January 2, 2018

Cahilan, Lemery, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Cahilan in the Municipality of Lemery, 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

CAHILAN



MUNICIPALITY OF LEMERY

PROVINCE OF BATANGAS

[p. 1]

DIVISION OF BATANGAS
DISTRICT OF LEMERY
Cahilan School

HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO OF CAHILAN

PART ONE: HISTORY

Present Official Name of the Barrio

The barrio of Cahilan in Lemery, Batangas got its name from the name of a fruit tree. The said barrio is about ten kilometers from the poblacion. Its hills are planted to rice, corn, cassava, etc. which added to the beauty of the barrio.

Former Name or Names and their Meaning or Derivation

During the Spanish regime, the place was one of the barrios where the Spaniards lived. Some of the Spanish soldiers who went around the barrio happened to notice a tree that had so many fruits. They could not identify the tree. They called one of the men to identify the tree for them. The man told that that it was a cahil tree. So from that time on, the place was called “Cahilan,” meaning plenty of cahil trees bearing so many wonderful fruits.

Date of Establishment

The barrio of Cahilan was established in the year 1891.

Original Families

Many years ago, most of the lands located in this barrio were owned by some well-to-do families living in the poblacion of Lemery. But the largest area was owned by the family of Ciriaco Caguicla. Because the people of Cahilan were industrious and thrifty, after saving enough money, they were able to buy some parcels until nearly the whole area covered by the barrio were sold to the residents of Cahilan. At present, no more parcels of land in this barrio are owned by the people from the poblacion.

List of Tenientes from the Earliest Time to Date

The first one to become teniente of this barrio was Miguel Eguia. His administration lasted for two years. After that period, he resigned and the duty was turned over to Mr. Guardiano. This was followed by Mr. Jose Calapati, Bernardo Eguia and Esteban Vito. The last in this list is still the teniente at present.

Date on Historical Sites, Structures, Buildings, Old Ruins, Etc.

After the establishment of the barrio of Cahilan, people started to build houses for their permanent homes, but most of their houses built were mostly small huts.

In this barrio, most of the fields are planted to sugarcane. Planters erected a native sugar mill called “Tarapitse.” There is also a small church (tuklong) used for floral offerings during the month of May.

[p. 2]

Important Facts, Incidents or Events that Took Place

During the Spanish Occupation

Although the Spaniards killed many civilians in the province of Batangas, in Cahilan, only few were the victims because the Spaniards did not stay very long because of the scarcity of water. In spite of less casualties, yet the people could not stay peacefully in their homes. Many of them went hiding in the nearby hills because of the information that the Spaniards were doing atrocities and were trying to massacre the civilians throughout the Philippines.

During the American Occupation to World War II

When the Americans came, Batangas province was still under the control of the Spaniards. It did not last long and the Filipinos made a treaty with the Americans because of the best treatment the Filipinos received from their new conquerors.

PART II: FOLKWAYS

Traditions, Customs and Practices in Domestic and Social Life

Birth –

It has been the custom that the full responsibility in attending to deliveries was given to a midwife and a helper. The abilities and knowledge of the midwife and her helper were respected by everyone in this barrio because according to them, although the midwife did not obtain education in school, yet their experiences are sufficient guarantees for trust and confidence.

Baptism –

It has been the practice of most of them that a mother who gave birth will not take a bath for two weeks, and the baby will be baptized in accordance with the religious sect to which they belong. Because of the difficulty of transportation, the baby to be baptized will be wrapped with clothes and to be carried till the church. During the baptismal ceremony, the mother and other members of the family prepare food for their guests, following the traditional baptismal party.

Courtship –

Upon arrival of the suitors in front of the house of the lady they are courting, they right away take off their hats and go upstairs very politely. Upon entering the house, they will kneel down and say their respect to all the old folks, particularly to the parents of the lady. All suitors must do the work supposed to be done by the father of the lady. They must show that they are industrious and good workers.

Marriage –

In the olden days, no marriage could be performed without the mutual agreement of both parents of the lady and the young man. After the marriage ceremony, both bride

[p. 3]

and groom would rush toward the church’s door. According to the belief, the first one to reach the door would become dominant, and therefore all plans and proposals would be recognized and respected. The wedding dresses of the newly-wedded couple would be wrapped tightly together because they believed that by doing so, they would live always together and love well each other.

Burial –

During those days, a dead person was sometimes buried in any place in the barrio. It occurred that way because the people feared the Spanish soldiers. So, dead persons were buried without taking them to church in town. Before and after a dead person was buried, those who attended the burial offered their prayers.

Festivals –

All barrios like all towns are having a day set aside for the festival. All people in the barrio prepare good food for the visitors. This is one way of showing respect and honor to their patron and at the same time a sign of cooperation. Young men and women will form an association to undertake the staging of a dialog, and games such as “Huego de Anilyo,” ball games, etc.

Punishment –

Some forms of punishment they used to give to anyone who committed a crime were as follows: if the crime was murder, the punishment was death. For paying fines, they were flogged or sometimes tied around the neck and hanged at the top of a big tree. They were following the punishment given to Judas.

Myths, Legends, Beliefs, and Superstitions



When Taal Volcano erupted in 1911, the shock was so terrific that two big rocks in one of the ravines rolled down. The two said rocks were mysteriously placed in such a way that both ends were touching one another. From that time on, it was called Compacion Rocks.

When All Souls’ Day coincidentally occurred during full moon, their belief was that many plant destroyers would appear. If locusts would appear, they said [that] it was a sign of [a] good harvest.

History of the Barrio of Cahilan

Along the side of this barrio are mountains and hills where talahib and cogon grasses were growing abundantly. Deer and wild pigs were rampant as witnessed by some people. Few people were living in this place during those days because there were many outlaws living in the vicinity. Once they learned that a certain family was keeping even as much as fifty centavos, right away the outlaws would get that small amount.

History of the Spring

The first spring found in this barrio was a small pond for wild pigs and deer. This was found by a farmer. After seeing that the place would be a good resource of water supply, the farmer fixed the place. He dug a good canal

[p. 4]

and finally a better well. From that time, the place was called “The Big Well.” At present, the big well is the best water supplier for all the barrio people.

Popular Songs and Games and Amusements

Some of the popular songs, games and amusements are in the northern part of the town of Lemery. Which is not very far from the said municipality. This is a barrio not so big and not so pretty. But as to its richness, it is not behind. It is not so pitiful.

When you work and resort to planting of palay
Corn or papaya, mongo or tapilan
Surely, they will bear fruits because they are the plants
That will give good harvests to you some days to come.

Mother’s Lullaby

Oh dear my sleep baby sleep
To become sweeping or proud is disloyalty
To become humble and submissive is just the same.

Oh man, oh man, boating
Give a ride to the child
In Manila when you reach
Exchange him for a doll.

Lady, O lady with a parasol
Share the shade with this baby
And when you reach in Malabon
Exchange him for bagoong.

Your kerchief and mine
Put some knots at the end
After this Saturday
You are to be married.

Superstitions

1. When you are to lead the palay harvesters to your farm, you should not look nor talk to anybody until you are through with your first handful of harvest.

2. When a person is sick and very ill, he should be carried across the brook or river.

3. When a member of the family dies, no harvesting or cooking of vegetables will be done until nine days. Piling of plates after eating is also considered bad.

4. Those what are having amulate [amulets?], when attending mass, are careful not to be blessed by the priest.

5. A farmer while plowing the field and the cow pulling the plow lay down on the middle of the field, the more the farmer used to exert efforts in their work.

6. When a person who is addicted to cockfighting every Sunday happens to see a lizard crossing his path while on his way to the cockpit with his prized rooster, he will at once go back home because his belief is that his rooster is sure to be defeated.

Proverbs and Sayings

Young men and women attending parties such as baptismal, wedding, etc. on many occasions are forming

[p. 5]

groups to compose teams in giving and in answering proverbs. In many cases, individual mental ability is shown by answering or giving most of the proverbs. Some of them are as follows:

1. Which in the Philippines is called Kulas? (Kulasisi)
2. No trunk, no roots but bent due to the weight of its flowers. (Stars)
3. An internode of a bamboo, full of death. (Gun)
4. When I opened the book, the people died. (Mat)
5. When I stirred the porridge rice, the toasted meat ran away. (Boat)

Sayings

1. The humble and those possessing loyal hearts are the recipients of God’s grace.
2. A sublime sacredness is kindness.
3. Those that are not concerned with savings, have no pity in spending.
4. Those that are meddling with the affairs of others are just like holding the ears of a dog.
5. No burned part of boiled rice to any hungry dog.
6. Any person who would not recognize something supposed to be recognized will never have any luck although such luck is just around him.
7. Any person having done his part in rendering favors to others through committing bad acts, is considered to have done also good things.
8. Although late but admirable, it still can be considered worthy of giving.

Methods of Measuring Time

1. When [the] acacia tree closes its leaves, it is believed to be six o’clock in the afternoon.
2. The first crowing of the cock in the early part of the night, the time is eight o’clock. At the second crowing, it is believed to be midnight. When the “sabukot” birds begin to sing, the time is four o’clock in the morning and it is already dawn.
3. When tiny grasses open their leaves and the flowers begin to spread their petals, the time is about ten o’clock in the morning.
4. When the sun is over our head, the time is twelve o’clock in the morning. [noon]

Submitted by:

JULIANA VILLAVICENCIO
Barrio Committee Chairman

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

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