Antipolo, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Antipolo, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Antipolo, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data

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.

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Historical Data



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.

Spanish regime:
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

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American regime:

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

Japanese regime:

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.

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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.

[p. 4]

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

[p. 5]

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.

[p. 6]

During that time, Japanese snipers were lurking in the countryside. An American camp was placed in the present Antipolo school for mopping operations. This camp was just up of the Antipolo brook, where a Japanese straggler was seen and shot dead by the American guards. Slowly, the activities of the people showed signs that normal life was restored. The people, up to the present time, are conscious of their welfare although they are living in a period when prices of commodities are very high.



HOLY WEEK TRADITION – It has been a traditional practice in the barrio of Antipolo that during Holy Week festivities, the people go to town very early in the morning on Easter Sunday to witness the “Daguit.” This yearly celebration is celebrated with zeal and splendor.

Two large groups of devotees each follow the flower laden carrozas of the Resurrected Christ and His Sorrowing Mother, which start from opposite directions and meet at a given point designated as “GALILEE” some hundred yards from the church. Here, the black veil, which signifies darkness that wraps the world at Christ’s death, is then removed from His mother by a supposed angel from heaven. From above the Galilee, angelic songs can be heard singing the “ALLELUIA” which signifies joy. The procession is thus merged into one and then proceeds to the church for mass.

COURTSHIP – Courtship as observed in the barrio of Antipolo during the last days of the Spanish rule:

Early in the evening, the suitor went to the maiden’s house and, as he stepped over its threshold, he humbly went [down] on his knees, crossed his arms over his chest, and, his head bowed low in [a] sign of respect, said, “Mano po.” (Your hand, sir.)

The maiden’s father or mother answered, “Kaawaan ka ng Panguinoong Dios. Tindig ka at umupo.” (God bless you; rise up and have a seat.)

The parent then called the maiden from her room and told her to offer her visitor cigarettes or to pass the buyo plate. She did so, and sat down near her parents. The conversation ran along impersonal subjects until the psychological moment of the proposal. In a voice he tried well to control, the young man began thus, “Kung mamarapatin…” (If I may be considered worthy…)

[p. 7]

This was his petition for the maiden’s hand in marriage.

Then, the maiden told him to ask “palay” from her parents, it meant consent on her part.

He then returned the next morning with fuel and water for the household, and the same evening, he came with his parents and a few prominent persons of the locality. He formulated his proposal once more. Using the quaint phraseology of asking for “palay,” the maiden’s parents gave him the palay if his suit had won their favor and consent. If they told him they had no “palay” dry enough for pounding, he knew that he was being given the lemon in a very polite way. This part of the ritual was called “pagpapakilala.” (Making oneself known.)

When the maiden’s parents had given the “palay,” the visitors went home happily, leaving the suitor behind to work in the household for a period of seven days, during which time his character and personal habits were under observation.

Early in the morning after the “Pagpapakilala,” the maiden’s father asked the young man, “Why are you working here? Who asked you to work here?”

“Ang sarili ko pong kalooban,” (My own free will) the young man answered. This was the sign that he had chosen for himself.

On the seventh day, the maiden’s parents told the young man to ask his parents to come over to discuss the coming marriage. Once together, the maiden’s father told the man’s parents: “Your son is working here; is there anything you want?”

“We are at your orders. If there is anything yet undone, we are ready to do it,” he is answered.

The talk then centered on the dowry or the “bilang” or “bigay kaya,” which takes the form of either money or household goods. The girl’s parents insisted that they required a dowry only to give the new couple an economic basis on which to start their new life. If the man’s parents believed the dowry was excessive, they frankly said, “Hindi po naming kaya.” (It is beyond our means.)

When the two parties had finally come to an agreement, they took the next step, which was the “Pamulungan,” when the parents and friends of the young man went to the maiden’s house with seven roosters, four hens, and three bottles of coconut wine. On this occasion, they talked, ate and drank, the man’s parents acting as host in the maiden’s house. When all those arrangements were over, the young man went on a round of visits to the houses of the

[p. 8]

maiden's near relatives to announce the wedding day and feast is always held at the girl’s house.

MARRIAGE – A wedding is a rare occasion in this barrio second to the village fiesta which comes but once a year. On this wedding day, people from the nearby village come in their Sunday clothes to witness the marriage.

The bridesmaid looked small in her borrowed bridal gown. She limped in her sister’s high-heeled white shoes which was now a little yellowish from long disuse. The pointed toes hurt her feet, but she tried not to show the pain.

The groom looked funny in his brother’s ill-fitting white cotton shirt. This was the same suit his uncle had worn, four years ago. He had never worn a suit before. The starched collar and the black bow tie were choking him and he felt he was being roasted.

The barrio folks looked on approvingly as the bride and groom came down from the bride’s house. An aunt sat by the window, seemingly immune to the gaiety outside. Her eyes were red from crying. She always cried when any of her nieces married.

When the newlyweds arrived from the church, spectators craned their necks like watching an exciting game. As they got off the cart gaily bordered with split coconut fronds formed into arches, they rushed to the house. [The] One who won the race dominated the other. That was village superstition. When a man and woman were joined in wedlock, whoever reached the stairs first after the marriage ceremonies would be the master of the home.

Then, they were blessed by their respective in-laws, giving them some advice concerning married life. There was a small table on one side of the sala placed between two chairs reserved for the newlyweds. As they took their seats, two candles were lighted simultaneously. Curiously, the guests looked on. All seemed to be secretly wishing the two candles would last; it would be a good omen for both long lives. The crowd formed a square and the bride and the groom, barefooted, danced on the mat with the accompaniment of a violin, a guitar or an accordion. The ninong pulled his wallet and drew a five-peso bill and threw it at the dancing couple. The ninang followed suit with some silver coins and, soon, the guests were doing likewise, cheering and applauding at every shower of money.

[p. 9]

LEGEND – LEGEND OF THE FIRST MAN AND WOMAN – The origin of the first man and woman is found in the most ancient or our chronicles. It runs thus:

At the beginning, there was nothing by sky and water. The water was irritated by a blue bird called “TIGMAMANUKIN,” rose so high it menaced the sky with its angry waves. Bathala, the creator, the Architect, to appear [appease?] TIGMAMANUKIN, cast giant rocks into the water and these later became the islands. In one of these, the bird paused to rest.

The union of land and sea produced the bamboo, a segment of which came to rest at the feet of TIGMAMANUKIN. The bird, full of curiosity, pecked at the cane and broke the bamboo. Great was his surprise to see from one internode emerge the first man, and from another, the first woman. The man, upon beholding the woman, all fairness, said, “Ba!” From which the word Babae, meaning woman [came]. And the woman, no less admiring of the man’s vigor and beauty, exclaimed, “La!” from which the word Lalake, meaning male [came].

The two were amazed and awed at the beauty of creation, together said, “Ha.” From these joint syllables, the word “BATHALA,” meaning God, Creator of all, was formed.

Now, seeing that the woman refused to unite herself with the man, alleging that they were brothers, Bathala forced the union by causing a strong earthquake. Only in this manner was the first woman united to the first man, and the earth populated.

SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS – Combing your hair when the sun is setting is a sign that you will be an orphan.

When the star is near the moon, it has been said by the old that somebody will elope.

When a cat is washing its face, it will rain.

While cooking and the fire laughs, a visitor is coming.

Do not sing while cooking because you will marry a widower.

Do not pile the plates after eating when there is a dead person in the house because some relative or other person in the house will soon die.

Whenever you see a black butterfly, it is said that a relative of yours died.

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If you are going to a certain place and you suddenly meet a snake, that is a sign of bad luck.

While sleeping and you dreamed that a house is burning, it is a sign that a relative of yours will die.

At night, and you suddenly see a star with a tail, there will be a war.

If you are going to plant a papaya seed, let it first pass through a long bamboo tube so that the fruit will be longer and bigger.

POPULAR SONGS – The following are the popular songs prevalent in the community:

Kundiman, Tagala, Mahal Pa Rin Kita, Nasaan Ka Irog, Madaling Araw, Anak Ng Dalita, Paki-usap, Kundiman ni Abdon, Ang Maya, Huling Paalam, Sa Dakong Sikatan, Basang Sisiw, Bayan Ko, and Halina’t Mag-aliw.

PROVERBS – Before you do or say a thing
Reflect over it seven times.

The anger which you feel today
Keep and hold for tomorrow.

He who seeks counsel
Is seldom hurt.

He who keeps his mouth shut
Is freed from trouble.

If you do not want to get hurt
Follow in the footsteps of the ancients.

Before uttering a word
Look before you and behind you,
Otherwise quite thoughtlessly
You might find yourself friendless.

If you do not want to feel shame
Do not promise more than you can
Accomplish; for should a talkative
Tongue speak evil of you,
A wound on the face you will have received.

If he who walks very fast
Usually stumbles and falls;
Then will not he who keeps running
Fall and hurt himself the harder?

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Since the blanket is short
Learn to accommodate yourself.

The man who does not conduct himself like a man
Is a beast among his fellow men.

A man who knows how to feel shame
Is certain to have some dignity.

A rolling stone
Gathers no moss.

If to be haughty is bad
To humiliate one’s self is worse.

I prefer to be killed by steel
But not by degrading calumny
Which will take from us
Not only life but also honor.

Never use your tongue
For words of arrogance,
Because promises unfulfilled
Only bring a greater shame.

Be careful of the quiet man
And do not worry about the talkative.

A stitch in time saves nine.

A sleeping shrimp is carried away by the current.

Shallow water makes much noise.

The loss which is unknown is no loss at all.

Come while the afternoon is young.

If pride leads the van, beggary brings up the rear.

Time that is lost is never found again.

Do not count your chickens before they are hatched.

If you follow the river, you will get to the sea.

You will never miss the water will the well runs dry.

[p. 12]

Make hay while the sun shines.

When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.

It is a long road that has no turning.

It is never too late to mend.

We do not see ourselves as others see us.

You must cut your coat according to your cloth.

Never spend your money until you have earned it.

All fortunes have their foundations laid in thrift.

He that hath found a faithful friend hath found a treasure.

Plow deep while others sleep.

It is easier to pull down than to build up.

What can’t be cured must be endured.

Fear is the greatest enemy of man.

Half of the world doesn’t know how the other half lives.

Some win by strength and some by art.

One is never so near to another as when he is forced to be separated.

He who searches for pearls must dive below.

Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise gain.

The child is the father of the man.

A person’s state of mind can be judged by the way he acts and walks.

It is a fact that good can be found in the worst of men.

The misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never come.

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(A Folktale)

Once upon a time, in the barrio of Antipolo, lived a man named Pablong-Anting. He was called so because, through his anting-antings, he had so many interesting adventures.

Ablong-Anting fell in love with a young beautiful lady of the same barrio. During that time, it was the old custom to require the suitor to serve the parents during the courtship. One day, while he was in the house of his beloved, the father of the girl told him to cut some bamboos to be used for the construction of their proposed home. He obeyed what he was told without hesitation. He went to the bamboo grove to cut some bamboos. To the surprise of the girl’s father, he saw him cutting the bamboos as if he was cutting grasses. He found, too, that he had left long joints on the ground.

Pablo, he said, “Will you please cut the bamboos shorter on the ground?” Without a word but only nod, he sheathed his bolo and began to pull up the bamboos like grasses. After he had finished cleaning the branches, he went home to get a carabao to haul the bamboos. He tied the pieces by the hundreds and hitched the carabao to the yoke. Because it was too heavy, the carabao could not give a lift. Quick-tempered and powerful Ablong-Anting tied the four feet of the animal and loaded it on the raft. He pulled the raft by himself until it was brought to the girl’s house.

(A Folktale)

One day, a strange man came into the barrio. He became thirsty but could not find some water. Looking a little further, he saw a coconut grove. He went there to get some young coconuts to get water to quench his thirst, but he could not climb the tree. Instead, he took hold of the trunk to get the fruit. He opened the nuts by hammering them with his fists. When he was also told to gather some old coconuts for making copra, he just been the trunk of the trees to get nuts.

It was the old habit of the old folks to chew buyo. Even the young people today are showing this delicacy of buyo and betelnut, lime and tobacco. He was seen picking some betelnut to put in his buyo by bending the tree as he had done with the coconut tree.

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(A Filipino Folktale)

Once upon a time, there lived a farmer. Every year, when all his fields had been planted to rice, he took his carabao to the foot of a bamboo tree. There, every day, he fed the carabao with four bundles of grass and gave him four bucketful of water to drink.

One morning, the farmer thought: "I am wasting too much time in cutting grass and in carrying water for my carabao. Perhaps, i could teach my carabao not to eat and drink. That would save me from working so hard. Then, i would spend my time in the village drinking wine. What a wonderful thing that would be, a carabao that neither he nor drinks."

The following day, he began to teach the carabao the trick of neither eating nor drinking. Instead of the usual for bundles of grass, he fed the animal with only two. He also gave the carabao only two bucketful of water.

The carabao ate the grass quickly and drank up the water, and then he turned to his master for more. But the farmer shook his head and said: "That is enough for today, my friend. I am going to teach you a wonderful trick."

Next they, the man gave his carabao only one bundle of grass and half a bucketful of water. The carabao gobbled up the grass because he was very hungry, and he drank up the water swiftly because he was very thirsty. Then, he looked at his master to ask for more. But the farmer shook his head and said: "That is enough for today, sir! I am going to train you so that you will neither eat nor drink."

On the third day, the farmer gave his carabao only have a bundle of grass and half a bucketful of water. By this time, the carabao was very weak because of hunger and thirst. The water, he did not feel strong enough to look at his master. The man saw this and said: "My good carabao is about to learn the wonderful trick! I must be a very wise man, for i can teach an animal something that no one has ever taught before. I think that instead of being a farmer, i should be a teacher!"

On the fourth day, the farmer went to visit his carabao with a few of his friends. "I want to show you a wonderful thing," he said. "My carabao will soon learn neither to eat nor drink." They found the carabao lying on the ground, and he was so weak now that he did not even look at them to ask for grass and water. Then, the farmer shouted: "Hurrah! My carabao no longer cares for food and

[p. 15]

drink! He has learned the most wonderful trick in the whole world! How nice it will be in rice-planting time! My carabao will only work and work without eating or drinking!"

But when the foolish farmer and his friends returned to see the carabao on the following day, the poor animals lay dead under the bamboo tree. "What a foolish!" said the farmer. "Why" did he die just when he had learned not to eat or drink!

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