99 years of “the little City that could”
In this time and age where longevity and commitment are measured in months or weeks or even days and hours, it’s nice to know that there are some things that are built to last.
Muntinlupa started out as a simple settlement 99 years ago, with no aspirations for greatness or claims to fame. For the early Muntinlupeños, it was the land they tilled and the rich, abundant waters they fished for their livelihood. As simple as it was, it was home and it was enough.
As the wheels of time wore on, however, Muntinlupa would find its place on history’s stage.
In due time, after more than 300 years of Spanish colonial rule, Filipinos would rise against their foreign masters and choose to take their destiny in their hands. It was during this time that the sleepy barrio town of Muntinlupa became a fierce battleground, with brave Muntinlupeños fighting side-by-side with their Caviteño compatriots to fight a delaying action so that Don Emilio Aguinaldo could withdraw and muster the Filipino forces against the crumbling Spanish army.
The town would see bloodshed once more in the historic Battle of June 1899, where the fledgling Philippine Army scored an important victory against their new colonizers, the Americans. Several decades later, the roles would be reversed, with the Americans fighting together with Muntinlupenos and Filipinos against the onslaught of Imperial Japan.
During the Second World War, Muntinlupa would be the setting for countless acts of bravery against the foreign conquerors. Muntinlupeños both famous and unknown sacrificed their lives for their families and communities. From the execution of community leader Pedro E. Diaz, to the torture of Filipino Resistance fighters at the New Bilibid Prison, up to the liberation of Manila in 1945, Muntinlupeños spilled blood so that their cherished freedom could be won again.
In 1986, Muntinlupeños stood up bravely to a column of tanks and soldiers seeking to disperse the millions-strong crowd amassing at EDSA as civic leaders called for a peaceful uprising to end the Marcos dictatorship. Although mostly overshadowed by the events happening at the gates of Camp Crame, this action by the town helped prevent more bloodshed as freedom and democracy were restored to a nation held in the icy grip of a strongman’s iron-fisted rule.
In peacetime, the town’s growth as an economic center and the gateway to the industrialized South could no longer be denied. The opening of the South Luzon Expressway created a growth corridor that hastened Muntinlupa’s jump from an agricultural-based economy to an industrial one.
It also helped that Muntinlupa was led by forward-thinking leaders, people who envisioned that “the little town that could” can be greater than it actually was. That vision was eventually shared to proud Muntinlupeños who believed that they can soar like eagles above their peers.
Today, Muntinlupa is now at the forefront of almost every major innovation in terms of education, economic growth, and good governance. From standing up to dictatorships and fighting for freedom, to leading the way as the most Business Friendly City in the country, Muntinlupa continues to grow, to care for the welfare of its citizens, and to set an example not only for the rest of the country but to its counterparts on the world stage.
In this age of snapshots and instant relationships, Muntinlupa remains a beacon of freedom and economic opportunity, a steadfast icon of growth and commitment leading to a century of existence. But for us Muntinlupeños, it remains home-the land our forefathers fought for and built their dreams on for us, and future generations, to enjoy.