Macario B. Asistio, Sr.,  January 1, 1904 - December 25, 1981

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To you who once said:

"I will have no way of knowing my true friends until the time when I am no longer Mayor,"  this little effort is dedicated, so that in the years to come, when those who fawn around you now have gone their separate ways, you may recall the golden years and find comfort in your only abiding friends: the people you have served so well."  

- amj 


Two Golden Decades:  Kalookan 1951-1970

ęCopyright 1971 by Agapito M. Joaquin


I did not write this book. It consists of articles, letters and materials written through the years by different people. All I did was to gather those of them that were extant, from my own files and from those of friends, to present the throbbing reality that was Kalookan during the past two decades.  I had the good fortune of being a part of Kalookan during those twenty years, and of being at a vantage point to observe the man who, for the same period, was the focal point of its activities, but I tried to resist the temptation to editorialize.

The history of the city will probably be written more completely by others.  So will be the biography of the man who led it from a lawless town to a thriving metropolis.  For the present, I will consider my work well compensated if this volume will preserve for future writers an era in Kalookan that will be difficult to duplicate in the next succeeding decades.

City of Kalookan, January 1, 1971
Agapito M. Joaquin


The author acknowledges with gratitude the help extended to him by the heirs of the late PABLO BAIRAN, Sr., who financed the research that went into the writing of "The Role of Kalookan in the Nation's Quest for Freedom" and "The Bastard Daughter of Rizal Province" which comprise the first two articles in this book.


After the local elections of 1971, when Macario B. Asistio lost his bid for a sixth term as Mayor of Kalookan, we were left with about 300 undistributed copies of this book.  We kept the volumes in the vacant shelves of our law library, thinking that after the political debacle, no one in Kalookan would be interested to read the story of Macario B. Asistio's two golden decades in office.

We were wrong. In less than a year, the remaining books were sold out at progressively increasing prices.  Macario B. Asistio was, if that were at all possible, more popular out of office than when he wielded the powers of Mayor of Kalookan.

We are reprinting the book not only in answer to popular clamor, although that in itself would have been a sufficient reason, but more so because we feel that a younger generation in Kalookan ought to have access to the information that the book contains.  Knowing the efforts exerted, the difficulties and the heartaches encountered by those who led the city in its infancy should make us feel a little more appreciative of what we have today.

The book is being reprinted with very little modification.  Between the first and second editions, we have come up with a more definitive history of Kalookan, with emphasis on her role in the nation's quest for freedom and her sixty years as a neglected municipality of Rizal Province. We used these new works to replace  Serrano's "Brief History of Kalookan", which appeared in the original book, because a recounting of our people's rebellious and independent spirit fits in more logically with our later fight to be free from the shackles of an outmoded provincial system of local government.

The fight, after all, is what this book is all about.

City of Kalookan, 1981
Agapito M. Joaquin


The observant reader will notice the seemingly interchangeable use of "Caloocan" (with two "C's") and "Kalookan" (with two "K's") in the different articles contained in this book.  Those using "C's" were generally written before July 28, 1970.  On that date, the Municipal Board enacted Resolution No. 106, requesting all department heads thenceforth to use the letter "K" instead of "C" in spelling the name of the city.  The move was inspired by the wave of nationalism that engulfed the nation in the late 1960's.  The Anglo-Spanish letter in a name that was obviously indigenous smacked of the snobbishness of the colonial master that made him write cauayan instead of kawayan, to give just one example.

Surprisingly, it was the courts and the fiscal's office that led the other departments in complying with the resolution.  School authorities refused to honor it (they still do), arguing that "C's" in a proper noun are not changed to "K's" when written in Pilipino.  The fallacy of this assertion is that "Kalookan" is the proper noun, and the "K's" are not changed to "C's" when written in English.  At any rate, ours is the only city in the country that is written in two different ways.  If only for uniformity, it is urged that the correct spelling be used by all.

It will probably take much longer than a decade to achieve total compliance, but the progress so far made is encouraging.

City of Kalookan, 1981
The Author



Preface to the 1981 Edition

Kalookan or Caloocan?

Table of Contents