by Braulio de Villa and Fenny B. Bayta
San Juan Community School (school year 1952-1953)
The facts of history are made known through he compilation of information, true stories, folk lores, fairy tales and gathered from reliable sources in the community.
The one great aim of this workbook of the Historical and Cultural Life of San Juan, is to present to the young pupils, laymen and salient of the history of this community gathered from stories, information and ruins of the community.
The use of this workbook will necessarily give them a broader knowledge of the community of San Juan. The contents of this workbook may not be so complete to its full detail but is open for more additional subjects so that it will give better picture of the true life of San Juan.
If this simple history be of some help to the people, then it will justify the efforts of some
who have wholeheartedly cooperated in helping prepare compiled the contents of this work book.
Thanks for the full cooperation of Mr. Gregorio Buita, Mr. Rosendo Benosa, Mr. Domingo Badilla, Mr. Amado de Austria, Mrs. Paciencia Bitagara who in one way supplied the materials found in this work book
Part I – The Origin
Past and Present Official Name
The present official of the barrio is San Juan. Long, Iong before this official name came into existence, this part of the municipality of Baao was known as “Visita” as the people of the town called it. Often other people called it the “mountain’ locally known as Bukid, just because the people of the thought that San Juan is a part of Ki-Agang (Iriga Mountain) due to the fact that Iong ago it was still a vast thick forest that extended as far as Ki-Agang. Often as historians reveal that people from the town come to this part of the world to gather fuel, vegetables, and snails called boso which were in great abundance in the forest, San Juan being near a natural tributary, the Waras river.
One will wonder and ask how why this barrio named San Juan. During the Spanish regime the people were converted to Christianity in the faith of Roman Catholic. Deeply rooted in hearts they embraced the Catholic faith paying homage to Godly Saints. A devoted Roman Catholic named Roque Badong, a native of San Juan commonly called “Orphanel” owned one of the first images of San Juan. (Roque Badong was the great, grandfather of Mr. Quirino Bongcayao). The late Orphanel built a wooden chape1 for the image. Being a devoted Roman Catholic the people agreed to name the barrio San Juan in honor of the Patron Saint, San Juan. This how this barrio got its present official name of San Juan.
Originally San Juan comprised the barrios of San Juan, San Vicente, Bagungbayan, Sagrada, even as far as Pugay and Gulagnan. As years go by, the sitios and barrios became more thickly populated. Population increased by leaps and bound. Political intrigues aroused the desire for self government became the mandate of the people in far off places. The first to separate and formed into another barrio declaring themselves- free from Juan was San Vicente, in year 1905. Pugay ceded from the the union in the year 1921. And Bagungbayan in the year 1947. This separation and formation of new barrios made San Juan a small barrio.
One interesting incident in connection with the settlement of the boundary of San Juan took place in the year 1847. This boundary dispute arouse when long ago some land-seekers from Nabua wanted to enlarge their lands by extending their claims as far as Sinagpan near Bagungbayan. Suspicious of the evil designs of these land grabbers, the people of San Juan resisted and opposed them. Lead by the famous and brave leaders, the Esplana brothers, the people of San Juan fought and drove them back. There was a bloody encounter resulting in the death of some invaders and native settlers. Because of the blood that were shed during the encounter and the dead that were piled near the river, the place became known as “Pinagtinaan” which means Bloody Ground.
Now to settle this dispute it had been agreed by the people of San Juan and Nabua that whoever could plant a banner much higher in the mountain of Ki-Agang, would be the rightful owner of the disputed area. Runners from San Juan and Nabua raced up the mountain and planted the said banner. It happened that a native of San Juan, who knows the short-cut way up the mountain planted the banner much higher than the one planted by the Nabua runner. So by rightful settlement, San Juan became the rightful owner of the area as far as Sinagpan. If the claim of Nabua materialized, it would have extended the boundary limit of Nabua as far as Bagumbayan.
Historical information and ruins reveals that the first center of religious and social activities of the past was near the Waras River. The old ruins of the barrio chapel could still be seen as you stand or pass on the National Highway facing the opposite side of the road that leads to Sagrada. When the first public school was organized near the present school site that the barrio chapel was moved and transferred near the school so that religious and educational activities will go hand in hand with the social activities of the community.
Leading Families Past and Present
The Benosa Family was one of the original families of San Juan. Juan Benosa, the father of Mr. Rosendo Benosa, a public school teacher at present, became a Teniente del Barrio and Cabeza de Barangay during the Spanish times.
One of the well known families of San Juan today is the Flor Family, known as Garong. The late Pablo Flor was responsible for having such nickname that all descendants having a family name of Flor is called Garong too. His habit of drinking too much tuba from bamboo tubes called garong made him adopt such a nickname. Not Only known as Garong this family became known in the educational field of activities. Mr. Benedicto Flor, the son of the late Pablo Flor, is at present the Supervising Principal of one of the district of Camarines Sur. Mr Antero Flor who for many years was connected with the Bureau of Public Schools is at present the Municipal Mayor of Ocampo.
Often called the Barrio of fair Beauties San Juan is known to shelter ladies of fair and beautiful complexion . Mr. Feliciano Badilla known as Tiong Pili is the father of the beautiful Badilla sisters.
The Barramedas was one of the original families of San Juan. Leocadio Barrameda was
the great great grand father of the Barramedas at present in San Juan, and one of his offspring is Mr. Gregorio Buita, who belongs to the fourth generation.
Now at present the families of San Juan are the conglomeration of families from other towns and provinces. Due to the intermarriages with the people of Iriga, Nabua, Bula and other towns the family names became more and numerous.
Location, Area and Population
The barrio of San Juan is 1ocated in the Eastern plains of the munipality of Baao, along the National Highway and the Manila Railroad. It is bounded on the North by the adjacent barrios of San Vicente and Bagungbayan, on the south by Sagrada and the Manila Railroad, on the East by the Waras River that separates the town of Baao and Iriga, and on the west by San Vicente.
The land surface is as a whole level and mostly cultivated. The land area is about 120 hectares of cultivated lands planted to camotes, coconuts, vegetables, bananas and varieties of native fruit trees. San Juan has approximately 1,300 inhabitants mostly settled along the National highway. With the cheap means of land transportation one can travel easily from the eastern side to the western end of the barrio in less than five minutes through good and smooth road. There is no road however that traverse the northern part of the barrio except the few trails that extend from the road to the northern most part of the barrio.
Products and Industries
Coconut is the leading and one of the most important products raised in the community. Hundreds of people depends upon the coconut industry of their daily bread and butter. Copra is made from coconut. Tuba is another product derived from coconut. This affords also another source of income for the people. Under the coconut plantations, vegetables, camotes, bananas and fruit trees are raised. Sometimes rice is planted under the coconut groves since San Juan has no rice land of its own.
The Tuba Industry
The tuba industry is one of the few industries upon which which hundreds of people engaged into.Tuba is a sap derived from the buds of the coconut is either made into vinegar or wine. Locally and elsewhere in the islands, tuba is drunk as a beverage which has the same effect as any other manufactured liquor. At normal times, one can have tuba for the asking. in the early morning, one can hear the tap-tap up among the coconut trees of a tuba producer which means another tube-full of this wholesome and tasty beverage — the tuba. The mananguitero chips off the bud of the coconut three or four times a day to produce more and better tasty sap. Early in the morning tuba vendors brings the tuba to the market for the consumers.
The Educational Set-up of San Juan
Way back in the year 1905, the people of San Juan dreamed of sending their children to school. They organized the first pub1ic school under the tutorship of one Mrs. Potenciana Britanico, the first public schoo1 teacher assigned in this barrio. Classroom activities were conducted in a borrowed house owned by one Mr. Nicolas Barrameda . There was no permanent schoo1 site at that time. A year 1ater the schoo1 was transferred to Bagungbayan, at that time a part of San Juan. For reasons which until today is unknown, the schoo1 was transferred back to San Juan, a site infront of the present school site which was donated by one Mr. Lucio Benosa, This time Mr. Melquiades Badilla was assigned to take charge of the class. 0nly grades I & II were opened. The following teachers were assigned in the years that followed. Miss Felisa Fajardo, Mr. Leoncio San Buenaventura, Mr. Felix Guevarra, Miss Antonina Adan, Mr. Doroteo Bona, Miss Braulia Botardo, and Mr. Perfecto Baliber. 0ften the late Mr. Luther B. Bewly, who at that time was a supervising teacher and later the Superintendent of schools for the Division of Camarines Sur, dropped and teach the pupils of San Juan.
Other teachers were subsequently assigned in this barrio. We have Mr. Mariano Luzentales, Mr. Rosendo Benosa, Mr. Doroteo Parco, Mrs. Estefania B. Buena, Mr. Antero Flor, Mr. Andres Bancaso, Miss Lucena Lanuzo, Mrs. Josefina Ramirez, Mr. Francisco Fajardo, Mrs. Poblea Relativo, Mr. Manuel Benosa, the Mamacho sisters, Miss Ade1ina Imperial, Miss Rita Abina, Miss Adela Santuto, Mrs. Amparo Barcelona, Mrs. Felisa Badong, Mr. Braulio de Villa and Mrs, Fenny B. Bayta, the present teachers at this time
Long before the Japanese 0ccupation the people deemed it wise to move the old school site to its present school site by buying a half hectare of Land so as to accomodate the ever increasing school population. Pupils from neighboring barrios of Bagungbayan, Sagrada, San Agustin and San Isidro flock to San Junn for accomodition for those barrios could not accomodate their school chi1dren. Or may not have school at that time. During the Japanese Occupation the schoolhouse and other school improvements were destroyed. Classes were abruptly stopped. Many children were then out of school and were then thirsty of educational and cu1tural advancement.
After 1iberation, school was organized to its pre-war status. Intermadiate classes were organized too under the 1eadership of Mr. Manuel Benosa, the Head Teacher. This was due because there were many children who were out of schools during the Japanese occupation. But now at this time of writing the school population is decreasing year by year due to the financial problems that that confronts the school year in and year out. School financies are solely born by the uncomplaining PTA , from the purchase of school site to the construction of schoolbui1ding, toi1ets and other schoo1 facilities. Often the problem of seating the pupils became a burden of the Parents Teacher Association. At one time the members of the association were asked to furnish desks for the pupils which the National or Municipal Government cannot afford to give. Records reveal that the maintenance of the school building from the time its was organized in the year 1908 up to the present year 1953, was born by the uncomplaining and sometimes complaining members of the P.T.A. in particular and to the people of San Juan in general. No record show that the National or Municipal Government ever alleviate the burden of the people by at least constructing a semi-permanent school building if not permanent one which the people of San Juan wi1l be proud of. If ever there was one it was only words and nothing but words spoken of during election days. But after election all those words fade away 1ike clouds.
The Roman Catholic is the predominant religion among the masses of San Juan. About 90 percent of the people are Roman Catholic and the remaining 10 percent is divided among different religious sects. Most prominent is the protestant faith championed by the Buffes, Mr. Gregorio Buita, Mr. Diego Bisuña and Mr. Narciso Sumayao. Then there is the Jehova’s Witness, who among others are the components of the Christian Faith.
List of Teniente del Barrios
- Mr. Eusebio Felismenio
- Mr. Nicolas Cagra
- Mr. Nicolas Barrameda
- Mr. Pablo Flor
- Mr. Ejeno Flor
- Mr. Francisco de Jesus
- Mr. Pio Besenio
- Mr. Felix Beliber
- Mr. Segundo Flor
- Mr. Otillio de Jesus
- Mr. Simeon de Jesus
- Mr. Cerilo Beroin
- Mr. David Zamodio
Important Personalities and their Nicknames
Persons can be identified, located and found not only by their true names but by their nicknames which become known to one who become familiar with the place. If you happen to take a stroll among the nooks and corner of San Juan, you will constantly hear the following persons with their corresponding nicknames which are often hurtful or joyful to the one concerned.
- Pablo Flor- Garong for his habit of drinking tuba from a bamboo tube
- Fortunato Aquino – Lonoc
- Francisco de Jesus – Botoan
- Gregorio Benosa – Toclo, Tuwad
- Diego Bisuña – Dies y ocho
- Rosendo Benosa – Tagbuon
- Lorenzo San Buenaventura – Rait
- Pio Besenio – – Barsa
- Eneliano Tataro – Wagwag
- Patricio Beosa – Sandig
- Julian Beltran – Curio
- Francisco Biando – Maalnas
- Gregorio Buita – – Labos, Alas
- Victerio Bufete – Dinailan
- Narciso Sumayao – Icrat
- 0tillio de Jesus – Tuwad
- Rafael Benosa – Gacos
- Floro Benosa – Orooro
- Blas Cadag – Ocampo
Traditions, Customs and Practices in Domestic and Social Life
When a child is born, the delivery is usually attended by the local midwife. The summoning of the physician is only done when the delivery is so difficult when it is beyond the ability and knowledge of the local partera.
After several days from birth, the child is baptized. The parents chooses the best name they could think of for the child or refer to the names of in the calendar of birth, called almanac. Others who are quiet interested in socialites and movie stars derive their child’s name from them. When the name is finally decided, the parents request god-parents preferably persons whom they think could help in the proper moral building up of the child. On the date set aside for the occasion, the parents prepare for the invited relative and friends. To enliven the ocassion tuba is served, without which the party is dry.
The courtship of the barrio swains and lasses has still the touch of antiguity. Only a few which can be just counted among the fingers seemed now to be greatly influenced by the extra-modern way. When a young man falls in love with a lady of this place, he tries as much as poss1ble to be in good terms with the girls relatives, aside from being courteous and humble towards the girl’s parents. If he ever does the other way it is very obvious that he will have a hard time winning the girl’s love. During the early part of the courtship, the young man shows his true love by bringing to the girls home especial eats of different sorts 1ike fish, fruit, vegetab1es and drinks. The man still expresses his Love through Sunday evening visits and serenades.
After a short period of time, if the girl shows sympathy to her 1over, a close relative of the man is sent to the girl’s house to talk with the parents. The purpose of which is to inquire whether the parents of the girl has not yet compromised to, any other man except this present lover. This is called the “bantolin”. All information learned from the inquiry are related to the party concerned. If the inquiry turns out to be favorable the grooms parents plan up for a “pamalae’.
The traditional pamalae is done parents of both parties. The kind of dowry to be made by the groom’s party is the most talked about topic at this stage. After the pamalae the young man render his services at the girls home with out any form of compensation. This is called “pagmamanugang”. When the young man is prepared with the dowry, his parents go back to the girl’s parents and give the amount as agreed for the dowry. At this stage the date of the wedding is agreed. Often the form of wedding celebration is left to the discretion of the young man’s parents.
Marriage ceremonies are done by the church ministers of the town. After the church ceremonies, the couple together with the sponsors proceed to bridesgroom where a sumptuous breakfast and dinner awaits them, often the celebration is simple or pompous. If it is simple only very close relatives and friends are invited to the occasion. If the celebration is pompous most of the barrio folks and friends attend the celebration. Pigs or even carabaos or cows are butchered for the occasion. The feast last for one or two days. At the close of the wedding day, special attentions are made the newly weds for the purpose of accumulating money. This is the “pabuntog”. Relatives and friends of the bride are seated on one side of the table and the grooms kin and friends on the other side. The couple, with a bottle of wine, a glass and a saucer goes around their relatives and offer them glass of wine. If the person being offered happens to be the brides re1ative the groom offers the wine, the bride telling the groom what he shall call the person now that they are married. If the person is the grooms kin the process is done vice-versa. After drinking the wine he drops any amount on the plate. This process is one way of fostering family re1ationship
Deaths and Burials
Death is usually announced by a sad and mournful tolling of the church bells, It is the traditional practice of the people to have several vigil hours from the time of death to the time of burial. In the evening some friend and relatives of the deceased come to chant songs dedicated soley to the dead. Drinks, as wine tuba and boyo and tobacco are served to pass the dreadful and weary night. Other friends and relatives give some amount to the bereaved family as death aids. The immediate members of the bereaved family wore mournful attire. The female wore long thick black veil and males a sash or black clothes. During the funera1 the dead is dropped in the church for a dapit. Church ceremonies are said for the repose of the dead. The dead is buried in the church cemetery. A novena or misterio as people call it is said for ten successive days. The bereaved family wears black cloth for several months as a symbol of their mourning for the dead.
BELIEF, INTERPRETATION AND SUPERSTITION
- Rainbow seen in the west foretells of approaching calamities.
- Days ahead appear dreary and ominous if the belongings of a family have been destroyed by mice. Death might befall a member of the family or any close relative.
- Dreaming about falling teeth, wealth, fishes and meat is interpreted by the people as a bad sign.
- When a star is seen just at the point of a new moon it is interpreted as warning for travelers. Snakes go rampant anywhere. When the star happen to be between the points, it is a bad sign for mothers who are nearly to give birth.
- If earthworms goes out of the ground and crawls around during hot dusty days the folks foretell coming of rainy days and nights that may cause flood.
- If the New Year coincides with a full moon it is a sign of good weather during the coming days, but the forth coming days are rainy.
- The married life, is believed to be a bright and prosperous one for the couple if they have been sprinkled upon with rice when they went up the house from the church.
- The newly married couple should not come up the house after the ceremony unless, somebody gives them a few centavos.
- The people had a bad interpretation if the coffin collide or touch the sides of the door when brought down for burial.
- A newly married couple should not be met by widow, or widower
- The folks believed that if lizards sound at the middle of the house-roof, means a coming of visitors. If the sound is near the door, the visitor is believed to be just a few meters away.
- Most of the barrio people still believe that aswang goes around hunting for tubercular persons at night. They too believe that if aswang is within the premises of the sick person’s house, the patient feels very uncomfortably warm
- People believe that invisible being dwells in big trees and houses. If a person happens to do harm or destroy any thing of this invisible being, this
person becomes sick and only a quack-doctor( para bawa) can restore him to normal condition. Quack-doctor summons all the invisible being for their aids in restoring the sick person to his normal being.
- People believe ia the invisible being called the “Patianak”, which is the enemy of pregnant woman. If the delivery is difficult and abnormal this patianak is said to be in the premises of the house causing hardships and difficulties of a the part of the mother.
- The “Mangkukulam” is another kind of superstition among the barrio folks. It is a ball of fire seen in a haunted place during dark evenings.
- The “Pantasma” is the most feared evening apparition. It’s believed that the Waras River is haunted by this apparition. Often during the dark hours of the evening
specially when it is rainy, this pantasma would sit on the bridge and extend his legs from one side of the bridge to the other side, smoking a big cigar. He does no harm, and would just let passersby go free.
- Antes na mamundag an pangnaney na aqui, Cadacul na an saiyang enot na aqui — BATAG
- Cahoy co sa Roma, Tolo si sanga, Saro si bunga, Saiba ba mainog, Sa itaas maulog — an-pañguros
- Naghuhuba si magurang, An aqui nababadoan — Cawayan
- Naeenot si pasagui, Nahuhuri si pisi. — Dagom
- Nangaqui si Virgen, Hangologolog si lampin — Puso nin batag
- Tubig sa maricandican, Dai naooranan, dai na anldawan — Niog
- Ari an santon nagcacacan nintao — campo santo
- Cun nacagacog malinacao, Cun nacabutas matinucao — Sapatos na may sintas
- Saro, coahon mo si saro, mawawalat man guiraray an saro — calayo
- Arin na bubuhay sa quinaban, na an sapoon maputi, nag sañga nin cagdua, Nag dahon nin trienta —
- Arin nabubuhay sa quiraban na anom si poon, saro sana si dahon —
- Limang magamigo parariho si apeliedo — an limang aldao nin Semana Santa
- Candila sa poon, Ramillete si dahon, si bunga cacanon —
PROVERBS AND SAYINGS
- Minsan ca macanos, Gumibo ca nin matenos, Ta naogma an gabos
- An tao con iguang rimpos, Saro, dua, tolong pisos, Minatalicod na sa Dios,
- Minatoki, capua boñgui.
- Magaano aco can dai, Marhay si oya igdi.
- Cun a salog hararom an tubig ay imong.
- Cun ano an itinanom, Iyo man an paquiquinabañgon.
- Cun an tubig macaraocasao, An salog ay hababao.
- An naglalacao na maluay, Matonoc man hababao.
- An tomobod sa sabi, daing boot na sadiri.
- An laog can puso, Ipinahihiling can ñgoso.
- Tuctukon man an laman pati tulang, Dai pa ica macababayad sa magurang.
- An tapayas, dai mamumunga nin bayawas
- Dain utang na dai pagbabayadan
- Cun sa tubig nacua, Sa tubig man mawawara.
- Uri man con pogot, Basang sana si naenot.
- An boñgog sa hulit, Sa apdo capait.
A Legend of How Anoling Spring got its Name
In the o1d, old days when San Juan was so young a barrio, no Ano1ling Spring cou1d be heard neither could it be seen in their dreams. This was so, because in the place where this spring can be presently found, only an Anoling tree stood, with short grass around it. People going to and from the barrio frequently passed by this tree and found the spreading branches a nice and pleasant shelter, especially at noon. Large vines can be seen clinging to its branches.
Many persons had attempted to cut down this tree for lumber but always failed. The people believed this tree to be inhabited by some unseen being. Whenever one dares to
cut down this tree, they seem to be told by some kind of powerful thought telling them not to go on any further. Then they just stopped and never attempted again. So then this tree grew to be very large. It stood there for a long, long years serving as shade for the weary travelers.
If you happened to be there, you would have found the the place very relieving, but you would have craved for just one thing, the presence of drinking water. Even people living near walked some distance away to get water. Many had planned to dig a well near by but met with failure.
The years flitted fast. The tree became old, The branches which once had been the travelers shelter dropped and broke. One after another, the tree which was once filled with grandeur and once evergreen all the year round was now slowly nearing its end. Even the trunk seemed to be weak, worn and withered. What now can be expected from this tree? Even the tired passers by never bothered to linger just for a short time. The place seemed to be useless to the people. Very few people passed by the place and no more by-standers visited the place. The tree itself wanted a rest.
One, very windy day there was a loud crash heard in the place where the Anoling tree stood. The people ran to see what it was, and to their amazement it was the Anoling tree broken just a few feet from its base. The people then began cutting it to small pieces for firewood. One man who happened to be cutting the wood near the base saw a wet portion in the middle of the base, due to a slight oozing water. He was so curious about it so he called some of his friends to help him dig the roots to find where the water came from. The men had not even finished digging all the roots, when a real spring sprung from where they dug. They did not dig any further. They now saw that where the big Anoling tree stood once was a real spring, where they and all their neighbors could get their drinking water. Now it is not the shade of the tree they enjoy but the cool refreshing water they take from it. From that time, people young and old frequent the place again not for the shade of the Anoling tree but for the water to quench their thirst and refresh their bodies and souls. That was how Anoling Spring got its name.
AN CANTA NI NANAY
Patorog na Nonoy, Na siring sa lana
Na cun dai dangdangon, Caya mapagmata
Patorog hare pag-puslaw, Ta daguiton quitang cuwaw
Iogpa quita sa danaw, Lolay, Sa kahoy na haralangcaw
Patorog hare pag halo, Daguiton quitang culago
Iogpa quita sa rao Lolay, sa cahoy na daing tao.
SI NANAY SI TATAY
Si nanay si tatay dico babaya an
Balaguid na boot an sacuyang utang
Si pag dara saco nin siam na bulan
Gatas na sinoso di co mabayadan
Ay nanay ay tatay, cun aco maraot
Pugotan nin payo ibontog sa salog
Cun mahiling nindo nanag anod-anod
Ay nanay ay tatay sapoda man tolos.
SI MANANG PULANA
Si Manang Pulana namiminuet sa bobon
Sinubad casili pantat ang binaton (repeat)
Si Manang Pulana may batag na saba
Dipa nag susuwak sinisinapot na
Siisay nag sapot si Mariang quipot
Siisay nag tienda si Mariang buta.
Duñgao duñgao aber fenis, Duñhawa ining nasasakit
Ang puso co sa paga hadit, An giaran mong sinasambit
Cun iyo man sanang maabtan, Mag titios nin casaquitan
Marhay pa aco magadan, madia doloc saco ngonian..
Duñgao, duñgao sacong rañga, Duñgao sa simong bintana
An puso co sa pagdusa, An ngaran mong sinasamba
Cun iyo man sanang madatiñgan, Mag titios ining buhay,
Marhay pa acong magadan, Madia doloc saco ngonian.
Sisne cong padangat, naorog cagayon
Saco buminihag, haloy nang panahon
Sa gabos na horas, Ica an guiromdom
An bilog cong isip, Simo natitipon.
Y por consiquente, Dai nang basulan,
Saco nang tinios, Manga casaguitan,
Baco sanang saguit, Cundi cahorihan
Can mañga amigos, Simo gabos guican.
Dico matitios, Na pag hilngnon taca,
Na sa ibang camot, O sacuyang rañga
Nasimpil sa boot, Na ica maguita
Hermosong laog mo, Sa puder nin iba.