THE FASCINATING ORIGIN OF THE CITY IN THE SKY
It would be an interesting and fascinating study to trace the growth of great cities which are today the vital nexus of civilization. There are cities which set the imagination aflame with their historical drama and romance. Cities such as Carthage, Troy, Athens, Karakorum, Baghdad, Babylon, Rome and Granada of ancient and medieval times, as well as the towering alabaster metropolises of today: Tokyo, Bombay, Peking, Madrid, Paris, London, Mexico, Quebec and Los Angeles.
Most of all, it would be interesting to know the origin of our own cities such as Davao, Zamboanga, Iloilo, Cebu, Manila, Baguio and Vigan among others. In the case of Antipolo City, its creation was of recent origin of a little more then half century, and there are Filipinos living today to whom the event has been engraved in their memories.
The City of Antipolo lies approximately 29.30 km. East of Manila and is bounded on the North by the town of Montalban, on the northwest by the towns of Marikina and San Mateo, on the southeast by the towns of Tanay, Teresa and on the southwest by the Town of Taytay and Cainta. It is about 10 km. North to South and about 20 km. From East to West. The City was named after a tree locally known as Tipolo (Autocarpus Incisa) which was in abundance in the area at the time. The early written account of the city's history was recorded in 1578 by the Franciscans missionaries who came to christianize the natives like the Dumagats. Early records referred to the natives as Tagal, Indians and Black (the aetas). It is said that these missionaries built the church at Bosoboso. In 1591, the Jesuits replaced the Franciscans in Antipolo who organized the village into a parish. They built a chapel in Sitio Sta.Cruz, among them were Fr. Pedro Chirino and Fr. Francisco Almarique. The same year, the first homily in Tagalog was delivered in a mass celebrated at what is now known as the "PINAGMISAHAN".
In those years, the virgin forest of Antipolo covered most of its mountains ranges with varied tropical trees and wildlife. There are many springs supporting several waterfalls, the most popular of which is the "Hinulugang Taktak".
By 1601 there are about 3,000 Christians residing in Antipolo. At about the same period, the number of negritos significally dwindled, moving deeper into the mountains. The missionaries tried to bring them back to the village by offering the fertile lands to till. Father Almarique gave them all the services the Church can provide. The congregations known as the La Anunciata composed of the students and inhabitants continued their unified devotion to the Blessed Virgin by consistently celebrating the Feast of Anunciata.
On March 25, 1626 Governor Juan Niño De Tabora brought the country from Acapulco, Mexicothe image of the Virgin and before he died, he bequeathed the image was installed at Sitio Sta. Cruz and it is said that this was lost several times and each time was recovered on a Tipolo tree. Because of this unusual incidents, it was decided in 1632 to erect the church at that place under the administration of Fr. Juan de Salazar.
In 1639, the Chinese revolted to the protest that increased in taxes reaching the village of Antipolo and the church was burn to the ground by the rebels. Miraculously, the image was unharmed. The Virgin was taken to Sitio Ginapao and then brought to Cavite upon orders of the Governor General. It stayed in Cavite for 14 years. Ten years from the said incidents, it was re-named Virgin of Peace and Good Voyage after it was travelled five more times to Acapulco, Mexico before it rested permanently in the town. In the meantime, the village of Antipolo became a town in 1650. By 1850, the town was still part of the province of Tondo. The Province was divided in two towns were placed under Manila while others were placed under the District of Morong. In 1853, Antipolo was formally placed under the district then known as Los Montes de San Mateo which was later known as the District of Morong in 1857. The recollect priest took over the parish of Antipolo in 1864.
It was during these years that the Virgin of Antipolo gained thousands of devotee. Devotees from Manila, nearby towns and provinces flock to Antipolo to foot along mountain rails and springs. Most of them are faired-skinned and more civilized (The Tagalogs). Some stayed and adopted as their homes. Civilizations drove the natives further away into the mountains. Traditions also put it that when pestilence hit towns of Antipolo, Cainta and Taytay. The Virgin of Antipolo was taken upon advice of the Parish Priest to what is known as Pinagmisahan. A mass was celebrated there and prayers wre heard and the suffering vanished. The population of Antipolo including Bosoboso was registered at 3,286 on March 2, 1903. As early as those years Banda 12 a brass band, already existed. The railway by 1906 started from Pasig up to Taytay-Cainta. Religious devotees walked from the end of the railway to Antipolo and the more affluent are carried hammocks called "Hamaka". The first train to reach Antipolo was on December 24, 1908.
In 1929, German San Jose (Gerry Brandy) of Malate, Manila, composed the song of ANTIPOLO ( Tayo na sa Antipolo) which immediately made national attention. On June 15, 1952, Hinulugang Taktak was proclaimed a National Park and on January 14, 1954, the Bishops of the Philippines proclaimed the Cathedral of Antipolo as the official shrine of the Virgin of Antipolo.
The people of Antipolo lived a simple and traditional Pilipino lifestyle. Their culture and tradition included the celebrations of many religious and cultural festivities such as the Kapitanes and Kapitanas on Easter Sunday, the night of serenades, Bayanihan, reciting of Angelus, reading of the Passion of Christ during the Lenten season and festivities on May and June. The association known as the Nuestra Señora Dela Anunciata, established many years back continuous to practice many of these old traditions.
THE FACE OF WAR
When the Filipino rose in revolt against the Spaniards, many Antipoleños joined the rebels. They had an encounter with the Spanish soldiers at Mt. Makatubong, a mountain within Antipolo, Juan Sumulong became the secretary of the revolutionaries in the province. Two months after the declaration by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo of the Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898 at Kawit, Cavite, Antipolo formally joined the revolutionary government and it was made the capital of Morong. But when the country was occupied by the Americans on June 4, 1899, the revolutionary government was transferred to the town of Tanay.
During the Second World War (1941-1945) many able-bodied men from Antipolo joined the Philippine Scout and the USAFFE and fought in the bloody battle of Bataan. Two guerilla units continued the struggle during the Japanese occupation. They were the HUNTERS ROTC under Miguel Ver and Terry Adevoso and the MARKING FIL-AMERICAN TROOP which was established and led by Marcos Villa Agustin more popularly known under the name of Brig. General Agustin Marking. Many inhabitants were tortured and killed by the Japanese, among them are: Mayor Pascual Oliveros and son Reynaldo; Padre Eusebio Carreon; Padre Ariston Ocampo; Sis. Ma. Elizabeth Cagulanas, RVM; Sis. Ma. Consuelo Recio, RVM; Antonio Masangkay and Alfonso Oliveros. The liberation of Antipolo from the Japanese forces was bloody and devastating. February 17, 1945, Antipolo was heavily bombarded by American planes. In the midst of widespread conflagration and heavily civilian casualties, the people of Antipolo evacuated at Sitio Kulaike and up to towns of Angono, Santolan and Markina. They brought with them the Virgin of Antipolo from Quiapo church on October 15, 1945.
After the civil government was restored in 1901 by the Americans, Valentin Sumulong was became the first Presidente (Alkalde) of the town. The Province of Morong was renamed Rizal Province and some of the towns near Manila were made part of the province. The next Presidente of the town were Tranquilino Oldan and Severino Oliveros. During their incumbencies in 1908, Antipolo was honored with the appointment of Juan Sumulong as the first Judge for land registration and later member of the Phlippine Commission. Francisco Dimanlig and Ambrosio Masangkay also became Presidentes of the town. In 1913, the sitios of Mayamot and Bulao became part of Antipolo. After this, Roberto De Jesus, Federico Asuncion and Sixto Pedracio served as Presidentes.
January 1, 1919 under Executive Act. No. 57, Teresa was segregated from Antipolo. Not long after, roads wee built connecting Taytay and Antipolo, then, public transportation became available. When Cornelio Lawis became Mayor of the town, he improved the roadways by putting stones over them. The first town hall was erected in 1925 during the incumbency of Mayor Jose Carigma. Juan Sumulong was elected Senator under Partido Demokrata and Marcelino Santos succeeded as mayor in Antipolo. In 1930, Pascual Oliveros became mayor of Antipolo and electric services reached the town proper. After the 2 nd World War, the Antipoleños rebuilt their homes and their lives from the ashes of war. Led by Mayor Manuel Seranillo, Padre Francisco Avendano, Jose Lawis and Leoncio Anclote, the people built a temporary church and turned the Virgin of Antipolo was held starting at the hills of Pinagmisahan headed by Padre Francisco Avendano. On November 11, 1947, Mayor Isaias Tapales was inaugurated as mayor of the town. Jose R. Olivares was re-elected Municipal Mayor in the 70's, with Felix B. Marinas as the Vice Mayor, they completed the construction of the Municipal town hall.
When the EDSA revolt broke out in 1986, many residents joined the people's revolt at the EDSA after which President Corazon Aquino was installed as President of the Revolutionary Government, the town officials were replaced. Named Officer-In-Charge was Francisco de Jesus while Felix B. Marinas remained as Vice Mayor who became the OIC after the death of De Jesus. Before the elections on January 18, 1988, Marinas was replaced as OIC by Dr. Rodrigo Ambas. In 1988 Mayor Daniel S. Garcia was elected and remained as Mayor of Antipolo until the expiration of his term in 1998.
Hinulugang Taktak was declared a national historical shrine under Republic Act 6964 sponsored by then Congressman Francisco "Komong" Sumulong on September 18, 1990. On February 13, 1998, then President Fidel V. Ramos signed into the law of bill jointly sponsored by Congressman Gilbert "Bibit" Duavit and Egmidio "Ding" Tanjuatco, making the municipality of Antipolo into a component city of the Province of Rizal. Republic Act No. 8508 became the charter of the City of Antipolo in a plebiscite called for the purpose and Antipolo acquired corporate existence as the City of Antipolo. Following its new status, in the election held on May 11, 1998, Angelito C. Gatlabayan was first elected City Mayor of Antipolo and Agripino G. Garcia as his Vice Mayor. Victor R. Sumulong, son of the illustrious Filipino Senator Lorenzo Sumulong was elected Congressman of the lone district of Antipolo. May 14, 2001, Election was held and the incumbent Mayor Angelito C. Gatlabayan won the election as the City Mayor and Lorenzo "Enchong" Zapanta as his Vice Mayor. Incumbent Congressman Victor R. Sumulong also won the same title in May 14 Election.