MUNICIPALITY OF CALAMBA (LAGUNA), Historical Data of Part I - Philippine Historical Data MUNICIPALITY OF CALAMBA (LAGUNA), Historical Data of Part I - Philippine Historical Data


Municipality of Calamba, Laguna



About these Historical Data

[Note to the reader: The initial pages of this document in the original file at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections are missing. Hence, the transcription begins at what appears to be the second or third page of the table of contents.]

[Table of Contents]

n. Sickness
o. New Year Holiday
p. Easter Holiday
q. Miscellaneous

II. Early Courtship, Betrothal, and Marriage Customs

a. Marriage Customs and Traditions
b. Mga Kaugalian sa Panliligaw at Pag-aasawa Noong Unang Panahon

III. (A) Filipino Proverbs and Sayings

a. Courtesy
b. Honesty and Truthfulness
c. Helpfulness
d. Cleanliness, Neatness, and Orderliness
e. Courage and Bravery
f. Punctuality and Promptness
g. Thrift and Economy
h. Cheerfulness
i. Labor and Industry
j. Patience and Perseverance
k. Sportsmanship
l. Self-Control
m. Obedience
n. Patriotism

(B) Mga Salawikain
(C) Mga Bugtong

IV. (A) Our Folkways

a. Greeting and Addressing Customs
b. Medical Customs
c. Children's Cures
d. Sickness

(B) Customs and Practices in Domestic and Social Life

a. Kissing the Hands
b. Respect for Parents when Answering
c. Neighborliness

V. Myths and Legends

a. Lecheria Hill
b. Marya Makiling (Tagalog)
c. Ang Alamat ng Dalawang Ilog sa [unreadable]
d. Ang Alamat ng Araw, Buwan, at Bituin
e. [unreadable]

[Table of Contents - continued]

VI. a. Forms of Punishment during the Spanish Regime
b. Traditions Regarding Death
c. Traditions Regarding Baptism
d. Birth
e. Witchcraft
f. Namamatanda
g. Ang Uhiya at Balis
h. Methods of Measuring Time
i. Puzzles
VII. A. Ang Pamahiin ay Gumaganap ng Isang Mahalagang Tungkulin sa Pangaraw-araw na Kapaniwalaan.
B. Pamahiin sa Pagtatanim
C. Sa Digmaan, Peste, Kaguluhan, at Kamatayan
D. Sa mga Dalaw
E. Sa Ulan
F. Kidlat at Kulog



When we delve into the past, we find it replete with important historical events. We are led to an understanding of the home and community life, the social evolution, the folklore, traditions, and customs of the people which are of paramount importance in the education of an individual. The acceptance of the fact that education begins at home formed the basis for the inclusion in the Social Studies objectives of the study of the home and community in the first, second, and third grades.

The stories about the origin and growth of the town of Calamba and the part it played during the Philippine Revolution were obtained through interviews with Mr. Segundo Alcaraz, the old man who has a wonderful memory for names and dates. The articles about the Japanese Occupation, the massacre and retreat, were gathered through the observations and experiences of some of the members of the committee. The articles about the presidents and mayors were taken from the pictures found in the session hall of the Calamba Municipal Building and from interviews with Mr. Segundo Alcaraz and Mr. Leandro Uichanco.

Acknowledgements are due the members of the committee: Mrs. Trinidad R. Carpio, Mr. Pedro Carpio, Mr. Pacifico Banaticla, Mr. Pedro Alvarez, Miss Rosalina Arambulo, Ruperta R. Mendoza, and Miss Josefina Didasa for

[Foreword - Continued]

they exerted in gathering that data through interviews and observations.
Members of the Committee
Trinidad R. Carpio
Pedro Carpio
Pedro Alvarez
Ruperta R. Mendoza
Rosalina Arambulo
Pacifico Banaticla
Josefina Didasa
Ronald [No surname written]

[p. 1]


Many stories have been handed from generation to generation about the origin of the town of Calamba, but there are no records to prove their authenticity.

A legend told by an old man says that many years ago, there was no town of Calamba. The next town to Cabuyao, and old town, was Bay. When the Spanish friars came, they asked the ruler of Cabuyao for a piece of land as big as the skin of an animal for pasturing their animals, which would provide them with milk. The town officials agreed, but the wily priests cut the animal skin into very thin strips and got as much land as could be enclosed with the strips placed end to end. They were able to obtain a very vast tract of land which they called hacienda. Then, they built a large building which the people called hacienda and built a church near it. At first, the northern boundary was the San Cristobal River, but the friars kept moving their fences until Mamatid became the northern boundary. Those friars used the small hill in the west as their pasture land for their animals and named it Lecheria from the Spanish word leche, which means milk.

1. Words for study:


2. Questions:

a. How did the friars obtain a vast tract of land in the town of Calamba?

[p. 2]

b. Why is the hill in the southwestern part of the town called Lecheria?


Another story accounts for the name of Calamba. The Spaniards who surveyed the land that was formerly a part of Cabuyao met a woman who was carrying a big jar. They asked her what the place was called. She could not understand their language and, thinking that they asked her for the name of the jar she was carrying, she answered, "Calamba." The Spaniards called the place Calamba and the present town still retains that name.

1. Words for study:

surveyed formerly

2. Questions:

a. What does Calamba mean?
b. Why is this town called Calamba?


After Rizal's death in 1896, the people of Calamba experienced a period of terror. News leaked out and spread from mouth to mouth that the Spanish officials had a grudge against the Calambenios and believed that most of them were connected with Rizal. When Rizal left the Philippines for Spain, he carried with him a letter written to the Queen of Spain explaining the abuses suffered by the landholders in the town and signed by many of them. The people believed

[p. 3]

that the letter fell into the hands of the Spanish authorities, and they feared for their safety. They then left Calamba with their families and evacuated to Silang, Cavite. Only the Spanish officials and the collaborators stayed.
The revolutionists made plans to take the town by assault. In the early morning of Wednesday, June 1, 1898, a group of Filipino soldiers under the leadership of Felipe Belarmino entered the town from the east by way of the San Juan River, and another company under the leadership of his brother Melquiades Belarmino entered the north from the barrio of BaƱadero. General Paciano Rizal was to enter from the west by way of Lecheria. When the Spaniards learned of the attack, the soldiers and the priest and the Spanish residents of the town concentrated in the hacienda, a big building near the church surrounded by a wall, and in the church. The revolutionists stationed themselves in the yards behind the houses about two hundred yards from the two buildings and fired whenever a Spaniard appeared in the window. As they had a few guns, they fired firecrackers when they fired their guns to make their enemy believe that they were well-armed. The Spaniards had plenty of guns and fired in the direction of the shots. The siege and the intermittent firing lasted for three days. On the second day of the siege, the Spaniards raised a white flag. The Calambenios came out of their hiding places to confer, but the enemy opened fire on them. They ran for cover and [erased] fight. In the morning of the third day, the [erased]

[p. 4]

"casadores" from Lipa arrived to aid the besieged Spaniards. General Pacino Rizal's soldiers met them at Bantayan in front of the present Cine Makiling. A small cannon was placed in the middle of the street and the soldiers hid in the canal at the side of the street. As the enemy approached, the man firing the cannon could not hit the piston but when the enemy was very near, he had the good fortune to strike the proper place. The shell exploded and the bullets, which consisted of pieces of iron, swept the advancing soldiers. Those who escaped unhurt ran back and retreated for safety. The Filipino soldiers ran after them and drove them away as far as the barrio of Real. Many guns were collected from the fallen Spaniards.
In the afternoon of the third day, as no help arrived and because the Spanish soldiers in the church and the hacienda had no food and water, they surrendered. The CalambeƱos under Paciano Rizal then controlled the town. They could not feed and guard the Spanish captives, so they gave them as servants to the wealthy residents who fed them only as compensation for their services. They remained servants until the Americans captured the town and liberated them.

1. Words for study:

period of terror

2. Questions:

a. Why was there a period of terror in Calamba after Rizal's death?

[p. 5]

b. Where did the people of Calamba evacuate?
c. Fill in the blanks in the following sentences:
(1) The Filipino soldiers who entered the town from the east were led by __________.
(2) Those who entered the town from the south were led by __________.
(3) The Spaniards were concentrated in the __________ and __________.
(4) The siege of the town lasted for __________ days.
(5) Spaniards from __________ came to help the besieged Spaniards.
(6) The Spaniards surrendered because they had no __________ and __________.
(7) After the surrender, Calamba was under the rule of __________.
(8) The Spanish captives were made __________.


I. Gobernadorcillos or Capitan Municipales:

1. Estanislao Herbosa
2. Lamberto Alcala
3. Gervasio Alviar
4. Francisco Salgado
5. Juan Salgado
6. Andres Salgado
7. Calixto Llamas
8. Luis Elazegui*
9. Lucas Quintero - 1884-1886
10. Luis Habania* - 1896-1888
11. Matias Belarmino
12. Nicolas Llamas
* Confidence in the transcription of these names is low because of blurring.

[p. 6]

13. Cirilo Ustariz
14. Eusebio Elepanio 1896-1898

II. Cura Parocco

Padre Rufino Collante
Padre Leoncio Lopez
Padre Gavino Reyes
Padre Gavino Anionuevao
Padre Tomas [no surname]
Padre Candido Garcia Valdez
Padre Saturnino Gomez
Padre Valentin Taniag
Padre Ricardo Gatdula
Padre Teodoro de la Cruz
First Spanish Priest

III. Juez de Policia

1. Vicente Bancain
2. Juan Bandola
3. Eduardo Alcanitez
4. Pablo Escala
5. Procopio Pabalan

IV. Maestro Municipal

1. Domingo Reyes
2. Fernando Genoveso
3. Mariano Revilla
4. Juan Salgado

V. Sources of Information:
Mr. Leandro Uichanco
Mr. Segundo Alcaraz


News of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in the early morning of December 8, 1941 by Japanese planes spread quickly over the town. At about nine o'clock, the parents fetched the children from school and took them home. By ten o'clock, the schools were deserted and the people flocked to

[p. 7]

the stores and bought food and canned goods to stock. Before nightfall, the groceries were clean. During the days that followed, most of the people stayed at home fearing that the worst might happen at any time. Then, on December 24, 1941, at about ten o'clock in the morning, the people experienced the first bombing by the Japanese planes. It was repeated at two o'clock in the afternoon. Late in the afternoon, the people evacuated to the fields and nearby barrios. The bombing continued the next day, which was Christmas Day, and the evacuation of the town continued. On the twenty-sixth of December, Calamba was a ghost town.

On December 31, 1941, news spread in the evacuation areas that the Japanese Army was approaching the town, and that 50,000 Japanese soldiers were on their way to occupy it momentarily. Many of the people did not believe the report for they were made to believe in the government propaganda that our armies were successful in repelling the invasion forces in all directions, north, south, east, and west. Nevertheless, a seemingly endless procession of people carrying bundles of food and clothes trekked the fields in the afternoon and the whole night going to farther barrios. In the early morning of January 1, 1942, the vanguard of the Japanese invasion forces surprised a band of volunteer guards who were left to guard the town. They were captured by the invaders and made to work for them.

According to the eyewitnesses, the first Japanese soldiers to arrive in the town were on foot and weak from

[p. 8]

exhaustion. Some walked lamely while others rested by the roadside. After a short rest, the soldiers began looting the town. The Japanese opened the houses and the stores and got all the things they wanted. They got food, clothes, and the valuables that were left by the people who fled in a hurry. After looting the stores and houses, the Japanese soldiers left them open and the Filipinos who had the courage to stay in the town and go back and forth in turn looted what the Japanese left. A platoon of Japanese soldiers was left to occupy the town and the main troops proceeded on their way to Manila, reaching the city on January 2, 1942.

The Japanese who occupied the town used the Municipal Building for their quarters. Other soldiers who were not accommodated in the building moved to some big houses and the school building. In the schoolhouse, the Japanese soldiers chopped the desks and used them as firewood to cook their meals. They used books and important papers in kindling their fire. They gave passes to the people who returned to the town. They placed sentries in different places and required everyone who passed to bow. Many people, especially those who did not know the regulation about bowing, were called back, slapped in the face, and forced to bow.

The people who evacuated to the fields and barrios did not return, hoping against hope for aid to come. news spread that aid from America, China

[p. 9]

and Australia had already arrived and that the Chinese forces were fighting against the invaders in Northern Luzon. The Australians were fighting in the south and the Americans were fighting in the capital. But, as days passed into weeks, and weeks into months, and no aid came, and the Japanese still occupied the town, people returned little by little to their homes. Then, a new life began, a life which lasted for more than three and a half years, with the sword of Damocles hanging over everyone's head. When Bataan, and later Corregidor, which was believed to be an impregnable fortress, fell, the people became resigned to their fate.
The most noteworthy incidents during the Japanese occupation were the increase of the Japanese war notes, the scarcity of food, the fabulous prices of goods, especially foodstuffs, and the frequent arrests. The prices soared from season to season. In the first harvest during the occupation, palay cost seven pesos a cavan. During the second harvest, it cost one hundred pesos a cavan. Just before the liberation, a ganta of milled rice cost three hundred pesos. Business prospered and businessmen became millionaires. The army bought supplies at the market very market day, Tuesday and Friday, and paid for the goods with their new war notes. The businessmen and landowners accumulated much money, which was kept in jute sacks or buri bags, while the poor could not earn enough to pay for the rice they needed to live. They had to depend on substitutes like corn and camoteng kahoy or lugaw.

[p. 10]

The Japanese prewar residents of the town, the Takashita brothers and the Toshihide family, became powerful and were vested with the legislative, executive, and judicial powers. They played and important part during the whole Japanese occupation, acting as instruments of the army in collecting and confiscating rice and firearms, capturing the suspected guerrillas and torturing the prisoners. The pro-Japanese elements became spies and frequented the homes of the Japanese. Several times, the Japanese soldiers watched for the horses that were hitched to the carromatas, selected those that pleased them, and paid for the horses. The tracks and carromatas slowly disappeared, and the push-carts became popular.

After the first bombing of Manila by the American planes on September 21, 1944, the Japanese Army moved mysteriously. Sometimes, Japanese soldiers arrived at night and occupied the houses along the road. Once, the soldiers confided to us that they were going to Leyte. Each one cooked his food which consisted of a little rice, a few camotes, and a piece of ginger all mixed together in his mess-kit. Those soldiers often left the town in the middle of the night.

After the landing of the American soldiers in Leyte on October 20, 1944, the American planes frequently bombed the military objectives in the town of Calamba. On January 1, 1945, the munitions dump at the railroad station was hit directly. The shells spread in many directions and hit many

[p. 11]

houses. Many people evacuated to the nearby barrios, but returned to their homes after a few days.
The people learned about the landing in Lingayen and the rapid march of the American Army to the capital, but were at a loss as to what to do. Where was it safe to stay? Would it be safer to stay in their homes or to evacuate again to the fields and barrios? No one could answer the questions and there were no instructions from the government, so many of the people stayed at home.

1. Words for study:

ghost town
volunteer guards

2. Questions:

1. When was Pearl Harbor bombed?
2. What did the people of Calamba do when they heard of the bombing?

3. Fill in the blanks in the following sentences:

a. The first bombing of Calamba by Japanese planes was on __________.
b. The people evacuated to the __________ and __________ after the bombing of Calamba.
c. The stores and houses in Calamba were looted by the __________ and the __________.
d. The Japanese soldiers who stayed in the school building used the __________ and __________ in cooking their meals.


Transcribed from:
Historical Data of the Municipality of Calamba, Laguna, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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