When I went over the Burials book covering 1883, I had no prior knowledge of epidemics involving Carcar. I was going over the records all routine-like until it slowly dawned on me that there were unusual number of deaths in a day. A flag in my head went up and I went back to the year start and made a table of the deaths (per the burials) and causes thereof. There were almost the same number of deaths in some days than a whole average month. And the cause was “peste”.
I wrote a historian to ask what “peste” listed in the 1883 books may have been and he readily answered that was the cholera epidemic of that year. Among the hundreds who died of “peste” were the 31-year-old first wife of my great-grandfather and their 8-year-old son who followed the mother two days after–both right on the first month of the scourge. My great-grandfather married again the following year and here we are from that second marriage.
I can imagine the wailing all over town at first, but after so many seemingly unrelenting weeks and months, the eerie absence of it as numbed despair took over when whole families got wiped out.
The next cholera epidemic would come around 1903.
Here is a monthly summary (table was per day) of what I noted down for 1883:
(peste accounts for 72.2% of total deaths for Jan-Sep )
(peste accounts for 83.4% of total deaths for May-Sep)
That particular Burials volume’s last record was September 21 of that year and there had not been a death by “peste” for 7 days. I no longer felt the need to complete the rest of the year and deemed the point had been well taken.
*Kabkad is by now regarded by everyone who writes about Carcar history to be the older, and native, name of Carcar. But not this crusty blogger who credits skepticism to have always propelled his educational development. For one, documents dated 1600s had already referred to the town as Carcar. For two, the town is just too large territorially to have had a kabkad character in its entirety. As a fern, kabkad could not have been prevalent throughout the width and breadth of the town and so, to me, a locality may have been called kabkad, but not the whole town. For three, the old town center located nearer to the shore in the present-day Valladolid-Tuyom area is also said, by the same historians, to have been called Sialo, so which is it?
And four, the name Kabkad only caught on when nationalism arose, especially after the revolution and as the Americans took over. And so, instead supposedly of Spanish priests calling it Carcar (in 1599) to replace the native Kabkad, I suspect it was the other way around, that more likely the nationalistic townspeople started calling it Kabkad (in the 1900s) to replace the Spanish Carcar.