Angono, Rizal Philippines

The people of Angono trace their origin to a myth in which the first man and woman are said to come forth inside a reed or bamboo. On more solid grounds, however, there seems to be only general inference as to where the early inhabitants of Angono came from. The whole territory around Laguna de Bay was simply known as peopled by the Tagalogs.  At the same time, when the Spaniards came to the Philippines, the area of Angono was not as much mentioned compared to other lakeshore settlements, giving the conclusion that it was populated less than those which figured in historical documents.

Thus, it was to Cainta, a populous settlement, where Captain Juan de Salcedo went in his pacification campaign of the lake region in 1571. Natives from other settlements nearby reinforced the defenders of Cainta. Probably, some of the reinforcements were from Angono. Salcedo called all of them “Moros”, perhaps in the beginning stages of Islamization just as Lakandula and Sulaiman were. The name Angono stems from various story sources. One such story describes the area of Angono as abundant in fish and animal life, with perennial grass and virgin forests, but infested by crocodiles. The Spaniards who went there found a village of huts consisting of 50 families and ruled by Datu Biga. The huts were on four posts made up of tree branches, bamboos and cogon, tied together by “baging” (vines). Food gathering was done by the use of implements like the “silo” (for wild deer/pig) and the “pana”, “salap” and “salapang” (for fish). The villagers had rice, vegetables and fruit trees. The Datus dwelling was located on a hilltop, a place in which still presently bears his name – Biga. Natives refer to their datu as “Ang Puno” or “Ang Uno”, which carried on with the Spaniards, also attributing to it to the place where the datu and his followers resided. When the area pacified, Angono progressed as a “visitas” in the vicinity of Pasig, which was the mother parish.

Turning to the documents on descriptions of how lake settlements looked like, a priest historian described the lake region in 1603 as one of the most remarkable in the world. The region was full of rivers, villages and grooves. The lake was of fresh water and had islets abounding in fish, herons, duck and other water fowls, not to mention crocodiles which infested the area. Other mother parishes successively administered the “visita” of Angono. After Pasig, it was “visita” of Taguig, then Morong, and finally, of Binangonan. When Angono was a “visita” of Binangonan, sometime in 1737, both contained 100 “tributes”, that is, taxpayers. Both were always written together as “Pueblos de Bay y Binangonan con la estancia de Angono”. Historical sources also refer to the Angono area, simultaneous with its growth as a “visita”, as an “estancia” (ranch) and hacienda. Sources point out that certain Spaniard purchased a hacienda in Angono in 1745. Angono was described as a ranch – “lands which could be had almost for a song”. Documents often pertain to Angono specifically as both “hacienda y estancia”. Survey and court records demarcate the hacienda and estancia of Angono as follows: It ran along the shorelines of Laguna de Bay from the Estero Lagundi in Barrio San Jose (Muson) up to Arroyo Malabon (Tulay ng Lasi) towards Binangonan. Inland, the hacienda-estancia extended from Tutulo in Binangonan to Barrio San Guillermo including Piedra Blanca, then to Paso de Lodo up to Monte Payon in Santa Rosa (Teresa), and then to Colayque between Angono and Antipolo. These land tracts changed ownership several times. Later, owners at the end of the Spanish regime subdivided them and sold to different owners, who secured their claims under the Torrens title system. Hacienda-estancia owners brought in cattle, goats, carabaos, swine and chicken. With the care of their tenants, these livestock multiplied in great number, opening up the whole place of Angono for market and commercial opportunities. Angono soon became a middle of the way market where the towns people of Antipolo, Teresa, Taytay and Cainta met in direct trade and commerce. Balite was the specific part of Angono that became natural open marketplace during Fridays. Thus, together with the natural vegetation of the area, Angono was a place with varied sources of livelihood – farming, duck-raising and fishing.

Fish in the Laguna lake was the one source of sustenance. The “Kanduli” or Manila sea catfish in once the lake’s most delicious species. Besides, Angono abounded in mango and other fruit trees, and its forest yielded various kinds of products. The Angono area is traditionally a quarry area. The stones were quarried through dynamite blasting Angono’s stones were harder than marble and their color were aquamarine. These were hauled out in immense volume, going to become immense fillings of many churches and government buildings in Manila’s Intramuros. In 1751, Angono became a “capellanla” which was entitled to a cura parroco or a chaplain. After fifteen years, Angono was created into a pueblo in 1766, although other sources place the date in 1751 or 1753. Be that as it may, Angono had a population of 1,739 in 1766. Juan Magbitae was its first gobernadorcillo. The pueblo of Angono was then under the jurisdiction of Laguna Province, later under the Disrito de los Montes de San Mateo, which was renamed in 1857 to Politico Militar del Distrito de Morong.

Angono in 1857 had 1,833 inhabitants. It remained part of Morong’s political – military district under the end of the Spanish rule in 1898. During the revolution against Spain, most Angono males did not join the Katipunan. In fact, the troubled period went on in Angono without disturbance or outbreak of violence. On June 11, 1901, the Philippine Commision enacted Act 137 creating Rizal Province and incorporating Angono and Cainta with Taytay, the seat of the new municipal government. In November 1903, Act 948 separated Angono from Taytay and returned to Binangonan, as one of the latter’s barrio. In 1903, Angono had a population of 2,231. It was in 1903 that Angono had a land tenure dispute. The tenants of the old hacienda y estancia of Angono usurped ownership of the land and this dispute lasted up to 1909.

On August 19, 1938 through Executive Order 158 signed by President Quezon, Angono became a new municipality effective January 1, 1939, with five barrios: Bagong Bayan, Poblacion, San Isidro, San Roque and San Vicente. Total population in 1938 increased to 3,896. By 1960, with another barrio added, Dona Aurora, the population reached 7,093. Republic Act 6469 of June 17, 1972 ratified Executive Order 158 and established the legality of Angono’s status as a municipality.

Angono is also a factory place. The factories mostly manufacture gloves and clothing for export. In 1975, the town was classified as a 5th class town with an annual income of P520,000.00. It remains one of the 14 towns of Rizal out of the original 26 towns, the other 12 having been included as part of the greater Metro Manila.

Angono today is a 1st class municipality with an increased number of subdivisions, business establishments and continuous migration of people. Hand in hand with the increase in population are the growing needs and problems of the populace, accompanied by environmental changes that affect the economic and social life of the people. Because of these, the local government unit has always adopted strategies in its comprehensive planning to maximize its resources in implementing short and long-term priority projects that will benefit the town of Angono and its people towards the next millennium.

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