MUNCIPALITY OF IVANA (BATANES), History and Folkways of - Philippine Historical Data MUNCIPALITY OF IVANA (BATANES), History and Folkways of - Philippine Historical Data

MUNCIPALITY OF IVANA (BATANES), History and Folkways of

Municipality of Ivana

About these Historical Data

[Cover page]

of the

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This simple manuscript is prepared in due compliance with the requirements of Presidential Executive Order No. 486, and Bureau of Public Schools Memorandum No. 35, s. 1952. It contains the histories and folkways of the Municipality of Ivana and its only barrio, San Vicente.

It has been a long felt need of this locality to compile and preserve its beautiful customs, traditions, and other folkways. The value of having such important documents cannot be ignored and the preparation of this manuscript and its preservation is one achievement in the history of the locality. It is an excellent source material for teachers in the Social Studies in the school, although it cannot claim exhaustiveness. The teacher had to do a lot of research to supplement it.

The Principal Teacher and his teachers formed a committee to gather the needed data for the manuscript. No records were available, so the committee had to do the painstaking job of interviewing all the oldest men and women of the localities. Acknowledgement is especially due Fr. Julio Gonzales, BERNARDO Barsana, Mariano Calatraba, and all the others who, in one way or another, helped in furnishing the needed data.

District Supervisor

July 18, 1953

[p. 1]

Part One: History

19. Present name of the town: Ivana.

20, 21, 22. Former name, derivation; date of establishment; names and status of the founders.

According to some records which could be gathered from bits of records, the first foreigners to step on the island of Batan were Spaniards headed by 4 Dominican fathers, Mateo Gonzales and Baltazar Fernandez, 1688. They were accompanied by two other priests of the same order. It is said that the Spaniards first landed on a sitio presently called Jujmoron. Their choice to land there was the fact that there was an "Idiang" or settlement there which was quite very prominent, being pitched on an elevated mountain. As the Spaniards landed, they found the natives hostile. The natives attacked them, killing one Spaniard; and the Spaniards then retreated with a native captive. The called the settlement "malo Idiang" or "hostile settlment." Although that place is depopulated, it retained its present name "malodiang."

It is said that the Spaniards inquired from the captive indio whether he knew of any other settlements or "idiang" (this was thought to have been done by signs only), to which he answered by pointing south and said, "Ibngen na," which means "sheltered side." In fact, there were the idiangs in Vatang and the idiangs of "Hovek," now called San Vicente, which later on in 1784, under the sponsorship of Fr. Bartolome Artiguez, a Dominican missionary, combined to form the present municipality of Ivana. (It is worth mentioning in this connection, that the time when these Spaniards arrived was March, for a more authentic record shows that San Jose de Ibana was so named in honor of St. Joseph, whose feast falls on the 19th day of March, when the north and northeasterly winds prevail in this region, justifying, therefore, that the place was really sheltered by the Mabatoy and Matarem mountain ranges.

The Spaniards might have thought that the "ibngen na" was the name of the next settlement. Hence, the name was "Ibana," prefixed by the name of the saint, after whose name this settlement was named — San Jose de Ibana. This name remained as it was until the late Professor Otto Schoerer, a keen student of ethnology and languages, became the provincial governor of Batanes and found through association, that the people in this place could give the sound of v easier than b. Hence, the change from Ibana to Ivana — the present name.

23. Names of persons who held leading official positions in the community, with the dates of their tenures, if possible.

Spanish Regime:

(a) Jose Calatraba I
(b) Luciano Calderon
(c) Alejandro Alcantara
(d) Cornelio Abela
(e) Luciano Villagranada
(f) Vicente Barsana I
(g) Eugenio Agudo I
(h) Jose Alcantara I
(i) Bartolome Agudo
(j) Timoteo Agudo
(k) Jose Agudo I

(No record of the tenures of office available.)

[p. 2]

b. Jueces:

1. de Paz - Vicente Barsana I
2. de Sementera - Valerio Barsana
3. de Ganado - Vicente Abela
4. de Policia - Valerio Agudo

(No written record of their tenures of office available.)

c. Maestros Municipales:

1. Luciano Barsana
2. Teofilo Barsana I
3. Vicenta Valenciano

(No written record of their tenures of office available.)
B. American Regime

Municipal Presidents and Councilors

Luciano Barsana I
Jose Agudo I
Valerio Barsana
Timoteo Agudo
Jose Agudo I
Valerio Barsana
Gregorio Agan
Manuel Agudo I
Valerio Agudo
Luciano Adri
Bernardo Barsana
Valerio Barsana
Manuel Agudo I
Mariano Calatraba
Manuel Castaño
Luciano Adri
Bernardo Barsana
Mariano Calatraba
Manuel Acosa
Manuel Agudo
Manuel Agueda
Cirilo Agana
Juan Cabitac
Mariano Calatraba
Valentin Agudo
Elias Bartilad
Mauricio Barte
Jose Gonzales

[p. 3]

Domingo Cacho
Mariano Calatraba
Valentin Agudo
Bartolome Caballes
Mauricio Barte
Jose Gonzales
Victor Cacho
Eleuterio Agudo
Valentin Agudo
Elias Bartilad
Juan Asantor
Pedro Gonzales
Valerio Valones
Mariano Calatraba
Bernardo Alcantara
Cornelio Valones
Juan Asantor
Emeterio Agana
Jose Agudo IV
Mariano Calatraba
Eleuterio Agudo
Domingo Agudo
Catalina Agudo
Pedro Gonzales

Cornelio Valones
Mariano Calatraba
Jose Adalla
Emeterio Agana
Jose Castaño
Federico Cabal
Jose Valenciano
Jose Adalla
Juan Asantor
Pedro Gonzales
Jose Agudo IV (appointed)
Cornelio Valones
Mariano Calatraba
Catalina Agudo
Emeterio Agana
Joaquin Castaño
Sixto Cabal
Cornelio Valones
Jose Bartilad
Elias Bartilad
Emeterio Agana

[p. 4]

Joaquin Castaño
Jose Javier II
Pablo Valientes (resigned)
Luisa A. Cabal
Elias Bartilad
Juan Asantor
Jose Pana

c. Justices of the Peace:

a. Vicente B. Agudo
b. Simeon Tolentino
c. Jose Agudo, Jr.
d. Dominador Lopez

d. Municipal Secretary Treasurer

a. Marcelo Castro
b. Lorenzo Villanueva
c. Sotero Faronilo
d. Luciano Barsana
e. Juan Valiente
f. Jose Cantero
g. Valerio Valones
h. Pablo Hortiz
i. Cornelio Abela
j. Santiano Fajardo
k. Valentin Castaño

Chiefs of Police

a. Ricardo Agudo
b. Elias Bartilad
c. Benedicto Estiba
d. Mariano Adalla
e. Francisco Verza
f. Eladio Verzo
g. Pablo Valientes
h. Rafael Aguada
i. Juan Aceron
j. Pablo Reyes

24. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.


25. Important facts and incidents, or developments that took place:

Spanish Occupation:

1. Introduction of Catholicism
2. Building of churches
3. Building of roads
4. The teaching of the Spanish language
5. Introduction of the ways of modern living
6. Establishment of Parrochial Schools
7. Construction of bridges
8. Introduction of weaving
9. Teaching of the people to build sailboats
10. Introduction of cattle, pigs, and other domestic animals

American Occupation:

1. Teaching of the English language
2. Teaching the people democractic ways of living
3. Building of modern schoolhouses
4. Building of modern bridges and roads
5. Improvement of animal breeds
6. Introduction and improvement of means of transportation and communications 7. Introduction of new medicines

[p. 5]

During the Republic:

1. Establishment of MSA
2. Implementation of Adult Education
3. Implementation of extension classes

26. (a) Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars, especially in 1896-1900 and 1941-1945:

1. Persons killed during the Japanese occupation:

a. Juan Agudo - Provincial Governor
b. Jose Castaño - Mayor of Ivana
c. Ernesto Agudo
d. Jose Agudo VI
e. Antonio Cabal - School Principal
f. Telesforo Cabal - School Principal
g. Pablo Agudo
h. Gregorio Ydel
i. Salvador Valones
j. Jose Valones
k. Januario Valones
l. Eugenio Valones
m. Emilia Domine


a. Houses were ransacked and books were burned.
b. Radio sets were brought to Japan.
c. Houses with galvanized iron sheet roof were destroyed, the G.I. sheets were taken to Japan.

(b) Measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II:

1. Repairing of roads, bridges, and schools.
2. Giving of war damages in cash for destroyed properties by the US Rehabilitation Act.
3. Relief goods from the UNRRA and later the PRATRA.

Part Two: Folkways

27. Traditions, customs, and practices in domestic and social life; birth, baptism, courtship, etc.:

a. Courtship

Before and during the earlier part of the Spanish regime, marriages were arranged by both parents of the bride and the bridegroom. Later, marriages were arranged by spokesmen from both parties. Nowadays, the marriages are often taken care of by mutual agreement of all parties concerned. Marriages are officiated by a priest. After marriage ceremonies in the church, the parents of the bridegroom entertain the relatives in their house.

b. Death

In our place, it is a custom to form organizations for burial purposes. If one dies, all the members of the organization are forced to go to the bereaved's house to keep vigil on the corpse and are required to contribute a fixed amount to defray the burial expenses of the dead. After the burial, there will always be a Novena, after which at the ninth day, the bereaved's family will kill animals for those who come to pray every night.

[p. 6]

c. Punishments

In the past, the punishment for any offence was lashing. During the Spanish times, however, if a person stole a chicken, the violator would be brought to a public place and, with the feathers of the chicken attached to the head, was ordered to go around to land at a bench where he would be whipped.

d. Superstitions

1. If a cricket chirps at one's window, there will be death within the family.

2. If one dreams of a boat without any person aboard, a relative will die soon.

3. If there is but only one thunder at a time, a typhoon will come.

4. If a black bird enter's one house at night, it is a very bad omen to the members of the family.

5. If one wants to know who stole anything from his properties, the one robbed should bring the things which touched the stolen property to the reefs at the breakers but without touching it with his hand. The first one to get seriously sick in the community is the one who stole the thing.

1. No matter how you cover smoke, it will always seek to come out.

2. One who tries to get everything often gets nothing.

3. In a closed mouth, no fly can enter.

4. Wherever the head goes, the tail follows.

5. A carabao cannot feel or notice the arrival of a mosquito.

Methods of Measuring Time:

In the old days in our locality, time was determined by the crowing of the cocks in the morning. This was the time for housewives to get up and cook breakfast. The time to determine the daily routines in the field was determined by the height of the sun. When the cicadas began to chirp in the afternoon, it was time to prepare things from the field to go home. The moon and some stars determined the time for supper and for going to fish at night. The appearance of certain constellations in the Milky Way and the Pleiades determined the season of the year — when the fruit yam, a principal root plant of the place, began to bear fruit and the time for its harvest.

[p. 7]

33. A Folktale

In the Dialect

Sa Maleng a sanahay am matda sira kaychun du tohos na nu diskod di Vatang. Arava u manganak da an kayan nu kachita da du kaydamnayan nu viayan da su karakuhan de. Nu parinen ni Maleng am ano kapaypayudion dana ano makuyab am maytayagan dana du umadi as kahap na su ichakey na du kinahahapan da mudi nuri. Mu kumapet du ichan da am tawagan na a pachatayan. As nu di makatu an tadi nu viay na. Arava u kulang dira sa aran sino u umhabas ayanan nu ichajojo na am samsaman na sira. Du maindes dana a arao am pachisolian darana nu taotau as minakpej sira a kumtuktu nia anu mayanong [blurred] da paripariñen tapiano umhos dana u maranet aya a paripariñen ni Maleng.

Minian dira du nayehakavahey auri u maylipos a nay presenta a umdiman sia. Du asa a karao am minangay sira a mandirin as kayan darana nu anong da, am nakaraya sira du sinmo nu yanan nu aschip ni Maleng. Mian pa sira du lawang am machivayat dana si Maleng. Pinakapian da su Dios nu may lipos aya as kapamide daranasia su ichakey na du among dauri. Si Maleng am sinalubol nava as du kapayehalokoy nauri a mamidi, am nu asa dira du maylipos auri am manghap su asa pated a kayo as kapavatday nasin du ayang nauri ni Maleng am niong a matuplas as kadiman naranadao.

English Translation

There was a couple living in a cave just above a trail from a field where many people passed by from their way to and from their fields. This couple did not have children to look after. All they had to do was to feed their two mouths. They did not mind tilling the soil. Maleng, the husband, used to stop whoever passed from the field and get whatever he liked or whatever he thought his house needed. Maleng did not bother himself going to catch fish for viand because whoever he saw along the shore, he just got from him whatever he wanted.

The people did not like this practice, so they joined together and planned means by which they could stop Maleng's abuses. Two brothers volunteered to stop him. One day, the brothers went to fish. When they had enough catch, they landed near the cave of Maleng. Maleng, as usual, met the brothers on the seashore. When he reached the brothers, they greeted him and offered him to choose from their catch. When Maleng stooped to select his choice, one of the brothers got a piece of wood and, with all his might, clubbed Maleng at the back of his head and made him unconscious — to his death. From that time, the people lived contentedly with no one molesting them.

[p. 8]

29. A Native Folk Song

In the Dialect

Dumheb ako a tumanis
Ta paydilban ko sira
Nadkel a kadaysa ko
Niya minaypanapanawat sira
Su bara nu patol
Asa du yangao na
Ichapongpong am yaken sawen
U nilaungan du maylipolipos
Akma ko sawen
Nanguyapet a tapa du kapalangpangan
A nguri su panapanayahen
U umviot a salaosao
A mapaysaa dinken
Akma ko na sawen
Yayat du kidindinan
A abu dana su makasali diiken
A dindinin.

English Translation

I stoop alone and weep
For when I see my sisters
Who have been gifted with wealth, fame, and beauty
I realize that I am likened to a
Vine clinging on a rocky isolated place
Who only waits for the mercy of
The cruel north and west winds
To press my roots to the rocks.
My life likened to a twig drifted
On the shore after a storm with no one
to care to pick me up.

Signatures of persons who furnished the foregoing items:


Members of the Local Committee:

Transcribed from:
History and Folkways of the Municipality of Ivana, 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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