10th blog … sampung balabag …. iferry moko manila!

november 29, a few years back was the date when the regular ferry boat fare was only 45 pesos from pasig town to escolta …

about an hour and a half cruise on the muddy and murky waters of an ancient river known as ilog pasig, a contemporary of the more popular indus, nile, yangtze or yellow rivers of the other worlds.

nowadays,  ferry operation is on and off, sometimes does not ply the route but will return in days to come  

anyway, this was the river in my senile memory where the british armada chased the spanish fleet forcing its mexican, chinese and visayan  soldiers to flee on foot on the knee-deep waters of “bagong ilog” after which a barangay in the town of pasig was named …

the plan of the retreating force was to escape through another river called then as “ilog wawa”,  marikina river now,  to reach the wilderness of “amang bundok” in “mabunga”, a kingdom of a noble tagalog clan in the past …

another recourse was to seek refuge in the sanctuary of a certain lady by the name of magdalena pinga who was the representative of a native noble family being subdued by the spanish crown of the far west at that time …

i counted the number of bridges starting from bambang, pronounced as bengbeng by some foreigners, where we took on the air-conditioned ferry boat as a couple of senior citizens acting like tourists with a camera clicking the time away …

with the initial boredom while at the first station due to humidity until the motor and waves started, we saw the ten bridges along the way in my tally could be eleven if we started a station behind at san joaquin or pinagbuhatan … 

i can now remember the names of places at the eastern point of the river, such as bambang in pasig where the river napindan actually starts from the end or the mouth of  laguna lake that was lawang babaye somewhere in nagpayong in the farthest east side  …

going west is guadalupe in barangay pineda, made famous by the famed but lost buwayang bato in barangka and pineda, the meaning of which is still vague to almost all of the concerned residents  …

uncertainties in etymology are also obvious in hulo and lambingan of panaderos leading to kalentong, when old panaderos could mean old bakers that hides the former ag&p marine and a certain dainty lass and a woman known to me cze asistio  …

these stations are within spitting distance with a tributary waterway of garbage to and from san river river that was then a pristine source of drinking water of the natives right from the river sans the presence and arrival of people from the west …

pandacan did not escape my inquisitive mind asking why the name pandakan? was it because of the pandakeka plants that thrived, not the small people that you have in mind? … and I saw pup in the vicinity of paco and santa mesa which obviously are spanish derived … 

then the boat reached nagtahan and the image of  a palace known as malacanan or “may lakan diyan” or “mala cana” according to some,  that emerges into view to haunt our memories …

this is where my wife shoved to me the camera to photo shoot the place which i did not heed because of a uniformed guard who barked the “not allowed” warning, for what reason only they knew …

maybe he thought that we were tourist-terrorists camouflaged as senior citizens who could sabotage their affairs in manila …

eddie ramos was president no more that time but maybe he thought that the river way could be the starting point of wealth for his family through monopoly of a water transport system, so he or his partners could have managed this ferry business …

never in his mind that his business acumen was no much to the succeeding corruption of presidents who will give the same eye of greed to  the same scheme, so let us wait and see who will win …

these riverbanks were the meeting place of ancient tagalog fishermen or “namamalakaya” as real source of the name when throngs of bamboos grew and used as temporary shanties with nipa roofs  …

the conquistadores wrongly saw these houses as “mala cana” as they pointed to the poor or bad bamboo, not knowing the the seasoned bamboos or “taga sa panahon”  were the ones being used by the local fishermen for decent dwellings upland …

all they knew were the temporary rest houses  seen in the islet of the river serving as resting place of the fishermen … they even missed in their history books that native edifices and structures made of stones being in existence as house worship of the the native tagalog were already there even before their arrivals.

the intruders started to call the homes of the natives as all “bahay kubo” or cube houses without looking at the real and actual strong houses of the tagalog natives …

they made the concrete structures of the inhabitants’ dwellings as the location of hospicio de san jose for example, although the natives already use these edifices as their “sambahan” where the ordinary subjects of the nobles would gather to honor their “anito”, exactly as what happened to various places in the katagalugan …

these believers of a new christian faith realized the abundance of faithfuls in this part of the world, so they helped in refurbishing the native house of worships;  

joined and participated in the native processions during the celebration of the harvest season that was in time of the equinox;  paraded their own images of saints with their own crosses that was hospitably allowed by our own inhabitants …

soon, the foreigners gained dominance in the indigenous affair with the help of their swords which went very deep in our tagalog history that themselves concocted …

 right after that islet of a river called pasig is ayala bridge along side the department of budget building of the government …

then the quezon bridge with feati at its foot, and the mcarthur bridge, while the last of these bridges that i saw from their bottom side was jones that ended our journey right there in escolta  where we rested for a while just to buy rolls of poland hopia and satisfy our colonial thirst and savor all these colonial names …

all these I tried to remember as i trace back the way of the ancient tagalog nobles and warriors riding, sailing and paddling their boats and wooden barges to and from the bodies of waters of  manila and laguna, known to the tagalog natives then as lawang maynila and lawang babaye. 

one of the missions of my journey was to locate the vicinities and eyewitness the existence of ESTERO DE MAGDALENA and CALLE MAGDALENA, however late,  that was later named as masangkay which meant masamang kahoy  to landmark  a place but without the benefits of how and why  …

magdalena was a grand lady with maginoo roots of the pinga clan who made a last will and testament on the conveyance of the lands of her noble ancestors in favor of the common tagalog inhabitants …

how and why the real outcomes came to be on such endowment can only be answered by the colonial governments that paraded then in glee, but later on forgot the significance until now.  

this was the land-source or a part of the “lupang payatas” of the noble land from which  malacanan mansion measuring more 19 hectares on both sides of the river were derived and titled during the time of quezon  …

the grand scheme of transferring the noble tagalog lands started after the treaty of paris when puerto rico, guam, cuba and philippines were ceded by the spanish government to the united states  …

with religious and political manipulations they termed as legal, the sceme was participated in by a representative from a family they subsequently named as Penya or Pena which traced his native maternal roots from magdalena pinga, the woman who made a last will and testament regarding the tagalog noble lands.

architect juan arellano was responsible for the design of the new palace with antonio toledo, a far cry from the later one built by rafael de echague,  former governor general of   puerto rico, through the construction ability of a chinese mestiso named yaptiongco or  yaptangco  …

the structural development of a palace called malacanan commenced after the rocha’s construction of a “mansion” by the side of the said river  out of a place that was native to the tagalog inhabitants ….

but i was looking for bilibid viejo of our great ancestor, gregorio pinga who was engaged with abaka exportation by the galleon trade at that time, which place became a prison for his undying and relentless advocacy of a tagalog republic of the MAGDIWANG …

the secret society became the foundation of the famed katipunan of bonifacio, jacinto, alvarez, sakay, diwa, monica and geronimo  …

and this prompted me ask if the location of “bilibid nuevo” is muntinglupa where a mestizo named mesa or misa was tasked to be in-charge during those days …

unfortunately,  they were never made made aware of the etymology of “bilibid” which was actually entanglement of abaka ropes.

i was really looking forward for a meal at either president, hap chan or wah san somewhere in  ongpin and arranque to take a munch of a fish called “mameng” from palawan, but we were kept busy hiking the roads of  binondo just to enter a church and pay homage to a certain lorenzo ruiz  …

my only consolation was a little time to rest my feet and knees while my wife posed for a prayer, and afterward we took our lunch instead at an eatery, side of the estero, much cheaper in price although less comfortable considering the hot weather  …

another time, another place maybe, and hopefully and finally we can eat as much as we can, including the evasive “ludong” from another river in cagayan or even “ilap”,  a delicacy for the native fishermen in negros, or “baghad” somewhere from the south seas. 

we reached isetan lrt station and escalated afterwards to the top floor of doroteo jose station for the ticket-ride to santolan, pasig  …

i was hoping to see the land marks of  huse’s ancestor who married a pinga maginoo but to no avail … all i saw was my mother’s name dorotea juan in my dream, who actually was a decendant of an original tagalog “huwan”, just like “huse” before the influence from the west sipped in that completely changed our knowledge about tagalog baybayin.  

along the way of a comfortable ride in standing position,   i saw the roofs of oasis where the nuptial ceremony of jill and melvin took place near broadway beside a river-creek called san juan, before the train stopped at the final destination in santolan, pasig   …

we went down the steep stairs and took the sidewalk of marcos highway to take a jeepney ride to maybunga while passing by the house of a couple, sienna and diony of tartaro, bulakan and san juan, batangas, right there in manggahan. 

the journey we took was worth the time we spent, and although obviously tired, the jewelries in ongpin, actually a marriage of a chinese ong and tagalog pinga, kept flashing back knowing that ong were migrant natives of another land while pin was an authentic tagalog noble which was cut in half to confuse the disambiguation from pinga …

so cheap compared to the same quality of items in gale or any where else that continued lingering in our minds. now, I can say that manila or even luzon is not that bad …

our rivers and mountains are not bad either, compared to what I had already seen during my stays in foreign lands, so that dreams can come back and make me travel again, and again and again to experience once again the waters of rio grande, canals of suez or panama and other majestic-looking waterways …

Advertisements

One thought on “10th blog … sampung balabag …. iferry moko manila!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s