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La Trenchera: Alaminos, Laguna

Posted in Balikbayan Stuff with tags , , on March 19, 2010 by Leonard

You must turn right after climbing a long winding road from Calauan and reaching San Pablo to reach Alaminos. Alaminos is a small community lying on a plain, west of San Pablo de los Montes. It used to be a barrio of San Pablo, which then belonged to the Province of Batangas. The prairie community used to be a bamboo grove. A thorny variety of bamboo grows here profusely. It serves as a natural defense. Residents however feel unsecured because its location, at the easternmost end of Batangas, amidst a thick forest is a perfect hideaway for bandits. They roam all around, marauding villagers.

To protect themselves, they dug trenches around the village. Hence it was called “La Trenchera,” which means “the trenches” or bunker.
From a small community of Batangeños, La Trenchera grew to become a prosperous agricultural village. In 1873, prominent citizens felt their capability for self-sufficiency. The desire to breakaway from San Pablo and govern their own community grew stronger day by day.

Don Cirilo Baylon (a.k.a. Cabezang Eloy), the Spanish speaking Cabeza de Barangay of La Trenchera, took the opportunity of an inspection tour of San Pablo, conducted by Alcalde Mayor Juan Vivara de Alaminos. Here he led local residents to present a petition requesting La Trenchera to be independent from San Pablo and proclaim it a town. He then invited the alcalde mayor to visit La Trenchera. Vivara accepted the invitation. Residents of the village gave the alcalde mayor a grand welcome in La Trenchera. The beautiful sister of Cabezang Eloy presented him a bouquet of flowers and handed him the written petition requesting for the conversion of La Trenchera into a town renamed Alaminos, in honor of the alcalde mayor. The alcaldia chief executive was deeply flattered and promised to present the petition to the Governador-General in Malacañang

Two months later, the Governor y Capitan General granted the request. Alcalde Mayor Juan Vivara de Alaminos read the proclamation at a banquet given him by the residents of La Trenchera, which is now Alaminos.
The alcalde mayor appointed Cabezang Eloy as interim Gobernadorcillo and Capitan Constables del Pueblo.

After the revolution, the self-declared republic of Aguinaldo, and the brief Fil-American war, citizens of Alaminos again lived in peace. The American proclaimed government installed Don Nicomedez Flores, Municipal president of Alaminos. Rafael Baylon succeeded him in 1903 before Alaminos again become a barrio of San Pablo, which at this time is a town of Laguna.

In 1908, Alaminos regained its status as a town, but this time of the Province of Laguna. Don Nicomedes Flores also retained his position as Municipal President until 1909. The people of Alaminos reelected him to continue his term of office until 1913.


GMA has laser eyes!

Posted in Bone to Pick, News, Politics with tags , , , , on February 5, 2008 by Leonard

by Leonard Cervantes

This article also appears in Kapisanan Blog


In a speech she made today, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) said she is “focused like a laser” on moving the economy forward, not on politics, in the wake of the ouster of her estranged ally, Jose de Venecia Jr. (JDV 2), as House Speaker in the NBN Scandal.

You might be asking yourself a few questions:

1. Why did GMA say “focused like a laser”. Man, that’s so corny pinoy it bothers me.

2. What’s this new NBN scandal again? Again!?!

3. Who is Jose De Venecia Jr. (JDV 2) and why was another person ousted from the government again?

4. Why in the blue hell are there SMA (so many acronyms)?!?!

Especially for 2nd-Gen Filipinos living abroad, navigating around the confusing and complicated world of Philippine politics is almost impossible. Even if you are brave enough to try and read an article from ‘back home’, you’ll probably be overwhelmed by all the names, terms, and system of government (or lack thereof) that so differs from what we have here.

That’s probably a good explanation why the majority of us aren’t aware of Philippine politics. How can we have an opinion if we don’t understand how it works, or how it’s supposed to work in the first place? What we need is someone to break it down.

Strap on your seat belt and concentrate really hard — I’ll do my best to make sense of it all…

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