Malagonlong, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Malagonlong, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Malagonlong, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data Part I

Historical Data graphic
Historical data from the National Library of the Philippines.



Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Malagonlong 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.

PART I – History

The barrio of Malagonlong, with its two sitios namely Pinagong and Pulo, is popularly and officially known as “MALAGONLONG.” This barrio lies in the southern part of Lipa, which is more or less than five kilometers from the poblacion. Farming, weaving, sewing and other household industries abound in the barrio.


MALAGONLONG – A long time ago, several families from some unknown places came to live in the region. Unfortunately, they selected a place which is far from a brook for their place to live in. They had great difficulty in securing water for home use. This was particularly true during the dry season. Time rolled on and the number of people increased. The need for a good source of water supply became more and more felt.

One day, the people of the community had a meeting. They agreed to transfer their community to a place which is nearer to a brook. Once agreed upon, they began moving and settled in a place which was near a brook. The fertility of the soil and the favorable location of the community attracted the attention of other settlers so that it did not take long before that time and the place became more thickly settled. The naming of the barrio was finally decided. Many names were suggested but none of them seemed to suit the people. In one of the meetings which was held in order to decide the naming of the barrio, a meeting which was held under a tree near a brook, an idea came to the mind of a person attending the meeting. Inspired by the sound of the brook as it flowed along its stony bed, which according to them was “lagong-long nang lagong-long,” it was finally decided to name their barrio “MALAGONLONG” which was derived from the sound made by the brook which has from that time to date given the barrio an abundant supply of water.

PINAGONG – This is one of the sitios of Malagonlong. This place got its name from the topography of the region which resembles the back of a turtle.

PULO – This is another sitio of Malagonlong. The name “Pulo” was derived from [a] group of trees that once grew in it as well as from the few houses that were scattered therein.


A complete account of the barrio’s establishment could not be found. However, it was known that several families came to live in this place sometime during the eighteenth century. Most of the first inhabitants belonged to the families of Estolano, Mantuano, Mosca, Aguila and Gonzales. In addition to others who came later, the original

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families by intermarriages grew in number. Later, in the year 1887, a Barangay form of government was established. Mr. Doroteo Estolano was appointed as the first Cabeza de Barangay.


Name Years
1. Doroteo Estolano
2. Gavino Cuenca
3. Celestino Aguila
4. Doroteo Estolano
5. Severo Gonzales
6. Gavino Cuenca
7. Jose Aguila
8. Agapito Samonte
9. Esteban Samonte
10. Francisco Mantuano
11. Domingo Solis
12. Benito Mantuano
13. Juan Mantuano
14. Faustino Mantuano
15. Abdon Samonte
16. Fortunato Estolano
1887-1890 1890-1897 1897-1900 1902-1904 1904-1907 1907-1910 1910-1913 1913-1916 1916-1919 1919-1922 1922-1928 1928-1934 1934-1939 1939-1944 1944-1946 1946-date


A. During the Spanish Occupation:
Throughout these long years of Spanish Occupation, the people of Malagonlong led simple lives which were devoted to farming, [the] planting of trees, and raising animals. Household industries like sewing, weaving, and raising of chickens and pigs were also found. They were very religious and law-abiding people. The following are some of the facts and incidents that happened during the Spanish Regime:
1. The establishment of the barangay form of government in 1887 with Mr. Doroteo Estolano as the first Cabeza.
2. Continued indoctrination of the people of the barrio in the Christian faith.
3. Education of the people was conducted by private teachers. Reading, Writing, the fundamentals of Arithmetic, and the learning of the Rosary were among the subjects taught. The parents of the pupils paid the teachers during the time their children were at school.
4. Forced labor of the male adult inhabitants in the construction of roads, bridges, and churches.
5. Participation of the barrio folks in the Philippine Revolution – The people of the barrio of Malagonlong formed a local troop known as “Voluntario.” On one occasion, this troop went to the town of Lipa to fight against the Spaniards. In the fight that ensued, many Spanish soldiers were killed. Not one of the voluntarios was killed in the encounter.

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Mr. Tomas Umali
Mr. Faustino Luz
Mr. Generoso Saludo
Mr. Nicolas Laylo
B. During the American Occupation up to World War II:
1. The same troop that fought against the Spaniards during the Spanish-Filipino War fought against the Americans.
2. During the year 1901, the people of the barrio were assembled in the barrio of Bolbok. This was done by the Americans when they enforced their policy of zonification in order to facilitate their mopping up operations against the Filipino insurgents. During this period, which lasted for about six months, the people suffered great hardships. Several persons died in the concentration, properties were destroyed and industries were paralyzed.
3. During the period of American occupation, the people lived peacefully. In the meantime, the people learned the American ways of life. Little by little, the barrio progressed.
4. During the Japanese occupation (from January, 1942 to April 1945), the people of the barrio experienced great hardships. Among the things that happened during the period were the following:
a. General shortage of food and materials for clothing.
b. Extreme fear of the Japanese occupation troops.
c. Forced labor in the Japanese military camps.
d. The barrio was raided twice by the Japanese.
1. September, 1944 – Five men were killed in this raid. One of them was Mr. Faustino Estolano, the barrio lieutenant at that time.
2. February 1945 – In this raid, forty persons were killed. The barrio suffered the greatest loss during this raid. All the properties of the people were confiscated and after this, all the houses except three were burned.
3. According to reliable information, not less than sixty persons were killed in this barrio during the Japanese occupation.
4. From February to April 1944, the people of the barrio evacuated to some places of safety. The time was the most critical period in the history of the barrio.
5. The barrio was liberated in the middle of April, 1945. The people returned to their homes to begin a new life. They suffered great losses but they were very thankful that the war was over.
C. Means of Accomplishments Towards Rehabilitation and Reconstruction following World War II:
1. From the ashes and remains of their former homes, the people began to make temporary shelters.
2. The people revived the industries that were paralyzed during the Japanese Occupation. A great majority of the people resumed their farm work, some engaged in commerce, and still others devoted their times in developing household industries.

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3. Better homes were constructed as the year rolled on. Some were erected out of personal funds while others were aided by the Philippine War Damage Commission.
4. The public schools for complete primary grades were reopened in 1947.
5. The rapid development of the citrus industry can be noted.
6. Today, many of the inhabitants of the barrio go to other places to trade. By degrees, the condition of the barrio rose from the ruins and ashes of war so that at present, it will be safe to say that the barrio has attained its prewar level in economic and industrial sides.

Traditions, Customs and Practices in Domestic and Social Life

BIRTHS – As Filipinos, the people of Malagonlong are true to the traditions of their forefathers. Hospitality, neighborliness, patience, and perseverance are among their inherited traits. However, they have customs and traditions that are unique and different from their Filipino brothers. Some of them are enumerated below:

a. Regarding Birth –
1. The birth of a child is a great joy to the family concerned. Sometimes, the prosperity and misfortunes encountered by the family are attributed to the birth of a particular child.
2. A woman on the family way has some practices. Among them are:
a. She usually wears a strip of white cloth known as “bigkis” around her waist in the belief that this will prevent internal hemorrhage.
b. A month or two before delivering, she consults a midwife locally known as “hilot” to examine the baby’s position and by feeling the mother’s pulse to tell the exact date of delivery.
c. Delivery is usually attended by the hilot. Only in serious cases will a doctor be called to attend to the delivery.
3. Practices and Customs Regarding Birth –
a. A newly-born baby is watched, particularly at night, until he is christened. Sometimes, branches of trees with thorns are placed under the house. These things are done in order that some malignant spirits like the tiyanak and aswang will not have a chance to get the newly-born child.
b. Drinks made by boiling the leaves and barks of some trees are given to the nursing mother.
c. For nine days, either in the morning or the afternoon, the hilot will massage the abdomen of the mother. This is done in order that the uterus will return to its normal position. Sometimes, a stone about the size of a little coconut will be heated. Then, it will be covered with some kinds of leaves and cloth and placed on the abdomen of the mother.
d. Three weeks after delivery, the mother will be bathed. Water boiled with the leaves and some bark of trees supposed to have medicinal values are used for the purpose.

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B. BAPTISM – The naming of the child is done in two ways, namely:
1. The “buhos” system or naming the child in the house of the parents by any person in the community or even a member of the family.
2. Baptism done in the church usually solemnized by the priest. This is regarded as the real baptism, a thing which is necessary in order to make the child a real Christian.
In both cases, a godmother or godfather as the sex of the child may be is selected to act as the baby’s sponsor. These sponsors are selected by the baby’s parents. The following are considered in their selection:
a. Reputation and influence of the person to be selected.
b. Relationship to the family.
c. Financial and social standing in the community.
The Baptismal services as done by the priest:
1. Baptism is done in the church.
2. The sponsor holds the baby. In the meantime, the priest will say his prayers touching the baby in various parts of the body and doing something which are required of the church.
3. The baby will be named in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Water is poured on the head of the baby as he is being named.
4. Lastly, the priest performing the ceremony will advise the sponsor regarding his responsibility to help in the proper upliftment of the child. During this time, the sponsor is holding a lighted candle.
When the baptismal ceremony is over, the child is taken back home. Usually, a party is given in his honor. The kind of party is determined by the ability of the parents to finance the occasion. Food and drinks are served in the party. Sometimes, the party is very expensive not only on the part of the parents by also to the sponsors who usually spend much for regalos and for the gift called “pakimkim” which is given to the child.

COURTSHIP – In the old days, the method of courting a lady was very different from that of today. In many cases during that time, the young men and young women were married without their mutual agreement. The parents alone selected the mates of their children without giving due consideration to the persons concerned. Once the parents of both parties agreed to join their children in wedlock, they will have to follow whether or not they loved each other. However, there were some cases in which the following method of courtship was followed:

1. The young man went to the house of the lady at night for a visit. This visit should never be later than eight o’clock at night. During this visit, the young man should follow some established customs. Among them were the following:
a. His visit should be announced to the people of the family. This announcement was made in the form of a low coughing known as “tighim” which was to be done downstairs. The young man could go up only when permission was granted.
b. Proper greeting particularly to the parents of the lady

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This was done by saying polite expressions as “Mano po” or “Magandang gabi po” to the old members of the family. In some cases, this sign of respect was done by kneeling. A blessing as “Salamat, kaawaan ka ng Diyos” – Thanks, God bless you – in English would be given to the visitor who was then welcomed and given a seat. Oftentimes during the visits, the young man and the young woman had no opportunity to talk with each other for either the father or the mother of the lady entertained the visitor.

During these regular visits, the parents of the lady studied the behavior and the fine qualities of the young man. Information about his family, social standing and economic aspects were gathered to serve as the basis for their approval or otherwise. If they were found to be favorable to the lady’s parents, the young man would be lucky. If not, he would have to stop and look for another lady.

2. In spite of the many obstacles that laid between the young man and the lady to come to an understanding, they often came to an agreement. This could be made by the use of sign language through the medium of fans and handkerchiefs. Sometimes, this could be attained by conversations done in the absence of the parents. Washing clothes in the brook, harvesting rice, and attending parties were among the opportunities that gave rise to these occasions.

3. Rendering services and doing favors to the lady loved and her parents and relatives is another way of courting during the old days.

Courting nowadays is very much different in some respects from the way it was done long ago. [In] The present day, parents are more liberal. They give their children the liberty to choose their life mates. Their only function is to give advice and reminders. Once they are given, they believe that their duties as parents are accomplished. Permission for the marriage is almost always granted whenever a child reveals his or her engagement. Courting at present is done in one or all of the following ways:

1. By sending love letters.
2. Night visits – The old customs are followed but the lady and the young man have the liberty to talk. The parents stay away.
3. Conversations [are] done in any place and at any time opportunity for them arises.
4. Rendering services to win the favor and approval of the lady as well as the parents.
THE PRE-MARRIAGE CUSTOMS – As it was in the past, the present day customs in arranging for the marriages are the following:
1. Introducing or “Pakilala.” Firewood and water will be taken to the house of the lady. This shows that the young man is telling the parents of the lady that he desires to have their daughter for marriage. From this time, the young man will serve in the household of the lady.


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