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January 4, 2018

Pacifico, Santa Teresita, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Pacifico in the Municipality of Santa Teresita, 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 Pacifico was still a part of San Luis rather than Santa Teresita. The barrio would become part of the latter municipality in 1961, after the passage of Executive Order No. 454.

[Cover page.]





HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE

OF THE BARRIO OF

PACIFICO








Compiled by:

Gregorio S. Mendoza

[p. 1]

HISTORY AND CULTURE

OF

THE BARRIO OF PACIFICO

PART ------ I

This said barrio was established formally when the Spanish sovereignty was about to end. It is popularly known as Sampa, although at present this barrio is entirely different from this village. It is well known in such [a] name because formerly, this barrio of Pacifico was once a part of Sampa. This so happened because as years went on, the inhabitants increased, thus forcing the population to protest against the Spanish authorities for the division of the barrio of Sampa into two sectors. The eastern part adopted the name of Pacifico while the western part retained the original name. It so retained its originality in view of the fact that [a] long time ago, there was a very big and old tree by that name in the western part.

So, Sampa was named after that legendary tree, but Pacifico could not be known as to why it was named as such, for no data or reliable information regarding such thing could be found. This barrio of Pacifico had a sitio within its territorial jurisdiction – San Antonio, which was recently separated and considered as an independent village just after liberation.

The original families of this barrio were the following names of persons. They were Evaristo, Dorotea, Juan Ulila as he was called, Juan Putol, Juan Cristobal, Felix Segunial, Francisco and Gardiano.

Regarding the different barrio lieutenants who had rendered services to this village from the earliest time to date, the following names of persons were the ones concerned. They were Apolinario Andal, Eleuterio de Villa, Jose Sebolino, Onde Segunial, Ramon Andal, Santiago Cabrera, Juan Cabrera, Monico Mendoza, Leoncio Segunial, Ananias Andal, Vicente Mendoza, Ricardo Cabrera, Bibiano Rodriguez, Brixcio de las Alas and Gregorio Andal

[p. 2]

As to its important facts, incidents or events that took place in this barrio, nothing could be narrated, except when World War II broke out.

During the Japanese Occupation, “neighborhood associations,” as they were called, first came into being. These associations existed until the time they wear ruling the islands. Aside from the barrio lieutenant, a section leader called “cabo” was chosen as the leader to supervise the inhabitants residing in the sector. This leader or cabo, assisted the chief official of the barrio in the performance of their duties as ordered by the Japanese military authorities.

In enforcing the laws, the military authorities were so tyrannical for if certain individuals happened to commit mistakes, punishment was so severe. They even went to the extent of executing the concerned delinquent without due process of law.

In the early part of the war, all schools were totally closed, depriving everyone the much desired educational rights and privileges, but when conditions where almost returning to normalcy, some schools where ordered open. In the opening of these institutions of learning, certain changes had been noticed. The English language, which was regarded as the most popular, was totally discarded. It was no longer used as a medium of instruction. Pictures of American citizens where torn off, or properly pasted, with a view of enforcing in ourselves to forget the so-called American ideologies. In place of this most desired language, as treated as a school subject, the Japanese language or Nippon as it was called, was the one used.

In view of these horrible educational policies, enrollment had totally decreased in comparison with the previous years. The people at once showed signs of antagonistic tendencies against the Japanese military authorities. Instead of attending schools, majority stayed at home and some went to the mountains to take up arms with the ultimate aim of driving way the Japanese hordes from the islands. Many remain illiterates, but still they preferred this, rather

[p. 3]

rather than attend schools and study the much-hated Japanese-sponsored means of education.

In the latter part of nineteen hundred and forty-two, a certain change had been brought about in the fields of economics. This sudden alteration was considered as destructive, for the percentage of production of rice and other necessities had alarmingly decreased, because the Japanese rulers ordered the people to plant cotton instead of other crops. This planting of cotton could be compared with the tobacco monopoly during the Spanish times, that if and when we ignored their order of planting in the time they had specified, immediately that delinquent was brutally punished.

But although it was so detrimental and prejudicial on the part of the Filipino people, still there was but one good effect. This benefit was the learning of applying fertilizer [to] rice and other crops. Formerly, the commercial fertilizer was only used in sugarcane, plants but when cotton planting was enforced, the people began to conceive the idea that commercial fertilizer could effectively be applied in the growing of rice, corn, vegetables, fruits and other plants.

In the wars of 1896-1900 and in 1941-1945, life could be recorded as killed, but [a] great amount of property was commandeered, or rather destroyed. Since the early part of Japanese occupation, foods such as rice, corn, and meat such as beef, pork, [and] fowls were seized by these colonizers for their subsistence. Sometimes, they paid; at other times, they didn’t and if they paid, it was so lamentable to say that the amount offered by them as payment for the commodities taken was extremely hard below the current price. Late on, when probably they knew that General MacArthur’s forces we're coming very timely, they began to revise their ways of securing foods from the populace. They began to see everything that pleased them, without paying a single cent. As we feared their brutal responses, we remained at ease giving everything they wished. This manner of ruling the colonial peoples could not win the sympathy and admiration of the Filipinos.

[p. 4]

PART – II

FOLKWAYS

Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life such as birth, baptism, courtships and visits, marriage, death, and burial, festivals, punishment, etc.

(a) Birth – The mother who has newly delivered a child drank warm water every day until she had taken a cool bath. To hasten her recovery, she also drank a kind of beverage or liquor sold in the drugstore such as vino de quina, vino de cacao, winet, etc.

But before delivering a child, a midwife who knew something about delivery was called for by any member of the family. Commonly, this midwife was the quack doctor in the locality. She had not studied in any kind of institution concerning delivery, but merely happened to acquire such knowledge through practical experiences. She did not know any scientific knowledge about birth, but applied her odd ways of operation. If there were difficulties in the delivery of the child, the midwife resorted to apply her knowledge concerning superstitions. In this, the husband or anyone assisting the delivery cut some banana plants, untied the knots which the husband or the wife had tied, and pulled the nails on the posts which were considered done by any one of the spouses. If every means of their commands were exhausted and still [the mother] failed to deliver the child, then that would be the only time to consult the doctor or to bring her to the hospital.

After the delivery, then the newly-delivered mother would begin to drink the above-mentioned beverage. After the lapse of two weeks, the woman began to heat her body with a hot stone prepared by the husband or by any relative of hers. Usually, she used to warm her body two times a day for a period of fifteen days. This kind of practice of hastening the recovery was made continuously for a period of two weeks, after which the mother would take a full cool bath.

(b) After giving birth, the parents selected a sponsor for the newly-born child. If he was a boy, usually the sponsor would commonly be a man and, if a girl, the selected sponsor

[p. 5]

would naturally be a woman. When a child was baptized, the child was brought to church by the supposed sponsor wherein the priest would officiate the baptism. Then, they would go home. The parents of the child would prepare a meal. If the parents could afford, they prepared a big party. They killed pigs, cows, chickens, and invited their relatives and friends. After this baptism, then the parents of the child addressed the sponsor as “cumadre” or “kumpadre,” as the case may be.



(c) Courtships and Visits – During the early days, no gentleman could enter immediately the premises of the lady’s house without first taking off the hat. Usually, the man took off his hat the moment he sighted the roofing of the house of the lady he was courting. Upon reaching the house, he could only step up when the parents of the girl consented him to do so. After reaching the balcony, he would again stay and wait for another word of welcome. If he was asked to enter the house, then the man would enter, but as quickly as possible. He had no chance to talk with her and if he had decided to marry her, he would first render various phases of work. In other words, he got water, pounded rice, gathered fuel, plowed the field if the father was a farmer, etc. But the judgment would not be rendered at once, not until the services had been recognized in continuous manner for a number of weeks or months. Sometimes, his servitude lasted for years before the parents’ judgment would be handed down. Before the marriage time could be reached, years and months in many cases were the ones counted.

(d) Marriage – In many cases, the gentleman courting continued his manner of serving without knowing the effect or result of his servitude. If he was acceptable, the parents of the woman

[p. 6]

would call for the parents or guardians of the man to talk about the consequence. Upon being informed, the parents of the man would bring with them sometimes fish, meat and rice, to the house of the girl. Everybody there would be there and after all, the two parties would talk about the matter. This was called “bulungan.” In the course of their conversation, the spokesman of the girl’s side would inquire the other side what they would give their son in case he was married. This thing being asked was called the “bigay kaya.” They also talked about the kind of party to be given, the wedding dress of the woman, the sponsors, and other things pertinent to the marriage.

Then, if the conditions offered were agreeable, then a specified date would be set aside for the wedding. In the afternoon prior to the marriage day, the different sponsors of either side would be given different kinds of food which were called “sabit.” Then, these people given would compute the amount of these presents and add still to this, a certain amount of cash as a donation to be remitted to the couple before the party terminated. This time of remitting the money was called “sabugan.” Not only the sponsors were the ones concerned in remitting voluntarily a certain amount of money, but everybody was invited to give as they pleased. This was usually done in the afternoon before evening.

After this sabugan, everybody would be going away, while the groom would stay in the woman’s house until the next day, after which time he would follow the woman who had gone ahead to the former’s home in the afternoon of the marriage day. Thus, the final marriage had at last materialized.

[p. 7]

(c) Death and Burial – When a person died, the relatives of the deceased talked about the cemetery where in he or she would be buried and the kind of burial they would render – whether a colorful or is simple one. They also talked about the property which she or he had left, and if something had been regarded as left, after the whole expenses were taken away, then the most respected member of the deceased’s [family] would divided equally the property left among the legal heirs.

If the deceased was a member of a well-to-do family, the burial would be a colorful one, if he was not, then his burial would be simple. Immediately after his death, every female visitor will pray for the eternal repose of the soul. This manner of praying was carried continuously for a period of thirty days. But commonly, on the eighth day, a party was held which was called “waluhang araw.” In this occasion, everybody was invited to be present to pray for the deceased. The praying was resumed again the next day until it reached thirty days, after which time, no praying was offered, except during the time of Babaan, or during the All Saints’ Day.

(e) Festivals – In time of festivals, no dances as we have now were prevalent. They had what they called as the fandango. This was also a kind of dance, only this was performed individually either by a man or by a woman. Besides the stepping and the movements of the hands and feet were quite different from the movements of the hands and feet of our present dances. Ask to the musical instruments, they used [the] accordion, or flute, while we are using guitars, violence, pianos, hearts, etc.

[p. 8]

(f) Punishments – Regarding punishments, penalties for those who had committed illegal acts, were also different from the punishments of today. During the olden times, the accused person was hogtied, making [it] impossible for him to move. If the crime committed was serious or grave enough, his two arms and feet where separately tied to four pegs, depriving him also of any kind of movements. If after rigid investigations, the accused person was considered as a murderer, or a person inciting revolutions that would endanger or affect the security of the nation, immediately, the guilty one was executed. There was no clemency or pardon as we have now.

[p. 9]

SUPERSTITIONS

The people in this barrio believe in many kinds of superstitions. Some of which are as follows:

(1) The sweeping of floors and surroundings late in the afternoon or in the evening is prohibited, because they believe that God's blessings given to them will be going away

(2) Nobody is allowed to sit on the stairs, in the early morning, for they believe they are obstructing the blessings of God that will be coming in

(3) If someone will be going to sell something, he will on his way try to secure as-is, tagpo, dawag, and other leaves, because they believe that the customers will be numerously coming to buy the things being sold.

(4) When someone is going to the cockpit and happend to see a snake on his way, he will do his best to avoid any delay, in view of the belief that he is sure of winning.

(5) In the evening, everybody will close his windows on the eastern side of a house, in view of the belief that God's blessings will not be able to escape.

(6) During the planting of rice in May, no farmer will attempt to plant his seeds during the seventh, seventeenth and twenty-seventh day of the month. They don't like to plant on these days because they believe that misfortune cannot be evaded within that year.

(7) No will place his or her money on the table, especially when someone is eating, because they believe that they will be poorer and poorer.

[p. 10]

As to the first man and woman on earth, Adan and Eva were considered as the first ones to be recorded. When God created the world, Adan was the first man sent down to earth. As he was alone, God noticed him. He was very lonely. So, He thought of giving him a companion – a wife, with whom he could have enjoyment. He requested him to sleep soundly, and while fast asleep, God went near him. Without Adan’s knowing, God took away one of his ribs and with his powers transformed this line rib into a human being. God created this human being as the first woman on earth, with the name of Eva.

After everything was accomplished, he woke up Adan and informed him that he had given [him] a companion so that he would not be lonely. He also warned him to love her, because his companion was also a part of his body. After warning Adan, He took turn of warning the woman – Eva. God told her to reciprocate her husband’s way of loving. Besides from this warning, God gave another one which was so important to them. He warned them not to eat the fruit – the manzanas. The moment they ate that, they would immediately be punished.

But, they were living happily on earth, and upon seeing the beautiful truth, both of them forgot the prohibited thing. They began to eat it. By this action of theirs, they were punished. Instead of living in paradise, they were brought to live in a place where they were encountering difficulties. Here, they became father and mother. Cain was the first son, while Abel was the first daughter. These people wear the origins of the people on earth.

[p. 11]

In the olden times, the people were singing several songs. The most common of these was the kundiman. This was song during the leisure hours, but more when men were serenading.

As to games, the most memorable one was the guramay. This was played during occasions such as parties and other celebrations. This was performed by any lady or gentleman.

As to amusements, several could be mentioned. Many of these amusement are still enjoyed today. They are horse-racing, cockfighting, and ox-fighting

Aside from these amusements, there are also many puzzles and riddles, which were used for entertainment. The following are to be mentioned:

(1) I'm afraid of one, but I'm not afraid of two. This is the bamboo bridge.

(2) A beautiful lady, eating her body. – candle

(3) Naito-ito na, may sunong na baga. – chickens

(4) Kabayo kung puti, nasa puwit ang tali. – needle

(5) Baboy ko sa kaingin, nataba’y hindi nakain. – cassava

(6) Ang ina’y nagapang pa, ang anak ay naloklok na. This is the squash.

(7) Baboy ko sa pulo, balahibo’y pako. – jackfruit

(8) Nanganak ang hunghang, sa tuktok nagdaan. – This is a banana plant.

(9) Walang tainga’y walang bibig, palagi nang umiimik. – This is the radio.

(10) Dalawang magkumpadre, magpauna’t magpahuli. – These are hands and feet.

(11) Isda ko sa Mariveles, nasa loob ang kaliskis. – This is the pepper.

[p. 12]

Many proverbs and sayings are existing in this barrio, only a few of which are to be mentioned below:

(1) Samantalang may oras pa, maglaan ka ng maaga
Kung gumabi’t dumilim na, huwag kang ngangapa-ngapa.

(2) Walang matimtimang birhen sa matiyagang manalangin.

(3) Ang dalaga’y pag bagong kita, matamis pa sa panutsa, pag lumawon na’t nag-asawa na, mapait pa sa ampalaya.

(4) Ang kamunting sira, ay pag walang tagpi,
Siyang pinagmumulan ng malaking gisi.


(5) Pag ang tubig ay maingay, asahan mo at mababaw.
Pag ang tubig ay matining, asahan mo at malalim.

(6) Ang lumakad ng marahan, kung matinik ay mababaw.
Ang lumakad ng matulin, kung matinik ay malalim.

(7) Masarap nga ang manispsip, ang magsuka ay masakit.

(8) Pag ang tao ay mayaman, marami ang kaibigan,
Pag humirap na ang buhay, masalubong man sa daan,
Di na batii’t umisan.

(9) Ang tubig bago luluksuhin, ay tatarulan muna ang babaw at lalim.

(10) Pag ang tao ay tantong mabait, asahan mo’t gayon din magalit.

(11) Ang maniwala sa sabi-sabi ay walang bait sa sarili.

(12) Ang kita sa bula-bula, sa bula-bula rin nawawala.

(13) Sabihin mo sa akin ang iyong kasama, at sasabihin ko sa iyo kung sino ka.

(14) Kapidpid kay kapidpid, kung magsiyay kabigkis.

[p. 13]

Although there were no excellent devices by which they could tell the time, yet the people of the olden times knew the exact hour, only they could not tell the exact time by means of minutes nor by seconds. For measuring time, they were using the following means:

(1) By the crowing of the chickens – According to them, the roosters were crowing every hour, from two o’clock in the morning up to six o’clock at dawn.

(2) By means of cuckoos – According to them, the cuckoo chirped only at four o’clock in the morning. So, whenever they heard the voice of this bird, they woke up to begin working, because they presumed that it was almost dawn.

(3) The third means was the use of the stars. In the southern part of the sky are two stars shining, whose positions are balanced to each other. These planets shine only at midnight. When it was about morning, the western star was going downward, becoming lower than the eastern star. So, when they saw that these stars had newly risen, they presumed that it was almost twelve o’clock, and when the western star was very far below than the other star, their presumption was that morning was almost at hand.

Informant:

[Sgd.] Segundo Sibulyeno

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

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