Morong is a first class municipality in the Province of Rizal, PHILIPPINES.Accorrding to the latest census, it has a population of 50, 538 inhabitants in 8, 988 households. A popular attraction is Spanish-era St. Jerome's Parish Church. The town is also known for featuring the balaw-balaw side dish. Morong is also known for having education as its priority - "Una Ang Education" (Education first), that is why during the early 70's and early 90's, it became the center of education. Students from different places mostly in the nearby towns of Rizal would come and study in Morong.
In the early years before Spaniards came, Morong was predominantly a Muslim area; that is why it is called Morong, because it was coined from the word moro.
During the Spanish Era, Morong played a big part in Philippine history. Before it became a small town of Rizal, Morong was considered the province before it was called Rizal, Its original name was Politico Militar Distrito de Morong, which included Manila, Makati, Cainta, Taytay, Pasig, Angono etc.. Morong is even included in the eight rays of the sun of the Philippine flag which represents the eight provinces that fought for freedom, listed are: Morong (now Manila), Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Laguna, and Batangas.
World War I- Tomas M. Claudio a Morong native is listed as a hero in the Philippines; The first Filipino to die in World War I was Private Tomas Mateo Claudio who served with the U.S. Marine Corps as part of the American Expeditionary Forces to Europe. He died in the Battle of Château Thierry in France on June 29, 1918. The Tomas Claudio Memorial College in Morong Rizal, Philippines, which was founded in 1950, was named in his honor. The main street of the town was also named in his honor.
During the Japanese occupation of World War II, the Mateo compound, now the Cesar S.D. Mateo clinic was used as a Japanese base. During the Liberation, Filipino troops of the 4th and 42nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and 4th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary including the recognized guerrillas of the Col. Markings Guerrillas and the Hunters ROTC guerrillas liberated and captured the towns in Morong and defeated Japanese forces and forced them to surrender at the end of World War II
Morong is politically subdivided into 8 barangays with 3 situated in the poblacion.
- San Guillermo
- San Pedro (Pob.)
- San Jose (Pob.)
- San Juan (Pob.)
In terms of area, San Guillermo or San Guilmo as locals known is the biggest of the eight barangays of Morong. It borders the towns of Binangonan, Teresa and Tanay. San Guillermo is a farming community with a population of 6,522 and 1,377 total dwellings (2000 census). While majority in the barrio depend on farming as a livelihood, many others are engaged in businesses like garment industry, poultry and piggery.
San Isidro Labrador is the patron Saint of San Guillermo, a feast in his honor is celebrated annually the 15th of May. In 2005, the small chapel of San Isidro Labrador became a full pledge Parish in the Diocese of Antipolo serving 10,500 Catholics.
Also in 2005, San Guillermo National High School was established.
The first wave of San Guillermo immigrants to America came in the early 1900s. San Guillermo natives living in California maintain their cultural heritage by hosting a gathering on Memorial Day in celebration of feast of patron saint San Isidro Labrador. Most San Guillermo natives live in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and the feast is alternately celebrated in both cities since its conception in 1979.
A Barangay in Morong Rizal, Located in the east of the town. The main industries are, Farming, Textile Manufacturing and Food Industry. There are about 8709 people live in this area and the ratio of men to women is 1:2.
Barangay San Juan is the center of business and trade in the town of Morong Rizal. It is also said to be the highest remitting income revenue in the whole barangay of the town. This is where famous establishments are seen such as Jollibee, SM Savemore, RCBC Savings Bank, UCPB Savings Bank, D.I.Y Hardware, Mercury Drugstore,and soon to open CHICBOY. Other local establishments found in this area are THRIFT MART (former: RoNan grocery store), Camillus chicken, Mateo's bookstore, Morong Doctor's Hospital, Rizal Provincial Hospital, Hernandez bookstore, ERWIN'S boutique, Supreme Care Medical Diagnostic and Imaging Center Inc., Cesar S.D. Mateo Memorial Clinic, and Cristina Mart. The facade of the St. Jerome's church, a Department of Tourism recognized tourist spot is also located.
Barangay San Pedro is the capital barangay of Morong, Rizal. Barangay San Pedro lies adjacent with the Laguna Bay in the east, bounded at the south with the town of Cardona, on the west by Barangay Bombongan and on the north by Barangay San Jose and Barangay San Juan. Barangay San Pedro has a total land area of 368 has. and around 7,000 populations as of 2010 census.
As a poblacion barangay, the seat of Local Government of Morong are located here. Barangay San Pedro has many establishments such as Morong Public Market, Sea Oil Gasoline Station, PhilOil Gasoline Station, Aldec Agri-Dynamics Company, Era Plaza Restaurant,Emmas Panciteria Restaurant, Kamalig Restaurant, Kainan, Inuman, At iba pa Beer House, "Sabungan", AMA Bank, Macro Bank.
Barangay San Pedro is the center of education in Morong. There are many educational institution that can be found in this barangay namely San Pedro Day Care Center, Jose S. Mapa, St. Claire School, Jesus My Shepperd Montessori School, Renaissance School of Science and Technology, EAST Systems Colleges of Rizal, Inc., and Timoteo A. Reyes Elementary School.
Barangay San Pedro has many beautiful landmarks such as Morong Town Plaza, "Statwa ng Magsasaka",and "Puking Bato" sa Boulevard Park.
- "Uugong Park" - During the early 60's-early 80's Uugong park was known for its breath taking view of the rice fields, different birds can be seen and its majestic waterfalls. It is usually a summer spot for families. Uugong means echo, because of the strong current of the falls it makes a loud echo or sound. People from the town usually wash their clothes there, even water carabao's also takes a dip during the hot summer months. Address: Brgy. Bumbongan, Morong Rizal
because of his paintings. His medium for his paintings are his fingers. The resort does not use the old falls anymore, instead two pools were
made, inside the resort you can view the now dead waterfalls and its river. Interesting in the new Uugong resort are the displayed collection
of paintings and sculpture of Mr. Pacheco.
- "St. Jerome's Church"- Famous for its dramatic bell fry facade. Address Brgy. San Jose, Morong Rizal
- "Paseo Rizal"'- First music lounge in town located in baranggay Maybangcal, near Baras. Usually venues for mini concerts by Filipino artists and used as events facility for special events such as baptisms, weddings etc. with capacity of 150 persons. Paseo Rizal also plans to have the first hotel in town, Address: Brgy. Maybangcal, Morong, Rizal
- "Monwlet terrace"- Events facility located in Taghangin Morong Rizal capacity of 200 persons. Address: Brgy Maybangcal, Taghangin, Morong, Rizal
- "Casita de Salvador"'- Resort located in Brgy. Maybangcal Taghangin Morong Rizal,
- "Vista Grande resort"- Resort nestled in the heart of Taghangin, a great view of the Laguna de Bay, tooth brush island and the near-by towns of Rizal such as Cardona, and Islands of Binangonan are seen. Address: Brgy. Maybangcal, Morong Rizal
- "Era Plaza"- Bar and restaurant at the back of the town Plaza and known for its warek-warek or fried pork fillet. During the early 20's the location of the now bar and restaurant is the location of an old local school in town, named ERA school. Address: Natividad St. Ibaba Morong, Rizal
- "Ling Ling's Cafe"- Mini cafe near the town plaza. Usually the meeting place and place where young people and old people hang out during the early 70's until early 2000, It got burned down due to electrical wiring year 2010. Address: Ibaba Tupas, (Tulay) Morong Rizal
- "Puking Bato"Located at Natividad street at Boulevard (ibaba dulo).. Famous for its beautiful scene. Many people in Morong likes to go here early morning, to do some jogging, chatting, Morong Balikbayan funded the construction of the Boulevard... they called it Duckling Society Park.....But people of ibaba dulo still called the place " Puking Bato or " Boulevard... Address: Natividad St. Ibaba (dulo), Morong Rizal
- "EMMA's PANCITERIA"- located at Paglabas Morong Rizal. Famous fo their pancit.
- "EUNI-ARC"- Place where RONAN (now Thrift Mart) and other establishments are found such as I-focus, Chicboy and more.
- "ELITE"- Near Aglipayan Church. Famous for their imported goods during the early 70's until 90's.
- "ALAMARIS Resort"- Address: Located at Maybangcal, Sagbat, Morong Rizal
- "SULOK Resort"- Address: Tupas Ibaba, Dulo, Morong Rizal.
- "CAVALIER Statue"- Located at Maybangcal Morong Rizal.
- "Holy Angels Memorial Garden"- First ever 1st class memorial cemetery in Morong. Located at Brgy. Maybangcal Taghangin Morong Rizal.
- "Morong Rizal's old Municipal office"- Located in Brgy San Pedro, near the Town Plaza. This building was the former seat of office of the governor of Rizal during the Distrito Politica de Morong. also known as the "Commandancia".
Saint Jerome Parish Church
St. Jerome Church in Morong, Rizal was built in 1615 by Chinese craftsmen, as evidence: two Chinese lion sculptures ( a boy and a girl lion ) at the entrance to the steep driveway. Unfortunately one lion, said to be the girl lion was stolen early year 2000- 2005?. Local folklore said that the female lion has a hidden treasure inside it. While the other lion; the Male lion, is safe guarded at the St. Jerome school vicinity. Other evidences that the church was built by Chinese craftsmen- a stone and mortar church which has a three-story facade, and an octagonal bell tower whose cross is illuminated at night and can be seen from the surrounding countryside. The bell tower of the church is used by local fisher man in the nearby towns as a light house when fishing at night and during the storm.
The Morong facade and bell tower is easily the most striking of all church facades along Laguna. Frequently photographed and described as baroque, the facade/bell tower is more properly described as neo-baroque because the baroque period ended in the Philippines before 1780. The central portion of the facade surges outward and the catenated balustrade above give the whole a dynamic felling. Various decorative elements, some Mexican in origin, give the facade a richness characteristic of Baroque. Four angels, representing the cardinal virtues, stand at the corners of the bell tower. Fr. Felix Huerta, writing in 1852, states that the facade had finials shaped as jars and shells used for illuminating it.
Although the church interior was damaged by war, a few elements are worth noting, namely, the crocodile motif carved on the supporting brackets of the choir loft; the bas relief of the Baptism of Jesus in the baptistery, and the image of Saint Jerome on a side altar.
1st class relic of St. Jerome
An added attraction in the church of Morong Rizal is the first class relic of the town's patron saint Saint Jerome; (Patron of scholars of the bible, Saint who translated the bible, feast day : September 30). The first class relic (a part of the saint's body) was given to the parish year 2005, through the effort of then parish priest Rev. Fr.Lawrence "Larry" Paz, when they had their first pilgrimage tour to holy land and Vatican. The relic is publicly exposed every Saturday during the anticipated mass, guarded by the knights of Saint Jerome's. While the kissing of the relic is done every last Saturday of the month. After 2 years, another relic was given, in 2007 to the parish again as a gift from the main chaplain of the church of St. Jeromes in Rome, this time bigger. This relic is now buried on top of the table of the main altar which is being kissed by the priest every time there is a mass.
Order of the Franciscan Missionaries were first assigned in the church of Morong. As a proof, the Franciscan coat or arms is seen on the main facade of the bell tower, the hands of Jesus and St. Francis of Assisi Next were Columban Missionaries.
60% of the population in Morong Rizal is composed of Roman Catholics. other religion in town are the following:
- IFI- Aglipayan Church
- INC- Iglesia ni Cristo
- United Methodist
- Dating daan
- Church of Animasola
- Saksi ni Jehovah
- Morong Bible Church
- Morong Christian Church
Culture and tradition
- Fiesta: The celebrated fiesta in Morong is the town fiesta, which is the first Sunday of February. During the early times, February would be known for the harvesting month in the town, it is a form of celebration and thanksgiving for a bounty harvest.
- Catholic Fiesta: The patron saint of Morong, Rizal is Saint Jerome. A doctor of the church, a priest and translator of the Bible. His feast day is September 30.
- Pabasa: A holy week activity, which is chanting the life and Passion of Christ. It signifies the start of the 40 days before holy week. In the town of Morong, not an ordinary Pabasa tone is used. It's mostly a tone of sadness and agony. This is done from different houses, who owns a "santo" or image used during Holy Week.
- Cordero: It is only in Morong that this tradition has been done for almost 60 years. Kordero, which means lamb of God, is a re-enactment of the preparation of the paschal lamb for the passover meal, that Jesus and his 12 apostles took, and eventually became the Institution of the holy Eucharist. Kordero also symbolizes Jesus as a sacrificial lamb who suffered to redeem mankind from sin. In Morong a lamb which is made of sweet potatoes and potatoes is processioned before the Maundy Thursday Mass. A tradition which is also being copied by other nearby towns of Rizal, and has been featured in the national newspaper. The Hermano represents the owner of the upper room, the place where the last supper took place.
The main tableau of the 2010 Pabasang Bayan in Morong
- Pabasang bayan- A yearly event/exhibit that showcases the 40+ processional images, that started in 1996. Said event is usually done the Saturday before Palm Sunday in the town's gymnasium wherein a breathtaking tableau is made yearly showing the chronological events of the life of Jesus (e.g. 1996- 1997 -"Last Supper", 1998- "Wedding in Canaan", 1999- "The multiplication of bread and fish", 2004- "Jesus teaches in the Mountain", 2005- "The teaching of Christ in the lake of Galilee", 2006- "The public ministry of Jesus", 2007-" The baptism of Jesus in the river Jordan", 2008-"Jesus in the Temple", 2009- "the calling of the twelve apostles", 2010- "Jesus calls the tax collector Matthew", 2011-"Jesus healed the Centurion's servant", 2012- "Jesus Healed a paralytic man"). A must see attraction that is first done by the people of Morong, that has captured the attention of some nearby towns in Rizal and Metro Manila such as Pililla, Tanay, Cardona,Baras, Teresa, Binangonan, Cainta, Pasig City, Quezon City, etc. This event also is now being copied by the nearby towns, because it not only evangelized the gospel, but also shows unity of the town and treasures the old tradition of PABASA. The event was even featured thrice in The Philippine Daily Inquirer a national news paper in the Philippines and was covered by national networks such as ABS-CBN, TFC ( the Filipino Channel- ABS-CBN), GMA Network and GMA News TV ( former QTV channel 11 ). The difference between the usual Pabasa and Pabasang bayan is that the whole town is welcome to this event. Saturday night before Palm Sunday, anticipated mass is held in the gymnasium.
- Senakulo- A yearly activity during Holy week, a dramatization of the life and death of Christ. Senakulo in Morong is entitled "Ang Tagapagligtas". The play is divided into 3 nights. It starts in the evening of Holy Wednesday and ends on Good Friday, usually after the Procession. On the first night it tells the brief story of the Old Testament starting from the Creation, Adam and Eve, the giving of the Ten Commandments, the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, Annunciation of Mary, birth of our Savior, and ends in the finding of Jesus in the temple. On the second night it tells the teachings, public life and ministry of Jesus, and ends in the planning to kill him by the Priests. Third night the most dramatic scenes are seen, such as Entry to Jerusalem, Institution of the Eucharist, his Agony in the Garden, the stations of the cross, his death and ends in his Resurrection. Senakulo is handled by Pakitamo for more than 15 years already. The play has been seen by notable personalities such as director Soxie Topacio (dulaang UP), Matt Ranillo III and Krista Ranillo. What differs the Senakulo in Morong from other town is the story, script and costumes used all conceptualized by members of Pakitamo.
- Kruz Na Mahal- The re-enactment of the finding of the cross of Jesus by Reyna Elena and Prinsepe Constanino. Each barrio will prepare a small caro with a cross. They would go around the place singing the kruz na mahal song: "Krus na mahal, Krus na mapalad, ang dakilang armas, bandila ni Kristo! sumakop sa lahat...." After the mini procession, the children present will be given lengua de patatas.
- Santa Cruzan- An old tradition of Morong that has been banned since the early '80s up to present as it became a fashion show and where the rich and the famous could show off in the town of Morong. The real purpose used to be for the veneration of the Virgin Mary. Girls from Morong, ages 6–30, would offer flowers and prayers to the blessed Mother. Girls included in this procession would also bring the seven alays for the Blessed Mother such as: Rosa Mystica, Torre ni David, Crown of Mary, Gates of Heaven etc. This tradition is attempted to be revived again by the Catholic Church in the year 2007 through voting, but comments such as the main purpose of it might again not be done and the fashion show and showing off would once again reign, the church decided to just make it a simple celebration, by doing a rosary and offering flowers to the Virgin Mother.
- Malatines- Is a Christmas Eve mass or usually called MISA- de Gallo by other places. December 24. Usually celebrated outside the church Patio. The much awaited scenario in the mass is the dancing of the star. Wherein a big parol comes down, from the top of the main facade of the church down to the belen located in front of the altar, while singing "Gloria" or "Papuri".
- KASALAN or Wedding- In the town of Morong Rizal, there is a different way to celebrate a wedding or in Filipino "Kasalan". In other towns such as Batangas they have the money dance, wherein the couple would do their first dance, and visitors would approach them and pin money, in Morong Rizal, a tradition of "PANGANGA" is done to help the couple start themselves. The couple accompanied by an old member of the family with a lighted candle. they would go to each table with a basket. the candle symbolizes the guiding light of the couple. As the couple approach each table, visitors would put their donation and sip a shot of whisky or wine as a "Thank you". The basket has a green clothe inside to cover the money given, so that the couple would not know how much the visitor would put. Another tradition during weddings would be the "hatiran" or wherein the bride accompanied by her parents would now transfer house. Its like a formal farewell of the bride to her house as she will transfer to the grooms house. What's exciting in this tradition is that each lightpost/ electric post that the couple would pass through going to the grooms house, the newly weds would kiss each other. This is appropriate if both the bride and the groom are from Morong Rizal.
Morong is also known for its "Kayas Kawayan". The town is the first and is known to make beautiful Baluwartes, an art made of bamboo, with intricate designs. Usually used during special events such as weddings, cordero, and fiestas, its usually found in the entrance gate of the event. During cordero, the lamb- which is made of cake, sweet potatoes and potatoes, is placed and processioned around the town until the church in a small kayas kawayan, carried by men, adorned with flowers. Now this art is being copied by the nearby towns.
Some of the famous games in Morong Rizal are the following. This dates from 1940's-1997.
- Patitiro- It is also called patintero. A famous Filipino street game. Wherein the "it" person stands in a line, and the other person should cross that line without getting touched by the "It".
- Hulugang Ginto - popular night game especially during full moon.
- Pasenorden- follow the leader game. The leader would shout "Pasenorden!" the players will say "combento" then the leader will say his command:" unahan sa pag bigay sa akin ng dahon" ( bring me a leaf) the players will ask: "anong dahon??" (what kind of leaf)once the leader states his command all player will look for that kind of leaf. The first one to bring the given leaf would be the next leader
- Pati cobra (Pati-Kubra) - Morong version of baseball and cricket, uses bamboo stick as paddle or bat.
- Jopolopen- marble game.
- Stekenapan-"stick'em up an" a western cowboy gun game.
- Taguan- Is also known as hide and seek. It is usually played during full moon.
- Dirabes - popular games by school kids particularly in San Guillermo
- Sikaran - originated in Baras.
- University of Rizal System - Morong
- Tomas Claudio Memorial College
- St. John-Hill Academy
- Blessed Hills Academy
- Morong National High School
- San Guillermo National High School
- Lagundi National High School
- St. Jerome's Academy (Parochial)
- Renaissance School of Science and Technology
- Tomas Claudio Memorial Elementary School
- Jesus My Shepherd Montessori School
- EAST Systems Colleges of Rizal, Inc.
- St. Claire School
International Organizations found in Morong:
- Rotary Club Morong
- Rotary Club Lakeshore
- 1. Pakitamo or Pangkalinangan Kilusan ng Taga- Morong.
ARAW ng LALAWIGAN 2011 by Morong Rizal c/o Pakitamo.
- 2. Recamadero- A Catholic group in Morong Rizal that organizes the Holy week procession and the traditional Pabasang Bayan. Recamadero which means care takers of Holy week Images or Spanish word which means "camarero"- care takers", preserves the culture and tradition of the town. Nearby towns now adopts the name Recamadero as their official organization to those who takes care of those holy week images.
- 3. Baranggay Organization or Clubs- Social civic clubs were established per area. They are created for community solidarity, goodwill, sports and to participate in municipal events and even catholic church. This groups usually compete during town sports fest. The major clubs in the 50’s:
- Young Lovers Club (Sitio Itaas, 1955)
- Lucky Spot Club 1957
- Melody Club -(Sitio Labak, 1950)
- Bottoms-Up (Sitio Dulo/Tanawan, 1960)
- Tropang Food Trip
- Pagkakaisa Club (PAC)
- Sunday Club
- Red Roses
- Hiyas ng Karagatan
- These 7 comprise the seven alays of flores .
- 4. Banda Morriz- a.k.a. Morriz Wind Orchestra. The official band of Morong Rizal. MorRiz which is the shorten name of Morong Rizal is composed of young musicians living in Morong, with age range of 7–60 years old musicians. The group usually plays in major events such as Fiesta and battle of the bands. Owned by Feliciano family, Banda MorRiz does not only play in the town of Morong but are also invited in other places in the Philippines and outside the country. Last 2008, the group was invited in Chia-Yi Taiwan to render a piece in a gathering of bands around Asia.
Morong Rizal Official Calendar of Events
- Morong Town Fiesta (1st Sunday of February, except when February 1 falls on a Sunday, that when it becomes second Sunday)
- Pabasang Bayan - Holy week activity (Saturday before Palm Sunday)
- Senakulo: "Ang Tagapagligtas"- Town Plaza (Holy Wednesday-Good Friday)
- CORDERO (Maundy Thursday)
- Paragos Festival - San Guillermo (May 15)
- St. Jerome's Feastday- Bayan (September 30)
- Fiesta de Santa Perigrina - San Guillermo (November 8)
- Morong, Morong Musikahan- Morong Town Plaza (December) Christmas Variety show