January 2, 2018

Balanga, Ibaan, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Balanga in the Municipality of Ibaan, 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 OF BALANGA

PART ONE: HISTORY

1. Present official name of the barrio – Balanga

2. Popular name of the barrio – Pook

It is called Pook for the houses are grouped together in sections.

3. Date of establishment – 1832.

4. Original families – 79

5. List of tenientes from the earliest time to present:
Juan Comia Telesforo Semira
Anastacio Semira Egino Atienza
Patricio Semira Leoncio Semira
Lumbanio Semira Juan Villanueva
Juan Evangelista Anastacio de Castro
Cepriano Semira Santos de Castro
Andres Abaday
6. Story of old barrio or sitio within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct. – None

7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc. – None

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

During the early part of the Japanese Occupation, Balanga was once the seat of the Municipal Government. All Municipal Officials evacuated to this place and they had their office in one of the houses there.



9. The barrio was fortunate for there was no destruction whatsoever.

Party Two: Folkways

10. Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life:

Birth –

Whenever a woman is pregnant, they practice to throw their pillow and blanket at their feet as soon as they wake up.
When somebody delivers a child, people gather and spend the whole night. This is not done only for one or two nights.
When conceiving, one should refrain from looking at freak oddities.
When the mother takes her first bath, she places precious gems in the water used in bathing the baby.
A piece of paper or pencil is mixed with the “inunan” and [it] is said that the child will become intelligent.

Baptism –

After the child has been baptized, the one holding the child runs or walks fast in going out of the church.
When the party reaches home from the church, the child is given back to the mother by the godfather or godmother with [a] lighted candle.
It is also practiced that the first son or daughter of a couple is baptized first at home by experienced men.

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Courtship –

It is the practice of the parents to court for their son, or in other words, the parents are the ones who select the right man or woman whom they will marry.
In the olden days, the man had to be very courteous and respectful, or else you could not continue courting the girl you loved because the girl or the parents would dismiss you at once. They had to kneel on both knees every afternoon.
The man should serve the family for a certain period of time working in the house of the girl to see how patient you were, or to test your initiative or endurance.
In the olden days, conversation between the girl and a man was very seldom, and in the course of their conversation, the mother or father should always be near them.

Burial –

It is bad to sweep the floor when somebody has been buried recently. It has been the custom of the people in this barrio not to take a bath until the fourth day.

11. Superstitions

The Filipinos believed that when a hen cackled at night, an unmarried woman will give birth. When a young girl sings before a stove or fire, she will marry a widower. When a cat wipes its face with its paws, a visitor is coming to the house. When a comet appears in the sky, famine will come.

When a person dreams that one of his teeth falls [off], somebody in the family will die.

When a married woman eats twin bananas, she will give birth to twin children.

12. Popular song: Lulay

Game: Huego de Frenda

14. Proverbs –

A hero who is wounded becomes braver.
Plant and you will harvest.
Tardiness is impolite whether at school, at a party, in the church, in shows or elsewhere.

Take care of the pennies and the pesos will take care of themselves.

An act of kindness drives away sorrows.

Work, work and work are the keys to the door of success.

Money saved serves old age.

Signed: Higino Atienza

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

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