January 1, 2018

Muzon 2nd, Alitagtag, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Muzon 2nd, Alitagtag, Batangas, the original scanned documents at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections not having OCR or optical character recognition properties. This transcription has been edited for grammar, spelling and punctuation where possible. The original pagination is provided for citation purposes.

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HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO

Part One – History

1. Present official name of the barrio.

Muzon 2nd

2. Popular name of the barrio, present and past; derivation and meanings of these names. Names of sitios included within the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio.

Present – Muzon Segundo Past – Mojon

Muzon Segundo is the popular name of the barrio. Muzon comes from the old Spanish name of the barrio which is Mojon. Segundo is attached to it because there are two Muzons belonging to Alitagtag. To differentiate one from the other, Primero was attached to the first Muzon and Segundo was attached to this barrio, Muzon 2nd.

The old name was Mojon which means boundary. Because Muzon 2nd being the southern part of the municipality of Alitagtag near the boundary of the municipality of Bauan, this barrio was named Mojon in the past. There is no sitio included within the territory of this barrio.

3. Date of establishment.

1860

4. Original families.

Unknown

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5. List of tenientes from the earliest time to date.
Spanish Period American Period
Cabesas Tenientes del Barrio
1.  Juan Maranan 1.  Tininting Pasio
2.  Kabesang Angel 2.  Tininting Andong
3.  Josep Jasa 3.  Tininting Maximo (Puga)
4.  Severino Maranan 4.  Segundo Hernandez
5.  Telesforo Banta 5.  Saturnino Caraig
6.  Nicomedes de Gracia 6.  Anselmo Banta
7.  Macario Macalingcag
8.  Vinancio Jasa
9.  Manuel Abu
10. Juan Caraig

11. Victorino Marquez
      Dionisio Arguelles
6. Story of old barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct.

No story could be given.

7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.

No data on historical sites could be given.

8. Important facts, incidents or events that took place.

(a) During the Spanish occupation.

ROMANG GABI

Romang Gabi was a bandit whose plunderings brought him to the different towns of Batangas and Mindoro. Though he was a notorious robber, he was known to raid only the convents. Perhaps, it was for this reason that the old people re-

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call his depredation with a certain fondness akin to admiration.

Roman Abratigue was his real name, but he earned the appellation “Gabi” because he was said not to get wet which is a characteristic of the gabi plant. He also had other amulets like “Bungang kalog” which made him [an] impregnable target to bullet shots. He also possessed a “taga-bulag,” a charm that enraged the Spanish soldiers who frequently trailed him. He would lean back against a wall or post and anyone could walk past him without seeing him. It was said of him, too, from the street through a narrowly-opene window into the sala of a convent.

Once, several Spanish soldiers pursued him to Sambi where he sought refuge with his contraband tobacco. Some fighting took place between the authorities and the bandits’ four men but the soldiers were unable to get Romang Gabi. He danced among the sugarcane plants within shooting range, but he was unscathed.

Later, the government caught up with him in his home. Soldiers maltreated his relatives and neighbors exhorting them to yield the notorious bandit. The outlaw then heeded the pleas of his kinsfolk and he surrendered peacefully. He was imprisoned for some time but upon gaining

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his freedom, he left for good the charmed life he led as a bandit.

(b) During the American occupation to World War II.

No important facts took place.

(c) During and after World War II

DEATH OF A BARRIO LIEUTENANT

Manuel Abu, better known as Tininting Uwel, was the barrio lieutenant during the last dark days of the Japanese occupation. The horrible atrocities of the Japanese about that time and the Japanese forces’ inability to make a last stand in Batangas province led them to retreat, leaving behind burning towns and villages, dead men, women and even children.

Nasugbu was then the only town liberated by the Americans. The town of Bauan was on fire and the Japanese soldiers were around demanding work animals and food from the civilians. Tininting Uwel was in the cornfields when a Japanese soldier came upon him. The soldier demanded that all carabaos and cows in Muzon be delivered to him. The old man pleaded for the animals of his people. Seeing the soldier unmoved, Abut brought out his credentials as barrio lieutenant. This angered the Japanese. He ordered the tiniente the surrender at once the animals he was demanding. Thereupon, the barrio lieutenant decided

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that he must choose between the trust placed upon him by his barrio constituents and the Japanese arrogance. He chose the former and scampered away. The Japanese soldier fired at him and Manuel Abu fell to the ground, dead.

NOT YET HIS END

Sometime in 1943, several Japanese soldiers went to the house of Dionisio Arguelles to borrow some chinaware. The Filipino thought the soldiers really meant to borrow his plates so that when the Japanese forgot to return them, he went to the camp to inquire.

Thereupon, the soldiers got angry, slapped him and told him to turn his back. He was just waiting for the bullets when the Japanese thought otherwise.

That day, Dionisio Arguelles went home without his plates but nevertheless he was very happy. He almost exchanged his life for a dozen plates.

THE EXPLOSION AT MUZON

Among the many oversupplied war equipment and supplies the U.S. Army brought to Batangas when the Americans liberated the country were bombs and boxes of bullets. The two Muzons were selected by the army authorities to be one of the places for the storage of said ammunitions. When the American soldiers left the province, they did not

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take home with them the bullets and bombs they piled at the eastern side of the barrio. Soon after their departure, a private company took charge of the disposal of these bombs. The company hired laborers to work on the taking away of the ammunitions. One afternoon, on Aug. 10, 1948, the laborers unintentionally dropped a bomb while lifting it with a crane to the truck. The bomb dropped on a pile of bombs. All of a sudden, the pile exploded and caught other piles. The blasts were so loud that they were heard in many towns of the province. The explosions were so hard and deafening that many houses of the barrio were ruined to pieces. Many barrio people were homeless for weeks. The schoolhouse just near the blasting place suffered a great destruction. Good enough that the first blast was quite not very loud that school children, teachers and people in their homes could get out of the buildings. After two or three minutes, the second blast was heard and it was so loud that it almost destroyed nearly all houses of the people of the barrio. A few of the laborers were able to flee. Many of the dead bodies were thrown away to pieces to the different directions. Two of them were covered with soil and died thereunder. Two of the victims were Elpido Baral and

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Andres Abreu of Cupang.

After a month, the company which took charge of the work in the disposal of the bombs gave money to the homeless for the rebuilding of their houses.

9. (a) Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars, especially in 1896-1900 and 1941-1945.

Destruction of lives and institutions have been mentioned in preceding paragraphs.

Part Two: Folkways

10. Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life; birth, baptism, courtship, etc.

Birth: After giving birth, the mother takes her first bath only after the 6th month. She is covered around with a mat and the smoke from a fire with different leaves used in boiling the water that she used first in her bath is driven to her inside the mat.

The newly born baby after giving a bath is wrapped tightly with cloth. What is very bad in wrapping the baby is the tight tie of knees and the feet.

A hen is dressed and cooked for the newly delivered mother.



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Baptism – After the baptismal ceremony in the church and there are two or more babies also baptized, the godparent of the baby should try his best to come out first of the church with the baby.

The godparent gives a baptismal gift either money or material thing he wishes.

The first diners on the table are the godparent and those who went to town for the ceremony.

Courtship – A suitor sits on the floor, foot crossed over the other. To sit on the bench with the feet dangling to the floor is a sign of disrespect.

Suitors sit in the order they come to the house. The first to come should be seated at the farthest end of the bench, the second should sit next to the first, and the third next to the second and so on.

Suitors bring water at night to the house of the girl.

A hat is passed around among the suitors and into it, everyone must drop a pack of cigarettes. The hat, when full of cigarettes is given to the girl.

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Marriage – After the ceremony and everyone in the celebration has eaten, the newly-weds will sit in opposite directions of a table with the sponsors and have “sabugan.” All relatives of the two parties will give their usual gifts of money. The relatives of the girl will put their money on the plate of the man and the man’s to the plate of the girl.

After the “sabugan,” the girl goes to the house of the man with the relatives of the man. The groom is left at the house of the bride till the next day.

When the new couple reaches the house of the girl from the church, they are offered sweets and showered with rice.

Death – The relatives and neighbors of the deceased come to the house of the dead and arrange a night vigil over the dead.

Relatives and friends will give money to the deceased’s family.

The 4th, 9th, 40th and yearly anniversary of the death are celebrated with sets of prayers and sometimes with food serving.

11. Myths, legends, beliefs, interpretations; origin of the world, land, mountains and caves, seas,

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lakes, rivers; plants, trees, animals; sun, moon, stars, eclipses, earthquakes, lightning and thunder, clouds, rain, wind, storms, changes of climate, other natural phenomena; first man and woman, birth of twins and more, sickness, witchcraft, magic, divination, etc.

Planting Rice – May 1st is the usual date of sowing. It is the best if this date falls on any day of the week except Tuesday, which is a sign or omen. Before a farmer begins to sow, he should have a nice haircut. This means to show that the rice fields will have few weeds which is a factor of good harvest. He should not sweep his surroundings because the rice stalks will be slender and thin with few grains in it which is a sign of poor harvest.

Rain – The sudden appearance of a rainbow in the east is a sign that is calling for rain from the west. If the rainbow is in the west, it is vice-versa. It is the signature of God for it will give grace and blessing to everyone.

Clouds – The appearance in the east of clouds in the shape of a crocodile or a handkerchief and it sails in opposite directions and other clouds pass through it, is a sign that there will be a flood and waves at sea will be large and big.

Thunder – If the first thunder coming from the east coincides with Thursday, it is a sign of blessing

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to the farmers, for it is a precedent to good harvest. If it comes from the west accompanied by a loud, roaring sound, it is an age of epidemic and economic depression. On the other hand, it is a blessing to farmers for their plants will never be disturbed by rodents and other plant enemies.

Change of the year – Before the birth of a new year, the sky is the mirror of things to happen in the next year. If there is a red spot in the sky, there will be fire in the place beneath it. If a black spot appears, it shows the coming of the rain. If the sky is very clear, the minds of the people on earth are also clear and they will not fight each other.

12. Popular songs; games and amusements.

Leron, Leron Beloved

Leron, leron, beloved
Up a tall papaya tree
He climbed with basket gay
That held his love for me.
The tiptop branch he touched,
It broke off with a “click”
A ba! What evil luck!
Please choose another quick.

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13. Puzzles and riddles –

a. A deep it, the edges are filled with blade. (mouth)
b. Here comes our sister, we both can’t see her. (wind)
c. I am carrying two but they carry me, too. (slippers)
d. Only less than a foot long, five get together to carry them along. (needle)
e. I carry it when I forget, when I remember I leave it. (amorsico)
f. What is that tree having twelve leaves only? (Year)
g. I open the window I saw a centavo. (sun or moon)
h. I go to the window I carry my radio. (mouth)
i. I make a flower first before I eat it. (banana)
j. When the Negro is coming all people are dying. (night)
k. What four letters will frighten a thief? (O I C U)
l. When the clock strikes thirteen, what time is it? (time to repair)
m. What on earth writes C D O? (the phases of the moon)
n. Brown inside, brown outside, three Negritoes live inside. (chico)
o. At one end, it is burning, on the other end it is drowning. (lighted cigarette)
p. A beautiful lady eating her body. (candle)
q. In the middle of the sea, there is a taxi. (yoke of the egg)
r. What question cannot be answered by Yes? (Are you asleep?)
s. When you see a lion in the forest, what time is it? (time to run)
t. It stands without feet, it cries without eyes (candle)
u. If you are in a T, you are E. (furniture)
v. If you are the sun and I take the place of you (U), what happens to the sun? (Sin)
w. Twelve soldiers, two commanders. (clock)
x. A piece of rattan can reach Bulacan. (telephone wire)
y. One, two, three, before I reach the sea. (husk, shell, meat, then the sea is the water in the coconut fruit.)
z. When you hold it, it is dead, when you throw

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14. Proverbs and Sayings:
a. Ang kahoy na likot buktot
Hutukin hanggang salambot
Kung lumaki ay tumayog
Mahirap na ang paghutok
b. Magpakataastaas man a ng lipad
sa ibaba rin ang lagpak
c. Ang maniwala sa sabi
Walang bait sa sarili.
d. Magsisi ma't huli
Wala nang mangyayari.
e. Walang masamang tutong
Sa taong nagugutom.
f. Kung talagang tubo
Matamis hanggang dulo.
g. Ang taong walang kibo
Nasa-loob ang kulo.
h. Ang magandang asal
Ay kaban ng yaman.
i. Matibay ang walis
Palibhasa'y nakabigkis.
j. Walang masamang pluma
Sa mabuting lumetra.
k. Aanhin mo pa ang damo
Kung patay na ang kabayo.
l. Nasa Diyos ang awa
Nasa tao ang gawa.
m. Malakas ang loob
Mahina ang tuhod.
n. Ang buhay ay parang gulong
Magulonga't makagulong.
o. Madali ang maging tao
Mahirap ang magpakatao.
p. Mayaman ka ma't marikit
Mabuti sa pananamit
Kung walang sariling bait
Walang halagang gahanip.
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q. Kahoy mang babad sa tubig
Sa apoy huwag ilalapit
Kapag nadarang ng init
Sapilitang magdirikit.
r. Ang bayaning masugatan
Nagiibayo ang tapang.
s. Kung sino ang masalita
Siyang kulang sa gawa.
t. Sa bula hinahanap
Sa bula nawawaldas.
u. Ang di marunong magbata [probably magbatak]
Walang hihinting ginhawa.
v. Huwag kang kasisiguro
Kurisma ma'y nabagyo.
w. Ang bahay mo ma'y bato
Kung ang tumitira'y kuwago
Mabuti pa'y isang kubo
Na ang nakatira'y tao.
x. Minamahal habang mayroon
Kung wala'y patapon-tapon.
y. Kung sino ang mahal
Siyang pinahihirapan.
z. Hindi tutuloy ang pare
Kundi sa kapuwa pare.
15. Methods of measuring time –

a. Cat’s eyes – The cat’s eye had been the mirror of telling the time in the olden days, especially during rainy days. The sun at the sky had been also their means of determining the time, but during rainy days when the sun is unseen, they made use of the cat’s eyes. If we closely examine the pupils of the cat’s eyes

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we can notice that they grow bigger and round as it reaches noontime. From the afternoon, the pupils become smaller again as it approaches the late afternoon. The size and roundness of the pupils of the cat’s eyes can roughly tell the time of day.

b. Birds’ Sounds – The hornbill gives a sound or call at a certain time of the day.

At night, another bird called the Cuckoo gives also its sound and a certain and definite time of the night.

c. Cocks’ Crow – The crowing of the cocks which usually starts at eleven o’clock and a continuous crowing for every interval time, which the people of the olden times know, tells the time of the night.

d. Man’s shadow – Related to the determining time through the use of the position of the sun is the length of the shadow a man casts. Farmers in the farm tell the time by this method.

Special Calendar – Our forefathers did not have calendars as we have today. Only what is clear to the oldest folks in the place is that as far as they understand, their fathers could determine

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only the season of the year. They just said it was rainy season, dry season. To tell further a short period of time of the year was, it was harvest season of rice, corn and other products raised in their farms. That season is also atis season, chico season, tamarind season, sinegwelas season, and so on.

16. Other folktales –

Why [the] Crow is Black and why Doves Feet are Red

Many hundreds [of] years ago, a section of the world was punished by God for the thousands and thousands of sins committed by living things in that part of the earth. A certain man by the name of Noah, upon knowing the death of all creatures were punished by God, didn’t waste his time and got his boat and carried with him all the birds to sail on the boundless sea. After a long time of their stay on the sea, Noah sent a crow to that punished land to see if they could return to the old place. The crow went. The bird stayed for a long time on is trip and did not return soon. When it came back to Noah, Noah asked why the bird was delayed. It told the truth and said he was delayed because when it reached the land, it was very hungry. It ate many

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dead persons scattered on the land. Noah then punished the crow by changing its former white feathers to black.

Next, Noah sent the dove for the same mission as the crow’s. The dove happened to step on the dead people lying around on the land. When the bird returned to Noah, he was given also punishment. From [that] time on, the bird [has] had red feet as punishment given it, because when it stepped on the dead people on the land, its feet were stained with blood.

Why Taal Volcano Erupted and Its Surroundings Became a Sea

Once upon a time, the present Taal Lake was a vast of land composing three towns. At the middle of the wide inhabited place was the high Taal Mountain. It was believed that [it[ did a very great mistake or sin. Men fell in love with men and women loved and lived with their sex as life partners. For what they did, God punished the whole population of the place. As a punishment, God made the mountain or volcano erupt and sank the three towns. Water came up, hence, we have now Lake Taal.

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Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Life of the Barrio Muzon 2nd, Alitagtag,” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.

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