Taal, Batangas: Historical Data Part V - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Taal, Batangas: Historical Data Part V - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Taal, Batangas: Historical Data Part V

Historical Data graphic
Historical data from the National Library of the Philippines.



[p. 24]

At present, the various religious sects existing in Taal are [the] Protestants, Aglipayans, Sabbathists and Adventists. The followers of the different religions scattered within the municipality are considered here as but a few drops of water in the vastness of the ocean, taking into account the amplitude of the Catholic religion. A few Protestants live in Tierra Alta, a village immediately adjoining the town proper, some Aglipayans in the center of the town, some Sabbathists in the barrios of Calangay and Pansipit, and 30 members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church are residing in the outlying villages of Abelo and Talang ang Butong.

The founders of these denominations have tried their best to increase the number of their followers, but unfortunately, their preaching paled into insignificance before the greatness of the principles of the Catholic religion. In the fiasco that was the searing desire of each of these religions to reign supreme and the town of Taal, it would not, perhaps, be superfluous to have a say: that these various religious affiliations were established here [by] men who had been catholic before, thus, they could vainly lure the hordes to believe in their new doctrine.

The Catholic religion in Taal had mounted the acme of glory and grandeur that there was need of organizing other parochial branches in suburban villages and remote barrios. Presently, there is a chapel in Sambat, one in San Nicolas, and one in Balisong.

So, that is Taal and its religion.

All students of Oriental History are well aware of the limpidity of the fact that we owe the Catholic religion to the Spaniards. One cannot write the story of Taal and its magnitude without mentioning the Catholic religion which molded the feelings and built the characters of its dwellers. It is, therefore, our duty to keep aglow the flickering light of this religion in the hearts of our youth, who are easily carried by the onrushing stream of modernism that we may leave to posterity a sacred memento of the creed which made our progenitors ornaments to the society where they belonged while they were still living.

Taal, with [a] population of 25,544, is a place where six religions exist, distributed as follows:

Catholics – 24,978
Iglesia ni Cristo – 425
Saturday Adventist – 49
Phil. Independent Church – 42
Protestants -35
Espertistas - 15

[p. 25]

The specific rate is tabulated as follows:

Catholics – 97.8% or 98 per 1000
Iglesia ni Cristo – 1.66% or 17 per 1000
Saturday Adventists - .18% or 2 per 1000
Phil. Independent Church - .16% or 2 per 1000
Protestants - .14% or 1 per 1000
Espertistas - .06% or 1 per 1000


The history of education in the Philippines illustrates in an impressive manner. The use of schools in a colony for the propagation and development of the ideals and culture of a ruling power; first, under Spain, later under [the] United States, and still later under Japan, Taal, being within the sphere of these influences, emanates in much the same way the same educational stage of the Philippines as a whole.

The fundamental aim of Spanish education in the Philippines was to develop moral and religious citizens and to teach the Castilian language. Hence, in Taal, missionaries who took charge of the parish began to work within the locality to carry out this objective. Local teachers were given training in order to facilitate the accomplishment of this aim. Teachers of this regime worthy of mention were: Maestra Tinay, Gertrudes Aquino, Herberto Banawa, Olol Banawa, Juan Medina, Florentino Castillo and Benito Punzalan.

There was no uniform cause of study. The textbooks and materials were in the form of questions and answers with emphasis on religion and morals. The method of teaching was purely memorization, supplemented by the use of prizes and examinations.

The sexes were separated. However, education at this time was almost just for the children of the well-to-do families of the locality only.

Hardly had the Filipino-American War ended when the American soldiers began to teach the Filipino the fundamentals of democratic ways of life which was to have sufficient influences on the political destiny of our country. The Americans embarked on an enterprise unique in the history of colonial administration. Just as Spain undertook the teaching of Filipinos in the Christian faith soon after they set foot on Philippine soil, so America ventured on a vast experiment in human enlightenment. American soldiers and their other relatives served as the early teachers.

[p. 26]

Later, feeling the need for more teachers, American teachers were imported from the U.S. and still later, a Filipino corps of teachers came about to carry on the gigantic task of education. The following teachers in Taal during this early American time were: Rosendo Paala, Jacinto Ilagan, Ananias Orlina, Gregorio Castillo, Raymundo Garcia, Eufracio Ilagan, Valeriano Cabrera, Martin Dawis, Trinidad Manalo, Casimiro Platon, and Isidro Clarin. [A] Normal Institute was held in Manila every year which gave rise to the training of more Filipino teachers. From a small bunch of teachers in 1900, Taal now has 97 teachers in the public schools and 15 Benedictine sisters in the private college. The enrolment increased, too, from a handful of pupils in 1903 to 5,000 this year, 1948. [In] The year following the inauguration of the Commonwealth, the government witnessed an expansion. The increase in appropriation was not commensurate to the increase in enrolment. From time to time, many of the teachers were laid off during the early months of every school year due to the lack of municipal funds. Due to this, [the] worst felt school crisis in 1940, the so-called Educational Act of 1940 was passed which aimed to solve once and for all this school crises and at the same time to comply with the constitutional mandate of public education. Different school plans were utilized according to the needs of the community, but Taal, needing to save not only school spaces and materials but also lacked teachers, adopted to the double-single-session plan in its schools.

Immediately after the Japanese occupation of Manila early in 1942, a Central Administrative Organization was created with the Department of Education, Health and Public Welfare as one of the six departments organized.

Changes were brought about in the school system. The primary aim of this regime was co-prosperity and to eliminate the use of the English language in due time. Hence, steps were made to put emphasis on Tagalog as the national language and Nippongo as one of the official languages. Training schools as institutes for these were founded in Manila and pensionados were sent there. Taal had Mrs. Nicolas Calanog, formerly Miss Engracia Noble, as pensionado for Nippongo, and Mrs. Mariano Pesigan, formerly Miss Leonila Mayuga, for Tagalog. Food Production was another subject given much emphasis during that time. Once more were the sexes segregated and religion was reintroduced in schools. Many books were burned as learned and only those subject matters which portrayed the Japanese ideologies were retained. Many children left school for various reasons as: difficulty in earning a living, fear of the Japanese and feeling of a possible waste of effort and credits earned during this schooling.

After 3 years [of] intellectual blackout, the schools were reorganized along democratic ideals with the reoccupation of the Philippines by the American forces. But, while the ideals and objectives were easily set, the material appurtenances of the educational system were prostrate, destroyed or absent.

[p. 27]

The reopening of the schools after liberation was beset by many administrative and instructional problems. Here, the instruction had to be conducted in many cases without the usual educational aid which was either burned to the ground or looted. For lack of available desks, boxes where used by the children; for black boards, black cloths took the place; for text books, magazines and lectures were made use of.

The serious administrative problem that beset the schools in Taal was [that] the curricular adjustment had to be made during the period of transition from the Japanese school system to the new requirement. The curriculum during the Japanese regime was radically different from the regular curriculum adopted in 1941 and in 1945. The former reduced considerably the period for the English subjects and eliminated many of the social science courses. As a result of this change, the reorganized schools in 1945 had to make certain adjustments in their requirements, otherwise, the students would be found deficient in many of the usual requirements for graduation.

Another serious problem was over-eagerness which was finally solved through acceleration. Problem after problem arose, criticism after criticism was given the present system and results of education found out [not] only in Taal but throughout all the schools in the Philippines due to the defective provisions of the Educational Act of 1940 and the 3 years educational blackout during the Japanese regime.

In end, the educational system in Taal, as in other parts of the Philippines, had a combination of influences of several streams of civilization, the original Malaya Oriental, the Latin, the Anglo-Saxon, and the purely Oriental Nippon.

The ardent desire of the people of Taal to educate your children was the reason for being the birthplace of some of the leading Filipinos both living and dead who held responsible positions in the government or shown in the practice of their chosen professions. Among the dead are the late Don Felipe Agoncillo, ambassador plenipotentiary to France of the short lived Philippine Republic under President Aguinaldo; Don Vicente Ilustre, a well-known jurist, was a member of the First Philippine Commission and of the First Philippine Senate, elected in 1916 ask where the provisions of the Jones Law; and Atty. Antonio Barrion, a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1935, and many others. Among the living are ex-Secretary Antonio de las Alas of Public Works and Communications and of the Department of Finance, later was elected representative to the Philippine assembly four times, being one time Speaker Pro Tempore; Don Ramon Diokno, amego luminary [who] served as a representative, Legal Council, and was elected senator in 1946; Don Vicente Noble, a well-known political mogul of the towns of Taal, Lemery, and San Luis served for almost eight years as Governor of the Province; Judge Conrado V. Sanches of the Manila Court of First Instance was also a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1935, and many others.

[p. 28]

Besides those mentioned above, Taal now has one hundred twenty nine professionals except the educators, distributed as follows:

Lawyers – 28
Doctors – 27
Dentists – 21
Pharmacists – 21
Engineers – 12

Taal, with a population of 25,544 according to the recent census, has an increasing enrollment. The pupils are housed in permanent buildings in the central and in temporary buildings in many barrios on account of the ravages of war. Most of these buildings were constructed under the auspices of the Parents-Teachers Association. With the great increase in school population this school year, there is likewise an increase in the number of teachers with 20 barrio schools, two which have Grade Five, there [are] 90 teachers in the municipality. This increase, which was not made possible in the past, was attained on account of the opening of extension classes. The enrollment from 1946 to the present is shown below.

YearYearly EnrolmentPupils Promoted% of Promotion
1946-1947 3,4793,06788
1947-1948 3,2902,84587
1948-1949 5,002



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