WHEN the then-American governor-general of the Philippines, Francis Burton Harrison, signed Executive Order 108, in 1917, carving out the municipality of Muntinlupa, he probably did not foresee that the vast tract of land—4,673 hectares—would, in 100 years, be the overachieving city that it is today.
But the people who had clamored for its independence as a municipality, did. And that’s why they had struggled to determine their own destiny.
Remaking the map
The history of Muntinlupa is highlighted by important instances when it redefined its own territory.
In 1901, Muntinlupa was part of Morong, in the province of Rizal; two years later, it was reassigned under Biñan, in Laguna; another two years after, it was transferred back to Rizal.
Wanting out of the political ping-pong, its people petitioned Harrison to grant the municipality its independence. The governor-general granted the people’s request, signing EO 108 on Dec. 19, 1917. The following year, the municipality welcomed its first appointed mayor; by 1922, the people of Muntinlupaelected one themselves.
In 1918, the Americans established the Alabang Stock Farm, populating it with chicken, cows, and hogs. In 1990, the Alabang Stock Farm—by then already the property of the national government—was acquired by Filinvest, and re-imagined into the burgeoning business zone it is today.
In 1940, Muntinlupa remade the Philippine map with the transfer there of the old Bilibid Prison from its already cramped facilities in Manila to a 587-hectare reservation that came to be known as the New Bilibid Prison. The move was so significant that for generations of Filipinos, the prison and the place were almost synonymous.
In the 1970s, Ayala Land developed a sprawling mango orchard in Muntinlupa’sBrgy. Alabanginto a tony subdivision—Ayala Alabang Village—the upscale Alabang Town Center mall, and the pioneering Madrigal Business Park.
In 1995, Muntinlupa finally became a city, the Philippines’ 65th.
Gateway to Philippine business—and its future
Muntinlupatoday sits strategically as Metro Manila’s southern central business district. While continuing to host longstanding industrial locators, it is now also home to new generation of companies, including BPOs.
With the lure of jobs, the city has attracted a host of residential developers as well as retailers.
Apart from itself being a center for commerce, industry, and living, Muntinlupa is now also a gateway to the rest of Southern Luzon that is expanding aggressively.
Muntinlupa has been named as the Most Business-Friendly, Most Competitive City, and Most Improved City in recent years, in recognition of its achievements and excellent facilities for its community and its people.
With its transformation over the last 100 years since its founding, Muntinlupa is perhaps difficult to imagine how its humble townsfolk had envisioned that their municipality could grow into a world-class locale. Yet, they had a vision for Muntinlupa—a vision that drove them to persist in securing their independence from neighboring provinces.
Today, a century later, that vision has been validated: the city brings the Philippines its future, today.
Happy Anniversary, Muntinlupa!