Industries of Batangas Province by Galicano C. Luansing, 1916 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Industries of Batangas Province by Galicano C. Luansing, 1916 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Industries of Batangas Province by Galicano C. Luansing, 1916

This page contains the complete transcription of the 1916 ethnographic paper written by one Galicano C. Luansing 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

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Tagalog Paper No. 214.
Galicano C. Luansing
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  1. TAGALOG: Province of Batangas, Luzon.
  2. Economic Life: Agriculture: Stock-raising: Fishing: Manufactures: Commerce.

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March 8, 1916

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I. AGRICULTURE - - - The most important industry of Batangas Province is Agriculture. In dealing with this subject, I believe it wise to give here a general account of the character of the soil of the whole province for the soil as connected to agriculture determines the industry a country shall have.

a. SOIL - - - The rocks of the province are chiefly of volcanic origin and much of the soil has been derived from their disintegration. The result is in most cases, a heavy red soil, exceedingly fertile on account of the minerals which it contains. It is also much like the soil of the Hawaiian Islands which also is of volcanic origin and is well adapted to the growth of sugar, rice, oranges, abaca and tobacco.

1. SUGAR - - - In the discussion of sugarcane, the first thing that should be noted is its culture. According to a version accepted in some districts of Luzon and the Visayan Islands, the introduction of sugarcane into the Philippines is attributed to the Chinese immigrants who probably brought it from the island of Formosa. It is also said that the purple cane of the Visayan group was brought from Batavia, and that the kind cultivated in Luzon came from Tahiti.

The similarity of the method of cultivation followed here to

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that of Formosa when that island formed an integral part of the Chinese Empire, and, in fact, that in spite of the length of time which has transpired, some Chinese names of certain implements and manufactures used in sugar-making in many sections of the islands, suggest that the Chinese must have played some part in the introduction of the sugar industry to these islands, yet it is not possible to vouch for the preciseness of this supposition because of the lack of historical data from a reliable source which would force us to believe.

There are many species of sugarcane but only six kinds are grown in Batangas province, namely the purple, the white, red, green, striped and the black with rings at the joints. The first mentioned is generally cultivated in large quantities for this sort of cane produces superior quality of exporting sugar. The white cane, and the green as well have been grown on a small scale, their cultivation being restricted almost exclusively to some barrios of the towns of the province where a taste for the juice of the cane extracted by chewing the stalk is responsible for a considerable consumption of these species. The striped variety is cultivated in very small quantity, a few specimens are occasionally found mixed with plantations of the purple, and lastly the black [is] wont to be found in rare instances, in a few gardens in isolated clumps near the house, it being raised more as a botanical curio-

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sity. This variety grows slowly and requires great care for its tardy development, although at maturity, it is of extraordinary size. The stalk is usually two inches in diameter and its length varies from twenty-four to thirty feet. Its juice is often used for medical beverage and is usually extracted by making an incision in the lower part of the stalk and allowing the sap to drain into a receptacle.

The cane is planted both in highland and lowland, sufficiently moist and well worked and prepared. In most plantations of the province, the cane is put during the months of November, December and January, the same months in which the grinding takes place. Because the soil devoted to the cultivation is of alluvial character, planting takes place but once every five, six, seven or up to ten years, though the same crops are gathered annually, providing care is taken after the cane is harvested not to injure the stalk, which is allowed to remain in the ground and in the proper cultivation of the sprouts or shoots newly put forth by it. The plantation then is worked and the soil is sufficiently broken up and kept clean of weeds during the first ensuing six months or until the same is thickly sown.

Cane is allowed to grow for twelve, thirteen months according to the soil in which it is planted. But in this province, in most cases, the allowance is usually a year.

The sugar produced in Batangas province is classified accor-

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ding to manufacture and packing. That is the one made in pilones and the granulated. The latter kind is being exported in great quantities.

The pilon is a quantity of sugar generally solidified in a receptacle made of baked clay, which serves as a package. This package has the form of an inverted cone and weighs one quintel. The granulated is put in sacks, or what are known as “bayones.” These bayones are made from the leaves of a palm called buri and can contain from two and a half to five arobas of sugar. Then, the “bayon” is reinforced by a covering of rattan and in this form, the package enters both foreign and local commerce.

The great shippers of pilon sugar are Batangas, Lemery, Bauan, Santo Tomas and Lipa and the granulated sugar is shipped from Batangas, Taal, Nasugbu and Lipa towns. These eight towns form the great producers and exporters of the whole province.

Next in importance to sugar is rice. Rice is cultivated both in lowland and upland. The upland cultivation of rice is followed extensively. In the processes of planting and cultivation of this kind of rice, the seeds are planted from June through November, and harvested at the beginning of the dry season (December or January). Thus, the plantation yields one crop a year. Upland rice is produced in practically all the municipalities of the province but is raised in surplus quantities in the towns of San Jose, Taisan, Lobo, Nasuglan Santo Tomas, and Lipa.

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Lowland rice is cultivated in few towns of the province, namely Batangas, Bauan and Rosario. However, these towns produced more rice so as to support neighboring towns and even exported some to outdistanced towns or provinces. Lowland rice has no fixed time for planting, for the land devoted to the growth of this sort of rice is divided into small fields in which dikes serve to keep the water. The seeds are planted wholly at any time of the year and usually, the lowland rice yields two or three crops a year and, sometimes, four crops.

Next to rice is corn. Corn is raised in every town of the province. The great producers being Lobo, Batangas, San Jose, Tanauan and Rosario towns. Corn forms part of the food supply of the population of the province, while the great quantities are consumed for fattening domestic animals.

Another exported product of agriculture are oranges. Oranges are grown in few of the towns, Tanauan, Santo Tomas and Batangas are the principal producers. Although oranges are grown in limited extent, yet surplus quantities are raised to meet local demands. The best growers of oranges are found in Tanauan, the greatest producer of the whole province.

Abaca is another plant which is cultivated in the province. The principal town producers are Lipa, Cuenca and Santo Tomas. In these three towns, the fibers are separated from the stalk in crude ways. It is also in these towns where sinamay the common

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clothing of the common people of the provinces is made. Abaca growing will be a promising industry throughout the province for year by year large tracts of lands in different sections of the province are given to its raising.

Other lesser products of agriculture are coffee, and vegetables. Coffee was formerly the great crop of the province, but for more than twenty years, this industry has languished because of a fungus which attacked the coffee plants for which no remedy has yet been found. Yet, in spite of this fact, vast plantations in Lipa, Tanauan and Batangas towns are under experiment at present. Cotton is grown in Lemery and Calaca. These two towns supply the needs of nearly the whole province. The cotton is used for making pillow cushions, and etc. A variety of vegetables and fruits are raised throughout the province. Chief among these vegetables and fruits are beans, peas, squash, cucumber, bananas, lanzones, santol, atis, jackfruit, and breadfruit.

2. Closely associated with agriculture is stock raising. The vast grazing lands of Rosario, Taisan and Lobo and secondly the surplus production of corn make easy the raising of animals. Cattle, carabaos, horses, goats, and pigs are the principal animals raised. The horses of the province are well known throughout the Islands. Batangas has fine cattle and is constantly importing young cattle from Capiz and Mindoro. Many hogs are raised in this province and are exported to Manila in large numbers. Poultry also constitutes an important export.

For the purpose of further improving the animal breed, the Bureau of Agriculture has established a breeding station at the

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provincial capital.

3. Fishing forms also and important industry of the province. The two kinds of fishing that are carried on are – 1. INSHORE FISHING – The countless lights seen at night along the coast of Batangas town, Bauan and Taal towns are indicative of the extent of inshore fishing.

Although other methods of fishing are employed, the use of dragnet is distinctly the most efficient and popular. The boats ordinarily used for this kind of fishing are fairly large and carry from thirty to forty men. Work is usually done at night, when light can be used to attract fish. For catching small fish along the beaches and shallow waters purse, nets and hand traps are used by men, women and children. Shrimps, clams, oysters, crabs and other shellfish are gathered. Traps made of bamboo are also employed. This method of catching fish was already in use by the natives of the province when the Spaniards came to the Islands – and at present a large part of the fish consumed in the province is caught by this method. Commercially speaking, this is the most profitable scheme employed and owners of these traps usually make good profits.

Another interesting thing to know about inshore fishing is the division of the catch. The fishermen are not necessarily the owners of the boats, nets and traps with which inshore fishing is carried on. The work is often done on the share system, the size of the share varying with the method of fishing. Eight to twelve men operate a boat under the direction of a headman, who sells

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the fish and divides the money among those concerned. The owner of the boat and nets receives one half, and the other half is divided among the men, the headman receives double the share of any other. But when boats and nets are owned by different persons, the owner of the nets receives one-fourteenth and the owner of the boat six-fourteenth, respectively. In some cases, especially in Batangas town, the workers are paid in fish at the rate of fifty centavos a day. Under this arrangement, the fishermen repair the nets or make [a] new section during the off season.

In fishing by trap, five men are usually required to run it and it is not often that an owner personally takes care of it. The catch in this case is divided into two parts, half for the owner of the trap and the other half goes to the laborers.

3. FRESH WATER FISHING - - - In the fresh lake of Taal, Pansipit River of Lemery and Taal and the Calumpang River of Batangas town , considerable fish is caught. The methods by which these fish are caught and the division of the product are similar to those of inshore fishing. In these rivers mentioned above, mud fish, suelo [uncertain word, blurred], tulingan and taniqui are found in abundance. Mud fish are caught in the rice fields of Batangas and Bauan towns. Clams and oysters are also gathered from this freshwater fishing. River fishing is usually done during [the] rainy season or when the inhabitants are not engaged in planting crops. Boats, nets, and traps are much employed. Some fishing is also done with hook and line.

4. LUMBERING. - - - Lumbering constitutes one of the industries of the province. Some lumbering is done in a barrio of San Juan

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and also in the reserve forest around Makiling. Considerable lumber is taken from the hills of Nasugbu. Among them are molave, quijo, tindalo, balayang, apitong, banaba, palomeria, susat and lauan. Bamboo is found throughout the province and has a great economic importance in the lives of the natives. Most of the houses especially those in [the] barrios are made of bamboo. Household utensils of various kinds are also made from bamboo.

5. MANUFACTURING. - - - The manufactures of Batangas province are of considerable importance. In Lipa, saddles, harnesses, and slippers are made. Weaving of sinamay, jusi and silk is also done in Lipa. Tanauan produces a good quality of whips, cabonegro, and rope. In the orange districts of Santo Tomas and Tanauan, the people make bamboo baskets for shipping the oranges. Cinelas are manufactured in several towns. In Batangas, leather khaki and white duck shoes are made and this town produces a large amount of crockery. Manufacturing of pottery is also carried on extensively. Ropes and nets are made in barrios lying near the sea. The most general household industry in the province is the tying of abaca for the use of making the braids with which abaca hats are manufactured. For this purpose, large quantities of abaca are imported from Cavite province and the tied abaca is shipped to Manila and then exported to Italy and Japan. Sinamay is woven in Bauan and Taal.

The household industries of Taal are numerous and important. Bamboo baskets of many shapes and sizes, buri mats, bayones, whips and saddles are made. Leather is tanned and made into harness,

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shoes and slippers. A large amount of cotton is woven into towels, blankets and cloth. Biombos or house screens are manufactured from cloth and paper. There are also a number of blacksmith shops in which bolos and small iron tools are made. Another household industry of Taal is the making of candies, known throughout the province as “panucha.”

6. COMMERCE. Batangas province exports sugar, hogs, oranges, fish, horses, corn, cloth, tied abaca, fine embroidery, sawale, baskets and bolos. The province, on the other hand, imports dry goods, hardware, machinery, groceries, wines and liquor and tobacco from Manila, abaca from Cavite, vino from Laguna, coconuts from Tayabas and cattle from Mindoro, Capiz and Romblon.

The Chinese control the larger part of the trade of the province although the people of Taal and Lipa are famous traders. These towns carry on commerce with many provinces. The sugar trade of Batangas is so largely in the hands of Taal capitalists that Batangas sugar is usually listed in the market reports of Taal sugar. Small traders from Taal visit Ilocos Sur, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Tayabas, Sorsogon, Leyte, Capiz, Romblon, and Mindoro selling sinamay, cotton cloth, blankets and towels, nets, baskets, slippers, wooden shoes, sawale, bolos, knives, candies, trinkets and other articles of lesser importance. The trade of the western half of the province is carried on by steamers and bancas.

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Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Industries of Batangas Province,” by Galicano C. Luansing, 1916, online at the Henry Otley-Beyer Collection of the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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