Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data Appendices - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data Appendices - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data Appendices

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


[Note to the reader/researcher: The next five pages were filed by the National Library of the Philippines under Barrio Balele/Wawa, but are apparently appendices to the main document about the Municipality of Tanauan. Hence, they are moved her.]

[p. i]


Lucio Dimayuga

The old Municipality of Tanauan, province of Batangas, was located in the southwestern part of what is now the town of Talisay of the same province. It was founded and organized as a community by the Augustinian missionaries, who undertook the gigantic task of Christianizing and then civilizing the natives whom they found scattered along the shores of Lake Bombon and in the interior, with fishing, hunting, and tilling the land with their own hands (kaingin) as their means of livelihood, passing for the most part an almost nomadic life.

Juan de Salcedo, together with Martin de Goiti and several soldiers and missionaries, on his way to Manila from the Island of Panay in 1572, enter the Pansipit River up too Lake Bombon (now Lake Taal) and explored the neighborhood of the island volcano. They found the dwellings of the natives scattered and far apart. The party explained to the people that they came and the name of the King of Spain to civilize and to spread the blessings of the true religion among all of them. The natives, however, resented the warlike, arrogant, and insolent behavior of the newcomers, especially when the latter asserted that they came to stay as lords of the whole country. In the skirmish that ensued, their leader, Salcedo, was slightly wounded in the leg. The party repaired to their boats and proceeded to Manila.

Eleven years later, that was, in 1583, the missionaries returned and began their work of spreading the Gospel to the whole region. They baptized the natives and directed that all their houses be grouped together in a planned site to constitute a village. In this way, it was easier for the missionaries to accomplish their aims. The site selected for the future town was called “Tanawaan” by the natives for the reason that “tanawa,” a kind of shrub or small tree, was growing in abundance near the lake. Wild animals that roamed in the open, when hard pressed by the hunters, used to run and be lost to their pursuers in the thick underbrush off “tanawa.” So, it came to pass that the village was called “Tanawaan,” later contracted into “Tanauan.” Other missionaries came and founded the towns of Taal and Lipa, both near the lake. The town of Sala, which was later incorporated to Tanauan, was founded years later by the same missionaries. It took many years before these villages were constituted as independent entities, but in the early part of the 17th century, Tanauan was organized as a regular town or municipality with its church, a town hall commonly called CASA REAL, its TRIBUNAL and CUARTEL, and began being ruled or governed by a Governadorcillo, with an ALFEREZ or Lieutenant of the GUARDIA CIVIL, by Cabezas de Barangay, and as rural communities were created, Tenientes del Barrio were also appointed. The town with to the earthquakes and subsequent eruptions of Taal Volcano until 1754, when the violent and destructive eruption which took place in that year wiped out the whole town and its suburbs. The entire place was swallowed by the waters of the lake, sinking the place permanently to its bottom. Today, the old ruins of the church and some houses can still be seen during summer seasons when the sea is calm and crystal clear. The remnants of the old Tanauan were moved to its present site.

[p. ii]


Tanauan is a first class municipality, with thirty (30) barrio and a center or poblacion, off the local government. It has one Chief of Police, with the rank of Capitan, one Police Lieutenant, two Sergeants, one corporal and fifteen soldiers well equipped with arms and ammunition. The barrios are under the immediate supervision and responsibility of two lieutenants (first and second), who are in turn responsible to the Municipal Mayor. With the advent of the “community-centered-school,” the poblacion and the barrios have been divided into “puroks” or “pooks” through the leadership of public school teachers, who wear the purok organizers and now purok enablers. Each purok has its own set of constitution and by-laws as well as a set of officials duly elected by the members. All barrio schools and the schools of the poblacion as well have Parent-Teachers Associations looking after the welfare of the school population, and responsible for the many improvements that we see today in the form of better buildings and fences, and enlargement of sites, all of which are urgent but which the government fails to provide. With the establishment of the “puroks” and the Parent-Teacher Associations, it has become easier to disseminate information, promote better understanding and closer cooperation, eliminate illiteracy, and improve the health and living conditions of the people. Tanauan has a population of 31,894 as of July, 1952, an area of 12,332 Ha. divided into 12,307 lots surveyed and registered under Act 496. The municipality has an annual income of more than one hundred thousand pesos, or ₱139,964.93 during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1952. The public schools register a total enrollment of 5,791 pupils, while the privates have about 1,200. The number of public school teachers is 132. Tanauan also boasts of having four private high schools: The Tanauan Institute, Our Lady of Fatima Academy, Mabini High School, and the Altura High School. There are twenty-one public and four private artesian wells, ten rice mills and two travelling rice hullers. Of the twenty-five school buildings, four are home economics buildings.

The leading products of Tanauan are rice or palay (not sufficient for local consumption), corn which is sold in Manila in large quantity, bananas, coconut, mongo, upo, amargoso, patola, squash, eggplant, tomato, patani (lima bean), string beans, garlic, avocado, a variety of citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables and other crops in minor quantity. It has also a big supply of chickens and poultry products, hogs and large cattle.

[p. iii]



I Deceased

1. APOLINARIO MABINI. One of the greatest thinkers and patriots the Malayan race has ever produced. Known to all Filipinos, especially to school children.
2. SOTERO LAUREL. Lawyer; Delegate to the Malolos Revolutionary Congress; Appointed Judge, Court of First Instance by the Aguinaldo Government.
3. NICOLAS GONZALES. General of the Philippine Revolution; twice Capitan Municipal; Ex-Provincial Governor of Batangas; twice Municipal President of Tanauan.
4. JULIANO PANGANIBAN. Col. of the Philippine Revolution. Captured single-handed on Spanish gunboat in Lake Bombon in 1897.
5. PROSPERO DIMAYUGA. Major, Philippine Revolution; ex-Cabeza de Barangay; ex-President Municipal and during his time, was one of the leading political figures of the province. Helped Dr. Jose P. Laurel in his campaigns for Senator and Delegate to the Constitutional Convention and also Jose B. Laurel Jr. in his first campaign for Representative. Former Philanthropist.
6. Padre EXEQUIEL REVIRA. Scholar, very eloquent preacher and exalted priest (Canonigo) of the Cathedral of Manila.
7. Padre CEFERINO BURGOS. Scholar, Bachelor of Canon Laws; Chaplain of the Philippine Army; Imprisoned in Capaz, Tarlac at the O’Donnell Concentration Camp, where he died of malaria and dysentery on June 22, 1942; a martyr and a hero.
8. Don SIMPLICIO AVELINO. Scholar; Educator; established a private school for boys and girls in his own house. For meritorious services rendered to humanity, he was made a KNIGHT by the King of Spain and awarded the GRAND CROSS of the Order of Isabel la Catolica (Caballero Gran Cruz de la Orden de Isabel la Catolica).
9. Doña MARCELA LAUREL. Civic leader; was imprisoned by the Americans in 1899 for buying ammunition from the U.S. soldiers and supplying same to the Filipino forces.
10. JUAN V. PAGASPAS. Doctor of Jurisprudence; Founder of the Tanauan Institute, the Square Deal Banking Corporation, Tanauan Retailers’ Ass’n, and the Tanauan Coop Store; a civic leader.
11. FRANSISCO OÑATE. Doctor of Medicine; Municipal President, 1906-07; Col. & Chief Surgeon, Phil. Constabulary; Adjutant to former Gov. Gen. Francis Burton Harrison. Together with his friend, Teodoro R. Yangco, he urged the practice of eugenics to improve the race.

II Living

1. DR. JOSE P. LAUREL. Senator; scholar, jurist, philosopher, educator, statesman. One of the greatest leaders of our country.
2. SERVILLANO PLATON. Ex-Congressman from Laguna; judge, Court of First Instance.
3. RAFAEL CASTILLO. Lawyer; Delegate to the Constitutional Convention; ex-Judge Court of First Instance.
4. MODESTO CASTILLO. Ex-Provincial Governor, ex-Executive Secretary; Judge, Court of Industrial Relations.
5. ALFREDO L. YATCO. Ex-Collector of Internal Revenue; ex-Under Secretary of Finance; ex-Governor, Rehabilitation Finance Corporation.
6. GAUDENCIO GARCIA. Doctor of Civil Laws; Law Professor and author of Law books; former Private Secretary to Pres. Manual L. Quezon.

[p. iv]


7. JOSE B. LAUREL JR. Doctor of Civil Laws; Law professor; Congressman; Minority Floor Leader of the House of Representatives.
8. VICENTE V. SABALVARO. Ex-Manager, National Development Co.; ex-member, National Economic Council; Chairman, Board of Directors, Square Deal Banking Corporation, & Pres., Farmers’ Cooperative Marketing Association, Tanauan, Batangas; Member, Board of Directors, Marsman & Co.; President, Mayer Trading Co.; Vice-President, Philippine Abaca Dev. Co.
9. APOLONIO S. MAGSINO. Pharmacist, Industrialist, Merchant, Vice-President, Board of Trustees, Tanauan Institute, Philanthropist, and Civic Leader.
10. PRIMITIVO L. GONZALES. Jurist; Ex-Provincial Fiscal, Judge, Court of First Instance, La Union Province.

[p. v]

Lucio Dimayuga
1. Servitude

During the entire Spanish domination, and possibly even before the arrival of Magellan, there existed in this place two kinds of servitude (or slavery in its mildest form). This where the voluntary and involuntary servitude. Voluntary servitude consisted of services rendered freely and voluntarily by any young man, of his own volition, submitting to and surrendering himself to the disposition, power and authority of the family of a young woman he wanted to marry. The lass [?] lives with the family of the girl, always ready to do any kind of work no matter how big or difficult it may be. He undergoes all kinds of privations and sufferings just to win the graces, favor, goodwill and the much coveted “YES” off the lady he is wooing. This servitude (PAGSISILBI) is absolutely without compensation, even when his efforts proved unsuccessful in the end, and it usually lasts from one to, say, three or more years. If successful, the parents of the young man are invited by the parents of the girl to a conference to lay down the conditions and plans of the marriage. In this conference, the past services of the lass are not taken into consideration; oftentimes, the girl's parents ask for money (BILANG) amounting to from one hundred to five hundred pesos, according to the charm and beauty of the lady love, plus the expenses of the marriage ceremony and off two days wedding celebration. When plans are ready, the future benedict is required to deliver a certain amount of the choicest firewood and water to the relatives of the bride, and even to her padrinos and madrinas. Cases were known, however, of bitter disappointment, when on the eve of the wedding, the bride elopes with another luckier young man, and the preparations come abruptly to an end, and the disappointed lass beats his way home, there to weep his misfortunes and nurse his wounded feelings.

The involuntary servitude consists of the payment of debts. A person contracts a debt from another in the amount of, say, fifty pesos. As a condition of the loan, the creditor imposes that same should be paid in services to be rendered by the debtor’s son or daughter (usually a daughter of age), to whom the sum of ten pesos would be credited annually (BABA). In other words, the obligation should be settled after five years. The agreement is closed, verbally of course, and the daughter begins to live with the creditor’s family until the obligation is fully paid. But, it happens that, more often than not, the parents of the maid servant continue for more years, and cases were known that these daughters served for [an] indefinite period of time, against their will, in some cases, until old age. This servitude was due to ignorance of the masses as to their rights as individuals and citizens, and the utter failure of the government to protect the people. Only after the arrival of the Americans, with the principles and practices of democracy, did these evils begin to be corrected with appropriate legislation.

2. The “Compadre System”

With the implementation of Catholicism in the islands, [the] “Compadre” and “Comadre” system was also instituted. It consists of becoming spiritually relatives, as the words “co-father” and “co-mother” indicate, the sponsor of the baptized child and its (child) parents. If the sponsor is a married person

[Note to the reader/researcher: The document ends here. The succeeding pages of the appendices appear not to have been scanned or included.]


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.
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