Old Phl banig map originated in Tanauan
Local Government

Old Phl. 'banig' map originated in Tanauan

Jan 23, 2023, 6:54 AM
Joyce Kahano-Alpino

Joyce Kahano-Alpino


It is amazing how the internet communities can connect people from different parts of the world. One such amazing story is how a priceless artifact, a banig upon which the old Philippine map was printed was traced to have originated in Tanauan, Leyte after it's former owner posted it on a Facebook group.

A certain Joseph Monfiletto posted on a facebook group-- World War II in the Philippines-- was searching for the origin of a special and unique banig which he happened to have acquired from the son of an unnamed captain of a Landing Ship Tank (LST) who served in Leyte during the second world war.

“This Banig was given to a Captain of an LST which took part in the Leyte landings. He in turn gave it to one of his officers. I acquired it from his son. The tag gives the presenters name and town on Leyte. Anyone know this family? It now hangs in my daughter’s home in Spain,” said Monfiletto's post.

The said map still showed Borneo as part of the country’s islands and the tag at back shows that it was given around October 23, 1944 by Mrs. Crisanta R. Tecson from Tanauan, Leyte.

Further research revealed that Mrs. Tecson was the first wife of Mayor Pelagio Tecson, Sr. of Tanauan from 1946-1947 but the item was given on the same day that the Philippine Commonwealth government was restored in Tacloban City by General Douglas MacArthur with Sergio Osmeña, Sr. as President.

October 23 also marked the start of the four-day naval battle of Leyte Gulf during which much of Japan's remaining sea power was destroyed and Tacloban city served as the capital of the country.

Fortunately, netizen Fredrick White II who happened to know the Tecsons of Tanauan was able to contact the giver’s daughter-in-law, Penny Tecson, the wife of former mayor Pel Tecson, Jr.

“Wow as in wow!!! Thanks Frederick for sharing. Crisanta Tecson or Nanay Santay was the first wife of my father in-law, Ex-mayor Pelagio Tecson Sr. My hubby Pel's dad. He was Tanauan's mayor at that time 'till 1986. Grabe pagka-preserve. Meaning, this was given right after the Leyte Landing on Oct. 20,1944. Wow three days after the Leyte landing? Best regards!” the former first lady of the municipality said.

Meanwhile, netizens are fascinated by the one of a kind item which showed the skill of the maker. And since banig is common throughout the region, it is still unclear whether the maker is from Leyte or from the known banig weavers in Basey, Samar as there were no marks on the item which indicates it's origin other than the tag that tells the brief story of how it was meant for an official who helped in the liberation of our country.

“Whoever holds this "treasure" must be so lucky.. a Map made out of Banig created with HISTORY is highly sought after, especially in museums. This has extremely significant value,” Gener Prieto Sumaling said.

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