1st Commemoration of Tayak Hill

(February 22, 1945 WWII)

February 22, 2011


1st Commemoration of the Historic "Tayak Hill"

Early morning of February 22, 2011

A V-150 Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) of the Phil. Army 202 Brigade joining the parade

Rizal Elementary School Drum & Lyre Corps.

Local Government Unit headed by Mayor Tony Aurelio and Vice-Mayor Ferdie Sumague Chief Architect of the event

Elementary students gracing the 1st Feb22 Commemoration of Tayak Hill with their flaglets

V-150 Armored Personnel on the Go... Go... Go...

Convoy entering the Opulencia St. towards the Point of Commemoration: The Hystoric Tayak Hill

At the Forest of Historic Tayak Hill that once serve as the main Guerilla Headquarter during WWII

Doxology by the BatangRizal choir

BRO Rina Joy Pumar delivering her message of Patriotism and Inspiration for the future success of our town RIZAL, LAGUNA

Honoring by the CAT cadets of the CSCMNHS a Rizalian WWII veteran

WWII Vetera Mr. Mamerto Urrea Angeles that has an actual participation in the rescue of three(3) american airmen and the construction of an emergency landing strip at Tayak Hill

Philippine Army Scout Rangers parading with their gelly suits

Simulating War exercice at the forest of Tayak Hill by the Phil. Army Scout Rangers from the 202 Brigade

A squad from the First Scout Ranger Regiment (1SRR) 202 Brigade of the Phil. Army

Proud CAT cadets of CSCMNHS taking part of the first ever Commemoration of Tayak hill

Proud BatangRizal Organization members spearheading the 1st ever Commemoration of the historic "Tayak Hill" Soaring High for Success with BRO Teody Escueta as the Program Commanding Officer

The Landing Point Adventure

Determining the exact location of

” The Landing Point “

On the last part on the concreted road, on our way to " The Landing Point "

On our way to " The Landing Point "

Jump off to " The Landing Point "

With the Bituin couple of Brgy. Tuy that serves as our guide towards " The Landing Point

Reaching " The Landing Point "

Viewing the municipality of Rizal, Laguna from "The Landing Point "

Viewing " Tayak Hill " from "The Landing Point "

Viewing "Tayak Hill " from "The Landing Point "

Viewing " Tayak Hill " from " The Landing Point "

BR Production Team, BR Adventure Team and DENR officers

Proudly BatangRizal

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


Kalatong Festival


Even before the Spaniards and American came to the Philippines, and prior to Rizal, Laguna becoming a town, there were already notable qualities that the natives possess-unity and concern for others. As the houses were spaced far apart from each other, the leaders and the Teniente del Barrio devised an instrument to serve as signal to the people to provide reassurance to the constituents during times of invasion and to swiftly send messages and important information. Creativity is inherent to Filipinos, which was why our ancestors thought of making a lungga-ang, a piece of wood with its center hollowed out. This instrument gave out an unusual sound that can reach every corner of the barangay. They called the piece of wood Kalatong. From then on, the Kalatong served as a way to warn the people of danger or for calling urgent meetings. When the repeated Kalatong sounds were heard, men of the community gather at an appointed place to receive from the leaders any news of danger or information that needed to be disseminated. When the country was faced with threats on security or peace and order, the people continued to use the Kalatong especially in the remote areas where all houses had one that can be used when there was danger or a call for meeting. As the years went by the design of the Kalatong such that a piece of bamboo is now accepted as one. To introduce once more the importance of Kalatong and the revival of its use, the local government of Rizal, Laguna to hold a yearly celebration called the “ KALATONG FESTIVAL”

Don Fortunato U. Arban

Don Fortunato U. Arban


By Atty. Rogelio C. Isleta

The last five decades of Rizal, Laguna’s existence as a municipality have seen a handful of men who invariably contributed to what the town is now; but the name of Don Fortunato U. Arban stands out among these brilliant men. His record as a political leader is yet to be surpassed and the achievements of his administration, yet to be equalled to those who succeded him.

“MA TATO” as he is known to the younger generation was born on April 18,1868 to spouces Clemente Arban and Mauricia Urrea of Barrio Laguan, then a part of municipality of Nagcarlan, Laguna. His boyhood were no different from that of the ordinary country lad, spent amidst the towering palm trees and green ricefields occasionally broken by a trip to the poblacion. His education was limited to the cartilla. As a young man, he already manifested a deep sense of responsibility. Aside from helping his father in the plantation and in the ricefields, he engaged in the business of buying coconut oil and sell them in Bay, Laguna, then a flourishing commercial center in the province. Thus, he cease to be a burden to his father and instead contributed greatly to ¾ the upkeep of the family. At the age of 18, he came across a young lass by the name of Marciana Virina. She was four years his junior and came from a well do family in Barrio Banilad, also of Nagcarlan. Soon they were married and settled down.

The couple turned out to be a perfect mate, they lived peacefully and unsatiable leadership and burning sense of responsibility of “Ma Tato” filled their married life with incessant activity.

As early as 1909 “Ma Tato” tossed himself into local political arena when he assumed office of Cabeza of barrio Pauli also of Nagcarlan. This began his political career which spans a period of half a century 1909 to 1959. When Pauli became a barrion of Rizal, he ably represented it in the municipal council of Nagcarlan as a councillor. As a municipal councilor, he become obsessed with the prospects of townhood for his barrio. Almost singlehandedly, he spearheaded the move to give barrio Pauli an independent existence. Thanks to the able assistance of Mr. Agustin U. Vista, Another equally great Rizalian, the challenging task of realizing this objective was somehow lightened.

Together, this two great men of Rizal went down their way and asked Governor Juan Cailles, Assemblyman Crisanto Guysayko and Senator Pedro Guevarra and Rafael Palma to help them. Soon enough Acting Governor Charles E. Yeater promulgated Ex. Order No. 58 creating the municipality of Rizal, province of Laguna, out of the barrios Antipolo, Entablado, Talaga, Maiton , Laguan, Paule, Tuy and Pook effective the first day of January, 1919.

It may therefore be sain that if Quezon and Osmena are to the Philippine Statehood, “ Ma Tato” and “Ma Usting” are to Rizal’s townhood. And as if to compensate them from their efforts and sacrifices, they were appointed Municipal President and Vice- President repectively. Thus began the independent political existence of Rizal, Laguna under the able and dynamic stewardship of “Ma Tato”.

In the first local elections of 1919 both were elected to the same positions. From then on and the most of the productive years “Ma Tato” was the dominant figure in Rizal. His thinking, action and means wrote history for the town. With the able assistance of “Ma Usting” he made a picture of the town out of a prospect of a barrio. He made Rizal a better place in by providing it with basic facilities like paved streets, school buildings, public market and other improvements. Stories has it too that when drugstores was a requisite for townhood, he established one out of his means and hires a pharmacist from the nearby province. Moreover, he organized a brass band and furnished them with musical instrument to provide music for his constituents.

At the end of his term, he graciously gave way to “Ma Usting” his ever loyal ally. Inspite of his relagation to the background of Rizal’s politics, he still loomed as a power to reckon with.

After a succession of two municipal presidents “Ma Tato” sought re-election and easily got elected for the term 1928-1931. In the next election, he gave way again , now in favour of Mr. Clemente Sombilla whose candidacy had also his blessing. After “Ma Inte’s” term he again sought the municipal presidency for the third time and got elected. He was followed again by “Ma Usting.”

Inspite of his political activities, “Ma Tato” never lagged in his social life. The house which he built in the heart of the town become a bijou of Rizal as it glittered the brilliance of provincial personalities who graced its hall and the long line of cars parked on its front. Unfortunately, this house did not escape the brutalities of the Japanese invaders. It could have stood as a reminder of a glorius past not only of the “old man” but of the town itself. Rarely now do we witness a conglomeration of personalities housed in so hospitable a home.

No one can accuse “Ma Tato” of discrimination for as his house had been a gathering place of the greats, it is likewise a haven of the have-nots. Not only have many unfortunates found their way to the dinning room but also have they gone out with their two or three meals assured. It was even told that “Ma Tato” would not like his stairs cleaned because it will make people hesitate to go up. Such an attitude can only be engendered by one who is down to earth in his dealings.

Living in the place and at he time when illiteracy was a rule rather than the exception, “Ma Tato” pioneered in the education of his people. Himself a victim of very limited education, he was often heard repeating that if knowledge can be purchased and be placed on ones head, he would have spent his fortune of buying them. As already stated he caused the establishment of the town’s elementary school. He helped finance the pursuit of a higher education of some of his townmates. When highschool was still concentrated to the provincial capital, he build a house therein in order to bring his people closer to the foundation of learnings.

When high school education dispersed in almost all the towns, he once again one of the pioneers in establishing quarters in Manila for students pursuing a college education. Thus’ with the minimal charges he collected, he in a way helped so many students finish their studies.

By the end of “Ma Usting’s” term, the grim prospect of war hovered over the Pacific. At the same time, age has overcome the indefatigable and indomitable “Ma Tato.” The ensuing election resulted in the election of Pablo Urrea, another protégé of “Ma Tato.” However, the Vice Mayor post was a hotly contested one. Two scions of former municipal presidents vied for the position. Bitter was the strife. It was anybody’s game until “Ma Tato” threw his support to Ismael Sombilla. In the end Sombilla emerged a victor with “Ma Tato” providing the difference.

When the war brokeout and the Philippines succomed to the ouslauhgt of the Japanese forces, Local leaders formed their own resistance movement. The grand old man already weary and waned did not permit himself to be left behind. What he could not do with his physicalpowers, he made up in the form of financial support. As supply officer of STRAUGHN’S FAIT (Fil-American Irregular Troops) David’s Command with the rank of Major, he supplied the local guerilla’s with food and his residence became their trusting place.

Upon the liberation of the Philippines, “Ma Tato” still very much concerned with the twons attair persuaded one of the guerrilla leaders in the person of Isidro Urriquia to run for Mayor-ship. The latter rub unopposed. Meanwhile, “Ma Tato” completely retired from politics, Instead he devoted his remaining years to the rearing and education of his grandchildren Melencio, Feliciano, Illuminada, Flora and Ponciano, all surnamed Arban. Thus ended the political adventure of “Ma Tato.”

And when final day came on May 19,1959. A grateful town people filled the streets from church to cemetery to take him to his final resting place. Thus in life and in death, Ma Tato drew the love and loyalty of the people he has so generously served and as if to confirm once more the hold which the Grand Old Man exercised among his people, his eldest grandson, Melencio, was catapulted to the same position he had so nobly held by the same people who loved and revered him.

No marker stand to perpetuate his memory, no day set aside to honor him, but the town of Rizal itself, a alittle nad unknown though maybe stands as a lasting monument to his greatness.

Don Fortunato U. Arban and his heiress

Don Fortunato U. Arban and his heiress

Pasinaya sa rebulto ni Ginoong Fortunato U. Arban

Pasinaya sa rebulto ni Ginoong Fortunato U. Arban ika 18 ng Abril, 1976

Ginoong Agustin Vista

Talambuhay ni Ginoong Agustin Vista

(ni Konsehala Rufina S. Vista)

Sa kasaysayan ng maliit na bayan ng Rizal, sa lalawigan ng Laguna, ang pangalan ni Ginoong Agustin Vista ay may malaking kaugnayan sa katuparan sa pagiging bayan nito mula sa dating pagiging nayon na sakop ng bayan ng Nagkarlan. Dahilan sa kanyang tapat na paglilingkod sa kapakanan ng bayan ay marapat lamang na kilalanin at maunawaan ng bawat isang mamamayan ng Rizal ang buhay at pagkatao ng dakilang lalaking ito.

Siya ay kumita ng unang liwanag sa nayon ng Pook sa baying ito noong ika-5 araw ng Mayo 1871. Panganay siya sa limang naging anak ng mag-asawang Juan Vista at Ciriaca Urriquia. Nagpasimula siyang mag-aral sa pamamagitan ng mga guro ng kartilya at maging sa paaralang-bayan sa Nagkarlan sa panahon ng Kastila. Nag-aral din siya ng kaunting panahon sa Maynila sa Kolehiyo ng San Juan de Letran. Nagsikap din siyang mag-aral at matutu ng wikang ingles ng panahon ng mga amerikano. Sa panahon pa lamang ng kanyang pag-aaral ay kinapansinan na siya ng mga katangiang likas lamang sa mga taong magiging tunay at mabuting lider ng bayan.

Nakaisang-palad niya si Cecilia Isles na anak ng mag-asawang Eleuterio isles at Maria Urtola, datapwa’t hindi nagkapalad na magkaroon ng bunga ang kanilang pagmamahalan.

Nang taong 1918, si Ginoong Agustin Vista ay nanungkulan bilang isang halal na konsehal ng Nagkarlan. Sa pakikipag-ugnayan niya kay Ginoong Fortunato Arban, at sa tulong nina Senador Don Pedro Guevarra at Diputado Crisanto Guysayco ang mga nayon ng Antipolo, Talaga, Tala, Pauli, Entablado, Laguan, Tuy at Pook ay binuo upang maging malayang munsipya ng Rizal. Ang katuparan ng pagiging bayan ng Rizal ay ipinahayag sa pamamagitan ng isang “Orden Ejecutivo” ng Gobernador-General ng Amerikanong si Charles Yeater. Sa bisa ng proklamasyong ito ay naging bayan ang Rizal mula noong unang araw ng Enero 1919.

Si Ginoong Agustin Vista ay naglingkon bilang Bise-Presidente mula noong 1919 hanggang 1922. Nahalal siyang Punong-bayan noong 1922 hanggang 1925. Noong mga unang araw ng “Common Wealth” ang butiihing kabiyak ng puso niya si Ginang Cecilia Isles ay binawianng buhay. Samantalang siya’y Viudo ay muli siyang nahalal na Alkalde Munisipal ng taong 1937 hanggang 1940. Sa nalolooban ng pahahong ito siya’y muling nakapag-asawa kay Ginang Nazaria Isles viuda de Reolada, na isang konsehala ng bayan ng Rizal.

Matagal din naman ang panahong ipinagsama ng mag-asawang ito, bagaman at nang huling araw nila kapwa sila namahinga sa larangan ng pulitika. Noong ika 10 ng Mayo 1960 sa gitna ng pagdadalamhati ng bayan, si Ginoong Agustin Vista ay inagaw ni kamatayan sa luksang pangungulila ng kanyang mga kababayan datapwa’t namatay man ang lalaking ito ay mananatiling buhay sa pusot ala-ala na kanyang mga kababayan ang mabubuting nagawa niya para sa bayan, mga paglilingkod niya na mamamalaging bahagi ng kasaysayan ng bayan ng Rizal noon, ngayon, at kalian man.

Brief History

By Mr. Isagani Visey & Mr. Valentine Urrea

Formerly, the small town of Rizal, Laguna was only a barrio of Nagcarlan, Province of Laguna. She was called as Barrio Pauli which came from the word “Pauli-uli” or moving back and forth after the meandering creek close by.

In 1912, after the liberation, Barrio Pauli obtained her municipal status with Pedro Urrea, Sr. as its Municipal President. She then became a municipality of Rizal, named after the country’s national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. However, two years after independence the administration of Rizal was returned to Nagcarlan because of the inability of the municipal officials to uphold the basic needs of the government necessary to its operations. Consequently, the former municipality then became Barrio Rizal.

Because of the vehement desire of the people to maintain its municipal status, the residents led by Fortunato U. Arban and Agustin U. Vista then councilors of Nagcarlan, Laguna petitioned the Office of the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands praying that the former municipality of Rizal be separated from the municipality of Nagcarlan, Province of Laguna between 1912 and 1918.

On December 19, 1918, Acting Governor-General Charles E. Yeather issued an Executive Order No. 58 increasing the twenty seven municipalities of the Province of Laguna to twenty-eight by separating the former municipality of Rizal from the municipality of Nagcarlan and reorganizing the same into an independent municipality comprising eight barrios such as Antipolo, Entablado, Maiton, Laguan, Pauli, Talaga, Tuy and Pook that took effect in January 1, 1919.

After such creation, Fortunato U. Arban and Agustin Vista were appointed Municipal President and Municipal Vice President respectively, until they got elected in the same positions during the first local elections in 1919.

Historical Growth

At the heart of Laguna’s teeming coconut regions bordered by Mt. San Cristobal at the South, Mt. Banahaw at the east and Mt. Basilin at the northwest lies the municipality of Rizal, named after the greatest national hero fifty years ago. Approximately enough, a life-size statue of Dr. Jose P. Rizal stands at the center of the plaza.
Towards the end of the Spanish regime, Rizal was a barrio of Nagcarlan called “Pauli” from the Tagalog “pauli-uli”, or moving back and forth, after the meandering creek close by. During the American regime Pauli was given municipal status, with Pedro Urrea, Sr. as Municipal President. This lasted a brief two years, however, unable to maintain itself financially, the new town was returned to Nagcarlan as Barrio Rizal.
Between 1912 and 1918, the residents, led by Fortunato Arban, Agustin Vista and Felix Isleta then Municipal Councilors, led a renewed drive for municipal status of Rizal. They would have a town of Rizal that would take in the barrios of Antipolo, Entablado, Laguan, Maiton, Pauli, Pook, Talaga and Tuy. This was realized on December 18, 1918, when Governor-General Charles E. Yeater issued an Executive Order No. 58 creating the municipality of Rizal. Fortunato Arban was the first President.
When the World War II broke out in 1941, the sons of Rizal were at the forefront, and the blood of some of them were spilled in Bataan. Those who survived in the Death March returned to continue their struggle against the invaders in the wilds of Mt. Banahaw and Sierra Madre Mountain. Pablo Urrea, elected Mayor at the outbreak of war, secretly helped the guerillas during the occupation until the danger to his personal safety became too great, then relinguished his post to Vice Mayor Ismael Sombilla joined the partisans in the mountains. Sombilla soon found himself in the same situation. Being a guerilla himself, he stayed as long as he could at his post, then transferred his post to Councilor Dionisio Limcuando.
On January 23, 1945, the guerillas ambushed Japanese convey at Barrio Pook. For this the Japanese burned the heart of the town.
The men who distinguished themselves as partisan leaders included Cayo Verador, Aquilino Carpena, Eriberto Sombilla, Isidro Urriquia and Vicente (Ganggay) Isleta.
After the liberation, guerilla leaders persuaded Captain Isidro Urriquia to run for Mayor. He ran unopposed and occupied the post for three terms, during which period he constructed a new municipal building and cemetery chapel, improved streets, the waterworks system and Puericulture Center.
At the height of the Huk campaign, Mayor Urriquia organized his former guerilla comrades into the Rizal Fighting Unit, which with the battle cry “we have no rice, but we have bullets” drove the dissidents out of the territorial jurisdiction of the municipality and restored peace and order. For his courageous deeds, he was awarded commendations from Secretary Ramon Magsaysay of National Defense, Brigadier General Claro Lizardo, Colonel Eulogio Balao and other ranking army officers.
In 1950, Urriquia relinguished the mayoralty to Vice Mayor Ismael Sombilla and ran for provincial Board Member under the Liberal Party banner and topped the victorious group.
Mayor Sombilla, meanwhile served his community well for two successive terms. He was instrumental in the construction of additional school buildings, the new Community and Health Center building, the annex to the Municipal Building, cemented roads and feeder roads.
As if fate had decreed it, the name of Arban rose again in the firmament, when Melecio A. Arban, grandson of the revered and beloved Fortunato Arban, founder of Rizal won the Mayoralty in the municipal elections of 1967 as the poor man’s candidate. After barely a year in office Mayor Arban had caused the opening of the Community High School, a long felt need of the municipality, In taxation, his administration has succeeded in including the citizens to pay their real estate taxes to the point that Rizal stood second in the province in realty tax collection.