January 4, 2018

Taliba, San Luis, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Taliba in the Municipality of San Luis, 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.

[Cover page.]







H I S T O R Y   A N D    C U L T U R A L
L I F E
of the
B A R R I O    O F    T A L I B A







Respectfully submitted by:

ILUMINADO S. ATIENZA

[p. 1]

HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE of the BARRIO of TALIBA

Going eastward following the provincial road from the Poblacion, one would come first to the barrio of Taliba. This is a long barrio, about two and a half kilometers in length. It is bounded by a brook to the north and a ravine to the south.

The former name of this barrio was Halang. The story of how the name of this place was changed is interesting. In 1904, our town San Luis became a part of Taal. There was a barrio in Taal named Halang. In this case, there would be two barrios in a town with the same name. To avoid confusion, a name more fitted to the place was given. It was said that in order to prevent one from jumping, which the meaning of Talon, a barrio south of this place; and to prevent one from climbing, which is the meaning of Sampa, a barrio north of this place; the name of Taliba was derived. The meaning of Taliba is to guard. Therefore, the name Taliba was given to safeguard the two barrios from jumping and from climbing.

One may notice that the houses in this barrio are in groups. These groups of houses form the sitios. “Beyong” is the eastern part of the barrio, the central part being called Taliba Proper, and the western part is named Bibingkahan. There is no data as to how Beyong got its name, but until now people living in this place are mad for giving such a name to their sitio. Taliba Proper was given for this is the central part of the barrio. Bibingkahan originated when an old woman made some cakes or bibingka in the western part of the barrio. Here cakes were well-known to the people. From that time on, the people called this place Bibingkahan, even if no more cakes are available by now in this place.

The original families of Taliba are the Atienzas, Cabellos, Lasalas, Siscars and the Marasigans. From these families came the early “tenientes del barrio,” followed by some others who came to live in this place.

The following are the names of the “tenientes del barrio” from the earliest time up to the present.
 1.  Julian Lasala 10. Casinto Castro
 2.  Endrico Atienza 11. Segundo Aseron
 3.  Raymundo Lasala 12. Domingo Lasala
 4.  Bernabe Marasigan 13. Victorino Lasala
 5.  Eduardo Lasala 14. Isabelo Lasala
 6.  Juan Siscar 15. Feliciano Marasigan
 7.  Mariano Atienza 16. Catalino de las Alas
 8.  Juan Lasala 17. Marcelino Marasigan
 9.  Zacarias Cabello 18. Agustin Gahol
[p. 2]

Eduardo Lasala was the “teniente del barrio” when the Americans came in 1900. Marcelino Marasigan was the “teniente del barrio” during the Japanese occupation. Agustin Gahol is the present “teniente del barrio.”

During the latter part of the Spanish regime, the Filipino insurrectos were entrenched to fight against the Spaniards in Hilerang Kawayan, a place between Taliba Proper and Beyong. This is the narrowest part of the barrio, about ten meters in width. Many bamboos [were] on both sides of the ravine. There were also guards stationed at Bangas and Makati, trails going to Talon. Bangas is located in Taliba Proper while Makati is between Taliba Proper and Beyong.

The Americans came in 1898 when most parts of the country were already in the hands of the Filipinos. That was the time when the Fil-American War began. In 1900, when the Americans were conquering our province, the Filipino Revolutionary troops under the command of Lt. Ambrosio Hernandez, Lt. Buenaventura Iala, and Capt. Juan Buenafe encountered the American forces in the sitio of Bibingkahan. Because of the poor arms [that] the Filipinos had, the battle did not last long. The Filipinos retreated. After this battle, the Americans burned some houses and rice barns in the barrio, believing that the owners of these houses and rice barns were supporters of the revolutionists.

Before the outbreak of World War II, USAFFE troops were stationed in this barrio. Some occupied the coconut plantation in the western part and others occupied some backyards along the provincial road. About two weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, these soldiers in Taliba transferred to some other place.

During the Japanese occupation, the people in this barrio had a hard life. They could not live conveniently in their homes. They built hiding places in the woods near the ravines. Because of these difficulties in life, the people’s minds were awakened to business and food production. They became hardworking people. They planted different kinds of crops for food. But the Japanese would all of a sudden appear in the barrio to take all these crops from the people. It was in the latter part of 1944 when some Japanese soldiers headed by Capt. Nagay stationed themselves temporarily in the barrio. They occupied the barrio school and the few surrounding houses. During their brief stay in the place, many furniture were destroyed. The people were frightened that they were even afraid to pass in front of the schoolhouses or go down from their homes at night. Men were always in their hiding places. They, the Japanese, moved to Cuenca to join the Japanese forces for the Americans were already coming.

During the period of liberation, no people can be seen in their homes or on the street. Everybody was in their respective hideouts. The people were much alarmed by the hissing

[p. 3]

of bombs cannon’s bullets and the barking of the guns coming from the two opposing troops. Some animals were killed and some injured during the shelling. The American forces were stationed again in the coconut plantation in the sitio of Bibingkahan. They occupied the place for several months.

Rehabilitation and reconstruction of this barrio was done through the initiatives and ceaseless efforts of the barrio people.





[p. 4]

TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS, AND PRACTICES IN DOMESTIC AND SOCIAL LIFE



A. BIRTH
When a mother is giving birth, there are the midwife and a man called “salag” assisting. Very seldom is a doctored hired to assist. Only when the mother has difficulties in the delivery. It is so believed that in order that she will not take hardship, a wooden spoon called “sandok” is put on the back of the midwife and on the middle part of the head “bunbunan” of the mother is blown. After giving birth, chickens are killed, and neighbors are invited to eat. This is done because the people say that it is a means of giving thanks for the mother and the child being fine and well. The loves of the chickens substitute the lives of the mother and child.

When it is the first child, the mother is given a part of the “inunan” which is being eaten raw, wrapped in a buyo leaf so that she will be strong and will not get sick. She is given three spoonful of newly-cooked rice without drinking. After dressing, the baby is given by the midwife to one whom she thinks is intelligent or well-to-do, believing that the child will be like him or her as the case may be. The baby is carried to the mother’s side. A magazine or a thin book is used as the baby’s pillow. The baby is given sweet, or better liquid as purgative.



The baby’s “inunan” is put in a bamboo tube or in a dipper. This is buried under the stairs or in the yard east of the house. The first diaper used by the baby is not washed but buried, claiming that the baby will be neat as he grows old.

[The] Mother drinks hot water with some roots of vines and leaves until she has not taken a bath. She remains unbathed for about three weeks. Her body is heated with a stone wrapped in “sambong.” The mother takes a bath with hot water which is a conglomeration of different roots and leaves of wild trees. This is done to help the mother healthy and strong.

B. BAPTISM
Baptism is sometimes done at home or sometimes in the church. When done in the church, the godparents rush the baby out of the church after the baptism takes place, believing in something good to come. Presents are given by the godparents to the child. These are sometimes in the form of money, or jewelry, or clothes, etc. To make the celebration glamorous, the parents of the child send some of the food to the houses of the godparents as termed “pabandeha.”

[p. 5]

[A page appears to be missing from the previous one.]

E. DEATH
When somebody dies, people come to the house and pray for the soul. Candles are lighted. People give alms to [the relatives of] the dead. They watch the dead day and night. As soon as the coffin is brought down from the house, a dipper filled with water and a broom are thrown downstairs. People pray for the dead for nine consecutive nights and on the ninth day, food is prepared for everybody who comes to share with the prayer. When the dead is below seven years of age, prayers are done only for four consecutive nights and on the fourth day, food is served also. They are always in mourning, wearing black clothes for a year. After one year, the lowering of the veil is performed. This time, those in mourning change their clothes to other kinds in the middle of the prayer.

F. BURIALS
The funeral rites are usually by foot. Many people, friends, and relatives accompany the corpse to the cemetery. People who come near the grave get a lump of soil and throw this into the grave. They say that it is “pabaon.”

G. VISITS
People are used to visiting friends and relatives who are sick or has met an accident. They usually take with them some food for the sick person. The member of the family of the sick one is not too bad a fellow, because he prepares something for the visitors. He offers them cigarettes and sometimes soft drinks.

H. FESTIVALS
No grand festivals are held as fiestas, except baptismal, birthday, thanksgiving and wedding parties. Neighbors and relatives need not wait for a formal invitation. They help in the preparation for the party.

I. PUNISHMENTS
The most common punishment of the parents to their children are scolding and whipping.

II. BELIEFS AND SUPERSTITIONS
(1) When a cat washes his face [while] facing the door, there is a visitor to come to the house.
(2) When the flame under the cooking pot is noisy, money is expected to come to the house.
(3) When someone bites his own tongue, somebody is talking about him.
(4) When the right ear is itchy, someone is talking good of you; but when it is the left ear, it is the reverse.
(5) When the palm is itchy, money is to come.

[p. 6]

(6) It is not good to take a bath on Friday for misfortunes will come to you.
(7) It is not good to cut fingernails on days with “r.” It is not good to cut fingernails at night or sweep the house at night, for personal belongings might be swept out.
(8) When a woman is on the family way, she is not allowed to lie across the floor because it is believed that the baby will also lie across the womb, and there will be hardship in the delivery.
(9) Both man and woman do not wear ties or put around any string, when the woman is on the family way, because it is believed that the umbilical cord will coil around the baby’s body.
(10) When the newly-born child cries aloud for the very first time, his godparents-to-be are believed to be from a far place, but when it is low, then the vice-versa.
(11) When brothers and sisters are allowed to marry in the same year, they are believed to be sacrificing their lives and properties. One always tries to overpower the other.
(12) When somebody in the family is dead, they do not sweep or clean their houses until a certain time, believing that they are going to sweep the lives of the remaining members.

People believe that sicknesses are caused by winds, rain, [the] heat of the sun and the changes in weather. Sometimes, sicknesses come from the ground and rivers. This is believed to be as “nuno.” Sometimes, the people are sick of the following:

(A) “Atupiling” – symptoms are sickness and dizziness
(B) “Gahoy” – symptoms are headaches, vomiting and frequent bowel movement.

The sicknesses are cured by massaging the forehead, abdomen, and the back of the neck with a piece of chewed betelnut, buyo, lime, ginger, and garlic, by any person who has been sick of these mentioned sicknesses.

12. POPULAR SONGS, GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS

A. SONGS
 (1)  Lullaby  (4)  Boanerjes Serenade
 (2)  Rice Planting Song  (5)  Kundimans
 (3)  Meadow Butterflies
B. GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS
 (1)  Softball  (4)  Mah jong
 (2)  Basketball  (5)  Playing cards
 (3)  Ping-pong  (6)  Cockfighting
[p. 7]

13. PUZZLES AND RIDDLES
A. Naririto na, may sunong na baga.
(Here it comes, full of fire on the head.) - Rooster
B. Kung nalilimutan ay nadadala, nguni’t kung naaalala’y naiiwan.
(When you forget it, you carry it; but when you remember it, you leave it.) – Amor Seco
C. Hindi tubig, umaagos, hindi kampanilya, tumitingting.
(It is not water but it flows, it is not a bell but it rings.) – Agustin
D. Naririto na nguni’t hinid mo Makita.
(Here it comes but you do not see it.) – Wind
E. Sinampal ko muna bago ko inalok.
(I slapped him first before I offered it.) – Tamarind
F. Apat na umaga, nilalang ni Kristo, dalawa sa tanghali, sa hapon ay tatlo.
(God created it, four in the morning, two at noon, and three in the afternoon.) – Mankind
G. May isang puno ng balite, may dalawang kabayong nakatali; isa’y pula, isa’y puti, labindalawa ang sanga, apat ang bulaklak at pito ang bunga.
(There is a big balite tree, with two horses tied to it; one is red and one is white, it has twelve branches, four flowers and seven fruits.) – World, sun and moon, 12 months, 4 weeks and seven days.
H. Bahay ng sibil, libot ng pusil.
(The house of a soldier surrounded with rifles.) – Papaya
I. Iisa ang ulo, ang mata’y tatlo.
(It is a head with three eyes.) – Coconut fruit
J. Mata’y kong lingunin, nguni’t hindi ko abutin.
(I always look back but I cannot catch up.) – Ears
K. Isang balong malalim, puno ng patalim.
(A deep well full of sharp objects.) – Mouth
L. Isang butil na palay, puno ang buong bahay.
(A grain of palay can fill the whole house.) – Lamp
M. Bumili ako ng alipin, mataaas pa kaysa akin.
(I bought a slave who is taller than I am.) – Hat
N. Isa ang pinasukan, tatlo ang nilabsan.
(I entered into a hole, and went out from three holes.) – Undershirt
O. Dala mo, dala ka, dala ka iyong dala.
(You carry it and it carries you.) – Shoes, slippers

[p. 8]

14. PROVERBS AND SAYINGS
A. Cleanliness is next to godliness.
B. Politeness is to do or say, the kindest thing in [the] kindest way.
C. An honest centavo is better than a stolen peso.
D. Honesty is the best policy.
E. A sleeping shrimp is carried by the current.
F. An early bird catches the worm.
G. It is better late than never.
H. You can see the hole of the needle but not the hole of the axe.
I. If you plant nothing, you reap the wind.
J. Obedience is the mother of success, the wife of safety.
K. The wisdom of the young comes from the old.
L. Of what use is the grass when the horse is dead?
M. Continuous droplets of water may wear away even granite.
N. To walk rapidly is to fall heavily.
O. The mountain does not go to the man, but it is the man who goes to the mountain.
P. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
Q. An hour too soon is better than a minute late.
R. Still water runs deep.

15. METHODS OF MEASURING TIME
A. Clock or watch.
B. Sun, moon and stars.
C. Crowing of the cocks, mostly in the evening.
D. Patola flowers.
E. Sunflowers.

PART III
OTHER INFORMATION

NONE

INFORMERS:
1. [Sgd.] ELISEO ATIENZA

2. [Sgd.] PEDRO DE CLARO


Respectfully submitted by:

[Sgd.] ILUMINADO S. ATIENZA

↓ Scroll down to leave a comment.

Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Taliba,” 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: