Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Latag 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.
The Barrio of Latag
Respectfully submitted by:
(Miss) Avelina T. Lojo
Historical and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Latag
Present official name of the barrio
Long after the arrival of the Spaniards, there was not any barrio in Lipa with the name Latag. This place which we now call Latag is just two kilometers away from the town. It is situated northeast of the town and bordered to the west by a creek running southward. This place was formerly covered by thick forest, which took decades before brave farmers were able to clear it and be ready for cultivation. The fact that people seldom visited the place, it did not possess any given name at all.
When [a] few stout hearted farmers began clearing a strip of land in this place, it didn’t take long for others to follow them. Gradually, they increased in number till a large portion of this place was ready for planting. What once had been a dense forest and isolated was then known to town folks. Even more important for women and ladies, was the creek for it became a very suitable place for washing soiled clothes. Frequently, husband and wife were in company going to this place. The farmer would plow the land while the latter would wash soiled clothes.
It was in this process of washing clothes in the brook that this place happened to acquire a name. Women who often came to this creek in [a] group looked for a suitable place where they could dry their clothes. Usually, they climbed to the last bank and spread their clothes there. They found out that there was a narrow strip of land which they claimed to be the most suitable place to dry their clothes. They said that they rays of the sun fell directly on the place and no trees could block the heat even if it came from any direction. It seemed, according to them, that it was really made for drying clothes.
Since then, this narrow strip of land was called Latag, till the whole land that had been cleared also derived the same name. Moreover, whenever a woman who had not been there in this place would ask where to dry her washed clothes, other people quickly referred her to Latag.
2. Patricio Capistrano – 2nd
3. Agripino Cuevas – 3rd
4. Damian Mendoza – 4th
5. Gualberto Catos [Cantos?] – 5th
Important facts, incidents or events that took place.
a. During the American occupation –
Latag was zoned by the Americans. Barrio folks could not go out for they were restricted in the zoning area.
b. During the Japanese occupation, the imperial army wen there and resided in the place for more than a month. People who refused to give contributions received heavy punishments from the soldiers. Several lives [were] lost as a result of the treacherous attack of the Japanese forces.
c. Educational point of view of the people
In this barrio, illiterates are greater in number than the literates. Despite of so many illiterates, the people are noted for their hospitality. They are peace-loving people and know some new means of improving their economic security. They realize the importance of consulting the local agricultural office, when their fruit trees are infected by a disease. Most of the people are being urged to visit the Puericulture center for advice and care of the expectant mother or in case of illness. They are informed of the services rendered by the office of the City Health Department.
[A] Vegetable garden is not given so much attention but they have orchards, such as bananas, avocados, oranges and coffee. Farmers used to plant catch crops such as peanuts, corn, sitao and tapilan, but their major crop is palay. Majority of them are engaged in poultry and hog-raising.
Customs and Folkways Tradition Practice in Domestic and Social Life.
When the mother encounters hardship during delivery, rice paddle and pot cover [are] all placed on top of the abdomen in order to hasten the delivery.
A midwife, locally called “hilot,” attended to the delivery. After delivery, the mother is massaged by the midwife with coco-oil mixed with danger. After a month, the mother is ready for [a] bath; using hot water with different kinds of medicinal trees and herbs.
Oftentimes, the child is temporarily baptized by an old man or woman from the place locally called “buhos.” A simple party is held with drinks (local wine) and good food chicken. The “buhos” system is being practiced in order to drive away the so-called “tiyanak.”
The gentleman is being required by his parents to render services to the lady whom he desires to be his wife. The service is made in the form of fathering firewood, fetching water and taking care of the family’s pet. This service sometimes lasted for a year.
The couple, upon reaching the house, was showered with rice, a sign of a wealthy livelihood.
e. Death and Burial:
Prayer is being offered to God in order to absorb [absolve] the deceased of all his sins. The prayer is being celebrated at the 4th, 9th and 40th day after death. The period of mourning lasted for one year.
Newly-delivered mothers are being visited by Komadres and friends, bringing with them eggs or chicken.
g. There is a barrio fiesta in this sitio of Latag, which is celebrated every 30th day of May of the year.
Other than whipping the children by their parents, if a certain crime was committed, the child was put in a sack and then brought him on the wall.
Popular songs and games:
2. Game - Baseball
Kapag nadarang mag-iinit
(Miss) AVELINA LOJO