Chapter Two
2. Upward - To the East

The decade that followed Fray de Zuņiga's visit at the close of the 18th century saw the fishermen of Aromahan climbing the hill to open up homesteads in Kaloogan.  Here, the land was free of the thorny plants that infested the water's edge, and although the hill was naturally stony, some form of agriculture was possible.

The hilltop was exposed to typhoons, and its proximity to the forest lair of the bandits made its inhabitants easy prey to marauding bands.  But the spirit that conquered the waters of Dagat-Dagatan and the thorns of Aromahan could not be vanquished by storms or human predators.  By 1802, Kaloogan was the center of the community, Aromahan having been relegated to the fringe that it is up to now.

Where, among the espinas, the settlers could only go out of sea for their livelihood, in their new home they could raise rice, fruits, sugar cane, corn and vegetables.  They could quarry stones, make earthen jars and rope, engage in weaving and start a home enterprise that later would become one of Kalookan's major industries - furniture making.  Indeed, the movement to the hilltop was a major step for a people who, for more than a half a century, lived in the cramped strip of land that was Aromahan.