MUNICIPALITY OF INFANTA (PANGASINAN), History and Cultural Life of Part II - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF INFANTA (PANGASINAN), History and Cultural Life of Part II - Philippine Historical Data

MUNICIPALITY OF INFANTA (PANGASINAN), History and Cultural Life of Part II

Municipality of Infanta, Pangasinan



About these Historical Data

[p. 7]

the dead of the night to be liquidated, and Mr. Maximino Millera almost met a violent death in their hands. It was only by the dint of diplomacy that spared them. Extreme fear gripped most of the people, but the wiser heads decided to do something about the situation.

Meanwhile, the Japanese invaders had already occupied Sta. Cruz. So, to save them from the notorious guerrillas, the leaders reported the existence of these guerrillas in Infanta. The Japanese immediately came and drove the guerrillas away. The Japanese soldiers stayed here for some time and saved the people from the guerrillas.

During their stay here, they showed their good intentions. They opened schools and the Japanese language was taught. Teachers were forced to render service and pupils had to go to school against their will. English books, especially those that dealt about America, were banned from use. Japanese books were used, instead. Pupils were very few and the parents, knowing the futility of such an effort, refused to send their children to school on the pretext that they neither had the clothing nor the money and food that they needed. Here is an interesting incident to show how the schools were opened:

One morning, a Japanese soldier came up my house and entered my private room where he found me sleeping. With a stern and threatening countenance, he said:

"Sensi icao?" he asked.

I did not answer him because I could not from fear.

"Maestro ikaw?" he asked again.

I stood and said, "Opo," with a nod of my head.

"Score nai, no puede," he told me.

I did not answer him again.

"Score go, score nai, no puede," he said, holding me.

I understood that he meant school for "score" and meant for me to open classes. So, I started down immediately with him and we came together to the school.

As soon as we reached the school, the Japanese soldier asked me to open the storeroom, which I did after so much deliberation of what he wanted me to do. Upon entering the room, his attention was caught by the sight of the American flags on the table. With fire in his eyes, he ordered me to burn them, but with the presence of mind for for love of the flag, I played a trick. Getting one of the flags, I dashed it to the door; stepping on it. I showed him that the flags could be used as rags in polishing the floor. Beaming with satisfaction, we left the room. The flags were saved.

A Japanese government was set up, with Mr. Rafael Monje as the puppet president. Peace and order was once more restored. It was at this period when everybody had to play in his style the role of a dramatist to save his own life from the invaders who were cruel and unreasonable. Their stay in Infanta enabled the people to differentiate the democratic way of life from that of the Japanese aristocracy. The lives and properties of the people were always in jeopardy. Outwardly, peace and order existed, but hatred, hostility, and suspicion toward the Japanese were harbored in everyone's heart.

The feeling of insecurity for life and property had entirely upset the people's morale and that life had become, to them, so lifeless that their daily struggles were just enough to hold on to dear life until the Americans returned as was always expected. The population of Infanta was increased by the return of all Infanta people residing in Manila and elsewhere, and their presence aggravated the acuteness of the shortages in this place.

Canned goods, sugar, soap, coffee, petroleum, and gasoline were all commandeered by the Japanese, and if anyone was found keeping any of these, he had to answer to them with his life or severe punishment on suspicion that he had them from suspicious origins.

Prices soared skyward. One time, the following articles reached these prices.

A cavan of rice
A stick of cigarette
A pair of shoes
A girl's dress

To keep the prices down, cooperative stores and rice growers associations were organized, but all failed utterly in their objectives for the reason that the economic law, "prices are determined by the supply and demand," could not be evaded and violated.

Neighborhood associations were organized in all places. Each unit was given the responsibility to guard every night in strategic places and of warning the Japanese garrison of any impending danger. What a nonsense measure was it!

[p. 8]

The guards were, after all, unarmed and defenseless, and consequently exposed to dangers from the guerrillas. The measure proved only how little the Japanese valued our lives.

Most of the time during the years of the Japanese occupation, the people were in their evacuation places. The homes were completely deserted, leaving them at the pleasure of the looters. It was a common sight in those days that people with small children and little belongings that they could carry, were sleeping under trees, in thick bushes, and in the open air. God was, indeed, kind! Despite the unhealthy circumstances the people were undergoing and were exposed to, they did not get sick. Medicines were not available, but the people did care for any because they had become resistant to sickness. The resistance of the people against disease can be attributed to eating simple vegetable foods, exercise, and open air.

Life was like this day in and day out in Infanta during the Japanese occupation. The Americans came and crippled or defeated the Japanese might of the enemies and everywhere. Soon, the Japanese from the north and south made their retreat to the mountains just east of the poblacion. According to the lowest estimate of their numbers, there were no less than three thousand strong there. Their presence in that place threatened the security of the people there so that the people had to evacuate their homes to farther places. The Japanese came down the barrios nearby and looted homes for food, mats, pillows, baskets, pots, utensils, and clothing and brought these to the mountains.

While the Americans were liberating Pangasinan, the people were in constant fear that the Japanese might come down and massacre us. Luckily, they did not. Liberation came. Still, the Japanese were in the mountains. Guerrillas were organized and given arms. These guerrillas oftentimes had shooting encounters with the Japanese.

With the presence of guerrillas and the rumbling of American trucks and the hovering of American fighter planes, the Japanese feared to come out into the open and venture far from their lairs. Consequently, the people were much eased. Later on, for unknown purposes, the Japanese began to die. Was it an epidemic? Were it, it would have spread down among the civilians. Others said that someone poisoned the river from which they got their water supply. This was a remote possibility because, for one reason, their place was well-guarded and another was that they were not so dumb fools to be unable to discover in time that the river was poisoned. However, our church elders attributed their mass deaths to Divine Providence, particularly to our patron Saint John the Evangelist. Thus, the Japanese who had kept the tranquility of this place in suspense for so long had at last dissipated.

Finally, liberation came on Feb. 27, 1953 [probably meant 1945]. The municipal officials serving at the outbreak of the war in 1941 were called back to duty. The teachers, too, had to open classes. All the expenses in the operations of the government were borne by the Americans through the instrumentality of the PCAU. In June of the same year, the Philippines was once more in the hands of Filipino administrators.

After liberation, American aid in the form of clothing, canned goods, rice, and other needs of the people were given to Infanta, but their effect was just like a "drop in the bucket," as the aid was not adequate enough to alleviate the sufferings of most of the people. The people returned to their places which they abandoned before and struggled hard to rehabilitate themselves.

The date of this writing is March 1953. The town has made considerable progress in all lines. The following are worthy of mention:

(1) There are two high schools in operation.
(2) There are two progressive markets, one in the poblacion and another in Cato.
(3) There is an electric plant supplying electric light to the homes. (4) There are two sound controls, one owned by Mr. de Vera and the other by Mr. Jose Cardenas.
(5) The elementary school building of 11 rooms is semi-permanent.
(6) The H.S. building is of the standard type and semi-permanent.
(7) There is much interest in poultry-raising and other agricultural activities
(8) The community is improved, a product of community work. (9) There are now three spraying machines for mangoes which were heretofore unknown.
(10) People are becoming scientific-minded as manifested in their ready acceptance of the use of fertilizers, the the innoculation of their animals and fowls with drugs.
(11) There is a great increase of the enrolment in the schools. Now, there are five Gr. VI classes, four Gr. V classes, Seven Gr. IV classes, and an in-

[p. 9]

crease of enrolment in all classes.
(12) There is less infant mortality due to the presence of the puericulture center.
(13) There are many prosperous merchants now in the poblacion, a manifestation of the increase of the buying ability of the people.
(14) More students are in colleges pursuing different professions like: lawyers, physicians, education, dentists, engineering.
(15) Religious consciousness is awakening. The town can be safely considered purely Catholic, although there are but a negligible number of non-Catholics.
More tangible progress in all lines are to be expected in the near future as the schools have been geared to the responsibility of improving the community with the cooperation of the people. In line with this work of community improvement, the town is divided into PUROKS, which are charged with the responsibility of undertaking the improvement under the guidance of the teachers assigned as Purok advisers.

[Note to the reader: In the original file at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections, there appear to be pages missing after the previous page. Pagination resumes at page 4 instead of 10, which is how we shall subsequently do it as well.]

[p. 4]

B - Common Proverbs and Riddles

1. The arrogant is useless; in poverty he dwells, everywhere he is despised.
2. Speaking softly soothese the heart.
3. Never throw mud because although you may not miss your mark, you will have dirty hands.
4. No diligence to save; no restraint to waste.
5. What from the dew you gather must vanish with water.
6. Before doing and saying anything, think it over seven times.
7. Better a glutton than a thief.
8. Better alone that with a bad companion.
9. Paddle your own canoe.
10. Don't go near a muddy carabao because you will also get soiled.
11. Tell me who your companions are and I will tell you who you are.
12. Those who are easily suspect [suspicious?>] reflect what they do.
13. Don't do unto others as you would not like it done unto you.
14. Any man may make a mistake; none but a fool will stick to it.
15. A man who is tortured, God will take care of him.
16. Silent water runs deep.
17. The continuous dropping of water will break even hard stone.


1. With head, without stomach,
With neck, without waist.
2. Happy in the heat,
In the cold is withered.
3. Only one, still was taken,
But two were left.
4. Bone and skin but it flies.
5. Run there, run here,
Cannot leave the place where it stands.
6. Flying when it left,
Dragging (the body) when it arrived.
7. There it is, there it is,
You don't see it.
8. With neck, mouth, and body,
But with no feet and no hands.
9. I pulled the rattan,
The mountain became dark.
10. The house of the carpenter has only one post.
11. Deep when decreased,
Shallow when increased.
12. The captain took a bath,
Without wetting his stomach.
13. My house in Pandacan has a wide front.
14. My cow's mooing in Manila can be heard here.
15. I cut it with a bolo in the forest,
But it cries in the house.
16. There is a trunk but no branches,
There are leaves but no fruit.
17. It can cook without heat,
It smokes although cold.
18. It has no teeth and no jaws,
Its breath is hot.
19. My tree at Lucena
Has live charcoal for its flower
And a sword for its fruit.
20. My white dog was sent for an errand
But did not return.
21. I have a thin horse which I whipped with a thin piece of bamboo,
It jumped over seven forests.
22. If you will allow me to live,
I shall not live long;
But if you will kille me once,
I shall live longer.
23. Not animal, not human, the skin is made of leather.
24. There are three maidens who attended mass;
The first wore green, the second was in white,
And the third wore red;
When they went out, all of them wore red.

[p. 5]

25. My pig at the "kaingin,"
Becomes fat without eating.
26. A small chest full of money.
27. Many and in such great number,
Was create by only one.
28. Open in the afternoon,
Rolled in the morning.
29. My pig in Sorsogon,
Will not eat without one riding on it.
30. Hold my tail and I shall dive.
31. It has four feet
But cannot walk.
32. The flesh was thrown away, but the skin was kept and cared for.
33. What is the best picture that looks exactly like your face?
34. One battalion of soldiers
Has only one corporal.
35. Already a fruit, still bears another fruit.
36. His grandparents are already old,
Still, he has not taken a bath.
37. Not animal, not human, has three heads.
38. My elder sister, your elder sister,
The elder sister of all people.
39. While the boat is moving,
The pilot is lying down.
40. The blessed water cannot be taken except by a child.
41. I have a pet animal
Whose eyes are bigger than the knees.
42. Four persons together
Entered the cave and came out red.
43. Which bird cannot perch on a tree?
44. White as the snow,
Knows my secret.
45. Here is my uncle, selling wind.
46. Gold wrapped in silver,
Silver wrapped in leather.
47. Has a body, but with no face,
Has no eyes but sheds tears.
48. One plate is seen throughout the country.
49. Tall when sitting down,
Short when standing up.
50. One pile and a group of friends,
Turning back at each other.


1. Bottle
2. Acacia
3. Small piece of clam
4. Kite
5. Cradle
6. Rain
7. Wind
8. Small bottle
9. When the light is lowered to be put out
10. Dove cot
11. Native water jar
12. Banca
13. Pier
14. Thunder
15. Native guitar
16. Ladle
17. Ice
18. A gun just fired
19. Fire tree
20. Saliva
21. Wave
22. Candle
23. Chestnut
24. Buyo leaf, lime and betel nut chewed by old people
25. Mound of earth
26. Pepper
27. People and God
28. Mat
29. Coconut grater
30. Dipper
31. Table
32. Rattan
33. Mirror
34. Star and moon
35. Betel nut
36. Cat
37. Stove
38. Fruit of atis
39. Coffin with a corpse
40. Mother's milk
41. Dragonfly
42. Tobacco, buyo leaf, lime & betel nut
43. Quail
44. Paper
45. Musician
46. Egg
47. Candle
48. Moon
49. Dog
50. Lattice fence

[p. 6]

C - Popular Games


(Any number of players may take part, but the game is most effectively played by only two.)

Stones are used, usually six small ones and a big one for a Mother Stone. The number used, however, may depend upon whatever agreement the players may have.


1. Player No. 1 hides any number of stones in his hand and asks Player No. 2 to guess whether the number hidden is odd or even. In case Player No. 2 fails to guess correctly, Player No. 1 starts the game.
2. The small stones are held in the palm, while the Mother Stone is held between the thumb of the third and fourth fingers. The Mother Stone is tossed into the air, the small stones are quickly placed on the floor, and the Mother Stone is caught when it drops down.
3. The mother stone is tossed into the air, the small ones on the floor are gathered up, and the Mother Stone is caught as it drops down.
4. If the player fails to catch the Mother Stone after gathering up the small ones, his opponent takes his place and executes steps 2 and 3. But if the player catches the Mother Stone, he continues the game.
5. The Mother Stone is tossed into the air, and the small ones are placed on the floor. Then, the Mother Stone is tossed again into the air, one small stone is picked up and placed in the palm, and the Mother Stone is caught as it drops. This is repeated until all the stones are picked up by twos, and then by threes.
6. Step 2 is repeated, the small stones being placed in the palm instead of on the floor.
7. The Mother Stone is tossed into the air, one stone is taken from the palm and placed on the floor, and the Mother Stone is caught as it drops down. When all stones have thus been placed on the floor one by one, they are all gathered up again as in step No. 3. The stones are then taken from the palm to the floor by twos, then by threes, and gathered up again as in step No. 2.
8. Follow step No. 2. As the Mother Stone is tossed into the air, pick up a stone, tap it once on the floor, and catch the Mother Stone as it drops down. This is done until all the stones are picked up. The procedure is then repeated, tapping two stones two times, then three stones three times. The more the taps to be attempted, the higher the Mother Stone should be tossed.
9. Follow step No. 2. Place the left hand, with the palm up, in front of the stomach. The stones are picked up one by one from the floor and placed on the palm then returned from the palm to the floor. When all the stones are on the floor, gather them up as in Step No. 3. Repeat by twos, then by threes.
10. Follow step No. 2. Place the thumb and the four fingers of the left hand as to form an arc. Instead of picking up the stones, pass them through the arc one by one. As in step No. 3, the stones are gathered up. Then, they are passed through the arc by twos and then by threes, and gathered up as in step No. 3.


The following may also be used instead of stones: tamarind seeds, bayugo, and sigay.

PIKO PIKO (Pito-Pito)

A group of children play this game, the the oldest of them acts as mother. The mother sits in a corner of the playground and holds out one of her hands, palm upward. As the children plunge their fingers into the open hand, the mother suddenly closes her palm to catch the finger of one of them. The player whose finger is thus caught because "It." He is blindfolded and the other players scatter and hide. When they are ready, one of them gives the signal. "It" starts looking for the players. He finds one and tries to tag him. In the meantime, some of the players run back to the mother for safety. Any player tagged by "It" becomes "It" for the next game.


A leader with a small pebble in his hand walks to and fro behind a line of players whose right hands are held at salute position and whose left hands are held behind them at the height of the waist, palms cupped and turned upward.

[p. 7]

He drops the pebble in the hand of a player, who pretends nothing has happened. The leader continues on his journey and on reaching the end of the line says, "Run with the gold." The one who has the "gold" runs and the others in the line give chase for the purpose of tagging him. If the runner safely reaches an opposite line which had previously been drawn upon the round, he calls any two of the players to carry him back to the line from which he has come, seated on their joined hands or arms. The game is continued until almost everyone of the players has had the opportunity to run away with the gold.
A variation of this game is played by two teams which have an equal number of participants. The players take places in the same line, with their captains facing a gold line about 12 meter away. Captain A goes back and forth behind his players pretending to drop the "gold" in one of the player's hands. He invites Captain B to come and guess the hand in which the player is holding the gold. If Captain B fails in his guess, the player who has the "gold" takes a standing broad jump forward. The teammates of the jumper advance to positions even with him, thus forming a new line. The procedure is repeated until Captain B guesses correctly regarding the hand in which the gold is held. His team then takes the "gold" and proceeds in the same manner. This procedure is followed until one team or the other wins by reaching the goalline first.


Two or more players may take part. This game is most effectly played with only two. The materials for playing are stones, sigay, or tamarind seeds; the number depend upon whatever agreement the players may have. There may, for example, be 10 stones for two players, 15 stones for three players, etc.
The player who starts the game puts all the stones in his palm, flips them over, and catches it on the back of his hand. In this movement or part of the game, some of the stones may fall. (If only one stone falls, the player must pick it up after tossing the stones in the second movement, but before catching them). In the second movement, he tosses the stones over from the back of his hand and catches them in his palm. The player should permit no stone to fall while executing the second movement. If he does, he is replaced by another player. In case none falls, he continues the game with stones dropped in the first movement above indicated. Without picking these stones up, held with thumb and a finger, flicks one of the stones so that it strikes another. When a stone is thus struck, the two of them are removed.
In case there is an odd number of stones which drop in the first movement above indicated, then an exception to the procedure in the removal of the stone struck by flicking away may be made with the last three; similarly, the first of the three must be used to knock the second closer to the third. (The first must strike the second, however. They player must not miss.) The first of the three is then removed, and the second is used to strike the third.
If the player misses at any time while flicking the stones, or if he strikes a third stone with either of the two with which he is at the moment playing, he surrenders his place to the opponent, who continues the game.
Should a player be successful/without an error or interruption due to an error in flicking and removal of all the fallen stones, he may keep one as a prize. If a player is successful in executing the first and second movements without dropping any stone, he may keep one as a prize. Failure to catch a stone tossed, in the first movement above indicated, from the palm to the back of the hand, or failure properly to make a strike as above described, gives the opposing players the opportunity to continue the game. This procedure is followed until all the stones have been won and there are no more to play with.


Sungka is played by two or more players on a boat-shaped piece of wood called sungkahan. Fourteen round holes (houses) and about 1½ inches in diameter and 1 inch deep are arranged in two rows on the deck of the sungkahan. On either end of the sungkahan is a bigger hole (Ina), about 5 inches in diameter and 1½ inches deep.
The players sit on opposite sides of the sungkahan and put seven pebbles in each of the seven holes nearest to them. The Ina on the left side of each player belongs to him.
The players begin the game at the same time. Each takes all the pebbles from the last house at his right and works them toward his left, depositing one at a time and in order in each of his six houses and the Ina.

[p. 8]

The next takes the pebbles from any of the houses belonging to him and goes clockwise, drops one in each of the houses and his Ina, both his own and that of his opponent. A player who unthoughtfully drops a pebble into the Ina of his opponent loses the pebble. In case a player drops his last pebble into an empty house belonging to him, he stops playing and does not get any pebble, but if he happens to drop the last pebble in one empty house which is opposite an opponent's house that is full of pebbles, he gets his own last pebbles and also all the pebbles in the opponent's house and puts them in his Ina. He then stops playing and watches until the opponent also drops his last pebble into an empty house, in which case the first player resumes the play.
When a player drops his last pebble into his Ina, he picks the pebbles from any of his houses and proceeds with the game. The play continues as long as one or both players have enough pebbles for one or more houses. The player who is short of pebbles starts the second game with the handicap of a reduced number of houses, or burned houses. For example, if after the first, he has 38 pebbles, the has enough to put pebbles in each of the five houses and has three extra for his Ina. A player may or may not recover his burnt houses. The winner is the player who has gathered some of the opponent's pebbles in his Ina after playing the agreed number of games.


"It" has a tin can or a coconut shell which he places inside a circle on the ground about two feet in diameter. A player kicks the can or shell as far as he can, and then runs with the other players to hide. "It" recovers his can or shell, places it on the circle, and begins to hunt for the players in hiding. If he finds Pedro, he says, "Pong Pedro." Pedro leaves his hiding place and stays near the circle to wait for someone to save him.
Another player in hiding runs to the base to kick the can, but if "It" gets there before him, he, too, becomes a prisoner. "It" continues to search for the other players until he finds them all or until one of them succeeds in outrunning "It" to his base, in which case all the players found or caught are saved and the game is repeated with the same child acting as "It." Should "It" succeed in locating all the hiding players, the first one found becomes "It" for the next game.


When a player feels tired or thinks he cannot leave his hiding place without being detected by "It," he should "Topo-Pong" to advise "It" that he exclude himself from the game for the time being.


1. Sampaguita

Sampaguita nga napusacsac
Banglom Neneng ti agwarwarnac
Umanayem nga lioliowac,
Nu sumken ti ilio caniac.

Daytoy panyoc no maregreg co
Ti makapitot isubli nanto
It isurat co ti nagan co
Naganco nga Esposo.


Manang Biday ilucat mo man,
Ta bintanam icalumbabam
Ta kitaem toy kinayam
Matayacon no dinac caasian.

Ta sing sing mo nga inalac
Napucawen gapo ken ayat
Nu bayadam conam bayadac
Tapno malacsid ti ayan ayat.

Iyeg mod toy diay botonis co
Nga alpelir toy barocong co
Ta iyeg comet toy aritos mo
Nga Bitin-bitin ti lapayag mo.

[p. 9]

Iyeg modtoy diay pantalon co
Ta ited comet ti pandiling mo
Dipay iso nga pangring ring mo
No masacbayan iti Domingo.

E - Reckoning Time in the Early Days

1. Cocks usually have three periods of crowing at night: the first period is usually 10:00 in the evening; the second 12:00 midnight; and the third 4:00 in the morning.
2. The going down of the chicken from their roosts early in the morning signifies the coming of the new day.
3. Orioles usually make sounds at dawn.
4. The closing of the acacia leaves show the coming of nighttime.
5. The coming of the new day is shown by the coming of the morning star.
6. The patola usually opens its flower at 4:00 in the afternoon.
7. A certain flowering plant called "alas doce" usually opens 12:00 at noon.
8. The appearance of the Evening Star in the west signifies the coming of the night.
9. During summer nights, dawn is shown by the leaving of the Southern Cross towards the west.
10. When the sun is overhead, it is noon.
11. When the Tres Marias (three Marias) are overhead in the evening during summer, it is 12:00 midnight.
12. Another flowering plant called alas cuatro usually opens at 4:00 in the afternoon.
13. In towns, church bells are rung at 12:00 noon.

F - Legends, Myths, Folklore

In the olden days, when our forefathers had not yet offended the gods, the latter oftentimes came to the earth to play and mingle with the people.

One day, Tala, the fairest daughter of Bathala, came down to the earth and played near the sea. She watched the pretty waves rolling to and fro. She was really very beautiful in her appearance, that no beauty found on earth could surpass her.

While she was playing, Anak Dagat, the god of the sea, saw her. He was magnetized by her exquisite charm such that he fell in love with her. Because of his desire to own her as his exclusive property, Anak Dagat proposed his love to Bathala, the father. The latter consented, and they were married.

While the couple were playing near the sea one day, Kamatayan, the god of death, saw them and felt jealous. He loved Tala, too, so that he disguised himself into a devilfish. He swam near the two, snatched Tala and ran away with her.

Anak Dagat sought the help of Bathala and the gods to get back Tala. Kamatayan was caught, and was punished by Bathala. He was placed in a spot where the direct rays of the sun always struck at it from morn till dusk. His arms were oustretched like the tentacles of the octopus. Afterwards, he was changed into a tree, a tree of Kamatayan.


There was once to lovers who were very sincere with each other. They loved each other devotedly that no one could ever separate them except our Almighty.

One day, a very unfortunate thing happened. The man met an accident, whereby he lost one of his arms. He died and was buried. The lady buried the arm in a corner of the garden.

The following morning, she visited her garden. To her surprise, she found a beautiful plant on the same spot where she buried her lover's arm. The plant grew very fast and it bore a very delicious fruit called banana.


Transcribed from:
History of Infanta, 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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