Miscellaneous Beliefs in Lian, Batangas by Rafael L. Arcega, 1925 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Miscellaneous Beliefs in Lian, Batangas by Rafael L. Arcega, 1925 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Miscellaneous Beliefs in Lian, Batangas by Rafael L. Arcega, 1925

This page contains the complete transcription of the 1925 ethnographic paper written by one Rafael L. Arcega 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.

Henry Otley-Beyer Collection

[Cover page.]

Tagalog Paper No. 483.
Rafael L. Arcega
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  1. TAGALOG: Lian, Batangas Province.
  2. Summary: Folklore: Beliefs.

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January 16, 1925.

[p. 1]


Rafael L. Arcega.

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Miscellaneous Beliefs:

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1. One must never take a bath in a river on Good Friday, otherwise [an] accident will befall on him or her.

2. If one undertakes penitence – whipping and hurting one’s body – on Good Friday, he will be relieved of all his sins.

3. During the Resurrection Day (Saturday following Good Friday), children are advised to jump up when the church bells are ringing so as to grow fast.

4. When a person is very ill and is uneasy in bed during night, an “aswang” is somewhere around the house.

5. When a baby dies before having been christened, it becomes a “patianak.”

6. During cold nights, if you sleep out of the house and wrap yourself up in the blanket, you will likely be carried off by the “iki.”

7. On the fourth day after death, the spirit of the dead is believed to bid farewell from this world to pass on to another world, and for this reason, it visits the home.

[p. 2]

8. On All Saints’ Day, the souls or spirits of all the dead are believed to be permitted by God to visit this mortal world. On that day, the souls wander and visit their families. They return to the other world at early dawn.

9. On All Saints’ Day, prayers are recited for the soul of the dead members of the family so that they may be pardoned by God and thus be taken out of Hell or Purgatory to Heaven.

10. When fording a mountain stream where you have never been, you must say “Tabi nono,” so that the evil spirit will not get offended and, thus, enchant you.

11. When a snake crosses your way, you will have good luck. If it is a lizard, it is a sign of ill luck.

12. If one works on Sunday, [an] accident will befall him.

13. If one kills a cat, God will punish him when he dies by making him count the number of hairs of the dead cat.

14. If one proposes to a young lady whom he loves, during full moon, he is sure to succeed.

15. When a cat wipes its face with its paw, a visitor is coming.

16. When a dog dashes across the house and jumps out of the window, a member of the family will die.

17. During a marriage feast, when the couple passes, some pots and lamps are smashed up to pieces by being thrown out of the window so that the newly weds may

[p. 3]

have many children.

18. When a comet appears and is visible to the naked eye, a calamity is soon to follow. In our locality, old folks used to cite the appearance of the comet Halley as an instance. A few months following its appearance, Taal Volcano erupted killing hundreds of people in the towns of Taal, Lemery and Talisay.

19. The possession of a heron’s egg will render an individual invisible to the mortal eye.

20. On New Year’s Day, if you work hard, you will be a busy fellow throughout the year.

21. The fire, sometimes, is said to sing. When this happens, it shows that a visitor is coming.

22. If you sleep with wet hair, you will either get blind or a lunatic.

23. When thirteen persons dine at a table, one of them will die.

24. When planting a banana tree, you must never look up at it, for it will grow very tall.

25. When you see a mouse and pronounce curses against it, it will eat your clothes.

26. When you burn or kill the young [blurred word] of the mice, some glassware will be broken in your house during the day.

27. When the new moon is tilted on one of its sides, it foretells a heavy rainfall during the season.

[p. 4]

28. If you dream every night, the best thing for you to do to avoid dreaming, is to drink a glass of water before sleeping.

29. If you walk alone in a forest where you have never been before, without carrying with you a cross, the “tig-balang” will lead you astray and you will get lost.

30. When there is a pregnant woman in a house, no one is allowed to stay at the door, for if he does so, the woman will have difficulty in giving birth to the baby.


January 15, 1925.

Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Miscellaneous Beliefs in Lian,” by Rafael L. Arcega, 1925, online at the Henry Otley-Beyer Collection of the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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