Sunday, May 27, 2007


It such a great feeling when you had a chance to go back to your hometown. A place which was a witness to your childhood and immaturity. I just did last Saturday.

I grew up in the birthplace of our “National Hero” Dr. Jose RIzal, Calamba City. A few kilometres drive from Manila and since I am living in Muntinlupa City right now I actually had to travel less than an hour to get there.

The promulgation of an Act making Calamba a city gives rise to a lot of changes in the town, it was a lot more urbanized than before. There were many establishments present right now, but somehow, I still could feel the breeze of the old Calamba.

First stop. I went to the famous Rizal Shrine. The actual birthplace of Rizal, where I actually was assigned during college to be a tour guide. I went inside the shrine and look into the different parts of the house, Rizal’s bedroom, her sisters’ bedrooms, master bedrooms, the kitchen and others. There were no changes at all from the last time I saw it. Too bad, there was some renovation going on in a museum located near the house, so my companion and I headed to the garden.

The wide garden of the Rizal Family was very much relaxing, there were lot of trees and plants in there. Just sitting on the benches and breathe fresh air truly made me feel good. In the garden as well you could see the statue of a young Rizal and a dog which purpose was to inspire the kids who tour the place. The “bahay-kubo” where the Rizal siblings played during their times was still there.

Second Stop. After my visit at the Rizal Shrine I got the chance to eat again Lomi, “Calamba Style”, luckily there was still a stall there selling it. The Lomi we ordered was actually good for three persons but we almost consumed the whole bowl of Lomi! It was good!

Third Stop. After eating Lomi, we went to the famous “BANGA”. It was a structure located in the plaza of Calamba, which was actually a “Kalan” and “Banga” (these were early forms of cooking utensils during the Spanish era). According to History, these “Kalan” and “Banga” were the origin of the name “Calamba”. A woman, carrying a “Kalan” and “Banga” during the Spanish era, come across a Spanish military man, and asked of the name of the town. Because the woman, didn’t understand Spanish, she thought that he was asking what she is carrying. She answered back, “Kalan”-“Banga”.
And from then on the town was called Calamba.

Last stop. Calamba Parish Church. I got the chance to kneel and pray in Calamba’s parish church again. I remembered my childhood days where in I was involved in participating in religious activities for kids, the days where I’ve been assigned to read the first or second readings for a particular mass, as well as in the collection of contributions from people.

It was really a nostalgic feeling when I went back to Calamba, and it’s like I want to go back for more, since there were still a few more spots and nice sceneries in the town. But I don’t have the luxury of time to visit them all. Well I just hope I would have the time again to visit my hometown and relive the moments which somehow became a part of who I am right now. I’m proud to be a CalambeƱo! and a Kababayan of our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

By the way, Happy 146th Birthday Rizal on the 19th of June! =]

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