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January 5, 2018

Boot, Tanauan, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Boot in the City of Tanauan, 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.

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HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF THE BARRIO OF BOOT

Part One: HISTORY

1. Present official name of the barrio: BOOT.

2. Popular name of the barrio, present and past; derivation and meanings of these names. Names of sitios within the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio:

The popular name of the barrio, present and past, is Boot. According to the information of the oldest living resident of the barrio, Boots was once a flourishing cacao-producing barrio. Cacao was so abundantly grown that there were plenty of cacao seeds or “boto” in the dialect. The word “boto” was changed to Boot which became the popular name of the barrio.

The different sitios included within the jurisdiction are:

a. Bulalakaw – No known derivation.
b. Pintong – From the people’s extreme thrift and economy.
c. Talumpok – For being situated on the crest of a hill overlooking Taal Lake.
d. Tambo – No known derivation.
e. Wani-wani – No known derivation.
f. Mahabang Buhangin – For its very long sandy shore.
g. Napayong – For its umbrella-like shape. This is a small island in Taal Lake.
h. Puntod – For its hilly terrain.

3. Date of establishment: No information can be gleaned.

4. Original families: The Burgos and Carandang families and with only 14 houses.

5. List of tenientes from the earliest time to date:

The original organization of the barrio was under a head called “encargado” which was later on changed to teniente del barrio. [The] Following is the list of tenientes who served from the earliest time to date.

Isabelo Saguan
Vicente Saguan
Justo Burgos
Pedro Gonzales . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1912-1948

From 1948, there was a change in the organization of the barrio. A teniente was appointed by the municipal mayor for every sitio.

Talumpok Gaudencio Albo - 1949-1951
Felino Marasigan - 1952 to date
Bulalakaw Sinforoso Villalobos - 1949 to date
Wani-wani Mariano Castillo - 1949 to date
Boot Proper  (Eastern) Pascual Carandang - 1949-1950
Angelo Catimbang - 1951 -
                   (Western) Victoriano Bathan - 1948-1949
Anacleto Villanueva - 1949 -
6. Story of old barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct: None.

7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.: None.

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8. Important facts, incidents or events that took place:

a. During the Spanish [Regime]:

No event of great importance is worth mentioning except the zonification of the barrio people and the levying of heavy taxes by the Spaniards.

b. During the American occupation to World War II:

The opening of the public elementary school building in 1928.

c. During and after World War II:

(1) The burning of several residential houses of the people and of the rice mill owned by the then-teniente del barrio, Mr. Pedro R. Gonzales, by the Japanese soldiers.

(2) Forming of the guerrilla organization under the command of a native-born PMA graduate, ex-Captain Domingo Gonzales of the pre-war Philippine Constabulary.

(3) The rescuing of two American pilots in Taal Lake by an aqua-plane of the American liberation forces then stationed in Mindoro.

(4) The encounter between the guerrillas under Capt. Domingo Gonzales and the Japanese stragglers in a ravine in Boot, killing two Japanese soldiers.

9. a. Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars:

(1) 1896-1900 – None.

(2) 1941-1945 – See 8, c, (1)

10. a. Measures and accomplishments toward rehabilitation and reconstruction following World War II:

(1) Some victims of the ravages of the war received payment of war damages from the War Damage Commission.

(2) Reconstruction of burned houses started sometime in 1948.

(3) Repair of the intermediate building and the construction of the shop building with expenses shouldered by the local PTA.

Part Two: FOLKWAYS

11. Traditions, customs, and practices in domestic and social life:

a. Birth:

(1) A new birth is heralded throughout the neighborhood by two shots fired into the air when the stork brings a girl, and three more shots when it is a boy. Several weeks before the expected [birth], the father would encage one or more chickens to fatten them for the expected occasion. Soon after the mother has given birth, the chickens become victims of this time-honored tradition. The broth is intended for the mother while the meat is for the callers. Adult callers will gather around a flat basket of buyo leaves and betel nuts and while away the time chewing and talking.

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enthusiastically about the infant’s future based on the date, day and time of its birth.

(2) As soon as a child is born, the placenta is buried in a spot under the house. With it is buried a pencil wrapped in a page of a book, a newspaper or a magazine so that when the child grows big, he is expected to be very talented. Other parents bury the placenta under the eaves of the house where the rain water coming from the roof falls. The children are supposed to be good swimmers when they grow big.

(3) The placentas of the succeeding children are buried in the same spot where the placenta of the first child was buried so that the children, it is believed, will live harmoniously and quarreling among them avoided.

(4) The first clothing worn by the first new born child is kept by the mother. Should the mother give other births, that clothing should be the first to be worn by the newly-born. The children will live in unison; no quarrels, no ill feelings among them.

(5) A woman who has menstruation is prohibited from visiting another woman who has just delivered a baby. The new mother, it is believed, will bleed profusely, and thus worsen her condition.

(6) The umbilical cords of newly-born babies, when cut already, are tied together and placed on the roof directly opposite the oven so that rats and other insects cannot destroy them. Aside from their medicinal values, children will be very close to each other when they grow up.

b. Baptism:

Baptism is administered twice in this barrio. The first baptism is officiated by an old person right in the house of the parents of the child. This is called “buhos tubig” and is done when the baby is just several days old. The sponsor will invite his relatives, friends, and other “compadres.” Men bring with them bottles of wine while women and young girls bring bottles of soft drinks and other gifts. Chickens are slaughtered; sometimes a big cow, a pig or two, and several goats are also killed when the celebration is quite big. When such [a] thing happens, a temporary dining place on the yard world with coconut leaves is made. This is called “bilik,” and is done through the “bayani” system. The celebration may last the whole day, and what is always very conspicuous during the entire celebration is the drinking spree among men, especially the adults, and the singing of favorite airs of the dashing Romeos and comely Juliets of the barrio to the accompaniment of a lone guitar. The atmosphere of hospitality is very prevalent, so that the uninvited do not need to be shy just because they are not invited. They are given due cordiality and shown the finest gesture of hospitality similar to those who are invited. The celebration ends to the astonishment of everybody as to the number of chickens killed, and to the number of bottles of wine and soft drinks emptied. Before the sponsor takes his leave, he tenders a gift or gives a certain amount of money called “pakimkim” to his godson or goddaughter, as the case may be.

(2) The second time the same child is christened is during the barrio fiesta which is celebrated annually. This rite is administered by the parish priest, and the affair is as expensive and pompous as the first.

(3) The sponsor, in the course of the baptismal ceremony,

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must say his prayers fluently, pronouncing every word of the prayer correctly, distinctly and with no stammering. The child, it is believed, will learn to speak at once fluently and without stuttering.

(4) A lone boy in a group of babies being baptized will, it is believed, when he grows up, be very popular among the fair sex, and always successful in love affairs. The same is true to a lone girl in a group of baby boys. She is always hunted by a score of admirers when she grows up.

(5) The sponsor must personally attend to the baptismal dress that the baby should wear, and to the payment for the rite. The parents of the child must not attempt to pay for the services of the priest, otherwise, that should mean an insult to the dignity of the sponsor.

(6) In the course of the right, the sponsor must very well see to it that the cap [the] the child is wearing must not fall off from the head of the infant nor the light of the candle he (the sponsor) is holding to be put out. If either of these cases happens, it is believed, the child will have a very short life.

(7) During the baptismal rite, the sponsor should raise the head of the child slightly higher than the body. When the child grows big, he will have high aspirations in life.

(8) As soon as the baptismal ceremony gets through, all the sponsors, should there be many, make a dash for the door of the church or the barrio chapel, as the case may be, bearing the children in their arms. The child whose sponsor we just the door first will have a strong personality and be a leader among men when he grows up.

c. Courtship:

The manner of courtship among young men and young women in this barrio is still highly influenced by the conservative way, although there are cases wherein the modern trend is resorted to.

(1) The case of a shy lover:

When a young [man] is deeply in love with a girl and is too tongue-tied to divulge his genuine affections to the girl, he makes use of the usual gift-giving. If the girl suits the taste of the boy’s parents and vice-versa, what follows next is courtship among the old, not the young. When this thing happens and goes on favorably between the two parents of both parties, the poor girl is already engaged and wedded to the boy long before she is fully aware of it.

(3) Here is another practice. Early in the evening, the young swain will don his best bib and tucker to pay a visit to his lady-love. He would invite his best friend whom the girl has the fullest confidence. Sometimes, the situation is very well rehearsed. Before they come up, the friend would instruct the love-stricken boy what to do the moment they are in the house of the girl. The lover may have been instructed by his friend to simulate great woe in the presence of the girl or to do anything that may inflict pity on her which may later on be transmuted into love. The friend does the wooing. Whenever a suitor pays a visit to the girl, he must not forget to say “Good evening” to the old [people] in utmost humility. Sending love letters is made possible through a go-between who is always a trusted friend of the young lovers.

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(3) The case of a spurned lover:

A young lover is very true in his affections and sincere in all his actuations. He is spending too much money, and working too hard just to gain the love of the girl. The girl ignores the man, and adding insult to injury spurns him in his presence. It is time for the girl to beware because what may happen next is kidnapping or something equally serious.

(4) the case of a strict or conservative mother:

When the mother of the girl is rather strict to the girl or very conservative in her ideas, the [man] goes to the house of the girl with some of his friends. The moment they are in the house, the friends get busy entertaining the mother while the lovers indulge themselves in tete-a-tete. The hours passed on without the mother's idea of what has happened.

(5) The parents of the young lady may be fortunate enough to own a piece of land planted to either rice or corn. During the weeding season, the young admirer, in all his eagerness to win the admiration of the parents of the young girl, asks the favor of his friends to weed out the rice or corn field at his own expense. This is called the “bayahi” system. The same thing holds true when the house of the girl is to be repaired.

(6) Serenading goes hand in glove with courting. Early in the evening, the young lover will ask the favor of his friends to go with him to serenade the girl of his dreams. At the first strum of the guitar, the girl may already be wide awake but she must pretend not to be and remain still. Either the father or the mother or any elderly person in the house has the final say with regard to allowing the serenaders to come up; the poor girl has no power to say so. The serenaders must have song a number of songs under the house before they are told to come up. When the serenade is but a prelude to courtship and the girl does not know yet who among the serenaders intends to become her futures, the singers, other than the would-be suitor, uses, in the course of their singing, all the pronouns in the third person. When the would-be suitor knows how to sing and sings, he uses the pronouns in the first person, thus leading to girl to discover her new find.

d. Marriage:

(1) When the young lovers are already engaged, the next thing most likely to happen is marriage. But before they are married, this is what is done first. The parents of the young man, together with some of their close relatives, will go to the house of the future bride to talk the matter over with her parents. This stage is called “bulungan” in the dialect. Sometimes, the parents of the future benedict invite one or more persons whom the parents of the girl look up on to go with them. Things to eat and bottles of wine and soft drinks are brought along with them. Matters pertaining to the forthcoming marriage are discussed. The day of the marriage, how it is to be officiated, whether by the priest or by the Justice of the Peace, whether it will be a big event or just a simple ceremony, what things the parents of the girl will require of the young man – all these are to be considered during the “bulungan.” When the parents of the young girl are hard to please, the invited persons whom they cannot dissuade, intervene on behalf of the parents of the boy. When the future groom does not need fully the satisfaction of the girl’s parents, too much is asked of the parents of the other party. Sometimes, a house is asked of the boy’s parents, and aside from this, they are to give money amounting to several hundred pesos or even reaching the thousandth mark when the bride-to-be is beautiful, and

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to make the affair a big one. There [are] times when the marriage is definitely postponed just because the parents of the young man cannot afford to meet these requirements. Woe to the poor lovers when this thing happens. However, if the young man and the girl are very much decided to walk down the aisle, very elope.

(2) When all things have been agreed upon favorably by both parties, and a date has been fixed for the marriage, the next thing to happen is a great ordeal for the young man. He has to serve the would-be in-laws up to the eve of the marriage. He has to attend to the supply of water. He has to bring at least a bundle of firewood to all the relatives of his future wife, whether near or remote. He has to help in the fields or in the house. In short, he seems to be a vassal of the feudal times. The celebration begins at the eve of the marriage, and is done in the house of the future bride.

(3) In the course of the ritual, the groom must press the hand of the bride as hard and as tight as possible so that the latter can be dominated by the former.

(4) As soon as the wedding ceremony gets through, the newly married couple has a race to the door of the church for supremacy in household activities. Should the man reach the door first, he is supposed to be dominant over the woman; if the woman comes out first, then it is luck to be the one wearing the long pants in the house.

(5) The newly married couple is, in coming up the stairs of the bride’s house, strewn with rice grains with the belief that they will always lead an abundant life. A glass of water with sugar is offered the bride and groom so that they will lead a sweet and harmonious married life.

(6) After the celebration in the bride’s house, the bride is escorted to the house of the groom. The groom is left in the bride’s house. The groom and the bride will have to be separated for three long and eager nights. At the fourth day, they will have to be reunited throughout eternity unless, of course, some unforeseen circumstances will force them to part again, and for how long, no one knows.

(7) After the celebration is true, a pot is broken to foretell the offspring of the newly married couple.

e. Death:

(1) When somebody dies in the neighborhood, people, young and old, spend the whole night wide awake in the house of the bereaved family. One may find a group of men indulged in playing cards. Other groups resort to some kind of entertainment. Old women offer prayerful blessings for the soul of the departed. Friends and relatives of the bereaved family give money as a kind of help. During the whole night of vigil, coffee, bread and other things to eat are constantly offered to the people present.

(2) Friends and relatives of the bereaved family go to [the] house of the latter every night for nine nights to offer their prayers for the dead. Young men and women play the traditional “Huwego de Prenda,” “Kulasisi ng Hari,” or “Dupluhan.” The usual offering of things to eat is not neglected during this course.

(3) When the death is a baby, the usual feast is done on the fourth day (apatang araw); when the departed is an adult, the “tibaw” (feast for the dead) is held on the ninth day (siyamang araw).

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When the dead is [a] woman, there is another feast held on the thirtieth day in her honor; you have the departed is a man, the feast is held on the fortieth day.

(4) The first anniversary of the death of any member of the family is always celebrated. All members of the bereaved family, if women, wear the widow’s weed for one year; if, men, they should pin a black band on the left side of their shirt opposite the heart or wear a black lace on the left sleeve of their shirts. After one year, they can do away with their mourning. The celebration is held annually.

(5) During All Saints’ Day, the members of the bereaved family go to the cemetery and place a wreath on the niche of the deceased. Prayers are said for the post of the dead.

f. Burial:

(1) There are times when the coffin is carried in bare hands by the members of the bereaved family and the closest relatives from the house to the church. This, they say, is their last sacrifice that they can do for the dead. After the priest has given his last holy blessings, the dead is brought to the cemetery either in a calesa or in a funeral coach depending upon the financial status of the bereaved family. Before the dead is placed in the niche or in the pit, as the case may be, the coffin is opened for the second time, the first being in the church, for the members of the bereaved family to take a last glimpse of their dear departed. The heart-rending scene that ensues need not be told, for it is not a tradition but human nature too weep for the dead. When the dead is either the father or the mother, and there are small kids left behind, these kids are passed to and fro over the coffin. It is done, according to their belief that when the kids grow up, they are not pigeon-hearted. The coffin is then closed, and before it is placed in the niche or in the pit, the members of the bereaved family throw some soil inside the last resting place.

g. Visits:

(1) Whenever visits are made, extreme politeness and courtesy are exercised. Children are not allowed to play inside the house, and should they ever converse, it should not be louder than a whisper. Children cannot cut in in the conversation of the old.

(2) Sometimes, it is but natural to callers to bring something with them as it is for the visited to prepare something worth the visit. It is, in other words, a “give and take” policy.

h. Festivals:

(1) The most popular and well celebrated festival is the traditional barrio fiesta which is held annually in honor of the patron saint or of the “Flores de Mayo.” This is celebrated for almost two days. At the eve of the fiesta, young men and women decorate the barrio rolled with colored paper, and the barrio chapel with curtains and flowers. Every house owner, rich and poor alike, is fully prepared for the occasion. Bands go around the barrio. At night, after the floral offering in the chapel, there is held a band concert which may last, to the disgust of the musicians, up to the wee hours of dawn. Early in the morning of the fiesta, the bands go around the barrio to rouse the people. Mass is said in the chapel; baptisms follow and every baby baptized is escorted by the band to the house. The rest of the day is spent in attending to and feeding the visitors. In the afternoon, the procession takes place. People, young and old, join the procession.

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After the procession, there is again the floral offering by the “Hermana Mayora.” At this time, one will see a busy off buxom damsels from the neighboring barrios, all invited by the “Hermana Mayora.” In the course of the floral offering, and eyewitness may be reminded of some lines in the poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” which run thus:

Cannons to the right of them,
Cannons to the left of them,
Cannons in front of them
Cannons behind them.

It is because young men have the effrontery to fire their firearms of varying calibers, whether licensed or unlicensed at your right, at your left, at your front, or at your rear whenever their “beautiful” walk to and from the altar.

(2) Another occasion celebrated is the period of Lent – which covers forty days. Everyday from the first to the last day of Lent, which falls on Good Friday, reading of the “pasion” is observed. Whenever there is a house with an occasion like this, there is always preparation.

(3) Birthdays, weddings and death anniversaries are celebrated in the barrio. During the celebration, chickens, pigs, or goats are killed without pity.

i. Punishments:

Grave offenses are brought before the law, and the offender, when apprehended, is given to the proper authorities. No person takes the law into his hands.

11. Beliefs, Interpretations and Superstitions:

(1) Sickness:

(a) “Uhiya” or “Bati:”

A cute, good-looking little child is often the victim of this commonly believed sickness. Some persons, it is believed, are hot-eyed or hot-mouthed. When such [a] person looks at a child, either through open admiration or concealed anger or utters some remarks, although praiseworthy or whatnot, about the child, the child gets sick instantly. The suspected person to have caused the illness is summoned to cure the child. He applies his own saliva on the lips of the sick child; chews some rice grains and blows the grounded grains over the face of a child. In order that a child may not become a victim of “uhiya” or “bati,” the mother puts charcoal or soot marks on the forehead or on the face of the child so asked to divert the attention of those hot-eyed or hot-mouthed persons. Older persons who will go to other places carry with them pepper (siling pasiti) in their pockets or where some precious gems as a precaution against “uhiya” or “bati.”

(b) People believe that “nuno” or spirits dwell under the ground. When a hale person working in the backyard, in the rice fields or in the forest returns homesick without any apparent cause, it is believed that he has done some harm to the “nuno.” If he complains of a severe headache, it is believed, he might have hurt the head of the “nuno” either by stepping or sitting on it. If the patient complains of a painful stomach, it is feared that he might have stepped on the stomach of a lying or sleeping “nuno.” All these are presumed by a quack doctor or “albularyo” after he has done his magic-like performance called “tawas” (alum).

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(c) It is not good for one to take a bath when the dead member of the family or any relative is still lying in state, for when one gets sick, the sickness is always serious and hard to cure. The same belief holds true in taking a bath on Fridays.

(d) One off the afflictions most dread and by the people is the one caused by the “barang.” A barang is a very tiny winged insect which can be trained to inflict injury upon its victim by biting. Some persons are believed to be rearing these insects for malign purposes. When an owner of this insect happens to have an enemy whom he wants to perjure, either temporarily or for life, he summons this insect to hunt for its supposed victim. One thing queer about this insect is that it bites its victim as is instructed by the owner. If it is told to b the victim on the chest only, it does so without biting any other part of the body. The bitten part begins to swell gradually, and the victim suffers the most excruciating pain. No drugstore medicines nor any doctors can cure this sickness, people say. Only those persons inclined on this devilish craft can give remedy to the victim.

(2) Plants and planting:

(a) In planting bananas, one should never look up, otherwise, the plants will grow very tall.

(b) If a farmer has just sown palay in his rice field, he must not sweep anything anywhere the whole day, otherwise, when the palay seeds grow, they are concentrated in one place only. If a farmer shaves or has a haircut after he has sown palay in the field, the rice plants will have very shortly.

(c) When the night previous was very starry, the day following is a good time for planting. The plants will bear fruits plentifully.

(d) People make it a point to plant bananas on August 13 of every year, the day when Judas committed suicide by hanging himself. The fruits, it is believed, are very fat and very big.

(e) The same belief in planting bananas holds true when planting is done on the day preceding the night with a full moon.

(f) In planting corn, the planter must not laugh nor smile, otherwise, the ears of corn will have very few grains.

(g) The best time to plant root crops are on days preceding moonless nights.

(h) Should one want to produce makapuno, one should plant the young seedlings at night, naked and the mouth filled with cold rice.

(i) Planting chicos shortens the life of the planter.

(j) It is not good to plant papaya or jackfruits in front of the house. Doing so will cause early death to many members of the family or some other misfortunes will befall the family.



(3) Trees:

A tree which is dotted with fireflies at night has some hidden spell (anting) underneath it.

(4) Animals:

(a) A black cat which crosses one's path signifies and evil omen.

(b) When someone sees a white cock crawling in the forest at night, there is a hidden treasure somewhere in that forest.

(c) When a cat wipes its face with its paw in front of a door, a visitor will come.

(d) When a hand cackles in its roost at night without any apparent cause, and unmarried woman in the neighborhood is going to give birth to a bastard baby.

(e) When dogs below forth their hair-stirring howls at night,, evil spirits are prowling around the house of a serious patient. The patient is expected to die sooner or later.

(f) When a fisherman sees a lizard before he has started fishing, he will have a very poor catch.

(5) Moon:

People say and believe that a new moon is seen by the people at the third night. The first night of the new moon is for the fishes; the second night for arboreal animals.

(6) Eclipses:

People believe that an eclipse is caused by a certain “laho” which swallows the sun or the moon, thus causing either one of them to dim.

(7) Earthquakes:

People believe that an earthquake is caused by even the slightest movement of a big giant living underground.

(8) Rain, wind, storms, changes of climates;

(1) When small particles of fire cling to the bottom of a cooking utensil, it will rain.

(2) When a cat wipes its face with its paw in front of the kitchen, it will rain.

(3) When pigs begin to play, it will rain.

(4) When the chicken dung begin to be very smelly during a hot day, it will rain.

(5) People believe that the wind is caused by San Lorenzo, its god. When fishermen or other people riding in bancas in Taal Lake are overtaken by a strong wind, they at once offer prayers to San Lorenzo so that the wind will subside.

(9) Other natural phenomena: When a comet appears in the sky with its rays flashing downward, there will pass a pestilence, famine or war; when the rays flash upward, it is a sign of a good omen.

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(b) When the clouds turn purplish at sunset, it is believed that the rainy season is very near.

(10) Witchcraft:

(a) When a man is working in the field or in the forest and the time for him to eat has come, he should first sprinkle salt around him so that the witch (tikbalang) cannot come near. The same thing is done when someone eats in the river. Witches, people say, are afraid of salt.

(b) When a person is eating in the field, in the forest, or in the river, he should not, although jokingly, shout his invitation to someone to dine with him when there is really no one around. Witches, people say, come unseen at eat with the person.

(c) People say and still believe that a witch may resemble different things. It can, if it wants to, look like a very beautiful woman which can lure someone, especially a man, to her abode, passing through a very difficult and thorny path without the least knowledge of the man. If the witch offers the man something to eat, and the man eats what is offered him, he, too will become a witch.

(11) Divination:

(a) It was and still is the custom of the people on Palm Sunday to bring to church a coconut palm, the leaves of which are made into many different and cute figures resembling that of birds, shrimps, grasshoppers, and other insects. After the palm has been blessed by the priest with the holy water, the people have the firm belief that it becomes holy and sacred and cannot be toyed with. Whenever there is thunder, the people will burn a leaf of this holy palm and allow the smoke to come out of the window with the belief that the thunder will either subside or go away, hence the safety of the house and the people in it.

(b) During the dry season, it is the custom of the people to hold a “lutrina” for nine consecutive nights. People, young and old, carry with them lighted candles as they sing along the way. The sculptured figure of San Roque, supposed to be the god of rain and which is carried by an elder person, leads the procession. Every night after the procession, the statue of San Roque is repaired for the night in a different house. A simple feast is always held for those who join the “lutrina.” Holding this “lutrina” causes rain or an early rain.

b. Interpretations:

(a) When either of the palms gets itchy, one will have money.

(b) A mole in either sole of the feet signifies that the person is nomadic.

(c) A man with a broad forehead is said to be brainy.

(d) A person who has a scar on any part of his face will surely meet some misfortune or serious accident.

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(e) A person who has a mole on his upper lip is said to be a voracious eater.

(f) A person who has a mole either on the right or on the left side of his forehead is said to be inconstant, most especially in love affairs.

(g) A man who is getting bald-headed is on the road to prosperity.

c. Other superstitions:

(a) It is not good to sweep the house at night, for it will make one grow poor or will always make one short of income.

(b) In building a house, it is not good to make the stairs facing the west. The owner of the house or whoever lives in it will always be poor.

(c) It is not good to allow fire victims to stay or live with their neighbors, for the house is likely to get burned also.

(d) When someone smells the fumes of a candle when there is not one lighted, it is believed a member of the family or any nearest of kin is going to meet an untimely death.

(e) It is an ill omen when someone breaks a mirror.

(f) It means an early death for one member in a group of three in a picture.

(g) When someone bites his lips while eating or gulps when drinking, others are talking about him.

(h) Lighting a cigarette in a candlelight is a bad foreboding.

12. Popular songs, games and amusements:

a. Popular songs:
(1) Among the nursing mothers:

Ay luong, tulog na aro,
An ina mo ay malayo
Nananahi ng baro

(2) Among the younger people:

(a) Kundiman
(b) Danza
(c) Balitaw

b. Games and amusements:

 (1)  Playing cards  (2)  Cockfighting
 (a)  Pustihan  (3). Luksong tinik
 (b)  Rebinsino  (4)  Luksong tubig
 (c)  Unggoyan  (5)  Tipong-pong
 (d)  Tres Siete  (6)  Hari-harian
 (e)  Tres Seis  (7)  Pasa Hardin
 (f)  Boroskas  (8)  Hulog mi Ginto
 (g)  Solitariyo  (9)  Manok at Lawain
 (h)  Pangginggue (10) Huwego de Prenda
 (i)  Pakito (11) Kulasisi ng Hari
 (j)  Monte (12) Doplohan
[p. 13]

13. Puzzles and riddles:

a. Hinalo ko ang linugaw, nagtakbuhan ang inihaw… Bangka
b. Hid hod, malaki ang mata sa tuhod… Tutubi
c. Dalawang magkumpare, mauna’t mahuli… Paa
d. Pinirot ko’t dinalirot bago isinundot… Panahi’t karayom
e. Binalangkas ko nang binalangkas bago ko inihampas… Trumpo
f. Isang bayabas, pito ang butas… Ulo
g. Kamay ng Kastila, nakabaon sa lupa… Labanos
h. Daliri ni Balis, puro galis… Pipino
i. Dalawang ibong marikit, nagtitimbangan sa siit… Hikaw
j. Taga ng taga, walang tatal sa lupa… Habihan
k. Baras ng kapitan, hindi malakdawan… Ahas
l. Sa gubat nagtagaan, sa bahay nag-iyakan… Gitara
m. Nagtago si Piro, labas ang ulo… Pako
n. Nagsaing si Katuntong, bumulak ay walang gatong… Gugo
o. Hapula, haputa, simbahang munti… Itlog
p. Hinigit ko ang baging, nagkagulo ang matsin… Kampana
q. Bahay ni kiringkiring, butas-butas ang dingding… Bithay
r. Isang matabang babae, sa tagiliran natai… Gilingan
s. Isang prinsesa, nakaluklok sa tasa… Kasoy
t. Eto na si kuya, may sunong na baga… Manok
u. Munting bundok, hindi madampot… Ipot
v. Tinaga ko sa puno, sa dulo dumugo… Kasubha
w. Matapang sa dalawa, duwag sa isa… Tulay
x. Binaril ko sa sakong, tinamaan sa ilong… Utot
y. Umupo si maitim, sinulot si mapula, lumabas si maputi, tataratara… Sinaing
z. Isda ko sa Mariveles, nasa loo bang kaliskis… Sili
aa. Oo nga at sili, nasa loob ang aligi… Alimango
bb. Oo nga at alimango, nasa loob ang ulo… Pagong
cc. Oo nga at pagong, nasa loob ang ilong… Niyog
dd. Oo nga at niyog, sa loob ang bunot… Mangga
ee. Oo nga at mangga, nasa loob ang mata… Pinya
ff. Oo nga at pinya, nakaupo sa tasa… Kasoy

14. Proverbs and Sayings:

a. Kung ibig ang karunungan, habang bata ay mag-aral
Kung tumanda’y mag-aral man, mahirap nang makaalam.
b. Pag may salaping tangan, pusa ma’y napapasayaw.
c. Ang katutohanan kahit na ibaon, lilitaw din pagdating ng panahon.
d. Ang kalabaw na malinis na sumubsob sa putik, sapilitang mapupuno ng putik.
e. Ang maliit na di mo tinahi, nagiging dahilan ng malaking gusi.
f. Sa larangan ng digmaan nakikilala ang matapang.
g. Ang bayaning nasugatan, nag-iibayo ang tapang.
h. Sa taong may hiya, ang salita’y panunumpa.
i. Ang tunay na kaibigan, sa gipit nasusubukan.
j. Ang kapangahasan ay bunga ng karunungan.
k. Walang humipo ng palayok na di naulingan.
l. Sa masunurin sa magulang, lumalapit ang kayamanan.
m. Anak na di paluhain, ina ang patatangisin.
n. Ang kahoy habang malambot, madali ang paghutok.
Pag tumigas na’t tumayog, mahirap na ang paghutok.
o. Makikilala mo ang taong may bait
Sa kilos ng kamay at buka ng bibig.
p. Anumang gawain ng tao, nararamay pati inapo.
q. Kung ano ang pagkabataan, siya ring pagkakatandaan.
r. Ang hanap sa hamog, sa tubig naaanod.
s. Kung anong puno, siyang bunga.
t. Pag nauna ang anunsiyo, hindi natutuloy ang bagyo.
u. Ang suerte ni Juan ay hindi suerte ni Pedro.
v. Magsisi ma’t has [?] huli, walang mangyayari.
w. Walang matimtimang birhen sa matiyagang manalangin.
x. Ang hinog sa pilit, kanin ma’y mapait.

[p. 14]

y. Hindi lumulubog ang araw kundi hustong maghapon
z. Walang matigas na tutong sa natong nagugutom.
1. Ang mahusay na pagsunod ay nasa pag-uutos.
2. Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.
3. Ang hindi mapagtipon, walang hinayang magtapon.
4. Kung tunay na tubo, matamis hanggang dulo.
5. Ang hipong tulog ay nadadala ng agos.
6. Ang taong nagigipit, sa patalim ma’y kumakapit.
7. Madali ang maging tao, mahirap ang magpakatao.
8. Bago gawain ang sasabihin, maki-ilang isipin.
9. Putik din lamang at putik, tapatin na ang malapit.
10. Wika at batong ihagis, di na muling magbabalik.

15. Methods of measuring time, special calendars:

a. Methods of measuring time:

(1) The different positions of the sun in the daytime.
(2) The length of the shadows of trees and people.
(3) The different positions of the stars as the North Star, the constellations as the Southern Cross.
(4) The crowing of the cocks at night.
(5) The homing of the fowls.

b. Special calendars: None

16. Other Folktales:

Note: Here is a series of stories on Suan, the John Doe of the Philippines. These folktales are very popular among the young boys and girls, and are very much enjoyed by them.

(1)

Juan or Suan, as he was popularly called in his neighborhood, was a very lazy boy. His mother did all she could to reform him but to no avail. Whatever the poor mother would tell him to do, he would not do it. All that he would do was eat, play and sleep.

One afternoon, Suan’s mother thought of cooking rice cakes for sale. [The] Rice cake was one of Suan’s weaknesses, his mother knew it well. While the mother was cooking the rice cakes, Suan was intently watching, and as the smoke assailed his nostrils, it whetted his appetite. When the rice cakes where already cooked, he wanted to ask for a little piece, but he knew his mother would not give him. He could no longer enjoy the sight, so he said, “Mother dear, may I have a slice of that rice cake?”

His mother did not heed him although she heard him very well. He tried again. “Mother dear. Is there anything you would want me to do?” Suan asked tenderly.

The mother was so much touched that she turned to her son and said, “I will give you a piece of this rice cake if you will go around the neighborhood and sell this.”

“Oh, yes, mother,” replied Suan eagerly.

The mother was very happy because this would be the first time her son could be of help to her. So that, before Suan left, his mother said, “You made just eat the sides, and sell the middle.”

[p. 15]

Suan head gone a few meters away when he felt like eating. He sat under a big mango tree, looked at the rice cake, bit his lip, and soliloquized, “Mother told me to eat only the sides. That, I will do. I do not want to disobey her now.”

Suan began to eat. He was very careful to get the sides only lest his mother would scold him should he eat the middle. He was about to eat the last side of the cake when he realized that the whole thing was almost gone. Remembering what his mother told him, he ate the last side. With nothing but the basket, he went home. When his mother saw him, she asked, “Did you do what I told you to do?”

“Yes, mother,” replied Suan.

“Very good. Now you are beginning to learn things. Where is the money?” asked the mother.

“What money?” retorted Suan in a surprised tone. “You told me to eat only the sides and sell the middle.”

-o0o-

(2)

One day, Suan had nothing to do. It dawned upon him to go to a fortune teller to know something about his future. When he was already there, he said, “Kind sir, will you please tell me frankly about my future?”

The fortune teller looked at Suan’s palms thoroughly, and eyed him scrutinizingly from head to foot, then said, “Young man, you must be very careful about your health. The moment your umbilical cord gets wet, you are already a dead man.”

Suan left the place very much dismayed about his future. When he arrived home, his mother told him to pound some rice for supper. He obeyed reluctantly. His work was half done when he noticed that his umbilical cord was thoroughly wet with sweat. He remembered what the fortune teller told him. He knew he was already a dead man. He put down the pestle laid down under a big guava tree in the backyard. He closed his eyes and said, “I am already dead. Goodbye to all.”

Several hours later, he felt very hungry. He opened his eyes and saw some ripe guavas. He was about to get up but instead, he kept still and sighed, “Oh, if Suan were only alive, he should have gathered all those ripe guavas for himself.”

A few moments later, the mother was shouting [out] loud, “Suan, Suan, where are you? Have you finished your work?”

There was no answer. The mother looked for Suan and found him lying supinely under the guava tree. “What are you doing there?” interrogated the mother angrily.

“Just pray for me, Mother, I am already dead,” Suan replied with half-closed eyes.

“What?” demanded the mother.

“Oh, yes, Mother. I am already dead,” Suan replied with half-closed eyes.

The mother got a big branch of the guava tree. Suan saw it, and knew already what was going to happen next. He got up quickly and ran as fast as his legs could carry him.

[p. 16]

“I can hardly believe that the dead man can run faster than the living,” muttered Suan to himself.

(3)

Suan was already old enough to go to school. His mother, however, could not persuade him to do so. One day, just to coax Suan to go to school, his mother promised him a very good meal every time he came home from school.

Early the next morning, Suan was all set. His mother prepared a very nice breakfast for him. He was about to go when he asked, “Mother, where is the school?”

“Go to the place where it is noisy. That is the school,” answered his mother.

Suan had gone a long way when he came to a pond full of croaking frogs. The place was really a pandemonium. “Ah, so this is the school,” he said to himself.

He sat near the pond and after a few minutes began aping perfectly the sound of the frogs. He went home hungry but happy for he thought he knew a lot at so short a time.

“Mother, I am here,” he shouted as he entered the gate. “Is my lunch ready?”

“Oh my poor boy, you must be very hungry by now,” said the mother tenderly. “No, you better eat first.”

The meal was as good as what was promised. Suan ate with gusto.

“Well, what did you learn in school today?” asked the mother when Suan finished eating.

“Plenty,” responded Suan proudly.

“Really?” snapped back the mother. “Let me hear what you learned.”

Suan stood up and with a deep breath shouted, “Croak, croak, croak, crrr…”

“Stop, stop,” yelled the mother. “Where did you learn all those nonsense?”

The mother got her whip and demanded sharply, “Now tell me. Is that what you said you learned in school – the croaking of frogs? Lie down on this bench and tell me the truth.”

“You told me to stop in a noisy place because that is the school. When I reached a pond, I found the place very noisy. I stopped there because I thought that was the school.”

-o0o-

(4)

One day, Suan’s mother told him to go to market to buy a needle. Suan obeyed immediately. He rode on the cart and proceeded to market. After buying the needle, he put it in one corner of the cart and went back home, driving the carabao as fast as he could. When he reached home, the mother asked for the needle but it was nowhere to be found. The mother was so furious with anger that she beat Suan black and blue. “Suan,” said the mother. “Whenever it is pointed, pin it on your shirt. Understand?”

[p. 17]

“Yes mother,” Suan replied meekly.

The next day, Suan’s father thought of planting bananas in their backyard. He called Suan and said, “You go to our neighbor and borrow the crowbar.”

Suan obeyed. He found out that the crowbar was pointed at one end. He remembered what his mother told him that day before that whenever it is pointed, he should pin it on his shirt. So, he pinned the crowbar on his shirt. When he reached home, his shirt was already torn. The mother was mad at the sight. “Why did you pin that on your shirt?”

“Didn’t you tell me, Mother, to pin on my shirt anything that is pointed? Look at this thing. Is it not so?” replied Suan sarcastically.

“Foolish,” shouted the mother and at the same time pulled Suan by the ear with all her might. “Remember, whenever it is heavy, drag [it] along with you.”

That same afternoon, Suan’s mother was going to fry some dried fish for supper.

“Suan,” she called. “Go to our neighbor quickly and borrow the frying pan.”

The frying pan was quite heavy for him. He remembered once again his mother’s advice. He secured a piece of rope, tied the frying pan by the handle, and dragged it home behind him. When he reached home, nothing was tied to the rope save the handle.

“You good-for-nothing, goby-brained idiot,” shouted the mother angrily. “What did you do with the frying pan? Why do you have the handle only?”

“The frying pan is heavy. I did what you told me. I dragged it home behind me,” replied Suan with great concern.

“Foolish,” gruntled [grumbled] the mother. “Next time, remember to carry on your head anything that is concave.”

A few days later, Suan’s father got ill with diarrhea. The mother got tired of throwing away the human excreta. She called Suan to do the job for her. And what do you think Suan did? He put the container on his head upside down.

-o0o-

Informants:

Valeriano Angulo – 81 years old
Pedro Gonzales – 78 years old
Gavine B. Gonzales – 74 years old
Domingo B. Gonzales – 46 years old

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

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