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Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Balayong, Bauan, 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.
HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF BALAYONG
1. The present official name of the barrio is Balayong.
2. The popular name of the barrio is Balayong. This name was derived from the name of a hard tree called Balayong.
3. The date of establishment cannot be ascertained. The date nobody in the barrio can give.
4. The original families were:
1. Victor Abanes|
2. Ambrosio Robles
3. Damaso Magpantay
4. Santiago Abarentos
5. Segundo Reyes
6. Agapito Adia
7. Juan Austria|
8. Teodoro Arenas
9. Antonio Sandoval
10. Andres Landicho
11. Pantaleon Briones
12. Valeriano Mañibo
|13. Mariano Villanueva|
5. The following are the tenientes from the earliest time to this date:
1. Martin Austria|
2. Antonio Sandoval
3. Damaso Magpantay
4. Buenaventura Alvarez
5. Gregorio Abañez
6. Modesto Gelera
7. Gregorio Marasigan
8. Ambrosio Robles
9. Arcacio Villanueva
10. Daniel Vergara 11. Daniel Vergara
12. Luciano Gelera|
13. Sotero Villanueva
14. Antonio Arenas
15. Nicasio Abarintos
16. Simon Austria
17. Rafael Landicho
18. Cipriano Magtibay
19. Eusebio Reyes
20. Sixto Arenas
21. Crispin Brual
22. Manuel Arenas
1. Alberto Magpantay|
2. Esteban Sandoval
3. Roman Bautista
4. Raymundo Abrenica
5. Jose Magpantay
1. Nicolas Austria|
2. Simon Austria
3. Alipio Valdez
4. Miguel Briones
6. The barrio has never been depopulated.
7. The historical site is the “sitio” called Mahabang Dahilig. It is the place where Filipino soldiers in the year 1900 fought the Americans. There was a fierce fight in this place. Many Filipino soldiers were killed, their bodies buried in the field just west of the road. The remnants were dug out and
transferred to the Municipal Cemetery after liberation from Japanese occupation in 1945.
8. (a) No important facts to be mentioned about the place during the Spanish Occupation.
During the American occupation, the people were happy. They were not molested in their daily tasks. Their properties were safe.
(c) During and after World War II, the people in this barrio were unhappy. During the Japanese Occupation, the landowners and farmers were forced to plant cotton. Oftentimes, the farmers were forced to cut down their young rice plants and other crops to have the sites planted to cotton. The farmers who were either reluctant or slow to follow orders were punished.
9. (a) For lack of information, nothing could be mentioned about the destruction of lives, properties, and institutions during the war in 1896-1900. On Feb. 28, 1945, Japanese soldiers who were stationed at Manghinao bridge bayoneted to death the following persons:
1. Gregorio Magpantay (married)
The above victim was going to sell fuel in the Poblacion when the Japanese soldiers caught him.
10. Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life; birth, baptism, courtship, marriage, death, burials etc. commonly observed in the locality.
B U R I A L S
The coffin must be exact with regards to the size and length of the dead person, or else if the allowance is made, there will be a member of the family to follow.
A dead person is clothed with his best clothes but shoes are not put on because there might be nightmares.
When a child dies, the candle used during the baptismal ceremony is placed inside the coffin and the other candle is
lighted by the godfather before the child is buried.
Serving food to the visiting relatives is done before the burial ceremony commences.
The dead of the well-to-do hires a band of musicians to play during the burial ceremony. Poorer people, none at all.
M A R R I A G E
After the ceremony, the bride would step on the bridegroom’s foot to deprive him of some of his rights.
During the transfer of the bride to the groom’s house, a married woman who has no dead son or daughter is requested to bring the bride’s clothes so as to minimize the death rate of their sons and daughters in the future.
As soon as the bride and groom reach the house of the former, they both walk on their knees, kissing the hands of all the elder members of the family.
Candles used during the ceremony are twisted together to be kept by the couple so as to avoid separation.
The bridegroom will stay in the house of the bride for two or more days after the ceremony.
Rice with sugar is being showered on the couple before they enter the house. Rice is showered to prevent scarcity of food and sugar to keep their love sweet.
Showering commonly known as “sabog” is practiced in this community.
Soil from the stove is being showered to avoid quarelling.
B I R T H
After cutting the umbilical cord, the midwife will put the cut cord on the cheek of the baby. This is done so the baby will have a mole.
After the delivery, the placenta is buried with pencils, pin, paper, calendar and other things to make the baby become studious and busy as he grows.
During the first bath of the baby, coins are placed in the water container so as to make him rich.
The draperies are not allowed to be hung at night in the open air to avoid naughtiness on the part of the baby.
The remaining umbilical cord is hung to prevent the rats from stealing it. If stolen by rats, it will make the baby [come] out from home all the time except when it is time for eating or for sleeping.
After birth, the baby must not be visited immediately or else he will be naughty.
Firecrackers or guns are fired to announce the birth of a new child.
B A P T I S M
During the baptismal ceremony, the baby’s cap is held tightly to avoid falling, for if it falls, the baby will encounter so many falls from the ladder or trees.
After the ceremony, the mother used to run the baby outside the chapel to make the baby run errands quickly.
The baby is given money so he may be rich in the future.
As soon as the baby reaches home, his clothes are taken off immediately. If this is done, the baby will form the habit of taking good care of his clothing.
The oldest son or daughter is the one to take the child to be baptized in the church, in case there are more than one in the family.
A feast is always celebrated after the baptismal ceremony.
D E A T H
Eating vegetables especially malunggay when there is a dead relative is bad for death would be successive in the family.
Watching the dead body at night prevents the “eke” or “aswang” from getting the liver of the dead person.
It is a practice not to sweep the surroundings whenever there is a dead person for it will drive away the soul of the deceased.
Taking a bath is not good when a relative is dead, because the soul of the dead will not reach heaven.
Persons with wounds are prohibited to go and visit the dead or else if they do so, their wounds won’t heal.
Going under the house directly down where the bed
of the deceased is bad. Violation will cause the individual to suffer from pediculosis.
Do not let the tears drop on the face of the dead or else its spirit will always visit the house.
It is also the custom of the people to arrange the plates singly and not in piles or else there will be successive deaths, etc.
C O U R T S H I P
1. If a man wants to marry, he has to serve the parents of the girl by giving either material or labor.
b. He fetches water every day.
c. He helps them in their work as in farming, gathering firewood, etc.
d. He pays the debts of the father of the girl (although this is rare).
B E L I E F S
Superstitious beliefs concerning natural phenomena and sickness and interpretations of them which are not based from a scientific point of view have always been a part of the lives of the inhabitants of the barrios of As-is and Balayong. In the foregoing paragraphs are some of the most common beliefs in these two barrios.
When there is an eclipse, people believe that the sun and the moon are fighting and whichever comes out victorious will give its bright light. In this case, the sun is always the victor and it is believed that in the course of the quarrel, the moon is swallowed by the sun.
Rainbows should be left alone by children. Any child will have a crooked forefinger if he happens to point at a rainbow.
Many also believe that the thunder resembles a black, plump little pig which rolls on the ground during a thunderstorm. When you happen to be on the path where it is going to roll, it may cause your death.
People also believe that the world is held on the head of a very strong giant. If he happens to move any of his fingers, a slight earthquake is felt, but if he happens to move either his legs or his hands, a strong earthquake ensues.
Services of quack or witch doctors will continue in this area because to some people who do not believe in the advances made in medical science, if the quack doctor fails to cure the patient, the family says, “It’s God’s will” and the quack doctor gets no blame for the death of the patient.
If a young child develops fever, the parents believe that the malady is caused by an evil spirit and the cure for such is known as “Tawas.” The quack doctor is asked to conduct the smoking ritual. She prepares bits of dried coconut palm leaves which had been blessed in the church during Palm Sunday, and with incense, she throws all into some live charcoal. When it begins to smoke, the child is lifted over it. This is supposed to cure the child of the evil spirit soon after.
It is also believed that the first rain of May when drunk is supposed to prevent intestinal disorders; when someone takes a bath with it, it becomes a prevention against prickly heat and other skin eruptions.
A person who has swallowed a fishbone which gets stuck in the throat has to undergo any one of the following:
(1) The most common local cure is to get a cat and rub its paws on the throat. This is supposed to push down the offending fishbone.
(2) Another cure is to bring the sufferer to a person who is known to have been born feet first known locally as “siwi.” The siwi, thus, fondles the throat of the sufferer to make the fishbone disappear.
Seeds of vegetables are wrapped in pieces of paper and inserted between the leaves where smoke can reach them. This is to prevent weevils.
A taboo against planting bananas exists in this barrio. The one planting must not look up or else the banana plant will grow as tall or taller than he before bearing fruit.
Bottles and pots are suspended from trellises for ampalaya, upo, patola and other vegetables. This is done to make the vegetables grow as big as the bottles and the pots hanging from the trellises. Others say it is to have as many fruits as possible.
When planting citrus trees or tamarind, it is believed that by putting spoonfuls of sugar into the ground where the seedling is to be planted, it will make the fruits sweet.
Cadios or cowpeas are believed to be the playthings of the “tigbalang.” When the cowpeas are about to ripen, it was believed that “tigbalangs” go to the fields and play among the bushes. The best time is when the full moon is about to rise.
(1) To show mourning, the female members of the family of the bereaved wear black dresses usually for one year.
(2) Before the grave of a dead mother is covered, the surviving children are passed over the open hole. One relative stands to one side of the grave while the other awaits on the other side. The babies and other children are then transferred one by one so the dead parent will not think of her children in the other world.
With the advent of science, less people now believe in these superstitions. But there are still a few who adhere to their own beliefs but although those beliefs may be totally wiped out, still they will be handed down from one generation to another by word of mouth because they form one of the most interesting heritage of posterity.
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