The Barangay, is the smallest administrative division in the Philippines and the word Barangay is the native term for a village, district or ward.
Barangay came from "Balangay", a particular boat used by a group of Austronesian peoples when they migrated to the Archipelago.
In 19th century Barangay was composed by 12 Cabezas de Barangay ( Heads of Barangay or district chefs),every year they , as voters elected a Gobernadorcillo, a Teniente de Justicia and an Alguazil .
Those preminent officials had specific symbols who represented their rule :
The Gobernadorcillo had a gold-knobbed cane, the Teniente de Justicia a silver - knobbed cane and the Alguazil had a wooden knobbed cane.
Also the " salakot" (traditional hat of the Philippines ) was a symbol of preminent persons when adorned with embossed silver, and sometimes silver coins and pendants that were hung from the hat's brim.
A wealthy gobernadorcillo, 1859
Image source : Lithographies of philippine costumes of 19th century , from Alfred Marche''s Luzon and Palawan, 1887