Article: Thousands of Devotees Visit Antipolo Church -
30 Mar 2008
Early records referred to the natives as Tagal, Indians and Black (the aetas). It is said that these missionaries built the church at Bosoboso. In 1591, the Jesuits replaced the Franciscans in Antipolo who organized the village into a parish. They built a chapel in Sitio Sta.Cruz, among them were Fr. Pedro Chirino and Fr. Francisco Almarique. The same year, the first homily in Tagalog was delivered in a mass celebrated at what is now known as the "PINAGMISAHAN".
In those years, the virgin forest of Antipolo covered most of its mountains ranges with varied tropical trees and wildlife. There are many springs supporting several waterfalls, the most popular of which is the "Hinulugang Taktak".
By 1601 there are about 3,000 Christians residing in Antipolo. At about the same period, the number of negritos significally dwindled, moving deeper into the mountains. The missionaries tried to bring them back to the village by offering the fertile lands to till. Father Almarique gave them all the services the Church can provide. The congregations known as the La Anunciata composed of the students and inhabitants continued their unified devotion to the Blessed Virgin by consistently celebrating the Feast of Anunciata.
On March 25, 1626 Governor Juan Niño De Tabora brought the country from Acapulco, Mexicothe image of the Virgin and before he died, he bequeathed the image was installed at Sitio Sta. Cruz and it is said that this was lost several times and each time was recovered on a Tipolo tree. Because of this unusual incident, it was decided in 1632 to erect the church at that place under the administration of Fr. Juan de Salazar.
In 1639, the Chinese revolted to protest the increase in taxes reaching the village of Antipolo and the church was burned to the ground by the rebels. Miraculously, the image was unharmed. The Virgin was taken to Sitio Ginapao and then brought to Cavite upon orders of the Governor General. It stayed in Cavite for 14 years. Ten years from the said incidents, it was re-named Virgin of Peace and Good Voyage after it was travelled five more times to Acapulco, Mexico before it rested permanently in the town. In the meantime, the village of Antipolo became a town in 1650.
By 1850, the town was still part of the province of Tondo. The Province was divided in two towns were placed under Manila while others were placed under the District of Morong. In 1853, Antipolo was formally placed under the district then known as Los Montes de San Mateo which was later known as the District of Morong in 1857. The recollect priest took over the parish of Antipolo in 1864.
It was during these years that the Virgin of Antipolo gained thousands of devotees. Devotees from Manila, nearby towns and provinces flock to Antipolo to walk along mountain rails and springs. Most of them are faired-skinned and more civilized (The Tagalogs). Some stayed and adopted as their homes. Civilizations drove the natives further away into the mountains. Traditions also put it that when pestilence hit towns of Antipolo, Cainta and Taytay. The Virgin of Antipolo was taken upon advice of the Parish Priest to what is known as Pinagmisahan. A mass was celebrated there and prayers were heard and the suffering vanished.
The population of Antipolo including Bosoboso was registered at 3,286 on March 2, 1903. As early as those years Banda 12 a brass band, already existed. The railway by 1906 started from Pasig up to Taytay-Cainta. Religious devotees walked from the end of the railway to Antipolo and the more affluent are carried hammocks called "Hamaka". The first train to reach Antipolo was on December 24, 1908. In 1929, German San Jose (Gerry Brandy) of Malate, Manila, composed the song of ANTIPOLO ( Tayo na sa Antipolo) which immediately made national attention. On June 15, 1952, Hinulugang Taktak was proclaimed a National Park and on January 14, 1954, the Bishops of the Philippines proclaimed the Cathedral of Antipolo as the official shrine of the Virgin of Antipolo.
The people of Antipolo lived a simple and traditional Pilipino lifestyle. Their culture and tradition included the celebrations of many religious and cultural festivities such as the Kapitanes and Kapitanas on Easter Sunday, the night of serenades, Bayanihan, reciting of Angelus, reading of the Passion of Christ during the Lenten season and festivities on May and June. The association known as the Nuestra Señora Dela Anunciata, established many years back continuous to practice many of these old traditions.