Gelerang Kawayan, San Pascual, Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Gelerang Kawayan, San Pascual, Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Gelerang Kawayan, San Pascual, Batangas: Historical Data Part I

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



Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Gelerang Kawayan in the Municipality of San Pascual, 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.

[Note to the reader.]

At the time when this document was created, the barrio of Gelerang Kawayan was still a part of Bauan rather than San Pascual. The latter did not become a separate municipality until the year 1969, after the passage of Republic Act No. 6166.

[p. 1]



As one enters the barrio next to Ilat, he could see the view of a beautiful panorama that is enriching in experience. The tall, green bamboos that proudly pierce the sky add some beauty to the place. This is the barrio of Gelerang Kawayan.

But Gelerang Kawayan is not the original name of the place for several years. This was heretofore called Pook ng Sigay.

Later on, the barrio people as well as the passers-by noticed the bamboo trees that line the path of the entire barrio. Everywhere, bamboo trees were seen like barbed wire entanglements that protected the Pook ng Sigay. They then preferred to change the name of their pook into Gelerang Kawayan. What a nice name which really fitted to the place!

The barrio of Gelerang Kawayan has at present [a] 1167 population including the Pook of Gelerang Kawayan, which was formerly called Pook ng Cupang. You will be induced to live in this peaceful place. The bamboo leaves wave gently as if welcoming everyone. Peace of mind and soul can be obtained in this barrio. You will hear only the sweet murmurs of the sweet breeze as it passes through the bamboo leaves. People here are very industrious and understanding. They move as only one. Try to live in this place of blessing and you’ll find what is life.


There is no information to be secured from the oldest of the place as to the data when the barrio was established. But they said that the barrio was established since the town was called Bauan. Every family in this place has a parcel of land for his house and small gardens. Like other places where people own their lands and homes. These well-to-do families have big parcels of land where they get their daily living.

The barrio was originally inhabited by several families which may be considered the root of the present generation.

[p. 2]

They were the ancestors of the present people of the barrio. The most popular was Cabesang Severino whose descendants were the wives of the Magbojoses and the Punzalans. One will be surprised to find out that most of the people possess the Magbojos and Punzalan family names. It is worth mentioning that there are families whose father and mother have the same family names.

Next to these two families is the Boongaling family, but very few males possessed in this family. Besides these families already mentioned, there were still other families but their descendants were not as many as the two families mentioned above. Below is the list of original families who were the origin of the present families of the barrio.

 1.  Severing Magbojos 6.  Telesforo Boongaling
 2.  Manuel Magbojos 7.  Benito Torres
 3.  Vicente Punzalan 8.  Miguel Garcia
 4.  Lazaro Punzalan 9.  Miguel Garcia
 5.  Severo Punzalan10. Hilarion Azucena


[A] Man with [a] strong personality and leadership leads the rest of the people. During the past and up to the present, men of this kind sprang out from this barrio to lead the barrio people and make the place a worthwhile place to live in.

Here is a list of barrio tenientes from the past to the present, who with guidance and leadership, make the place peaceful and orderly. These barrio lieutenants of Gelerang Kawayan could settle troubles and misunderstandings among the people through their explanations and fair decisions. Seldom are such cases brought to the municipal court.

Among the present tenientes as Manuel Magbojos. It was during 1814 when he administered the barrio. Then, he was succeeded by Nicomedes Punzalan, another man who was a root family of this barrio. His term did not last very long and [he] was followed by Marcelino Punzalan in 1882. He was then followed by Telesforo Boongaling in 1910 under the presidency of Higino Marasigan. Next to him was Eleuterio Boongaling who served the barrio for 5 years. There were successive changes of the barrio lieutenants under the administration of President Benito Cusi. Damaso Cusi followed Eleuterio Boongaling in 1920; Felipe Dagdagan in 1925 and Honore Azucena in 1930. Because of the good policy of Felipe Dagdagan, he was again appointed barrio lieutenant in 1935, still under the presidency of Benito Cusi. Later on, Dionisio Punzalan succeeded in 1938.

[p. 3]

When the name “President” was changed to “Mayor,” Atty. Godofredo Brual was elected and Wenceslao Borromeo was appointed barrio lieutenant.

After a year, in 1941, when the war broke out, Jacinto Magbojos became the barrio lieutenant. He continued his services during the Japanese Occupation. There constant changes of mayors during this critical period. Atty Godofredo Brual was succeeded by Atty. Francisco Madlangbayan, then by Atty. Alberto Leynes, and lastly by Atty. Jose Dimaculangan. But the teniente del barrio was not changed. The school was not destroyed by the Japanese soldiers though this became a Japanese center and people lived peacefully during this regime through the ways and means done by this man. Liberations came, and still Jacinto Magbojos led to the best of his ability. It was due to his untiring efforts that made him stay too long in the service. Jacinto Magbojos is a man worth remembering because he always extended a helping hand to his barrio mates any time in need. These services lasted until 1952, and because he had served the position for such a long time, he gave up the position to rest. Although he was out of service, still he is very willing to help for the sake of his barrio.

After the election, Mayor Daite appointed Dionisio Punzalan. He remains as barrio lieutenant to the present day.

The leaders of this barrio, as well as the people, have mutual understandings that make the barrio a peaceful place to live in.


During the Spanish occupation, the barrio people always lived in fear of the Spanish officials who treated them harshly. The people were forced to pay taxes which were not within their reach.

When the Americans came, they had been relieved of the oppressions. The American officials only asked the people to help with the insurrection. Schools were opened and education was given free to all the barrio folks.

The Second World War came and there were many evacuees from the poblacion and other towns like Batangas and Lipa. They came to live with their relatives. After a few months, many of the families went to their homes and some went to father barrios.

[p. 4]

The Japanese had done so many barbarous atrocities which the barrio people could never forget. The ransacked all the houses and took all the things they wanted. Because the people were cruelly treated, most of them left their homes and lived temporarily in distant farms. They built small houses and lived there unhappily until the Americans came on March 8, 1945.

Since the barrio did not live near the Army Base, the people engaged in ice cream vending and majority of the men earned much money. They began to buy enough clothes and build new houses. Some engaged in business and they progressed very much.

With the coming of the Americans after World War II, the people had a great interest in sending their children to school. There are now many high school graduates here, which [is] unlike in the past when only 3 families sent their children to higher schools.


Customs and traditions are established ways of doing things, handed down from generation to generation. Certain ways which were found to be right or advantageous or convenient were preserved and used as patterns of conduct. Customs and traditions govern not only our acts but also our thoughts, our beliefs and our ways of living. Customs and traditions tell us what to do and how to do it in the usual way. Some customs are good and some are bad. Some are reasonable and some are foolish and ridiculous. But they control us just the same. The following customs ensure social approval, and this brings peace of mind to us and the happy feeling that our fellow beings think well of us. On the other hand, violations of customs bring about unpleasant results, such as being laughed at, loss of honor, or other mishaps. And customs and traditions are often strengthened by superstitions.

[The] Following are the customs and traditions the people of our barrio, Gelerang Kawayan, adhere to:


Marriages are arranged by the parents of the prospective bridegroom and the prospective bride. Except in a few cases, the parents do not interfere with their daughters’ choice of a mate provided he can support a family.

A dowry is usually given by the parents of the bridegroom.

The prospective bridegroom must render manual service to the girl’s parents. He chops firewood, fetches


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