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Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the sitio of Cawong (Barrio Pantay) 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.
HISTORY AND LIFE OF THE SITIO OF CAWONG
Cawong is an important sitio located in the barrio of Pantay, in the western part of the town of Calaca. A river and a bridge that separated the boundary line of barrio Pantay and Dacanlao are also named after it. [The] National road of this province (Batangas) passes through the very center of this sitio. At present, on of the barrio lieutenants of barrio Pantay and a municipal councilor of this town are residing in this sitio.
The name Cawong originated from the name of a tree that [is] commonly grown along the side of the river [a] long, long time ago, called ca-ong. Very close to this sitio is another river and bridge which they are commonly called “Laganap” and at the same time called Cawong, also because they are in the territorial jurisdiction of Cawong and also a part of barrio Pantay.
The establishment of this sitio was during the Spanish time in the Philippines. In this sitio, there are about fourteen families with a population of seventy-six persons.
Since it was organized, there have been two tenientes del barrio who helped much in the establishment of the sitio. They were Domingo Salazar and Catalino Castillo.
Domingo Salazar and Catalino Castillo were the original families of this sitio. That was in the year 1835.
However, in this place, there are no historical parks and monuments. There are no signs of destruction as may be seen in the cities or other towns. Even during the Spanish regime, no events of great interest took place in this sitio.
During the American occupation, no events happened. However, during the Japanese occupation, there were events [that] happened. The people were made to work in the field planting cotton. During the period of liberation, the people from this place evacuated to Nasugbu because of the Japanese soldiers [who] were hunted by the Americans. After they were liberated, the people went home. The improved the ways of living, education, economic life of the sitio.
In the year 1865, this sitio was very familiar because [an] appointed Cabeza de Barangay resided in this sitio.
During World War I, there was not much destruction of lives and properties because this place was very scarcely populated. But in World War II, many properties were destructed and after liberation, improvements were done easily by the industrious people residing in the sitio.
At present, people residing in the sitio are living easily with happy lives as pride of good citizen of this community.
The traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life are observed in these ways:
At the time of birth, especially the first born child, the couple prepare wine, kill chicken and [light] a sort of firework showing that the mother gave birth. They eat and drink, thanking God for [the] safe delivery of their child. Both parents of the couple will select the godmother and godfather for the baby.
Preparation of the couple is in a position to have it, like pigs, chicken, goats and other things for the occasion. In the morning, the child’s father brings some sort of regalo to his compadre and comadre. The godfather and godmother will invite friends to attend the party. Before the godfather and godmother leave the house of their compadre, they leave an envelope containing money or jewel in the hand of the child. This is their gift to the baby.
The traditional custom is that the parents of the boy are the ones who look for the future beside of their son. Both parents arrange for the day of marriage. The man is supposed to serve for a certain period. The man helps the parents of the girl [in] whatever kind of work. For example,
[when] he wakes up in the morning, he will prepare water, gather fuel, pound rice and plow the field, etc. Sometimes, the man fails to satisfy the wishes of the girl’s parents, he will be disqualified. The other suitor will try. But if the first boy succeeds, they will arrange the date of the marriage.
In the case of death, the old customs which [are] still carried at present have four sentimental reasons. As a sign of respect and love for the departed souls of their dear ones or brothers, sisters or relatives, they wear black clothes for a period of one year. They offer prayers and they sacrifice true devotion to our Lord. They have ninth day or, as we call it, “walong araw.” On the ninth day, they will prepare something to eat. The last day of the year since the death, they have the Babang Luksa for the departed ones.
The barrio folks are very hospitable when visits are ever made. When you visit a relative, friends and compadres, you will feel satisfied. You will notice that to the best they can, they will offer you drinks, such as Coca-Cola, oranges, bread, cigar, cigarettes, ikmo, bunga and apog, the common name nganga and other things they can possibly have at home.
In the early days, there were established rules to be followed strictly according to their own laws. There were times when you had done something wrong against them; that you would be hanged or tied and beaten. If you stole something, your hands would be burned and they would take off the nails of your fingers. Sometimes, you would be tied to a tree. There were punishments that you would be thrown to the wall, tongue would be cut together with the lips.
The Myths –
Legends, beliefs, interpretations and superstitions of the origin of
world is that the world is flat. That you could reach the edge of the moon. That the moon, sun and stars move, that is why there is day and night. That the land, mountain, lakes, river, plants, animals and seas were created by God. That the earthquake is held by the strongest man. If there are eclipses, they would bring good luck. The lightning, thunder, clouds, rain, wind, storm, animals and seas and the change of climate and other natural phenomena are also created by God. The beliefs of the birth of twins is that it would bring the family in prosperity living. In case of sickness that prevails all over the barrio and cause deaths, they say that some persons of unknown origin called salot, came to get the lives of the people. A witch is a form of ugly woman who possesses a magic power of evil spirits. This ugly woman, when seen by a child in the forest, looks like the child’s own mother. She gives the child something to eat like bread. The child takes the bread at once for he thinks that she is his mother. The child goes with the woman to the forest. When the parents of the child learn that their son is lost, they try to look for him in the forest. They will bring with them drums, cans and bells in order that the child can hear the sounds and he will try to get away from the witch. When the lost child is already 3 or 4 days in the forest, the child will become wild. He does not like to go with his own mother anymore. But when they catch him, they will bathe him with vinegar and take out the evil spirit.
A man who [is] said to have magic power can make things transformed to something else. He becomes very strong and can carry heavy things which other men cannot carry, except when grouped together. He can make women love [him[ even if he is not liked by the girl. This man has the so-called “anting-anting.”
The popular songs common in the early days were called Lulay. The music and dance was called the pandango.
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