Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Pangao 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
BUREAU OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Division of Batangas
Lipa City South District
HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF PANGAO
PART ONE: History
Official Name of the Barrio of Pangao –
Except a story, no other information could be gathered as to how and when the barrio of Pangao acquired its name. Nobody, even among the inhabitants of this barrio, can give a true account regarding the origin of the name “Pangao.” Old folks here say that Pangao has been the name of the barrio even during their childhood days and that they could not ascertain how the name of the barrio came into existence. No information could also be gathered as to when Pangao was officially established as a barrio. It is the consensus of many that Pangao is over one and a half centuries old.
According to the story, the barrio of Pangao got its name from a creek. This creek is located in the western part of the barrio, now popularly known to the inhabitants of Pangao as the Pangao creek. The source of this creek is in the northwestern part of the barrio, not very far from the present boundary of Pangao and Banaybanay. From its source, the water flowed southward. Even during the dry season, when most streams dry up, this creek continues to flow. One day, a group of persons went to the creek. They were very much surprised to see a very unusual thing that happened. About several meters from the source of the creek, in the middle of the stream, the water suddenly dropped into a hole leaving the lower part of the creek dry. The water disappeared and the inhabitants wondered very much where it went. The news spread like wildfire. There was ceaseless talk about it. They attributed the happening to some supernatural being. Each one told the other, “The water is pigeonholed,” in Tagalog, “Ang tubig ay napapangao sa butas.” After a couple of weeks, the people were surprised again to see that the water had come out and began to flow as usual. From that time, the creek was called “Pangao,” derived from the word “napapangao,” and then later it was applied to the vicinity.
The present barrio of Pangao is a merger of two barrios namely: Pangao, the western section, and Santa Cruz, the eastern section which is adjoining Lodlod. (Santa Cruz was named after its patron, Santa Cruz.) The former had a bigger area than the latter. Santa Cruz, which had quite a small territorial limit, was annexed to Pangao. The annexation took place during the early part of the American occupation. Thus, Santa Cruz and Pangao fused into one
barrio now known as Pangao. At present, this barrio is bounded to the north by Banaybanay, to the south by Cumba, to the east by Lodlod, and to the west by Aya, a barrio of the Municipality of San Jose.
The early inhabitants of this barrio were believed to be descendants of the early people who settled on the Taal Lake region. Some of these early settlers went further in land in the hope of finding a better place where they could plant crops. Finally, a group stopped here and sensing that the place was good for agriculture, they settled down. They cleared forests, cultivated crops and raised domestic animals. They built permanent homes from whatever materials they secured around. In [the] due course of time, these settlers multiply in numbers. As years passed by, people from neighboring places came to live here, thereby increasing the population of the barrio. The place grew to be a small community such that there arose from the minds of the villagers the idea of having a barrio lieutenant. The following served as barrier lieutenant from the Spanish time up to the present: Gavino Tolentino, Jose Martija, Juan Luistro, Norberto Africa, Antonio Silva, Macario Silva, Felipe Lorzano, Venancio Martija, Manuel Dimaano, Gregorio Dimaano, Martin Martija, Pio Mayor, Panpilo Dimaano, Eladio Letan, Jose Inciong, Celestino Malabanan and Cipriano Silva. Celestino Malabanan is at present the barrio lieutenant.
The people of Pangao we're not so much bothered during the Spanish times. Peace and order conditions were not so bad in spite of the fact that law enforcement agencies where weak during those times. There were, of course, robberies, cattle rustling and killing perpetuated by some lawless elements, but they occurred rarely. Economically speaking, the people of this barrio had more than what they needed. As the soil was yet very fertile and with no big population to support, getting food was not a problem.
It was during the Spanish-Filipino War, then followed by the Filipino-American War, that the inhabitants of Pangao suffered hardships. There was not even a minor clash between opposing armies that took place there. But even [then], the people's minds were troubled by the fear of war. Forms where neglected and food became scarce. Robberies and other crimes became rampant. A person who saw the pig in the morning would be robbed the following night. Sanitation was utterly neglected. Diseases became prevalent and epidemics broke out. Mortality reached its highest point. A cholera epidemic in 1902, and informant says, more than 100 persons died in this barrio, that was from June to August only of that year. So dreadful was this epidemic, according to information, that a person who acted as a pallbearer on one day would be the dead to be carried to the grave the following day. In the year 1916, an epidemic of dengue fever also broke out, killing a sizable portion of the inhabitants of these barrio.
After the wars, peace and order gradually followed. Improvements in various lines were brought about by the coming of the Americans. Commerce and industry develop. Education, sanitation, transportation and communication greatly improved. In the year 1917, a public school was opened in pangao with Mr. Gil Inciong as the first teacher. Through the efforts of Gregorio Dimaano, who was then the barrio lieutenant, a school site was acquired in 1924.
Then came the japanese occupation in 1941, the biggest calamity that has ever befallen the Filipino people. This occupation brought great have up to the inhabitants of Pangao. They offered in describable mysteries at the hands of the Japanese Imperial Forces. Be soldiers of the so-called Land of the Rising Sun inflicted great destruction on the lives and properties of the people of Pangao. They looted the people. They ordered people to do hard jobs. They tortured and killed the villagers. Suspecting that guerrillas were hiding in the barrio, they made frequent raids, sometimes catching innocent civilians and killing them. The could-not-be-forgotten vandalism game it was windy raided the barrio of Pangao on that fateful day of Feb. 8, 1945. The following story tells how the raid was made.
“Early in the morning of Sunday, Feb. 8, 1945, a company of Japanese soldiers, numbering about 80, armed to the teeth, arrived in Pangao. Arriving in the place, still dark, entered houses and ordered males to go down. Then, they tied the hands of their would-be victims. Those who refused to be tied were at once either bayoneted or shot to death. Then, they tied their captives in chains, sometimes five or more in a chain. Some captives were made to line at the backyard and were fired at by Japanese soldiers. A great number of them were assembled near the well. Afraid to meet instant death by being shot and hoping that they would still survive, many jumped. (A survivor, said that only if you died by actually jumping into the well.) Not satisfied with this, and to complete their monstrosity, the Japanese soldiers gathered heavy objects such as stones, pestles and mortars, benches and even frying pans and drop them into the well. As a finishing touch, they rained many hand grenades down into the well. Of about 50 persons thrown into the well, four survived. No less than 70 persons perished in that raid.”
The war ended and the Filipinos were liberated. They were freed from the brutalities of the sons of Nippon. Weary from the hardships they suffered during the war, the people of Pangao began fixing their shattered homes. Families whose houses were burned were built again. Their farms, which were abandoned during the war, were made productive again.
PART TWO: Folkways
In Pangao, during the Spanish times, it was very hard to court a girl. A young man who was in love with a girl had to serve the parents of the girl for a year or more. He had to do many odd jobs such as plowing the field, pounding the rice, gathering fuel and getting water. Sometimes, the young man had never had a chance to talk to the girl he loved. The parents of the girl would decide on what side the fate of the young man would fall. When the young man suited the taste of the girl’s parents, an arrangement for a conference between the two probably contracting parties would be made. In the conference, the conferees would agree upon the details of the coming marriage for their children. They would lay out plans for the wedding feast. They would decide on the wedding date and in what manner the wedding party was to be performed. On the eve of the wedding day, all things needed for the feast would be brought to the girl’s home by the parents, cousins and relatives of the young man. This constituted the foodstuff, furniture, plates and the like. All of these things must be ready for the following day’s affair. On the wedding day, kinsmen of both parties were present. When the wedding party was about to end, the bride and bridegroom sat at opposite sides of the table facing each other. Plates were put on the table. Somebody in the party, occasionally a vociferous fellow, would call all concerned to come to the table to drop a certain amount on the plate. Afterwards, the money would be counted and would be turned over to the newlyweds as their first earnings and as the capital to start with. Before sundown, the bride would be accompanied to the bridegroom’s house by the parents, cousins and relatives of the bridegroom. The boy would be left at the girl’s house to help his parents-in-law. Sometimes, it took several days before the newlyweds were allowed to live together.
When somebody died in the neighborhood, the cousins, relatives and friends of the bereaved family attend the funeral. At the fourth and ninth day after the death of their comrade, they go to the house of the bereaved family to pray for the salvation of his soul. A pompous dinner is served to those who come, sometimes incurring heavy expenses to the bereaved ones.
During the Spanish times, folks here believed that the earthquake was controlled by a supernatural man called “Carpio.” This man, it was said, lived under the earth. He was imprisoned among the big rocks. Whenever he moved, the whole earth shook, causing earthquakes. They believed that the wind and storms were controlled by a saint named Lorenzo, who lived at the top of a very high mountain. His breathing caused the wind. They also believed that thunder was a small fat pig that rolled here and there. Whenever this pig struck a hard object as [a] trunk of a tree or a house post, it
would burst and cause a loud deafening sound called thunder. They were believers in superstitions. Some of their superstitious beliefs were:
1. The appearance of a comet or an eclipse of the sun or moon means the coming of famine and epidemic.
2. A hissing sound produced by the fire in the stove means the coming of a visitor.
3. A black butterfly seen in the house means that a cousin or relative will die.
Puzzles and Riddles –
1. Walang binhing itinatanim taon-tao’y nakakain.2. Wala sa langit, wala sa lupa
3. Nanganak ang birhen, itinapon ang lampin.
4. Isang balong malalim, libot ng patalim.
5. Ang ibabao ay araruhan, ang ilalim ay batuhan.
1. Pag may sinuksok, may madudukot.
2. Maramot ang Diyos sa taong naka-ungkot.
3. Silong na hindi walisin, sapilitang aahasin.
4. Ang di nagpagal nagtipon, walang hinayang magtapon.
Their way of telling time is by the position of the sun. At night, they predicted time by the crowing of roosters as first crowing is ten o’clock, second crowing is twelve o’clock and third crowing means morning is near.