Caledian and Suklayin


Young people of Baler would probably not know where Caledian is. They would know Suklayin which is one of the big Barangays of the town and where the provincial seat of government is located. Caledian is now just a Sitio of Bgy. Suklayin. It probably got its name from “Kalye Diyan” (the street over there). It has no formal geographical boundary but it’s located along the Quezon highway somewhere between Gloria Street and the Provincial Capitol. The original Suklayin starts at the curve of the highway where the old DPWH (BPH) used to be located and ends at the boundary with San Luis, the place we call Welcome. We live in Caledian since I was a child so i have many fond memories of the place, but that’s another story.

The Google Earth picture above is of Caledian and Suklayin – in Arayat, Pampanga. Coincidence? Not really. That place used to be the farm of Manuel L. Quezon. I first read about a place in Arayat called Caledian from Manuel L. Quezon III’s column in the Inquirer where he wrote about his grandfathers’ farm called “Caleidan”. I wondered if there was a connection with the Caledian here in Baler. It turned out that Pres. Quezon and Mrs. Quezon named it after the place here in Baler, where they also had farms. They loved their hometown so much they made an “avatar” of it in a place that’s nearer to Manila. Of course they also brought in some Balerians to stay in the place to make it more authentic.

Poppo Olag, a retired US navy now living in the USA, read my short note here at Batangbaler and emailed me this:

You bet, the name of the Quezon’s Hacienda in Arayat were not only Kaledian but on the other side was Suklayin. We lived in the farm from 1940 until the outbreak of World War II. Tata Manuel was in charge of Kaledian Farm, while Mang Tomas Ranillo was in charge of Suklayin Farm. Tatay was in charge of the construction of Mt. Arayat National Park. Nonong and I used to climb the Ratilis tree at the back of their house. That was the good old days. We walked back to Baler from Arayat in 1942 when everything quieted down. And, where we settled down? Back to Suklayin!

So it turned out that there’s also a place besides Caledian in Arayat called Suklayin. And those places retained the names until now. So what happened to the farm in Arayat? Manuel L. Quezon, being a champion of social justice and a trailblazer of agrarian reform, redistributed the land to its tenants and farmworkers. Which was also what he did in Baler. When he was president, he ordered a cadastral survey of Baler and gave two portions of lands to each family, a small lot at the Poblacion and a bigger track of land at the outskirts of the town. Most of the lands their family owned in Baler were also given away. Almost a century later, he is still remembered for those unselfish acts. I wonder how we will remember those who are now more into taking than giving.

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5 Responses to “Caledian and Suklayin”

  1. luke says:

    ay sana ganun din ang gawin ng mga kinauukulan sa nayon ditu.hindi dapat lahat na lamang sa kanila! “ang lupa ang lupa ang dahilan!”

  2. balerian says:

    Ganyan pa rin naman ang ginagawa ngay-un ay. At tanu nakakita ka ng taga Baler na may napakalaking lupain. Halus lahat naman diyan may kani-kaniyang niyugan o tubigan kay halus lahat namang taal na taga Baler nakaranas ng magtarabahu sa kanyang bukid. May ilan nga laang na medyu may pagka “Juan” kaya , iyun ibinenta ang bukid kaya may mangilan ngilan na may medyu malaki ang kabukiran pakatapus makabili galing sa mga “Juan”, pero sabihin mung may hacienda? Wala sa vocabulary ng Balerian ang hacienda.

  3. Balerian din says:

    Are ay bakit kailangan namang magka-ruon ng malaking kalupaan? Tanung laang naman. Do we see a future investment out of those haciendas? Okay sakay na aku na mag kaka-apu tayu later at maipapa-mana natin sa kanila…but we should be aware also of those who we call mga “aswang” este mga suwapang pala. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves. Am i geting enough? KASUWAPANGAN NGA BAGA ITO? Ay kahit na “kaya” mong bilhin yung lupain ng mga kapit-bahay mo…still you need to ask if you’re getting too much. Please think one step further of what you are now. Mga kababayan ninyo ito sila na desperadong magka-imoy na magagamit nila sa future pero parang iyung bilhin ninyo kuno
    yung mga lupain nila for cash they need…tanung laang naman anu. Do we have an alternative rather than asking them to sell their land for cash? Duon mo makikita iyung mga “ganid” na tina-tawag if at some point, they bougth the entire Baler. MALI NA IYUN!

  4. Ishmael Ahab says:

    Glad to have drop by your site and read a piece of history that is not usually written on school textbooks.

    Ganun pala si Quezon noon. Dapat naman ngayon makopya ang ginawa niya sa Baler ng mga politicians na nagsasabi na maka mahihirap sila.

  5. Ariel says:

    @ Ishmael ay parang baliktad ang nanyayari ngay-un ay..:(

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