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January 3, 2018

Calantas, Calaca, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Calantas in the Municipality of Calaca, 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 THE BARRIO OF CALANTAS

Part One: History

The present official name of this barrio is Calantas. The name was derived from a very big tree which was found in this place during the Spanish time. The said tree was CALANTAS, which was believed to be the biggest and tallest tree found in this place. People of this place took their rests under this tree when going to and from the town.

This barrio occupies a large territorial jurisdiction. These are the sitios of Sugod, Coral, Lampasan, Taklang-Anak, and Balok-balok. No available information can be secured the teniente del barrios since 1898, except one, Gervacio Baldrias, who is at present more or less one hundred years old and succeeded by his son, Emilio Baldrias.

Even at present, no great signs of progress can be seen as the people go to other places for a better living; hence, the barrio is scarcely populated. As a result, even the school population is very much less as compared with the neighboring barrio schools.

The Sitio of Coral

Coral, one of the sitios of Barrio Calantas, is a wide area of land surrounded by ravines in the north, east and south and by a river in the west.

A wealthy, well-known family owned this place and made it a grazing land during the Spanish time. From that time, continuous development took place. The barrio folks named Francisco Bathan their first Teniente del Barrio, succeeded by Gervacio Bathan, Enrique Ocampo, Fermen Cabatian, Simpreso Bautista and Bernandino Perez, respectively.

At present, the replica of the olden days can still be seen on the type of houses which are made of bamboos called “Kalaka” and is still owned by another well-known family.

The Sitio of Taklang-Anak

According to the legend, there lived in this place a couple whose house was near a “kaingin.” When the palay was about to be harvested, a cow happened to get loose and ran to the kaingin. An expectant mother happened to see the cow. She ran to catch the cow, but the cow went down the steep kaingin. The fragrant [pregnant?] woman followed and tried to catch the cow. Being so tired, but still unlucky to catch the cow, she was forced to give birth on the way somewhere in the kaingin. Since then, the place was called “Taklang-Anak.”

Taklang-Anak is the remotest sitio of Calantas. Farming is the means of livelihood on account of the very poor road and wide, deep ravines that separate it from the neighboring sitio of Sugod. The houses are few and mostly small called “dampa.” Horseback is the only means of

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transportation in this place. Illiteracy is rampant in this place because of its far distance from the school.

It is but interesting to know that since the beginning, there had been only three Teniente del Barrios who are still living today. The first is Valentin Bayongan who is more or less ninety-eight years old. His oldest son, Mr. Segundo Bayongan, succeeded him. His youngest son by the name of Mr. Pedro Bayongan is the present incumbent.

The Sitio of Lampasan

The sitio of Lampasan took its name back during the Spanish regime. Although there were encounters between the Spaniards and the Filipinos, that place had never been a field of battle. Instead, the frequent encounters during that time took place in Sugod, a neighboring barrio.

No other historical data could be gathered in this place.

Part Two: Folkways

How traditions, customs and practices in domestic
and social life are observed –



Birth – When a mother shows signs of delivery, the father calls any available midwife in the locality. The parents and relatives of the couple are summoned in order to help the midwife (“Hilot”). As a sign of thanksgiving for the safe delivery of the child, they prepare the bulanog or other form of food which they eat together after the mother woman has delivered. Then, the selection of godmother or godfather will come next.

Baptism – Usually, the godmother or godfather of the first-born child is selected by both parents of the couple. A week or so before baptism, the preparation for the occasion is in full swing. They have the pigs and chickens in their yard to be killed while the women are busy preparing the sweet or suman that will last for several days. At the first hour in the morning, the child’s father brings some presents to his compadre and comadre. Both of them invite friends to attend the party. The whole day is described as “Day Dreams” for enjoyment. Before the godfather and godmother leave the house of their compadre, they leave an envelope containing money or jewels in the hand of the child. This is their gift to the baby.

Courtship – The traditional custom is that the parents of the man are the ones who look for the future bride of their son. Both parties arrange for the day of the marriage. The man is supposed to serve for a certain period agreed upon. The man helps the parents of the girl in whatever kind of work [is] handled at home. For instance, he rises early

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in the morning to get water from the well, to gather fuel, to pound rice, to plow the field, etc. Then, afterwards, they will be married by the local priest.

Death – In the case of death, the old custom which is still carried at present has for some sentimental reasons. As a sign of respect and love to the departed souls of their dear ones, they wore black clothes for a period of one year. They offer prayers and sacrifices of true devotion to our Lord for the salvation of sins if ever there were committed on earth. They had the ninth day and the last day of the one-year day since the death of the departed ones.

Visits – The barrio folks entertained their visitors in the best way they can afford. It will be noticeable that every member of the family is busy to give you something for your satisfaction.

Festivals – Celebrating barrio fiestas has already been a long tradition of this place. They prepare foods for the visitors.

Punishments – There was a time that when a thief was caught, he was paraded around the barrio. He was ordered to cry out loud that he stole a plow or something which he had stolen. He promised not to do it again and warned others not to do what he did.

Beliefs and Superstitions – The people of this place are superstitious. They believe in signs they see in the sky. For example, when a star is very near the moon, they believe that a boy and a girl will elope. There are also other signs in the sky where they predict that there will be plenty of fish the next day, or that it is a sign of a clear or cloudy day.

There are also other forms of sickness which they believe are caused by what they call “lamang lupa” and not until after this spirit is satisfied, the patient will not get well. They also believe in “kulam.”

Prepared by:

Jesus Malabanan
Teacher

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

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