Bauan, Batangas: Historic and Folkloric Notes about Its Barrios - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Bauan, Batangas: Historic and Folkloric Notes about Its Barrios - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Bauan, Batangas: Historic and Folkloric Notes about Its Barrios

We continue with our series featuring historic and folkloric stories from the barrios of Batangas, this time shifting our focus on the Municipality of Bauan. All information has been taken from documents required by the administration of President Elpidio Quirino in 1951 of all Department of Education districts around the country to rebuild local histories after World War II.
At the time the documents were submitted (1953), San Pascual and Tingloy were still part of Bauan. Hence, the town of all others in Batangas had the largest collection at the National Library of the Philippines. However, the barrios of these two newer towns will be featured in separate articles.
Bauan Public Market
Image source:  Google Earth Street View.
Not all modern day barrios of Bauan are included in this article. Missing barrios might still have been part of other barrios. It is also possible that no documents were written for some; and if there were, that these had been eroded and not digitized by the NLP.
This barrio was named after the fragrant premna1, called the alagaw in Tagalog, which presumably grew in abundance in the barrio in the olden days. It had two sitios called Talangan and Kamastilisan. The barrio’s original families were those of Juan Abante, Nemesio Dimayacyac, Pantalion Landicho, Antonio Asilo, Leon Generoso and Jacinto Cabral. During the Spanish regime, adult males in the barrio conducted patrols in what was called the “rondahan” or “bantayan.” During the Philippine Revolution, there was an encounter in the barrio between Filipino rebel forces and the Spaniards. Two civilians in the barrio named Goyo and Tiburcio Dimayacyac were caught in the crossfire and killed.
alagaw tree
Alagao was named after the premna odorata blanco.  Image source: Herbal Medicine - Plant, Trees and Fruit.
This barrio being along the shores of Batangas Bay, the name Aplaya seems to be perfectly natural for it, the Spanish word “playa” being “beach in English. The barrio’s old name, however, was Kuta. Its sitios were Daan Dagat, Kanluran, Centro and Silangan. Early during the Spanish regime, a watchtower was built in the barrio, which came to be known as Castillo. The barrio used to be an important port of call for steamers carrying goods to and from Bauan, but the port would decline due to the introduction of land transportation. For instance, train service was extended from the town of Batangas to Bauan in 912. During the Philippine-American War, US Army forces turned Aplaya into a concentration camp for the citizens of Bauan. In 1919, the biggest fire to have ever occurred in the history of Bauan (i.e., up to the fifties) happened in the barrio. In 1926, during a typhoon, as many as 80 individuals were washed away towards the sea and hundreds of families were rendered homeless.
This barrio’s name was taken from the alagasi2, alternatively called “as-is” in Tagalog, a medicinal tree the leaves of which are also frequently used for scrubbing. In World War II, the barrio’s inhabitants were forced by the Japanese to plant their fields with cotton. Those who were slow to follow the instruction were punished. The Japanese soldiers tried to use the school in the barrio as quarters but had to leave because there was no water supply. Seven of the barrio’s men were bayoneted to death by the Japanese: Pedro Bigyan, Pedro Castillo, Juan Abracosa, Mateo Abracosa, Esteban Brual, Marcelino Salcedo and Teodoro Abracosa.
as-is leaves
Barrio As-is was named after the Alagasi, alternatively known as as-is.  Image source:  Philippine Medicinal Plants.
This barrio used to be called Duhatan, and its present name was supposedly given after a tree. I am unable to find any references over the Internet that will corroborate this, however. Its sitios were called Kanluran and Ilaya. The barrio’s original settlers were the Dalangins, Bacays, Boongalings, Evangelistas and Dimayacyacs. During the American colonial era, schools were first built in the barrio but these were no more than nipa huts. Attendance of the schools was compulsory. In World War II, Japanese soldiers lived in the barrio and paid good prices for the people’s crops and animals. The irony was, they could not really use the money they got paid because food was scarce.
This barrio was named after the tindalo3 or appleblossom shower4, a tree which must have been called balayong in Batangas. Its original settlers were the families of Victor Abañes, Ambrosio Robles, Damaso Magpantay, Santiago Abarentos, Segundo Reyes, Agapito Adia, Juan Austria, Teodoro Arenas, Antonio Sandoval, Andres Landicho, Pantaleon Briones, Valeriano Mañibo and Mariano Villanueva. In one of the barrio’s sitios called Mahabang Dahilig, many Filipino freedom fighters were killed during an encounter with soldiers of the US Army in 1900. During the Japanese occupation, farmers were forced to cut down their rice plantations so that the fields could be planted with cotton instead. Those who refused to follow were punished.
tindalo tree
Balayong was named after a tree alternatively known as the tindalo.  Image source:  Philippine Medicinal Plants.
This barrio used to be part of another barrio called Bayanan, which is part of the Municipality of San Pascual in the present day. The name Balisong was supposed to have been given because to reach the place, one had to climb up a steep piece of land. Unfortunately, the source document failed to explain the connection. The barrio was founded in 1894 and its original families were the Ilagans and Mauhays. It was also supposed to have been an evacuation center for people fleeing the Spaniards, presumably during the Philippine Revolution. In World War II, some Japanese soldiers lived in the barrio and depended on the locals for their food and other necessities.
This barrio’s name was supposed to have been a shortened version of “trambulo” which, according to a folkloric story, was what a woman in the barrio told Spaniards when they inquired about a plant with beautiful flowers. Among the barrio’s earliest settlers were the families of Anding Baro, Juang Animas, Amperong Kamates, Anong Tambule, Talinang Kalabasa and Kanaway Paglinawan. There were also the Enriquez, Panganiban, Cortez and del Campo families. The people of the barrio thrived during the American era because the prices of commodities were low. This changed during the Japanese occupation when prices became inflated and commodities were scarce.
The barrio’s name was supposed to have come from the word “olbo,” which meant “a place where the inhabitants are well-kept, peaceful, and fairly treated by other people…” The word must have been either dialect or now archaic. Its sitios were called Ilayang Pook, Look and Colvo Beach. From 1895-96, people in the barrio starved because of a prolonged drought. They ate root crops just to survive. In 1897, the barrio was struck by a cholera epidemic, and 35 inhabitants died. Males in the barrio 20-15 years old were “forced to join the Filipino armed forces to fight against the Spaniards.” In World War II, Colvo was an evacuation center for people from other towns.
This barrio used to be known by several names: Tingig, Calicanto, Pook and Ludlud. The origin of the name Cupang is unknown. Most of the barrio’s earliest inhabitants were immigrants from other barrios. The earliest known settlers were the families of Peru Banta, Roberta Ilagan, Dalmacio Macuha, Crispin Dimalibot, Tomas Abreu, Lucas Macalincag and Tirso Alcantara. Due to a food shortage in 1840, the barrio’s inhabitants turned to eating corn and cassava in lieu of rice. In 1863, a promulgation was issued requiring all males 18-60 to work for the town of Bauan for 40 days each year. Because of this, sixteen of the barrio’s inhabitants were taken to the town to work as required.
Inhabitants of Barrio Cupang turned to eating corn and cassava to survive a food shortage in 1840.  Image source:
Durungao had three sitios named Guintuan, Pandayan and Abilo. The barrio was established in 1700. At Guintuan, the original settlers were the families of Sixto Hernandez, Placido Abante, Juan Comia and Preolan Evangelista. Pandaya, meanwhile, was initially settled by the families of Antonio Boongaling, Dionisio Boongaling, Amando Dalisay and Geronimo Dalisay. Finally, Abilo’s earliest settlers were the families of Pablo and Agaton Boongaling.
According to a folkloric story yet again involving Spanish soldiers, the barrio’s name was from a skin rash which was called “tagulabay5.” Over time, this would be shortened to “gulibay.” The barrio used to be a small settlement and its earliest inhabitants were the families of Mang Iro, Mang Dario, Pablo, Teroy, Valentin Asilo, Isidro, Terio, Victor Abacsa, Dionicio Magboo, Bador Santoyo and Iming Guia. (Note: the source document for this barrio was poorly researched and contained little information.)
Gulibay was named after a folkloric story involving the tagulabay (above), a skin rash.  Image source: Halamang Gamot.
This barrio’s name was supposed to have been taken from a big tree. I am unable, however, to find any references about such a tree on the Internet. The barrio was founded in 1773 and its original families were those of Juan Ilagan, Pedro Ilagan, Genaro Ilagan, Bernardo Castillo, Marcelino Evangelista, Segundo Evangelista, Gregorio Marasigan and Damian Ramos. During the Spanish regime, most of the houses in the barrio were made with bamboo and nipa. When the Americans arrived, they were initially treated with suspicion and many men in the barrio joined the resistance movement against them. In World War II, the barrio was frequently visited by Japanese soldiers looking for food.
This barrio had two previous names: Manalupac and San Luis. It was established during the Spanish era and its sitios were Sadsaran, Buboyan, Sintorisan, San Jose, Gulod, Labak na Tubig, Pulang Lupa, Putol and Nangkaan. Its earliest settlers were the families of Agustin Castillo, Pioquinto Maranan, Posidio Caringal, Lucio Abante, Guillermo Castillo, Anastacio Manibo, Marcelino de Castro, Julia Villanueva and Florencio Garces.
The name of this barrio was supposed to have been given due to the respectfulness of its inhabitants towards Spanish officialdom during the colonial era. Its sitios were called Puting Buhangin and Look. As in other barrios, the inhabitants of Magalang-galang starved because of the prolonged drought of 1895-96. The barrio was also severely affected by the 1897 cholera epidemic. In 1901, soldiers of the United States Army along with the Macabebe Scouts went to the barrio to look for rebels and burned houses. The barrio’s inhabitants were forced to live in a concentration camp. Another cholera epidemic broke out in 1904. World War II was a miserable time for the inhabitants of the barrio because of the shortage of food, and many had to survive by eating boiled root crops. In February of 19446, people of the barrio had to evacuate as American forces engaged Japanese troops based in the barrio.
Fil-Am War
Magalang-galang was visited by soldiers of the US Army and the Macabebe Scouts (above) in 1901.  Image source:  Philippine-American War,1899-1902.
This barrio used to be alternatively known as Munting Pook (small place). It used to be a sitio of Barrio Alagao. According to folklore, the name Malindig came about because of a Spaniard, inevitably, mispronouncing the Tagalog word “magaling,” meaning “good.” The barrio’s original settlers were the Ilagan, Caringal and Dimayuga families. During the Japanese occupation, similar to what happened in other barrios, farmers in Malindig were forced by the Japanese to plant their agricultural fields with cotton at the expense of food crops.
This barrio’s old name was Lumbang, and its sitios were called Lumbangan, Sampalokan, Pook na Gitna and Kanluran. It got its present name because the land was supposed to have been inherited property or, in Tagalog, “manang lupa.” Its original settlers were the Mendoza, de Rojas, Ilagan, Gonzales, Caringal and del Rosario families. During the American colonial era, schoolhouses made of nipa, cogon and bamboo were built. Children were required to attend school. During the Japanese occupation, five inhabitants of the barrio were shot dead by soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army. Three more were electrocuted and killed in a Japanese tunnel where they had gone to forage for food.
According to folklore, Spaniards crossing a river in the barrio called out to some natives who were washing their hands at the river bank. The Spaniards asked what the name of the place was, and of course the natives, not understanding a word of Spanish, replied that they were washing their hands or, in Tagalog, “nanghihinaw.” The barrio’s sitios were called Pandayan, Karitan, Alulod, Bukal, Pook and Putok. In World War II, the Japanese confiscated livestock and poultry from the barrio’s inhabitants. Food became scarce because farmers were forced to plant fields with cotton instead of food crops. After the war, the United States Army leased the lands in the barrio and put up a camp, where American soldiers stayed for five months.
According to folklore, Manghinao's name came from yet another folkloric misunderstanding between natives and Spaniards at a river in Bauan.  Image source:  Trip Mondo.
Barrio Rizal, established in 1850, also used to be known as Calaca and then later as Talisay.  Its present name honors the Philippine national hero.  Its original families were those of Pascual Hernandez, Paulino Hernandez, Calixto Marasigan, Ricardo Gonda, Wenceslao Salcedo, Cayetano Salcedo and Quintin Sandoval. Life in the barrio in the early days was simple and houses were built with no more than nipa and bamboo. Inhabitants of the barrio lived in accordance with Spanish rule and served the obligatory unpaid labor to the government mostly in public works.
San Andres
The barrio was not named after a saint but, instead, a former community elder in the barrio named Andres. Its sitios were called Balanga, San Luis, Talisay and Balete. Its original families were the Medrano, Hernandez, Cadevida, Dolor, Buensalida and Daite families. After the Philippine Revolution, when news came to the barrio that the Americans were coming, the inhabitants evacuated to other barrios for fear that they would be mistreated and their properties confiscated. When the Philippine-American War broke out, US Army soldiers and the Macabebe Scouts burned down the houses of the barrio’s inhabitants who were suspected of being rebels. The Scouts also abused women in the barrio without the knowledge of the Americans. In World War II, some of the houses in the barrio were occupied by soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army, who took from the people their food as well as their boats.
San Diego
This barrio’s old name was Buli Malindig. It was established during the Spanish colonial era and its original settlers were the Brucal, Mendoza, Manalo, Abante and Reyes families. The barrio was originally part of Malindig, and when it became a separate barrio it was named by one Diego Brucal, acknowledged as the first person “to plant fruit trees, vegetables and other food crops in the place.” During the Spanish era, the barrio was attacked by a band of brigands or tulisanes led by one Antolin Generoso. The people of the barrio fought them off and the person who killed Generoso received 100 pesos, the price on the bandit’s head. In World War II, many of the barrio’s inhabitants evacuated to other towns to escape the harshness of life under Japanese control.
San Diego fought off invading tulisanes during the Spanish era. Image source:  Bamboo Tales at Project Guttenberg.
San Roque
This barrio was originally called Sabang but later renamed after its patron saint. Its original settlers were the families of Mariano Mendoza, Nicolas Castillo, Anatalio Garcia, Guillermo Salcedo, Rufino Salcedo, Aurelio Salcedo, Luciano Gonzales, Juan Gonzales, Casiano Gonzales and Lorenzo Ramos. The barrio was untouched by the Philippine-American War, so those from other barrios evacuated to it. During the American colonial era, although many parents in the barrio were uneducated, they did their best to send their own children to school. In World War II, San Roque became an evacuation center for inhabitants of the town of Bauan and its other barrios. Some Japanese soldiers came to visit asking for livestock and poultry, but never forcibly took these.
Santa Maria
This barrio used to be called Munting Tubig (small water). Its sitios were called Wawa, Balangutan, Munting Tubig and Patugo. Its original settlers were the families of Mariano Caguate, Narciso Caguate, Evaristo Sandoval, Cirilo Panopio, Cipriano Corona, Roman Medrano, Mariano Agina, Saturnino Calinao, Silvestre Calinao, Fermin Dinglasan, Feliciano Dinglasan and Lucas Silang. There were no roads nor bridges leading to Santa Maria during the Spanish colonial era; and it was only after the floods of 1927 that these were built. During the latter part of the nineteenth century, many inhabitants of the barrio joined the rebels against Spanish rule. Because many of the houses were built along the seashore, many of the barrio’s inhabitants were killed by a powerful typhoon in 1927. In World War II, Santa Maria was chosen to be site for a concentration camp for – presumably captured – guerrillas.
The name of this barrio was supposedly taken from the waters of a brook that flowed through its eastern side, from which the earliest inhabitants fetched water which was then sieved (sinala) for drinking. The barrio was originally settled by several families, the better known of which were those of Maximo Boongaling, Barcelino Manalo, Domingo Cruzat, Peru Cruzat, Ignacio Valdez and one Mr. Escalona. During the Spanish colonial era, the barrio was basically at peace except for the occasional case of castle rustling. In World War II, Sinala became an evacuation center because it had two artesian wells and, therefore, a steady supply of drinking water. Unfortunately, food was scarce and people had to subsist on cassava instead of rice. The Japanese also frequently confiscated livestock and poultry.
Notes and references:
1Alagaw,” online at Philippine Medicinal Plants.
2Alagasi,” online at Philippine Medicinal Plants.
3Balayong,” online at Cainta Plant Nursery.
4Tindalo,” online at Philippine Medicinal Plants.
5Ano ang gamot sa tagulabay,” online at Halamang Gamot.
6 The date provided by the source document is doubtful because American operations to clear Batangas of Japanese presence did not begin until March 1945.
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