Calangay, San Nicolas, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Calangay, San Nicolas, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Calangay in the Municipality of San Nicolas, 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.

[Note to the reader.]

At the time when this document was created, the barrio of Calangay was still a part of Taal rather than San Nicolas. The latter did not become a separate municipality until the year 1955, after the passage of Republic Act No. 1229.
Historical Data

[p. 1]


The present official name of the barrio is Calangay.

Since the very beginning that this barrio was formed, it has been called Calangay. The name Calangay was derived from a bird known in Tagalog as “calangay,” a white parrot. Long before the Spaniards arrived in the town of Taal, when the first old town was still in Balangon, a place in Lemery near the river, this place, Calangay as I should say, was just a forest where few inhabitants lived. These inhabitants were farmers and hunters. When the town was then transferred to San Nicolas, this barrio was now developed. The inhabitants had in their homes the common pet birds, the white parrot called “calangay.” The people of the town of Taal, whenever they would mention this place, they would call it Calangay because of the kind of bird that they saw in every home. Since then, the place was called Calangay.

Long before the town of Taal was developed in San Nicolas, this place was already inhabited because of it being near the river. The establishment of this barrio was when the old town of Taal was in Balangon. As this place was still a forest, groups of families inhabited the present Calangay for fear of the sea pirates. The place was quiet, far from the sea, so they desired to stay and formed a sitio. When the first town of Taal in Balangon was transferred to San Nicolas, supposed to be the second old town of Taal, more people settled in this place, forming the big barrio. As the barrio of Calangay was very near the town, just about 2 or 3 kilometers far, it became an important barrio. Big houses were built by the Spaniards.

Several tenientes were traced from the earliest time since 1862. From 1862 to 1873, Anastacio Panganiban was the teniente del barrio. From 1873 to 1893, Luis Endozo was the teniente. When the short Philippine Republic was established, Ardiano Panganiban took his place. He was the teniente of the barrio when the Filipino-American War broke out. When the Americans ruled the Philippines, Ardiano Pangangiban was made again teniente. He held his position for twenty years, from 1898 to 1918. After his death, Ciriaco Inumerable took his place. He also held his position for 6 years from 1918 to 1924. From 1924, Marcos Morales succeeded him and held until 1928. After Marcos Morales, from 1928 to 1933, Mariano de Sagun took his place. From 1933 to 1948, Catalino Morales took the place for 14 years. Because his political party was always in power, he was always made the teniente of this barrio. From 1948 to 1952, Berbenado Desepeda took his place. The present teniente is Emiliano Deomampo.

During the Spanish period, the term tenientes were called the cabezas, and the assistants were called the tenientes. The cabezas were distinguished in a gathering or in pacifying some troubles by having with them their “Livita” (a black cloth hanging from the left arm) and a cane on the right hand. He was also wearing a hat called “Adolfo.”

[p. 2]

When the second Taal was in San Nicolas, the Spaniards built a watch tower in the western part of the barrio. This watch tower could be seen in the watch tower in San Nicolas. When the enemies of the Spanish soldiers were seen from the watch tower of Calangay, the guard in this town gave the signal to the guard of the watch tower of the town. The Spaniards, then, were ready for any incidents. When the second Taal was transferred to the present Taal, this watch tower was destroyed. The big buildings that were built by the Spaniards were destroyed also.

During the Spanish occupation, sometime in 1898, there was a camp for the Spanish soldiers in this place (Calangay). The purpose of this camp was to watch the Filipino soldiers. These soldiers were called the Katipuneros. The Katipuneros were those people who were against the Spanish government.

Sometime in 1890, during the time of Anastacio Panganiban as the cabeza, the Spanish soldiers and the Katipuneros met just outside the barrio. There was a great battle which resulted [in] the defeat of the Katipuneros. The commander of the Spanish soldiers was called Kiko Villa. In 1895, the camp was transferred to another place. Before the Spanish soldiers left the barrio, they burned every house that they built and also some houses of the civilians. The natives were punished whenever they [were] found without cedula tax or not able to pay their other taxes. The natives were very religious that every Sunday, they used to walk 6 kilometers to town to hear mass. Very few children were sent to school. Only those who were landowners had the opportunity of sending their children to school in town. Children during those days were taught privately by some maestros. These maestros had the opportunity to learn the four fundamentals in Arithmetic. Their economic conditions were very slow. The natives were for many years the “kasama” or working on the lands of the rich people. Transportation from this place was by means of riding on horseback or by sledges, or by means of boating in the Pansipit River.

When the Americans arrived in the Philippines, there were some changes made. The provincial road was then constructed in 1921. This made transportation easier. During the time of Mariano de Sagun was teniente del barrio, the school of Calangay was built in 1929. Before the school was made, the children of this barrio were sent to San Nicolas Barrio School or to the Central School in the town. The teniente of this barrio tried his best to approach his party and who was in power during his time and asked for funds that would be available for the construction of the school building.

During World War II, there was terrible destruction in the place. Animals were taken by those fearsome Japanese. Big houses were burned and, thank God, no inhabitants were killed.

[p. 3]

Part II. Folkways

At present, some people in this barrio are still practicing the customs during the Spanish period in marriage, in birth and in burial.

A. The Marriage Customs at the Early Age – The gentleman or the parents of the young man may select a young woman to be his wife or the wife of his son. If a young man happened to be the one to select his wife, he would tell his parents. The parents might select also a young woman to be the wife of their son. Oftentimes, the latter always happened. The parents of the young man would bring gifts or would do some services to the parents of the young lady. This was called at that time “pakilala” or “pasagad.” At first, the parents of the lady would not mind; only they understood that the one who sent some gifts or rendered services liked to ask for the hands of their daughter. If such deeds were repeated many times, the parents of the young lady would tell the parents of the young man to have a certain date or time to gather all the relatives of the girl to talk about the marriage. This was then called the “bulongan.” In such [an] occasion, the parents and the relatives of the lady would tell all what they wanted to happen at the marriage contract. As for example, they would ask certain sums of money as what was called “bilang.” This bilang could either be in money or property, or both. This could be given to the new couple or could remain with the bride’s parents. The young man also served for years with the family and relatives of the girl until before the day of marriage. Sometimes, the young man served for 2 or three years or even more without any compensation. If the young man happened to commit some mistakes during the time of serving, the marriage contract could be discontinued. At the last Friday before [the] marriage ceremony, the young man would have to prepare breakfast, dinner and supper for all the bride’s relatives who would gather again in the house of the lady. This was called “pa-biernes." On the night before the day of the marriage, say Saturday night if the ceremony would be on Sunday, there would be another preparation called “pahapunan” for all relatives and close friends of the girl’s family. In this night, the young man would give the godparents and sponsors either pork, beef, or chicken. This was “sabit.” During the marriage, there were many superstitions. When the candles of the bride and groom were lighted, each was observed. The one which had the brighter light would be the one to live longer. Then the party, upon reaching the house from the church, people in the house would throw an empty pot out of the window. When the pot broke into many pieces, there was a conclusion that the couple would have many offspring. Before the bride and groom could enter the house, they were given sweet and a glass of water; and it was the belief that by this act, they would be living peacefully. People also threw rice and money, just to signify an abundance of living of the couple. After dinner, all relatives of both parties were called to gather around the table where the bride and the groom were seated. They were offered some drinks or cigarettes. These people, in turn, would give a certain sum of money as what we call “sabog.” In this, there was an announcer. The announcer gave many flowering words to the relatives who were offered a drink or smoke.

[p. 4]

The groom’s relatives will give their gifts to the bride and vice-versa. The money collected by both the bride and the groom were put together and then the groom will give it to the bride showing that the bride is the keeper of all the money. After this game, the bride is then brought to the house of the groom and the groom is left at the bride’s home. He then follows the bride after three days. The surplus of the affair will be divided by both parties.

B. Birth and Baptism – If a mother was to give birth, a midwife and an assistant (hilot and salag) were called. At the time of delivery, if the husband was present, he must blow the head, just on top of the forehead, so that it would give help [to the] mother in delivery. If the child was to be baptized, the godparents must prepare their money for what they called “pahinaw.” When both child and godparents arrived from the church, the people who were in the house had glasses or cups having water and flowers. These people would approach the godparents and the godparents, in return, would put money in the cup or glass of water. At present, act of pahinaw is different. The godparents, upon reaching the house of the child, will just throw the money so that all the visitors will have the chance to secure the “pahinaw.”

C. Punishments – During the Spanish time, the children who were sent to a private teacher or maestro were forced to learn their lessons. If they went to school (the house of the maestro) without their lessons, they would receive some punishments. Some of the punishments were: 1. The maestro had a piece of wood about ½ inch thick with one and [one] end rounded of three inches in diameter. The handle is about 9 or 10 inches long. The rounded end had 5 or 6 holes. This was called “panocha.” If a pupil did not know his lesson, he would receive a beating on the palm, the number of which depended upon the discretion of the teacher. 2. The kneeling on the mongo seeds which were scattered on the pieces of board. 3. By setting on the wind [probably sitting by the window] for a certain length of time. 4. By standing with only one fact [probably foot] for a certain length of time. 5. By tying the child to a post where there were many red ants. By these punishments, the children were forced to study their lessons.

D. Superstitions – In this barrio of Calangay, there were superstitious beliefs and until now [are] still existing.

1. An example about crops: (a) On New Year’s Eve, the people are observing at midnight of what they will hear first. If they hear the first howl of the carabao or cow, this signifies that there will be a good production of crops during the year. If they hear the hooting of the “salukot” (a kind of bird) or the voice of the monkey, then it signifies the poor production of crops. (b) If there are plenty of locusts and worms appear, they will have a good harvest.

2. As to visitors: (a) If a cat seems to wash his face with the front paw facing east, this is a sign of some visitors coming. (b) When one is cooking foods in a skillet and happened to see spots of fire attached under the bottom of the skillet and such spot of fire is twinkling, then this signifies the coming of many visitors. (c) If one is cooking and it happens that the fire on the stone seems to be laughing, the cook will at once say, “Some visitors are coming.”

[p. 5]

3. Death: (a) If a member of the family smells the odor of a candle, the light of which is just put out, it signifies that some relatives living in other places died. (b) If the crow says wak-wak near a house and facing the home just as well, it is believed that bad news concerning any member of the family is happening in other places. (c) If one dreams of a tooth being pulled and there is much bleeding, some relative is dead. (d) If one dreams of a house burning near the dreamer’s house, a relative is dead also.


[p. 6]

[Addendum and note to the reader: In the original document archived at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections, the next two pages are included under the barrio of Sinturisan.]


Sa kasalukuyan, ang marami sa mga tao sa bukid ng Calangay ay sumusunod pa sa kaugalian noong unang panahon. Halimbawa, ang kaugalian ng pagliligawan hanggang sa mapakasal; kaugalian sa panganganak; at kaugalian sa pagkamatay.

A. Kaugalian sa Pagliligawan hanggang sa makasal: Noong unang panahon, ang binata o ang magulang ng binata ay maaaring siyang pumili ng magiging asawa ng nasabing binata. Kung ang binata ay siyang nakapili ng kanyang magiging asawa, ito ay magsasabi sa kanyang mga magulang. Ang magulang ay maaaring siyang pumili ng magiging kabiyak ng kanilang anak na binata. Ang huli ang siyang karaniwang nangyayari. Kapag ang magulang ay mayroong napusuang maging asawa ng kanyang anak, ang unang hakbang na kanilang gagawin ay ang magdala ng regalo at magpasagad sa ano mang gawain ng mga magulang ng babae. Pagtulong sa pag-aararo kung mayroon, paggawa ng bahay, o pag-igib. Ito ang tinatawag na “pakilala” o “pasagad.” Sa unang pasagaran ay hindi muna inaalintana ng mga magulang ng babae, nguni’t alam na ang kahulugan niyon. Kung sakali’t nauulit ng maraming beses ang mga regalo at pasagad, ito ay sisitahin ng mga magulang ng dalaga, ang binata ay itatakda na ang araw ng kanilang pagtitipon. Ang mga magulang at kamag-anak ng dalawang parte ay titipunin sa bahay ng babae upang pag-usapan ang dapat na gawin. Ito ang tinatawag na “bulungan.” Dito sa pagkakataong ito pag-uusapan ang kung anu-ano ang dapat gawin sa kasal. Dito sinasabi ng magulang ng babae ang ano mang gusto nilang gawin ng binata bago magkakasal. Ang magulang ng babae ay humihingi ng bilang, maaaring kuwarta or hayop o dili kaya ay lupa, o maaaring halat ng ito [ang] hingin. Hihingin rin ang pagsisilbi sa pamilya ng babae na mayroong taon na ang binibilang bago makasal. Kahit na malapit na ang takdang kasal at mahaba ang panahon na naipagsilbe at nagkamali ang lalaki sa kanyang mga hakbang, maaaring ang kasal ay hindi matuloy. Kung minsan, ang magulang ng babae ay humihingi ng husto ang sinasabing baysanan. Sa katapusang Biyernes bago sumapit ang kasal ay mayroong ipon-ipon uli ang mga partido ng bawa’t isa (babae at lalake) at ang tawag dito ay pa-Biyernes. At sa araw na ito ay may pahanda rin ang parte ng lalake at wala namang mag-uusapan kundi ang kumain lamang. Sa katapusang gabi bago ikasal ay mayroon na namang handaan. Ang tawag dito ay pahapunan. Ang lahat ng mga partido ng babae o dalaga ay siyang kinukumbida at unang pinadudulog sa pagkain sa gabing ito. Sa gabi ring ito dinadala ang tinatawag na sabit sa ninong at ninang sa binyag, sa kumpil, ng babae at saka ang sabit sa mag-aanak sa kasal. Ang karaniwang isinasabit sa mga ito ay karne o di kaya ay isang hustong pang-almusal ng mag-anak ng sasabitan. Kinabukasan ay ang kasal. Ang kasal ay maraming pamahiing sinusunod.

1. Ang damit na pangkasal ay hindi isinusukat, sapagka’t pag isinuot ng hindi pa oras, ang karaniway ay hindi natutuloy ang kasal.
2. Ang tungkol sa kandila, kung alin ang pinakamalingas na kandila ng ikinakasal ay siyang mahaba ang buhay.
3. Kapag dumating na ng bahay buhat sa simbahan ang bagong kasal, ang mga tao sa bahay ay nagsasabog ng bigas upang ang pagkabuhay ay maging masagana.

[p. 7]

4. Ang bagong kasal ay pinasasalubungan at pinakakain ng matamis upang ang kanilang pagsasama ay maging pulot at gata. Pagkatapos ng tanghalian, ang lahat ng kamag-anak ng bawa’t isa ay tinatawag sa kinauupuan ng bagong kasal at magsasabugan. Sa larong ito ay may isang tagapagpakilala. Ang tagapagpakilala ay may hawak na sigarillo o tabako o di kaya ay alak at iaalay sa partido na magbibigay ng sabog. Ang lahat ng matipong kwarta sa sabugan ay pagpipisanin sa isang lalagyan at ang gagawin ng lalaki ay iaabot sa babae upang ipakilala na ang babae ang siyang dapat na mag-alam ng kabuhayan at pangunguarta sa bahay. Pagkatapos ng sabugan, ang paglipat naman ang gagawin. Bago umalis ang babae sa kanilang bahay, dito ay maghahabis ng paliok at kung ito ay [mabasag ng] maraming piraso, nangangahulugang ang mag-asawa ay magkakaroon ng maraming supling. Sa paglipat, ang babae lamang ang siyang kasama sa bahay ng lalaki at ang lalaki ay maiiwan sa bahay ng babae. Ang lahat ng labis sa handaan ay hinahati at ang kalahati ay iniiwan at ang kalahati ay dinadala sa paglipat. Sa ikatlo pang araw bago ang lalake susunod sa pakanilang bahay.

B. Kaugalian sa Panganganak at Pagbibinyag: Kapag ang isang ina ay manganganak, ang hilot at ang salag ay siyang tinatawag upang siyang maging katulong sa panganganak. Pag ang asawa ay naroon, ito ay pinahihipan ang bumbunan ng babae upang maging madali ang panganganak ng kanyang kabiyak.

Kapag ang bata ay bibinyagan na, ang mag-aanak ay maghahanda ng kwarta para ipahinaw. Pagdating na ng binyag buhat sa simbahan, ang ninang o ninong ay sinasalubong ng mga tao na may dalang basong may bulaklak at ang mga ninong naman ay naglalagay ng kwarta, o pahinaw. Ngayon naman, ang pagpapahinaw ay hindi na sa baso. Ang mga ninang at ninong pag datal sa bahay ng bata, sila ay nagsasbog ng kuwarta. Ito ay masaya sa dahilang ay lahat ay nag-uunahang sumonggab ng kuwartang isinabog.

C. Pagpaparusa: Noong panahon ng Kastila ay ang mga bata ay doon pinapapasok sa isang nakakaintinding bumasa o marunong ng kwenta or arithmetika. Ang mga batang nag-aaral sa isang maestro ay napipilitang mag-aral at matutong magsipag dahilan sa takot na maparusahan. Ang mga parusa ay ang mga sumusunod: 1. Ang maestro ay may handang isang tabla na may kalahating pulgada ang kapal at ang isang dulo ay bilog na may limang butas at may tatangnan. Ang tawag dito ay panucha. Kapag ang nag-aaral ay hindi marunong ng liksyon ay magkakamit ng palo sa palad. Ang dami ay depende sa kagustuhan ng maestro. 2. Pagpapaluhod sa balatong na nakasabog sa tabla o bilawo. 3. Naka-upo sa hangin ng matagal. 4. Nakatindig ng isang paa na walang halinhinan. 5. Itinatali sa haligi na maraming guyam na pula.

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

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