January 2, 2018

Rizal, Mabini, Pagolingin, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Rizal in the City of Lipa, 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 BARRIOS OF RIZAL, MABINI, AND PAGOLINGIN

PART I – HISTORY

PRESENT OFFICIAL NAME –

SUNGWAN AND MASIIT-NA-MATANDA KNOWN TODAY AS RIZAL

The consolidation of Sungwan and Masiit-na-Matanda as a barrio is now called Rizal in honor of the national hero. Long ago, Sungwan was a barrio that was separated from Masiit-na-Matanda. When representative Dimayuga was our delegate to the Philippine Congress, the said barrios were united together and now popularly known as Rizal.

About one hundred and fifty years ago, Sungwan, a barrio in the southern extremity of the City of Lipa, was founded. At the time, there were very few houses scattered here and there in places where there were no thick forests. The most [of the] wider clearing ranged from four to six houses. These houses belonged to one family who, after marrying, built their homes near their ancestors. Among those secluded families in the thick wilderness, there was one, PORO, as everyone even in the farthest neighborhood knew.

Ka Poro, as everybody addressed him as a title of respect on the “Kaduluhan” as a short official designation originating from the nature of his work as collector of tribute, had his and his son’s houses grouped on the eastern side of the stream. By that time, the place had no specific name, but Ka Poro’s Pook or sa mga Kaduluhan. Ka Poro, of course, was the most respected among the settlers of the region. Even peddlers and travelers felt confident and safe if by chance they were benighted and could have shelter for the night in his house.

This popularity of Ka Poro and the confidence accorded by many aroused the interest of these living far to move near him for reasons of security on [the] one hand and gay acquaintanceship on the other.

Prior to the grouping of houses, travelers on foot from Ibaan to Lipa and Bauan to Tiaong were often lost on the way due to many trails leading to different houses. They were oftentimes confused on which way to go. Not until the village of Ka Poro became bigger that the travelers had a permanent trail. These travelers, before reaching the village, had to cross a stream. On the bank of the stream was a big tree, shading a level ground of about eight square meters, overlooking a fall approximately ten meters deep. There, weary travelers, especially those who were not well acquainted with Ka Poro’s people, took their rest. Once rested, nobody could leave the place without sacrificing fifteen to thirty minutes of their time in watching the crystal bubbles of water caused by the falling stream and hearing the harmonious musical sounds of the falling waters. They even went very close to the edge of the ground and stooped as low as they could go back to look at the wall of the cave that was made wider and wider by the circling waters falling from above.

They then, when asked of the cause of their delay, would respond because of the “Sungwan.” Others, when asked where they passed, would say above the “Sungwan.” The word became very popular and for identifying the

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place to avoid a doubt to the inquirer, the word “Sungwan” was used. These people who had not known Ka Poro before he died, called the village “Sungwan.” Hcnce, the barrio of Sungwan, until recently, was combined with Masiit-na-Matanda, calling the two barrios together “RIZAL.”

Masiit-na-Matanda, as people called her, was founded much later than Sungwan. There were [a] few immigrants from Balayan who intermarried [with] the peddlers coming from Ibaan. They were to compose the population of the place. Living in those days in the said spot was quite difficult due to the robbers coming from the neighboring villages. The natives became very religious and close devotees of the Patron Saint. A season during the year, usually in summer, was spent celebrating the saint. During the celebration, pigs, chickens, and goats were killed. Relatives and neighbors of the one in charge of the affair were invited. A family who could not offer a feast in honor of a saint felt insecure. Their belief was that it was a solemn duty of everyone to celebrate a feast for the saint. A very interesting anecdote happened when a certain family was celebrating the saint. In the midst of the celebration, robbers decided to come and loot the place. But to their surprise, whatever train they took in entering, the place was fenced with thick siit (thorny branches of bamboo) that it was impossible to penetrate through. Hence, the barrio was called “Masiit-na-Matanda” since then. Not long afterwards, some of the natives left and made new settlements in a nearby barrio, called Masiit-na-Bata. It was during the time of Representative Dimayuga when Masiit-na-Matanda and Sungwan were changed to Rizal.

The families originated from the Medranos of Ibaan, the Leyneses of Balayan, de Guzmans, Rosaleses, etc. The offsprings of these families compose now the population.

Ka Poro, the most popular during his age; Clemente Leynes, an ardent follower of the Spaniard; the Saturnino de Guzman who was highly honored by the barrio due to his distinct leadership and donated a half hectare of land for school purposes; then succeeded by Ramon Leynes who also continued the liberal ideas which had been implemented by his predecessors. At present, our barrio lieutenant is Mr. Alfredo Ocampo.

During the Spanish Regime, the people were quite few. Little by little, they chopped big trees and widened their fields. They learned how to raise rice, corn, sugarcane, vegetables, fruit trees and root crops. A permanent road connecting this barrio with Mabini and then to the Poblacion was constructed. In this way, people found it easy to bring their products to the market. Peace officers at ease [?] and protected the place from robbers.

At the time of the Amerian Regime, much progress made by the people was noted. The population increased to more than ten times. All the lands were cultivated and planted to different kinds of plants. Communicable diseases were stopped and [a] complete primary school was established in both Rizal and Mabini.

After World War II, some changes took place. A complete elementary school was constructed [of] which Mr. Florencio P. Gonzales was the Head Teacher. His administration and supervision extended not only to Rizal

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Elementary School but also to Mabini and Pagolingin Schools. From voluntary contributions of the people and the pork barrel fund amounting to ₱5,000.00, we were able to put up two standard rooms, one Home Economics building, and one Industrial Arts building.

Regarding agriculture, farmers have introduced the scientific way of raising plants. It is done by applying artificial fertilizers to plants, thus giving a yield of about twice in production. Other men are engaged in basketry and sawali-making while the women sew dresses out of the remnants of cloths from the United States and weave mosquito nets.

During [the] liberation period, people busied themselves in the preparation of war damage claims. The money that they obtained was spent for making or repairing their houses. Those that were able to get big sums of money invested it to widening their farms.

About the year 1879, famine occurred in this barrio. The plants were severely damaged by locusts. To remedy the situation, the people gathered amorsiko. They picked the seeds from amorsiko weeds and pounded them in bamboo tubes. In that way, it was easy for them to separate the seeds from the husks. They cooked it for their food instead of rice. At other times, they gathered banana basements or wild root crops called paket which they ate instead of rice.

In the year 1903, dengue fever broke out that killed numerous people. Then, in 1913, a smallpox epidemic followed which was checked easily through vaccination and quarantine.

Because of the difficult means of transportation, and one of the farthest places in the City of Lipa, the ancestors were not able to get their education, besides, they could not afford to finance their studies. Until now, I regret to inform you that in this barrio, no one is qualified to become a teacher. All teachers in this school are from the poblacion or other barrios.

PART II – FOLKWAYS

BIRTH – When a woman gives birth, the husband and other aged members of the family do not sleep for four consecutive nights. They fear an omen may befall either to the mother or to the newborn child.

BAPTISM – When a child is going to be baptized, the sponsors accompany the child to church. The priest gives the child a name. In the home of the child, a feast is prepared. Pigs, chickens and goats are killed. A string band is hired. Ladies and gentlemen are invited. In many cases, a musical program is rendered. Sometimes, the celebration lasts for a whole day.

COURTSHIP – Courtship was done in a very strange way. Whenever a gentleman courted a lady, he had to show his love by getting water, preparing fuel, herding animals, sweeping the yard, etc. for the family. Every evening, he had to bend his knees and said “Good evening” to the parents of the lady. At times of pilgrimages to Taal, Bawan, and Rosario, the gentleman had to provide a horse with saddle to every member of the lady’s

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family who was going. Failure to do so was tantamount to the complete dismissal of the gentleman’s courtship. Upon arrival of the pilgrims, a feast consisting of porridge and bread was prepared. It lasted a day affair and, at night, a pandango was staged. At the time, [a] musical instrument was called calatong (a piece of wood hollowed at the center and at the mouth was a dried skin of [a] lizard). Gentlemen from other barrios could not visit the girl unless permitted by the gentleman. If such was visited, a mishap was going to happen. Such custom is fast disappearing on account of friendship which children obtained from schools.

MARRIAGE – In marrying, the parents and relatives of the gentleman went to the house of the courted lady. They took with them delicious and costly foods. In the house of the lady, a feast was served by the relatives of the gentleman. After luncheon, the parents and aged relatives of the lady and gentleman would plan the marriage of their children. Dowries (bigay-kaya), date of marriage, which should occur on [a] full moon, and the kind of wedding to be held were going to be discussed and agreed by both parties.

DEATH – When a member of the family died, the father or any elder of the family would notify his near or distant relatives about the death of a certain member of the family. Foods were prepared for the coming visitors and after luncheon, the deceased was going to be buried. From the date of death, fourth day, ninth day, fortieth day, and the anniversary celebrations were going to be held in honor of the deceased to that his soul or her soul could enter the portals of heaven. We inherited such practices and customs from the Spaniards.

FESTIVALS – In the celebration of fiestas, every home prepared sumptuous foods for the coming visitors. The people enjoyed palatable foods and, after luncheon, a sort of musical entertainment was exhibited. In connection with the celebration, horse-race rings were done. The beautiful girls of the barrio gave their rings and when obtained by a shooter, a prize was awarded to him by the owner of the ring. This activity sometimes lasted for three or four hours. A shooter who could get the most number of rings was rewarded a prize.

MYTHS, LEGENDS, BELIEFS, SUPERSTITIONS

During the Spanish regime, the natives were great worshippers of superstitious beliefs. At the eclipse of the moon, there was danger for a pregnant woman to give birth. When the position of the moon appeared to be level, a pregnant woman would find hardship in delivering a child; but when the position of the moon was unbalanced, the pregnant woman would easily give birth. At the time of pregnancy, the woman should not sew the ends of different pieces of clothing. This was done so that the child would be normal. If a traveler met a lizard across his way, he should postpone his trip, otherwise an omen would befall on him. But if he saw a snake across his way, it would be a sign of prosperity. [The] strange crying of chickens early in the evening or in the morning in the shelter would announce that something bad was happening to distant relatives of the owner of the chickens. During thunder and lightning season, it was the belief that lightning assumed the figure of a cat, climbed a tree, and when it bumped a tree, it exploded. When the dry season got longer,

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a procession was done along the road praying [to] God to give us rain. At daytime, they would take with them San Isidro to the brook and bathe him. Very soon, rain would fall according to their expectation. When a pregnant mother ate twin bananas, she would deliver twin babies, etc.

PUZZLES AND PROVERBS
RIDDLES

1. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
2. Strike the iron while it is hot.
3. When you are engaged to a heart of anyone, you will destroy everything, so as to please himself.
4. If, upon your arrival, you are met with a smile, you should be careful, for it would mean your secret enemy.
5. The fish is caught through the mouth.
6. There’s no large and hard stone to the constant fall of raindrops.
7. One today is worth two tomorrow.
8. A poor workman quarrels with his tools.
9. A soft answer lessens the wrath.
10. If you are angry, count ten; if you are very angry, count one hundred and add some more.
11. One grain of corn fills up the whole room.
12. At all times of the year, the trousers are folded as far as the knees.
13. I am brave against two or three, but coward against one.
14. It carries its house wherever it goes.
15. It goes to a place without moving.
16. It is a deep, deep well that is guarded with steel blades.
17. I have a pig in my kaingin, which grows fatter and fatter without eating.

N O T E : With regard to folkways, the people of Rizal, Mabini, and Pagolingin practiced the same activities for they are near to one another.

C A L A M I A S

In the way Calamias got her name was very funny indeed, if the rumor was true. A Spaniard was passing the place in the course of an inspection, [and] wanted to know the name of the place. Looking for a person from whom he would inquire for the name of the barrio, he saw a man who was busy gathering calamias. He asked the man the name of the place in the Spanish language, “Quien llama esta lugar?” The man responded “Calamias, Señor!” The Spaniard wrote the word and took for granted that it was the name of the place. Since that time, the sitio was called Calamias. Not much information can be gleaned from this place because the sitio is quite small and no old people could tell the previous history of the barrio.

P A G O L I Ñ G I N

About fifty years ago, this barrio was a wilderness. It was covered by thick forest. There were no people in this place before the

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Americans came. The place was a good hunting ground for deer, wild pigs, fowls, birds, etc. People from different places met in this place to hunt. As time went on, the hunters in different places were invited by the natural location of the place. The early settlers began to clear up the place little by little and planted different kinds of crops such as rice, corn, underground crops, etc. They started the manufacture of uling or charcoal, hence the people called this place PAGOLINGIN which was derived from the name uling.

PAGOLINGIN BATA is the only sitio within the jurisdiction of the barrio. Settlers of this place came from Pagolinging Matanda. So we can conclude that the barrio and the sitio were named by the early settlers of these places.

Pagolingin was founded soon after the Americans took possession of the Islands. The people were very industrious and thrifty. Later on, they scattered eastward, southward, northward and westward. Those who moved northward named the place where they settled Pagolinging Bata.

The original families of the place were as follows: Pasahol family, Manalo family, Laylo family, Atienza family, Lirag family, Catibog family, Perez family, Lupac family, etc.

The following were the tenientes from the earliest time to date:

1. Manuel Pasahol
2. Crisanto Manalo
3. Pedro Laylo
4. Lino Laylo
5. Lucas Laylo
6. Calixto Cipres
7. Angel Tinorio
8. Nicomedes Perez
9. Zoilo Atienza
10. Simon Lupac – Present Incumbent

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Credit for the gathering of data and the preparation of this manuscript is due to the following teachers of Rizal Elementary School Region:

1. Mr. Florencio P. Gonzales – Head Teacher
2. Mr. Pastor Perez – Teacher of Rizal Elem. School
3. Mr. Baldomero Lirag – Teacher, Pagolingin School

The cooperation of the old people of the barrios herein treated was also a great help in the preparation of the manuscript.



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Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Historicy and Cultural Life of the Barrios of Rizal, Mabini, and Pagolingin” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.

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