Baler, Aurora Book Launched

This news appeared on Manila Bulletin on March 10. The MB website don’t use permalinks on their news so i’m reproducing the whole article here. Found via clueless forever.

The book entitled “Baler, Aurora” was launched recently at the Manila Polo Club, Makati.

The pages of the book come alive with detailed narratives of great history, great tragedy, and the lives of the great men of Baler, Aurora.

The book takes its title from the capital town of Aurora province, which is situated between the Sierra Madre mountain range and the sea. The rugged, daunting confines, however, have done little to suppress the brilliance and ambition of its natives, who have sought and attained national or international prominence.

In 1735, a tsunami wiped out the entire township, killer waves swallowing most of its residents, save for six families that moved inland before a tsunami ravaged Baler. The Angaras, Bitongs, Lumasacs, Pobletes, Carrascos, and Bijasas built another settlement three miles from the original site instead of relocating elsewhere.

From these families and a small infusion of migrants came a president of the Commonwealth (Quezon), two senate presidents (Quezon and Angara), a former president of the University of the Philippines (Angara), and the first woman majority floor leader of the Philippine House of Representatives (Bella Angara-Castillo). Renowned artists Jeho Bitancor, Maria Cruz, and Zeneida Angara Amador also have Baler roots.

The contrast between isolation and renown and the irony of a remote area turning out so many prominent leaders is discussed in the book. The last stand of 50 Spanish soldiers for Mother Spain also took place at the stone church of Baler place after Spain lost the war and had officially declared it.

The Spanish cazadores, their ranks diminished by disease and hunger, stubbornly held out for a year at the stone church , under siege from Katipuneros just as determined to wipe out the last vestiges of the Spanish military presence.

“The book is a compelling read. You have history and tragedy. It is about a place of impossible isolation that routinely sees its sons breaking out into national prominence. Yet, there are chapters devoted to flora and fauna, artifacts and heirlooms,” said Senator Edgardo J. Angara also the book’s publisher.

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, a Baler native and one of the biggest names in Philippine politics, published the book that also sweeps through the life and times of Manuel Luis Quezon, often called the greatest president the country ever had, who like Angara was born and raised there.

The book, in a glorious but not awkward shift, also gives an answer that Angara himself proposes in answer to a recurring query. Should Baler thrive on its isolation to preserve its physical grandeur, its pristine natural beauty and progress be damned? Or, should it finally join the economic mainstream, end centuries of isolation and declare itself “open for business?”

For info on how to have a copy of the book, just click here.

About kidlat

Joseph T. Gonzales, aka Kidlat is the creator of Batangbaler, the website and online community of all the scattered Balereños and Aurorans on Earth. He is based in Baler.

11 thoughts on “Baler, Aurora Book Launched”

  1. prominent leaders not great leaders.. wala pa akong nakitang magaling na leader dito sa baler na merong innovative thinking na katulad nina bayani fernando , gordon at hagedorn na may will power para gawin ang mga innovation nila, masagasaan na ang masagasaan.. daan ito para makilala ang bayan nila sa buong mundo.

    dito sa atin sa baler ang mga leaders mabubulaklak lang magsalita., hindi nasusukat ang pagiging magaling na leader dahil lang cya ay magaling magsalita o articulate o magaling mag ingles,. dapat samahan nila ng gawa.

    tingnan natin ang baler ngayon, remote pa din, ni sa buong pilipinas hinde pa kilala,. kilala lang yata ang baler sa daanan ng bagyo ay.

    kailan na kaya tayo magkakaroon ng great leader dito sa baler, siguro kapag ako na ang mayor, he he..

  2. Look who’s talking. Takbo ka ng Governor Zenkriz. I think you’re the best to fill in the missing gap. Looks like you want it? then you got it.

  3. hmmm, kung aku din siguru ang gagawa ng libro tungkol sa aurora ang ilalagay ku ay kung anu iyung laman ng pusu ku. wag natin gaanung personalin, syempre iba iba ang pananaw ng mga tau, achievement iyan ng mga authors ay, de naman tayu pinipilit na bumili, kung gustu natin yung libro ay arya at nang makarami hhehehehhe

  4. Ala naman nangyayari sa Aurora sa habahaba na ng panahun ai!!! To most provinces, Aurora is already left behind many years back…. Who’s to BLAME?! The fishermen, farmers, dumagats, ilongots, casiguranens, or the surfers? People of Aurora has been wide awake a long time, we are just not pleased many years ago but we are still too idiot to vote the same Big Names!

  5. tama yun wag tayong magco-comment dun sa nilalaman ng libro kasi di pa naman natin nabasa yun ay,(wala ta akong pambili ay), dito lang tayo magcomment sa nilalaman ng blog..

    p.s. zenkriz for governor!

  6. That buk ay ginawa for a reason(s) let us ol readers o nkibalita lang ay magnilay kung anong purposes ang hatid sa naninirahan duon, personally kung better purposes dat led to growth personally as balerians, economically pero de naman nilalapastangan ang kalikasan well den & gud, but 4 kung pang personal na as in pati sa ka apu apuhan nasa pati kukong patay sa paa ay de na maghihirap sa panlupang KAYAMANAN out of local intelligence & efforts so with its natural resources ay de naman na ako payag, siguro lang ganun din sa iba, de kau?

  7. Oo nga bili na lamang tayo… he he he… if we want progress, then we take the responsibility to be innovative and go for big new ideas for our province. let us stand and start on what we have hindi yung puro blame sa government or kung sino ang namumuno… (o cox, bumili ka na lamang ng libro…) he he… nagkokoment lang…

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