January 3, 2018

San Sebastian, Mataasnakahoy, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Nangkaan 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 SAN SEBASTIAN

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*        PART ONE: HISTORY        *
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[page torn] was once a sitio the name of which nobody could tell.
[page torn] a half century, it was named San Sebastian, because according to the information of the old folks, the image of Saint Sebastian was once found tied under one of the big trees here. Mahabang Parang is a sitio included within the jurisdiction of the barrio. This barrio was established way back in the year 1889.

[The] Manalo, Matibag and Velasquez families came to settle the place. The offspring of these families intermarried with each other so that after a few years, there was a noticeable increase in its population.

With the establishment of this barrio, Ciriaco Velasquez was appointed “teniente del barrio.” Little progress was made during his administration. A few years later, an active teniente del barrio named Francisco Manalo and two suplentes, Fidel Manalo and Quirino Manalo, were appointed. With their untiring efforts, a chapel or tuklong was made where “alay” or “Flores de Mayo” during the month of May was held.

During the Japanese occupation, the inhabitants of San Sebastian remained peaceful except during the latter part of the war when [the] atrocities of the Japanese soldiers were already incomparable. The barrio was then depopulated as they all evacuated to Taal Volcano.

Like some other places, San Sebastian was also affected by the cruelties of the un-Christian Japanese soldiers. Some persons were massacred by them and the productive plants of the place were destroyed by them. They used the plants in making their dugouts.

After liberation, when peace and order had already been destroyed, the people of San Sebastian went back to their peaceful homes.



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*      PART TWO: FOLKWAYS      *
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Superstitious beliefs are still very common in the barrio of San Sebastian. Among them are the following:

When a person dies, the family of the dead person is not allowed to cook fresh vegetables; the plates being used during the first nine days after the death of the person are not put or piled one over another, for according to them, if such will be done, a series of deaths will occur in the family.

Regarding births, the belief that if the cords of the children in a family are kept by the mother in one safe container, they will love each other dearly and they will not be living far apart from each other.

The barrio folks of San Sebastian have also inherited from their ancestors some knowledge of natural interpretations, [the] most common of which are the following:

1. When a hen cackles at 10 o’clock at night, a man and a woman will elope.
2. [The] appearance of [a] rainbow signifies rain.

[p. 2]

[Top of page torn.]

The popular songs of San Sebastian are verso, kutang, orihinal, lullabies, and awit.

They have also many games played during the spare time. They play supo, [blurred words] Tatching, sipa, dawit, and tanyakad.

The amusements are sungka, eskrima, juego de prenda, and arregulla.

The following riddles are very common among the people of San Sebastian:

 1.  Baboy ko sa kaingin,
      Mataba'y di nakain.

 1.  I have a pig in the caingin
      It becomes big without eating.

 2.  Saan man ako patungo,
      May dalang sariling radyo.

 2.  Wherever I go
      I have my own radio.

 3.  Nadadala pag nalilimutan
      Pag naalaala'y nalilimutan.

 3.  Carried when forgotten
      Left when reminded.
The following proverbs and sayings can often be heard among the folks of San Sebastian:

 1.  Walang pagod magtipon
      Walang hinayang magtapon.

 1.  No diligence to save
      No restraint to waste.

 2.  Ang taong lampas sa gulang
      Di dapat pakitunguhan
      Ang iyong paroroonan
      Ay matanda ka rin naman.

 2.  Do not quarrel with the old man
      Remember that you also get old.
As a method of measuring time, the people of San Sebastian make use of the sun, cock crows, and flowers. They believe that when [a] cock crows in the late evening, it is already ten o’clock P.M. They also have the belief that when the patola flowers open in the afternoon, it is already 4 o’clock.

Folktales are also common in San Sebastian. The following is an example:

WHY LANZONES HAVE FINGER MARKS ON THEM

Long ago, lanzones were not considered good to eat. They grew in beautiful bushes and looked very attractive and delicious. It was believed that this fruit was poisonous.

One day, there was a beggar who took some lanzones fruit and ate them. After eating, he suddenly died. When the people saw that the lanzones was the cause of the beggar’s death, the people did not gather or eat the fruit.

But one day, a fairy appeared near the lanzones tree. She asked the people for some lanzones. She at once picked one of the lanzones and opened it. The people told the people that by piercing the fruit, she had made it good to eat. She began to eat the lanzones and when the people saw it was no longer poisonous, the fairy disappeared.

Since that day, the finger marks can be evidently seen on every lanzones fruit. The people have known this to be [a] very delicious fruit from that time on.

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

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