January 2, 2018

San Celestino, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of San Celestino 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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Part I: History

1. San Celestino is the present official name of the barrio.

2. San Celestino is one of the barrios of Cuatro Santos as this part of Lipa comprises four barrios with names taken from four saints, namely – S. Benito, San Celestino, San Francisco and Sto. Toribio.

During the Spanish regime, a part of Cuatro Santos belonged to Tiaong, Quezon (formerly Tayabas). In those days, some men from Lipa decided to make arrangements with the people of Tiaong so that the portion that should belong to Lipa because of the mountain that separates Lipa from Tiaong might be given to Lipa. These men made negotiations with the Tiaong people, and after a long time of negotiation, the Lipa people were successful.

An agreement was made. They decided to meet at a certain place to be the political boundary line between Tiaong and Lipa. A day was set for the rendezvous and both parties started from their respective towns and the point of the meeting became the boundary line. They happened to meet in a brook in the Malarayat Mountain. The parties declared that the brook where they met became the official boundary line. Since that time up to date, that brook has been called the Bulahan Brook. A marker was set to show that the portion east of it was Tiaong and that portion west of it was Lipa.

Among these men who negotiated with Tiaong, four of them worked hard to carry on the setting of the political boundary line were named Francisco, Celestino, Toribio and Benito. To compensate these men for their entering effort, this portion of Lipa was called the Cuatro Santos Barrio taken as a whole.

For the sake of distinction, and to give credit where it was due, this portion of Lipa was divided into four separate barrios and each barrio was officially given a name of S. Benito, S. Celestino, S. Francisco and Sto. Toribio.

During the latter part of the Spanish regime and during the early part of the American occupation, the whole Cuatro Santos was called “Paligawan” because during those periods, the rich owners of most of the land here let loose their animals here for grazing.

S. Celestino has different sitios:
1. Castilla, because this sitio once belonged to the Aguilera family who happened to be descendants of the Spaniards.
2. Tubiganin, this sitio is level enough that it can be converted into [a] tubigan if water is only available.
3. Anahao, this sitio is called so because before, there were many anaho palm [trees] in the locality.
4. Bagon-pook, this sitio is newly-established by those people who have acquired land by purchasing from the rich owners on which lots there have been built to make a new community.

3. These barrios were established during the Spanish regime (No date could be secured).

4. In most of these barrios, the original families came from Taal and Alitagtag.

5. List of tenientes:
 1.  Manuel Lasat  5.  Gregorio Cuevas
 2.  Valentin Austria  6.  Miguel Lasat
 3.  Eleuterio Adaya  7.  Benito Lalamunan
 4.  Ciriaco Cornejo  8.  Bartolome Austria
6. None

7. None

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

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(a) During the Spanish regime, one of the actual Capitanes Municipal by the name of Galo Reyes required all the people to plant coffee from Arabia. The Lipeños got much wealth from the coffee which they produced in great quantities. This coffee product made Lipa well known in other countries, especially in Spain. Because of the enormous wealth, the Lipeños had received from coffee, Lipa was honored and called it Villa de Lipa.

During the latter part of the Spanish occupation, some boys and girls of this region went to Sapak to study under Mr. Sotero Pesa, the best teacher known in the region. He taught Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. For reading materials, religious books were used like the Cartilla, Caton, and Doctrina Cristiana.

Later, (other) teachers came here to teach like Mr. Jose Austria, Mr. Anastacio Ilagan and Mr. Dionisio Celo. These teachers taught Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

8-b. During the American occupation, new methods of instruction were introduced and now in many places, even in the remotest barrios like ours, school houses are found.

Nowadays, our young boys and girls, a great many of them received free primary education, and those who like to get still higher education can continue to study in schools they wish to attend for the purpose of furthering their education.

8-c. During World War II, many people suffered at the hands of the Japanese.

9-a. During the war in 1896-1900, the Americans burned to ashes the houses in the barrio. They kept the people inside the zone for more than a year. Because of the lack of health facilities in the crowded zone, cholera epidemics broke out and many lives were accounted for.

In 1941-1945, when the Japanese occupied the country through the defeat of the defending armies, many lives and properties were lost. During the raids of the Japanese in the latter part of the occupation, all persons caught were burned alive.

9-b. After liberation, aids from the American government were received by the people whose houses and other properties were burned and destroyed. Then, rehabilitation and reconstruction began.

When a child is born, the parents talk about the one who will be the godfather of the child. The father, after the proper person has been selected, will go to the house of the selected person. Upon arrival, the father will begin by saying that someone arrived in their home and that it is you who knows his name. As they talk further, the father will tell that he comes to tell his friend to be the godfather of the child that is just born to them. A day is set for the buhusan and the godfather will go to the house with some eats, drinks and smokes. All the people present will take part in whatever the godfather brings. Later on, the christening in the church is set. A bigger preparation is sometimes made ready for the celebration. People in the neighborhood come to take part in the celebration.

Courtship long ago was made by the parents of the boys to the parents of the girls. The boy could not talk to the girl, so a couple was married without talking to one another. That was [the] way old persons could not call the husband or the wife by the name. One would say the father of Juan or the mother of Jose.

Nowadays, as times changed, the young folks talk about love affairs before telling their parents for the arrangement of the marriage.

When a child is born, some branches of aroma, a thorny bush, are put under the door at the top of the stairs. People say that aroma will protect the young

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mother from someone who will come to pay a visit to her. Whether this is true or not, I do not know.

When a young mother-to-be begins to conceive, she is not allowed to eat twin bananas for fear that she may give birth to twins.

When a child is sick, the godfather or godmother should visit it.

When someone dies in a family, the house (floor) must not be swept for several days. The members of the family take a bath on the fourth day. They must not eat vegetables that climb like squash, patola, etc.

When a person dies and the remains are taken away for burial, a basin of water is thrown out of the door after the coffin has passed out of the door.

This is a true story about the Tigbalang

Once, a boy whose name was Paulino lived with his mother in S. Benito. He was about ten years old. One Sunday afternoon, Paulino was sent by the mother to fetch water from a spring in the river. It was about five o’clock and the spring was about 1½ kilometers from the house of the boy and his mother. Paulino must have to go because there was no water to be used for cooking.

When Paulino reached the spring, he began to fill his bombong with water. When he looked back, he saw his mother. The mother asked Paulino to go with her to catch some fish and to gather some crabs (katang). So, Paulino went with his mother. He was so much surprised because his mother could turn over big stones easily and even if they could find fish or crabs, they did not try to catch or take them along with them, because the mother told him that they would get them when they came back to go home.

They went on following the river northward. When it was already dark, Paulino asked his mother to go home but the mother would not like yet. When it was very dark already, Paulino found out that his mother was nowhere, so he became afraid of being left alone. He called for his mother and she did not answer. Then, he knew that the woman who was supposed to be his mother was not his real mother. He began to cry. He kept going up the river and found himself in the middle of a cogon field. He did not know what to do.

When it was already dark and late, the mother began to be troubled at home. She asked the men from the barrio to help her look for Paulino for she feared that Paulino must have been taken by the Tigbalang. The barrio men prepared torches and broken cans and went to the spring. The bombong was there but the boy was not. They began to beat the cans and make so much noise and shouted for Paulino. No answer.

As it was Sunday, the people who came from the town late could see the torches and hear the shouting, the beating of the cans, and the calls for Paulino. When these men were about to go down the river, they passed through the cogon field. They heard someone move among the cogon grass. The men stopped to see what it was. They noticed through the moonlight that it was a boy moving among the grass. They moved stealthily toward the boy and grabbed him by the hands and shouted the boy’s name, “Paulino.” It was Paulino. But he tried to run away from the men. The men held him fast and brought him home to his mother. When at home already, Paulino related what happened to him. His mother was very glad and thanked the men who brought Paulino back home and those men who helped her in the search for Paulino.

Since that time, Paulino was never sent to the spring for some water late in

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the afternoon. What happened to Paulino made the people of S. Benito believe about the Tigbalang.

NONO – A true story about the Nono.
Many people believe in the Nono. One day, a man went to Kalbong Creek to get water from a shallow surface well. In the whale, he saw a small white turtle only as large as a fifty centavo coin. He was attracted by the turtle so after filling his can with water, he caught the turtle and brought it home. When he left the well to go home, he did not feel anything at all, but when he reached home and showed the turtle to his wife and children, he became so ill that his fever was very high. He was frightened so he decided to take the turtle back into the well. To his great surprise, after putting the turtle into the water, his fever was gone and he felt well again. So, he said that his high fever was caused by the turtle.

When the new moon is seen by the people, they can foretell whether it is a rainy moon or not. When the moon is leaning at its side, people say it is going to be rainy, but when the new moon is up, people say it is not raining. This seems to be true.

When the stars and the moon are near each other, people say that it is high time for the boys to visit their girls for their love pleadings might [be] accepted.

People believe that tigbalang leaves in the balete tree. There was a man who cut a balete tree near his coffee and banana fields, because it gave much shade and the plants under it did not grow well. The man began to cut the tree with his ax. After several hours of cutting, the tree fell. As the tree begin to fall, there was a loud sound as if something very big flew from the falling tree.

After resting for a short time, he went home to eat. To his great surprise, he found his dog that [was] tied to a tree near the house hanging to the tree became sickly and died. He said that the tigbalang who lived in the tree became very angry and killed the dog.

People believed in Nono, Aswang, Ike and Tianak, Ghosts and Tigbalang.

During a thunderstorm, old folks do not allow their children to say “Lintik” or “Kulog.” For fear that they might be struck by lightning.

When it is raining heavily and all of a sudden there is in love thunder, people say the rain will stop. It is true.

People in our place can tell when the Amihan will begin to blow. Several days before the Amihan begins to blow, when the people hear a great noise or sound that comes from the Malarayat Mountain that lasts for a day or more, the people begin to say that the Amihan is soon coming. This does not fail. To be sure, the Amihan blows hard destroying banana plants and the green coffee berries. People say that [the] strong wind came from Sulsugin in the heart of the Malarayat Mountain.

People believe that the first man was created by God, while the first woman was a rib of the man taken by God and given life by blowing into it. (This is taken

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from the Pasion).

Some people believe that sickness is caused by some bad spirits like the nono, aswang, ike and tianak.

During the planting season in May or June, when it does not rain, the farmer cannot plant rice in the fields. In the barrio, there is a saint – S. Roque, the people there will take the S. Roque from one house to another for nine consecutive days or nights. On the way, groups of old persons pray the Holy Rosary while the group of the young boys and girls sing the dalet about S. Roque. Sometimes, before the end of the time, it rains. On the ninth day, the S. Roque is taken to the spring and was given a bath. In the brook, the young boys and girls splash water among themselves. People believe in this because rain comes after a day or two and so the farmer can begin to plant rice.

12. Popular songs; games and amusements,

1. Mag-intay intay ka
Bulaklak ng pako
Araw na sumikat
Na nakapapaso.

2. Ang isip ni Kasuyo
Ang mag-asawa’y di biro
Mamin baga kung isubo
Iluwa kung mapaso.

3. Sulong katawan ko’t
Huag kang magulat
Sa takin ng asong
Babagong namulat.

4. Ako po ay tabi’t
Ako ay pipitas
Ng balobaloking
Bunga ng kalamias
Ang pipitasin ko’y
Si Aling Petra pong
May tala sa palad.

5. Kundiman ng Dalaga
Sa mundo’y wala ng mahirap hanapin
Paris ng humanap ng kakasamahin
Kakasamahing ito’y paka-iisipin
At baka sakaling loob mo’y di sundin.

Tanang kaibiga’y kusang lilimutin
Dating kasuyuha’y pilit aalisin
Bawa’t mga kilos ay pag-iisipin
At baka masawi sa asawang giliw.

Araw mo’y natapos sa kadalagahan
At ikaw ay haharap sa katahimikan

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Tuloy lilisanin ang lahat ng layaw
Dahil sa asawang dapat panimbangan.

Games and Amusements:
Subli, pandango, kutang and rigodon.
In gatherings, the old folks used subli, pandango and kutang while the young folks had the rigodon. The harp was used to furnish music. In the subli and pandango, the kalatong was used.

13. Puzzles and riddles:
1. May sunog, may kilik, may tuhod pa sa puwit. (piña)
2. Ang ibabao ay ararohan, ang loob ay batohan. (cacao)
3. Nadala ng malimutan, ng maala-ala ay naiwan. (amorseco)

14. Proverbs and sayings:
1. Hanggang maikli ang kumot
Mag-aral kang mamaluktot.
2. Nagdalita ka nga niyog
Huag magpakatayog
Kung ang uang ang umok-ok
Mauubos pati ubod.
3. Ang taong lampas sa gulang
Di dapat pakitunguhan
Ang iyong pagparoonan
Ay tatanda ka rin naman.
4. Pag ang tao ay nasusuko
Tinatandaan ang pagtungo.
5. Maginoo man kung turan
At walang magandang asal
Kaparang tae ng bakal
Maginoo si Don lamang.
6. Wika at balong ihagis
Hindi na muling babalik.
7. Ang magandang asal
Ay kaban ng yaman.
8. Ang dalagang nagpopormal
Sa kanyang kalagayan
Hindi pagpapahamakan
Ninumang walang pitagan.
9. Ang pag-ibig sa kaaway
Siyang katapangang tunay.
10. Ang salitang matatamis
Sa puso’y nakaaakit.
Nagpapalubag ng galit.
11. Huag kang mangahas umibig
Sa hindi mo kakilatis
At kung datnan ka ng panganib
Ay hindi mo magagamit.
12. Kung maghasik ng maaga
Mag-aaning walang sala.

15. Methods of measuring time, special calendars.
1. When the flowers of the patola open, it is five o’clock.
2. When the flowers of the orasion open, it is six o’clock.
3. When the cocks crow at night, people can tell the time.
4. When the culiglig sings, it shows that it is already late in the afternoon.
5. People can tell the time by looking at the sun.

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

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