January 1, 2018

Pansipit, Agoncillo, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Pansipit in the town of Agoncillo, 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.

[Cover page.]

COMPILATION

of

HISTORICAL DATA

for the

Barrio of Pansipit

Municipality of Agoncillo

Province of Batangas

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DIVISION OF BATANGAS
DISTRICT OF LEMERY
PANSIPIT SCHOOL

HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO

PART I: HISTORY

1. Present official name of the barrio:

As you look down and glance at the Pansipit River, you will notice a village by the other side of the river bank and that’s the barrio of Pansipit, endowed with [a] vast plantation of bananas, rice fields, tall trees both fruit bearing and made magnificent by the sparkling rays coming from Lake Taal. This is the river at the southern part and tall and slender bamboos planted along the northern part of the barrio.

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

Pansipit is a barrio in the town of Agoncillo, province of Batangas. There are no territorial jurisdictions or sitios that are within this place.

Long before the arrival of the Spaniards, this barrio had been established but the name could not be identified for no source was available. It was during the Spanish regime when this barrio was named Pansipit. During the year 1898, a revolution took place in the barrio between the Spaniards and Gen. Aguinaldo’s men. Lives and properties were destructed, houses were burned, animals and food confiscated by the Civil Guards. Many of Aguinaldo’s men died in that revolution but instead of continuing the bloodshed, the Spaniards retreated to the adjacent towns. Then, in the year 1899, the American soldiers came to the same place that caused the people to win their confidence. At first, the people thought that the Americans were just as hostile as the Spaniards but they found out later that they were justly treated by them.

The people of this barrio earned their livelihood by exerting their efforts honestly through farming and fishing. The people are educated and have [a] proper way of dressing. People speak two languages – Tagalog and English. The educated people are able to establish [a] school in their place. People raise the food they eat such as rice, corn and fruits besides vegetables and fish.

3. Date of establishment:

There was no fixed date for the establishment of the place for no records available could be found.

4. Original families:

Before, this place was only owned by a wealthy family of Rev. Father Godofredo Mariño. People of the place originated only from one family that spread out to different families. Settlers also from other places like Tanauan, Batangas came to work on the farm of the Mariños. These people earned more than they needed and saved some amount. Some of the people were able to buy a portion of farm land to work for. They have a higher standard of living now than before. At present, there are one hundred five families in the barrio.

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5. List of tenientes from the earliest time to date:

The tenientes del barrio are considered the leaders of the barrios as the datu was the leader of the barangay long ago. According to the data gathered, there were eleven tenientes del barrio from the Spanish time to the present. They are the following who succeeded one another:
a.  Julian de Leon f.  Fermin Cabrera
b.  Andres de Leon g.  Eliseo Endozo
c.  Pablo del Mundo h.  Leoncio Caringal
d.  Felix Bathan i.  Domingo Pesigan
e.  Pedro Calapatia j.  Felixberto Almannor
k.  Leoncio Tolentino
All of them are still living except Messrs. Andres de Leon and Julian de Leon. All of these leaders have exerted inspiring efforts to keep the barrio people live peacefully and united.

6. Story of the barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated and extinct:

This barrio is well inhabited by the settlers and no part was ever depopulated.

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

People of this barrio have lived peacefully before and at present although almost all of them live in nipa shacks. According to information, Chinese have settled in this barrio and it became a commercial place. There were stores and factories established here but no remnants were left except Chinese jars which are being dug by farmers working in the fields. At present, there is only the Chapel remaining situated at the heart of the barrio. Today, this Chapel is not only used as a place for worship but also as a school building for the school building had been destroyed by typhoon “Trix.”

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

a. During Spanish Occupation:

When our country was under Spanish sovereignty, the people of this place suffered hardships. They were asked to work by pulling heavy logs and bricks to be used for the construction of the Taal Church. They worked there the whole day each only earning a centavo a day. In spite of this hard labor, they could not insist but do the job. They were only relieved when Gen. Aguinaldo’s men came to save them from the rule of the Spanish tyranny. The Spaniards were driven away and the people lived peacefully until the American rule practically began a new life in our country.

b. During the American occupation to World War II.

The arrival of the Americans in this barrio had not encountered any difficulty for the people lacked arms. In spite of the Filipinos’ intense desire to be self-governing, they could not help but live under their administration and wait for a time when they would become independent.

c. During and after World War II

The people would have lived peacefully had there not been an outbreak of World War II which led the Japanese to control the Islands. Ever since the beginning of the Japanese rule, the soldiers were hostile. During the latter part of the Japanese rule, they had gone to

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the extent of killing inhabitants and burning houses. Luckily, no mishap ever happened in this place except a man named Ardiano Endozo who was killed by the Filipino-Japanese Constabulary. Inhabitants suffered tortures such as suffering under the heat of the sun, being thrown in deep water, and being guillotined. At last, the Philippines was liberated from the Japanese rule by the Americans. How happy the people were for they would again enjoy the freedom they had before enjoyed. People, young or old, were again back to school. Due to the efforts of the people, a two-room building was established where pupils from Grades I to IV were housed. Two teachers were employed where they worked cooperatively and happily.

Every year, the people of the barrio celebrate a fiesta in honor of their saint. The celebration is held under the auspices of the young and old folks of the barrio. There are parlor games, dances and stage shows.

PART II: FOLKWAYS

9. Traditions, customs, and practices in domestic and social life.

Birth:

It has been the practice of the people that whenever an expectant mother gives birth, they call for a midwife, known as the “hilot.” This midwife uses [a] variety of herbs, leaves, and roots of trees as medicine. Chickens are killed and all those present dine together with the members of the family.

Baptism:

There is the same practice of baptizing a child long ago and at present. The child is christened in the church. After the child has been christened, a feast is prepared in the house of the parents of the child and guests are invited. The celebration lasts until late in the afternoon.

Courtship:

There is a great difference in courtship today than of long ago. During the olden days, courtship took place between the young man and the parents of the young woman. The young man usually helped the parents of the young woman, the latter being so understanding that an agreement was being settled by the parents of the young man and woman. When an agreement had been made, the young man was left in the house of the woman he was courting. In the evening, this young man knelt and kissed the hands of all the old folks present. The old usually chose the best day they thought for the wedding. They believed that Tuesday and Friday would not be good days.

Marriage:

Usually, after courtship, the couple-to-be are married in the church. Before marriage took place, a dowry is given to the parents of the young woman. Usually, these dowries are fine clothes, jewelries, money, etc. A feast is being prepared at the house of the bride to be which lasts for two or more days. When the celebration is through, gifts are given to the couple in the form of money. Then, at about two o’clock, the bride transfers herself or moves to the house of her husband and her husband is left behind to sleep in his in-laws [house] for four nights. The couple cannot go home after a lapse of four days. After the marriage ceremony, rice, money, etc. are being thrown to the cou-

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ple as a sign of wealth and prosperity in the future. Cakes are given to them and candles are tied together so that they will live happily forever.

Death:

It is but natural that every individual dies when the will of God comes.

In celebrating the death ceremony, relatives and close friends usually weep for the deceased. They offer him a thoughtful prayer until the eighth day. The mourning period lasts for a year. The last day of mourning is celebrated by preparing a feast for the relatives and friends who would come to share with the family of the deceased. After the celebration, the kin of the deceased visit the cemetery to offer him prayers, candles and wreaths of fresh flowers.

Burial:

When a member of the family dies, the remains of the deceased will be buried the following day with the relatives and close friends taking part in the burial. The body of the deceased is placed in a coffin which is carried to the cemetery by the hands of a group of men. Those who can afford have a nice ceremony whereas, among the poor, some of them are just wrapped in blankets or mats and buried in the graves. It’s [a] pity to see their kin weeping for their deceased. When the corpse is to be brought to the cemetery, usually the old folks throw water from the place where the corpse was taken downstairs. They sometimes take off a stick from the floor for a certain belief that no misfortune would occur in that family.

Festival:

The barrio folks celebrate a fiesta in memory or to honor their patron saint. A two-day festival takes place with different activities. Usually, distant friends and relatives come to take part in the celebration. They celebrate such festival in order to thank God for the blessings given to them.

Punishment:

During the Spanish regime, even a very simple act which might not be punishable was considered a very serious offense. They give punishments such as guillotine, flaggery [flagellation?], and the like. It was similar to that of the Japanese regime. Not like today, an offender is being tried in the court before punishment is given.

10. Myths, legends, beliefs, superstitions:

a. Myths of volcanoes, etc. – No source available.

b. Legend of Pansipit

It was during the construction of the Taal church when Civil Guards always came to this place to hire laborers to work. It was one day when a Civil Guard came across a group of fishermen who were catching crabs. The Spanish soldiers were inquiring for the name of the barrio. Those poor fishermen who could not understand what the soldiers were saying thought they were asking for the name of the legs of the crabs and readily answered, “Pan-si-pit.” And from that time on, the Spaniards named the barrio Pansipit and is still known up to the present.

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Beliefs in births of twins:

It has been believed that when an expectant mother delivers twins, she had been eating twin bananas when she was in the family way.

Superstitions:

a. When the bamboo shoot grows taller than the bamboo tree, there will be a good harvest.
b. When a cat washes the face in front of the door, a guest is coming.
c. When the fire laughs, an unexpected visitor will come.
d. When you meet a black cat on the stair or way, you are apt to encounter or meet misfortunes.
e. When New Year’s Eve is bright, the year will be in prosperity.
f. When you smell a lighted candle, a close relative is dead.
g. When thunder is heard before the rain, there would be no rain.
h. When you dream that a tooth falls off, a relative or a member of the family will die.

11. Popular songs, games, and amusements, etc.

People of long ago amused themselves by singing songs and playing games. Among them were Rigodon, Pandango, singing the Awit and Kurido, and playing the guitar and accordion. They were graceful dancers, too.

12. Riddles:

Their riddles were just the same as of today.

13. Proverbs and sayings:

They had the same proverbs and sayings as we do today.

14. Methods of measuring time and calendar.

They use the position of the stars and sun for telling the time at night and day which seems to be not very accurate. Some of them counted the days as a source of their calendar.

Not like at present when calendars are available, people find no difficulty in telling the months and days of the year.

Respectfully submitted:

(MRS.) GLORIA C. PANGANIBAN

(MISS) ANITA DEL MUNDO



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Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Compilation of Historical Data for the Barrio of Pansipit, Muncipality of Agoncillo, Province of Batangas,” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.

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