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January 3, 2018

Bunducan, Nasugbu, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Bunducan in the Municipality of Nasugbu, 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 BUNDUCAN

PART ONE – HISTORY

1. Present official name of the barrio – Bunducan.

2. Popular name of the barrio present and past; derivation of these names:

It has been called Bunducan by the natives, deriving the name from the hills that rise at its southern end which look like an altar, and forms the most attractive part of the village.

When the Spaniards arrived, they did not take complete control of the place. The cabezas and teniente del barrio of Pantalan acted as head of the place.

3. Names of sitios included within the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio:
Bunducan includes within its limits Bunducan proper and the sitios of Barac, Kay Sayad, Pulong Parang, Banabahan, Alas-as, Dalig, Kuloom, and Balangutan.

Bunducan Proper - is composed of some thirty (30) houses grouped into five, six houses each. The land in Bunducan proper, which is about eighty (80) hectares, is planted to corn, rice and sugarcane, vegetables and fruits. The non-arable lands are made into grazing lands and fish ponds. People here are farmers, fishermen, sugarcane planters, laborers, plow makers and manufacturers. The young boys are wood vendors and the women and children help in the daily chores. The center of culture and education is the barrio school.

Pulong-parang was named during the Spanish times. This sitio was the wealthiest sitio during the Spanish times. It has been the most thickly populated among [the] sitios, being the headquarters of the Filipino soldiers. It was once proud of a market place “Tiangge.” It is also the most historical of all place around it.

[p. 2]

After the Filipino-Spanish War, it was reconstructed. The first inhabitants composed of twelve families occupied a land more or less than 12 hectares. It had belonged to a man, Demetrio Villaluna and until present belongs to his family. At present, it is composed of four families. The land is planted to sugarcane. It is surrounded by bamboo groves which provide the source of building materials for the houses of the barrio and the neighboring places.

Next to Pulong-parang is the sitio of Kay Sayad. Its name was derived from an incident with a foreigner who happened to borrow a horse from a native. He was so big and tall that when he rode the horse, his foot touched the ground, which made him [a] funny sight to the natives. He got so mad, that nobody could stop his anger until an interpreter came and told him that his foot touched the ground, meaning “sayad.” This local term transferred from one generation to another until it stuck to the place up to the present. It belonged to a wealthy man of Nasugbu, Modesto Alvarez. It was composed of 10 houses and the same number of families. At present, there are only four families or houses. The land is planted to rice, corn and vegetables.

The next sitio is Barac. It is derived from the name of a native plant “barac,” which grew aplenty in the mountains that surround it. Until at present, the plant survives in the place. In those times, the place which was then composed of almost thirty (30) hectares belonged to only two owners. One [was] a wealthy man of Malabon, Rizal whose property lies close to the mountain. This part is called “Tungtong ng Barac” or Lead [unsure, blurred] to the mountains of Barac. The other half, which comes nearer the lowlands, belonged to Kapitan Teodoro Villafania of the town of Nasugbu.

The highland boasts of its vast woodlands, wild game and graze lands. The woodland was the source of strong building materials and fuel, while the lower portion yielded the biggest corn, rice, vegetables and fruit crops in the whole neighborhood.

[p. 3]

At present, twenty-five to thirty families occupy the thirty hectares of cleared land.

The sitio of Alas-as comes after Barac. It is a small sitio of about eight hectares. It is near the mountains. It got its name from the many alas-as trees that grow around its borders. It is divided between two owners. Alas-as has just been cleared so nobody owned it before. The land is planted to rice, corn, fruit trees, and sugarcane.

Another sitio that is next to Bunducan proper and sometimes mistaken to be a part of it is the sitio of Dalig. It had belonged to the owner of Bunducan, Kapitan Pedro Ruffy and a partner who shared the twenty hectares lot. The partner is Tiburciao Igana of Nasugbu. It was then composed of ten houses and up to the present, ten families survive.

The land at present is planted with corn and sugarcane. Poultry raising, piggery and animal breeding helped in the landowners’ subsistence.

The sitio of Kuloom and Sampalukan have an area of nine hectares. It belongs to Saturnino Villajin of Hacienda Nasugbu. Fruits, poultry and piggery are the main sources of income of the people after the land has been cultivated and planted to rice and corn. The place is surrounded by small mountains. It is so much in closed and damp that it gained the name “Kuloom,” the Tagalog term for damp. It retained its name up to the present.

The smallest sitios around Bunducan are Banabahan and Balangutan. Both got their names from the native plants which grow in abundance in both places. These places are not important economically because there are only four and one families, respectively. Their sources of livelihood come from the neighboring sitios or barrios where they work as tenants of the land from the Nasugbu Land System who took charge of selling the land from the Hacienda owners of Nasugbu, the Roxas y Cia.

4. Original Families: It started from the tenant of Kapitan Pedro Ruffy, who came from the neighboring towns of Tuy, Balayan, Alfonso and Caylaway.

The families who first lived in Bunducan were natives who were keeping close to the mountains to flee from the conquering Spaniards, but those tenants who came later and cleared the lands that belonged to the famous Kapitan Don Pedro Ruffy were the old families of the de la Rosas and the Mendozas of Tuy. Then, the Casabal family followed until through intermarriage and migrations, the place became well populated.

5. List of Tenientes de Barrio from the earliest time to date: Before the place was populated, the Spanish government, as had been mentioned before, had not had direct control over the people of Bunducan except through the teniente del barrio of Pantalan. Then, when Kapitan Don Pedro Ruffy saw how much this place had increased, he deemed it wise to keep laws in his hands. He became a strict ruler, but considerate to his tenants. He fed his tenants during the massacre at Pulong-parang, a neighboring sitio to Bunducan.

After the Spanish times, the first real teniente del barrio was chosen. That was from 1919 to 1940. He was Mr. Simeun Zafra, the eldest wise man of the barrio at present. His wise guidance and adept attention to justice and fairness and his undying leadership made Bunducan and its neighboring sitios as they are at present, not very behind but [a] little up-to-date with the trends of culture, government and education.

After his resignation, he was followed by Eutiquio Caisip, also a good leader. His position was short-lived because of his relations with the Filipino guerrillas of the Japanese period. He was forced to leave his post to flee from the enemy’s persecution. That was in the year 1940-1941.

The next who succeeded him was an active man of the barrio who was popularly voted upon being the second or the auxiliary to the man who left. He had been strict, but soon, he lost his post due to popular demand.

[p. 5]

The people been selected an old man of the barrio to take his place. Eulogio Andino, the one-time leader of Bunducan, was noted for his hot temper and self-centered ideas. At last, the public demanded another change. However, he took his post a little longer than the rest of his predecessors. It lasted from 1942.

Thus, Mr. Apolonio Mendoza, whom we can call his heir to his post, being his nephew, took charge of the place he vacated. The latter is still holding the position up to the present.

6. No sitios had been depopulated or [are now] extinct within the jurisdiction of Bunducan.

7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.:

(a) The present school site was a place of historical significance. The place had been made the site of the rice granary or “tambobong,” where the women kept the supply of rice for the Filipino soldiers who fought at the sitio Pulong-parang.

(b) Pulong-parang was the site for the Spanish Massacre of hundreds of Filipinos during the Filipino-Spanish War of 1896-1898.

8. Important incidents or events that took place:

(a) During the Spanish Occupation – Bunducan was a quiet barrio doing its daily chores, marriages, births and burials until after the Filipino uprising against the Spaniards which took place in eight of the Tagalog provinces, Batangas being one of the battlegrounds could boast of Bunducan’s contribution, though it is of minor importance.

The owner of the place, then a real Filipino Kapitan and leader of the uprising in the sitio of Pulong-parang, established the rice granary or “Tambubong,” to feed the hundreds of Filipino soldiers called “Insurrectos” by the Spanish government.

(b) The years 1898 to 1899 marked the uprising in Pulong-parang. During this year, when the spirit of the uprising spread to all the Tagalog Provinces, Kapitan Pedro Ruffy, the owner of the land, led his men to a hand to

[p. 6]

hand fight against the Spaniards. Being devoid or lacking in arms, the bloodiest combat was witnessed as told by those who lived to tell the piteous tale. Like the Japanese, the Spaniards took women and children and used them as battery. Hundreds were massacred between the clump [?] of bamboos. Pulong-parang had been converted to a vast graveyard for the Filipinos who died heroic deaths.

9. (a) Houses and properties where burned and work animals were killed. The place suffered a great loss of lives and properties that reduced the owners of the place to poverty.

(b) Today, the place is enjoying peace and order. Only the barrio school can be considered a monument to the world [word?] rehabilitation and construction a worldwide education and a way to self-government and democracy.

All its vast rice and sugar lands, its fishponds and grace and woodlands, belong to the people who occupy them. Thus, they enjoy happiness and contentment in life.

Those gorillas who wear recognized received their compensation for their struggles for freedom during World War II.

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 people of Bunducan to kill the tenth of every domestic animal which can be used for food and as an offering to God. It is a sign of thanksgiving for the abundance they enjoy. This offering is slaughtered in the middle of the owner's house to spread the blessings all throughout the household.

(b) Birth – if the birth of a child, it has been a custom of the people of the place to go at once and notify the chosen sponsors for the baptism ceremony. This is done to give the sponsor ample time in preparing the gifts and money to be spent for the baptismal ceremony. To notify the sponsor at a later date would mean that the said sponsor is not their first choice.

So, in order to avoid misunderstandings, the first thing the parents do is to go to the chosen sponsor. The sponsor, of course, will feel greatly honored and accept the responsibility given her.

(c) At baptism, it is a practice to honor the “Ninong” with a gift called “sabit.” It may be a roasted pig or delicious food prepared in [the] home of the child’s parents. Song sponsors divide the said “sabit” and give the other half to the parents of the child. Sponsors also give gifts to the child after baptism which they call “pakimkim.” This maybe in the form of jewelry or money.

(d) Courtship – during courtship, the young man of the interested party usually helps in the daily chores and in the field or any manual work of the family of the desired mate. Hit that water and fuel are in abundance to save the time and labor of both the parents and his lady love. This [is] locally called “silbi” or serving the family. If he wishes his desire to be settled at once, he brings [a] bunch of fuel to the house of the girl. Then, when the parents of the girl notice the wood, the call for the parents of the boy. They talk about the wedding, set the date and take the necessary steps. At this instance, the desirous party spends much in terms of food, delicacies and wine as a token of their everlasting desire to please the girl’s party.



In case that the term can be easily carried out by the man’s family, the date, clothes, expenses, and fees had to be settled. But if the man’s family finds it difficult to follow the terms discussed, they give notice of amendments or ask and allowance of some more days to think over the terms. They will then give notice in case their desire is to be postponed or entirely withdrawn. In this case, the girl can welcome other suitors.

(e) At the marriage date, the man and his family and friends have to be present and enclose attendance at the wedding party. The house of the bride must have been repaired, constructed and prepared for the wedding party as has been discussed in the terms. Food, drinks and wine flow profusely in favor of the bride’s family and friends. The man’s family should be least paid

[p. 8]

attention to. Little or petty neglect from the side of the groom often causes much grievances or trouble and misunderstanding between the two families. If the family of the bride is understanding, the wedding goes on smoothly.

(f) After the nuptials, it is a common sight to see the bride and the groom make a dash to the door of the church. The one who comes out first will be dominating the other in their domestic and conjugal affairs. After the wedding feast and the couple had completed their rounds of receiving the blessings from the parents of both parties, the bride moves to the house of the groom to stay for the night, while the groom is left at the bride’s house to please his new parents.

(g) Death: Nobody must take a bath or close the house and surroundings of the bereaved family until after the fourth day. It is said that if they neglect to observe this, somebody else in the family will soon die.

During mealtime, used plates, when moved, should not be placed one over the other. This would mean death in the family again.

A sort of nightly prayers for the repose of the soul of the departed is performed until the ninth day. On the fourth day, the family has a get-together. On the ninth day, a whole-day affair is done. Prayers are said the whole day and at night until the wee hours of the morning. After the prayers, food and drinks are served and games are played to console the bereaved family. After a year, another nine-day prayer is done. This will mark what they call “babang luksa" or they will cease to wear the black attire or mourning clothes.

Beliefs and Superstitions –

(1) It is believed that one the fourth day of the death of a member of the family, this spirit will come back to earth and visit his beloved ones, talk to them and tell them of his last will, especially when he died unprepared or accidentally.

[p. 9]

(2) Some believe that during All Souls’ Day, the spirit of the dead will come, so the family of the dead serve delicious food on the altar which is lighted with candles.

(3) It is believed that when we point at the rainbow with our forefinger, our finger will be cut or spoiled by a skin diseas.

(4) That if we point to young shoots or fruits of vegetables, the fruits will wilt.

(5) If we dream that our molars are extracted, one of our near relatives will die.

(6) If we sleep in the open air, the evil spirit will pass over us and, thus, our growth will be checked.

(7) If a hen cackles at night, an unmarried girl will give birth to a child.

(8) That if a cat washes its face in front of the door, there will be a guest coming.

(9) If we see a black cat on our way, we must not go to our destination because danger might befall us.

(10) If women or girls will approach an unfinished well, the water underneath will not flow anymore.

(11) A girl on a certain time of the month should not enter a garden or touch any tended plants because it will wilt or die.

(12) When we sweep the house at night, we will miss God’s blessings or graces. We will remain in poverty.

(13) If we comb our hair at night, one of our parents will die. A parent seeing a daughter or son combing his or her hair considers the latter disrespectful.

(14) If we open an umbrella inside the house, a centipede will drop from the ceiling.

(15) Unmarried women who sing in front of the stove will marry an old widower.

[p 10.]

(16) If we move from one place to another while we are eating, we will not be faithful in marriage.

(17) If we clear the table when an unmarried boy or girl is still eating, he or she will not enjoy the blessings of marriage.

(18) If one leaves the house while the rest of the family is still eating, he or she will stumble on the way.

(19) If a fly insists on alighting on us, it is a sign that somebody dear to us has died.

(20) If a black butterfly hovers near us, it is another sign that somebody dear to us has died.

(21) If an ill person is cleaning his nails, it is a sign that he is nearing his end.

Interpretations:

(1) We can tell the height of the tide by looking at the cat’s eyes. If the pupil of the cat’s eye is small, the tide is low; if the pupil is big, the tide is high and the water in the river is big.

(2) When the birds fly westward in flocks, there will be a storm. When they fly eastward, good weather is returning.

(3) Through the sound of a tree lizard natively called “tuko,” the people can tell whether tomorrow will be rain or shine, by following the sound it makes with the words: rain or shine or vice-versa.

(4) A pregnant woman who puts a lump of dough on hot coal can tell whether the infant in her womb is a boy or a girl. When the dough swells and bursts the infant is a girl; and when the dough swells and protrudes, the infant is a boy.

MGA BUGTONG

(1) Heto na si itim, sinundot ni pula, nanaog si puti, pinatay ni pula. (sinaing)

[p. 11]

MGA BUGTONG

(2) Ako ay si ikmo, kapatid ni bunga, pamangkin ni apog, apo ni maskada, pag kami pong lahat ay nagkasama-sama, labi ng dalaga ay pinapupula. (buyo)

(3) Aso ko sa Malabon, naligo’y di basa nang umahon.

(4) Puso ko’y kahoy, dahon ko’y niyog. (kawot)

(5) Umulan at umaraw, nakalilis ang salawal. (manok)

(6) Heto, heto na, hindi pa nakikita. (hangin)

(7) Kalamay ng hari, hindi mahati-hati. (tubig)

(8) Heto na si Pirit, kinain pati anlit. (bayabas)

(9) Malayo ang bunga sa pusou. (bungang araw)

(10) Isang butil na palay, sikip sa bahay. (ilaw)

(11) Saan ka man pumunta, lagi mong kasama. (anino)

(12) Lumalakad si kaka, nag-iiwan ng luha. (pluma)

(13) Kung araw ay bumbong, kung gabi’y dagat. (banig)

(14) Pag lagapak, turi agad. (talupak)

(15) Hindi hayop, hindi tao, may mata na katulad mo. (niyog)

MGA SALAWIKAIN

1. Kung saan ang hilig ng kahoy ay duon nabubuwal.

2. Tikatik mang patak ng ulan ay nakakaagnas din.

3. Pag wala kang itinanim ay wala ka ring aanihin.

4. Pag may isinuksuk ay may titingalain.

5. Magtanim ka ng hangin, bagyo ang aanihin.

6. Ang kahoy mang babad sa tubig, pag nadararang ng init, sapilitang magdirikit.

[p. 12]

7. Saan mang gubat ay may ahas.

8. Alin mang balatong ay may liyas.

9. Magpakapula-pula ang saga, maitim din ang kabila.

10. Ang hindi lumingon sa paroroonan ay hindi makakarating sa paruruonan. [Obviously erroneous, as everyone will agree.]

11. Huwag mong bilangin ang sisiw hanggang hindi napipisa ang itlog.

12. Pag may kasayahan ay may kalungkutan.

13. Pag may hirap ay may ginhawa.

14. Hindi lahat ng kumikinang ay ginto.

15. Kung anong puno ay siyang bunga.

16. Ang pari ay doon sumasama sa kapwa pari.

17. Ang santol ay hindi magbubunga ng mabolo.

18. Pag may tiyaga ay may nilaga.

19. Ang taong nanunuyo ay may sunong na bukayo.

20. Ang taong duling ay walang gawang magaling.

Methods of Measuring Time:

1. In this place, time is told by the sounds made by a mountain bird called calo. The calo gives out a shrill cry that can be heard regularly at intervals from morning till night. It is said that they can tell the time accurately by listening to its cries.

2. Another method of telling the time is by looking at the location of the sun. People can calculate the time of the day by locating where the sun is. They can tell an early dawn, meantime, and afternoon by means of the sun.

3. People can calculate the distance by smoking a cigarette. A cigarette that is finished is equivalent to a kilometer and a comfortable pace.

[p. 13]

Special Calendars:

1. Time is expressed in this place by counting how many seasons have passed as only one harvest season; 15 weeding seasons or “tag-gamas,” etc.

Example – Oh, she is still very young. I can remember her just passing her twelfth harvest season.

2. Another calendar is the time of Kapitang So and So.

Example – He was born during the rule of Kapitang Isko. He was married during the rule of Kapitang Juan.

The old folks are very keen in observing the time of the different kapitans and cabezas.

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

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