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ORIGINATING from the above-mentioned Caravallo Mountains are two other rivers that pass through Carranglan and Poncan and merge before reaching San Jose. It flows into the barrio called La Torre, through which it enters Pampanga. It merges with the Rio Chico around four leagues and a half before reaching Arayat.
Originating from the Zambales Mountains are some streams (arroyos) that form the rivers of Lumay, Macavalo and Porac. The first one passes by Lubao and flows into the sea. The last two flow into the above-mentioned Rio Chico. Flowing from the Arayat Mountain are nine streams, three of which are merged with the Rio Chico.
The coastal area of this province is a labyrinth of creeks (esteros). Within a short distance of six miles, there are ten sandbars, namely, Bocbod, Panlovenas, Quinapate, Maignig, Pasac, Macabuanbuan, Malabug, Dalayat, Monjagot [page 6] and Lavitan-tagac, which detain the water that descends from the mountains (thereby forming the creeks) and cause the rivers to swell. The rivers irrigate the land and then flow into the sea through the above-mentioned sandbars.
At the eastern part of Bacolor, the capital, and left of the Rio Grande (Large River), one finds the Pinac de Candaba, a large lake which is formed by the flooding of the low-lying areas during the monsoon of the [bend vales?], both due to the rains that increase its water and the streams of the cordillera of the east and the swelling of the Rio Grande. After the monsoon, the expanse of the lake measures from eight to ten leagues.
Normally, until the month of October, when there is an abundance of water, no decrease is observed, but in November and December, although there are intermittent rains, the decrease is already considerable, and at the middle or end of January, the whole land becomes dry, except for some deep canals which have the same water level as the rivers and thus retain the water.
This flooding noticeably fertilizes that land with the nutrients which are collected there from the upper areas. Grasses do not grow tall anywhere, but the inhabitants do not use this fertility to fatten their herds of cows, horses and carabaos.
The vast expanse of this seasonal lake makes one think, of course, of what a rich and industrious community could gain, if they would steer the water through channels and thus fertilize the entire area. The flooding offers the chance to conserve water needed for irrigation.
[Page 7] This idea, which is brought about by a concern for the well-being which they are missing, will remain just a wish, because the situation of the inhabitants of the pueblo of Candaba, like those of their neighbors, does not offer the hope to carry out a big project, which requires determination, industriousness and work.
And the more so when we see that the people who live along the banks of these big rivers wait until they find areas fertilized by the flood before they plant rice, and so the inhabitants of the above-mentioned pueblo of Candaba and those of the district take advantage of the piece allowed by the boundary line of the flood, and they usually harvest from eighty to one hundred per one (de ochenta a ciento por uno).
The greatest treasure that they get from this lake consists in fishes, especially the one called “dalag”. They catch this when the flood subsides and they preserve the whole fish dry in low places (en los lugares baxos).
After being nourished with this fish (and after even sick people are nourished with it without any negative side effect), they still have a surplus to sell in the neighboring provinces and even in Manila, and, thanks to this business, they make some thousands of pesos.
To be able to do this, they preserve them and bring them to Manila always alive. They keep them in their boats (where they change the water everyday), or even outside of them, because even with a slight sprinkling of water, they retain their slimy freshness. And so, they are kept alive during the time that the dealer needs to maintain them, even if he puts them outside the water for some hours, exposed to the heat of the atmosphere.