The bad spell is gone

Sun.Star Pampanga - - STORY! -

Friday, Septem­ber 29, 2017 Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 12, 2017

This is some good news. Prop­erly de­vel­oper Ayala Land Inc.(ALI) will pour in more money, a whoop­ing P100 bil­lion in their Alviera project in Po­rac, my home­town . My ca­balens must now be over­joyed. The once lethar­gic town where I spent my child­hood is now prom­i­nent in the map. Now an in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion.

I want to re­peat what I wrote some­time ago my mem­o­ries when I was in high school in St. Cather­ine Academy. I al­ways en­joy see­ing in print ar­ti­cles writ­ten about Po­rac, I can only smile when re­mem­ber­ing the ad­jec­tive, ‘lethar­gic’which was used in one of the sen­tences in the de­scrip­tion of the town. The ad­jec­tive though fits the town like a T in those years.

But not to­day since the Ayalas are putting a mixed used com­mu­nity in Ha­cienda Dolores, and an ex­pected mi­gra­tion of Metro Mani­lans may re­lo­cate after the omi­nous signs that the West Val­ley Fault may make its move­ment and a big por­tion the me­trop­o­lis will be af­fected. And that’s ac­cord­ing to Rene Solidum, the coun­try’s chief vol­ca­nol­o­gist.

Look­ing back, in the mid-fifties there were only few peo­ple then, and not a sin­gle in­dus­try or a man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany in the town. Both sides of the nine kilo­me­ter road stretch from Po­rac to Angeles was al­most planted to sugar cane, the ba­sic pro­duce. In a book writ­ten by my friend Ed Sibug, he men­tioned that in 1936, Warner, Barnes & Com­pany Ltd, an Amer­i­can en­ter­prise op­er­ated a 24 hour-aday fac­tory on a 400 hectare farm in Ha­cienda Ramona (Dolores) and it closed for good even be­fore the war erupted in the early fourties due to stiff com­pe­ti­tion. And also due to the pre­vail­ing peace and or­der con­di­tion at that time.

Retro: My late mother, Apung Batik, told us her chil­dren, that dur­ing the Ja­panese oc­cu­pa­tion,her fam­ily evac­u­ated to Sa­ban­illa, a si­tio of Ha­cienda Dolores which in those years was a place so se­cluded and can only be reached by foot. And that a large hec­tarage was owned by his fa­ther, Ce­ferino Lu­man­lan from whom my cousin Ce­ferino aka Nonong was named. Ce­ferino’s brother Al­berto and her sis­ter Ceasaria were also own­ers of large tracts.

In the doc­u­ments shared to me by a Nards Angeles, a ca­balen, showed that the big­gest landowner hold­ing a ti­tle to more than 2,000 hectares were the spouse Don Gre­go­rio and Maria Ma­capin­lac. But later sold to their nephew, Jose C. Ma­capin­lac. And in 1932 it changed hand again, and this time a mil­lion­aire from Jaro, Iloilo Don Fran­cisco Rapide and Maria Lopez Saenz ac­quired the prop­erty. The Jaro Don ap­pointed the broth­ers Je­sus and To­mas Lopez Saenz as su­per­vi­sor and ad­min­is­tra­tor re­spec­tively.

Over the years, the land changed to sev­eral hands. The sis­ters En­ri­queta Michel Cham­pourcin and Maria Michel who mar­ried a Hidalgo for a time owned the land but the lat­ter mort­gaged it for one mil­lion pe­sos to the Over­seas Bank of Manila. Some­how in be­tween the own­er­ship was lost. Not much men­tioned in the doc­u­ments.

One of the re­spected politi­cians in the six­ties was Sen­a­tor Gil J. Puyat. He comes from a fam­ily of traders in the town of Guagua. The Ha­cienda Dolores land some­how found its way to the vault of Manila Bank Cor­po­ra­tion where it was fore­closed and bought by the Sen­a­tor Puyat’s fam­ily.

In turn the land was tended by lessees. From Maria Guan­zon Chingcuangco to San Miguel Brew­ery to Lazatin, Ayson and Un­son group and to the Ba­color Mayor Emer­ito De Je­sus. But in all the ven­tures ded­i­cated to the Ha­cienda Dolores, all of them failed. It is said in whis­pers among the bar­rio folks that a bad spell was cast in the land be­cause the orig­i­nal ac­qui­si­tion was through de­ceit. And be­sides, the statue of the Vir­gin Mary ‘Apo Dolores ‘which was cast in gold and car­ried a value of more than a mil­lion pe­sos was taken by a thief and re­placed it with a wooden cross. And it is the be­lief that un­til and un­less the statue will be back on the al­tar of the church, the spell re­main.

That was a long long time ago and ap­par­ently the spell was gone with the wind, and pros­per­ity is now spread­ing all over town.

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