Say "Hello" to Development!
“Kinalinga ka ng bayang Sinilangan
(You were nourished by your Motherland)
Pinagtibay para sa hinaharap
(to be established for the future)
Sa patuloy na pagpupunyagi
(In continuous persevering)
Kaagapay ka namin sa bawat sandali…”
(You are with us all the way…)
- San Jose del Monte Hymn
San Jose del Monte, a city in Bulacan, Philippines, which has experienced unprecedented growth for the past ten years, still has the potential to grow some more.
Due to all the “pagpupunyagi” (perseverance) of the community, it is now sailing to the opportunities offered by tourism and agro-industrial development. This city, with 59 barangays(town), is labeled by the ‘Your Pinoy Tourist Guide’ as a “first class urban component city in Bulacan.” Its proximity to Quezon City and to Metro Manila makes it positive for progress. Competitive labor force. Infrastructure development. Increase investor catchment area. These are just some of the indicators that San Jose del Monte is really on the right track.
San Jose del Monte has undergone many waves in its existence. As a municipality way back in 1750, its emergence was by ‘Reduccion,’ a system that made Catholicism influential in remote places. Its population was composed of volunteered refugees coming from Meycauayan, Bulacan. In the American regime, it became a part of Sta. Maria, Bulacan. It also became an ideal hiding place during the Japanese occupation. Then, in 2000, by the Republic Act 8797, signed by former President Joseph Estrada, it became a city. In year 2004, it was hailed as the Lone Congressional District in Bulacan. And today, its doors are still open for more development.
One factor that makes San Jose del Monte poised for growth is the opportunities in tourism. Aside from the fact that it contributes to the identity of the community, it is also a good source of livelihood. Government officials in San Jose del Monte campaign the potential tourist spot Kaytitinga Falls of San Isidro. Another place that’s waiting to be tapped by both local and foreign tourists is the Orchidarium, a five-hectare flora haven in Sto. Cristo. Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, a mecca pilgrimage, is another potential year-round tourist attraction, adjacent to Grotto Vista Resort.
Aside from tourism development, its road network made it much closer to development. Inclusion of the city to the Megalopolis covers the quality of infrastructures, trade and industry, and mobilization. This is about being involved in the Metro Manila urban expansion. Quirino highway is considered as a gateway to San Jose del Monte’s development. As the “gateway of the North” in the northeastern side of Luzon, it is expected to be the ‘food basket’ for products coming from northeastern towns of Bulacan and nearby provinces. Its proximity to Manila, about 42 km. away, is also an advantage. There are also some proposed projects to make this inclusion to Megalopolis possible, like the La Mesa Parkways, a six-lane skyway project connecting Balara, Quezon City and City of San Jose del Monte, and the MRT-7 part of the SM lines, where the city shall be host to the Inter-Modal Station serving as hub for agro-economic activities in the northern part of Luzon most proximate to Metro Manila.
If a community is a good place to start a business, it means that it is developed. The city aims to be called the “Business-friendly City.” This is a collaboration of visible businesses in the city, the government, and some civil and non-profit organizations. The strategy is that they invite potential investors to avail of its ‘Business Friendly Offers’ of two years free of use of its industrial zone, three shift-watchmen, Drug-test for all San Joseño-hired employees, Skills Enhancements Training, etc.
Aside from aiming to be more industrialized, San Jose del Monte still value agriculture. Another indicator is the productivity centers and agricultural businesses in the city. It is an indicator because it caters the marginalized sectors, specifically the farmers, to participate in all the activities of the government, and also, to have a source of livelihood as well. It mainly promotes cooperation and discipline within the community. There are already present Agro-processing Centers that houses nurseries in variety. It is propagated in thousands to be dispersed free to interested San Joseños.
Peace and order is a prerequisite to spur economic development. As of now, the biggest mobile force in Bulacan, with 13 police patrol cars, 6 police motorcycles with a strong peace and order police force of 265 combined uniformed and para-police personnel, is present in the city.
These are results of collaborative practice. The community work together while holding a promise of becoming one of the industrial sites, with the way things are going. These are all together a product of the efforts of the government, non-government organizations (NGOs), some civil organizations, and the settlers in San Jose del Monte.
Development, really, is largely influenced by the community. It could be affected by those outside of it, but still, it all starts within. All the minds behind the projects and activities for the community have something in common, and that is to target progress. But then, it does not stop there. San Jose del Monte City, which has experienced unprecedented growth for the past 10 years, still has the potential to grow some more. It’s always a sweet ‘hello.’ Its doors are wide open for more improvements. Just like what the last stanza of the hymn emphasized,
“San Jose del Monte, Mahal kong Bayan
(San Jose del Monte, my beloved land)
Ia-angat ka namin, pag-iingatan
(We will exalt you, care for you)
San Jose del Monte, Mahal kong bayan
(San Jose del Monte, my beloved land)
Inaning tagumpay, pag-aalayan ka…San Jose del Monte”
(Gained triumph, we will offer you, San Jose del Monte)