Agoncillo is home to beautiful people as it nests culturally inclined characters, national athletes, and award-winning celebrities.
The Everyday life of An Agoncillian
The day of an Agoncillian starts off way before sunrise.
Fisherfolks would wake up at 4:00 am to ready themselves to scour the Taal Lake for fish to be sold; while the others would wake up a little bit later to peddle goods at the public market.
The thick, rural breeze of Agoncillo embraces every woken being and a mug of kapeng barako demands itself to be rustled up.
Then the day lends itself for corporate transactions to transpire—the LGU functions, the carinderias smell of fried tawilis meals, and the suburban streets of Agoncillo are filled with people ready to go merrily about on their 8-4 day jobs.
Just before sunset, the employees return to their residences, and the boats come back to shore with a bountiful harvest gifted by the generous lake.
The low, droning sound of the approaching boats signifies that the day is about to end, and that the Agoncillians are to spend to rest of the night with their beloved families.
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Marianito, a Master of the Subli
Marianito Buno, a 72-year-old retired local government personnel, has been performing the Subli since he was 19.
"Sa tagal na namin itong ginagawa, hindi na kami nag-eensayo (we have been perfoming this for so long that we don't feel the need to rehearse)," he tells when asked about the preparations before staging the subli.
His devotion to the Holy Cross and the Subli did not wane a bit despite the almost everyday invites of sponsors from Agoncillo among other places in Batangas and Luzon.
"Halos araw-araw kaming naiimbitahan dati, pero dahil sa pandemya, syempre nabawasan na (we got invites to perform almost everyday, but because of the pandemic, invites become infrequent)," he furthers.
Marianito takes joy in the fact that the Subli, a stark contrast to today's modern and westernized ways, remains ingrained in the life of Agoncillians especially in that of the younger generation's.
The devotion to the Holy Cross has been passed down from one generation to the other, a salinlahi, so to speak.
True enough, kids as young as seven and eight can be seen participating in some performances. "Kapag nakakakita kami ng batang interesado, talagang tuturuan namin sila para maipagpatuloy ang kultura at debosyon sa Sta. Cruz."
It can also be observed that there is also a good mix of teenagers and adults dancing in pairs amid the hours-long ceremony, implying that the Subli is an indelible parcel of the Agoncillian culture practiced by people across genders and generations.
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Carolino Volleybelles: From Pook Elem to the National Team
Sisters Mayeth and Michelle Carolino started their volleyball careers as varsity players in Pook Elementary School in Agoncillo, Batangas.
The sisters, now in their early 40s, said that they perform better as teammates rather than rivals.
They also had outstanding careers in Agoncillo College, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Philippine Army, and ultimately, the Philippine national team.
The sisters had respected and laureled careers that they were invited as guest players for La Salle and the University of Sto. Tomas in the Shakey's V-League among other teams in commercial leagues.