Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Coral na Munti in the town of Agoncillo, 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.
Barrio of Coral na Munti
Municipality of Agoncillo
Province of Batangas
DIVISION OF BATANGAS
DISTRICT OF LEMERY
CORAL NA MUNTI SCHOOL
HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO
PART I: HISTORY
1. In the northeastern part of the municipality of Agoncillo lies a peaceful barrio called Coral na Munti. This barrio comprises four important sitios namely, Maligaya, Bilog-bilog, Bagong Pook, and Mabini. These sitios were reverted into puroks since the barrio was made community-centered under the direction of the Public Schools. Every purok bears the name of a sitio.
2. Long ago, when the present name was out of mention, this territory was a part of Balangon whose name was officially derived. During the course of time, when the people could have been in such an attempt that they would have a meeting, they usually had to assign one to give notice to every house to make appearances at the place where the meeting was to take place.
One day, when the barrio head made an order that they would have a public meeting in Balangon, he sent his messenger out to notify all the barrio people to attend the meeting. The said messenger made an attempt to go around the place for notification purposes. He could find no people within the spot. Finding out that he could find nobody in this place, he proceeded further but he found only a small pen, meaning “coral na munti,” until at last it became popular throughout the vicinity. Generations after generations, it became the common language of the inhabitants of this place that this name became the official one to be recorded in the historical book of the Municipality of Lemery, the mother town of Agoncillo.
3. As to the exact date of the establishment, we could find no record; however, according to reliable sources, this barrio was established about a century ago by the barrio officials of the sitios.
4. This barrio was inhabited by natives and by the people from the neighboring barrios who were seeking settlement. Customs and traditions during the past were different from the modern trend. During that time, education was rare. Only the “Cartilla School” was established for no other purpose than to read and write.
5. The barrio officials since the establishment of this barrio seemed hard to be mentioned, but at least we could gather the names of some officials as far as our living olds are concerned. We can name some officials in a chronological order according to the information of a reliable person who gave us the true data of the story. These officials were: Pedro Manalo, Gervacio, Eliseo Manalo, Luciano de Villa, Guillermo Maligaya, Paulino Manalo, Florencio Magnaye, Luciano de Villa and Pedro Hernandez.
6. During the Spanish revolution, many men here became volunteers. They fought heroically for the cause of our mother land.
The Spaniards did not have a good government. They were cruel to the Filipino, but all men capable to join the organization made a revolt against the Spaniards.
7. After the Spanish revolution, the Philippines was occupied by the Americans. From 1900-1946, the Philippines was under the American flag. Shortly after the Americans occupied the Islands, we had a military government. The first thing they did was the establishment of public schools throughout the Islands. Then, we had the civil government. Our government was run by American Civil Governors commonly known as Governor-General. Then, the commonwealth government followed. The Chief Executive was the president. The president was then Manuel L. Quezon. His term had not yet ended but unfortunately, World War II broke out.
8. During World War II, the people of the Philippines became enslaved by the Japanese oppressors. The Japanese government did not recognize the International Law. They occupied the Philippines for almost three dark years. After the Japanese regime, there were signs of ruins of war as buildings, factories, churches, transportations, steamships, public buildings, bridges, roads, etc. were destroyed. Farms were neglected by the farmers due to the cruelty of the Japanese soldiers.
9. From 1896 to 1900, the war did not make so much destruction. Unlike the Japanese soldiers, the Americans had shown due hospitality to the Filipinos. They came to the Philippines not to colonize but to defend the rights of the Filipinos.
10. After World War II, the American people by virtue of their hospitality sent us material aids for the amelioration of the people. There were also aids in terms of huge sums of money for our government – war damage payments, guerrilla back pays, educational bill of rights, etc. Since liberation, the Philippine Government, with the aid of the ECA and later the MSA, had done a great deal for the reconstruction and improvement of roads and communication and for the improvement of agriculture in rural areas.
PART II: FOLKWAYS
11. It is customary that when the woman is conceiving, she calls a midwife or “hilot” to see to it that the development of her pregnancy be in good order. During her pre-delivery, the “hilot” visits her once in a while to find out whether or not she is in good condition. When the woman is in the eighth or in the ninth month of pregnancy, the members in the house try to prepare some hens to be killed during the post-delivery as signs of thanks for the coming of the newly-born baby. The midwife, some helpers, and neighbors who are present at the delivery are invited to eat with them.
Then comes the baptism. Immediately after the delivery, the parents of both parties talk together secretly about the one who will be the godfather or godmother of the child. If it is the first child, the parents of the couple used to select the godfather or godmother of the child; but if it is the second, third, etc., the couple chooses the sponsors.
With regards to courtship, the man used to have a “regalo” or have a “pasagad,” meaning, helping the father of the girl in any kind of work, such as plowing the field and working in Kaingin. After this work is over, the man usually presents something to the parents of the young girl as a sign of inquiry as to what extent his service would be. If it is favorable, the two parties will soon arrange the marriage. During the wedding, they prepared food for the sponsors and friends of the new couple. When the celebration is about to end, the new couple sits by the table for the manifestation of the material gifts [from] the relatives of both parties. We call this as “sabog.” This sabog is
sometimes in terms of cash or in terms of goods such as glassware, utensils, plates, and the like.
When one dies, he or she is buried in the cemetery. At the fourth day, food is prepared for the people who pray for the dead. On the eighth day, they kill pigs, cow, or chickens for those who go to the house to pray. Then, after a year, that is, during the first anniversary, they have another big preparation for the affair. In this occasion, the time of mourning for the deceased is ended.
12. Our popular songs are the Kundiman and the Pambansang Awit. The favorite game of the people is Softball. The amusements are cine, cockfighting and pata.
(2) Munting uling na bibitin-bitin puera duhat nakakain.
(3) Dalawang biyas na kawayan nag-uunahan.
(4) Lampas ay hindi butas, butas ay hindi lampas.
14. Proverbs and Sayings:
(2) Sa kabila ng mga ulap ay ang araw ay sumisikat. (Behind the clouds, the sun is still shining.)
(3) Iyo munang titingnan bago mo luluksuhan. (Look first before you jump.)
CAMILO DEL MUNDO