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


Municipality of Lingayen Pangasinan



About these Historical Data

[p. 30]

of transportation that connected Lingayen with the towns of Binmaley and Dagupan was the way along the seashore. The Agno River, then, was also used for water transportation. Both ways were winding and long, so in order to cut short the distance, the provincial government constructed a road along the banks of the Agno River between Binmaley and Lingayen. The banks of the river were then low and swampy, covered with nipa palm, mangroves and thick forest. When the road was finished, people began to clear and settle on both sides of the road. The houses were constructed in the low places covered by water throughout the year. So, it was necessary that every house would have a bamboo bridge that connected the house to the road. This bridge was called, in the local language, "tontonan." In order to perpetuate the memory of these bamboo bridges, the settlers called this place Tonton. This name was never changed.

Barrio Tonton was established even before the coming of the Spaniards to the Philippines.

Here is a list of barrio tenientes from the past to the present:

1. Don Isidro Villanueva
2. Don Onofre Malatao
3. Don Domingo Reyes
4. Don Mariano Casaclang
5. Don Ramon Ramos
6. Don Donato Sinlao
7. Don Pastor Manuel
8. Don Teodor Bartolome
9. Don Maximo Casaclang
10. Don Ramon Amor, Sr.

Many residents of Tonton rendered invaluable services as officials for the town of Lingayen and for the province. Don Florentino Altro was a capitan municipal, an office equivalent to municipal mayor at present. Don Alejo Santos, Don Pedro Bernardino, and Don Sebastian Garcia were appointed "Anak Banuas," an office equivalent to municipal councilor in our present government. Don Simon Castro and Don Enrique Queriza held important positions in the provincial government during the Spanish regime. Maestro [unreadable] (Don Isidoro Villanueva) served as music band master for almost thirty years [probably meant "twenty"] from 1871 to 1899 of the Pangasinan Provincial Band.

The barrio lies between the swampy banks of the Agno River in the south and a body of water called Libaong in the north. The place adjoining the river was converted into fishponds, while the northern part, which was a lake, was later made into rice paddies. It is, indeed, paradoxical that the people did not engage in farming or fishing, but instead, they became skillful and famous carpenters.

Many of the people in this barrio are Catholics. Ninety-five per cent of the population are devout Catholics. Their traditions, customs, and lives are very much influenced by their beliefs of the teachings and dogma of the Catholic faith.

History tells us that the early builders of churches and beautiful houses in Pangasinan were mostly from Tonton. Also, the first manufacturers of animal-drawn vehicles — such as bullcarts, carriages, and carromatas, were from this barrio. Don Tomas Ungson, the Aquinos, and the Bernardinos were the families noted in the manufacture of these animal-drawn vehicles.

[p. 31]

In the Philippine Revolution, there were the Macaltaos, the Bataoils, and the dela Cruzes who were made officials of the insurgents.

In the American regime and in the Philippine Commonwealth, Don Servillano dela Cruz was the most prominent son of Tonton. He served as a representative in the Philippine Legislature as Provincial Governor of Pangasinan for three consecutive terms, and as a judge in the Court of First Instance.

Don Inocencio de Guzman, who for many years was the provincial cashier, has been considered a model and successful father. His children are all professionals — Tomas de Guzman, the District Civil Engineer; Rafael de Guzman, the talented practicing attorney; Dr. Pedro de Guzman, the intelligent physician; and a daughter who is a nurse.

Major Cornelio Tomaldon who, for many years, helped the government in building up the now famous Philippine Army, having been cadre commander in many places, fought heroically in the last World War II. He is now given the most exalted and responsible positions as a provincial commander of the Philippine Constabulary in Pangasinan.

Mr. Leocadio Villanueva, a notary public, served as the only elected municipal official from Tonton, as a municipal secretary of the town of Lingayen, as special agent to the provincial governor, as a provincial warden of Pangasinan, as a deputy provincial sheriff, and as a branch manager of the Naric [unsure, blurred] in Baguio City.

The Amor family produced lawyers and the Vidal family gave ministers to the Methodist Church.

In the year 1909, the first public school was erected by voluntary contributions. There were four teachers. A big storm demolished the schoolhouse. Due to the few buyers from vehicle factories on account of the coming of automobiles, the people were only able to erect one school building. However, before World War II, a room was annexed to the one-room schoolhouse. After the war, this barrio was given four teachers.

The people of this barrio were fortunate because they did not starve when the Japanese were here. They were not maltreated by the Japanese soldiers. The people had cigar and cigarette factories in nearly all homes. The industry gave good returns, so that people at present give the remarks in the local language, "Maong laingen so biley nas Japon non say natan," meaning, life during the Japanese time was better than these days.

After liberation, the people set up the furniture factories. It is such a flourishing industry that men, women, and even children are empmloyed as polishers, weavers, and carpenters. The men go fishing in the Agno River or in the shallow banks of the Lingayen Gulf.

[p. 32]

24. Tumbar

The past and present name of the barrio is Tumbar, which is derived from the word "abar-abar," meaning "unwound."

Long ago, the very scanty group of people that inhabited this small and insignificant village lived peacefully and worked cooperatively. This unity that bound the people together had not been surpassed by any group of people who lived in the community. The people living in the neighboring barrios admired their unity and had a high regard for them. Later, however, the tranquility, peace, contentment, and unity that once reigned over these people were not carried by the people as the years went by. Generations later, this place became the nest of misunderstanding, hatred, jealousies, suspicions, and dissensions. That is why the word "tumbar" was used to describe the situation, hence, "Tumbar" became the name of the barrio.

No other sitio is included within the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio. No specific data could be obtained as to the date of its establishment, but old folks of the place say that, possibly, it was established on or about the end of the Spanish rule.

Mr. Angel Cruz, the great-grandfather of Mr. Jorge Eco Cruz, one of the oldest men in the village, is said to be the original founder of Tumbar.

The list of tenientes from the earliest time to the present is shown hereunder:

Don Santiago Bautista
Don German Morato Cruz
Don Domingo Sison
Don Francisco Arias
Don Rodrigo Cansino
Don Marciano Ocang
Don Martin Perez
Don Jorge Eco Cruz
Don Baldomero Ramos

So far, since the establishment of the barrio, there has never been a historical site, structure, or old ruins. The land is eroded annually by the Agno River. Many inhabitants fear that unless precautionary measures will be taken to prevent the annual erosion, the barrio of Tumbar will disappear from the map of Lingayen.

At about the end of the Spanish rule, during the early days of the Philippine Revolution, there was a certain man (his name has been forgotten by the old folks of the place) who had great and unbelievable powers that no mortal beings can do at present. It was said that he could jump to the tallest tree and alight on the branches or twigs. He was oftentimes seen sleeping on the branches of the tall trees. From the top of the trees, he could jump to the ground without any bodily harm. This extraordinary man led a group of insurgents who captured a group of Spanish soldiers. This would seem incredible, but many of the old folks swear on its veracity.

[p. 33]

There were no important facts that took place during the time of the American domination and during the Second World War.

In July 1946, immediately after World War II, through the insistence of the people under the leadership of Mr. Baldomero Ramos, and under the guidance and help extended by the late Mr. Pastor Ferrer, elected mayor of Lingayen in 1948, a school was opened in this barrio. At first, there were two grades with only one teacher. One year later, an additional class (extension) was organized. At present, there are two teachers in this school.

During the period 1896 to 1900, there were several lives which were lost. Bandits who stayed in this place killed some innocent people.

Between 1941 and 1945, the Japanese soldiers did not frequent the region because of the distance from the poblacion. Hence, no casualty was recorded.

[Note to the reader, pages 34-36 are missing from the original file at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collection. Pagination of this transcription resumes at p. 37.]

[p. 37]

These also include shoes, dress, ring, and the carriage of the girl. A certain amount of money will be set aside for the parents of the girl as a reward for the upbringing of the daughter. This meeting is called "salonson."

When all angles of the marriage contract have been discussed and agreed upon by both parties, the girl and the man, with their relatives, will go to the church to be registered. Their names will be announced in the Catholic church for three consecutive Sundays. Such registration is called "alay agaran." Then, the marriage ceremony will be the utmost consideration. Cattle, pigs, chickens, and goats will be butchered for the feast.

Relatives and friends of both parties will be invited to this big occasion. On the eve of the marriage party, they will have the "basay bansal" in which there will be music and dancing the whole night. The next day, dancing will be continued and food will be served to all. Later in the afternoon, the elders of both parties will entertain the young couple and the visitors by dancing native dances. This entertainment is called "panagabalayan." Later, the young couple, together with their nearest relatives, will go to the house of the bridegroom. This is called "pagatin." In order that nobody can go up the house without the proper ceremony, the ladder of the house is sometimes removed. When all are assembled in the yard, the ladder will be placed back and a singing contest may ensue. A woman in the house will invite the visitors by singing a song in rhymes, while a man down below will answer her by singing in rhymes, too. Up in the house, a small table on which will be placed cigarettes, tobaccos, cakes, and a bottle of wine is put in the middle of the room. On one side of the table, the bride will be seated; while opposite to her, the bridegroom will be seated. Relatives will then buy the cigarettes, tobacco, and glasses of wine. A relative of the bridegroom will buy from the bride; while a relative of the bride will buy from the bridegroom. Who will sell the greatest amount, the bride or the bridegroom? Both sides will try to top the sales of each — the bride and the bridegroom. So, a stick of cigarette or a glass of wine will cost five, ten, or even twenty pesos. This procedure of collecting money is called "salocer." (A method of catching fish by net along the seashore.) To have more laughter and merriment, patepecan [unsure, blurred] will be announced. "Tapec" means the bill of a bird. The bride will be given a silver peso which will be placed between her teeth. The bridegroom will get the silver peso with his front teeth. Thus doing, his lips can touch the lips of the bride. This is considered the first kiss which is done in public.

5. Death and Burial

A young man or woman who will be married in the near future will not travel on vehicles for they may meet an accident.

The death of one member of the family will cause great mourning in the family. In order to show that the bereaved family is in mourning, the people in the days before the Spaniards would tie a white piece of cloth around their heads. Today, black cloth is used as a headband.

[p. 38]

In buying a coffin, there are many things to be considered minutely. The length of the coffin should fit exactly the height of the deceased. If the length of the coffin is very much longer than the height, another member of the family will die soon. In putting the corpse in the coffin, no member of the family will be allowed to help. Also, in carrying the coffin, which in bygone days was usually carried by four persons, the members are now allowed to bear the burden. If this is done, it is believed that another member of the family will die soon. Usually, the earth is dug where the coffin will be placed. If anybody falls accidentally into the pit, he will die soon. If, however, a young lady who has no brother or sister will be around and will pull him out of the grave, the spell will be broken and the victim will live long, yet.

If a member of a family dies, the members of the family will be expected to prepare food for people who will come to see the deceased. Persons who will come to see the corpse are, by tradition, obliged to help the bereaved family in money or in kind. Wine and cigarettes will be passed around to the visitors. The canteros will be invited to sing psalms and to say prayers for the departed's soul. This is done in the house before the corpse is taken to the church.

The night following the burial, a prayer for the dead will be said in the house of the deceased. This will be done for nine nights. This is called the "novena." Every night after the prayer, native cakes and coffee, cigars and cigarettes, and wine are served. Young men and women will play cards or games during the night. On the ninth day, there will be greater preparations for the relatives and friends of the bereaved family will be invited to attend a prayer. This gathering is called "longgod." After one year, there will be another gathering in memory of the departed soul. A prayer will be followed by a sumptuous dinner for all visitors.

6. Visits

A visitor must never visit a friend or a relative without gifts, usually in kind. The host will extend his lavish hospitality to his visitors. He will give him the best food he can offer, and will allow him to sleep in the best room and will furnish him a bed and beddings.

Old folks had [unreadable] which would foretell the coming of visitors. If a cat brushes its face with its paws, a visitor will be coming. If a house lizard will make noises where the rice is stored or near the door, a visitor will also be coming. At meal time, when two persons take a viand or rice from the same plate at the same time, it is considered the indication of the coming of a visitor. There is another one in which, when an extra plate will be placed on the table at meal time, old folks will tell you that they will be expecting a visitor.

The Filipino ways of life and hospitality will demand that a visitor be given cigarettes or cigar or wine.

[p. 39]

Usually, a visitor will not be allowed to go home without dining with the host if the visitor stays until mealtime.

7. Festivals

In the early days, festivals were not celebrated at all. If they ever had any, it was a sort of thanksgiving when the rice palays were stored in their granaries.

When the natives embraced the Catholic faith, they were taught that it was not necessary to have patron saints. An influential man, usually the richest man in the community, would buy a holy image (Santo NiƱo). A novena was given in honor of the Holy Crucifix by the owner or by the family. Later, or after some years, many people joined the novena. Then, yearly novenas were made as a sort of thanksgiving by the people of the barrio or locality.

A parish curate from the town would be asked to come to the barrio or locality so say Mass. Afterwards, the yearly occurrence came to be known as a fiesta. Today, "fiesta" means eating, dancing, beauty contests, games, a parade, and other social and religious activities.

November 1st of every year is a religious festival. This is known as "fiesta'y inatey" or Halloween night when groups of young men and women and even children and adults will go singing the life history of the departed souls. They woill be given money or native cakes. This is known as the "pantaotaoag." Some mischief can be done during the night. In the early days, they would remove the ladders from houses just for fun. Others would steal chickens or goats which were kept under the houses.

During Christmas season, children and adults will go around singing carols or playing musical instruments. They will be given money. From December 25 to January 8, they will go around singing the [unreadable], the history of the birth of Christ.

On New Year's Day, just after midnight, young folks fire their bamboo cannons, make noise by beating empty petroleum cans in order to welcome the dawning of a new year. Do not spend your money during that day, or else you will become a spendthrift during the year.

8. Punishments

In the early days, the chief or head of a clan was very strict in inflicting punishments to wrongdoers. When one violated the laws of the group, or he would tell lies, the punishment was whipping. The number of times he would be whipped would depend upon the seriousness of the crime committed. When one was caught stealing, he was made to pay for the thing he stole. If the guilty person committed the same crime for the second time, his fingers would be cut off. For the third time that the same act would be committed by the same person, he would be hanged.

[p. 40]

Stealing in those days was considered the most serious crime.

In those days, too, if a child would tell a lie or disobey his parents, he would be made to kneel on some grains of rice or mongo seeds which were spread on a piece of board. When the offense was very serious, the child would be made to sit on the air with his arms extended sideward. Children in those days were well-disciplined in the observance of obedience and politeness. If a child violated any existing customs, he would be punished very severely. If a child would not work when there was something to be done, he would not be given one meal. If a boy was afraid to go out at night, he would be tied to a tree for a certain length of time during a moonless night.

During the Spanish period, corporal punishment was allowed in the schools. Some forms of punishments in these schools were whipping the child with the leather of a carabao's tailor with a piece of rattan; slapping the palms of the child with a rice ladle (malo); kneeling for a length of time carrying some heavy object on the head.

9. The Origin of the World

Long, long ago, there lived a king with his two sons. The king and his sons lived in the sun, for he was the ruler of the sun. When the king was old, the two young men quarrelled over the question of who would be the successor of their father, the king. Since the king was now weak and very old, he could not prevent his two sons from quarelling. Although by tradition, the older son should be the rightful successor, the younger brother was ambitious to succeed their father. Every day, the two sons continued to quarrel. Before the king died, he called his two sons and told them that the elder son would reign after his death. But when the king died, the younger son challenged his older brother to a duel. Whoever would win in the contest would become the ruler of the kingdom of the sun. Each took his sword and began to fight. While they were fighting, the older brother struck his opponent with a mighty blow but he missed him. Instead, he struck the sun and a portion of it was cut off. Thish portion that was severed fell into the deep space below. The younger brother was standing on the portion of the sun that fell, and so he went down with it. In the deep chasm below, another world was formed. This was the part of the sun that was cut off. Today, this world get its light from the sun.

10. The Origin of the Sea

Long ago, there was a man who was very old and had a very long white beard. He had a very queer appearance which arounsed the curiosity of the people wherever he went. Although old in appearance, he could walk fast from place to place. Wherever he went, he talked on interesting topics so that many people gathered around him to listen to his discourses.

[p. 41]

One time, he was talking to a multitude who did not believe him. They laughed at him, so the old man was very mad. He scolded and insulted them. In doing this, the crowd was angry with him and they shouted, "Let us kill him!" But before they could seize him, the old man ran away. He ran so fast that, in an instant, he was already very far. The angry mob could not follow him because the space between them and the fleeing old man became a great body of water. This was how the sea was formed.

11. The Origin of Rivers

A huge giant once lived who had a very long and heavy tail. Whenever he would walk around, the tail would dig deep into the earth. These canals thus formed were filled with water during the rainy months. The water would then flow into the sea. Thus, the old folks tell you, that the rivers were formed in this manner.

12 The Origin of Trees

There was a time when the earth was barren. One day, one of the gods went down to earth. She walked till she was very tired. So, she looked for trees, but she could not find one. When she returned to her heavenly abode, she brought with her a handful of sand. She gave life to each grain of sand and said, "Thou shall become trees of all kinds — tall, small, some with few branches, others with leafy spreading branches." She scattered the grains into the winds, and when they settled on the earth, they grew to become the first trees on earth.

13. The Origin of the Sun

When God created the world, there was darkness. There were no stars, no moon, no sun. One day, he was travelling on earth. He tripped upon a big rock. He thought this was evil, so he picked it up and threw it against another rock. As the big stone struck another rock, fire came out as a result of the impact. This was the first light on earth. So God thought that it was good and he got the burning rock and placed it in the air. It lit the whole world. It is now the sun that we see.

The early inhabitants in the Philippines worshipped the sun. They knelt to pray when it was rising. They also discovered that the rays of the sun had curative elements. In modern times, Science found that the ultra violet rays of the sun can cure some sicknesses.

14. The Origin of the Moon and the Stars
In the days of old, there lived a couple who was so tall that their heads were above the clouds. They also made a house which was towering above the clouds. They lived happily together.

[p. 42]

One afternoon, the mother giant was cooking. Father giant went out to visit a friend. The mother told him not to be late for dinner. The male giant promised her that he would come home early for dinner. A promise in those days was never broken. So, after the woman had finished cooking, she sat down at the door and waited for her husband. The sun had already disappeared in the horizon, but the male giant did not yet come home. The woman felt very uneasy. She was angry with her truant husband. It was already midnight, but he did not come home yet. At last, she heard footsteps approaching. She thought of punishing her husband. From the stove, she got a piece of wood which was burning at the other end. When the husband heard her coming, he started to run away. The woman threw the burning wood at him, but it missed him. The piece of wood was thrown up in the air. It remained there till the present time. This is the moon that we see at night.

Father giant returned when he thought that the wife was already sleeping. Mother giant was, however, waiting for him. She went to the stove and got another piece of wood which was burning at one end. She extinguished the light, leaving the live charcoal still burning at the other end. With this, she struck here husband. The live charcoal at the end of the piece of wood was broken into small and big particles. These particles of live charcoal were carried by the wind toward heaven where they were suspended till the present. At night, we still see those particles of live charcoal which we call stars.

15. Eclipse

Old folks tell us that there is a big animal that, once in a while, wants to swallow the moon. When this happens, a portion of the moon is swallowed by the huge animal. Since the moon is cold, it cannot swallow it. So, it vomits the moon and the moon shines brightly again.

Sometimes, this huge and strange animal wants to swallow the sun. When a part of the sun is swallowed, that part cannot be seen. Sometimes, the whole sun is so hot that it cannot remain inside the animal for a long time, so it vomits and the sun will come out again. This is what we call the partial and total eclipse of the sun.

16. Earhquake

There lived a very strong man named Yeg. He was strong and powerful, so that he even challenged the power of God. For his defiance and threat toward the power of the Almighty God, God imprisoned him in a cave. The mouth of the cave was covered by a huge stone. The man is still alive today. Whenever he wants to come out of the cave, he pushed the heavy stone, but he cannot remove it. In trying to push the stone which seals the mouth of the cave, the earth moves. This movement of the earth is called in the local language "yegyeg."

[p. 43]

They say that when there is an earthquake, Yeg wants to remove the huge stone at the entrance of the cave.

17. Lightning and Thunder

Many people believe that when it is about to rain, one should not get near animals, especially the pig, for thunder sometimes takes the form of a pig. When a pig gets near a person, it bursts, thus causing a very loud noise or thunder. Fire emanates from the bursting pig and they say this is lightning.

18. The Formation of Clouds

Once upon a time, there lived a giant and his wife in the high mountains. It was the habit of the husband to sit under a big tree at noon after mealtime to smoke with his huge pipe. His pipe produced voluminous smoke that covered the mountain tops. When people in the lowlands would see this smoke, they usually interpreted it as a sign of the coming of the rain. That old would say that when the mountain tops were covered with smoke, the giant was smoking. This was the beginning of the clouds.

19. The Origin of Rain

A long, long time ago, there was no rain. People fetched water from the rivers and lakes to water their plants. This was a tedious process, so they held a meeting to decide what they would do in order to make their laborious work easier. In this meeting, they invited the magician of the locality to help them solve their problem. The magician asked for a basin of water. He looked upwards as if he was invoking the mercy of Divine Providence. Then, he dipped his hands into the basin and sprinkled water into the air. The particles of water fell, and this was the first rain on earth.
20. The Origin of Wind
There once lived a man who had only one son. The father was very fond of his son and loved him dearly. He gave his son all the things he asked for. One day, the boy asked his father for a plaything which he could hold at one end and the other end would stay near the moon and the stars. The kind and wise father made a kite for him. He threw this plaything upward but it did not stay there long. He blew air from his mouth and the kite flew. But when he stopped blowing, the kite would fall to earth. The father blew and blew air until the space above was filled with air. This was how the wind came into existence.

21. The Origin of the Storm

In the days of old, there was no such strange phenomeon as the storm. The air was slow and gentle. The trees and plants grew vigorously and abundantly.

[Note to the reader: The original file at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections concludes with the previous page, so we conjecture that the succeeding pages were not scanned because they had been destroyed with the passing of time.]


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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