January 2, 2018

Talaga, Mabini, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Talaga in the Municipality of Mabini, 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 TALAGA

Part One: History

1. Present official name of the barrio – Talaga

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

a. Present popular name of the barrio – Talaga

b. Past popular name of the barrio – Talaga – Name given due to the shallowness of water in every nook of the barrio.

c. Names of sitios:
 1.  Payapa  6.  Rizal
 2.  Kabulusan  7.  Manggahan
 3.  Pungo  8.  Pulang Lupa
 4.  Bukana  9.  Pilahan
 5.  Palanas
3. Date of establishment: Latter part of the Spanish occupation.

4. Original families:
 1.  Vicente Garcia  9.  Ponciano Calangi
 2.  Martin Castillo 10. Fermin Gonzales
 3.  Juan Ortega 11. Placido Gonzales
 4.  Hilarion Balita 12. Martin Calangi
 5.  Tomas Balita 13. Pedro Gonzales
 6.  Laureano Ortega 14. Francisco Castillo
 7.  Mariano Castillo 15. Dionisia Garcia
 8.  Francisco Gonzales 16. Catalino Calangi
5. List of tenientes from the earliest time to date –
 1.  Fermin Gonzales  7.  Manuel Castillo
 2.  Oreste Manalo  8.  Bricsio Axalan
 3.  Conrado Buenviaje  9.  Alberto Pulhin
 4.  Luis Ortega 10. Hilarion Calangi
 5.  Hilario Sawali 11. Felix de Torres
 6.  Manuel Corales
6. Story of old barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct – None

7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc. – None

[p. 2]

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

a. During the Spanish occupation –
In the years 1896-1900, most of the people of our town suffered much at the hands of the Spaniards. When the Spaniards knew that the Filipinos were planning to revolt against them, they were tortured and [this] resulted to [a] great loss of lives. Batangas that time was one of the rebel provinces such that the Spaniards burned houses, destroyed churches and school buildings. Some prominent men in the barrio like Gavino Garcia, Juan Ortega, Martin Castillo, Tomas Balita, Catalino Calangi, and Placido Gonzales were punished and persecuted.

9. a. Destruction of lives, properties, institutions during 1941-1945

With the advent of the Japanese occupation in Mabini in October 1943, the inhabitants of Talaga evacuated to different places for safety and survival. They left their homes together with their belongings and livestock. As months went by, the people realized the inadequacy of food. A great majority of them had to depend upon root crops like cassava, taro, sweet potatoes and wild root crops (tugi) for food. But later, Indalicio Calangi, a native of Talaga and at the same time the Mayor of Mabini, made amicable settlements with the Japanese officials. Wide publicity was given that all people of Talaga as well as from the adjoined barrios could come back and live peacefully. In spite of such information, many people were not convinced. They remained in their hiding places. Not many people of this locality could engage in farming activities as well as in other important industries. The scarcity of every commodity was met that time.

In Talaga, there were soldiers both regular and reservists that were released from concentration camps in Capaz, Tarlac. The soldiers, with patriotic civilians who possessed military bearings, prepared for a resistance movement against the Japanese. The Fil-American Irregular Troops were organized in September 1942 in Talaga, Mabini by Major Pedro Balita. He was the commander of the 9th Regimental Staff with Captains Domingo Castillo and Braulio Panopio. Captain Juan B. Panopio of Anilao later became Lt. Colonel in the Blue Eagle Command. The 9th Regiment, Fil-American Troops, operated in the towns of Mabini, Alitagtag, Sambat, Taal and Batangas proper.

Later on, the Japanese learned that the Americans were already on Philippine soil. Their attitude towards the civilians changed. They became more cruel and civilians linked with guerrilla activities were given the 3rd degree punishment, hogtied to a pole and in brief, tortured.



[p. 3]

The arrest of Major Pedro Balita, commanding officer of the said regiment on the 27th of August 1944, demoralized their members. The operation ceased and the members were ordered by the 2nd person in command to lay low and wait for another opportunity. Came the time when the Fil-American Irregular Troops were fused with the 1st Blue Eagle Brigade.

The people became aware of the death of Major Balita and they felt uneasy. They evacuated and it did not take long when American planes dropped bombs in Talaga where the Japanese dwelled and assembled. Several army ships were destroyed. The Japanese soldiers residing in Talaga lost their faith towards their standing army and they began to burn private houses, the school, and killed people they met.

b. Measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II.
[The] War damage claims of the inhabitants in property were granted by the United States Claims Commission but because of the lack of forms, not all claimants were granted.

Part II – Folkways

10. Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life, birth, baptism, courtship, marriage, death, burial, visits, festivals, punishments, etc.

a. It is a custom of the mothers to keep the thread used in making holes of a baby girl for her earring so that whatever earring may be used may not be lost.

b. After birth, silver coins are placed in the water to be used for bathing the baby so that the child may have a successful life.

c. A newly-baptized baby as she arrives home is placed over the smoke of frankincense and myrrh to drive away evil spirits.

d. The bride is not allowed to change her wedding gown until she is brought to the bridegroom’s house.

e. It is a custom of the people to have “sabangan” in a wedding party. The family or relatives of the male give money to the female and the family of the female to the male. After the sabangan, the total money is wrapped in a handkerchief and the groom hands it to the bride who takes it with both hands.

f. On the fourth day after the [death] of a family member, all the people in the house take a bath.

g. When a person dies, the relatives or companions in the house do not cook marungay leaves as vegetable.

11. Myths, legends, beliefs, interpretations, superstitions, origin of the world, land, mountain rendezvous, seas, lakes, rivers, plants, trees, animals, sun, moon, stars, eclipses, earthquakes, lightning, thunder, clouds, rain,

[p. 4]

wind, storms, changes of climates, other natural phenomena, first man and woman, birth of twins or more, sickness, magic, divination, etc.

a. The old people say it is bad to comb the hair when the sun is setting because the parents will die.

b. When the star is very near the moon, somebody will elope.

c. In time of eating, when a spoon falls, a female visitor will arrive; and if a fork falls, a male visitor is coming.

d. When building a house and the doors are very opposite each other of the same width and distance, bad luck may come to the family.

e. When taking a bath during Tuesday and Friday, a person is near to be sick.

12. Popular songs, games and amusements:
A. Popular songs –
1. Leron Leron Sinta
2. Paroparong Bukid
3. Ang Dalagang Pilipina
4. Sinilangan
5. Kinanluran

B. Games and amusements:
 1.  Patentero  1.  Pandanggo
 2.  Pico-pico  2.  Soble
 3.  Hide and Seek  3.  Huego de Frenda
 4.  Skipping Rope  4.  Sabalan
 5.  Pong-pong  5.  Huego de Anilyo
 6.  Jumping Spines
13. Puzzles and Riddles:

A. Puzzles –
1. F-U-R-N-I-T-U-R-E- What are you? – furniture
2. If you are a good speller, spell Manila in four letters. – city
3. Mississippi is a long word, if you can spell it in two letters you are a good speller. – it
4. What is the middle of the sea? – e

B. 1. Brown inside, brown outside, three Negritoes live inside. – chico
2. I have a little garden surrounded with [a] fence none can enter except my friend. – mouth
3. A beautiful lady eating her body. – candle
4. A piece of land surrounded with water. – island

[p. 5]

14. Proverbs and Sayings:
The proverbs and sayings of the people of the town [are] still in existence. Some of which are the following:
a. Men progress in life through [the] suffering they meet.
Hindi lalaki ang daga kung di malalaglag sa lupa.
b. Money saved serves old age. The habit of saving to life’s end.
Ang arimuhana’t adhika ay gamit at dala hanggang sa tumanda.
c. Don’t be overconfident, storms come even during Lent.
Huag kang sisiguro, kwarisma man ay nabagyo.
d. Wipe your own blemishes before you point to the mate in the eyes of others.
e. If eyes were made for seeing, then beauty is its own excuse for being.
Kung ang mata ay nilalang upang tumingin, ang kagandahan ang dapat na sisihin.
f. Believe not all the words be said, what may appear true and plain, may contain untruth behind.
Hindi sukat maniwala sa sabi at wika, patag man dao ang lupa, sa ilalim ay may lungga.
g. You may be beautiful and rich and beautifully dressed, you are worthless nevertheless if you show you are foolish.
Mayaman ka ma’t marikit, at mabuti sa pananamit, kung walang sariling bait, walang halagang gamit.
h. There is no hard-hearted virgin to those who do pray ceaselessly.
Walang matimtimang birhen sa matiagang manalangin.
i. Belittle not the one who errs, better track him to correct his mistakes.
Ang namamali ay aralan, huag pag-upalaan.
j. A tongue is not a blade, but it cuts deep.
Ang dila ay hindi patalim, nguni’t kung sumugat ay malalim.
k. Constant raindrops wear away stones.
Ang bato man ay matigas, sa patak ng ulan ay sapilitang maaagnas.
l. He who looks not from where he starts, wouldn’t arrive at the desired spot.
Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan di makakarating sa paruruunan.
m. Iron is destroyed by its own rust.
Walang sumisira sa bakal, kundi ang sariling kalawang.
n. Shallow water makes much noise.
Ang sapa pag malagawlaw, asahan mo’t mababao.
o. Take things always by [their] smooth handles.
Gawing lahat sa kahinahunan, kung sa dahas dadaanin ay walang mararating.

[p. 6]

15. Methods of measuring time, special calendars.
The traditional methods of measuring time are still practiced not only by the people of the town but also very common among the people living in the remote areas. The latter use the natural ways of telling time because man-made clocks are not always available in their places.

Some methods of measuring time are by shadows, the crowing of the cocks in the morning, by stars and constellations, by the sun and by [the] loud noise made by the hornbill bird (kalao) in the mountain.

16. Other folktales:

The town also has its own folktales. These folktales are believed by the people to be true as being explained to the young generation by the old folks. One of those folktales common in this place runs this way.

A farmer named Pitong was walking on the farm. He came upon a baby crying on the grass. He picked up the baby and put it in his arms. After a while, he felt a scratch on his side, just under his ribs. At first, he did not mind it, but it became very painful. So, he looked to see what the baby was really doing. At his surprise, he saw a frightful dwarf with long sharp teeth. Pitong dropped the tiyanak. The tiyanak laughed at Pitong and disappeared.

Still other folktales common in this place are about the eagle and the rat.

The eagle and the rat were two great friends. One day, the rat saw an ant carrying a bag full of food. The rat laughed at the ant because he was very busy.

Then, [a] storm came. The eagle had plenty of food but the rat had nothing. The rain was so heavy that the hole of the rat was filled with water. He came out of his hole and looked for his friend, the eagle, to ask [for] food for he was very hungry.

Part III – Other Information

17. Information on books and documents treating of the Philippines and the names of their owners.

There is no such information on books and documents treating of the Philippines that has ever been written by anyone in this barrio. The only forms of documents that were made locally in the early days were the documents regarding the sale of lands and animals. It was the practice of the people during the Spanish period and at the beginning of the American regime to prepare a home-made document when a piece of land or a cow was sold.

A responsible man in the community was requested to furnish the concerned parties with documents in manuscript form. However, this is not practiced anymore in this locality.

[p. 7]

18. The names of Filipino authors born.

There is no well-known Filipino author that this barrio has produced. However, we have one person in this barrio by the name of Mr. Juanito Aldovino. The works of this man are known in this region as well as in the whole town. His dramatic plays and vernacular poems were only prepared in manuscript form or typewritten. The plays are mostly romantic in nature while the themes of the vernacular poems vary according to the types of occasion that the poems are intended for.

Respectfully submitted:

[Sgd.] BERNARDO A. ILAGAN
Head Teacher

↓ Scroll down to leave a comment.

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

🙏 Kindly consider sharing this article on your social media accounts to keep this site free for students and lovers of Batangas History.

If you wish to make a donation to Batangas History, click on the Donate button below:

Leave a comment: