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January 1, 2018

Subic, Agoncillo, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Subic 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. The original pagination is provided for citation purposes.

[Cover page.]

COMPILATION

of

HISTORICAL DATA

for the

Barrio of Subic

Municipality of Agoncillo

Province of Batangas

[p. 1]

DIVISION OF BATANGAS
DISTRICT OF LEMERY
SUBIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO

PART I: HISTORY

1. Present Official Name: Subic

2. Past and Present Name: Subic

3. Date of establishment: No source of information available

4. Original Families:

Malabanan
Cabrera
Holgado
de Sagun

5. Tenientes from the earliest time to date:
a. Juan de Sagun 1895
b. Lorenzo de Sagun 1898
c. Atoy de Sagun 1900
d. Casimiro 1902
e. Poli 1905
f. Domingo Matienzo 1910
g. Francisco Solis 1915
h. Bonifacio Malabanan 1917
i. Gregorio Holgado 1919
j. Alejandro Maligalig 1921
k. Ireneo de Leon 1923
l. Jose Solis 1925
m. Apolinario Solis 1927
n. Felipe de Leon 1930
o. Graciano Alcantara 1933
p. Roman Malabanan 1935
q. Mamerto Palicpic 1937
r. Ciriaco de Sagun 1940
s. Alipio de Sagun 1947
t. Teodoro Cabrera 1951
6. During the olden times, there was no story of old barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct.

7. Date on Historical Sites, Buildings, Structures, and old ruins, etc.

Before the eruption of Taal Volcano, way back in 1900, an old church stood in San Nicolas. Many people used to go there and offer their prayers.

During the early years, when there was no school in Subic, children used to hike in and attend school in Pook, then they transferred to Guitna when a school was constructed there. In the year 1929, through the earnest desire of the people and the efforts exerted by Graciano Alcantara, Vicente Maligalig, and with the help of Mr. Antonio, at last a school building was constructed in Subic. Beginning that time, children used to go to school in Subic Elementary School to the present.

[p. 2]

Story of Old Ruins, etc.

During the seventeenth century, when the Spaniards came to the Philippines to conquer many lands, revolts broke out in the neighboring provinces of Luzon. The Spaniards scattered and reached Subic. At this time, the people trembled with fear. The people in the fields abandoned their work and hid in the mountains. Those who were left in the houses where all killed and the houses, plants and other properties where either burned or destroyed. The fighting continued for several weeks as a result of the trouble, it was found out that only a house owned by Martin was left because the fire stop burning in the nearby houses. After the fight, the Spaniards went to Pansipit and made their headquarters there. The great leaders like Capitan Otent Balita, Julian Matienzo, and company ran after the Spaniards to fight until finally, the Spaniards we're driven and reached Tayabas.

Important facts and events that took place:

During the Spanish Occupation:

During the Spanish time, the ruler in a certain barrio was called the teniente. The teniente in that barrio was the one responsible in every undertaking they had. At that time, they had hard means of transportation. They used horses and cows for transportation. They had hard means of living. The natives where employed in dry- farming and kaingin system. They cut down trees, cleared the land, and planted rice and other crops. In a limited time, they used rotation of crops to suit the season.

As days passed, the people remained hostile to the Spaniards so they revolted.

During the American Occupation:

During the American regime, there was a great manifestation in view of the administration because in the democratic form of government, sovereignty resides in the people. The people are free from expressing what they want, provided it is not contrary to the law. They are given the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion.

It was in the year 1902, when the agricultural policy was clearly set forth. The people during the American occupation were in good health. They did not find hardships in their daily lives. They were very skillful, law-abiding citizens of the community.

During World War II and After Liberation:

In the year 1941, there was another World War. It was the Japanese occupation. People usually went to the mountains for safety. It was the beginning of hardship among the people in every locality. The Japanese were cruel to the people. The month of April will always be remembered as it marked the fall of Bataan.

After a few years of hard struggle and painstaking labor, now comes the momentous, yet sorrowful days for our barrio mates, because they have had an encounter with the Japanese in September, 1944. The burial lieutenant at this time was Mr. Alipio de Sagun. He was not able to have an attempt to help his barrio mates because he was sick. It was good only that he was not caught by the cruel Japanese. Afterwards, the liberation of manila was made on February 3, 1945. Remnants of the Japanese forces within the mountain gaps were still

[p. 3]

active. The complete activation of the guerrillas weakened the Japanese forces, hence their surrender was hastened. Joy and happiness where again in the hearts of the people. The maintenance of peace and order in our barrio was again restored.

9. Destruction in 1898-1900:

In the years 1896-1900, there where two veterans who can testify that Subic was the only place that was not destroyed by the enemies. The only things that were taken by the enemies where the chickens, pigs, and rice. According to the two veterans, there was no disorder in this place. So, there were no damages that occurred during this period. They fought against the Spanish soldiers.

Destruction of lives, properties, and institutions during the War, especially in 1941-1945:

World War II was the greatest armed conflict in the history of mankind. Basically, it was a life and death struggle between democracy and totalitarianism.

Because of the rising tension in Luzon, Subic, a remote peaceful community, took time to hold so many enjoyable entertainments as picnics, social gatherings, fiestas and dances. It was only during the latter part of the Japanese occupation when at last the Japanese Army called the attention of all men to work by force in concentration camps which the people, for the first time during the occupation, that the people of Subic were out of the locality. Thus, experienced the dreadful sight of a real war – the bombing of planes in camps, the explosion of bombs on buildings and camps and wanton destruction of human lives and properties.

Time went on and it should be noted that not all parts of the Philippines was occupied by the Japanese and not all the Filipinos surrendered. Subic trainees and officers who escaped from Bataan and other battle lines and numerous patriotic civilians secretly organized themselves for an underground movement in order to continue for their fight against the Japanese and to continue to keep the torch of democracy burning deep into the mountains and the neighboring hills, thus making Subic a free and untouched place to the Japanese.

In the early part of 1945, as the Japanese atrocities were surging in the barrios of Taal, the Americans entered Tagaytay City, making the Japanese sentinel in Tagaytay break into small units. The Japanese made their last stand where they fought bitterly into the end and where they perpetrated their last atrocities. This time, the Japanese scattered in different nooks seeking refuge.

Then, at this time, the misled Japanese were decided to be alive and to be dead. To be alive, they should surrender, but their cruelties during the occupation were unpardonable to the Filipinos, so once captured, they were considered as killed. Some of these strong Japs shot everyone they saw as they were very desperate, commandeered every foodstuff they saw. Some forty Japs during the latter part of the liberation in the upper hill of Subic trying perhaps to surrender, but the working people in the kaingin, upon knowing of their approach, made preparation to fight them. Many nights, Subic was well guarded by its inhabitants for fear of the Japanese reprisal. About ten of the attacking Japanese were killed in the valley of central Subic, the remaining Japs fled in retreat.

From that time, Subic once returned to its original peaceful condition until its people were free from [the] foreign control of the Japanese.

[p. 4]

PART II: FOLKWAYS

10. Traditions, Customs and Practices in Domestic and Social Life, etc.

In the community of Subic, as I noted since I arrived here way back in 1934, there are many traditional customs and practices by the people in domestic and social life. Many of these are already cast away as generations come, it is because the people here are becoming more educated, but still some are prevailing as I have noted done by the old folks. According to my observation, the prevailing customs nowadays are few. In my research, through information from the people here, the traditions and practices they had done and have been practicing are as follows:

Birth:

The newly born baby is wrapped with napkins, and with another, the hands and feet are tied to prevent deformation. The mother has ten or more pillows and her legs are bent by putting a trunk against her feet to prevent from stretching. She lies with head as high as possible to prevent blood from going to her head. As soon as a mother has given birth, the members of the family kill two or three hens as a substitute for her life. She has to drink water mixed with the roasted placenta to make her strong. All of these are their beliefs and customs. Until now, when a mother gives birth and an old descendant of hers is still living, they still practice the old customs. But some are now civilized and they are now becoming modern mothers. They believe in the new way. If the child is a boy, the mother can’t take a bath until two months, but if a girl, she can bathe after a month. The mother is not allowed to eat fish and meat with soup until the cord of the baby is healed. She can eat some sour fruits for a year. When bathing a child, they need needles, money, pencil, thread, paper, etc. that are wrapped together.

Baptism:

In the baptismal ceremony, when the child is already ready, they select anyone to cut a small hair on the top of the head, then wrap it in a piece of paper and is being placed [on the] altar. Someone is selected to bring down the child and mother to the church. The godmother or godfather puts silver pieces like 10-centavo coins of a peso bill under the binder. The godfather waits till the baptism is over and then tries to go out first from the church.

Courtship:

During courtship, when the boy goes to visit the girl, he stays at the nearest chair to the door and will never stand there until he goes home. Whether he has spoken to the girl or not, he is not to stand to go to the girl. The parents of the boy should sent gifts to the girl. When the parents of the girl admit the gifts, it seems that he is admitted, and after that time, he must work for her. The parents and close relatives or old folks talk together about the marriage ceremony like the date of the marriage, dresses, sponsors and dowry and when all are agreed upon, the boy stays in the house of the girl and work for her parents. Before all of these are done, the gifts to be set by the parents are “calamay,” then fish and, lastly, cakes. When the wedding is near, the parents of the boy send a bundle of selected hardwood as long as the height of the girl’s house and make it stand under the girl’s house.

Marriage:

When the date of the marriage ceremony is already set, the pa-

[p. 5]

rents of the boy buy the wedding dress and other clothing for all must be new, like the underwear, fan, handkerchief, slippers, shoes must be all new. When they go to church, they must go downstairs at the same time. The bride and the groom must have one silver peso, twenty centavo pieces, 10-centavo pieces, and 5-centavo pieces. They must bring these with them to the church. When they return home, they must stop at the foot of the stairs and the old folks shower them with rice, palay, and money, then they go upstairs at the same time. Inside the house, the bride and groom sit at both ends of the table facing each other waiting for the relatives to give the money, and in exchange, they offer them cigarettes. The relatives of the girl will give to the boy and the relatives of the boy will give to the girl’s plate. This activity is the so-called “sabugan.” When this activity is finished, the bride with the relatives of the boy go to the house of the boy. The relatives of the boy have to bring with them all the things they had used during the party even the peelings of the betel nuts must be kept and brought with them when they leave the girl’s house. The house of the boy and the aparador or trunk should be keyed and when the bride arrives and should be the one to open the house and the trunk. The groom should not go to his parents’ house until after one day and night.

There are most customs like the burial, festival, and other activities but they seldom now practice the old customs of burial and festival.

Superstitious Beliefs:

a. When you see a black cat, you will meet misfortune of any sort.
b. It is unwise to cut your fingernails at any day with “r.”
c. Singing in front of a stove will result in marrying a widow.
d. A stray black moth at night predicts that a relative will die.
e. Faint and dull eyes show the approaching death of a man.
f. Dreaming money of any denomination will cause skin diseases.
g. A noisy fire means an unexpected visitor.
h. A house once inhabited by an alligator is a bad omen to the fortune of a family unless the position of the stairs is changed.
i. An uncontrollable cough due to wrong swallowing of food is a sign that somebody has thought of him.
j. It will be totally punished by God if one kills a cat or dog.
k. It is dangerous to urinate in the place where the unbaptized child is buried.
l. A sick person is prohibited to sign at night for fear of an approaching nocturnal bird.

12. Popular Games:

Drop the Gold

A leader with a small pebble in the hand walks to and fro behind a line of players with the right hand at salute position and whose left hand is held behind him at the height of the waist, palms cupped, and turned upward. “It” drops the pebble in the hands of the players who pretend nothing has happened. The leader continues his journey and on reaching the line says, “Run with the Gold.” The one who has the gold runs and the other in the line gives chase for the purpose of tagging him. If the runner is not caught, he calls any of the two of the players to carry him back from which he has come seated on their joined arms. The game is continued until almost everyone [has had the] opportunity to run with the gold.

[p. 6]

Two Deep

All players form two circles facing the center. Play yours behind the players in the inner circle is her partner. The pears are placed four feet apart. A chaser and a runner may run in and out of the circle with the chaser following her. If the runner wants herself to be relieved, he must run in front of a player, making the partner behind s the runner. If the chaser is able to tap a runner, he changes places, the chaser becomes the runner, the runner will now become the chaser.

Ati-Ati

A big circle is drawn on the ground making the circle as resting place for the players. A player is chosen to stay in the middle of the circle with a drum, long or something of the sort to beat the time in the circle. The drummer beats with varied tempos and the players run or skip around the circle keeping time to the beating of down on the place marked. The last player to sit is required by the drummer to recite rhymes or poems or sing a song the player who can recite a rhyme or a poem will replace the drummer.

13. Proverbs and Sayings:

a. A greedy man is better than a thief.
b. Whether one chews buyo or not, it can be noticed from the lips.
c. A liar must have a good memory.
d. A liar is never appreciated.
e. A liar is a brother of a thief.
f. What a man says is what he feels.
g. A liar eventually is put in jail
h. They who frequently swear frequently lie.
i. Not all those who go to church are pious.
j. Good advice is precious.
k. Easy come, easy go.
l. What from the dew you gather, must vanish with the water.
m. There are hands you respect, kiss and obey.
n. Punishment from parents are blessings in themselves.
o. Obey and you will be obeyed.
p. Those who hear good advice, reap the fruits of their labor.
q. The cut determines the shape.
r. The genuine pearl is always a pearl even if it is found in the mud.
s. If there is hardship, there is joy.
t. The desperate becomes fearless.
u. Those who attempt are ever hopeful.
v. The great are born in humble huts.
w. Great things come from small beginnings.
x. Any kind of seed will thrive in fertile soil.
y. Do unto others as you would others do unto you.
z. It is easy to form a habit but hard to cut it.

Respectfully submitted:

(MISS) SILVERIA CATAPANG

(MRS) GLORIA I. ATIENZA.

(MISS) ANGELES DE SAGUN



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Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Compilation of Historical Data for the Barrio of Subic, Muncipality of Agoncillo, Province of Batangas,” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.

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