|The Municipal Hall|
We finally arrived at Mauban, at the midst of its Maubanog Festival, by 4 PM and we made a stopover at the municipal hall were we all dropped by the Municipal Tourism Office and paid a courtesy call on Mayor Fernando Q. Llamas, the uncle of our good friend Lee Llamas. Prominently displayed outside the municipal hall is an old cannon, 1 of 3 (the other 2 are at the Museo ng Mauban) bestowed by Spanish Gov.-Gen. Rafael Maria Aguilar to the town as a reward for the rescue efforts done for the Spanish friars captured by Moro pirates. The cannon were later used against the Spanish to effect the surrender of Tayabas to the revolutionaries in 1898. All 3 were restored on April 16, 2004.
|Traditional Mauban products|
After our courtesy call on the Mayor, we all dropped by the Mauban Product Development Office, beside the municipal hall, to check out the town’s traditional products such as finely-crafted nilala woven hats, baskets, slippers, wallets, bags, boxes, caddies, etc.; delicacies such as pinangat, binalawan, pinais, tikoy, kalamay, pastillas, botarts, mazapan, suspiro, etc.; and nipanog, wine made with sasa (toddy palm nectar) instead of coconut and available in different flavors such as liputi, katmon, guyabano, mango, pineapple, guava, jackfruit, kalamias, tamarind and santol. Being a fiesta, booths selling these products, and more, were found in front of the municipal hall as well as along the major streets.
While they were checking out the products, I took time out to visit the town’s present, modern Church of St. Bonaventure (the town’s patron saint). This church underwent a lot of rebuilding since it was first built in 1647 and demolished in 1769. The second structure, built in 1773, was badly damaged during the 1830 earthquake and rebuilt between 1836 and 1845. The church collapsed during the July 1880 earthquake and the present church was built in 1891. The bell tower, built in 1773, was seriously damaged during the 1880 earthquake and the portion that remained was partially destroyed again during the August 20, 1937 earthquake.
|Gat Uban Park|
With the sun still up, we still had time to make a walking tour to Gat Uban Park, at the end of Gomez St., along the sea wall. The park has a seaward facing statue the legendary Dumagat warrior and leader Gat Pangil who defended the town against ruthless Moro attacks. Gat Pangil was also known as Gat Uban because of his gray hair (uban). Accordingly, the town was named after the fact. The well-lighted promenade area, with its gentle sea breeze, is a favorite meeting place for Maubanons.
It was near sunset when we dropped by Rizal Hill Park (locally called Calvario Hill), along San Buenaventura St. in Brgy. Rizaliana. To get to the top, we had a choice of taking the shorter route (climbing a steep concrete stairway) or the longer route via a winding ramp skirting the hill. Of course, we chose the latter. At the top of the hill is a statue of National Hero Jose Rizal, erected on December 1912 by the Mauban Circle Association of Students. The park offers a panoramic view of the whole town. In olden times, the hill was used as a sentinel post and a place for religious activities during the Spanish era, as headquarters by American troops, as an outpost by the Philippine Constabulary during the Japanese Occupation and, after the war, by the Civilian Emergency Administration.
|Rizal Hill Park|
Soon after our arrival, Mr. Ludovico Badoy and Ms. Carminda R. Arevalo, Executive Director and Officer-in-Charge (NHCP Research, Publications and Heraldry Division), respectively, of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), formerly the National Historical Institute (NHI), also arrived. They supervised the installation of a historical marker recognizing the hill for its historical significance. The marker was to be unveiled the next day, with Mayor Llamas and Mr. Badoy leading the ceremony. It was now evening when we left the hill and, after dinner at the house of Mayor Llamas, we were billeted for the night at the nearby Llamas ancestral house.
Municipal Tourism Office – Municipal Hall, Poblacion, Mauban, Quezon. Tel: (042) 784-1205 and 713-0314. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.