Mataasnakahoy, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Mataasnakahoy, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Mataasnakahoy, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the Municipality of Mataasnakahoy, 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.
Historical Data
[Cover page.]




Joint Chairmen:

Mr. Isidro L. Laygo

Miss Eugenia Landicho


All Teachers of the Municipality

District Supervistor

Date: May 13, 1953

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


[Torn] compilation of the historical and cultural data of the Municipality of Mataasnakahoy is the result of the joint effort of all the teachers of the municipality under the joint chairmanship of Mr. Isidro L. Laygo, Principal of the Central School, and Miss Eugenia Landicho, head-teacher of Bayorbor Elementary School. Data incorporated in this writing were secured from the surviving old folks of the community, who are calculated to be competent authorities by reason of their education and accepted leadership in the community.
This work is an addition to the few locally prepared materials which have been proven a ready source of teaching materials for the teachers. It is hoped, therefore, that this new addition will in one way or another enrich the teachers’ collections for their daily reference.

[Table of Contents]

T A B L E    O F    C O N T E N T S
     I. Poblacion 1-7
    II. Barrios
            A. Bayorbor 8-11
            B. Calingatan 12-14
            C. Kinalaglagan 15-17
            D. Lumang Lipa 18-20
            E. Nangkaan 21-23
            F. Santol 24-26
            G. San Sebastian 27-28
            H. Upa 29-31




The town of Mataaasnakahoy is situated in the central part of Batangas Province, just along the southern shore of [the] Batangas Plateau, thus causing it to have a mild climate and abundance of rainfall. It is a small town yet it ranks first in the production of coffee and lanzones within the province and only San Juan beats her in coconut production. It is a peaceful, progressive agricultural community and like other towns, a rich history and cultural life.

[p. 1]


[Blurred] 1862, the Capitan Municipal of Lipa summoned all the heads of the villa [blurred]. According to the Capitan, the villages with any inhabitants would be made into barrios and named after the trees as the town of Lipa itself was named after a tree.

When the head of the village now known as Mataasnakahoy was asked, he was reminded of the tall tree in his village and gave the name Mataasnakahoy. Thus, this place was officially named Mataasnakahoy.

(Furnished by Mr. Agapito Templo)


On March 30, 1931, Vice-Governor Butte signed the bill for the township of Mataasnakahoy. Then, on January 2, 1932, it was inaugurated as a municipality. The leaders who worked hard for the realization of the township of Mataasnakahoy were the following: Mr. Antonio Mandigma, Mr. Victor Templo, Mr. Agapito Templo, Mr. Casiano Silva, and Mr. Candido Recinto. These civic-spirited citizens spent their own money, time and effort.

(Furnished by Mr. Agapito Templo)


A. The First Administrative Officials
President (appointed) Mr. Antonio Mandigma 1932-1933
Vice-President (appointed) Mr. Candido Recinto 1932-1933
Councilors (appointed) 1.  Mr. Victor Templo 1932-1933
2.  Mr. Agapito Templo 1932-1933
3.  Mr. Enrique Caraan 1932-1933
4.  Mr. Juan Hernandez 1932-1933
Justice of the Peace Atty. Jose Manguiat 1932-1933
Municipal Treasurer Mr. Ernesto Sauz 1932-1933
Municipal Secretary Mr. Casianio Silva 1932-1933
Chief of Police Mr. Dalmacio Tibayan 1932-1933
B. The Second Administrative Officials
President Mr. Vicente Matanguihan 1934-1936
Vice-President Mr. Baldomero Lescano 1934-1936
Councilors 1.  Mr. Santiago Luna 1934-1936
2.  Mr. Tomas Ariola 1934-1936
3.  Mr. Nicolas Templo  1934-1936
4.  Mr. Estanislao Tibayan 1934-1936
Justice of the Peace Atty. Marcelo Caringal 1934-1936
Municipal Treasurer Mr. Fidel Sauz 1934-1936
Municipal Secretary Mr. Ponciano Hernandez 1934-1936
C. The Third Administrative Officials
President Mr. Vicente Matanguihan 1937-1939
Vice-President Mr. Santiago Luna 1937-1939
Councilors 1.  Mr. Bernardo Vergara 1937-1939
2.  Mr. Felix Alvaro 1937-1939
3.  Mr. Saturnino Genite 1937-1939
4.  Mr. Lorenzo Maranan 1937-1939
[p. 2]
Justice of the Peace [page torn] 1937-1939
Municipal Treasurer Mr. Ponciano Hernandez 1937-1939
Municipal Secretary Mr. Faustino Silva 1937-1939
Chief of Police Mr. Dalmacio Tibayan 1937-1939
D. The Fourth Administrative Officials
President Mr. Santiago Luna 1940-1947
Vice-President Mr. Victor Lobrin 1940-1947
Councilors 1.  Mr. Bernardo Vergara 1940-1947
2.  Mr. Felino Recinto 1940-1947
3.  Mr. Flaviano Amurao 1940-1947
4.  Mr. Rafael Silva 1940-1947
Justice of the Peace Mr. Marcelo Caringal 1940-1947
Municipal Treasurer Mr. Bernabe Dimaano 1940-1947
Municipal Secretary 1.  Mr. Faustino Silva 1940-1944
2.  Mrs. Maria R. Recinto 1945-1947
Chief of Police 1.  Mr. Dalmacio Tibayan 1949-1941
2.  Mr. Venancio Silva 1941-1942
3.  Mr. Quintino Magpantay 1942-1943
4.  Mr. Eliseo Recinto 1943-1944
E. The Fifth Administrative Officials
Mayor Mr. Jose Landicho 1948-1951
Vice-Mayor Mr. Bernardo Vergara 1948-1951
Councilors 1.  Mr. Felino Templo 1948-1951
2.  Mr. Jose Matanguihan 1948-1951
3.  Mr. Lorenzo Maranan 1948-1951
4.  Mr. Marciano Silva 1948-1951
5.  Mr. Exequiel Recinto 1948-1951
6.  Mr. Angel Dimaunahan 1948-1951
Justice of the Peace Atty. Marciano Esligue 1948-1951
Municipal Treasurer Mr. Ernesto Pureza 1948-1949
Mr. Victoriano Eusebio 1950-1951
Municipal Secretary Mr. Leoncio Bautista 1948-1949
Mr. Jose Silva 1949-1951
Chief of Police Mr. Gelacio Ocampo 1948-1951
F. The Sixth Administrative Officials
Mayor Mr. Jose Landicho 1952
Vice-Mayor Mr. Soriano Lubis 1952
Councilors 1.  Mr. Sixto Biscocho 1952
2.  Mr. Lucio Reyes 1952
3.  Mr. Elias Gonzales 1952
4.  Mr. Juan Hernandez 1952
5.  Mr. Valentin Maravella 1952
6.  Mr. Alejandro Morada 1952
Justice of the Peace Atty. Mariano Esligue 1952
Municipal Treasurer Mr. Leandro Gonda 1952
Mr. Mariano Mendoza 1952
Municipal Secretary Mr. Isabelo Hernandez 1952
Chief of Police Mr. Quirino Rodelas 1952

A. During the Spanish Occupation

1. In 1862, Mataasnakahoy was officially named Mataasnakahoy.
2. The famous coffee of Lipa was mostly produced in the barrio of Mataasnakahoy.
3. Many stone houses were built as a result of the prosperity of the barrio.

[p. 3]

[Top of page torn.]

1. [Torn] school was built in 1913.
2. [Torn] were widened and some were opened.
3. The barrio became a municipality in 1932.

D. During World War II

An airstrip was constructed by the Japanese just a kilometer away from the poblacion of Mataasnakahoy. So many houses in the town were occupied by the Japanese air corps and before leaving the place, they burned the houses and massacred many male inhabitants.

E. After World War II

The town was rapidly rehabilitated. Many big houses with modern conveniences were built. A private school was founded where many youths are studying. This town has a sound economic, social and religious standing.

*       PART TWO       *


Back to the olden days, if one still remembers Mataasnakahoy, which was then still a part of the present city of Lipa, was a rich and prosperous place noted for abaca and coffee. Though backward in the line of civilization in those days, it was a progressive town in agriculture and commerce. Abaca was then known and transported to other places as Manila hemp, was sent in large scale in bales to the city of Manila for the foreign consumers. Side by side with this was the coffee plant industry, which in those days was a place looked upon by foreigners as the best producer in the world. But its prosperity was followed by depression, which according to the old folks was a punishment given by Providence for the abuses done to the plants, the pride and arrogance brought about by this fabulous wealth that that plant had given to then already wealthy individuals. A plant disease struck these plants until little by little, they died away, and so came the downfall for both industries. At present, landowners still continue the industry but gone is the prosperity it once brought the place. Since then and now is often repeated the pride and arrogance of the wealthy, a trait so they say inherited from the mother country Spain long ago.

As it is, this town can be said to be composed of families closely related to each other. Owing to this situation, one can boast of its peacefulness and order, and the unfading hospitality of its inhabitants.

Strangers are few and perchance they come for a visit or so, they can’t help but comment on its cool invigorating climate. Lands are so precious due to its richness and fertility that an acre means [a] thousand pesos.

[p. 4]

Mataasnakahoy is at present progressing rapidly [page torn]
[page torn] are being built, and from the poblacion, good roads [page torn]
[page torn] the barrios. It enjoys the services of a private [page torn]
[page torn] system. It also has a private high school. But the [page torn]
[page torn] and old ways are not forgotten. Although the place is [page torn]
[page torn] town, it is rich in legends and folktales that the youth has
to recall to be told over and over again.



There was once a widow who lived in a small barrio. She had two sons living with her in a nipa hut.

One day, the old woman became ill. She had taken many kinds of medicines, but she would not get well. One night, she dreamt of a fruit that could cure her. The next morning, she told her dream to her sons. The two boys left to look for the fruit. After a long search, they reached a place. There, they saw a very, very tall tree. The voice stopped and looked for the fruit. There, they found the fruit on the top of the tree. The older brother climbed the tall tree. When he was half the tree, the younger brother said, “You might fall, the tree is very tall. I will sacrifice to climb this tall tree. I will get the fruit for mother’s sake.” He got the fruit.

The two boys went home with a fruit. They gave the fruit to their mother. Then, she ate the fruit. Like a miracle, the mother got well. From that time, the place where the tall tree was found was called Mataasnakahoy.


Have you ever planted banana plants? People have different ways of planting bananas. Some people are observing the modern method of planting bananas, while some are still following the traditional customs based on their superstitious beliefs.

Some people plant bananas immediately after eating their meals. They believe that the plant will bear better and bigger fruits when they are planted when their stomachs are full.

Another group of people do not plant bananas when the moon is in its smallest size (katunawan) for they believe the plant will not bear fruit. Instead, they will die before bearing fruits.

Still another group of people do not look up when they plant bananas for they fear that the bananas will grow very tall and [page torn]

It will take also a very long time to produce fruit.


Long, long ago, in an unknown place now Mataasnakahoy, there was a tree called ilang-ilang. When mature, people used it only for firewood. But because of its refined habit (so the old folks still), it was given by nature a characteristic different from that of the other trees.

At that time, the day was dark and gloomy. [The] Wind blew hard and heavy rain would seem to fall. But at that moment, there were two young butterflies which had just been newly gone out from their soft silk. With their soft wings, they tried to fly, notwithstanding the ill-tempered rain and wind to look for [a] shade. At last, they reached the acacia tree. With its wider leaves, the two butterflies shaded. But alas! The acacia tree was too selfish. So, they flew again until they reached a dapdap tree. Its flowers were too many for them to hide against the rain and wind.

Weak and frustrated, the two butterflies continued the flight. They reached the ilang-ilang tree where the leaves were opened as if

[p. 5]

[page torn] the rain. The two butterflies begged [page torn]
[page torn] was granted. The virtuous tree sheltered and [page torn]
[page torn] for the whole night.

[page torn] night passed by. The rays of the sun shone brightly as if
[page torn] that the stormy night had gone. The ilang-ilang looked for the two butterflies, with the belief that there were only two of them who shaded in his leaves. But to his great surprise, what do you think he saw? All his branches were almost full of butterflies whose fragrance spread around him. “Wake up,” said the ilang-ilang. But no one dared answer. At last, he noticed that what alighted on him were not butterflies but flowers that were given to him by nature as reward for his kindness.

From that time on, the ilang-ilang tree lived happily, because beautiful ladies picked his flowers and [he/it] was never again made into firewood.



1. Bulugan – an announcement of a coming marriage. Before a lucky pair goes middle-aisling [?], a custom of a night meeting is set aside to make final arrangement of things to be done before the ritual ceremonies. Sometimes, the dowry is discussed whether it will be a quiet and simple one or a grand affair. Clothes to be worn by the bride are also discussed, sponsors selected and the final date for the wedding is set.

2. Sabugan – Another marriage custom still observed by the old folks . This is done after the wedding breakfast or dinner. A plate is placed before the bride and another before the groom. A mediator or sometimes an old man comes forward, calls for the bride’s father and mother and asks [the] to place any amount on the groom’s plate. For the bride, the groom’s relatives are called and place their amounts on the bride’s plate. When every relative seems to have been called, the money is collected. The groom hands the amount to the bride telling her to keep the money. It is a belief that the money is not spent because they will have a scattered life or they will call “sabug ang kabuhayan,” that their life is not orderly and well-kept.

3. Lipatan – Just after the sabugan comes the lipatan – transferring of the bride to the groom’s house. Here, everything the groom’s party owned and were used in the feast are brought back to the groom’s house. The bride, after receiving the parents’ blessings, leaves the house not looking backward so she will not be “kabil-anin” or [have] unequal sincerity to the in-laws. Relatives of the bride do not go with her to the groom’s house for the same belief.

It is also a common practice that relatives of the bride do not do anything during the wedding feast and ceremonies. It is the groom’s relatives’ part to serve the bride’s relatives. The bride’s relatives just eat and are served with utmost care to satisfy them.

4. Next to the lipatan is the custom to visit [the] bride’s and groom’s relatives after the newlyweds’ honeymoon. The groom and bride visit such other relatives for better understanding and acquaintanceship. This is called “Nanganganak.”

First cousins to some are not allowed intermarriage. This, according to the old folks, is not so good. Offspring are weak in health and constitution and [the] intelligence of the child does not go beyond the intelligence of the parents as the case may be.

Marriages within the family in the same year are not allowed for there will be competition in the prosperity and wealth of those married.

[p. 6]


[page torn] baptizing a child, the sponsors should utter [page torn]
[page torn] the ceremony clearly to insure the child’s [page torn]
[page torn] or she grows up.
2. [The] Baby’s clothes should be well-fixed and neat so the child will always be neat and clean when he grows up.
3. It is also the common belief that when a child receives much salt from the priest in Baptism, he will always want food to be tasty and salty.
4. When a lone baby girl is baptized, and all her companions are baby boys, the baby girl will always have plenty of suitors when she grows up.


1. According to the old folks, if possible, houses should be built facing the east to get plenty of morning sun.
2. Before a house is erected, a carabao is allowed to roam about the land and the spot where the carabao lies and rests is the best place for the house for it is believed to be the coolest spot of the land, and such is the best place for the house.
3. Coins are placed at the foot of the stairs of the house when being made so money and wealth can easily be obtained.
4. Medals are placed on joints of the post of the house and its roof to insure [the] peace and prosperity of the dwellers.
5. During the blessing of a new house, coins are dropped for better life and prosperity. Coins thus dropped and picked by the spectators should be kept for these bring good luck and happiness.
6. [The] Blessing of a house accompanied by rain or [a] shower is a sign of [a] life of plenty and prosperity.


1. It is a common belief not to throw or give money through the window or throwing it to the one concerned. Money or wealth will soon fly away through the window and, thus, cause poverty.
2. Never leave the chupa for measuring rice empty for there will always be hardship and less grace. Always fill lit to the brim. Never let the measuring cup for rice be placed anywhere. Have a fixed place for it to have [a] fixed life and prosperity.
3. Never sing or hum songs before the stove or else be married to a widower.
4. Never sweep the floor after four in the evening or you’ll be sweeping your luck away. Always sweep towards the house or inside and never outward so luck and wealth will always enter the household.
5. Never clean the table with a piece of paper but with a piece of cloth or else trouble within the household will arise.
6. Put the first-cut nails of a newly-born baby in the holy water in front of the church so the baby will be pious and will love to go to church always.
7. Never leave the house when the members of the house are still eating or else bad luck will be met. Turn a plate before doing so to insure safety.
8. Always wear something new in church first to insure durability of the thing.
9. Never eat or tinkle plates or silverware when there is thunder and lightning or else the believed god of lightning and thunder will eat also.
10. Never catch fish on a moonlit night, for fish can never be caught on such nights. Plenty of fish can be caught on a moonless night.

[p. 7]

[Top of the page not properly scanned. Likely “POPULAR SONGS, GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS.]
 1.  Tagala  6.  Salawahan
 2.  Sa Dakong Sikatan  7.  Sa Silong ng Langit
 3.  Kinalamba  8.  Daing sa Puso
 4.  Maria Clara  9.  Dahil sa Iyo
 5.  Kundiman ni Abdon 10. Awit ng Pag-ibig
 1.  Huego de Prenda  6.  Pangginggi
 2.  Sabungan at Tupadahan  7.  Pandangguhan
 3.  Patahan  8.  Kuraan
 4.  Balakatak  9.  Lotehan (Bingo)
 5.  Labanan sa Pasyon 10. Haranahan
Tagalog English
 1.  Pag naala-ala'y naiiwan
      Nadadala pag nakalimutan.
 1.  When remembered, it is left
      When forgotten, it is carried.
 2.  Hindi bakal hindi tanso
      Hindi pilak, hindi ginto
      Ano pa't tinong-tino
      Sa puso ko'y buong-buo.
 2.  It is neither iron nor copper,
      It is neither silver nor gold,
      It is well-kept in my heart.
 3.  Bahay ni Kiringkiring
      Butas-butas ang dingding.
 3.  The house of Kiringkiring
      Has walls with many holes.
 4.  Nakatindig pag bata
      Nakagapang pag tumanda.
 4.  When it is young it stands,
      When it gets old, it crawls.
 5.  Takot sa isa
       Hindi sa dalawa.
 5.  Afraid of one
      But not of two.
 1.  Ang mahaba'y nagdurogtong
      Ang maikli'y napuputol.
 1.  The long one still adds,
      The short one still cuts.
 2.  Ang sakit ng kalingkingan
      Damdam ng buong katawan.
 2.  Injury of the little finger
      Makes the whole body suffer.
 3.  Damit na hiniram lamang
      Kung di masikip ay maluang.
 3.  Borrowed clothes if not too
      Tight are too loose.
 4.  Kung saan nadapa
      Doon nagbabangon.
 4.  Where one falls down
      There, he should get up.
 5.  Walang masamang kalap
      Sa mabuting maglapat.
 5.  There is no defective wood
      To an expert joiner.

1. By the position of the sun.
2. By the crowing of the cocks at night.
3. By the shadows of standing objects.
4. By the time the hen lays eggs.
5. By the opening of the patola flower.

Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Life of the Poblacion (Mataasnakahoy),” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
Next Post Previous Post