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January 3, 2018

Malarutahan, Lian, Batangas: Historical Data

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

Part One: History

In the eastern part of the town of Lian lies a barrio by its official name, Malaruhatan. This barrio was at first a wilderness. The trees that grew in this place were mostly what the natives called “Malaruhat.” From the said tree, the barrio got its official name Malaruhatan.

The barrio of Malaruhatan was originally established in the year 1927. The first known family to have settled in that place was the Gonzales family. Since then and up to the present time, the population increased and it is believed that a few hundred inhabitants are now living peacefully in the area. The barrio folks raise different crops such as sugarcane, corn, rice, fruits and vegetables as their means of livelihood. There is now a grade one and two barrio school.

This barrio comprises five (5) sitios with their corresponding origin, namely: 1. Pajo – It lies in the western part of the barrio. It got its name from the big trees that grow there which are better known as “pajo” and where we get what we call “pahutan” mangoes. 2. Pader – A few miles from the barrio proper lies the sitio of Pader. It was named Pader due, perhaps, to the fact that the place has many high rocks above the plain which look like strong walls. The first settlers in this area were the Sobrado family. 3. Bagong Pook – Bagong Pook was one of the newest sitios to be founded. It was one time a meeting place of traveling merchants making their business in Balayan, Batangas. Finding the place to be a productive site with [a] healthful climate, a group of industrious inhabitants settled there and they named the place Bagong Pook. 4. Mahabang Parang – When the first settlers came to clear the land, they found a very vast space of meadows surrounded by thick forest. This vast meadow stretched long and wide which attracted the attention of the first settlers and for this reason, they named the place Mahabang Parang. 5. Hermosa – Hermosa means beautiful. It was named as such because of the beautiful scenery, added by a vast area of green and healthful pasture. Others attributed this name to the fact that [a] long time ago, there lived a very beautiful girl in the area. Whichever is right, [it] is safe to conclude that the place or sitio is worthy of its name.

Part Two: Folkways

TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS AND PRACTICES IN DOMESTIC AND SOCIAL LIFE

Marriage – Marriage is a very ancient practice. There are no people known today, no matter how primitive, and no peoples known in history or prehistory without some form of marriage. The term wedding itself is a carryover from ancient times. The practice of throwing rice is so common as to be almost universal in this barrio. According to their belief, the rice constitutes a symbol of fertility. It is also said that throwing rice is an expression of a wish that the new couple will have many children or it is an offering to the spirit with this end in view.

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The ring is worn on the fourth finger of the left hand with the belief that in early times, the right hand signified power and authority, while the left hand signified subjection and submission. They believe that the groom should not see the bride before the wedding ceremony.

Myths, Legends, Beliefs, Interpretations and Superstitions – The old stories are called myths, legends or fairy tales, depending somewhat on what they are about. Some of them are many hundreds of years old and have been carried from one place to another.

The Legend of the Colored Fishes.



Long ago, there was a prosperous barrio. The people had all they needed to make them happy. They were kind, loving and religious. Years went by and the people became rich. They had good homes and wore fine clothes. Then, there grew up among them a spirit of rivalry. Each family tried to live better and dress better than their neighbors. When people went to church, they went not so much to pray ask to show off their fine clothes and their beautiful jewels. Jealousy to the place of goodwill.

While the rest of the people spent their days in their foolish rivalries, there was one elderly couple who took no part in them. To them, it was shown in a dream one night that before long, the barrio would be destroyed by a flood, and they themselves would be saved if they climbed the high steep hill that was behind the church. They wear want to start climbing as soon as they heard the thunder and not to look back. The next morning, the old couple tried to tell their neighbors of the dream, but those who listened only laughed at them. Dark clouds filled the sky. A terrific storm swept down upon the barrio. In terror, they ran to the little house of the old couple. They wanted to ask where they could go to be safe from the frightful storm, but they could not find anyone to tell them. The storm raged on. The village was destroyed by the flood and the people were lost. The old couple had been in the church praying when the first clap of thunder was heard. Remembering the warning in their dream, they rose quickly and hurried up the hill.

Years after this, a beautiful lake appeared where the barrio once had stood. When fishermen pulled up their lines, they could catch fishes whose bodies wear striped with the same bright colors which the women used to have in their skirts and handkerchiefs. And strangest of all, the large heads of the fishes were fins which looked like earrings.

King Crab

One day, the king crab called the mosquito, "Why do you steam the firefly?" the mosquito did not answer, but flew straight toward the king and stung him on the forehead, and so he killed the mosquito. When the other mosquito heard of this death, they set out to find King Crab. The cicada, the king's guard, saw them coming and he beat a warning his wings. King Crab hurried into a hole in the ground. The other mosquito rushed around and began to hunt for him. Sometimes, they come buzzing

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near your ears. That is because they are still looking in every hole they see trying to find King Crab.

The Origin of Coconuts

One evening, during a big fiesta, a dance was held in a home of a very beautiful maiden's aunt. A young man from another province met the girl and fell in love with each other. Several months before this, the maiden's father and mother had chosen a man whom they wished to have her marry. On the day following the fiesta, the stranger came to the maiden’s home and ask to see her, but her mother would not let him enter the house. After this, her parents did all they could to prevent the young people from seeing each other.

It was not long after the fiesta that the rainy season began. The river which run past the town overflowed its banks, and the water came up into the yards around the maiden's home. One evening, the young woman was very sad. She stood at the window looking at the water. An eel swam slowly toward her and stopped near the window. “I am your lover and at your father's command, a magician changed me to an eel. If you still love me, take me out of the water and bury me in the garden.” The maiden wept and at last promised that she would. In a few days, a strange looking plant came up where the eel had been buried. It grew very fast and before long it had become a tall tree.

That was the first coconut tree. If you look at a coconut from which the husk has been taken, you can sometimes see what looks like the face of a man.

Resource Person: [Sgd.] Isidro Gonzales

POPULAR SONGS

1. Kundiman and awit.

GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS

Games, sports and amusements may not appeal very much to people who do physical work all day and to some others as well. They enjoy more quiet forms of recreation. Playing string band concerts is preferable and affords people a means of recreating that is more profitable and enjoyable. Music plays a very important part in their lives. Almost every person has a different idea of a good time. With most of them, to have a good time means in the long run work and pleasure combined. When they have work to do, they appreciate their pleasure more.

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

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