Palanka, San Jose, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Palanka in the Municipality of San Jose, 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
Division of Batangas
District of San Jose


Part I – History

1. Present official name of the barrio - - - - PALANKA

2. Popular Name:
(a) Present - - - PALANKA
(b) Past - - - - - PALANKA

Derivations and meaning of this name:

It comes from the name of the saddle of the horse which was used for putting two big baskets of load on the horse back for selling products to other towns. They called the saddle “palanka.” People in the locality were all merchants and they used the palanka saddles for [the] transportation of products. Since then, the barrio was called “PALANKA.”

3. Date of establishment - - As early as the 18th century.

4. Original families - - - About three hundred (300) families.

5. List of tenientes from the earliest part to the present:
 (1)  Domingo Virtucio (11) Victoriano Ozaeta
 (2)  Angelo Moog (12) Ubaldo Joyag
 (3)  Pascual Virtucio (13) Juan Palines
 (4)  Miguel Limbo (14) Valentin Ozaeta
 (5)  Regino Robles (15) Ambrocio Aguila
 (6)  Pascual Moog (16) Eustaquio Mendoza
 (7)  Vicente Aguila (17) Mariano Ozaeta
 (8)  Nicolas Moog (18) Apolonio Aguila
 (9)  Adriano Moog (19) Eusebio Patron
(10) Jose Vilela (20) Wenceslao Vilela
6. Stories of old sitios within the jurisdiction:

There are no stories of the sitios. The people called the barrio as PALANKA IILAYA and PALANKA IBABA.

7. No data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.

8. Important facts, incidents, and events that took place.
(a) During the Spanish Occupation:

Cedula taxes were imposed by the Spanish Government on men and women whose ages were from eighteen years to sixty years. Those who failed to pay were brought to Batangas by hiking and were put to prison. They worked and served the government until the terms of the taxes were due.

Guard houses were established. Groups of five men were assigned to guard within a day. They made turns. Peace and order were maintained by them.

Men were forced to draw carts with bullets using their cows and carabaos. The law enforced the fifteen days labor within a year to build roads. Those who failed to comply paid a certain sum of money to the Capitan. Civilian guards who failed also to guard in their turn paid just the same. The said guards were inspected by the government guards and they were punished by beating when they slept during their work hours.

[p. 2]

(b) During the American Occupation:
1901 – The Americans summoned the people of the barrios to group in the town, for a “Zone.” Few came or entered the towns, so the Americans burned the houses in the barrio. All houses were demolished. The old ruins of a stone house were left. The owner was Pascual Virtucio.
(c) During and after World War II:
No data was available.

9. Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars:
(a) 1896-1900: The lives of several men who turned spies or traitors to the barrio were burned alive by the people when the enemies left them.
1941-1945: During the Japanese Occupation, [the] destruction of lives was fixed by bayonets. Properties were taken by the Japanese, especially the animals.
(b) Measures and Accomplishments toward Rehabilitation and Reconstruction:
Schools were repaired and opened. The people resumed their work and raised products for their daily existence. Roads were cleared. The construction of a new school house where people of Palanka attended was done. [A] Sanitary water system was put up by the government.

10. Traditions, customs, and practices in domestic and social life:
(a) When a mother gives birth, a midwife or “hilot” is called. She uses scissors for cutting the cord of the baby. The “hilot” massages the body of the mother with coconut oil mixed with ginger.
(b) Baptism – As soon as the baby is born, the old folks get a godfather or godmother and bring the child to the church to be baptized. It is their belief that evil spirits are near the baby that is not baptized
(c) Courtship – The parents were the most concerned. They planned a wedding ceremony for their sons and daughters without the knowledge of the latter. The man brought presents to show that he courted the girl. He never spoke to the lady he loved. His actions showed that he loved the lady. He did not express his love to the girl.
(d) Marriage – When a man was accepted by the future in-laws, his parents went to the girl’s home and talked about the dowry and the wedding feast.
The wedding ceremony must be performed in the church with sponsors. After the ceremony, the wedding feast or party was celebrated in the bride’s home. Gifts in cash were given to the new couple as their first saving. After the feast, she left the house for the bridegroom’s home. She brought her clothes and the money given as gifts. When the bride descended the steps of her staircase, a man broke [a] pot. Shouting, laughter, and rejoicing were heard along the road until they reached the bridegroom’s house. The bride was cautioned not to look back for fear that she would not treat her in-laws fairly in the future.
(e) Death and Burial – A person who is on his deathbed is assisted by a person who is well-versed in prayers. This person prays for the salvation of his soul. After his death, his body is given a sponge bath and is clothed in his best. Jewels are not worn. His body is placed in a coffin and is buried in a deep pit in the cemetery.
(f) Visits – When old visitors come to the house, children are not allowed to go near and to enter in the conversation.
(g) Festivals – There is only one festival within a year and that is the “Flores de Mayo.”
(h) Punishments – The parents use the rod. When the child is very naughty, they hang him inside a sack. The slightest punishment is the kneeling and the saying of prayers in a closed room.

[p. 3]

11. Myths, legends, beliefs, superstitions, and etc.
The people did not erase yet their superstitious beliefs.
(a) They believe that when a cat washes his face, it will rain or a visitor will come.
(b) The old superstition that if we will spend much during New Year, this pattern will be throughout the year.
(c) A young lady who sings in front of a stove with fire will soon marry a widower.
(d) Never give money through an open window. If so, you will lack money throughout your life.
(e) People believe that at every twilight night, our Blessed Virgin Mary visits our houses, so that sleeping at this time shows disrespect to her.
(f) People believe that when a member of the family dies, sweeping in the house or yard would lead another member of the family to follow. Wait for four days to be out of the farm.
(g) Long ago, the “Singang-Dagat” plants grew far apart. Now, they grow together. Old folks said that the time has come when [it] is true today in some cases.
(h) It is believed that there are people who have bad and hot mouths. If they greet or talk to somebody, especially when the sun is going on to the meridian, the one greeted would be sick at once. This is witchcraft. The sick will be cured if this person with [a] bad or hot mouth will put his or her saliva in any part of the body. This often happens to babies. The people call this as “osog” or “napulo” or “nagaway.”

12. Popular Songs:
(a) Awit na Pandanggo
(b) Awit na Kutang-kutang

Awit na Pandanggo
Ako po’y sintabi at ako’y hahapay
Kung aling kuawan pong mata’y mapupungay,
Kung ako’y masawi’t, siya’y di tumunhay,
Sapilitang ako ay mahahandusay.
Tidindig na ako’t titindig din lamang
Sa aking simulant itong pagsasayaw,
Sa lahat mong sadya at lahat na pakay
Ako’y nalalaang sa iyo’y dumamay.

Awit ng Kutang-kutang

Dito po sa amin, nayon ng Palanka
May isang binata na kahanga-hanga
Siya raw’y malakas at mapagpalangha,
Sa isang balding ipa’y siya’y nasisira.

May isang dalaga na bukal din doon,
Laging may pagkain saan man pumaroon
Palyok niya’y papel gayong din ang tontong,
Tubig na malamig ang iginagatong.

15. Puzzles and Riddles:
(1) Dala mo’y dala ka ng iyong dala. – (Chinelas)
(2) Bentirere nasa likod ng tiyan. – (Binte)
(3) Walang laman ang tiyan, malakas pang sumigaw. – (Kampana)
(4) Isang butil ng palay, sikip sa buong bahay. – (Ilaw)
(5) Dalawang batong bilog, malayo ang abot. – (Mata)
(6) Buhok ng pari, hindi mawahi. – (Tubig)
(7) Walang puno’y walang ugat, hitik na hitik ang bulaklak. – (Bituin)
(8) Baka ko sa Maynila, abot dito ang unga. – (Kalugkog)
(9) Isang balong malalim, libot ng patalim. – (Bibig)
(10) Tubig ko sa digan-digan, di mapatakan ng ulan. – (Niyog)

[p. 4]

(11) Aling dito sa mundo, nasa labas ang buto? – (Kasoy)
(12) Maikli kung nakatayo, mataas kung nakaupo. – (Aso)
(13) Nagsaing si Katungtong, bumubulak ay walang gatong. – (Sabon)
(14) May pula, may puti, simbahang munti. – (Itlog)
(15) Lumalakad ay walang nahila, tumatakbo ay walang paa. – (Agos)
(16) Pinapatay mo na, umiiyak ka pa. – (Sibuyas)
(17) Bahay ni Kiring-kiring, butas-butas ang dingding. – (Bakid)
(18) Baboy ko sa pulo, balahibo’y pako. – (Langka)

14. Proverbs and Sayings:
(1) Pain in a finger is felt by the whole body.
(2) A rolling stone gathers no moss.
(3) Haste makes waste.
(4) What the tree is, so is the fruit.
(5) Prepare when it is early, so that you will always be ready.
(6) Bend the bamboo when it is young.
(7) Walk rapidly and you will fall easily.
(8) A liar is a brother of a thief.
(9) A small leak will sink a big ship.
(10) He who believes in idle talk has no mind of his own.
(11) A tree falls where it bends itself.
(12) Patience is a key to every door.
(13) He who will not toil will not reap.
(14) The sleeping shrimp is carried away by the current.
(15) He who saves early has something for a rainy day.
(16) A penny in the palm is better than a thousand in the sky.
(17) Be thrifty if you want to be wealthy.
(18) Birds of the same, fly together.
(19) Whatever you sow, the same you will reap.
If you sow kindness, you will reap the love of others.

15. Methods of Measuring Time:
(1) By means of the sun.
(2) By the crowing of the roosters.
(3) By the singing of the birds.
(4) By the length of time of a cigarette.

Special Calendars:
(1) By the fruiting of different fruits.
(2) By the falling of leaves.

Data furnished by:






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

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