Topics: Luzon, Pampanga, Philippines Pages: 5 (1582 words) Published: December 9, 2012
Arayat - Our Ancestral Home
    There are many wonderful and marvelous places in this world, famous for their modern sky crappers, cathedrals, towers and superstructures, invigorating climates, beautiful tourists' belt, disneylands, and are more blessed in point of prosperity. But whatever we are in this planet there is no spot more dear to us than the land of one's birth - the town we always mention with pride, the town that cannot be reached by "lahar" - ARAYAT  

Origin of the name Arayat
    First, Arayat was originated from the name of Fernando de Arayat, a Spanish encomiendero whose birthplace in Spain was called "Arayat". Over time, a particular reasercher claims that the natives had transformed the word to "Daya".     Second that the original vernacular name "Dayat" was derived from "dayatan" which literally means dry season rice crop.     Third, that Arayat was formerly known as "Alaya" or "east". Thus, bunduk alaya" or "eastern mountain" referred to Mt. Arayat. Likewise, this same source considers the word "Arayat" to be of Spanish coinage.     Fourth, that a contemporary researcher believes that Mt. Arayat and the biblical Mt. Ararat, where Noah's Ark landed are one of the same thing which the town was named. This does not account for the etymological background of the present name and does not explain why another Mt. Ararat exists in the Middle East.  

Founding and Early Development of Arayat
    Historically speaking, the exact date of Arayat's foundation is still unknown. Definitely, the town was reported to be one of the thriving settlements of Pampanga between 1335 to 1380. One chronicler alleges that Prince Balagtas or his son Araw (Lord) Malangsic (rulers of the Madjapahit empire) was the founder of Arayat. At that time,it occupied what is today barrio Palinlang and was called Balayan ning Pambuit. Present-day Poblacion or seat of government was then a wilderness inhabited by pagan tribes, especially the balugas(Aetas).     Another account mentions such names as Jose Carlos Garcia,Macapagal, Simbulan, Lapira and Maria Vinas as the early pioneers of Arayat. By 1571, Arayat was one of the eleven most important communities of Pampanga. Because of its strategic location along the Pampanga River, it became a major center of trade and commerce - supplying the rice requirements of Manila, the Capital City.     On August 29, 1590, the Augustinians were granted permission to establish a mission in Arayat by the Bishop of Manila, Fr. Domingo Salazar. In the same year, the first Augustinian mission in Arayat was founded by Fr. Juan de Valderrama.     By 1600, the parish of Arayat already existed according to one historian of the Augustinian order in the Philippines, Elviro Jorde Perez. Available documents even show that a certain Fr. Contreras was the parish priest of Arayat until 1621. However, it requires further research work to determine whether or not originally built by the Augustinians. Also, it appears that the first baptism to be recorded at the parish was performed Fr. Villalobos in 1758.  

More Of Arayat
    The town of Arayat is located in the northern part of Pampanga. It is surrounded by the towns of Magalang on the northwest, Cabiao on the northeast, Candaba on the East, Sta Ana on the South and Mexico on the west, with a total area of 17,694 hectares and a population of 90,013 more or less.     Only 19 kilometers away from San Fernando, the capital town of Pampanga, Arayat is about an hour drive from Manila. The town is the biggest in northern Pampanga, It is composed of 30 barangays/barrios namely: Arenas, Baliti, Batasan, Buensuceso, Camba (Kaledian), Candating, Cupang, Gatiawin, Guemasan, La Paz (Turu), Lacmit, Laquios, Mangga-Cacutud, Mapalad, Matamo, Palinlang, Paralaya, Plazang Luma, Poblacion, San Agustin Norte, San Agustin Sur, San Antonio, San Jose ( Mesulo), San Juan ( Bano), San Mateo, San Nicolas, San Roque (Bitas), Sto. Nino (Tabuan), Suklayin, and...
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