Tabangao, Batangas (Town), Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Tabangao, Batangas (Town), Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Tabangao, Batangas (Town), Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Tabangao, Batangas Town, 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]
Historical Data

1. Tabangao is the present official name of the barrio.

2. The barrio includes the sitios of Balogbog or Pook ng Pare, Ambulong, Pook ng Piskal or Kabila, and Naluklok.

[p. 2]

3. As to when the barrio was established is unknown. During the latter part of the Spanish regime, Tabangao was already a big community.

4. Original families were: Dinglasans, Mendozas, Garcias, and the Papasins.

5. List of tenientes from the earliest time to date.

a. As early as 1870, the community was headed by Kabisang Paing (Rafael Dinglasan), the grandfather of Dra. Severina Orosa Y Luna on her mother’s side.
b. Before the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution, Mr. Francisco Guilles was the teniente.
c. During the revolution of 1899, Mr. Demetrio de Castro was the teniente.
d. When hostilities between Filipinos and the Americans broke out in 1899, Mr. Apolonio Belmonte was the teniente.
e. After the people’s release from the military zone of the Americans in the poblacion (December 1899 to April 1900), Mr. Pedro Dinglasan, the father of Dr. Dionisio Dinglasan, became the teniente.
f. After the cholera epidemic which swept the place in 1900, Mr. Isidoro Dinglasan became the teniente, a position he held until his death in 1919.
g. Mr. Juan Dinglasan succeeded his father Isidoro. He served continuously for 31 years. He resigned in April, 1950.
h. Mr. Diego Macatangay succeeded Mr. J. Dinglasan. Mr. Macatangay is still the teniente to the present time.

6. Sitio in the barrio now depopulated.

Kabila, which means on the other side, is the name given to Judge G. Abaya’s lands on the north side of the Paitihan River. Abaya’s wife inherited the place from Piskal Sario who was one time the chief clerk of the Catholic church. It was a flourishing community then. Here developed the famous comedy that charmed thousands in the town of Batangas during Genato's time. Fiestas were famous here during the days of Mr. Macario Papasin who leased the place one time. When the Papasins moved permanently to town sometime in 1925, the sitio became depopulated little by little. Now, there are only two houses where once there was a

[p. 3]

happy community.

7. Date of Historical Sites.

A kilometer away and east of the shore of Tabangao is a hill known as Kampusanto. It was temporarily used as a cemetery during the cholera epidemic of 1900.

8. Important Facts and Incidents that took place.

a. A public school was opened as early as 1905. It was sadly closed due to [the] personal enmity of the supervisor, Mr. Perfecto Condez, and the teniente del barrio, Mr. Isidoro Dinglasan. It was reopened in 1924. It became a complete elementary school in 1948 – up to the present.

b. In 1913, when majority of the houses were still in the north side of the river (Pook ng Piskal), an Aglipayan barrio fiesta was held. It was the first and last Aglipayan fiesta in the barrio. The people are now staunch Catholics.

9. a. Destruction of Lives, Properties and Institutions.
In October, 1944, the Japanese Imperial Army included Tabangao as a military zone. Within a five-day period, the people were forced to evacuate. The day following the last evacuation day, a typhoon came up. Most of the fishing boats used in evacuating to Lobo and Mindoro sank. Fortunately, no life was lost but all properties carried in the boats were lost.

When the people returned after liberation in 1945, the houses were destroyed. All fishing nets were either lost or destroyed. The day before Batangas was liberated by the Americans, retreating Japanese soldiers burned houses in Pook ng Pare and bayoneted several persons to death.

As an aftermath of the presidential election in 1949, the Batangas Revolt flared up in Tabangao under the leadership of General Medrana. In the campaign against the dissidents, the P.C. companies accidentally fired at one another. There were many casualties.

[p. 4]

b. Accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction.

1. War damage claims for the school building was never paid on the ground that the school received pork barrel from the national government. A new temporary building was built by the P.T.A. in 1950 was blown by Typhoon Trix.

2. In eight years’ time, since 1944, the fishing industry was reestablished and more beautiful homes were built.


1. Traditions, customs and practices

a. Birth

1. A gun is fired.

2. For three successive nights, young men and women keep the young mother company.

b. Baptism

1. Basi and wine are generally offered.
2. The godmother or godfather give gifts to the midwife after the baby arrives from the church.
3. The ninong or ninang presents the child a gift and furnishes the drinks for the party.

c. Courtship

1. The young man shows his love be being helpful to the family.

2. With the consent of the sweetheart, the lover begins service by bringing bundles of fuel and cans of water. It is then the duty of the girl’s father to question the young man’s motive of offering services. The young man’s parents are then summoned and arrangements, for marriage, are talked about. The length of personal service, the dowry, and the kind of wedding feast will be the subjects for con-

[p. 5]

ference of both parties.

d. Marriages

1. For a long and prosperous life, the new couple lives separately for three days; the bride in the groom’s house and the groom in the bride’s home.

2. Upon arrival from the church, the couple is showered with grains of rice.

3. The bride sits flat on a mat spread with peso and fifty centavo pieces in the middle of the room.

4. The one who goes out of the church first or the one who goes upstairs first upon arriving home will be the superior character.

5. No relative of the bride is allowed to go with her to the home of the groom to make her happy with her in-laws.

e. Death

1. Neighbors, usually the younger folks, stay in the home of the dead at night to relieve the mourners of their sorrow.

2. Visitors are expected to give alms to help defray the burial expenses.

3. On the fourth and nine days of the death of a person, his family offers special prayers for the salvation of his soul. Feasts are served on these occasions.

f. Burial

1. All those attending the burial ceremony are attired in black, a sign of mourning.

2. For nine consecutive evenings, a prayer is offered so that the dead may rest in peace.

3. The dead needs the service of a priest.

[p. 6]

g. Visits

1. Neighborliness is shown by visiting the sick and those who have just given births.

2. Young men do not visit their sweethearts on Tuesdays and Fridays. Saturday is believed to be the best visiting day. Visitors do not stay later than eight o’clock at night.

3. Women make friendly calls which oftentimes turn to gossip.

h. Festivals

The month of May is the merrymaking time. Every evening, the young people offer fresh flowers with prayers and songs to Virgin Mary in the barrio shrine. These festivities culminate in the staging of a barrio fiesta.

Bands, parades, beauty contests, programs, dances, and lavish feasts are the principal features in these festivals.

2. Myths, legends, beliefs, interpretations, and superstitions

a. Myths and Legends

1. The Origin of the Coconut
Once there was a bad man who was returning home one dark night. He was carrying a sack full of green corn stolen from a neighbor’s field. He was crossing a creek when he stepped on soft ground. “Ah,” he cried as he sunk in the mud knee deep. When he tried to pull himself out and could not, he cried, “Ah” each time and sank deeper in the mine [mire?]. The poor man forgot to think of God in his doom. The next day, a coconut grew on the spot where the bad man sank. That explains the letter “A” in the houng [young?] leaves of every coconut tree.

2. The First Man and Woman
A crow was looking for food among the treetops. When it got tired, it rested among some bamboo trees. Sounds seemed to come from inside the bamboo tree where it was resting on.

[p. 7]

The crow pecked on it. “Peck harder,” called the voice from within. The crow pecked harder. The bamboo cracked and opened and out stepped a man from one chamber of the bamboo, and a woman from the other. The crow flew away in fright. The man bowed low before the woman. They were the first man and woman in the world.

B. Beliefs and Superstitions

1. Staying by the door is not good when someone in the house is on the family way.

2. When the mother is on the moment of delivery, she would not tell others about it so as to pass the ordeal easier.

3. A dead mother visits her baby left behind to find out if it is well cared for. If not, she feeds from her breast which usually kills the child.

4. Witches are generally seen when the moon rises and sets.

5. To avoid being waylaid by witches, you must wear clothes the wrong side out.

6. A tree swarmed with fireflies is believed to be haunted. If you are brave enough, you may acquire a charm by going around the tree three times for three nights. If you can undergo the trials which the anitos may give you, he would befriend you and give you the charm you want.

7. Fishermen believe that the flowers showered during the “Hossana” on Palm Sunday have the power to attract fish. Hence, they try to catch them with hats during the celebration.

8. The feast enjoyed most by men is the one given in connection with the setting up of new fish traps (baklad). The women are mere servers. No one is allowed outside. The faster the male visitors grav [grab?] the refreshments offered, the better the host likes it, with the belief that the fish would have the same behavior in the new fish trap.

9. The farmer who will sow his seeds eats a heavy

[p. 9]

meal. He believes that with the stuffed stomach, he would harvest full-grown grains.

3. Popular songs, games and amusements

A. Folk songs and dances
1. Lamano, lamano, kapit sa baraso,
Pagdating ng gitna’y isa pang lamano.
Lamano, lamano, kapit sa panuelo,
Pagdating ng gitna’y maghihiwalay tayo.

2. Abaruray kung abarinding
Isaulo mo’y ang singsing
Kung hindi mo isasauli,
Magagalit ang may-ari.
Abarinding, kung abaruray
Isauli mo’y ang suklay
Kung hindi mo ibibigay,
Magagalit ang ‘yong nanay.

B. Games

1. Fencing was popular in the past. At present, only a few of the old men know the sport.

2. Sipa was another popular game during the past. Now, it is replaced by softball, volleyball, and basketball.

3. The popular parlor games are the different kinds of huego de prenda, an example of which is Bulaklakan.

4. Puzzles and Riddles:

A. Puzzles
1. Sa kasamaang palad ay nakuha ng isang matsin ang iyong sombrero at dinala sa itaas na isang punong kahoy. Ano ang gagawin mo para makuha mong muli ang iyong sombrero?

2. May isang barkadahang maya na humapon sa isang punong mangga. Nang magtigiisang sanga ay labis ng isang maya. Nang magtigdadalawang maya sa isang sanga’y labis naman ng isang sanga. Ilan ang maya at ilan ang sanga ng mangga?

3. Si Pedro, si Juan, at si Pablo ay ulila na sa kanilang ina. Nang magasawang muli ang kanilang ama ay lagi silang kinagagalitan ng kanilang

[p. 10]

iniina. Isang araw ay binigyan sila ng itlog upang ipagbili sa bayan. Si Pedro ay binignay ng limampu (50), si Juan ay binigyan ng tatlumpu (30), at si Pablo ay binigyan ng sampu (10). Ang bilin sa kanila ay kanilang ipagbili ang itlog sa isang halaga ngunit kailangan ding pare-pareho ang kanilang pinagbilhan. Papano nila naipagbili ang itlog na natupad ang bilin sa kanila?

B. Riddles

1. May leeg ay walang ulo, nasa ilalim ang suso… takuyan.

2. Pitak-pitak, silid-silid, pintuan ay di masilip… kawayan.

3. Halamang di malanta, tumalbos lagi na… buhok.

4. Rubing nanggaling sa brilyante, brilyanteng nanggaling sa Rubi… manok at itlog.

5. Nagsigang ako ng apoy, malamig na tubig ang iginatong… ilawan.

6. Babaing de korona, katawan ay puno ng mata… piña.

7. Wala sa langit, wala sa lupa, ang dahon ay sariwa… dapo.

8. Buñga ng dinahunan, at dahon na binungahan… piña.

9. Umanak ang hunghang sa itaas nagdaan… saging.

10. Si Tomas na biho, sumuot sa bato, hinigit ko ang buntot, lumabas ang ipot… giliñgan.

11. Lumalakad ang walang paa, gumagapang ay walang mata… kalabasa.

12. Tumidindig ay walang paa, lumuluha ay walang mata… kandila.

13. May sungay na ang bisiro, ay wala pa ang turo… kawali at tulyasi.

[p. 11]

14. Bugtung kung talinhaga, turan mo mahal na binata, sikip sa dahon ng biga, maluwag sa dahon ng baga… hiniñga.

15. Bunga ng bayabas, pito ang butas… mukha.

16. Tubig na naging putik, putik na naging bato, bato na naging piso… saminto.

17. Ang ibabaw ay ararohan, ilalim ay batohan… bunga ng kakao.

C. Proverbs and sayings

1. Papaano mo matatadtad iyang karning iuulam kung hindi mo ipapatong sa ibabaw ng sangkalan.

2. Kilala na sa labong ang magagawang bungbong.

3. Ang gawa sa pagkabata, dala hanggang tumanda.

4. Mapalad ang lumuluha at pinupukaw in Bathala.

5. Ang walang itinanim ay walang aanihin.

6. Walang mailap na pugo sa magaling magsilo.

7. Pagsaiyo ay masama, huwag gawin sa iyong kapwa.

8. Pag wala ang pusa, piyesta ang mga daga.

9. Ang tunay na magkaibigan sa gipit nasusubukan.

10. Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo.

11. Pagkakiniskinis man ang langit, may dadaan ding tagulait.

12. Kung sino ang minamahal, siyang pinaghihirapan.

13. Ang taong hinaw ng hinaw, ay siyang marumi ang kamay.

14. Di masakit ang yumukod, di gaya nang mauntog.

15. Ang bayaning masugatan, nagiibayo ang tapang.

[p. 12]

D. Methods of Measuring Time

1. During the day

(a) By the position of the sun.

(b) By the use of the shadow.

(c) When the hen lays eggs.

(d) By the eyes of the cat.

2. At night

(a) By the song of the tururukan.

(b) By the crowing of the roosters.

(c) By the position of the stars and the constellations.


How Tabangao Got Its Name

It was during the early days of the Spanish occupation of Batangas. Every native of the community was excited not only because some Spaniards had arrived in the place but because every mother was urging her children to be indoors because of the presence of the mad dog. The Spaniards asked the first native they accosted what barrio was the place. The native, thinking the Spaniards were asking why the children were being kept in the houses, replied in the dialect, “Nangyari po ay tag-bangao.” “Ah, Tabangao,” repeated the Spaniard. Since then, Tabangao became the name of the barrio.


About a kilometer from the shore of Tabangao is a hill surrounded by narrow valleys on three sides. Because its slopes were steep, they were cultivated only very recently. Formerly, the whole hill was covered with dense forests which furnished the neighborhood with fuel and posts for building houses. As to how the elevation came to be known as “Convento” is associated with legends about Spanish priests seen taking walks. Since that the priests frequented the place, it became to be called “Convento.”

[p. 13]

Naluklok, Pula, at Pute

I have known my father to be a fisherman all his life. We used to go fishing at night with lights. It was before the use of Aladdin lamps. Torches were [the] ones used. About a kilometer towards the south shore of Tabangao is a famous “dolong” fishing ground. Here, where the steep cliffs are very close to the sea is a well-known spot to local fishermen. Here is a huge rock which seems to assume a sitting position. It was caused by the erosion done on its sides by the tides. Locally, it is known as “Naluklok.”

Before you reach Naluklok, from the north is a steep cliff of white rock. Equally distant from Naluklok towards the sough is another cliff of red rock. Because of the difference in the soil composition, the names “Pute” and “Pula” were given respectively to designated spots.


To facilitate the surrender of the insurgents, the Americans forced all the people to come to town and stay within an organized military zone. After their release from the zone in April, 1900, followed a drought and famine. As if these troubles were not enough for the people of Tabangao, who found themselves empty-handed, after enjoying a life of ease in the zone, a terrible cholera epidemic swept the place. It was a grim calamity never to be forgotten. People who had gone to town to bury their dead, found other members of the family ready for burial when they returned. The people then were forced to use a temporary cemetery in the locality. A hill about two kilometers east of the community was used. To this day, this sacred place is called “Kamposanto.”


1. There are no books and documents treating of the Philippines found in the community.

2. There are no authors in the community.

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