June 26, 2020

10 World War II Trivia Set in Batangas
Image credit:  United States National Archives.
Image credit:  United States National Archives.
World War II and the Japanese occupation of the Philippines from 1942-1945 rank among the most tragic events ever to have affected the Province of Batangas. Thousands were massacred by the Japanese and countless more had to endure hunger as well as the loss of homes and means of livelihood.

June 18, 2020

The Amusing Folkloric Tale of How Lipa City Got its Name


Many of the folkloric stories about how the cities, towns and barrios of Batangas got their names had something to do with amusing supposed interactions between natives and the early Spanish settlers or soldiers in the province. Frequently, these poked fun at the Spaniards for having misheard or misinterpreted something that the natives were supposed to have said in their own language.

June 11, 2020

May 30, 2020

WWII Batangas:  Forced Cotton Planting and Civilian Hunger
Image credit: rushi3030 (talk) - I (Hrushi3030 (talk)) created this work entirely by myself., Public Domain, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30019883
Image credit: rushi3030 (talk) - I (Hrushi3030 (talk)) created this work entirely by myself., Public Domain, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30019883.
Among the common themes related to World War II in Batangas found in the so-called “historical data” required by the administration of President Elpidio Quirino in 1951 were those of the forced plantation of cotton by farmers and the consequential hunger among the civilian population.

May 23, 2020

A 1920 Biography of Apolinario Mabini
Image credit:  National Historical Commission - National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1189762.
Image credit:  National Historical Commission - National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1189762.
From a 1920 publication entitled “Prose Selections” of the Department of Public Instruction and Bureau of Education, we extract this easy to read story of the life of Batangueño hero Apolinario Mabini. The biography was written less as a historical sketch and more as reading material for students of secondary-level English.

May 22, 2020

How Mount Batulao Got Its Name – a Folkloric Story
Image credit: Biag arnel - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69508074.
Image credit: Biag arnel - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69508074.
At the border between the provinces of Batangas and Cavite rises an inactive volcano called Mount Batulao. It has an elevation of 2,274 feet and is the southwestern edge of the Tagaytay Mountain Range. Most of the mountain is within the territorial boundaries of the Municipality of Nasugbu1.

May 18, 2020

The Beginnings of “Kapeng Barako’s” Association with Batangas
Image credit: Yvette Tan - [1], CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75060459.
Image credit: Yvette Tan - [1], CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75060459.
Fact 1: Mention “kapeng barako” (Spanish: café verraco1) and most people immediately think of the province of Batangas. This is despite the fact that, in terms of aggregate coffee production, in recent years, Batangas has produced only 13% of the CALABARZON’s total coffee output compared to Cavite’s 67%2.

May 9, 2020

Guerrilla Groups that Operated in Batangas in WWII
Guerrillas in action in Batangas in WWII.  Image credit:  United States National Archives.
Guerrillas in action in Batangas in WWII.  Image credit:  United States National Archives.
Guerrilla groups that were formed and operated in the years of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines from early 1942 to mid-1945 played a crucial if understated role in the subsequent return of American-led Allied Forces to liberate the country in late 1944.

May 6, 2020

“At the Capture of Rosario:”  an Account of the US Army’s 1900 Incursion into Batangas
The US Army stationed in front of the Cathedral of San Sebastian.  Image souce:  Hoosiermarine on Flickr.
The US Army stationed in front of the Cathedral of San Sebastian.  Image souce:  Hoosiermarine on Flickr.
This article contains a transcription of an article that appeared in a 12 January 1900 issue of “The American1,” an English-language newspaper published in Manila at the turn of the 20th century, apparently for the benefit of United States military personnel as well as representatives of the fledgling American colonial government in the Philippines.

April 30, 2020

PHOTO:  US Army Moving in to Liberate Santo Tomas, Batangas March 1945
Image credit: United States National Archives. US troops moving into Santo Tomas, Batangas March 1945.
Image credit: United States National Archives. US troops moving into Santo Tomas, Batangas March 1945.
Beginning March 1945, the United States Army commenced an operation to liberate the province of Batangas from Japanese control, this after the Philippine capital of Manila had been secured. US Army strategic planners thought out a two-pronged or “pincer” movement to envelop the province.

April 29, 2020

PHOTO:  Newly-Constructed Bridge Laguna-Batangas Border, Postwar
Bridge over Batangas-Laguna border.  Image credit:  United States National Archives.
Bridge over Batangas-Laguna border.  Image credit:  United States National Archives.
Above is a picture of the bridge along the Manila-Batangas Road at the border between the provinces of Laguna and Batangas. It has been taken from the United States National Archives where it is captioned as the “Viga Bridge,” likely Biga. The date when it was taken was not provided except that it was after World War II and probably part of the reconstruction of the Philippines with United States Aid.

April 26, 2020

PHOTO: Preparing to Blow up a Bridge in Batangas, 1941
Image credit:  United States National Archives. Filipino soldiers prepare to blow up a bridge in Batangas, 1941.
Image credit:  United States National Archives. Filipino soldiers prepare to blow up a bridge in Batangas, 1941.
Late in December 1943, with American forces in the Philippines unable to hold back the tide of the Japanese invasion, orders were issued by Gen. Douglas MacArthur for both American and Filipino forces to withdraw to the Bataan Peninsula where the defense against the invaders could be consolidated1.