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Morong, Rizal

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Morong, Rizal

Historical Marker of the town of Morong
Historical Marker of the town of Morong
Nickname(s): "Puso ng Rizal"
Motto: Buwis mo ang kailangan, para sa kaunlaran
Morong is located in Philippines
Location within the Philippines
Region CALABARZON (Region IV-A)
District 2nd District of Rizal
Founded 1572
Barangays 8
 • Mayor Armando DS. San Juan (UNA)
 • Total 37.58 km2 (14.51 sq mi)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 52,194
 • Density 1,400/km2 (3,600/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
Income class 2nd Class

Morong is a second class municipality in the province of Rizal, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 52,194 inhabitants.[3] A popular attraction is Spanish-era St. Jerome's Parish Church. The town is also known for featuring the balaw-balaw side dish.

Morong is also known for having education as its priority- "Una Ang Education" (Education first), that is why during the early 70's and early 90's, it became the center of education. Students from different places mostly in the nearby towns of Rizal would come and study in Morong.


Morong was considered the province before it was called Rizal. Its original name was Politico Militar Distrito de Morong, which included the towns that make up present-day Rizal province.

Discovery, Founding and Christianization

On January 16, 1572, Captain Juan Maldonado, a trusted lieutenant of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, discovered Morong while leading the Spanish brigade in exploring the east of Manila. This happened almost a year after Legaspi founded Manila.[4]

The Spaniards found an organized community, however, several barangays were in conflict with one another. The barangays were easily subjugated by the Spaniards and conversion of the natives into Christianity started in 1578 by Franciscan missionaries Juan de Placencia and Diego de Oropesa. They constructed chapels (visitas) attached to a bigger settlement to allow religious and civil administration. Later, this settlement was converted into a pueblo. which they called Pueblo de Moron. The letter "g" was added to Moron as years passed. Baras, Tanay, Pililia, Cardona, Binangonan and Teresa were the visitas under Pueblo de Morong. [4]

Pueblo de Morong was made the provincial capital of the Franciscan Order at that time.[4]

The visita of Pilang separated from Morong and became the independent town of Pililia. Binangonan followed in 1621.[4]

Politico-Militar Distrito de Morong

The Politico-Militar Distrito de Morong or Distrito de Morong was created out of the provinces of Manila and Laguna composing the pueblos of Morong, Pililia, Tanay, Baras, Binangonan, Jalajala, Angono, Cardona, Antipolo, Boso-Boso, Cainta and Taytay.[4]

During the Spanish colonization in the Philippines, each town (pueblo) was admistered by a gobernadorcillo, elected annually by all natives of the locality, subject to the approval of the suerior government in located in Manila. In the 19th century, gobernadorcillos were elected by 12 cabezas de barangay.[4]

In the pueblo of Morong, it was different. A gobernadorcillo was not elected; rather, was appointed by the governor of the province based on his economic wealth, training and educational background. He chose his own people and were not elected to help him with his duties. They did not receive salary but were exempted from paying taxes and doing forced labor.[4]

Public Works Built Under Forced Labor

Puente de San Geronimo

Morong Church and bridge

The original Bridge of Morong was made of adobe stones, shaped and placed together, forming an arch over the river. The strength and stability of the bridge came from the weight of its wedge-shaped stone blocks and its upright position. The stones were cemented with mortar, a mixture of fine sand, lime, molasses and juice of ground puso-puso leaves. Heavy piers of the arch were planted on the opposite banks of the river. No metals were used during its construction from 1696 to 1701.[4]

St. Jerome Parish Church

This church was constructed not only by men, but also women and children. Stones dug from a hill called Kay Ngaya; lime from the stones of the mountain Kay Maputi; sand and gravel from Morong River; and timber were contributed by the townspeople.[4]

Irrigation Works

In 1850, Fr. Maximo Rico drew the plan of the irrigation dam at Uugong where it drew water from the falls and supervised the construction of the irrigation canal from Uugong dam to the ricefield in San Pedro. The canal measured 501 meters long and 2.1 meters deep. Other sources say that the construction started by Franciscan priests in 1848.[4]


La Commandancia

During the Spanish period, this building was called Gobierno Politico-Militar building, the seat of the political and military commander. Originally, it was made of adobe stones, hard wood and galvanized iron sheets for roofing. During the early American period, it was converted into a school. It was damaged after the second world war, but rebuilt to its original form and used as the municipal building for the government of Morong. Later, the local government offices were transferred to the new municipal building in a different location in 2011. At present, the Commandancia's second floor was converted into a museum.[4]

Bantayan and Torrita

Bantayan was a small guardhouse where civil guards were stationed at the entrance of the town. On the other hand, a torrita was a small tower with bells that provided the signal directed to the central station in front of the Commandancia.[4]

World War I

Tomas Claudio Monument

Tomas M. Claudio a Morong native is listed as a hero in the Philippines; The first Filipino to die in World War I was Private Tomas Mateo Claudio who served with the U.S. Marine Corps as part of the American Expeditionary Forces to Europe. He died in the Battle of Château Thierry in France on June 29, 1918. The Tomas Claudio Memorial College in Morong Rizal, Philippines, which was founded in 1950, was named in his honor. The main street of the town was also named in his honor.

World War II

During the Japanese occupation of World War II, the Mateo compound, now the Cesar S.D. Mateo clinic was used as a Japanese base. The Fuenza de San Geronimo (old Morong Bridge) was intentionally bombed by guerrillas so that Japanese troops cannot cross and invade the latter part of Morong and Rizal until reinforcement arrive. The plan worked during a few days but Japanese troops find a way to cross the river. During the Liberation, Filipino troops of the 4th and 42nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and 4th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary including the recognized guerrillas of the Col. Markings Guerrillas and the Hunters ROTC guerrillas liberated and captured the towns in Morong and defeated Japanese forces and forced them to surrender at the end of World War II.

Philippine general election, 2013

In the 2013 Mid-term Elections, three duos battled for the position of Mayor and Vice Mayor, specifically; Armando San Juan with his running mate Nikki Balajadia, Olivia De Leon Ed. D. with her running mate incumbent mayor Joseph Buenaventura, and Atty. Oying Angeles with his running mate Nemesio Felix. Armando San Juan won the position of mayor with a vote of 7,159 against his runner up Olivia De Leon with only 4,659 votes. In the position of Vice Mayor, Joseph Buenaventura, the incumbent mayor of Morong won. With a difference of almost 2500 votes. For the positions of Member of Sangguniang Bayan, Harold Pascual, the number 1 kagawad of Barangay San Jose topped the tally. Dagul Reyes followed at number 2, Followed by Ricardo Halina, Leonardo Manzana, Dennis Sta. Catalina, Karl Kim Guiyanco, Cesar Javier Jr., and Tito San Juan. Rene Alejan missed number 8 spot by just 1 vote. In the night of the elections, rumors spread about the winners, joyful Moronguenos rushed to the ADS San Juan Construction to congratulate the winner. Unfortunately, Armando San Juan wasn't in the warehouse. Issues surround about failing PCOS machines, but the election was proclaimed successful.


Morong is politically subdivided into 8 barangays with 3 situated in the poblacion.[2]

  • Bombongan
  • Caniogan-Calero-Lanang
  • Lagundi
  • Maybancal
  • San Guillermo/ San Guilmo
  • San Pedro (Pob.)
  • San Jose (Pob.)
  • San Juan (Pob.)

San Guillermo

In terms of area, San Guillermo or San Guilmo as locals known is the biggest of the eight barangays of Morong. It borders the towns of Binangonan, Teresa and Tanay. San Guillermo is a farming community with a population of 6,522 and 1,377 total dwellings (2000 census). While majority in the barrio depend on farming as a livelihood, many others are engaged in businesses like garment industry, poultry and piggery.

San Isidro Labrador is the patron Saint of San Guillermo, a feast in his honor is celebrated annually the 15th of May. In 2005, the small chapel of San Isidro Labrador became a full pledge Parish in the Diocese of Antipolo serving 10,500 Catholics.

Also in 2005, San Guillermo National High School was established.

The first wave of San Guillermo immigrants to America came in the early 1900s. San Guillermo natives living in California maintain their cultural heritage by hosting a gathering on Memorial Day in celebration of feast of patron saint San Isidro Labrador. Most San Guillermo natives live in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and the feast is alternately celebrated in both cities since its conception in 1979.


Caballero monument, Barangay Maybancal

A Barangay in Morong Rizal, Located in the east of the town. The main industries are, Farming, Textile Manufacturing and Food Industry. There are about 8709 people live in this area and the ratio of men to women is 1:2.

San Juan

Barangay San Juan is the center of business and trade in the town of Morong Rizal. It is also said to be the highest remitting income revenue in the whole barangay of the town. This is where famous establishments are seen such as Jollibee,Morong Centerpoint, SM Savemore, RCBC Savings Bank, UCPB Savings Bank, D.I.Y Hardware, Mercury Drugstore,CHICBOY,Mang Inasal,and Infinitea. Other local establishments found in this area are THRIFT MART (former: RoNan grocery store), Camillus chicken, Mateo's bookstore, Morong Doctor's Hospital, Rizal Provincial Hospital, Hernandez bookstore, ERWIN'S boutique, Skin Cellance de Rizal, Supreme Care Medical Diagnostic and Imaging Center Inc., Cesar S.D. Mateo Memorial Clinic, and Cristina Mart. The facade of the St. Jerome's church, a Department of Tourism recognized tourist spot is also located.

San Pedro

Barangay San Pedro is the capital barangay of Morong, Rizal.Barangay San Pedro lies adjacent with the Laguna Bay in the east, bounded at the south with the town of Cardona, on the west by Barangay Bombongan and on the north by Barangay San Jose and Barangay San Juan. Barangay San Pedro has a total land area of 368 has. and around 7,000 populations as of 2010 census.

As a poblacion barangay, the seat of Local Government of Morong are located here. Barangay San Pedro has many establishments such as Morong Public Market, Sea Oil Gasoline Station, PhilOil Gasoline Station, Aldec Agri-Dynamics Company, Era Plaza Restaurant,Emmas Panciteria Restaurant, Kamalig Restaurant, Kainan, Inuman, At iba pa Beer House, "Sabungan", AMA Bank, Macro Bank.

Barangay San Pedro is the center of education in Morong. There are many educational institution that can be found in this barangay namely San Pedro Day Care Center, Jose S. Mapa, St. Claire School, Jesus My Shepperd Montessori School, Renaissance School of Science and Technology, EAST Systems Colleges of Rizal, Inc., and Timoteo A. Reyes Elementary School.

Barangay San Pedro has many beautiful landmarks such as Morong Town Plaza, "Statwa ng Magsasaka",and "Puking Bato" sa Boulevard Park.



60% of the population in Morong Rizal is composed of Roman Catholics. Other religions in town are the following:


The view of old Uugong falls at the Uugong park resort owned by Rafael Pacheco
  • Uugong Park - During the early 60's-early 80's Uugong park was known for its breath taking view of the rice fields, different birds can be seen and its majestic waterfalls. It is usually a summer spot for families. Uugong means echo, because of the strong current of the falls it makes a loud echo or sound. People from the town usually wash their clothes there, even water carabao's also takes a dip during the hot summer months.
Uugong Park now has a resort made and owned by a local artist named Rafael Pacheco, who is known not only locally but internationally because of his paintings. His medium for his paintings are his fingers. The resort does not use the old falls anymore, instead two pools were made, inside the resort you can view the now dead waterfalls and its river. Interesting in the new Uugong resort are the displayed collection of paintings and sculpture of Mr. Pacheco.
  • Puking Bato - also called Duckling Society Park, located at Natividad street at Boulevard (ibaba dulo). Famous for its beautiful scene. Many people in Morong likes to go here early morning, to do some jogging, chatting
  • Cavalier Statue - Located at Maybangcal Morong
  • Morong's old Municipal office - Located in Brgy San Pedro, near the Town Plaza. This building was the former seat of office of the governor of Rizal during the Distrito Politica de Morong, also known as the "Commandancia".
  • Resorts: Casita de Salvador, Vista Grande resort, Alamaris Resort, Sulok Resort
  • St. Jerome Parish Church: The most notable landmark in Morong Rizal. Built in by Chinese craftsman during the arrival of the first Spanish priest. It is known for its unique and intricate neo-baroque style design and its three-storey belfry as its facade.

Culture and Tradition

St. Jerome image displayed at the main altar of the church during his feast day.
  • Fiesta: The celebrated fiesta in Morong is the town fiesta, which is the first Sunday of February. During the early times, February would be known for the harvesting month in the town, it is a form of celebration and thanksgiving for a bounty harvest.
  • Catholic Fiesta: The patron saint of Morong, Rizal is Saint Jerome. A doctor of the church, a priest and translator of the Bible. His feast day is September 30.
  • Pabasa: A holy week activity, which is chanting the life and Passion of Christ. It signifies the start of the 40 days before holy week. In the town of Morong, not an ordinary Pabasa tone is used. It's mostly a tone of sadness and agony. This is done from different houses, who owns a "santo" or image used during Holy Week.
  • Cordero: It is only in Morong that this tradition has been done for almost 60 years. Kordero, which means lamb of God, is a re-enactment of the preparation of the paschal lamb for the passover meal, that Jesus and his 12 apostles took, and eventually became the Institution of the holy Eucharist. Kordero also symbolizes Jesus as a sacrificial lamb who suffered to redeem mankind from sin. In Morong a lamb which is made of sweet potatoes and potatoes is processioned before the Maundy Thursday Mass. A tradition which is also being copied by other nearby towns of Rizal, and has been featured in the national newspaper. The Hermano represents the owner of the upper room, the place where the last supper took place.
The main tableau of the 2010 Pabasang Bayan in Morong
  • Pabasang bayan- A yearly event/exhibit that showcases the 40+ processional images, that started in 1996. Said event is usually done the Saturday before Palm Sunday in the town's gymnasium wherein a breathtaking tableau is made yearly showing the chronological events of the life of Jesus (e.g. 1996- 1997 -"Last Supper", 1998- "Wedding in Canaan", 1999- "The multiplication of bread and fish", 2004- "Jesus teaches in the Mountain", 2005- "The teaching of Christ in the lake of Galilee", 2006- "The public ministry of Jesus", 2007-" The baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan", 2008-"Jesus in the Temple", 2009- "the calling of the twelve apostles", 2010- "Jesus calls the tax collector Matthew", 2011-"Jesus healed the Centurion's servant", 2012- "Jesus Healed a paralytic man", 2013- " Sermon in the Mount"). A must see attraction that is first done by the people of Morong, that has captured the attention of some nearby towns in Rizal and Metro Manila such as Pililla, Tanay, Cardona,Baras, Teresa, Binangonan, Cainta, Pasig City, Quezon City, etc. The event was even featured thrice in The Philippine Daily Inquirer a national news paper in the Philippines and was covered by national networks such as ABS-CBN, TFC ( the Filipino Channel- ABS-CBN), GMA Network and GMA News TV ( former QTV channel 11 ). The difference between the usual Pabasa and Pabasang bayan is that the whole town is welcome to this event. Saturday night before Palm Sunday, anticipated mass is held in the gymnasium.
  • Senakulo- A yearly activity during Holy week, a dramatization of the life and death of Christ. Senakulo in Morong is entitled "Ang Tagapagligtas". The play is divided into 3 nights. It starts in the evening of Holy Wednesday and ends on Good Friday, usually after the Procession. On the first night it tells the brief story of the Old Testament starting from the Creation, Adam and Eve, the giving of the Ten Commandments, the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, Annunciation of Mary, birth of our Savior, and ends in the finding of Jesus in the temple. On the second night it tells the teachings, public life and ministry of Jesus, and ends in the planning to kill him by the Priests. Third night the most dramatic scenes are seen, such as Entry to Jerusalem, Institution of the Eucharist, his Agony in the Garden, the stations of the cross, his death and ends in his Resurrection.
  • Kruz Na Mahal- The re-enactment of the finding of the cross of Jesus by Reyna Elena and Prinsepe Constanino. Each barrio will prepare a small caro with a cross. They would go around the place singing the kruz na mahal song: "Krus na mahal, Krus na mapalad, ang dakilang armas, bandila ni Kristo! sumakop sa lahat...." After the mini procession, the children present will be given lengua de patatas.
  • FLORES de MAYO- An old tradition of Morong that has been banned since the early '80s up to present as it became a fashion show and where the rich and the famous could show off in the town of Morong. The real purpose used to be for the veneration of the Virgin Mary. Girls from Morong, ages 6–30, would offer flowers and prayers to the blessed Mother. Girls included in this procession would also bring the seven alays for the Blessed Mother such as: Rosa Mystica, Torre ni David, Crown of Mary, Gates of Heaven etc. This tradition is attempted to be revived again by the Catholic Church in the year 2007 through voting, but comments such as the main purpose of it might again not be done and the fashion show and showing off would once again reign, the church decided to just make it a simple celebration, by doing a rosary and offering flowers to the Virgin Mother.
  • Malatines- Is a Christmas Eve mass or usually called MISA- de Gallo by other places. December 24. Usually celebrated outside the church Patio. The much awaited scenario in the mass is the dancing of the star. Wherein a big parol comes down, from the top of the main facade of the church down to the belen located in front of the altar, while singing "Gloria" or "Papuri".
  • KASALAN or Wedding- In the town of Morong Rizal, there is a different way to celebrate a wedding or in Filipino "Kasalan". In other towns such as Batangas they have the money dance, wherein the couple would do their first dance, and visitors would approach them and pin money, in Morong Rizal, a tradition of "PANGANGA" is done to help the couple start themselves. The couple accompanied by an old member of the family with a lighted candle. they would go to each table with a basket. the candle symbolizes the guiding light of the couple. As the couple approach each table, visitors would put their donation and sip a shot of whisky or wine as a "Thank you". The basket has a green clothe inside to cover the money given, so that the couple would not know how much the visitor would put. Another tradition during weddings would be the "hatiran" or wherein the bride accompanied by her parents would now transfer house. Its like a formal farewell of the bride to her house as she will transfer to the grooms house. What's exciting in this tradition is that each lightpost/ electric post that the couple would pass through going to the grooms house, the newly weds would kiss each other. This is appropriate if both the bride and the groom are from Morong Rizal.


Kayas Kawayan An Art made of Bamboo..

Morong is also known for its "Kayas Kawayan". The town is the first and is known to make beautiful Baluwartes, an art made of bamboo, with intricate designs. Usually used during special events such as weddings, cordero, and fiestas, its usually found in the entrance gate of the event. During cordero, the lamb- which is made of cake, sweet potatoes and potatoes, is placed and processioned around the town until the church in a small kayas kawayan, carried by men, adorned with flowers. Now this art is being copied by the nearby towns.


Some of the famous games in Morong Rizal are the following. This dates from 1940's-1997.

  • Patitiro- It is also called patintero. A famous Filipino street game. Wherein the "it" person stands in a line, and the other person should cross that line without getting touched by the "It".
  • Hulugang Ginto - popular night game especially during full moon.
  • Pasenorden- follow the leader game. The leader would shout "Pasenorden!" the players will say "combento" then the leader will say his command:" unahan sa pag bigay sa akin ng dahon" ( bring me a leaf) the players will ask: "anong dahon??" (what kind of leaf)once the leader states his command all player will look for that kind of leaf. The first one to bring the given leaf would be the next leader
  • Pati cobra (Pati-Kubra) - Morong (San Guillermo)version of baseball and cricket,uses bamboo stick as paddle or bat
  • Espadahan-
  • Jopolopen- marble game.
  • Stekenapan-"stick'em up an" a western cowboy gun game.
  • Taguan- Is also known as hide and seek. It is usually played during full moon.
  • Dirabes - popular games by school kids in 60s and 70s particularly in San Guillermo
  • Sikaran - originated in Lagundi and Baras.


  • Calero-Lanang Elementary School
  • Jesus My Shepherd Montessori School
  • Morong National High School
  • Caniogan Elementary School
  • University of Rizal System - Morong
  • Tomas Claudio Memorial College
  • St. John-Hill Academy
  • Blessed Hills Academy
  • San Guillermo National High School
  • San Guillermo Elementary School
  • Lagundi National High School
  • St. Jerome's Academy (Parochial)
  • Renaissance School of Science and Technology
  • Tomas Claudio Memorial Elementary School
  • EAST Systems Colleges of Rizal, Inc.
  • St. Claire School
  • Maybancal Elementary School
  • Roman Tantiongco Memorial School
  • Bombongan Elementary School
  • Timoteo Reyes Memorial Elementary School
  • Pulong-Kumanoy Elementary School
  • Lagundi Elementary School


  1. ^ "Official City/Municipal 2013 Election Results". Intramuros, Manila, Philippines: Commission on Elections (COMELEC). 11 September 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Province: RIZAL". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010". 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Pascual, Timoteo; Guillermo, Liwayway (1978). Morong's 400 Years. Manila: UST Press. 

External links

  • Website of Morong, Rizal
  • Radyo San Guillermo
  • Philippine Standard Geographic Code
  • Philippine Census Information
  • Local Governance Performance Management System
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