Malacanang Orders Mayor Cataquiz to Vacate Post

mayor calixto cataquizWith a little over a month to go before the May 2013 elections and just days after the proclamation of San Pedro’s cityhood, Malacañang has order San Pedro Mayor Calixto R. Cataquiz to step down from office after the Supreme Court has found him guilty of graft during his stint as general manager of Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA).

The order, signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., read “Respondent (Cataquiz) is hereby removed as mayor of the municipality of San Pedro, Laguna. Accordingly, he is ordered to vacate his office immediately”

For those who are not aware, Cataquiz was dismissed as general manager of LLDA “on the grounds of corrupt and unprofessional behavior and management incompetence.”

Ochoa has directed DILG Secretary Mar Roxas to enforce the ruling of the Supreme Court and remove Cataquiz  from office.  As part of his penalty,  Cataquiz is  disqualified from reemployment in the government service and he will not receive his retirement benefits.”


You can read more details leading to Cataquiz’ downfall in the following news articles:

Convicted San Pedro, Laguna Mayor Calixto Cataquiz told: You lost moral ground

Mayor’s graft conviction final, says SC

Palace tells Laguna town mayor to vacate office


San Pedronian vs. San Pedrense, Part 2

San Pedronian vs. San PedrenseMore than three months ago, I received permission from Mr. Pepe Alas to publish his letter to Mayor Calixto R. Cataquiz about using San Pedrense instead of San Pedronian to refer to the people of San Pedro, Laguna.  He gave a historic and compelling argument that made me change the title and header image of this blog.

Now, I received another letter in response to Alas’ own. It was sent to my email by a reader who wants to remain anonymous. Again, I am publishing the letter in its entirety, unedited. I hope it sparks conversation among us, the people of San Pedro.

Hello Veronica,

Thank God I chanced to re-visit your site! Your blog about who we are – San Pedronian or San Pedrense – has been so insightful you needed to arrive at a wise decision to change the name of your blog and its header image.

Wait. I’m afraid my premise differs from that of the historian-letter sender. I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing has been done officially endorsing San Pedrense in a dire attempt to “correct the old mistake.”

Considering the utter lack of importance of this matter of speech involving practically all people of San Pedro, Laguna (its overseas people included), any jumping into conclusion bears nothing at all. Yet add my two cents I must, to avoid being accused of mocking my place’s identity and dishonoring its history because I also believe in the Filipino saying, “Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan.”

Let me tell you two points:

  1. Both San Pedrense and San Pedronian are correct.
  2. San Pedrense isn’t popularly used in San Pedro, Laguna so let’s promote it.

The letter-writer’s noble intention and his interest for a correction are very laudable. But when he agreed that San Franciscan is one who resides in San Francisco, he couldn’t have said San Pedronian is a wrong that needs to be rectified. Assuming that people of the USA are forever allowed to say it since San Franciscans are people of San Francisco, California, USA following his argument, allowing USA-based members of a San Pedronians club to say that they are San Pedronians forever are simply out of the question. And we are forever allowed to also follow American influences as much as we have some unobjectionable Spanish dictates.

The Philippines had 50 years in Hollywood and 300 years in the convent, so why not simply and unperturbedly view San Pedronian and San Pedrense as correct on all accounts?

Linguistically and from a socio-cultural standpoint, San Pedronian is a big mistake, according to the letter sender. Never. In fact, we cannot afford to lose that demonym just because San Pedro is Spanish that has San Pedrense as the equivalent Spanish demonym. Spanish is promoted only on an optional and voluntary basis but our official languages are Filipino and, unless provided by law, English (not Spanish). It follows, therefore, that the San Pedronian demonym is here to stay.

One need not be a language expert or require him to take advanced courses from Spanish to English and from legal writing to creative writing for him to appreciate the correctness of San Pedronian. He only knows San Pedronian as a proper noun, that’s it. We have private aspirations to let a resident know he is a San Pedrense, let’s all feel free to inform and educate him about it. But at the end of the day, the public has the right to decide for or against our private aspirations.

Veronica, mga San Pedrense tayo (Veronica, we are San Pedronians). We truly are, we would feel relaxed and unperturbed on such usage. BTW, I have used San Pedrense more than San Pedronian in my entire life. I also use “taga-San Pedro” and “tubong San Pedro” as compared to the letter sender’s “taal…”

How the letter-writer can argue with the English proper noun’s typical evolution is unfortunate. San Pedrense versus San Pedronian is just like Italyano/Italiano versus Italian, Amerikano/Americano versus American, Pilipino versus Filipino, Indiyano/Indiano versus Indian, Kastila/Spaniard versus Spanish, Israelita versus Israelite/Israeli, Mehikano/Mexicano versus Mexican, Aprikano/Africano versus African, Tsino/Intsik/Tsinoy/Chino versus Chinese, Koreyano/Koreano versus Korean, Romano versus Roman and many more, we don’t have right or wrong choices. That’s it.

Let nouns evolve (of course, with some restrictions). Let proper nouns evolve as well. But with a demonym, which is a mere sample of an upshot of evolution of words, gradually becoming an object of major queries would have consequences far more than simply academic. I would rather side with those agents of academic success; I consider the need to correct San Pedronian, Manilan, and the rest, as moot anyway.

When the late artist Francis Magalona said in part “Ako’y Manileño, taga-Mandaluyong” in one of his hit rap-songs, we allowed ourselves to be under Mga Kababayan’s leverage. That’s it. Need I say more on the relaxed feeling when we keep on singing this rap-song? Nobody cared to check where he was from, either Manila or Mandaluyong.

Contrary to the letter sender’s research, San Pedronian is accepted in its English form by people in the United States and other countries based on my Internet research. I even asked some of my American friends about it and they all verbally confirmed its correctness though, interestingly, one pronounced it as “San-Paydro-nian” and the two “San-Peedro-nian.” Also, “Pedronians” in the search engine entries could be treated as “San Pedronians” after sorting out such entries with reference to the demonym for the people of San Pedro.

How about questioning the letter sender’s being a Filipino with his spelling of “alcalde” and his phrases “dito sa Filipinas” and “tayong mga Filipino” and many other Spanish words he mentioned despite their being popularly spelled the Filipino way to follow his logic? I tell you, “mayor” hasn’t been popularly spelled as “alcalde” in one of its Filipino versions since the 1987 Philippine constitution, and same cases with his two three-word phrases. Check with average grade-schoolers, chances are they would have the guts to say that these were wrong and should have been spelled as “dito sa Pilipinas,” “tayong mga Pilipino” and “alkalde.”

San Pedrense versus San Pedronian? It’s a non-issue to the people of San Pedro, Laguna in particular and the Filipino people in the Philippines and abroad in general.


San Pedronian vs. San Pedrense

I grew up calling myself as a San Pedronian.  Only last month was I made aware that this is not the correct demonym for the people of San Pedro.  The correct term, as my online friend Pepe Alas informed me, is San Pedrense.  Below is an open letter from Pepe to Mayor Calixto Cataquiz on this issue.

(It is written in our native language, Tagalog.)

Note:  I am publishing this verbatim with permission from Pepe

Ika-20 ng Oktubre, 2008



Ang Dahilan Kung Bakit SAN PEDRENSE Ang Dapat Na Itawag Sa Mga Taga-San Pedro At Hindi SAN PEDRONIAN

Kagalang-galang na Alcalde:

Unang-una, ako po ay lubos na bumabati sa inyo ng isang magandang araw!

Itong liham na ito’y aking naisulat upang ipaalam po sa inyo ang isang bagay na napaka-importanteng malamang ng lahat ng nakatira at lumaki dito sa ating bayan ng San Pedro. May nais po kasi akong itama na sa tingin ko ay isang napakalaking kamaliang sosyo-kultural at linguwistikal.

Ito po ay patungkol sa terminolohiyang “SAN PEDRONIAN” na sa tingin ko ay huwad at hindi akmang gamitin ng sinumang taga-San Pedro na lubos na gumagalang sa kaniyang sariling identidad at kasaysayan.

Ito po ang mga dahilan…

Teknicalmente, ang salitang SAN PEDRONIAN ay may posibilidad na maging tama dahil ito’y may katunugan at pinagmulang Americano (Estados Unidos ng America). Ito’y mapapansin sa dalawang huling letra ng nasambit na terminolohiya: “AN”. Ang huling dalawang letrang ito sa katawagan sa isang taong nagmula sa isang partikular na lugar ay nagpapahiwatig lamang na siya ay tunay ngang taal (o “native”) ng lugar na yaon (halimbawa: “San FranciscAN” ang tawag sa mga taga San Francisco, “CaliforniAN” naman para sa mga taga California, etc.).

Ngunit tayo po ay hindi mga taga-Estados Unidos. Tayo’y hindi mga Amerikano. Tayo po ay mga Filipino. Kaya ang tama pong terminolohiya para sa isang taong taal o naninirahan sa San Pedro ay SAN PEDRENSE.

Ito pong aking natuklasan ay bunga ng masigasig na pananaliksik sapagkat ako po ay isang historiador. At dahil ako po’y nagsasalita rin ng salitang Español, madali ko pong naunkat ang tamang terminolohiyang SAN PEDRENSE lalo na nga’t ang pangalan ng bayan ng San Pedro ay Kastila rin. Ang terminolohiyang SAN PEDRENSE ay konfirmado rin ng mga batikang eskolar at historiador na sina Guillermo Gómez at Elizabeth Ann Medina (na ngayo’y naninirahan sa bansang Chile).

Kung nais niyo rin pong magsaliksik tungkol sa terminolohiyang SAN PEDRENSE ay maaari rin po kayong mag-imbestiga tungkol sa nasiyonalidad ng mga nakatira sa iba’t-ibang San Pedro sa buong mundo (ang ating bayan ay may maraming kapangalan). Ito po ang ilan sa mga lugar na kapangalan ang ating bayan:

  1. Sa San Pedro, Buenos Aires, Argentina ay SAN PEDRENSE ang tawag sa mga nakatira. Gayundin ang mga nakatira sa San Pedro, Chile. Sa dakong San Pedro, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, SAN PEDRENSE din ang tawag sa mga tao doon.
  2. Ang tawag sa mga taga-San Pedro de Barva, Costa Rica ay SAN PEDRENSE din. Ang mga nacatirá sa San Pedro de Macorís, República Dominicana ay SAN PEDRENSE rin ang pangalan.
  3. Sa Guatemala ay marami ring mga lugar na nagdadala ng pangalang San Pedro tulad ng San Pedro Carchá, San Pedro Ayampuc, San Pedro Sacatepéquez, San Pedra Necta, at San Pedro Pinula. Lahat ng mga nakatira dito, ang tawag nila sa kanilang mga sarili ay SAN PEDRENSE.
  4. Sa Mexico, marami ring mga SAN PEDRENSE na nagkalat. Ito’y sa mga lugar ng San Pedro (Baja California Sur), San Pedro Cholula, San Pedro de la Cueva, at San Pedro Garza García (Nuevo León).
  5. Maging sa Estados Unidos, kung saan mas nangingibabaw ang wikang Ingles, ay may ilan ding mga lugar na kapangalan ang ating bayan. Ito ay ang mga bayan ng San Pedro sa Los Angeles, California at San Pedro sa New Mexico. Ang kapansin-pansin dito ay kahit Ingles ang salita nila, ni hindi man lamang nila tinawag ang kanilang mga sarili na SAN PEDRONIAN. Ang tawag nila sa kanilang mga sarili ay SAN PEDRENSE dahil iyon naman talaga ang correcto.
  6. Mismong sa España (ang bansang bumuo sa ating bansang Filipinas) ay may mga lugar din na San Pedro ang pangalan. Ang ilan sa kanila ay ang mga sumusunod: San Pedro de Alcántara, San Pedro (Albacete), San Pedro de Zamudia (Zamora), at San Pedro del Pinatar (Murcia). Opo, SAN PEDRENSE ang tawag sa mga naninirahan dito.

Dito sa Filipinas, noong panahon ng ating mga ninuno, SAN PEDRENSE ang tawag sa mga nakatira sa San Pedro Tunasán, La Laguna, at San Pedro, Bagabag sa may Nueva Vizcaya. Ni hindi man lamang nila tinawag ang mga sarili nila na SAN PEDRONIAN.

At kahit saan pong search engine sa internet (tulad ng Google at Yahoo!) ay hindi po makikita ang katagang SAN PEDRONIAN para sa mga baying nasambit sa taas. No such terminology or name exists for a native of every San Pedro town or city in the world. Sa dinami-dami ng San Pedro sa buong mundo, tanging tayo lamang po ang ang gumagamit ng kamaliang ito.

Maaaring may mga lumitaw na kritico at bansagang “Kastila” ang terminolohiyang SAN PEDRENSE. Totoo, ang salitang SAN PEDRENSE ay talagang katagang nagmula sa bokabulariong Kastila. Ngunit ito ay hindi angkop na rason sapagkat hindi tama na kalimutan natin kung sino ba talaga tayong mga Filipino. Ika nga ng sa salawikaing Tagalog: “ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan.”

Siguro po, kung ang pangalan po ng ating lugar ay ST. PETER, LAGOON imbes na SAN PEDRO, LAGUNA, puwede tayong mang-imbento ng taguri para sa atin kagaya ng salitang SAN PEDRONIAN. Ngunit hindi po ito ang naging kaso.

Kayo po lamang, mahal na Alcalde, ang aking nakikita na may magagandang adhikain at bisyon para sa bayan ng San Pedro. Pues, sa aking opinion, sa inyong termino lamang po siguradong maibabalik ang respeto at integridad sa identidad ng mga taga-San Pedro. Puwede po tayong magsimula sa pamamagitan ng pagpasa ng isang ordenansa o panukalang batas na magpapatibay na talagang SAN PEDRENSE ang dapat na tawag sa mga taong naninirahan at nagmula sa ating masiglang bayan ng San Pedro.

Hindi po ako taal na taga San Pedro, ngunit dahil sa nalaman ko ang kasaysayan at kuwento ng bayang ito (salamat din po sa inyong mga pagsasalaysay ng mga nakaraan ng San Pedro noong kayo’y musmos pa lamang) ay napamahal na rin po ito sa akin.

Kayo lamang po, Guinoong Alcalde, ang puwedeng makapagbago ng direksiyon kung saan patungo ang kasaysayan ng bayan ng SAN PEDRO Tunasán, La LAGUNA dahil siempre ay nasa poder kayo. At nasa inyong mga kamay kung dapat po bang ibalik ang tama o hindi.

Maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong atension!

Lubos na rumerespeto,



What it means for this blog

Though I like the idea of us being unique in calling ourselves “San Pedronian,” I believe that successful endeavors must be grounded in history. Thus, as of June 7, 2012, the name of this blog will be changed to San Pedrense and the new header image will be this:

san pedrense


If you would like to join in on the conversation, just leave a comment below!

1st Mayor Calixto R. Cataquiz Youth Festival 2010

Yesterday, December 18, teenagers from different barangays of San Pedro, Laguna gathered at the San Pedro Aktibo Youth & Sports Center in San Vicente for the The First Mayor Calixto R. Cataquiz Youth Festival. This year’s theme “AKTIBONG KABATAAN, AKTIBO SA PALIGSAHAN, HAHANGAAN KAHIT SAAN,” reflects the youthful vitality that has marked Mayor Cataquiz’ administration.

san pedro laguna

Aside from the sporting events, there were also various exhibits and family-friendly activities for visitors who went to the Youth Festival. These include the Car Show, Art Exhibit, Photo Exhibit, Airsoft, Gunshow, Bonsai Exhibit, Pet Shops, Clown and Magic Show, Giant Maze, Face Painting, Wall Climbing, Photowall, and Photobooth.  The Dance Competition started at 6PM. The highlight of San Pedro Youth Festival 2010 is the FREE concert which happens today, December 19. It will feature one of the best rock bands in the Philippine music industry, Rocksteady.


I encourage every San Pedronian to please like the San Pedro Aktibo Youth & Sports Center in Facebook to get updates on the festival and other events and activities at the center. I intend to check out the place after the festival and see if they really offer FREE Taekwondo, karate, aerobics and gymnastic lessons to everyone.