Informants: (SGD.) SEGUNDO BARGAS
Prepared and submitted by: (SGD.) (Mrs.) AGAPITA B. BARGAS
HISTORY AND CULTURAI LIFE OF SAN ANTONIO
Part One: History
On the westem part of Bangued just across the Abra River is a barrio officially named SAN ANTONIO.
It is popularly known as "Baliw" because when one goes to the barrio, he must have to cross the river and "baliw" is the shortened for the word "bal-lasiw," which means crossing the river. Before, it was named "Nagtupacan" because it was in that place where the people annihilated invaders by throwing big stones at them. The place is such that it overlooks all paths leading to it. Enemies, therefore, were easily seen so the people could prepare before the enemies arrived. The people just placed themselves at the edge of the cliffs and let loose big stones to roll down the cliff striking the enemies below.
It is believed that the barrio was established even earlier than the town of Bangued because it is near the river and settlers usually establish their settlements near a good source of water supply; and also the river was then the only means of transportation. The barrio includes several sitios; namely, Nagtupacan, Presentar, Sagap, Damulay, Barikir, Saluden, Calumbitin, and Ramramot.
The original families are the Alcantara, Bolante, Bareca, Bargas, Galera, Lumdang, and Borce.
The barrio is under a Teniente or barrio lieutenant who most often acts as arbiter of disputes, carries orders from the Municipal Mayor or, in short, is the chief executive of the barrio. There has been several barrio lieutenants, namely:
1. Ignacio Lizardo
2. Roberto Galera
3. Gregorio Plurad
4. Francisco Bobila
5. Afroilan Bonete
6. Luciano Bolante
7. Arsenio Bolante
8. Benito Bolante
9. Francisco Bargas
10. Aquilino Bonete
In sitio Nagtupacan, the first place to be inhabited, the people had excavated some relics of historical value such as earthenware, plates, and vats.
There are no historical buildings and ruins in the barrio.
The important facts and incidents that took place in the barrio are:
1. In sitio Nagtupacan, tha natives took up ams against the Spaniards.
2. During the Spanish-American War, it was the place several Filipino soldiers established their headquarters when the Americans had already taken the Poblacion of Bangued.
3. During World War II, it was the evacuation place of the people of the town of Bangued when it was occupied by the Japanese. It was the headquarters of the Guerillas operating in the town of Bangued. A Military Mayor was appointed by the Military authorities with Atty. Santos Bargas as Military Mayor.
4. It was in this barrio where a self-styled guerilla leader popularly known as Sagad, which means broom, assassinated or murdered thirteen (13) innocent civilians just because they were not able to give immediately a glassful of "basi." This self-styled guerilla leader was later arested and faced the firing squad to pay for his atrocities.
5. During the liberation of Bangued, when the town was bombed by the Allied planes for six consecutive days, the people of Bangued were evacuated to this barrio. The evacuees were housed and fed by the barrio people.
There was not much destruction to property because the Japanese never dared to occupy the barrio. It was also spared from the bombing of the town of Bangued because it was the headquarters of the Allied Forces.
After the war, the people were the first to have rehabilitated themselves. Their houses were spared from the ravages of war.
Part Two: Folkways
The people are very hospitable and cooperative, a tradition they inherited from their forefathers. The Purok system now being initiated by the School authorities has long been practiced by them. Take, for example, the "Tagnawa," and the "Namin." The tagnawa is the practice of the people to help one another in the accomplishment of a certain project such as the construction of a house or an irrigation dam. The family is a sort of help when a certain family member dies, or a certain family is going to have a wedding party, the barrio people give money, rice, eggs, pigs, etc.
In matters of courtship, the parents have a bigger hand in the choice of the mates of their sons or daughters. When a couple desires their son to marry, they send a message to the parents of the girl of their choice telling them of their desire. The girl's parents will, in turn, send a message of acceptance or rejection, as the case may be. If accepted, they arrange a fixed date wherein they take up the matter in a sort of bargaining. The male party offers properties such as a piece of land, carabao, money, etc., as a dowry and the party of the girl may ask some more in case they know that the man can afford. If the party of the man cannot come up to the demand of the party of girl, the marriage may not materialize. If both parties agree, the party of the man, because of their success, will prepare a sumptuous food for both parties for the occasion, but in case they will not agree, the preparation, which is usually brought by the party of the man, will be brought back to their home.
In matters of birth, they have many superstitious beliefs. When a mother has given birth, she is made to lie down on an inclined bamboo bed for several weeks and under the house where the bed is placed, they hang a branch of camanchile tree. They believe that the branch of [the] camanchile tree will repel the evil spirits that may come to court the young child. The nursing mother cannot drink cold water and is prohibited to eat egg, squash, some kind of fish, and many others that the midwife (usually an old woman with no schooling regarding her profession) may tell.
In matters of death and burial, the people have many beliefs. When a deceased is brought down from the house, all the people must go down and when the people who went with the funeral return from the cemetery, they are made to wash their hands and feet at the doorway with vinegar.
The people still have many superstitious beliefs such as follows:
1. The "ininnapet." — This is a sort of an offering of sumptuous food and prayer to the spirits made before [the] planting season in order to have a good harvest. Wt is also made in order that a sick member of a family may become well.
2. When one sneezes just as somebody prepares to do something or go to an errand, it is believed to be [a] warning of bad omen; the person, therefore, who intended to do something or to go somewhere must delay his intention for a few moments until the warning is supposed to have subsided.
3. They believe that skin diseases, especially of children, are caused by some unseen beings called: "Kaibaan."
4. When a child feels uneasy, they believe that the spirit of the child might have parted with the child when he was frightened somewhere. The mother will call back the spirit, usually at sunset, and if she does not know how to call, she engages the services of older folks.
They believe in witchcraft. So much so that when one is said fo have been made sick by a witch, the kin of the sick person usually patrol around the house of the suspected witch at night; and if the suspected witch happens to go down in the middle of the night, her life is endangered because the kin of the sick person may kill her. They believe that the witch sometimes turns into a big pig or cat.
The popular game being played by old folks is the chongka.
Some of the puzzles and riddles are as follows:
2. One slice of bamboo shoot can be shared by the entire world. — Moon
3. There is a small hole full of bones, what is it? - The mouth
4. I have a big pig, its hairs are of nails. — Jackfruit
5. A handful of popcorn is enough for all the towns. — Stars
Some of the Proverbs and Sayings are the following:
1. Ti macaturog, macamucat, ti nasalucag isu ti agbiag. - One who sleeps perishes, the one who is awake survives.
2. Tikinasadui isu ti taudan ti laladot. - Laziness is the cause of sickness.
3. Awan ti lualo nga di agpul-lo. - There is no prayer that will not end.
4. No adda utang, adds bayadan. - If there is a debt, there is something to pay.
5. Awan ti baguio nga di lumpa. - There is no storm that will not subside.
6. No adda mula adda met apiten. - If one has sown something; he will have something to harvest.
Part Three; Other Information
There are no books nor documents that could be found treating of the Philippines.
There is one Filipino author born in the barrio. He is Professor Santiago Alcantara. He has written several prose and poems in the vernacular. One of his books is entitled "Dal-lang ti Am-mianan." It is printed and several copies of it are in the possession of the author's relatives.
JUAN THE CHARCOAL VENDOR
Once upon a time, there was a young man by the name of Juan. This young man was very poor and his only means of livelihood was by making charcoal and selling them.
One day, there was a dead child being brought to the church that passed by his house. When they reached the church, the priest refused to solemnize the burial because the parents of the dead child had no money. Juan learned of this, so he got his only money and gave it to the parents of the child to pay the priest.
Just after giving his money, he went home to take his lunch. When he uncovered the pot where the rice was, he found out that it was eaten by somebody. So he tried to prepare to cook another, but he heard a voice somewhere. He looked around and saw a monkey. "So you were the one who ate my food," he said. "Yes," said the monkey, "but don't get angry, Juan, I came here because I want to be with you and help you in your work." Juan answered, "I like it very much so that someone will take care of my house when I am away."
One day, the monkey told Juan that he would go and borrow a ganta to measure their money. Juan laughed because he knew their money was very little. The monkey insisted. So, he went to the palace of the King and borrowed the ganta of the king. When the monkey went to return the ganta, he purposely left a twenty-centavo coin in the box. The king saw the monkey and was surprised where they got so much money to be measured with a ganta.
After one day, the monkey again told Juan that he would be going to borrow a bag to measure their money again. Juan laughed because he knew they had no money. The monkey insisted and he again went to the palace of the king to borrow a bag. When the monkey returned, he purposely left several coins in the bag. The king was surprised and he said, "Why did you leave some coins inside the bag?" The monkey said that the money left was only very little and he wouldn't mind. The king surmised that the Master of the monkey must be very rich.
The monkey told Juan that he would request the king's daughter to marry Juan. Juan was very ashamed because he was very poor. The monkey went to the king and asked whether the Princess could marry Juan. The king consented and the day for the marriage ceremony was set aside.
The monkey went home and told Juan to prepare as the king already consented to the marriage of the Princess to him. Juan could not believe, it but the monkey insisted.
Juan dressed up with the only dress he had and they went out (with the monkey) to the King's palace. While they were on their way, they saw a house made of gold. This house was owned by an old woman who had a magic handkerchief. The monkey went to the house and told the woman that he saw men coming to rob her. The woman was very afraid. The monkey told her to jump into a well and hide. The woman did what the monkey told her, but before jumping into the well, she gave to the monkey her magic handkerchief. This handkerchief, when waved in the air, all what you desire to appear would come out. When the woman was in the well, the monkey filled the well with earth so the woman was killed.
The monkey called for Juan and they stayed in the house of gold. The monkey waved the handkerchief and nice clothes for Juan appeared. Juan changed his clothes with them. The monkey again waved the handkerchief and a table made of gold complete with plenty of food ready for the wedding guests appeared.
The monkey waved the handkerchief for a golden chariot on which they rode (with Juan) to the king's palace. The king and the princess were very much impressed with the wealth of Juan and they were very happy. The king called for a minister and the wedding ceremony was made. After the wedding ceremony, they boarded the golden chariot and proceeded fo the house of Juan. The guests, numbering about a thousand, followed. They were surprised at the beauty at the house of Juan, the same with the excellent food served.
So Juan and the Princess lived as husband and wife happily. The monkey bade goodbye to Juan and told him that he was the spirit of the boy for whom Juan paid the expenses for the burial.
Signature of persons who gave information:Submitted by: (SGD.) (Mrs) AGAPITA B. BARGAS