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January 4, 2018

Bacao, Taysan, Historical Data:

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Bacao in the Municipality of Taysan, 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.]


DIVISION OF BATANGAS
District of Lobo
BACAO BARRIO SCHOOL
Taysan





HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE

OF THE

BARRIO OF

B A C A O







Prepared by:

[Sgd.] (Miss) JUANA C. UMALI
Teacher

[p. 1]

The story of how they settled the barrio is very interesting. It shows the beginning of our history. Moreover, it makes us understand the origin of the old, old ancestors, where they came from, why they came to that place, and how they came.

The present official name of our barrio is Bacao. Tracing from old folks, the popular name of the barrio – meaning and derivation was what they called “Pook ng Batalang Bato.” It was so called because since this barrio got its name, [a] group of houses was built. And there was also a very big plotted stones on the riverside and until at present, we can see those stones. There were also too many trees called “Bacaowan,” from which the name of the barrio Bacao was derived. This official name was given even before the coming of the Spaniards to the Philippines. Since that time, people began to settle the place. The very first families that took place with immigrants. These people came from different places and they began to cultivate the land. Since the place was a very big forest, there were many wild animals. The people were interested in hunting wild animals like deer and wild pigs. Now, some of these immigrants began to clear the forest which we call “kaingin.” Because of the rich soil, they were able to raise abundant crops like rice, corn and other cereals, fruits and vegetables. At present, the people are the descendants of the original inhabitants of Bacao.

[p. 2]

According to old folks, hereunder is the list of “tenientes” from the earliest time up to the present.
1. Camilo Manalo
2. Ignacio Manalo
3. Atanacio Montalbo
4. Silvino de Guzman
5. Ciriaco Mercado
6. Fausto de Guzman
7. Juan Dagli
8. Juan Manalo
9. Guan Dagli
for many years
for many years
for many years
for many years
for many years
for many years
for many years
for many years
At present.
The present inhabitants of Bacao settled in it since the American occupation. They were not troubled by the foreign invaders – the Americans. They lived in peace and were not troubled in their lives, save the rumors of raids which were never done.



Something happened during the Japanese occupation. Japanese soldiers came for a while just to secure chickens and other foodstuffs, but never molested the women or men in their abodes. No destruction of lives and properties were committed by the Americans or the Japanese during their occupations of our mother country.

Traditions and customs were handed [down] from generation to generation. Old barrio folks still cling to these customs and traditions, especially with regards to courtship and visitation. These are disliked by young men who clamor for change, while

[p. 3]

women stick to their parents’ wishes.

Marriage customs: They are married and churches before a priest, although some are married before a Justice of the Peace or Municipal Mayor.

During the olden days, when a young man desired to marry a young woman, he did not go and tell her that he wished to marry her. It was the parents of the man who chose the life partner for him. The parents of the man went and talked with the young woman’s parents. After an agreement, the man stayed mostly in the girl’s home and did all the man’s work, which we call “Serbe.” Today, a girl will not marry a man unless she loves him.

Before the marriage to place, a dowry or certain amount was given to the parents of the young woman as agreed upon. The dowry was called “bigay kaya.” Part of it went to the young woman’s parents, and part to the newly married couple.

Sometimes, the marriage ceremony was simple, but sometimes, elaborate. It depended on the financial standing of both parties.

Another interesting practice in connection with the celebration is the “sabugan,” where the couple is seated at the table with things to sell, very often kalamay, suman, cigars and bread. All friends and relatives of both [the] bride groom and bride buy anything they liked. What is very funny is that the things sold are very dear. It’s a sure way to get money for the couple. Today, the “sabugan” is not often done. The relatives of the

[p. 5]

couple just give gifts. Then comes the “dapitan,” the transferring of the bride to the bridegroom’s house.

Customs and traditions in birth: When a woman gives birth to a child, it is a common practice that every night, people, mostly friends and relatives of the woman, stay the whole night until the child is baptized.

Death: When a member of a family dies, there will be 9 vigil nights. Every night, people say prayers for the soul of the departed. On the fourth and ninth days after the death of a certain person, they say prayers in which pigs and cows are killed to [be] served [to] the people. Even [if] they have no money, they make debts just to fulfill this custom.

The people of this barrio are patient and tolerant. They engage mostly and farming as their means of living. They measure the time by means of the position of the sun.

During our leisure hours, people play cockfighting, hunting wild birds and chickens, and going to some amusements [such] as [the] pandanggohan and sublian.

Our popular songs are Gulondrina, Pipit Puso and some other kundimans.

Some proverbs are:

1. Kung anong tugtug ay siyang sayaw.

2. Pag may sinuksok ay may titingalain.

3. Not what we give, but what we share.

4. For the gift without the giver is bare.

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

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