Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Antipolo 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 THE BARRIO OF ANTIPOLO
P A R T I
Antipolo is the official name of this barrio and popularly called so since time immemorial. According to the old folks, this barrio was first organized in a part of the barrio where there was a very big tree called Antipolo. When people were looking for this barrio, the natives at once pointed to the big antipolo tree around which the houses were built. Since then, the place was called Antipolo.
Only the sitio of Alibangbang to the east is within Antipolo’s territorial jurisdiction. Alibangbang is a sitio so named because of a certain flowering tree bearing the name which was also growing in abundance in the sitio.
No authentic date could be recalled as to the establishment of this barrio. Old people can, however, remember that prior to the arrival of the British soldiers in Lipa in 1763, the larger part of this barrio was yet a forest land, although there were already [a] few families residing in this place. The people went working on their farms, raising rice, corn and camote. Stories told were about the coming of British soldiers who came to Lipa in pursuit of the Spanish treasures brought to the Philippines from Mexico.
Of the original families of the barrio, few can be realized. On the northern part of the barrio were the early families of Javier and Kison, Lacdao in the middle part, while the early inhabitants of the west were the families of Lacorte and Laygo. There were other families but they had come as immigrants from other towns and places.
The early “Cabezas” of this place were Victorio Flores, Ambrosio Laygo, Roberto Ramos, Teodorico Javier, Ambrosio Javier, Antonio Reyes, Rafael Laygo, Remigio Pose, Manuel Lacdao, Ignacio Lacorte, Florentino Morada, Matias Kison, Andres de Luna, Juan Laygo, Feliciano Virrey, Joaquin Bravo, Jose Bravo, Pascual Laygo, Isidro Briones and Federico Virrey.
The following were the few remembered barrio “tenientes” during the Spanish occupation till the present time.
1. Bonifacio Lacdao
2. Gabriel Villapando
3. Juan Maralit
4. Toribio Javier
5. Simon Lacorte
6. Florentino Morada
7. Pablo Escano
8. Andres Maranan
9. Fausto Lacdao
10. Pedro Ramos
1. Pedro Cuenca
2. Sotero Laygo
3. Mateo Bay
4. Gabriel Villapando
5. Rafael Laygo
6. Matias Lacorte
7. Maximo Lirag
8. Rosalio Bello
9. Hospicio Reyes
1. Pascual Librea
1. Ricardo Lacdao
Originally, this place was established where it now stands, such that there is at present no extinct and depopulated old barrios within its territory.
Of the historical sites and structures, there is in this place the Lipa Cemetery built in the year 1890 when Rev. Benito Baras was the then-parochial priest of Lipa. This site was bought from Victorio Flores, who was then a respectable Cabeza of Antipolo. It was said that the money paid for this site was all in gold coins put in a trunk carried by four men. All other cemeteries in Antipolo are the Lipa Municipal Cemetery called “Libingan ng Gobierno,” the Chinese Cemetery and the Protestant Cemetery.
Another historical structure here is the present Gabaldon Building in the Antipolo Elementary School. This building was erected sometime in 1911, the year when public education formally began in this place. It was partially destroyed during the liberation. However, it was reconstructed first, as financed by the P. T. A. of this barrio, and later by the War Damage Rehabilitation Fund.
Incidents or Events that Took Place During:
A. Spanish Occupation
The period of Spanish occupation in this place was, however, not marked by unusual and important events. All laws were coming from the town and executed by the “teniente del barrio.” Oftentimes, Spanish soldiers visited this place in pursuit of outlaws and rebels.
During that time, there was in this place a Catholic school. The early books were all about religion and the schoolchildren were all taught how to read the cartilla and memorize the rosary. Education during that time was religious in nature. Catholicism permeated all school activities.
In the course of the Spanish administration, the government embarked on road construction. This was the period of forced labor. A sort of forced laborers were taken from this barrio and brought to places where there was road construction. Laborers were taken under the rotation system. Those who will not join the labor battalion were given “fallas,” equivalent to the present fine. The fallas operated in such a way that in case a laborer failed to join the group, his number of working days was increased. All laborers worked without pay.
By the year 1898, the Spaniards sensed their defeat in the hands of the American soldiers who came. There was then the Spanish-American War which resulted in the defeat of the Spanish soldiers. Spaniards then flew from their camps and scampered to the barrios. The people of these barrios were able to capture some fleeing Spaniards. These captured soldiers became servants of the people and were taken by the American soldiers when the Filipino-American War broke out. This was during the period of the short-lived Philippine Republic formed by General Aguinaldo and some great Filipinos of the time.
B. American Occupation
The end of the Filipino-American War resulted in the defeat of the Filipinos, and the American occupation started. The American occupation forces established a military government. However, during this time, the military authorities did not bother to effect sweeping changes in the laws instituted by the Spanish authorities. The Americans then began educating the people by establishing schools.
In 1911, after the eruption of Taal Volcano, a one-room school building was built in this barrio. It was up to this time a standing monument to the early educational campaign of the Americans here in this place. At first, few children were enrolled in this English school. The people were indifferent and said that studying English was useless. They preferred to study in the local Catholic school for they were used to the methods of religious techniques and instructions.
Because there were but few pupils in this newly opened public school, policemen from the town came over to look for more pupils. All sorts of inducements and incentives were given to the young boys and girls so they would learn English in the public school. This school was known as the Gabaldon Building, one of the four buildings first erected in Lipa.
Gradually, the people were taught better means of agriculture, farming and other work. Slowly, the people began to realize the felt need of educating their children by sending them to school.
The people lived peacefully since then until the outbreak of World War II in the Pacific.
C. During and After World War II
World War II did not spare this barrio. On Rizal Day, December 30, 1941, the Japanese soldiers arrived in Lipa passing this barrio from Rosario. Immediately before the Japanese soldiers arrived in this place, the people had already evacuated to the interior barrios. This place was a ghost barrio, except for a few who were hiding in the thick bushes watching for their properties that they could not transfer. Everybody seemed afraid of the advancing Japanese soldiers. These invaders made Lipa their springboard to other places.
Early in 1942, the Japanese instituted their own form of government. They launched a policy of attraction to make the people return to their homes. Slowly, this place was inhabited and people resumed their occupations.
Meanwhile, by the middle part of 1942, a resistance movement was organized by Filipino soldiers who escaped the terms of surrender. A few civilians of this barrio joined this movement. The Japanese got news of this movement and they oftentimes raided this place as a den of the guerrillas. Though the people were mingling with Japanese soldiers, these manifestations were only sugarcoated and skin-deep. By 1943, the Japanese Army forced the people to plant cotton. Grassy and uncultivated cotton plantations were censured and owners or planters were given reprimands.
Forced labor was also instituted when the Japanese were constructing the present Lipa Air Base. Plenty of people from this place were recruited to work in this landing field. Those who did not like to work in the air base were suspected as anti-Japanese and were branded as guerrillas. The people of this barrio could not refuse, for there were spies roaming around.
Early in 1944, the people were asked to join a civic parade. Everybody from this place joined and brought, as required, a pointed bamboo pole, a sort of spear. All were afraid. They sensed danger in joining the affair because the guerrillas were also watchful of those, who in one way or another, cooperated with the Japanese administration.
In September 1944, a group of American airplanes first raided the Lipa Air Base. The people of this barrio, believing that the Americans had already landed to liberate the Filipinos, began their evacuation. Those big families with small kids evacuated to places in the mountains and interiors. But others, especially those families with ladies, could not go to other places, because
they feared most the false guerrillas who were then pillaging the countryside. After this first air raid, the Japanese evacuated their camps and stayed in the barrios. The Japanese were never more so cruel and ferocious. In this barrio alone, there were two check points with garrison troopers. Everybody must bow properly when passing the sentry. Anybody refusing to bow was punished, either slapped, kicked, or butted with a rifle.
When the Japanese could not find [the] means to check the guerrilla activities, they organized the so-called neighborhood association. This association patrolled their barrios at night. Everybody was required of this duty when their turns came. This place was finally evacuated by the people, when they heard of the American liberating forces already in Nasugbu. Those who were left were afraid to go to other places, and besides, there was news that it was too dangerous to evacuate, but [the] brave ones did so. Every night, then, the Japanese patrolled this place for nocturnal visitors. Anybody seen at night was shot.
In February 1945, an infamous massacre was done to the people of this barrio. The people were finally tricked by the Japanese to go to town on the pretext of giving their passes. The barrio lieutenant called on all the males to join the group going to town. It was, however, discovered that when the group was already in town, the barrio lieutenant could not be located. He, perhaps, having sensed the danger, just sought for his own safety, forgetting to forward any due warning to the people under his care. Since then, those who went to town were never heard of except for one who luckily escaped death, despite his 17 bayonet wounds in all parts of his body. This event will go down in history as a monument to the Japanese atrocities and cruelties of the defeated Japanese Army. This massacre will never be effaced from the memories of the Antipolenyos including the evacuees, more of the bereaved families left behind. It’s the most heinous crime ever perpetrated against the defenseless civilians.
In the early part of 1945, the people began returning to their homes only to find their houses looted and things stolen. The liberating American forces were already in Lipa. Everybody was so thankful that they survived the most destructive war in history. Business was resumed and public schools were again thrown open by April of that year. The people began their usual occupations. Food was scarce, but after a few months, the fields became green and yields were bountiful. The people began to rehabilitate their destroyed properties. Damaged houses were reconstructed. Children were again sent to school. It seemed that during the early years of liberation, everybody found work to do. The people engaged the services of the priests to say masses, in expression of the people’s gratitude and thankfulness to the Almighty.