Freedom Climb 2011 a Guiness World Record Attempt

At  Tayak Hill Rizal, Laguna Philippines

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Freedom Climb 2011 @ Tayak Hill

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Promoting Rizal, Laguna thru Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippine Daily Inquirer February 17, 2011 edition highlighted on page A8 sponsored by Philippine Air Lines (PAL)

Poorest Laguna town finds place in history

By Maricar Cinco

Inquirer Southern Luzon

First Posted 20:48:00 02/16/2011

Filed Under: Tourism & Leisure, history, Philippines – Regions

YES, THERE is a town named Rizal in Laguna—an almost forgotten fifth-class municipality (annual income: P25 million-P35 million) that is often confused with the urbanized and popular Rizal province.

An even bigger confusion has arisen in mailing addresses in Rizal town’s Antipolo, one of its 11 barangays. (The more-known Antipolo is a first-class city of Rizal.) Both Rizal and Laguna provinces belong to the Calabarzon region.

Rizal Vice Mayor Ferdinand Sumague would rather call it an “Municipal Identity Crisis,” saying that even government officials from other municipalities are oblivious of his town’s existence. “We always have to go through some series of questioning: Where in Rizal are you from? Montalban? Tanay? Is it possible to have a province within a province?” he says. Even after explaining that the town is in Laguna, he adds, the next question will be: Where is it?  Rizal town, with a population of only 15,000 and a land area of 27 square kilometers, is at the center of the more popular towns of Nagcarlan and Calauan, and San Pablo City, which amplifies the disparity.

“At least we have here the shortest highway. Only five kilometers,” Sumague says in jest.

Poorest town

Sumague believes the “confusing identity,” to begin with, has hampered the municipality’s progress for the past 92 years since its foundation. With a yearly income of only around P31 million, Rizal was pinned to the bottom among all 30 Laguna municipalities. “We need to have our own identity, first,” Sumague says. Thus, town officials undertook their research and stumbled last month upon a piece of history about a 560-meter plateau in the remote village of Tala called the Tayak Hill. This, they say, is the key to Rizal’s progress.

According to the books titled “Guerrilla Interview,” authored by David Dwiggins, and “For Love of Freedom,” by Juan Hernandez, the Tayak Hill served as the command post of the Filipino-American Irregular Troops under a certain Col. Gertrudo San Pedro during World War II.

The book reveals that in January 1945, San Pedro’s unit saved three American soldiers aboard a faulty plane that swooped down near the area. The site, the records add, gave the soldiers a vantage view of Laguna. About an hour’s walk from the plateau is an 11-km field where Filipino and American troops built a 300-meter runway for aircraft that flew forces in and out. In February 1945, the field was used as a dropping point for food, medicine supplies and war materials. It was also on this airstrip that Virginia Llamas Romulo took off to rejoin her husband, Gen. Carlos Romulo, in Mindoro.

“Even records at the municipal government did not have this (information) until today,” Sumague says.


The municipal government has tagged the area as the “The Landing Point,” and is set to build a replica of a US Air Force L-4 Observation plane that once landed there in 1945. Sumague says this will serve as a historical landmark for Rizal, which he hopes would begin to attract tourists to the town.

“People go to Nagcarlan because of the underground cemetery. San Pablo has the seven lakes. Calauan is known for its pineapples, while Liliw is known as the tsinelas (slippers) capital. Now, Rizal will be known as Tayak dventure and Nature Park, ‘The Landing Point,’” and Camp Bakod na Bato” he says.

Sumague, who also heads the municipal tourism office, says the tourism project includes establishing an adventure park atop the Tayak Hill. A Sports Tourism Adventure—triathlon, airsoft and paintball competitions, and paragliding—will be held in April.Regular sports activities will also give tourists reason for coming back, Sumague says.

“Other towns are already (at the stage) of promoting (their products). But us, we have just started,” the vice mayor says.


Discovering our Municipal Treasure


Establishing our Municipal Landmark

(Tourism Priority Program of Vice-Mayor Ferdie Sumague FY2010-2013)

(Disclaimer) conceptualizing the tourism priority project dubbed as: “The Landing Point” with the US Air Force L-4 Piper Observation plane codename Grasshopper the same aircraft model that actually landed to the so called Landing Field  at Sitio Braulia Rizal, Laguna somewhere in February 1945 during WWII

Historical background:

Col. Gertrudo San Pedro of the USAFFE had been a prisoner of war previously and upon his release August 15, 1942 at 26 years of age, he joined Hugh Straughn’s Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT). He started recruiting ex-USAFFE’s, ex-Philippine Scouts, ex-Philippine Constabulary, Philippine Army reservists and trainees, civilian volunteers including professionals to constitute his outfit. His unit became known as the FAIT’s 2nd Division of the III Army Corps under the immediate command of guerrilla Col. Justiniano Estrella, alias Alfredo M. David, who dubbed his corps, David’s Command. After the death of Col. Straughn, Col. Marcos V. Marking took over the FAIT’s command which he drummed up as Marking’s Fil-Americans.

After the Battle of Sta. Isabel Col. San Pedro’s 2nd Division Command headquarter was moved to Tayak Hill (for its commanding view of Laguna) on Mt. San Cristobal near Rizal, Nagcarlan and Liliw. At that time it was called  Sitio Tayak. That is a remote barrio. The nearest road to Tayak is passing through Rizal.

On January 24, 1945, Col. San Pedro’s unit was able to rescue three American airmen whose plane had been damaged in a raid on Manila and went down in Laguna de Bay near (Lanhaya) Victoria, Laguna. The men were: Major Charles Howe, Major Thompkins and Sgt. Bretain of the 5th Attack Group, U.S. Army.

Photo of Major Charles Howe of the 5th Attack Group US Army

American Forces had not yet landed on Luzon so the nearest airstrip was in Mindoro. It was requested that Col. San Pedro’s unit to build an airstrip so a rescue plane could pick up the downed airmen and return them to friendly forces.Col. San Pedro and his men constructed a landing field at Tayak Hill. The landing field is on a plateau wherein the length of the runway is 300 meters, but the approach  are already up high enough on high ground when take off, that’s why the problem of a long runway is not necessary because after going 300 meters aircraft are already airborne because of the plateau.

Within a couple weeks Col. San Pedro and his men completed construction of the taxi strip and airfield near Col. San Pedro’s headquarters on Tayak Hill. Intelligence informed authorities that the landing strip had been completed and soon an L-4 Piper observation plane flew in and then flew the men to safety in Mindoro. It was also in this airstrip Mrs. Virginia Llamas Romulo took of to join General Carlos Romulo in Mindoro.

L-4 Piper Observation plane codename “Grasshopper”

On the strong suggestion of Major Charles  Howe, the U.S. Armed Forces started dropping war material and food supplies on February 22, 1945. US Air Force planesC-47 / DC-3 dropped arms, ammunition and food supplies at Tayak Hill Rizal, Laguna, escorted by the P-38, double body and the last is the P-51 Mustang. The American insignia for pursuit is “P” for fighter is “F”. Making the Landing Field and Tayak Hill Rizal, Laguna  as the main supply depot of arms, ammunition and foods to all guerilla fighting units in Laguna up to Infanta in the province of Quezon.

World War II aircraft that played a major role to the colorful story of Landing Field and Tayak Hill

US Armed Forces C-47 WWII aircraft
US Armed Forces DC-3 WWII aircract
US Armed Forces P-38 WWII aircraft
US Armed Forces P-51 Mustang WWII aircraft

Article derived from: Lorenzo Cornista’s ” Guerilla Interview ” San  Padlo City Philippines by: David L. Dwiggins

And from the Book of: “ FOR LOVE OF FREEDOM ”  by Juan B. Hernandez copyrighted 1982 Sponsored by the American Legion  Seven-Lakers Post 188 and Veterans Federation of the Philippines  San Pablo City Post,  Prited by National Printing Company Quezon City Philippines

Researched By:

Vice Mayor Ferdie O. Sumague

and BRProduction immediate staff

BRO Demet Formales, BRO Loyd Cataring, BRO Eunice Visey and BRO Richard Subida


BatangRizal Production Team

By: BRO Abby Lucido – BRProduction Columnist

BatangRizal, finally indulge a new advocacy tools which gain another level of presentation in promoting the progression of the town of Rizal, in the province of Laguna.

BatangRizal Organization induce “BR Production”; the power of media that aims to engage in public, to have the identity of a handful outlets that is dynamic cater to gain the adversity of a purposeful scope of facts, methods of learning in news and current events, research and investigation of cultural context, gives service and broad once knowledge in the deliverance of a mass communication.

BatangRizal Production gives a powerful impact to create advance technology in the promotion of business establishments which gives stability to our municipal government. It is a helpful process which gives information to reach people in a modern mass media technique. This channel of communication serves a variety of entertainment with specialized appeal, displaying messages, and serve as a vital link in the historical heritage that will be traced.

It is a significant aspect that performs education; shaping public relations and advocating a particular representation of the town of Rizal. As educational tools, BR Production not only impart knowledge but can be part of larger efforts to elevate actions having social utility. As public tools, BR Production assists every Rizaleno in achieving beautitude (beautiful attitude) and having an ideal vision to know our wonderful town.

Watch out for more upcoming events in our town.

More surprises are to wait !!!


BatangRizal Production Team

BatangRizal Production Team

BatangRizal Production Team

BatangRizal Production Team

BatangRizal Production Team

BatangRizal Organization (Laguna) is now SEC registered

BatangRizal Organization is now SEC registered

BatangRizal is now Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registered and has been recognized by the Republic of the Philippines as BatangRizal (Laguna) Organization Inc. and adopting its own By-Laws. a Non Government Organization, a Dynamic, Patriotic and Civic Organization taking part in  promotion of the community , establishing  a much needed common identity  and assisting the Educational Institutions with  in the municipality. Today’s fastest growing Organization with over seven hundred (700) members coming from the different sectors of the community bonded with one common objective and Ideology. Establishing an Institution and Tradition that will serve as Inspiration and trend setter to our Youth and to our Future Generations…And be Proud of who we are and where we came from … dahil

“Ikaw.….. Ako.….. Tayong Lahat ay Isang ……

BatangRizal (Laguna)”

BatangRizal Organization (Laguna) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Certificate of Incorporation

BROrg. in Action

BatangRizal Organization (BRO)

in Action

BROrg3 002

BatangRizal Organization in Action

BatangRizal Educator’s Team (BRET) led by BROrg. President BRO Ellen Visey with BRO Ghie Lucido and BRO Teody Escueta led the turn over of an Asahi 19inch wall fan to the First Year Pilot class I-Ivy’s request thru its class PTA President Mr. Ramil Alias. The turn over of the wall fan is part of the BROrg.’s commitment and support to the Cristobal S. Conducto Memorial National High School (formerly RNHS) thru the Department of Education’s (DepEd) ” Adopt a School Program” where in the BatangRizal Organization signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in support to the Cristobal S. Conducto MNHS  for three (3) years or ’till fy 2012. Source of fund for the purchase of the Asahi ’19inch wall fan were derived from  the BatangRizal T-shirt sales last Nov. 1 during the Org.’s fundraising drive on All Saints Day.  (photo by BRO Jhun Subijano)

BROrg3 006

From L-R BROrg. President BRO Ellen Visey, BRET Chairman (CSCMNHS) BRO Teody Escueta and 1st Vice President BRO Ghie Lucido

a message for our Org’s. future challenges


To: All BatangRizal Organization members

–         BatangRizal Educator’s Team (BRET)

–         BatangRizal Adventure Team (BRAT)

–         Barangay BatangRizal (BBR)

–         BatangRizal Teen’s (BRT)

A Message for you BRO !!!

brlogo1Building deteriorate, machinery wears, technology changes but people grow, develop  & become more effective if they understand their potential value. It also depends on the determination to make or break. It also depends on the ability to recognize the value that others can give.

My goal as author of BatangRizal is to lead / share to potential leader(s) /successor(s) and to all members of BatangRizal Organization. It would be my responsibility to inspire, help and make the necessary changes to reach our goal. Everything rises and fall on leadership. This positive interaction can happen only if the leader has an attitude of a win-win relationship. It is essential for us to have leaders and successors who can carry on…”effectively” at any given time.

As you grow and improve, so with those you lead, you must remember that people follow you.”They can only go as far as you goYou must think twice ahead because if your growth stops, your ability to lead stops with it. Neither personality nor methodology can constitute your personal growth. If you do not believe in success it is very difficult to achieve. This will not happen overnight. You must cultivate your talents and DON’T BE A COPY CUT, have a lot of courage, confidence, creative ideas, vision, motivation, focus and inspiration. Let go of your own personal insecurity and selfish act. Create your own identity!

There is no success without a successor, fly high out with priority, parameters, sacrifices and commitments. Create memberships that will be patriotic to our endevour and services. Encourage our people to be more productive and make command of changes in the Organization. Be a “thermostats” rather than “thermometers”…Thermostat is an active instrument that create a change while thermometer is passive and can do nothing to change the temperature. Expect the unexpected don’t be comfortable.

Attitude is a big factor of winding positive and negative growth. You must be open minded for the constructive and destructive critism. You must welcome challenges, You must know your mission and vision. Planning ahead of time play a big factor. Have a quality time and avoid rush. You must know for your self your weak point and strong point. Dont emphasize on position nor tittle. Be simple, humble and with a big heart for the less fortunate, care enough to comfort, share your dreams and ideas. Don’t be selfish and at the end you will be receiving a gratifying result and will be rewarded much to your expectations.

Proudly !!!