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What if Rizal today was the same province it was back in the day?

November 2020
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I write this as a super typhoon is bearing down on us this 1st of November. I found this map on the internet without attribution to the original source. It shows a still-born Metro Manila with only four local government units: Manila, Quezon City, Pasay City and San Juan.

Map of Rizal province in the 1960s

What if instead of the Metro Manila we have now, Rizal retained the towns (that eventually became cities) that were transferred to what became the National Capital Region (NCR)? These are Navotas, Malabon, Caloocan, Marikina, Pasig, Pateros, Mandaluyong, Makati, Taguig, Paranaque, Las Pinas and Muntinlupa. Valenzuela was taken from Bulacan Province. Pasig was the capital of the province (Yes, that’s why there is Capitolyo and the Rizal Provincial Capitol used to be in Pasig where you now have Capitol Commons. Surely, the political landscape could have been different though one could argue that certain families would have still held sway in cities/towns where they have their routes. Imagine, the governorship of the province would have been a coveted post but not by the the current holders but likely by personalities from the more progressive and densely populated cities. Governance would have been different, too, as Rizal would have both highly urbanized and rural areas. Perhaps certain undesirable politicians could not have emerged due to the dynamics of a province with highly urbanized cities? What’s your take on this “what if”?


4 Comments

  1. Ronx says:

    I’ve always wondered about this as well!!

    As Paolo Alcazaren always points out, typhoons don’t care about political boundaries. It became all too apparent with Ondoy in 2009. As it is right now, Metro Manila has no single governing body that makes it difficult to manage as one unit. If only the cities were still part of some bigger collection (like you said, as part of Rizal), then maybe coordination among different towns and cities wouldn’t be so difficult! As they are right now, they are several small “kingdoms”. ๐Ÿ™„

    • d0ctrine says:

      I broached this to a history prof friend years ago and he said it might have also been inevitable to have several kingdoms as those closest to Manila or QC (whichever would have been the national capital) would have developed quickly and as now would have strong ties economically with these. But, Pasig would have had a different growth and political families could have been quite different. Yung mga nasa Taguig ngayon baka hindi nag emerge. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Ronx says:

    Also, nowadays it’s funny to think that when you need to go to some northern Rizal towns (San Mateo, Montalban/Rodriguez) from the rest of the province, you’d actually need to go OUT of Rizal momentarily (via Marikina) to do so. There’s no other way!

    • d0ctrine says:

      Exactly, those two towns seem disconnected. I have a friend who recently traced the route connecting Antipolo to San Mateo and Montalban (I like the old name than the new) and meron naman but very rough roads. And you wonder why until now there seems to be no plan for a direct road kahit provincial man lang.

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