Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Anilao in the City of Lipa, 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 CULTURAL LIFE OF ANILAO
The barrio of Anilao, which is part of the City of Lipa, was once a very progressive community. But with the coming of World War II, it was so severely devastated by the atrocities of the Japanese forces that it now stands desperate with very few people and with very little signs of progress both in farming and in agriculture.
The barrio has its official name “Anilao,” derived from the name of a tree which appeared unique and alone. This tree, unlike the others, grew so tall towering [above] the surrounding luxuriant vegetation. As to how the old folks called the tree “Anilao,” no one dared to explain. From that time on, the community was popularly called Anilao, which later on was adopted as its official name.
This barrio has an approximate area of fifteen square kilometers bounded to the north by the barrio of Antipolo, to the east by a hill, to the south by the barrios of Labak and Pagolingin, and to the west by a creek. As to the date of its first establishment as a formal and distinct community, no record can be found. However, information from an old folk of the community is gleaned that it known as a sitio many, many years before the coffee boom when Lipa was made a villa by a decree of the Government of Spain. The sitio was first composed of a group of families. Then, the population transformed the forested area into “kainguin.”
Information regarding the succession of tenientes del barrio is as follows:
2. Damaso Lanto
3. Ludivico Laygo
4. Juan Laygo
5. Braulio Magbuhat
6. Mario Lanto
7. Maximo Laygo
8. Saturnino Laygo
9. Alejo Magbuhat
10. Camilo Laygo
11. Mariano Laygo
12. Cipriano Magbuhat
13. Mariano Gonzales
14. Dominador Temple
15. Candido Marquines
16. Isabelo Dimaano
It was said that during the Spanish-Filipino war, a great ambush of the Spanish soldiers by the Filipino insurgents took place at the outskirts of the barrio. A group of Spanish soldiers were after a certain insurrecto whom the Spaniards branded as a bandit. The said soldiers went to the extent of locating the bandit in his hideout along the creek. When they were approaching the creek through a narrow terrain, they were suddenly attacked by the Filipino “Insurgents,” and were massacred to the last man. But the most unforgettable event was the massacre of all the male inhabitants numbering (451) four hundred fifty-one, and the burning of the houses totaling (122) one hundred and twenty-two, by Japanese soldiers during the Japanese occupation. This event took place on February 27, 1945. It was followed by the killing of a parish priest and two boys of the locality on February 28 of the same year. The massacre was so insidiously planned that barely seven (7) men escaped its savagery. The male inhabitants were enticed under a pretext of protection and immunity from arrest that they voluntarily assembled in a certain place. They were tied up and bayoneted. History will not forget the Japanese treachery coupled with their brutality to the natives. Civilized nations will forever condemn the Japs as a nation.
The Japs, not satisfied with the brutal killings of the male inhabitants, plundered and burned all the houses of the community. This will give us the idea of the intensity of the damages done. When the women returned to their homes after liberation, they found their homes gone. Under these circumstances, the poor wives with their small ones, their aged mothers and other relatives who survived, with faith in God settled once more in their places, where they once lived in peace and abundance before.
The barrio is far from the road to recovery. For the simple reason that this place has lost its male population, the place will long remain as it is now without any sign of progress either in agriculture, home industries and commerce, unless people from other barrios decide to settle in the place. It is therefore for the government to pave the way for its development by constructing good roads to it and at least construct three or four artesian wells in strategically located sectors of the community.
As was practiced during the early days, persons or relatives of a girl who gave birth, watched the newly-born babe for at least nine days and nights or until the child has been baptized. The newly-born babe should be baptized as soon as possible.
It had been the practice before that a boy courting a girl should take off his hat at the very instant that he entered the gate and bow as low as possible upon seeing any member of the girl’s family, as a sign of courtesy.
A suitor who had been accepted to be the future husband of a girl, should serve in the house of the wife-to-be for at least six months or sometimes for a year. And before the marriage, the parents of the boy where required to give dowries in the form of land, work animals or money. The parents of the boy were also required to give a big party, and all the relatives of the bride-to-be would be present. When all the visitors have eaten, the newlyweds would sit at both ends of the table, where prepared plates were set, where in the relatives of both the boy and girl would give money or anything worthwhile as gifts or presents for the newlyweds. After that, the girl will be given away by her parents and would proceed to the house of the groom. While the groom will remain overnight in the house of the girl and proceeds the next day to his house.
Upon the death of a person, he or she would be buried during the day of his death, if time permits. They also observed the fourth and ninth day celebration after the death of a person. The nearest skin of the dead person would prepare for the relatives who would attend the fourth and ninth day memoirs and in turn, they would give [a] certain amount of money as an offering to the dead person.
In celebrating festivals, the people invite their friends and relatives.
If a person committed a crime, the old persons of the community summon the representatives of the oppressed and the guilty parties, and in their presence, the old persons decided the punishment to be levied to the guilty person with the consent of both parties.
The people have the belief that when the boys played with their tops, there would be scarcity of food, a good harvest.
The most popular of all the amusements was the “pandango” with the accompaniment of an accordion.
Telling the time – As do the standards of telling the time, they do not have clocks, but they determined only the time by certain signs or by the movements of animals and the bearing of flowers of plants. When the cock crows at midnight, [the] first growing was about nine o'clock in the evening – [the] second crowing ten o'clock at night and [the] third crowing was twelve midnight. Early in the
morning, [the] first crowing was 4 o’clock in the morning, and [the] last crowing was 5 o’clock in the morning. During the day, they tell the time by the signs of certain natural phenomena such as the opening of the flower of the plant bearing the name (Ina las dies) that was 10 o’clock in the morning and the opening of the flowers of the “patola” in the afternoon they said that it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon.