San Roque, Bauan, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore San Roque, Bauan, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

San Roque, Bauan, 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 of San Roque, Bauan, 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.

[p. 1]


Every one of us knows very well a saint with a dog. The saint is San Roque from whom this barrio derived its name. This was the patron saint of the place.

But San Roque was not the original name of the place for several years. This was formerly called “Sabang.” This name originated from the river which separates the barrio Bokal and the barrio whose fact is to be specified. Accordingly, this river at which the bridge was built are two rivers that meet together called Pinagsabangan. From this point of view, the barrio got the name Sabang.

Later on, a man named Mariano Alabastro, formerly a Roman Catholic, took hold of the barrio. During his incumbency, he usually celebrated the feast of San Roque, the patron saint of the barrio. From that time on, the barrio was called Sabang de San Roque until presently, the people retain only the name of the saint to be the permanent name of the barrio. It is not surprising to know that people in this barrio live peacefully for they are guided by their patron saint from whom they derived the name of the barrio.


No information could be obtained from the oldest man of the place as to the date the barrio was established. But they said that the barrio was already established since the town was called Bauan. The lands here are not owned by hacienderos where the common people pay or work just to earn a living, but every family owns a parcel of land for its house and a small garden. Some well-to-do families have bigger parcels of land where they get their food.

The barrio was originally inhabited by several families which may be considered as the root of the present generation. They were the ancestors of the present people of the barrio. The most popular was Cabesang Batido whose descendants were the wives of the Salcedos and the Ramoses. One will be surprised to find out that most of the people possessed the Ramos and Salcedo family names. It is worth mentioning that there are families whose father and mother have the same family name.

Next to these two families is the Castillo family, but few males possess this name, so there is but a little hope for them to enlarge their family. Most of them are females. Besides these families already mentioned, there were still other families but their descendants were not as many as the two families mentioned above. Below is the list of

[p. 2]

original families who were the origin of the present families of the barrio:

1. Mariano Alabastro
2. Nicolas Castillo
3. Anatalio Garcia
4. Jose Ramos
5. Guillermo Salcedo
6. Rufino Salcedo
7. Aurelio Salcedo
8. Luciano Gonzales
9. Juan Gonzales
10. Pedro Gonzales
11. Casiano Gonzales
12. Lorenzo Ramos

List of Barrio Lieutenants

A man with leadership and personality leads the best. During the past to the present, men of this kind sprang out from this barrio to lead the barrio people and make the place a worthwhile place to live in.

Below appears the list of barrio tenientes with their descriptions from the past to the present who, with their guidance and leadership, make the place peaceful. The barrio lieutenants could easily pacify minor matters that arose in the locality through the use of explanations and fair judgment. Seldom are such cases brought to the Municipal Court.

Among the past tenientes was Luciano Gonzales. He took hold of the barrio for several years. Then, he was followed by Braulio Ramos, another man who was the head of a root family of the barrio. He was a barrio lieutenant for 6 years. After this term, he was followed by Ejedio Gonzales, the younger brother of Luciano Gonzales. Later, he was succeeded by Leon Hernandez who served the barrio for 6 years. He was then followed by Manuel Castillo who served the barrio for 15 years. He is still living and is considered as one of the oldest of the barrio. Because he had served the barrio for such a long time, he gave up the position to rest. He was then succeeded by Evaristo Dalangin.

Another man who was considered to be a good leader was Candido Vergara. He was not a native of the barrio but because he married a lady of the place, they stayed there. He was a barrio teniente during the administration of the late Simeon Ilagan and Quintin Castillo. He was liked by the people but, because of his age, he was forced to resign. Still, he was considered as adviser of the younger generation.

He was then succeeded by Mr. Tomas Ramos who was appointed barrio lieutenant when Dr. Conrado Buendia was Mayor. He served as barrio lieutenant for 9 years.

During the incumbency of Atty. Godofredo Brual as Mayor, he appointed Alberto Manalo as barrio lieutenant until war broke out. During the first year of the Japanese occupation, Atty. Godofredo Brual was still the Mayor and Alberto Manalo continued as barrio lieutenant.

[p. 3]

In 1942, Atty. Francisco Madlangbayan was the Mayor and Francisco Dalangin was appointed barrio lieutenant until liberation. On the first year of liberation, Doroteo Castillo was temporarily appointed as barrio lieutenant. He was later changed and succeeded by Mariano Ramos with Fermin Salcedo as auxiliary lieutenant. This was during the time of Dr. Gregorio Arreglado as Mayor. After the first election of Mayor Jose Daite, Alberto Manalo was reappointed as barrio lieutenant up to the present. It was during this time that a school building was constructed in San Roque, with the cooperation of Tomas Salcedo and the rest whose desire is to help the said school.

The leaders of this barrio as well as the people have mutual understandings in order to preserve peace and order in the place.

Important Facts, Incidents or Events that Took
Place During the Spanish Occupation,
American Occupation and After World
War II

During the Spanish occupation, the barrio was not in trouble though other places were in disorder. There were people who came to the place because they found the place a peaceful place to live in.

Later, the Americans came. The place was not disturbed by them. There were uprisings of insurrectos and again the people came to the barrio. Later, schools were opened in the town and nearby barrios. Parents did their best to send their children to school because during the Spanish time, they studied “Cartilla” and [a] little Arithmetic in our own dialect. They did not learn how to write and read in English. So, they thought it wise to send the children to school.

During the World War, the barrio was an evacuation place. People from the town evacuated to this barrio. The Japanese came to the barrio and asked for some hens and cows. But they never used force in asking [for] these things, not like they did in other places. The barrio lieutenant made arrangements with them and the owners. In this way, no trouble occurred. Farm lands were turned into cotton plantations. The Japanese cotton planters and workers worked so smoothly that no trouble happened between them. Never did anyone suffer from the tyrant hands of these oppressors.

After 4 years, the Americans came and liberated the Philippines from the Japs. The people of the barrio stayed in their places with the exception of a few. After several months, the American Army bought lands in the barrio that were located near the main road. They built big buildings and used them as their warehouses. It is in this place that the Boat Building Command of the Base “R” was located. This occupation of the American Army in these lands provided the people of the

[p. 4]

place jobs. During those days, very seldom were jobless. This improved the economic status of the barrio.

Most of the parents were able to send their children to school because they had the means to educate their children. In the year 1949, the barrio was able to construct a school house of its own which was done through the leadership of Alberto Manalo, Tomas Salcedo and other civic-spirited people of the locality. At present, children from Grades IV-IV are accommodated in this school. These were the important accomplishments toward rehabilitation following the World War II.

Traditions, Customs and Practices

The barrio has its own traditions and customs pertaining to birth, baptism, courtship, marriage, death and burial. These traditions were inherited from their ancestors which were brought into practice to the present. Some of these may be the same with those of other barrios.

The practices begin at the birth of a child. At birth, it is common to have [a] temporary baptism called “buhos.” The godparents hold the baby, and the midwife or any old person baptizes the baby. There is usually a small party. When the parents have the means to give baptism in the church, another party better than the first is held. The godparents give the child any sort of gifts.

Courtship is a common stage in the lives of men. It is the period when one seeks a partner in life who will be with him in sorrows and happiness. During the period, the man selects a woman who he thinks will be a good partner. The man will do his best in order to please the parents of the girl. When they are engaged, the man brings water and firewood to the home of the lady. In this way, the parents of the lady will ask their daughter if they have already an understanding with each other. In case there is, the father will ask the man to tell his parents to come and talk about their betrothal. Sometimes, the man’s party took with them food, drinks and cigarettes. In case the girl’s party is not in favor of the man’s proposal, they usually ask dowry or “bilang” which may be in terms of money or property. Sometimes, the dowry is not within the reach of the other party; but if they like the girl very much, they will do their best to produce the said dowry. All difficulties will be overcome by the parties if both of them appreciate each other. They usually agree to have a small wedding party in order to gather all relatives of the bride and bridegroom. After the meal, they have a “sabangan.” This is for the purpose of having a wedding party. The bride will then be accompanied by the bridegroom’s relatives to his home. Marriage is the most important event in their lives.

Now, there comes the most sorrowful moment when death comes to a family. Neighbors, relatives and others come to

[p. 5]

sympathize with the bereaved. They give a sort of help to the mourning family. They wear black dresses as a sign of mourning. After the burial, they pray for nine consecutive days for the salvation of the dead. They refrain from eating vegetables on these days. On the fourth day, the family takes the first bath after burial. On the ninth day, a small gathering is given. After one year of mourning, they will have the “babaang luksa.” The family is again free to wear any colored clothes they like.


There are still beliefs and superstitions which most of the people still believe. They are concerning about heavenly bodies, plants, animals, and other phenomena. Below are some of these beliefs and superstitions of the place.

1. When the clouds move south, a storm will come.
2. The eclipse is believed to be a fight between two heavenly bodies.
3. That the comet with its rays pointing downward means war, epidemics, or starvation.
4. A dream that a molar tooth was pulled means death or bad luck of an important member of the family.
5. When a person is always followed by a black butterfly or a crow means death of a nearest relative.
6. Others believe that the dead visits the house on the ninth day.
7. Still others interpret that a cat washing its face at the door means a visitor is coming.
8. When a fork drops, a male visitor will come and a spoon means a female visitor will arrive.
9. Cats are easily caught by lightning.
10. When the sun does not shine on Saturday, bad weather is approaching.


Besides tradition, customs and superstition the barrio has its own ways of spending leisure hours. Some are interested in playing baseball, “sipa,” and others have other means of amusements. They went to their neighbors to hear [the] radio broadcast and read newspapers. Others find it amusing to read Tagalog magazines as Liwayway, Bulaklak and Comics. Men played “supo” and mahjong after their working hours. But continuous playing of these games is not good for it will develop to gambling.

Planting ornamental plants sometimes is a good substitute for this “mahjong” and “supo” games.

[p. 6]


Here is a list of some proverbs and sayings and riddles of the place.

1. Ang itinutulak ng bibig ay kabig ng dibdib.
2. Walang matimtimang birhen sa matiagang manalangin.
3. Ang di marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay di makakarating sa parurunan.
4. Pag may inihasik ay may aanihin.
5. Ang hampas sa kalabaw sa kabayo ang latay.
6. Pag may isinuksok ay may titingalain.
7. Kung ano ang puno ay siya rin bunga.
8. Kung saan mahilig ang kahoy ay doon mabubuhal.
9. Ang maiksi ay nagpuputol at ang mahaba ay nagdudugtong.
10. Tuso man daw ang matsin ay napaglalamangan din.


1. Ang nagtatanod ay patay ang tinatanuran ay buhay - - - (mamin)
2. Tubig ko sa sinandigan di mapatakan ng ulan – niyog
3. Naito ito na ang may sunog na baga - - manok
4. Dalawang tindahan sabay buksan - - - - - mata
5. Bahay ni kiring butas-butas ang dingding – bakid
6. Nagsaing si kapirit kinain pati anlit - - - bayabas
7. Dalawang magkumpare mauna’t mahuli - - - - paa
8. Papel na berde, tinta puti, pluming bakli. (mamin, bunga at apog)

Methods of Measuring Time

Long ago, the people of the place did not have the clock. They used to tell the time in primitive ways. Here are some of the ways the old people told the time:

When the hens began to go to their nests in the afternoon, they detected the time to be between six and seven o’clock. When it was already dark, they looked at the cross star (southern cross) in the sky, or the afternoon star. When the cross star shone leaning to the east, it was still early about 9 to 10 o’clock. When it shone straight, it was midnight and when it leant westward, it was past 12:00 and nearing to dawn. Just the same with the afternoon star, when the morning star shone, it was past midnight.

Still, the old people tell the time by the crowing of the cock. When it is long past midnight, they say it may be between 2:00 & 3:00. Others use the moon to tell the time when it shines.

During the day, they use the sun to tell the time. The position of the heat of the sun tells the different times of the day. But these could not be relied upon because there are days of the year when the sun shines including to the south.

[p. 7]

These conditions of the heat change and, therefore, time will be different.

They have a special calendar for the different phases of the moon. They could also tell the position of water whether it will be high tide or low tide with these calendars.

At present, most houses own a clock where they could tell the exact time. But still, there are others who use these primitive methods of telling time.

Prepared by:
Notes and references:
Transcribed from “The Barrio of San Roque” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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