January 6, 2008

San Pablo City’s Hagdang Bato

            Nobody knew the number of steps it has:   when it was constructed and by whom,   until Mayor Vicente B. Amante asked his private secretary to actually count the number of steps and copy the wordings on the tablets affixed on the lower part of the park structure.

            The Hagdang Bato (concrete stairway) leading to the Sampaloc Lake, which is now a famous local landmark, is now part of the logo or official seal of San Pablo, being the City of Seven Lakes.

          It was constructed in November 1915 under the administration of municipal president Marcial Alimario, but many, including the youth and technical personnel of the local engineering office, simply look it for granted.  Nobody knew the number of steps it has, when it was constructed and by whom, until Mayor Vicente B. Amante asked his private secretary, Ruel B. Briones, to actually count the number of steps and copy the wordings on the tablet affixed on the lower part of the park structure.

          Briones, who normally does his morning exercises on the stairs, discovered for himself that the Hagdang Bato is divided into five (5) sections and with an aggregate total of 89 steps.  He also found out that it was constructed on a lot donated by Cabesang Sixto Bautista (August 6, 1870 – June 1, 1931), and form part of what is now known as “Doña Leonila (Mini-Forest) Park.”

          Mayor Amante’s interest on the technical description of the now famous landmark was aroused by a long  distance call from Philippine Tourism Authority general manager Angelito T. Banayo, a native son of the city who used to play on the stairways during his elementary school days.

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