Citriculture in Tanauan, Batangas by Encarnacion R. Buendia, 1926 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Citriculture in Tanauan, Batangas by Encarnacion R. Buendia, 1926 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Citriculture in Tanauan, Batangas by Encarnacion R. Buendia, 1926

This page contains the complete transcription of the 1926 ethnographic paper written by one Encarnacion R. Buendia from .jpeg scans of the originals made available by the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. Corrections for grammar had been made in certain parts but no attempt was made to rewrite the original paper. Original pagination is indicated for citation purposes.

Henry Otley-Beyer Collection

[Cover page.]

Tagalog Paper No. 486.
Encarnacion R. Buendia.
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  1. TAGALOG: Tanawan, Batangas Province.
  2. Summary: Economic Life: Citriculture.

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February, 1926.

[Table of contents.]


Soil and Rainfall
Planted Shed
Bark Rot



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This thesis is prepared not only for the benefit of all the BatangueƱos in general nor the Tanauan residents in particular, but it is made purposely for the whole mass whose strength the country depends and whose labors bring prosperity to this land of ours. This thesis points out further, the different methods how Mandarin is transplanted, cultivated and marketed in the province of Batangas.

E. R. B.


[p. 1]


We are not aware of the fact that the province of Batangas is the original home of at least two of the citrus fruits of the Philippine Islands. Perhaps nowhere else in these Islands have such superior mandarins been produced in such quantities and with so little care as in the so-called “orange district” of Batangas until 1912 when the industry reached its height.

The mandarin is the only citrus fruit that has become of much importance nowadays in the Philippines, and Batangas is the only province where it is grown to any considerable extent, especially in the town of Tanauan. The pomelo is, perhaps, the most widely distributed species of the genus but its cultivation has nowhere assumed commercial importance. Next in the order of their frequency in the market come the calamondin, the orange, cabuyao, and lemon; the citron is hardly every marketed, for it seldom grows in the archipelago.


If possible, the nursery should be located on fairly level land that consists of clay, loam, rich in humus, moist but well-drained, not subject to inundations, and sheltered from strong winds. In places that have a distinctly dry season extending over several weeks, provision should be made for artificial irrigation either

[p. 2]

by flooding the land through ditches or by the erection of a small irrigation plant, which should consist of tank where water is employed.

The conditions in the orange district of Batangas are so favorable to the mandarin that this fruit succeeds in spite of the little care that it is accorded it by the fruit growers. It is also highly probable that the mandarins originally introduced there were of a superior type which has been capable, to a remarkable degree, of transmitting its good qualities to succeeding generations. The quality of the pomelo and the orange is no better in Batangas than in many other places in the archipelago.

In those places that have distinct wet and dry seasons, unless the land is easily irrigated during the dry season, the trees should be planted at the beginning of sufficiently early during the rainy season to enable the young trees to become well established before the approach of the dry period. When the rainfall is distributed throughout the year, the trees may be set out at any time. Great care should be taken in transferring the trees from the nursery to the fields to avoid the drying out of the roots, as this causes a corresponding delay in the growth of the plant. As far as possible, the plants should be dug so that the soil adheres to the roots. Where the soil is sandy and loose and falls away from the roots, the plants should be shaded by covering them with wet grass or straw; water should be sprinkled over this at intervals whenever it

[p. 3]

becomes dry.


If the nursery is exposed to the sun, a small plant shed covering the seed beds is almost an essential thing to the citrus no matter how small if good success is to be had. This should be made so as to admit “half light” and can be cheaply constructed of bamboo. The plant shed will serve to protect the soil in the seed bed from drying out too rapidly and will prevent the young and tender seedlings from being scorched by the burning midday sun and drying winds, and in the rainy season, it breaks the force of the heavy showers. It is important that the seedbed should be watered from time to time and that the soil should never be allowed to dry out. It is well to remember that a slight watering which does not penetrate far beyond the surface is harmful instead of beneficial in that it encourages a shallow root system, the watering should, therefore, be liberal and thorough. After germination, water should be applied more sparingly or the tender plants are apt to damp off.


When the plants begin crowding each other, they should be transplanted. The plants should be set out about 10 centimeters apart each way. At all times, unless the soil is well-moistened, the plants should be thoroughly watered and after transplanting, care

[p. 4]

should be exercised not to allow the plants to dry out in the act of transplanting. It is most important that in transportation, the roots be not doubled up in any way or placed in an unnatural position. Such plants are incapable of promptly establishing a well-balanced root system anchoring the tree firmly in the soil, and sooner or later, the trees may be blown over.

The plants should be set out 30 to 40 centimeters apart in rows 120 to 150 centimeters apart, in order to provide sufficient space for budding and cultivation. The nursery should be kept free from weeds and in those places where dry season of greater or lesser duration are prevalent, it should be irrigated whenever the plants show that this is needed. A much [blurred word; mulch?] of straw of weeds is beneficial. Many people are under the impression that budding is a very complicated operation, correspondingly difficult to learn and to perform. As a matter of fact, this is not true. Some judgment must, of course, be exercised in all phases of work, but the art of budding itself is a mere matter of manual skill that anyone should be able to master who is at all deft in the handling of a knife.


Cultivation is beneficial in several ways. Through the pulverization of the soil, which in turn assists in hastening the decomposition and the nitrification of nitrogenous plant foods, thus making them available for the

[p. 5]

[blurred word], in nitrogen and generally speaking, applications [blurred word] of artificial fertilizer are not necessary to bring the trees in fruiting, especially after the plants have become established. On poor land, it may be found advisable to manure the trees, and a small application of fertilizer well incorporated in the soil around the roots of newly planted trees on newly broken lands will greatly stimulate their growth.


If the orchard is located in a region more or less visited by severe winds, a windbreak is necessary. If the orchard is located in the open field, it becomes necessary to provide an artificial windbreak. Windbreaks are established by planting around the orchard of strong growing trees which are not easily uprooted and whose tops are not easily damaged by the wind. The bamboo furnishes a windbreak that is unsurpassed and is also valuable for its cases. When the orchard is set out, the windbreaks should be planted all around the field. If the orchard is large and much exposed, it may be found desirable to plant rows of windbreaks here and there in the orchard to break the force of the wind. In order to be most effective, those should be planted on right angles to the direction of the prevailing winds.


The methods of handling citrus fruits are simple and crude, yet it must be admitted that under present condi-

[p. 6]

tions, they answer the purpose very well. The fruit is pulled off the tree and sent to the local market in large round bamboo baskets. Notwithstanding this way of handling, only a small percentage is lost, due to the fact that the fruits are shipped in short distances only and consumed within a few days of picking. Fruit consumed locally as shipped short distances to get disposed of within a few towns may be sent at once to its destination; fruit intended for export should be “cured” before it is picked.


The most serious diseases associated with the degeneration of mandarin groves of Batangas is the so-called bark rot. This disease has been the direct cause of most of the premature degeneration and deaths of trees. It was during the year 1919, when the Tanauan Citrus Station was established solely for the study of the citrus situation with the object of finding remedies for its improvements. The station has instituted preventive as well as curative measures for the control of this disease in its grove. These measures include the pruning of diseased twigs and branches, white-washing of trunks with concentrated Bordeaux mixture, local application, on the diseased areas, of disinfectants, after a partial or complete elimination of the affected tissues.


It is [a] well-known and established fact that not only

[p. 7]

the residents of Batangas province but also nearly all the people of the whole Philippine Islands had witnessed the great eruption of Taal Volcano during the year 1911. It was indeed so great that it caused the decline in the fruitfulness of the mandarin orange groves of Batangas, especially the towns of Tanauan and Sto. Tomas, was greatly affected. It was claimed that the lava from the volcano was deleterious to the trees and that it caused [a] fatal result. It was further proven that the continual emission of smoke from the volcano to the eruption had favorably influenced the fruiting of trees, and when this supply of smoke disappeared after the eruption had taken place, the fruitfulness of the trees consequently suffered. Thus, the people of Batangas, especially the residents of Tanauan and Sto. Tomas, owed the government a great deal because it has not lost sight of the difficulties encountered by the growers of Batangas when in 1919, it established the Tanauan Citrus Station, solely for the study of the citrus situation with the object in view of finding remedies for its improvement.

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February, 1926

Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Citriculture in Tanauan,” by Encarnacion R. Buendia, 1926, online at the Henry Otley-Beyer Collection of the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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