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January 4, 2018

Piña, Taysan, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Piña 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.

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HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE
BARRIO OF PIÑA, TAYSAN, BATANGAS

Piña is a lovely barrio which offers to the sight delightful contours and placid landscapes. A profound sensation of beauty and majesty emanates from the surroundings of which Nature seems to have lavished her tender caresses. The barrio is situated between the mountainous regions of Lobo and Taysan and it is traversed by a river. On either side of the narrow river appears greening rice fields. A little further to the east are to be seen the slopes of the mountain of Pinagbayanan and a little further, the Naguiling Mountains, affording a safe refuge against some unknown dangers.

About the year 1900, the barrio of Piña was beginning to acquire importance to some of its rival barrios in the production of rice and other staple crops. People coming from Apar, Pinaghawanan, Lobo and a part of Pinagbayanan, a barrio of Taysan to the provincial capital, have to pass through Piña. It was, thus, centrally located for communication and trade for it is near the provincial road.

But, unfortunately, most of the inhabitants do not own a single foot of land, for nearly all of Piña formed a part of an estate (hacienda) which at times belonged to the well-known Kapitan Omas (Tomas Ramirez). But later, the land was divided to his children and his loyal followers. But as the years went and the wheel of fortune rolled, some of the heirs had to abandon their shares of the piece of land, and thus, it was sold to the people who liked it; now, the land in Piña is not a hacienda anymore; it is a land of the re-

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sidents of the barrio. Since the Spanish colonization, Piña was already known. It includes the sitios of Buho, Libjo, Aswite, and Conde. Malabo, which was formerly having its own teniente del barrio, had to give way and it became a part of Piña. The sitios of this barrio got their names from what grew in abundance and from places where the settlers came from; like Buho gotten from buho, a family of the bamboo plant which grew in abundance in that place. Conde is a sitio of Piña which derived its name from a place where the settlers of that place came from. They came from Conde, a barrio of Batangas. All the settlers in that portion of Piña came from Conde, Batangas; that is why the sitio is popularly known as pook ng Conde or just simply Conde.

Piña has the following list of Tenientes (as far as the writer knows and according to his information).
1. Mr. Pedro Andal
2. Mr. Mariano Peradilla
3. Mr. Mariano Manalo
4. Mr. Gregorio Manalo
5. Mr. Toribio Magnaye
6. Mr. Juan Florendo
7. Mr. Agapito Barte
8. Mr. Juan Florendo
9. Mr. Engracio Mendoza
10. Mr. Catalino Camagong
11. Mr. Engracio Mendoza - since 1932 to the present
During the period of the first 4 and in the time of Mr. Catalino Camagong, Piña was well taken care of [by] their tenientes and the barrio was in abundance, prosperous, and the people were united and having harmony. The barrio was progressive. In the period of other tenientes, especially in the period of Mr. Engracio Mendoza, there was no unity and harmony among the people. Barrio trails and roads were very dirty, cows and animals were always loitering, especially in summer, des-

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troying the plants like bananas and coconuts. There was no sign of progress. Sometimes, i wonder why the presidents of our town did not change this incompetent and irresponsible teniente of our barrio in spite of the reports from the people that they did not like that teniente for certain obvious reasons.

II – FOLKWAYS

Piña is rich in traditions, customs and other beliefs. One of these traditions is the family relation – family unity. They are bound by the tradition that they don’t want to live far from each other.

Regarding birth, baptism, courtship, marriage, and death, there are as many customs as in other places some of these costumes are:

a. A woman who is pregnant must first deliver in the house of the girl’s parents, the first fruit of their labor.

b. It is the custom in this barrio. Before marriage, the boy must serve in the house of the girl. This serving sometimes counts months or even years.

c. In marriage, it is the custom here that the gathering must always be held in the house of the woman with the necessary things to be used which will be supplied by the boy or his parents. After the marriage, the girl is accompanied by the relatives of the boy to his house. The boy is being left in his “in-laws’ ” house. He follows the girl only at the wish of his “in-laws.”

d. The people in this barrio usually celebrate their deaths with parties. The party ranges from the time of death up to a year. The celebration is done on the 4th, 9th, 30th and on the 365th day of his death.



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In line with legends and myths, there is nothing to be heard of; but in beliefs and superstitions, there are many:

a. It is a common belief that when a hen cackles at night and a rooster answers it, a boy and a girl are going to elope.

b. It is also a belief that when we smell [the] odor of candles that are put out, a relative of the one who smells you dies.

c. When the leaves of the madre cacao or upside down, their belief is [that] there will be a storm.

d. When the crows crow at night, it is a sign of bad omen.

e. When the cock is the first one to perch on the tree, it is a sign that there will be a strong wind.

f. When the cat washes its face facing inside the house, there is a visitor coming.

g. It is a belief that it is not good to take a bath on [a] new moon.

Popular Songs, Games and Amusements.

There are many songs, old and new, now existing in this barrio, but the most preferred are the kundimans of long ago and some of the haranas.

Various games for amusement or existing, such as cockfighting, playing with cards such as the monte, hukyangs, pakitos and ripas. These games are done by the old folks. A game that is done and not good for it is a sort of gambling. The young folks prefer ball game such as baseball, softball, volleyball and others. Basketball is an unknown game in this locality.

Puzzles and Riddles.

As in other places, this rural community is, too, having puzzles and riddles that can be heard among the people. Puzzles and riddles here may be the same as in other places, so no more need to mention some.

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Proverbs and Sayings.

There are various proverbs and sayings which are existing in this barrio. Some of these proverbs may also be the same as in other barrios, so I will mention only a few which may be so popular in this barrio:

Proverbs:

1. Pag wala kang itinanim, wala ka ring aanihin.

2. Walang mahirap na trabaho sa matiyagang tao.

3. Maglaan ka ng maaga at kung dumating ang araw ay huwag kang mamangamanga.

4. Ang taong nagigipit, sa patalim ay kumakapit.

5. Magpakalinis-linis man ang langit, may na daan ding tagulait.

Sayings: Here are some of the most popular sayings:

1. Bahala na.

2. May kaloob din ang Diyos.

3. Ikaw na ang mag-ako.

4. Nakisig.

5. Matanda man ang turo ay ibig din ang sariwang damo.

Methods of measuring time, special calendar.

Since this barrio is very far from the town, various means of measuring time are employed. Some of these are by the songs of birds; by the chattering of some animals and others are told by the position of the sun and the moon and still others are predicted by the position of the stars and by the crowing of the cocks at night.

During cloudy days and night, they cannot for tell the time by the position of the sun and the stars, so the most useful way to these barrio folks is by the crowing of the cocks at night and the songs of the birds

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popularly known as “kalo” or the hornbill. This bird always [sings?] at night, at eight, ten and twelve in the morning and at two and four o’clock in the afternoon. By this shout of this bird, they know it is already noon or it is time to drive the cows to the barn.

Regarding other information, I am sorry to inform everybody that there is no more news which can be gathered, especially folktales and other valuable information regarding books and other documents. Such is the life which is prevailing in this remote barrio of Piña, Taysan, Batangas.





Respectfully submitted:

[Sgd.] EMETERIO M. EVANGELISTA

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

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