Bagbag, Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Bagbag, Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Bagbag in the City of Tanauan, 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
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1. Present official name of the barrio: BAGBAG

2. Popular name of the barrio, present and past, derivation and meanings of these names. Names of sitios included within the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio:

From the word “nababagbag” which means erosion of the soil.

3. Date of establishment: No information can be secured.

4. Original families: Sandoval and Gutierrez families.

5. List of tenientes from the earliest to the present:
Juan Gutierrez 1900-1905
Celestino Tenorio 1906-1910
Francisco Prescilla 1911-1915
Juan Gutierrez 1916-1919
Mauricio Briones 1920-1922
Severino Castillo 1923-1930
Aurelio Catimbang 1931-1952
Simeon Mendoza 1952- to date
6. Story of old barrios or sitios, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.: None.

7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.: None.

8. Important facts, incidents or events that took place:

a. During the Spanish Occupation: No information can be secured.

b. During the American Occupation to World War II: The opening of the public school building.

c. During and after World War II: The creation of the Community Center School and its implementation.

9. (a) Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars:

(1) 1896-1900 – No information can be secured.

(2) 1941-1945 – The total destruction of the public school building, and the burning of several houses by the Japanese soldiers.

(b) Measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II:

The public school building was reconstructed out of the peoples’ own money, and private houses were rebuilt.

Part Two: Folkways

10. Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life:

(a) Birth:

When a child is born, a chicken or more is killed and cooked. People say that the lives of those chickens are the substitute for the life of the newly-born child.

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(b) Baptism:

Two or three days after the child’s birth, it is brought to the town to be baptized. Sometimes, baptism is done in the barrio chapel during the barrio fiesta.

(c) Courtship:

Before the marriage, the young man renders his services to the girl’s family and oftentimes gives dowries.

(d) Marriage:

Marriage is continued with the consent of the parents. During the marriage ceremony, there is a “handaan” or celebration in the house of the girl. All the expenses are shouldered by the parents of the young man. When all the guests and the relatives of the bride are already served, the members of the groom’s family take their turn in eating. The young groom cannot go home until after the fourth day of the marriage.

(e) Death:

When a person dies, the relatives of the deceased make some preparations for the night’s vigil. On the fourth and ninth days after the death, there is the usual “handaan.” It is called in the dialect “apatan” and “siaman.”

11. Beliefs and Superstitions:

a. When an owl hoots at daytime, the following day is a good day for planting.

b. When a young girl sings before the stove, she will marry an old widower.

c. When a comet appears in the sky, war or famine is coming.

d. It is bad to comb the hair when the sun is setting because the parents will die.

e. It is not good to take a bath during [a] new moon because one will always be dizzy.

f. Playing with fire causes bed-wetting.

g. When the fire makes a noise when someone is cooking, a visitor is coming.

h. It is not good to sweep the house or surroundings before the fourth day of the death of a member of the family.

12. Popular songs, games, and amusements:

a. Popular songs – Kundiman, balitaw, danza.

b. Games & amusements – Luksong tinik, luksong lubid, tubigan, tipongpong, cockfighting, playing cards.

13. Puzzles and Riddles:

a. Haba mong kinakain, lalo kang gugutumin. – Purga

b. Isang butil na palay, sikip sa loob ng bahay. – Ilaw

c. Mayroon akong alipin, sunod ng sunod sa akin. – Anino

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d. Nuong bata ay minamahal, nang tumanda ay pinugutan. – Palay

e. Alin dito sa mundo, patihaya kung tumakbo? – Bangka

f. Baboy ko sa kaingin, nataba ay walang pagkain. – Camote

g. Isang seniorita, hindi mabilang ang mata. – Pinya

14. Proverbs and Sayings:

a. Pag may hirap ay may ginhawa.

b. Pag may tinanim ay may aanihin.

c. Magpakahaba-haba ang prosisyon, sa simbahan din ang urong.

d. Ang maniwala sa sabi-sabi, walang bait sa sarili.

e. Ang hipong tulog ay nadadala ng agos.

f. Ang umilag sa kaaway ay tunay na katapangan.

g. Ang sakit ng kalingkingan ay damdamin ng buong katawan.

h. Daig ng maagap ang masipag.

15. Methods of measuring time, Special Calendar:

a. By the different positions of the sun, moon, stars, and constellations.

b. By the length of the shadow.

c. By the crowing of the cocks at night.

No special calendar was used by the people.

16. Other Folktales:

The Legend of Pirapiraso

Pirapiraso is a group of small islands in the middle of Taal Lake. How do small group of islands came into existence is told in the succeeding story.

Many years ago, Pulo was a big island in the middle [of] Taal Lake. In the middle of the lake where many shrimps or “hipon” and/or “apta.” Because of the almost infinitesimal number of both kinds, hatred and rivalry strong between the two, and so they fought for supremacy. They began to gore each other right and left, here and there with their “horns” or antennae. The battle went on for many days until all the “apta” had retreated. The angry hordes of “hipon” chased the fleeing “apta,” and overtook them in Pulo. The battle was resumed. The “apta,” despite their natural handicap of smallness in size, would not submit to any unconditional surrender, so the battle went on again for many more days, fiercer and more desperate than the first. Anger became so fierce among them that the fight became almost a free-for-all, goring each other without mercy. In the course of the long battle, Pulo was hit many times by the “horns” of the “hipon” and the “apta” whenever both missed their targets. The impact was so violent that Pulo began to crack in many places. The gallant “apta” began to weaken and finally, they were defeated. As an aftermath of this long and fierce battle, a portion of

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Pulo was torn into several small pieces which were separated by water. The people called them “pirapiraso,” which means, in English translation, torn into shreds or cut into pieces. These “pirapiraso” formed a group of small islands in the middle of Lake Taal and are now very good hunting places during the dry season.


17. Information on books and documents treating of the Philippines and the names of their owners: None.

18. The names of Filipino authors born or residing in the barrio, the titles and subjects of their works, whether printed or in manuscript form, and the names of persons possessing them: None.


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

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