Munlawin 1st, Alitagtag, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Munlawin 1st, Alitagtag, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Munlawin 1st, Alitagtag, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Munlawin, Alitagtag, 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.
Historical Data
[p. 1]


Part One – History

1. Present Official name of the barrio.

Muzon 1st

2. Popular name of the barrio, present and past.

Past – Mujon 1st Present – Muzon 1st

3. Date of establishment.


4. Original families:
1.  Felix Abrenica 4.  Ildefonso Baral
2.  Nicolas Maranan 5.  Eusebio Cabungcal
3.  Cabesang Mamerto Marquez 6.  Cabesang Talino
5. List of tenientes from earliest time to date:
1.  Tenenting Angel 7.  Enrique Maranan
2.  Juan Maranda 8.  Francisco Maranan
3.  Francisco Gonzalvo 9.  Tranquilino Garces
4.  Severino Maranan 10. Esteban Ilao
5.  Bonifacio Abrenica 11. Simeon Ilao
6.  Cabesang Mateo Banta 12. Ludovico Ilao
13. Casemiro Maranan (Incumbent)
6. Story of the old barrio or sitios within the jurisdiction that are depopulated or extinct…

No story of the old barrio could be given.

7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.

No data on historical sites, structures could be given.

[p. 2]

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

(a) During the Spanish occupation – None

(b) During the American occupation to World War II – None

(c) During the Japanese occupation –

A guerrilla unit threw a hand grenade at a passing Japanese jeepney. Although they missed, the Japs got angry. They burned all the houses as a result.

9. Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during war:

(a) Houses and properties were burned.

(b) Houses that were burned were paid by Johnlo and Company.

Part Two – Folkways

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

a. Birth – When a child is to be born, a midwife is called to attend to the mother. The placenta is separated from the mats and pillows used by the mother to be buried under the stairs. The cord is cut by means of a sharpened stick. The mother is forbidden to eat, drink and touch anything cold, and prohibited to go outside the house till after she is one year old after deliver. She is

[p. 3]

attended by a midwife for 2 weeks. Before she takes a bath, she is to squat over a hot stone or iron.

Baptism – When a child is born, the parents usually choose a friend to act as sponsor. At the time the child is to be brought to church to receive sacraments, the parents prepare food for his new “compadre” and “comadre.” The relatives come to share with the affair. Sometimes, the sponsors give gifts in the form of money or clothing. From there on, the sponsors assume as godfather and godmother of the child.

Courtship – Every gentleman who will go to a lady’s house brings a package of cigarettes and offers everybody in the house and leaves the surplus. The parents of the man go to the house of the lady to fit the matter with the parents. If they are accepted, they begin to court in the form of service and offering of gifts, such as bringing water, food, fuel, plowing the field, getting water and caring for animals.

Marriage – When a couple is to be wed, preparation is being made in the house of the bride. Every relative of the bridegroom works for the preparation. While the relatives of the bride remain as guests. When the couple arrives from

[p. 4]

the church, a table is laid so that the sponsors can give their dowry in the form of money or gifts. They call on the other relatives of both parties to give anything they can afford. After all of these, the bride is escorted to the house of the bridegroom.

Death – When a member of the family dies, all near and distant relatives come to the house of the deceased in their black dresses. They give little sums as help to the deceased. In the house, preparation is also made to feed those who come.

Burial – During the burial, some relatives are ordered to dig the grave. All the relatives attend the funeral. Preparation again is made at the home to feed those who join the funeral.

Visits – When a visit is made by a friend or relative, food is always served. It may be drinks; sometimes “buyo” or cigarettes are offered depending upon the likes of the visitor.

Festivals – During this event, hospitality is observed in every house. Everybody prepares food to serve the future guests. Plays are being staged and programs are being held for entertainment. Other forms of games are being held also. In the evening, a procession is made. Sometimes, a queen is chosen to reign during the fiesta.

[p. 5]

Punishment – When an individual errs, he is referred to barrio lieutenants for disciplinary action. When it is a serious case, the criminal is caught by the police to be brought to the Justice of the Peace. Sometimes, he is jailed or freed as the case may be.

11. Myths, legends, beliefs, interpretations, superstitions; origin of the world, land, mountains, and caves, seas, lakes, rivers; plants, trees, animals, sun, moon, stars, eclipses, earthquakes, lightning and thunder, clouds, rain, wind, storms, change of climates; other natural phenomena; first man and woman;

Planting rice – Before sowing the grains in his field, the farmer must have his hair cut. This shows that there will be few weeds in his rice field. He must eat a hearty meal for the future grains in his rice field are big and fat. He should also avoid sweeping, because the stalks of the plant are straight and there will be very few grains.

Thunder – The first loud stroke of thunder from the east calls for rain in the west. If in the west, it is vice-versa. This is a sign of abundance and prosperity, for the farmers will reap good crops for the coming year.

Clouds – The mirror of things to happen in the coming year is the sky. At midnight, when the

[p. 6]

birth of the new year comes, it is believed that if the sky is very clear, the minds of the people the whole year will be clear, too, hence they will not fight with each other. Peace will reign the whole year. If there are red spots in the sky, people believe that fires that year will be frequent.


During the early part of the Spanish rule in the Islands, few people if not all could hardly understand the Castilian language. In view of this fact, many natives suffered humiliation and maltreatment.

One day, a squad of Spanish soldiers were sent into a faraway village to look for a runaway convict. They traveled far but in vain. They became very, very hungry but they were forced to take a rest under a tree bearing fruit. To relieve their hunger, they gathered some fruits of the tree that was unknown to them. They were wondering about the unknown fruits they were eating, until they saw a villager passing by. They called him to come hear them. They asked him the name of the fruit. The man did not talk at all for he did not understand their language. They asked him for.

[p. 7]

several times the same question, but of course the man kept silent, not knowing a word of the soldiers. Out of patience, they slapped the man, and with pity, they offered him to eat some of the fruits with them. The man became angry with them, and shouted in his native tongue, “sampal bago alok,” meaning slapped and then offered. The soldiers overheard those words. They shouted in surprise, “Oh, it is Sampalok.” Ever since, they have been calling the fruit and tree “sampalok.” This has been transmitted from generation to generation up to the present.

12. Popular songs, games and amusements.


My nipa hut is very small
But the foods that I grow
See it houses them all
There are beans, many kinds,
Sigarillas, turnips, too
Bataw and peanuts for you.
Kundol, patola, and squash forming a head,
While the mustard grows tall
And the radishes red
There are onions, tomatoes, and garlic, too are found
Side a fence grows the green sesame round.

[p. 8]


Flutter all the daytime, little pretty wing,
Flutter all the playtime, little sorry thing,
Flutter from the meadow, where the pathway lies
There’s a bit of shadow, for the gay butterflies.

See her comb, made of gold, Uy!
She has one big and bold Uy!
Petticoats are swinging, as she walks up and down
At the glaze see her stand, Uy!
Red and sails, wave the hand,
Then, she makes a curtsy in her beautiful gown.

(b) Amusements and games


Subli was an original native folkdance in this locality. Any number of dancers may take part depending upon the space. They wear native costumes to give local color. Girls have hats on their heads. Boys have castanets made up of two pieces of bamboos. Two rows are composed of boys and the other girls. The steps used are little running steps and waltz steps. Music is provided by the “kalatang” made of round wood hollowed in the center and covered with lizard skin. Two rounded sticks are used to beat the “kalatang,” usually there are three of them. The other members of the group sing “Santa Cruz de Mayo.”

[p. 9]


Figure I – Partners exchange places, girls kuominting [unsure, word blurred] while boys click their castanets.

Figure II – Boys and girls dance around in place, girls moving hats up and down in their right hand and boys clicking their castanets.

Figure III – Boys and girls dance around in a circle, girls followed by boys.

Figure IV – Four partners dance in place as in Fig I and one pair dances in from the boy moving after the girl in little running steps. Then the boys fall down as in Japanese sitting position following the girl in this position.

13. Puzzles and riddles –
a. I planted a dayap tree
In the middle of the sea
Hunted by many
But only one is lucky - Lady
b. The one who uses it does not see it.
The one who buys it does not use it. - Coffin
c. My pig in the mountain
The hair is of nails. - Jackfruit
d. If I add "U" in the "sun"
And take "U" and put "I"
What will be my name? - Sunni
e. I am thinking of a seafood
with eight tentacles. - Octopus
f. The beat of the napkin
Cannot be stepped on. - Snake
g. What eggs have a tail. - nit (looks like incomplete word)
h. In the lan there is a "so
[p. 10]
In the "so" there is a "nes." - Lanzones
i. I am a coward at one
But brave in two - Bamboo bridge
j. The hen eats the shell
It makes an egg shell. - Sand
k. Wet season and dry season
The pants are in the knees - hen
l. The lady is walking
The sampaguita is open. - umbrella
m. A riddle, a riddle
A man in the middle - centavo
n. I touch the sun
Bonifacio runs. - Spider
o. Step, step
Did not reach United States - Stern
p. I am thinking of an umbrella
That grows overweight. - mushroom
q. It is thin
It is white
It has line
It is good to write on. - paper
r. I am thinking of [a] creature
With ten legs and two eyes
And lives mostly in water. - crabs
14. Proverbs and sayings:

a. Pains in the finger is felt by the whole body.

b. Never make promises that you cannot fulfill.

c. Of what use is the food when the horse is dead.

d. Be thrifty if you want to be wealthy.

e. He who has saved for the rainy day has something to fall back on.

f. A young bamboo is easy to bend.

g. The stone does not go to the shell, but the shell to the stone.

[p. 11]

However, when it is directly overhead, it is twelve o’clock sharp. The same thing holds true with the stars.

Cat’s eyes: When the pupils of the cat’s eyes are round and big, more or less the time is seven o’clock A.M. When they are half, it is nine o’clock A.M. When they appear as streaks of black, it is twelve noon. At three o’clock P.M., the pupils are just one half size, and when they are in full size, it is six o’clock P.M.

15. Other folktales.

No other folktales could be given.

Part Three: Other Information

17. Information on books and documents treating of the Philippines and the names of their owners.

No information on books and documents treating the Philippines could be given.

18. The names of Filipino authors born and residing in the community, the titles and subjects of their works, whether printed or in manuscript form, and the names of persons possessing these.

No Filipino authors born or residing in the community.

Notes and references:
Transcribed from “History and Cultural Life of the Barrio Muzon 1st, Alitagtag,” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.
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