Calan, Balayan, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Calan, Balayan, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Calan, Balayan, Batangas: Historical Data

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

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio Calan, Balayan, 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.

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1. Present official name of the barrio – Calan

2. Meaning of Calan – stove

Sitios within the territory:


3. Date of establishment – 1900

4. Original families – Lopez, Bascuguin, de Jesus, de Castro, de Leon, Pagdunzulan.

5. List of teniente del barrios from the earliest time to date:

Claudio de Jesus
Isidoro Mendoza
Isabelo Capacia
Simporoso Bascuguin
Macario Ilao
Juan de Jesus
Apolonio de Castro
Candido de Castro

6. Stories of all barrios or sitios under the jurisdiction that are depopulated or extinct: None.

7. Data on historical sitios, structure, buildings, and old ruins, etc.

a. Historical sites – Mt. Batulaw; Dayap River.

b. Structures and buildings – Buildings were but of simple materials, such as native huts.

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

1. During the Spanish regime:

There was an encounter between the Spanish soldiers and the Insurrectos. The leaders of the insurrectos were “Kapitan Inso and Kapitan Cleto,” both natives of Cavite. The brave leaders fought with all their might until the Spaniards retreated.

2. American occupation to World War II

The Spanish soldiers never reached Calan because of its distance. Even then, many of the Insurrectos hid there and established their hideout in the mountains. When news reached the residents of Calan that Spain was defeated by the white soldiers, the Americans, the natives were more frightened for fear that the notorious American Macabebe soldiers would visit the barrio. Before the supposed visit, the tininte del barrio had been ordered to tell the people to surrender all firearms. Because of fright, many civilians evacuated to the farthest part of Calan. Those people relied on the kindness of the new conqueror were left.

When the visitors came, one Isabelo Capacia by name was caught and punished severely by the Americans because he was said to be in possession of a firearm. The poor fellow died the same day. Not a few months later, epidemic

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and famine struck the barrio. Many children as well as adults died of hunger and disease.

3. During and after Japanese occupation:

A little more than a year after the American soldiers had conquered the Philippines, the people lived in peace and order. They once more tilled the soil and lived happily with their relatives and neighbors and as years passed, they came to love and respect the Americans because of their goodness.

This kind of living continued to exist until one day in 1941, the peaceful village was shocked again. Pearl Harbor was bombed and declared an open war against the Americans. Again, the Philippines became a land of fighting and blood. Calan didn’t escape the fate that others had. Although the place seemed peaceful, the people were not as happy as when under the American rule.

Japanese soldiers reached the place and ordered the people to plant cotton. Epidemic and famine did not reach the barrio because of the abundant supply of food.

Then, the Americans came and liberated the Philippines. The liberators did not reach Calan but the people were very thankful for their early release from the Japanese rule. Once more, the barrio became peaceful, which exists up to the present time. Now, the place is known as the sugar and coconut granary of Balayan.

9. Destruction of lives and property and institutions during wars especially in 1896-1900, 1941-1945.

1. 1896-1900 – Many lives were lost due to starvation, epidemic and disease. ₱20,000 worth of property was lost, including houses, animals, crops, and personal belongings.

2. 1941-1945 – No lives were lost due to abundant supply of food. There were but little property damages.

10. Measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II.

1. Reconstruction of people’s homes.

2. Introduction of modern farm equipment and method of farming.


I. Traditions, customs, and practices in domestic and social life.

1. Birth – The common practice of every family is as follows: When a mother gives birth to a baby boy, the father fires a pistol or rebentador once or thrice or any number provided that the number is an odd number. For the birth of a baby girl, shots of even numbers are fired, then rejoicing follows.

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2. Baptism – When a child is baptized, he or she is brought to town. If there had been fiestas, the christening of babies must have been done in the sitios themselves. But because the sitios do not hold fiestas, all babies to be baptized are brought to town. If there is a party, it is usually done or held in the home of the parents of the child.

3. Courtship – Oftentimes, weddings are arranged by the parents of both the prospective bride and groom. A couple could be married without having seen or known each other. The parents still follow the old custom of expecting the bridegroom to help in all kinds of work in the bride’s home. They expect the husband-to-be help them with the work in the field, and in the house.

4. Marriages – Calan folks have a peculiar way of celebrating after wedding parties. After the wedding, someone always gives the bride and groom dessert to keep their relationship sweet and harmonious.

5. Death – When a member of a family dies, friends, relatives and neighbors come to the home of the deceased to mourn. On the first night, they do not sleep. The old folks play dominoes or cards, while the young ladies and men play the bird of the king or any kind of game which will help keep the mourners awake the whole night. Usually, at about two o’clock, there will be coffee or bread or suman.

In barrios like this one, which is far from the cemetery, the people usually hire trucks to carry the dead to the church for the priest’s blessing. Then, the dead is brought to the municipal cemetery. For nine days, prayers for the repose of the soul of the dead will be said, usually during the evening only, because the mourners could not go every morning for nine days to the church. The church is too far. Usually, on the fourth day, there is a feast as they believe that on the fourth day the dead only realizes that he is departed from the world. The family is happy, for the soul of the departed is said to come down to earth and watch over the celebration. On the ninth day, another feast is called, called “patapos.”

6. Festivals

It must be remembered that only Concha, a small sitio, holds its fiesta once every year. The people’s preparations are so expensive that anyone who attends the fiesta meets with satisfaction. Social relations are promoted during the fiesta, because not only the people of the barrio enjoy it but also people from the town and far places come to share with them the blessings of their patron saint. However, other sitios like Calan have different sorts of gatherings, such as parties and picnics, because Calan does not celebrate its barrio fiesta.

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7. Punishment – Any person of the neighboring sitios who is found guilty of a criminal act usually is brought to the police headquarters or if the offense is not so grave, he or she is brought to the tiniente del barrio.

8. Beliefs – One reason why folks think that certain trees are enchanted is the painful experience they have if they touch one or even just sit under its foliage or sit on its trunk. The believe that the spirit living in these trees have the power to make them sick or make them crazy, that’s why before they speak or touch a thing about nature, they first make the sign of the cross for they believe that this drives them away. There are certain kinds of trees and places which are taboo to them because of the powerful spirits living in them. They do not want to provoke the anger of these spirits whose favorite haunts are the rivers, lakes, streams, and trees.

11. Origin of the world –

Most of the Filipinos, especially those living in remote places, believe in superstitions such as ghosts, piritay, tikbalang, iki, tiyanak, etc. They have a very quaint and queer story about the origin of the world, land, caves, mountains, seas, lakes and rivers.

It was believed that a long time ago, the universe was just plain water. Then, there was a quarrel between Neptune and Pluto. Due to a great ball of fire thrown by Pluto, the water evaporated. After that, a vast land was seen. A hundred years passed. Many things existed on land such as trees and plants. Then, God created the first man, Adam. Adam was lonely, so God created the first woman, Eve.

This story of the creation of the earth has been handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth by the grandparents and parents to their children that most of the people in this sitio until now believe it to be true.

12. Popular songs, sports and amusements –

a. Songs – Balitaw, dansa, kundiman.

b. Sports – hunting, fishing

c. Amusements – going to show, cockfighting, gossiping, vegetable raising, reading, serenading, playing outdoor games.

13. Puzzles and riddles –

a. If you saw a bird sitting on a twig, you wish to get the twig without disturbing the bird, what would you do?

b. In what month do girls talk the least?

14. Proverbs and sayings:

a. The way to wealth is as plain as the way to the market.

b. Courtesy gains all and loses nothing.

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c. Gold is not the only thing that glitters.

15. Methods of measuring time and special calendar used:

a. Position of the sun and stars.

b. Crowing of the cockk.

c. Honorio Lopez’s calendar is used.

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