MUNICIPALITY OF SAN MANUEL (PANGASINAN), History of Part I - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF SAN MANUEL (PANGASINAN), History of Part I - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of San Manuel, Pangasinan



About these Historical Data

[Note to the reader: The original scans of this document on file at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections begin pagination at p. 4, which shall be the same start of this transcription's pagination. Moreover, some of the pages are torn in parts and, naturally, cannot be transribed.]

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Paulino Domingo, Mateo Felipe; Tenientes: Santiago Bautista - G. Sur; Bernardo Nitafan - G. Norte; Achievements: the site of the public market was set aside; construction of the cement tennis court; putting up of cement culverts within the streets of the poblacion; one room each was added to the semi-permanent buildings of the San Juan Elementary School and Sto. Domingo, respectively; the repair of roads in the poblacion.

(36) 1934-1935: Primitivo Perez - lasat municipal president, Felix de la Cruz - vice-president; councilors: Paulo Buccat, Diego Reynon, Patricio Sol, Marcelo Garcia, Eulogio Sampilo, Victorino Alvarado, Brigido Collado.

(37) 1935-1937: Primitivo Perez - 1st town mayor of the Commonwealth.

(38) 1937-1940: Primitivo Perez - Mun. Mayor: Achievements: 1934- [torn] Perfect maintenance of peace and order; no trouble of any kind from petty thieves to gangsterism; no red [torn] construction of the San Roque Road; development of the [torn] segregating the market site and the [torn] laying out the new streets [the rest of the page is torn and will not be transcribed].

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(46) 1947-1951: Mun. Mayor: Inocencio A. Giron; Vice-Mayor: Fortunato Estacio; Councilors: Julian Diccion - Guiset Norte; Gregorio Sacular - Flores; Domingo Borja - Sto. Domingo; Fernando Garcia - San Vicente; Agapito Olivas - San Juan; Atanacio Ventura - Sta. Ana; Fortunato Estacio - Guiset Sur.

Achievements: Rehabilitation of the following public buildings: Gabaldon building, Central School; Home Economics Building, Central School; semi-permanent building, Central School; reconstruction of the old public market from a fund borrowed from the national government; school fence around the Central School, reconstructed from War Damage funds; many barrio buildings were constructed from the pork barrel of Congressman Cipriano Allas; asphalt road around the poblacion; temporary presidencia was constructed.

(47) 1952-1955: Paulo Buccat - Mayor; Andres Villalon - Vice-Mayor; Councilors: Ramon Garcia - Sto. Domingo; Graciano Tolete - San Juan; Carlos Sicam - Guiset Sur; Francisco Nisperos - San Roque; Felimon Hernandez - San Vicente; Santos Reymon - Flores; Andres Villalon - Guiset Norte.

Achievements: Construction of a puericulture center; repair of the roads going to Flores and San Roque; bridges constructed; roads going to Coldit (around the poblacion); construction of a cemetery shade; collecton of inland tax surpassed previous years.

6. Stories of sitios within the jurisdiction of the poblacion.

History reveals that the first poblacion site of this town was in Pau known as Curibetbet. It was in as far back as 1614. In 1618, while the people of San Manuel were busy laying out the foundation of the church and the convent, the people of Asingan were busy laying out their own site in a place called Sinapur. In 1720, the church and the convent of San Manuel were burned. As a result, the people abandoned Pau and went to Sinapur to live. Since then, San Manuel was absorbed as a barrio of Asingan, but its name was changed to Guiset, from the great bamboo groves that were plentiful in San Manuel in those days. In 1773, the poblacion site of Asingan was transferred to its present site. In 1860, San manuel became a town again, but the site was no longer in Pau but in its present site.

When the poblacion site was transferred to where it is now, the name Guiset was retained. It is used to show the two main divisions of the poblacion, namely, Guiset Sur and Guiset Norte.

[torn] on historical site. There are several historical [torn] should be reckoned with. The first was Pau [the bottom of this page was torn and, therefore, cannot be transcribed].

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laying out the foundation of its poblacion site at Sinapur. In 1720, the church and the convent in Pau were burned so the people of Pau went to Sinapur to live. In 1773, the poblacion site of Asingan was transferred to its present site. In 1860, San Manuel became a town again, but its site was no longer in Pau but in its present site.

The poblacion site of San Manuel became a bloody scene during the liberation. It took the Americans about two weeks to capture it. Here, one can still find the thirty-one tanks that were destroyed. They are gathered in the western part of the church site of St. Barthlomeou's parish. It was during that bloody fight when all houses in the poblacion were bombed. Only a few were not reduced to ashes but those that survived the bombing were but ruins. It was not safe to travel in the town even when the bombing had ceased because it was still planted with mines.

(b) Structures - The church and convent were burned in Pau in 1720. The second chuch constructed in the present poblacion site of the San Manuel plaza was constructed during the incumbency of Father Bonifacio Porbanza. The old Roman Catholic Church was constructed by a priest by the name of Jose Ma. de la Fuente. He had been officiating Masses here until he was driven away by the insurgents. When the smoke of the revolution cleared, the former caballereza was improved and used as a church. The following parich curates held Masses in this church: (1) Father Egmedio Albano, (2) Father Fabian Ablang, (3) Father Rola, (4) Father Jose Velasco, (5) Father Eusebio Bermudez.

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

(a) During the Spanish Occupation:

Before the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution, one Antonio Ramos formerly lived in a house located near the lot formerly occupied by the house of Attorney Palacol. He was in charge of enrolling Katipuneros. It order that such a secret work would not be discovered, each registrant was required to sign his name with his blood. But unfortunately, this was discovered and he, together with his comrades, namely, Casimero Manuel, Domingo Balacha, and Donato Baldonado met their doom at Bagumbayan, Manila.

(b) During and After World War II:

San Manuel Central School was the center of cruelties during the Japanese occupation. Here, all suspected guerrillas were subjected to all kinds of inhumane practices to make people confess the truth of their subversive activities. Two of the victims were Javonillo and Alejandro de la Cruz. Javenillo was beaten to death and his lifeless body was thrown into the toilet depository of the San Manuel Central School. Alejandro de la Cruz died several days after the beating.

[The last line of this page in the original file is torn.]

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pursuit of Japanese soldiers running through the Cagayan Valley, one Mr. Camacho, then a principal of Calasiao High School and a Nippongo instructor, while selling jewels in San Manuel, probably around the poblacion, was met by some guerrillas who shot him to death, it was rumored.

9. Destruction of lives, properties, and institutions during wars, especially 1896 to 1900:

(a) The Roman Catholic church was the most important public edifice that was burned. The incumbent town executive and the parish curate were Dn. Cristino Flores and Father Gomez, respectively.

(b) Destruction of lives, properties, and institutions during wars, especially in 1941-1945:

The poblacion was the place that suffered greatly during the war. Many houses were looted and many things were commandeered during the Japanese invasion and occupation. During the liberation, practically all the houses were burned, and those that survived the war became ruins.

War claims were filed and were honored by the War Damage Commission, but the amounts given were not sufficient to rehabilitate structures or things lost. But there were many of those who helped prepare war claims who amassed wealth with sacrifices on the parts of the claimants.


(a) Religious customs:

During Holy Week, many of the young men find pleasure in egg-gambling (tok-tok).

Singing of the PASION is rampant. Sometimes, expert PASION SINGERS gather in a certain house for a challenge in PASION SINGING.

In the procession on Holy Thursday or on Good Friday, young women who are about to be married will have to light exceptionally large candles. Farmers' wives or daughters join the procession, too, with seeds of many kinds in their bags. It is believed that such seeds will insure promising crops.

The shaking of trees and leaping here and there with children in arms are often common during Holy Saturday, especially at the very moment when the priest sings GLORIA, GLORIA and the church bells peal from the tower. It is believed that the shaking stimulates growth.

Making the sign of the cross is conspicuously noticeable among religious people when they leave the house, or when lightning flashes and thunder roars.

Kissing the hands of the parents after meeting them in other towns, after coming from the church, or after coming home after a long travel, is a general practice.

The tolling of bells when a certain person passes away is commonly practiced among Catholics.

Very few of the people in this town lead their dead to the place of the burial without musical accompaniment.

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When a person passes away, it is the general practice for the elderly members of the family to read aloud the GOZOS of the NOVENA OF THE DEAD, and to request the struggling soul to follow.

(b) Travelers' customs:

When a traveler gathers some fruits of a tree, he cries in a loud tune: "BARI BARI! DIKA AGTAGTAGARI, TA AGKAKADUATAY MET IDI!"

When he throws out something such as used water, he says: "KAYO KAYO, UMADAYOKAYO, AWAN TI BASOLKO!"

Before he sits down to eat, he does not forget to throw a handful of rice and a tiny bit of each kind of food he has to prevent complaint from without.

He brings with him BORABOR of a PAGI to drive away wizards and witches.

(c) Old Marriage Customs:

The suggestion for marriage come from the young man. It usually comes from his parents, and old age is commonly given as reason for an early marriage.

The young woman's choice of a husband is governed by the will of her parents. She believes that to be submissive to parents in every line of endeavor is to be a good God-fearing daughter.

Sometimes, marriage comes as a reward to a young man who has served the bride's parents faithfully for a period of not less than ten years. There are cases in which marriage resuls from parental engagement.

Here is a brief but detailed exposition of the essential steps followed almost mechanically by the parents of both the young man and the woman:

1. The PATAYAB or the first interview. By the time the matrimonial message is being prepared, the young man will have been convinced by his parents to marry the girl of their choice. Old men select a good day with reference to Mamatiak. The best-educated man of the community is oftentimes hired to write out the message and prepare the inventory of the dowry and property donation. Then, the two documents are daintily wrapped in a very elaborately-embroidered handkerchief and entrusted to the care of the experienced spokesman. At twilight, the young man's parents and spokesman proceed to the young woman's house accompanied by a camada of three men who can play the violin, guitar, and the bandoria, and two women in charge of the flasks of wine and plates of betel leaves and home-made cigars and cigarettes. After the three men have played three of the popular musical pieces of the time, they disperse so as to give ample time for the spokesman and the young man's parents to stick to their errand. As they talk elaborately on the errand, they indulge in drinking, chewing, and smoking. Nothing important is accomplished this night, so another night is set aside for another interview.

2. The PAMANGAMAD or the second interview. On this very night, things needed for the entertainment such as those served in the first interview are brought. The deliberation

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on the acceptance and the non-acceptance of the marriage proposal will be made by the woman's spokesman. If the girl is not timid, as most girls are, she is usually called upon to tell her decision. Most of the girls prefer to remain quiet. If the young man's parents can give what the girl demands of them, the acceptance is assured.

3. The PATIAM or the third interview. This interview lasts one day. This is the time when the dowry is physically checked. The bride's wedding costume, jewelry, and money dowry exacted upon the groom will be turned in. But to turn these things promptly in is impossible since the bride and parents are confined in the house, the gate of the yard is closed and belted, the ladder is pulled up into the house, and the door of the house is strongly bolted. Therefore, the young man's ALBACIAS must triumph over the girl's albacias in order that their young man's convoys will be allowed to enter the gate, go upstairs by the ladder, and enter the bride's house. During the intellectual challenge, the groom's convoys will not be permitted to seek shelter. As soon as the groom's convoy enters the house of the bride, a fascinating and peculiar ceremony takes place. The ALBACIAS of both sides will have lots to say as they turn in and accept the wedding costume, jewelry, and money dowry. No money dowry is accepted without an additional twenty-five centavos (binting).

4. The SAKSI or the SIGNING OF THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT by the BRIDE AND THE GROOM. The day is always selected with reference to the prayer MAMATIAC. The bride and the groom are accompanied to the convent company by a train of attendants. Twenty-five years ago, The couple used to ride to the convent on a bull cart with the CAMADA playing a lively musical piece behind. After the Saksi, old folks don't allow the bride and the groom to go far or to undertake a risky undertaking because it is believed that ill luck or an accident will fall upon them more easily then anybody else. As soon as they arrived from the church, an old woman meets them and throws a handful of uncooked rice or salt around the house. A little party is prepared for all those who come to witness the SACSI.

5. The CASAR or the WEDDING CELEBRATIONS. This consists of the wedding ceremony in the church, the merrymaking, the PAROAD, the PASIPPIT, the ABALAYAN DANCE, and the PAGATING. During the ceremony in the church, both the bride and the groom see to it that their candles flicker brightly. It is believed that if the bride's candle flickers dimly, or is put out easily or the tallow melts rapidly, she will be outlived by the groom and vice-versa. It is a general practice that the PADRINO of the groom and PADRINA of the bride are responsible for the hiring of the CAMADA as well as of the hiring of the church veil used during the ceremony. As soon as the couple arrives, an old woman meets them and hands to them lighted candles. They go upstairs at the same time with the lighted candles in their hands. Then, the new before the house's altar while the hired members of the choir sing the SALVE. Then, they stand up and go from one relative to another of both parties present in the celebration to [torn] morning and to kiss their hands.

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The merrymaking consists of feasting, dancing, singing, smoking, drinking, and buyo chewing.

When the PAROAD comes, the bride and groom take their seats near a small table upon which several flasks of wine and several packages of cigars and cigarettes are placed. When the announcer says MABABAKYAN, all the patrons of the bride come to buy wine or cigars and the amount given is recorded as a donation which the couple will have to answer. The patrons of the groom do likewise when the announcer says NANALAKIAN. All the amounts collected will be turned over to the couple in addition to the dowry.

The PASIPPET is nothing but a means to acquaint the bride with the groom or vice-versa. At this time, the bride's parents request their daughter to put between her lips a 10-centavo piece which the groom removes not with his hand but with his lips. At this time, the groom is instructed to lift the bride in his arms and throw her gently and lovingly into the arms and embrace of her mother-in-law.

The ABLAYAN dance is purposely given for the parents to indulge in fun. They dance the PANDANGGO and CAROCHA old men sing funny songs.

The PAGATING closest the wedding celebration. This is given so as to give the bride a chance to visit the groom's house preparatory to her going there when the TAPAK comes. She and all the attendants will return after a short stay. After the wedding celebration, the couple can't live yet as wife and husband. It takes three this yet before they are permitted to live as wife and husband.

The MASS AFTER THE WEDDING. Old men prevent the husband and wife to wash their faces, eat, drink, before they go to church. They can do these things after they have heard the Mass.

The PAMISA JUST AFTER THE MASS. In order that the new couple can win the favor of the dead relatives of both parties, it is proper and fitting that a PAMISA be held in which all relatives of the new couple pray for the salvation of the souls of any dead relatives.

The TARAK.After the couple has stayed a couple of days in the wife's house, they have to move to the husband's house where they will live until their new home will have been built. A sort of party in which invited guests are served with native cakes is held.


A wizard is a possessor of a certain [torn]
or power inherited from his ancestors [torn]
can be persons sick or insert in the [torn]
similar to the things he has refused to [torn]

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With any bottle in his hand, he calls out the spirit of his enemy. Any creature that appears to him at this time is supposed to be the spirit of his enemy. He manages to let the creature get into the bottle which he tortures according to his will. If he wants his enemy to have a fever, he puts the corked bottle under the stove. If he wants him to suffer from chills, he places the bottle in a jar of cold water. If he wants him to die, he kills the creature. If he wants the patient to recover, sets the creature free.

A wizard loves solitude. He is always found murmuring. When he converses, he seldom looks at the person in the face. He always casts his glance away from the face of the person to whom he is talking.

To expel the magic spell of the wizard on the body of the victim belongs to an expert called the MANGAGAS. Without mercy, the mangagas inflicts physical injury on the patient's body. If the patient is truly bewitched, it will not be the patient to suffer the injury inflicted but the wizard. To find out whether a person is bewitched is by no means hard. Just compare similar fingers of both hands and, if you find them not alike both in length and shape, then you know that a person is bewitched. It is believed that the BORABOR of a fish called locally a PAGI and the sea CORALES expel away the power of a wizard.


1. Never there to live upon round-shaped edible things such as beans when the corpse of a dead relative is still in the house, for doing so, will eventually make you suffer from rotong-rotong in the face which will appear after a few days after the burial.

2. Never allow yourself to fall into a hypnotic state when you are sitting on a bench by a corpse, because this will make you drowsy all the time even when you are engaged in a friendly chat with your chums.

3. It is a bad omen to meet a person sneezing on the steps of your ladder. The sneeze is a warning of approaching danger which a traveler may likely encounter on the way.

4. When a male occupant of a house makes a loud sneeze on his mat late at night, and is still in a hypnotic condition when an elderly person questions him, something regrettable will soon happen.

5. If the lowing of a cow made late at night is not responded to by any animal in the neighborhood, there will be danger that is fast approaching.

6. When a certain bird cries WIT! WIT! as it flies over the house where one of the occupants of the house is sick, it is safe to infer that the patient will never recover.

7. The members of the bereaved family should not swing their arms as they convey the corpse to the place of burial, if there aim is to bar completely the dead from haunting one of them.

8. Refrain from leaping and jumping as you convey the newly born liters to your yard, if you want them to cause less destruction to your neighbors.

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9. As soon as you set your foot on the shore after a long voyage, don't fail to run. If you don't run, your sea sickness will continue long.

10. It is believed that swallowing a handful of earth shortly after you are bitten by a poisonous snake will automatically stop the pain and the danger arising therefrom.

11. Even at the present time, many of the old folks believe that the branches of a tree heavily laden with fireflies at night are useful to fishponds. The presence of these branches will no doubt attract a swarm of fish to live in the pond and never will they desert it.

12. The lizard's TUCKOO, TUCKOO, over the household rice container and the sudden bursting of fire in the stove are signs that some friend will soon pay you a visit.

13. Many of the zealous Catholics of the town still have the belief that placing an improvised cross on a site upon which a new house will soon be constructed is a good test to find out from without whether the site is a favorable site for a new home. After leaving the cross the whole night, examine it closely the next morning. If you find the cross to have been moved or has suffered any change in appearance, it is safe to infer that those who died in that place will not allow you to build your new home there.

14. While you are in the process of planting a field, never forget to build an improvised cross at one edge of the field. Say MAMATIAC in a whisper and when you reach that part of the prayer which says ADDA PANAGUÑGAR TI LASAG, begin to sew the seeds or transplant the seedlings. By doing so, you will be rewarded by having exceptionally good crops.

15. When a house lizard makes a loud sound of TUCKOO over the cargos in the hold of a sailing vessel, it is proper and fitting to postpone the voyage or to get back the cargos. If you don't heat the warning of the lizard. You will remain long in the place of landing because of the failure to dispose off the wares due to oversupply or due to low prices.

16. After you are convinced that the rice you cooked has been thoroughly cooked and is ready to be replaced into the dinner pail at the outset of a contemplated trip, examine the rice closely. If right at the heart of the whole cooked rice, you still find uncooked portions in the form of an egg, it is advisable to postpone the trip.

17. The safest way to do in order to prevent unluckiness after a sow has given birth to an all female litter is to give them away or to kill them instantly.

18. Bañgar trees are believed to be the abodes of supernatural beings such as PUGOT AND HEADLESS PRIESTS.

19. Three ways of getting a charm or talibagot:

If you have set your heart on getting a charm or talibagot, erect a platform around a banana plant whose unopened bud is about to swoop down. Station yourself on this platform and be always on the alert to catch anything that falls from the unopened bud when it bends down and to assault with your sword any supernatural being that comes to grab the charm off you. This being ceases to seize the talibagot after several days of an ending struggle, but don't get weary because the possessor of the talibagot has a greater advantage over his enemy. With

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The charm in your hand, you can station yourself in the air and descend to earth for food and drink at any time you want to.

Here is another way of getting a charm. At daytime, preferably in the afternoon, manage to dig a hole in a remote place inaccessible to human beings and animals. The hole must be deep and wide enough to hold both your feet in a place when you lift your reclined body and seize the charm you covet to possess. But eight o'clock, you must be in the church so that you are ready to tap every post of the church when the bell tolls. Then, hasten back to the place where you had dug the hole and fold your hands over your breast as if you are dead. At about midnight, you will be approached by a headless priest with a book in his hands. At that time, make it a point to rise noiselessly and keep lifting your body little by little until you are in a position to grab the book from him and flee. He will be at a loss to spy on you because his attention will be concentrated wholly on the religious rites. After you have seized the book from his hold, stand immediately and flee away as fast as you can. To avoid being seized by him, open the book and find yourself rising in the air as fast as the wind. And the poor headless priest will wail for his lost book forever.

There is still another way of getting a charm. On Good Friday, before twelve o'clock, go to the forest with you watch set to the right time. When the watch points to twelve o'clock, rush here and there and be on the alert to notice any unusual thing. Take the thing home but see to it that it's kept outside of the house. If you happen to enter the house or the church with it, it will instantly perish and lose its power. So as not to lose its freshness and charm, keep it in a bottle containing coconut oil. The superior and exquisite delicacy of its fragrance has the power to allure, it is believed.

20. If you want a newly-born child to be courageous and brave, follow the advice of the old woman. Just after the delivery, take the clothes used and the CADCADUA to the river. Go to the river directly, never turning your head. Avoid conversing with anybody you meet. You can only converse with anybody after you have washed the clothes, hung them on a wire to dry and put a bolo unnoticed beneath the DALAGAN.

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A long, long time ago, there was an old couple. The old man was called Takio and the old woman was called Ekay. They had a son three years old and a daughter four years old.

One suppertime, Takio said, "Ekay, every time we eat, we have only the bones, the head, and the tail. What shall we do in order to have more?"

Ekay answered, "We better throw the children away."

The next morning, the old man took the children to the forest. They walked and walked till they reached the middle of the forest. Takio said, "My children, stay here. I am to fetch our food."

"Yes, father," answered the children.

Father left the children and never returned. The children waited for their father but they could not wait for him. They slept there. When morning came, they walked and walked so that they found their way home. They reached home but could not go up because the house was locked. They slept under the house. When Ekay threw her urine, it was thrown exactly at the faces of the children. So, they cried. The father heard them and said, "My goodness, my children are here again. Tomorrow afternoon, I'll take them farther."

In the afternoon, Takio took the children again to the forest. At this time, they were not able to find their way home. For one week, they had been subsisting on wild fruits.

One morning, a big dog went to them. The big dog said, "Let us run a race. If I beat you, I'll eat you up. If you

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beat me, you will own the forest and the gold of my master."

"Yes," said the boy.

As the race started, his sister gave him a bone. When the race was going on, the boy threw it. The dog hunted for it a long time so that it was left very far behind. Because the dog lost the race, the boy became the owner of the forest and the gold. Both brother and sister were very happy then.

As years passed, they owned a big house and a wide land. Takio and Ekay became beggars.

One morning, they happened to go to the house of their children. The children recognized them, but the beggars just stared at them blankly. The girl called them in and both children related their stories to their parents.

Takio and Ekay asked for their children's forgiveness, which was granted. Since then, they lived all together happily in their children's big house.

Respectfully submitted:


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Once upon a time, there was a cranky king. He lived in a far-flung country with his three fair daughters. He was known for his old, old ways of dealing with his kingdom and his three princesses.

He kept his daughters and the kingdom in complete isolation. By doing so, the daughters became unsociable human beings. They lost their attractive and entertaining qualities and personal graces. They were practically unknown to and unseen by young men of whatever rank.

The country, too, did not progress. It was greatly handicapped in practically every respect: trade, commerce, education, and internal defense. Everything was in the same old, old way year in and year out.

These things did not make him happy. He wanted to have a change. His first concern, however, was his daughters. He greatly lamented over their long maidenhood. He only had one son but he was not in the kingdom because he had fled with his secretary.

To effect his wish, the king ordered his minister to send out criers throughout the kingdom. They were to announce that he wanted to give out his daughters in marriage to young men of high birth upon successfully accomplishing a special errand.

The following were used as incentives: the gentlemand to whom the first princess would be given in marriage would be made a duke and would be given two castles; the second princess's husband would be given a castle and would be made an earl; and the youngest princess's husband would be made a baron to take


Transcribed from:
History and Cultural Life of San Manuel, Pangasinan, 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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