Alitagtag, Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Alitagtag, Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Alitagtag, Batangas: Historical Data Part I

Historical Data graphic
Historical data from the National Library of the Philippines.



Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the town of Alitagtag, Batangas, the original scanned documents at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections not having OCR or optical character recognition properties. This transcription has been edited for grammar, spelling and punctuation where possible. The original pagination is provided for citation purposes.

For the “historical data” for this town, the cover page is missing and begins with the preface.



Due to the last global war, most records of historical significance were burned or mutilated, hence, the Bureau of Public Schools issued a Memorandum No. 34, s. 1952 designating officials and teachers for collection and compilation of historical data of the barrios and poblacion of every municipality. The teachers of this municipality responded to the call of the bureau and began to collect and compile the historical data. They went to the extent of digging available references in the locality, issuing questionnaires to persons concerned, consulting old people and asking questions regarding the data needed.

This compilation of the historical data of the barrios and poblacion will not be possible if not for the untiring efforts of all teachers, purok leaders, and people of the locality who in one way or another helped make this possible.

Sincere thanks are due to many persons for the important assistance in the collection and compilation of these historical data. Special acknowledgment is made to Miss I. Laseano and Mr. L. Castillo for correcting the manuscript, to Mr. C. Amponin and Mr. V. Holgado for typing and compiling them.


[Table of contents.]


History and Cultural Life of Alitagtag (Town)
History and Cultural Life of Alitagtag (Barrio)
History and Cultural Life of Balagbag (Barrio)
History and Cultural Life of Muzon 1st (Barrio)
History and Cultural Life of Muzon 2nd (Barrio)
History and Cultural Life of Dalipit (Barrio)
History and Cultural Life of Dominador (Barrio)
History and Cultural Life of Munlawin (Barrio)
History and Cultural Life of Concordia (Barrio)

[p. 1]

Part I History

1. Present official name of the town.

ALITAGTAG is the present official name of the town.

2. Former name or names and their meaning and derivation.

a) Alinagnag b) Bauan Sur c) Alitagtag

There are several versions around which the name of the town evolved. Of those versions, the most important ones which seem to be authentic and interesting are told hereunder.

a) Alinagnag means “glittering light.” The place was so called because [a] long time ago, there was a tree in the locality which brightened up every night that it turned the vicinity almost to midday. Hence, the name Alinagnag.

b) Bauan Sur – “Several years prior to the dawn of [the] American regime in the Philippines, there flourished in Mindanao a tribal kingdom ruled by the aged Sultan Durman. He had a son, a dashing hunter-warrior known in the kingdom as Ali-Astra. Due to his failing health and old age, the sultan summoned his son one day and advised the latter to get married and assume the baranganic responsibility of the throne. The prince yielded to his father’s

[p. 2]

wish on condition that he be given the blanket authority to choose his bride irrespective of origin, wealth and religious affiliation.

The famous sultan then dispatched couriers to Luzon, Visayan Islands, and to neighboring kingdoms with the clear message to their rulers to send their daughters to his palatial home for his son to pick out his future life partner. A night of festivity was set for the extraordinary affair. The proposed occasion reached the knowledge of other kingdoms like the swift flight of arrows during a ferocious combat.

The night of selection came. At the beautiful courtyard was congregated the old sultan, his son, his warriors, his dancers and his people. Native drums and gongs reverberated not only at the palisade gates but also in other nooks and crannies where the cambric of existence seemed infrangible. Then, a colorful cavalcade of ladies entered the courtyard, accompanied by their consorts. At the front of the cavalcade was Inday of Bisaya, an alluring princess of the first magnitude, followed by Jasmine of Bicolandia, demure yet captivating. Then came Takipsilim, charming princess of Ilokandia; Perla, exotic princess from Cathay; Tretchum, glamorous princess of Siam; and Mahinhin, lovely damsel from Katagalugan. These princesses paraded

[p. 3]

before Ali-Astra but he could not make up his mind whom to choose. His eyes were dazzled by the seemingly undying beauties assembled before his majestic presence. He, therefore, beseeched his father to give him ample time so that he could be sure of selecting the right bride. His request was heartily granted. The sultan called his adviser to announce the event.

Early in the morning, he appeared before his father and told him that the case of picking out his would-be wife was already settled. “Mahinhin is my choice, Father. I saw her in my dreams last night.”

They were married outright that day and lived in the kingdom till the fall of Spain in the Philippines.

One day, a small vinta was seen bound for Luzon. On it was the couple, Ali-Astra and Mahinhin and their consorts. Landing on the shore of San Luis, Batangas, they proceeded to a barrio known in the past as Bauan Sur. This barrio was lying near the borders of Lake Bonbon, facing Cuenca to the East, and Taal to the West. The traditional reception was accorded them.

The next week, after their arrival, came an announcement requiring all the inhabitants of the place to make American flags and hang them in front of their houses. Ali-Astra knew fully well what it meant, living again under the iron shackles of foreign domination.

[p. 4]

The order was obeyed and American flags could be seen hanging and flying in front of every house. Ali was the lone inhabitant who disobeyed. No flag could be seen hanging in front of his father-in-law’s dwelling. Being a warrior of the first degree, he was utterly reluctant to follow the order. He still entertained the idea that gallant men of the country would not tolerate being conquered easily by a foreign foe.

At last, his hope met a faint realization for all able-bodied men in the community decided to join the annihilated forces duly assigned in Batangas. Ali received the following order from the headquarters: “Ali, tagtagin ang lahat ng bandilang Amerikano sa inyong bukid.”

The task given to him was, indeed, hard and a dangerous one for, to disobey meant severe punishment; but disobedience thereto would surely mean his end. He followed the order cognizant of the fact that the love of the country must and should be over and above love for one’s life. All flags, therefore, were taken out through his personal command. Those who were hesitant to obey him heard the following remarks: “Tell those Filipino-American guards that Ali commanded you to do so.”

This subversive activity of Ali reached the knowledge of the U.S. Army. A squad of Filipino guards on the American side was dispatched to the

[p. 5]

barrio to verify the veracity of the report. And truth met them in each and every house in the barrio.

The guards then inquired for the whereabouts of Ali. Meeting him in the street, he was flogged to death instantaneously. His body was searched and the order, “Ali, tagtagin mo ang lahat ng bandilang Amerikano sa inyong bukid,” was found in one of his pockets.

Ali fought against his enemies, but his skill as a warrior proved futile in the face of an overwhelming odd. His sudden death struck the chord of pity and awe of all those who came to know the real and proximate cause.

After his death and when peace was already restored, Ali’s name became a pathetic song among the people of the barrio. Stories of the cause of the loss of his life were told since then and handed from generation to another. And as a token of love for Ali, when Bauan Sur became a municipality, the consensus of opinion centered on naming the town after him and after the cause for which he fought and died. From that time on, the barrio of Bauan Sur came to be known as Alitagtag.

From – Local Heroes, Folklore, Folktales,
etc., of Alitagtag. (A pamphlet)

3. Date of establishment.

The town was established in 1910.


Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Alitagtag Historical Data,” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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