Brief Historical Background

ANTIPOLO...The City on the mountain ridges east of Manila where the sun begins to shine. The City whose name was derived from the Tipolo trees growing indigenously on its land.trees with broad leaves that provide shade while gently fanning in the soothing breeze. Antipolo, the City of pilgrims and contemplatives, tourists and traders, artists and artisans.

cathedral historyRich in cultural and historical heritage, Antipolo's history dates way before the first Franciscan Missionary recorded its work in 1578. The land was home to indigenous tribes as the Dumagats, Tagals, Indians and Aetas. Its virgin forests of varied tropical trees were also nests to a diverse wildlife. Its rich water tables gushed forth as springs and waterfalls.

As the missionaries relentlessly pursued their 'Christianization' campaign, these natives desiring to keep their own way of life moved themselves into the hinterlands of neighboring mountains. Migrants supporting the missions came to settle and the semblance of a mission town firmly established itself and grew to the proportions it is today. The Jesuits came so did the Recollects.

A host of other religious congregations (both male and female) followed suit and took residence in this forested mountain whose cool breeze and verdant sceneries primed them into contemplative unions with the Creator. Word spread. The laity from lower lands also wanted a share of this haven. More so when the famed image of the Blessed Virgin Mary sculpted from a dark hardwood of Mexico was permanently enshrined in Antipolo.

Soon enough a shrine (evolving to Cathedral stature through the years) was built for this venerated image to allow all believers to ventilate their aspirations to her. As more pilgrims came, many were enamored to take residence in this pleasant town and established services related to pilgrims' needs. The trek up continued.the population grew while services expanded to the level of being a city. By February 13, 1998, Antipolo was promulgated into a city when, then President Fidel V. Ramos signed its bill into law.  

The Road To Cityhood

Cityhood marked the beginning of the period of Antipolo's greatest growth and development. From being one of the municipalities of Rizal Province, Antipolo has become one of the fastest growing cities in the country today, based on annual income and population.

Antipolo would not have become a city if not for the determined effort of then Congressman Gilberto "Bibit" Duavit, Sr, who started the long process for Antipolo's cityhood in 1995 with a luncheon meeting also attended by political kingpins of the province. Present were then Rizal Congressmen Emigdio "Ding" Tanjuatco, Jr., Governor Casimiro "Ito" Ynares Jr., Antipolo Mayor Daniel Garci a.  and then the Department of Interior and Local Government undersecretary Victor Sumulong.

It was also discussed that the whole province of Rizal, under Ynares had to back the move to convert Antipolo into a city. Moreover, the support of the Antipolo Municipal Government, under Garcia had to be earned because if a law was passed and a plebiscite held, then, the local government of Antipolo would spend for the exercise.

With the merits of cityhood presented, the political leaders of Rizal were convinced of the need for cityhood. In 1996, Duavit filed the bill for Antipolo, a municipality under his congressional district, to become a component city of Rizal. Legislation is a long and tedious process and to expedite the passage cityhood bill, Sumulong, with the backing of the two congressmen of Rizal, sought the help of key personalities in Congress.

Sumulong and Duavit first talked to Speaker Jose De Venecia and were able to get him on their side. Then, they convinced the Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government, Cong. Ciriaco Alfelor. With the support of the Speaker and the committee chairman, the cityhood bill passed the committee level and then shortly, at the plenary.

But for the bill to become a law, it must also pass the upper house of Congress, the Senate. Key Senators had to be sold to the idea of Antipolo's cityhood. Sumulong talked to Senate President Neptali Gonzales as well as to Majority Floor Leader, Senator Kit Tatad who set the agenda. Then, he sought the help of Senator Tito Sotto, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government. Sumulong finally got the support of the Senate leaders and the cityhood bill mustered the needed number of senators and was passed by the Senate in record time.

On February 13, 1998, President Fidel V. Ramos signed into law the bill making Antipolo City a component city of Rizal province. 

Difficult as the legislative hurdle was, getting the approval of the people of Antipolo proved to be an equally difficult task. The Commission on Elections (Comelec) scheduled a plebiscite on March 23, 1998, but, there was an objection filed against it. Then, Sumulong, an accomplished lawyer, argued the merits of holding the plebiscite before Comelec Chairman Bernardo Pardo. The Chairman agreed with Sumulong's argument and ruled that the plebiscite shall be held April 4 on the same year. But another petition was filed to stop it again, this time before the Supreme Court.

Sumulong had to defend the importance of the cityhood of Antipolo before the highest judicial body. He argued the case before Chief Justice Andres Narvasa, who later agreed in favor of the merits of his arguments and allowed the plebiscite to take place on April 4, 1998.

The result was an overwhelming victory with cityhood prevailing by a ratio of 8 to 1. Antipolo became a component city of Rizal province and started its march to progress and development.

The road to cityhood of the pilgrimage capital of the Philippines - Antipolo City -has been a long and winding one beset by obstacles on its path. But, the combined efforts and noble gesture of Sumulong, Ynares, Duavit, and Tanjuatco have surmounted the obstacles of cityhood. The precedent-setting act of Ynares, Duavit and Tanjuatco, who hailed from other towns, is considered an unparalleled statesmanship. This monumental act will remain indelibly marked in the hearts of all Rizalenos, especially the people of Antipolo.


ANG PUNONG TIPULO (The Antipolo Tree) 

By: Bienvenido M. Alarcon

Ang puno ng Tipolo o ang Antipolo Tree ay isang mahalaga at makasaysayang punong kahoy sa Lungsod ng Antipolo. Bukod sa sinasabing dito hinango ang pangalan ng pook na ito ay sa mga sanga pa rin daw nito nakita ang imahe ng Birhen ng Antipolo matapos ang tatlong ulit na pagkawala nito sa pook ng Sitio Santa Cruz na unang pinagdalhan sa kanya, humigit-kumulang sa tatlong daan at pitumpo at siyam na taon na ang nakalilipas.

Bunga ng pangyayari, sa pook na iyon na ngayon ay kinatatayuan ng Antipolo Cathedral ay ipinagawa ng mga paring Hesuita ang simbahang bato noong 1630-1633 na sa kasamaang palad ay nawasak noong Marso 6-7, 1945 sa panahon ng pagtatapos ng Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig sa Pasipiko.

Ang punong kahoy na ito na ayon sa kasaysayan ay malaganap na tumutubo sa lahat halos ng panig ng Antipolo apat na raang taon na ang nakalilipas ay unang nakilala sa kanyang pang agham na pangalang (scientific name) Artocarpus Incisa. Subalit sa mga aklat na The Forest of the Philippines ni H.N. Whitford noong 1911; Commercial Woods of the Philippines ni E.G. Schneider; Minor Product of Philippine Forest ni William H. Brown noong 1920 ng Bureau of Forestry; gayon din sa aklat na Philippine Woods ni Luis J. Reyes ng Department of Agriculture and Commerce noong 1938 ay sinasabing Artocarpus Cummunis.

Ayon pa rin sa nabanggit na mga aklat ang punong kahoy na ito ay hindi lamang sa pook ng Antipolo matatagpuan. Maging sa mga lalawigan ng bansa buhat sa Cagayan hanggang Mindanao ay marami din nito. At sa bawat bayan o lalawigan ay may kanya-kanyang katawagan (common name) ito na gaya ng tipulo, tipolo, pakak, kamangsi, rima, ugob, pakak-bakia, tuyop, kamanse, dalungian, agob, basara, tagob, tugob, atipuno, antipolo, at iba pa.

Sinasabi pa rin sa nabanggit na mga aklat na ang mga punong kahoy na kapamilya ng Antipolo Tree ay ang Anubing (Artocarpus Cumingiana) at ang Nangka (Artocarpus entergra/integrefolia).

Sa ibang lalawigan ay sinasabi rin na kinakain ang murang bunga nito sa pamamagitan ng pagsasama sa nilagang karne. Ang magulang na mga buto naman ay ibinubusa na 'tulad ng balatong. Subalit dito sa Lungsod ng Antipolo ay hindi kinakain ito. Ang tuyong dahon laman nito, kasama ang tuyong dahon din ng abocado at sariwang dahon naman ng pandan ay isinasama sa pinakulo o nilagang tsaa upang maging mabango at malinamnam ang lasa.

Samantala, sa pahina 162 ng The heritage Illustrated Dictionary of the English Language International Edition, na ang punong kahoy na Artocarpus Cummunis ( or A. Incisa) ng pook ng Polynesia ay ang tinatawag na Breadfruit. Subalit sa pahina 158 naman ng The New International Encyclopedia 1996 Edition published by Triden Press International ay sinasabi na sa South Pacific ang Breadfruit nila ay ang Artocarpus Atilus na kapamilya ng mga puno ng mulberry ay kinakain ang bunga. Marami rin daw ang tumutubo nito sa tropical America. Kung ano ang pagkakahawig, pagkakamukha, o pagkakaiba ng mga iyon sa ating Antipolo Tree ay malalaman natin sa ibang pagkakataon.

Samantala pa rin, sa gitna ng kahalagahan ng Antipolo Tree, ang lahat halos ng sektor ng mga mamamayan ng Lungsod ng Antipolo ay waring walang pagmamalasakit dito. Katunayan, samantalang isinusulat ito, humigit-kumulang lamang marahil sa bilang na limampu ang natitirang tumutubo doon na halos walang pumapansin liban kung ang lilim nito ay gagawing pananggalang sa init ng araw at mga bahagyang pag-ambon.

Sa liwasang bayan ng Lungsod ng Antipolo, lubhang napakahirap paniwalaan subalit tutoo, wala kahit isang puno ng Antipolo Tree ang nakatanim o tumutubo dito. Maging sa mga lote ng pribado at publikong paaralan dito sa Antipolo ay mahirap makakita ng kahit isang Antipolo Tree na tumutubo doon. Kung mayroon man, napaguusapan kaya ng mga guro at mga estudyante nila ang tungkol sa punong kahoy na ito?

Sa gilid ng open space na kinaroroonan ng basketball court ng Monte Rosas Executive Village sa Barangay Dela Paz ay may dalawang puno ng Antipolo Tree na itinanim ng inyong lingkod walong taon na ang nakalilipas. Napakaganda ng tubo, malilim at malaking kasiyahan ang naidudulot nito sa mga naninirahan doon lalo na sa kanilang mga kabataan.

Sa tabi ng gusali ng yumaong Francisco 'komong' Sumulong sa Ninoy Aquino Blvd., Barangay Dela Paz na kung saan naroroon ang tanggapan ng DENR, ay isang magandang puno ng Antipolo Tree ang matatagpuan. Iyon ay kaloob ng iyong lingkod kay Ka Aging Reyes Sumulong walong taon na ang nakalilipas.

Maidadagdag pa rin natin dito na sa tabi ng Barangay Hall ng Dalig ay isang napakaganda ring Antipolo Tree ang itinanim ni Kapitan Engineer Loni M. Leyva. Gayon din sa tabi ng magandang tahanan nina Doktora Resurrection Marrero-Acop, MD sa Barangay Dela Paz; Dr. Juan F. Torres Jr. MD sa Cottonwood Height; at Rico Naidas sa tabi ng kanilang Las Brisas Hotel & Conference Center malapit sa Beverly Hills.

Sa mga taga-Antipolo, matapat nating pahalagahan ang puno ng Tipulo, ang Antipolo Tree, na luntiang simbulo ng maluwalhating kaysaysayan, kultura, at mga tradisyon ng ating Lungsod.