November 15, 1771 - A date in the pages of history which we need to remember. We know when Manila was founded. We know when Jose Rizal died. We know when EDSA I happened. But do we know when was our humble town founded?
NOVEMBER 15, 1771 - THE DATE WHEN TOWN OF SAN SIMON WAS FOUNDED.
It's been 243 Years since the farm land south of San Luis and marshland north of Apalit was merged to form a new town - San Simon.
On its 243 Founding Anniversary let's jot down some things which are part of our Simonian Blood and Simonian History.
1. Mariano Del Pilar - He was allegedly the founding father of the town. The barrio which was initially created was named after him - Del Pilar. Given the name of the barrio the patroness is Nuestra Senora Virgen Del Pilar. And until this time the our town patron is Nuestra Senora Del Pilar with her feast day marked on October 12. There was some account that 1765 was the founding year of San Simon. Several residents are paying community tax (cedula) neither to Apalit nor San Luis but to the independent town.
|San Miguel Bridge
2. San Miguel Bridge - do you still remember when Fernando Poe Jr and Sharon Cuneta shot their film 'Kahit Konting Pagtingin 2'? The bridge where FPJ and Sharon Cuneta passed through when they were escaping their pursuers is the San Miguel Bridge. The old, wooden bridge was renovated in 2007 with the aid of the Government of United Kingdom, But there is another untold story about the bridge. The blogger and the Guevera (spelled with one R) speculated that this bridge was the division and boundary of Apalit and San Luis way before San Simon was founded. It can be noted that Libad Ilug ng Apung Iru's (June 28) final turn before it will dock at San Juan, Apalit is at San Miguel Bridge.
3. San Simon - if our titular patroness is Nuestra Senora Virgen Del Pilar then why is the town named after San Simon? It is because the 'San Simon' name was chosen to honor Governor General Simon Anda 'y Salazar who signed the decree to create the town of San Simon in 1771. During that time, the capital of the colony is not Manila but Bakulud (Villa de Bacolor). Although our town feast day is October 12 we still have 'fiestang malati' every Oct 28 - feast day of San Simon.
|V. Del Pilar Replica
4. Nuestra Senora Virgen Del Pilar - the titular patroness of the town. The image which is being paraded every October 12 is the antique heirloom of the Guevara Family. It was told that the image was brought to the town by Fr. Juan Guevera. The original house of Virgen Del Pilar is old dilapidated house in front of the old Municipal Hall. This house used to be the house the meetings of the Town Officials when the Municipal Bldg was burned down by Gen. Antonio Luna's troop during their retreat to Nueva Ecija (see Virgen Del Pilar)
5. Kumander Tapang and Dimal - Town's Heroes - Kumander Tapang or Simeona Tapang is one of last living HUK Officers. She is living at San Miguel. Kumander Tapang led Squadron 101 & 104. Komander Guerero led the victorious battle of Pulung Gubat at Guiguinto, Bulacan. She successfully defeated the Japs on the said battle. Komander Guerero also led the reinforcement for Komander Mameng at the siege of Bitukang Manuk at Macabebe. She was captured at San Narciso, Zambales but was later on released with the aid of the people.
Kumander Guerero is one of the high ranking officials of HUK same ranking with Kumander Liwayway.
Kumander Guerero served as the speaker of HUK most of the time. Meanwhile, Kumander Dimal is one of the high officers of the town (for HUK) who lived at San Pedro. During his funeral, Kumander Tapang narrated that 'miras no reng tau king Kampu Santu pero ing mete ala yu pa. Sobrang kaba ing prusisyun asnang karakal a tau.'
|Kumander Tapan of San Miguel
6. Federico Garcia, Tirso Romantiku, Felix Garcia, Fidel Simbulan, Ben Cunanan, Fernando Viray & Restituto Guinto - we know Francisco Balagtas but do we know the poets and laureate of our own town. Felix Garcia (Salusu) is one of the famous writers in the Kapampangan Nation. He was the one who wrote the Hymn of San Fernando (Yes, your townmate wrote the Fernandino's Hymn) and the Hymn of San Simon. He has also written and published alot of poems. Meanwhile, Federico Garcia (San Pedro) wrote Bulan, Aldo Babo Banua. He wrote this piece when he was at his teenager years.F. Garcia is also participated at Crissotans. He had an encounter with Diosdado Macapagal in a crissotan. Garcia also wrote 'Ing Sariling Carinan,' 'Ing Bie ning Ortelanu' etc. Tirso Romantiko (Henry Simbulan; San Nicolas)was the singer for "O Jo Ot Megladlad Ka?!" It seems to have inherited the talent of his father, Fidel Simbulan, another writer in San Nicolas. Ben Cunanan on the other hand wrote 'Mapilang Binutil a Asin.' He also served as Municipal Secretary. Fernando Viray (Salusu) on the other hand is a Zarzuela Actor. Lastly, Restituto Guinto is a Zarzuela Writer. He wrote 'Paninap Mu Pala,' 'Kapampangan,'Indu ing Anak Mu. Anak ing Indu Mu'
|Kuraldal Bayu Libad San Pedru
|Kuraldal Kaibat Libad (1999)
7. Kuraldal ampong Libad - contrary to one of the publications of a research center, Salusu (Sto. Nino) does not have any Kuraldal Celebration. The Kuraldal being observed and being visited by many is Apung Iru's Kuraldal Bayu Libad ampong Kaibat Libad at Barrio San Pedro every May 01. During Libad, there is also Gayak Bangka wherein the locale decorated the Bangkas which will accompany the fluvial parade in accordance to the Fiesta's theme. Brgy San Juan has also Kuraldal every June 24. In addition, there is also Libad in San Simon. One in Brgy Dela Paz every May 07 and Brgy San Pedro every May 01. According to the a resource, the Libad Apung Iru every May 01 was one of the major events of the town wherein hundreds of people flocked to San Pedro to witness the event.
8. Tunnel and the Garrison - Unknown to many there is tunnel in the town. The tunnel is located in the front of the Parish Church (near the Evangelista's Mula) all the way to the back part of the Parish Church. On the other hand, the garrison which served as the venue for torture during the Japanese Occupation is located beside the Parish Convent. The garrison is still seen today in its ravaged form.
9. Dase ampong Kupya - San Simon is also known for its kupya and dase made from ebus. This WAS one of the major source of income before in the town. There is saying 'potang minta ka Mauli keng San Simun makisali mu nakung Kupya ampong Dase.' Today the industry of dase and kupya has been eaten by the modern style of livelihood. Another factor of the industry's death is the introduction of 'tike.' When dried, the tike is being used for wine bottle wrappings.
10. Tulauk, CDCP, Manabak, Kasinala Taram, Duyung, Paluksu - these are words which we use and used but sometimes we do not know how they were formed. Tulauk - the word tulauk is interchangebly used for Brgy San Agustin. Tulauk did not came from the crow of the chickens rather from the sound created by the serpents which inhabitated the place long long time ago (This is a folktale). Every time the residents flocked to Apalit or Sampernandu they heard a crow-like sound. To their surprise the sound is not coming from chickens and roosters but from serpents (cobra, etc). CDCP is the spot where San Simon Exit is located. Rather it is the place where CDCP (Construction Development Corp of the Philippines) put up an office when they constructed the NLEX during the Marcos Era. Until now, the spot where 711 is located is called as CDCP. Manabak is the rocky road leading to Barrio San Isidro. Manabak is still part of San Pedro (biggest barrio). The origin of the word is unclear but one story tells that the residents cut the trees to give way for a road (menabak lang impun bang mikadalan). Kasinala Taram is another lost and forgotten word. Kasinala Taram is not Cansinala, Apalit. Kasinala Taram is Brgy San Miguel. On the other hand, Duyung is not Concepcion. Duyung is rather the first sitio which one will see before he'll arrived at Concepcion. Paluksu is another sitio in San Pedro. Paluksu is not part of Brgy San Isidro. Geographically speaking the area is still registered under San Pedro. The place Paluksu originated on the fish-catcher being used at Taldawa.
There are still alot of things which were not jotted above. Alot of things to be proud of.
San Simon is not just a child of Apalit and San Luis. It has its own distinct history, identity and culture.
Youth should be proud that they are from this town. A town in Malauli. San Simon was also another stop point of the bangkas from Macabebe going to Candaba to sell their aslam (vinegar) and bangkas going from Candaba to the Manila.
243 Years yet we still do not know that much.
It is not yet too late for us to discover the richness, beauty and history of our town.
San Simon is one of the backbones of the Kapampangan Nation.
San Simon will be the land where the Sun, Sea and the Moon meets (as they joke around).
San Simon! Yes We Can!
1. Pampanga and Its Town by Mariano Henson
2. Andro Kapampangan Page
3. Singsing Kapampangan Magazine by HAU CKS
4. AK 10 Reseearch Paper by Joseph Gregorio, et.al (2010-2011)
5. Personal Communication with Ibanez and Guevera Family
6. Personal Communication with Federico Garcia, Felix Garcia, etc.
7. Personal Communication with Kumander Guerero
8. Personal Communication with Jayvee Aboyme (Kasinala Taram)
9. San Simon Website
10. Kasaysayang Lokal ng Pampanga
11. Views from the Pampanga
---ALL ABOVE IMAGES ARE OWNED BY THE BLOGGER----