Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Talaga 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.
MUNICIPALITY OF LEMERY
PROVINCE OF BATANGAS
DIVISION OF BATANGAS
DISTRICT OF LEMERY
HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO OF TALAGA
PART ONE: HISTORY
Present Official Name of the Barrio
Former Name or Names and Their Meaning or Derivation
Long, long ago, according to a story, Talaga was one of the richest barrios of the Municipality of Lemery, Batangas. It was once a wilderness. According to the early inhabitants, during the Spanish regime, there was a natural spring wherein people depended on their water supply all year round. During those days, a spring in this place was a blessing in disguise to the people in this particular place in as far as water was concerned. As years passed by, the villagers were thinking as to what name they would give the place. Finally, one of the oldest men stood up and suggested that “Talaga” be its name, which was taken after the name of the natural spring. From that time on, the name was not changed. Before the war between the Spaniards and Filipinos broke out, this barrio was a sitio of Arumahan, Lemery. Not long after, this barrio became the sitio of Gulod, Lemery, probably because many of the settlers in this place came from Gulod. After the war of 1896, still many people moved to this place believing that in the days to come, it would be a paradise.
Popular Name of the Barrio, Derivation and Meaning
Talaga, one of the barrios of Lemery, has no sitio under its jurisdiction.
Date of Establishment
Talaga was established in the year 1918, according to reliable information given by one of the oldest men at present.
[A] Long time ago, this barrio was owned by few landowners, such that about eleven families started to live in this barrio. They were said to be hard-working people and lovers of freedom. Information showed that they were always sensitive to any unjust infringement on this birthright. Their original homes were nomad style and their association for mental protection and aggrandizement were those of freemen. Through hard work and labor and honest earnings, the inhabitants were able to buy the parcels of land wherein they resided. In other words, this place is owned by the barrio folks. Inasmuch as this place is one of the remotest barrios of the municipality of Lemery, the spirit of innocence
persists to this day. The average family gets all that it needs from the soil except for a few which are imported. The distribution of homes in some parts of the barrio reflects the extreme individualism of the Malays.
List of Tenientes from the earliest Time to Date
1. Agapito Villalobos|
2. Marcelino Rodriguez
3. Loreto Buno [Buño?]
Story of Old Barrios or Sitios within the Jurisdiction
Luckily, not any part of the barrio of Talaga, Lemery was depopulated. Almost all the four corners of the barrio are occupied by hard-working people of this locality.
Data on Historical Sites, Structures & Buildings
It was said that after a number of years in this barrio of Talaga, Lemery, people lived happily in their big homes although a number lived in small huts. According to information, there was a sugar mill wherein people depended upon their supply of known sugar. The sugar mill does not exist at present. Since time immemorial, a building was established in the form of a church wherein inhabitants gather to worship God when they are in need of anything, like for granted, rain. The building is also very useful, more especially during the month of May with which they celebrate the May Flower Festival.
Important Facts, Incidents or Events that Took Place
1. During the Spanish Occupation –
During the Spanish regime, when groups of Spaniards were wandering from town to another, they were not able to reach this particular place probably because vehicles that time were not available in this locality; however, during this war between the Spaniards and Filipinos, people in this locality encountered hardships on the ground that this place became the hideout of some of the Katipuneros. Not long after, news reached the ears of the enemies and the hiding places of the Katipuneros were burned, and the inhabitants fled to distant forests in which they felt secure. When the enemies were gone, they returned and lived happily once again.
2. During the >American Occupation -
As regards to the American occupation, the folks in this place encountered hardships, too. However, they did not feel much for the American soldiers were just and loving in dealing with the people. The foreigners did not stay long so that the inhabitants felt secured up to the present time.
3. During and after World War II –
During the wars of 1896-1900 and as well as of 1941-1945, the people did not lose any lives; however, there was a slight loss of property probably because when the folks
from other barrios evacuated here, they probably looted the hidden properties of the natives in the form of materials. The people were kind enough not to mind those who looted their properties. The evacuees as well as the inhabitants engaged in farming so that they didn’t encounter difficulties insofar as food supply was concerned. According to reliable information gathered, this place saw only one Japanese soldier who probably lost his way from the barrio of Mayasang. As the inhabitants of this place are lovers of liberty, they put the Japanese to death. Ever since then, they had not seen any of the enemy here and they live comfortably up to this day.
After World War II, many houses semi-permanent were built. A temporary school building secured through the untiring efforts and cooperation of the Parents Teachers Association was established. In the days to come, I presume that this barrio will become one of the promising barrios of the town of Lemery.
F o l k w a y s
Traditions, Customs and Practices in Domestic and Social Life
The customs and practices in domestic and social life of the people here rather differ from the customs and practices of the other places in some ways. People at present are still born to the belief which they inherited from their forefathers. They still believe that going to society has no benefit to mankind, but a waste of time and money. They usually teach their children to work hard to earn a living. They teach their children to be economical at all means and to pay particular attention to the welfare of the children in the future days to come.
1. Birth –
As [a] mother is in the stage of pregnancy, the practice of the parents is to prepare little by little everything she will need in her delivery. During that time, it was their practice that the mother protected herself from certain diseases. It was also their practice that she ate eggs, fruits and vegetables so that the child she would deliver would come healthy. In some places, the delivery of a child took place in puericulture centers or in hospitals under the close supervision of a doctor and nurse. Here, it is done at home under the care of two or three untrained midwives. All neighbors and relatives are gathered around waiting for the child to come. Some of them take charge of house activities. As soon as the delivery is over, there where preparations done in the home. All the people gathered around and dined together. Before the preparation was over, the parents would reveal the godfather or godmother of the newly born child. The father prepared himself, and went directly to the person who was selected to hold the child. He brought with [him] wine, cigarettes and some soft drinks.
2. Baptism –
It has been the practice of the people that baptism is usually done after harvest season. It is the time when parents are out of work and in which parents had food prepared already for a year's consumption. Due to the poor road, land transportation doesn't exist. The child
baptized, together with the person going, we're carried on horseback. Usually, but dismal days are either Wednesdays or Saturdays. During these days, there was but little preparation done only for the persons going to church. The preparation was brought to town in houses of relatives nearer, for they can't go home directly that very hour due to the heat of the sun on their way. They have to rest themselves, and it before they proceed going home. The preparation is done in most cases on Sundays. It is when most of the people do not work and also to give an opportunity for relatives in far places to share with their happiness. It is a whole day celebration.
A meat of families in a community are born two different principles and practices employed in courting. There are times when courtship was given much emphasis. This was done by boys who showed greater respect to the parents. It has been the practice that before a boy enters the house, he must show his respect to other persons in the house by kneeling on the floor and kissing the hands of the older persons. He must be helpful to some persons doing some household activities, like for example, pounding rice, cutting firewood, etc. As soon as he enters the house, he must see to it that he takes off his hat. He must keep still on his seat.
On the other hand, there are families who look after the future of their children. There are children who don't see life partners but let their parents choose instead. They believe that they would be happier by doing so. The parents, in turn, take good care of their children, without permitting them to go alone. In this way, they become properly guided.
A reliable information states that this sitio was a part of Gulod during the Spanish regime. The place was once a wilderness where you couldn't see a person settling in it. As time went on, some persons became interested to clear the forest and cultivate the land until some families in a nearby barrio were attracted to settle here. There is a natural spring here where in people depend on their water supply all year round. As years passed. This place was inhabited by many families until it became one of the most prosperous places. During that time, people thinking of a name that would be given to the place [where]. They resided. So, they got the name through the spring on which people depended for their water supply – Talaga. But at present, there is a sudden change in the lives of the people, because the spring on which people depended dried out. The inhabitants at present depend on water from rain and from trees. But the tree water is detrimental to the health of the people who are not accustomed to drinking it.
5. Popular Songs, Games and Amusements –
Sleep my dear,
Your mother is away
Just behind the door
Sewing your clothes
But it’s not your clothes
But a golden hat.
Matulog ka na aro
At ang ina mo’y malayo at
Nasa kabila ng pinto
Nananahi ng baro
Hindi pala baro
At sumbrerong ginto.
6. Puzzles and Riddles –
b. Two rounded stones that can reach a far distance.
c. Here it comes, we can feel, but we can’t see.
d. Four brothers, all with broken heads.
e. Three brothers, all can refrain from heat.
7. Proverbs and Sayings –
b. A barking dog seldom bites.
c. No debt will remain unpaid.
d. Good manners are treasures.
e. What is the use of grass when the horse is already dead?
f. Easily earned, easily lost.
8. Methods of Measuring Time –
[A] Long time ago, the inhabitants of this particular place had also some means of measuring time. It was not as accurate as those that we have nowadays. Usually, they determined the time through [the] shadow system, through [the] crowing of the roosters at night and through howling of birds like the "kalaw." They could determine came through [the] rapid growing of the roosters. They, too, had a device like for granted, they prepared [the] foot of tube (bamboo) filled with water. The time could be calculated by the height of water in the tube. In this connection, there are holes in the container and the water drops out uniformly. In this way, they could tell the time accurately
They didn't have any improvised calendars of their own. They, too, depended on the calendar we have.
9. Other Folktales –
N o n e
Barrio Committee Chairman