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January 4, 2018

Boboy, San Luis, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Boboy in the Municipality of San Luis, Batangas, the original scanned documents at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections not having OCR or optical character recognition properties. This transcription has been edited for grammar, spelling and punctuation where possible. The original pagination is provided for citation purposes.

[Cover page.]




HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE
OF THE BARRIO OF
BOBOY














Data gathered and compiled by:


ANTONIO M. MARCO




[p. 1]

HISTORY and CULTURAL LIFE of the BARRIO of BOBOY
PART ONE – HISTORY

Like other barrios, Boboy is named after something. It bears a name which carries with it a certain meaning. Its present and popular name was given by the original family and that name has remained ever since.

Mang Juan Tuksi, the head of the original family, was formerly a resident of a neighboring barrio. He lived in poverty and was never contented. Getting tired of his wretched condition, he set out with his family to start life anew. While on his way to seek fortune, he saw a tree towering among trees. He made this tree the point of his destination. In his new settlement, he prospered and it did not take him long to live in abundance. From Mang Juan’s family sprang several other families which now form the barrio. Since then, the barrio has been named Boboy because of the boboy (kapak) grove which served as Mang Juan’s landmark.

The barrio has three sitios. Dayapan extends from east to west along the borders of the municipalities of San Luis and Bauan. All houses on the north side of the road belong to San Luis and those on the south side to Bauan. On the western part of the main barrio is Camatsilihan. The Castillo and Mendoza families are the original families which came from the original or main barrio. Before the permanent settlement of the sitio, the families usually went to the place in the morning and then returned in the afternoon. At noon, they rested in the huts made of twigs and talahib. Afterwards, they had the permanent homes constructed. The third and last is Malitlit. These three sitios are named after the trees dayap, kamatsili, and litlit, most common in the locality.

The following is a list of tenientes del barrio of Boboy from the very first founder, Juan Mendoza (Tuksi):
1. Juan Mendoza
2. Aguedo Mendoza
3. Martin Mendoza
4. Agapito Villanueva
5. Tomas Villanueva
6. Andres Villanueva
7. Silvestre Villanueva
8. Juan Anyayahan
9. Silvestre Onda
10. Hilarion Villanueva
11. Baltazar Castillo
12. Gregorio Mendoza
13. Dalmacio Villanueva
14. Ricardo Villanueva

The residents suffered much during the Japanese occupation. The Japanese soldiers camped on the eastern part of the barrio for almost three years. Tunnels to shelter the soldiers and serve as a storehouse for food were dug. Prime commodities and everything of value were seized at the point of [a] bayonet and the poor barrio folks were compelled to take these things to the tunnels. Farmers were made to plant cotton and were never allowed to cultivate crops of their own.

[p. 2]

The long Japanese occupation was ended by the coming of the liberators. The Japanese soldiers began to flee for safety as they were besieged from every angle either by the Americans or the guerrillas. The Filipino guerrillas took the task of pursuing the escaping enemies. In the western part of the barrio, a Japanese soldier was shot by the guerrillas under Orlando Diokno. The Japanese soldier was buried in the spot where he was shot.

There were few who dared to go to the other places to try their luck as what they previously did, because the people feared very much those Japanese soldiers. Men were confined to vegetable growing and women to selling or bartering the garden products for primary necessities such as salt, rice and dried fish. Of course, the people suffered a great deal as they were not used to this means of survival. Cassava became the chief food of the less fortunate. There were also those who had rice as the chief food but only in a limited amount and still some had this at irregular times. Life was very miserable, that perhaps the people had become all beggars had the liberators not come at a timely date. There was a marked change in the living conditions at the start of the American rule after the termination of the Japanese occupation.

The people left their homes and sought employment in the American Army Bases. Women set their looms and pursued their trade. The children were sent to school to quench the thirst for education. Merchants went back to their trade and the farmers to the field. The farmers began to realize the importance of the help of the Mutual Security Agency after seeing the doubled production of crops caused by the fertilizer. The result of the application of fertilizer was an incentive to the farmers. The farm was cultivated to every inch. Farming became more pronounced. Where rice and corn could not be planted, vegetables and fruit trees were in their place. Farmers were never idle. Early in the morning, at noon, and in the afternoon, they attended to their poultry and swine projects. Fowls and swine of the native breed were disappearing and those of foreign breeds were utilized in their stead.

PART TWO – FOLKWAYS

Traditions, Customs and Practices in Domestic and Social Life

BIRTH:
Tradition forbids the husband of a woman on the family way to do carpentry work in their homes or enter a cemetery. If these things are done, it would have bad effects upon the normal delivery of the child. Midwives without professional training nurse the ailing mother. Massage is applied to the mother, morning and afternoon for twenty days to allow circulation of the blood and to put the different organs in proper order. Mothers are prohibited from eating many different kinds of food and are never allowed to bathe within the period of massage. It is also the general belief that difficulties in the delivery of the child vary with the phases of the moon. The newly born baby will have a sponsor from a far place if it cries out loud after seeing the first light of day and otherwise if he cries low.

[p. 3]

BAPTISM:
The grandparents arrange the baptism with a sponsor if the child is the first in the family and the parents do the choice for the other children which follow. There are two stages in the baptism of the child. The first is administered by the suppose it religious head of the barrio and [the] real baptism is by the town priest.

MARRIAGE:
Oftentimes, marriage ceremonies are solemnized by the Catholic priest and usually done at the church. The marriage festival is governed by many superstitious beliefs. During the marriage ceremony, lighted candles held by the bride and bridegroom are closely watched. It is believed that the candle held by the bride and bridegroom that burns out during the ceremony will die earlier than the other. The bridegroom steps on the foot of the bride so that she will always be under the disposition of the bridegroom. When both take the first step of the ladder, rice is showered up on them and new pots are thrown in front of the stairs in the belief that good times shall always be theirs and so that they may beget many children. There are brides who prefer to live with her parents done with the groom. To remedy this, the relatives of the groom steel utensils, kawot preferably. After the wedding feast, both the bride and bridegroom are made to sit around the table together with the sponsors. In front of them or laid varieties of sweets, cigarettes, tobacco and drinks. The sponsor acts as announcer who calls the kin and relatives of both parties. The sponsor leads the gift giving and gives an amount which he thinks exceeds the value of the foods and drinks (sabit) given to him the previous night. Each kin or relative or both contracting parties take their turns and each is given in return either a cigarette or tobacco depending upon the likes of the giver. There is a clerk or recorder of the amount collected and after the gift-giving is over, the ninong announces the whole amount collected. This is known as sabugan. Then comes the transfer (lipat) of the bride to the home of the bridegroom. The parade is led by the bride followed by the relatives of the bridegroom. They carry everything they can, especially those things which have been used. The bridegroom remains with his in-laws and he follows his wife the next day.

COURTSHIP:
A young man courting a woman is like a servant serving a cruel master. He does all the household work, hauls firewood from the forest and fetches water. He walks on tiptoes while in the house, and always seems to possess the most refined manners. From whatever place he comes, he takes off his hat on seeing the roof of the house of his lady love. He greets the parents in the most polite manner, taking care not to mention the names of the persons greeted. Every morning, the young man kisses the hands of the girl’s parents. This [is] done in a kneeling position. The services of the young man are not acknowledged until after the biggest species of fish is given as [a] gift. The fish is divided into many pieces and are distributed among the relatives of the girl. When the gift is given and the service are acknowledged, the parents of the girl call the boy’s parents for a conference to arrange the marriage festival. This conference is called the bulungan. In this bulungan, chicken, meet and sweets are served by the parents of the groom. Very seldom are the terms in favor of the boy because the girl’s parents usually ask lavish gifts beyond the means of the boy. In spite of the services and the conference, still the boy cannot be sure of having the girl as his future wife if during

[p. 4]

the intervening period, he cannot pass the scrutinizing eyes of the girl’s parents.

DEATH:
There are those who believe that death is caused by sickness through germs while some believe that it is a punishment meted out by some angry gods. Prayers are said as often as there are groups of people coming to console the bereaved. [The] Dead are watched overnight and the watchers are served coffee and bread. Donations are given in varying amounts.

THE LEGEND OF THE HOUSE LIZARD

There once lived in a certain barrio a mother and her son. Like all mothers, this mother prayed for nothing but the happiness of her son. The son was dutiful and respectful to his mother.

In a neighboring barrio, there was a young maiden who was very beautiful. She used her beauty as a weapon to achieve evil ends. Many young men had committed crimes at her command. Pedro, the young man in our story, fell deeply in love with this woman. He expressed his love to her. The maiden, in order to test the sincerity of Pedro’s love, commanded him to do an evil deed. She said, “Pedro, if you really love me, you will follow everything that I desire. You will do everything in your power to make me happy. I want you to get your mother’s house and bring it to me. If you can do this, then I will accept your love.”

At first, the young man could not speak. He loved his mother very much. He was trying to weigh in his mind his love for the maiden and his love for his mother. After a moment, he decided that he would win the maiden’s love at any cost. He promised the maiden that in the evening, he would return with his mother’s heart.



He went with an evil purpose in his mind. When he reached home, he heard his mother praying, “Dear Lord, please make my son happy. He is good and kind. I desire nothing in this world but his happiness. Please save him from evil temptation.”

When Pedro heard this prayer, he did not know what to do. He had a knife ready in his hand. But could he kill his own mother? His mother wants nothing but the happiness of her only son. After a moment’s hesitation, his love for the maiden prevailed. With the knife raised in his hand, he leaped at the kneeling form of his mother. Hastily, he reaped open his mother’s breast and took out her heart. He ran downstairs. Suddenly, Pedro felt a great trembling of the earth. The sky became dark and lightning flashed here and there. Pedro was frightened. He grasped the heart tightly in his hand. It said, “Why don’t you proceed to the house of your loved one, my son? I am not angry. I am ready to sacrifice everything for your happiness. If my death will make you happy, I am happy, too.”

Because of great fright, Pedro ran to the house of the maiden with the heart still clutched in his hand. When he arrived there, he hastily gave the maiden the heart. The woman threw it out of the window. Pedro tried to embrace the girl but he was stopped by a voice

[p. 5]

like the booming of thunder. It was the voice of God. It said, “What have you done to your mother, Pedro? You, evil woman and you, Pedro, you will both be punished for this. You will become smaller and smaller. I bid you to crawl… crawl… crawl. Don’t stop crawling until you have found the heart of that holy woman.”

The lovers felt themselves growing smaller and smaller. They could not defy the wish of God. They became the first house lizards.

To this day, house lizards go to the ground every evening. There are still some who think that they are kissing the ground. But they are still looking for the heart of a loving mother which the evil woman threw out of her window many years ago.

POPULAR SONGS, GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS

The people are generally industrious. No single day of the week is spared for idleness. Majority of the men are farmers and at times they deal in buying and selling cattle. On the first day of the week, they go to the neighboring barrios and, sometimes, to Mindoro and Lubang Island where they purchase domestic animals. The animals are then brought to Taal on Saturday and to Manila to be sold. They usually spend two days away from home for this venture and very rarely for a week. The remaining days are spent on the farm, tilling the soil and feeding the animals. At noon when the sun is hot, the farmers meet in the village barber shop. The play the guitar, each one humming songs to amuse himself. They talk on the ways to improve the farm production and at other times argue on matters pertaining to their current trade. At night, they listen to radio broadcasts. No number in the radio programs is of great interest to the people than those which centers on the political questions of the government, issues of the Korean War and America’s new political administration.

Personalities of the Philippine movies from the lowliest extra actor to the most distinguished and popular are very familiar to the people. This is so because on Sunday, a day of rest and relaxation and the pressure of work is light, the people go to town and see the shows. Love for Tagalog novels is developed. The elders find pleasure in hearing stories from Weekly Bulaklak, Liwayway and Ilang-ilang read by the young people. New songs are not strange to the barrio folks, so that one is not surprised to hear songs of the latest hits. To the place, playing cards is a means of recreation. Cards are not played for the benefit of one and prejudice to others. Money is not used as a medium of change because it is the pride and joy of winning a game that interests the players. Roosters are taken care of as fighters and not taken to the cockpits for bets. These pets are sold at prices in varying amounts depending upon their availability. They laugh, shout and jump as their cocks leap ferociously upon the other. That is real happiness which everybody seeks and hopes to find.

GAMES:

TUBIG-TUBIG

The game is played by two competing teams. Each team is composed of five or more players. One is the center player and the rest are basemen. A rectangular figure is drawn on the ground with lines as bases drawn across the figure perpendicular to each length. The bases

[p. 6]

traversed by the center line form rectangles where the runners can move about freely before attempting to cross the bases. There are as many lines as there are basemen. A center line is drawn between and equidistant to any point on the sides. The basemen are distributed to the bases and the center player takes his post on the center line.

The opposing team assembles in front of the home base and passing each base at the signal, taking care not to be tagged by either the baseman or the center player. When the player reaches the free territory behind the last base, he returns to his home base and passes all the other bases in the same manner. Upon reaching the free territory, he announces a home and the other players return and assemble in the free territory preparatory to another hit. The team scores one. They then take turns when a player of the first team is tagged. Each baseman and the center player take the posts vacated. A baseman and the center player can tag a runner only when he is on the base and on the center line from home to the last base, respectively. A runner is not free to go out of the boundary line and doing so will turn to another inning. The number of innings played is agreed upon by the captains of each team. The team that makes more homeruns [is] the winner.

In front of the home base and back of the last base are free territories. That is, the players can go near the catcher without being tagged, but is tagged when caught trying to cross the home and last bases.

SIKYO:

Two teams play the game. The teams are composed of [an] equal number of players which depend on the agreement of the two captains. Each has a home, fifteen meters away from the other. At the side of each home plate is the prison, about five meters from each home base, where players who are caught are kept. The start of the game is announced by either captain. A member of either team runs to any direction. He is called bait. A player of the opposing team runs after the bait. The player bait’s team runs after the second runner. A player who gets away later than the member of the other team is the catcher. A runner tagged by the catcher is kept in the prison hall owned by the team where the catcher belongs. When all players of one team are imprisoned by the other team, it is declared [the] loser. A prisoner cannot play until after his co-members set him free. He can be saved by his co-members when in the course of the game; he is touched by his teammate without being caught by the guard. He again becomes a player.

PING-PONG:

A group of boys or a group of girls can play this game. Runners are selected by luck. The loser becomes the catcher. A member of the group holds an empty can of milk and throws it to any direction he desires. As the catcher runs for the can, all the members of the group hide. The catcher places the can on the spot designated and looks for every member of the group. When a catcher sees a member, he says “pong” with the name of the member seen and then steps on the [missing word, likely “can”]. The player seen becomes a dead player. The catcher remains until after he had seen all the members. A dead player becomes active and hides again when a player not yet seen kicks the can. A catcher is relieved of his post by the player first seen.

[p. 7]

RIDDLES:

Ikaw man ay pantas, ikaw ma’y bihasa
At sa patuuran ay lubhang balita ka
Ano ang sa talbos payapang bumunga
Sa malaking bunga’y talbos ay bumuka? …. Pinya

Sa pinankasulok looban ni Elsa
May isang halamang nakapagtataka
Masdan mo’t sa wari’y may isang prinsesa
Kusang nakalikmo umupo sa tasa …. Kasoy

Sa boong magdamag ay siya kong gabay
Nasa isang tabi pagsikat ng araw
Di lubhang malaki at ang bisang taglay
Pagsapit ng gabi’y sumikip ang bahay …. Ilaw

Lagi kong kasama, laging kaakbay
Sa tuwing umaga sa aming bakuran
Kahima-himal sandaang kalabaw
Iisa ang tali isa ang tagikaw …. Walis

Doon sa malayo’t masaganang nayon
Payapang tumira si Ester ni Pitong
Anong isinaing at itinanong
Payapang bumula kahit walang gatong …. Sabon

Sa boong palibot sa boong paligid
Sa harap at likod ng bahay ni Enes
Ngayo’y bumubuka wala namang bibig
Hayu’t ngumingiti ng boong tahimik …. Bulaklak

PROVERBS AND SAYINGS:

Magpakahaba-haba ng prosesiyon
Sa simbahan din ang urong.

Pag lumakad ng matulin
Kung matinik pa ay malalim.

Ang taong di nalingon sa pinanggalingan
Di makararating sa pupuntahan.

Pag binato ka ng bato’y
Gantihan mo ng tinapay.

Bayuhin mo na ako sa lusong
Huag lamang sa dagat itapon.

Walang maghuhulong ng binalot
Sa taong natutulog.

Ang isang puno ng mangga
Ay hindi mamumunga ng papaya.

Ang walang hirap mag-ipon walang
Hinayang magtapon.

[p. 8]

Wala nang kasaysayang kinapas na damo
Kapag namatay na ang iwing kabayo.

Walang matimtiman at dakilang birhen
Sa di sumasawa sa pananalangin.

METHODS OF MEASURING TIME:

Time is measured in many ways. During the rainy season, especially when the sun could not emit its rays, time is determined by flowers of the “patola.” The flowers of the patola open at four o’clock in the afternoon. At night, there are several ways of measuring time. Chickens crow at regular intervals. First at ten o’clock, then at twelve, at two, at four and the last at six in the morning. After the last crow, the chickens begin to fly their roost. The rising and setting of the planet Mercury is another way of measuring time. It rises at four o’clock in the morning at sets at nine o’clock in the evening. During the day, time is determined by the position of the sun. It is believed to rise at six o’clock and to set at six o’clock in the afternoon.

The farmers have a queer way of forecasting the amount of rainfall in each month. The first twelve days of January according to the farmers correspond to the twelve months of the year. The daily amount of rain during the first twelve days of January foretells whether the other months of the year will be dry or rainy. Some farmers keep records of the climatic condition of each of [the] first twelve days, so as to know the best time for planting and possibly harvesting.





Respectfully submitted:

[Sgd.] Antonio Marco

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Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Boboy,” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.

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