January 1, 2018

Beliefs in Lipa, Batangas by Amparo Reyes, 1924

This page contains the complete transcription of the 1924 ethnographic paper written by one Amparo Reyes from .jpeg scans of the originals made available by the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections. Corrections for grammar had been made in certain parts but no attempt was made to rewrite the original paper. Original pagination is indicated for citation purposes.

[Cover page.]

Tagalog Paper No. 476.

BELIEFS IN LIPA.

By

Amparo Reyes.

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Classification:

  1. TAGALOG: Lipa, Batangas Province.
  2. Summary: Folklore: Beliefs.

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Manila
November 21, 1924.

[p. 1]

A GENERAL ACCOUNT OF BELIEFS IN MY TOWN CONNECTED WITH NATURAL PHENOMENA.

By
Amparo Reyes.

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I. Beliefs connected with the sun:

   1. The eclipse of the sun is feared by everybody for it is believed that it foretells the coming of war.

   2. The children are taught by their parents to wake up early in the morning for if the rays of the sun strike them they will remain weak and sickly during the day.

   3. During sunset, the sick persons are asked to get up for it is feared that their illness will get worse if they lie down while the sun is setting down.

   4. When a child is born when the sun rises in the morning, that child is said to be cool in temperament, if he is born at noon when the sun is hot, he is said to be of hot temperament or ill-tempered and if he is born at twilight, he is said to be melancholic.

II. Beliefs connected with the moon:

   1. The eclipse of the moon is believed to be a sign of bad omen. There will be great storms, coming of locusts, droughts, and consequently, failure of crops.

[p. 2]

   2. The people at home try to have some money in their pockets when there is a new moon so that they will not get bankrupt throughout the month.

   3. Parents try their best to prevent the light of the moon from shining on the faces of their children when they are sleeping for they believe that it will cause the children to be seriously ill when they get sick.

   4. When a baby is born during the period when the moon is getting higher, the parents are glad for it is a sign of good luck to them.



   5. If a girl wants to have long and thick hair, it is a common belief and practiced among the girls to cut their hair during the period when the moon is getting bigger.

III. Beliefs connected with thunder and lightning:

   1. When there is thunder, people do not come near their mirrors and animals such as dogs, cats, pigs, etc., because they are afraid that the thunder will strike them. They cover their mirrors to prevent the thunder from entering their houses.

   2. The people keep silent when there is thunder and lightning and if there is a baby in the house, they make him cry to save the house from being

[p. 3]

struck by the thunder. Many of the people get “palaspas” taken from a coconut tree, and place them near the windows to counteract the effect of thunder.

   3. If there is no loud thunder during the planting season, it is believed that the harvest will be prosperous and plentiful.

   4. It is believed that the santol tree has never been and will never be struck by thunder for almost all the saint images are made out of its trunk.

   5. When thunder and lightning occur, the whole family kneels down to pray to Sta. Barbara who is believed to have the power of saving them from the effect of thunder and lightning.

IV. Beliefs connected with the weather:

   1. The people, especially the farmers, are glad when it rains on All Saints’ Day, for it is a common belief that there will be plenty of water for the plants, hence, a plentiful harvest.

   2. It is believed that when cockroaches fly at night, or when a firefly enters the house, it foretells that it will rain the next day.

   3. When the leaves of the squash plant and the leaves of the banana tree are turned upside down, it is believed to be the sign of [a] storm which is soon coming.

[p. 4]

   4. The appearance of the rainbow reminds the people that there will be soon rain.

   5. When the croaking of the frogs is heard during a stormy night, it is believed that there will be good weather the following day.

   6. When the sky is not cloudy and there are many stars shining in the sky, it shows that the weather will be fine the next day.

V. Beliefs connected with the stars:

   1. If a star is shining very near the moon, it is believed to be the best time for a young man to write love letters and court a lady for success will surely be with him.

   2. When there are many stars shining in the sky at night, the fishermen are happy for they believe that they can cash many fishes the next day, but if there are no stars, just the reverse.

   3. It is a belief that you can predict when you are going to marry if you will count nine stars for nine consecutive nights, and at the ninth night when you sleep, you will surely dream the person whom you are going to marry.

VI. Beliefs connected with the comet:

   1. When a comet appears with its tail thrown downward, the people are very much afraid for they believe

[p. 5]

it foretells wars, famine, and pestilence. They hold “novenas” for nine successive nights in honor of Saint Roque, who is said to have possessed certain powers of preventing any famine or pestilence from coming.

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November 21, 1924.

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Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Beliefs in Lipa,” by Amparo Reyes, 1924, online at the Henry Otley-Beyer Collection of the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.

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