MUNICIPALITY OF IGUIG (CAGAYAN), Historical Data of Part 2 - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF IGUIG (CAGAYAN), Historical Data of Part 2 - Philippine Historical Data

MUNICIPALITY OF IGUIG (CAGAYAN), Historical Data of Part 2

Municipality of Iguig, Cagayan



About these Historical Data

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1951 - 1954

Chief of Police
Mr. Graciano Battung
Mr. Honesto Pedralvez
Mr. Pablo Arcalas
Mr. Mariano OƱate
Mr. Higinio Montilla
Mr. Canuto Arao
Mr. Manuel Banatao
Mr. Macario Banatao
Mr. Julio Garcia
Mr. Pedro Gacias
Mr. Guillermo Pingad
Mr. Salvador Liguigan

The following are the historical old ruins of the town:

1. A church brick well constructed in August 1768, situated on the hillside just east of the churchyard, is still good but needs cleaning. This was the only safe source of drinking water during the Spanish times and the early part of the American. When the artesian wells were constructed during the Commonwealth Government, the well was neglected. It is said that the skins and bones of carabaos and horses were thrown into it during the Japanese occupation.

2. The brick steps west of the churchyard leading to the Cagayan River was constructed at the same time as the church. These steps were especially used by the Spanish priests and the governor-general who came to visit the town by sailboats. It is now neglected, for two good roads leading to the centro from the river were constructed by "La Insular" and the "Compania General de Tabacos."

[p. 12]

3. Ruins of the brick kilns are still found in the sitios of Salamagui, Ajat, and Nattanzon. It is said that the bricks used in the construction of the church, the convent, the well, and the steps were baked in those kilns.

During the Spanish times or the year 1898, to be exact, there was a cholera epidemic. It was the worst history known in the history of this town according to the old men and women. Many whole families were attacked and died of it. So many were dead in a day that carts and sleds were used to carry the dead to the cemetery. It is said that as many as 10 to 20 persons were buried in a hole at one time. The disease was so dreadful that even those carriers sometimes were infected and, as a result, about one half of the peopulation died before the epidemic could be controlled by the authorities.

The people were superstitious and believed in anything they heard. It is said that monkey skeletons were hung at the gates or at the doors of homes to drive away the disease. Others were advised to heat iron pieces such as old bolos, plow points or plow shares, and put these into the water which they drank. Although those might not have been very effective, they still did it for they had no other recourse.

In April 1904, there was a great conflagration that burned all the homes in the centro except four. Most of the people were in their farms gathering and sticking tobacco leaves. The fire originated from a bamboo grove in the southwestern part of the town. It was windy at about one o'clock in the afternoon when the fire began. The people left in the centro were so few that they were not able to control the fire. Besides, water was scarce, for there was only one well, the church well and the river and the brooks were quite far. The dried tobacco leaves that were brought to town and the corn and other personal

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belongings such as clothes, jewelry, and furniture worth about ₱280,000.00 were burned, with their houses. They had to content themselves eating squash, bananas, and vegetables without rice. The Americans in Tuguegarao were so generous that they gave little succor to the people. They provided them some flour, canned goods, clothes. Transportation from Appari and from Manila was so difficult then that the people had to suffer long before they could rehabilitate themselves.

During world war ii the japanese looted almost everything that the people had such as jewelry, money, rice, pigs, goats, and vegetables, etc. The people, due to their fear, evacuated their homes and went to live in the forest and in the barrios far from the town. The evacuees remained in their new homes until the Japanese officials appointed the local officials. Many people suffered from diseases, especially malaria, and what worsened it was that there were no medicines. Many people died. Angered by the death of two of the soldiers, the Japs burned several houses and the American forces, because of the wrong information given by S-2 agents (for they reported the presence of many Japs), burned the rest of the houses, leaving only three in the centro and some in the barrios.

In September 1942, the Japanese authorities in Tuguegarao appointed our local officials. The following policemen were appointed in addition to those mentioned previously: Mr. Reymundo Piedad, Mr. Vicente Pamittan, Mr. Faustino Pamittan, and Mr. Luis Sedano. By October of that same year, classes were opened only at the centro and at Malabbac. Very few pupils were enrolled. The Central School building was, at first, used, but later it was evacuated for the Japanese soldiers occupied it so

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the classes were transferred to private houses. Few books were used, for many of the books used by children before the war in December 1941 were not returned. The instructions were similar to those prescribed by the Bureau of Education before the war, only that Niponggo was included. The main theme was the implementation of the Influence of the Co-Prosperity Sphere in the Orient. Owing to the constant fear of the pupils and the teachers, very little was accomplished. Religious services and other activities were neglected. Looting and stealing were rampant not only by the Japanese soldiers but also by the civilians. The people were leading to a very corruptible life and behavior in order to live. The moral and spiritual life of the people was getting worse day by day. This was due to the fact that many of the people could not engage themselves in farming, making home gardens, etc. They had to wander from place to place in order to hide from the cruelties of the Japs.

In 1945, the Americans returned. They liberated the Philippines. The soldiers at once distributed rice, canned goods, clothes, and medicines. Under those circumstances, the American soldiers did whatever they could to help the Filipinos from their miserable conditions.

Then, the PICAU, PRATRA, and other organized associations came to the rescue of the poor Filipinos. Clothes, canned goods, medicines, and other relief articles from America were distributed free. The people were becoming happy and were thankful to the great benevolence and charity of the American people. The Filipinos began to cultivate their farms and raised whatever they could. Schools were opened and the old teachers were recalled. In the beginning, those resident teachers who taught during the Japanese occupation were not recalled for they were branded as collaborators, and only those who didn't teach opened the classes.

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Some teachers had to be imported. Finally, in August 1945, when the collaborators were, perhaps, exonerated, they were recalled and then the imported ones were sent to other places.

The American government showed again another act of benevolence by sending the War Damage Commission to the Philippines. They paid the losses of the people as a result of the war. Private and public buildings were built. Roads and bridges were repaired and constructed. Peace and contentment came to reign in the people's hearts.

Part II

1. Birth - During the early days, untrained midwives and quack doctors were called to assist mothers as they delivered their babies. When a mother had a difficult labor, the husband would go to a certain wonderful tree to pray and beg the spirits to help his wife. At times, easy labor was attributed to the assistance of a good spirit.

Some persons put the newly-born babies on winnowers to be heated over flames, jerking it from time to time. They did this for they believed that if done so, the baby would live long and happily.

At present, the people have become more scientifically-minded and are now employing the services of trained midwives and physicians.

2. Baptism - As a rule, the baby was to be baptized a few days after birth. Failure to do so meant that some evil spirits would linger about the baby. Besides, the priests would double the baptismal fee.

Usually, the baptism over every first-born baby was [torn] celebrated. They spent so much for the celebration that [torn] indebted after the occasion.

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3. Courtship - The suitor usually served in the girl's home. Sometimes, it took him a year or more to serve before a final decision could be made. When the parents liked the man, they sent a reply to the man's parents accepting the love offered and inviting them for a conference to set the date of the wedding. The above practice is believed to be a very formal way of proposing to a girl for marriage.

A less formal manner is one where it was made verbally. As usual, the girl's parents were notified of the coming of the man's parents on a certain day. If his mission meets with success, the man's parents would begin to prepare chocolate, cakes, and wine. He would inform his relatives about the coming affair. A spokesman was designated among them. Likewise, the girl's parents did the same. When the day came, the man's relatives gathered in his house to carry the foodstuffs and other things to the girl's house. The spokesman from each party would talk about the affair. Of course, everything they said originated from the parents of both parties. After coming to a conclusion, the chocolate, cakes, and wine were served. This practice is still observed.

4. Marriage - After the suitor has been accepted by the girl's parents, preparations for the wedding celebrations began. The groom's parents prepared for the wedding trousseau, the wedding Mass fee, the pieces of jewelry, pigs, rice, cakes, dessert, wine, mat, blanket, etc. Sometimes, a cow or a carabao was sacrificed for the occasion. When the young man was not ready to meet the financial needs, he would sell his only piece of land or the only carabao he had to satisfy the demands of the girl's parents.

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The wedding day was usually set with reference to the positions of the moon and the stars, with the hope that the weather would be fair. If the moon was its last quarter, no wedding would be held for it was believed that the couple would lead an unhappy life or that either one of them would die early.

Having the wedding day carefully selected and set, the bride and groom were warned not to take a bath ont he eve of their wedding lest it would rain. For that reason, they had to take care not to bathe for they were after a successful celebration.

At 12 o'clock noon on the vesper of the wedding day, all the things needed for the celebration were carried to the bride's house. Usually, a band would lead this group of persons. Upon arriving, someone, preferably an old woman, would lead a prayer which consisted of "I Believe," "Our Father," and "Hail Mary." Then, they were asked to come up, placing all that they brought in the middle of the house. The things were inspected by the relatives of the bride. If they met their approval, the celebration was pushed through; if not, the groom's parents had to produce what was lacking, otherwise the wedding would be put off.

Early in the morning, the bride was dressed by an unmarried lady whose parents were both alive. Orphans were not allowed for the bride would die early. After the groom was dressed, he awaited his bride at the stairs of her house, accompanied by his mother, who gave her a dowry as she went down. Then, both bride and groom marched to the church followed by their sponsors and a long line of relatives and friends, for the ceremony. Two pairs of young ladies and young men were designated as candle-bearers and veil sponsors. It was believed that if the light of a candle was put out during the ceremony, the

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bearer of the candle would die early. If the veil fell, the person from whom it fell would die early, too, so that the sponsors had to be careful.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds, together with the sponsors, proceeded to the convent to sign the marriage certificate. Then, they went to the bride's home for the celebration. The great merryment lasted till sunset.

Before dinner was served, the "gala" was conducted. This was the giving of dowry by all those present, especially the relatives. A native music, "Mascota" or "Osse," was played. The bride stood first. As the music went on, the relatives of the man put their "gala" on a plate beside the bride. When they thought that everyone of the man's relatives had offered, the groom's turn came. All the relatives of the girl were called to offer theirs to the groom. Then, the dowry was counted and handed to the bride for them to start a life. Soon after, dinner was served. The groom and the bride sat on each end of the long table. Before the bride ate, her mother-in-law, who was always with her, gave a dowry in the form of money of any amount. After eating, another dowry was given again. The same was done to the groom by his mother-in-law.

The "Mangalaoig" or getting the pillow and mat for the young couple was the next part of the wedding. This was done in the afternoon. The young couple, together with the relatives of both parties, marched to the groom's house with the music of a band or an orchestra.

Late in the afternoon, everybody went home, except those designated to return the dishes, pots, tables, etc. and to put down the improvised shed where the feast was held.

In the evening after supper, they had the "padurug-c." This

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meant that the young couple was asked to go to bed together and to rise at the same time in the morning by any mother-in-law or any close relative old woman. Some of the people, especially among the common mass, still cling to this old way.

5. Death - Burial and Festival - As to these matters, nothing was said of them as curious, funny, or superstitious beliefs.

6. Punishments - During the Spanish regime, when the authorities caught a thief, he was asked to carry the thing stolen and was paraded along the streets with a policeman behind him. If he stole an animal, he had to carry either the head, the bones, the skin, or the meat. Besides, he had to shout this statement, "Do not imitate me because I am a stealer."

In case of adultery, their hands were bound together with an iron chain and paraded on the principal streets guarded by a policeman or two.

For a slight offense, the culprit was asked to lie flat on a bench face down, and was whipped severely. After this ordeal, he was released.

For No. 28, page 5 of the General Memorandum No. 34, 2. 1952, only the following could be given:

Earthquake: The people believed that Baby Jesus holds the world in His hands. Whenever He gets tired because of the weight of our sins, He will lay it down. Thus, it causes the earthquake to move irregularly.

Sun and moon: When either the sun or the moon was encircled by a rainbow, it is believed that a very important official will die or an epidemic will occur. To prevent these, the people pray their novenas.

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For Nos. 29 to 31 on page 5 of the same memorandum, the collections are herewith attached:

Methods of telling time or special calendar:

1. The most practical way of telling time was by the position of the sun.

2. Another was through the use of the stomach. It is believed that when one begins to feel hungry, it is time for cooking.

3. A third one is based on the crowing of the cocks. This is especially observed in the early part of the morning.

Other folktales:

A long time ago, there were no storms. It was said that God was very much pleased with all the young ladies who married early. He wanted them to multiply early in order to occupy the spacious earth which He created.

By the time the Spaniards came, they educated our young people not to marry early. Many were convinced, and so several of them refused to get married no matter how much their parents would persuade them. God was not pleased with the idea. He punished them by making them emit flotus strong enough to cause a storm. That's why to this day, whenever a strom comes, they say that it is caused by the spinsters.


Transcribed from:
Historical Data Regarding the Town of Iguig and Its Barrios, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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