January 4, 2018

Darasa, Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Darasa in the City of Tanauan, 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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HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO OF DARASA

Part One: HISTORY

1. Present official name of the barrio: DARASA

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

Present official name of the barrio – DARASA
Past official name of the barrio – DARASA

There are conflicting versions regarding the manner this barrio got its present name. One version is that the word has been derived from the words “daras na” which means cleaned or cleared already. It is said that long ago, when there were no roads but only trails, people had to clear the way with “daras,” a kind of tool used for cutting shrubs and scraping grass. After a trail was made and made more passable to the barrio, people used to say the place was daras na which means that the way to the place had been made clear and passable. In due time, the words were contracted into Darasa and used as the name of the barrio.

One other version is that the word came from the word “daza,” a word used to designated lineage or blood relationship. It is said that in the early days, many talented and intelligent individuals were offspring of families born in this barrio. And so, to compliment them and to designate their origin, they were called “daza” which, later, was prolonged to Darasa, thus becoming the barrio name from then.

There is no sitio included within the territorial jurisdiction of this barrio.

3. Date of establishment:

Nobody remembers the correct date when this barrio was established, but the oldest living resident of the place believed that it must be more than 100 years ago because when he was born, the barrio was already an organized community with plenty of families living in it.

4. List of original families in the barrio:
a.  Damasa Carandang f.  The Gonzales Family
b.  The Valencia Family g.  The Magsino Family
c.  The Sabalvaro Family h.  The Macahia Family
d.  The Licarte Family i.  The Oñate Family
e.  The Lirio Family
5. List of tenientes from the earliest time to date.

Only the following persons can be recalled as having served the barrio as lieutenants:
 1.  Estanislao Gonzales  6.  Mariano de Leon
 2.  Damaso Guevarra  7.  Gelacio Ebron
 3.  Juan Flojo  8.  Canon Carandang
 4.  Santos Magsino  9.  Felix Guevarra
 5.  Tiburcio Carandang 10. Roque Macahia
11. Lope Castillo
6. Story of old barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct:

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There is no sitio or barrio within the jurisdiction of Darasa that has become depopulated or extinct.

7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc. – N O N E

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

(A) During the Spanish occupation:
During the latter part of the Spanish regime, retail business in this barrio, as well as in the poblacion, was in the hands of the Chinese. Under the able leadership of Mr. Pedro Carandang, a prominent resident of the place, the Chinese were peacefully dislodged and the retail trade as returned to the hands of the natives.

There once lived in this barrio a man by the name of Leoncio Guiao, popularly known in the locality as Maestrong Leoncio. He was given this nickname because of the fact that he was the master carpenter and mason who executed the plans and constructed the Roman Catholic church of Tanauan and Taal. It is said that the man was brought here from Manila by the church authorities for church construction. In the course of time, he married a native of this barrio named Rufina Magsino, alias “Pinay Castila” because of her size, profile and complexion. The couple died without offspring.

(B) During the American occupation to World War II:
1. Zonification was effected in the barrio.
2. Bridges and the road to the capital were built.
3. Many supervisors, principals, classroom teachers, policemen and clerks that served in the municipality were natives of this barrio. (Many are still in the service.)
4. In 1918, an epidemic of influenza broke out. Many expectant mothers and others succumbed to the disease. Deaths were so fast that it was deemed necessary to prohibit the tolling of the church bell to prevent alarm and nervousness on the part of the people.

(C) During and after World War II:
Considerable destruction to lives and properties were caused by the Japanese invaders.

In March, 1945, a supply truck of the Japs was ambushed in this barrio by the guerrillas under Col. Martin Carandang. Two Japs were killed, and the truck was burned after the guerrillas had taken plenty of foodstuffs from it.

Upon the death of Col. Carandang in Sta. Clara, his older brother, Marcelino, took command of the underground movement and together with Maj. Quiterio Villarino, continued the activities of the movement. Many of their men were Darasa-born.

After the liberation of the province, the barrio school was opened in May, 1945. Immediately thereafter, repair of the building, which was partly burned by the Japs, was undertaken through the help of the barrio people. When enrolment increased a year later, one temporary classroom was erected from surplus buildings bought from Batangas, also at the expense of the people of the barrio.

Many of the war sufferers received war damage compensations from the U.S.-Phil. War Damage Commission. This enabled the local residents to start rehabilitating their finances and economic situation.

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9. (a) Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars, especially in:

1896-1900:
Many families lost their work animals as a result of the confusion during this period, especially when the people fled in haste upon the arrival of the Americans.

A cholera epidemic broke out in the zone, but it was immediately controlled by the U.S. Army doctors.

1941-1945:
Almost ______ persons were massacred by the Japs. Nine houses were burned and the owners found themselves homeless when they returned after liberation.

All domestic animals were gone, either eaten by the Japs and guerrillas or died of hunger and thirst.

Houses that were not burned were ransacked by looters and divested of all their contents.

(b) Measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II:

With the cash received from the War Damage Commission, many homes were rebuilt and new ones were erected.

Work animals were secured and farming once again were resumed.

All children returned to school, and more teachers were employed to teach them.

The school building has been repaired and enlarged to accommodate all pupils.

Four artisan wells were drilled, two by the government and two by private individuals who could afford. Mr. Apolonio S. Magsino and Mr. Vicente V. Sabalvaro deserve to be remembered in this community welfare work.

New enterprises sprang, giving more people more work to do to earn their daily bread. This refers to the cloth and clothes-making business. Vegetable growing and poultry raising are becoming popular in the barrio. The use of fertilizer has been popularized, too.



P A R T    T W O :    FOLKWAYS

10. Traditions, Customs and Practices in Domestic and Social Life:

(a) Birth: The birth of a boy as first child is a token of good luck. [The] Birth of twins is an omen of prosperity.

(b) Baptism: Baptism is given due celebration. The sponsors to the baptismal party are usually expected to shoulder the church fee, baptismal dress, drinks and the “pakimkim.”

Baptism has assumed such an important role in [the] lives of Filipinos that interesting and varied customs related to it have

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grown throughout the Philippines.

Like most Christian Filipinos, the people of Darasa believe that until a child is baptized, he is under the spell of evil spirits and, if he dies unbaptized, he goes straight to hell. Because of this somewhat fanatic belief, the parents of a newborn child at once decide as to what name they will give the child and who the sponsor of sponsors will be at his baptism. In choosing the sponsors or rather the name of the child, they usually refer to the calendar of Honorio Lopez, for most parents believe that it is not good to just pick out a beautiful name which is not in the calendar.

As soon as the sponsor or sponsors have been agreed upon by the couple, either the father or the mother or both of them go to the house of the would-be sponsor and inform him that he or she has been chosen to act as the sponsor for their child in his baptism. They then agreed upon the date when the baptism will be held.

In cases when the child falls ill before being baptized or his parents still wait for a time they have their child first temporarily baptized. This is locally known as the “buhos.” This is done by acting as a priest and baptized the child as a real priest does with the selected sponsors present. It is the belief that if a child has been baptized even temporarily, even if he dies, he dies a Christian and will not go to hell. Sometimes, a little party goes with this ritual.

(c) Courtship: Before the marriage, the young man renders personal services to the girl’s family and oftentimes gives dowries.

(d) Marriage: The marriage may be simple or very grand depending upon the agreement of both parties. All the young girls in the barrio are invited to accompany the bridal pair to the town for the marriage and then to the home of the bride for the feast. Expenses are shouldered by the groom’s parents.

(e) Death and Burial: Quaint and interesting as baptism is the burial custom of Darasa.

Whenever a person dies in the neighborhood of the place, the neighbors, friends, and especially the relatives go to the house of the deceased and pay homage to the dead. These people, the women in particular, usually wear black or clothes with colors not suggestive of joy to show their sympathy to and mourn with the bereaved family of the deceased. They, too, usually give contributions or alms to the dead in this occasion.

If the dead body is to be laid in state overnight, there is always the “puyatan.” This is a custom in which some very faithful friends, neighbors and relatives of the dead and the bereaved family watch over the dead for the whole night without sleeping, for it is believed that if the dead is left unwatched, he will be taken away by evil spirits. In this “lamayan” or “puyatan,” there

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are always games, usually card games, to prevent drowsiness among those who keep vigil through the night. Food is usually served at midnight and at dawn.

As wreaths, like candles, are inevitable to the common way of paying respect to the dead, a wreath or wreaths are made by the neighbors for the family of the deceased aside from those specially given by friends and relatives.

Before the dead body is taken to its final resting place, it is first taken to the church for a religious service. But a special prayers is usually said at the house before the dead is taken to the church. It sounds queer, but it has been the custom in the place to close all the windows of the house as the coffin containing the corpse is taken out of the house. This is done for fear that someone may look out of the window, because it is the belief that if someone looks out of the window while the coffin is being taken down the house, somebody akin to the dead will soon follow him to the grave.

At the cemetery, the coffin is opened to give the bereaved family a last glimpse of the departed one or, in case of a dead parent, to have his or her last blessing. At such occasion, much care is exercised not to drop a single tear on the corpse, for it is the belief that should a tear fall on the body of the dead, a member of the bereaved family will soon follow the dead.

For nine consecutive evenings from the time of the death, prayers are said in honor of the departed soul for its peaceful repose in the land of hereafter. On the 4th day and most especially on the 9th day, special prayers are said for the departed one. These prayers [are] usually said during lunch time and after the prayers, a pompous lunch is served on these occasions. In taking away the plates from the table, care must be taken not to put one plate above the other, for it is believed that if they are placed on above the other, deaths in the family will come one after another.

(f) Visits and Festivals: Whenever visitors are expected in this barrio, the receiving parties keep their homes in good shape. They clear the surroundings and the house. They prepare delicious food. Young ladies and young men gather together and have some merrymaking. The old folks feast in their old way. During May festivities, there are plenty of fireworks especially for the young ladies by the young men.

11. Superstitions:
a. It is a sign of bad luck when a snake or black cat crosses your way at night. That is, when you see either of the two crossing your way.

b. When planting bananas, the planter must not look up so that the plant will not grow very tall before it bears fruits.

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It is said that planters must sit down so that the plants will not grow tall.

Planters must open their hands wide so the fruits would grow big.

c. Earthquakes are said to be caused by the people who live under the ground called “Nono.” When they become angry, they shake the earth and whoever falls down will forever be epileptic, a chronic nervous disease.

d. People believe that a golden cow lives in an active volcano and whoever wishes to catch this cow and attempts to do so will mean disaster. This volcano will erupt and kill many people.

e. The appearance of a comet means war and famine, especially when a tail is going down. They say that all the people will be wiped out of the world.

f. Lightning and thunder is said to be caused by a giant living at the foot of the mountain. Every time the weather becomes cool, this giant will strike two stones to produce sparks to build fire. The noise produced is said to be the thunder and the sparks become the lightning. Thus, the smoke becomes the clouds.

g. When a star or the sun comes near the moon, this is a sign that the world is coming to a near end.

h. Most people of the barrio still believe that sickness is caused by small people called “nono.” This is said to be incurable except by the quack doctors called “albulario.” The people believe in witchcraft. One, they say, is the “tikbalang,” who always tries to lead you to another direction when you are walking in the forest.

12. (a) Popular Songs:

1. Tiririt ng Maya
2. Ang Bayan Kong Pilipinas
3. Chitchiritchit Alibambang
4. Bahay Kubo
5. Leron-leron Sinta
6. Sampaguita
7. Tulog na Bunso

Please note that all of these songs have been mentioned in some barrios and do not need to be written again. (Refer to other barrios if you desire to know the words.)

(b) Games and Amusements:
1.  Pandanggo 5.  Pakito
2.  Subli 6.  Panggingue
3.  Moro-moro 7.  Solitario
4.  Juego-de-Anillo on horseback. 8.  Pata
9.  Tres-siete
13. Puzzles and Riddles:

1. Ako’y nagtanim ng dayap sa gitna ng dagat,
Walang puno’y walang ugat,
Humihitik ang bulaklak. (Bituwin)
2. Hinili kung nag-iisa
Itinapon ko ay dalawa. (Tulya)

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3. Ako’y natakot sa nag-iisa,
Hindi ako natakot sa dalawa. (Tulay)
4. Ang kabayo kong si Kuran
Ayaw kumain kundi sakyan. (Kudkuran)
5. Binili ko nang binilim,
Pagkatapos aking ipinagbigti. (Kurbata)
6. Nang aking pinatay
Lalong tumagal ang buhay. (Kandila)
7. Ang baboy ko sa pulo
Ang balahibo’y pako. (Langka)
8. Mataas kapag nakaupo,
Mababa kung nakatayo. (Aso)
9. Bumili ako ng alipin
Mataas pa sa akin. (Sombrero)
10. Dala mo’y dal aka
Dala ka ng iyong dala. (Sapatos)
11. Nagkula’y walang mansa,
Nagsisi walang sala. (Kulasisi)
12. Mayroon akong alipin
Susunod-sunod sa akin. (Anino)
13. Haba mong kinakain
Lalo kang gugutumin. (Purga)
14. Maliit pa ang aking kapatid
Maronong nang umawit. (Kuliglig)
15. Pag araw ay bumbong,
Kung gabi’y alon. (Banig)
16. Dalawang tindahan,
Sabay sarhan sabay buksan. (Mata)
17. Dalawang mahabang urang,
Nag-uunahan. (Paa)

14. Proverbs and Sayings:
1. Lumalakad ang kalabasa, naiiwan ang bunga.
2. Kung may hirap ay may ginhawa.
3. Ang taong hindi magmahal sa sariling wika
Mahigit pa sa hayop at malansang isda.
4. Ang maliliit ay siyang nakakapuwing.
5. Ang tao’y hindi nakikilala sa salita,
Kundi sa gawa.
6. Kung ang tubig ay maingay ay asahan mong
Mababaw, nguni’t kung tahimik ay malalim.
7. Ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan
Ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan.
8. Kung ano ang bukang bibig,
Ay siyang laman ng dibdib.
9. Magpakataas-taas ng lipad, sa lupa rin papatak.
10. Ang walang hirap magtipon,
Walang hinayang magtapon.
11. Haghahangad ng isang dakot,
Ang nawala ay isang salop.
12. Nakikilala ang tunay na kaibigan,
Sa oras ng kagipitan.
13. Ang kahoy habang malambot ay madaling mabaloktot
Kung lumaki at tumayog mahirap nang mahutok.
14. Walang batong sakdal tigas na sa patak ng
Ulan ay hindi naaagnas.
15. Ang maniwala sa sabi-sabi,
Ay walang bait sa sarili.
16. Kung maikli ang kumot, ay magtiis mamaloktot.
17. Kung ano ang itinanim ay siyang aanihin.
18. Ang hipong natutulog ay nadadala ng agos.
19. Ibang pari, ibang ugali.
20. Malakas ang bulong kay sa sigaw.

Note: others mentioned in other barrios.

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

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