January 3, 2018

Bayorbor, Mataasnakahoy, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrios of Bayorbor in the Municipality of Mataasnakahoy, 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
BAYORBOR

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*         PART ONE: HISTORY         *
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1. Present Official Name of the Barrio

Bayorbor is the present official name of the barrio. It was the name given to it since its establishment.

2. Popular name of the barrio present and past, derivations and meanings of this names. Names of sitios included within the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio.

Since this barrio came to existence, the popular name given to it was Bayorbor. It has no derivation whatsoever. It was the whim of the old settlers to call it so.

As a barrio, it has three different sitios [known] as Mahabang Parang, Munting Sulok and Tangkaban. Tangkaban and Mahabang Parang are well-populated.

3. Date of Establishment

Bayorbor as an important barrio of the Municipality of Mataasnakahoy was established during the middle part of the 17th century by its early inhabitants.

4. Original Families

The original families of this barrio were the Landichos, the Ariolas and the de Ocampos. These families were the descendants of the Taaleños who settled along Taal Lake. To this day, they are still the leading families of the place.

5. List of Tenientes from the Earliest Time to Date

Bayorbor has a line of eight tenientes del barrio. They were all good leaders and no trouble of [a] grave nature occurred during their incumbencies. These tenientes were Santiago Landicho, Alejandro Landicho, Epifanio Landicho, Mariano de Ocampo, Benito Landicho, Felix Landicho, Jose Landicho and Wenceslao Landicho.

6. Story of Old Barrios or Sitios within the Jurisdiction that are Now Depopulated or Extinct

During the early settlement of Bayorbor, the people gathered themselves to live in the small yet fertile sitio of Munting Sulok. As time went on, a narrow road was constructed passing through the middle part of Bayorbor. The people then in Munting Sulok left their hilly places and moved to places along this road. Munting Sulok since the construction of the road became depopulated.

7. Data on Historical Sites

No data on historical events is worthy of being mentioned.

8. Important facts, incidents that took place

a. During the Spanish Occupation –

During the Spanish occupation, some insurgents, to escape the Spanish tyranny and punishments, took refuge in some of the thick forests and deep caves along the river banks in Taghaban, a sitio of Bayorbor.

[p. 2]

9. Destruction of Lives and Properties During World War II

During the Japanese incumbency, the town of Mataasnakahoy was occupied by Japanese soldiers. These soldiers roamed around and reached even remote barrios for food. They had frequent visits to Bayorbor, this place being about two kilometers from the town.

When the heat of the fight grew intense, the Japanese employed men to work for them. On December 5, 1944, they began to massacre all men they could take hold of. Several men from Bayorbor were victims of such horrible acts and foremost of them were the Lobrin brothers who were hit by the parachute bombs on their way home from their barrio hut; and the barrio lieutenant Mr. Benito Landicho.

People were greatly terrified by the Japanese raids and all crossed the lake and fled to the base of Taal Volcano for safety, leaving all their houses, animals, plants and all other properties at the mercy of the merciless Japs. The soldiers got the animals they could catch and slaughtered them for food. They burned houses and cut out straight woody plants such as our valuable lanzones trees, coffee and coconut trees, and used them in making their air raid shelters.

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*        PART TWO: FOLKWAYS        *
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1. TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS AND PRACTICES IN DOMESTIC AND SOCIAL LIFE

A. Baptism – It has been the custom of the people of this place to have the newborn child baptized in bed by the grandparents or by the oldest folk in the place a day or two after birth. They usually celebrate this with eats and drinks. Then afterwards, they have a real baptism done in the church with [a] better and bigger celebration.

B. Courtship and Marriage – In the early days, courtship was not known to men and women. Oftentimes, children were married to one another without [their] knowledge and consent. They were only informed that they were to be married. Their parents made the courtship and the arrangements for marriage.

At present, this practice seldom happens even in low families of the barrio.

C. Death and Burial – When a person dies, it is the common practice of the people to entertain and serve all those who come to sympathize with them and join the interment. The poor, especially, used to put a plate near the dead for the people to give alms. They call this “pakandila.” All the members and near relatives of the family stay together for at least four days after the death of the patient. The fourth day is celebrated with prayers and eats for those who pray for the deceased.

2. MYTHS, LEGENDS, BELIEFS, SUPERSTITIONS, ETC.

A. Legend

THE LEGEND OF THE SOUR TAMARIND

[A] Long, long time ago, [the] tamarind was sweet. Ladies and gentlemen flocked under the tree to enjoy eating the sweet fruit.

One [day], a young couple happened to think of the sweet fruit. The woman desired to taste at once a fruit and her mouth watered so much. The couple went out together to look for a tree bearing fruit. They saw one and the man climbed it [and] gathered some fruit. The woman ate and ate the sweet fruit. To the people’s surprise, the same tree bore sour fruit the next bearing season. They attributed the sourness of the fruit as a result of the great desire to eat it by the conceiving woman.



[p. 3]

THE ORIGIN OF THE CORN

In the old days, there was a queen named Ma-iz. She was very beautiful, with golden hair. She had many suitors, but she turned them down, telling them that she was going to spend her life serving the people. The people were eager to know as to who will be the heir to the throne.

Not long afterwards, there came a young man with a bottle of water of goodwill and a few drops of it would make any old folk young and immortal.

After several years, the queen the same man bent with age. The queen was surprised and asked him why he did not make use of his water of goodwill. The man’s answer moved the queen so much that she drank from the bottle of goodwill and [all] of a sudden, she grew older and older and died of old age. The people buried her and a few months after, a plant with [an] ear of corn with golden hair grew on her grave. The people called it the “Maiz.”

B. Beliefs and Superstitions

THE “IKE”

[A] Long, long time ago, the world was believed to be ruled by malignant spirits of darkness. They loved darkness and avoided the sunlight. They lived in the forests, in the mountains and caves. When the night came, they roamed inflicting suffering or doing harm to the people.

One of these children of darkness was called the “Ike.” It was a wicked creature, half-man and half-bird. It could change itself from [a] human being during the daytime to a bird during the night. It rested and slept during the day and flew out into the night to look for houses where there were sick persons. People did not notice him look like a night bird. It alighted on the roof of a house of a patient hovering between life and death. Its thread-like tongue could be seen dangling from the roof to the sick body to get the digestive organs of the sick person. Thus, the patient felt the inflicting pain and soon died. All that could be heard was the flapping of wings and the squeaking sounds of the “Ike.” “Ike” as the bird flew away.

To overcome them, garlic used to be pounded and scattered over the roof and a lamp had to be hung under the house of a sick person.

Superstitions

1. Nobody should leave the house when the rest of the family is still eating to avoid accidents on the way.
2. When the cat washes its face, visitors are coming.
3. When the chirping of crickets are made inside the house, visitors or good luck are coming to the owner of the house.

3. POPULAR SONGS, GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS

A. Popular songs –

Kutang and the kundimans are the popular songs that are often sung by the people of Bayorbor.

B. Games and Amusements –

The Patahan, the Huego de Prenda, sungka, and card games are some of the games that are played in the barrio and for other amusements, they are cockfighting, bingo and ballgames.

[p. 4]

4. PROVERBS AND SAYINGS

a. One who does not look back [page torn] never reaches [page torn]
b. The road to failure is easy to pass [page torn] way to success is narrow and hard.
c. If you have the feeling, distance does not count.
d. Modesty is an emblem of virtue.
e. Clean thoughts manifest themselves in clean deeds.
f. The open trunk will cause the holy man to sin.
g. Although you are wealthy and well-dressed, if you have no manners, you are not worth a grain.
h. Though you like him not, humiliate him not.
i. A soft answer turneth away wrath.
j. Speak modest words so that you will hear good sounds.
k. Politeness costs nothing and wins everything.
l. Praise to the face is pure mockery.
m. Let your failure be a stepping stone to your success.
n. Everything is possible to the strong in heart.
o. If you don’t trust in luck, you can never cross the sea; for a will that is strong is tested through hardship.
p. Difficulty is a stepping stone to success.
q. It is better to have something than to have nothing.
r. A person who is not contented with what God has given him oftentimes sees the dark side of life.
s. A choosy person chooses poorly in the end.
t. Rather be tranquil though poor than rich but in trouble.
u. If a man often washes his hands, it is a sign that he is dirty.
v. The true life of a man is not measured by its length but by its virtue.
w. Your appearance and actions speak of your manner and on conduct.
x. Learn to rise early and you shall live contentedly.

5. METHODS OF MEASURING TIME, SPECIAL CALENDAR

1. Position of the sun.
2. Position of the stars at night.
3. The crowing of the cocks at night.
4. The opening of the patola flowers in the afternoon.

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

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