Sunday, March 30, 2008

Getting Lost With Names – San Miguel

This topic started with this article

San Miguel. Yes, that is St. Michael and there are 7 towns named so! Yes Miggy my friend, unlike you, none of them was named after the beer! BUT who knows what was in the minds of those who named these towns to be so hehe!

Let’s start off with San Miguel in the province of Bulacan (Region 3). You should know that this town is interesting both for its past and its present. Past: this is the place of “Biak Na Bato” prominently a big part of the country’s history. Present: this is a suburban town where many a metro manila worker could be coming from. Past-and-present: go driving around town to see some old houses still preserved to this day – that’s why many call this town “the Vigan of Bulacan”; the Sibul Springs – good then, still a bit good now; Madlum River and the caves, still a bit worth it; stone craft – this place got famous for the limestone that people had to quarry the benefits from dear earth, and now the residents are clamoring that it be stopped – yet one of the products they’re all promoting are “stone crafts”. Ah, to me this San Miguel is a headache of inconsistencies hehe

An I am not spared! Like granny bought a whole four blocks in a village where her (new) house and those of her children (our parents) had to be erected so that her clan can easily gather on a weekend instead of driving all the way to Abra. Blocks 3 and 4 are to date nothing but her legendary shooting range (where she used the graz burya like a pistol) while blocks 1 and 2 are supposed to be the/our residences (where after she died, no one permanently visits anyway) – all 12 houses! But the clan’s Christmas Party come December (in her memory) will be great, am sure of that hehe!

Let’s jump to the town of San Miguel in the island province of Catanduanes – our 2nd San Miguel. This is a hilly landlocked town next to Virac and has basically agricultural things all around. People are usually busy with farming including freshwater fish produce.

The 3rd San Miguel is a town in the province of Iloilo (Region 6 – Western Visayas). This one is a suburb west of Iloilo City, just to the north of Oton. I called this place a “nothing place” until industries started to make it alive due to its proximity to the city. There is a soft drink plant and even a paper mill. Well, there is an irrigation dam that some friends like – I don’t hehe! Their church these days is a pink modernity but I have seen pictures of its original that looks to have been grand.

Let’s move eastwards and our 4th town named San Miguel can be found in the island province of Bohol (Region 7). Hmm, while this San Miguel is rather insignificant to the common tourist, it made its mark sometime ago by being in the headlines for a very controversial extravagantly constructed dam! Whew. Being new, the dam area is a nice place for photo-ops though! Should you be there, do take pictures as souvenirs for your having set foot on the most expensive dam ever built in this country (in terms of planned versus actual expense)!

Move further eastwards to find the 5th town of San Miguel in the province of Leyte (Region 8). This little town is near the regional center (Tacloban) but has yet to see development. Most of its residents are into farming and fishing while a good number flock to the city each day where they have sought employment. I hear there is going to be some quarrying in that town to collect mineral deposits or something.

Okay, fine, let’s jump to the 6th town named San Miguel and its far down south in the Baganian Peninsula of Zamboanga Del Sur province (Region 9). This town though landlocked has a lot of rivers passing thru it and it sits high up on the mountains. Not the usual Zamboanga town that I know (usually coastal) I enjoyed paddling and swimming at Lake Dasay. And hey, but like the usual Zamboanga town, this place is not full of Muslims. They’re a minority here. So what if they’re around anyway?! I like them selling cheap sandals and even cheaper shades and DVDs hehe!

Finally our 7th San Miguel is a town in Surigao Del Sur (Region 13). I think this is the biggest of all San Miguels in terms of its “everythingness”! It is a primary source of rice in the province though it has a lot of hills and mountains that might come down rushing with floods if the rains attack the province – which is seldom hehe! There is a big river with a dam that comes from a mountain called Diwata but no one would accompany me upstream. There is also a hot spring that I never got to visit due to lack of time.

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