Cabezas de barangay, 1872-75
A new development. Around 1872, Carcar church books already referred to barangays by numbers, although the headmen were still called cabezas. Thus, a person is described as, say, “Juan de la Cruz, empadronado (registered) de barangay n.o 13 de Don Tal Fulano”. It’s hard to determine historically just from the parish records whether the numbering meant that the town was geographically subdivided this way, or whether the old barangay system was still in force wherein its individual members may have been from different places but were, yes, registered under the same cabeza and, thus, it was just the group which was numbered.
In other words, the number could mean either the town was subdivided into small units or zones, or the barangays were simply given numbers, the better to be identified with, even if the innovation had no geographical significance. And then, there was also no mention of sitio or barrio names in this setup, as had been the previous practice, leading one to further suspect there really may not have been a zoning arrangement in the way the pie was cut. The best way to get to the bottom of things would be to root out where each cabeza was residing, map his barangay members and see if, indeed, the barangay numbers were continguous to each other. Best way, but given the records available, probably the hardest, on the other hand.
For what the fact may be worth, Carcar today has only 15 barangays, albeit zonal, whereas they numbered 67 in 1872-75.
In the table below, the Barangay number is at the left. The presence of the second cabezas at right may indicate changes either in the barangay leadership itself or the change could have been in just the numbering – it is also difficult to determine. Plus the fact that, except for one, there is no cabeza on the left who was moved to another number on the right, which may mean a change in the cabeza. But then again, Nicomedes Navarra’s barangay from no. 34 and later to no. 32 may just mean it was only the number which was changed. Another puzzling data is of Juan Umbay for both barangay no. 17 and no. 51, although he had been replaced in both by 1875.
So, in view of the inconclusiveness of all of the above, suffice this list to serve as just a social footnote–but quite welcome for the purposes of family history making: who had ancestors of importance in the town.
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