Payapa, Lemery, Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Payapa, Lemery, Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Payapa, Lemery, 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 Matingain the Municipality of Lemery, 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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Payapa Elementary School

Present Official Name of the Barrio

One of the barrios of Lemery is called Payapa. This barrio is endowed with beautiful rice and corn fields and hills and mountains. It is on a high place and has a very good climate, that makes it suitable for plants like coffee, oranges, star apples and other fruits. It has fertile soil also. The height of the place makes it impossible for the residents to construct artesian wells, thus the people suffer from scarcity of water.

Popular Name of the Barrio, Present and Past, Derivation and Meaning

During the Spanish conquest, this barrio was thickly covered with tall cogon grasses. A few years later, some families inhabited the place. They did not know the name of the barrio. Later on, a priest happened to live in this place. According to the old folks here, the priest was Father de la Rosa, a brother of Martin de la Rosa of Taal, Batangas. The priest came here for fear of the Spaniards inhabiting the town. Father de la Rosa built a house made of wood. (“Tabla”) It was so far the highest house built in this place. One day, the former family who lived in that place saw a wooden house and since then, they made that wooden house the sign of their own place whenever they went to town or neighboring barrios. So later on, they decided to name the barrio after the wooden (tabla) house and named the place “Tabla.”

Several years elapsed, and the priest died. And because the owner of the house was already dead, the house was neglected, until it was totally destroyed. But the barrio was still called “Tabla.” Many years passed when the residents of this place saw a payapa plant. It was later called and known to be Payapa.

The sitios included in the territorial jurisdiction of Payapa are:

1. Arandatis
2. Gulod ng Pastor
3. Coral
4. Balagwit
5. Pasubliin
6. Pultang Pultero
7. Arumahang Bata
8. Gulod ng Kay Bauan

Date of Establishment

According to the old folks, Payapa was established twenty years before the eruption of Taal Volcano. Inasmuch as the volcano erupted in 1911, the barrio was supposed to have been established in 1891.

Original Families

Many, many years ago, most of the vast lands of

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Payapa was owned by a wealthy family, Mr. Pedro Obrador, who was known to be the first family in this place. The family was able to own lands through persistent toil. And because he could not work on all of his fields, he began to sell some lands to other residents who immigrated there.

List of Tenientes from the Earliest Time to Date

Mayor is to a town, as teniente is to a barrio, both being the head or leader. Ever since the barrio was established, tenientes were appointed or changed. The first teniente of Payapa was Pedro Obrador. He was succeeded by Serapio Villarez. Later on, Aguido Mercado succeeded him and with his untiring effort, he was able to help lots of residents of the place in their problems in the community. Years passed by and Ruperto Mercado succeeded his elder brother. He very well followed the footsteps of his brother, working for the welfare of his barrio folks. He was the teniente when the war broke out and during the Japanese occupation, a few years after, Pedro Alilio succeeded him. After several years heading the barrio, he was succeeded by Felipe Enriquez – a peace-loving man and always with a willing hand ready to help the barrio folks. It was due to his leadership, a school was built.

Some of the tenientes repeated their terms due to their capable leadership.

Story of Old Barrios or Sitios within the Jurisdiction that are Now Depopulated or Extinct

Luckily, all the sitios within the jurisdiction of Payapa are populated. All places are occupied by at least five families.

Data on Historical Sites, Structures, Buildings, Old Ruins, Etc.

The first school in this barrio was the house of Mr. Aguido Mercado. It started in 1939. Mrs. Suayan was the first who taught here. Parents who wished their children to be useful members of the society and to be good citizens of the country sent them to school. From 1939 to 1951, the school used were big houses in the barrio. In 1952, a new school was erected. The lot of the school was donated by Mr. Isabelo Masongsong, the president of the P. T. A., while the materials of the building came from the “pork barrel” and contributions of the resident so of Payapa. At present, there is an intermediate grade.

Important Facts, Incidents or Events that Took Place
During the Spanish Occupation

Revolution took place in every part of the Philippines and Payapa, though a small barrio, revolted also against the Spaniards. The revolution was head by Kapitan Miguel (surname unknown) and seconded by Julian Montalban. The revolution ended when the Filipinos surrendered to the Spaniards after a heavy fight in Pultero. The people believed that the defeat of the revolutionists was lack of firearms.

During the American Occupation to World War II

The Spaniards in the Philippines were defeated by the Americans, and the people of Payapa thought that the

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latter were just like the former – cruel and inhuman, so they did not submit themselves willingly to the Americans. Again, a rebellion was organized, headed by Kabisang Miguel Gatchalian. But after a year, they found out that they misjudged the new conqueror, for they were [a] good and peace-loving people. The place became peaceful and the lives of the people were changed from grievances and sufferings to contentment and blissful happiness.

Cartilla was taught in this place. The people who studied [the] cartilla paid their tutors in the form of rice, fruits and vegetables. After several years, a school was established in this barrio though there were only grades one and two.

During and after World War II

December 8, 1941. The people in this place were shocked when they received the news that the important naval bases were already taken by the Japanese. They were afraid that they might be the next to be attacked. They never ceased praying and calling to God to save them from the inhuman acts of the Japanese. Some of the townspeople evacuated to this place. After a few months, Bataan fell and the people returned to their homes. Due to the brutalities of the Japanese soldiers, the people of Payapa and other neighboring places formed a guerrilla unit under the leadership of Luis Licopa and Filomeno Gagalac. The Japanese Imperial Army placed a detachment in this place to fight against the guerrillas. Many people from this place suffered from the brutal punishments of the Japanese. Anybody suspected of being a guerrilla was given a third degree punishment. After three years of hardships and sufferings from the Japanese, the liberators arrived. Their bartered their fruit, chickens and eggs for the G.I.’s canned food, cigarettes, candies, clothing, and other things they had not seen for five, long years. The people returned to work and were never disturbed.

Destruction of Lives, Properties and Institutions During Wars, Especially in 1896-1900 and 1941-1945

Many lives were lost in the barrio in 1896-1900 due to the rebellion and epidemic. In the years 1941-1945, because of the guerrilla organization, many were killed by the Japanese and some were also killed in the battlefront in Bataan.


A survey was made with some of the barrio folks in this place. It was found out that their traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life are the following:

Birth –

A mother who is nearly to give birth will at least eat twelve eggs so that it will not be hard for her to give birth. They do not call for a doctor for they are accustomed to calling for a midwife. Many people visit the mother whereas her companions prepare food for them. After birth, the baby is bathed and [they] put ash on the child's navel. The child's mother cannot take a bath until after a month has passed. The baby can also be bathed on Tuesdays and Fridays for the reason that they will have severe

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illness whenever they get sick. The mothers keep a pocket of pepper, garlic, and ash on the child’s breast so as not to be ill.

Baptism –

If a child is ill and can’t be brought to town for baptism, he is baptized in his house by a certain person who knows how to do it. If a child is strong and healthy, he is brought to town at once for baptism because the parents are afraid that their child may die without receiving the sacrament yet. Their belief is that the baby will not be received in heaven without receiving the first Sacrament. In the church, after the priest’s benediction, the godfather or godmother will try his or her best to be the first one to go out of the church so that the child will be a good merchant. When they reach home, firecrackers are heard. This is the sign of thanks of the child’s parents. There are many people invited to this party. There are also variety of foods to be given to the godfather or godmother. It is a very joyous party and sometimes there’s dancing and singing.

Courtship –

The gentleman who wants to court a certain lady helps the lady’s parents in their work at home. He helps in plowing and planting the fields. If he can’t do the work alone, he asks the help of his sympathetic neighbors. The man courting the lady will be to one to prepare the food for the workers. After this, he will give big fishes to the lady’s parents. He does not give shrimps, squids, and tamarinds to the lady for the reason that the lady will always have a sour face to him. If by this, the man will be loved by the lady’s parents, the parents will set a day for them to talk about the marriage. On this day, they talk about the celebration, the sponsors, and the things to be given before the marriage. If the man’s parents can’t follow this, the marriage will surely be postponed. But if a man’s parents will follow this, there are still two days celebration before the marriage. The first is the day when the boy and the girl will have [a] personal appearance before the priest and on the second Friday, supper is prepared for the lady’s relatives to be invited.

Marriage –

When all of these are pursued, the marriage will be continued. When the bride is ready to go to the man’s home, the stoves are destroyed, and the man can’t go with the bride to his home. The groom will be the one to return the utensils and other equipment borrowed from the neighbors. The groom will go home at night. The couple can’t go to the bride’s house until the fourth day.

Death –

When somebody is dead in one’s house, nobody can clean the house and surroundings not until after the fourth day, because according to them, if they do that there will be a succession of dead persons in that particular house. The neighbors are prohibited to eat vegetables and bagoong for the reason that the soul of the dead will not rest in peace. On the eighth day, there will be a sort of celebration and in this celebration, the people will pray for the soul of the dead. On the first death anniversary, the people will do the same thing. The members of the family of the dead and other relatives put away their black clothes and begin to use again colored clothes. It goes hand in hand with All Souls Day in November. All dead persons are


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