Calaca, Batangas: Historical Data Part III - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Calaca, Batangas: Historical Data Part III - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Calaca, Batangas: Historical Data Part III

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



[p. 9]

remunerations but all for love of country and democracy. Without any doubt, although others were not included in the roster of the guerrillas, all the people, rich and poor, old and young, were genuine guerrillas. It could be said without mental reservation because nobody revealed the organization to the Japanese. The Japs were ever, ever watchful, suspicious and employed spies, fifth columnists and different means to discover the organization but it ever remained a secret. Secret meetings were held in the houses of Reverend Pastor Narciso Alcaraz, Mr. Francisco Ramirez, Mr. Carmino Inumerable, in the shop building of the school and other places in the poblacion which were the immediate neighbors of the Japanese Garrison and office of the Japanese cotton company but they were not discovered by the Japs because the town people sympathized, cooperated and supported the town guerrillas. Even the small children learned about the movement but they closed their mouths and they were the ones who often guarded the meetings. It seemed as [if] the town people became more brotherly, more cooperative and exerted their concerted efforts in fighting a common enemy. It should have been a wonder of anyone of the people of Calaca was convicted of collaboration. Unfortunately, not all who were included in the original roster of the guerrillas were recognized and processed just for obvious reasons. Only two companies or less than three hundred officers and men were recognized and processed on March 6, 1946 in [the] Lipa Demobilization Camp. The officers were Captain Pastor Dinglasan, now principal of the Dacanlao Elem. School; Captain Martiniano Vivo, now a solicitor in Manila; Captain Jose Macatangay as surgeon; First Lieut. Lorenzo Vizconde, a lawyer; First Lieut. Francisco Ramirez, now a public school teacher; First Lieut. Marcial Malantic, now working as Auditor of the Prisco in Manila; First Lieut. Bernardo Macatangay, former Mayor of Calaca; Second Lieut. Felix Villamar; and Second Lieut. Gabino Alamag. Unfortunately, their recognition was revoked by some who were given educational benefits as deserving guerrillas.

Some prominent guerrilla leaders unfortunately not processed were: Rev. Pastor Narciso Alcaraz, Mr. Carmino Inumerable, Mr. Segundo Sinag, Mr. Luis Herrera, Mr. Manuel Ferrer, Mr. Liberato Gomez, Dr. Gabriel Marasigan, etc.

The USAFFE leaders who took part were: Capt. Oligario de Joya, Capt. Antonio Encarnacion, who was the overall commander; 1st Lieut. Godofredo Espinoza, Sgt. Jose Mercado, Pfc. Sevillano Bacal of the Philippine Scouts, Pfc. Vivencio Martinez of the Philippine Scouts, and others.

The guerrillas detected the Jap activities. They spied on the Japanese positions, their trenches, dugouts, strengths, food supply and ammunition. They helped establish the vanishing morale of some town people, inform the people when the Japs were getting horses and other animals, and to hide things that might be useful to them, especially food. The guerrillas

[p. 10]

advised the farmers to use the fertilizers in such a way to kill the cotton plants – putting it direct to the stems and roots or used them in their own rice and cornfields. The guerrillas advised the farmers not to plant sugarcane because they are used in making alcohol for the Japanese Imperial Army.

The Japanese occupied Calaca from February, 1942 up to March 6, 1945, when the American Liberation Forces with some guerrilla units entered and liberated Calaca.

During the Japanese occupation, individual rights and freedom were suppressed. There were sufferings and misery undergone by the people due to lack of food, clothing, medicines and other prime necessities. Many people engaged in food production, commerce, cigarette-making, and in other businesses. The situation was eased because the people practiced tolerance and goodwill. During the height of the Japanese terrorism, the people remained calm but ever watchful.

During the liberation, the guerrillas helped the mapping operations. Those who had arms fought side by side with the Liberation Forces, those who did not have arms served as guides, carriers of supplies and ammunition.

After the liberation, the schools were opened in April, 1945. The opening of the schools greatly helped in the maintenance of peace and order. The town officials were appointed and normalcy was established.

Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars, especially in 1896-1900 and 1941-1945

The war in 1896-1900 did not affect too much Calaca because there was no actual fighting that took place. Only that the Spanish Officials were not strict and stern during that time. The people were confined in the poblacion and when they went to the barrio without permission, they were suspected of being insurrectos.

The war in 1941-1945 did not cause much destruction on the lives and properties of the people of Calaca. Most of those who died were soldiers who fought in Bataan. There were some looting and robberies. Many books and desks in school were used by the Japs for fuel. Parts of the school building were destroyed, too. Only Mr. Carmeno Inumerable’s house was burned during the Jap occupation. It [was] suspected that Jap spies might have burned it

Measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II

The Philippine Relief and Rehabilitation Administration has done much for the people by giving them food and clothing

[p. 11]

and other prime commodities.

Part Two: Folkways

Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life –

Birth: - In the olden days, when a mother gave birth, there we're usually two persons attending. They were the quack midwife and a male helper. While the midwife attended pressing the stomach of the expectant mother, the man kept on blowing the head of the delivering mother. It was believed that by blowing, the child would easily come out. The child was bathed with warm water. Then, the skin of "osiw" or bamboo. Then, the mother is dressed. A big diaper is put tightly around the waist and then given with much hot food. The drinking water was boiled with different herbs such as "romaro" and roots of the "sarsaparilla" and drank it warm. It took for the mother one month after delivery before she to her bath. A stone as big as a coconut was put on fire until red hot. Some herbs again are put on the stone, some drops of wine were poured and while evaporating, the mother squatted over it until she had perspired enough. The process was done every day one week after bathing. Every day after birth, some scrap coconut shell is applied to the baby's cord until healed. The juice of ampalaya leaves is used as purgative instead of castor oil. It took usually a month for the midwife to massage both baby and mother.

Baptism: - That it was bad not to baptize the child after some days because ghosts would appear. Right after birth, the father registered the child at the office of the clerk in the tribunal. The parents of the mother, for the first grandchild, selected the godfather and godmother. They we're at once notified the day after birth. Usually, the baptism was done after three days or a week after birth or else the priests would be angry with the parents because of the delay.

That it was bad not to baptize the child after some days because ghosts would appear. The baptism usually was an occasion for a celebration of a great feast for the well-to-do or sometimes none at all to the very poor ones.

Courtship: - This is one of the very interesting traditions of the people in Calaca since [a] long time ago. A young man, when in love with a certain women, showed great reverence not only to the woman he loved and to the family of the woman but also to her home kin and property. When the young man visited the young woman, he took off his hat upon seeing the top of the roof of the house of the woman. It is not common today. When he got up the house, he knelt to the parents and kissed their hands. Kneeling is not common nowadays. Often, he is allowed to sit in

[p. 12]

a distance so that when he talked with the woman, the conversation could audibly be heard by the mother who was always in their presence. The young man head to show to her parents that he is in earnest. He talked with the parents to gain their sympathy and show his real love by rendering services to the family. Then, when the love of the young man is accepted by the young woman and, in many cases, by the parents of the woman, the parents of the young man make arrangements by requesting the hands of the girl from her parents. Often, the parents make the terms of marriage.

Marriage: - Before marriage, the lover renders certain personal and delegated services to the girl’s family, often lasting for several months or years in accordance with their agreement – oral or sometimes in written contract. The dowry or “bilang” or “bigay kaya” in Tagalog was often part of the contract, the amount of which depended upon the ability of the lover to give. Sometimes, the dowry was too costly and could hardly be afforded by the lover’s family. The dowry often consisted of money, land, house, or anything of value to be given by the groom to the bride’s parents. The groom paid the wedding apparel and paid the wedding expenses, too.

The night before the wedding, the relatives of the bride are all invited by the groom to have supper at the bride’s home. Early the next morning, light breakfast is served. The wedding comes. After the wedding ceremony, lunch is served. The bride is then transferred to the groom’s house, and the groom is left in the bride’s home. Sometimes, pots are broken at the stairs to make the couple’s life very fruitful. The next day, the couple settles in their new permanent home.

Death: - The death of a member of the family is known to neighbors by [a] sudden burst of crying by the members of the family. The people believe in life after death. They believe that after death, the soul travels to another world to receive its due reward or punishment. There is much praying for the eternal repose of the soul.

Burial: - The next day or within twenty-four hours, the dead is buried. The immediate members of the family are the chief mourners. They wear black clothes, especially the females, and the males put black lace on their clothes in front of the breast or pocket.

[p. 13]

Visits: - Paying visits to my relatives and friends have been common and up to the present, the people are practicing such cordial relationships.

Festivals: - Celebrating town fiestas and other forms of festivals has already been a long tradition of the place. It has long been celebrating the town fiesta every October 24 of the year. There have been elaborate fiestas. Every home has [a] preparation for the visitors. There were dances called "sarao," "bati," "fandango," and "subli" in connection with the fiesta celebration of the Patron Saint San Rafael.

Punishments: - There was a time when a thief was caught, he was traded around the town. He was ordered to cry out loud that he stole a plow or a saddle if he stole such an article. He promised not to do it again and warned others not to do what he did. Sometimes, a culprit was bound with rope and tied to a place where red ants abounded or lived. Another form of punishment was the criminal with rope and tied to a pole under the heat of the sun. The degree of varied according to the gravity of the crime.

Legends: -

The Legend of Bantayan

Bantayan is in the northwestern part of the poblacion. When Calaca was newly made a town, Bantayan was made an outpost against bandits who wanted to attack the town. There were attempts to capture the pueblo but the people attributed that the Patron Saint San Rafael was doing miracles ever since for the safety of the town. The place was considered the best to station the guards from bandits so it was called "Bantayan" or an outpost.

The Legend of Maugat

Maugat is a part of the poblacion of Calaca on the eastern side. It was called "Maugat" years ago, when Calaca was young, the place had many trees. On the ways or roads, big roots of the trees used to obstruct the passers-by. Since that time, it was called "Maugat" or full of roots.


Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Historical and Cultural Life of the Town of Calaca” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
Next Post Previous Post