Pila, San Pascual, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Pila, San Pascual, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Pila, San Pascual, Batangas: Historical Data

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

[p. 1]



1. Present official name of the barrio - - - - Pila

2. Popular name of the barrio

(1) a. Present - - - - Pila
b. Past - - - - - - Pila
(2) Derivation and meaning of this name:

Many years ago, when there were still very few families in this place, the people worried and talked about much of how they could give it a name.

At last, the oldest man and, perhaps, the wisest, called a meeting. He said, “Inasmuch as our place has no name yet, let us talk over tonight the name most fit for our place.” All at once, the people burst into laughter and exclaimed, “Oh, let us call our place ‘Pila.’ There are plenty of pila here so this is the name most fitted. Everywhere we dig in this place, we dig ‘pila.’ “

This kind of soil is quite hard and stony and is popularly known in this place as “pila.”

The old man listened very carefully and, afterwards, he looked up in astonishment; then, he nodded his head and uttered a few words – “Hmm! Hmm! Well, it’s nice!” At the old man’s approval, the people clapped their hands with joy and shouted, “Mabuhay ang nayon ng Pila! (Long live the barrio of Pila!)”

(3) Names of sitios included within the territorial jurisdiction of the said barrio.

“POOK NG KAPITAN” (The present sitio)

This sitio got its name from one of the inhabitants from this place who was at that time a prominent and popular “kapitan.” Because he was very rich, he was idolized by the people. To honor him, the people, after their separation from the main barrio which is Pila, named the sitio after him. Up to the present, the sitio’s popular name is “Pook ng Kapitan.”

All that data concerning this sitio were very much alike to that of Pila because this sitio was

[p. 2]

once a part of Pila. The traditions, customs, beliefs, superstitions, folk tales and others were alike, so having a separate compilation for this is not necessarily important.

There were no happenings here worth writing because they were of the least importance if there were any.

The puzzles, riddles, sayings and proverbs we had in this place were usually borrowed and imitated from the people of the main barrio.

Their method of measuring time and the popular games, songs, and amusements were very similar to that of Pila.

3. Date of establishment.

No specific date could be had for its establishment. Old folks could not remember the date of its establishment.

4. Original families.

According to old folks still living, during the early days of its development, there were just several families. They could not remember those existing then.

5. List of tenientes from the earliest time to date.

During the American regime, the following were the tenientes del barrio.
1.  Simon Cusi 3.  Gregorio Castillo
2.  Anastacio Cusi 4.  Narciso Marquez
The present teniente del barrio is Lucio Cusi.

The tenientes during the earliest time were not known. However, the ones recorded here were those of the Spanish regime.

Upon the arrival of the Spaniards, the barrios were divided into barangays. A barangay consisted of from forty to sixty families. The barangay was ruled and governed by a “cabeza.” The one selected “cabeza” to rule Pila was Gregorio Castillo. He was selected because he was the richest man there. His duties were: (1) To appoint the tenientes del barrio (2) to help the teniente del barrio collect taxes (3) to inform the town officials of the crimes committed within his territory.

[p. 3]

One of the tenientes del barrio he appointed was Celedonio Masangcay, who was also a resident of Pila. He was elected because during that time, he was the greatest comedian of the place, a man of good character, and a man of dignity.

The duties of the teniente del barrio:

(1) He notified the people of things needed in town.
(2) He collected the taxes.
(3) He helped the cabeza maintain peace and order within the barangay.

6. There are no old barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct.

7. No data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.

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

(a) During the Spanish occupation, there was complete peace and order in this barrio.

(b) During the Filipino-American War, houses were burned by the Filipino soldiers so that they could fight well in case the Americans came. The women and children and other civilians were taken to Lagnas and Bauan, where they were kept until there was complete peace. This was during the year 1901.

(c) During and after World War II – People were required and forced by the Japanese civilians to plant cotton. Palay, corn, vegetables and other farm products were destroyed to the extent that people had [a] food shortage. Most of the land was planted to cotton. People were punished if they did not obey those Japanese civilians.

Farm animals like cows, horses, pigs, fowls, dogs and many others were taken by Japanese soldiers who from time to time went to the house of the “Kapitan” (teniente del barrio) and asked for these things.

Besides these Japanese soldiers, we had the Filipino guerrillas who also went from house to house begging for something to eat. If you failed to give them what you wanted, then they became the worst enemies of the people. They sometimes kidnapped people who were very innocent and then let the relatives get them from their hiding places. In order to have them, the relatives must be able to give them their wants.

[p. 4]

9. (a) Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars, especially in 1896-1900 and 1941-1945.

During the war of 1941-1945, the Pila-San Mariano Bridge was destroyed.

(b) Measures and accomplishments towards rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II.

(1) [The] Pila-San Mariano Bridge was reconstructed.
(2) Roads were made so that better means of transportation were made available.


10. Customs and Practices.


Before the birth of the child, the husband prepares different kinds of wood that have good structure. These pieces of wood are to be burned in a pot and to be kept burning under the place where the wife lies down for at least one week.

The delivery of the child is usually attended by the so-called “hilot” or midwife. The “hilot” usually stays with the family until the baby is born. She manages the bathing of the baby and the dressing up of it. Then, she goes there and makes the routinary visit which is twice a day for at least one week. After 18 days, the wife is ready to take a bath. The husband, then, gathers different kinds of plants like malarayap, galamay-amo, etc. These things are boiled in a big, new pot. This will stand overnight, and the following morning, it will be put over the fire again and about 10 o’clock, the wife is ready to take a bath. After the bath is over, a hot stone is made ready for the so-called “saklat.” The wife is wrapped in [a] mat and stands with feet apart. The “hilot,” then, would put the stone between the feet and would pour water over it from time to time. The wife, then, would feel the heat of the stone and would perspire much. When she is already perspiring much, the “hilot” then stops the pouring of the water and the patient is allowed to lie down.


After the safe and normal delivery of the child, the parents of the child think of baptizing the baby. The

[p. 5]

child then, is taken to be baptized. The parents select a “madrino” or a “madrina” for their baby.

Usually, when the parents of the child happen to be well-to-do, there is a baptismal party wherein friends, relatives and neighbors are invited. However, when the parents happen to be very poor, the baby is just taken to town to be baptized.

When the baby is born sickly, the parents do not take the child to town at once, but hire somebody to baptize the baby right there in the house. When the baby gets well, then it is taken to town to be baptized.

The above practices were those put into effect during the olden days. However, because they were handed to us, some of them are still practiced today.


Courtship, during those days, was very much different from the courtship we have today. We cannot blame people for having such kind of courtship because these might be a tradition brought down to them and was something with which they had to abide.

Suitors during those days were very well-behaved. They took off their hats even if they were still a few meters away from the girl’s house. When they went up the house, they were very careful not to make any noise. Before they entered the house, they showed courtesy by saying, “Magandang gabi po!” behind the door in a very modulated voice. Then, they would sit quietly on the floor without uttering a word. The girl, then, would sit opposite the suitor, without saying any word also. They just looked at each other, perhaps with meaningful looks. While the suitor smoked his cigar, the girl continued her piece of work; she might be knotting abaca or doing any other household work.

While the courtship was going on, the parents of the girl laid behind their daughter. But remember, they were not sleeping. They were watching the two. After a few minutes, the man would ask permission and leave the house.

Usually, the man helped in the work done in the girl’s house, although there’s no reassurance whether or not he would be the right man for the parents. After long and patient service (sometimes, it took a year or more), the parents then approved.

The parents of the man were then sent for by the girl’s parents, so that they could decide and talk over of the coming feast.

[p. 6]

When both parties did not agree on the giving of the dowry or on the preparation for the feast, or if there occurred any misunderstanding between the parties, then they separated again. When the parents of the man were not tactful, the long service rendered by their son became useless. The man then had to look for another to serve, one where he could be lucky.

In other words, parents during those days were the ones who decided the marriage of their sons and daughters. Not like today, when parents are not very much concerned in this. If parents don’t like, alright, the girl and man elope or, if they cannot do this, they are secretly married. Men and women today do not mind whether their parents like or they do not like. They just follow the dictates of their conscience.


With regards to marriage, some practices of the past are still being done today.

When both parties have agreed, then they talk over the dates when the couple is to be married. They consult old persons who know best the luckiest day. Then, talk over of the sponsors-to-be; and the marriage feast. When all has been decided, the groom, the bride and the parents of both parties buy the necessary things to be used.

The ceremony is over, the couple rushes out of the church. Today, the couple walks together in going in and out of the church but during those days, each one of them liked to go ahead of the other, to find out who of the couple would be dominant.

When they reached the house, the couple kneels before their parents. There is sometimes singing, dancing. There is great rejoicing.

At about one o’clock, when the feast is almost over, they have the so-called “sabugan” wherein friends, relatives and neighbors of the couple give their “regalos” sometimes in terms of money or in any other forms.

After the “sabugan” is over, the bride is taken to the groom’s house. All the things used in the feast is carried back. The groom is left in the bride’s house where he helps in the work done there. He goes home the following morning to see his bride.

11. Myths, Legends, Beliefs, Superstitions, Origin, Etc.

[p. 7]

The Origin of Butterflies

Once upon a time, there lived a woman with a beautiful garden near her house.

Every night, the people of the said village were surprised to see the old woman watering her plants. The garden was very bright. The people wandered where the light came from.

During the day, the people could not see the beautiful flowers. They were of different colors and how sweet the blossoms were! However, the garden was not open for all. Every day, it was closed because the old woman did not like that anybody would enter her garden.

One day, while the old woman was away, a couple passed by. Because of the beautiful colors of the flowers and very sweet scent, the couple was tempted to gather some.

While they were gathering flowers, the old woman king. She saw the couple. She was very angry. She drove them away but the couple was very hard-headed and did not like to go away.

The old woman got very, very angry and she said, “If you will not go away, I shall punish you.”

She got her wand and touched the couple.

All at once, the couple disappeared. In its place, there appeared to butterflies.

From that time on, butterflies multiplied in numbers.

Ang Alamat ng Paruparo

Mayroon isang matandang babae na may halamanan sa piling ng kanilang tahanan.

Gabi-gabi’y ang ipinagtataka ng mga bata at mga matatanda sa lugar na iyon ay kung bakit sa gabi ay makikita ang matanda na nagdidilig ng kanyang halaman. Maliwanag na maliwanag ang hardin. Takang-taka ang mga tao kung saan nanggagaling ang maliwanag na sinag.

Kung araw naman ay makikita ninyo ang naggagandahang bulaklak. Nakakasilaw ang kanilang mga kulay at ang bango ay humahalimuyak. Ano pa't kahali-halina ang hardin ng matanda.

Sa araw, ang hardin ito ay laging sara sapagka’t ayaw ng matanda na nasisira ang kanyang halaman. Ayaw niya ang papasukan nito sa sinuman.

[p. 8]

Isang araw ay nagkataon na may dumaang mag-asawa. Nahikayat sila ng pagpasok sa hardin sapagka’t sila ay naaakit ng mga magagandang bulaklak. Hindi sila nasiyahan ng panunuod kung di sila ay namupol pa ng Ilan.

Samantalang sila’y namumupol, ay nadatnan sila ng matanda. Nagalit sa kanila at sila’y pinaaalis. Lubhang matigas ang loob ng dalawa at hindi sila umalis-alis.

Sa kagalitan ng matanda ay sinabi niya, “Kung hindi kayo aalis ay paparusahan ko kayo.”

Kinuha ng matanda ang kanyang baston at sinag-uy ang mag asawa. Kinamaya-mayaan ay nawala ang mag-asawa at ang sumipot ay dalawang paruparo.

Beliefs and Superstitions about Birth

People believe that when a pregnant woman eats twin bananas, she will surely give birth to twins.

That birthmarks are due to the lights and dislikes for certain foods of a prospective mother.

That it is bad for a pregnant woman to go under the house at sunset.

That it is bad for a prospective mother to put anything around her neck because this may cause the cord of the baby to wind around its neck.

That it is bad for her to stay at the door because this may cause delay in the delivery of the child.

That eggplants are not good for a prospective mother. It would cost beriberi.

That it is bad for her to so anything worn on her baby. For example, [if] her dress is torn, she must take it off, then sew it.

That prospective mothers should not slide down right on the floor without anything spread on it. There must be a mat, a sheet or anything.

That the husband must not touch anything which belongs to the dead-like coffin, dress or clothing.

That prospective mothers should not eat very good food; it will make the baby to be born very healthy, therefore, the delivery will be difficult.

That she must not criticize or laugh at other persons’ defects or deformities.

[p. 9]

Other Beliefs and Superstitions


People believe –

That it is bad to marry when the moon is small.

That a lucky day should be selected.

That the groom should go ahead of the bride and going in and out of the church so that the groom will be the real head of the family.

That the ring and veil should not be allowed to fall because the couple might separate.

That all things used in the marriage or wedding party should be put together.

That breaking a pot when the couple arrives at the groom’s house means the birth of many children.

That it is bad for the couple to be to go around or to go to some far place when they are not yet married. According to them, accidents may befall them.

That two candles, to represent the couple, must be burned before the altar and as they are burning, they are twisted together, so that the couple will not separate.

That it is bad to marry in the month of February.


People believe –

That it is bad to go somewhere else when there is a dead person nearby.

That a pair of scissors should be put near the coffin.

That when the eyes of a dead person are open, it means that he or she is waiting for somebody else.

That when we smell the scent of a lighted candle even if there is entirely none, a relative of hours may have died.

[p. 10]

That it is bad to cook fresh, green vegetables, especially those of the vine family when a relative dies.

That usually, the spirit of the dead comes back every night when that dead person left some money which is hidden or unknown from other members of the family.

That when members of the family cry, they must see to it that not eating falls on the dead person’s body.

That on the fourth night, the dead usually visits his or her house.

That when the dead person’s body is very soft, somebody in the family may follow.

Other Beliefs and Superstitions

1. When a comet appears, there will be either war or [an] epidemic.

2. When one points at a rainbow, his fingers will be cut.

3. When a black butterfly enters your house at night, it is a sign of a bad omen.

4. When one dreams of falling teeth, it may mean the death or sickness of a member of the family or some other relative.

5. On Good Friday, it is not good to do any manual labor. It is not good also to travel.

6. Cutting the nails on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday leads to the development of in-toe nails.

7. It is good to plant plants when there is a full moon.

8. When planting a banana, do not look up because it will grow very, very tall and will not bear fruit.

9. When we dream of a black cross, this is a sign of death or sickness.

12. Popular Songs, Games and Amusements:

The popular songs in the barrio are the following:

1. Huling Awit
2. Bayan Kong Pilipinas
3. Lulay
4. Ako’y Anak ng Dalita
5. Ang Dalagang Pilipina

[p. 11]

The popular games are:

1.  Sipa 4.  Pukol ng Lumbang
2.  Tubigan 5.  Sunda-sundaluhan
3.  Gurumay 6.  Piko
7.  Saluman
The popular amusements are:
1.  Fandango 4.  Dama
2.  Sungkahan 5.  Tuktokan ng Itlog
3.  Cockfighting 6.  Subli
13. Puzzles and Riddles

1. Isang bayabas
Pito ang butas. (ulo)

2. Kung araw ay bumbong
Kung gabi ay dahon. (banig)

3. Isang butil na palay,
Punung-puno ang bahay. (ilaw)

4. Matay ko ng lingus-lingusin
Di ko abot-abutin. (tainga)

5. Dalawang magkumpare,
Mauna’t mahuli. (paa)

6. Manok ko sa parang
Napula ay natapang. (sili)

7. Isang babaeng may korona
Kahit saan ay may mata. (pinya)

8. Isang prinsesa
Naka-upo sa tasa. (kasoy)

9. Baboy ko sa pulo
Balahibo’y pako. (nangka)

10. Baboy ko sa kaingin
Nataba’y walang pakain. (palay)

11. Kurting puso nabibitin
Pitasin mo’t nakakain. (mangga)

12. Hindi Linggo’y hindi piyesta,
Lagi nang may bandera. (dahong ng saging)

13. Umanak ang birhen
Iniwanan ang lampin. (puso ng saging)

[p. 12}

14. Tintang puti
Plumang bakli
Berdeng papel
Ang sumusulat ay babae. (babaeng ngumanganga)

15. Puno’y kalbang
Sanga’y anus
Bunga’y gatang
Lama’y lisay. (papaya)

16. Tubig sa digan-digan
Di matapakan ng ulan. (tubig ng niyog)

17. Ako’y nagtanim ng saging
Sa haram ng mahal na Virgen. (kandila)

18. Isang pirpir na kahoy,
Magkabila’y may buhol. (sigarilyo)

19. Bata pa si Pepito
Maalam nang manakbo. (aso)

20. Isang bias na kawayan
Punong-puno ng kamatayan. (baril)

21. Wala sa langit,
Wala sa lupa,
Ang dahon ay sariaw. (dapong-kahoy)

22. Buhok ng pari
Hindi mawahi. (tubig)

23. Saging ko sa Maynila
Abot dito ang palapa. (daan)

24. Pag bata’y nagtatapis,
Pag tanda’y naglililis. (kawayan)

25. Pag bata’y nagbubuntot,
Pag tanda’y nagpupugot. (palaka)

26. Ang inuusong ay buhay
Ang nag-uusong ay patay. (balag)

27. Bahay ni Kaka
Hindi matingala. (noo)

28. Bahay ni Kiko
Punung-puno ng ginto. (itlog)

29. Hindi pari, hindi hari,
Ang damit ay sari-sari. (sampayan)

[p. 13]

30. Nagtago si Pedro
Labas pati ulo. (pako)

31. Ang itaas ay kugunan
Ang ilalim ay kawayanan. (bahay)

32. Ang ibabao ay araruhan
Ang ilalim ay batuhan. (cacao)

33. Isda ko sa Mariveles,
Nasa ilalim ang kaliskis. (sili)

34. Isda ko sa Kitaw-kitaw
Hindi mahuli’t may pataw. (dila)

35. Dahon ng pinda-pinda
Magkasing lapad silang dalawa. (lupa’t langit)

36. Di madangkal, di madipa
Lima ang nagtatangan sa kanya. (karayom)

37. Tumitindig walang paa
Lumuluha’y walang mata. (kandila)

38. Baka ko sa Maynila
Abot dito ang unga. (kulog)

39. Isang libong kalabaw
Iisa ang tagikaw. (walis)

40. Dalawang tindahan
Sabay buksan. (mata)

41. Baras ng kapitan
Di mahawakan. (ahas)

14. Proverbs and Sayings

1. Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika,
Ay higit sa hayop at malansang isda.

2. Walang matigas na kahoy
Sa matiyagang magpalakol.

3. Magpakapula-pula ng saga,
Maitim din ang kabila.

4. Pag ang tubig ay magalaw,
Tarukin mo at mababaw.
Pag ang tubig ay matining,
Tarukin mo at malalim.

[p. 14]

5. Walang mailaip na pugo
Sa matiyagang magsilo.

6. Walang matimtimang birhen
Sa matiyagang manalangin.

7. Pag may sinuksok
Ay may matitingala.

8. Humihip sa lusong,
Sa mukha tumapon.

9. Magpakataas-taas ng lipad,
Sa lupa rin ang lagapak.

10. Ang kapalaran mo’y takpan man ng bato,
Dudulog-lalapit pag talagang iyo.

11. Sa alabok nanggaling ka,
Sa alabok babalik kang muli.

12. Walang sunog na tutong
Sa taong nagugutom.

13. Kapag ang apoy ay malapit,
Sapilitang magdirikit.

14. Ang masama sa iyo’y
Huwag mong gawin sa kapuwa mo tao.

15. Kapag may sinuksok,
Ay may matitingala.

16. Ang maniwala sa sabi,
Walang bait sa sarili.

17. Balikan ng tinapay
Ang naghagis ng bato.

18. Sa nakapagmamahal sa magulang,
Lumalapit ang kapalaran.

19. Aanhin pa ang damo,
Kung patay na ang kabayo.

20. Wika at batong inihagis,
Di na muling magbabalik.

21. Ang hipong natutulog,
Nadadala ng agos.

22. Kung ibig mong guminhawa,
Ikaw ay magpaaga.

[p. 15]

23. Kita na sa labong
Ang magiging bumbong.

24. Walang maghuhulog ng binalot
Sa taong naka-ungkot.

25. Matulin daw ang kabayo
Hangga’t walang kapareha.

26. Pag may tinanim,
Ay may aanihin.

15. Methods of Measuring Time:

The people of the past had a crude way of measuring time. They used no clocks or watches but they had the following as means of measuring time:

1. Crowing of the cocks.
2. Songs of birds like the bato-bato, the sabokot, etc.
3. By looking at the sun.
4. By observing the flowers of plants like the flowers of the patola.
5. By looking at the stars at night, they could determine the time at ni ght.

16. Other Folktales.

Mga Kuento

Ang Tatlong Magkakapatid

Noong unang araw ay mayroong tatlong magkakapatid na babae. Sila ay mayaman, malaki ang kanilang bahay. Sila ay walang ginagawa araw-araw kundi magpaganda at magpalinis ng kamay. Araw-araw ay kinukuskos nila ang kanilang mga kuko, anupa’t lagi nang pinagaganda at pinalilinis nila. Halos Ipinagmalaki nila ang kanilang mga kamay.

Isang araw, sila ay namasyal sa piling ng bundok. Sa kanilang pamamasyal ay nakita nila si Maria na anak ng kabila ng labandera.

Tingnan ninyo ang kamay ni Maria. “Pagka-gaspang at anong pagka-itim,” ang saad ng isa.

“Maria!” ang tawag isa. “Ilagay mo sa likod ang iyong kamay. Huwag mo sanang ipakita sa amin. Ayaw namin ng mga pangit na kamay.”

[p. 16]

“Dapat mong ikahiya iyan,” ang sabi naman ng patatlong kapatid.

Hindi malaman ni Maria kung ano ang kanyang gagawin. Gusto niyang umiyak.

Kinamayan-mayan ay isang matandang babae ang dumaan. Siya ay may dalang maraming damit.

Ang sabi ng matanda, “Pakitulungan nga ninyo ako sa pagdadala nito, mga magagandang bata.”

Ang tatlong magkakapatid ay agad nagsitalikod at ito ang ipinagbadya, “Masasaktan ang aming mga kamay.”

Si Maria naman ay dali-daling dumais sa matanda at siya ang nagdala ng balutan. Tinulungan niya ang matanda ng pag-akyat sa bundok.

Sa itaas ng bundok ay may ilaw na suminag, at tuloy nawala ang matanda. Sa kanyang harapan ay dumulog ang isang anghel.

Nakangiti ang anghel na ito at sinabi, “Maraming salamat, Maria. Ikaw ang may pinakamagandang kamay sa buong daigdig. Ang magagandang kamay ay mga kamay na tumutulong.” At nawala ang anghel pagkatapos ng mga pangungusap na ito.


Once upon a time, there lived three rich sisters. They lived in a big house. They did nothing but take care of their hands. They rubbed their nails and kept their hands white and smooth. The three sisters were very proud of their hands.

One day, they took a walk near a mountain. Soon, they met Maria, the daughter of their washerwoman.

One of them said, “Look at Maria’s hands. Do not show them do us. We do not like ugly hands.”

The third sister said, “You should be ashamed of them!”

Maria did not know what to do. She wanted to cry. By and by, an old woman passed by. She carried a heavy pack of clothes. She said, “Please help me carry these clothes, pretty girls.”

The three sisters turned their backs and said, “We shall hurt our hands.”

Maria ran to help the old woman. She helped her climb the hill. On top of the hill, a light appeared and the old

[p. 17]

woman was gone. Instead, a shining person appeared. She was an angel. The angel smiled and said, “Thank you, Maria. Beautiful hands are those that help.”

The angel disappeared.


“Other Information”

In this place, there are no popular writers. Old folks living up to this time could not recall of any author and his works.

The people during the olden days were relatively illiterate.

Data submitted by:



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