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January 2, 2018

Sinala, Bauan, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Sinala, Bauan, 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 SINALA

The barrio of Sinala which for several years had been so popular in its interest to educate the masses, is situated in a rugged and hilly place in the western part of the municipality of Bauan. No information could be secured from the oldest folks of the place as to the date it was established. This barrio, according to the oldest persons, got its name from a brook running in the eastern part of it. The earliest inhabitants got their drinking water from a brook. As there were no springs or any other source of clean water, the people were forced to get drinking water from the said brook, where the people customarily took their baths and washed their dirty clothes. Necessarily, the earliest inhabitants poured the water in a sieve before drinking it. Thus, the locality was named Sinala on account of the water they drank; even at present, the brook is called Sinala brook. Nowadays, the people no longer get their drinking water from the said brook, but from two artesian wells.

The barrio of Sinala was originally inhabited by several families which may be considered as the nucleus of the present generation. They were the ancestors of the present inhabitants. The most well-known were Cabesang Maximo Boongaling, Cabesang Barcelino Manalo, Cabesang Domingo Cruzat, Cabezang Peru Cruzat, Mr. Ignacio Valdez and Mr. Escalona. One will be surprised to find that most of the people possess the Escalona and the Cruzat family names. Next in number are the Valdez and the Dalangin families. It is worth mentioning that there are families here whose fathers and mothers have the same family names. Besides, there are other families, but their offspring are not as many as the two families of Escalona and Cruzat.

LIST OF BARRIO TENIENTES FROM THE EARLIEST TIME TO DATE

According to the information furnished by Mr. Pedro Contreras, the oldest man of the place at present, the persons enumerated below were the tenientes and cabezas from the earliest time to date.


During the Spanish Regime

1. Mr. Alipio Manalo
2. Mr. Narciso Ramos
3. Mr. Joaquin Siyangbigay


Cabesas

1. Mr. Maximo Boongaling
2. Mr. Cipriano Valdez
3. Mr. Peru Cruzat
4. Mr. Tomas Cruzat

[p. 2]

During the American Regime
 1.  Mr. Francisco Dimaunahan  9.  Mr. Jorge Siyangbigay
 2.  Mr. Barcelino Manalo 10. Mr. Timoteo Adame
 3.  Mr. Rosendo Brucal 11. Mr. Marcos Valdez
 4.  Mr. Ignacio Valdez 12. Mr. Ignacio Cruzat
 5.  Mr. Norberto Boongaling 13. Mr. Benito Escalona
 6.  Mr. Casimero Marasigan 14. Mr. Hilario Valdez
 7.  Mr. Narciso Escalona 15. Mr. Hipolito Escalona
 8.  Mr. Lucas de los Reyes 16. Mr. Isidro Cabral
During the liberation (Mayor Dr. Gregorio Arreglado)
 1.  Mr. Alejandro Aday 2.  Mr. Eugenio Dimaunahan
During the first term of Mayor Daite
 1.  Mr. Placido Escalona 2.  Mr. Pablo Makimot
During the Second Term of Mayor Daite
 1.  Mr. Placido Escalona 2.  Mr. Pablo Makimot
The man who possesses a dignified personality always leads the people. During the past and up to the present, the man of this type always comes out in any place. The barrio tenientes together with the cabesas with their guidance, tact and diplomacy made Sinala a peaceful place to live in. The barrio lieutenants could easily pacify troubles that occurred. No cases are brought to the Municipal Court except those which could not be settled in the barrio itself.

Among the good tenientes before the war were Mr. Rosendo Brucal and Mr. Norberto Boongaling. During their administration, the road to Sinala from the Poblacion which was formerly a trail was widened and always repaired every year. The “Kakipotan,” a passage to the Sinala brook, was widened during their time. During the incumbency of the late President Simeon Ilagan, Mr. Narciso Escalona and Mr. Lucas de los Reyes were appointed tenientes. It was through their untiring efforts that the Sinala Semi-Permanent School Building was constructed. During the second term of Mr. Simeon Ilagan, Mr. Jorge Siyangbigay and Mr. Timoteo Adame were appointed tenientes. During their administration, the permanent school building of Sinala which was burned was erected and a deep well was dug for a water supply.

During the first term of Atty. Godofredo Brual as Presidente (now Mayor), Mr. Ignacio Cruzat and Mr. Placido Escalona were appointed tenientes. Through the efforts and leadership of Councilor Santiago Atienza and with the help of two barrio tenientes, the two artesian wells were

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erected. In 1942, Mr. Placido Escalona and Mr. Ignacio Cruzat were appointed tenientes. This was during the time of Atty. Francisco Madlangbayan as Mayor. The two tenientes were successful in maintaining peace in the community, and successful in dealing with the brutal Japanese soldiers who always came here. On the first year of the liberation, Mayor Gregorio Arreglado appointed Mr. Alejandro Aday and Mr. Eugenio Dimaunahan as tenientes. The two tenientes were able to get building materials from the Surplus headquarters for the construction of a temporary school building which at present can be seen in the locality. After the first election of Mayor Daite, Mr. Placido Escalona and Mr. Pablo Makimot were appointed barrio lieutenants of this community. These two tenientes were able to secure money from Congressman Muñoz for the construction of a bridge across the Sinala brook. During the second term of Mayor Daite, the same barrio lieutenants assumed the position as barrio tenientes.

The leaders of this community as well as the people have [a] mutual understanding. Respect and hospitality are always present in such a way that peace and order could be witnessed in the locality.

Important Facts, Incidents or Events that
Took Place During the Spanish Regime,
American Occupation and During
World War II

a. During the Spanish Occupation

During the Spanish Occupation, the barrio was in peace except for some few cases when robbery of cows happened. During that time, there was scarcity of food for the people did not know very well the modern ways of agriculture. During the Spanish time, the children were taught in cartillas and katon.

Later, the Americans came. Sinala was a little bit disturbed due to [the] Macabebes. Beautiful girls hid from the Macabebe soldiers. A school building was built near the present barrio of Alagao which later on was transferred to Sinala. So, majority of the children received primary education.

During World War II, Sinala was a glorious place for the evacuees. Noble, rich and educated families evacuated to this place, because this barrio had two artesian wells. The evacuees stayed here for more than five months. During the Japanese regime, majority of the people in Sinala suffered a great deal of starvation. Rice harvest was always very poor and the people resorted to “balinghoy” as their staple food. The price of commodities rose higher and higher so that a

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certain family could hardly buy a ganta of salt. Worst of all, the barbarous Japanese soldiers often confiscated animals and food stuff such as chickens, pigs, cows and rice. A very lamentable incident happened during the confiscation when Mr. Melecio Caringal and his wife were hogtied in a ravine at the back of their house. They were pardoned by the brutal Japanese soldiers after torturing them.

Another critical incident that took place in this locality was when Japanese soldiers confiscated clothing. Mr. Silverio Alcantara suffered most in this barrio, because his clothes, stocked for sale, which amounted to ₱4,000.00 more or less, were confiscated. Upon the confiscation, Mr. Alcantara was suspected to be supporting the guerrillas. He was, however, not executed for he and his family were able to evacuate to Maricaban Island and Puerto Galera, Mindoro.

After three years, the American liberating forces came. The people of Sinala were very grateful for the early arrival of the liberating forces, for Sinala was scheduled to be burned and massacred, two days hence. There were no losses of lives in this place. Because of such happy incidents, a barrio fiesta was held on January 14, 1946 to thank God.

Traditions, Customs, and Practices in Domestic and Social Life

B I R T H

In this barrio, when the first baby is born, the mother eats all kinds of food she wants so she will not become pale. During the first two weeks after birth, every afternoon the mother straddles on a very hot stone beneath her body so she may not become pale. Four months after her birth, the mother does not take a bath with cool water. Three weeks after birth, the mother’s body is massaged by the midwife, one week in the morning and afternoon, one week only in the afternoon and for one week every other day.

B A P T I S M

Two days or more after birth, the baby is usually baptized at home by someone who knows for the reason that this place is far from the church or sometimes the parents are preparing for a grand baptismal party. When the baby is to be baptized, the mother lets him carry a small amount of money. After the priest has baptized the baby, usually the godmother or godfather rushes to the door of the church for they say that the baby becomes quick and lively. After reaching the house, the baby is carried directly to the stove so that he may know how to cook.

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COURTSHIP

The bachelor selects the day of the birth of the maid whom he courts as the day for him to call on her. Many bachelors do not call on the maid when he has eaten his supper. When the bachelor already wants to let his love be known by the parents of the lady, he usually brings water to her home or gives gifts to them even though his love is not yet accepted by the lady. If the parents like the bachelor to be their son-in-law, sometimes they persuade their daughter to marry the bachelor. There are parents who ask their daughter if she loves the boy. If the girl admits, then they would send for the parents of the boy and they talk of the marriage.



MARRIAGE

When the day of the marriage comes, the family and relatives of the man work together for the success of the wedding party. They bring all the foods they can afford for the celebration and all kitchen utensils needed. During the ceremony, when the priest puts the ring on their fingers, the couples usually try their best as quickly as possible to place one’s feet over the other. The old folks say that the one who can do it first will dominate over the other. When the couple reaches home, they are met with sweets by the hostess because the old folks say the couple will have always sweet pleasant feelings for each other. When all the visitors have eaten their breakfast or dinner, it is ended with the giving of gifts either in things or money to the couple. All the relatives and friends are assembled. After this, the bride prepares to go to the house of the bridegroom. She goes there will all the relatives of the bridegroom, bringing with them all the kitchen utensils they used in the wedding party. When the bride goes upstairs, the mother-in-law throws her some rice. The next day, the mother-in-law or sister-in-law and the bride go to the house of the girl to get some of her things.

DEATH

When someone dies, many relatives and friends spend the night with the bereaved. When the dead is being brought down the stairs, the windows are closed. When already gone, then the windows are opened. On the fourth day after death, the whole family takes their bath. For nine consecutive days, morning and afternoon prayers are offered for the repose of the souls in purgatory. On the ninth day, the bereaved makes some food preparation and the whole family, neighbors, and friends assemble in the house of the bereaved to pray. The very near relatives mourn the whole

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year wear black clothes. On the date of death after a year, they take off their black clothes.

FESTIVAL

The festival in this community has no fixed date and it is not yearly. In the month of May, there is the usual “Flores de Mayo.” The ladies and bachelors make a small chapel where they gather together to pray and sing hymns in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

POPULAR SONGS, GAMES AND AMUSMENTS

The songs sung by children, ladies, and men are the song hits. The men are the only ones who are interested in games, especially indoor baseball and “dama.” The amusement of ladies is to take a walk or visit friends on Sunday afternoons.

Puzzles and Riddles

Below are some of the puzzles and riddles common to the people in the locality.

1. May ulo ay walang tiyan
May leeg walang bay-awang. (prasko)

2. Bahay ng anluage
Iisa ang haligi (bahay ng kalapati)

3. Malalim kung bawasan
Mababaw kung dagdagan (tapayan)

4. Walang ngipin, walang panga
Mainit ang hiniga (baril na pinaputok)

5. Naligo ang kapitan
Hindi nabasa ang tiyan.

6. May puno, walang sanga
May dahon, walang bunga (sandok)

7. May kabayo akong payat
Pinalo kung patpat
Lumukso ng pitong gubat (alon)

8. Baboy ko sa kaingin
Tumataba’y walang kain (punso)

9. Takbo roon, takbo rito
Hindi nakaalis sa tayung ito (duyan)

10. Baka ko sa Maynila
Abot dito ang unga (kulog)

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PROVERBS AND SAYINGS

1. Marami ang matapang sa bilang ngunit ang buong loob ay iilan.

2. Kung ikaw ay ibinitin, mayroon kang titingalain.

3. Pag wala kang itinanim ay wala kang aanihin.

4. Hanggang maiksi ang kumot, magtiis kang mamaluktot;
Kung humaba na’t lumapad, saka na magunat-unat.

5. Ang maagang maghasik, maaga ring magliligpit.

6. Magtipon hanggang maaga, kung gumabi dumilim na’y ng hindi ngangapa-ngapa.

7. Ang arimuhuna’t adhika, dala hanggang sa tumanda.

8. Ang walang pago magtipon, walang hinayang magtapon.

9. Ang hipong makakatulog, ay natatangay ng agos.

10. Ang sa bula hinahanap, sa bula rin mawawala.

11. Ang taong mapagbulaan, ay hinlog na magnanakaw.

12. Pag ang punla mo ay hangin ay bagyo ang aanihin.

13. Sukdulan ka man ng sipag, daig ka rin ng maagap.

14. Yamang hinhita sa tubig, sa tubid din magbabalik.

15. Kung ano ang bukang bibig, siyang lamanin ng dibdib.

16. Ang di marunong magbata, walang hihinting ginhawa.

17. Kapag nakabukas ang kaban, natutukso kahit na banal.

Methods of Measuring Time

[A] Very long time ago, they did not have clocks to tell time, but they used the primitive ways of telling time.

When the birds were going to their nests and the chickens perched on the tree, they detected the time to be between five and six o’clock p.m. When it was already dark, they looked at the cross star and the Big Dipper for determining the time.

Still some old people tell time by the crowing of the cocks in the evening. The first crow is Puting Hapon, which means 11 to 12 o’clock or near midnight. The second crowing of the cock is at 4 o’clock in the morning.

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At daytime, the people used the sun for telling time. When it was rising, it was six o’clock a.m. and when it was setting, it was five to six o’clock p.m. These were not very reliable due to the different positions of the sun in the sky in the year.

They had special calendars for the different places. They could tell whether it was high tide or low tide by looking at the pupil of the eyes of the cat.

Acknowledgment

Thanks should be given to Mr. Pedro Contreras and Mr. Daniel Elida for giving the valuable information to us. Credit should be given to Mr. Alcantara and Miss Agbay for exerting untiring efforts in making this compilation.

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Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Life of Sinala” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.

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