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

Calatagan, 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 Municipality of Calatagan, Batangas and its barrios,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.]

The cover and first few pages of this document are missing from the original digital file collection.

PART I of the Historical Data for the Municipality of Calatagan, pp. 2-10 of the Poblacion section.

[p. 2]

d. Vice-Mayors:

1934-1937 – Timoteo Limboc
1937-1940 – Timoteo Limboc 1940-1941 – Jose Tan

e. Justices of the Peace:

1. Julian Calzado
2. Hose [Jose?] Malabanan
3. Vicente Atienza
4. Manuel Calanog
5. Cirilo Baylosis

f. Councilors:

1912 – Term of Cirilo Rosal
1. Gabriel Hernandez
2. Manuel Fagara
1. Gabriel Hernandez
2. Manuel Fagara
3. Victorino Caunan
4. Federico Martinez
5. Juan Punzalan
1. Pedro Punzalan
2. Placido Mendoza
3. Victorino Caunan
1. Federico Martinez
2. Regino Chavez
3. Feliciano Salac
4. Rufino Oneto
5. Placido Mendoza
6. Ramon Syyap
7. Felipe Casem
8. Victorino Caunan
1. Canuto Jimenez
3. Macisimo Martinez
2. Falicano [Galicano?] Salac
4. Catalino Torres
1. Antonio Limoico
2. Eufenio Bautista
1. Eugenio Bautista
2. Ambrocio Causapin
3. Rufino Cueto
4. Antonio Limoico
5. Regino Chavez
6. Manuel Caunan
1. Wenceslao Cueto
2. Eugenio Bautista
3. Teodulo Caisip
4. Catalino Torres
5. Alfredo Santos
6. Valente Aguilar
1. Celestino Magsombol
2. Jose P. Tan
3. Filomeno Bautista
4. Mariano Camma [unsure, blurred]
5. Hilarion Ramirez
6. Juan Bahia
1. Celestino Magsombol
2. Cirilo Buenaventura
3. [unreadable] Hernandez
4. Filomeno Bautista
5. Manuel Limoico
6. Buenaventura Caunceran

g. Municipal Treasurers:

Immediately after establishment of Calatagan into a town, different officials were appointed. One among the first was the appointment of a treasurer and the first one lucky enough to be appointed to the position was Mr. Francisco Atienza. He stayed in this position for seven years more or less until he became a political enemy of the administrator who worked for his transfer. Next in line was Mr. Vicente Atienza, who rendered services for 5 years. He resigned from the post after 5 years because of being sick. Zacarias Maullon followed whose

[p. 3]

stay in service was untraced. Next to be appointed was Mr. Juan Ramos in whose incumbency the construction of a new municipal building and a tennis court were accomplished. Due to his endeavor and efficient management in the collection of taxes, Calatagan became a third-class town. His transfer was the result of a quarrel with the town mayor.

Two more treasurers succeeded Mr. Ramos. They were Mr. Silvestre Florendo and Mr. Francisco Cadorna, the present treasurer. As far as the record is concerned, no other outstanding accomplishment had been done for the town.

No accurate data could be found to show the exact years of their incumbency.

Municipal Secretaries:

With the appointment of the first mayor of the town and the election of the rest following him came also the appointment of different secretaries under different mayors.

After digging the record, the following persons were found to have served as secretaries:

1. Bienvenido Martinez
2. Ignacion Concepcion
3. Pascual Caunan
4. Jose Caisip
5. Tomas Caunan (present secretary)

Being secretaries, their actions were and are limited. However, they had rendered their services very satisfactorily.

Chiefs of Police:

With the birth of Calatagan into a town, the National Government did not overlook the idea of creating a police force to maintain peace and order, with a chief, of course.

The following is the chronological order of the chiefs of police appointed to the position:

1. Juan Concepcion
2. Benito Barcelon
3. Timoteo Fagara
4. Benito Anzaldo
5. Teodulo Caisip
6. Benito Barcelon
7. Guillermo Nazareno
8. Miguel de Guzman

No reliable source of data could be located to show the exact dates of their services with the exception of Benito Barcelon, Guillermo Nazareno and Miguel de Guzman, who were appointed very recently.

Concerning the efficiencies of these men, they all served their town eligibly. They were successful in the maintenance of the peace and order of the town. This fact was verified by a very old man of the town.

Historical Site - Punta de Sector

The town of Calatagan is on a peninsula forming one of the southern legs of the province of Batangas. The place in general is almost surrounded by alternating swamps of mangroves and sandy shore

[p. 4]

with occasional intervals of points stretching almost to the water’s edge.

Due to this geographical location of Calatagan, it is but imperative to mention the natural and commercial value of these points. Valuable on the natural side because these points serve as sepals to the physical beauty of the town. On the commercial point of view, these capes render protection to fishermen and navigators in times of distress during bad weather.

Speaking of the points in particular, they all give important facts in conjunction with the history of Calatagan, with special mention on “Punta de Sector,” which outstands them all.

This point is the end of a mountain range lying from north to south in the southeastern part of Calatagan. How this point got its name is a long story handed down from generation to generation.

During the American occupation, the naval and army officers of the United States saw that this point would give a very advantageous defense against enemy attacks. Realizing its value, the American government immediately commenced on erecting a gun emplacement on the level part of this point. However, this project did not materialize due to the unexpected attack and occupation by the Japanese Army. Since then, the gun emplacement had been left untouched and nothing remains except the foundations and other destroyed materials which were not evacuated during the occupation.

Historical Structure - The Lighthouse in Calatagan

The lighthouse in Calatagan is situated in a very remote portion of the town of Calatagan some 9 kilometers to the south of the poblacion. It was constructed by the Spanish government during the eighteenth century and modeled after the medieval castles of Europe. It stands on an elevated cliff overlooking the China Sea and the Verde Island Passage. Due to its well-planned erection, it could be seen even from a far distance, a fact which serves the navigators favorably.

The building itself is built of bricks held together by lime and cement. The tower, which is stretching high above the main building, is also made up of bricks with iron framing. The top of the tower, which is ending in a steeple, could be reached by means of winding iron stairs. It is here where the light during the night is being taken care of by the keepers of the lighthouse.

There are seven rooms in the main building with concrete flooring. The kitchens, one store-room, and a big underground tank for drinking water are all in the front yard of the lighthouse proper. The structure as a whole is painted white with red lining.

Immediately below the lighthouse in the western side of the cave is the sandpaper-like beach winding like a gigantic snake as far as the point called “Palapet.” Opposite this beach on the eastern side of the point is another avenue of sand. This seashore is extending to a place called “Punta del Sector.”

Viewing the lighthouse at night from a distance, it stands like a military sentinel watching the sea and magnificently silhouetted against the southern sky.

The historical establishment of this lighthouse was due to the numerous shipwrecks which occurred during the Spanish regime. Before its formation, sea disasters became a nightmare. Such in brief is the

[p. 5]

simple description of the lighthouse, a historical structure in our small town of Calatagan.

Historical Building – THE CHURCH IN CALATAGAN

During the Spanish Regime, Calapagan was only a barrio of the town of Balayan. Its distance from Balayan plus the difficulty of the means of transportation, made it impossible at first to have a permanent priest and a church in this place. Later, due to the great endeavor exerted by the church authorities, a temporary building was set aside for a church. The building they selected was that one were ropes where manufactured. The priest from Balayan came to this place once a week, that every weekend. After several years, the seculars solicited the help of Don Pedro Roxas, a devoted Catholic, who transformed the once rope factory into a semi-permanent building for a church. This church remain as it was even after Calatagan was made independent of Balayan.

When this Hacienda of Calatagan fell into the hands of the Zobel family, Doña Angelita, the wife of Don Jacobo Zobel, spent for the reconstruction of the building. Now, the church is [a] permanent one donut excellently designed as those found in Manila.

Historical Ruins – THE VILLA ROXAS

When calapagan was still in the hands of the Roxases, there was one among the members of the family who became the sole administrator of the Hacienda. This man was Don Antonio Roxas Sr. who was known at that time for his generosity and fair dealings with the townspeople.

It was during his time that a building was constructed in the place now known as Villa Roxas. The building was semi-permanent, except the ground floor and the stairs which were made of concrete.

The construction of this building was completed in the year 1934, when the owner was vacationing in Baguio. He and his family were to live in this house when they came over from Baguio. But the time for their transfer was never realized because the said Don committed suicide a month after the erection of the building.

From the death of Don Antonio Roxas to the time what the building was finally destroyed, no occupants ever lived in the house.

These days, nothing exists on the site except the concrete stairs and the foundations of the posts.

This place where now stands the historical ruins of Villa Roxas is in the poblacion of Calatagan. Is between fifty to sixty meters distance from the church. Because of the sentimental importance of the place, it is often visited by strangers who happen to come to town.

Important Events During the Spanish Occupation

In the year 1905, a great part of Calatagan was covered with thick forests. There were, however, scattered places where the people made small clearings for rice planting. The call for a better means of cultivation was then unknown. Only the northern part of the poblacion was slightly cultivated. The southern and the eastern portions were wild wilderness, especially the western part where not only dense forest was found but also hectares of buri palms. It was the clearing of this portion that the owner of the town was paying more attention.

[p. 6]

At that time, there was a Spanish overseer who was in charge of the clearing. He was very cruel and made the labor an obligatory one. He treated the laborers very unjustly besides cutting the wages of the laborers for his own financial benefit.

One day, his brutality seemed to go beyond the limit. He beat several workers and let them stay under the sun the whole day. This act of the overseer made the laborers restless and in their minds, the plan of a revolt was entertained. Under the leadership of a certain Pedro de la Cruz, the laborers took up arms the next morning and killed the overseer on the spot.

The attention of the owner was called so a number of the “Guardia Civil” was sent to stop the uprising. The appearance of the Guardia Civil did not lessen the fury of the laborers. They continued to fight and resorted to the use of sharpened bamboos and branches of the trees for their weapons. But soon, their courage began to weaken due to the lack of better effective weapons until finally, they were subdued and put in prison. This was the first and maybe the last uprising that happened in Calatagan.

Important Facts, Incidents, or Events during the American Occupation to World War II

For a long time, the Philippines was a colony of Spain. The Filipinos were so badly treated by the Spaniards. Some Filipino leaders, with their followers, revolted against the Spaniards, but they could not overpower the Spaniards.

America learned this news. The American government sent war vessels to our country to capture and destroy the Spanish vessels. On April 30, 1898, Commodore Dewey entered Manila Bay. At dawn of May 1, 1898, they attacked the Spanish fleet at Cavite. From that province, the Americans went from province to province until they reached our town Calatagan.

The American soldiers that time were not so friendly as they had stayed here after a month or two. They summoned the property left by the Filipinos living in mere nipa-thatched houses. There were some organized armed men in this town who fought against the American soldiers, but the success [effort] was in vain. But after several months of stay in this town until the breaking of World War No. II, they (the Americans) became friendly with the Filipinos. All the benefits given to our country as a whole were also given to Calatagan.

In 1941, December 8, 1941, to be exact, World War No. II broke out. Filipinos came to this town. They scattered themselves in different places where the Japanese soldiers were supposed to land. These places were Balon-bato, Cape Santiago, and Balabatican. These places are along the sea.

The time came when Bataan and Corregidor needed more forces so the Filipino soldiers went to those places. Not even a single company was left here.

The leaving of the Filipino soldiers gave a big trouble to the people of Calatagan. Some went to the forest and had their living there. But those who were aged and had experiences during the Spanish occupation stayed in the town. The people of Calatagan spent their Christmases in the forest, because of the false news that the Japanese were already landing. The next day, the people came back to their homes, for they learned that the news was untrue.

[p. 7]

The coming of the Japanese soldiers to this town was very peaceful. There were no Filipino soldiers who fought against them. The Japanese soldiers told the people who were living in the forest to come back to the town.

The people lived again in the town. By the order of the highest Japanese official in the town, through ex-Mayor Ignacio Concepcion, the people took vegetables every day to their headquarters. The house of [the] Zobel family was their headquarters.

The people were no longer free. They were under the rule of the warlike and barbarous Japanese soldiers. Then, soldiers resided in the selected big houses in this town. The women of these big houses were forced to stay with their relatives or neighbors who were living in small huts.

There was a guerrilla movement in this town that time headed by Emilio Macabuag. Emilio Macabuag could sail back and forth to Mindoro secretly. But because of some Filipino traitors, the secret was revealed. Macabuag, with several followers, were captured. They were severely punished in the headquarters. They sometimes became unconscious and made conscious only by burning the face with cigarettes or by pouring water over the face and even the body of the prisoners. The Japanese did this because they wanted the guerrillas to tell other followers if they did have. But the guerrillas told no more. At last, the guerrillas were set free.

The Japanese soldiers open schools in this town for adults and children. They held classes in the school building for the children. The teachers where the former pre-war teachers. The adults did their school in the headquarters. The teachers where the well-educated Japanese soldiers. Teaching the people promoted the social relation between the people and the Japanese soldiers. The people had forgotten the ill feeling towards the Japanese. They became friends.

On January 31, 1945, Nasugbu was liberated. The American soldiers landed. The Japanese soldiers, for fear that they might be pocketed in this town, retreated to the mountains so that many of them died. They went northward passing through the mountains between Calatagan and Balayan.

Some sixty armed Filipino guerrillas under the command of Major Gacilao came to our town in February, 1945. They landed so peacefully, because there were no enemies. The Filipino guerrillas raced the Filipino flag at the flagpole in front of the municipal building.

The Zobel family was afraid that they tried their best to go away from the town. They went to Nasugbu. They rode in the landing barges.

They were troubled much again. They feared that there might be Japanese soldiers somewhere around the town. Day by day, the people were waiting for bad luck. (The fight between these guerrillas and the Japanese soldiers.) But very luckily, there was none.

The people lived happily and peacefully. On July 4, 1946, the Declaration of Independence of the Philippines was proclaimed. There was a sort of parade and the program. The people began to feel that they were living in a democratic country where people have the freedom to speak, to write, the freedom from want, and the freedom to worship.

At present, there are several religious sects. Some that are known are: “Iglesia ni Cristo,” called by the Roman Catholic priests as “Iglesia ni Manalo,” Protestants, and the Roman Catholic.

[p. 8]

IMPORTANT FACTS, INCIDENTS, EVENTS – Economic Events During and after World War II

During the Japanese occupation here in the poblacion, food became scarce. The Japanese soldiers took some palay from the people living in the poblacion. So, people were forced to eat sometimes corn, camote, balinghoy, peanuts, etc. During the stay of the Japanese here in the poblacion, Japanese money was in great circulation. All the commodities during this time were very high. People were forced to plant cotton for the Japanese needed them for their own use. But in return, people were paid ₱0.40 per kilo.

In the year 1945, when the people knew that the Americans were already in Nasugbu, they spent the Japanese money extravagantly, thus, even a can of palay was bought by them at ₱1,000.00 per can. The rumor reached the ears of the Japanese that the Americans were coming soon, so they hid themselves in the nearby mountains. In the month of February, 1945, people could no longer use Japanese money until this money became the “Mickey Mouse Money.” So, genuine money was used by the people until at present.

Other Events

During the Japanese occupation, storms and earthquakes occurred but there was no destruction. People did not meet famine, but they met only hardship in tilling up the soil. They could not plant rice in their own rice field because they were afraid of the Japanese. They were forced to plant cotton instead of palay. Epidemics did not occur in this place for the people to good care of themselves even though there were many Japanese soldiers living in the poblacion. The soldiers stayed in the school building for they used this building ask their headquarters.

War of 1896 to 1900

In the year 1896, the people in the town or poblacion were living peacefully with some of the Spaniards or “insurrectos.” But, in the early part of July 1896, a summon reached the ears of some government officials that a large secret organization in the city of Manila was planning a rebellion. The room are made the Spaniards uneasy and since that time, the Spanish officials here in the poblacion became angry with the people living in this place. So, because of this, Capitan Mariano Martinez, the most prominent man in the community, called some of his men like Mariano Carpio, Benito Causapin and Antonio Limoico. They had a caucus meeting which was not known by the Spanish officials in the town. In their caucus meeting, they planned to revolt against the insurrectos. They founded and formed a secret organization and made Capitan Mariano Martin as their leader, for he was the most prominent and a blessed man in the community. He decided at once to see all of the men one by one in order to revolt against the Spanish officials. When Capitan Mariano had organized his father's, a room or reached the ears of the government that Mariano or Capitan Mariano, as he was popularly known, planned a rebellion to overthrow the Spanish government in this place. The Spanish officials look for a Capitan Mariano but, he hid himself in the forest nearby and called his followers to get ready at any time. The insurrectos were very much surprised as to why the people were going to the forest. This made the government officials angry with the people in the poblacion. They wanted at once to subjugate the Filipinos. Few people were left in the poblacion. Every Filipino, whether connected with the organization or not, feared for his safety because they were arrested by the insurrectos. So, in the following month, the organization revolted. They made an uprising at once because of knowing that the people in the poblacion were arrested by the Spanish officials. The Filipinos had lost many men for they were outnumbered, but they did [not] stop fighting against them under the leadership of Capitan Mariano Martinez. Some of his own men died because of hunger. [Note to the reader: The writer erroneously referred to the Spaniards as the “insurrectos.” These were, instead, the Filipino rebels.]

[p. 9]

In the year 1898, Capitan Mariano heard a rumor that the Americans entered Manila. So, he told his men not to stop fighting for the Americans were already in the Philippines. Not long afterwards, American soldiers were scattered in different places. With the aid of the American soldiers, the rule of Spain ended.

In the year 1899, the Filipinos formed another organization consisting of all prominent persons, among them were Capitan Mariano, Bonito Causapin, Antonio Limoico, Liberato Hernandez, Cirilo Rosal and others. The Americans promised that the Filipinos would have representation in the new government, but the Americans had forgotten and ignored the promises. Capitan Mariano immediately called all the [able]-bodied Filipinos to arm themselves in order to have an uprising against the new enemy. So, they met a decisive battle but they were soon defeated by the Americans for the well-equipped American soldiers used modern weapons. So, the Americans continue through the town. Capitan Mariano did not surrender and he hid himself in the vast forest. Known as in the locality as Tambo’s place far from the poblacion, it was in this place that Capitan Mariano hid himself instead of surrendering to the Americans. The Americans promised the other men of Capitan Mariano that if he (Capitan Mariano) would surrender before or on Nov. 25, 1900, he would be made as the head of the town. So, on Nov. 25, 1900, he surrendered to one of the Americans and the promise was fulfilled. He became the head of the town and he was well known as “Capitan Mariano.”

In the early part of Dec. 1900, he resigned as the head of the town. Someone of his men by the name of Cirilo Rosal to his place. Capitan mariano, not long afterwards, became an administrator of the Hancienda until 1911.

World War No. II

On Dec. 8, 1941, war broke out. Filipino soldiers were stationed in this place under the command of Capitan or Captain Jacobo Zobel, one of the owners of this Hacienda. People were very much surprised when buses arrived in this place with soldiers. Their headquarters was the house of Captain Zobel.

On the eve of X’mas Day, soldiers were assembled and left the town bound for Bataan for this place was the field of terror and fighting against the Japanese. People [who] were in the town evacuated and built homes in the forest. No great destruction occurred in this place.

In the year 1942, sometime in November, the head of the Japanese called the Mayor to ask for some help from the people and this was about asking for some heads of cows. But the cows taken by the Japs were paid and each cow cost ₱1,500.00 in Japanese money.

For a few months that elapsed, the Japanese suspected the Mayor that he was connected with some guerrillas, and so he was tortured by the Japanese. When he was investigated, the Chief of Police was summoned, and he was also investigated. In the course of their investigation, the Mayor and the Chief of Police were tortured again. They were suspected that they knew something about guerrillas in the poblacion. Upon answering that they did not know something about guerrillas, they were again punished.

Col. Emilio Macabuag was ordered by the Japanese Captain [and] asked where the guerrillas of Mindoro were. But he did not tell frankly that he was [the] one concerned, so he was also tortured. His neck was pressed down by a long board where the two Japanese officials were sitting down, one at one end and pretended that there was a seesaw. But Col. Macabuag was released upon telling that he would go with

[p. 10]

the Japanese soldiers for [their] search of the Mindoro guerrillas. After a month of investigation, the commander-in-chief of the Japanese did not keep Col. Macabuag in the garrison.

During the fighting that occurred in Quilitisan between the Japs and guerrillas, two guerrillas were killed. Their bodies were brought to the town and day laid in state in the Home Economics Building. After a few days, their bodies were buried at the Roman Catholic cemetery.

In the latter part of January, 1945, rumors spread that the American soldiers landed in Nasugbu, thus killing many Japanese soldiers. The Japanese soldiers retreated at once. So, the Filipinos were very happy upon knowing that many Japanese soldiers were killed and the others retreated. In the month of Feb. 1945, guerrillas game and rule the town under the command of Major Gacilao.

Destruction of lives, properties, and institutions during wars

No institution had been destroyed or burned during the Japanese occupation. Children were notified to come to school but many children did not come to school for most of them lived in the forest for they were afraid of the Japanese. In the latter part of June, 1945, Mr. Arellano, the Principal of Calatagan Elementary School, was ordered by the Div. Supt. of Schools to open all schools in [the] town of Calatagan. I was requested by the Principal if I would be willing to teach in Bacal, but i did not accept his request. Then, he requested me again if i would accept to teach in Lucsuhin, so I accepted the offer. After a few days, I was transferred to teach in the poblacion and until at present, I am teaching in this place.



Dito sa nayon ng Calatagan ay maraming mga iba’t-ibang pamahiin ang mga matatanda. Sa labak nito ay ang mga pamahiin ay ganito:

1. Kapag ang mga gamo-gamo ay naglalabasan sa lungga, ang ulan daw ay malapit na.
2. Kapat ang kuwago ay huni ng huni sa hapon ay kinabukasan ay tanda ng mabuting araw ng pagtatanim ng anumang halaman.
3. Kapag nauna daw ang ugong ay malamang na malayo ang ulan.
4. Kapag nauna daw ang huni ng bahaw kay sa kiliawan ay malayo daw ang tag-gutom.
5. Kapag ang mga manok ay nagku-kutkut na halos takip-silim na, ay ito daw ay tanda na dadaan ang tag-gutom.


In the poblacion (Calatagan), there are many customs and practices in domestic and social life which the elders believe and practice even at present. To mention them, here are some:

1. If moths or other kinds of flying insects come out of their places from the ground, rain will surely come.
2. If owls give their hoots always in the afternoon, it is a sign of planting crops for [a] good harvest.
3. If thunder comes first, rain will not fall.
4. If the bird “bahaw” cries before the oriole cries, it is a sign that hunger will be far.
5. If chickens are trying to look for their food late in the afternoon, it is a sign that the populace will suffer from hunger.

BIRTH (Tagalog)

Tungkol sa panganganak, ang pamahiin ng mga matatanda ay tumawag ng hilot pag ang manganganak ay masakit ang tiyan.


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