Pinagtungulan, San Jose, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Pinagtungulan, San Jose, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Pinagtungulan, San Jose, Batangas: Historical Data

Historical Data graphic
Historical data from the National Library of the Philippines.

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



To make the boys and girls of Pinagtungulan more informed of the past and present of their own community, to make them appreciate the great deeds of some of their barrio folks, to make them enjoy the customs and traditions of their people, in a word, to make them take pleasure in knowing the history and cultural life of their barrio, the teachers of Pinagtungulan took pains to make researches so that this book can be produced.

The teachers wish to express their thanks for the kind of help rendered by those people who supplied (with) ideas and information to complete (that) needed.

If readers will find some data not very accurately given and can give more accurate ones, the teachers are very willing to revise this book and prepare a new edition.


[Table of contents.]



1. The History of Pinagtungulan

2. Benigno Caraos

3. Santiago Umali

4. Domingo S. Goce

5. Domingo Andal

6. Births

7. Baptism

8. Courtship

9. Punishment

10. Death

11. Huego de Anillo

12. Luksung Tinik

13. Picnics

14. Proverbs and Sayings

15. The Transportations

[p. 1]


At the juncture of Cuenca from the west, Lipa from the north and San Jose from the south lies a sun-kissed palm-fringed spot, with verdant plains and wooded hills, [a] place which God has embellished with exquisite beauty and gorgeousness, a piece of Eden where nature is bountiful and God in seeming constant communion with his loved ones, where the maids are fairer and the men braver, the famous barrio of Pinagtungulan, one among the more progressive barrios of San Jose. This barrio lies in the northern part of the municipality, in the vicinity of Bukil Hill, a kilometer or so away from Mt. Makulot.

Long, long ago, according to the story handed down, there was a long, narrow, steep and rugged country road [that] cut through this place down to Lipa City. People travelled this road in transporting their products, not only people from this place but also those from neighboring barrios and towns. There were very few houses and a large portion of the barrio was covered with big trees. Naturally, this solitary place located near a heavily wooded hill, afforded an excellent hideout for bandits. No doubt, a passerby had to be very careful with his head or else it was cut off before the owner knew it. In a word, this spot became a dreaded portion of the earth. As time went on, conditions changed. The place became more thickly populated. The thick bushes and trees were cut down. A larger portion of the land was planted to rice and other farm products. But the terrible impression left by those dark times could not in a sudden be erased. Still, the people christened it Pinagpungulan, meaning a place

[p. 2]

where beheading took place. As time went on, the name Pinagpungulan was revised. The new and improved name is “Pinagtungulan,” a word which no longer carries the horrible incidents of the past.

In the absence of written records, the local historians could recall two persons who served as Cabezas de Barangay during the early years. They were Pedro Andal and Ambrocio Umali, both described as generous, humble and energetic. The former served for a longer term than the latter. They were both trustworthy and law-abiding citizens. They proved fair and democratic executives. Because they loved their subjects so much, their subjects in turn, reciprocated such love with overflowing affection. “Love begets love,” as people say. Mortals, life must sooner or later die and so after all those good years, they passed to the Great Beyond where they may rest in peace.

Not long after, the Revolution broke out. But [what] could the poor and untrained Filipino soldiers do in the face of the well-armed Spaniards? The only succumbed and the government was resumed. Santiago Umali became the cabeza then. His term was long because he was very much liked by the people due to his honesty and fairness. When he died, he was succeeded by Cabezang Faustino Ramos, [who] followed the footsteps of his predecessors.

Then came the Filipino-American War. The cruel Spaniards burned the houses, demolished properties, and killed people. Men caught by them where accused of having done things they were ignorant of. This did not last long and peace and order prevailed.

Then we Americans organized another form of go-

[p. 3]

vernment witch we call democratic. It was centralized also, like the government formed by the Spaniards, but the people were given ample freedom – freedom of press, religion and worship. In barrios, like Pinagtungulan, the barrio new tenant took the place of the Cabeza de Barangay. The first barrio lieutenant under the American regime was Vicente Caraos, who served a term of five years. His successors were Jose Guce, Vicente Laqui, Apolonio Guce, Arcadio Mendoza, Eleuterio Guce and Benito Ramos, the last one still living. During their terms, there was continued peace and order and progress in the community.

Then, World War II broke out. The fears Japanese ruled the islands. Destruction of lives and properties and scarcity of food prevailed throughout the islands, not excluding the barrio of Pinagtungulan. Houses where burned and numerous Japanese hid in this place. They made dugouts in the orchards at the suburbs of Bukil Hill, where numbers of fruit trees were destroyed. Into these dugouts, animals taken from the people of the community were carried and killed for food. The inhabitants of Pinagtungulan we're forced to evacuate because of the harshness of the squint eyed Japanese. Thus, the community suffered much during this period.

In the year 1945, the Americans liberated the islands. Rehabilitation [and] reconstruction took place. Peace and order reigned again. The government was resumed. The first barrio lieutenant after the liberation was Mr. Gavino Guce. His term lasted for five years. He proved to be a good leader office people. Then came the national election of 1919 [1949?]. He resigned and filed his candidacy for the position of councilor. Because

[p. 4]

he had already lots of friends who were ready to stand by him through thick and thin, he was successfully elected councilor. Daniel Guce succeeded Gavino Guce in the position of barrio lieutenant. He is still the barrio lieutenant.

From the consolidated report based on community service conducted by the Pinagtungulan teachers, Pinagtungulan has a total population of eight hundred seventy-three (873) and there are one hundred fifty three houses. About seventy-five per cent of this population is literate. This goes to prove that the people of Pinagtungulan are fond of sending their children to school.

Being situated near a mountain, the climate of this place throughout the year is cool. Even during the dry season, fogs and drizzles often occur. Fruit trees grow in abundance. Lanzones, cacao, coffee, coconuts and bananas thrive well and afford a good source of income to the community. Every year millions of pesos can be erased from these crops.

In this place, people engage in many industries. Majority of the men are farmers. The rest are copra-makers, merchants, and raisers of horses. The inhabitants are industrious, generous, courteous, patient and thrifty. The most distinguishing trait which one will appreciate and notice is the hospitality of the people. In affairs and gatherings, they are helpful and cooperative. Ladies and gentlemen are sociable and have unity among themselves. They can perform and accomplish many activities like small parties and picnics because in union, there is strength.

The people are interested in acquiring education. The community has always been close to the school. Poor

[p. 5]

parents try their best to let their children go to school. The fact that there are very few illiterates and many professionals in this barrio goes to show that the people are conscious of the value of education.

With regard to amusement in Pinagtungulan, the people have very few of these. However in the newly constructed “Reading Center,” sometimes late in the afternoon and at noon, one can find some of these various folks spending their leisure hours reading. Sometimes, young ladies and men gather in a house and with their guitars and banjos practice modern dances or learn how to play these instruments. Those interested in athletics go to the school premises to play baseball and softball.


[Sgd.] Felix Guce
[Sgd.] Patricio Guce

Submitted by:

[p. 6]


Benigno Caraos was born on February 4, 1909 in the barrio of Pinagtungulan, San Jose, Batangas. His parents are Gaudencio Caraos and Epifania Guce, both of this place.

Benigno obtained his primary education in Pinagtungulan Primary School. His teachers were Inocencia Andal and Domingo Andal. When he was a small boy, he was faithful, studious and bright. He was obedient to his teachers and parents, too. He finished his fifth and sixth grades in Tiaong, Quezon, because the family moved there hoping for a better living. Later, he transferred to San Jose and finished his seventh grade in the San Jose Elementary School.

Although Benigno’s parents were poor, they tried their best to further their studies because they could trace a bit of intelligence in him. He graduated in Batangas High School. He completed the high school course in three years, graduating with honors.

After graduating from high school, he took engineering. He enrolled in the Mapua Institute of Technology and finished his career in 1934. After his graduation, he took the board examination and passed it. Then, he became assistant provincial engineer in the province of Pangasinan.

At present, he is the assistant city engineer of Cebu.

P. Ulan, San Jose

[p. 7]


Santiago Umali was born on August 6, 1866 in the barrio of Pinagtungulan, San Jose, Batangas. His parents were Juan Umali and Felipe [Felipa?] Ona, who were also natives of this place.

Because Mr. Umali belonged to a poor family, he did not have the opportunity to obtain a higher education. He learned only how to read and write in the dialect and a little Spanish. He studied in the town of Cuenca not far from Pinagtungulan. His teacher was Mr. Juan Magnayo.

Although he was not rich and a little education, he lived in contentment. He was a brave man, one who could be counted upon to do what he could for the contry in time of danger.

When Andres Bonifacio organized the Katipunan, Santiago Umali became one of his captains. In an encounter with the Spanish soldiers in the province of Tayabas (now Quezon), Umali proved his valor and courage.

During the “Filipino-American” War, he was chosen a captain under General Malvar, the last general to surrender to the Americans. He was with General Malvar when he hid in the barrio of Lagnas, Cuenca. He was also with him when General Malvar surrendered. When the Americans ruled the islands, he became the barrio lieutenant of this place. Because he was growing old and weak, he spent the later years of his life in retirement in his home.

He died at the ripe age of eighty on May 10, 1945.

Pinagtungulan, San Jose

[p. 8]


Domingo S. Goce was born on August 1, 1898 in the barrio of Pinagtungulan, San Jose, Batangas. His parents were Julio Goce and Benita Sarmiento, who were also from this place.

Domingo was born to poor parents. In spite of their poverty, they tried their best to give Domingo what education they could afford. When he was seven years old, his parents tried their best to let him go to school. He studied in San Jose Elementary School and later transferred to Rosario, Batangas. Here, he completed his elementary grades. His parents tried their best to help him continue his studies despite their hardships. He took up his secondary course in Batangas High School but unluckily, he was not able to finish due to poverty. He decided to go to Manila and fortunately, he was able to secure a job with a salary of ₱20.00 a month. With his earnings, he was able to finish his high school course. During his stay in Manila, he met Roberta Bihasa to whom he was married. With the help of his wife, he was able to take up law in the University of Manila. Then, he took the bar examination and easily passed it. He opened a law office in Manila. At present, his office is in Tagkawayan, Quezon.

Pinagtungulan, San Jose

[p. 9]


I was born in Pinagtungulan, San Jose, Batangas on August 4, 1895. My parents are Juan Andal and Dominga Goce, both from this place. I belong to a poor family.

When I was seven years old, my parents sent me to school. I completed the elementary course in San Jose. In 1912, I graduated the seventh grade.

Though my parents were poor, they were interested in furthering my studies. In 1913, I am I entered high school. During this period, elementary teachers were in demand. At this time, seventh graders and even under high school graduates could teach. Now that I was being forced by my parents to quit studying because a position as a classroom teacher was being offered to me, I obeyed them. My first position was in our barrio. Here, i stayed for fifteen years. Later on, I was transferred to Aya School where I completed my twenty-year term in service. At present, i stay at home with my family enjoying the sweet fruit of the long service I rendered as a teacher.

[Sgd.] Domingo Andal

[p. 10]


Every child born is a contribution to the country and to humanity. There are many superstitious beliefs and practices (questionable or not) about birth. Here in Pinagtungulan, when a mother is pregnant, she ties a piece of white cloth tightly around her waist. She suffers this the whole period of pregnancy. It is a belief that this is one way to facilitate and render easy the bearing of the infant, believing that this will prevent hemorrhage.

Before birth, the father usually calls a woman called “hilot” to take care of the delivery of the child. This woman gets her title as midwife through hit and miss experience assisting a woman while giving birth. Another belief is that eating regularly during the period of pregnancy lessens the hardships in giving birth, while missing a meal lengthens the period of pregnancy. Another funny belief is that having a haircut of the father when his wife is giving birth gives the newly-born baby thin hair.

After birth, the “hilot” will gather some leaves and barks of trees and boil them together in a pot or kettle of water. This serves as medicine to the nursing mother. Every day, morning and afternoon, the hilot massages the part of the abdomen where the womb is located, believing that by so doing, the womb is kept in its normal position quicker.

The newly-born baby is not left alone in the house until after it is christened and the members of the family, especially the father and mother, remain awake at night for fear that the ghost may get the baby.

One more numerous practice is the putting of trees

[p. 11]

with thorns under the house so that the tiyanak and aswang cannot come under the house. It is believed that this malignant devil can make devilish beings.

These superstitious beliefs and ignorant practices are slowly dying out among educated people of Pinagtungulan, but these foolish notions still grip the unschooled persons.

[Sgd.] Marcelina K. Alday

[p. 12]


It is a traditional custom of the Filipino to baptize the newly-born child. This custom has existed since the pre-Spanish time, when even Filipinos had no churches nor temples yet. During the pre-Spanish times, when a baby was baptized, he was not taken to church before a priest, as what we do today. Baptisms were not performed by the regular priests. Oftentimes, the chief of the barangay baptized the baby. When the Spaniards came, there were great changes.

Here are some wrought customs still practiced nowadays. Before the baby is baptized, the parents look for the godfather and godmother of the baby. Among the criteria for selecting the godparents are: (1) their influence; (2) their reputations; (3) their financial conditions; (4) their relationships with the child to be baptized.

After baptizing the baby, the godfather or godmother gives money or some other forms of gifts to the baby.

One superstitious belief in connection with the christening ceremony is that the cap, placed on the head of the baby after the priest has poured the water, must not be allowed to fall, lest the baby meet with bad luck. Another interesting superstition is that when more than one baby are baptized at a time, the babies must be raced out after the ceremony and the winner in the race lives the longest.

From the church, the people go to the house of the father and mother of the baby where a party awaits them. In this party, the father of the baby chooses from among the guests someone who has been successfully educated to blow on the head of the baby so that the baby will meet with the same good luck.

These beliefs and customs are still known and practiced in the barrio of Pinagtungulan.

[Sgd.] Marcelina K. Alday

[p. 13]


Courtship has been known to the Filipinos since time immemorial. Long ago, the manner of courtship was very different to that of today. During those good old days, a man in love had no chance to express in words to his loved one. He just had to content himself with dreaming and praying that his love would perchance be accepted by the girl of his dream.

When a young man visited a young lady, the lady’s mother was the one who talked with the young man. The young man, when in love with a lady, knelt from the door of the house of the lady to the place where the mother and the father of the lady were. The act showed again that the gentleman was greatly in love with the woman. The young man remained kneeling until after the parents of the lady had blessed him and bidden him to take a seat. There was a common belief during those past days which up to the present is well-believed by many.

When the lady’s parents approved the actuations and manners of the young man, they would at once ask for the true name and family name of the young man and have them graded with the name and family name of the lady. Once they found out that the two will have a good fortune in the future, the parents of the lady would consent to the marriage. If the result was otherwise, the young man was asked to stop courting for his love would not meet with success.

In Pinagtungulan, the old folks are becoming modernistic. There are a few who still adhere to this practice. Many parents nowadays afford to let their children go to parties unchaperoned and talk with their Romeos anywhere.

[Sgd.] Marcelina Alday

[p. 14]


Many acts were punishable and punishments [were] exerted since the beginning. Punishments during the beginning of the world were so severe that poor people were the ones mostly affected. Killing or attacking a man, a woman, or a headman; attacking a chief; adultery; robbery; and other violations of law were considered serious offenses. Treading sacred places, whistling during the night when the people were sleeping and not respecting the head or chief were considered minor crimes.

The serious offenses were punished sometimes by cutting the hand, enslaving, flogging, mutilation or death.

The minor crimes were punished by letting the offender swim in deep water for a long time, or putting the criminal on anthills and by whipping.

Nowadays, those forms of punishment are fast being eradicated here in Pinagtungulan because of the influence of democratic principles fostered by the Americans.

[Sgd.] Marcelina Alday

[p. 15]


[That] Everybody dies is a rule without exception. Our old customs and practices concerning death are being practiced up to the present time. Among such practices, the following are very interesting. When the member of a family dies, the whole family cries bitterly, calling loudly the name of the deceased. They neither eat nor drink. They always stay beside the dead person. When some relatives come and visit the deceased, these visitors contributed money or other things needed for the burial.

The members of the deceased [deceased’s family] keep mourning by using black clothing. On the fourth day, they pray for the deceased. They also pray on the ninth day. If the members of the family are rich, they slaughter pigs and cows to celebrate the fourth and ninth days of the deceased. The members of the family are all unhappy. They use black clothing for about one year. After the lapse of one year, they pray again for the deceased and thereafter begin to wear colored clothes.

These customs and traditions have been handed down from generation to generation in Pinagtungulan.

[Sgd.] Marcelina Alday

[p. 16]


Huego de Anillo is a form of amusement very common to all our rural districts or barrios. It is usually done on May days or during a barrio fiesta. This kind of amusement is mostly done by adult individuals. Small boys cannot participate in the contest because they cannot ride the horses, and if they can, it would be too risky for them. They might fall from the running horses or the horses may sometimes be unruly and the rider and the crowd will always be in confusion, the result of which is not too amusing for everybody.

This amusement is usually planned by the older people in the district. Every able-bodied young man can participate in the contest. They have to give [a] certain amount of money to be included in the contest. Sometimes, the amount of fifty centavos or more is given depending on the amount stated by the committee in-charge of the celebration. This collection will be given to the winners of the contest. The prizes are usually given to the first, the second, and the third. The girls or young ladies are requested to give ribbons with rings attached to one end or sewed as was conveniently practiced. The ribbons are usually a meter long rolled to a piece of bamboo a little bit wider than the ribbon. The names of the owners are written on the ribbons. The far end of the ribbons where there are no rings attached or sewed are the ones rolled in at the rill or bamboo, leaving the others ends of the ribbon where the rings are attached to flap or protrude. To keep the ribbons in place, [pieces of] thread are tied to it by passing these through

[p. 17]

the ring hole. The ribbons are hung side by side by passing an iron rod through the hollowed small bamboo rills. The amount of ribbons hung depends on the length of the rod. It is hung across the street by bamboo poles. The height is usually above the man riding on the horse. Numbers are distributed to the participants by lot. The first number rides the horse at full speed and when he is about to reach the ringed ribbons, he uses a stick about one-half foot to shoot at the ribbons. Any rider or participant in the contest that gets a ribbon will return the ribbon to the committee, but in order that the ribbons could be retrieved, a prize or cost is given in exchange by the committee handed by a girl whose name appears on the ribbon. Usually, a handkerchief is given in exchange. After the race, the most number of ribbons gets the first prize and the second and third, respectively.

[Sgd.] (Mrs.) Lourdes T. Mercado

[p. 18]

(Jump Over the Spine)

Little children are very fond of this kind of amusement. This can be played by many children; the number he covers must always be even because each child must have a partner.

It order to determine who should be on stake or “taya,” they draw lots by means of small sticks with different lengths and the one who draws the shortest will then be staked together with his chosen partner. The two staked children will sit face to face with each other with either one of their legs extended and joined together at the sole of the feet. The other children participating will then jump over their extended legs. When all have passed an no one touched the legs while jumping, the staked children then place their either legs above the other one with the ball resting on the toes of the other beneath. The children again jump over the barrier with great care. When all have jumped this second trial, the hands of the staked children are added to increase the height gradually after each jumping turn. The palms are extended. The fingers are outstretched with the fifth finger resting on the toes of the foot. Again, this barrier must be overcome by the jumpers. This game goes on until one of the jumpers touches the barrier, but if the one who touched the barrier is not the leader, there is still a chance to save him or her. The leader, usually bigger, saves the other by jumping for the one who touched the spine while jumping his or her turn. When none of the jumpers touches the staked children, they continue the game with the same children at stake.

[Sgd.] (Mrs.) Lourdes T. Mercado

[p. 19]


Picnics are very common during hot days. People going on picnics carry with them the foods they love to eat best. It is usually done by the side of the beach or by the side of the rivers. After swimming, they begin eating with merrymaking and laughter from everybody. It is nice and enjoyable to eat while one is still dripping with water. A picnic is the most preferred of all amusements.

Swimming is the most common among picnickers. They carry with them bathing trunks, suits and other articles for swimming. Young women and men participate in the merrymaking. Swimming competitions are done and prizes are offered to visitors, like several solo pictures or snapshots. It is done in a lake and at sea, they borrow bancas or rafts. They eat on bancas amidst shouts and laughter from everybody. They usually stay almost the whole day and they come home late, tired but happy.

[Sgd.] (Mrs.) Lourdes T. Mercado

[p. 20]

District of San Jose


1. Never make promises that you cannot fulfill.

2. Be thrifty if you want to be wealthy.

3. To walk rapidly is to fall heavily.

4. The liar is the brother to the thief.

5. Patience has its own reward.

6. Easily gained, easily lost.

7. God helps those who help themselves.

8. There is no happiness without sorrow.

Respectfully submitted:


[p. 21]

Division of Batangas
District of San Jose


“There,” the mother said in a threatening tone. “If you do not stop crying, I will give you to Juanang Ilaya. She will take you to the balete tree and you will leave with each other. Would you like that?”

“No, Mother,” sobbed Roberto.

“Stop crying, then, I don’t want to hear your voice,” commanded Mother.

Roberto stopped crying but he could hardly suppress the sobs swelling in his breast. He hiccupped intermittently in trying to force down the screams that came up to his throat. He soon fell asleep for fear of Juanang Ilaya.

Juanang Ilaya is a legendary character among the mothers and children living in the village of Paligawan. Whenever a child went on a tantrum, the mother had only to say, “Juanang Ilaya” and the children would stop crying. To the minds of the children, Juanang Ilaya was a witch resembling a young woman with a red skirt. The mothers led the children to believe and bring them to the balete tree. There, she would turn them into small witches. They would never return home to their mothers. In this way, the mothers tried to discipline their children.

“Mother!” Roberto cried when he woke up. “Is Juanang Ilaya still near us?”

“No, she has gone away. There is no naughty child here so she did not like to stay.”

“What does she look like, Mother?”

“She is a young woman with a red skirt.”

“What does she do with naughty boys?”

“She makes them witches like herself.”


“She lets them eat horse manure as chocolate and carabao dung as puto.”

“I would not eat horse manure even if she gets me.”

“Well, she will not get you for you are a good boy, aren’t you?”

“Yes, Mother, I always try to be good.”

“So don’t worry. Have your cup of coffee. Then go to your grandmother’s house and borrow a ganta of rice. It will soon be dark and we have no rice for supper.”

“But Mother, I am afraid of Juanang Ilaya. I might meet her on the way and it is almost dark,” pleaded the boy.

[p. 22]

“She will not harm you. She is afraid of you because you are a good and obedient boy. There, now go and you will soon be back here.”

“Alright, Mother, I will go.” Roberto went to his grandmother’s home which was almost a kilometer away. After sometime, he arrived almost breathless.

“Well, what happened?” asked Mother eagerly.

“Mother! Mother!” he cried. “I met Juanang Ilaya. Oh, she is very kind. She is not a witch. She knows you and gives you this papaya. Can we eat this?”

“How do you know she is Juanang Ilaya?”

“She is a young woman with a red skirt. She said that she knows you and you know her. I am not afraid anymore. She is a real person, not a witch. She is kind to me. You only want to frighten me when you say Juanang Ilaya is a ‘tikbalang’.”

“Is that so?” asked the mother. “Go now to the kitchen and build a fire. “Oh,” mused the Mother after the sun was gone, my little Roberto is no longer a little child. He has grown up into a boy over whom the “tikbalang” and the “aswangs” have lost their power.

Respectfully submitted:


Notes and references:
Transcribed from “The History of Pinagtungulan,” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
Next Post Previous Post