Ninety six kilometers south of Muntinlupa, Tiaong in Quezon Province is the quintessential “old hometown” that’s been coming into its own and positioning itself among the many steadily modernizing towns in the country.
It holds bittersweet memories among its locals who have left its hills and lakes and the watchful presence of Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal for the big cities here and abroad. Hence, the publication of the new coffeetable book called Tiaong: Coming Into Its Own is very timely.
The book was launched recently at the Filipinas Heritage Library, Nielson Tower in Ayala Avenue, Makati City.Published by the Tiaong Lubid-Lubid Foundation, Inc. under the helm of its president Cris Aquino, the book is written by journalist Abe Florendo, with archival research done by Dulce Festin-Baybay and Dr. Luis Camara Dery, images by Donald Tapan and Ramon Jeffrey Florendo, and book design by Teody Hidalgo.
The book revives Tiaong’s illustrious place in history since its establishment as a visita then as encomienda of Nayum in the early 1600s: its important role in the coconut economy and political expansion during the Spanish colonial times, its contributions to the independence efforts during the war, the inspiring heroism and nationalism of its sons and daughters, among them, Claro M. Recto and the “Anak ng Tiaong” who was sent by his father to study in China and went on to become the distinguished commander of Mao Tse Tung’s People’s Liberation Army, Gen. Ye Fei.
Tiaong’s changing skyline and landscapes beautifully captured in photographs are positive indications of its determined thrust toward progress and modernity.
Through the photographs, readers will be acquainted with the beauty and bounties of Tiaong’s placid coconut plantations and rice fields, the majesty of Lake Tikub, the allures of its hot water springs and resorts.
Tiaong: Coming Into Its Own is a book essentially of Tiaongins, who belong to the old families: the Rectos, Umalis, Castillos, Robleses, Punzalans, Escuetas. Here also are the prominent people that define what Tiaong is today: the entrepreneurs, businessmen, artists, forward-looking politicians, and many other other notable personalities
Cris Aquino founded the Lubid-Lubid Festival that set the pattern and direction for a more meaningful celebration of Tiaong’s fiesta and was the mind and muscle behind this book.
People who may not be from Tiaong will find the book interesting and compelling to read as well, with its insights into the nature, character and vision of this Little Town that Could.
The publisher said the book is not meant to be an “annual report” of sorts of the present administration, although some people may think it is so. The latter chapters provide a straightforward description of Tiaong’s ‘real-time’ infrastructures and urbanization, tourism attractions and business thrusts, while making out a case for increased developments in these and other areas.
The book has also gone to great lengths to dig up the authentic historical origins of Tiaong, from the gray dawn of colonial times to the turbulent eras of revolutions and democratizations.