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The Town of Minalin, Pampanga
"Mina Linda de las Mujeres"
by Alejandro S. Camiling,
CPA with Teresita Z. Camiling, BSE, MA

 

  The Minalin Santa Monica parish church.
 
Santa Monica Parish Church, Minalin, Pampanga

Minalin which used to be called Minalis is a peaceful town of about 39,194 people as recorded by the Philippine National Census of 1995. It has a land area of about 48.27 square kilometers and it is located southwest of the capital town of San Fernando.

According to Don Mariano Henson’s "The Province of Pampanga and Its Towns", the four founders of this town namely, Mendiola, Nucum, Lopez and Intal negotiated with the Datu of Macabebe to acquire an initial piece of land as far as the boundary now called Lacmit and named the place as Santa Maria in honor of the four founders’ respective wives named Maria. When a church was about to be built in Santa Maria and the lumber was piled up already, the flood waters carried the construction materials to another site called Burol (Hilly Place) where the church was finally constructed. Since then the community was called Minalis meaning ‘moved to" until the 18th century when an error was made by the then Capitan Mayor Diego Tolentino who inadvertently wrote the name of the town as "Minalin" instead of the original name "Minalis".

However, according to some documents on file in the office of Mr. Ricardo G. Santos, the current Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator of Minalin, this present town originated as a Malayan settlement under the leadership of Kahn Bulaun, a descendant of Prince Balagtas. This settlement was called Tigip but when the Spaniards came who looted the town and raped the women, they renamed the settlement as "Mina Linda de las Mujeres" because of the many pretty women they encountered in the settlement. A Chinese merchant from Wawa (Guagua) who established a general store in this town mispronounced the name of the town as "Minah Linah Neh Lah Muchele" but the town people shortened it as Minalina.

A fourth class municipality in terms of tax revenue collection, meaning less than twenty million pesos per year, Minalin has now fifteen (15) barangays namely:

Barangays of Minalin
Bulac San Francisco 1st San Pedro Santo Domingo
Dawe San Francisco 2nd Santa Catalina Santa Rosario
Lourdes San Isidro Santa Maria Saplad
Maniango San Nicolas Santa Rita  

Records at the Minalin Municipal Hall indicate that the township comprising the old community of Santa Maria and the newly-created barrios of Santa Monica, San Nicolas, Santo Rosario, Santa Catalina, San Francisco, Santa Rita, San Pedro, San Jose, San Pablo, San Bartolome and San Vicente was created on May 4, 1700 with the approval of Spanish Governor Fausto Cruzat y Gongora and with Don Diego Tolentino as the first capitan mayor . He was succeeded as capitan mayor in the next twenty years from 1701 to 1721 by distinguished gentlemen such as Nicolas Mendiola, Rufino Carlos, Simeon Dimacali, Lorenzo Bondoc, Nicolas Timbol, Martin Dimacali, Diego Laqui, Cristobal Lumanug, Nicolas Lumanug, Gaspar Zapata, Juan Nuqui, Tomas Tayag, Pedro Calaquian, Nicolas de la Cruz, Agustin Pangan, Romulo Carlos, Sebastian Sanchez, Nicolas Catacutan, Bartolome Munoz, Jose Lopez and Gregorio Laxamana.

From 1722 to 1899 there were many more Minalin leaders who were designated as capitan mayor commencing with Don Tomas Tayag and ending with Don Juan Yabut, the last town executive who held on to that government title. There was no organized municipal government in 1900 and 1901 because of the Revolution against Spain and the Philippine-American War. When the American civil government was established in 1902, Don Martin Mercado was appointed as Municipal Resident. When the town of Santo Tomas was created by the administration of Governor General Robert Taft in 1903, Minalin was annexed to Santo Tomas under its jurisdiction and Gregorio Pineda was appointed as Municipal President.

On July 26, 1904, for economy and efficiency, Minalin was consolidated with the capital town of San Fernando. However, through the effort and influence of Don Andres Lagman, Don Martin Mercado and a local revolutionary hero, Don Cristino Lagman, Minalin was returned to its former status as a separate municipality in 1909 when Governor Macario Arnedo of Apalit was still the provincial executive .

Don Cristino Lagman, a brave Katipunan commander served as municipal president of Minalin during the American regime under the administration of Governor Generals James F. Smith and W. Cameron Forbes.

Martin Mercado, Gregorio Santiago, Fortunato Galang, Francisco Lopez, Benito Mercado, Julian Mercado and Celestino Macapinlac served also as municipal presidents. The present energetic and popular town mayor, Honorable Santiago M. Yabut, Jr. succeeded many well-known municipal mayors such as Urbano Pineda, Julian Lagman, Francisco G. Flores, Agapito Magat, Feliciano Pacia, Sabas N. Pingol, Juan T. Macapinlac, Domingo Sagmit and Francisco Flores.

Minalin’s first Catholic Church was erected in 1650 during the term of Spanish Governor General Diego Fajardo. Minalin has also the distinction of having one of the first thirteen Augustinian missions in Pampanga before the close of the 17th century.

Saint Monica became the town’s patron saint and the town people of Minalin celebrate their town fiesta on the 11th of May of every year.

Like a typical town located in the Pampanga delta, the principal industries of Minalin are farming and fishing. Despite of the damages caused by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo and the occasional flow of lahar during rainy seasons, the industrious people of Minalin manage to maintain and continue the economic development of their beloved hometown. Currently, poultry and swine raising is also a major industry in this locality.

Many Minalenians answered also the call of duty of their beloved country by enlisting in the Armed Forces of the Philippines in defending the motherland against foreign invasion and in preserving a democratic form of government. It is to be noted that the town of Minalin is the birthplace of the Huk Regiment of the USAFFE under Colonel Bernardo Poblete known as Commander Jose Banal which was organized in 1944 within the compound of the Minalin Parish Church with the approval and blessings of the Spanish priest, Fr. Daniel Castrillo. This regiment was trained in Minalin by United States Army officers under the command of Colonel Horton V. White and Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) agent William Owens. After a few months of intensive training, this regiment assisted the American Liberation Forces in restoring and maintaining peace and order in Central Luzon and helped capture Japanese stragglers hiding in Corregidor.

Among many famous Minalenians who distinguished themselves in the 20th century are the following:

Governor Eddie T. Panlilio, the current governor of Pampanga.

Francisco Lagman, the first Minalenio to become a member of the Pampanga Provincial Board.

Atty. Roberto M. Lagman, son of Francisco Lagman, current Associate Justice of the Sandigan Bayan. He served also as Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Pampanga, Senior Prosecutor in the Philippine Department of Justice and Judge of the Manila Regional Trial Court.

Demetrio Munoz of barrio Santa Catalina, a philanthropist and successful businessman. He was a self-made multi-millionaire and a close adviser of the late President Diosdado Macapagal. He founded Munoz Press, DM Transit and Munoz Market in Quezon City.

Santiago Lagman Ocampo, founder of the famed "Ocampo’s for Everything". He was a middle class citizen who rose to build a huge and successful business empire which extended beyond the territorial jurisdiction of Pampanga.

Honorable Mariano Ocampo, son of Santiago Ocampo. He became a governor of Tarlac during the presidency of Cory Aquino during the late ‘80s through the early ‘90s.

Lamberto Ocampo, another son of Santiago Ocampo and a sanitary engineer. He was instrumental in the establishment of the giant engineering firm, DCCD in Manila.

Juan T. Macapinlac, a successful entrepreneur, together with Coning Naguit of San Nicolas, pioneered the local business popularly called "Viaje" which employed many Minalenios as "Viajeros" or travelling salesmen throughout the Philippine Archipelago.

Ruben P. Macapinlac, a scholar and public servant, became Undersecretary of Finance during the term of Secretary of Finance, Dominador Aytona.

Arsenio Lopez of barrio San Francisco, a CPA topnotcher and a professor at the University of the East in Manila. He became a vice president of the Bank of the Philippines Islands and a high official of the Knights of Columbus and represents the said Catholic organization in international conferences.

Rafael B. Pangilinan, engineer and businessman of barrio San Nicolas. Another self-made multi-millionaire and former jeepney driver turned businessman. He co-founded the ABC Industries in Makati, a big firm engaged in the manufacture of rock-crushing equipment, heavy machinery and conveyors. He is also a major poultry raiser and a civic spirited citizen.

Dr. Manuel Macapinlac, a famous Philippine medical doctor of barrio Sta. Rita , a product of the University of the Philippines and took up postgraduate studies in medicine in the USA.

Atty. Ricardo Sagmit, popular politician. He was elected as a delegate to the 1971-72 Constitutional Convention chaired by the late President Diosdado Macapagal .

Pacifico Lagman, a famous artist, noted architect and successful real estate developer and contractor in southern California and in New York. He designed two award winning floats for the town of Minalin and the province of Pampanga in the last Centennial Celebration and Parade in Los Angeles, California.

Laureana Tayag Deang-Abano, CPA, model wife and loving mother. She was the first Filipina elected to the Board of Education in Piscataway, New Jersey and the first woman president of the Federation of Filipino Associations in the state of New Jersey, USA.

Nancy Lagman-Tremblay, a long-term successful health care professional in Canada who carry on the public service legacy of her famous grandfather, Don Cristino Lagman. She returned to her hometown in early 1997 to establish a charitable organization and multi-purpose health center to help the poor people of Minalin who live in remote areas and do not have easy access to medical and dental care.

Reverend Father Edgar Abano, one of many who were called to the service of God but few were finally chosen. He completed his degree in theology and ordained for the Catholic priesthood in the USA. He is now a parish priest in Piscataway, New Jersey and very active in the propagation and teaching of the Kapampangan language as well as in the study and research of Kapampangan culture and history.

Reverend Father Rodel Balagtas, another loyal servant of God who serves as parish priest of the Catholic community in Valinda, California and officiates as Spiritual Director of Club Minalin USA.

Chito D. Pabustan, a former star athlete in Calgary, Canada is the eldest son of the former Crescencia Deang of Minalin and Engr. Eduardo Pabustan of Bacolor. He is a young and innovative architect who is currently making a name for himself in structural design, real estate development and building construction in Canada. He earned two degrees in Architecture and Environmental Science from the University of Waterloo and became a partner in a big architectural firm with expertise in landscape, architecture and environmental planning after three years of employment.

Rona Y. Mercado, lovely daughter of Remigio and Rachel Yujuico Mercado. Endowed with intelligence and exceptional beauty, she is an outstanding newsletter editor, civic-spirited youth leader and an honor student at California State University at Long Beach. She was honored by Mayor O’Connor of San Diego, California by bestowing on her with a Leadership and Courage Award for her active support to the Make-A-Wish Foundation and as a patient advocate for the terminally ill. She also represented Minalin in a recent popularity pageant in California and assisted in raising thousands of dollars for the Mt. Pinatubo victims in Pampanga.

There are many Minalenians who immigrated to foreign countries like the USA and Canada for adventure and economic reasons for which they are very successful and do not forget where they came from and help in many ways their fellow townmates. Among these successful Minalenios are former presidents of Club Minalin of Southern California, Atty. Benjie Lopez, a legal luminary, socio-civic leader and a descendant of the founders of Minalin, Chito Mandap, an engineering consultant by profession and the chaiman of the United Pampanga Leaders Council in Southern California, Thess Figueroa, Rina Bentajado, Jessie Yambao, Nida Panlilio, successful businessman Sam Pingol from the illustrious Pingol clan of Minalin which produced Cabeza de Barangay Don Crisanto Pingol , Capitan Mayor Don Alejandro Pingol and Honorable Mayor Dr. Sabas N. Pingol. Carrying on the torch of community service and outstanding leadership for 1998-1999 are the energetic club presidents Jess Panlilio and Bessie Macapinlac-Mandap, a descendant of the famous Macapinlac family and beautiful wife of United Pampanga Leaders Council chairman Chito Mandap.

Minalin which is also known as the "Egg Basket of Luzon" because of its large scale production of eggs and chickens is still a dream town and a tourist attraction for its "Belles of Minalin" New Year’s Celebration in which men dressed as beauty queens ride through town on festive floats. This annual display of beautiful dresses and expertise in women’s make up signifies that this town follows the dynamic changes in women’s fashion not only in the Philippines but also in Europe, Asia and in other countries.

(email:  camiling@rcf.usc.edu )


 

About the Authors:

Andro and Tess Z. Camiling are conscientious researchers and writers of Kapampangan history, language and culture. They wrote “Pampanga: History and Culture", "Pampanga: Towns and Barangays", "The Province of Pampanga and Its People” and other articles including “Malay Relation With Kapampangan Language and Culture”, "Spanish Relation With Kapampangan Language and Culture", biographies of eighteen (18) famous Kapampangans and the history of the towns of Apalit, Lubao, Masantol, Mexico, Minalin, San Fernando, San Luis, San Simon and Santo Tomas of the Province of Pampanga, Philippines. Andro is a true-blue Kapampangan based in California USA where he was employed and retired as an accounting/financial director at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and practiced his CPA profession as a management and tax consultant. He is a Pampanga High School Centennial Awardee as an Outstanding Alumnus in the Field of Accountancy and a recipient of the City of San Fernando’s 2011 Outstanding Fernandino Award for Culture. His wife and co-author of the aforementioned articles, the former Teresita Manalansan Zuniga of Lubao, Pampanga, Philippines is a retired public school teacher in Pasadena, California. She was honored and awarded with Certificates of Recognition by the California State Assembly and the California State Senate for her outstanding dedication to teaching when she retired in 2003. Andro and Tess are dedicated socio-civic-religious leaders in their community and served as long-term presidents of their town non-profit charitable organizations in the USA.