IN the early part of 18th century, a certain Crisanto Lepiten, a native and resident of mactan Island, Cebu, and whose original name and real family name was “Lapu-lapu”, transferred residence and sought refuge in a secluded Barangay called Maitum in the town of Bogo located in northern tip of the Cebu Province. The reason was to escape and avoid capture by Spanish authorities who were after any and all natives or residents with the family name of “Lapu-lapu”.
After some years of residing in Maitum, he was able to progress and acquired a large piece of land adjacent to Barangay Gairan also in Bogo, Cebu. Not long after, he married Isidra Alarde who belong to a wealthy family in Maitum. They had six children, namely: Francisco, bonifacio, Simeon, Bruno, Jacinto and Juana, all of whom bore the family name “Lepiten”.
During a certain segment of the civil was between the Filipino insurgents and the Spanish authorities, the Lepiten clan fought agaist the insurgents. The Spanish authorities came out victorious. In acknowledgement of the assistance rendered by residents of Barangay Maitum in the victory, the authorities honored the Barangay calling it “freedom-loving” Barangay or lover of liberty which is “Libertad” in Spanish. When subsequently one of the sons, Jacinto, was chosen Barangay Captain (Teñente del Barrio), he and his council passed a resolution changing the name of Barangay Maitum to Barangay Libertad.
The newly renamed Barangay also chose a patron saint which happened to be the image of the child Jesus, The Sto. Niño, whose fiesta fall on every 15th day of January of every year.
It was a long walk, maybe a half dozen kilometers of road between the school he went to – and the half beaten track that leads to Panas in Barangay Libertad, Bogo City. He knew no shortcuts and stuck to the main road, except where it winds up and around a little village between Libertad and Pandan. It made more sense to cut straight and clamber up the embankment to where the road moves forward again.
There was little traffic in “dekada otsenta” save for a few carabaos. Some dragged containers of “tuba” – he could tell by the angry red complexion of the mumbling minder and by the reek. They were on sleds that had no wheels. Instead, there was a curved length of something smooth that almost glides on the surface. It might have been wood, but he did not think to ask nor touch.
Panas beckoned, the just right ripeness of wild guava in the thickets on both sides of the footpath was a treat he did not want to miss – but he needed to get there while the sun’s still up, so he walked faster. The Regala’s will have “uwang” for the candle-lit dinner. then come songs.