From the old comes something vibrant. Tucked away in a corner, Caloocan has something to offer for everyone. Right at the northern end of Metro Manila lies the city of Caloocan. It was incorporated in 1812 and became a city in February 16, 1962. It became a highly urbanized city on December 22, 1979. The name Caloocan comes from the high Tagalog word kalook-lookan which means the one that inside the most. Since it is surrounded by cities and townships all around, this city is aptly named.
Caloocan - A City of History
It is known as the Historical City of Caloocan as it played a significant role in the history of the Philippines. It was for the most part the hub of Katipunan activity during the 1896 Philippine Revolution. Here, Andres Bonifacio and his cadre of Katipuneros organized the resistance to Spanish Rule. This is where the Katipunan and the Spanish Guardia Civil had their first firefight and thus marks the beginning of the armed revolt against the colonial powers.
It also is the site of two important battles during the Filipino-American War. In the First Battle of Caloocan, Filipino soldiers fought against the American General Arthur MacArthur. With overwhelming firepower, the Americans captured Caloocan. Rebuffed, the Filipinos retreated and prepared their arms for more.
Subsequently, the Second Battle of Caloocan broke out, also resulting in the defeat of the Filipinos. This was a Filipino led counterattack, meant to recapture Manila, but the lack of coordination between various units of the Philippine army resulted in the loss. Soon, this led to a retreating strategy which ultimately cost the Philippines the war. Because of this, the history of Caloocan is very much entwined in the history of the country, giving its moniker much credence.
Caloocan - A City of Growth
With nearly 1.6 million residents, it is also the fourth most populous city in Metro Manila. It was divided into two geographical locations - North and South, all in all comprising 5, 333.40 hectares. Along with Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela, together they form what is called the CAMANAVA area.
To get to Caloocan, one can drive via Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue (EDSA) to Monumento, one of the districts of Caloocan. Another option can be taking one of the many buses plying EDSA's routes. Finally, the Light Rail Transit Line 1 also has a station in Monumento. Monumento itself is something of a transportation hub. Intersected by major thoroughfares, it is home to two large bus terminals which cater to provincial buses. It is also where two LRT stations meet. In Monumento, you can reach a lot more of Metro Manila than most other places.
Once you get there, you can go around through the various modes of transportation. When traveling through the smaller roads, one can take the shiny tricycles which hum and buzz across the roadways. On the other hand, on bigger roads, you can ride one of the colorful jeepneys, rumbling to and from their destinations. You can also use taxis to move around but of course at a higher price.
Caloocan - A City of Significance
In Monumento, you can find a landmark dedicated to Andres Bonifacio. Created by Guillermo Tolentino, a National Artist, the landmark is composed of an obelisk with a relief of Gat Andres Bonifacio. This is to commemorate the historic significance of the city. Caloocan is something of a mecca for motorbike enthusiasts as it is home to various motorcycle dealerships. There you can find most of the best of what motorcycling has to offer in the Philippines, specifically in the streets of P. Zamora and A. Mabini. Along A. Mabini you can find epic grandeur in the form of San Roque Cathedral. It is a church of imposing old Spanish Grandeur and visiting its hallowed halls is a treat for any pilgrim.
You can also find Ang Gubat sa Ciudad, a swimming pool resort in the middle of the city. There you can find a forest in the city, a haven in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of the city. Open for day and night swimming, one can reserve this resort for your family’s enjoyment. Another resort is the Villa Rico Events and Garden Resort. Billed as an escape from the rigors of city life, this is another option for your family to enjoy. For any of your sporting needs, you can go the Caloocan Sports Complex. From basketball to volleyball, you'll find what you need in the huge sports complex.
Like any highly urbanized city in Metro Manila, Caloocan is home to many groceries and shopping outlets. SM and Puregold are just some of the significant malls that dominate the area. One can find no end to your shopping needs.
Like Cebu City in the Visayas, Caloocan also venerates the Santo Niño. At the last Sunday of January, thousands gather in a colorful array and dance their own version of the Ati-atihan. They carry different versions of the child Jesus, usually a boy dressed in different work clothes like a construction worker. This is to signify the universality of the Child Jesus and many people ascribe various miracles to it. This festival is called the Pajotan Festival, which is named after a species of mangoes indigenous to the area.
The city also highlights the Pamaypay sa Kalookan which gives significance to the pamaypay or handfan. The pamaypay is displayed in all its beautiful glory and the intricacies of wielding it is presented to the adoring public. This happens in February.
Caloocan also especially celebrates Bonifacio Day on the 30th of November. The city highlights the heroism and daring of Andres Bonifacio especially against the rule of Spain. During this day they celebrate the deeds of the city’s most decorated son.
Caloocan - A Vibrant City All in all, Caloocan has much to offer. As a highly urbanized city, one can find much to do in the city. With its rich tapestry of historical significance, access to major transport hubs and a teeming population, Caloocan is a vibrant city for everyone.