BULAKAN, Bulacan—A local history and cultural group in this old capital town of Bulacan on Saturday launches its “Bulakan Bayang Pamana 2023 calendar” fund raising project which features the town’s rich history, culture and heritage as birth place of heroes Marcelo H. Del Pilar, Gregorio Del Pilar, the town’s 444 year old church that was declared important cultural property, abundant aquaculture including cotton trees, (bulak) from which the province name was derived and others.

Kabesera Inc., a revival group of Samahang Pangkalinangan ng Bulakan that was founded in 2018 has just released tens of copies of the calendar that showcased at least twelve distinct cultural, historical and heritage sites and events in the town to remind every Bulakenyo of their glorious past which the group strongly campaigns to preserve.

Perfecto Teodoro Martin, president of the group, a Philippine Studies expert and a former official of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts said the calendar would serve as residents and other people’s home, office and personal collection of some of the most historic and religious places and events of the town that traces back since it was founded 444 years ago on Aug. 15, 1578.

Copies are available at the Marcelo H. Del Pilar Shrine for a donation of P1,000 each to help Kabesera raise funds for its heritage, culture and historical preservation projects.

Martin said the donation and sales of the calendar will fund the four major projects of Kabesera—cultural mapping, a research on different key areas in the town that are prospective part of the town’s rich culture and history that were destroyed over the years due to the people’s negligence. These will be revived and preserved.

 “Bulakan ni Marcelo,” (Bulakan of Marcelo), which is a written and documentary research on the works and writings, pictures about the town as the old capital of Bulacan. 

“Programa Plaridelina,” is focused on the works of Marcelo H. Del Pilar for present and future teachings in universities, colleges and museums. 

“Pamana ng Pananampalataya”(Heritage of Faith).  Kabesera will help the Nuestra Senora Dela Asuncion Parish in preserving the 444 year old church and cemetery through research, documentation and digitization.

“This is calendar is a compilation of images of our cultural and historical heritage including historical facts of our town that showcased our beloved Bulakan town’s rich history as the first capital of our province Bulacan. We want our people to know, promote and preserve them as they were legacy events and crafts of our ancestors,” (Ang Pamanang Kalendaryong ito ay mga imahen ng pamanang kultura at kaalamang bayan ng ating mahal na Bulakan. Mga imaheng magpapaalala sa mayamang kasaysayan at kalinangan ng unang kabesera ng lalawigan ng Bulacan. Nais nating pag-ibayuhin ng mga Bulakeno ang kampanya upang tapatan ng ingat, alaga at unawa ang mga pamanang ito ng kalikasan at ng ating mga ninuno), the calendar says in its cover),

Martin said while modern tradition tells us that calendars promote business and industries, all about products, beauty, fashion and tourism, our old tradition, culture, heritage and history can be more meaningful and unique.  

“Today while we enjoy colourful calendars about one’s company’s businesses about fashion, transportation, hotels and restaurants, resorts, beaches, real estate, we seldom see calendars that promote one’s town heritage, culture and history that’s why we are launching our calendar, because our beloved Bulakan has abundant to showcase and to be proud of,” Martin said.

The month of January features a picture of a cotton tree branch and fruit of which the name of the province and the town was derived. Bulakan, then capital of the Province of Bulacan was founded on Aug. 15,1578. The name “Bulakan” was derived from cotton tree “bulak”. “Cotton from the book Flora de Filipina, written in 1837 by Fr. Manuel Blanco, a known Agustinian botanist priest. Assigned for long time as a parish priest in Angat town and was given recognition through a monument built for him at a park in the town plaza of Bulakan,” (Bulak algodon o bulak mula sa Flora de Fillipina, Isinulat noong 1837 ni Padre Manuel Blanco, kilalang botanist na Agustino. Matagal na nadestino bilang kura paroko ng Angat  at pinarangalan ng isang monumento sa liwasang ng unang kabesera ng lalawigan).

The month of February showcases the “Old Municipal Building of Bulakan,” (Matandang Munisipyo ng Bulakan), where it was originally built opposite the church. Painted by Edgar B, Santiago from Balubad, Bulakan in 1992.

March features “Club de Mujeres ng Bulakan”. An old women’s group in the town founded in 1918. Also on March before Marcelo Del Pilar died in 1896, Del Pilar wrote a letter to his niece Josefa Gatmaitan and to other women in Bulakan town. Photo from the collection of De Jesus family in Panique, San Jose, Bulakan.

April showcases a picture of “Asinan sa Nagtaip”. (Nagtaip river with abundant of salt). A river area in Bulakan town near the Manila Bay where salt is being gathered by residents. The place is also adjacent fishponds in the town. 1956 painting by Oscar T. Navaroo (1921-1973). From the Collection of Opriana S. Gonzales from Bambang, Bulakan Bulacan.

The Month of May features San Isidro Labrador. An old picture showing a May 15 San Isidro Labrador Feast procession in Barangay Bambang. In 1963, the San Isidro Labrado Parish was built serving the villages of Bambang, Taliptip and Perez.  Collection from Martin Teodoro of Bambang. 

The Month of June features the “Gabaldon building of Marcelo H. Del Pilar Memorial School that was built in 1924. The first public school in the country named after a national hero from its native town,” (Unang paaralan sa bansa na ipinangalan sa pambansang bayaning anak ng Bulakan. San Nicolas, Bulakan Bulacan).

The Month of July features the Shrine of Marcelo H. Del Pilar. “The two murals in the opposite sides of Marcelo H. Del Pilar Shrine that was made by artist Apolinario Paraiso Bulaong named as La Solidaridad and Los Cincos,” (Ang dalawang mural sa magkabilang gilid ng dambana. Lilok ni Apolinario Paraiso Bulaong at pinamagatang La Solidaridad at Los Cincos).

The Month of August and September feature the church of Nuestra Senora dela Asuncion Parish and her image as the patron saint that was declared in 2017 as an Important Cultural Property and its patron saint.

The Month of October features “Bantayog Wika. Built in Plaza Gregorio Del Pilar. The Filipino language and its ethnic version, importance tradition and history in honor of Pedro Serrano Laktaw (1853-1928),  a teacher, writer and lexicographer who is a son of Bulakan made by Luis “Junyee” E. Yee. Jr., Poblacion, Bulakan,” (Ang wikang Tagalog at ang taglay nitong katutubong kaalaman, halagahan, tradisyon, kasaysayan. Pagpapaalala kay Pedro Serrano Laktaw (1853-1928), guro, manunulat at leksikograpo na anak ng Bulakan. Likha ni Luis “Junyee” E. Yee, Jr. Poblacion, Bulakan).

The Month of November showcases an image of documented flooding in front of the town parish church about a hundred years ago. “An old picture showing the almost 100 year old flooded road in front of the municipal parish church on Nov. 19, 1923,” (Isang lumang larawan na nagpapalala ng malaking baha sa Bulakan noong Nov. 19, 1923. From the photo collection of De Jesus family in Panique, San Jose, Bulakan).

The Month of December features the heroism of Gregorio Del Pilar who was born in the town on November 14, 1875. “The heroism of Gregorio Del Pilar . One of the four murals in stone that depicts the heroism of Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar (1875-1899 sa Pasong Tirad. Creation of Apolinario Paraiso Bulaong from Taal, Malolos, 2011,” (Kabayanihan ni Gregorio Del Pilar. Isa sa apat na mural sa bato na naglalarawan ng kabayanihan ni Heneral Gregorio Del Pilar (1875-1899) sa Pasong Tirad. Likha ni Apolinario Paraiso Bulaong ng Taal, Malolos, 2001).

Kabesera Chairman of the Board, Former Department of Science and technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena from 2016-June this year under former President Rodrigo Duterte’s term said the calendar is a glimpse of the richness of the town’s glorious past as the old capital of the province and is an inspiration today particularly to our young people .

“Our calendar is very unique on its own because it showcases at least twelve distinct cultural, historical heritage of the town which would remind every Bulakenyo of their glorious past and which they should help preserve and maintain today particularly our youth,” he said.

Dela Pena encourages every Bulakenyo to get a copy of the calendar and give donations at the exhibit area inside the Marcel H. Del Pilar Museum in Barangay San Nicolas.