Pasiguenians of Southern California keep tradition alive

Board members Crispin and Lita dela Cruz enjoy the festivities with other Pasiguenians. TFLA photos

Board members Crispin and Lita dela Cruz enjoy the festivities with other Pasiguenians. TFLA photos

By Cecile Caguingin Ochoa

Migrant families from Pasig gathered on December 8 at various locations in the U.S. to celebrate one of its largest cultural events, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, in honor of the city’s patron saint.

In Southern California, Pasiguenians started their religious devotion with a mass at the St. Jane Frances de Chantal in North Hollywood, followed by a sumptuous luncheon partaking of famous “lutong Pasig” at the adjacent church social hall.

Pasiguenians of California Board Advisor Eli Francisco has been with the association since its establishment in the mid-1980s.

“We’re the second generation of Pasiguenians who have carried on this tradition,” she said.

A gathering of Pasig natives in honor of the Immaculate Conception

A gathering of Pasig natives in honor of the Immaculate Conception

“Many of our elders who were part of the little neighborhood in the center of the City, called ‘Kapasigan,’ and who have energized this association are unfortunately gone,” said Lita dela Cruz of San Gabriel.

Lita and husband Cris, a retired engineer from State of California Air Resources Board, continue to be prime movers of the association. Cris said kids and grandkids of the original Pasiguenians have continued the tradition.

“Attending the fiesta seems to be a ritual in many of the families here leading to Christmas,” said Eric del Rosario of Orange County, who has not missed any of the Pasiguenians’ fiesta since he heard about it.

Pasig is not only known for its culinary delicacies such as “laksa and puto,” but also for politicians like Senator Rene Saguisag; Jovito Salonga, the 14th President of the Philippine Senate; and Palanca Awardee and screen playwright Pete Lacaba, among others.

Pasiguenians like to pass on to their children the historical significance of their town. A “tubong Pasig” poet Bobbit Ramos recited famous sites in his land of birth and quizzed his ‘kababaryo’ as significant landmarks in the town. For example: Who makes the famous “pancit guisado” in Pasig? This would be met by a uniform answer from the audience: “Ado’s!”.

A little known but important historical fact about Pasig: It was in a little barangay San Nicolas in where three leaders of the revolutionary Katipunan Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto and Pio Valenzuela plotted to conduct the first attack at the Municipio del Gobernadorcillo. The current site of the Pasig City Hall and its adjacent garrison of the “Guardia Civil” (Civil Guard) are situated near the border of barangays Maybunga and Caniogan. That was the first victorious rebellion ever accomplished by the Katipunan, and that particular event was popularly known as the “Nagsabado sa Pasig” (or the Saturday Uprising on Pasig). The uprising led to the successful overthrow of the seat of Spanish government in Pasig.

Graduates of Rizal High School form part of the leadership of Pasiguenians of Southern California as well as graduates of Colegio del Buen Consejo and Pasig Catholic College. Named after the Philippine national hero José Rizal, Rizal High is one of the largest institutions with the world’s largest secondary education by student population. The school was recognized in the Guinness World Records as the largest school by overall enrolled students, but it is now surpassed by the City Montessori School(CMS) in Lucknow, India.

Pasig is currently best known as the site of the Ortigas Center, one of the top business districts in the country, with its high-rise office buildings, residential condominiums, commercial establishments, schools and malls.

The Pista ng Pasig 2013 was highlighted with a display of local talents in dance and singing.

'Lutong Pasig'

‘Lutong Pasig’

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