"Pilgrimage Town of Pakil" Pakil by cyndymc

Pakil Travel Guide: 3 reviews and 26 photos

Historical Background of Pakil

We go to Pakil often to visit the Church, but I must confess I know little about the town itself. Reading the official website of Pakil made me appreciate the town more. It gives the ff info:

Pakil is about 90 kilometers south of Manila via Tanay in Rizal province or about 120 kilometers south of Manila via Santa Cruz, the capital of Laguna. Specifically, Pakil is situated between the Sierra Madre mountain range and the eastern arm of the Laguna Lake, with territories extending to Mauban, Quezon province in the East; the town of Paete in the South; then across the Laguna Lake at Ynuod Point in Jala-Jala, Rizal Province and at Mount Sembrano with Pililia town in the West; and the town of Pangil along the Dambo, Sambal and Balian rivers in the North.

PRE-SPANISH ERA:The town of Pakil was first settled by two renowned tribal ancestors namely: Gat Maytan Panumbalihan and Gat Salyan Dolosima on a vast land across Laguna de Bay (opposite of what presently known as the town proper) sometime around 14th century. The people were mostly of the Malayan race descended from Borneo. For some unknown reasons, their relatives migrated to opposite side of the lake and started a small community. Through the years they multiply rapidly and became a large community known as "PAQUIL". They named their community after the great ruler Gat Paquil who was once their chief during that time. This migration to the eastern side of the lake explains why the territory of Pakil extends to the west side of the Laguna de Bay.

SPANISH ERA: Pakil was a visita of Paete, Laguna from 1602 to 1676 under the leadership of Francisco Dumukot and Juan Maglintik, both from the Maulawin clan. The leader in Paete, Don Juan Pinawin and his wife Apolonia Guling made a gift of land stretching from "Tuyong Ilog" to the plaza. A Franciscan priest named Francisco de Barajas left his post at the Santa Ana Sapa church in Manila to do missionary works in the mountain of Rizal province. He came down from the mountain settlements in the year 1670 and continued his work in the sorrounding regions including Pakil. Through his efforts and leadership, Pakil was separated from Paete and became an independent town on May 12, 1676. Don Diego Jorge was elected as the first captain. Enshrined in the first church made of nipa and bamboos was St. Peter de Alcantara which was the name of the mission headed by Fr. Francisco de Barajas.

AMERICAN ERA: Spanish era ended on 1899 when the American troops arrived. Mr. Bernardo Gonzales became the first "Presidente Federal y Municipal" from 1899 - 1903. He claimed for the municipality ownership of the public swimming pool and the communal irrigation under the separation of the Church and the State. The name PAQUIL was changed to PAKIL on September 9, 1927 through the Executive Order No. 77 issued by then Governor General Eugene A. Gilmore.

More Info On Pakil

The town has an approximate land area of 6,000 hectares and around 3,000 hectares of municipal water in the lake. Pakil comprises of 13 barrios or barangay. Seven barrios located at the eastern side of the lake namely: Saray which is situated at the top of the Sierra Madre mountain; Rizal, Bano, Tavera, Taft, Gonzales and Burgos which are all situated at the foot of the mountain. Six barrios located at the western side of the lake namely: Dorado, Banilan, Kabulusan, Casa Real, Matikiw and Casinsin. Pakil has a mild weather all year long, abundant springs and plenty of rainfall. The municipality of Pakil has a population of about 15,663 (based on the 1995 census). The town has at least 456 hectares of riceland that produces two good crops each year. Its annual rice harvest is around 80,000 cavans which is more than enough to feed the entire population. The town of Pakil is also renowned for its sweet lanzones fruits, wooden handicrafts, natural springs swimming pool, antique church (St. Peter de Alcantara Parish church) and the pilgrimage of the Blessed Nuestra Sra. de los Dolores de Turumba."

National Historical Landmark: San Pedro de Alcanta

SAN PEDRO de ALCANTARA Parish Church was originally built with bamboos and nipa through Fr. Francisco de Barajas who was assigned as a permanent priest on 1676 when Pakil obtained its independence from Paete. The stone church and convent were built during the incumbency of Fr. Fernando Jaro on 1732. The complex was burnt on 1739 and work on continued until 1767. Additional story added to the bell tower in 1777. In 1788, the image of Nuestra Sra. de los Dolores de Turumba was enshrined in the church. In 1840, Fr. Joaquin de Coria repaired the church. Fr. Juan de Lanera repaired the church after the 1851 fire, miraculously, the image of Blessed Virgin Mary survived the fire and since then, devotion to Her increases. Fr. Juan de Dios de Villayos repaired the church roof and bell after it was damaged by an earthquake in 1881. The church was repaired in 1883 by Fr. Paulino Camba. Damaged by 1937 earthquake, the church was repaired yet another time by Fr. Federico Diaz Pines. The altar was made marble by Fr. Ronald Reagan and consecrated by Archbishop Alejandro Olalia in 1959. The latest major repair was made from 1980-84 when the story of the bell tower and church ceiling were built.

Until then, additional repairs and beautification continue without compromising the heritage-look.

  • Last visit to Pakil: Apr 2009
  • Intro Updated Apr 29, 2009
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