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January 1, 2018

Batangas Town, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the poblacion, then-municipality but presently city of 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.

[Cover page.]

HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE POBLACION

[p. 1]

HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF BATANGAS TOWN

ITS HISTORY

BATANGAS… that is how the town closest to the heart of every Batangueño is called. Retrospection of its history, as that of other towns of the Philippines, will take us way back to that period of primitives, when our ancestors used barks of trees for paper and sharpened bamboo sticks for pencils. The system of writing was not even their own because it was borrowed from more fortunate neighbors who came to our shores for reasons which were their own. The lack of more durable materials for recording purposes rendered it almost impossible and impractical to record the colorful beginnings of our town. The needed data and their connecting links were so wanting that at present, much as we research, we cannot genuinely reconstruct how our town from its humble beginning as a barangay rose to its present height of grandeur – the capital of one of the biggest and most progressive provinces and the cradle of many outstanding Filipinos, both past and present. If ever accounts had been written about our town, those accounts could not be found anywhere because the Spanish missionaries, in their false belief that such Filipino manuscripts were replete with evils, burned them. They thought that the rapid spread of Christianity among our people. Thus, the future generations became devoid of the richness of their glorious past!

Depleted of records, then, we have to depend on traditions for the reconstruction of our history. Mouth to mouth information had reached the present generation and from that we learned that way back in 1572, a Spanish missionary came to Batangan. (It was not yet called by that name at that time.) At that time, as to what was the real name of that lowland barangay near the Calumpang River, nobody could tell. Let it suffice to say that years later the whole region around this river became called “Region del Cumintan” by the Spaniards. There was no means by which the Spaniards could communicate with the natives except by signs such that there was no authentic way of asking for the real name of the barangay. However, the Spaniards were so delighted with the melodic song called the “Kumintang,” a song sung everywhere by the natives, that they called this barangay “Kumintang.”

[p. 2]

The Spanish missionary, so went the story, climbed up the hill north of this region where the old barangay “Kumintang” was situated, to visit Gat Pulintan. This venerable Gat was the brave chieftain and ruler of all the barangays in that region, or in other words, he was the Superior Datu. Fate was rather unkind to the missionary, for at the time of his visit, Gat Pulintan was not at home. He was, however, welcomed by the Princesa Kumintant, the daughter of the datu. The missionary was so impressed by the beauty and politeness of the princess and her court that, according to the story, he paid homage to her by kneeling before her and addressed her as Princess Kumintang. Thus, for the first time, the pride of a Spaniard was vanquished by the beauty and hospitality of a Filipino woman.

The hill on which the Provincial Capitol now rests, was the barangay of Kumintang. According to Retana, in Morga’s Sucesos de las Filipinas, this town was founded in 1581. It was christened Batangan because of the numerous big logs that abounded there. These logs were commonly called “batang” by the people of the barangay. After the founding (not official), the first chapel was built and the settlement became more populated.

So, Batangas became the name of the settlement or barangay of Kumintang. It was a settlement within the encomienda owned by Marshall Goiti, who was rewarded by the king for his services to the Spanish government. It was only in 1601 that the settlement of Batangas really became a town. Don Antonio Casulao was appointed its first gobernadorcillo and, since, then Batangan became the official name of our town.

As to the fate of Gat Pulintan and his daughter, not much could be gleaned. The brave chieftain and his family did not follow the footsteps of other datus who accepted Spanish sovereignty and Christianity readily. Like Lapulapu, he abhorred foreign domination, so he and his men sought the hills as their only refuge. There, they died a glorious death.

The pueblo of Batangas had for its head the gobernadorcillo. As was previously stated, Don Agustin Casulao [Note: There is obviously a conflict because earlier, Agustin Casulao was mentioned as Antonio.] was its first gobernadorcillo. Being the first, he was appointed instead of being elected. The succeeding

[p. 3]

gobernadorcillo was elected by the outgoing gobernadorcillo and twelve prominent citizens of the pueblo. The gobernadorcillo was assisted in the performance of his duties by the teniente mayor, teniente de policia (chief of police), teniente de sementeras (chief of planted fields), teniente de ganados (chief of cattle). The parish or cura parroco, however, was the ruler of the town.

For almost three and one half centuries, the Philippines was under Spain. During this length of time, the Filipinos progressed in culture and many other aspects, however the tyranny and abuses of most of the Spanish officials obliterated the benefits we enjoyed under Spain. We tried to bear the yoke [of] tyranny with all the fortitude that we could muster until August 26, 1896, when the first cry of Balintawak was sounded. Batangas province rallied to the cause of freedom and the town of Batangas contributed to this armed movement. Under the revolutionary government, our town experienced some governmental organizations. Records of our town officials during this period, like during the Spanish period, are depleted.

War came to a real end after the surrender of Aguinaldo at Palanan, Isabela on March 23, 1901. Three months later, on July 4, 1901, the civil government was inaugurated under the American regime. Our town elected its officials. Under this regime, our officials were the president, vice-president and the councilors. The appointed officials were the treasurer, secretary, chief of police, justice of the peace and other officials.

The following is a complete data of the town officials from 1901 to 1935 (American regime; 1935 to 1946 (Commonwealth Government; 1946 to 1953 (Republic):

1901
Jose Villanueva . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. President
Jose Arguelles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Vice Pres.
Pedro Pastor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Secretary
COUNCILORS
Crisanto Javier Lorenzo Almira Pablo Iturralde
Remigio Luna Vicente Agregado Melchor Babasa
Ricardo Atienza Feliciano Cantos Nicasio Vergara
Mariano Macatangay Anastacio Rosales Juan Palacios
      y Gonzales Pablo Berba Vicente Olmos
[p. 4]
Manuel Lira Mariano Arguelles Fernando Leyco
Rafael Pastor Valentin Reyes Hilarion de Jesus
Ramon Canent Felipe Barrion Paulino Berba
Don Vicente Agregado . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Justice of the Peace
Graciano Babao . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chief of Police
1902
Jose Villanueva . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Jose Arguelles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Vice President
Pedro Pastor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Secretary
Councilors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Same as 1901
Justice of the Peace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Same as 1901
Chief of Police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Same as 1901
1903

(Same municipal officials as in 1901 and 1902)

1904
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Jose Arguelles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Vice President
Sisenando Ferriols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Secretary
Marcelo Llana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun Treasurer (1901-1904)

Don Vicente Agregado
Justice of the Peace
COUNCILORS
(Same as 1901, 1902, & 1903)
Graciano Babao . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chief of Police
1906
Jose Arguelles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Pablo Berba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Vice President
Sisenando Ferriols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Treasurer
Don Agapito Hilario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Justice of the Peace
COUNCILORS
Anastacio Rosales Eliseo Claudio Graciano Babao
Briccio Casala Felipe Barrion Isabelo de Joya
Enrico Cabral Florentino Villena Nicasio Vergara
Note: For the municipal officials during 1905, please see back of this page.

[p. 5]

1905
Jose Arguelles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Pablo Berba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Vice-President
Sisenando Ferriols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Treasurer
Don Agapito Hilario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Justice of the Peace
COUNCILORS

Remigio Luna
Antonino Babasa
Felipe Barrion
Graciano Babao
Domingo Borbon
Briccio Casala
Andres de Jesus
Agapito Hilario
Nicasio Vergara
Doroteo Acosta
Severo Arceo
Eliseo Claudio
Francisco Mendoza
Fruto Villanueva
Mariano Macatangay

[p. 6]
Remigio Luna Romualdo Pintor Severo Arceo
Andres de Jesus Tranquilino de Jesus Pablo Iturralde
Agapito Hilario
1907
Marcelo Llana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Actg. Mun. President
Pablo Berba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Vice President
Sisenando Ferriols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Treasurer
Agapito Hilario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Justice of the Peace
Juan Rosales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chief of Police
COUNCILORS
Agapito Hilario Tranquilino de Jesus Cristanto Javier
Telesforo Dilay Fernando Leyco Francisco Iturralde
Florentino Villena Anastacio Rosales Escolastico Montalbo
Isabelo de Joya Carlos Ilustre Manuel Lira
Felix Aguirre Claro Valdez Lee Rogers
1908
Sisenando Ferriols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Remigio Luna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Vice President
Juan Gutierrez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Florencio Caedo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Justice of the Peace
Julian Rosales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chief of Police
COUNCILORS
Marcelo Llana Fernando Leyco Lee Rogers
Crisanto Javier Pablo Berba Mariano Varela
Manuel Lira Francisco Iturralde Agapito Hilario
Doroteo Acosta Apolonio Belmonte Anastacio Rosales
Claro Valdez Escolastico Montalbo Rafael Palacios
Juan Lira Felix Aguirre Domingo Borbon
1909
Sisenando Ferriols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Remigio Luna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Vice President
Juan Gutierrez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Florencio Caedo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Justice of the Peace
Julian Rosales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chief of Police
COUNCILORS
Agapito Hilario Apolonio Belmonte Claro Valdez
Crisanto Javier Escolastico Montalbo Felix Aguirre
Eustacio Madlangbayan Juan Lira Lee Rogers
Marcelo Llana Pablo Berba Rufino Canent
[p. 7]

1910
Ventura Tolentino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
David Aguirre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Vice President
Severo Arceo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Florencio Caedo  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Julian Rosales  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Lee Rogers Leonardo Olmos Rufino Canent
Juan Dimaano  Apolonio Belmonte  Gavino del Rosario 
Anastacio Rosales  Fernando Leyco  Mariano Curata 
Doroteo Acosta  Vicente Agregado  Felipe Barrion 
Eustaquio Madlangbayan  Enrico Cabral  Roman Buenafe 
Francisco Arda  Gregorio Aguirre 
1911
Ventura Tolentino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Apolonio Belmonte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Vice President
Severo Arceo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Perpetuo de Joya Admana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
COUNCILORS
Felipe Barrion Juan Gutierrez Leonardo Olmos
Juan Dimaano Gavino del Rosario Juan de Torres
Jose Tiangco Bernabe Iturralde Roman Buenafe
Enrico Cabral Lee Rogers Eustaquio Madlangbayan
Gregorio Aguirre Doroteo Acosta Felix Villanueva
Juan Abad Mariano M. Gonzales Eugenio Muldong 
Jose Arguelles
1912
Ventura Tolentino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Apolonio Belmonte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Vice President
Felipe Barrion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Perpetuo de Joya Admana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Julian Rosales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Jose Tiangco Eugenio Moldong Roman Buenabe
Gregorio Aguirre Mariano Curata Bernabe Iturralde
Juan Abad Jose Arguelles Jr. Juan de Torres
Gavino del Rosario Francisco Arda Juan Dimaano
Lee Rogers Felix Villanueva Leonardo Olmos
Mariano M. Gonzales Carlos Trillanes Pablo Berba
Catalino Cruz 
[p. 8]

1915
Julian Rosales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Apolonio Belmonte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Vice President
Julian Beredo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Perpetuo Joya Admana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Gavino Rosal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Agapito Hilario Felix Villanueva Jose Arguelles Jr.
Leonardo Olmos Remigio Luna Pablo Berba
Francisco Arda Mariano Curata Jose Tiangco
Juan Dimaano Catalino Cruz Rafael Palacios
Gavino del Rosario Florentino Villena Carlos Trillanes
Guiillermo Mendoza Elias Quinio Gavino Singuimoto
1916
Juan Gutierrez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Nicanor Berba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Vice President
Julian Beredo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Perpetuo Joya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Gavino Rosal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Rafael Palacios Alfredo Cantis Roman Sarmiento
Lucio Velasquez  Graciano Babao Exequiel Castillo
Esteban Luna  Ireneo Encarnacion Florencio R. Caedo
Vicente Agregado  Agapito Hilario Celestino Aragon
Ignacio Vitalis  Mariano B. Varela Jose M. Jamora
Jose P. Arguelles  Filomeno Untalan
19171918
Juan Gutierrez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Ireneo Encarnacion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mun. Vice President
Julian Beredo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Perpetuo Joya Admana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Gavino Rosal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Fernando Leyco Jose M. Jamora Lucio Velasquez
Agapito Hilario Martin de la Peña Ignacio Vitalis
Esteban Luna Gavino del Rosario Celestino Aragon
Graciano Babao Rafael Palacios Florencio Caedo
Filomeno Untalan Exequiel Castillo Vicente Agregado
Alfredo Cantos Mariano Varela Jose P. Arguelles
[p. 9]

1919
Juan Gutierrez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Agapito Hilario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice President
Florentino Villena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Perpetuo Joya Admana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Gavino Rosal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Florencio Caedo Vicente Agregado Fernando Leyco
Graciano Babao Filomeno Untalan Lucio Velasquez
Carlos Ilustre Severo Arceo Martin de la Peña
Jose P. Arguelles Exequiel Castillo Gavino del Rosario
Rafael Palacios Felipe Barrion Mariano Varela
Esteban Luna Celestino Aragon
19201922
Julian Rosales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Severo Arceo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice President
Felipe Barrion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Perpetuo Joya Admana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Gavino Rosal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Jose Arguelles Sr. Jose Mayo Librea Agapito Hilario
Mariano Varela Graciano Babao Carlos Ilustre
Jose Arguelles Jr. Florencio R. Caedo Carlos Trillanes
Felix Villanueva Remigio Luna Vicente Arda
Andres de Jesus Fernando Leyco Roman Sarmiento
Macario Quinio Felix Claveria
1923
Juan Buenafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Severo Arceo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice President
Ventura Tolentino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Perpetuo Joya Admana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Gavino Rosal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Florencio Caedo Felipe Barrion Alfredo Cantos
Mariano Varela Pedro de Castro Macario Sarmiento
Daniel Magadia Roman Perez Esteban Luna
Ramon Lira Carlos Trillanes Juan Gutierrez
Jose Mayo Librea Felix Villanueva Graciano Babao
Clemente Reyes Maximo Dimaano Sixto Montalbo
Cayetano Tarcelo Melecio Aguirre Feliciano Ona
Ruperto Buenafe Domingo Lopez
[p. 10]

19261928
Juan Buenafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Pedro de Castro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice President
Ventura Tolentino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Perpetuo Joya Admana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Gavino Rosal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Francisco Aldover Jose Montalbo Sixto Caedo
Alfredo Cantos Mariano Varela Juan Dimaano
Macario Sarmiento Domingo Lopez Esteban Luna
Juan Gutierrez Graciano Babao Carlos Trillanes
Remegio Luna Santiago Viscocho Maximo Dimaano
David Pargas Vicente Arguelles Jose Villanueva
19291930
Juan Buenafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Santos Dilay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice President
Ventura Tolentino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Perpetuo Joya Admana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Gavino Rosal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Eulalio Atienza Francisco Aldover Juan Macatangay
Jose Montalbo Sixto Caedo David Pargas
Vicente Arguelles Juan Gutierrez
19311934
Perpecto Condez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Macario Chavez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice President
Maximo Sarmiento . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Perpetuo Joya Admana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Gavino Rosal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Ramon Tarnate Sixto Caedo Joaquin Hughes
Manuel Ochoa Godofredo Rosales Jose Montalbo
Valentin Cantre Juan Gutierrez
19351937
Perpecto Condez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Francisco Atienza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice President
Ignacio Buenafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary.. Vicente Caedo
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Pedro Muñoz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Domingo Burog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
[p. 11]

COUNCILORS
Sixto Caedo Godofredo Rosales Jose M. Montalbo
Paulino Reyes Santos Dilay Mariano Varela
Ramon Tarnate Roman Perez
19381940
Juan Buenafe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal President
Santos Dilay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice President
Mario Gutierrez
Pedro Panganiban
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretaries
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Pedro Muñoz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Domingo Burog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Olegario Cantos Leoncio F. Arceo Atilano Magadia
Roman Perez Jose Montalbo Mariano Varela
Juan Dimaano Pedro Berberabe
1941
Pedro Berberabe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Mayor
Olegario Cantos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice President
Pedro Panganiban . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Pedro Muñoz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Domingo Burog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Mario Gutierrez Francisco Atienza Esteban Luna
Atilano Magadia Leoncio Arceo Juan Buenafe
Jose Montalbo
19421944
Roman Perez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Mayor
Alberto Perez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Secretary
1945
Jose P. Caedo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Mayor
19451946
Pedro Berberabe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Mayor
Olegario Cantos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice Mayor
Mario Gutierrez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Vicente Reyes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace 
Apolonio Corpus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
[p. 12]

COUNCILORS
(1945 – 1946)
Francisco Atienza Jose Montalbo Atilano Magadia
Leoncio F. Arceo Juan Buenafe Roman L. Perez
Mario J. Gutierrez
1947 – 1949
Roman L. Perez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Mayor
Olegario Cantos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice President
Mario J. Gutierrez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Eulalio Chavez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace  (since 1946)
Apolonio Corpus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chief of Police 
COUNCILORS
Gabriel Gomez Graciana Evangelista Federico Blay
Sixto Caedo Roman Tarnate Jose Montalbo
Esteban Luna Juan Buenafe
1949 – 1951
Atiilano Magadia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Mayor (Elected Mayor Murdered)
Pedro Panganiban . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurer
Eulalio Chavez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Justice of the Peace
COUNCILORS
Romana Dimaano Julian Pastor Pedro Tolentino
Leoncio Arceo Galicano Dinglasan Sixto Caedo
Juana Lira Gabriel Gomez
1952 – 1954
Macario Chavez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Municipal Mayor
Ligia I. Berberabe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice Mayor
David M. Pargas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary
Juan Palacios (Feb. 28, 1953) - retired
Esteban G. Buhat (Mar. 1, 1953 - )
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Treasurers
Eulalio Chavez . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Justice of the Peace
Ignacio Gool )
Joaquin Hughes )
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Chiefs of Police 
COUNCILORS
Julian Pastor Hermenegildo Bagui Sixto Caedo
Simeon Plata Francisco Atienza Pedro Tolentino
Isidro Aclan Gabriel Gomez
[p. 13]

DATA ON HISTORICAL SITES, STRUCTURES, BUILDINGS, OLD RUINS, ETC., IMPORTANT FACTS, INCIDENTS OR EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE



THE BATANGAS REVOLT … The results of the November 3, 1949 election which was bitterly fought between Mr. Elpidio Quirino, of the Liberal Party, on the one side and Dr. Jose P. Laurel, standard bearer of the Nationalista Party, on the other, play an important role in the history of the town of Batangas.

Refusing to concede the victory of the Liberal Party, which they believed was won through fraud and terrorism, some disgusted citizens of Batangas rose in revolt against the government forces. That was on the chilly morning of November 19, 1949, at about two o’clock, when a big group of armed men marched to the town of Batangas and raided it at three strategic places. The first attack was made at the Batangas Electric and Water Plant, and at a sudden, Batangas was plunged into complete darkness. That must have been the signal, for immediately thereafter, a similar band of armed men crept into the Batangas Police Station, disarmed the policemen therein, and took away with them some rounds of ammunition. Almost simultaneously, the attacks on the Batangas P. C. Headquarters and the 12th Station Hospital ensued. Heavy firing continued for half an hour, after which the rebels retreated and the firing ceased as suddenly as it started.

When the townspeople awoke, Batangas was a remarkable ghost town. The streets were deserted and practically all the business establishments were closed. It looked like a typical town undergoing zonification by the Japanese during the occupation. In almost all homes, windows were closed and doors were barred. The market place was empty because sellers stayed at their homes and those who had permanent stalls took their products or merchandize home.

After the rebels had fled, the P. C. and army reinforcements from neighboring towns came. With the joint forces of the P. C. and P. A., the rebels were driven back into their lairs, far out into the fastness of the mountains. The rebels were not defeated so soon because their courage and determination to find redress for the fraud committed during the election day. They fought valiantly although they were outnumbered. Their courage coupled with their being well-equipped enabled them to offer a stiff resistance to the pursuing government forces. They employed the “hit and run” tactics, the common method used by our men during the guerrilla movements during the

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hectic days of the Japanese occupation. This caused the revolt to last for a couple of months.

Later, in the early part of December of the same year, Gen. Francisco Medrano, the overall commander of the Batangas rebels, accepted the surrender terms offered by the President. He personally appeared before President Elpidio Quirino with some high-ranking provincial officials and his aide de camp. After this, his followers laid down their arms and returned to their homes to resume their former role of being peaceful citizens.

Thus ended the Batangas revolt… a revolt which is a manifestation that the Batangueños are alert and vigilant over their fundamental and inalienable rights, as provided in our Constitution.

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH…. The first church of Batangas was built in the year 1581by Father Diego Mexica who was [at] that time the pastor of Calapan, Mindoro. It was a small chapel of bamboo and nipa dedicated to the Immaculate Concepcion de Nuestra Señora. The said father was from the province of Salamanca, Spain. He died in 1584.

The year 1672 came. During this period, the economic condition of the town made it possible to begin the rock foundation of the first stone church. The first nave was completed in 1686, the crucero was added in 1706, and it was finished with a solemn benediction of the whole church in 1721. This little church of “arrecife” stone was constructed entirely by the Fathers. This building suffered or experienced many earthquakes of a period of seventy nine years but no very considerable damage was ever recorded of the structure.

In the year 1851, the population of the town so increased that a larger church had become a necessity. When Father Pedro Cuesta became parish priest, he undertook the construction of a new edifice. The difficulties caused by poverty, disgusts and sacrifices did not deter men of such character as these pastors possessed. Notwithstanding the drawbacks of the situation, the pastor obtained the necessary permission; erected a temporary chapel in the public plaza, and had the old church torn down. The first stone of the new and larger church was placed in the year 1851. For six years, the work of the construction was carried on with many discouraging obstacles intervening. Father Pedro himself was engineer, director, foreman, and paymaster.

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The solemn blessing of the new church of the Immaculate Conception took place on February 2, 1857. After the mass and sermon, the celebration was continued with a splendid banquet given by the pastor, and in the evening there was a display of fireworks.

The dimensions of the church are: length – 71.35 meters, width – 14.27 meters, with a wide crucero. There existed four gigantic arches lessened with gross bricks. A fifth arch, perhaps larger than the other, supports the choir, tower and façade. Though, at first, there seems to be a lack of architectural grace in the design, the structure, as a whole, makes a fine impression from the sala.

During the tremendous earthquake which occurred on October 1, 1869, the tower and façade suffered some destructions but the damage was easily repaired by strengthening the exterior with strong buttresses. The church is dedicated to the Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria (The most pure Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary). Before the feast day, a triduum was held with the special faculty for the use of the blue vestments, granted by the Pope, Pius IX.

In 1937, during the administration of Reverend Mons. Cirilo Castillo, the church tower was rebuilt.

When the façade of the church was ruined by the earthquake in 1942, it was rebuilt during the administration of the Right Reverend Mons. Domingo Librea in 1946.

On February 13, 1948, by the decree of the Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, the Batangas Catholic Church was elevated to the status of “Basilica Minor” of the Infant Jesus and Immaculate Conception. The Basilica is the first to be granted that honor and privilege in the Philippines and in the Far East.

THE BATANGAS PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL….. The hospital was constructed sometime in 1927, during the administration of Governor Modesto Castillo. It was through his efforts, aided by the members of the Provincial Board, Atty. Maynardo Farol and Maximo Sarmiento, by District Engineer Isaias Fernando and Provincial Treasurer Jose Ocampo, that the establishment of the Provincial Hospital was realized. It was inaugurated and opened to the public on January 1, 1928, with Dr. Sixto Roxas, a prominent and well known physician, as Chief of the Hospital.

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The hospital has a bed capacity of 30. There are three wards for the charity patients and three private rooms for pay patients. Besides this, the hospital building has three separate rooms for the Chief of the Hospital, the Resident Physician and the Administrative Office, the operating room, in the rear portion of the main building. During the incumbency of Governor Vicente Noble, upon the recommendation of the Chief of the Hospital, Dr. Roxas, a new Nurses’ Home was constructed sometime in 1935. Then, during the administration of Governor Vicente Caedo, who realized the urgent need of increasing the bed capacity, two additional wings (pavilion type) porte corchere, and a separate delivery room were constructed in 1941. The expenditures of these projects were covered by funds from the Sweepstakes allotments of the province, which were set aside for the above purpose through the efforts of Governor Caedo.

The operation of the hospital was suspended upon the arrival of the Japanese, who confiscated all the equipment and medicines and it resumed its operation temporarily in 1943 and continued throughout 1944. The Nurses Home was burned by the Japanese, but the main building and other structures in the hospital compound were not subjected to the same fate as the Nurses Home.

In April 1945, upon the arrival of the American Forces of Liberation, the operation of the hospital was revived by the PCAU No. 11, which furnished and equipped it with all the necessary medical supplies, equipment, surgical instruments, cots and even light and water services. On August 1, 1945, the hospital with all its contents was turned over to the Commonwealth Government, and all pre-war employees were called to service. Dr. Sixto Roxas, once more, headed the hospital staff. Improvement of its equipment was made possible by securing from the surplus depots here and Manila, steel beds and mattresses, which replaced the cots, bedside tables, folding chairs, electric sterilizers, etc. The water tanks were installed to insure continuous supply of water.

Upon the unexpected death of Dr. Roxas on March 28, 1948, Dr. Vicente G. Berba was designated to take charge of the hospital, who finally was appointed permanent Chief of the Hospital.

Sometime during the latter part of 1949, rehabilitation work was commenced. The Nurses Home was rehabilitated and was partly financed by the war damage funds amounting to ₱10,500.00 and hospital funds amounting to ₱482.60. It was completed and occupied on May 1, 1949.

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The fiscal year 1949-1950 may be described as memorable in the history of the Batangas Provincial Hospital in the sense that it was during this period when all the improvements such as repair, repainting of buildings, reconstruction of kitchen and its painting, and acquisition of surgical supplies were realized.

Then, the same period may also be called lamentable because it was during this period when all improvements made thereon were blasted into nothingness by a mere stroke of fate. In the afternoon of February 25, 1950, a bomb explosion occurred in the Philippine Constabulary Compound situated about two hundred yards of this hospital. This powerful explosion, which lasted for a few seconds, almost completely destroyed the hospital premises and totally wrecked the Nurses Home.

Sometime in May 1950, a delegation of Batangas residents, which included mayors of some towns of Batangas, representatives of the Rotary Club of Batangas, Batangas Women’s Club, prominent political leaders and civic-spirited citizens of Batangas, were received by the President in his office. The reception of the delegation was made possible through the efforts of Dr. Olegario Cantos. As a result of the petition of this delegation, a check of ₱50,000.00 from the funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes was presented to Dr. Vicente Berba, Chief of the Batangas Provincial Hospital, by Dr. Cantos in September, 1950. The reconstruction work of the hospital was started in the middle of November according to the specifications prepared by the District Engineer’s Office. The whole reconstruction work, including painting and other improvements, was terminated in May 1951. It has a bed capacity of 70.

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IMPORTANT HISTORICAL EVENTS THAT OCCURRED IN THE TOWN
OF BATANGAS FROM THE SPANISH TIME UP TO WORLD WAR II

I. THE SPANISH REGIME

THE PRISONERS UPRISING….. In the year 1896, during the governorship of Manual Sapata, Spanish governor, at the height of the Filipino-Spanish War, the Filipino suspects in the town of Batangas were rounded [up] by the Spaniards for investigation. Proven ardent supporters and sympathizers of the revolutionists were Casimiro Beredo and Francisco Blanco. Both men were exiled to San Fernando Po, a Spanish colony in Africa.

The rest of the suspects, some 100 of them, were held prisoner in Bilibid Prison. These bitterly disgusted Filipino suspects and prisoners had long been planning a break out. Their long contemplated escape came into realization at dawn of May 3, 1897. Under a brave and strong leader, they rushed and killed the guards, and got their guns. Their numerical superiority caught other guards unaware who also succumbed to death at the hands of the determined fugitives. They brought all the guns from the prison armory and fled to the mountains. The other prisoners who were left behind were put to death by the administrators, among whom was Lauro de Marquez, an anti-Catholic.

THE SURRENDER OF THE SPANIARDS….. The Spanish Army was on the verge of collapse. The remaining Spanish soldiers in the town of Batangas assembled in the convent with their families believing that the revolutionists would respect the place. The Filipino forces, however, under the command of Gen. Terio Marasigan and assisted by Captain Buenafe were posted at the plaza directly in front of the convent.

The tense moment followed, each side waiting for the other to fire. The nuns and the Spanish wives implored the officers to surrender for the sake of their live and those of their children in the convent. Seeing the situation was dangerous and resisting was hopeless and futile, the captain hoisted the white flag, hence, the Spanish tyranny and oppression in Batangas ended in May, 1898.

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THE PROCLAMATION OF INDEPENDENCE….. Communication from Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, then dictator, ordered through the provincial governors, all alcalde mayors of the towns to celebrate June 12, 1898 in coincidence with the Proclamation of the Philippine Republic in Kawit, Cavite. In compliance with the order, the townspeople gathered at Plaza Mabini to celebrate in a very impressive military ceremony.

After the celebration, Governor Roxas, a native of Manila, and who Gen. Aguinaldo sent to Batangas to assume the governorship of the province, called upon the people as to who they liked to be the alcalde mayor of the town. The people shouted in unison and clamored for General Brigido Buenafe, father of the ex-Mayor of this town, Mr. Juan Buenafe. Gen. Brigido Buenafe became the first and last alcalde mayor of the town of Batangas during the short-lived Philippine Republic.

II. BATANGAS DURING THE AMERICAN REGIME

THE BEGINNING OF THE AMERICAN RULE….. The people were relieved from the bondage of the Spanish tyranny and oppression and enjoyed the air of freedom as free people for barely a year. News spread like wildfire that the American soldiers who fought and died with the Filipinos to subdue the Spaniards were fighting the natives.

Revolutionists were called to the colors and new soldiers were recruited. Captain Eliseo Claudio and the noted Buenafe brothers, Juan, Lucio and Eulalio together with Roman Llana organized the troops and trained them for combat.

They had their first encounter in the latter part of 1899 against the whites in Lipa, Batangas. The fighting lasted for two days resulting to the defeat of the Americans. The same combat team encountered another group of American soldiers in the same year in Bilogo, Taysan. Captain Claudio and Captain Llana, with their soldiers, retreated leaving behind the three Buenafe brothers and their men busy with the Americans. At the end of the third day’s battle at Bilogo, the brave Buenafe brothers successfully repulsed the Americans but had 90 men left.

The Filipino revolutionists returned to their camp as Sambat, Batangas, Batangas, for a good rest. It did not take long when the full weight of American soldiers came to Batangas from three directions: from Taal, Ibaan and Bilogo. Their arrival was perfectly timed that

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Captain Buenafe and his soldiers scampered and fled to the mountains, demoralized. It was in 1900 that the short-lived Philippine Republic terminated and the military rule began.

The people feared to return to their homes. However, they were finally convinced to go back home to resume a normal and peaceful life. All the town residents who evacuated returned except the revolutionists who preferred to die fighting than to submit to the foreign sovereignty. The municipal government was organized under the military rule and Mr. Jose Villanueva was appointed the municipal president, the position he held until the Taft commission arrived in 1901.

THE POLICY OF ATTRACTION….. At the beginning of the military rule, the Americans introduced the school system. Everything was offered free, like pencils, papers and books to the children who enrolled in the public schools. The first school building used was the house of Mr. Jose Villanueva, then the president of Batangas town. Later, it was transferred to the house of Mr. Rufino Canent.

THE BATANGAS HIGH SCHOOL ERECTED….. In 1903, the Filipino resistance against the Americans totally broke down. The capture of Gen. Miguel Malvar led to the construction of the Batangas High School.

It was in this year that Gen. Lucban, who headed the resistance movement in the Bicol region, sent several hundred thousands of pesos to Gen. Miguel Malvar. The couriers of Gen. Lucban successfully evaded the Americans along the way and reached Rosario, Batangas safely. The money was being delivered to Gen. Malvar, but unfortunately, while the money was being transferred to the carts in the presence of Gen. Malvar, the Americans arrived and apprehended them. Thus resulting to the surrender of the general and his men. Orders were issued to all revolutionists in the province to lay down their arms and stop the resistance. The order was received by Captain Juan Buenafe and he could not do otherwise.

The money captured from the general was used to purchase rice in that town and was brought to Batangas. The Americans made a good sale and all the proceeds were appropriated to construct a high school. Thus, the Batangas High School was erected in the year 1903.

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III. BATANGAS DURING WORLD WAR II

THE BOMBING OF BATANGAS….. About 10:00 a.m., Monday, December 12, 1941, two waves of Japanese planes each numbered 27, the first group bombers and the second wave fighters flew above the town. The bombers flew southward into the skies over the town while the second wave of planes flying from the north trailed behind. The first group circled and returned, raining death and destruction on the airport and its surroundings. Three U.S.A. fighter planes were destroyed, a pilot killed and several people dead and others wounded. Two Filipino pilots, Lt. Jesus Villamor and Mondoniedo, miraculously escaped death and successfully soared their planes straight towards the enemy planes and let their guns loose in spite of the numerical superiority. The enemy planes were driven [off] after a short dogfight.

The Japanese planes came back a week later and once a week thereafter until the Batangas airport was totally destroyed and the planes were rendered useless.

THE DEFENSE OF BATANGAS TOWN….. News spread like wildfire that several Japanese transports were sighted in [the] China Sea with the possibility that they were heading for Batangas. Batangas Beach was heavily fortified and the Filipino and American soldiers were ready to meet any eventuality. A week before Christmas, the Japanese made successful landings in other points of Luzon, like Pangasinan and Camarines Norte. So the soldiers, both Filipinos and Americans, pulled back to avoid being cut from the rest of the forces. They left Batangas on Christmas Eve, leaving the barrio of Sta. Clara on fire. The town of Batangas was burned the following night.

THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION….. The Japanese cavalry occupied the town of Batangas during the first week of January 1942. The Japanese flag was hoisted at the municipal building symbolizing the fall and capture of the town. Batangas was completely evacuated and the Japanese used the big houses for their quarters. The miserable hordes of people lived with the barrio folks and some of them lived in make-shift shelters and jerry-build roofs. The Batangas High School became the General Headquarters. Check Points were placed in every strategic section of the town.

During the occupation, there were underground workers who lived, ate and slept with the Japanese officers. Guerrilla units were organized and the officials were so clever enough to organize them and at the same time receive the

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trust and confidence of the Japanese Kampeitai. However, the movement was sensed from the collaborators and several of these guerrilla officials were tortured and put to death. Among them was Lt. Marciano Evangelista Jr. and Lt. Espina.

THE COMING OF THE LIBERATORS….. On November 25, 1944, a squadron of U.S. fighter planes made their first appearance in the skies of Batangas. The people were alarmed by the strange airplane sound at about 10:00 a.m. Then followed the explosion of bombs faintly heard by the townsfolk. The Lipa Airstrip was being pounded. After ten minutes pounding of the airport, the sound became more audible and finally, deafening. The planes soared above the skies of Batangas and circled around. Before they could finish the circle, they banked and dived one after another raining death and destruction on the Batangas Airport. The Japanese anti-aircraft barked and retaliated but all the planes left unscathed.

The planes reappeared the following week and came in regularly thereafter until the airstrip was totally destroyed.

In December of the same year, the town was hammered heavily by the P.T. Gunboat. The civilians fled in panic, but were happy for it was a sure sign that the liberators will very soon arrive. About the middle part of January, 1945, clouds of bombers and fighters appeared in the skies south of Batangas. They were escorting U.S. transport ships loaded with U.S. soldiers which made their successful landing in Nasugbu, Batangas.

On March 8 and 9, 1945, the Japanese applied the scorched earth measure to this town knowing pretty well that the American soldiers would be due any minute. In the evening of March 10, 1945, the Americans who were at Bolbok, Batangas, incessantly shelled the town until the following day. They entered the town in the morning of March 11 but the Japanese offered only a very slight resistance.

Soldiers’ camps sprung like mushrooms; ships docked in Batangas Bay; tools, equipment, food supplies and clothing were unloaded and brought to the depot. Batangas finally became a base called Sub-Base “R.” Schools were opened on June, 1946, financed by the PECAU for 3 months. Slowly and gradually, the normal life was restored with the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the buildings that were the remnants of the war.

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DESTRUCTION OF LIVES, PROPERTIES AND INSTITUTIONS
DURING WARS, ESPECIALLY IN 1941-1945

The Japanese militarists under the leadership of Premiere Hideki Tojo adhered to a policy of territorial expansion; and not being satisfied with their gains in Manchuria and China, treacherously attacked Pearl Harbor, a U.S. base in Hawaii, on December 7, 1941.

On December 8, 1941, the United States of America declared war against Japan. The Philippines being a Commonwealth and a protectorate of the United States became also at war with Japan.

Several days after the destruction of the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor, a group of fifty-four planes on December 15, 1941, bombed the town of Batangas, destroying the house of Mr. Eriberto Briones on Vergara Street, the Batangas Cadre and Air Field, and some airplanes.

During the air raid, bombs fell like rain along the vicinity of the cadre and airfield. The Philippine Army and the air force at Batangas suffered a great loss in lives and property. Among the civilians who died were Mr. Alejandro Espina of Calicanto, an old man known as Valentin, a daughter of Blas Lontoc, the carpenter and a child of Mr. Felino Montalbo.

It was reported that eighty Japanese transports and warships would land at the Batangas shore. Pursuant to an order of the U.S. Army High Command to destroy the pier and the barrio of Sta. Clara, so the landing might not be possible, in the night of December 24, 1941, said pier was blasted by powerful explosives and the whole community along the shore was in conflagration. Almost all the houses in Sta. Clara were burned.

Several days after the destruction of the pier and the community of Sta. Clara, all hardware and lumber stores in the poblacion were ordered burned. The Batangas Chief of Police, Mr. Domingo Burog, and an American captain of the U.S. Army carried out the order willingly but with sorrow deep in their hearts. The business section of the town was all burned, and together with the National Lumber Store and other private buildings on P. Burgos Street, the Batangas Elementary School went with the flames.

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On a sunny day during the first week of January, 1942, the Japanese Army occupied the town of Batangas. They used the Batangas High School, the Batangas Trade School, both on Rizal Avenue, the Batangas Elementary School on P. Herrera street and several big buildings in the town as their garrisons.

Thus began the Japanese occupation of the town and with it the bowing of the Filipinos to the Japanese every time they met them was put into practice. Failure to bow to the soldiers of Hirohito was enough cause for one to receive slaps on his or her face.

Because of the atrocities committed by the Japanese soldiers, the people stayed away from the town. As the people would not go back to their homes, the High Command of the Japanese army ordered the people through Mr. Roman Perez, acting mayor, to return to their homes on or before March 10, 1942 and if not the Nippon army would burn the unoccupied houses and the owners would be arrested and imprisoned in the Japanese military stockades.

Not because of fear to lose their houses, but of being imprisoned in the stockades of the Japanese Army the people of Batangas reluctantly returned to their homes. On October 15, 1943, the Philippine Republic under the Japanese supervision was organized, with Justice Jose P. Laurel Sr. as president. Mr. Roman Perez continued to be the mayor as he was appointed by Laurel.

The municipal government began to operate and as far as possible the people attended to their occupations. There was peace, but only for a short duration. The Filipinos believed that although they had been granted independence, the independence was without freedom. They found that they had been made slaves in their own homes. They might be compared to a bird tied in their cage. The string was cut off but the bird was yet imprisoned inside the iron cage. The bird had no freedom.

The Japanese soldiers became more atrocious. Because of the Filipinos’ loyalty to the United States government, and their love of freedom, underground units were organized. Foremost among these organizations was the guerrilla unit which was founded by Mr. Espina, formerly an army officer. Many prominent citizens joined this organization, the headquarters of which were in Balagtas, Tinga and Sorosoro. One of the aims of this organization was to see to it that the officials running the govern-

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ment performed their duties with justice, and that they should not be too much pro-Japanese.

One Saturday night during the month of April, 1943, the storehouse of the garrison at the Batangas High School was robbed with a great quantity of flour, rice and canned goods, probably by the guerrillas. The Japanese suspected or they might have been informed that the goods were taken across the Calumpang River; so patrols were sent to Libjo to search for the missing goods in the morning of the next day. All [the] men found beyond the river up to Mahabang Dahilig were rounded up and assembled at the bank of the river along M. H. del Pilar Street. The people rounded [up] numbered about 2,000. They were all ordered by the guards to sit or squat on the hot ground and under the hot sun from morning up to 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon without food or water to drink. Then suddenly, they were ordered to march in double file to the Batangas High School campus. Upon reaching the Batangas High School grounds, the detainees were ordered to sit on the ground. They were heavily guarded with soldiers having fixed bayonets and some with machine guns.

Most of those people said their last prayers for they thought that it was the end of their lives. The detainees were persuaded through several interpreters to tell who the robbers were, but none named the culprits.

At about four o’clock, a Japanese truck came with Mr. Jose Dimaandal, formerly a public school teacher, and Mr. Vicente Marasigan, father of Mrs. Lucia M. Ilustre. Through an interpreter, a Japanese captain said that Messrs. Dimaandal and Marasigan were not thieves; that they were not the ones who stole the goods from the garrison storehouse, but because they resisted Japanese soldiers, they (Dimaandal and Marasigan) would be beheaded. How cruel and how inhuman was the punishment given to Dimaandal and Marasigan was beyond description. Oyewake, a prominent Japanese merchant, pleaded [with] the Japanese officer for the release of the two, but only Mr. Vicente Marasigan was set free. Mr. Dimaandal was led by four Japs to the direction west of the Batangas Trade School where eyewitnesses said his head was cut off.

When Gen. MacArthur left the Philippines, he said, “I shall return.” True to his promise, Gen. MacArthur and his liberation forces landed at Leyte on Oct. 20, 1944 after annihilating the Japanese Navy. From Leyte, where the Americans got the foothold, they began to make

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landings at different points in Luzon and other Visayan islands. American planes began to raid the town of Batangas. Tipped by the guerrillas that bombs and other ammunition were kept at Bagong Pook, the American planes bombed the spot and other military targets on January 17, 1945. Many civilians were killed during the raid. Among those who lost their lives were Mr. and Mrs. Remigio Arceo and one of their children; Mrs. Villapando, daughter of former auditor Villena; Mr. Florencio Untalan of Dumuclay; Bon Ilagan, Teodoro Trillanes and Mrs. Rafaela Arcenas Marcial.

During the month of February 1945, while the liberation forces were nearing the town of Batangas, the Japanese fled to Macolot mountains. Some stayed in dugouts and tunnels in the hill near the provincial capitol. Several times, a truck loaded with Japs returned to Batangas and burned and town and the barrios of Calicanto, Bolbok and Sta. Rita. The houses along the Batangas-Bauan highway were burned.

When the liberation forces entered the town of Batangas on March 11, 1945, they were met not with bullets of the enemy but by the cordial welcome of civilians and guerrillas. Near the Provincial Capitol, there was a little skirmish between some Japs and the American patrols. All the Japanese were killed.

Batangas was made a military base of the American liberation forces. There were hundreds of thousands of American soldiers stationed at Batangas. These soldiers spent their money lavishly in the purchase of souvenirs, jewelries, fruits, such as bananas; fried chickens, wine and women. The three-year period of fear, poverty and hunger during the Japanese occupation was followed by the two-year period of happiness and health during the years 1945 and 1946. There was a boom in trade and commerce. Employment flourished. Almost every able-bodied man was employed in the construction of roads and bridges, and in the building of military barracks and depots. Many men and women were employed as civilian personnel of the army.

Many people of Batangas were able to save enough money for the construction of new houses, in place of the ugly barong-barongs. There were some who got rich overnight; yet there were also many who were not able to meet the cost of reconstruction. The town as a whole was not yet a pleasant sight. Ruins of destruction during the war were still visible.

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MEASURES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS TOWARD REHABILITATION
FOLLOWING WORLD WAR II

The Americans through their President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised that if the Filipinos would remain loyal to America, all damages caused by war would be paid for in full or in part. True to that promise, the American Congress in the year 1946 passed the War Damage Act appropriating $400,000,000.00. From this appropriation, the claimants received their war damage payments and they were able to construct better houses in place of the make-shift structures which they built after liberation. At this writing, Batangas is almost fully rehabilitated.

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TRADITIONS, CUSTOMS, AND PRACTICES IN DOMESTIC AND SOCIAL LIFE

Birth….. A mother expecting to deliver walks back and forth before her labor begins. This practice results in easy delivery. She may also wear beads to help her. The husband is not supposed to lie in the room when labor is about to begin, also, the mother will suffer pains. A pullet or chick is killed after delivery as an act of gratitude to God for the safety of the mother and child. A mother expecting the first child gives birth in the home of her folks. This assures safe delivery. At first signs of pain, the family recites the Holy Rosary. When labor is hard and painful, the mother is made to look at the image of Christ or the Cross.

BAPTISM….. A young couple usually selects the person to sponsor in the baptism of the child. If they like their child to be brilliant, they choose an intelligent person. If they like their child to be rich in the future, they select those who are well-to-do. A baby boy is sponsored by a man; a baby girl is sponsored by a woman. After baptism, the sponsors throw coins to the children in the home of the child. Some girls offer empty glasses adorned with flowers to the sponsor. This means that the sponsor should drop some coins into each glass. The midwife gets a share of the sponsor’s collection. She is given at least a peso unlike the rest who are given only as much as five or ten centavos.

COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE…..

1. Before asking the girl to marry, a man works voluntarily for all the members of the family doing the major work in the house for a certain period of time.
2. Friends give gifts to the newlyweds during the wedding party.
3. The bride is taken to the house of the groom at the end of the party accompanied by relatives of the man and friends. The groom is left in the house of the bride.

DEATH AND MOURNING

1. The family of the dead (corpse in the house) is visited by relatives and friends. They make wreaths.
2. Relatives of the dead abstain from dancing. They wear black clothes, particularly the females.

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3. Serving refreshments to those who come to mourn.

FESTIVALS..

1. All members of the family get together during Sundays, Christmas, Easter, Weddings, Funerals and Birthdays.
2. During parties, gifts are given to parents. Godparents give gifts to their children.
3. Holding [a] feast in connection with baptism. The whole family, including friends and relatives, attend.

The Spaniards enlivened the social life of the people by introducing numerous fiestas, holidays, and other forms of amusements. The town has its patron saint in whose honor a colorful fiesta is held annually (January 16 of every year). Other fiestas are celebrated in honor of the principal saints, great historical events, and birthdays of popes. The fiesta is characterized by gay music, feasting, display of fireworks, religious processions, and theatrical performances. Christian holidays are occasions for merriment. Among these holidays are January 1 (New Year), the Holy Week, celebrated with “pabasa” or the chanting of Christ’s Life and Passions, and the cenaculo, a stage play portraying the Lord’s sufferings; November 1 “Todos Los Santos” (All Saints’ Day), Christmas, including its misa de gallo (early morning mass) and the glamorous Noche Buena (Holy Night).

Gay parties celebrate birthdays, baptisms and weddings, picnics and excursions, moonlit haranas (serenades), card and parlor games, such as juego de prenda, tres siete and outdoor sports, as swimming, boat racing, patintero, juego de anillos, sipa (native football) in which rattan is used. Among the masses of the people, the chief form of amusement is cockfighting, usually held during Sundays and fiestas. Cockfighting was a pastime in Palawan even prior to the coming of the Spaniards. As a gambling vice, it was introduced by the Spaniards from Mexico. It was legalized and taxed by the Spanish government for the first time in 1779. It became a source of large revenue, but created national vice.

Gambling is another common but objectionable form of recreation because it does bring good results to an individual.

[p. 30]

REVERENCE

1. Taking off the hat or making the sign of the cross when passing a church or a cemetery.
2. Saying the family prayers at Angelus time.
3. Making the sign of the cross at the stairway before leaving the house.
4. Going to church on Sundays and other holidays.
5. Praying before and after sleeping.

MISCELANNEOUS

Family Solidarity
1. Show respect for elders, parents, relatives, godfathers and godmothers, by kissing their hands to their foreheads after prayers, after the Angelus upon returning home.
2. Greeting elders and old acquaintances with polite terms, such as kang, aling, mamang, po, opo.
3. Reserve father’s seat at the table. Every member of the family sits at the same place during the meal.
4. Not interrupting or taking part in a conversation between elders.
5. Giving gifts to his folks after a trip, at Christmas time and on special occasions such as weddings, christenings or birthdays.
6. Asking permission to leave the house to attend social functions.
7. Caring for the aged and sick; not answering back; recognizing the authority of the oldest brother or sister after the death of both parents.
8. Coming home before dark or telling parents where one is.
9. Being courteous in all speeches.

[p. 31]

SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS, INTERPRETATIONS, SORCERY AND MAGIC CHARMS, DIVINATION, ETC.

The ancient Batangueños had many superstitious beliefs, a great deal of which remains to the present day. Among the beliefs are as follows:

1. When a young girl sings in front of a stove while cooking, she will marry an old widower.
2. When a hen cackles at midnight, an unmarried woman is giving birth to a bastard child.
3. When a pregnant woman cuts her hair, she will give birth to a hairless baby.
4. When a cat wipes its face with its paw while facing the door, a visitor is expected in the house.
5. When a girl has white spots in her fingernails, she is not constant in love.
6. When a comet appears in the sky, war or famine is imminent.
7. When a person dreams that one of his teeth falls out, somebody in the family will die.
8. When a married woman eats twin bananas, she will give birth to twin babies.
9. When a snake called “saw” stays in the house of a man, he will be rich.
10. When a moon is new and a fisherman goes fishing, he will have plenty of catch.
11. They believe in life after death. Man to them is composed of an ethereal body and an eternal soul. After death, the soul travels to another world to receive its due reward or punishment.
12. They believe in the sorcerers, or witches who practice black magic against their victims. Among these sorcerers are the aswang, who assumes the form of a dog, cat, bird or other animals and eats human flesh; mangkukulam who causes people to die or be sick by pricking a toy with his magic pin; mangangaway who injures people by his devilish power; the magtatangal whose head separates from the body at night and floats in the air and returns to the body at dawn; the tianak who sucks the entrails of the babies by means of his elongated proboscis; and the tigbalang who takes various forms such as a dog, a horse, or an old man, to deceive its victims.
13. They believe in the magic powers of certain charms or amulets. These are the anting-anting, universal amulet against iron weapons; the gayuma, love charm, etc.
14. They also believe in oracles or soothsayers who foretell the future and know both the good and bad omens.

[p. 32]

P R O V E R B S
1. "Ang damit na hiram
Kung di masikip ay maluwag."
(Borrowed clothes are
either tight or loose.)
2. "Madali ang maging tao
Mahirap ang magpakatao."
(It is easy to be born.
It is hard to become a man.)
3. "Lumaking parang kawayan
at walang kasaysayan."
(He is growing like the bamboo tree
But not brought up properly.)
4. "Mabaho man ang daliri mo
Di mo maipalamon sa aso."
(Your finger may be rotten
But you would not feed it to the dogs.)
5. "Diman ibiguin
Huwag mong hiyain."
(You may not like him
But do not humiliate him.)
6. "Ang marahang pangungusap
Sa puso'y makalulunas."
(Soft words
Comfort the heart.)
7. "Ang di marunong makiugali
Walang kabuluhang umu-oi."
(He who ignores good customs
He will return without benefit.)
8. "Ang bayaning masugatan
Nag-iibayo ang tapang."
(A brave man who is wounded
Becomes still braver.)
9. "Ang di magsapalaran
Hindi makakatawid ng karagatan."
(He who will not venture
Can never cross the seas.)
[p. 33]

FOLKTALE

“ANG TINALUNAN

In the town of Batangas, there is an island known as Verde Island. In this island, there is a deep ravine known as “Tinalunan.”

This island was formerly inhabited by a family with a young son who lived in a small hut. It so happened that a rich couple with a daughter came to live there, too. The two families got acquainted with each other. The children became friends. They became playmates and treated each other like brother and sister.

After several years, the little boy had grown up to be a handsome man and the little girl, an attractive young lady. They continued to care for each other; but now in a different way. Their relationship as friends had changed into sweethearts.

One day, they made an agreement that each one of them would reveal this matter to their parents. Both of them did, but the girl’s parents refused to give consent for the man belonged to a poor family. The girl became disappointed and she decided to run away from home without knowing where to go. Upon learning what the girl had done, the young man also left his home. Fortunately, they met again and they decided to leave the island, but there was no way of doing so without passing the deep ravine not far away from their homes. Because of their disappointment, they finally decided that they would jump into the ravine inasmuch as they could not enjoy the sweetness of their love. So, with eyes closed, they jumped together.

Since then, the place was called “TINALUNAN.”

[p. 34]

PART III – Other Information

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

1. Philippine History of Fernandez & Benitez
2. Philippine Government by Arturo Tolentino
3. Outline of Philippine Government by Ernesto D. Bohol
4. Outline of Philippine History and Government by Enriquez
5. History of the Philippines by Benitez
6. The Filipino Way of Life by Camilo Osias
7. The Philippine Revolution by Teodoro Kalaw
8. Philippine Saga – A Pictorial History of the Archipelago Since Time Began by Prof. H. Otley Beyer and Prof. Jaime C. de Veyra
9. Philippine History and Civilization by Zaide
10. History of the Philippines from the British to the Present by G. Zaide

These books can be found in the Batangas South Elem. School Library.
I. Works of Mr. Lazaro Mercado:
Stories:
1. Bantugan (Translation)
2. Pusong Wasak
3. Ang Konduktor
4. Tagumpay ng Dakilang Pagmamahal
5. Nasawing Pagibig
6. Dakiliang Kaibigan
Poems:
1. Bunso Ko
2. Nalimot Mo na Ba?
Plays:
1. Mutya ng Gintong Masa
2. Mga Pusong Dakila
3. Martir na Babae
Balagtasan:
1. Dapat Bagang Makipagkalakalan ang Pilipinas sa Hapon?
2. Dapat Bagang Sundin ang Magulang sa Pagpili ng Kasintahan?
II. Works of Mr. Francisco Atienza
Plays:
1. Maling Himala
2. Bisa ng Matuwid
3. Bunga Ng Pagkainggit
4. Madugong Kasalanan
[p. 35]

5.  Nang Naghiganti ang Pari
6.  Nagbayad Ang May-utang
7.  Mga Purong Matiisin
8.  Mahiwagang Luha
9.  Bangkay Ng Mga Taksil
10. Pagot Na Pagasa

11. Nakamatay Na Larawan
12. Sino Ang Dapat Sisihin?
13. Sa Laut Ng Buhay
14. Sa Dati Ring Landas
15. Ikinasal Na Birhin
16. Nabigong Kaligayahan
Poems:

1. Hikbi ng Sanggol
2. Ang Pasko
3. Ako Man Ay Nahirag
4. Kung Bakit Ko Mahal Si Ina
5. Ako'y Magsasaka
6. Ang Buhay Ng Tao

7.  Ang Sipag
8.  Ang Tunay Na Bulaklak
9.  Ang Tunay Na Tao
10. Ang Pasko Ng Mahirap
11. Ibigin Ang Sarili
12. Paaralan - Sa Pagpipinid Mo
The above poems and plays are in manuscript form and they are in the possession of the author.

Works of Mr. Magno Buenafe:

Plays:

1.  Banaag na Laya
2.  Takipsilim Na Maliwanag
3.  Nasaan Ka Irog
4.  Ng Muling Magbalik
5.  Dugo ng Dugo
6.  Patawad
7.  Sa Lumang Libingan

8.  Luha! Luha! Luha!
9.  Nagdilim Sa Katanghalian
10. Pagkatapos ng Hirap
11. Ako ang May Sala
12. Sa Libis ng Nayon
13. Ang Simoy ng Hangin sa Kaparan
14. Lihim ng Isang Ina
The above plays are in manuscript form and the author has them.

Works of Mr. Jacinto Borbon:

Plays:

1.  Parusa at Awa
2.  Nabigong Pag-asa
3.  Hindi na Nagisip
4.  Mabuhay ang Paaralan
5.  Tatlong Bituin
6.  Bunga ng Nalantang Bulaklak
7.  Kwintas ng Ginto
8.  Mga Ulila
9.  Mangangawil sa Natihan
10. Mahalagang Hiyas
11. Mga Purong Dakila
12. Taga Pagligtas

13. Patama-tama
14. Sa Dalawang Landisin
15. Mga Labi ng Panahon
16. Tiklog at Bukas na Kasaysayan
17. Laging Laan
18. Balong Dalaga
19. Dakilang Kayamanan
20. Dakilang Kasaysayan
21. Nalantang Bulaklak
22. Enginiatis
23. Mga Buko ng Panahon
24. Mga Labi ng Digmaan
These plays are in manuscript form and they are at present in the possession of the author.

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

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