, Catechism; Taytay ni Juan Blog site

[41] Cf. Juan de la Concepcion. Historia general de Philipinas, Manila, 1788-1792; Vol. 2, pp. 45-46.

[42] Fr. Jose “Long” D. Gutay, OFM, Life and Works of Fray Juan de Placencia

[43] Fr. Gomez Platero. Op. cit,, p.18

[44] Atty. Sanvictores. Op. cit.

[45] Cf. Catolos, Bedaña, Santos, Op. cit.

[46] Cf. Encyclopeadia Britannica

[47] Agoncillo, Op. cit.; p.77

[48] Fernandez, Op. cit., p. 14

[49] The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes, Jagor’s Travels in the Philippines. New York, 1916, Edited by Austin Craig; Chapter XXVII, p. 347;  Accessed 7 Sept. 2014

[50] Pardo de Tavera, “Las Costumbres de los Tagalos de Filipinas segun el P. Plasencia,” Revista contemporanea, año XVIII, num. 397, 15 de Junio de 1892; pp. 450-451. Quoted by Lorenzo Perez — Plasencia, p. 55.

[51] The Life and Works of Fray Plasencia;  Accessed July 2, 2014
The Relacion de las Costumbres de los Tagalos: The book speaks of the government of the Tagalog on administration of justice, slavery, inheritance, social system, and marriages. It tells of the barangay,consisting of one hundred houses, as the unit of government, ruled by a datu or maginoo; of the people divided into three distinct social classes: maharlika (nobility and freemen), aliping namamahay (commoners), and aliping saguiguilid (the slaves); of property ownership; of children—natural and adopted; of marriage; and of crimes and punishment. It explains the relation between these social classes and the origin of each. It states three ways of how a man may become a slave, namely: birth, debt, and captivity in war. It tells also of the king and the duties he renders to his subjects.

This “Civil Code” provided the natives the opportunity to protect and defend themselves in legal cases. The administrators of justice were admonished to conduct their duties accordingly. Fray Plasencia’s objective with the Relacion de las Costumbres and Instruccion was to end the injustices being committed by certain government officials against the natives. When the first Manila Bishop Domingo Salazar, a Dominican, denounced among others, the oppressive collection of taxes by the encomenderos, among those who rallied behind him were the Franciscan superiors. Fray Plasencia and the Franciscan superiors were again in support of Bishop Salazar when he called a council to address the issue of emancipating the Filipino slaves.

The writing of this book must have been triggered by these first known conflicts in the colony between the Church and the State in March 1581. The Relacion de las Costumbres was clearly Plasencia’s most important work, oftentimes quoted, cited and at times copied in its entirety by reliable authors and other contemporary historians such as La Llave, San Antonio, Pablo Rojo, Pardo de Tavera, Alejandro Paterno, [Judge] Dr. Antonio de Morga, Colon, Lorenzo Perez, Blair and Robertson.

[52] [Judge] Dr. Antonio de Morga. Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, 1609; p. 334; and David P. Barrows. History of the Philippines, 1903; pp. 167-168

[53] Fr. de La Costa, Op. cit., p. 389-391

[54] Fernandez, Op. cit.; p. 15

[55] Fr. Chirino, Op. cit., Capitulo IX, p. 32-34

[56] Cf. Fr. Chirino (English edition): Ch. XX, p. 256

[57] This christening was a sacramental act, a public ceremony naming and dedicating the “new town” to a patron Saint. Christening, like the sacramental acts of baptism, confirmation, and wedding are done only once for the same subject event and purpose. It is “for eternity.”

[58] Fr. Huerta, Op. cit., p. 53
Fr. Huerta narrates that San Juan del Monte(now San Juan City) and Taytay (also named San Juan del Monte) were both recorded as among the list of towns under the jurisdiction of Santa Ana de Sapa in 1578 even they were not yet officially organized via reduccion. With the name Taytay retained by Fr. Huerta in writing his book in the year 1865, the readers would not be confused with the existence of “two San Juan del Montes”.

[59] J.H. Elliott (2002). Imperial Spain 1469–1716 (Repr. ed.). London [u.a.]: Penguin Books. pp. 285–291

[60] Visitacion de la Torre. Landmarks of Manila: 1571-1930. Filipinas Foundation, Inc. Makati. 1981; p. 204.

[61] Cf. Rev. Ambrose Coleman OP. The Friars in the Philippines. Boston, May 5, 1899; p. 52

[62] Fr. Chirino. Op. cit., Capitulo XIV, p. 50-51

[63] Fr. Chirino, Op. cit., Capitulo XV, p. 52-54; Aba, bakit “ginoo” ang Mariang Ina?” Lakbay-Taytay Blogsite by J. Fernandez;

[64] Fr. de La Costa, Op. cit., p. 142-143

[65] Fr. de La Costa, Op. cit., p. 189-191

[66] Cf. Fr. Chirino (English edition): Ch. XX, p. 227

[67] Cf. The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes, Jagor’s Travels in the Philippines. New York, 1916, Edited by Austin Craig accessed 2 Sept. 2014 

[68] Fr. Coleman OP, Op. cit., pp. 16-17

[69] Fr. Chirino, Op. cit., Capitulo IX, p. 34

[70] Nick Joaquin. Ikon, Friar and Conquistador; Accessed Sept. 7, 2014

[71] Barrows, Op. cit., p. 103

[72] Paul Morrow, The Laguna Copperplate InscriptionAccessed Oct. 2, 2014

[73] Quijano de Manila. Why was the Rizal hero a Creole? In Ibarra & Simoun Flash, the Two Phases of the Other, Earlier Philippine RevolutionAccessed Oct. 21, 2014

[74] Nick Joaquin. The Tagalog-Kapampangan Alliance, 25 March 2009; with excerpts from the book The Pampangans by John Larkin

[75] Fernandez, Op. cit., p. 14

[76] Cf., Chirino del P. Pedro. Capitulo IX, p. 33; also: Fr. de la Costa, Op. cit., pp. 137-138

[77] This account was deduced from Kasaysayan at Kabihasnan ng Taytay – Pang-ala-alang Palatuntunan sa Pista ng Bayan sa Taytay, (Feb. 1959) by Atty. Isidro T. Sanvictores. References written by Mssrs. Jose Mateo and Jose M. Tamayo.

[78] Fr. de la Costa, Op. cit., pp.158-159

[79] Fr. Chirino, Op. cit., Capitulo XXII, p. 82-83

[80] Sanvictores, Op. cit. An article written by Jose M. Tamayo, a Taytayeño, supplied a list of gobernadorcillos (=municipal mayors) from 1651-1825

[81] Ikon, Friar and Conquistador, Nick Joaquin;  accessed Sept. 7, 2014

[82] Fr. Huerta, Op. cit., p. 101

[83] Sulpico Guevara, editor. (2005). The laws of the first Philippine Republic (The laws of Malolos)1898-1899. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Library (published 1972). pp. 104-119. (English translation by Sulpicio Guevara); Accessed Oct. 21. 2014 

[84] Fernandez, Op. cit., p. 41

[85] Ibid., p. 42    

[86] June 24, the feast day of St. John the Baptist, as the founding day of Taytay, a.k.a. San Juan del Monte. The point of origin is the year 1579; hence, the 436th year of founding of Taytay shall be commemorated on June 24 in the year 2015. Video: “Taytay 435 years na po!”, lolaana88 YouTube Channel

(First posted November 14, 2014; Current post edited)

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