HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE
BARRIO OF MAHABANG PARANG
BARRIO OF MAHABANG PARANG
The present name of this barrio is Mahabang Parang. It is the popular name of the barrio. No definite date of its establishment could be recalled. However, sometime within the latter half of the Spanish Occupation would be sufficient.
The derivation of Mahabang Parang could be attributed to its large territory with a ravine traversing it midway from north to south. Until about 1922, the sitio of Munting Pook was included within its territorial jurisdiction.
The original families of Mahabang Parang include Cabesang Juan Mendoza, Andres Yuzon, Gregorio Marasigan, Ramon Palamiano, Vicente Balingag, Leodovico “Bikoy,” Pedro de Villa, Benito Caringal, Tomasino de Castro, and Epifanio Yuzon.
This is the list of tenientes from the earliest time to date: Andres Yuzon, Leodovico “Bikoy,” Telesforo Yuzon, Epifanio Yuzon, Mariano “Dios,” Andres “Bungi,” Juan ----, Simeon ----, Mariano Badillo, Aguido Marasigan, Brigido Baldonado, Emilio Baldonado, Martin de Castro, Domingo de Castro, Juan Mendoza, Ramon Mendoza, Florencio Yuzon, Ruperto Marasigan, Matias de Castro, Aurelio Marasigan, Moises Baldonado, Florentino Mendoza, Eulalio Baldonado, Ramon Villanueva, and Marcelino Marasigan.
No important facts, incidents or events that took place could be recalled except these: cattle rustlings were common during the Spanish Occupation. The able-bodied male population fought against the Americans at the end of the short-lived Philippine Republic. All houses were burned by the American soldiers when they invaded the barrio, for reports had it that plenty of insurgents or Taong-Labas were hiding in the barrio.
No data of importance could be related during and after World War II.
During 1896-1900, houses were burned. There was no destruction of lives, nor institutions.
There were no measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II.
BIRTH: When a baby is born in the family, a member of that family lights firecrackers or other explosives to herald thanks for the safe delivery. A chicken is then dressed for viands of the mother.
BAPTISM: When the baby at birth shows that it will not live long, an elderly person pours [a] little amount of water on the head of the baby which is held by someone to Christianize it, simultaneously muttering, “I baptize
you in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” If the baby survives, it is taken to the church to be baptized by the priest, the godfather or godmother holding it. If the affair is to be an ordinary one, the child’s father gives his “compadre” a goat or a chicken and the godfather gives a certain amount of money for the child. This is the so-called “pakimkim.”
COURTSHIP: A man desiring a woman to be his wife begins his courtship by visiting her, maybe every other night. He then gives some presents which may consist of fish, octopus, squid, and others. His presents are acceptable to the family if he is hopeful, otherwise these presents are rejected if he is a hopeless suitor. If his intentions are favored by the lady-love’s family, he further helps the parents, especially the father, in plowing his fields, pounding rice, fetching water, gathering or chopping wood for fuel, etc. Then, the girl’s father tells the suitor to accompany his parents to the house of the former where in detail the whole plan for the wedding is agreed upon. The bride-to-be is to be provided by the lover with all the accessories for the wedding like a set of jewelry and clothes.
MARRIAGE: This is usually solemnized in the barrio. A priest is paid the necessary amount to perform the marriage ceremony inside the provisionally-built chapel with an altar for the purpose. The date of marriage is on the month and day that are numerically odd, as January 11. After the marriage ceremony, the newlyweds, before entering the house, are sprinkled with some grains of salt, rice, and palay on their heads. They are then served sweets and water. Then, the “sabangan” is done this way: the relatives of the bride shower money in front of the groom, who sits at one end of the table opposite the bride, while the relatives of the latter shower money in front of the groom. The whole money is counted and entrusted by the husband to his wife for safekeeping. After this, the wife transfers to the house of her husband amidst the cracking of explosives or salvoes from firearms.
DEATH: When a person dies, the family is given a certain amount of money called “pakandila” by the family’s friends and relatives. These people pray for the repose of the dead person’s soul. The dead is then put in a coffin and borne by the males to the town for benediction at the church and then to the cemetery for burial the next day. On the fourth and eighth days, prayers are said again. Food is served. On the first anniversary of the death, prayer is again said. In this affair, better kind of food is partaken of by those who are present. After this “laglag luksa,” the immediate relatives of that person may don clothes of any color except that of black.
VISITS: People of the neighborhood, friends, and relatives of the dead person visit the family. This is
also the case when a baby is born.
FESTIVALS: Mahabang Parang folks have no festivals there other than the occasional Mayflower celebrations.
BELIEFS: The newlyweds may die at the same time if the date of marriage is solemnized on months and days that have even numbers.
If the seven days of Lent (Kuaresma) fall within three months, the harvest in general is bound to be abundant.
Believed to cool days, Wednesdays and Thursdays are selected for bringing down [from] the house any kind of seed either for planting or seedling purposes.
The married couple would be productive if grains of salt, rice, and palay are sprinkled on their heads, before entering the house.
After the marriage ceremony, the newlyweds are given sweets and water to pave the road of their married life, with harmony and sweetness.
The world, the land, the mountains, seas, caves, lakes, rivers, plants, trees, animals, sun, moon, stars, eclipses, earthquakes, lightning, thunder, clouds, rains, changes of climate and other natural phenomena were created by God. Storms are believed to be always coming from no place other than the Philippines.
First man and woman: Adam and Eve.
Sickness is thought to originate from the earth, wind, heat of the sun, rain, coolness of the twilight, dew of the dawn, and contact with carriers of different diseases like: "atupiling,” “gahoy,” “balis,” “bato,” and “bugtuan.”
“Atupiling is characterized by [the] painful sensation of one half of the head.
“Gahoy” is a feeling of painful or severe stomach ache thought to originate from Mindoro. It is caused by persons who are considered causative agents of this sickness.
“Balis” is a feeling of severe aching of the forehead as if it would fall.
“Bato” in a condition in which a painful hard mass appears a little above the region between the external reproductive organ and the thighs.
“Bugtuan” is that sickness whereby a person moves his bowels frequently. The persons who transmit or cause this are those who have this kind of disease. They may affect a person whom they come in contact with.
Two methods of treatment may be employed.
1. The one who can cure this is the very one who is supposed to have caused it, by means of the “buga” method, that is, the curer chews betelnut, buyo leaf, and lime, then applies his saliva to the abdomen of the affected person.
2. To alleviate the symptoms and consequently cure the diarrhea or loose stool, the affected person is made to exhale forcibly and very deeply in a quick manner
with the intention of snapping a strip of buri which is tied first around his abdomen.
The popular [song] is the “Huluna,” which is a kind of song used to rock the baby to sleep.
The games and the amusements are the “Tubig-tubig,” and “Sikyo” (a kind of game of cards).
The riddles are: 1. Hugis puso, kulay ginto, nakabitin, masarap kainin. ---- manggang hinog. (A heart-shaped, golden, delicious, hanging thing.) ---- Ripe mango.
2. Nagsaing si Kapirit, kinain pati anlit. (Kapirit cooked rice and ate the pot, too. ---- Guava)
Saying --- Hampas sa kabayo, sa kalabaw ang latay. (Beating up a horse but the carabao feels the pain.) Reprimanding someone when it is really intended for someone else.
The method of measuring time during the daytime is by the position of the sun and the crowing of the cocks at night.
P A R T ---- III
[Sgd.] Mr. Florencio Yuzon
[Sgd.] Mr. Demetrio Hernandez
[Sgd.] Conrado Hernandez
[Sgd.] Dominador Aquino