Maximino delos Reyes of Bataan

“Sa silong ng langit
doon sa Puerto Rivas.
Ay may isang talang
nagniningnging.
Maximino delos Reyes
ang kanyang pangalan.
Nagbigay ng ningning
sa buong Bataan.”

I am not sure if I got the lyrics right.
My late father used to sing it during his frisky moments.
I think he found the lyrics catchy.
On a serious note, I believe he was just too proud of his “kababaryo.”

(And by the way, is there really such a jingle?)

The Maximino Delos Reyes that I was aware of was the
“Maximino Delos Reyes Memorial School” in Puerto Rivas,
Balanga, Bataan
. Before 1957, it was known as Puerto Rivas
Elementary School. The school was renamed to honor the man who
donated the land. Actually, the land where the public cemetery
lies was also his donation.

Maximino Delos Reyes’ name has a recall because of the school.
Unfortunately, much information is not known about this gentleman.
Born and raised in Puerto Rivas, Balanga, Bataan in 1887, his
short yet successful career started when he wrote moro-moro
and zarzuela.

If Francisco Baltazar was the pride of
Bulacan, Maximino Delos Reyes was his counterpart in Bataan.
He also worked in La Independencia as a press censor.
His popularity earned him a post as Bataan governor for 4 years
and he dedicated another 6 years of his life for public service.
After retiring from politics, he focused on his lumber business.

Maximino died in 1928 at only 40 years old. He left behind Rosita
and their four children Aurora, Eliseo, Mario and Gloria.
The most well-known among them was the late Gloria Delos Reyes-Talastas,
an educator.

Balanga

Those were the days when Balanga was still a town. Those were the days when patintero and tumbang preso consumed my afternoon to dusk. Those were the days when you can buy a bottle of 8-oz. Coke for 25 centavos. Those were the days when it was fun blowing bubbles made from gumamela extract. Those were the days of childhood innocence; when you are too confused why your heart beats to the one person that can make you smile. Those were the days of getting soaked in the rain, of making paper boats and sailing them on the flooded streets of Balanga. Those were the days when Beanery was non-existent; when the best treat in town was Eddie’s bibingka with free hot tea. Those were the days when Farrah and Aling Charing’s parlor was the “in” thing in town. Those were the days of the typewriter when free wifi is not a technology in Balanga. Those were the days of the snailmail, when Mama had to wait for the kartero for my father’s mail.Those were the days when Archade lorded it over on the RTW’s. Those were the days when Tdel was the only private school with secondary education in Balanga. Those were the days when Joyous Fishpond Resort was the 8 Waves of Bataan. Traffic was less and so was pollution. Everybody knew who their neighbors are. The Balanga town plaza was our playground at night.

I am proud of what Balanga has become today…but looking back, I can’t help but to long for Balanga’s innocence.