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January 1, 2018

Gimalas, Balayan, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Gimalas, 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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HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF GIMALAS BARRIO

Present official names of the barrio – Gimalas, Gimalas Aplaya, San Juan, Gumamela, and Cayponce

GIMALAS

Long ago, there lived a beautiful maiden in a small cottage near a river. She was a lover of nature. She had many kinds of flowers in her garden. Describing this young maiden, hers were magnetic eyes. Her lips were sweet like chocolate. Her hair was black as black could be. Her hands were soft. Her cheeks were red like roses in her garden. Her smiles were sweet as sweet as [a] mother’s kiss. She was the loveliest girl men ever did see in the community. She was nobody else by “Gima” whom all men were long for [to be] their bride.

The men of the barrio were good rivals. Hatred was far from their hearts. They all relied on their good work. When these men met each other, they asked this question, “Have you been to Gimalas?” From that time on, people called the barrio Gimalas.

The barrio near the sea was called Gimalas. Aplaya because it was near the sea.

SAN JUAN

The barrio west of Gimalas was named San Juan, for in the early days, the inhabitants of the said barrio built their houses near the coast. All the people in that place earned their living by fishing. Most of the people had their own fish traps. One day, all their fish traps caught bancas of fish. The people were so happy that they didn’t know what to do.

The oldest man of the barrio called for a meeting. Their meeting resulted into the giving of a small party. The people of the barrio then invited their relatives and friends. On the day of their feast was the Saint John’s Day, so they named the barrio San Juan.

DATE OF ESTABLISHMENT

A long time ago, before our forefathers came to these places, there lived in these barrios a small, black, curly-haired people. A few people of this kind still live in our mountains. We call them the Aetas or Negritoes.

The Aetas built no houses, instead they lived under the branches of the trees. They planted no crops, but wandered from place to place in the forest, looking for things to eat.

Our forefathers, then, for fear of the cruel acts of the Spaniards, hid themselves in these places. They drove the Aetas to the mountains. They occupied these places and built their houses and small village near the coast and valley. They planted rice and fruit trees, such as santol, oranges, kamachiles, and nangkas. Knowing these places good for them

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to live in, they built and built houses. Finally, after many years of residing in these places, the barrio was cleared up. It is hard to tell the exact date of establishment but it will not be less or more fifty years before the arrival of the Americans in the islands.

ORIGINAL FAMILIES

Since these places were settled approximately fifty years before the arrival of the American people, it is not easy to know the first actual settlers. It could be traced down from the latter part of the period. They were the Castromaros, Panaligans, Bautistas, and Mendozas.

TENIENTES FROM THE EARLIEST TIME TO DATE

The first teniente was Ramon Castromero, succeeded by his son Domingo Castromero, succeeded by Honorio Illao, succeeded by Eligio Illao, succeeded by his grandson Benito Illao up to the present.

HISTORICAL FACTS

SPANISH PERIOD

During the Spanish period, life was very hard. People were taxed heavily. Sons of the poor were not allowed to enter schools. Only the rich men’s children were able to go to school. People in those days were prohibited to wear coats and shoes. Zoning the people was frequent. Heavy punishments were imposed when caught violating the regulations. Since the people were not free to look for their own food, many of the unfortunate Filipinos died of starvation.



AMERICAN OCCUPATION

During the American occupation, the people, especially the poor ones, suffered from [the] scarcity of food. Locusts all over these barrios fed on the farmers’ fields. Had the people not learned to unite so as to kill the locusts, sure enough starvation would have lasted long.

The American government reformed the general conditions of the islands. Education was the first move of the government. The children were gathered and a school was opened. The American soldiers were the first teachers. Changes were made in religion, government, the ways of travel and communication, recreation, dressing, occupation, and business, and health.

HISTORICAL EVENTS

1941 – 1945

In December, 1941, the bombing of Pearl Harbor began the fear of the people all over the islands. The dropping of the bomb changed the mind of the people to leave their homes to hide for safety.

Many of the young men organized the guerrillas. In spite of the few guns for their arms, the guerrillas were not discouraged to change their minds.

When US forces landed in the islands, the guerrillas joined the American soldiers. The guerrillas gave their full support to the Americans for the defeat of the Japanese troops in the islands. With the help of God, they were able to re-

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gain their forces from the hands of the semi-animal hearts.

RECONSTRUCTION AND REHABILITATION PERIOD

After World War II, the government faced the great problems in rehabilitation. The reconstruction was the most important thing to take up first. The buying and selling was very common to all. Farmers started tilling the soil in peaceful ways. The people continued their daily jobs before. The good understanding between capital and labor led to rapid progress of the people in the islands as a whole.

POPULAR GAMES, SONGS, AND AMUSEMENTS

SONGS

Rice Planting
Paru-parong Bukid

GAMES

Sipa
Indoor baseball

AMUSEMENTS

Moving Pictures
Dancing

RIDDLES

What runs without feet? (Water)

What is it that is yellow and shining but is not gold? (Sun)

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

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