ORIGIN OF NAMES

BANTAYAN BARANGAYS AND OTHER PLACES

(MYTHS OR FACTS)

1996

Engr. Claro A. Pasina M.E.

Note: 

Special thanks to the person that relate their stories: The Municipal Agriculture Office, PNP Bantayan Station and Barangay Officials for their unending effort effecting this compilation. Regret to say due to space limitation only the Barangay names were completed, other places had been culled. Probably in the near future publication of the remaining places would be printed.

ATOP-ATOP

Version 1.

In the dialect, if the word is doubled, this would mean similar or like the root word. Atop-atop would mean similar “Atop” or like “Atop”. The word “Atop” is root in English.

The hill which the barangay is situated is done in shape. Building which was constructed at that time was made like a dome to be able to have clay tiles as roof.  

This was probably the reason why the inhabitants at the time called the place as Atop-Atop.

Version 2.

The word “top-top” means peak, again the meaning and the location of the place which is high above the hill would be a logical choice to name.

Version 3.

Like version 1, the Barangay has so many stones similar to those of clay tiles used by the Spaniards to roof their buildings and houses. This also led as to believe that the derivation of the name came from.

BAIGAD

The word was probably a shortened combination of “Baybay sa Higad”. A certain area of the barangay has a cove where in at certain times sand would pile-up near the embankment and at other times transfer to the other length of the embankment. “Baybay” means sand while “Higad” means near. This demonstrates that the people then living in the area chose names that relates or describe their area.

BANTIGUE

The place is named after a tree. “Bantigue” is a local name of a tree. This tree would grow tall and can be an improving figure. The favorite soil which this tree trives is near the seashore. The Barangay is located near seashore.

BAOD

Generations ago, this barangay is encompassed with virgin swamps. In this swamp is the host of a bird species locally name “Balud”. This bird got its name from “Balud” meaning wave.

The reason is that this bird had a habit of playing with the wave on searching for food on the seas. The black bird, usually the size of a roaster had webbed foot similar to that of a duck. This bird usually flies on the seashore but when weather disturbance is near, and when laying eggs, it would seek shelter at the swamps. People name the place “Baludan”. Later as people changes, people way of pronouncing the word also changes. It was later shortened to “BAUD”, their much later when the barangay was officially name the spelling of “BAOD” was adopted.

BINAOBAO

Version 1.

The practice of naming places is mostly by way of describing the place. Binaobao, one of the three Poblacion Barangay is near the seashore. On the beach, was a site many sandbars or “pasil”. At lowest tide, the residents could see the beauty that nature has behold on them. Bantayan being a fishing village, its inhabitants is similar with shape and color of “bao” or sea turtle. Comparing the shape of the back of the turtle, with the shape of many sandbars or pasil, with great chances they say that it is bao. The color of sandbars also is similar to that of the bao for the proximity of the sandbars near a swamp, grayish in color and would sometime turns to brownish tan if rains occurs. The barangay long before had a mouth to which sea water would enter to the swamp. This mouth also serves as outlet to the rain water run from the hills. Along with the world in vernacular “BINA” meaning similar or alike combining with the word “:BAO”, BINAOBAO formed. Again with so many sandbars at site with the passage of time hastening the pronunciation “BINAOBAO” was officially named after the barangay.

Version 2.

During the early Spanish time, it was noted that the place which is near the town proper had a great habit of preparing “binaho”, this local food is done by roasting corn and pounding along with its coconut meat with brown sugar to desired mushy consistency. Because of burnt odor and color local folks call it binaho. 

One time, several Spaniards visited the place and because of the costume of the people to accommodate visitors and please them with whatever they have, they gave the Spaniards sample to what they were preparing. The Spaniards accepted the offer and converse with the inhabitants. The Spaniards then began asking question as to the name of the place, the inhabitants answered “BINAHO”.

These later evolve to BINAHO BAHOAN meaning a source of smell. Time again alter the course of languages; the word evolves to BINAOBAO.

Version 3.

At the arrival of Europeans to the island, the places along sandbars are shell locally known as “BWAWO” comparing to the Cebuano shell of “SIGAY”. Although the color is different and so with the size, the shape of bwawo is similar to sigay. People in the vicinity used to gather bwawo for food since the shell is also edible. The habit had been made for gathering of the shell, until one asked as to where they were going they would say to “BINABWAWOAN”. Until the coming of the writing since it is difficult to write word which are not familiar and likewise peculiar pronunciation the dialect, Spanish subscribers opted to spell “BINAOBAO”.

BOTIGUES

Botigues an islet barangay takes its name to a shell locally known as “BOTIGUES”. The abundance of the shell at that time was so enormous that all one has to do was beach with your hand and plenty of shells could be gathered. Botigues is a clamp type of shell almost one inch in diameter and is whitish in color. Then shell when boiled along with local herbs, the soup is similar to the soup of boiled chicken. Due to the abundance of the shell, the inhabitants christened their place as what we now call “BOTIGUES”.

DOONG

The biggest of the island’s islet. Doong got its name from a bird. This bird was last seen in the 1950’s. It stood almost two feet and in black in color. It feeds by the corn and other seeds in the island. Because of the menace the bird brought to a farmer, the farmers hunt them not for food but elimination. The bird is called” DO-ON”. The people then doesn’t know how to write the method as we used today, and when they let someone write it for them, the stranger added “G” to the original word thinking that the pronunciation has “g”. Thus DOONG got its name.

GUIWANON

Long before the coming of the Spaniards the island of Bantayan was also inhabited. The inhabitants because of the distance between houses, can only get acquainted when they met while fetching water. Water in the islands is scarce then that the only supply place they know of is a cave which water flows. People then named the place as “MAN-HAG” meaning a visiting place. Much later because of influx of people languages also alters. Soon a general Visayan word was adopted. The people then frequenting the place to fetch water from the cave refer to the cave as “GI-GWA-AN SA TUBIG”. In English, it means where water is coming out and later is where water is taken from. Even today people use to fetch water from the place. Since time has its toll and making changes, the phrase was named GUIWANUN.

HILOTONGAN

Among the chain of islets that dots the southern part of Bantayan, it only the islet of Hilotongan with its imposing cone shape hill when viewed in Bantayan is separated. From this reason, the island is referred to as “HI-TONGA-AN SA DAGAT” in English meaning the center of the seas. It is then the description of the fishermen before leaving for fishing to say that they would be fishing on the “ISLA SA HI-TONGA-AN SA DAGAT”. Later on, it evolves to “HI-TONGA-AN SA DAGAT and much later to HILOTONGAN”.

KABAC

When the Spaniards came to Bantayan, many things and materials that they deemed necessary for their survival were brought along. One of these items were cows since the Spaniards were building watch towers around the island, this barangay was chosen to be one of the site. Upon completion of the sentries, couples of Spaniards soldier were assigned to man the post. Because of the nature of their job, manning and outpost is a boring job the Spanish soldiers earn an extra living by rearing cattle or cows. Cows in Spanish are “BAKA” in local dialect is a place. So adopted were the local people in fusing different words the place then was referred to as “KABAKAHAN”, meaning a place where there are many cows. Soon the name was shortened to as “KABAC”. The place today has a sitio named “TORIL” meaning a place where the herd is gathered. And also we can find today some remnants of watch tower ruins in Toril.

KABANGBANG

Once upon a time there lived a witch woman. She is so fond animals that she used to clean and bathe her pets. Her power was so enormous that almost anything she wishes would be done.

One day, while cleaning her pets, she noticed that her carabao was all black and after cleaning and bathing, the carabao would readily return to the murky pond and would become dirty again. Having gotten tired of cleaning and bathing the carabao, she said to the carabao if you would not keep yourself clean at all time, I would punish you. After saying the words, she thought the carabao would obey her and be clean but to her dismay the carabao keep on dirtying itself. She warned again, but again the carabao would not obey. Then she gave an ultimatum and waited. The carabao still did not heed her warming so she said to herself that tomorrow I had to do what I had warned.

During before she goes to bed, she thought that she loves the animal and what would be the proper punishment. Again pondering awhile, she thought that maybe this animal did not obey her what’s the use of cleaning and bathing always, its skin is black and the sight would not change whether clean or not. So that witch came to a decision, that to be lenient to the animal, I would change its color to white.

Early the following morning, she confronted the carabao and presto the carabao’s skin turned to white. Because of the feeling of carabao, being different from other carabaos every order and command given were obeyed.

As time elapsed, the witch died without taking back it curse on the carabao. The carabao fore brings sibling and generation of species prospered and because of cross breeding, some carabao and patches of black and brown with dominant color.

Then just decades ago, people of Bantayan were in awe as to why so many numbers of carabao are different from the common carabaos is present on this place. These carabaos were whites and some are white with patches of black or brown spots. Seeing such sight, people tell what they saw. Stories change from one ear to the other that it finally reached the ears of Spanish authorities. When the stories were rampant, the authorities sent someone to investigate.

Asking of the name of the place where the carabao located in Spanish, the natives then does not understand and speak Spanish, would not lead them to the place. So the investigator had them translated to the dialect. The question that would lead then to the place would be that “where is the place where white and spotted carabaos are roaming” in the dialects it would be translated as “HAIN MAN ANG LUGAR NGA DAGHAN UG KAMBANG NGA CARABAO”. So with the word the native could understand, a journey was made and finding the place was not difficult.

Finding the place, the investigators come back and pinpointed the place. Stories of the find lead to curiosity seekers to go to the place. People then would ask for the direction of the place. The place then referred to as “KAMBANGBANGAN NGA CARABAO” meaning a place of many spotted carabaos. As years passed by, the word “KABANGBANG” was used instead of a tongue twisting original.

KANGKAIBE

Early during the Spanish time, there used to live a person who is very friendly and accommodating. His house sits on a location where people from the upland side and on the hills would constantly pass by. Being an ideal place to seek shade and mingle with their neighbors, the place is well known to almost everybody in the vicinity.

No roads were made then that only a balsa is used in transforming harvest and other farm product to the town proper. Also balsa is used in getting supplies from the town to their homes. Because of the difficulty of the terrain, balsa could not reach their homes. Manually carrying the goods to reaches their destination. Since bulk of harvest and supplies are needed, several trips of manual carriage are necessary. Leaving some supplies or harvest behind carrying for again on another trip. No place to trust for their belonging and the owner is trustworthy and very accommodating; residents always leave it on ‘IBE”. Whenever they would command their subordinates where to leave their things they would always refer the place of “IBE”.

The dialect word for the place of Ibe is “KANGKAIBE”. The word KANG is for the owner of or possessor of, then the word KA is a prefix pointing to a person. This conjugation of word makes the word today as we call the place “KANGKAIBE”.

KAMPINGGANON

Once upon a time there lived in a place what we now call Kampingganon. This man lives alone although he has everything comfort at that time could give. His neighbors were very few and he seldom goes out to mingle with his neighbors. Because of his traits he was known of be a witch. A person in nearby village because of his solitariness also believes that he is practicing with craft. Orongel was the name of the person believed to be a witch.

One day, to purchase his supplies he happened to meet a man (Tobero) who was peddling his tuba (coconut sap juice). He then buy some and since he could not carry the kundingngan (local term for bamboo pole cut in a way to serve as container of tuba) he ask the tobero to bring the kundingngan along with him to his place. The tobero being eager to sell his tuba was obliged to go along and deliver the kundingngan to Orongel’s house. When the tobero tried to hang the kundingngan on one of the branch of the tree near Orongel’s house, he was shock to see that a hand of a child was hanging on the same tree. He tried to hide his fear and get the amount his tuba is worth, then he proceeds to the town and tell the authorities about what he saw.

The authorities then responded. It was an act like defending the faith for witchcraft was evil and the church wanted to eliminate person who practice or is known to practice such rituals. The constables then proceeded to arrest Orongel. No one knew what happened to him. All they knew was they have never seen him return.

As years passed, the house which belonged to Orongel was deserted and nobody dared to go near for fear of a curse that would befall on them. They were afraid that Orongel might have leaved some spell on the house that anyone who dares to steal or go near would be cursed.

Then one occasion a neighbor who were having celebration or festivities had a great problem as to where to borrow some utensils. His problem was compounded by knowing that his friend would tag along friends. With so many guests expected he was in a dilemma.  HE asked his neighbors about his problem until one of them suggested that he would borrow the utensils at the house of Orongel. First he was hesitant to follow his friend’s advice but as the banquet day nears, he had no option but to do what his friend advised. Tagging along with his friends, he set forth for the place of Orongel. Upon entering the house, they shouted the usual way of giving respects for the house owner as if there was someone present and ask to borrow their utensils with a promise of returning the said utensils after the occasion. One of the utensils they would be borrowing but the greatest in number they would need was PINGGAN (meaning plate). Gathering the things, they were borrowing, they again promise to return all the items in time and if they would have lost some or broke some they would gladly be replacing the broken items and double the number of broken pieces. They have done this to please the spirit of Orongel which they believed are still around or the curse would come to them.

So after the festivals, the borrower set to return what he had borrowed but found out that some of the plates were broken. So as what he had promised he buys some plates to replace the number of pieces broken only that the number to be replaced were doubled. After getting the plates they set forth to the place and lay the plates inside the house of Orongel. After thanking they returned to their house.

Sensing what the previous neighbor had done and the promises they had given and fulfilling the promises, no harm has come to the borrower. It was then that others follow suit. With this, as years passed by, the number of plates multiplied number and soon the house of Orongel was full of plates.

Many years later, the practice of borrowing plates was still done only that the name of Orongel was forgotten. Orongel place was now called “KAHULAMAN UG PINGGAN” meaning where to borrow place. Then the words evolve to KAPINGGANAN meaning a place where there are many plates. Again evolution of the word came and if asked where they were from the reply was “KAPINGGANON”. These further evolve to “KAMPINGGANON” meaning a resident of KAPIGGANAN. With the new word when the barangay was officially given a name “KAMPINGGANON” was selected.

So, also long ago when the place was not yet a separate barangay, COGON was the name of the sitio. This was because the area then was surrounded by vast area where the COGON grass grows. But when electing the name of their barangay, COGON was out bested by KAMPINGGANON.

LIPAYRAN

The farthest barangay islet is LIPAYRAN. This islet is one of the last islets that have been inhabited. Although just decades ago, the islet abounds with tall hardwood trees and plenty of wildlife. The name was derived from a local name of a bird. This bird is gray in color similar in shape as that of a heron. Its main source of food is small fry and shells. It usually follows the sandbars and shallow water for food. The long legged bird laid their eggs on beaches and covering the eggs with sand until it hatches. The local name of the bird is LAPAY.

Before this modern times not too long ago, flocks of LAPAY abounds the place. On the islets there were lagoons which were ideal for the birds to search for their survival. People who used to fish in the vicinity described it as place where plenty of LAPAY. Usually in the dialect adding suffix of “AN” to the word would mean a place with plenty of LAPAY. 

Originally the place was called LAPAYAN. By sheer coincidence people as far as Samar and Leyte frequented the place bringing along with them their dialect. The Waray-Waray dialect has many “R’s” in their spoken language. Thus today the islet is called “LIPAYRAN”.

LUYONG BAYBAY

     Do-ong islet is composed of two barangays. One of this barangay is Do-ong and the other is Luyongbaybay. The later which became separate barangay only recently (1970’s) was originally part of Do-ong barangay.

The ame was derived from two dialect word. One is “Luyo” meaning back and “BAYBAY” meaning sand or beach since islet of Do-ong has two prominent beaches, the front beach being named as Silangga, people refer the other as the back sand or beach. This led to them “LUYONG BAYBAY”. Very much later the two word were made two one and refers to the present barangay named “LUYONG BAYBAY”.

MOJON

This barangay being second to earliest to become a separate barangay its name from the Spanish word MOJON meaning monument.

Since the barangay is situated between boundaries of the Municipality of Bantayan and the Municipality of Sta. Fe. On the boundary both municipalities erected a monument separating the two. This monument was the sole description when referring to the place. Logically and with some meaning the place was called and the whole barangay where it sits is officially called MOJON.

OBOOB

The origin of this barangay was taken from a kind of shell that abounds along its shoreline. The shells were called OBOOB because of its ability to hide when disturbed. The local dialect for Oboob was ability to bury or the act of burying itself. So like other places, the name of Oboob was chosen because of the presence abundant five fingered Oboob shells.

PATAO

During the Spanish time, this barrio was still a swampy land. It was in this location where good number of “DUOY” a local name for soft light root of Bakhaw. With so many Duoy one couple built their house along the present day barrio. Their means of livelihood was making PATAW. Pataw which in English means as net floater.

The need for Pataw grew with the introduction of fishing net in the area. With so many people in need of the floater the couples decide to reside in the place in order to save much time traveling to and from the town. They have to carve the duty to form pataw. With great number of pataw needed in each net a great number is also needed. So, great volume is demanded. So very busy that there came a time wherein they no longer have to peddle their produce, the costumer has to go to their place and place an order. Soon enough many fishermen were going to their residence. As time passed by reference to the place was PALATAW, later to PATAW. Since the Spanish scribers had a habit of writing “OA” to sound like a “W”. The “W” in PATAW was change to the present day spelling of PATAO.

PUTIAN

Barangay PUTIAN was once a sitio of barangay PATAO. It’s just recently that it had separated from its mother barangay.

The word PUTIAN was derived from a certain kind of banana. This unusual variety could no longer be found anywhere in the islands. Old people describe this banana a slender fruit about eight to twelve inches long. It tasted sour but sweet. It has some seeds and its fruit skin is whitish green. The color of its fruit skin is what the term Putian was derived.

It was so abundant those days that almost all places named after its familiar sights the locality was named after PUTIAN.

SILLON

Version 1.

Once upon a time there lives a couple who is very well-off, friendly, good-natured, accommodating and very hospitable. The couple has a DATU LEON as a head of the family and also as a respected leader of the community. Beside their house was a very tall and sprawling a leaves that cast a very huge shadow.

Since the LEON is one acknowledged leader of the community, several meeting regarding their thrive is held underneath the huge tree. When trouble arises, problems are in this area. The people got use to gathered around the shade because of proximity to the house of their leader.

Years passed and the customs continues. So when LEON commands his subordinates to call a meeting, his subordinates who pass around the word and the place is always “SA SILONG NI LEON” in dialect it means, under the tree or house of Leon.

Shortening the work because of the familiarity of the place and also because of their leader is well respected the “NI LEON” is canceled but still they use the word “SA SILONG” is understood to be under the tree of LEON.

When the Spaniard came and ask for the name of the place, the native thinking that the Spaniards where asking where they usually met, replied the word “SA SILONG”.  Since the Spaniards was not so familiar with the pronunciation of the local dialect wrote “SILLON” in its stead.

So from there on, “SILLON” was referred as to the name of the place.

Version 2.

Many generations ago, a notorious bandit and pirates live in the area. His name is LEON.  Although notorious in his exploits, he is kind and readily shares his bounty with his co natives. He is more than willing to give any of his bounty to anybody in their commune. His kindness is countered with his disciplinarian rule. He would not also hesitate any member of their tribe to be slaughtered if they won’t follow his orders.

One his standing orders was, if any stranger would ask anything from you, point them to me and I would be the one answering their queries. This was done to prevent natives who is enemies get his head and also to be warned and knew if strangers were present in their place. So with so many examples given people afraid of what Leon would do to them would readily say “SI LEON LANG” meaning, it is up to Leon.

Time came when the Spaniards came to the place and ask the natives to what is the name of the place reply was “SI LEON LANG”. It was then the thinking the natives give them the name of the place call the place “SI LEON LANG” Later the Spaniards realized that the word LANG in dialect means only or also, omitted the word and retained “SI LEON”. As years passed the two words were made us one and the place is known as SILLON.

SUBA

SUBA as its name means river. As the name implies the barangay is situated near at the mouth of the river like swamp. With the description and nearing the area SUBA was chosen and its name.

This barangay is one of the three barangays within the Poblacion. It is one of the oldest barangay in the municipality.

SUNGKO

One of the newest barangay in the municipality, SUNGKO got its name from the local dialect meaning end.

Since not long ago, roads were established to provide better accessibility to transport goods to and from market. It is this place where the road ends. Probably it’s because continuing the project would cost too much and the budgeted amount could only be this far. And as the same reasons as some of the named places, people near the area or within the vicinity always picture the area by describing the peculiar sights of the place. It is in this description that names usually bought forward. End of the road SUNGKO means.

SULANGAN

Sulangan is the written word for this barangay, but the local pronunciation of the word which people of Bantayan is “SWANGAN”. The spelling got from the Cebuano way of writing. As an example BALAY is the written word, while BAY with a long “A” is the oral term.

The place was called because its neighboring shores was the place where road of fishes particularly the “dangit” discharges its eggs. It is in this area where up to know “dangit” that Bantayan has been famous for, it’s being caught in large quantity. The term “BUSWANG” the local word for discharging its roe. Later due to time the place was called “SWANGAN”.

It was only later when written words were needed to name the place. A Cebuano was commanded to take a list the names of places. He wrote what the Cebuano is accustomed to and it was “SULANGAN” that had been written on the maps. But it is not so far people of Bantayan we are still accustomed to pointing and pronouncing the place as “SWANGAN”.

TAMIAO

Long time ago, there was once a small lake or pond. Along the shores of the lake, there grows a huge tall tree. In the tree, hang many beehives. Because of the number of beehives, its honey was dripping down the waters of the lake. This was the daily scenario until one day stranger arrived, seeing a man in the vicinity he approached him and asked what was the liquid called, the man answered back and said “TAM-IS” a term used for referring honey and in local dialect means sweet tasting. The stranger who asked the question repeated the word and the native replied “AW” meaning yes or also.

Thus the stranger names the place as TAM-IS AW, the word later came to be shortened and joined to the present name of the barangay as “TAMIAO”.

TICAD 

Long before the arrival of the Spaniards to the island the people was already having a government type of authority. They protect each other, built their houses together and side by side, the gather the food in groups and prepare them as food. They had what we now call the bayanihan spirit.

One of the early residents of the area which Ticad how stands, by sheer need of good water and get the said water not far from which his house stands. Built their house along the swamp. This is the only logical place for them for it is near the drinking water supply, near the sea and seashore to gather food and at the back near the forest. The barangay at the time was thickly forested. It is a good hunting ground for birds and other animals.

On this area there were flat rocks where fresh water flows. The rock was flat and arranged in a manner like that of a star. The resident at the time call the rock formation as “TICAD-TICAD”. TICAD in dialect means step and TICAD- TICAD is series of steps or stairs.

The area was one then called “TICAD-TICAD”, then by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 86 the barangay official named to TICAD.

PANAGATAN

The area named PANAGATAN DAKU and PANAGATAN DIOT front the Municipal building of Bantayan derived from the word “PANGISHASAN”. A place where one has to gather shell, crabs, shrimps, fishes and other edible marine life. Usually, the place is shallow that all you had to do is walk around while looking and gathering. The word DAKU and DIOT in dialect means big and small respectively.

It is this island that the people then use to gather marine resources for food. It was once said that the husband would say to his wife or daughter to boil some water and when the water is boiling, the father would then set for the shore and in short time be back bringing alone with him basket full of fishes and other edible items he could lay his hands on. This was how bountiful the marine resources of the shores then. 

PANITUGAN

The islet was before the destination of the fishermen who would gather “LITOB”. The place had bountiful numbers that at one setting a person could gather bagful of these shells. The name originally was “PANGLITOBAN”. Contraction then made it to “PANITUGAN”.

BALINTAWAK

Before the war, these places were called “SUGOD” meaning start or begin. It was in this section that during the American Era that road going to Madridejos was being built. It was the starting point of the road.

During the war, many people evacuated to the place and among them were people from Balintawak, Negros Occ. These people some were very united and any social and other gathering they were always present and a good host if they are making some events. If when someone is looking for a member of the group, people would point the person as TAGA BALINTAWAK. Like any other place a new name was evolves now the sitio is being as named “BALINTAWAK”.

CAMPO

This sitio was once the site of Engineering Camp. The engineering camp was established before road opening. The road opening was Bantayan-Madridejos road.

PUSO

The place where the sitio sits is the site of the PUMPING HOUSE of the AGUAS PUBLICAS. Built in the mid-thirties, since the meaning of PUSO in the dialect as well with mechanized extraction of water, then the place was apply named after PUSO.


BUTONG

This islet near Barangay, Suba, was named BUTONG meaning in dialect as early fruit or nearly ripped fruit. This was because the islet is seen as sandbars with grasses all over. Local folk describes it has nearly ripped islet.