Pinagbayanan, Taysan, Batangas: Historical Data
Miss Toribia Lontok – Chairman
Miss Isabel Haga – Member
Miss Juliana Castillo – Member
Miss Rosario Barte – Member
Mr. Engracio Villena - Member
HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO
– Part 1 –
Upon a careful study of the different data given by a few oldest inhabitants of this place, this was called Pinagbayanan for it had been a town before the coming of the Spaniards, but unfortunately, no one could tell the name of that town. However, it was transferred to Rosario by the Moros who came here from Lobo to inhabit this barrio. From 1900 to 1904, the western part of the place was called Helera, for there were bamboo groves lined up in straight rows along the way from east to west. There were great forests where wild pigs and deer abounded. The dwelling places were few that they were scattered around the vicinity. The educational condition of the people was very behind for there was no school. No parent dared to send their children away from home for an education. The sitios included within
the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio were Bahay Kalabaw, Ligtasin, Tabahong, Kay Ginhawa, Pook ng Tulo, Pinaghawanan, Nanlubo, Kay Amatong, Gabihan and Masambong.
Nobody could tell the date of establishment nor the original families, for the oldest people here said that they were all foreigners from Paharang, Lobo, Manila, Dalig and Mataasnalupa. The different tenientes from the earliest time to date were the following: Mr. Agustin Sulit, Mr. Eulalio Bautista, Mr. Nicomedes Zara, Mr. Luciano Gatdula, Mr. Marcelino Manalo, Mr. Eugenio de los Reyes, Mr. Felipe Lontok, Mr. Anastacio Villena, Mr. Evaristo Clanor, and the present teniente Mr. Cristito Villena.
During the Spanish occupation in 1896, there was a battle at Nagpanuka between the Spaniards and the revolutionists headed by Captain Marcelino Manalo, Sanchez, Gregorio Farol and Geronimo Hornilla. Many lives were
lost and many houses were burned.
During the American occupation to World War II, there was a great progress upon the educational condition of the people. A public school building was erected and teachers were employed. The number of schoolchildren was gradually increasing from year to year. Some of the people became traders and progressive laborers. These inhabitants were Christians and a few Protestants. There was a barrio fiesta every year which was planned by the educated individuals of the place.
During World War II, the public school was closed and this place became very popular to many of the evacuees from other towns. It became the hiding place of the guerrillas headed by Colonel Isidro Sulit, a native of this place. This barrio was visited once by troops of Japanese soldiers who were after the guerrillas. They took with them all the men whom they met on their way, punished these Filipinos severely and killed many men
and women when these soldiers reached Kalantas, Rosario, including one man from Pinagbayanan by the name of Nicasio Reyes. This caused the guerrillas to be very angry with the Japanese that they killed three of these soldiers who were hiding in the wilderness in Kalantas, Rosario. Not long after that incident, troops of [the] Municipal Police from San Juan, Batangas, headed by Lieutenant Aglogob, came. They burned many of the houses here and punished the civilians.
After World War II, the public school was opened by the present and humble teacher of the place. I was the lone teacher then that after the first school day, I had an enrolment which was more than the requirement for two teachers. I called a meeting with the parents of the children to settle this situation. We tried every means to have another teacher. Fortunately, we were able to influence Mr. Evaristo Clanor to apply for the position and we succeeded. The number of schoolchildren and
teachers increased every year that with the help and recommendation of our beloved Principal, Mr. Ciriaco Bautista, and the District Supervisor, Mr. Zoilo Evangelista, the intermediate classes here were organized. Another community school building was constructed in 1949, but unfortunately, it was damaged by Typhoon Trix and Wilma which occurred last November, 1952. Nine business houses were constructed such as stores, a rice mill, two bakery shops and a tailor shop. The population increased and a large portion of the land was cultivated where varieties of fruit trees, root crops and vegetables were planted.
As a result, there are now some prosperous men and women residing in the place that they can afford to send their children to the provincial capital and even go to the city to obtain higher education.
THE DOMESTIC AND SOCIAL LIFE
OF THE COMMUNITY
For many years, the people of Pinagbayanan were influenced by the old customs and practices concerning domestic and social life, but as the time elapsed, customs gradually changed in this changing community.
The family being characterized by the patriarchal form, the father was the lawmaker of the home, thus, young men in those days found too much difficulty in courtship. A suitor, from the start [when] he proposed love, paid homage and respect to the home and the family. Whenever a young man visited a young woman, he took off his hat at the gate of the yard and at the time he entered the house, he greeted the elders, sat quietly and [was] entertained by the father. He could not even talk with the girl he loved for there was always a bamboo strip or a piece of wood that divided the floor of the receiving room – meaning no suit or could trespass the given space
for him. The girl offered cigarettes to the said visitor, then returned to the same place where she was assigned by her father. Many young men proposed love by offering gifts or presents to the family, rendering services throughout the years so that they served the family for a long long time before they could win the girls they loved. This practice gradually changed and courtship at present is more tolerant. A young man proposes love by sending letters, visiting and talking with a girl during visiting hours or by offering presence and services that will make the girl and the family believe the young man loves them.
Marriage from the early years up to the present is approved through the arrangement of both parties offering dowries, gifts and grand wedding parties characterized marriage from the olden times to the present if the family has the means of doing it. Marriage is sanctioned by the authority of the sect that merits the opinion of
both parties. Elopement seldom occurs in this community.
From the early days, midwives [have] rendered benevolent services to the community. The life of the prospective mother lies in the hands of the patient and persevering midwife called “hilot.” Whenever a mother finds difficulty in delivering a child, the father would call for all “kwak” [quack] doctors who have anitos about giving birth. The last step is calling for a doctor if all available materials in the barrio are found futile.
Customs about baptism don’t change too much. When a mother gives birth, the kin and friends of the family gather together every night and a puyatan, meaning keeping the family awake until the child is christened. Programs or playing cards are some of the amusements made. The godfather or the godmother of the child is chosen by both parties.
Hospitality has been one of the customs worth preserving in this place. Whenever visitors come from
other places, the family entertains them, makes them happy and comfortable and serves them the best the family can afford to assure their friendliness and closer social relationship. [A] Festival has been a custom throughout the years as paying homage and reverence to the patron saints, conception for the peace and bountiful harvest the community receives. Programs have beam elaborately held during fiestas. Dramatic place have been rendered by many of the beautiful Pinagbayanan lassies.
Sentimentalism is one of the traits that affect the living people in the community when it comes to family relationships. It has been a common practice to bury the dead in a cemetery belonging to their own religion, likewise, a Protestant is not accepted in a Catholic cemetery. When a member of the family dies, the family celebrates the print parties on the fourth, ninth, thirtieth days and anniversary [of the] deaf, believing
that the prayers after that help alleviate the hardships and difficulties the deceased has been suffering in purgatory. The members and relatives of the family mourn for the whole year. They never sing nor dance although they are dance addicts.
Beliefs, interpretations and superstitions have been existing from the time the community was established and there has never been a change. People in the community believe that white birds or chickens seen at night signify hidden treasures in the place. Abundant fruits like kamatisile, guavas and mangoes mark a good harvest. When a hen cackles at midnight, oldtimers are cocksure of a young woman to give birth some time in the future. Seeing a lizard in one’s way gives a bad omen. Seeing a black butterfly, dreaming of an extracted tooth and floods give an assurance of death in the family circle. A cat brushing his face, incidental falling of silverware and fighting chickens
mark the arrival of [an] unexpected guests.
Pinagbayanan is so wide that it is divided into different sitios deriving their names from different events, or physical features seen in each place. “Tuong” is a place where water falls and [is] deposited in big circular cave-like jars with a small outlet one side of the cave. “Bahay Kalabaw” means “shelter for carabaos,” a sitio at the eastern part of the river that serves [as] a good shelter for the carabaos. Gabihan derived its name from the abundant gabi plants found in the place. Masambong, the only place where one gets “sambong,” an herb used for medicinal purposes. Tabahong is the name of the river winding its place where plenty of “tabahong,” a kind of oyster, [is] abundant in the said river. Ginhawa was an elevated place where travelers felt comfortable and refreshed after long, long strides from the base of the mountain.
The inhabitants of Pinagbayanan are mostly Christians
that they believe that God created the earth and heaven in the six working days of the week in the following manner. On the first day, God created light. On the second day, He created the firmaments and divided it off from the land and water. On the third day, God separated the land from the water and commanded the earth to produce all kinds of plants. On the fourth day, God created the sun, the moon and the stars. On the fifth day, God created the birds in the air, and the fishes of the sea, and on the sixth day, He created the land, animals and made man to His own image and likeness.
Many of the young men and women of the barrio had acquired an education that they were influenced by the modern ways of amusements and games such as the different kinds of dances as the tango, guaracho, rumba, waltz and Charleston.
Some folk dances under the able leadership of our intermediate teachers here, Mr. Engracio Villena and
Miss Rosario Barte. They have learned to play indoor baseball, basketball and volleyball. During moonlit nights, the young men went serenading where the different song hits and “kundimans” were sung.
When the children here wish to have some amusements to train them in using their thinking powers, they give each other puzzles and riddles. The following are the most commonly used by them.
1. Twelve soldiers with one commander. (a clock)
2. I know a brother and a sister who can stand the extreme heat. What is it? (a tongue)
3. You carry it and it carries you wherever you go. (a pair of slippers)
4. A grain of rice which fills the whole building. (lamp)
5. What is a hanging little coal? (hingongoto)
6. Two brothers who go one after the other. (our feet)
7. Rizal mountains, moving at the same time.
8. Once it is killed, its life becomes longer but when
it stood up, that life became shorter.
Likewise, elders who wish to teach their children some moral lessons give them these proverbs and sayings.
1. While the young bamboo grows, it points high to heaven, but when it grows old, it bends down to lowly earth.
2. Arrogant is useless, in poverty he dwells. Everywhere he is despised.
3, it is easy to become a man, it is difficult to behoove as one.
4. No diligence to save, no restraint to work.
5. Honor is like some drinking water in a jar that a little oil when dropped into it will make water repugnant.
6. What from the dew you gather, must vanish with the water.
7. Before doing and saying anything, think it over.
8. There is no hard-hearted virgin to those who do pray ceaselessly.
9. A tongue is not a blade, it just but cuts deep.
10. If i were made for seeing, then beauty has its own excuse for being.
11. A shallow water makes much noise.
12. Have a place for everything and everything in its place.
13. Do not put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
14. An early bird catches the worm.
15. Not all that glitters is gold.
16. Speaking softly soothes the heart.
17. United we stand, divided we fall.
18. A person who has thick lips is talkative.
19. If you’ll not plan something, you’ll not harvest anything.
20. If you will be lazy, your stomach will be empty.
21. Barking dogs seldom bite.
22. A man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden full of weeds.
23. To live is to love; to love is to suffer and to suffer is to die.
24. God helps those who help themselves.
25. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered, yet there is a consolation with us that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
26. A constant rainfall washes away hard stones.
METHODS OF MEASURING TIME.
1. When a laborer wishes to know the time of the day at twelve o’clock, he sets up a pole and when its shadow is very short and exactly at the foot of the pole, it answers the problem.
2. Cocks crowing at night designates the following, at the first time they crow, it is nine o'clock; [at the] second time, it is ten o’clock, third time, it is twelve o’clock, fourth time it is two o’clock and when they crow at the fifth time, it is four o’clock.
3. The special calendars are those that were written by Honorio Lopez and those that were given by the priests.
4. There were no Filipino authors born or residing in the place.