BATAC CITY, Ilocos Norte, June 7 (PIA) — Why Batac City got the moniker ‘Home of the Great Leaders’.
Batac has earned the title because three prominent people, who rendered notable services to the country once lived here.
Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos was born in Sarrat town; but he spent most of his life in Batac City while Bishop Gregorio Aglipay and General Artemio Ricarte were both natives in this place.
“The recognition of Batac as Home of the Great Leaders was given during the Marcos era in which the citation emanated from the national stature of President Marcos, Aglipay and Ricarte,” said Mark Khey German of the Batac City Tourism Office.
“This accolade of Batac has brought popularity to the place,” he added.
To note, Ferdinand Marcos became the President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. His many great projects still benefit the Filipinos till the present generation.
Gregorio Aglipay was the founder and first bishop of the Philippine Independent Church or the so called Aglipayan Church. His heroic exploit was traced when he joined the Katipunan and the revolution during the Philippine-American war.
Meanwhile, General Artemio Ricarte, the father of the Philippine Army, having been the first Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Ricarte joined the Katipunan that spearheaded the start of the Philippine revolution in the middle of the last decade of the 18th century. He led successfully the revolutionists in several fierce battles.
When the Americans arrived and took over the reign of the country in 1899, Ricarte again led the Filipino forces in a war against the American soldiers. But, he was captured and later exiled to Guam in the early period of 19th century.
At present, Batac has continued to preserve its title as several of its natives are excelling in their posts in the national government.
To name a few, they are: General Rodolfo Biazon, the former chief of staff of the AFP; and former Senator Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel whose mother hailed from Batac and father of incumbent Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel.
Meanwhile, the name of Batac was said to have been derived from the story of a man, who fell off a deep hole while digging a root crop called “camangeg” during the ancient time. As the man cried for help from a passerby, he shouted loudly, “Bataquennac!” The word Bataquennac is an Ilocano term which means “pull me.”
Batac, which became city in 2011, has a total land area of 16,101 hectares with 43 barangays.
“While Batac is sustaining its title as Home of the Great Leaders, the residents are pooling their efforts together to help one another to achieve their ultimate goal of inclusive growth and development for the city.” Tourism Officer German concluded. (Freddie G. Lazaro/ PIA-1 Ilocos Norte & Russel G. Alibuyog, MMSU DevCom Intern)