Ibaan, Batangas: Historical Data Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Ibaan, Batangas: Historical Data Part II - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Ibaan, Batangas: Historical Data Part II

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



[p. 5]

Another structure of historical significance is the natural fall in the barrio of Salaban where a large cave is found at its foot. This is a beautiful natural wall that had been found by constant erosion for ages ago. It is [a] deep straight cut from a precipice by nature. In the year 1902, when General Franklin Bell, then in command of the Division of Southern Luzon, with Headquarters in Batangas, ordered the establishment of military zones by concentrating the villages in the poblacion within a one mile radius, thereby leaving the outlying territory free for military operations, several families who did not like to submit to the American rule entrenched themselves in this natural cotta.

NOTE: From the History of Ibaan in manuscript form by Ex-Mayor Miguel Mercado.

25. Important facts, incidents or events that took place:

a. During the Spanish occupation –

1784 – A chapel was built in the little village of Matala.
1800 – Matala extended as far as the present location of the poblacion, but still a barrio of the town of Batangas.
1801 – The convent in Matala was destroyed by fire.
1805 – The little town was infested heavily by locusts, thus a cavan of rice could hardly by bought for ₱4.00, formerly ₱1.00 only. There was a famine in this period.
1816 – A proposal of building a church in the town was thwarted by other government leaders.
1817 – The building [of] the present church was begun.
1827 – The seat of government was transferred from Matala to the present poblacion.
1832 – Ibaan was officially separated from the town of Batangas. The first appointed kapitan was Don Leonardo Rafael. The church was partly built by Rev. Manuel Guijalbo.
1869 – The church was completed under Rev. Bruno Laredo.
1876 – The two towers of the church were built under Fr. Vicente Maril.
1898 – The last “Kapitan” was Don Baltazar Ramirez, under the Spanish regime. The last priest was Fr. Jose Alonzo.
1896-1900 – Revolutionary Government – Gen. Aguinaldo appointed Juan Eleosida as the “Kapitan,” then [he] was succeeded by Baltazar Ramirez.

b. During the American occupation to World War II

Sept. 20, 1901 – [A] Local election was held by the prominent political leaders of the town. Mr. Isabelo Guerra was elected president and Mr. Juan Macatangay vice-president.
1904 – The first general election was held. Mr. Francisco Quinio was the elected president.
1905 – The epidemic of cholera followed by small pox caused many deaths in the town and barrios.
1917 – An epidemic of influenza broke out. Every member of a family was inflicted. This epidemic caused a great loss of lives.
1918 – Prosperity saved the wretched condition of the people. The price of sugar rose [to] its highest, thus [the] living standard of the people was higher.

[p. 6]

1921 (June) – Intermediate classes were opened. Of course, the primary classes were opened in the early part of the American occupation.
1927 – The Intermediate Building was built.
1928 – The Municipal Building was completed.
1935 (Nov. 15) – The celebration of the inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.
1937 (Feb.) – The Provincial Eucharistic Congress under Rev. Ernesto Fornaca.

c. During and After World War II

1941-Dec. 8 – Outbreak of WWII
1941-Dec. – The seat of government of Batangas Province was transferred to Ibaan. Most neighboring towns and provincial government officials evacuated to Ibaan.
Jan. 31, 1942 – The Japanese Military Force occupied the town.
June, 1942 – Schools under the Japanese government were opened. Niponggo teachers were taught in Manila. Then, Niponggo was included in the school curriculum.
Aug. 8, 1942 – The released prisoners from Capaz came home. The sick soldiers were taken care of in the convent which served as the temporary hospital.
Sept. 15, 1942 – Another batch of released prisoners from Capaz arrived home.
June 1942 – Guerrilla members were solicited by a few guerrilla leaders. The secret meeting was held in one private house in the town.
1943 – Guerrillas were already pursued even to distant barrios. Some were caught and executed because the Filipino spies helped their identification.
Dec. 1944 – The Ibaan Bridge and the Matala Bridge were demolished by the Japanese Military Forces.
Jan. 1945 – An accidental fire caused the loss of three houses in Alicagui.
March 13, 1945 – The liberation of Ibaan.
March 15, 1945 – The American military camp was set up in the school campus. The poblacion and barrios became too crowded because many people from the neighboring towns and Manila evacuated to Ibaan. The living conditions became unsanitary after a few days. The American military government transferred other [people?] to Batangas.
April 5, 1945 – The public schools were opened under the auspices of the PICAO.
July 6, 1945 – Public schools were made [placed] under the Bureau of Public Schools.

[p. 7]

26. Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars:

1900-1901 – Epidemics of cholera, small pox and malaria.

1901 – Vaccination was enforced by the American Mil. Force.

Jan. 1942 – Sabang Bridge was demolished by the American Army.

May, 1942 – The church towers were destroyed by a tremendous earthquake.

1943 – [In the] Latter part of the year, local guerrillas were caught and executed.

Dec. 1944 – The Matala Bridge and Ibaan Bridge were demolished by the Japanese Military Force.

B. Measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II

Jan. 31, 1947 – The inauguration of the church towers.

Oct. 1949 – Ibaan Bridge was opened to the public (Cost - ₱19,000).

May, 1949 – Matala Bridge was opened to the public (Cost - ₱14,000).

August, 1949 – The repair of the Ibaan Elem. Schools was done.

1950 – Dayapan Bridge was completed (Cost ₱50,000).

1951 – Sabang Bridge was completed (Cost ₱49,990).

References – Manuscript-History of Ibaan-by Miguel Mercado

– Convent Chronicle

Part Two – Folkways

27. Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life; birth, baptism, courtship, marriage, death, burial; visits, etc.

Baptism –

When a child is born, the neighbors and relatives keep vigil over the newly born infant until after he is baptized by a priest. The baptism is usually accompanied by merrymaking and feasting that the parents incur debts to feed the whole community.

Courtship and Marriage –

Courtship today is quite a contrast to courtship during the early years. During the early days, a man must be very courteous and respectful when he visits a girl, right after entering the door of the house, he must walk in kneeling position up to the one whom he wants to pay due respect.

Conversation between the girl and the man is very limited because the old folks were watching each other’s moves. When it was already late in the night, the parents would begin to close the windows, meaning that was up;

[p. 8]

It was quite common in those days for a man to be married to a woman he did not love or he did not know because it was the parents who made the arrangements. So when a woman eloped with a man, the parents were very angry because their agreement or compromise did not materialize.

When a woman was set to be married, the groom-to-be usually gave a very big bundle of selected fuel. This bundle was kept under the house and was due after the marriage. That bundle of firewood signified burning love.

A man before marriage undergoes an acid test. He offers his services freely by getting water, helping in daily chores of the household, farming, repairing the house, and etc. And before they are married, the man has already lost pounds of weight. If, however, these services are not done faithfully, the marriage may still be annulled.

Dowries sometimes determine much the success of the proposal of marriage. If a woman does not like the man, she can exact a large amount of dowry or (bigay-kaya) such as hectares of land, money, animals, etc. from the man and even if the latter cannot love [live?] up to her wishes, his love can be spurned.

Death –

It has been the custom of our women to wear black and for men to wear a black band around the arm when one in the family dies. Special evening prayers are said up to the ninth day by the members [of the family] and relatives of the deceased. On the fourth and ninth days, feasts are held. The thirtieth day if a woman, and the fortieth day if a man is also celebrated.

28. Myths, legends, beliefs, interpretations, superstitions, origin of the world, land, mountains and caves, etc.

In ancient times and even up to the present generation, people of this locality have many queer beliefs regarding the different phenomena of nature and associate them with myths, legends, and superstitions; and give these natural phenomena varied interpretations as they affect their daily lives.

The eclipses are believed to have [a] bad effect on the suitors whose proposals to young maidens will meet their doom, as in the case of “Pinaglahuang Pag-ibig;” and to those who are newly-engaged, it means a temporary break as a third person has intervened in the happiness of the two lovers. But to those who have long been engaged, it means an everlasting happiness.

Eartquakes are believed to be the wrath of God. Others believe that it is the meeting of heat and cold under the earth. They do not know that earthquakes of tectonic type are caused by the loosening of huge boulders and falling one after another.

When a setting of eggs has been subjected to an earthquake, they are believed to become infertile. These eggs will either be sold or used in the house.

When a person is walking along the road, and an earthquake occurs, he should stop and hold on something solid or lie down flat on his breast lest he falls down to the ground and become an epileptic person.


Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and and Life of the Town – Ibaan” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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