History of Muntinlupa City

MUNTINLUPA CITY is known before as a sleepy, agricultural community and a city that is famous for its national penitentiary, National Bilibid Prison, where the country’s most dangerous criminals are imprisoned, is now a full developed and progressive city. The place is located southernmost part in Metro Manila. It is bordered by Taguig City (north), Parañaque City (northwest), Las Pi ñas City (west), Bacoor Cavite (southwest), and San Pedro Laguna to the east side. The city is dubbed as the “Emerald City of the Philippines”.
Currently, the City of Muntinlupa is a premiere residential, such as the Ayala Alabang Village, where many of the wealthy and famous live; commercial establishments and recreational area serving as the bridge connecting the metropolis with other towns in the CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) areas.

The origin of the name “Muntinlupa” came from three accounts: First, due to its thin top soil in the area; Second, as rumor has it, some residents replied to a Spaniards questioning them in the 16th century as to what the name of the place was and their answer was “Monte sa Lupa”; third, the place has mountainous land, thus the term “Monte” or mountain became Muntinlupa. However, these said versions cannot be established as correct for there are no records or archives to prove it otherwise.
In 1800, Father Joaquin de Zuñiga, a catholic priest, recorded Muntinlupa as la poblacion que sigue se Ilama Muntinlupa that is now referred to a village Poblacion.
During the early 1600, Muntinlupa is under the religious supervision of Augustinians. The education of the residents was also under the convent of Guadalupe Sanctuary until Quijano Bustamante bought the land of Muntinlupa from the residents. Then in 1869, the civil government approved the project of forming a town out of the barrios of Muntinlupa.
The place became a district of Morong, Rizal in 1901. Later on, the Municipality of Muntinlupa by Act 1008 of the Philippine Commission is included within the boundary of Laguna province and is placed under Biñan town and San Pedro. Muntinlupa residents protested against this act, thus, on March 22, 1905 the petition of the people were heard and through Act 1308 of Philippine Commission Muntinlupa were returned to Rizal province and became a part of Taguig. A few years later Muntinlupa was eventually separated from Taguig because of its distance.
On December 19, 1917, the government grants the petition of the residents for the independent status of the municipality under Executive Order 108 per approval of Governor General Francis Burton Harrison that took effect on January 1, 1918. The first appointed mayor in that year was Vidal Joaquin, while the first elected mayor was Melencio Espeleta.
After the 1945 World war, infrastructure projects were implemented such as the first municipal hall, residential houses, factories and other business establishments. Portions of the land area were also developed by the local government. Then on November 7, 1975 upon the creation of Metropolitan Manila Commission by virtue of Presidential Decree 824 (issued by the late President Marcos), Muntinlupa became a part of Metropolitan Manila. Under the administration of Loresca and Argana, education was given priority. Various elementary public schools were built in different communities.
In June 13, 1986, after the EDSA revolution, President Corazon C. Aquino appointed Attorney Ignacio Bunye as officer-in-charge of Muntinlupa City. This appointment is in lieu of nationwide revamp of local government units following the EDSA revolution in February of that year. Attorney Ignacio Bunye served the municipality for three consecutive terms together with Vice mayor Attorney Jaime R. Fresnedi. The administration implemented various projects that led to the municipality’s progression.
Upon the ratification of the 1986 Constitution, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas became one district on June 13, 1986. Muntinlupa was divided into two districts: Districts I include the communities of Tunasan, Poblacion, Putatan and Bayanan, while District II consisted of Sucat, Buli, Cupang, Alabang and New Alabang. December 6, 1988, President Corazon C. Aquino declared December 19 as “Municipality of Muntinlupa Day” by proclamation 351.
During Bunye’s Administration, Muntinlupa signed on March 1, 1994 a sisterhood pact with Gunma, Japan establishing bilateral relations between the two municipalities. Then on February 16, 1995 through House Bill No. 14401 as approved by the House of Representatives, the municipality of Muntinlupa was turned into a highly urbanized city. Later on, Muntinlupa becomes a charter city upon signing of Republic Act 7926 by President Fidel V. Ramos. The first congressman representing Muntinlupa City is nonetheless Attorney Ignacio R. Bunye.
By virtue of Republic Act No. 7926, Muntinlupa becomes the 65th city in the Philippines as signed on March 1, 1995. The first day of the month of March was also approved by the city council on February 26, 1996 as “Muntinlupa-Gunma Friendship Day”.
On June 29, 1998, Attorney Jaime R. Fresnedi became the new mayor of Muntinlupa City. Under his leadership various new projects were undertaken such as new agencies for the delivery of basic services to the people of Muntinlupa City, infrastructure projects and education-related programs.
Recent developments came from another sister-city agreement with Staffanstorp, Sweden on October 17, 2000. Then Muntinlupa City receives the first ISO 9002 compliance certification from Reyland Nepomuceno of TUV products on March 1, 2001. Another milestone is the signing of the third sister city pact with Liuzhou, China on November 3-7, 2004. Cultural exchanges, technology transfer and trade interactions is a big help in making the city more productive and up-to-date.


Muntinlupa is situated 22 kilometers South of Metro Manila, accessible through the National Higway and South Luzon Expressway. The total land area of Muntinlupa City is 46.70 square kilometers or 4,670 hectares. The terrain of the city is relatively flat to slopping towards the east, as gentle rolling hills occupy the western part with elevation increasing up to 60 meters.

The land is suited for lowland rice, corn, root, crops and cogon grass due to its Guadalupe Clay Loam Series type of soil. The total land use is more on Residential, followed by Commercial, Industrial, Institutional, Agriculture and other utilities.

According to the 2,000 census, the City of Muntinlupa has a total population of 379,310 with 78,016 households. Languages used by the people are diversified.

The city was recently awarded as the “Most Competitive City” and the “Most Improved City ” in the Philippines for its 9,957 number of various business establishments, large scale commercial real estate development projects such as Filinvest Corporate City by Filinvest Development Corporation and Madrigal Business Park by Ayala Land Inc.

Muntinlupa has now become a super city having top premier shopping centers such as Alabang Town Center and Festival Supermall; corporate office towers such as Insular Life Towers; the famous hospital with well-equipped facilities i.e. Asian Hospital and Medical Center; and Information-Technology industries that can be seen in the Northgate Business District.

Muntinlupa City has an annual average of 78% in humidity, and it has two seasons: Dry season which starts from November to April and Wet season starting from May to October.

The main temperature of the city is 27.92, the highest temperature occurs in the months of April and May with 30°C, and the lowest is 26°C during December, January and Friday.

The city is also rich in its arts and culture. Muntinlupa communities celebrate various festivities yearly based on their traditions:

  • Banhayan Festival (Buli and Cupang communities) – It is celebrated every September 10 annually in thanksgiving for their patron “Impong Kulas” de Tolentino. This festival is similar to Ati-Atihan in Aklan and Sinulog in Cebu City.
  • Bulaklakan Festival (Bayanan community) – The festival is celebrated during the month of May with a procession of the Patron saint “Mary Mother of God” . Hermanos and Hermanas dress up with different national costumes of the Philippines and abundant display of flowers can be seen.
  • Grand Santacruzan – Celebrated in the month of May. The city ’s loveliest women participate by wearing elegant “Ternos” (Philippine formal attire for ladies) and walk underneath flowered canopies.
  • Samahang Batya (Alabang community) – Is celebrated from December to January with a display of different costumes and masks made of paper mache. This is a yearly competition of talent and creativity of the townsfolk.
  • Senakulo – A week long presentation of the Life and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ in lieu of the Holy Season.
  • Serenata – Most colorful and well-celebrated fiesta in Muntinlupa City. More than 30 band from different munipalities and cities serenades the city.
Other festivities which are also celebrated are Kasaganaan sa Kinabukasan Festival, Tulyahan Festival, Sambayanihan Festival, Biyaya sa Bukid at Dagat Festival, and Tumana Festival.

Muntinlupa city has manufacturing products, semiconductor, food, textile and manufacturing industries.

The city offers a lot of food stores, food stalls, fine dining restaurants, and fast-food chains with various delectable dishes.

The city is a crossroad of diverse religions. Religious groups and their respective lay organizations are very active in providing the community with social services.

LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
Muntinlupa city is composed of a congressional district and two legislative districts which are subdivided into nine communities. Other establishments and homes are called subdivision (village) instead of Barangay:

District 1 Barangays (Southern portion of the city) District 2 Barangays (northern portion of the city)
  • Bayanan
  • Poblacion
  • Putatan
  • Tunasan
  • Alabang Riles
  • Ayala Alabang
  • Buli
  • Cupang
  • Sucat
  • Ilaya
Subdivisions (Villages)
  • Agro Homes
  • Alabang 400 Village
  • Alabang Hills Village
  • Ayala Alabang Village
  • Camella Homes III
  • Freedom Hill Subdivision
  • Freewill Subdivision
  • Hillsborough Alabang
  • Intercity Homes Subdivision
  • JPA Subdivision
  • Kalipayan Homes
  • Katarungen Village 2
  • Lakeshore Village
  • Lakeview Homes
  • Lodora Village
  • MUTUAL Homes
  • Pacific Malayan Village
  • Pacific Village
  • Parkhomes Subdivision
  • Pleasant Village
  • Posadas Village
  • San Jose Village
  • Soldiers Hills Village
  • South Green Heights Village
  • Southsuperville
  • Sto. Niño Village
  • Teachers Village
  • Tiosejo Village
  • Treelane Park Subdivision
  • Victoria Homes Subdivision-Camella Rigdeview (also called United Victoria-Camella Homeowners Community)
  • Villa Carolina 1
  • Villa Carolina 2

The smallest lake in the Philippines surrounded by a rice terraces-like structure similar to Ifugao, Mountain Province.

The place is a small hill inside the prison reservation compound. It has a World War II Vintage Japanese canon and a site of a grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. It is also a burial site of Eriberto Misa, the famous Prison’s Director from years 1937 to 1949.

The structure was built in 1941. It houses the offices of the prison administration, maximum security compound which consists of 12 buildings called brigades.

The edifice of the structure manifests a Pre-War Architecture that was also built together with the Administration Building in 1941. This is also the official residence of the NBP Director of Bureau of Corrections.

The cemetery is said to be the burial place of General Yamashita, the famous Japanese General during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines.

Other tourist destinations are:
  • Alabang Town Center
  • Ayala Alabang Country Club
  • Festival Supermall
  • Filinvest Corporate City
  • Madrigal Business Center District
  • Metropolis Mall
  • National Bilibid Prison (NBP)
  • Palms Country Club

Source: 1stPhilippines


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