“Pinag de Candaba 2011”

One of the worst things we learned from America is that one can actually manipulate Nature for man’s benefit.  Well, we can now add it to the list of America’s alarmingly increasing ills.  After all, it was the Americans who had the bright [ and really stupid, in my thinking ] idea of ruining the magnificent beaches of Manila Bay [ just think of how Manila could have been the Asian counterpart of the French Riviera!!! ], filling them in to construct a nondescript road which they called “Dewey boulevard”…

But one should not fight Nature.

It happened with typhoon “Milenyo.”  It happened with typhoon “Ondoy.”  And it happened again with typhoon “Pedring.”  And it will happen again and again…

Centuries ago, the Central Luzon plains were occupied by a great body of water, the “Pinag de Candaba.”  And one of the settlements on its perimeter was the forerunner of the town of Calumpit.

The perimeter of the great lake was dotted with the pre-Hispanic settlements of the present-day towns of Calumpit, Pulilan, Plaridel [ Quingua ], Baliuag, and San Miguel de Mayumo in Bulacan;  San Isidro and Cabiao in Nueva Ecija;  Arayat, Candaba, Santa Ana, Mexico, San Simon, and Apalit, Pampanga.

Various historical articles relate that up to the 1930s, there was a considerable body of water where the Candaba swamp is located now.

So up to the present day, every time rainfall water accumulates, the “Pinag de Candaba” reclaims its natural, ages-old boundaries…

One shouldn’t fight Nature.  One should learn to live with its natural rhythms.

In fact, one should just build floating houses…  silly as it sounds…


  1. marisol briones said,

    December 8, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    i am a candabenio, and honestly this is the first time i read about this “pinag de candaba” i even went to ask a friend about the word “pinag” and i was told that you might have mistaken it for “pinaq” which means swamp….

  2. Myles Garcia said,

    October 14, 2011 at 6:07 am

    1. Two weeks ago, I read part of my book at the Fil-Am Literary Festival. Was among 20 authors who had our readings stretched out over 2 days.

    2. Re this Candaba issue, what about all the good things the US did?

    And actually, I liked the Dewey Boulevard of old. Have many fond memories of pleasant and happy Sunday afternoons and evenings there watching the fabled sunsets, etc., as part of my youth.

    French Riviera? With the fair-skinned Spanish and their Eskinol-coated legacy? I think not. Manila Bay is a harbor; it’s not really Copacabana Beach, Costa Brava or Waikiki beach material. Besides, where would Boracay and all those other Puertas be today if Manila Bay had the so-called swimmer-friendly beaches.

    Hindsight is always 20-20; and one should always look at the issue from both the half-empty and half-full glass POVs. This Pinag de Candaba (which I never heard of before) I am sure was created with the best of intentions. It wasn’t meant to have whatever ill-effects it manifests today. I mean if we knew smoking (or whatever other causes there are of) cancer 30-50 years ago, we would not have lost so many forebears, family and friends early on to that virulent malady.

    Floating houses? So the manses of Jaime and Bea and the kids would be bumping up against the houses of Manny, Dionesia and that impostor who used to pose here as “Liding”? How about the septic tanks? 🙂 🙂

    Shudda-cudda-wudda, Toto.

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