January 4, 2018

Sala, Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Sala 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 SALA

Part One: HISTORY

1. Present official name of the barrio: SALA.

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

a. Popular name, present and past: Sala.
b. Derivation and meaning: Unknown.
c. Sitios included: None.

3. Date of establishment: Unknown.

4. Originanl families: Oñate, Tolentino and Lucido families.

5. List of tenientes from the earliest time to date:

Alberto Tolentino
Simeon Lucido
Epifanio Pamute
Valentin Masongsong
Guillermo Oñate
Pedro Oñate
Felipe Oñate

Cayetano Baranda
Sabino Carandang
Anselmo Tolentino
Maximo Muzares
Dionisio Natividad
Lorenzo Tolentino
Placido Alcazar
6. Story of old barrios and sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct: None.

7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.: None.

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

a. During the Spanish occupation: None.
b. During the American occupation to World War II: None.
c. During and after World War II: None.

9. a. Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars:

(1) In 1896-1900: None.
(2) In 1941-1945: One man, Dionisio Natividad, was lost. He went to the barrio of Talaga. From the time he went there sometime in March 1944, he never returned. He was supposed to have been caught by the Japanese soldiers who used to pass the Talaga road.

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

Soon after the liberation in 1945, the people went back to their homes. They resumed to work in the fields. They built trellises of wire with strong posts. They planted vegetables such as ampalaya, sitao, upo, patola, squashes, and beans. They tilled all vacant lots near their homes.

Part Two: FOLKWAYS

10. Traditions:

At the earliest stage of infancy when the child begins to talk, the parents impart the knowledge about God. He is taught to love God above all, and the parents next to Him.

Customs and practices in domestic and social life:

The parents, being farmers, train their children early to work in the fields. They help their fathers in planting different kinds

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of plants, caring for them and harvesting during the harvest season.

At home, the young folks are familiarized in keeping and rearing the common helpful domestic animals like chickens, pigs, horses, cows, and carabaos. By doing so, the children are of help in earning some money from the sale of extra animals beside from [the] good choice for their home consumption and as a helper in the field.

a. Birth:

When a child is born, the people commonly seek the help of [the] barrio (hilot) midwife. When the expectant mother gets a hard time in her delivery, then a physician is called.

b. Baptism:

After the delivery of the child, a sponsor is selected. If the child is a girl, a female sponsor is chosen; if a boy, a male one.

The sponsors provide the baptismal clothes for the child. The child is taken to the church or to the chapel. He is baptized by the priest. The godfather pays for all the services in the church. When they return to the barrio, the godfather and his friends purchase different kinds of drinks. They take them to the house of the child. Usually, a dinner is offered. They have the cold and hot drinks. They have singing and story-telling during the day.

c. Courtship:

The bachelor visits the girl as others do. When he wins the love of the girl, he refers it to his parents. The bachelor’s parents meet the parents of the girl and talk about the matter. Sometimes, the girl’s parents do not ask for something, but occasionally, they ask for a house where the couple will live, a certain [amount] of money, or a lot. When the boy’s parents can afford, they agree on the things asked for. Then, they set the day for marriage.

d. Marriage:

From the time of courtship, the boy’s parents, relatives, and friends prepare for the wedding feast. During the day before the marriage, the party (mamamaysan) of the boy’s parents, relatives, and friends go to the girl’s house. They build a shed, take the necessary things for the next day such as water, fuel, foodstuffs, and utensils. Then, they clean and decorate the house. In the evening, a supper is served. Oftentimes, a call, carabao, goat, pig, and chickens are butchered. Different kinds of recipes are prepared during the night. Early in the morning of the next day, breakfast is served. The bride and the groom with their friends dress themselves. They ride in the caretelas, jeeps or in cars to the church. A dinner is served to all the people present. When all have eaten, the shed is dismantled and the bride is escorted to the house of the groom.



e. Death:

When one dies, he is cleaned, and dressed in his best garments. He is placed on a bed, or on a table. A glass is placed beside him for voluntary contributions from any person who is willing to give. A candle is lighted at each corner of the bed; prayers are said for the repose of his soul. At night, nearly all persons stay awake. Sometimes, they pray, at other times, they play dama, cards or KARAGATAN, a traditional game played during someone’s death.

Every evening, the neighbors, relatives and friends go to the house of the person who died. At the fourth day, a party (apat na

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araw) takes place. [On the] Evening of the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth days, prayers are sent for the departed soul.

On the ninth they, a party (siyaman) is again managed during the day.

When the one that dice is a woman, there is a party on the thirtieth day; if a man, at the fortieth day.

The last party is the anniversary day (laglagan ng luksa). After this day, the members of the bereaved family do away with their mourning.

f. Visits:

A person who is sick is visited by his friends and relatives. Callers usually bring with them something for the sick.

g. Festivals:

The barrio fiesta, which is always celebrated annually, is the biggest affair. This fiesta is in consonance with the traditional “Flores de Mayo.”

Early in the morning before the barrio fiesta, the people in the whole barrio are busy in preparing many things. Some persons decorate the chapel, others decorate the roads, and the rest prepare their homes for the feast. They clean their homes, kill cows, carabaos, pigs, and chickens. Those persons who cannot afford [to] purchase even a quarter of some kilos of meat make a very simple preparation.

In the morning of the fiesta, a mass is usually said. People, young and old, come to the chapel to hear the mass, and to pray for the liberation of their souls and the souls of those who have departed.

After the mass is said, many children are baptized.

In the afternoon, a procession is healed. The Virgin is carried ahead of the procession, followed by the singers, the nicely dressed maidens that carry candles, the barrio people and the bands. After the procession is held, the floral offering [is] followed by a grand display of fireworks.

11. Beliefs, interpretations and superstitions:

a. Beliefs:

1. The people plant bananas after breakfast. They believe that when bananas are planted in the morning, the plants grow to be short. They eat first so that when the banana plants bear fruit, the bunch will be big and the fruit will be fat.

2. The people all believe in God as the best helper and redeemer. During the dry season when the people need rain, they have the “Intrina.” They believe that by doing so, God will give them brain and will help them have moist soil that will make their plants sprout and grow.

3. When anyone in the family is sick, they promised to visit any patron saints from the churches.

4. The common masses believe in [the] “nuno.” They say that [the] “nuno” is an underground spirit. They can make one sick. When one sits on it, steps upon it, or hurts it in anyway, it is enough to make one sick. Any sickness inflicted by the nuno cannot be cured by the physicians. Only the “magnununo” is the best person to be called in order to remedy the illness. The medicine man observes the sick person. He looks at the eyes, feet and hands of the patient. He says that the first essential medicine is “tawas” or alum.

b. Interpretations and superstitions:

1. During the dry season, when the heat at night and during the

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day becomes intense, the rainy season will be coming.

2. When the cocks crow frequently and long at night, morning is very near.

3. When the leaf at the peduncle of the jackfruit is yellow, the fruit is mature and is ready to be picked for the market.

4. When a premature child is buried without being baptized, the dew on the place where it was buried causes a person to be sick. The body of the person swells until he dies.

5. When a lizard goes to a house, the person that lives in it will have some misfortunes such as sickness, poverty, and ill health.

6. When the dogs howl at night, the “Grim Reaper” goes around calling the sick person to go with him.

7. After broadcasting the palay in the field, the owner should not shave his mustache or have his hair cut. Doing so will have his rice grow with the leaves all cut that will prevent the rapid growth of the rice plants.

12. Popular songs, games and amusements:

a. Mothers sing the lullabies in lulling their babies to sleep.
b. Adults sing the kundimans, balitaw, and the danzas.

Among the popular games and amusments are playing cards, cockfighting, going to shows, and softball.

13. Puzzles and riddles:

a. Baboy ko sa Pulo, ang balahibo ay pako. (nangka)
b. Bahay ni ate, iisa ang haligi. (payong)
c. Isang butil na palay, sikip sa buong bahay. (ilaw)
d. Isda ko sa Mariveles, nasa loob ang kaliskis. (sili)
e. Bahay ni giring-giring, butas-butas ang dingding. (bithay)

14. Proverbs and sayings:

a. Kapag ang ina ay magpapaso, ang anak ay magyayano.
b. Iisa ma’t duro, daig ang makaatlo.
c. Walang magiting na virgin sa magaling manalangin.
d. Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo.
e. Ang hilong nag-iisa, ay daig ng tursing abaca.
f. Ang bait ng bata ay nasa matanda.
g. Kapag sumuno ka sa kalabaw na putikan, ay sapilitang mapuputikan ka rin.

15. Methods of measuring time; special calendars:

a. By the stages of the rising and going down of the sun.
b. By the ringing of the bells at the church tower.
c. By the use of the cross stars.
d. By the crowing of the cocks at night.

There was no special calendar used.

16. Other Folktales: The Mangkukulam

There is a story handed by the elders to the younger generation which runs as follows:

Long ago, there was a man who traveled only at night. In the day, he looked like an ordinary man, but at night he looked different. At night, he carried fire with him. All his nails happened to have fire in them, so that every time he went around, he looked like a

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big lamp. His habit of going around was a kind of sickness that he could not control. He went around every night without fail, which made him awake all night, and unable to work in the day. He wanted to meet anyone at night. When he met anybody, he tried to chase, scratch, and hurt him. Anyone hurt by this “mangkukulam” becomes a “mangkukulam” also. So, the people were afraid of him for fear of being a “mangkukulam.”

Note:

Resource persons:
1. Mr. Placido Alcazar
2. Mr. Geminiano Tolentino
3. Mr. Engracio Medrana

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

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