Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Walk through Sta. Cruz, Laguna

* a simple monument (probably for a prominent person from Sta. Cruz) found as one enter the town proper of Sta. Cruz

* the usual words of celebration found in almost all parts of Laguna

* a marker commemorating the bravery of the guerillas of Sta. Cruz who fought during World War II

* a view of the town park: simple yet relaxing, especially if you take a breather there at sunset

* a towering monument of Jose Rizal, one that identical to the monument found in Nagcarlan, Laguna

Sta. Cruz shows that a capital does not necessarily have to be literally in the center of a town or city or to be the hub of all economic activities. True, Sta. Cruz now has all the establishments it needs to thrive but at first glance, it would seem that its distance (as compared to Calamaba for instance) is a turn-off to business ventures. But it has held the title of Laguna’s capital and despite the distance it is a fast developing town. I wonder if there is already a move to elevate it to a city.

Another good thing about the town, similar to the towns after Bay (that is, Victoria and Pila), is that it was able to maintain the town atmosphere. In common language, the bayan feel. I don’t know if a chance reader can relate to it. You try to take a short rest at the town’s park around sunset and you’ll get a blast of a relaxing view: small stalls selling merienda; children playing on the ground; and the beautiful sky turning into crimson as the sun sets in the west. Jeepneys are present on one side of the town center but for me, they are not as bothersome as the jeepneys in Calamba, Los Baños, or San Pablo. Someone may chance upon this entry and contradict this observation, but I can counter that how you see a town or any other place is something that is personal in nature. Kanya-kanya ‘yan.

* one thing I find lovely about the shops in Sta. Cruz: the display windows!

* one of the many stores in the town market selling native products; it seems that the town is specializing in such products

* a night scene at a busy street in Sta. Cruz

* an arc put up at a bridge that traverses the Sta. Cruz river

* I would concede that this shot is not so informative, but the view of the Sta. Cruz river the night we visited it was simply overwhelming

At the park is a marker saying that it was the place where Wha–Chi guerillas (Philippine-Chinese Anti-Japanese Guerilla Force) fought against the Japanese that led to the liberation of the town on January 26, 1945. The town church where the Japanese confined themselves was successfully captured through the combined forces of the HUKBALAHAP and Hunter’s ROTC.

As I have said earlier, a revisit to Sta. Cruz is necessary. I am yet to allot time for full-blown trips to places in the country which shall primarily deal on walking through streets and digging into details of churches and old houses and structures and (hopefully) spending a few days in the places we are to visit.

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