The bonus one will get from studying the old parish books is the history lesson one can extract from the records. People are described and identified by their residences and also by their cabezas de barangay. Aside from the genealogy research, I had a grand time savoring the names of old, old places that we still call by the same names today. There was a heady feeling to read a name in 1830 that we know to still exist today–180 years later. At the same time that it also dawns on you that big everyday place names of the present were virtually non-existent at that time.
The older places had native names, ancient designations and old Visayan terms that today are very hard to decipher and unkindly given to confabulations instead (Ylaud, for instance). And the Spanish-named ones we’ll have to say came about quite late in history–say late Spanish up even to the American period already.
Let us then examine the two major place names–the barangays and the sitios. The facts ventured in the following sub-pages are not confined to what could be found in the records. A fair litany of Carcar’s place names behooved that at least a cursory research be made using other materials available.
But for many of these places, there is nothing definitive to be found regarding the origin of their names, and to immediately settle on one meaning, or legend, or myth as being it, as we are wont to do (the sige na lang mentality), would only close the book where the call is for an open mind instead. Let us simply present the possibilities then.