MUNICIPALITY OF VILLAVICIOSA, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF VILLAVICIOSA, Historical Data - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Villaviciosa

About these Historical Data

[Cover Page.]




This manuscript is a brief history of Villaviciosa. It has been written to serve as a guide to those who have a vague notion about the town, and to keep in record important events that happened which are worth remembering.

This "History and Cultural Life of Villaviciosa" is produced as a result of the combined efforts of the teachers in this municipality in the school year 1952-1953, who earnestly and patiently gathered useful materials from resource persons from the locality.

Special acknowledgement is due to Miss Luisa Astudilio, Mr. Bartolome Bigornia, Mrs. Gallardina A. Domingo, Mrs. Carmen B. Dalligos, Mr. Pedro B. Alverde, and Miss Agustina Batoon for editing this manuscript.

Teacher in Charge

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Part I — History

1. Present official name of the town — Villaviciosa

2. Popular name or names and their meanings or derivations:

The former name of the town was "Kalaw" which was derived from the name of the first settler "Agcalaw," from Ananaaw, now Concepcion, Ilocos Sur.

When some Spaniards reached the place, they forced the Tinguians and Igorots that inhabited the poblacion to embrace the Catholic Faith. These people did not like to do so, because they were then so much absorbed with petty vices. The Spaniards, mad with rage, named the village where these vicious people lived "Villaviciosa," which means "Village of Vicious people." Although the people living in this place are no longer vicious, the name given to it by the Spaniards remained up to the present time.

3. Date of Establishment —

The municipality of Villaviciosa, which is composed of poblacion and the barrios of Lumaba, Tuquib, Callao, Calcalumadsi, Lagaosian, Bollilising, Tamac, and Mabilong, was formeriy a part of the town of Pilar. The seat of government was situated at Naguillan, now a sitio of the newly-created municipality of San Isidro. In 1800, when Pilar was separated as a town, Villaviciosa became a rancheria. Sometime in 1804, after the census of 1903, Villaviciosa became a township and in 1917, it became a municipality.

4. Names and Social Status of the Founders —

The first known settler of the town was Agcalao who came from Concepcion, Ilocos Sur. Aside from this man, the following persons were responsible in the establishment and improvement of the town.
Teniente Mayor
Teniente Mayor

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5. Names of Persons Who Held Leading Official Positions in the Community with the Dates of Their Terms:

Lorenzo Anioay
Alfredo Culangen
Severo Agsawar
Domingo Pescozo
Segundo Manglito
Maximo Binnong
Moises Cabanday
Jose Viloria (Military Mayor)
Moises Cabanday
Vicente Roman
Angel Dumalig
1941-July, 1944
Aug., 1944-July, 1945
Sept. 1946-1947
Montero Cleveland
Lorenzo Ainoay
Baquidan Blando
Hugo Bobias
Cenon V. Balbuena
Juan Valencia
Rodrigo Batoon
1933-August, 1952
Present Incumbent
Antonio Villareal
Domingo M. Pescozo
Julio Borreta
Geronimo Bumatay
Geronimo Balicao
Jacinto P. Culangen
1945 to the present

8. Story of Old Barrios or sitios Within the Jurisdiction that are Now Depopulated or Extinct

There are no barrios or sitios that were depopulated or extinct within the jurisdiction of the municipality.

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7. Data on Historical Sites, Structures, Buildings, Old Ruins, Etc.

The present site of the town plaza was acquired during the incumbency of Mr. Lorenzo Anioay as president of the municipality of Villaviciosa in 1906. The present school site was also acquired on the same date.

8. Important Facts; Events or Incidents that Took Place

a. During the Spanish Occupation:

The former name of the place was "Kalaw" that was changed by the Spaniards to Villaviciosa that means "Village of Vicious People."

b. During the American Regime te World War II

Upon the first arrival of the Americans, there was no [the "no" is probably not supposed to be here] religious toleration. When the American system of government was established in the town, everything went smoothly. The living condition of the people was improved. Better homes were constructed. Better methods of cultivating the land were introduced by the Americans. Trade was promoted and the means of transportation and communication were greatly improved. Everybody lived happily and contentedly.

c. During and After World War II

At the outbreak of Japanese-American War in World War II on December 8, 1941, the people of the town evacuated to the mountains of Villaviciosa. Many of the residents of the town joined the guerrillas and helped in the underground movement of the Filipinos. When the town was occupied by the Japanese sometime in December, 1942, they ordered all the inhabitants of the place to return to their homes. At this period, guerrilla activities were still very strong. As a result of the activities of the soldiers, many civilians were maltreated by the Japanese soldiers whe established a garrison in the town.

In 1944, the guerrilla movement became stronger. Almost all the male residents of the town joined the resistance movement. When the guerrillas ambushed the Japanese near the bridge south of the town, the Japanese, in retaliation to this incident, burned all the houses in the town and the other barrios.

9. Destruction of Lives, Properties and Institutions. During Wars, Especially in 1896-1900 and 1941 to 1945.

During the Filipino-American War, many citizens of Villaviciosa were executed by the Filipino insurgents. These citizens who were executed were suspected as spies.

During the war with Japan, more lives and properties were destroyed. Many were killed by the Japanese soldiers for having joined the underground movement. The Japanese were not the only ones to be feared because the

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Filipino guerrillas were even more destructive to the Japanese. When the guerrillas entered the town, they gathered all the citizens of the town who served under the Japanese government and executed many of them.

The Japanese soldiers did not only kill civilians, but they also destroyed the homes of the people, they collected foodstuffs from the civilians for their subsistence. The guerrilleros also collected foodstuffs from the civilians and destroyed or burned the houses and buildings where the Japanese soldiers were stationed.

Measures and Accomplishments Towards Rehabilitation
and Reconstruction Following World War II

After the liberation of the town from the Japanese in 1945, the people returned to the town and built temporary homes. Schools were reopened and temporary school buildings were also constructed. Rehabilitation of the town was hastened when the war damage claims were paid. Better homes were constructed. The school building was changed with a standard semi-permanent building and the roads and bridges within the town were improved. Foodstuffs and clothing were distributed to the people.


BIRTH - 1. At birth, pieces of rugs are burned and placed in a receptacle near the mother and the child. This is done because it is believed that the smell of the smoke of the burned rug will drive away the evil spirits from the newly born baby.

2. Another way of driving spirits from the newly born child is to put branches of camanchile trees under the house just below the bed where the child is born.

3. It is believed that a child whose placenta is placed in a small pot and hung on a tree will be good in climbing trees.

4. A child whose placenta is thrown into the river to be carried by the swift current will be a good swimmer.


It is believed that if during the baptismal ceremony, any of the candles of the sponsors will be put out, the baby will not have a long life.

Most of the old folks believe that a baby who is fond of crying or is very naughty [and] will behave befter after he is baptized.


During the early days, the young girls in a locality of [a] barrio gathered together in one house called "Abong" at night to sleep. The young men also went to play with these girls and sing love songs like the "oggayam" and the "calcalimusta." When a young man had selected one of the girls, he told his parents to propose marriage to the parents of the girl. If the parents of the girt consentd, they made

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arrangement for the marriage occasionally without the knowledge of the girl. The parents were usually the ones to select the husband or wife of their children. As the people become more civilized, the children have been given more freedom to select their better halves. There are, however, still many parents who take [a] hand in the love affairs of their children.


Among the many marriage ceremonies still practiced by the people is an old traditional custom. When both parties have agreed to have their children marry, the groom goes to get one bundle of firewood. He should salect the best kind of wood for fuel. This bundle of firewood is delivered to the house of the bride at a day agreed upon by both parties. The girls, too, with one or two girls and an old woman, goes to pound at least two bundles of palay in the house of the groom on the same day. On the night of this day, the old man goes to the house of the bride to perform the ceremony. The rice pounded by the bride will be cooked and the firewood taken by the groom will be used to cook the rice. On this night, the written marriage contract is made by both parties. In this contract, the dowry and the punishments to be imposed upon any of the couple who becomes unfaithful in the future are enumerated. The punishment usually amounts to a fine of ₱30.00, a carabao, and one big jar of "basi" and rice sufficient to feed the people who go to attend the divorce ceremony.

[The following sentence is badly phrased.] Although marriage ceremony is the "patiam" or "pacalon." In this ceremony, all relatives of both parties are present. A cow, carabao or pig is slaughtered and feasting is made. During the feasting, the marriage contract is made wherein the dowry, fines and punishments are written. The fines of either party who becomes unfaithful is in the form of money, animals, and wine. The money will be distributed to the relatives of the offended party, and the animal is slaughtered and eaten during the divorce ceremony.

One more marriage custom is the "boda." After the wedding rites performed by a priest, pastor or a judge, there is a wedding feast called "boda." When the feast is in progress, all guests go to the table where the near relatives of the bride and groom sit to receive any amount in cash called "palwad" as gift to the new couple. After the feast, the amount contributed by the visitors is given to the couple.


A dead person is placed in the house for two or three days. To retard the decomposition of the dead, the body is rubbed well with oil and incense continually burned. The deceased is made to sit on a chair placed in the part of the house facing the door. The people drink wine, "binobodan" or play cands while they watch the corpse, to prevent them from sleeping.


After the burial of the dead, the family of the deceased goes to the river to take a bath. The belief is that after the bath, they will be relieved from the evil spirits. When the persons return to the house of the deceased after the burial, the old folks keep a bundle of straw burning in front of the stairs, and all those who came from the cemetery will pass over the burning straw. By so doing, it is believed that the evil spirits will not follow,

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Anybody may visit his neighbor without any special announcement. If a visitor stays too long in the house and you wish him to leave the house, put some salt under his chair. This will hasten the visitor to leave.


Among the Tinguians, the most important is the feast before planting rice and after harvest. The purpose of the feast called "Cañao" is to invoke the good will of the Almighty, "Cabuñan” to give sufficient water during the preparation of the field and during the growth of the plants; and to thank the Almighty for his benevolence in giving a bountiful harvest. Pigs and chickens are killed during the feast and dances, songs, and drinking take place. All the village people partake in the meals. What is not consumed is distributed to the people. After the feast, a rest day is celebrated — called the "obaya." During the "obaya," nobody is allowed to leave the town or go to work.


Anybody of age committing petty misdemeanors is brought to the "dap-ay" — a building for religious ceremonies and gathering at the center of the village where the grand old man — for judgement by a council of the elder men. Such petty guilts as concubinage, adultery, and thievery are punishable by whipping. They use a stout rattan whip, and the number of lashes depends upon the gravity of the offense. Acts that require capital or heavier penalties are brought to the attention of government authorities. But before the establishment of the present government, the words of the "lacay" confirmed by his council is the law.

II. Myths, Legends, Beliefs, Interpretations, Superstitions

Mt. Bobon Aso

Once upon a time, a hunter went to the forest with his faithful dog to hunt. After hunting for sometime, the hunter became very tired and awfully thirsty. He tried to look for water in the forest, but all his efforts were in vain. The dog, upon seeing his master in despair, ran immediately throughout the mountain to look for a place where he could dig a well. He succeeded in looking for a damp place. With his eagerness to save his masler, he exerted all his efforts to dig a well on the rocky side of the mountain with his skillful paws. After digging a certain depth on the rocky soil, water came out. The dog, therefore, dipped his tail in the water and then went to place the tip of his tail into the mouth of his master. The water at the tip of the tail of the dog relieved the hunter. He, therefore, gathered his strength and followed the dog that directed him to the well. The hunter was saved and from that time on, the mountain where the dog dug a well is called "Bobon Aso," which means "Well of the Dog." Until now, the well is found in that mountain. Travelers and hunters are benefited by the well made by the dog.

Mt. Rakit Tilay

[A] Long, long time ago, there lived an old man by the name of Tilay. He lived on the top of the mountain. One morning, a thick fog was found lying close to the valley just below the home of Tilay. Tilay thought that the fog was a body of water. He, therefore, made a bamboo raft. He got on the raft and pushed it on the fog that he thought to be a river. Down fell the old man with his raft. The mountain range where the incident took place was from that time on called "Rakit Tilay," which means "Raft of Tilay."

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Lake Kimkimay

Many, many years ago, there was a small village inhabited by wicked persons save an old woman who lived alone in a small house. This old woman was not treated well by her neighbors. Although she was very kind and gentle to everybody, she was always ridiculed and despised by her neighbors.

One evening, a stranger was overtaken by night in the village. He went from house to house asking the people te allow him to spend the night in their home, but he was always rejected. He, therefore, went to the house of the old woman where he was welcomed.

Before the stranger went to bed, he told the old woman to get all her treasured things and get out of the village immediately. The old woman obeyed, packed all her precious things and left the village. As soon as she was out of the village, she heard a terrible noise and felt a very strong earthquake. As she looked back, she found out that the village disappeared and nothing could be seen except a body of water that is now called Kimkimay Lake.

Most of the people of Villaviciosa, especially the old folks, are still highly superstitious. They still believe that the "anitos" — supernatural beings — have something to do with their lives, health, personal relations, raising of crops and other means of livelihood.

Some people in this place perform the so-called "Sagubay." They are of the belief that if they do the "Sagubay," the spirit to whom this is offered would give them a plentiful harvest. The "Sagubay" is done either after planting or after harvest. A pig is slaughtered and after it, those who perform this could not go out of their houses with hats nor carry baskets. The pig is divided into several parts depending on how many famities would like to share in the performance of the "Sagubay."

SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS — When a cat wipes its face with its paws, facing towards the door, a visitor is expected.

When a house lizard makes a noise or gives out a sound as "tek-tek-tek" while at the stairs, a visitor is also expected.

When an owl hoots at the middle of the town or hear the town, a person in that town will die.

When a cow moos in the middle of the night and not answered by another cow, a person in the place will die.

Popular Songs

People of the town have songs handed down from generation to generation like the "oggayam," "calcalimusta," "dalleng," "bagoyos" and the "sangsangngit." The "oggayam" and the "calcalimusta" are love songs. The "dalleng" and the "bagayos" may also serve as a love song among the elder groups, but they are also songs used in many occasions like weddings and any parties. The "sangsangngit" is a song intended for the dead. This song is sung when the people are gathered around the dead. These songs have no definite words. The wordings are adjusted or correlated to the occasion where it is sung.

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1. The people amuse themselves during leisure hours with puzzles and riddles. Some of the puzzles that are very common in the locality are quoted below:

a. There are nine carabaos, eight are male and one is female. These nine carabaos are going to cross a river infested with crocodiles. These crocodiles eat [the] testicles of carabaos. How could the carabaos cross the river without losing the testicles of the eight male ones.

b. A man with a deer, dog, and a bundle of grass wants to cross a big river. He has a banca, but this banca could accommodate only the man and any one of his possessions at a time. If the man is going to cross the river first with the dog, the deer will eat the grass. If the man will get the grass first, the dog will eat the deer. How could the man cross the river without losing any of the three?


1. There is an old rman pulling a rattan. (rat)

2. There it says but it cannot see. (forefinger)

3. When it goes down, it is moving slowly, when if goes up it is very fast. (mucus)

4. There are two brothars. Since their birth they have not seen each other. (ears)

5. It bears flower in the world but it bears fruit under the earth. (camote or peanut)

Proverbs and Sayings

1. Judge not that ye shall not be judged. (Saan ca nga agipato tapno didacanto met nga ipato.)

2. A person who boasts for himself is in vain. - (Ti tao nga mangipadpadayao iti baguina, mang nga agdadata.}

3. To see is to believe. (Ti makita isu ti patien.).

4. Do not count your chicks before they are hatched. (Saan mo nga bilangen to piec no dipay mapessan.)

5. A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stirreth anger. (Ti nadlumamay nga sao papanawenna to pungtot.)

6. A roaring river Is shallow, while still water runs deep. (Ti naawer a carayan ababao, ti naalumamay a danum adalem.)

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7. Always share a selfish neighbor with what you have. (No naimut ti caamrubam sansanem a padiguan.)

8. A barking dog seldom bites. (Ti tumataol nga aso saan nga cumagat.)

9. The truth itself is not believed from one who has often deceived. (Saan a nacapappapati ti sao to tao a masansan nga agululbod.)

10. Train a child the way you like, so that when he is old, he shall not depart from it. (Isurom ti ubing iti cayatmo a pagnaan tapno uray no lacayen dinanto pagpanawan.)


1. Nadaydayao tay agtacao iti nuang ngem tay agottot a balasang.

2. Sasaor ti adildillaw no cadua met la ti agtactacao.

3. Awan ti maudi a babawi no di latta maududi.

4. Ti adu nga ima palag-anenna ti trabajo.

Methods of Measuring Time

The common people tell time by looking at the sun the stars, by the crowing of the roosters, the singing of [the] birds, the drooping of the leaves of some trees, and by the noises made by some of the insects. Many of the people [now] use watches to tell time and most of them have calendars to see dates.


Teacher in Charge
Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of the Municipality of Villaviciosa, 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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