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January 5, 2018

Sinipian, Santa Teresita, Batangas: Historical Data

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

[p. 1]

HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO (OF SINIPIAN)

Located a little northeast of the poblacion lies the barrio of Mohon. Due to geographical changes caused by increased population and frequent changes in the administration during the Spanish regime, Mohon was lost in the map of the poblacion but has given birth to two important barrios called Sinipian and Bihis, with only the name of the present school as a recollection to its old foundation.

Mohon, as the name implies, was established during the Spanish regime, being the boundary between Taal and Bauan. Mohon or “Pinagmohonan” was later dissolved and was then named Bihis and Sinipian. The name Bihis was applied in honor of the late Rev. Apolonio Bihis, who was a native of the place and a well-known figure among Filipino Insurrectos, as what the Filipino insurgents were called during the Spanish regime. Sinipian derived its name from that it was a whole from which a part was taken.

This barrio was founded long before the dreadful Montalan raided the town. It was composed of different barrios now known as Bihis, Sinipian, Kalayaan, and part of what is now Calumala.

The population of the barrio has steadily increased, which is comprised of Tagalogs, and to the present has some Ilocano, Visayan and Bicol bearings due to inter-marriages undertaken by the original people of the place in the course of their trade with such regions. [The] Prominent families of this place are the Atienzas, Rodriguezes, Villanuevas, Bihises, and the Garcias.

Since the foundation, the people have been guided by able tenientes in the persons of Gregorio Bihis, Jose Hernandez, Jose Garcia, Donato Hernandez, Celestino Rodriguez, Ramon Atienza, Agaton Reyes and Leoncio Atienza, guiding them wisely during the thickest part of the Spanish Regime. As of the present, the people are led by Gelacio Villanueva, Juan Semaña, Manuel Semaña, Mariano Medina, Esperidio Reyes, Elpidio Pormentilla, Dalmacio Hernandez, Marcelino Medina, and Sotero Pormentilla for Bihis while Melchor Barral, Marcelino Salazar and Leoncio Rodriguez have contributed their share in making Sinipian what it may be called today.

During the Spanish revolution, many of the male citizens of the place joined the insurgents wherein encounters with the Spaniards were also frequent. Many of the people were taken to the poblacion on mere suspicion of being members of the revolutionary movement, of which the Spaniards punished them severely.



After the Spanish-American War, reconstructions were begun in all branches of human activities and we saw the founding of the first public school in 1905 till the erection of a semi-permanent school building in 1921.

This place is a prosperous barrio which produces [a] greater number of cavans of palay of several varieties and excels most in the production of our native sugar. True to such expectations that the Batangueños are travelers, many of the people travel or go to other places to engage in various trades or become famous cloth peddlers.

During the Japanese occupation, the people were so hard-pressed with consumption goods that they planted various kinds of food crops never planted before.

Cassava was dried to be made into flour while the women worked on embroideries and in making native cigarettes to earn a living.

[p. 2]

In some cases, men of the barrio plotted to help their fellow countrymen when they joined various guerrilla organizations tending to minimize Japanese atrocities or helped in overthrowing it. In such a fete [?], many of the civilian population were imprisoned that with God’s help, only one was killed. Before the liberation of the place by the Americans, the Japanese burned the barrio where almost all houses were burned.

At present, these barrios have undertaken vast reconstruction works. New houses were built. Greater emphasis was led on sanitation and home beautification. Civic organizations were created which has helped much in fostering peace and order in the community. With regards to production, it has given rise to the rise of fertilizers, the use of well-selected seeds, thus giving the more hope that the place will someday be one of the best among the best in our town or province.

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

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