Growing up in Angono, I often found myself thrust into the spotlight, especially during Angono Day. Whether it was a school requirement or as a member of the high school theater group, those festivities were integral to my childhood. But as time passed, I felt the urge to spread my wings and explore beyond the comforting confines of my hometown.
After college, I was pretty set on leaving. Maybe even dreaming a bit about living abroad and chasing big dreams. To be clear, it wasn’t about getting away from my family. It was more about wanting to shake things up a bit and find a fresh backdrop for the next chapter of my life.
Now, there’s this line from our high school hymn that’s stuck in my head, “to thee we shall return.” It’s funny how life works, right? This week, for a short spell, I found myself back in Angono. While I was mostly there for paperwork, I couldn’t help but notice how much the town had grown and changed. And it got me thinking about how much I’ve changed and whether I’ve given back to the place that gave me so much.
I’ve been a wanderer, blogging about various towns and provinces across our beautiful country and even abroad. Ironically, I rarely showcased the charms of Angono. Doesn’t mean I love it any less, though. After all, it’s where my story began.
Truth be told, this recent visit was more than just a trip down memory lane; I was sorting out an issue with my son’s birth certificate. But chatting with some locals, I was hit with a wave of nostalgia. The heart of Angono—its people and their kindness—hasn’t changed a bit.
Angono, Rizal proudly stands as the “Art Capital of the Philippines,” a title reflective of its deep-rooted artistic and cultural heritage. The town has been the cradle for many artists, boasting of National Artists like Carlos “Botong” Francisco in Visual Arts and Maestro Lucio San Pedro in Music. I have fond memories of my childhood classroom, where almost half of my classmates had the innate skill to craft stunning murals. My sister, imbibed with our Angono heritage, was an impassioned visual artist. But Angono’s allure doesn’t end with art; it’s also renowned for its exotic culinary delights and historical treasures, like the age-old petroglyphs. The town’s festivals are vibrant tapestries of energy and fun, where locals engage in spirited water or mud-throwing, but they also showcase the innate warmth of Angonians who generously invite strangers into their homes for hearty fiesta feasts.
Moreover, the natural terrain of Angono has been a paradise for cycling enthusiasts. My son, caught up in the town’s spirit of adventure, often cycles up its mountain trails with friends. As they pedal to the peak, they are rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the expansive Laguna Lake on one side and the imposing skyline of Manila’s skyscrapers on the other. It’s a mix of nature’s splendor and man-made marvels, mirroring Angono’s own blend of history, art, and modernity.
Yes, there have been moments of resentment, again, a story to share some other blog post, but time has a way of healing. With each passing day, I find more reasons to rekindle my love for Angono. How about you? How does your relationship with your hometown fare?
Currently, I call Cebu home, where I’ve established a successful business. While I’m embracing the Cebuana way of life, I’ll forever carry the resilience of Angono’s people. Our town motto, as I recall, is “keep moving.” And that’s exactly what I intend to do, both literally and figuratively, navigating through life with purpose and passion.
This brief return to Angono has been a reminder of where I come from, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to reconnect. HAPPY ANGONO DAY!