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January 4, 2018

Talon, San Luis, Batangas: Historical Data

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

[Cover page.]







HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE


OF THE BARRI OF


TALON








[p. 1]

HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE
OF THE BARRI OF
TALON

Part I – History of the Barrio

The official name of the barrio is Talon. The barrio of Talon comprises the barrio proper and a sitio comprising several families and is known as Bangas. No reliable information can be gathered as to the exact date of its establishment. However, it could be recalled that the barrio was established during the latter part of the Spanish rule. Before the establishment of this barrio, it was part of the barrio of Taliba. During the early days, many farmers from Taliba and the other neighboring barrios worked in that place and raised rice, camote, corn and other minor crops. Because most of the farmers came from Taliba, which is far from the place [where] they built temporary huts where they sometimes passed the nights. Since that time, many then moved to that place and built their permanent homes. Several families then followed and they formed the nucleus of the present inhabitants of the place. The original families of the barrio are the Hernandez, de Villa, Marco, Masangkay, and the Carable families.

The name Talon was derived from the Tagalog word “talon.” It means jump (as jump out of the window, jump into the precipice). The barrio of Talon can be reached from Taliba during the early days and even at the present by narrow trails passing several ravines. One of the widest of the trails starts from the middle of Taliba. It passes a deep ravine. Because of its proximity to the most thickly settled part of Talon, this trail was the one mostly used. The deep ravine is hard and difficult to cross at night and even during the day. People oftentimes missed their steps when they jumped from one side to the other. They sometimes stumbled and fell and, sometimes, their faces were hurt and bruised. So, they called the place Bangas. Bangas as an adjective means the appearance of the face when bruised. Bangas as a verb means to cause a bruise in the face by striking it with any object that may cause a cut or a wound. Before the barrio was called Talon officially, the word “talon” became so popular to the people passing the deep ravine from their homes to the field and back, and so they called the place Talon. During the early days, many fighting took place between young men who were rivals to a lady they were courting occurred in this place called Bangas. Many of these fights resulted in deaths.

During the early days, the people of Talon were not school-minded, as proven by the fact that even at present, there are few high school graduates in the barrio. The people became interested in educating the children only after liberation. Many of the pupils who graduated from the elementary grades were even ten or more years over age.

During World War II, the people were slightly troubled by the Japanese who camped in the neighboring barrios of Bagong Tubig and Durungao.

The following were the different barrio lieutenants of the place: Andres Hernandez, Mauro Salazar, Juan Cuerdo, Telesforo Marco, Andres Salazar, Gaudencio Atienza, Jose de Villa, Pio Masangkay, and Miguel Marco.

[p. 2]

Part II – Folkways

A month or two before delivery, the family keeps and fattens some chickens, at least a hen and a cock. As soon as the child is born, the chickens are killed. When the child is a boy, the cock is first killed but when the child is a girl, they kill first the hen. This is done in the belief that the chicken’s life that was first killed takes the place of the child in death.

After the child and the mother are given the proper care, they serve the meal to the attending neighbors. After eating, the neighbors go home.

The child is first bathed in a basin of warm water where silver, gold, and jewelry are placed. This is done because they believe that by doing so, the child will live in prosperity and abundance.

The tool used to cut the child’s umbilical cord is never used until after the cord heals. They believe that the tool is used before the cord heals [or] the child will suffer much pain.

The child’s first pillow is a newspaper or a magazine to make the child grow intelligent and quick to learn.

BAPTISM:
When the child cannot be given the sacrament of baptism by the priest, a similar rite is given to the child by an elder in the community who acts as the priest’s second.

When the child reaches home after baptism, he is laid on a mat littered with gold and silver coins to bring him good luck and prosperity when he grows old.

Usually, a party is held when the child is baptized. When the party is a grand one, the godfather gives the child no less than twenty pesos as his first gift to the child. The child’s parents send to the godfather’s home some chickens or a big goat, some cakes and chocolate.

FIRST HAIRCUT AND FIRST FINGERNAIL TRIMMING OF THE CHILD:
The child’s fingernails are trimmed after the child’s second full bath, usually when the mother takes her first bath after delivery. The nails trimmed are hidden in a crack of the first step of the stairs. It is done in the belief that the child will not slip on the stairs when he attempts to make his first step.

The child’s hair is first cut on his first birthday. The haircutting is done by anyone in the place, usually by a bright student. They believe that by doing it, the child will be intelligent.

When the child is a girl, the cut hair is buried in [a] banana stump to make the child’s hair grow long and vigorous. Long hair reaching the ankle is considered beautiful.

COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE:
A young man courting a lady whom he wants to marry must show the following character and traits or else his courtship will be disfavored by the young woman’s parents. He must be industrious, respectful, well-behaved and must be a jack of all trades.

[p. 3]

When the young man’s proposal is acceptable to the lady and the young woman’s parents, a meeting between the parents of both parties is held in the young woman’s house. When the young man’s parents, uncles, and aunts come for the meeting, they bring something to eat. In this, all requisites of the marriage are agreed upon. The date for the wedding is set aside and the sponsors for the wedding are selected. They agree on the wedding party to be prepared if one is to be given, the dowry to the bride if the young man’s parents can afford, and the bride’s trousseau.

The young man’s parents continue sending gifts to the young woman’s home until the wedding day. The first gift sent to the young woman’s parents is divided among the aunts and uncles of the young woman if the young man’s proposal meets their approval.

When the young couple reaches home after the marriage ceremony, an old woman gives each a certain kind of dessert called “kalamay.” This is made of finely ground glutinous rice mixed with sugar and coconut milk and boiled until brown and thick. This dessert, they believe, will make the young couple live a happy, sweet and harmonious life.

The legs of all animals butchered for the party are bound together until the party is over. This is a practice connected with the belief that by doing so, the young man and young woman will be bound by a tie that will avoid separation of the couple in case misunderstanding occurs between the man and his wife.

The wedding party is terminated with the “sabangan.” In this affair, the bride’s and groom’s kin and friends give a certain amount to the young couple as their gifts, the groom’s kin and friends giving theirs to the bride and vice-versa. In some case, glassware, beddings, and other articles that will help the young couple make their new home are given instead of money.

After the wedding party, the bride is escorted to the young man’s home. The young man is left to follow later in the afternoon or on the next day.

DEATH:
When a person dies, the family refrains from sweeping the house or the ground for four days. They do not cook vegetables until after the fourth day.

The family and the nearest relatives mourn for the dead for the whole year after death. The women put on the mourning (black) clothes.

If the family of the dead is Catholic, a novena for nine days is held. Every night, they pray for the dead. On the ninth day, the family, when it can afford, prepares a meal for those who come to pray that day. On the first anniversary of the death, the family holds again another prayer for the dead. At twelve o’clock of that day, the last prayer is said and followed by the undoing of the mourning clothes among the women members and putting on the colored ones.

BURIAL:
When the dead is a Roman Catholic, the body is first taken to the church where the priest performs a rite for the dead. Then, the body is taken to the cemetery for burial.

[p. 4]

As soon as the coffin is lowered into the grave and before the grave is covered, some people throw lumps of clay into the grave. They do this in the belief that any ailment they have will vanish and go with the dead.

As soon as the bier reaches the ground from the house, any person in the house throws out of the door a coconut dipper full of water, a broom, and a rolled mat.



VISITS:
Visits are made when a person is sick, met an accident, or one returns home from a faraway place after a long period of absence from the family. When visits are made to sick neighbors, those who make the visit bring to the sick something to eat.

BELIEFS:
Some beliefs and superstitions are given in the foregoing discussions. However, some beliefs are to be mentioned other than those already discussed.

People in the locality believe in [the] “tikbalang,” “asuwang,” and the “nuno.” The tikbalang is supposed to be like a human being that goes to the places where people often pass at night and go pranks on them. They usually mislead people on the way, so oftentimes when people lose their way at night, they say that the tikbalang did it. The asuwangs is like the tikbalangs, but they do harm to people who are sick. When a sick person is about to die and dogs howl, they say that the asuwang is coming near the sick. The nuno is said to be a little spirit who dwells in the springs or uninhabited places. When the nuno is annoyed by anyone, the nuno makes that person sick.

POPULAR SONGS, GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS:
To the youths, the modern song hits are popular to them. But to the mothers, the “Huluna” is very popular. This is sung when the mothers put their babies to sleep.

To both adults and the young, the show is becoming a popular form of amusement. They also play softball and other games like hide and seek, the “taguan,” and the patentero, the “tubig-tubig.”

PUZZLES AND RIDDLES:
1. Matapang ako sa dalawa nguni’t duwag ako sa iisa. Tulay na kawayan.
I do not fear the two but I am afaid of one. The bamboo bride.
2. Isang libong kabayo, iisa ang takbo. Reloj.
A thousand horses run at the same rate. Watches and clocks.
3. Kawayan ko sa bundok, abot dito ang hutok. Bahaghari.
My bamboo tree on a hill has its top reach here when bent. Rainbow.
4. Baboy ko sa kaingin, tumataba’y hindi pinakakain. Camoteng bagin.
My pig in the field becomes fat but never fed. Sweet potato.
5. Nagsaing si Kapirit, kinain pati ang anglit. Bayabas na kinain.
Kapirit cooked rice and also ate the pot. Guava that is eaten.

PROVERBS:
1. Ang tubig kapag matining, tarukin mo at malalim.
Silent waters run deep.
2. Ang kahoy hangga’t malambot, madali ang pag-aayos.
Kung tumigas na at tumayog, mahirap na ang paghutok.

[p. 5]

Bend the tree while it is still young, for it is easy to do so,
But when it lengthens and hardens, hard it will be to bend.
3. Ang bahay man ay bato, kung ang tumitira ay kuwago,
Mabuti pa’y isang kubo na ang tumitira ay tao.
A house may be of stone with dwellers as owls,
A small hut is better where live the true souls.
4. Kung ano ang pinagkabataan, siyang pagkakatandaan.
What one is while young, that he will be when old he becomes.
5. Pag may isinuksok, may titingalain.
When something is hidden, you can hope for something.
6. Ang saradong bibig ay hindi pinapasok ng langaw.
A mouth that is closed is never entered by flies.
7. Kung anong itinanim, siyang aanihin.
What you have planted is what you will reap.
8. Kung anung tugtug, siyang isayaw.
Dance with the music.
9. Ang marahang pangungusap sa puso’y nakakagaan.
Soft words comforteth the heart.
10. Ang palay ay hindi lalapit sa manok, ang suso sa bato’y hindi hahandog.
Palay to the chicken will not walk, stone to the snail will not approach.

METHODS OF MEASURING TIME:
Many homes are now provided with clocks. Many young men and women now own watches. In the absence of time pieces, the people use the sun during the day and the positions of the morning and the evening stars and the crowing of the cocks at night to tell the time.

Part III – Other Information
No books or documents treating of Philippine life can be found in the place. No writer either in the dialect or foreign language was born in the place.

*********************
--------------------

Data collected and compiled by:

[Sgd.] SIXTO C. CATAPANG
Chairman

[Sgd.] (Miss) LAURA C. DIOKNO
Member

[Sgd.] (Miss) AUREA M. CARANDANG
Member

[Sgd.] (Mrs.) CLEMENCIA C. COSIO
Member

[Sgd.] Mr. Elias Carandang
Member
oo0oo
INFORMANTS FROM THE
BARRIO
[Sgd.] Mr. EPIFANIO MASANGKAY [Sgd.] Mr. JOSE DE VILLA

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

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