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BUREAU OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Division of Cagayan
Piat Central Elementary School
Piat, March 7, 1953
HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE TOWN OF PIAT, CAGAYAN
The town of Piat is a plateau bounded to the northwest and south by fertile plains through which the Chico River flows. On the eastern part are hills rich with useful trees and various forest products.
Before the Spaniards came, the place was inhabited by primitives — the Kalingas and Negritoes. These natives were war-like and lived by hunting and fishing. They were wild, and most of them fled to the hills when the Spaniards arrived.
As marked in the old church bell dated 1777, this town was formerly called Pias. This name also appears at the back wall of the ruined Sto. Domingo church. They say that there used to be numerous pias trees (addulu), so that when the town of Piat was visited by a certain person who happened to hear a certain word from the natives like "piat" for pias or addulu, he started to tell visitors that this place was called Piat. The town of Piat has another way of pronouncing words ending with "s," and for this reason, perhaps, the town bears its name up to the present time. The people of this town, even now, pronounce Santus as Santut, Martes as Martit, etc.
There is no existing record of the exact date of establishment of the town. The story of how the town was governed by the Spanish encomenderos is rather sympathetic. When the Spaniards occupied the place, the town became more or less theirs. The natives rented their own fields and paid "canon" or tributes to the settlers. According to the History of Cagayan by Judge Nepomuceno, in the year 1600, the warlike natives revolted and killed most of the Spanish settlers. They could no longer stand the abuses of the Spaniards. The missionaries who came later were sympathetic to the natives. In 1604, many of them were converted to Christianity, although most did not forget their superstitious beliefs.
The town officials during this period were the gobernadorcillos who were called "captain" after he had held office. Next in rank was the teniente mayor who was also a member of the town council. The following were some of the ranking officials in the latter part of the Spanish regime: Domingo Baliuag, Antonio Oñate, Mones Baliuag, Manuel Genoveza, Vicente Casibang, Bonifacio Gannaban, Fructuoso Sto. Tomas, Eladio Lejos, Miguel Casibang.
Some interesting historical sites and structures are mentioned here. The brick stairs south of the Ermita (Chapel), overlooking the Chico River, were built by the Spanish friars. The stairs led to the river below where they used to take a dip. This neglected piece of beauty still exists. The Sto. Domingo church, constructed sometime during the 17th century, still stands looking something like the "ruins of Rome." Other historical remnants are the brick blocks found in al-
most every corner of every street. These were used as bases for street lamps (farol).
The Americans, led by Captain William M. Hawkins, arrived in town sometime in 1898. The present gobernadorcillo was then Don Vicente Oñate. There were no Spanish settlers except the Almacineros who refused to evacuate; and the Spanish priests, Fr. Joaquin Garcia and Fr. Santiago Cabduvilla. The American soldiers occupied the town for almost a year. The soldiers left, but Captain Hawkins stayed and married the daughter of Capitan Bonifacion Gannaban.
The Japanese forces entered the town in July 1942. Most of the people evacuated, but some stayed. There was no resistance. Mr. Sabas Casibang was appointed mayor and Luis Aquino was vice-mayor. No destruction was made in the town by the Japanese soldiers. The American soldiers came, but no casualty was inflicted. Just a few persons were grilled and punished by the Japs, being suspected as spies for the guerrillas.
The town officials after American liberation were Mayor Salvador Villacete, his vice Mr. Luis Aquino, Treasurer Mr. Ventura Durian, and Councilors Mr. Vicente Baliuag, Mr. Mariano Agustin, Mr. Calixto Javier, Mr. Domingo Salagan, and. Mr. Sixto Callueng.
LEGENDS AND TRADITIONS
Piat is a small town situated on a plateau along the Chico River in the Itawes District. According to tradition, this town was founded in the seventeenth century by the Spaniards.
When the Spanish missionaries were traveling through the mountains of Luzon, exploring and marking places favorable as sites for poblacions, they came upon a plateau covered with forests. Here, they found the natives — the Kalingas and the Negritoes, who had languages of their own. They were primitive, but they were very kind and submissive to the missionaries.
This plateau was said to have been forested, but most of the trees were "camias," known as "addulu" in Ibanag and "pias" in Ilocano.
According to church records, Book of Baptism No. 1, 1823-1868, this town was first named "Pias." The change from "Pias" to "Piat" was due to the way the natives pronounce some words ending in "s." Examples of some of these words are "Luit" for "Luis," "Lucat" for "Lucas," "Miercolit for "Miercoles," etc.
According to the History of Cagayan by Judge Vicente Nepomuceno, before the Dominican friars arrived in the Itawes region, Piat had been occupied by the Spanish encomenderos. In 1600, all the
Spanish settlers in this town were killed by the natives for having abused them. From that time, the Spaniards were afraid to stay in Piat. A missionary, however, managed to pacify the natives and, in 1604, many of them were converted to Christianity. A Mass was celebrated in this town on August 24, 1604. On May 1, 1610, the Dominican fathers designated Sto. Domingo de Guzman as the patron saint of the town.
In 1740, Fr. Francisco Gimenez erected the first church and convent in this town. This was burned in 1865 and immediately, Fr. Isidro Rodriguez rebuilt it with galvanized iron roofing. Fr. Ubaldo Barrientos was the first Spaniard who encouraged the people to plant fruit trees. Fr. Jose Guromato stated that the people were God-fearing and law-abiding. The only other revolt of the natives recorded after the great massacre of the Spaniards in 1600 was caused by the order of the Spaniards to use hats, shoes, and formal attire during holidays. They were much against the idea that they revolted.
According to the Ibanag history by Fr. Julian Malumbres, the image of the Virgin Mary was carved by a Macao sculptor in Macao and was brought to Cagayan by Bishop Diego de Soria in 1604. At first, she was placed in an altar in Lallo and named Santa Maria del Rosario. Later on, the image was brought to Piat by a group of priests who made an altar.
As years rolled by, the priests who came on a mission to the Itawes region ordered the making of a similar image in Manila. The face and hands of the new one were made of ivory. This was taken to Piat and exchanged for the old one. The latter was taken to Tuguegarao and an altar was made for it. The people of Piat did not like the new image, so they protested. To satisfy the people's protest, Fr. Juan de Santa Ana, who was the Vicar of Piat, got back the old one.
In order to stimulate a greater devotion to Saint Mary, Fr. Juan ordered the construction of a chapel between Piat and Tuao, where they placed the image. On December 26, 1623, the first Mass of that chapel was celebrated. A procession was held from the Sto. Domingo Church to the new chapel, and more than 10,000 people attended.
The old folks of Piat traditionally related the story that, after many years, an old woman dreamt that the image of the Blessed Virgin wanted to be transferred to Piat. The people of Tuao, in their desire to get her to their place, sent a group of men to carry her, but to their surprise, the image was very heavy that they could not even move it. Later on, only a sexton from Piat carried her easily and brought her to the place where she is now.
A chapel was then constructed on July 2 sometime in the 18th century, and her first Mass was celebrated. Many people from different towns and provinces of the Cagayan Valley come every year for a pilgrimmage. Her name was changed from Santa Maria del Rosario to Santa Maria de Visitacion de Piat.
There are two outstanding miracles of the Blessed Virgi Mary as recorded in the six chapters of Ibanag History by Fr. Julian Malumbres.
Doña Ines Magulabbon, with her niece, stayed in the chapel to take care of the Virgin Mary. For some time after 1623, the little girl suffered a serious swelling of the left shoulder. In the course of her suffering, she prayed fervently and asked for the help of the Virgin Mary to relieve her of her ailment. Shortly after, she was surprised to find herself completely relieved from her suffering.
In the course of time, the people of Piat and Tuao suffered from a complete drought and they could not produce anything in their fields. The people of Piat, complying with the sermon of the parish priest, made confessions and received communion to relieve themselves of their sins. A procession of the Blessed Virgin was held around the town. The people were so devoted in their prayers that, in the evening of the third day of the novena, there was a downpour in the whole town. The people of Tuao, who were also suffering from the same effect of the drought, did the same and, instantly, there was a downpour, too. There were many more miracles of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
There are a few legends about the inhabitants of the town. One of the known legends is about a man whose surname was Baliuag. He must have been a sorcerer that he became famous and was also greatly feared by the people. Once, he had an encounter with the Kalingas, and one by one, he put them down; thus, he became a hero of the place. He had a brother, too, who was the most voracious on earth, for he could eat one big-sized beef leg for breakfast only. He was known as Lego. From these brothers sprang the ancestors of the inhabitants of the place.
REPORT ON CUSTOMS, TRADITIONS & PRACTICES
IN DOMESTIC AND SOCIAL LIFE
On the date of the wedding, the man's relatives prepare a cow or carabao to butcher, not less than to cavans of rice, cacao and other eats. Such preparation is made for a month or more. When the food is ready, a shade for the dining table is erected. If the girls house is small, another shade (called a sarong or salon) is erected. The arrangement is that the groom must buy the complete wedding ensemble and place these in a new trunk which the couple will use in the future. Sometimes, if the gown is not attractive, it is brought back and the man must purchase another. If there is anything lacking, words or notices are sent to the man.
Everything must also be prepared on the vesper, like the butchering of animals and decorating of the dance hall. Early in the morning of the wedding day, the band plays the "Diana" and the girl must get up to dress. Before she dresses up, the groom's parents must give her a silver peso. After that, marches down with the band. She walks ahead of the band from her house to the church. The groom walks behind. After the ceremony, the couple marches back to the house. Before they reach the house, two chairs are made ready to carry them up. When they reach the stairway, a pot of rice is showered on them to wish good luck, and both must ascend the stairs at the same time. The belief is that the one behind dies ahead of the other. When they are already up, they kneel together in front of an altar and a prayer is said. After that, the newly-weds dance first. During the merrymaking — two plates are prepared for the "gala." A pair of old people are asked to dance a native dance called the "mascota" and curtsies to the guests. The guests then give money of any amount. The money given is kept by a relative of the groom after it has been counted. During the dinner, another money giving event called the "palanglang" is made. The money is added to the first amount. Late in the afternoon, table is prepared. The newly-weds, relatives, parents, and the sponsors sit around. A chief spokesman gets the money and announces the total amount. Then, money is given to the groom, who in turn, hands it to his wife, who timidly receives it, too. These are the marriage customs in this locality. No honeymoon trip is observed at all.
If the dead belongs to a well-to-do family, the priest goes to the house to bless him before he is taken away. Care must be taken when the dead is being brought down the house that the coffin must not touch any part of the house, for it is believed that another will follow him soon. If it is possible, the priest follows the dead with prayers and with a band playing a solemn piece. The near relatives wear mourning garments for a certain number of days from nine days to one year depending on the relationship. Women cover their heads with black mantles while the men wear black pants and camisa, or just a strip of black cloth around the left arm or a black piece pinned to the pocket.
Few are buried in tombs due to the lack of cement in the community. A grave, one and one-half meters deep, is dug, and the coffin is slowly lowered into it, followed by a solemn prayer. Friends & relatives throw small lumps of earth into the grave before it is entirely covered. A cross bearing the name, date of birth, age, and date of death is planted at the head of the grave. After the burial, the survivors and guests go back to the house to pray and eat. To some, the survivors must not go out or eat food cooked in a carajay until they offer something to the new moon.
When a child misbehaves, he is pinched by the mother or whipped by the father with a horse lash or belt. The servants are sometimes knocked on the head or pulled by the ears. Some parents keep their children in the bedroom without food. Others punish by requiring the children to kneel down in front of the family altar for an hour or two. Landlords punish their lazy tenants by taking away the lands from them or by asking them to work in their homes for a certain number of times.
The ancient way of tying the culprit to a post or a bench and lashing him till his body bleeds has long been exterminated.
LEGEND AND ORIGIN OF THE WORLD
The people, being Catholics, believe that the world was created by God. The sun, moon, stars, and everything, including our first parents, Adam & Eve, are believed to have been created by Him. Adam was the first man and Eve was created from his rib.
The changes of climate and other weather conditions are at God's will, so that when there is a drought, storm, epidemic, or other catastrophies, a novena is said to a certain saint to intercede for them.
Some even believe that the earthquake is caused by Jesus Christ playing with the earth, or the saint holding the world transfers it to another hand.
The eclipse is caused by the sun and the moon fighting for power over the earth. When an eclipse takes place, it is concluded that a high government official or prominent person will die.
Thunder is believed to be the result of the gritting of the teeth of a monster with sharp, long, and big teeth.
When the new moon appears, the first one to see it takes a lump of soil at the foot of the stairs and throws it at the moon, at the same time reciting a sentence which runs thus — "Oh moon, take away my misfortunes and give me good luck." When a star is seen to be at the point of the moon, the conclusion is that there will be much bloody fights; or when the star is seen being enclosed within a white ring, a prominent person will die. When a star is being seen at the back of the mooon, there will be much quarreling between husbands and wives which may even result in divorce.
On February 2 (two), when the bell rings at the end of Mass, some people whip the fruit bearing trees with a coconut broom so they will bear plenty of fruits. Nobody is also allowed to walk along the tobacco farms for the worms will invade the leaves.
When the fowls cluck all at the same time, it is believed that a house will be burned or a mishap will take place. When dogs bark as if in a sorrowful way at long intervals, it is said that they see the dead and the dead are around the house to visit the family. When the house lizard chirps at the stairs in a hurried way — someone is arriving. If it chirps in the kitchen where the utensils are kept, visitors will come and stay to eat.
Lightning is believed to be the result of heat at cold meeting together. It kills persons, animals, and plants, or burns houses. So, persons must use the palms blessed on Palm Sunday as crowns or dampen the forehead with vinegar to prevent themselves from meeting any mishap.
If a conceiving or pregnant woman is fond of eating twin fruits, then sooner or later, a twin will be born unto her.
People here are also firm believers of witchcraft. If somebody gets sick, he is believed to be a victim of witchcraft. A quack doctor is called upon who requires the patient to take in oil which is called "poli" in the local language. If the patient spits blood, it means that he ate the poison. The treatment by a physician is delayed or neglected due to superstitious beliefs.
When a person gets sick, a doctor is called to attend to him. If the patient does not immediately get well, a quack doctor is called, too.
Methods of measuring time are by looking at the position of the sun and measuring the shadows of posts, persons, and trees, during the day. At night, people tell the time by the barking of dogs and the crowing of cocks; the positions of the moon and stars; and also by the singing of the Philippine oriole.
The popular games are basketball, softball, and volleyball. Competitions among students and outsiders are held. The middle-aged play mahjong, checkers, bingo, and cards. Some others still amuse themselves in the cockpit on Sundays or on holiday afternoons. At times, there are also shows by the propagandists of Purico, Covo, etc. — the USIS or the traveling show. Most of the people are socially minded.
The songs are the kundimans and verses in Ibanag. The youngsters are well-acquainted with the latest song hits due to the several radios and sound systems that they hear.
A LOCAL SONG
Osse, osse, osse
Nami-c anne-c ta dulse
Apam mu ta tumala
Nungca tu mammilisiya.
Que pia na nga iripa-c
Y balabaddi nga awa-c
Metallugaring ta sinnum
Nga corte na de balun.
Osse, ta osse, osse
Napis nga babay oye
Cuan na y malladdaladdo-c
Ananoy, ananoy, nassissing-ngo-c.
1. Pinatec ya ina na
Ta cayat ku ya anac na.
I killed the mother
Because I love the daughter.
2. An ayan tallu nga ulo,
Meddag kan attu.
There are three heads
Waiting for someone to carry on.
3. Nu umuttad e mabisin,
Nu umunec e mabbatug.
BALDI YA VUVUN
When it descends, it is hungry.
When it ascends, it is satisfied.
4. Mon na nga mas sombrero,
Mapozzan nga malam ma.
First, the hat,
Then comes the dress.
5. Nu algaw, lauat.
Nu gabi ulad.
It is a tube at daytime,
And flat at nighttime.
6. Kabatuan ti uneg,
Kasiitan ti ruar na.
It is stony inside,
And thorny outside.
7. Adda asuk nga burburan,
Agtugtugao iti kasiitan.
I have a fluffy-haired dog,
That is siting on thorns.
8. Aramid nga aramid ni ama iti balay na,
Ngem bin-ig nga tawa iti malpas na.
My father is always building a house,
But he accomplishes nothing but windows.
9. Agkarkaradap ni ina na.
Agtugtugao ni anak na.
The mother is crawling,
While the son is sitting.
10. Sinigpat co ni tanubung,
Silaw co nga nagudung
Sinigpat co ni aludig
Silaw co nga nagawid.
BULAN KEN INIT
I cut a branch of talahib
To light my way to my crib
I cut down an aludig tree,
To light my way home.
MOON AND SUN
11. Sangkagalip nga rabung,
Silawan na ti intero lubong.
A slice of bamboo shoot
Can give light to the whole world.
12. Adda kabalyuc nga putut,
Saan nga mangan iti ruut,
Ngem mañgan iti sabsabut.
I have a short-tailed horse,
That does not feed on grass
But feeds on coconut shell.
1. Olu bi y baggui
Urian y paqui uagui.
Help yourself first,
Before you help others.
2. Curug tu aru ic cayu,
Nga ufunan ira na mammanu,
Ngem egga laggapa in natullo-c
Nga dummucan na alipapappo-c.
Many are trees, it is true
Where birds perch to rest, as they do,
But a certain tree is selected,
Where fireflies at night are gathered.
|3. Nu y panaquitan ay panolian.
You may hate a thing
When you have many to choose from
But when you have nothing better,
You resort to the former.
4. Mapia ka labbi-t ta sañgao
Quegga ni dagua nicao
Pano noca ni dagua
Manoli ka ta ziga.
You may be alright because
Of your wealth now,
When your wealth is gone,
You go back to misery.
5. Mapia la y maguid-dao,
Anne-c ta mattacao.
|It is better to ask than to steal.
6. Lañgi-t marenu nga innan,
Marib-bo-c nu maccumam
Cunnud gapa na-t tolay
Nu labbetan nam maracay.
The sky looks clear
But when there are clouds
It looks dark compared
To a man's life when
Misfortune befalls him.
7. Y zila cunna lanseta,
Y bibik cunna garsic.
Watch your tongue for it is like
A sword, and your lips because
They are like a pair of shears.
Be careful with your speech.
8. Aoan paga ta sangaw,
Egga ta urian nga aggao,
Aoan paga ta baggim
Egga ta wauagim.
You may not have it now,
But you may have it in the future,
You may not affect yourself,
But your relatives.
9. Gafu ta nacalec na,
Ta payong seda burdado,
Linicuram mo y ananga
Y olu nagangua nicao tam mapia.
Because you have found a new friend,
You have turned your back towards
The ones who had served you first.
10. Ari ca ñga mamappalla't
Bagu ka la nappaya't
Bulauan paga y cucuam
Ammu-c ic ginafagafum.
Don't be pretentious,
For I know your beginning.
11. Pacienciam mu la abbing,
Y cuman a magasasin
Lubbe noca y lurung
Cumac ka tac gustom.
Be patient with your lot,
Though how miserable it is,
Time will come when
You will have everything.
12. Napatupatu y dalan
Nacamaga y darafugan.
There is much to put on clothes
But there is very little for food.
13. Managuihi ca ta gayang,
Manutu-c ta matam.
You will bring up someone,
Who will be the first one to hurt you.
14. Mapia la y mammula ta
Napia nga pangapangaua,
Panaddamman nam maya't nu cuan
Na't Dios tu matayya'c.
It is better to sow
Good deeds for the people
To think of you
When you are dead.
15. Ari macua ta-c cabbing
Macua noca ta pafuro na iming.
What may not have happened
In the past
May happen at any moment.