MUNICIPALITY OF TAYUM, Historical Data Part I - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF TAYUM, Historical Data Part I - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Tayum



About these Historical Data

[Cover Page.]



Tayum, Abra

[Table of Contents]



I. Official Name and Derivation
II. Establishment, Foundation, and Founders
III. Origin of the Names ofthe Streets
IV. Location and Population
V. The Barrios (1) Deet (2) Gaddani (3) Bagalay (4) Bumagcat (5) Budac (6) Basbasa (7) Pias (8) Patucannay
VI. Historical Sites and Ruins
1. Batiotio
2. The Old School Sites
3. Ruins of Old Buildings
VII. Important Events
1. Unusually Big floods
(a) Layus a Bungsot (b) 1874 (c) Layus ti Aguet (d) 1947
2. Epidemics
Plague, smallpox, Influenza, etc.
3. Fires
4. Events
(a) Tayum - A Barrio of Bangued
(b) Tayum became a Municipality Again 1908
(c) The Japanese Soldiers in 1942
(d) The Japsin 1945
VIII. Historical Buildings
1. The Church of Tayum
2. The Bell Tower of Tayum
3. The Convent of the Sisters
4, The Catholic Rectory or "Convento"
IX. Education
1. Catholic Schools in Tayum
2. The Public Schools in Tayum
Central, Ananaao, Bagalay, Basbasa Schools, Pagpagatpat, Patucannay, Velasco Schools


I. Traditions at Births and Baptism
II. On Courtship and Marriage
Danon, Patiam, Sacsi, Boda Paluad, Patan-aw
III. On Death and Burial
IV. On Punishments
V. Beliefs, Witchcraft, Superstitions
1. Buyon (Clairvoyance)
2. Manggagamud (a witch) 3. In-innapet (sacrificial dinner)
4. Caibaan (Dwarfs)
5. Padap-or
VI. Natural Phenomena and Omens

[Table of Contents 2]

VII. Popular Songs
Manang Biday (with notes)
VIII. Puzzles and Riddles
IX. Proverbs and Sayings
X. Recreation and Leisure Hours
XI. Measures of Time and Length
XII. Folk Tales — Ghost Stories


List of Town Executives in Tayum since its Foundation
Extracts from Reference Books re Tayum
Proprietors of Historical Data about Tayum

[p. 1]




TAYUM has always been the name of this town.

"Tayum" is the Ilocano name of the indigo plant. In its time, indigo was the source of wealth for the Ilocanos. It is said that the old brick buildings in Vigan, the capital of Ilocos Sur, were built out of this industry. There must have been a time when the indigo flourished in Tayum. In barrio Deet, hardly half a kilometer away from the town, there is one big vat (a "pagtimbugan") which is used for rotting the indigo plant into "ngila," which is the blue-black dye. In the beginning of this century, a powder dye from the Aniline factories of Germany came into popular use among the Ilocano weavers and the indigo industry died, the last vestiges of which are the dyed vard from Mangaldan, Pangasinan. "Aniel," which we use in laundry, is from aniline. The indigo industry in Tayum died before the advent of the American regime.

The most probable reason why this town was called TAYUM was the presence of a vat-shaped lake north of the town, a few meters away from the church. The waters of the lake were very deep and in mirroring the color of the surrounding bamboo and of the sky, it looked bluish-green, resembling in some way the color of rotting indigo. Until now, the lake is known as BIO. In the great flood of 1908, the surrounding terrain was changed inte a sandy plain, but the lake still remains in another shape.


[An] Existing list of town executives shows that Tayum began fo function as a municipality in the Year of Our Lord 1725, with Capitan Don Vidal Banganan as the first gobernadorcillo.

The year 1669 is mentioned in available historical records as being the first time a temporary church was built here by the missionary Rev. Fr. Gabriel Alvarez. Tayum was not yet an independent mission,

In 1803, the present solid brick-walled church was finished under successive Augustinian missionaries. This year (1803) cannot be the year of the foundation of Tayum as one historian stated. All the "talonarios" of gobernadorcillos existing in Tayum began with the year 1725.

Considering the names of the governadorcillos for the first fifteen years as the founders, we have the names of Don Vidal Banganan, their leader, Don Juan


1 ENSAYO por el P. Valentin Martin, O.P., Vol. II, page 102
2 Ibid, page 102.

[p. 2]

Banayos, Don Augstin Bagueng, Don Alberto Marquez, Don Nicolas Baltazar, Don Miguel Boted, Don Francisco Colaneg, Don Juan Tumen, Don Diego Alamid, and Don Manuel Flores — TEN resolute men who faced bravely the founding of a municipality out of a sparsely populated group of villages. Nothing or little is known about these founders. One anecdote mentions Don Vidal Banganan as a witty strategist. He was told not to step on the soil of Vigan, and he acquiesced. But he dared appear before the Governor in Vigan by riding on a sled in which was soil from the town of Tayum on which he was standing. And he got his wish!


Until 1910, the streets of Tayum had no names. Even until now, the names adopted by the municipal council at that time are not yet popular, but exist only on maps of the town and on official records of the Municipality. In conversation, a street is pointed as "calsaa idiay batog da Mayor" (street where Mayor's house stands), "calsada nga agturong idiay simbaan" (street going towards the church).

The street going directly to the main door of the church is called SAN PEDRO STREET because it opens the Church doors. This was the extension of the Calle Real para Bangued. The Calle Real para Bucay that to this day is the widest and clearest was named SANTA CLARA STREET. The street which is now a part of the National Road was named SAN ISIDRO ST. in honor of the Municipal President that time and who, during his incumbency, preferred to stay in his country home at Gingad near the village of San Isidro. The street on which now stands a monument to Gen. Antonio Luna was named SAN GREGORIO STREET in honor of the Vice President at that time, whose house was on that street. The street passing in front of the Municipal Building was named San Jose Street in honor of the first priest native of this town. The street parallel and between the San Jose and San Isidro Streets was named SANTO TOMAS STREET in honor of the last president of Tayum before its annexation to Bangued in 1904. The farthest street to the southeast parallell with the Sn. Isidro St. was named SAN JUAN ST. in honor of the then Municipal Secretary who later became a justice of the peace in other towns. The street west of the church was named SAN ANTONIO STREET in honor of the patron saint of a gobernadorcillo whose house was on that street. The street south of the San Gregorio Street and parallel to it was named SANTA CECILLA STREET in honor of the wife of the-then Justice of the Peace who was very modest to have his name perpetuated. The last street on the south was named SANTA CATALINA STREET in honor of a Capitana who lived on that street, and as a coincidence, it was the street where the keeper of the processional statue of the town's patron, Saint Catherine of Alexandria, was kept. To this street belong the suburbs of Boa in the corner of the town farthest South of Sabal, south of the Municipal Building, and of Ansad in the farthest west corner. The short street connecting the ends of San Juan and San Isidro Streets south of the Public School site was given no name and is only called SUBECT ST., for it leads to the suburb of Subec. The alley connecting the San Juan & San Isidro Streets parallel with the Santa Clara & San Gregorio Streets is called only by its liocano name LIPIT, and it is the only one of its kind in the whole town.


TAYUM is on the Island of Luzon, in the Province of Abra, 124 degrees 10°30" East longitude and 17 degrees 26'20" North Latitude. It is built on a hill on the left bank of the bend of the Abra River that has crystalline waters.

[p. 3]

In 1851, there were 1,000 houses in which lived 3,784 souls, 911 of whom paid tribute according to the Spanish Colonial regulations. In the census of 1918 as well as that of 1938, the total population remained around 6,100 souls. In the last census of 1848, Tayum had 6,281 souls.


Officially, there are eight barrios of Tayum because at the reorganization of the Municipality in 1908, there were eight councilors. (Only six are authorized according to the present system). These are the barrios of Bagalay, Basbasa, Budac, Bumagcat, Deet, Gaddani, Patucannay, and Pias. In area, Patucannay, Pias, and Basbasa are much bigger than the others, while Deet, Gaddani, and Bagalay seem to be overcrowding each other in an area almost equal to any one of the three.

(1) Barrio DEET

DAET (de-et) is mostly a flat valley northeast of the town. Formerly, much "diket" (the sticky rice called "malagkit" in Tagalog) was raised in this valley, and hence the name "de-et." Another story says that the natives of this village were fond of music and were often called upon to render a "dueto," and from that fact came "du-et," finally "DE-ET." Many fields of this barrio were washed away by the Abra River, especially in the flood of 1908; and until this time, the river was not yet checked. In the village of Turod, which is a part of this barrio, lived blacksmiths and leather tanners and scabbard makers. They were descendants of blacksmiths from Santa, Ilocos Sur. Blacksmithing is only their home industry, for in general, they are farmers. The village of Rugos consists of only a few houses. Corn and some sugarcane for home consumption are also produced.

Deet is the nearest barrio to the town and is the first one on the road to Lagangilang. We are now to follow this road and describe the barrios along the way. Afer the village of Turod, we cross the first steel bridge built across the Balinggaasa Brook. It is placed on a bend of the road and is so narrow that already three traffic accidents happened on it and its approaches, resulting in some deaths.

(2) Barrio GADDANI

GADDANI is divided into two villages — one Cristiano and the other Itneg (Tinguian). The name is related to the first inhabitant of the place Baket GADDANG (a Tinguian). There is good clay for pottery in this barric and the Itnegs are the potters. They find ready market for their manufactures not only in the town but also in Lagangilang, Dolores, Peñarrubia, and Bangued. The Christian village is populated with descendants of people from Ilocos Sur. Many bamboos grow on the hills of this barrio, and the people are basket makers. They sell rice baskets of all sizes and shapes also to other towns. Both the potters and basket makers have not yet learned to produce in large scale that would bring them greater income. They keep their work only as a home industry subordinate to their work as farmers. Among the basket makers, another story of the origin of Gaddani is heard. When there were still few people in Gaddani, one found a rough stone for sharpening his bolo for weaving purposes. Such a stone is called "gadgadan." From that word came "gad-da-ni."

The villages of San Isidro, Gingad, Landas, and Bagaong belong to this barrio.

[p. 4]

(3) Barrio BAGALAY

BAGALAY is one big village scattered in clusters, called "purporoc," over a group of hills. It is almost a part of Gaddani. It is said that "saleng" (pine tree) grew on this highland and the weather gets so cold that a "BAGA" (continuous fire [more correctly, embers]) had to be kept in the "BALAY" (house) to keep it warm. The first inhabitants were Tinguians, and their chieftain in due time was called "Don Bagalay" (baga- balay), and the place soon got the name BAGALAY.

The present inhabitants of this barrio are descendants of Agapito and Nicolas Duque; Leon, Gregoria, and Eva Paco; and Mariano Femandez - all immigrants from barrios of Vigan and Bantay, Ilocos Sur. The Itnegs all moved to Gaddani, but even until this time, Tinguian customs and traditions during rice planting and harvest, and at weddings and deaths, continue to be observed somehow in the village. Usually, Tinguians from Gaddani are invited to perform their rites on such occasions, if those concerned like to mingle the old customs with their Christian ways.

The barrio produces much rice. Bamboo and mangoes grow in abundance and many of their products are floated down to be sold in Vigan.

North of the sprawling village of Bangalay, separated by wide rice fields a kilometer wide, lies the village of San Vicente. In this village stood the first school in Spanish times, under the care and supervision of the Parish Priest. The first teacher was Maestro Narciso David. After a few years, the school was moved to Bagalay and placed under the tutelage of Maestro Sido (Placido?), who taught Cartilla, Ofrecimiento, Catecismo, Writing, Arithmetic, and a combination of Geography and History until the Revolution or Philippine-American War. After the "Paz" (the Declaration of Peace), one Rosa Duque was prevailed upon to teach the children in her own homes. This continued until the establishment of schools in Bagalay.

Besides San Vicente, the village of Pitao that is on the highest highland in this municipality, belongs to barrio Bagalay.

(4) Barrio BUMAGCAT

BUMAGCAT is the next barrio along the National Highway and it is the nearest to Lagangilang. There are many conjectures of how the barrio was named Bumagcat. One story says that there were three long-haired strong men who found a big log stranded after a flood. One of them dissuaded his companions from dividing the log, but when evening came, he went alone, lifted the log and carried it home. "Bumabagcat" (weight lifter), shortened to BUMAGCAT, became the name of his village. Another story of the origin of the name may be a continuation of what was just told. The war between this village versus the people of Patucannay started afresh. One strong man faced his adversary by carrying him and lifting him in the air and threatened to use him as his weapon to crush their enemies. That was the origin of the name "Bumagcat" — one who lifts.

Almost all the lands in Bumagcat belong to the descendants of Dr. Mena Crisologo of Vigan, and the descendants of the families of Quinto and of Quintinita — possibly from Caoayan, Ilocos Sur — are still the tenants. The tenants of the Crisologos are free, energetic, alert, and literate. They have built a chapel of reinforced concrete that at the same time is used by their children to

[p. 5]

gain knowledge in the 4 R's. One agent of the owners commented as follows: "I like our tenants in Bumagcat, Tayum, for they are intelligent and industrious. They have ambition to study and the elders are well posted on what is going on in the wosld." Every year, they have to bring to Vigan the owner's share of their produce of rice and tobacco. Some of the tenants emigrated to Cotabato, where they now cultivate lands of their own. Those who remained are happy and contented.

Pagpagatpat is composed of two villages that are separated from Lagangilang only by the Abra River. It is said that there were many plants called "pagetpet" on this hill in the beginning. The first inhabitants had to "agpatpat ti pagetpet" (cut the plants) — and that became the name of the piace which now is PAGPAGATPAT. There is at present a school in this village.

Lucbong is farther interior. The tobacco produced from the rice fields of Lucbang [or Lucbong] and Bumagcat are said to be the best in taste of all the tobacco produced in Tayum, but the planters here only plant for home consumption. Bamboo and mangoes are also exported from this barrio.

(5) Barrio BUDAC

BUDAC means "my wedding." Following the old Spanish Road to Bucay, at the second kilometer post some hundreds of meter away from the road to the left, one comes to the village of Ticker. The houses in this village were in clusters called “tukel’ (a union), and that was the origin of the name TICKER or TIQUER.

A story says that once, a Spanish official paid a visit to this village where he met many men. Upon asking where they were going, one of them said "Umayca, Señ, idiay budac!" (Come to my wedding). Upon reporting, he named the village next to Ticker as BUDAC, and the official name stuck to it until now. Another story says that that village on the hill was inhabited by a chieftain who loved his peopie so much that whenever any of them married, he invited his fellow chieftains saying "Umaycay iti BUDAC" (Come to my wedding!). Both stories may be correct.

On a still higher hill stands the village of PAGAGAN, meaning a place of many doves; and on a still higher hill is the village of KILOB. The village of this barrio nearest the Tayum-Bucay old road is AN-ANAAO. The word means "many anaaw" — anaaw is a palm belonging to the buri family, but the leaves are much thinner and the plant much smaller. The leaves are used as native raincoats called "annanga" or covers for native hats. In this village now stands a school that is trying to expand.

Besides rice, corn, and bamboo, the farmers here also plant sugarcane and root crops as camotes, cassava, tugui, which grow on the rocky soil. An automobile road from the old road branches to Ananaao, but no road connects Ticker, Budac, and Kilob. Only carabao paths lead to them. The descendants of Don Andres Millare are and of the Lazo family are the most successful, financially, among the present inhabitants of this barrio,

(6)Barrio BASBASA

BASBASA comes from the word "nabasa" ([got] wet) — a fitting description of the rice fields watered by the Pimpinas Spring which has its source on the

[p. 6]

mountains of Bucay. The ever-fiowing brook now flows on a controlled channel from which irrigation canals are connected. But standing water in the rice paddies makes the soil sour and unfit for rice, or retards the growth and results in a poor crop. But the greatest part of the fields benefits by this source of irrigation water. The brook flows through the village of CATUNGAWAN and jumping in a waterfall of about seven meters high, it mixes into the Magatel Brook. Until now, the waterfalls are not harnessed for power.

The village belonging to barrio Basbasa is called CATUNGAWAN (a place where the semi-microscopic insect "tungaw" abounds), RESSANG (suggested by the highlands near it that look like the broken eye of a needle}, Pal-liwek, Casilagan (a place of buri palms), Calcalingga, Salao (a place where one tries to meet another, PALPAL — where the barrio school in which all the elementary grades are taught now stands, BATIOTIO (pronounced batiw-tiw), where there was a skirmish between the Filipino guerrillas and the American Soldiers in 1901, and Daldalayap (many lime trees). It is a wide barrio occupying all the lands along the old Spanish road from the bend of Batiotio until the boundary at Pimpinas. But the land is mostly highland, unfit for agriculture during the dry months.

(7) Barrio PIAS

Before the year 1800, there were no permanent homes in this barrio. The farmers stayed in huts during the day, but all went home in the night.

PIAS is the name of a big shrub that produces a sour fruit good for spicing fresh fish when stewed. No pias plant now grows in this place, but when the first inhabitants arrived, many pias might have been growing. Pias is divided into two big villages — Pias North and Pias South. It is a fact that until now, all the town musicians come from Pias. It does not mean that other villages have no musicians, but all the members of the brass band of the town are from Pias. The people can trace their ancestors to barrios near Vigan.

Other villages belonging to this barrio are Paras, Dongadong, Acilo, VELASCO — where a complete elementary school now stands, Bantay, Belew, Pongdasan, Maraboob, and Lengleng. Little is known of the origin of the names of these places, but some of them, like Paras, are suggested by the location of the village. "Naparas" or simply PARAS ([a] windy piace for it is on a plateau) began to be inhabited only after 1850 A. D.

MARABOOB needs special mention for already, two Catholic priests are from the sons of this small village, even without mentioning the number of eligible and actual teachers. Besides rice and vegetables, which are in abundance, the people grow tobacco for sale in quintals. With the money brought by the tobacco leaves, their sons and daughters can go to school in other towns and in Manila; and this is especially true with the families of Barbieto's and the Garcia's and their in-laws. A smaller village on the western hill is occupied mostly by the descendants of Epifanio Terrenal and his son Romualdo.


PATUCANNAY occupies the whole space between the towns of Tayum and Bangued — There is a Patucannay, Tayum, which is contiguous with Patucannay, Bangued. The village, at the division line along the old Bangued — Tayum Road is called Curisdicion from the word jurisdiction. It was a very

[p. 7]

straight road past corn and vegetable fields which had one end at Curisdicion and the other end at the very gate of the church in Tayum. That road was washed away by the Abra River, and at the beginning of this century, the road was moved eastward touching the hillsides. In the flood of 1908, the second road was again cut off in different places. The present national highway with the big bend at Cursisdicion and entering the town of Tayum in the east (no more on the west) was finished about 1914. And the barrio of Patucannay Tayum has also moved eastward with the road.

The word Patucannay is best explained by anecdotes that are really believe-it-or-not. One such anecdote mentions a chieftain who built his house on the top of the hill, so it is the "patuctoc" of all the houses. When his wife arrived home carrying water from the river at the foot of the hill, she always exclaimed "Annay!" (Exclamation of pain) That was the beginning of the application of "patuc-annay" to the place. Another anecdote mentions when one Rufino Tuscano — a great-great grandfather of one of the oldest men in Patucannay at present — was still a boy, there were four men who were the leaders ("patuc-patuc") of the villages. One of them possessed a "libro de suetas," supposed to be a magical book; the other a "guinammol ti alipugpug" (talisman of the whirlwind); the third a "guinammol ti lidda" (talisman of the whirlwind); the third a "guinammeol ti lidda" (talisman of the talahib plant); and the fourth a "guinammol ti balayang" (talisman of the banana called balayang) — that is, they had all an "an-anay ti kinalalakida," additions to their manly prowess. So, their village came to be known as PATUCANNAY.

Barrio Patucannay also includes the places called Daeng, Bulan, Macray, Bugsuan, Camarao, Luguit, Maman, Cabey, Calao, Nagpatan-awan (also called Mondoc), Cabanayan, and Ubbog. At DAENG there was a tree of that name which was supposed to be the home of spirits, and although the surrounding land was cultivated, the tree was let to live until it died a natural death. At Luguit they must have had so many chickens before, that left their dung to fertilize the land, which retains the excrement's name. Calao must have been a forest where big birds of that name abounded. At UBBOG, there was a spring of water that dried up when the riverbed got so near to it. NAGPATAN-AWAN is a promontary near the old road. Once, in October, there was no rain and the ricefields got so dry, the people in a procession brought the statue of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary to the top of the hill overlooking the ricefields of both Tayum and Bangued, and there with strong faith prayed for rain. And rain came afterwards, giving the necessary refreshment to the thirsty plants; and the harvest that year was good. "Nagpatan-awan" means a place where someone was brought to view a certain scene. Meanings of the other names are unknown. CABANAYAN is the name of the place where the present school-site is. One hardship in the barrio is the scarcity of water wells.

The oldest known men of this barric are Mariano Alvarado, Rufino Tuscano, Arcadio Arzadon, Wenceslao Jaquias, Lucio Gandeza, Nazario Bugtong, Rosalio Bugtong, Santos Tesoro, Tomas Taluban, Gregorio Gandeza (alias Lacay Cartazan), Maarciano Bosas, Justo Gandeza, Adriano Javier, Francisco Galongan y Gandeza, Inuario Arzadon, Fruto Gandeza, Gregorio Buot, Ambrosio Bolosan, Jeronimo Bribon, Inuario Barbieto, Francisco Rodriguez, Eugenio Tarinay, Nicolas Tugadi, Zoilo Gallardo, Zotico Tagura, Juan Tubaña, Cecilio Osorio, Jose Reyes, and Hilario Tesoro — arranged, as far as possible, from the older ones. All named [have] died.

Of the Jefes del Barrio that the old men now still remembers are Matias Galungen y Gandeza, Juan Gandeza, [and] Catalino Ambug y Molina. During the


Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of the Municipality of Tayum, 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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