Years before the Spaniards entered into our history, there were many Chinese traders that came across [the] China Sea to trade with our forefathers. The trade lent cultural and personal improvements to our people. However, in some places, there were misunderstandings between the two peoples which resulted in minor clashes.
During this era, the village of Luntal was called “Matsinan.” Monkeys were in abundance there and it was one of the few villages far from the shore. West of Luntal was a navigable river connecting it to Wawa Bay. In this village settled a brave clan. The settlement was protected by natural barriers.
The people of Matsinan were ruled by Datu Taal who was named after Taal Volcano. He was wise and kind. He was unmarried, young and strong and a handsome looking man. His older neighbors respected him also.
One day, Chinese traders led by Soong [uncertain, blurred] arrived at Wawa beach to trade. Datu Taal heard about the traders and organized his slaves to capture live monkeys to trade with the Chinese. Besides trading, Datu Taal wanted to satisfy his curiosity about the Chinese people. So, he took all his warriors leaving only a handful in the village to protect the women and children from fierce animals.
On reaching Wawa beach, the Datu was impressed when he saw [the] Chinese junks. He was amused to see his image in a mirror which was shown to him. He and his warriors were surprised by a firecracker which trader Soong lighted. All things shown to him and his warriors were unusual. Above all, Datu Taal was captivated by the beauty of the woman standing at the door. She was the wife of Soong, dressed in thin blue satin from neck down to her toes in a manner that revealed her curves. Datu Taal could not help staring at the woman with searching eyes about her being. The behavior of the Datu was noticed by Soong and in a fit of jealousy that he raged at his wife, Lang, got into the cabin. This offended young Taal and he stuck Soong for his rudeness. The fight started. There was little resistance on the part of the Chinese as they were outnumbered.
The whole Chinese crew was killed and all articles were plundered by the visitors except for Lung, who was made a hostage by Datu Taal. Lung was saddened by her husband’s death. To console her, she was entertained by Datu Taal’s court. She was shown kindness and hospitality by the people. Lung, who was young and beautiful, soon forgot her bitter experience after a year in the settlement. Soon, she was considered by
the villagers as among them. The datu asked Lung to be his wife to which she consented and they lived happily ever after.
Many years later, Lung and Datu Taal had a son. He was named Magat Tapang. Magat Tapang grew to manhood. He was as wise and brave as his father and gentle to his mother. At that time, the Philippines was invaded by the Spaniards. Lung and Taal had died and only Magat Tapang led the warriors to resist the invaders. Though engaged in fighting the Spaniards, Magat Tapang always visited the graves of his parents on the top of the Dalim Mountain.
One full moon, while he was laying beautiful orchids on the graves of his parents, a Spanish patrol came upon them. He was surprised when he saw that the patrol outnumbered them. Undaunted, Magat Tapang fought bitterly but was not long subdued. He was pierced by a sword on his back and fell by the graves of his parents. Magat Tapang kissed the grave and uttered his last words, “Luntal.” Those were the words that escaped his lips before he died, which the Spanish leader distinctly heard.
Impressed by Magat Tapang’s bravery and love of his parents, the Spanish patrol honored the grave with a cross bearing “LUN-TAL.”
Years later, when the villagers were converted to Christianity, they took the cross from Mt. Dalim and set it at their village which hence was called LUNTAL.
[Noted to the reader/researcher: The above-story was likely folkloric rather than historic.]
Palico is the present official name of this place. The name Palico was derived from the appearance of the road which was a long zigzag way which means “palico-lico” in the dialect. It was established somewhere around the year 1896. The original families of the place were the Basits.
During the American liberation, some houses were destroyed in this place, the place being suspected as the dwelling place of the Japanese Army. Sacks of rice, ammunition and corn of the Japanese Army were burned. People in this place are now living peacefully.