January 2, 2018

Talaibon, Ibaan, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Talaibon 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]

I. History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Talaibon

Part One: History

1. Present official name of the barrio – Talaibon

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

a. Present – Talaibon
b. Past – Talaibon
c. Derivation and meanings – Star and bird

3. Date of establishment – No data can be found

4. Original families – Mariano Maralit, Argente, Manalo

5. List of tenientes from the earliest time to date:
     Spanish Regime      American Regime
 1.  Mariano Maralit  1.  Juan Ramos
 2.  Domingo Maralit  2.  Julio Maralit
 3.  Prudencio Argente  3.  Leoncio Guerra
 4.  Julian Maralit  4.  Segundo Arellano
 5.  Francisco Maralit  5.  Tomas Ramos
 6.  Diego Maralit  6.  Julio Maralit
 7.  Narciso Manalo  7.  Justino Ona
 8.  Simeon Manalo  8.  Jose Tejada
 9.  Benito Guerra  9.  Lucio Revero
10. Paulino Tejada 10. Monico de Guzman
11. Pedro Tejada 11. Nicolas Yacon
12. Isidro Torino
Present – Clemente Torino

7. Story of old sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct –

N O N E

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

a. During the Spanish occupation – none
b. During the American occupation to World War II – none
c. During and after World War II – none

9. Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars, especially in 1896-1900 and 1941-1945:

N o n e

II. Part Two: Folkways

10. Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life, birth, baptism, courtship, marriage, death, burial, visits, festivals, punishments, etc.

[p. 2]

The birth of a first child is held with great significance. [The] Father feels it a great pride.

There is great preparation for the baptismal party. A ninong or ninang is taken from notable families.

A young lover serenades the lady. The lover gets help from the elders. The kin of the wooer ascends the stairs of the beloved’s home to make arrangements. The lover must begin to work in the lady’s home. Lavish ceremony and celebration for the wedding is prepared.

Candles are lighted for the benefit of the departed soul. The “Pasion” is read. There is coffee to be served. Four days from the day of death, a mass prayer in the house is said. In the case of well-to-do families, a big reception is given.

The barrio folks of this place attach great significance in celebration of their barrio festival. Dramas, music, merriment are done.

11. Myths, legends, beliefs, interpretations, superstitions:

The long wailing hoots of an owl in dark nights are an omen forbidding [foreboding] death or pestilence. The cackling of hens at twilight or in the evening signifies that an unmarried woman has committed earthly lust. A lizard crossing the way of anyone is an evil omen, and he who disregards this and proceeds is likely to meet an accident. At harvest time, when the bahaw, a kind of bird, utters [sings] its song, a rich harvest is to come. Witchcraft is processed [practiced] by lovers of the dismal and occult.

12. Popular songs, games and amusements:

The barrio being composed of average men, entertainment and songs are adopted from any prevailing modes in adjacent vicinities. In games, they are willing and enthusiastic observers.

NARRATIVE REPORT ON THE HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO OF TALAIBON



To the affectionately conscious, the word "Talaibon" will surely court romantic significance and observation. This compound Tagalog word is a highly important component in the lexicography of courtship, without which, the metaphoric flow of romantic thought will find itself in the dilemma of romantic paralysis

Hence, without a definite understanding of how bud bloomed never to fade consequentially s an egg hatched into avian delight not to wander aimlessly into a wild, distant flight, but to stay beside the former, perhaps into enmity, as a vigilant attendant to the queen of the floral kingdom, fate has sold destined them for each other in memorable veneration, sweet and inseparable, as unconsciously, the folks of long ago, already deep down in the unknown whirlpool of center is called their beloved abode "Talaibon," meaning star-bird/star and bird.

[For the next paragraph, the right side of the scanned page was torn, so only those words visible are transcribed.]

Nobody living ever recalls when the date
important was, this being the least significant
people of long ago to whom the word “when” was
of what they must cherish.

[p. 3]

It is of note, however, that with the long lapse of the years, although almost everything anent origin has been forgotten, a name in sacred veneration lingers, as if Mariano Maralit, the first known responsible gentleman in that secluded community, has just passed the previous day.

Obscurity allowed, in its rule of [word not readable] confusion, a gleam of light to streak into its history and make [next two lines not readable] Domingo Maralit, Prudencio Argente, Julian Maralit, stand as guardians of the place during the hectic days of Spanish conquest and colonialism.

Castilian sword and flag having been ended in the Battle of Manila Bay and the great eagle’s shadow of democracy having overshadowed the Pearl of the Orient Seas lightening into the present within the banner of freedom waving proudly in the four breezes, the trend of time holds in legacy the following brave, simple man the prow of state of the place now known as Talaibon, Juan Ramos, Julio Maralit, Leoncio Guerra, Segundo Arellano, Tomas Ramos, Julio Maralit, Justo Ona, Jose Tejada, Lucio Revero, Monico de Guzman, Nicolas Yacon, Isidro Torino, and presently, Clemente Torino. Some of these industrious, humble people, imbued with the faith and courage of Sikatuna and Lapu-lapu, found themselves in the thick of struggle for freedom when the Castilian ambition sought to permanently enslave these isles, and again took up arms when, misunderstanding over the pact of the Americans and General Aguinaldo having been beclouded with tactical maneuvers, the brave Pinoys again took arms against the foreign invaders. Without any big name coming from this place to lead in a national revolt, they did not lose foresight and courage nor love for liberty, for they joined patriotic groups whenever, wherever possible in the vicinities. Unfortunately, however, in the haste of civilization, these people who had only one interest, the service for fatherland had been neglected when the remunerations were given in grateful acknowledgment for the services of heroes and patriots of the land. Those who died parted with the consoling belief that they rendered their best for the fatherland, and those still living have but a prayer that freedom and prosperity be granted by the Almighty to the Filipino nation, how and forever.

Although the place stood in the center of armed conflicts, damage to life and property that could be recorded was negligible. Even during the vandalistic era of the sons of the Rising Sun, the inhabitants of this place, in coordination with other people of adjacent places, using their witty brains in preservation of life and property, craftily maneuvered to defeat the ambitious desires of Banzai-yellers with the least damage done.

It should not be construed, however, that the negligible damages done to them, as in many parts of the Islands, mean light and forgivable. But, to this sturdy group of inhabitants, complaints and clamoring for immediate relief is not a part of insistent modus operandi. They are God-fearing individuals, with sincere beliefs that He who is above will not make us suffer, and whatever He sends them, they humbly accept with bended knees. They remain ever grateful for whatever the Lord gives them, at the same time never failing in prayer, in supplication.

[p. 4]

Accomplishments toward rehabilitation is borne by the rough road constructed through this barrio to the boundary of the municipality of Ibaan and the city of Lipa. One hopes they entertain, however, is the permanent well-scheduled trips of the Batangas Transportation Company through the locality.

PART TWO: FOLKWAYS

As in any spot where people had been yoked into foreign subjugation, traditions, customs and practices are patterned after the contagious infection of exotic ways found suitably adoptable in the locality. This must not be construed, however, that the hereditary traits of their forebears have totally been abandoned. The unwritten code of humor [probably honor] of the Filipinos has been sewed into their flesh. The racial aspect of courtship, for instance, has been so well kept. To the present, the place of women is venerated in highest regards. To them, before a man triumphs in an amoral [the author probably meant pertaining to love or amor] combat, he must prove to the whole world that he must be worthy of his aspirations. The satisfaction of the heart must be proved by a sense of security in the future, where the woman, as the queen of the home, will not be wanting in love and affection as well as simple securities of the home.

The young lover must turn minstrel in his first pleading for love. So that when the strains of a guitar and a trembling voice is heard warbling in the midst of a dark night, those who hear them know that another future home is in the making. Thereafter, the parents have their hands. The shy Romeo, without having any chance yet of supplicating his ardent desire, benefits by aid of his elders. And here is where wine, the drink of friendship and the traditional bottle leaves and not for amity are offered. Like a miniature delegation, the kin of the wooer politically ascends the stairs of the beloved’s home, and deep through the still night, words of tender persuasion and assurances are whispered by the young Romeo’s representatives, usually his father, mother and the most influential man or woman in the locality. Without knowing so much of what could be the outcome if the young folks would be left to their own, after succumbing to the enticing entreaties of the intruders, arrangements will be made in such a way that only the true, ardent and sincere lover could stand the test. Scheduled on a definite day for service to the family of the wooed, the young lover begins his crucial task, when God knowing when the termination would end. Without having the least knowledge of victory or failure, the young lover enters into the initial stage of courtship. He hardly finds a chance to air his affection, he being obscured most of the time to the difficult job appended to his station. Months, and sometimes years, pass before the coveted laurel is placed over his head, with pompous, lavish ceremony and celebration within the breast of their capabilities, in the event of a well-earned victory.

There are cases, however, where coaxing, pleadings and threats of the parents of the woman intermingled, finds futility when the woman’s heart finds it otherwise. In this case, the vanquished lover, deep stabs in his heart, admits defeat without contest or remonstrance.

[p. 5]

The birth of a first child is held with great significance. The newly-crowned father feels it is a great pride, having been granted in his early years a successor to his fortune (forgetting that oftentimes, such a legacy entails with it the ordinary poverty and hardships) while the young mother sibilantly [jubilantly?] finds joy in holding the screaming infant, the true-worthy symbol of their sincere manifestation of love. And so the great preparation for the most magnificent day in the life of the innocent infant gets underway. The proud father works unceasingly while the mother practices so much economy so that in the day of baptism, the coming of a new Christian is pealed throughout the world by merry bells in the church belfry. A ninong or ninang (sponsor), as the case may be, is taken from notable families or from close friends and relatives, who is believed to share in the love for the infant. The merrymaking boasts of good eats, fine drinks and a day-long merrymaking.

As this advent to the world of a newcomer is celebrated, so is observed with due respect and propitious ceremony the departure of anyone summoned to the “great beyond.” Candles are lighted for the benefit of the departed soul, the “pasion" of [the] life of Christ from birth to mortality is read by the pious in a queer mode of incantation as an all-night vigil over the remains is kept. Nobody throughout the course talks ordinarily in tones loud, but most of the time filtered whispers are used in expressions, in respect to the departed. This is where coffee, a famous brew of the place, takes into the limelight. The all-night vigil is kept lively by this favorite drink, to prevent anyone from dosing.

For days from the day of death, a mass prayer in the house of the departed is said, as well as on the ninth day. In the case of well-to-do families, a big reception for the pious, with all the garnished tables, is given. The celebration is climaxed with a well-prepared occasion for prayer and eats at the first anniversary of death when the black veil of mourning is dropped, and once again the kin is allowed to wear clothes of any hue.

The barrio folks of this place attach great significance in celebration of their barrio festival, as other people in most parts of the Philippines do. Dramas, music, merriment and reunions are done on this particular day.

Crimes and punishments are considered in accordance with the law. They are law-abiding citizens, and for any breach committed, the teniente del barrio does the preliminary investigation, after which, depending upon the outcome of such investigation, the town authorities are notified and allowed to do whatever is compatible within the premises.

People living in rural areas are rich in myths and legends, without which the barrio life would be dull and gloomy. So much attention is attached to the flight of birds, gushes of winds, peculiar placements of moon and stars, and a thousand other things which make practically any community in the Philippines rich in folklore. The long wailing hoots of the owl on dark nights when silence creeps over the place is an omen, foreboding death, pestilence. The cackling of hens at twilight or in the evening signifies that an unmarried woman has committed earthly lust. A lizard crossing the way of anyone is an evil omen, and he who disregards this and proceeds is most likely to meet with an accident.

At harvest time, when the “bahaw,” a kind of bird, utters its long, eerie song, a rich harvest is sure to come.

[p. 6]

At night, when the wind is cold throughout, children are told to keep silent and sleep well for the cold signifies that the “tigbalang” has given birth. Witchcraft is professed by lovers of the dismal and occult. Many believe the magic performed for the unbelieving eyes are displayed with mystic craft, feats impossible for the ordinary man to do. There are those who relate that on several occasions, they have witnessed a man boasting to be fearless of blades, and proved that the sharpest available blade in the place lashed at his arm could not in any way make a single scratch. Sprains and fractures are primitively cured by these men, not with modern medical ways which they shun and are ignorant of, but with sheets of cigarette paper with hieroglyphic inscriptions, moistened by their saliva and affixed at the ailing spot with weird incantations. To their amazement, sprains and fractures are cured in a number of days according to the pronouncement of the quack doctor, most often in a period of one week, where medical science would require such long durations, months perhaps.

The barrio being composed of average men, entertainment is adopted from any prevailing mode in adjacent vicinities. In games, they are willing and enthusiastic observers.

Ask any native of the place as to how their name was called Talaibon and the following story will be related:

“Long ago, when the world was still young, the place was without [a] name. It teemed with romantic Romeos and shy, lovely lasses. Many a coveted beauty reigned in the nooks of this unnamed locality.

“The fame of the beauties of this place had spread far and wide that the young dreamers aspiring to own a woman that could be the pride of a home paid homage to the unnamed place. Time came when it was deemed by these young aspirants to call it something tangible, specific and adoptable to the place without doing injury or insult to this venerated abode of blooming beauties.

“At that time, the fields, hardly tilled because of wild trees and plants bearing fruits abounded in star-like flowers, like a wavy sea flickering turning into white foam at the kiss of a slight breeze. When the flowers called tala-talaan, meaning miniature stars, appear in the meadows as if by the stroke of magic, beautiful, swift birds of multi-colored hue would be seen darting across the skies and playfully flutter in the midst, alighting occasionally underneath the blossoms as if in a holy divination of their enchanting beauty. All day long, the birds do not seem to tire as they playfully dart from flower to flower, as if displaying their gorgeous hues to enchant these reigning queens so they may accept them in that kingdom as ardent adorers. This did not escape the romantic notions of these venturers, and so, in the course of time, whenever speaking of the adored place, they moved in romantic pattern the words “tala” and “ibon” and employed “talaibon” in reference to the place where they believed once [they] found the shining sun of their hope, the light of day would never set. From that day to the present, and perhaps into naught, the place will forever be TALAIBON.”

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

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