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January 4, 2018

Suplang, Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data

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

[p. 1]

HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO OF SUPLANG

Part One: History

1. Present official name of the barrio: SUPLANG.

2. Popular name of the barrio, present and past:
Present – Suplang
Past – Suplang

3. Date of establishment: Not available.

4. Original families:
Ponciano Cabrera
Prudencio Redondo
Filomeno Austria
Moises Perez
Donato Redondo
Cristituto Cabera
Liberato Villarino
Rufino Cabera
5. List of tenientes from the earliest time to date:
Prudencio Redondo
Filomeno Austria
Ponciano Cabrera
Cristituto Cabrera
Donato Redondo
Ciriaco Maranan
Moises Perez
Pablo Natanauan
Liberato Villarino
Quintin Natanauan
1903-1910
1910-1913
1913-1916
1916-1919
1919--1922
1922-1928
1928-1942
1942-1943
1943-1952
1952-1953
6. Story of old barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct: N o n e.

7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.:

The only historical site that remains now is the “Pinagkwartelan,” so-called because the headquarters of the Spanish soldiers was constructed there.

8. Important facts, incidents, or events that took place:
(a) During the Spanish occupation: During the Spanish occupation, the Spaniards built a camp (Kwartel) in the barrio of Suplang. The place was surrounded by big trees and thick bushes which protected the soldiers from enemies. Fighting between the Spaniards and Filipino insurgents took place in this barrio.



(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: None.

(b) Measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II:
1. Construction of new and better houses.
2. Scientific farming: application of fertilizers and rotation of crops.
3. Interest in the increase of food production: poultry, pig-raising, and home gardening.

[p. 2]

Part Two: Folkways

10. Customs and traditions:
(a) Baptism: When a child is born, it is given a preliminary baptism called “buhus tubig,” or “buhusan.” This is especially so when the child is sick. It is the common belief of the barrio folks that when a child dies without the benefit of baptism, it becomes a tiyanak. It is also believed that when someone steps over the grave of the unbaptized child, he or she becomes sick, locally termed “natabang.” The “buhus tubig” is usually solemnized by any old person in the locality.

Baptism by the priest: Unless the baby is fully baptized, that is, unless the priest solemnizes the baptism, it is not yet considered a true Christian. A sponsor or sponsors are selected by the parents. Usually, the sponsor (ninong or ninang) buys the baptismal gown for the baby and he pays also for all the expenses in the church. Aside from these, he also buys gifts for the child and “regalos” for the feast which usually follows every baptismal ceremony.

(b) Deaths: After death, the dead is usually buried the following day. During the time that the body is still in the house, prayers are offered by visitors. Before burial, the dead is taken to the local parish for the last benediction, officiated by the local priest. After burial, prayers are again said every night until the ninth day. This is called the “siyaman,” when after the prayers are said, the younger folks organize parlor games like the so-called “dupluhan,” “huege de frenda,” etc. One year after the death of a person, his or her family will hold the “laglagan ng luksa.” (This is the end of the period of mourning.)

(c) Courtship: Undoubtedly, many of our present day customs were inherited from our forefathers. At present, there are still traces of those traditions which our elders cherished. During those days, courting was mostly done by the parents of the man; that is, his parents talked with the parents of the lady he loved and if both parties agreed, their children were betrothed. However, in some cases, the parents of the girl first resorted to the so-called “garaduhan,” (the number of the man’s name was matched with that of the girl’s.) and if their numbers did not match, their betrothal was called off. On the other hand, if their numbers matched, the wedding plans were made. The man then began or started to prove his worth by doing all the household chores in the girl’s house. He chopped firewood, fetched water from the well, pounded rice, etc. This went on for weeks or months, and sometimes years.

(d) Marriage: Marriage customs of those days were no different from those of today, save for the fact that during those days, the bride and the groom were not allowed to live together until after the fourth day of their marriage.

(e) “Bayanihan:” This is the custom which is still carried to this day. The menfolk of the barrio offer their services free to their neighbors, like for example, when someone’s house is to be moved to another place, or someone’s palay is to be harvested.

[p. 3]

11. Superstitions, beliefs, interpretations, etc.:
(a) Children:
1. Once the cord has been cut off from a newly-born child, the cord is wrapped and hung in the ceiling of the house. (This means that the child will have a high position when he grows up.)
2. The clothes and beddings used during the delivery must be washed in a place where the water flows rapidly. (This means the child will be very active.)
3. In the first feeding of the child, a sharp pointed utensil must be used. (The child will be sharp-witted.)
4. The placenta of the child is buried with some pages of a book. (This makes the child intelligent.)

(b) Other beliefs:
1. When a cat wipes its face, a visitor will come.
2. When a spoon falls when someone is eating, a lady visitor is coming; whereas, if a fork falls, a male visitor is coming.
3. When a girl sings before a stove, she will marry a widower.
4. If a bride wears her wedding dress before the wedding, bad luck will befall her.
5. It is not good to sweep the floor at night.
6. Putting the plates one over the other when someone in the house is dead means another member of the family will soon die also.

12. Popular songs, games and amusements: N o n e.

13. Puzzles and riddles: N o n e.

14. Proverbs and sayings:
1. If a person is careless, his wealth is useless.
2. A faithful friend is better than gold.
3. He who believes in tales has no mind of his own.
4. What comes from bubbles goes to bubbles.
5. He who goes with a muddy carabao gets muddy, too.
6. It is easy to be a man, but hard to be a gentleman.
7. If wind is planted, [a] storm will be harvested.
8. The sun does not set unless the day is complete.
9. A piece of work poorly done is better than the work undone.
10. A person is measured by his acts.

15. Methods of measuring time, special calendars: N o n e.

16. Other folktales: N o n e.

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

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