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January 2, 2018

Manghinao, Bauan, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Manghinao, 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.

[p. 1]

I. HISTORY AND CULTURAL LIFE OF MANGHINAO

PART I – HISTORY

The barrio of Manghinao is in the western part of Bauan. It is two kilometers away from the Poblacion. It is composed of the sitios of Pandayan, Karitan, Alulod, Bukal, Pook, and Putok. The barrio lies between two rivers, namely, Manghinao River and Sabang River.

The barrio got its name from the word “manghihinao,” meaning washing hands. It was said by some old folks that one day, while the people were washing their hands in the river, some Spaniards happened to cross the river. When they saw the people washing their hands, they stopped and looked at them. After a while, one of the Spaniards called a native and asked in their own Spanish language the name of the place. The natives believed that the Spaniards were asking what they were doing. So, he answered, “Nanghihinao,” which means washing hands. Since that time the place was called “Manghinao.”

It is interesting to put into record the rapid increase of population of the barrio. According to Mr. Jose Castillo, one of the oldest men in the place, at first the barrio of Manghinao had a population of more than 700, and the number of homes was somewhere around 60. In the latter part of August, 1951, a survey was made and it was found out that the barrio had a population of 1395, and the number of homes was 242. Another survey was made last February, 1952 and it was found out that the barrio has progressed much. The population now is 1426 and the number of homes is 246.

According to a resource person, the barrio of Manghinao was successively administered by local tenientes as follows:

 1.  Mr. Miguel Dimayuga
 2.  Mr. Pascual Acuzar
 3.  Mr. Carlos Gloria

 4.  Mr. Lorenzo Contreras
 5.  Mr. Damaso Gloria
 6.  Mr. Lamberto Magnayi
 7.  Mr. Vicente Abrahan
 8.  Mr. Diego Agbing
 9.  Mr. Ciraco de Torres
10.  Mr. Martin Abrahan
11.  Mr. Lorenzo Tatlonghari
12.  Mr. Simeon Agbing

IMPORTANT FACTS, INCIDENTS OR EVENTS THAT TOOK PLACE DURING AND AFTER WORLD WAR II

During World War II, the people of this place suffered economically as any other group of people. Business-minded people made “Buy and Sell” their business. The others devoted their time working on the land, planting edibles;

[p. 2]

and the others still resorted to some sort of cottage industries – as weaving sinamay, “dinugtong,” abaca bag and slipper making. Still others took odd jobs now and then.

People went short on the raising of staple foods as the Japanese took over some of the farms and had them planted to cotton. Domestic fowls and animals were now and then confiscated by the enemies. The people thrived mainly on camotes and corn and vegetables. Prices of commodities went sky-high, especially rice, so that when one ate pure rice during those days, it was considered a special treat.

Immediately after Liberation, the farms commandeered by the Japs were returned to the rightful owners or tenants. But there was a hitch, though not as bad as when the Japs were here. The rice paddies which were about ⅓ of the Manghinao area and other farms were leased to the U.S. Army with certain remuneration. The rice paddies were converted to dry land and there rose up the U.S. Army Camp, which stayed for about five months. During these days, natives were employed by the Army as carpenters, KP’s, orderlies, laundrymen, and barbers. Now, the temporarily barren rice fields and farms are back to their pre-war capacity. Most of the people here live by farming. The women are back to their pre-war occupation – embroidery. [The] Economic situation has improved much since liberation.

There is quite a difference in religious belief among these people. Most of the population are Catholics. But lately, some people are being converted from one sect to another now and then, though very few.

The importance of education is not neglected by the people of this place, although there is quite a number of illiterates. They realize now that their children need education and they try their best to send their young ones to school as far as they can afford.

DESTRUCTION OF LIVES AND PROPERTIES DURING WORLD WAR IN 1941 – 1945

During the war of 1941 to 1945, not [a] few lives were destroyed by the enemies. To be specific, quite a number of the residents were massacred. Very few properties, if any, were destroyed during this war. One particular destruction suffered by this place was the dynamiting of the concrete bridge which joined Manghinao to Bauan proper.

[p. 3]

Not long after liberation, a Bailey bridge was put up. In 1951, this was changed to a concrete one through the Rehabilitation Committee of the U.S.A.

TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS

Birth – Expectant mothers in this barrio who are about to deliver are not allowed to look up at the sky at twilight, and not to pass under the house, in order to have an easy delivery. It is also believed that conceiving women who took fancy on certain fruits on trees will either make the fruit sweet or sour, or the tree might wither and die.

As soon as the mother has delivered and the placenta is out, the “hilot” hands this to the father or any responsible member of the family, who in turn places this placenta in a can or coconut shell with books, pencil, or any article connected with education and then buried on the eastern part of the yard. This is believed to make the child a wise man.

The first bath after delivery calls for much preparation and even ceremony. Mothers here usually do not take a bath until one month after delivery. And when she does, it is some bath. Various barks and fragrant roots are purchased or secured. These are boiled in a vat of water. The fragrant water is then poured slowly over the body. After this bath, the mother is “smoked.” She is enclosed by a mat in a standing position. Between her straddled legs underneath is placed a red-hot rock. Wine is poured new and then this causes the smoke to emit. This is done in the belief that after the bath, the skin pores are open and the smoke closes them back and, thus, ensures a stronger body after delivery.

A newly-born baby is wrapped around from neck down with a diaper and this is held in place with bands. The child, more or less, looks like a mummy except that its head is uncovered. There isn’t any freedom of movement in the child as he is bound. Diapers are only changed mornings and afternoons till one week is over when the baby is “set free” of his wrap-around.

Baptism – A few weeks after the child’s birth, he is brought to the church to be baptized. Usually, the parents choose close friends or relatives, or they may choose one who is “somebody” in the community for the ninong or ninang. The padrinos pay for the baptismal clothes and fee. Gifts may be given to the child in terms of money or jewelry (usually, a necklace). For good luck, a 50-centavo piece or a peso in silver is tucked under the baby’s hand.

[p. 4]

The ninong also contributes something to the parents for whatever preparation they have. One thing is sure to be present at a baptismal party – the presence of wine. Everyone in the party takes turns in sipping wine from a glass that is passed around to the guests. For those who don’t drink, women especially, a sip or touch of lips to the glass would suffice so as not to disappoint the one offering the drink.

Courtship and marriage – Suitors in this barrio are only allowed to stay up to 8:00 o’clock in the evening for the visits. Accepted suitors are made to render personal services to the girl’s parents. He fetches water, furnishes firewood, mends the broken down fence, stair, and patch up leaking roofs and others. After a week or so, or when the date set aside for marriage has come, the groom’s parents prepare the reception at the girl’s home. They bring all things needed. The groom’s relatives and friends do all the work there is to be done.

It is believed that after the wedding ceremony at the church, the bride should stand first and lean on her groom’s shoulder for support, and in this way she will not be dominated by her husband. It is also believed that the first one who steps on the other’s shoes will be far from being dominated. Likewise, when going up the stairs of the house after coming from the church, the bride races to the top of the stairs landing.



However, when the couple reaches the house, they will not ascend the stairs right away unless the parents or relatives of the bride have thrown rice to them. Then, they would ascend the stairs and when they are up, they will be given sweets and water. This is always practiced in this place in the belief that the couple will not be hard-headed.

After the reception, a small table is put in the middle of the house. The bride and groom sit opposite each other. On the table are two empty plates, one for the bride and one for the groom, and a plate of cigarettes. The bride’s relatives and friends put money (in place of gifts) in the groom’s plate and vice-versa. This is what they call “sabug.”

After the sabugan, all the utensils and other things used are packed up to be taken back to her man’s home. The bride is then taken away while the latter stays behind for some hours. This is what they call “dapit.” Usually, a portion of the visitors go with the bride and they usually have a flag, for fun obviously, and make noises now and then. While on the way, the bride is not supposed to look back for fear of being “kabilanin” (partial in affection between her own parents and the in-laws). There are some people who break a cooking pot before the dapit so that the couple will have many children.

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Death – When somebody in the household dies, people in the house should not look out of the window while the corpse is being taken down from the house. Members of the family are not supposed to sweep the floor and also not allowed to take a bath will after four days are over. Plates used in eating are not supposed to be put on top of one another till after four days are over. All these sum up to the belief that if done, death will come one after another in the household.

The family prays for nine consecutive nights. On the fourth day, they take flowers to the grave. In case of children, there is a little “handaan” on this day. In case of adults, they only take flowers to the grave on this day. On the ninth day, nine persons (women) are requested to say prayers in the church. Usually, there is a big feast on this day. For those who cannot afford to prepare much, only the people requested to pray in the church are fed. Again, plates used should not be put on top of one another. It is also believed that after the fourth and ninth days, the spirit of the departed goes visiting in the house.

People with wounds are not supposed to go near dead persons to avoid swelling and infection of the wound.

The family of the dead gives cigarettes or cigars to those who join with the funeral up to the cemetery.

Festivals – Fiestas are held once a year or once in two years or as often as there is money in the club treasurer’s bag. For this day, the Patron Saint is placed in the chapel made by the people in the barrio. Mass is sometimes said. In the evening, they have a religious procession. For entertainment of the day, they have a band going around, “huego de anillo,” “palosebo,” and other games. In the evening, there is a drama or the amateur contest after the procession. Usually, there is the choosing and crowning of the club muse.

SUPERSTITIONS AND BELIEFS

Do not sleep with open windows in the evening, otherwise you’ll catch cold.

Girls should not wear men’s clothes in order to have a good supply of mother’s milk for nursing their babies.

One should not sweep in the evening for fear of molesting the Blessed Virgin, who is believed to be going around at Angelus.

[p. 6]

When the “kakalwa,” a certain kind of insect, chirps in the evening, visitors will come.

When the cat washes its face at the top of the stairs, callers may be expected, and likewise when the fire “laughs” (some sort of sound usually caused by the firewood), callers may also be expected.

House-moving should be done at midnight when there is a new moon. Next day, they have rice gruel given away to neighbors. A portion of the gruel is placed in a coconut shell and put away in a corner till it roots. It is believed, as an understanding of prosperity – that they’ll always have extra food in the house.

That a hen’s first set of eggs should not be hatched as the chicks would be dying. It is likewise done to other domestic animals, like cats and dogs.

One should not open umbrellas inside the house as it will cause centipedes to drop down, or that if he or she is a little boy or girl, he or she will remain stunted.

Fingernails should not be cut at night and on Tuesdays and Fridays as this will cause in-growing nails.

In times of inclement weather accompanied by lightning and thunder, the people here believe that when one shouts very loud as it thunders, this will cause the thunder to stop.

The belief in the first man and woman here is universal – that is according to the Bible.

POPULAR SONGS, GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS
IN THE COMMUNITY

Songs:

1. Serenade songs
2. Magtanim
3. Leron-leron Sinta

Games:

1. Indoor Baseball
2. Sikio

Amusements:

1. Pandangguhan
2. Awitan – Singing the life of Christ in verse.

TAGALOG PROVERBS AND SAYINGS

1. Walang matimtimang birhen sa matiagang manalangin.

[p. 7]

2. Pag may itinanim, may aanihin.

3. Pag may sinuksok, may titingalain.

4. Daig ng agap ang sipag.

5. Pag hangin ang tinanim, babyo ang aanihin.

6. Walang bato na lumapit sa suso.

7. Ang matulugin ay magutumin, ang taong magisingin ay mabusugin.

8. Walang taong banal sa nakabukas na kaban.

9. Ang taong malikot nakakahipo ng ipot.

People from this barrio have methods of measuring time and special calendars. According to one of the oldest men in this place, one way of measuring time here is by the position of the sun. When the sun is overhead and the shadow cast by the body is in the shortest position, they say that it is already twelve o’clock. Another way is the crowing of the roosters at night. When the roosters doodle at night, the old folks can tell the time.

As to special calendars, they say that when Christmas Day falls on Tuesday, New Year will also fall on Tuesday, or that Christmas and New Year will have the same name of days.

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

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