January 4, 2018

Gamao, Tingloy, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Gamao in the Municipality of Tingloy, 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.

[Note to the reader.]

At the time when this document was created, the barrio of Gamao, now part of Tingloy, was still a barrio of Bauan. Tingloy was formally separated from the Bauan in the year 1955 after the passage of Republic Act No. 1344.

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HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF GAMAO

In a setting of verdant tropical islands and turquoise seas, Gamao as it was called during the Spanish era and still widely known by that name at this atomic age, stands out vividly among the glamorous barrios of Maricaban Island of Bauan.

Aptly called the “Peaceful Mountain,” Gamao has a beauty and brilliance to offer a fastidious tourist. If you will be interested in this barrio, acquaint yourself with the records of this barrio, and then judge for yourself if the above statements are true or false.

Gamao, getting its name from a buoy of the fishing net commonly used in this place, has six main divisions established as early as 1891 with their original families.

1. Silangan – This is the eastern part of Gamao; that was why people called it Silangan, deriving it from the direction where the sun rises. There were about 12 to 15 homes in this place belonging to one family clan.

2. Bulihan – This is located on the western part of Silangan of which 8 homes were within sight. A place where buri palms were abundant; it was named after them.

3. Gulod – Situated in the northern part of Silangan, 5 buri shacks predominate in this place. As it is in a higher place overlooking the beautiful panorama of sea and plain, people call the place Gulod.

4. Pinagdalupihan – This lies in the western part of Bulihan, composed of 29 homes. This was the most populous part of the barrio and the home of a large part of the laboring class. The name Pinagdalupihan originated from an incident that took place during the Spanish regime. The incident ran this way.

A beautiful maiden known to barrio folks as Rosalita was kidnapped and hogtied by a desperate admirer. The people of Bulihan saw the incident and ran to rescue Rosalita. They caught them at this place and everyone had his fists at the kidnapper. A relative of this fellow ran to tell the father what was happening and when he saw his uncle who was chatting with a Spanish official that time, began to shout, “Pinagdaluhunganan! Pinagdaluhunganan!” The Spaniard also pointed to the place and repeated what the old man told him but instead of saying “pinagdalulunganan,” he said “pinagdalupihan.” The man, confused by such happening, nodded, not being able to notice the mistake made. The Spaniard listed the place as Pinagdalupihan for he thought the man was telling him the name of that place.

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5. Kanluran – Located in the direction where the sun sets, the people call it Kanluran. It was composed of 9 buri and nipa shacks; a memento of a romantic, glamorous past.

6. Danao – This is [a] beautiful valley or rather a series of valleys with gently rolling hills surrounding them, making the inhabitants of 18 homes earn their living by cultivating the fertile soil. Situated in the northern part of Pinagdalupihan, it got its name from the word “tanao.” Because the people of Danao could see below, they always boasted of themselves by saying, “Tanaw naming ang lahat” (We could see everything). The place was called Tanaw, but later it was changed to Danao.

List of Tenientes from the Earliest Time to Date

Peace and order are the most outstanding areas of life and the people of Danao took this seriously by electing a leader to implant peacefulness and orderliness among the people. This leader was called teniente del barrio. In the absence of the teniente del barrio, they had the “auxiliar.” Here is the list of the tenientes del barrio and their auxiliaries from the earliest time to date.




Teniente del Barrio

Auxilier
1. Sixto Manalo
2. Pacifico Manalo
3. Lucas Candava
4. Braulio Persia
5. Esteban Bacay
6. Andres Bacsa
7. Arcadio de Chavez
1896-1901
1901-1904
1904-1925
1925-1928
1928-1936
1936-1938
1938-1953
None
None
Teofilo Datinguinoo
Bonifacio Datinguinoo
Andres Bacsa
Rafael Manalo
Jose Hernandez
Gamao During the Spanish and American Regimes

The contacts with the nations controlling the Philippines were proved to be of advantage to the people of Gamao. Places unknown to people were named by the Spaniards and were listed as one of the barrios of Maricaban Island. Education for the youth had its greatest effort and the people began to feel the democratic ways of living during the American regime. As Gamao is a far flung and isolated barrio, or perhaps it has the blessings of God always, it served as shelter for the evacuees of the war. Not a single property or life was lost except those who went to the battlefront.

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Traditions, Customs and Practices

Gamao is the native barrio in which the vestiges of primitive life are still discernible. It has many interesting and picturesque contrasts ranging all the way from the prehistoric to modern traditions, customs and practices. Here, the old blends with the new, and the East meets the West to produce a partially modernistic people.

A. Birth – a mother conceiving must eat all the foods she wants or else there will appear on the child skin marks, which they call “pinag-ibigan.” A pregnant mother must not lie across her husband for she will have a hard time to give birth to the child. If a mother has a hard time to deliver her child, the string or rope tied or the nails nailed by her husband are untied or un-nailed so that his wife will have an easy way of giving birth to her child. Silver coins are dropped in the basin of water in which the baby will be washed it is their belief [that] it will make the life of a child a prosperous one.

B. Baptism – As soon as baptism is solemnized, the godfather or godmother takes hold of the cap or else the child will soon die if the cap falls. After the ceremony, the child must be first to come out of the church in order to be the first in all he undertakes. The child receives a gift from his ninong known as “pakimkim.”

C. Courtship – If a man wishes to marry a girl, he begins to serve the girl’s parents by carrying water and firewood, pasturing the animals, working in the field and pounding the rice or corn. He will have to kneel three times to her parents so that he will be noticed by them. He will be told to summon his parents and when both parties agree, the marriage is approved to take place.



Likewise, modern trends of courtship are also practiced here. The gentleman whispers lovable, romantic and enchanting words to the maiden and when the maiden gives her consent, they tell their parents of their love affair and then the latter arrange everything for their marriage. They elope if prevented by their parents.

D. Death – A more is to be un-nailed if there is a dead person in the house. All windows are closed and nobody will peep out of the window as soon as the dead is taken out of the house. Handfuls of soil are thrown at the coffin in the hole as soon as it is to be buried. Necessary prayers are prayed in the cemetery and also in the house of the deceased for nine consecutive evenings.

E. Festivals – Gamao has also the Flores de Mayo in May. They have a “tuklong” as they call it where they have their floral offerings and prayers to God. They sometimes have a mass solemnized by a priest from Tingloy. They then will

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have sorts of dramas and dances to add to the ceremony.

F. Punishments – The teniente del barrio acts as the judge of Gamao. If the teniente del barrio cannot decide on certain matters, the case will be forwarded to the judge of Bauan. The teniente del barrio gives advice.

Legend

A legend popularly known in Gamao is “The Legend of Gamao,” which can be found in the pages of this blue book, “Whe the People of the Philippines have Flat Noses.” These legends were related in this way.

When the world was still young, the people had no noses. God saw how ugly the people were without noses, so He sent a ship loaded with noses. The ship anchored at different bays and lastly embark into a Philippine bay. The noses that reached the Philippines were pressed and flattened by the noses on top. That is why Filipinos have flat noses, for the noses were already pressed and flattened by other noses.

Beliefs, Interpretations and Superstitions

Education cannot do away with a beliefs, interpretations and superstitions of the people of Gamao. Listed below are the beliefs of the people.

1. A black cat running across your path will mean bad luck to you so better discontinue your way.

2. The cackling of hens at night is a sign of pregnancy of a maiden of the place.

3. Pointing with a finger at a rainbow will disfigure your finger.

4. Pointing at a fish in a certain stream or sitting on its edge or stone without uttering the blessed names of the Holy Family will bring [a] certain illness to you.

5. Clothes left outside at night will have bad spirits flown over them.

6. The stairs of the house must face the east where the sun rises for prosperous living.

Popular Songs, Games and Amusements

Kundimans used in serenading are popularly sung in this place. Oftentimes, modern songs are sung accompanied by guitars. Seldom you can find a gentleman or a maiden without [a] guitar. They sing song hits of the year. This proves to you

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that the people of Gamao are interested in music. We can conclude that they are musically minded.

In order to forget the helter and skelter of the busy business world and drop the bundles of care and worries that have been saddling them for so long, the people of Gamao have their forms of games and amusements. They have the subli, pandanggo, native dances, poems, and huego de prenda. During the moonlit nights, the air is filled with [the] shouts of glee and laughter of gentlemen and women having a boat-race in the lake-like sea.

Puzzles and Riddles

Saturdays and Sundays are a succession of lush, leisure days for the people of Gamao. They would often gather around as if they are in King Arthur’s Round Table and spend the time for puzzles and riddles. Here are some of the riddles and puzzles with answers known to them.

1. A beautiful lady eating her own body. – candle
2. Who is that [who] has a thousand eyes in her body? – pineapple
3. A small hole full of thorns. – Mouth
4. Four brothers of Chet, wearing one hat. – House
5. What is it that runs fast without feet? – Water
6. What is it that has four feet, then two, then three… – Person
7. I have a friend who always goes with me wherever I go. – Shadow
8. At night, it is a sea, at day it is a bamboo. – Mat
9. What is it that is shining but is not gold? – Sun

Proverbs and Sayings

In every act you do, in every misfortune you meet, the people of Gamao have appropriate proverbs and sayings for them. Below are listed some of their favorite proverbs and sayings.

1. Shallow water makes [the] most noise.
2. Iron is destroyed by its own rust.
3. A good tree bringeth forth good fruit.
4. He who believes in tales has no mind of his own.
5. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
6. The weakest kind of fruit drops earliest to the ground.
7. A little neglect may breed mischief.
8. Birds of a feather flock together.
9. A lazy man’s garden is full of weeds.
10. The worst wheel do the most creaking.

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11. Gambling is an express trip to poverty.
12. A reminder is a medicine to the forgetful.
13. A faithful friend is better than gold.
14. A santol tree never bears a guava fruit.
15. Through every web of life, the dark threads run.
16. To every man upon this earth,
Death cometh soon or late.
17. After the storm comes the calm.
18. In the end, things will mend.
19. After a day of cloud and wind and rain,
Sometimes the rising sun breaks out again.
20. By the street of by and by you reach the house of never. (Modern)

Methods of Measuring Time

Crude and modern ways of measuring time are practiced in Gamao. People tell the time by means of the sun, shadows, trees, posts and other objects. However accurate timing is done by persons having watches, clocks and radios. During school days, others tell time by the going to and coming from school of the pupils.

Submitted by:

LUCILO R. MANALO
(Head Teacher)

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

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