San Luis, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore San Luis, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

San Luis, 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 Municipality of San Luis, 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.

[p. 1]


Part I – History

The present official name of the town is San Luis. Before 1861, San Luis was a part of the municipality of Taal. From 1861 to 1903, San Luis was a town, but in 1904, because of her small income, the town was made a part of Taal again. When San Luis was annexed to Taal, all the barrios in existence retained their names but the place where the poblacion now stands got back its former named Balibago. Balibago was the name given to the place during the Spanish time. On February 2, 1918, San Luis became a town for the second time.

No reliable information could be gathered as to why the town was called San Luis. However, some people believe that it was named San Luis because, when it became a town, it was during the feast of St. Louis. With regards to the name Balibago, the name of the place where the poblacion now stands, it was derived from the name of the stream that forms the boundary of San Luis on the north separating it from the Municipality of Taal. The stream was called Balibago because it changed its course several times (pabago-bago, meaning changing its course often).

San Luis became a town in 1918 through the efforts made by the following: Aquilino Badillo (now dead), who was the Vice-Mayor of Taal that time and was later appointed first President of San Luis and later elected President in the elections in 1919. Mariano Diokno (dead), Ambrosio Hernandez (dead), Anselmo Lasala (dead) and Andres Medina also dead. During that time, the late Mariano Diokno had a great influence on Don Ramon Diokno, now a legal luminary who worked hard and exerted effort to influence the leading national officials during that time to favor the move of the people of San Luis to separate from Taal. They succeeded, and so San Luis became a town for the second time.

During the Spanish time, when San Luis was a pueblo (town), the following were the Captains as the heads of the town were called in the order they occurred. Their tenures of office cannot be ascertained anymore.

 1.  Narciso Calanog 7.  Juan Cabrera
 2.  Bibiano Alikpala 8.  Mariano Huerto
 3.  Juan Aseron 9.  Luis Magsino
 4.  Sebastian Lontok10. Bernardo Bonsol
 5.  Agapito Venturanza11. Domingo Medina
 6.  Juan Huarto

Capitan Eleuterio Alikpala was appointed by the Americans when they came and he remained in the position until 1904 when San Luis was again made a part of Taal.

Capitan Venturanza distinguished himself as the road builder of San Luis. He was considered also as the moral and civic builder among the people. It was during his time when the people began to dispel their fears of the Spanish officials like the guardia civil, the capitan, or even the curate as the priest during that time was called.

[p. 2]

During the term of Capitan Luis Magsino, the old stone bridge in San Jose was built. It can still be seen in the barrio at present.

Capitan Domingo Medina's term was marked by the Malolos Congress, where he represented the town as the “Delegado de Rentas” with Lucio Manalo as the “Delegado de Policia.”

The only public building erected during the Spanish time that can still be seen today is [the] one of the “Casa Real” office of the town officials situated at the corner of V. Ilustre and D. Medina Streets owned by one of the great grandchildren of a Capitan Cuadrillo (the town CHIEF [OF] POLICE). This house is the oldest now in the community. The prison cell can still be traced under the remodeled house.

When San Luis was a part of Taal from 1904 to 1918, the following where the barrio lieutenants of Balibago: Rafael Marasigan, Candido Yuzon and Ruperto Cornejo. The municipal councilors for San Luis during that time where Ramon Ilaganand Mariano Medina y Sison.

The different tables following will show the different municipal officials of San Luis from 1918 to 1941.

Table I – Municipal Presidents and Mayors and Vice.

PeriodPresident and MayorVice-President and Vice-MayorRemarks
Feb. 2 1918 to Oct. 15, 1919Aquilino Badillo Mariano Atienzaappointed
Oct. 16, 1919 to Oct. 15, 1922 Aquilino Badillo Bernardo Benseelected
Oct. 16, 1922 to Oct. 15, 1925Victorio LasalaRoman Mangubatelected
Oct. 16, 1925 to Oct. 15, 1928Pedro DioknoVicente Cabelloelected
Oct. 16, 1928 to Oct. 15, 1931Pedro Diokno Agapito Carandangelected
Oct. 16, 1931 to Oct. Oct. 15, 1934Pedro DioknoCirilo Aseronelected
Oct. 16, 1934 to Oct. 15, 1937Bernardo MagsinoPedro Dioknoelected
Oct. 16, 1937 to June 15, 1946Pedro DioknoVictorio Lasalaelected

Table II – Muncipal Councilors 1918-1941

1918 to 1919 Anselmo Lasala
Bibiano Hernandez
Ruperto Cornejo
Eduardo Aseron
Vicente Sison
Martin Canobas
Ramon de Villa
Bernardo Magsino
1919 to 1922 Aguido Mendoza Vicente Sison

[p. 3]

Table II – (con’t)

1919 to 1922 Aguido Mendoza
Vicente Sison
Eduardo Aseron
Anselmo Lasala
Julian Aseron
Bernardo Magsino
Victorio de Castro
Pedro de las Alas
1922 to 1925 Aquilino Badillo
Martin Hernandez
Vicento Cabello
Agapito Carandang
Ambrosio Hernandez
Julian Salazar
Mariano Atienza
Antero Mauleon
1925 to 1928 Victorio de Castro
Ramon de Villa
Agapito Carandang
Victorino Lasala
Julian Salazar
Agustin de Villa
Vicente Badillo
Melecio Capuno
1928 to 1931 Melecio Capuno
Victorio de Castro
Modesto Aseron
Julio de Villa
Benito Reyes
Agapito de Castro
1931 to 1934 Julio de Villa
Benito Reyes
Antero Mauleon
Victorio de Castro
Modesto Aseron
Potenciano Hernandez
1934 to 1938 Antero Mauleon
Melecio Capuno
Ramon Hernandez
Eliseo Atienza
Victorio de Castro
Mariano Magsumbol
1938 toi 1941 Maria Cotinas
Melecio Capuno
Ramon Hernandez
Bernardo Magsino
Severino Magsumbol
Felix Aseron
1941 to June 17, 1946 Aurelio Hernandez
Teofilo Magsumbol
Bernardo Magsino
Julian Salazar
Ramon Hernandez
Melecio Capuno

Table III – Other Municipal Officials

Designation Incumbent Remarks
Municipal Treasurer Andres Divino
Jose Arboleda
1918 to 1935
1935 to 1944 
Municipal Secretary Demetrio Cabrera
Doroteo Medina
Rosendo Macatangay
Ananias Mendoza
1923 to 1930
1930 to 1941
1941 to 7-17-46
Justice of the Peace Mariano Sison
Dominador Rodriguez
From Lemery
From Taal
Chief of Police Victorio Lasala
Pedro Diokno
Celestino Marasigan
Zacarias Marinay
Ruperto Carandang
1918 to 1919
1919 to 1922

From Taal
From Taal

The first public building erected in the poblacion was a one-room school building (Gabaldon type) erected in 1911. This building is still serviceable and was repaired several times.

[p. 4]

The present municipal building, a semi-permanent structure, was a project started by the late Aquilino Badillo but was finished during the term of Municipal President Victorio Lasala in 1923.

During President (later Mayor) Pedro Diokno’s different terms, the different buildings in the central school like the main building, Industrial Arts Department, and the Home Economics Building were constructed.

During the latter part of the Filipino-American War, there was an encounter between the insurgents and the American soldiers in Tejero, a sitio of the poblacion on the eastern part. The bravery on the part of the insurgents forced the American soldiers to retreat northward as far as the barrio of Ilog, Taal. But in the ensuing battle, the insurgents were defeated due to inferior arms.

In 1922, there was a move by the people from Calumpang to have the site of the poblacion transferred to Calumpang. The case reached the defunct Department of Interior and was decided in favor of the former site through the effort of ex-Senator Ramon Diokno. The case was decided by Dr. Jose P. Laurel, who was the Secretary of Interior.

During the latter part of 1901 and the early part of 1902, the people from the different barrios were concentrated for several months in the poblacion for the purpose of drafting the able-bodied men to serve in the American forces. During that time, a cholera epidemic broke out which caused the death of many people due to [the] lack of proper sanitation. Many of these cholera victims were buried in the site now occupied by the central school. Some skeletons were dug by the boys while they were working during their ground improvement period. Then, that cholera epidemic was followed by another one in 1910, but it did not cause many deaths as compared with that in 1902 on account of the improved sanitation.

In 1918, [a] smallpox epidemic occurred and spread to the neighboring barrios. It causes many deaths especially to the people in the barrio of Tungal and a part of San Martin. During the same year, a rinderpest [epidemic] broke out but was soon checked.

During the Japanese Occupation, the central school building was used by the Japanese soldiers for a time. The store room was opened and many books and other school supplies were lost.

During the liberation, the Industrial Arts Building was utilized by the American soldiers as a kitchen. Some of the Filipinos who were kitchen boys broke open the tool room. Many tools were lost.

Because the town was not very much affected by the last war and because no building private or public was destroyed, no rehabilitation work was needed. However, the PCAU and the Red Cross gave much aid in the form of food (mostly canned food), second hand clothing, medical supplies, and medicine.

When the last war broke out, the people’s lives were not very much except when it was rumored that the Japanese would land in Balayan Bay. Many people left their homes and evacuated to other places with some of them even reaching Candelaria, Quezon.

[p. 5]

Part II – Folkways

Traditions, Customs and Practices
In Domestic and Social Life

The traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life practiced many years ago are no longer being practiced today except some that are to be mentioned. This is due to the growing culture as influenced by the ever-growing outside world.


In the absence of [a] licensed midwife, the people in the locality still practice what their ancestors did.

When a razor or a pair of scissors was used to cut the umbilical cord of the child, it is never used until after the cord heals for fear the child will suffer much pain.

Under the child’s head is placed either a newspaper or magazine as the first pillow of the child in the belief that by doing so, the child will grow bright and quick to learn.

A month or so before the delivery of the child, the family keeps some chickens, usually in pairs, to be killed soon after the child is born. When the child is boy, a cock is first killed, and when a girl, they kill first the hen. This is done in the belief that the hen or the cock takes the place of the child in death.


In most cases, a party is held when the child is baptized. If the party is a grand one, the godfather or godmother gives the child no less than twenty pesos. The child’s parents send to the godfather’s or godmother’s home some chickens, cakes, and chocolate.


During the courtship, the young man’s parents send to the young woman’s house gifts and continue sending the gifts until marriage. The first gift is usually a big squid or octopus. This is because the people believe that the squid's firm hold will prevent any hindrance to the affair.

When the young couple reach home from the church after the marriage ceremony, the pair is given a native prepared dessert called “kalamay.” They do it in the belief that by doing so, the young couple will leave a sweet and harmonious life to the end.

The wedding party (when a party is prepared) is terminated with the “sabugan.” The bride and the groom’s kin and friends give theirs to the bride and vice-versa. Now, it is being practiced to [give] the young couple gifts as glassware, tableware, beddings, or any useful article that will be of value to them in their making of a new home instead of giving money.

It is still being practiced to bind the legs of all animals butchered for the wedding party until the wedding party is over. It is done because they believe that by doing so, the young couple will be bound by a tie that will prevent the separation of the man and

[p. 6]

his white when misunderstandings occur between the two.


Tthe practice of not sweeping the floor or the ground for four days is still being practiced. The whole family and the nearest relatives mourn for the dead for a year. For nine days after the burial, nightly prayers for the dead are held. The ninth day is usually held with the family offering a well prepared meal for anybody who comes to pray. On the first anniversary of the death, the family offers again another prayer for the dead. At twelve o'clock the anniversary day, the last prayer is said for the dead and then followed by the undoing of the mourning clothes and putting on the colored ones by the woman members.


The old customs and practices in connection with burial are no longer practiced today. However, the respect for the dead is still being practiced. Passed by the funeral procession takes off his hat in reverence for the dead. Does. Of being good neighbors is shown by every family by having two or three of the members of the family go with the funeral procession to the cemetery.


Neighborliness is shown by every family in the community by making visits to the neighbor when a member of the family is sick, a mother gives birth, a member of the family meets an accident, or when a member of a family returns home from a very faraway place after a long period of absence.

The people in the community no longer believe in superstitions and beliefs of the early people except those mentioned in connection with birth, baptism, death, burial, courtship, and marriage created in the foregoing discussions.

The puzzles, riddles, proverbs, and sayings need not be mentioned here because those being reported from the barrios are the same as the ones found in the poblacion.

For the popular songs, games, and amusements, the people in the community are very much influenced by modern life. The old songs are no longer heard in the community. Softball, basketball are very popular among the young folks. The show is popular to both young and adults.

For measuring time, the people seldom use the sun during the day and the positions of the morning and the evening stars and the crowing of the cocks at night because clocks and watches are now found in most of the homes.

Part III – Other Information

No books or documents treating of the Philippines can be found in any home except those books on histories owned by students. The community has never produced authors either in the dialect or any foreign language.

[p. 7]

Data gathered and compiled by:




Sources of Information

1. Coleccion de Ordenanzas Municipales Adoptadas por el Concejo Municipal de San Luis

2. Informants:



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