BARRIO OF SAO-ATAN, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data BARRIO OF SAO-ATAN, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data

BARRIO OF SAO-ATAN, Historical Data

Barrio Sao-Atan

About these Historical Data

[Cover page.]



Mr. Pascual Bosito
Mr. Esteban M. Banayos

Prepared and submitted by:


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Part One: History

1. Present official name of the barrio


2. Popular name of the barrio, present and past. — Sao-atan

Derivation and meaning of this name:

During the early times before the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines, this place was inhabited by Igorots. Later, there was a flood and people in the lowlands had to seek refuge to a higher place. The Igorots, not wanting to be replaced by the refugees, had to fight them with their spears. This fight was then called in the native dialect "sinnannoat," because of the weapons they used. But this word was considered awkward by the people so they changed it to a more refined one which is now "Sao-atan."

3. Date of establishment —

4. Original families

Among the first inhabitants of this barrio were the following families: Leoncio Bello, Sabino Barnardez, Anastacio Bitana, Gabino Blaza, Zacarias Babia, and Fulgencio Bachiller.

5. A list of tenientes of this barrio from the earliest known time to date is as follows:

1. Moises Barca
2. Severo Bidquera
3. Estanislao Bello
4. Esteban Banayos
5. Ignacio Bernardez
6. Venancio Balubar
7. Jose Mailed
8. Dionicio Barila

6. Story of old barmos or sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct. - None

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

(a) During the Spanish occupation, the people were taught the "Cartilla" or "Caton" by a trained person. The first teacher was one of the old men of the barrio, Mr. Fabian Benoza. Education was not forced, so only those who desired attended school.

During the American times, when education was one of its primary aims, a small primary school was built on the top of the Sao-atan hill. Some of its first teachers were Miss Michaela Badere, Mr. Domingo Barba, Miss Monica Martinez, and Mr. Pablo Garcia. Since the school was located on a hill, the source of the water was very far and the children had a difficult time carrying the

[p. 2]

water, so the people from all the neighboring villages decided to build a bigger central school. This school is now the present Sinalang Elementary School. The first temporary school built was through contributions of the combined barrios of Sao-atan, Palao, Angad, and Lipcan. The school was named Sinalang Elementary School because of the river that flows through these barrios. The first temporary school building was replaced with a permanent one built by the government, which was again destroyed during the Japanese time.

8. Destruction of lives, properties, institutions during the war.

During the Japanese occupation, the people of this barrio fled to evacuationcenters far from the Japanese garrison. Later, the Japanese occupied this place. They burned all the houses vacated by the people. No lives during this time were destroyed, however, as the people had aiready fled. In the mountains, guerrilla units were formed and many of the young men from Sao-atan became members of these units. Some served as guards and some as spies on the movements of the Japanese. Some of these men from Sao-atan were caught and killed by the Japanese soldiers. Those who did not join the guerrillas and were suspected as collaborating with the Japanese were also killed by the guerrillas.

The Japanese destroyed the newly built school of Sinalang by cutting half of it down as it was a good hiding place for guerrillas. Until now, the school has not been rehabilitated. The Parent-Teacher Association of the place is at present supporting the school.

Part Two; Folkways

A Traditions, customs; and practices in domestic and social life.

(a) Birth — During birth, a "partera" is called to deliver the child. Anybody who has an "alipospos" (cowlicks) on the hairline at the forehead is not allowed to go near the woman delivering, as it is said that she will have a hard time in the delivery. After the delivery, they place the child on top of a winnowing basket and drop it to the floor with the child four times in all the four directions. They do this to frighten the child so he will be brave when he grows up. When the husband goes to bury the placenta, he should not look back so the child will not be forgetful. He should also bury a pencil and paper with the placenta, so the child will be bright in school.

(b} Baptism — As soon as the child is a month old, he is baptized in church with the sponsors which they call "comadre" for a woman, and "compadre" for a man. They give a party after the ceremony.

(c) Courtship — The old tradition for courtship is this:

When a man wants to marry a girl, he does not write the girl but instead he asks his father or the old man of their barrio to write a letter to the father of the girl asking for the hand of the girl. If the girl agrees with the father, they also write back asking them for a visit or what they call "Danon" in the dialect. During the "Danon," the man, accompanied by the father or other relatives, goes to the girl's house to arrange the marriage.

(d) Before a man could marry a girl, he has to present a dowry or a list of properties he is going to give the girl. It may be in the form of lands, money, or animals.

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After the wedding ceremony, a party is given in the girl's home. Expenses for the wedding ensemble for the girl and for the party are defrayed by the man. The man also has to take the girl to his home after the wedding to show her his trunk, which they call "atan-aw." He opens his trunk to show his clothes to his wife.

(e) Death - During death, they see to it that the feet of the dead person do not face each other. For if they do, another member of the family might die next.

When a person is at the dead person’s house, he should not hold round objects. If he does, he will have goiter. A bad practice of the people of this barrio during death is that when the dead person is buried, all the people who accompanied in the funeral have to go back to the house of the dead man to eat. So, they have fo kill an animal to feed them. The other people of the barrio also take the opportunity to go to the house to eat as though there was a feast instead of a funeral.

(f) There are no festivals or punishments in this barrio.

B. Myths, legends, beliefs, interpretations, superstitions

(a) When a person is sick, the first person they would call is the quack doctor. They only go to the doctor when the illness is already very serious. Perhaps, it is the strong belief of the people on the power of the quack doctor that makes them well for their illness.

One of the most prescriptions of the quack doctor is to tell the family of the sick person to give an "in-in-na-pet." This is a ceremony for the spirits whom they belisve to be the cause of the illness. In the ininnapet, they cook malagkit with chicken and coconut. People in the neighborhood are asked to dine with them. Some plates of malagkit and the chicken plus some buyo and tobacco are placed on a separate table for the spirits.

(b) When a child's teeth begin to appear and the upper teeth grow first, they call it "daraw" and which they believe will have a bad effect on the child. A remedy for this is to take the child to a granary that was inherited. The child has to get a bundle of rice which is to be pounded and cooked. Then they call nine children to eat the cooked rice. After eating, each of the nine children has to wipe his hands on the head of the child who is called "daraw."

(c) Some superstitious beliefs and interpretations:

1. The people believe that when fruits are plentiful, there is little harvest.
2. When the new moon is inclined to one side, rainy days [will] come.
3. When the new moon and the star are very near each other, there is war.

C. Popular songs and dances:

a. Pamulinawen
b. Manang Biday
c. Zarzuela
d. Pandanggo

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3. Popular games and amusements:

a. Cockfighting for men.
b. Card games for women.

D. Puzzles and Riddles:

1. Adda libroc a bassit
Nabungongungon ti sisiit,
Ti macaibaga, nasirib.
2. Bulong ti cappacappa
Nagtal-licod, nagpada.

E. Proverbs and Sayings.

1. Ibagam dagiti gagayyemmo ta ibagac no siasino ca.
2. Ti nalinac a danum, nauneg.

F. Methods of measuring time.

1. Cock crowing
2. Position of the sun
3. Shadow

Persons who gave the information:

Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of the Barrio Sao-Atan, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. The pagination in this transcription is as they appear in the original document.
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