A friend reminded me to visit Guimbal while I was going around in Iloilo. In his youth he recalls how orderly and peaceful the environment of Guimbal was. I pass by the town twice on my way to the southern towns I listed on my itinerary but due to time constraints I never had a chance to walk around what is said to be the cleanest and greenest of all Ilonggo towns. I’ve heard that it’s also the most peaceful. Now, that is my kind of town!
But perhaps, what is overlooked is its history – how this town with an ominous sounding name (which in tagala means “horrible”) played a crucial role in defending the province against the Moro invaders. It was this threat that drove them to build those magnificent defense sentinel structures along its coast (Bantayan or watchtowers) Its municipal logo shows its founding date as 1703, recognition of the original date of founding. In other towns, what is considered as the foundation day is registration (as cities and municipalities) under the American colonial government – a rather unfortunate choice for local governments like Muntinglupa as this is not representative of how the community was first organized, for how could one establish something that has been in existence for centuries?
I’ll be back and be sure not to miss this place next time.