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January 2, 2018

Matala, Ibaan, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Matala 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.

[p. 1]

HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO (OF MATALA)

PART I HISTORY

1. Present official name of the barrio – Matala

2. Popular name of the barrio, present and past; derivation and meanings of these names:

Matala – Long before the arrival of the Spaniards, that rivulet which until now graces the place, used to be embodied with peculiar aquatic plants bearing white, star-like flowers which gave off a good, sweet scent. The view from a distance was, indeed, splendid when the flowers were in bloom. The brook looked like the sky sudded [studded?] with myriads of stars. The people named these flowers “tala-talaan.” Later, the barrio came to be called “Matala,” a word which means many stars, because of those star-like flowers.

3. Date of establishment – 1800

4. Original families – Llana, Caringal, Yabyabin, Patena, Lopez & Ilagan.

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

Antonino Yabyabin, Juan Yabyabin, Santiago Manalo, Jose Mercado, Santiago Hernandez, Felipe Magnaye, Marciano Yabyabin.

PART II FOLKWAYS

Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life:

Birth –
1. During the period of pregnancy, it is bad for the family to have the back porch built or repaired, for the mother will have to undergo difficult delivery.
2. A pregnant woman must not laugh at a funny thing.

Baptism –
After the child has been baptized by the priest, you must at once run outside the church so that the child will always be alert.

Marriage –
The parents will give some coins to the bride and groom before going to the church to be wed. The candles beside the bride and groom should be prevented from being put out because the first one to be blown out, when the ceremony is still going on, he or she will die first.

Death and burial –
When a relative or neighbor dies, one should not take a bath the same day for you will get ill and die also. If someone dies, the relatives wear black dresses until one year for the woman while for men, they put black ribbons on their breasts. When the dead is being carried downstairs, someone will throw water at the stairs.

Superstitious beliefs

1. See a pin, pick it up.
2. If you sing before breakfast, you will cry before supper.
3. If you drop a fork at the table, it means a woman will call on you.
4. If you pass a load of hay, don’t fail to make [a] wish.
5. If someone present you a pocket book, it should contain a coin.
6. Two people [missing word] the same thing at the same time should like [their] little fingers and make a wish.
7. Be glad if your right hand itches because it means you will receive some money.
8. If your nose itches, it means you are going to kiss a fool or have a fight.
9. If your ears itch, it means that someone is talking about you.
10. If a burning candle has its wick toward you, you will receive a letter.
11. If you are a girl and happen to fall from upstairs, you won’t marry that year.

[p. 2]

12. Sleeping in the moonlight will make you crazy.
13. If the fire burns noisily, it means that a visitor will come.
14. If you form the habit of singing in front of the stove while cooking, it means that you will marry a widower.
15. If someone dies in your neighborhood [missing word, probably “family”] or relatives do not take a bath because you will be ill soon.
16. If a woman is pregnant, do not stay or sit on the stairs because she will have a hard delivery.

MATILDE’S STARS

During the. Of the Spanish conquest in the Philippines, the "guardia civil" was a terror among the people. Once, he ordered a thing to be done, it should be done, otherwise a life was at stake. It was because of this cruelty that one of our barrios here got its name.

Long ago, a group of settlers settled in one of our villages just northeast of the present poblacion of Ibaan. It was said that a "guardia civil," the most curel among them, called for the head of the village and gave him orders to expel or kill the band of robbers headed by "Igat." he was given one month to do it and in case he failed to succeed, he would sacrifice his own head. The head man had no other way to escape and so he accepted the orders asked given.

Now, this old man had a beautiful daughter named Matilde, who was known to be the fairest among the barrio lasses. She knew the orders given to her father and day and night, she prayed for her father's success.

Days and weeks pass, yet the quest was still a failure. There were only three days left when Matilde felt that all her father's efforts to catch the outlaws were all in vain. Without telling anybody in the house, she dressed herself in a man's attire and in the stillness of the night, escape from home and try her luck. Unluckily for her, however, she was captured by the outlaws and put to death. When the bad man discovered that it was a beautiful maiden whom they have murdered, they left the barrio and returned no more.

Matilde's family learned of her flight, so all men in the barrio set forth and looked for her. It was not long before they saw her beautiful body severed from the head and then you that she met a heroic death in the hands of the outlaws. She died fighting for the sake of her father and for the barrio folks.

The "guardia civil" was so much distressed and resented what he had done. To do justice to the brave heroine, he ordered and honorable burial for her. He, at the same time, pardon the girl's father for the latter's failure to catch the robbers.

Not long after, the people of the burial we're astounded to see plants with sweet-scented little flowers sheet-like stars growing over Matilde's grave. Vinu beware the symbol of Matilde's unequaled love for her father. They knew that in spite of her death, her spirit continued to live forever and that those tiny flowers radiated the beauty of her soul. Then came the word "Matala" after those flowers which the natives called "talatalaan."

* *

[p. 3]



FILIPINO FOLK SONGS COMMON IN IBAAN

1. T A L I N H A G A

May isang bulaklak na ibig lumitaw
Sa balat ng lupa’y ibig paibabaw;
Nalalanta ito sa patak ng ulan
At nananariwa sa init ng araw.

Sa gayong kalamig, sa gayong kalamig
Ng sa hanging simoy;
Bunga’t sampung buko ay nangaluoy
At nangalalanta at nangalalanta
Ang sariwang dahon
Dahil sa pagsinta na di mo liningos.

2. PAALAM SA PAGKA DALAGA

Oh! Kinalawingin, ibo’y malapit na;
Pagpanaw sa kanyang tahanang hawla…
At ang nagkadiling minumutyang Ina
Ay uulilahin sa titig ng mata.

Kung mapalayo ka ay sino pa kaya
Ang pagsasakdalan nang hirap, dalita;
Kundi mamalagi sa linuha-luha
Ang abang Ina mong lipus ng dalita.

3. LARAWAN NG BUHAY

Oh! Larawan niyaring buhay, kailan pa ma’y di matitiwasay;
Dahil sa iyong ini-alay, lungko’t hirap ang tinaglay;
Ang damdaming niyaring puso ang sa dibdib ko ay tumino –
Ang pagsinta ko’y nasiphayo at pinabayaan mong lumayo
Masdan mo yaring kalagayan na pinalugami at pinahirapan;
Bakit di mo bigyan hanggan ang iyong tinalikuran.

MGA BUGTONG

1. Hindi man pasko, hindi man fiesta, laging nakaladlad ang bandila.

2. Isda ko sa Tuarabilio, nasa ilalim ang kaliskis. (sili)

3. Isang butil na palay, sikip sa boong bahay. (ilaw)

4. Isang panyong parisukat, kung buksan ay nakakausap. (sulat)

5. Tubig sa digan-digan, di mapatakan ng ulan. (niyog)

6. Takba ng hari, binuksan ko’y hindi magsauli. (itlog)

7. Isda ko sa kalaka, sapin-sapin ang taba. (saging)

8. Lupa ni Mang Juan kahit sino’y dumadaan. (lansangan)

9. Kabayo ko sa Paumbong, sa karagatan kung gumulong (alon)

10. Si kaibigan kong Bulilit, lagging sa puwit kung humalik. (silya)

MGA SALAWIKAIN

1. Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.
2. Ang tao mapagmalalo lumigaya man ay sawi.
3. Nasa tao ang gawa, nasa Diyos ang awa.
4. Ang maniwala sa sabi-sabi, walang bait sa sarili.
5. Ang masunurin sa magulang, lumalapit ang kayamanan.
6. Ang pawis ng kahirapan ay ugat ng kayamanan.
7. Ang pawis sa paggawa sa tao’y pataba.

[p. 4]

Matala. What a meaningful name. And quite suggestive of things beautiful in their brilliance, the twinkling stars. Local historians, seemingly sagely in their commitment have this to say about the origin of this choice name: long before the arrival of the Spaniards, that rivulet which until now graces the place, used to be embodied with the peculiar aquatic plants bearing white, star like flowers which give off a mild sweet scent. The view from a distance was indeed splendid when the flowers where in bloom. The brook looks like the sky sudded [studded?] with myriads of stars. The people called these flowers "tala-talaan." Later, the barium came to be called "Matala," a word which means many stars, because of those star like flowers.

Of the twenty-three barrios composing the municipality of Ibaan, Matala ranks first in historical significance. Why? According to records, prior to 1800 the early settlers made their first settlement, not in the site of the present poblacion but about four kilometers northeast of it. Basing on this description, the first settlement must be somewhere in the present site of the burial of Matala. Matala remained the home of the early settlers until 1817 when efforts were made to move the poblacion to the present site. So, the people of Matala can say with pride that theirs was once a town.

Matala is a sun-kissed spot of verdured [verdant?] plains. The inhabitants, which number about 338, our peaceful agriculturists. They are a God-fearing, law abiding group, united in their endeavors, living a democratic life, practicing the ideals of Christianity. Their abodes comprise a quiet village of 60 bamboo and nipa or cogon shacks which lie between the barrios of Pangao and San Agustin living both sides of the road leading to Rosario, a nearby town. Each house, though small, is a model in cleanliness, each inhabitant, of hospitality. Any casual visitor is greeted with a smile of welcome. Something to quench the thirst is served with such sincerity that a newcomer easily find himself at home in this pook. The water supply is artesian. The people of Matala can boast of five artesian wells in their pook. This is one reason why epidemics of intestinal diseases have never been heard of in this pook the last fifty years. The products of the farm are rice, sugarcane, corn, peanuts, and mangoes. The people lead a rural life. The man smoke, chew, and drink. Cock fighting for their recreation. Women usually spend their leisure time chatting with neighbors.

Much remains still undone in this pook. But Matala promises to march with the ever changing conditions of time. Who knows if sooner or later, she will lead all the rest!!!

*******

Signed: Antonino Yabyabin

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

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