A Traveler’s Discoveries in Pangil


Locating the Sto. Niño de la O gave me the opportunity to discover the small town of Pangil. From the church, I was directed to look for Ka Marie, daughter of the keeper of the Sto. Niño. Upon reaching Ka Marie’s home, I was told that she won’t be back until later in the afternoon. So what was left for me to do then to kill time but to discover the small town of Pangil. 



Pangil is one of the oldest settlements in Laguna. This claim is borne out from the archeological diggings in the Barangay Sulib, where Chinese pottery dating back in to the Ming and Sung Dynasty were unearthed from the site. This indicates the town to be a major trading center in Southeast Asia at that time.


Founded in 1579, the town’s name was probably derived from a Malay ruler named Gat Panguil. It is also possible that name was derived from the shape of the town proper, which is shaped like a fang (or pangil in Tagalog). 



Barangay Piit was once called Polvurista from the rootword pulvora or gunpowder. During the Spanish time, a gunpowder factory owned by the Zobels was situated in the barangay. The gunpowder was bought by the Spanish militia. The Zobels apparently changed sides and gave the precious black powder to the Filipino revolutionaries. The elder Zobel was arrested for treason and eventually perished in jail.


We passed by several resorts like Carlos and Gabriel resorts on our way to Barangay Piit to locate the old gunpowder factory. Upon reaching a vacant lot crowded with plant life, I walk towards the riverbank. I observed loose pieces of adobe blocks and some betel palms. Nuts from betel palms are used in manufacturing gunpowder. The old gunpowder factory is no longer there. I’ve learned from a local that the adobe walls of the gun powder factory were taken down and used to line the gutters of the road which I’ve noticed after I was told about it. 



On our way down hill we saw the water bottling plant called Kata vil. This Filipino-Japanese company has sold the best water in Japan under the trade name Heaven Drops. The company claimed that the sweetest water can be found in the natural springs of Pangil. 



We stopped by Bambang Hari Bridge to look at the river where Prince Carlos was said to have swam and fell in love with the small town.



Upon meeting Ka Marie later that afternoon, she told me that the image of the Sto. Niño is in Barangay Sulib with his father, Ka Goyong.


Third of four parts.To be concluded.

Click here to view the previous article.



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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. May nagsabi sa akin na may alamat daw na may higante na nahuli diyan sa Laguna. Doon siya nahuli sa Siniloan, at ang kanyang pangil ay nahulog sa lugar kung saan nandoon ngayon ang bayan ng Pangil.

    • Thank you for sharing this Concina. Laguna is rich in folk stories. Your is one I never heard before but it’s interesting. -Glenn

  2. sana yung mga bagong nanunungkulan ay itaguyod ang kultura ng pangil. Malawak at maganda ang ating kultura. iwasan na muna ang pulitika.
    dapat magtiwala tayo sa talento ng ating mga kababayan. paano uunlad ang ating kultura kung mismong ang mga nanunungkulan ay walang tiwala sa talento ng kanyang mga kababayan.
    minsan ay nagtayo ng isang teatro…pero sa ibang bayan pa kumuha ng magtuturo at mamumuno…nakakalungkot. ito ay pagpapatunay na kawalang tiwala sa mga taong nagtitiwala naman sa kanila.
    maraming mga pintor, musikero at iba pang mga talento ang hindi napapansin…ang iba ay nangibang bayan na lang.
    sayang…uunlad pa ang kutura ng pangil…kung ang mga bagong nanunungkulan ay hindi mamumulitika.

  3. kaming mga banddehado ay sumumusuporta sa mamumuno basta gwin nyang inspiration ang pangil.,.,gawing maunlad ang pangil,., gawing tanyag ang pangil sa mata ng mga tao.,.,

  4. sana mabago pa ngayon ang pangil, ang hiling ko sa mamumuno ay bigyang halaga ang bayan natin,., sana gawin nila ang nararapat dito sa pangil,.

  5. That according to KataVil, the water bottling company. I think KataVil has been out of business, though I’m not sure. i just saw a signage outside that factory in Pangil that says that the property was acquired by a bank.

  6. sweetest water? hmmm…water there tastes just the same in my hometown. it’s natural mineral water from the sierra madre. that’s the reason why i wasn’t able to drink water here in Manila when i first got here to study. no bottled water then (tagal na yata) hehe

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