November 16, 2018

Photos of “Typical” Batangas Tagalogs in 1904 according to an Expo Board Publication
Image extracted from "Album of Philippine Types: Christians and Moros" where it is labeled Plate 39.
Image extracted from "Album of Philippine Types: Christians and Moros" where it is labeled Plate 39.
In 1904, a world exposition was held from April to December in the Missouri City of St. Louis. It was called the Louisiana Purchase Exposition or, more popularly, the St. Louis World Fair. A total of 60 countries and some 45 American states kept exhibition areas which focused on diverse themes such as technology, history, architecture and anthropology1

November 3, 2018

Mataasnakahoy and the 19th Century Coffee Boom in Lipa
Image source:  Google Earth Street View.
Image source:  Google Earth Street View.
[In this article: Mataasnakahoy Batangas, Kasaysayan ng Mataasnakahoy, Mataasnakahoy history, Ceferino Capuchino, Templo family, Silva family, original settlers Mataasnakahoy, immigrants to Mataasnakahoy, Batangas coffee, barako coffee, coffea Arabica, coffea Liberica, abaca, lanzones, decline of coffee industry in Lipa]
This article is the second of a series based on a history of the small town of Mataasnakahoy written by Ceferino Capuchino in 19981. In the first instalment, we talked about how isolated Mataasnakahoy was in pre-Hispanic times, how most of its lands came to be owned by two of Lipa’s wealthiest families and how its rich volcanic soil started to attract migrants from mostly lakeside towns.

November 2, 2018

A 1922 “Tiyanak” Story set at the foot of Mount Makulot in Cuenca, Batangas
The tianak. Image credit:  Iaaaaaaaaaan on Deviant Art.
[In this article: Philippine myths, Philippine folklore, Cuenca Batangas, Mt. Makulot, tiyanak, supernatural creatures]
From the Henry Otley-Beyer Collection of the National Library of the Philippines, we extract another otherwise forgotten story about the Filipino folkloric creature “tiyanak” written in 1922 by one Ananias L. Chavez1. The word “tiyanak” (or tianac/tianak as it was spelled before) was supposed to be a derivation of the Tagalog words “patay anak” or dead child. Hence, even in the present day, there are still localities in Batangas which say “patiyanac” or “patianak” instead of just “tiyanak.”

October 31, 2018

The Prevalence of Bandits in Batangas in 1905 and American Moves to Suppress Them
Image extracted from the public domain book "Our Boys in the Philippines."
Image extracted from the public domain book "Our Boys in the Philippines."
[Batangas Province, ladrones, brigands, outlaws, tulisanes, ladrones habeas corpus, General Henry Clark Corbin, United Stations Army Philippine Division, Colonel Baker Philippine Constabulary]
Just over two years after the surrender of General Miguel Malvar to the United States Army, effectively putting an end to the Philippine-American War, the province of Batangas was still far from being in a state of peace and normalcy. Partly, this was because in the second half of 1904, bands of outlaws which the Americans called “ladrones1” (or “tulisanes” as they were known in Tagalog) started becoming more active not just in Batangas but also in the neighboring provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Tayabas (presently Quezon)2.

October 29, 2018

Excerpts from Letters of a Murdered American Schoolteacher Describing her Stay in Batangas in 1905
A school building in Batangas town early during the American colonial era.  Image from the public domain publication "A Tribute of Love to the Memory of Anna \Elizabeth Hahn."
A school building in Batangas town early during the American colonial era.  Image from the public domain publication "A Tribute of Love to the Memory of Anna \Elizabeth Hahn."
[In this article: Batangas Province, Batangas City, American colonial era, Thomasites, Batangas education, Anna Elizabeth Hahn]
From a memorial publication1 in honor of the American schoolteacher Anna Elizabeth Hahn, murdered in the then-town of Batangas in January of 1908, we get a descriptive picture of the town and the visit of what was likely the Taft Commission from letters written by the victim herself to her sister. Hahn was likely a Thomasite1 who according to an Ernest Bross “had gone in response to the (American) government’s call, in the hope and desire of teaching there (i.e. the Philippines)…” It was also Bross who stated that she was “murdered by the natives of Batangas Province2.

October 28, 2018

The Physical Characteristics of the People of Batangas in 1916
Image source:  United States Library of Congress.
Image source:  United States Library of Congress.
[In this article: Batangas Province, Rosario Batangas, Lipa Batangas, Batangas City, Taal Batangas, San Jose Batangas, Lemery Batangas, people of Batangas]
A section of a 1916 sociological paper1 written by one Jose de Villa makes for amusing reading seen from the context of contemporary times. The paper is part of the Henry Otley-Beyer Collection of the National Library of the Philippines. In the section, de Villa gave remarkable generalizations about the physical appearances of the people of Batangas, even going to the extent of giving distinct characteristics of peoples of certain towns.

October 26, 2018

The Wealthy Silvas and Templos of Lipa and the Original Families of Mataasnakahoy
View of Taal Lake from Barangay Nangkaan in Mataasnakahoy.  Image source:  Google Earth Street View.
View of Taal Lake from Barangay Nangkaan in Mataasnakahoy.  Image source:  Google Earth Street View.
[In this article: Mataasnakahoy Batangas, Kasaysayan ng Mataasnakahoy, Mataasnakahoy history, Ceferino Capuchino, Templo family, Silva family, original settlers Mataasnakahoy, immigrants to Mataasnakahoy]
Beginning with this article, Batangas History serializes the history of the small town of Mataasnakahoy based on a narrative written by one Ceferino Capuchino in 19981. The narrative, Capuchino himself wrote in the foreword, was compiled from stories of the elderly heard in the barbershop of his late father and from clan gatherings.

October 16, 2018

An Encantado Tale Told in Santo Tomas in 1925
Image source:  Celtic Fairy Music on YouTube.
Image source:  Celtic Fairy Music on YouTube.
[In this article: Batangas, Santo Tomas Batangas, encantado, engkantado, magic, supernatural, old tales, Batangas tales]
From an ethnographic paper written by one Aurora R. Hernandez, presumably of the soon-to-be city of Santo Tomas in Batangas, we get a story likely told in the town back in the year 1925 and earlier. The paper is part of the Henry Otley-Beyer Collection of the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collection1 and is about an encanto or encantado who became love-struck with a human.

Columnas Volantes: an Underground Paper and a Guerrilla Outfit in 1900 Batangas
Image source:  the Sandra Plummer Collection of the Fort Worth Texas Digital Library.  Colorized courtesy of Algorithmia.
Image source:  the Sandra Plummer Collection of the Fort Worth Texas Digital Library.  Colorized courtesy of Algorithmia.
[In this article: Philippine Revolution, Columnas Volantes de la Federacion Malaya, Lipa Batangas, Lipa City, underground newspaper, Jose Rizal, Philippine-American War]
This writer first came across the name “Columnas Volantes” while reading up on a 1900 murder case in the former town of Batangas. Translated directly from Spanish, the name means “flying columns.” End notes to a 2002 book1, edited by Hazel M. McFerson, gave a first clue as to what the name signified. “Columnas Volantes,” it was written, “literally means ‘Flying Columns,’ a reference to underground newspapers and leaflets that were hard to catch/confiscate.” These newspapers and leaflets were apparently published and distributed early in the American colonial era when there was still resistance to United States rule.

October 11, 2018

Historical Hypotheses on the possible origins of the Batangueño Expression “Ala Eh”
"Illanoan Pirates, c. 1800s." Image source:  Wikiwand.
[In this article: Batangas, Batangas province, ala eh, salitang Batangas, Batangas dialect, Wallah, Allah, hala]
The Batangueño Stereotype
Whether you are from Batangas or not, you most likely know that the most familiar stereotype of the Batangueño is the expression “ala eh.” Whether the stereotype is accurate at all is subject to debate; and this writer, for one, maintains that while the two words can indeed be favored by Batangueños in their dialectic Tagalog, the real tendency is for them to use one or the other separately and seldom together.

October 9, 2018

An American Division Superintendent’s Description of Batangas in 1900-1901
Image source: Pinoy Culture.  Inside a concentration camp in Batangas.
Image source: Pinoy Culture.  Inside a concentration camp in Batangas.
[In this article: Batangas Province, American colonial era, education in Batangas, Philippine-American War, Education in the Philippine Islands, Report of the Commission on Education, General J. Franklin Bell, Superintendent M. A. Colton, District of Cavite, Tayabas and Batangas]
A short 1901 report1 by the newly appointed American superintendent for the Division of Cavite, Tayabas (presently Quezon Province) and Batangas provides some personal insights not just on the state of education in Batangas but, more importantly, some information about Batangueño culture at the time. The superintendent’s name was M. A. Colton.

October 4, 2018

Alvarez v Villaviray:  the Controversial 1934 Nasugbu Municipal President’s Election
Image source:  Aerous [CC BY-SA 3.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons.
Image source:  Aerous [CC BY-SA 3.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons.
[In this article: Batangas Province, Nasugbu Batangas, American Colonial Era Philippines, Municipal President, municipal elections Batangas, Supreme Court decisions Philippines]
From a December 1934 decision of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, we obtain the story of a controversial municipal election in the town of Nasugbu in Batangas back in 1934 during the American colonial era1. The position in question was that of municipal president, which “is comparable to a mayor of a town or city2.”