Acting Chief of Police

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Take a small Municipality in the outskirts of the city, a small town like Pulilan, in the province of Bulacan. Although not often heard or seen in the print and broadcast media, this town is humming along quite satisfactorily. The townspeople are hardworking, frugal and peace loving citizens. Pulilan is one of the 24 towns of Bulacan, Philippines. It is geographically located 45 kms. North of Manila. It is bounded on the North by the town of Apalit, Pampanga; on the East by the town of Baliwag, Bulacan; on the South, by the Angat River and the town of Plaridel, Bulacan; and on the West, by the town of Calumpit, Bulacan. Pulilan has an area of 40.73 sq. kms.(4,073 has.). The roads leading to Pulilan are all cemented. Pulilan can be reached by taking North bound buses like the Baliwag Transit, E.S. Transit, San Antonio Nueva Ecija Express and any other buses plying North or by jeepneys plying the Mac Arthur Highway.  The North bound buses plying the route of Plaridel, Baliwag, San Miguel (all in Bulacan) and Cabanatuan, San Jose, San Antonio (all in Nueva Ecija) will exit at Tabang, Sta. Rita or at Tibag-Pulilan via North Expressway.
In the beginning, Pulilan is neither its name nor a town.  History has it that the place is a marshy or swampland which forms part of Pampanga, along the Candaba Bay. Because of the vastness of its area, Pulilan was created out of the districts of Baliuag and Quinqua (now Plaridel) and coming from the Pampango word "Kengwa", meaning on the other side of the shore or kabilang ibayo. In 1794, the place was named SAN ISIDRO by the missionary Augustinian friars in honor of San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of the farmers. On January 20, 1796, it was called Pulilan. There are no written records how the place is named Pulilan. But legend has it that is derived from PULO NG ILAN, literally, clusters of small communities or isles.    According to Antoon Postma in his "The Laguna Copper- Plate Inscription (LCI) - A Valuable Philippine Document," this copperplate with inscription discovered at Lumbang River near the Laguna Lake area in Laguna dates back to 900 A.D. In this LCI was mentioned the name PULIRAN, as the old name for southeastern lake area. The toponyms or place names PULIRAN is Pulilan, Bulacan and Pulilan {T(old  Tagalog, San Buenaventura Tagalog Dictionary (1613) + Noceda/Sanlucar Tagalog    Dictionary (1860) + Serrano Laktaw Tagalog Dictionary (1914) is in Laguna de Bay. However, Mr. Postma is convinced in his studies that PULILAN in the LCI is the PULILAN along the Angat River, in the Province of Bulacan, north of Manila (coordinates: 14-54.2 & 120-50.8).
During the Spanish regime, the head of the town was called KAPITAN.  It was only in 1819 that Pulilan has as its first Kapitan, Kapitan Francisco Paltao.
In 1898, the first Presidente Municipal was Froilan Cahiwat. In 1904, when Anacleto Batongbacal was the Presidente Municipal, Pulilan was annexed to Quinqua and became its sitio. In 1908, as the Pulilenos rallied behind the candidacy of their son Adriano Salvador, he was elected Presidente Municipal of Quinqua. Then in 1909, representations were made by Eugenio Tiangco, Hilario Esguerra, Adriano Salvador
and others with Governor Teodoro Sandico to separate Pulilan from Quinqua. It was granted.  Pulilan then became a town, with Eugenio Tiangco as its Presidente. In 1946, Catalino Flores was appointed as the first Mayor of Pulilan. Today, Pulilan is sailing smoothly and rising towards its development under the present leadership of MAYOR VICENTE B. ESGUERRA, SR. At present, Pulilan is composed of 19 barangays, namely:Dampol 2nd B, Dampol 2nd A, Tibag, Tabon, Dulong Malabon, Dampol 1st, Lumbac, Poblacion, Tinejero, Penabatan, Balatong A, Balatong B, Sta. Peregrina, Inaon, Paltao, Cutcot, Longos, Sto. Cristo and Taal.  As of December 2007 census of population, Pulilan has a total population of 85,008 with women outnumbering the men on a 1:1.02 ratio. Of   the entire population, 57.78 percent is either self-employed (business entrepreneurs) or employed. Though agricultural in nature, only 42.28 percent is engaged in farming. As an additional to their income, they raise hogs and chickens in the backyards.  They also plant vegetables and fruit bearing trees.  Mangoes and santols abound in this place. Pulilan is also considered as one of the largest producer of rice in the province of Bulacan. Fishing is also a form of living.    Politics plays also a part in the life of the Pulilenos. The two party system, the Liberal and the Nacionalista, is still embedded in the old politicos.  And this still has an influence on some of the new breed of politicians. Yet, when election comes, it is generally peaceful, orderly, free and honest. 

Losers work together with the winners. The Pulilenos are God-fearing and peace loving citizens. They are closely knitted together by family ties. That is why the place is remarkably peaceful. Although we hear cases of disturbances, these are but isolated and creations of outsiders or strangers.
Natural Resources like all progressive towns in the country, Pulilan displays a common yardstick. From the standpoint of natural resources, it does not have undue advantage over other towns.  The river (Angat River) provides fishes for a living and gravel and sand for houses, buildings and roads. Along the riverbanks are trees providing shades, shelter and food.  These trees like the bamboo trees, are also sources of furnitures.
Of the town's total area of 40.73 sq.km., 2,946 hectares are agricultural lands for palay; 15 hectares for corn; 13 hectares for vegetables and 20 hectares for watermelons. A town, or a province or a country for that matter, in order to attain economic progress must embank on a business stint. And a business to thrive must have communications/ telecommunications, peace and order, power and water supply, banking and transportation.
Postal Services – a) The Bureau of Posts is primarily responsible for and makes sure that mail can be delivered to all the barangays of the town and to all municipalities in the country and abroad. b) Telephone/ Telegraph Services. The telephone system is operated both by the government through the Telecommunications Office and the four private companies: Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Company, DIGITEL, SMART and the DATELCOM Corporation. Recently GLOBE TELECOMMUNICATIONS also enter in the business providing subscribers landlines and internet networks.
In the area of peace and order, Pulilan is one of the more peaceful towns in the province.  The crime rate is very minimal. As to date, Pulilan has a crime solution efficiency of 90.90% and an average crime rate of 1.8. Pulilan ranks third in the crime solution and in peace and order.
Power supply is a vital factor for industries. The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) serves the whole town. Power supply is assured with a substation in the towns of Baliwag and Calumpit, Bulacan. The electrical power distribution system provides current of 220 and 440 volts. Water supply comes in the form of communal artesian wells built by the local government and individual artesian wells and pumps. By the time of Mayor Elpidio C. Castillo the Pulilan Water System was installed in the Municipality. To date, it has a total of more than 5,000 concessionaires all over the Municipality. The Pulilan Water System is serving potable water to Barangays Taal, Sto. Cristo, Longos, Cutcot, Paltao, Lumbac, Poblacion, Dampol 1st, Tibag, Dampol 2nd A & B, Tenejero and part of Peñabatan. 
There are two commercial banks, one rural bank, four savings and loan banks and ten credit cooperative unions.
By the authority of the Sangguniang Bayan to the Municipal Mayor of Pulilan, the Municipality negotiated with the MMINUTE II-Fringe Program of the DPWH for a loan to be used in the construction of a public market.
The P 7.5 million public market located in Cutcot was inaugurated on October 31, 1992 and presently has 272 permanent stalls and more than a hundred movable stalls.  
Roads leading to and out of the town are all cemented. Based on the latest CBMS Survey in 2006, Barangay, Municipal and National Roads are 98% cemented. Jeeps and tricycles are the weave of transportation. Later on, buses will ply on this route.
 Farming (rice and crops) and fishing are the major economic activities in Pulilan. Poultry and Livestock productions are a thriving industry. A large, modern and multi-national company, the PURINA PHILIPPINES, INC. dealing with animal feeds has been constructed and is now operational. Likewise, MAC MARU or RM Foods, a sub-contractor of NESTLE PHILIPPINES, INC. has put up its noodle factory. Other multi-national companies includes Rebtrade Intl. Corporation, Feedmix Specialists, Foster Foods Inc., Fisherfarms Inc., Tyson Agro-Ventures, Jockers Food Industry, TJN Pasalubong Victory Industrial Corporation and many others. Garments for local and export are on the rise. Furniture making, marble processing, stuffed toys making, mushroom culture, orchids culture, and woodcraft are the industries that also contribute to economic development of Pulilan.

In spite of the fact that Pulilan is blessed by the Divine Providence with many business opportunities, natural resources and good leaders, still there are problems, small or big, which can be encountered.  One of these is the financial resources or funding. An influx of capital from government, foreign and private sectors is needed   to continue the on-going development of the town.  Factories have to be built to absorb the jobless, the youth.  To keep them busy is to keep them away from all forms of vices.  To top it all, the moral degeneration brought about by the environment. The crab mentality.
The kanya-kanya system. To all problems, there are corresponding solutions.  The government leaders under the stewardship of the Municipal Mayor, the Hon. Vicente B. Esguerra, Sr. with the able assistance from the Vice Mayor and Sangguniang Bayan Presiding Officer, Hon. Elpidio C. Castillo, are tapping all government agencies concerned and non-government organizations.
Individuals and the business sectors are likewise persuaded to invest their capital in Pulilan. And it is now materializing, slowly but surely.  Likewise, moral value formation seminars and teachings are held in schools, offices, clubs and associations.
The Municipality of Pulilan is number 23 among the 24 municipalities of the Province of Bulacan in revenue generation in 1986. Succeeding years have shown increases in revenues allowing it to occupy a rank among the upper 12 Municipalities. The Municipal Government was able to increase its revenue due to higher internal revenue allotment, increase in real property tax collection, increased collections of business and mayor’s permit and other legal miscellaneous income. Now it is a first class municipality and the income and expenses of the Municipality for the year 2007 is P 124,747,428.91.
No published reports can be obtained. No written records are available to extol the patriotism of the Pulilenos. Oral history has it that many Pulilenos participated with the revolucionarios during the Spanish period and with the guerillas during World War II.  They are the unsung heroes of both wars. However, Pulilan is known for poets like Florentino Collantes, the King of Balagtasan, Catalino Flores, Brigido Batongbakal, Maximo Agustin, Zenaida Flores and others. In the field of music, there is Larry Miranda, the Prince of Kundiman, Yolly Samson, Jamie Rivera and the soprano coloratura Gloria Dizon-Coronel.
Pulilenos are by far 85 per cent Catholics.  Their deep religiosity has already for decades produced and is still producing numerous priests and nuns. Pulilan can boast of some products and services to cater to our tourists. Those are the Holy Week Celebration and the Carabao Festival. It is a tradition, a culture and a religious belief and practice.    Holy Week is also an awesome experience in Pulilan. The chanting of the passion is done in many chapels. On Holy Fridays beginning at 7:00 AM, flagellants gathered together in Barangay Tibag. Intense vows insist on inflicting wounds on their backs in strict simulation of Christ's flogging. Along the way going to the chapel of St. Joseph at Barangay Dampol 2-A, they flog their backs, turning the dusty path trickled with blood. 
“The CARABAO FESTIVAL is a traditional, culturistic and religious Pulilan and Philippine celebration.  It is held yearly as a sign of token of thanksgiving and gratitude of the farmers to God and to San Isidro Labrador, their patron saint. Farmers are of the belief that for as long as they practice this tradition, God, through the intercession of San Isidro Labrador, will continually bless them with bountiful harvest throughout the year. It is also a festival to honor the carabao. To the Filipino farmer, the carabao is not just a work animal. It is his best friend, a colleague, a partner, a sympathizer and a loyal life companion through feast and famine. Every year on May 14-15, the townspeople
celebrate their fiesta in honor of their patron saint, San Isidro Labrador, with the carabaos (the beast of burden and the most dependable farm animals of farmers) playing a prominent role in this traditional celebration. The festivities start with the nine days novena to San Isidro Labrador.  On May 14, at 10:00 AM, all the brass bands numbering up to fifteen (15) parade on the streets of the barrio and the Poblacion. At 12:00 noon of the same day, all these bands gather in front of the Church for the "La Torre". No appropriate meaning could be given. But it could be that it is they start of the announcement by the Hermano Mayor of the opening of festivity. Each band plays a piece of its own.

The CARABAO FESTIVAL, which may have started in the 18th or 19th century according to the old folks, brings out side-walk-to-sidewalk carabaos coming from the different towns in the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija. This is what amazed the tourists and visitors from all parts of the country and of the World. This festival is one of the most publicized and photographed events in the country. At the very early dawn of May 14, the carabaos are scrubbed clean, shaved artistically and colorfully groomed for the afternoon (2:00 P.M.) parade. Their horns and hoofs are oiled and buffed to a high gloss. Kneepads trimmed with ribbons and fringes are wrapped around the knees of the carabaos trained to kneel and walked on knees. Carabao-drawn carts made of bamboo and festooned with buntings, flowers, fruits and leaves carrying the image of San Isidro Labrador, the farmers' family, farm implements and farm produced are also paraded.
Civic organizations also join the parade in floats depicting farm life and bearing a muse. The festival will be a lot merrier when in the parade are groups of women devotees from the town's different barrio chapels. Their dance is a combination of the Spanish "pandango" and the American "Charleston". They precede the image of their respective barrio patron saint. These women devotees are "sundalos".


Decorated farm tractors, threshers and other agricultural machineries make the parade a long one. Stealing the show to the thousands of onlookers and tourists which lined up the main thoroughfare are the carabaos who when signaled by its master will pick up its yoke from the ground and, with its horn, slide down its neck and will kneel, stand up and kneel again on command. Upon reaching the Church, the carabaos pause, genuflect and keeping their heads turned towards the church, will walk thelength of its facade on their knees, like penitents begging divine forgiveness. After the parade, the committee organized by the Hermano Mayor of the fiesta will award the prizes to the best groomed, to the healthiest, to the prettiest, to the longest walking on knees and to the most decorated carabaos and to the most decorated carabao-drawn carts. On the next day, (May 15) if finance permits, a carabao race is held in an open field.  As the saying "To see is to believe", the best way is to attend this Carabao Festival to witness the hospitality, the smile, and the culture and tradition of the Pulilenos. Now, the Carabao Festival of Pulilan is one of the only three towns in Bulacan (Bocaue and Obando) included in the Fiesta Islands of the Department of Tourism.