Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Tanauan, 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 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.

[Cover page.]


The Local Committee

Tanauan, Batangas
June, 1953

[Cover page 2.]

of the
Compiled and Arranged
The Local Committee
Composed of




Tanauan, Batangas
June 30, 1953

[Letter of Transmittal.]

Bureau of Public Schools
Division of Batangas
District of Tanauan

Tanauan, June 30, 1953

The District Supervisor
Tanauan, Batangas


We have the honor to submit herewith the result of the work of your Local Committee on the History and Cultural Life of the people of Tanauan, Batangas, as required in Executive Order No. 486 by the President of the Philippines, and General Memorandum No. 34, s. 1952 of the Director of Public Schools, Manila.

Very respectfully,

Principal, Tanauan Elem. School

Principal, Boot Elem. School

Teacher, Tanauan Int. School



Tanauan, a town in the northern part of the province of Batangas, is replete with traditions and is rich in myth, legends and superstitions. While the site of the town proper had to be transferred from time to time in the past as a result of the eruptions of Taal Volcano, it has progressed and grown much in its present location.

Oranges, which had made Tanauan known not only in the province but also throughout the islands, are gradually replaced by the “calamansi.” Comparatively speaking, the people in the rural areas are much better off than their neighbors. This is mainly attributed to their industriousness, diligence and perseverance. Practically all the land are cultivated and are made productive throughout the year. The market abounds with farm products during market days and the people rush back to their barrios after selling their commodities to be able to work in their farms. Commercial fertilizers are used very extensively and the average annual consumption reaches as high as 70,000 bags.

Cooperatives are found not only in the poblacion but also in [the] barrios. A commercial bank which caters to the needs of the farmers and the merchants is found in the town proper. “Puroks” can be found in all the barrios and are instrumental in the social and cultural upliftment of the people in the rural areas. Tanauan is really a unique town. It is where Apolinario Mabini, the “Sublime Paralytic,” was born. It is also the birthplace of Dr. Jose P. Laurel.

The compilation of the data herein included is a great task. Acknowledgment has to be given to the teachers, head teachers, and the principals in the municipality of Tanauan and to Mr. Lucio Dimayuga who unselfishly helped in contributing the facts given. Special mention has to be made of the Local Committee headed by the Principal of the Tanauan Elementary School, Mr. Aurelio Valencia, who painstakingly and patiently corrected and compiled the facts submitted by the teachers.

District Supervisor




In the preparation of this book on the history and cultural life of Tanauan, Batangas, the local committee is greatly indebted to all teachers in the barrio and to those in the poblacion who have helped much in the collection of data in their “puroks.” Thanks also due to the many people who had willingly collaborated with the teachers in this arduous but interesting task.

Gratitude is especially due to Mr. Lucio Dimayuga, former Municipal Secretary of Tanauan, Batangas, who has furnished nearly all the data for the poblacion. Mr. Dimayuga also wrote the materials for Appendix A, B, and C of this book.

For typing the report, the committee feels greatly indebted to several persons who had volunteered to help in the work. Among these were Mr. Tereso Guevarra, a pharmacist; Mr. David C. Tapia, Principal of Boot Elementary School and a member of the committee; Mr. Jose Comprado, a teacher in the Tanauan Intermediate School; and Mr. Francisco A. Valencia, Head Teacher of Darasa Barrio School, also of this municipality.

A. V.

D. C. T.

J. C.

Tanauan, 6/30/53



Letter of Transmittaliii
Foreword by the District Supervisorv
History and Cultural Life of the:
 1.  Poblacion, Tanauan, Batangas1
 2.  Barrio of Altura19
 3.  Barrio of Ambulong24
 4.  Barrio of Bagbag34
 5.  Barrio of Bagumbayan38
 6.  Barrio of Balele 45
 7.  Barrio of Balocbaloc48
 8.  Barrio of Bañadero56
 9.  Barrio of Bilogbilog59
10. Barrio of Boot65
11. Barrio of Bungcalot82
12. Barrio of Cale86
13. Barrio of Darasa88
14. Barrio of Ik-ik96
15. Barrio of Janopol99
16. Barrio of Luyos105
17. Barrio of Malaking Pulo109
18. Barrio of Maugat117
19. Barrio of Natatas122
20. Barrio of Pantay126
21. Barrio of Sala133
22. Barrio of Sambat138
23. Barrio of Santol142
24. Barrio of Santor146
25. Barrio of Sulpoc152
26. Barrio of Suplang158
27. Barrio of Talaga161
28. Barrio of Tinurik172
29. Barrio of Trapiche175
30. Barrio of Ulango186
31. Barrio of Wawa192
Appendix A197
Appendix B199
Appendix B201

- ooo0ooo -

[p. 1]



1. Present official name of the town – Tanauan.

2. Former name or names and their meaning or derivation:

“Tanawaan,” derived from “tanawa,” a kind of shrub or small tree that grew in abundance near the lake.

3. Date of establishment: 1583

4. Names and social status of the founders: Spanish missionaries who came to convert the natives to Christianity and spread the Gospel.

5. Names of people who held leading official positions in the community, with the dates of their tenure, if possible:

Of the many people who held leading positions in the community during the Spanish regime, only the following can be recalled, as all pertinent records were destroyed during the recent global war and lost forever.


Juan de la CruzNicolas Tolentino
Victorino DimayugaInocencio de Leon (Laurena)
Magdaleno PanganibanMariano Laurel
Mariano Gonzales (Mayor)Mariano Gonzales (Menor)
Eligio SaguanEusebio Gonzales
Lorenzo DimayugaSantiago Lanting
Arcadio LaurelMacario Garcia
Pantaleon GonzalesEleuterio Castillo
Paulino HidalgoCasimiro Garcia
Ruperto LaurelNicolas Gonzales
Florentino Collantes (Teniente Mayor)
Sixto Macaisa (Juez de Ganado Mayor)
Valentin Dimayuga (Juez de Sementera)
Sotero Laurel (Juez de Paz)


Fr. Martin Ruiz, O.S.A.Fr. Benito Varas, O.S.A.
Fr. Jose (Garrote), O.S.A.Fr. Jose Diaz, O.S.A.


Sixto Castillo y Gonzales1898-1899 (Phil. Rep)
Pedro Carandang1899-1900
Juan Gonzales Suizo1900-1902
Florentino Laurena1902- (½ year only)
Valentin Dimayuga1902-1903
Florentino Collantes1903-1904
Prospero Dimayuga1904-1905
Pantaleon Gonzales1905-1906
Francisco Oñate1906-1907
Fulgencio Platon1907-1908
Nicolas Gonzales1908-1912
Crispin Garcia1912-1916
George Collantes1916-1922
Fulgencio Platon1922-1925
Florentino Laurena1925-1928
Antonio J. Dimayuga1928-1937
Alfredo P. Magpantay1938-1942 (Japanese Occupation)
Pedro B. Gonzales1942-1943 (Japanese Occupation)
Nicolas Gonzales Jr.1944-1945 (Japanese Occupation)

[p. 2]

Jose M. Corona1945-1946 (Liberation)
George Collantes1946-1951
PEDRO B. GONZALES1952- to date


Padre Modesto Corona
Padre Bernabe Macarandang
Padre Magdaleno Castillo
Padre Ricardo Gatdula
Padre Nicolas Gonzales
Padre Leonardo Depusoy
Padre Godofredo Marino (Present Parish Priest)


A. Municipal Secretary:
1. Pantaleon Gonzales
2. Buenaventura Tapia
3. Sergio Trinidad
4. Juan Liabres (Lipa)
5. Ruperto Laurel
6. Cayetano Laurena
7. Quintin L. Magsino
8. Andres Collantes
9. Jose M. Corona
10. Lucio Dimayuga
11. Marcelo F. Olfato
12. Bertin G. Olfato (Present Incumbent)
B. Municipal Treasurer:
1. Wenceslao Trinidad (Talisay)
2. Juan Muñoz (Sto. Tomas)
3. Agaton Burgos
4. Leonardo K. Gutierrez – May to June, 1945
5. Zacarias Maullon – July 1, 1945 to June, 1947
6. Higino Cusi – July, 1947 to Dec. 1947 (Acting)
7. Domingo L. Ferriols – Jan. 1948 to July, 1949
8. Daniel I. Pastor – July 21, 1949 to date
C. Justices of the Peace:
1. Sotero Laurel
2. Buenaventura Tapia
3. Ruperto Laurel
4. Cayetano Laurena
5. Eustacio Maloles
6. Primitivo L. Gonzales
7. Ladislao Tapia
8. Pedro M. Katigbac (Lipa)
9. Calixto Luna (Mataasnakahoy)
10. Marcelo V. Olfato
11. Anacleo Malabuyo (Present Incumbent)
D. Chiefs of Police:
1. George Collantes
2. Pio Encarnacion
3. Pablo del Prado
4. Artemio Rocamora
5. Gregorio Agoncillo
6. Lamberto Z. Burgos
7. Isabelo Zuño (Rosario)
8. Cipriano Magsino
9. Pedro B. Gonzales (Japanese Occupation)
10. Jorge Collantes Jr.
11. Marceliano K. Medina (Liberation)
12. Fidel del Pilar
13. Pedro B. Gonzales
14. Aquilino Villa (Present Incumbent)

[p. 3]

6. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.

1 – The site of the present Our Lady of Fatima Academy was the oldest cemetery of the town.

2 – The site of the New Elementary School Building was also a cemetery up to 1898.

3 – In the square where the Tanauan Presidencia Building stands was erected the CASA REAL or town hall during the Spanish regime.

4 – In the lot of the late Don Ramon Genato where not stands the store of Dr. Salvador Laurena once stood the buildings of the TRIBUNAL and the CUARTEL during the Spanish regime.

5 – The birthplace of Apolinario Mabini, the “Sublime Paralytic,” in the barrio of Talaga.

6 – The pillars and stone walls of the temporary convent of Padre Godofredo Marino, actual Parish Priest, were the ruins of the old church of Tanauan since its transfer from the shores of Lake Bonbon after the eruption of Taal Volcano in 1754.

7 – Portions of the ruins of the old church of the town of Sala after its transfer from the shores of the lake may still be traced and seen in one of the lots of the late Capitan Paulino Hidalgo.

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

a. During the Spanish Occupation:

(1) No event of special importance occurred during the whole Spanish domination. However, the founding of this town of Tanauan, its destruction by the earthquakes and eruption of Taal Volcano in 1754, and its transfer to the present location may be mentioned under this caption. The establishment of a public school for boys under the initiative and guidance of Don Simplicio Avelino, and for the girls under his wife Doña Benita Laurel, and also the establishment of the ESUELA DA LATINIDAD by Padre Valeriano Malabanan, where Mabini and other prominent persons of this municipality, as well as from other municipalities of Batangas, such as the famous Don Benedicto de Luna of Batangas, Batangas, whom Rizal mentioned in his immortal book Noli Me Tangere, Don Luis Luna of San Jose, Don Braulio de Villa of Sariaya, Quezon (formerly Tayabas) and his two brothers and other studied, are considered important events because they constituted important milestones in the history of Tanauan.

Later, the government opened a school (schola pia), dedicated to open the minds of the children to the rudiments, principles and doctrines of the Catholic faith, to instill in their hearts submission and piety, and to initiate them in the practice of religion. The building housing the school still stands. It was repaired and is now converted to a primary school building. It faces the new Tanauan Municipal Building.

In the latter part of 1896, during the revolution against Spain, some revolutionary soldiers, in the belief that they would further the cause of the revolt, kidnapped Cabesang Sixto Castillo y Gonzales and some of his sons, Exequiel, then a young man of the ten. The kidnappers were from a neighboring town headed by one Roman Hernandez. They wanted to exact ten thousand pesos (₱10,000), Mexican currency, from Capitan Eleuterio Castillo, father of

[p. 4]

Cabesang Sixto, who was at that time the richest man of Tanauan. Cabesang Sixto and Exequiel were held in captivity in the slopes of Mt. Makiling for some months until certain negotiations for their release were terminated. The kidnapped were at last freed, and eventually became the only Municipal President during the short-lived Philippine Republic.


Of the many incidents that took place in this municipality attesting to the corruption and evils of the Spanish government, the following best depicts how the affairs of the government were run during the almost three centuries of the Philippines under the Spanish domination.

Antonio Villapando, a prominent citizen of Tanauan, was elected the CAPITAN MUNICIPAL, although not officially inducted into office. While he was strolling along the streets of the Poblacion, he happened to witness a game of “Panguinggue” in the house of Doña Maria Tapia, and influential and wealthy woman of the town. After a while, Mr. Villapando reminded the players that, upon his assuming office, or immediately after his “Simbang Varas” (attendance of Mass in the morning of his induction into office), the game would be stopped for good, with the stern warning that, otherwise, the players would be brought to justice for violation of the law. After saying this, the would-be Capitan Antonio left the place and went his way. The players, then, had their personal comments on the incident, all challenging to the prestige of the Tapia family. Doña Maria immediately ordered her coach and, without much ado, went directly to Manila, laden with gifts, and repaired to the house of her friend, Doña Vicentica Leyba with whom she went to the palace of the Capitan Heneral. It happened that Doña Vicentica was a close friend of the family of the Capitan Heneral, and also of his paramour, with whom they secretly conferred. The immediate suspension of Villapando’s assumption of office, and in his place the appointment of Leocadio Laurel, was laid at this conference. Then and there, the “querida” of the Capitan Heneral assured that their requests would be granted. In no time, after the giving of the costly gifts, two orders, one for the annulment of Villapando’s election, and the other, the appointment of Don Leocadio Laurel as the next Capitan Municipal of Tanauan, were issued and handed to Doña Maria Tapia. She returned to Tanauan and held a big fiesta to celebrate the affair. Maria Tapia became overnight Doña and Capitana Maria, for Don Leocadio Laurel was her own husband, and the game of “panguinggue” flourished as ever more.


During the incumbency of Padre Jose Garrote as Curate of Tanauan, there occurred a robbery in the convent, resulting in the disappearance of several hundred pesos, all in coins, Mexican currency. From all the servants and jockeys of the friar were subjected to third degree torture, until they confessed. After so much grilling, one boy was at last pinned and made to confess the surrender the amount stolen. The boy, however, implicated in his confession, two outstanding citizens of the town, namely the two Mariano Gonzales (Mayor and Menor), in the robbery. These two involved persons were invited to the convent and screened for weeks and months, until the case was thoroughly investigated. As the two were innocent and which they stubbornly disclaimed any responsibility or participation in the crime, they were at last exonerated, freed and their names vindicated. The boy, at last, produced the stolen money

[p. 5]

and cleared that implicated the two, following suggestions and persuasions from some outsiders whose identities he consistently did not disclose. This event was the topic of conversation of the town of Tanauan and off other towns for a long time.


More than two hundred years ago, Don Juan dela Cruz, then Gobernadorcillo of Old Tanauan, give a big fiesta in his baronial home, where in the Curate, officials, prominent citizens and other persons of the town where cordially invited. As was customary among Filipinos, everybody was lavishly entertained with foods of all kinds, drinks, music and dancing until the wee hours of the following day, which was Sunday. Mr. dela Cruz requested the priest not to say Mass next morning until he (dela Cruz) had awakened from his sleep, in order that he could hear it. It happened, however, that the Gobernadorcillo did not wake up until twelve noon for which reason the good Padre was forced by the other parishioners to say Mass earlier. The priest, believing that he had [a] good excuse to comply with the wishes of the people, set the Mass without awakening the Gobernadorcillo. When Mr. dela Cruz woke up and found out that the Mass was over, he became very furious and mad at the priest, whom he branded as ignorant, disloyal and haughty. Dela Cruz immediately ordered a big, strong cage, and the unfortunate Padre was jailed in [it]. He gave orders to exile the Padre to a far place, and one him not to return. The order was complied with, and the party went up the mountains on their way to Manila. On reaching the summit of Mt. Sungay, they stopped awhile for a rest. At this juncture, the Padre took a handful of sand and scattered it to the spaces, cursing the whole town, especially the author of his martyrdom, and entreating God not to allow anybody from the said town to ever become a priest. The party continued their trip up to a place now called Zapote and the priest was released there. A few years thence occurred the violent eruption of Taal Volcano which destroyed once and for all the old town of Tanauan, and the people, remnants of the old population, took this calamity as an aftermath of the great injustice done to an old, native priest. The malediction fulminated by the priest was apparently heeded by the Divine Providence, for nobody ever became a priest until after more than forty years had elapsed.

b. During the American Occupation.

(1) For the first time in the history of Tanauan, the pastoral visit of the Archbishop of Manila, Monsignor Jeremiah J. Harty, took place in April, 1904.

(2) Public schools where established by the Americans since 1900. Highways and bridges were constructed, artesian wells drilled, market buildings erected, and a Town Hall (Presidencia) arose from the old site of the Casa Real. Tanauan was provided with a waterworks system and local investors organized the Tanauan Electric & Development Co. Inc. The late Dr. Juan V. Pagaspas founded the Tanauan Institute in June, 1924, the Cooperative Store and the Square Deal Banking Corporation, investing local capital. The establishment of the Our Lady of Fatima Academy, founded in June, 1948 and conducted by the Augustinian Sisters, marked also an important event in the history of the town.

(3) Mention should be made of the Vicarial Eucharistic Congress held in this town during the month of November, 1941, with His Grace, Mgr. Alfredo Versoza, Bishop of the Diocese of Lipa, officiating.

[p. 6]

(4) The eruption of Taal Volcano on January 30, 1911, killed many lives of the inhabitants and laid havoc and destruction on properties. The detonating sound of the angry and merciless volcano could be heard miles away, and hot ashes and molten rocks poured forth relentlessly, causing the total destruction and annihilation of the then flourishing orange industry of this town.

(5) Mention may also be made of the destructive typhoon which swept over this province of Batangas on November 25, 1926, raising to the ground all kinds of vegetation, including secular trees, and claimed hundreds of lives in the capital of Batangas. In Tanauan, many houses of light materials were destroyed, others heavily damaged, public services paralyzed, facts which caused great misery and distress among the people.

(6) Sometime in 1934, U.S. Congressman Hare, co-author of the famous Hare, Hawes-Cutting Law, granting independence to the Philippines, visited Tanauan and delivered a speech at the town plaza before a big audience.


(1) Occupation off the town in January, 1942. Ruthless massacre of innocent civilians and malicious burning of houses and wholesale looting of properties by the Japanese soldiers on February 10, 1945.

(2) The big Roman Catholic church and convent built by the friars of the Order of St. Augustine were completely destroyed during the war.

(3) About the latter part of February, 1945, the town of Tanauan was liberated by the United States liberation forces.

(4) Raid and burning of the entire market and the surrounding residential house and is inflicted by a strong Huk's force on March 29, 1950, a date which marks the anniversary of Communism. The total damage by this conflagration amounted to about a million pesos.

(5) Subdivision of the Leyba estate in the poblacion, and the sale of the lots on either cash or installment basis. Many people took advantage of the easy terms and bought lots on which they immediately erected residential houses. This subdivision, which is popularly called The New Tanauan (Purok No. 4), has enlarged and beautified the poblacion.

(6) Immediately after liberation, all pre-war schools were open and classes resumed. With more money for the opening of extension classes, new barrio schools where also opened. Among the newly opened schools are: Bagbag, Bañadero, Santol, Suplang, and Wawa. More complete elementary schools were allowed in the barrios, necessitating the appointment of full-fledged principals therein.

(7) Construction [of] a replica of the house where Apolinario Mabini was born in Talaga. Expenses for this house were shouldered by all school children in Tanauan. This replica is now declared a national shrine.


Not much loss in lives and properties were suffered by the people during this period. However, it must be stated in this connection that the people experienced great hardships because of the zonification effected by the Americans


Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Report on the History and Cultural Life of the Municipality of Tanauan,” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
Next Post Previous Post