January 4, 2018

Munlawin, San Nicolas, Batangas: Historical Data

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

[p. 1]

History and Cultural Life of the Barrio
of Munlawin, Taal, Batangas

PART I

Since the very beginning, this barrio has been called Munlawin. This name was derived from a tree named munlawin. Long ago, before the Spaniards arrived in the town of Taal, which was still in the site of San Nicolas, this place was just a forest where few inhabitants lived. These inhabitants were farmers and hunters. One time, a Spaniard asked the villagers what the place was. The farmers [and] hunters, thinking that the Spaniard was asking for the name of the trees common there, [said] “Munlawin.” Then, the Spaniards began to call the place Munlawin until it became its official name.

This barrio was established when Taal was still in San Nicolas. In that barrio was a group of families who moved to that place to evade the sea for fear pirates who often attacked the natives. After a few years, these inhabitants increased in number. They cleared the forest and built houses.

They were ruled by the teniente. The tenientes who ruled the place from 1862 were: from 1862-1873, Esteban Tenorio; from 1873-1888, Andres Suarez; from 1888-1893, Bartolome Malaluan; and 1893-1898, Sotero Canuza. When the short Philippine Republic was established, Valentin Tenorio took hold of the position. He was the teniente del barrio when the Filipino-American War broke out. When the Americans ruled the Philippines, Valentin Tenorio was still in his position. He took his position for ten years from 1898-1908. From 1903-1918, Inocencio Tenorio was made the teniente. After his death, he was succeeded by Celedonio Alvez who led the barrio for 6 years from 1918-1924. The other barrio lieutenants were: from 1924-1928, Escolastico Malaluan; from 1928-1931, Macario Landicho; from 1931-1938, Jose de Sagun; from 1938-1941, Francisco Malaluan; from 1941-1947, Amando Tenorio; and from 1947 up to the present time Pedro Malaluan.



During the Spanish period, the barrio lieutenant was called the cabeza and the assistant, teniente concihal. These cabezas were recognized in gatherings by wearing “livita” (a black cloth) on the left arm and a hat called “adolfo.” In 1888, a camp was built by the Spanish soldiers who were assigned to watch the actuations of the Katipuneros. Sometime in 1890, during the time of Esteban Tenorio, the Spanish soldiers and the Katipuneros met outside the barrio. There was a great battle which resulted to the defeat of the Katipuneros. Before the Spanish soldiers left this barrio, they burned every house they built and also the houses of some civilians. The natives were punished whenever they were found without any residence certificate if not able to pay the other required taxes. The Spaniards were so religious that every Sunday, they used to go to town to attend mass. Very few children were sent to school. Only those who were landowners had the opportunity of educating their children. Economic prosperity was then very slow. [The] Means of transportation used were the animals and the sledges.

When the Americans arrived in the Philippines, some changes occurred. The Munlawin School was built in 1920 when Macario Landicho was the barrio lieutenant. Before the school was built, the children had their schooling at the Maabud School or the Central School. The teniente tried his very best to approach the party in power to construct the school building.

During World War II, this barrio suffered a great loss. All houses were burned by the Japanese. The school building was spared because it was located in a secluded place.

[Note to the reader: There is only this page of the document archived at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.]

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

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