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January 1, 2018

Barrio/Poblacion Alitagtag, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio 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 this “historical data” the barrio of Alitagtag being alluded to is likely the poblacion.

[p. 1]

HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO

Part I: History

1. Present official name of the barrio:

ALITAGTAG

2. Popular name of the barrio, present and past; derivation and meanings of these names. Names of sitios included within the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio.

Present: The present name is Alitagtag.

Past: The name of the whole barrio was Alitagtag. However, different sections of the place had different names. Mrs. Dimaandal’s neighborhood was named Pitpitan. Pitpitan was derived from the local word “Pitpit.” The present neighborhood of Mr. Enrique Rosales, the barrio lieutenant of that place, was called “Pinagtipasan.” This name was derived from the local word “Tipas.” That section was named so because in the past, lovers in that section eloped and lived together without the knowledge and consent of the parents.

Sitions included: The left side of the sitio of Bagong Pook belongs to this barrio.

3. Date of establishment: 1910

4. Original families: unknown

5. List of tenientes from the earliest time to date:

a. Spanish Time – Kabesang Tasio was the

[p. 2]

barrio lieutenant of the whole Alitagtag when it was still a barrio of Bauan.

b. American Occupation:
1.  Alfonso Ramos 5.  Cornelio Reyes
2.  Obaldo Adajar 6.  Enrique Rosales
3.  Lauriano Adan 7.  Eulogio Esguera
4.  Cipriano Manigbas 8.  Alejandro Vergara
9.  Igmedio Malapitan
c. Japanese Occupation
1.  Igmedio Malapitan 2.  Lauriano Adan
d. After Liberation to the Present: Mr. Isidoro Castillo.

6. Story of old barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct.

No story of old barrios could be given.

7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins and others.

Only five Spanish type houses were there but they were all ruined during the Spanish-American War.

8. Important facts, incidents, or events that took place:

a. Spanish insurrectos one day came to the place and tried to get men to be soldiers. All men of the place fled and hid in Kabagan and Dingin, the two forests nearby.

b. Macabebes came to the place in an attempt to rape women. Women pretended

[p. 3]

to be crazy and struggled to drive the Macabebes away.

World War II Japanese Occupation

1. [The] Japanese ransacked the place in search of food and women. The inhabitants fled from the barrio. Unluckily, two women were overtaken and abused.

2. A loud shot, which stirred and frightened the entire population, was heard one night in this barrio. Japanese soldiers stationed in the poblacion were notified about the alarming shot. The following morning, these soldiers rushed to the place and burned the houses including [a] few houses in Butang Kawayan.

3. A bomb dropped in the middle of the street, just after the American forces had landed at Lemery. The Americans were bombing Makulot mountain that time and the aforementioned bomb was believed to have come from them. The incident caused great destruction in the place.

9. (a) Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars, especially in 1896-1900 and 1941-1945.

a. Many houses were razed to the ground during the last days of the Japanese stay in this place.

[p. 4]

(b) Measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II.

The homeless filed claims to the War Damage Commission and were given proportional monetary aid by the said government agency. Homes were reconstructed.

The explosion of the bombs in Muzon incurred great destruction. The Johnlo Trading Company paid for the damaged properties of the people.

10. Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life; birth, baptism, courtship, marriage, death, burial; visits; festivals; punishments; etc.

a. Birth – The newly born child’s head is made to touch the four principal posts of the house. It is believed that by doing so, the child will not leave his home [for a] long time and not forget it when he grows old.

A newly delivered baby is given a little sugar or sweet so that he may always speak soft and gentle words when he grows old.

b. Baptism – The child when brought to the church to be baptized is given money so that he may always have money when he becomes mature.

After the baptismal ceremony, the

[p. 5]

child is carried hurriedly out of the church so that the child may be fast, clever and alert.

c. Courtship – The young man courting a girl brings water to the girl’s house. He gives food or any form of present during special holidays and during parties of the girl’s family as a token of great and genuine love.

d. Marriage – There was a pre-nuptial talk between the parents of the girl and the boy to decide the date of marriage and the kind of preparation to be served during the party.

The groom-to-be brings water to all relatives of the girl.

After the marriage ceremony, the newlyweds try to overtake each other in going out of the church, each aspiring to dominate the other in family affairs. Before the newlyweds enter the house, they are offered sweets at the door. The bride is the one to open the closed house of the groom when she transfers to the latter’s house. After reaching the house from the church, the new couple is showered with money or rice.

e. Death – Neighbors and relatives go to the house of the deceased to sympathize with the bereaved family. The sympathizers of the bereaved family give aid in the form

[p. 6]

of money, cigarettes and others.

f. Burial – When the deceased is brought down from the house to be buried, somebody will close all windows of the deceased. When the coffin is lowered to the grave, many of the companions to the cemetery drop soil to the coffin. Close relatives of the dead do not look back when going to the cemetery in burying the dead.

g. Visits – Close intimates bring something to the person to be visited as a token of sympathy especially when visiting sick friends or newly delivered mothers. Hosts usually offer sweets or food to visitors as a custom of hospitality.

h. Festivals – On birthday parties or baptismal parties, close friends give drinks or food as aid to the host. After the lunch on a wedding day, relatives, friends and compadres give presents or gifts to the new couple. This giving is done during the so-called “sabugan.”

i. Punishments – In the olden times, a person proven guilty of an offense is brought to the house of the lieutenant and is given a punishment the officer deemed it wise. Usually, [a] penalty in [the] form of money or labor

[p. 7]

are the punishments given.

11. Myths, legends, beliefs, interpretations, origin of the world, land, mountains, clouds, etc.

Beliefs:

1. When a cat wipes its face, a visitor is coming.
2. Do not take a bath during the last quarter of the moon, lest you will become sick.
3. A black butterfly entering your house is a sign of bad omen.
4. If you want somebody to dream of you, turn your pillow when you dream at night.
5. A girl should not sing at the front of the stove, lest she will marry a widower.
6. If a wife cannot deliver at once, the husband should at once pull out anything he has buried or nailed in.
7. A man and a woman to be married soon should not go out or go far from home to avoid accidents and love temptations to others.
8. If a gambler meets or happens to ride with a priest in going to the gambling den, he should discontinue his going, for it is believed that he will be unlucky if [he] insists on going.

[p. 8]

9. It is not good to cut fingernails during Tuesdays and Fridays. There will be growths on the fingers.
10. A pregnant woman who eats a twin banana will likely deliver twin babies.

c. Origin of the world, land, mountains, clouds, etc.

In the beginning, God made the world. It was all covered with water and darkness. Then God said, “Let there be light!” And it happened as God commanded. A beautiful light appeared. It began to clear on earth. This was done on the first day.

On the second day, God said, “There should be a blue sky above the earth.” And it was done as God commanded. But the earth below was still covered with water. There was as yet not dry land where people could live.

On the third day, God said, “Let the waters be gathered in one place and let the dry land appear. Let the earth bring forth every kind of plant and tree.” And it all happened as God willed; the waters gathered in the sea and waters or rivers. There was then plenty of land with beautiful trees and plants of all kinds.

[p. 9]

On the fourth day, God said, “Let there be sun to shine over the day, and the moon and the stars to shine over the night.” And immediately, the great and brilliant sun stood in the heaven; the moon shone; the stars twinkled.

On the fifth day, God spoke, “Let there be birds in the air and fishes in the water. And so it was done.

On the sixth day, God said, “Let there be animals of all kinds on earth.” And lo! There were lions, tigers, elephants, carabaos, horses, cats, dogs and many other animals.

The earth was now ready for man to live on. God created man and made him to rule over the rest of Creation. And God saw all things that He made, and they were very good.

12. Popular songs, games and amusements:

Inday, Inday!
Inday sa Balitaw
Kahoy nakahapay
Sandok nakasoksok
Palyok nakataob,
sinig-ang na matab-ang
Kulang sa sampalok.

[p. 10]

b. Games (For men)

1. Tatsing – Any number of players can play together. They used centavo coins. Two lines were drawn on the ground, usually four or five meters apart in opposite directions. Each player puts a centavo or two centavos as agreed on one of the lines. Each has also another centavo as tosser. First, the players toss their tosser centavo to the next line to determine the first, the second, the third, and the next thrower. Each player is then to toss his centavos put on the line till they can toss the centavos out of the next line. Those who can toss more centavos win. The game goes on till everybody wishes to play.

2. Pasulbutan – Any number of players can play this game. A hole big enough to their stones as the “tossed stone” and a line six or seven meters apart are marked on the ground. Usually, the bets used are also money. Grass cutters sometimes play this game in the field. They bet bundles of grass. The players determine the order of throwing by standing on the hole and throwing their “tossed stone” to the line. The stone nearest to the line is the first, the second is the one

[p. 11]

second nearest to the line and so on. The first one, like the others, try to toss their stones to the hole. The one who makes his stone hit the hole is the winner and he gets all the bet coins or bundles of grass.

3. Huego de Anillo – Children play this game with horse sticks or any branch of a tree. This serves as the horse. They have a piece of cloth usually an inch wide and more than a foot long with a ring at one end. These “Anillos” are hung together on a bar put higher than anybody’s head among the players. Each of the players runs to the bar placed far before him. Those who can get the most number of the anillos with his pointer wins.

(c) Amusements – (Among men)

1. Sabalan – Two well-known persons who know many facts and incidents of the past, like [the] creation of the world, men, kingdoms of the olden times, recite a litany of verses trying to lick the other about the subject they can talk about. Sometimes, this contest lasts for a whole night. Many people like to hear this controversy of opinions and knowledge.

[p. 12]

2. Pandanggo – On or two or there men go to the house of a woman who can also recite a long verse sung in the old native intonation. The men try to sing their verses, usually the subject of which is expressing love the woman through him or their verses. The woman, in return, tries to express her opinions to the thought conveyed by the men in their song. This is usually done at night, like the sabalan.

3. Subli – This is a kind of native dance. This is danced mostly when there are parties with the Holy Cross requested from the church to be there. They dance in front of the Holy Cross. Men [who] have the girls for their partners are chasing each other. They have in their hands castanets. There is always a drummer to give the timing of the dance. The woman has a hat on her head. The woman sometimes sings while she dances.

4. Card Games – They have the Tres Sietes, Keje, Rebicino or Pakito. These varieties of card games are played mostly by four players. A person can also play himself or herself with the card. This game is called “solitario.”

5. Reading “Orihenal” – Our old folks after their hard work in the field rest at home and read

[p. 13]

the pamphlet or book called “Original” in the old intonation they had.

13. Puzzles and Riddles:

a. Baboy ka sa pulo, balahibo ay pako.
b. Isang senyorita, nakaupo sa tasa.
c. Isda de sa Mariveles, nasa loob ang kaliskis.
d. Dalawang tindahan, sabay buksan.
e. Balong malalim, puno ng patalim.
f. Walang puno, walang ugat, hitik sa bulaklak.
g. Kabiak na mukha, tanaw sa Maynila.
h. Hinila ko ang hangin, nagtakbo ang matsin.
i. Ako’y may kaibigan, kasama ko saan man.
j. Tagulan at tagaraw, daladala ang lingkaw.
k. Humangin at umaraw, daladala’y balutan.
l. Lumalakad ay walang humihila, tumatakbo ay walang paa.
m. Hindi hayop, hindi tao, walang gulong ay tumatakbo.
n. Dalawang punsopunsohan, ang laman ay kaligtasan.
o. Eto na si amain, magbibili ng hangin.
p. May binti walang hita, may tuktuk walang mukha.
q. Malalim kung bawasan, mababaw kung dagdagan.
r. Manganak ang aswang, sa tuktok nagdaan.
s. Dinalikot nang dinalikot, paglabas ay nilapirot.
t. Alin sa daigdigan, ang tai’y ginagawang bahay.
u. Hinipan ko si kaibigan, nabuhay ang patay.

[p. 14]

it, it is alive. (top)

14. Proverbs and sayings:

a. What you sow, you reap, sow kindness and you reap love.
b. You can afford to love money but not the respect of others.
c. When your blanket is short, learn to crouch.
d. A bird on the palm is better than a thousand in the sky.
e. The speed of the banca does not depend upon the wood the banca is made of but on the wind and the paddler.
f. He who will not toil will not leave.
g. If you walk slowly, you will be hurt just lightly.
h. What we owe, we pay.
i. No fly enters in a closed mouth.
j. The blessings of a Virgin goes to the real pilgrim.
k. A soft answer turneth away wrath.
l. He who lives in a glass house should not throw stones.
m. He makes no friend who never made a foe.
n. Whoever boasts of his accomplishments will reap ridicule.
o. A penny saved is a penny earned.
p. An honest centavo is better than a stolen peso.
q. He who does not waste will not want.
r. Saving money saves worry.
s. A stitch in time saves nine.
t. Heavy though the burden be, if relatives help one another, it becomes easy to carry.

16. Other folktales.

None:

Part Three: Other Information

17. Information on books and documents treating of the Philippines and the names of their owners.

No information on books and documents could be given.

18. The names of Filipino authors born or residing in the community, the titles and subjects of their works, whether printed or in manuscript form, and the names of persons possessing those. None.



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Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Life of the Barrio (Alitagtag),” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.

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