Sinisian, Calaca, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Sinisian, Calaca, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Sinisian, Calaca, 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 Sinisian 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
Sinisian (Calaca, Batangas)

Part One: History

I. Present official name of the barrio:

The present official name is Sinisian.

II. Popular name of the barrio, present and past; derivation and meanings of the names. Names of sitios included within the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio:

From the earliest time, the name Sinisian has never changed. During the early days, banditry was very common in almost all towns in the province. The bandits, or rather uncivilized people, attacked the people in different places, ransacked the homes and made unnecessary annoyance to the whole community. The people fought but to no avail. They were outnumbered and the bandits had the advantage of more weapons. The inhabitants termed this incident in the native language as: “Nasisian ang mga taga rito.” From that time on, this barrio was called Sinisian to the present time.

III. Date of establishment: Sinisian became a barrio in 1836.

IV. Original Families: As this place was partly inhabited, more families migrated to the place, built their homes and cultivated the agricultural lands. With the growth of families, there existed a little government. A teniente del barrio was selected by the barrio folks as their chief. Sinisian seemed to be a place inhabited by a one-blooded family. The heads of the families who have thrived in Sinisian were: Narciso Atienza, Pastora Dimailig, Blas Cabrera, Eusebia Dimailig, Felisa Dimailig, Juan Villanueva, Quintana Marasigan, Maria Alcaraz, Sixto Alcaraz, Faustino Alcaraz, Faustino Comia, and Eleuterio Enriquez. It will be noted that the most popular names are the Atienza, Comia, Enriquez, Dimailig, Alcaraz and Cabrera families.

V. List of tenientes from the earliest time to date:

Among the prominent characters who became barrio lieutenants during the Spanish time were:

1. Teodulo Dimailig
2. Gaudencio Pascua
3. Ignacio Marasigan
4. Juan Villalobos
5. Jacinto Dimailig
6. Francisco Dimailig
7. Catalino Alcala

During the American occupation, two men named Gregorio Dimailig and Geronimo Dimailig handled the reins of the barrio. When the Japanese Imperial Army subdued the Islands, the mayor entrusted to Galicano Reyes, Graciano del Mundo, and Sixto Alcaraz the affairs of the barrio.

When liberation came, only one man was appointed as teniente del barrio in the person of Mr. Sixto Alcaraz. It must be made of record, however, that these men became the heads of the barrio for quite a number of years.

VI. Story of old barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct:

Only one sitio has been attached to the barrio of Sinisian by the name of Caluangan. This is called such because there are plenty of wide spaces of land in this region. Several families live also in this place and the people are most engaged in farming.

VII. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.:
Among the buildings erected in the place are the dwellings of

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Mariano Mandanas, Gregorio Dimailig, Jacinto Dimailig, Juan Mulat, Isabela Dimailig, and Brigido Medina. The house of Brigido Medina was burned by the Spaniards. Other houses which were ruined were replaced by the new ones now standing in Sinisian. The old site of the Sinisian Elementary School was first located in Sinisian in a placed called the “visita.” Later, it was transferred to the site near the old provincial road. The site is now a property of Mr. & Mrs. Jose Atienza. Efforts were exerted by the P.T.A. and the inhabitants to acquire a better school site. This was realized when, on July 7, 1947, Doña Adelaide Paterno donated her lot comprising and almost two (2) hectare lot which is now the present school site of Sinisian Elementary School.

VIII. Important facts, incidents, or events that took place:

In the year 1898, the inhabitants suffered great hardships on account of the brutalities of the “Spanish Guardia Civil.” Men hid in the mountains and only banana skeletons, papayas, vegetables and other mountain crops served as their foods. The people built temporary shelters called barong-barong. The people were afraid of the insurrectos and the guardia civil. They were very much frightened by the revolt in Cavite which broke out in 1899. The insurrectos crossed the boundary line between Batangas and Cavite and wandered in the hills of Calaca and unfortunately reached Sinisian. The victim of Spanish brutality was Gabriel Dimailig who met his untimely death by being shot without being tried.

During the American occupation, the people were engaged in different kinds of work. Most of the men were engaged in farming and animal-raising; while others were employed in transportation companies. Some women were engaged in buying and selling fruits. Others worked on household industries like sewing and embroidery. Everything ran smoothly until the outbreak of the war on December 8, 1941 when the whole place was turned into panic and disorder. News of the war spread like wildfire. Some people went at once to the mountains and brought with them in their temporary evacuation centers their most valuables. Some of the male citizens joined the guerrilla forces of Colonel Gagalac and these men contributed much to sabotage and harass the enemy. Because of this guerrilla outfit, it is interesting to note that not a single life was massacred by the Japanese invading army.

Prior to the erection of the school building by the government, the “visita” (tuklong or temporary place of worship) was used as the abode of learning. Feliciano Marasigan was the first teacher. He used the Kartilyang Tagalog, the Trisagio, Tagalog Mysteries (Misteriong Tagalog), the Kartilya or Katon and the Kwenta. People learned much from this.

The only existing religion from the Spanish occupation down to the American occupation was Catholicism. With the influx, however, of ministers of other religions, some bolted the Catholic religion and a few became members of the Seventh Day Adventist and the Church of Christ.

Blas Cabrera was a renowned personality in Sinisian. He can be considered a martyr for his lips and tendons of the feet were cut for being suspected of being anti-Filipino. The insurrectos sent him to the mountains and when information was not received as to his good standing in the place, he was severely punished. He paid dearly [with] his life for the peace and welfare of the barrio folks.

IX. Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars, especially in 1896-1900 and 1941-1945:

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Although there were places which were heavily damaged by the Japanese, Sinisian suffered little loss on buildings. Some houses were abandoned and left at the mercy of nature to be destroyed or dilapidated. School buildings were partly damaged. The bamboo floors of the primary building which they occupied was utilized by the Japanese soldiers for fuel. A two-room extension building was entirely burned by these soldiers. There were several instances where the people, especially the inhabitants, were subjected to slaps by the Japanese, but none of them was beheaded by this small-eyed people. Some of the members of the neighborhood association were obliged to work in the tunnels extended from Sinisian, Calaca up to Calawang, Lemery. The loss of the life of Gabriel Dimailig can be attributed during the Spanish time. In 1941-1945, not a single life perished on account of Japanese brutality.

b. Because the place did not suffer a great loss, tremendous accomplishments were done toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II. Big buildings of semi-permanent materials were erected for the inhabitants were of the belief that there will be an everlasting peace. Among the houses that now proudly stand in Sinisian are the houses of Florentino Manalo, Arsenia Vda. de Dimailig, Andres Marasigan, Julian Cabrera, Marcelino Cabrera, and Sixto Alcaraz.

Part Two: Folkways

X. Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life; birth, baptism, courtship, marriage, death, burial; visits; festivals; punishments; etc.

Like other places, Sinisian has its own traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life. The first is about baptism.

Baptism: A child born after three or four days is temporarily baptized by the oldest man or the most respected man in the barrio with the godfather holding the child in this simple ceremony.
Birth: A first child born to a couple is delivered with the assistance of a midwife in the house of the girl’s parents. There are several practices in this: when a baby is born, the placenta is placed in a small can together with needle and thread in the belief that the baby will learn to sew when she grows old. The first set of nails cut from the fingers of the baby are buried either under the stairs or under the “batalan” on the presumption that the baby, especially if he is a boy, will not be wanderous [a wanderer]. Another practice is when two women are on the family way in the same house, one will seek another house for they might always be contesting on the longevity, health, and happiness of life.

Courtship: Young men and women seldom have the opportunity to talk with each other. [The] Most common practice is this: The parents of the boy will have what is called pasagad, pakahoy and then bulungan. In this “bulungan,” the parents of the girl will ask what they like which, in turn, will be accepted by the parents of the boy willingly and wholeheartedly. A dowry is then given. The girl, then, will have nothing to do but to follow the whims and caprices of her parents as a token of obedience and respect to them but not of true love. Although this was the common practice many years ago, there are still a few who are practicing this in this place.

Death: When a person dies, the whole people in the place condole with the bereaved families. Alms in the form of money, cigarettes and food are given to the relatives of the dead. At night, many people keep vigil on the corpse on the belief that the asuwang might get the liver of the person.

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Burial: As the dead person is about to be brought to his final resting place, the windows of the house where he died are close and the floors are not cleaned until after four days have elapsed.
Festivals: When the barrio fiesta occurs, the window panes are well scrubbed with asis leaves and every part of the house is well cleaned for the satisfaction of the visitors. Every house has its own preparation as good foods, pickles, and different kinds of sweets.
Punishments: There were no cruel punishments given during the Spanish time and even during the present. Persons of notorious characters are reported to the proper authorities and they are treated humanely.

XI. Myths, legends, beliefs, interpretations, and superstitions; origin of the world, land, mountains and caves, seas, lakes, rivers; plants, trees, animals, sun, moon, stars, eclipses, earthquakes, lightning and thunder, clouds, rain, wind, storm, changes of climates, other natural phenomena, first man and woman, birth of twins or more; sickness, witchcraft, magic, divination, etc.

The people in this place are of the firm belief that God was the Creator of everything in this world; that the first people on earth were Adam and Eve. There are still remnants of false beliefs during the olden times in this place. Whenever a comet appears, they predict that there will be another war which means another hardship. In case of thunder and lightning, the corners of the house are sprinkled with vinegar to free them of danger. Twins born to a couple are signs of prosperity and happiness for the years ahead. Whenever a small boy or girl is sick, the people will not at once call a doctor. They will apply the “tawas” cure and the result of this tawas will be the basis of [the] cure for the sick. They still believe in the presence of such anitos as asuwang, piritay, or witch, etc.

XII. Popular songs, games, and amusements, etc.

The popular songs in this place are: Leron Leron Sinta, Magtanim Hindi Biro, Bahay Kubo, Ang Dalagang Bukid, Paruparong Bukid, Bakya Mo Neneng, Sitsiritsit Alibangbang, Inahing Manok, Halina’t Magsayaw, Batya’t Palo-palo.
The most common games are: indoor baseball, which is played during the hot season, sipa, pata, basketball and sikyo for the children. The most common amusements are: dama, tresiete, treseyes, paquito, baklay, sungka, paris-paris, and blackjack.

XIII. Puzzles and Riddles: Common in the Place

1. Mag-inang baka nanganak ng tig-isa. Ilan? (tatlo)
2. May tulay sa pagpasok ng bayan na ang bawat kutsero at tsuper ay lalampas at magbabayad. Papaano nakakadaan sa tulay? (Ang kutsero ay naging kabayo at ang kabayo ay naging kutsero.)
3. Binugaw ko ang baboy. Natakot at nagtatakbo. Ano ang itinakbo ng baboy? (paa)
4. May dalawang magkaibigan. Sila ay walang makain. Doon sa kabila ng ilog ay may pagkaing marami. Sila ay hindi makatawid sapagkat may nagbabantay na mahiwagang manok. Doon sa pook na iyon ay walang manok kungdi ang mahiwagang manok na iyon. Ang nakakaraan sa ilog na iyon ay kapwa manok rin. Ano ang kailangang gawain upang sila ay makalampas? (Sila ay kumuha ng salamin at siyang ipakita sa manok upang Makita ang kanyang anino.)

XIV. Proverbs and Sayings:

1. Ang pagmamalinis ay hindi pagmamainam.

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2. Walang humipo ng palyok nang hindi naulingan.
3. Kapag ang tao’y hinaw ng hinaw, asahan mo’t marumi ang kamay
4. Dalagang may puri, wala mang salapi; may yumi at dangal na itatangi.
5. Ang mahinhing dalaga sa kilos nakikilala.
6. Kung anong puno’y siyang bunga.
7. Nakikilala sa labong ang magiging bombong.
8. Mabuti pa ang matakaw kay sa magnanakaw.
9. Kung ano ang bukang bibig ay siyang laman ng dibdib.
10. Nangangako hanggang napapako.
11. Ang pagmamalinis ay sunod ng kabanalan.
12. Ang taong sinungaling ay dapat maging matandain.
13. Hindi lahat ng napasok sa simbahan ay banal.
14. Ang mabuting pangaral walang katumbas na halaga.
15. Nahuhuli ang isda sa bunganga, ang sinungaling sa dila.
16. Sa taong may hiya, salita’y panunumpa.
17. Bagay na mapakalihim-lihim, sa panaho’y nahahayag din.
18. Kung tunay ang tubo, matamis hanggang dulo.
19. Mayaman ka ma’t marikit, mabuti sa pananamit, kung walang sariling bait, walang halangang gahanip.
20. Ang maibigan sa kasinungalingan ay kapatid ng bilangguan.

XV. Methods of measuring time; special calendars:

Measuring time:
1. By the sun: Pag ang araw ay tapat na ay alas-doce. Pagkiling na ang araw ay alas dos.
2. By the flowers: Pag bumukadkad ang bulaklak ng patola ay alas cuatro. Pag ang halamang alas diyes ay bumukadkad ay alas diyes.
3. By means of the leaves: Pag kumuyom ang dahon ng acacia ay alas doce.
4. By means of birds: Pag humuni ang sabakot ay alas sinco. Paghuni ng bato-bato ay alas sinco. Pag tumilaok ang manok nagliliwanag ang bundok.
5. By the stars: Ang balatik pagtag-ani, ang sikat sa hapon pag lumubog ay umaga na. Ang mapaulon pagtag-ani ay ang sikat ay sa hatinggabi. Ang timbangan pagtimbang ay paumaga na.

Special Calendars:

Kwaresma - - - - February, March and April
Tag-ulan - - - - - Mayo, Hunyo, Hulyo at Agosto
Tag-ani - - - - - - September, Oktubre sa Kataasan; November, February, & March

XVI. Other Folktales:

Ang Batang Salbahe

Si Rading ay anak nina Mang Silo at Aling Sabel. Ang mag-asawang ito, bagama’t isa na sa maituturing na tukod ng yaman sa nayon ay may mga dakilang puso. Mapagkalinga sa mga dumarating at ang higit pa sa lahat ay ang pantay-pantay nilang pagtingin kanino mang maging kaharap; mahirap man o mayaman.

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Subali’t ang mga katangian nilang ito sa pakikisama ay may kabalintunuhan sa ugali ng kaisa-isa nilang anak na si Rading; maramot, walang awa at gayong bata pa ay mapang-api sa kapuwa.
Isang tanghali ay umulan. Ang mga bata ay walang panganggalang sa ulan, kaya’t silang lahat ay nakatalungko sa hagdanan. Si Rading na man ay bukod at tanging ballot na ballot ng kaputi at may payong.
Rading, isukob mo na ako. Ang wika ni Trining sa anak ng kanilang kapitbahay na labandera.
Ang sino ang may sabi sa iyong sumukob ka? Nanlaki ang mata ni Rading at pinalis ang kamay ni Trining. Rading, para mo nang awa. May sakit lamang ang ina ko at ako pa ang magluluto sa amin. Hindi rin pinasukob ni Rading si Trining at malakas pa na itinulak niya ito. Simula noon ay nagbago na ang ugali ni Rading. Hindi na siya masungit, hindi na siya nang-aapi, at walang awa. Isa na siya ngayong kaibigan ng lahat at parang kapatid niya ngayon si Trining.


May dalawang magkapatid. Ang isa ay si Maria at ang isa ay si Ana. Si Ana ang mahirap, at si Maria naman ay mayaman. Isang araw, ang mga anak ni Ana ay walang makain. Si Ana ay nagpunta sa kanyang kapatid at umutang ng bigas. Ang tao doon ay ang mga bata. Pinautang ng bigas si Ana.
Noong dumating si Maria ay nagalit sa kanyang mga anak. Ipinakuha ang bigas at walang ibabayad itong si Ana. Noong dumating doon ay naisaing na. Ipinakuha rin ni Maria ang kanin at bago ipinakain sa aso. Si Ana naman ay nagpunta sa gubat at nangahoy. May nasalubong siyang isang matanda. “Ineng, saan ang tungo mo?” Mangangahoy po upang ipagbili. Bakit Ineng? Ibibili kop o ng bigas. Ay siya, ay magpunta ka sa dako roon at sabihin ito, “Kwarta roon kwarta rini kwarta saan man pumaroon.”
Noong dumating siya sa gubat ay ano mang damputin ay ang sinasabi ay ang bilin ng matanda. Ano mang damputin niya ay kwarta. Umuwi na siya sa bayan at bumili na ng bigas at kagamitan sa bahay. Nakita ni Maria. Pumaroon siya sa bahay ni Ana at itinanong kung saan kumuha ng ginagasta. Sinabi ni Ana ang lahat. Ang ginawa ni Maria ay gumaya. Nasalubong din nito ang matanda. Ngunit nang dadampot na ng kahoy ay ang nadampot ay nasabi niya ay ito. “Bato rini, bato roon, bato saan man pumaroon.”
Nagtaka siya at lahat na siyang dinadampot ay bato. Kaya’t siya ay umuwi na. Pagdating niya sa bahay ay lahat din niyang kakainin ay bato. Lahat na niyang kagamitan ay nagiging bato. Hindi nagtagal at siya ay namatay at si Ana naman ang yumaman.

Respectfully submitted:


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