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

Sinisian, 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 Sinisian 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.

[Cover page.]




[p. 1]

Sinisian Elementary School

Present Official Name of the Barrio

In one of the little nooks of the town of Lemery lies the barrio of Sinisian, Lemery, endowed with beautiful rice and corn fields, vast areas of evergreen meadows, hills and mountains and with water from a spring flowing continuously, thus making the lives of the inhabitants easier. Here and there are tall and slender bamboo trees which stand majestically and waving as if to welcome everybody who wants to settle there.

Popular Name of the Barrio, Present and Past; Derivation and Meanings of These Names

Sinisian, Lemery, is one of the barrios of the town of Lemery, province of Batangas. Calawang, Balukbaluk, Talisay and Malapad na Bato are places under the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio.

Long before the Spanish conquest, this barrio was a part of the former barrio of Sinisian, Calaca. It was told that in a place just near the spring, the Spanish soldiers were defeated by the Americans. Just after the Spanish defeat, the Spanish soldiers began to talk with each other. The people who came later could neither understand nor speak the Spanish language heard the “si, si” of the Spanish. Some thirsty American soldiers then approached the group of Filipinos conversing by a spring and asked what spring it was. The Filipinos thought that the Spaniards were “nagsisihan” because they were defeated. The Americans believed that the name of the spring where they stood was Sisihan. Later, this barrio was called “Sisihan” after the name of the spring. After the lapse of several years, this spring became the dividing line between Lemery and Calaca, and so called the northern part of Sisihan, Calaca and the eastern part as Sisihan, Lemery until years later, the name became corrupted to the present form, Sinisian, Lemery. How the change took place, nobody knows and likewise nobody seems to care.

Date of Establishment

Sinisian, Lemery was established in the year 1896.

Original Families

In the olden days, majority of the vast lands of Sinisian, Lemery was owned by the rich family of Miss Agueda Reyes, who was known to be the first family that lived in this place. As time went on, settlers came and through this kindhearted family, they were able to own land through persistent toil. Due to the growing civilization, this family aspired for a higher standard of living and transferred their residence to the town. They then sold parcels of land to other residents who came to live in this barrio.

[p. 2]

List of Tenientes from the Earliest Time to Date

Tenientes are considered leaders in barrios as mayors are in towns. Since the establishment of Sinisian, Lemery, tenientes were appointed and changed. The first teniente was Florencio Noche, and was later succeeded by Eugenio de Castro. Years passed by and a capable leader, Nicolas Landicho, an old man of the barrio, succeeded the former teniente. Hipolito Atienza soon followed his leadership. With his death, Perpetuo Tusing, who is still living to date, took his position. Years passed by, and peace-loving inhabitants of this place were headed by Eugenio Salazar who received some of the worst corporal punishments from the Japanese invaders. He was replaced by Venancio Catapang soon after liberation. With the genuine leadership shown by Eugenio Salazar, he was reappointed teniente up to the present. His readiness and willingness to help anybody with his untiring efforts made him a successful leader of the place.

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

So far, this barrio is lucky enough that nothing of its parts was depopulated. All places are occupied by the inhabitants.

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

Even as early as the time when this barrio Sinisian, Lemery was newly-established, people lived properly and decently. There were already big buildings as well as small huts in which the inhabitants lived. But the remnants of these could no longer be traced because they were covered with soil or mud carried by the hard rains and floods that visited this place now and then. It must also be remembered that buildings were situated in the heart of the barrio, along the inner old road which once was the national road. There was also a chapel in the heart of the barrio now known as Calawang and not in the place where it is situated at present. During that time, this chapel was used not only as a place for worship but also as a school building where those interested to learn studied the cartilla under an able leader name Felipe Capucion.

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

During the early times when our country was under the Spanish sovereignty, this barrio was among those which suffered great hardships. According to the old man, from whom we got this information, the people during that time suffered terrifying hardships more than what we all experienced during the Japanese regime. The people had no stable homes. They hid themselves far away, even in the heart of nearby mountains, to free themselves from the Spaniards. These Spaniards fought and killed not only many Filipino soldiers but also men and especially innocent children.

r /> The barrio folks during that time united and were ruled by a leader named Juan Tamayo and another one called “Purok.” These leaders were not behind in instruction and any kind of information because they received orders and letters from their higher officials residing in Manila.

[p. 3]

They were informed about conditions of the Filipino people in Manila and the nearby towns or provinces, so that when the news of killing and death of Dr. Jose Rizal spread out, they revolted one after another. The revolt was so great that it lasted up to the arrival of the Americans.

During the American Occupation to World War II

The Americans arrived in this barrio when many Spaniards still reigned over this place. There was still heavy fighting between the Filipinos and the Spaniards. At first, the Spaniards fought with the Americans. But later on, the former sided [with] the latter in the revolt. The Filipino soldiers and the inhabitants had an intense desire for being independent from any foreign sovereignty so that they fought with the Americans although they were handicapped with the necessary weapons. At last, the Americans won the admiration of the people and built their permanent houses, and live peacefully and contentedly. They earned their daily bread through honest efforts, had proper ways of dressing and enjoyed religious toleration. During the early part of [the] American occupation, the people where educated and taught the English language not in the public schools but in a private house under a tutor paid by the people themselves in [a] monetary system or in forms of goods or commodities such as palay, corn, rice, and the like.

During and After World War II

The people, since then, live peacefully in the way they should. They were happy and contented with what they had, until the outbreak of World War II, when the Japanese controlled the land. At the beginning of the Japanese regime, the people lived happily. But the Japanese soldiers made so many abuses among the inhabitants that people left their homes and fled to faraway places and hid from their enemies. Many of the men of the barrio, especially the barrio lieutenants, suffer tortures from the Japanese. They were taken to the Japanese headquarters because they were suspected guerrillas. The Japanese killed many people they saw. In the latter part of 1945, even young children were killed. Not one person lived peacefully in the place until after the Americans liberated the people from the cruel hands of the Japanese in February 1945.

How happy the burial folks where upon the arrival of the Americans! The people returned to their work in the fields, built or improved their permanent homes and stayed permanently in their respective barrios. In the course of time, their modes of dressing and ways of eating were improved. The people crave for some improvements on the educational system, too. In September 1947, they were granted their request by the government by opening a class for their children. The first school building was in an average home in the barrio old by one Eugenio de Castro, with one grade under a teacher. A year later, another class was opened and another teacher was added. Through the resourcefulness and cooperation of the people and the teachers assigned in the place, they were able to construct a two-room building. The enrollment of the pupils increased so that the former two teachers increased to six as it is now. Now, the school of this barrio has the complete elementary grades. The people become cooperative and religious. Every year, they celebrate the day of their patron saint with [a] great feast.

[p. 4]

The people, too, improved a lot in their standards of living.

Traditions, Customs, and Practices in Domestic and Social Life

Birth –

Birth means a new life of a human being. A mother in the olden days like at present, before giving birth, took a bath, two fresh eggs and had a bite of the young branch of a plant called "tuba." they were nursed by a midwife only called "hilot" for doctor's were rare that time. After the mother had given birth to the child and it was alive, a hen was dressed in thanksgiving for the coming of the child. Then the child was given a bath and rest by the midwife.

Baptism –

During the olden days, courses were the only means of transportation. When a child was to be baptized, they had to carry it on horseback to the town. A child was baptized in the afternoon in the same way as we do at present. The baptismal party was celebrated in the afternoon.

Courtship –

Courtship, too, at that time was very crude. A man or a woman might marry without seeing or courting each other. Only their parents agreed upon their marriage.

When a young man desired to court a young woman, he first helped the family. Upon the site of a woman's house, he took off his hat to show his respect. Upon reaching the house, he kissed the hand of all the older persons there present with bent knees. Then, the young man must be far from the woman when talking with her and in the presence of the mother's [woman’s[ parents. When the parents of the woman like the man, they accepted his courtship. Then followed the meeting of the two families to arrange the plans for the marriage. Even before the plans for the marriage were made, the young man, with his parents, worked in the young woman's house and gave preliminary servings and wedding parties for three consecutive Fridays before the definite wedding day.

Marriage –

Marriage comes after courtship. Before the marriage ceremony was set, he was given first to the young woman or her parents. It went to the young woman's parents and to the newly married pair. It may be in the form of jewels, money, learned or domestic animals like cows and carabaos. Then, they were married by the priest or justice of the peace. Since horses were the only means of travel in this barrio that time, marriage ceremonies were done in the afternoon and always on Sunday. Upon the arrival of the coupled at the bride's house, they were served some sweets at the foot of the stairs before entering the house. At the same time, somebody threw some cooked rice at the couple while and old woman held two lighted candles with money between, and she squeezed them tightly. This was the practice with the belief that in so doing, the couple will live happily together.


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