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

Tabangao, Batangas (Town), Batangas: Historical Data Part I

Historical Data graphic
Historical data from the National Library of the Philippines.



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]


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.


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.
Next Post Previous Post