HISTORY AND CULTURE OF BARRIO NEW SALEM
The present official name of the barrio is New Salem. It is, however, known well by its old name Matapoctapoc.
POPULAR NAME OF THE BARRIO PRESENT AND PAST
In the past, this sitio, which was a vast forest known of dangers only from the treats of wild animals such as wild hogs, and deer. People at the time grouped themselves in five different places. For the sake of identification, of the places where they were situated, they adopted the names which seemed peculiar. The southern part was called”Dosso”. Dossor depicts a place or waterfall. The southern part was called ”Lepit” connoting a small passage just enough or too narrow for a car to gain entry. During the Spanish time,”Lepit” was the passage of the Spaniard going to Camiling. The Northern part was “Timmanem” where they always seemed it is a place for a grave because of the presence of a deep crevice. The eastern part was called”Capegketan” which means a sticky spot, and the central part of the barrio called Matapoctapoc, which was called as such because in the past it was a vast grazing ground. The wild animals meet in this vast become soft and dust was produced. The blown away by the wind were so thick that one could not see his companion at a distance.
The hunters hunting in this vast forest called this place “Matapoctapoc” which is a derivation of the word “tapoc” which means powdery dust in the English language.
Matapoctapoc is quite far from its mother barrio of Sulipa. Due to its distance and the inconvenience it posed to the people they decided to form a separate barrio. They met several times and after so many discussions the people finally agreed to name their place “New Salem” in 1966 which was a biblical city in Europe during the birth of Christianity. The inhabitants are not well educated, but they are avid readers of the bible and they unanimously choose to be the name of the barrio they contemplate to organize. After preparing the required documentation the people filed their petition with the Municipal Council which approved said petition in a resolution making the former named New Salem. This was on April 26, 1949, when the Municipal Council passed the said resolution officially establishing Barrio New Salem.
Since the Spanish regime although this place was a vast forest, it was settled by energetic and peace-loving people from Sulipa. The first settlers belonged to the families of Prudencio Bartolome, Venancio Domincil, Luis Concepcion, Castor Concepcion, Catalino C. Concepcion, Justo Manuel, Juan Orizal, Feliz Lorenzo, Simplicio Partido, Andres Bartolome, and Gregorio Manuel led by Balbino Manuel.
They divided themselves into groups settling in the places of their choice as homesleader. They began to clear the forest by cutting down the trees and tall talahib to be able to begin planting their first crops. The kaingin way. They also build their temporary huts made of bamboos and talahib.
As years went on, these first settlers build permanent homes. They raise animals. As the people progressed and the forest almost cleared, some families from neighboring barrios came to the place to settle with them.