[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.
Because the narrative is essentially folkloric in nature – i.e. handed down the generations by word of mouth – there are obviously limitations in the provisions of dates when the events narrated occurred; and probably some lapses in accuracy as well. Still, when one considers that much of the earliest histories of mankind were actually transcribed from folklore, one cannot discount that Capuchino’s work is a great and rich source of information about Mataasnakahoy’s past.
|View of Taal Lake from Barangay Nangkaan in Mataasnakahoy. Image source: Google Earth Street View.|
That Lipa was a village in what is now Lumang Lipa in Mataasnakahoy is accurate enough. However, the original pueblo or Christian community from which Lipa would arise was built in 1605 by Augustinian friars in what is now the village of Tagbakin in Lipa City.
At the time, Mataasnakahoy was still a “pulong4 gubat” (an isolated forest), dark and unlit except for the tiny sheen of fireflies. The lushness was, although unstated by Capuchino, because of the area’s proximity to Taal Volcano. Thus, its soil was rich with volcanic minerals.
Understandably because his narrative was based on the stories of the elderly, Capuchino leaped from the pre-Hispanic era to when the Spanish Queen Regent Maria Cristina bestowed upon Lipa, to which the land known as Mataasnakahoy still belonged, the title of “villa5.” This was in the latter half of the 19th century.
Word began to spread to other towns about the richness of the soil of Mataasnakahoy, so that immigrants started arriving from the towns of San Jose, Cuenca, Bauan and Taal. The reader will please note that the towns from which the immigrants came, with the exception of San Jose, had access to Taal Lake, which brings us to conjecture that the migration must also have been through the lake itself. Although Bauan in the present day has no access to the lake, in the 19th century Alitagtag, which is lakeside, was still part of it.
These immigrants bore these family names: Abu, Acar, Aguila, Amazona, Amores, Aranda, Ariola, Atienza, Babadilla, Bathan, Bautista, Benamer, Benedicto, Biscocho, Binay, Caguicla, Calingasan, Cantos, Capuno, Caraan, Carable, Carandang, Caringal, Castillo, Ceruelas, de Roxas, Dimaano, Dimaculangan, Dimayuga, Dita, Garcia, Gonzales, Hernandez, Inciong, Japlos, Kalalo, Katimbang, Laqui, Lalamunan, Landicho, Lescano, Lina, Lobrin, Lojo, Lubis, Magpantay, Malabag, Malaluan, Malibiran, Mandigma, Mangubat, Manigbas, Maralit, Maravilla, Matanguihan, Matibag, Medina, Mendoza, Metrillo, Obtial, Ocampo, Orense, Orozco, Oseña, Paran, Perez, Pesigan, Recinto, Recio, Reyes, Robles, Rodelas, Salazar, Sarmiento, Subol, Tibayan, Tiquis, Tisbe, Umali, Velasquez and Vergara.
TO BE CONTINUED...
Notes and references:
1 “Sa Langit-langitan ng Bayan Ko,” written by Ceferino Capuchino in 1998. A copy of the narrative was obtained by Batangas History through the kindness of Renz Marion Katigbak.
2 “Tubog” in this context being Tagalog for a “pool of water.” TagalogTranslate.com.
3 “Datu,” Wikipedia.
4 Although the more contemporarily understood meaning of the Tagalog word “pulo” is “island,” the word in fact has an alternative meaning which is “isolated.” TagalogTranslate.com.
5 “Demythologizing the History of Coffee in Lipa, Batangas in the XIX Century,” a dissertation written by Maria Rita Isabel Santos Castro, 2003.
6 Castro, op. cit.