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January 5, 2018

Talang, San Nicolas, Batangas: Historical Data

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

[Note to the reader.]

At the time when this document was created, the barrio of Talang was still a part of Taal rather than San Nicolas. The latter did not become a separate municipality until the year 1955, after the passage of Republic Act No. 1229.

[p. 1]

Cultural Life of the
Barrio of Talang

I. Present official name of the barrio.
The present official name of the barrio is Talang.

II. How the barrio got its name.
Before the coming of the Spaniards, in this place, there were many trees called “Talang.” Since that time, the people called the barrio “Talang” named after the tree.

A talang tree is somewhat similar to an avocado tree. Its bark is dark brown. Its branches are spreading. The leaves are arranged close to each other. The fruit, when ripe, is yellow. It can be eaten.

III. Original families.
The first families who lived in the barrio were Juan Encarnacion and Martin de Sagun.

IV. List of tenientes from the earliest to date.
 1.  Mariano Rodriguez  6.  Ramon Morales 11. Martin Manalo
 2.  Martin de Sagun  7.  Manuel Caringal 12. Fermin Rodriguez
 3.  Juan Encarnacion  8.  Pedro Mendoza 13. Marcelo Morales
 4.  Rigo Banawa  9.  Catalino Pesigan
 5.  Marcelo Pesigan 10. Emeterio de Sagun


V. Important facts, incidents or events that took place.
(a) During the Spanish occupation, there was no destruction.

(b) During the Japanese [occupation], many houses and other properties were burned by the Japanese. There were only two persons killed by the Japanese.

(c) After the Japanese-American War up to the present, new house have been built.

[p. 2]

Old folks had many superstitious beliefs. Among them were that during New Year’s Eve, people keep on watching the whole night. When the night is very bright, they would say that they have an easy time in cleaning their kaingin. They were also watching the sounds made by birds. When they heard first the sound of the “nahaw,” they thanked God for they would have a good harvest the coming year. But if they hear first the sound of the “oriole,” they were very sorry because they said that there would be a great famine the coming year. They also believed on the cackle of hens. When the hen cackled at midnight, there would be certain women to elope the following night.

It was also believed that when the first thunder from the south was heard during the New Year and the second sound of thunder from the north, the people would be in great trouble the following year. Such were the superstitions of the old folks. As these old [folks] kept on watching for the first and second thunder during New Year, so it had come to [a] realization. When they heard these sounds that came from the directions these [came from], these [old folks] were expecting they [would be] in great trouble. Two months later, earthquakes were felt all over the surrounding areas, causing great terror among the people. The earthquakes were both frequent and severe. These earthquakes resulted to the formation of a small but deep pond near the foot of one of the mountains. In those days, the hills, volleys and mountains were covered with coconut trees.

In 1754, one of the mountains erupted, thus causing the lake to appear, and the mountain sank to the lake. The eruption of the volcano caused the old Taal church to [be] ruined with some towns nearby. From that time, the people who inhabited the devastated area called the “Taal Lake.”

The earthquakes made cracks on land and water from the lake flowed to these cracks of land, thus forming a river. The natives called the river “Pancipit River” because of the crabs they could catch in that river pinched their hands very much. After first the river passed between Talang and San Nicolas. The river changed its course due to very often earthquakes.

In the early days, people knew only two kinds of sickness. They knew only fever and stomach trouble. There were no doctors except the arbolario which they called the medicong “tainga.” There was not a single drugstore [from] where to buy medicine. The sick person could be cured with some kinds of plants or grasses called medicine. When the people died, they said that he or she died of fever or stomach trouble.

The old folks believed in [something] with which they called “ticbalang.” The witch could imitate the appearance of the mother or the father and even the nearest relative of the children. When the children were playing far from the house, the witch appeared as if it were [the] mother of the child playing. She would call the child’s name, imitating the voice of the child’s mother. The child would come in the belief that it was her mother calling. The witch would accompany the child to their home. The child thought that he was in his or her own home. The witch then offered the child some foods to be eaten. Once the child ate the food, he could not go home anymore.

[p. 3]

The parents of the child would ask help from their neighbors to look for the child. Many people would go to the forest blowing the horn. When the witch heard the horn, it would run away, leaving the child alone. The people could hardly catch the child because he was already bewitched. The child seemed to be wild. They would let the child wear [a] necklace having a cross for the belief that the ticbalang is afraid of the cross.

People during that time could perform some magic by the help of some talismans. They could make the flood stop and crossed it by saying some oration. They could even walk on the water by means of the magic. But by means also of (something) magic, they could not walk and instead of walking on the water, they sank.

The most popular songs during the early days were the “Kutang” and the “Kundiman.” They were very fond of playing some games. Among them were the “Pandango” and the “Moro-moro.”

In those days, there were no watches. People living in the mountain used the sounds of birds as their watch. There were birds called “kalao” which used to utter sounds before sunrise and they said six o’clock, at noon twelve, and when the sun was setting, six o’clock P.M. Some people used iron bars stuck to the ground as their watch. When the sun rose, the shadow of this iron bar was very long. They said it was six o’clock in the morning. When the sun was over the head of the iron bar, [it] had no shadow. They said it was twelve o’clock.

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

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