MUNICIPALITY OF SAN QUINTIN, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF SAN QUINTIN, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of San Quintin

About these Historical Data

[Cover Page.]



Mr. Clare Valera
Actg. Principal



Education is a continuous change for the better. Based on the community idea, our schools have become child-centered instead of book-centered. Its goals are social instead of individualistic. Its subject matter is not the book but the life that the children and the adults live. The elements of the curricula will have to be drawn from the grassroots of community life.

In view of the new function of the school, it has become an objective in our educational program to adopt our teaching practices with the new concepts of education. Teachers will have to look for centers of interest in child life and and community life.

This compilation of the history and cultural life of the town of San Quintin, Abra, is the first attempt of the teachers to gather useful teaching materials from the community. These materials, organized under different teaching units, are of great importance in the teaching of Social Studies.

These materials had been gathered by the teachers of San Quintin with the most willing help and cooperation of some resource persons in the locality. Grateful acknowledgment is made to Judge Jose Fariñas and to Mr. Ricardo Aznar for their contributions in the gathering of data about the history and cultural life of this town.

Actg. Principal

[Table of Contents.]


1. History & Cultural Life of the Town of San Quintin
2. History & Cultural Life of the Barrio of Baritbarit
3. History & Cultural Life of the Barrios & Sitios Around Baritbarit
4. History & Cultural Life of the Barrio of Tangadan
5. History & Cultural Life of the Barrios of Talaytay
6. History & Cultural Life of the Barrios of Palang
7. History & Cultural Life of the Barrios of Cabaruyan
8. Committees that Gathered the Data

[p. 1]


Part I - History.

I. Present Official Name of the Town:

The present official name of the town is San Quintin.

II. Former Name or Names and Their Meanings or Derivations:

Before the town was named San Quintin, the town was always referred to as "Talamey." This was the old name of the town. There are no available testimonies as to the meaning or derivation of the name "Talamey."

III. Date of Establishment:

There are no reliable data concerning the establishment of the town, but it is believed that the town already existed during the 17th century or even, possibly, during the early days of the Spanish regime.

IV. Names and Social Status of the Founders:

No record is available in town showing any name or personality related to the founding of this town. However, some old men say that the town was christened "San Quintin" by the missionary friars of Abra, whose missionary superior in the province was Padre Quintin, after whom the town was named. However, this should be treated as mere hearsay until a more extensive research of the records would prove this statement. It is important to note that the patron saint of this town is "San Quintin" and it is safer to assume that the town derived its name from its patron saint which was assigned to it. The town was christened during the incumbency of the Spanish Govemor Peñarrubia.

V. Names of Persons Who Held Leading Official Positions in the Community with the Dates of Their Tenure, if Possible:

Spanish Occupation

1. Capitan Ayong
2. Guillermo Hernandez
3. Jose Senen (Dalen)
4. Catalino Llaneza
5. Jose Cordoncillo (1896-1897)
6. Juan Fariñas (Balitnang)
7. Agapito Garde
8. Honorable Ballesta (1898-1899)

American Occupation

1. Jose Cordoncillo
2. Petronilo Fariñas
3. Pastor Aragon
4. Leopoldo Senen
5. Isidro Perez
6. Gallardo Llaneza
7. Jose Cordoncillo
8. Juan Senen
9. Jose Rubio
10. Hilario Diaz
11. Ignacio Malana
12. Martin Senen
13. Luis Fariñas
14. Jose Reyes

[p. 2]

Japanese Occupation

1. Saturnino Fabian
2. Jose Senen

Military Government

1. Hilario Diaz
2. Jose Taccadan

Post Liberation

1. Jose Senen
2. Nicanor Aznar
3. Gaspar Aragon

VI. Data on Historical Sites, Structures, Buildings, Old Ruins, etc.:

There are, at present, the old ruins of the Spanish "Quartel" of the Guardia Civil. They are found at the present site of the Municipal Building and at the lot of Mr. Martin Senen near the present San Quintin Elementary School. These old ruins have deteriorated to a point where these could no longer be reconstructed.

VII. Important Facts, Incidents or Events That Took Place –

A. During the Spanish Occupation

The last town president during the Spanish Occupation was Honorato Ballesta. When the town fell to the hands of the Americans, he fled to Bangued and Jose Cordoncillo assumed the position as head of the town.

Col. Blas Villamor, commander of the revolutionary forces in Abra, tried to repulse the American forces at Tangadan, but because they were inferior in number and arms, they were forced to retreat.

B. During the American Occupation

The people lived peacefully. One of its prominent men, Mr. Marlin Senen, was elected a member of the Provincial Board.

C. During and After World War II

A U.S. fighter plane dropped at sitio Labaan, San Quintin, on December 10, 1941. It had an engine trouble after fighting with Japanese planes along the coast of Ilocos Sur. The American pilot was saved.

On December 10, 1941, the Poblacion was burned by the Japanese. The Poblacion and the barrios of Tangadan and Palang were subject to severe American aerial bombing. The Japanese forces under the command of Gen. Araki, had their last foothold in Abra at Tangadan. The Filipino soldiers under the USAFIP command attacked the Japanese forces concentrated at Tangadan during the months of March and April, 1945. About the middle of April, the Japanese retreated to join the other Japanese forces at Cervantes. They suffered a great loss.

[p. 3]

A. Destruction of Lives, Propertiés, and Institutions During Wars, especially in 1896-1900 and in 1941-1945:

1. War in 1896-1800 — None.

2. Deceased Veterans of World War II.

1. Sgt. Jose A. Senen
2. Godofredo Diaz
3. Virgilio Llaneza
4. Rosario Llaneza
5. Gaudencio Llaneza
6. Irenio Llaneza
7. Espiritu Cordoncillo
8. Dalmacio Infiel
Died at Capas Concentration Camp
Died at Capas Concentration Camp
Died at Capas Concentration Camp
Died at Capas Concentration Camp
Died at Capas Concentration Camp
Missing in Action
Shot by the Japs at Palang
Shot by the guerillas at Langiden
3. Properties and Institutions

The whole town of San Quintin was razed to the ground preceding the end of World War II. The houses in the Poblacion were burned by the Japanese on December 10, 1944, when they found out that the people evacuated their homes.

The barrios of Palang and Tangadan were subjected to severe Amesican aerial bombings that reduced all the houses to ashes. Shells of unexploded bombs are presently preserved in the plaza of the Poblacion.

4. Animals

There was considerable loss in animal lives.

B. Measures and Accomplishments towards Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Following World War II –

The school buildings at the Poblacion, Baritbarit, Iabaan [or Labaan], and Palang were rehabilitated under the War Damage Commission in accordance with the Philippine Rehabilitation Act of 1946.

The church in the Poblacion was rehabilitated by funds donated by one Father Antonio of the SVD. A concrete church rose over the debris of a pre-war "wood-sawali" church.

Houses in the Poblacion and in the barrios were reconstructed. Most of them are of light materials. However, the families who are financially able, have built semi-permanent houses.

Part Two — Folkways

I. Traditions, Customs and Practices in Domestic and Social Life, Birth, Baptism, Courtship, Marriage, Death, Burial, Visits, etc.

A. Births:

When a woman is giving birth and she is laboring with difficulty, the husband is obliged to pass over the womb; all trunks in the house are opened wide with the belief that the birth is thus facilitated. No persons are allowed to stand at the door so that the baby will come out more easily.

[p. 4]

When the baby is born she is placed in a winnowing basket and the midwife tosses it gently and utters — "Be industrious, do not be lazy, grow up quickly."

B. Courtship and Marriage:

Before the American Occupation, marriages were arranged by the parents. When a chiid was born, the parents betrothed their child to one who they desired to be their daughter-in-law. Both parents made the agreement, and when the period of maturity was reached by the children, they married regardless of whether they were in love or not. If one of the parties failed to live up to the agreement, they must pay to the other party the terms agreed upon. This was a punishment.

When a man desired to marry he told his choice to this father. Once his father approved it, a family representative was sent to approach the family of the woman and [he, i.e. the representative] asked for the hand of their daughter. If the offer was rejected, the proposal was terminated. But if the offer was accepted, the following procedure was generally followed:

The engagement was secured by a sum of money to be determined by both parties and to be produced by the man-contracting party. Such security was locally called "Palalian." This amount was to be forfeited upon default of the man in carrying out the terms of the engagement.

Other customs and practices in the neighboring towns are also practiced in this community.

C. Deaths and Burials:

When a casket bearing the dead has been lowered in the grave, everybody who attended the burial throws a lump of soil into the grave.

Months after the death of the person, the nearest surviving kin renders a "lay-og," a feast intended for the deceased. The "lay-og" is a grand affair where many visitors are invited. If the affair is just a local one, it is called a "pamisa." The purpose of this feast is to give the deceased a final send-off.

II. Myths, Legends, Beliefs, Superstitions

A. Beliefs:

1. Some people believe in the “anito” which causes sickness.

2. People believe that the position of the stars and the moon and the appearance of a comet have something to foretell in the lives of the people.

3. People believe that there are good days in a month in which to begin an undertaking and that there are also bad days.

4. People believe that a shooting star, called "layap," falls from the air and hides in any hollow thing in the house and will later on burst into flames and burn the houses.

[p. 5]

5. Some people believe that the rainbow is a dangerous thing that runs after people and catches them. Those who are caught get sick.

6. It was believed by the old folks that the dead would go to another land and live another life. So, they gave clothing, money, and jewelry as the dead's share to bring with him or her.

7. It is a belief that after the burial of a dead person, the persons who went with the funeral should burn rice straws before reaching the stairs and [they] had to pass over it to prevent the return of the dead man's spirit, without which the spirit would be haunting the place.

8. A house from where a dead person was just buried must have to build fire on his yard for nine consecutive nights to drive the evil spirits from haunting the place.

B. Superstitions:

1. When there is an eclipse, a woman on the family way should wash her hair with a solution of water and vinegar which passed through a sieve filled with the ashes of rice straw that is at least one year old. While washing her hair, she should face the east. This should be done before sunrise. If she does not do this, she may die during her delivery.

2. Before the farmers plant rice or harvest rice, they cook malagkit with coconut milk and dress a chicken. They serve these foods on a small table. They also put some rolls of tobacco and betel nut and leaves. Then, an old man goes out to call the spirits to eat. After they are supposed to have finished eating, the women collect the dishes and re-cook the food. They serve it to themselves. They do this so that the spirits will help them have a good crop, if not they will become sick. This is called "in-innapet."

3. When a member of the family is ill, they believe that the spirits can cure him. So, they employ a man to sing songs to call the spirits. They beat drums the whole day and night. This is called "boni."

4. When you visit a house where someone died before, you should touch or pinch the lower part of your ears in order to avoid being overpowered by the spirit of the dead. This called "am-amling."

5. When a child is frightened and gets sick immediately, the old folks say that his spirit went away. So, they employ someone who can call back the spirit. This is called "Ud-Udong."

6. Many girls do not like to eat twin bananas because they will also give birth to twins.

[p. 6]

7. When you go down the stairs and someone sneezes, be it a person or an animal, you better return of else you will meet an accident.

8. When there is a conflagration, people who are far from the fire take their mortar and pestle and have the pestle point toward the house on fire. This will stop the spread of the fire.

9. When the hen crows, one of the maidens in the neighborhood will be pregnant.

10. If the chickens cluck early in the morning and in the evening, it is a sign that a house in the neighborhood will be on fire.

11. While walking and on your way a lizard crosses your path, that is a sign of bad luck.

12. Dreaming of swimming in a swelling river is a sign of an approaching cold.

13. One whose wife or husband dies during the full moon is a sign of early marriage of the widow or widower.

14. A star seen just at the point of a quarter moon means a forecasting of war, hunger, and death.

III. Popular Song, Games, and Amusements:

The popular song of the old folks is called "dal-leng." It has a similarity with the songs of the people of Mountain Province.

Fishing and hunting are their games. They find amusement in going to the river to fish or going to the mountains to hunt.

IV. Puzzles and Riddles:

1. "Adda maysa a baket, maisalsaluket." There is an old woman, pinned on the wall. — Pipe

2. "Adda maysa a lacay, agguy-guyod ti way." There is an old man pulling a piece of rattan. — Rat

3. "Diayen aoan ti mata na." There it is without an eye. — forefinger

4. "Nagtaudac dita pusom, tinarakennac cadaguita dongngom. Idi ket ta dackelacon, siac ti impatay mon." I came from your heart, you nursed me with kindness. But when I am already big, I caused your death. — Banana fruit

5. "No bassit pay candela, no dackelen bandera." If it is still small, it is like a candle, but when it is big it is like a flag. — Banana leaf

[p. 7]

V. Proverbs and Sayings:

1. An honest centavo is better that a stolen peso.

2. Do not count your chicks before they are hatched.

3. A rolling stone gathers no moss.

4. A sleepy cat catches no mice.

5. Show me the company where you belong and I'll tell you who you are.

6. Don’t spend more than what you earn.

7. Save a little for the rainy day.

8. Do not do unto others what you don't like others do unto you.

9. Home is the place where love abides.

10. It is useless to tell others that you lost something, if your companion is the one stealing.

11. A santol tree never bears a guava fruit.

12. A barking dog seldom bites.

VI. Methods of measuring time and special calendars:

1. Measuring time by:
a. the position of the sun
b. the crowing of the cocks
c. the eyes of the cat
2. Special calendar — the moon.

VII. Folktale:


In the olden days, there lived a big giant named Angalo. He was very tall and strong. He lived in the mountains in the eastern part of Abra. One day, the people with whom he lived have used all of their salt. They wanted to get salt, but only Angalo could wade in the sea to reach the Island of Salt.

Angalo then prepared a big basket to fill with salt. He traveled westward to the sea. His left footprint is found in sitio Baddec, in the southeastern part of Bangued; and his right footprint is in the western side of Cabaruyan. Before going to the sea, he left his carabao to bathe in the river near Cabaruyan, a barrio of San Quintin. He also spread his fishing net on the side of the mountain west of Palang, another barrio of San Quintin.

[p. 8]

So, Angalo took his big basket and proceeded westward to the sea. He waded successfully across the sea and reached the Island of Salt. He filled his basket with salt and started to return. His load was really very heavy because he wanted to get as much salt as he could.

While wading homeward across the sea, he mistakenly stepped on a big slippery stone and fell. Down went Angalo with his big basket of salt into the deepest part of the sea. Aithough he was a big man, he was not able to save himself and was drowned. Now, his big basket of salt lies deep in the middle of the sea, and that is why the sea is salty. We still can find the carabao he left bathing near Cabaruyan and the fishing net he left to dry on the side of a mountain west of Palang, but these have already turned to stone.

[p. 9]


Mr. Claro Valera Chairman
Mrs. Mercedes S. Aznar
Mrs. Vicenla L. Aragon
Miss Josefina Melecio
Mrs. Concepcion B. Cabristante
Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of the Municipality of San Quintin, 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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