MUNICIPALITY OF UYUGAN (BATANES), History and Folkways of Part I - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF UYUGAN (BATANES), History and Folkways of Part I - Philippine Historical Data

MUNICIPALITY OF UYUGAN (BATANES), History and Folkways of Part I

Municipality of Uyugan



About these Historical Data

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of the

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This simple manuscript is prepared in compliance with the requirements of Presidential Executive Order No. 486 and Bureau of Public Schools Memorandum No. 34, s. 1952. It contains the histories and folkways of the municipality of Uyugan and its barrios of Imnajbu and Itbud.

There is always a felt need for the compilation of the beautiful customs, traditions, and other folkways of a locality, to the end that they may be preserved and perpetuated for future generations. It is with this point in view that the idea of compiling this manuscript has been conceived. Although the committee has done a great deal of work gathering the needed information, this manuscript does not presume exhaustiveness and absolute accuracy. So, for teaching purposes, it is suggested that teachers should do more research work to supplement the limited materials herein presented.

The principal teacher of the central school, her teachers, and those of the two barrio schools formed the committee to gather the needed data. No written records are available in the locality, so all the data contained herein are first hand information from the oldest men and women who are still living in these communities. Acknowledgement is due these men and women who were unselfish in handing down their valuable knowledge and heritage.

District Supervisor

July 18, 1953

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Part One: History

19. Present official name of the town.


20. Former name or names and their meanings or derivation:


This town has been named Uyugan from the beginning. The name derived from it became a town.

In the early days, the people lived by groups on tops of hills. The Spaniards had a hard time to contact them , so they attracted them to group together in the place where the town is now situated. Slowly, the people went down the hills like flowing water to join those already in the town.

Since the people flowed like water, then they decided to call the place "Uyugan," which means a place where anything flows.

21. Date of Establishment: 16th century.

22. Names and social status of the founders:

Spanish friars and soldiers.

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

a. Spanish Time: There was no president at the time as Uyugan was a barrio under the town of Ivana until 1909. There were only tenientes:

1. Alvaro Gutieres
2. Teofilo de los Santos

b. American Time:

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3. President
Alvaro Gutieres 1915-1917
Valentin Mata
Pablo Valiente
Antonio Avila
4. President



Teofilo de los Santos, 1918-1927
Pedro Mata I
Honorato Bogador
Pablo Conde
Honorato Cabugao
Pablo Valiente
Pepito Castillejos
Urbano Barsana
Marian Hortiz - Jose Comaya
5. President
Marciano Batin 1928-1930
Pedro Arca
Eusebio Cabugao
Pedro Galita
Jose Comaya
6. President
Teofilo de los Santos, 1931-1934
Eusebio Cabugao
Lope Valiente
Jose Cantero
Mariano Hortiz
7. President
Manuel Bartilad
Teodorico Ydel
Honorato Bogador
Valentin Adami
Melchor Cabugao
8. Mayor
Juan Elica 1938-1940
Pedro Arca
Carlos Hortiz
Valentin Adami
Valentin Conde
9. Mayor

Lope Valente 1941-1942
Carlos Hortiz
Victorina A. Bartilad
Bernardo Bastillo
Cornelio Abela
Valentin Conde
10. Mayor

Clemente S. Mata 1943-1945
Carlos Hortiz
Victorina A. Bartilad
Bernardo Bastillo - Fabian Batin
Felipe Cariaso
11. Mayor

Lope Valiente 1945-1946
Carlos Hortiz
Pablo Hortiz II
Manual Cobaria
Cornelio Abela
Valentin Conde

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12. Mayor

Juan Elica
Carlos Hortiz
Eusebio Cabugao
Domingo Duguran
Cornelio Abela
Valentin Conde
13. Mayor

Juan Elica 1947-1951
Teodorico Ydel
Domingo Duguren
Vicente Elica
Valentin Adami
Valentin Conde 1947 resigned
Juan Comaya
Macario Villa
14. Mayor

Valentin Adami 1952
Domingo Duguran
Candelario Duplito
Alvario Ydel
Ernesto Edralin
Macario Villa 1953 resigned
Melchor Cabugao
Ruperto Nanud
Reinfrado Balderas
Juan Valiente

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

a. The church was built during the Spanish regime. It is a replica of Spanish architecture.
b. The school building, which is concrete, was built during the American regime.

25. Important facts, incidents, or events that took place.

(a) During the Spanish occupation
(b) During the American occupation to World War II.
(c) During and after World War II

One of the first Spanish projects in this town was the building of a church, located at the center of the town. This was built under the free labor policy. No friar resided in the place, but the people were forced to give their "regalos" or tributes, such as: chickens, eggs, rice, firewood, etc. Later, a convent was constructed, but still no priest was sent to this town. People continued to walk five kilometers to hear Mass in the next town, that is, Ivana.

Separate schools for boys and girls were put up. Spanish was the medium of instruction. Besides, re-

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ligion, reading and handicraft were given emphasis. Girls were taught to embroider, sew, crochet, and do other household activities. It was very hard to write because of the lack of pencils and paper. The leaves of bananas (especially the "sahid") were utilized as paper and a piece of wood with a rounded point for pencil. Feathers of chicken and geese were sharpened and used as pens with the extract from leaves and fruits of trees and plants for ink.

In 1903, English instruction was introduced in the school. By this time, schools were better equipped under the civil government of America. At first, American teachers took charge, but later, some natives were given special training and took charge of the classes. One of the first Ivatan teachers in this town was Mr. Francisco Agudo, followed by Miss Natividad Calatraba and others.

Strict discipline was observed in school, which was still under the Spanish influence.

Improvements were made in 1934 when the intermediate building was reconstructed, and followed by the construction of the primary building in 1938. In 1941, the Home Economics building was started. It was left abandoned during World War II. The work was continued in 1949 and is still under construction. The construction of this building is now almost five years, but still unfinished because of a lack of funds.

Together with the church and schools at the center of the town is the municipal building which was constructed during the Spanish regime. It could not provided for adequate rooms for offices, so that by 1950, its reconstruction took place. At present, we have the treasurer's office and the sanitar inspector's clinic in the ground floor, and another room which serves as the municipal jail. On the second floor are the mayor's office, the police force office, and the session hall, which is sometimes utilized as a classroom.

Water was a great problem to the people of this town. There were only dug wells or springs which were not safe enough to provide drinking water for the people. Rain water served the people satisfactorily only during rainy days. Later, an artesian well was constructed in 1931, still the water supply remained a problem until 1940, when faucets were installed. The source of the water from the "ahao," a spring in the

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town of Ivana. The water sometimes could not reach places on high elevations, but at least people were assured of a safe water supply.

Then, World War II broke out and, on December 8, 1941, Japanese soldiers were already in the town, ransacking houses and public buildings such as the schools and the municipal building. The mayor at that time was Lope Valiente, who later resigned from his post in 1943, because he could not please the people under the tyrannical rule of the Japanese Imperial Army. Mr. Clemente S. Mata, who was a member of the Provincial Board at that time, was appointed by the provincial governor as the municipal mayor. About twenty Japanese soldiers were stationed in this town and made the school building their living quarters. The principal's office was their kitchen, so the white-painted walls and ceilings were a very unpleasant sight when they vacated it in 1945.

For the guerrilla movement in the province, this town has the Valiente brothers to be proud of, Valeriano and Felix. They were later captured and taken as prisoners and suffered the tortures and inhuman treatments of the Japs. Luck was with them that on May of 1945, they were set free.

26. (a) Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars, especially in 1896-1900 and 1941-1945
(b) Measures and accomplishments towards rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II.

Destruction of lives, properties and institutiions during the wars in 1896-1900 — When the Katipunan came to attack the islands, the inhabitants were suffering much under the abuses of the Spanish friars and officials. Constancio Cabugao, Eusebio Cabugao, Genaro Bacunal, Sinen Adami, Mariano Ydel, and Pedro Nanud, all from this town, fought side by side with the Katipuneros. There was no death casualty.

During World War II, there were great losses of properties. Valuable documents in the municipal building were either burned by the Japanese or eaten by white ants, and the same thing happened to the files and other school records.

Home furniture was taken by the Japanese and was never returned. Houses occupied by them were shut-

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terless and others were partly without floorings, as they took them for firewood.

Due to the lack of funds, little has been accomplished towards rehabilitation and reconstruction in this place. The national road was one of the first government projects undertaken after the war. For the school, new chairs and tables have been provided as not a single chair was left by the Japanese. They used them for firewood. There were books donated by the American Junior Red Cross and the rest provided by the Library Allocation Committee, through the request of Attorney Manuel Agudo. Wooden bridges were changed to cemented ones, which are more or less permanent.

In 1949, a water reservoir in this town was built to remedy the uneven distribution of water. It is in a higher elevation than the water reservoir in Ivana, where the water supply here is connected to, so it does not serve the purpose. After a later survey in 1951, the people of Uyugan were hoping that soon, a reservoir that would really serve its purpose would be constructed.

The town has not been fully rehabilitated but the people are looking forward to the time Uyugan will stand as a model town.

Part Two: Folkways

27. Traditions, customs, and practices in domestic and social life: birth, baptism, courtship, marriage, death, burial; visits; festivals; punishments; etc.

1. When leaving the house, children ask permission from the parents or tell those in the house where they are going so that they know where to locate them when they are needed.
2. Warm welcome is accorded to anyone who comes along, especially those who have come from far places. They are invariably invited to eat, be it mealtime or not.
3. When calling members of the household for meals, call also the visitors.
4. One is friendly and kind to his neighbors.
5. Neighbors and relatives give help in kind to those in need, as when building a house and in weddings, etc.
6. Sharing one's neighbor in a "capital catch"

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any kind of animal raised by the family (not bought).
7. Neighbors, friends, and relatives help one another in working in the field, especially during the planting season.
8. People ask things they want to borrow or which they need from the owner before they attempt to take them.
9. People, without being asked, help persons who are badly in need, as in the case of fires.
10. Strangers who are drifted to this place are always welcomed by the natives in their respective homes and given food and shelter free of charge.
11. When big groups of workers are working together in the field, they sing songs to keep themselves in high spirits and to forget fatigue. Each worker tries to work with the time and rhythm of the song. This teaches working with contentment.
12. It is a custom to kill an animal or chicken for food at the first harvest of a crop during the year. This serves as thanksiving for the bountiful harvest the Almighty Giver has given.


1. When a woman is about to deliver, a midwife is called. This midwife lets the woman kneel. Then, she presses the back and stomach of the woman until she delivers.


Newly-born babies are baptized within a week after birth. Baptism is usually done on Sundays. The ceremony is simple. The baby is brought to the church by the godfather and the godmother. When they reach the church, the ceremony is performed by the priest.


When a young man desires to marry a young woman, he does not go and tell her that he wishes to marry her. Marriage is usually arranged by the parents even during the infancy of the boy and the girl.

The marriage ceremony is performed by a priest in the church.


When one is dead, the relatives and friends visit the bereaved family, give material help and attend the funeral. During the night preceding the burial, they keep themselves awake, they sing sad songs (ladgi) to express their condolences and grief.

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When one dies, the other members of the family as well as relatives and friends pray for the salvation of the soul for nine consecutive nights.


In the olden times, the people took great care in burying their dead. The corpse was placed in a wood-coffin. With the dead were buried some of his or her properties such as clothing, gold, and other precious things.


When someone wants to visit somebody, he or she is allowed to visit at any time of the day. A suitor is given a definite time to visit a girl.


Three or two days before the festival, the people clean their respective houses and surroundings. The people prepare new clothes for them to wear on the fiesta. They also prepare much viands and wine for the visitors.

In the morning of the town fiesta, the people go and hear Mass. Many people from other towns attend the fiesta. Almost all the people wear new clothes. There are many kinds of entertainment like programs, bullfighting, ballgames, and folk dances.


1. When one's parents die, the child who is below ten years of age uses garlic as a necklace to prevent the spirit of the departed from touching the child, thus causing illness.
2. The practice of placing a kind of smelly vine (rae) around the neck of the little child when brought to the field to prevent "anitos" from touching him.
3. When your dog howls or goes to sleep on your roof, kill it, the sooner the better, to prevent death in the family. This is a sign of a coming misfortune (death).
4. When your cat ties, leaving it unburied in the open field invites rainy days to continue until the carcass is dissolved in the downpan [downpour?]. Throw it into the sea and you will invite big waves. However, dead cats should be buried to prevent their carcasses from becoming breeding places for flies.
5. The practice of washing the wounds which are hard to cure and throw the water used at the crossroads with the belief that the witch is responsible for such an ailment will get it again without notice.

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6. The practice of old folks to believe what quack doctors say which runs thus — persons who are ill, especially for a long time, and do not show any signs or recovery should leave the place and go to another ploace because someone (a witch) is making him or her ill.
7. When a yam grows to an extraordinary size, it is looked upon as a sign of misfortune.


1. The people here, like all other people of the world, believe in the magic power of witches, to cause the people to become sick.


The early people believed in derivation [divination?]. They foretold their good or bad futures by interpreting the songs of birds and examining the entails of slaughtered pigs, cows, and chickens.

29. Popular Songs:

Nakayapo du na kavoya ko dimo
Nanieng ka machipasek du taol ko a manda si changuri
As ara pava u matarek a uchaddao ko a diaveken a imo
As ichajojo ko a mavoya u aspangan nu addao ko a yapu du taul mo.
Nadñegey ko na ta nu liac mo am acmay yeng nu polac
As nu vook mo am akmay vohawan
As nu taul mo am akmay asero
Panapanayahen ko pa u vahes nu matanoy a capachinolay.

English Translation

Ever since I saw you
Your memory stayed in my heart until now
I love nobody else except you
I wish to realize the reward of my love that comes from your heart.
Your voice is like the sound of a tossed silver coin
And your hair is like gold
And your heart is as hard as steel
I wish to realize the reward of patient waiting.

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Mandidiew Aco

Mandidiew aco
Yamot du palak co aya
Suyud a mayñin
Acapachisay co dimo
Mangay aco na
Du tana aure a pandidiewan
Ay su pacasi nu taul co a tumanitanis
Su suyot mo a acma sia su pinavoya mo diaken
Tan chinapatak co na
Pinipia co cadiman co
Tapian maipisa danao
Macpad aure a pandidiewan

My Suffering

How I suffer
Because of cruel fate
How it gives me pain
To be apart from thee
So, I have to go
To the land of suffering
Please give mercy to
My aching heart
Oh, what happiness
You get from torturing me
If I had foreseen
I would wish for death to take me
So that for only once
This loneliness will cease.

Jañet u Payvoyan ta

Vituhin du dada a guminchin
Du tana uri pandidiewan
Anchuwan madiman aco na
Miruwa co a mayvangon
Machipayac dimo du janet.

In Heaven We Shall Meet

Oh star from the east that has fallen
To that land of sorrow and pain
When death shall have taken me
I shall rise
And join you in Heaven.


Transcribed from:
History and Folkways of the Municipality of Uyugan and Its Barrios, 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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