Wawa, Batangas (Town), Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Wawa, Batangas (Town), Batangas: Historical Data Part I - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Wawa, Batangas (Town), Batangas: Historical Data Part I

Historical Data graphic
Historical data from the National Library of the Philippines.



Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Wawa, Batangas Town, 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]


1. Present official name of the barrio – Wawa.

2. Popular names of the barrio present and past, derivation and meanings of these names (Names of sitios included within the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio):

The present barrio of Wawa is just adjacent to the many barrios along the shores of Batangas Bay. It is recalled that this barrio was popular among the sailors for the simple reason that they frequently sought refuge on one of her rivers during inclement or stormy weather. The aforementioned river is deep, wide, and long in her aquatic appearance. Because the river is a branch of the Calumpang River by way of the seafront, the name Wawa was naturally adopted.

Kanluran, Silangan, and Kaingin are the prominent sitios of this barrio. The first two names refer to the geographical divisions while Kaingin refers to the woody southeastern portion of the barrio now thickly inhabited.

3. Date of establishment:

The authentic date as regards the establishment of the barrio is uncertain. However, as far as the old folks could remember, it is believed that it was established since the middle part of the year 1900 [probably 1800].

4. Original Families:

Old folks strictly adhere to the fact that since 1901, the now late Gregorio Fran was the first settler of the barrio. Since then, many houses have been built and even town residents are inclined to build their own vacation resorts in this place.

5. List of Tenientes del Barrio:

The first “teniente del barrio” or barrio lieutenant was Jose Serrano of Calumpang, who was succeeded by Silbino Alea of the same place. Then Eliseo Fran, Clemente Maranan, Juan Berania, Florentino Parto, Simeon Evangelio, Pedro Atienza who served respectably for such appointive post. The present incumbent is Nazario Berania. Their term of office is usually long and it is said that the first three heads served for as long as ten years each. However, speaking of the present, the barrio heads are usually changed or replaced as frequent as the mayor changes.

[p. 2]

6. Story of old sitios within the barrio’s jurisdiction which are not depopulated or extinct:

It is the consensus belief that there are no sitio’s within the barrio’s jurisdiction which are now depopulated or rather extinct.

7. Date of historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc.

As far as the barrio of Wawa is concerned, no historical sites, structures, buildings or old ruins can be mentioned for recollection purposes. Only the bridge linking Wawa and the western part of Cuta which was established during the Spanish regime can be mentioned.

8. Important facts, incidents or events that took place during the Spanish Occupation:

A. Educational
Catechism was taught in this barrio as part of the educational treatment given by old folks here. How to read and write Tagalog was taught among children. Roman Serrano was the grand old teacher of this barrio.
B. Religion
The religion adopted and adhered to was the Roman Catholic religion. The barrio people believe this as the most dominant religion in the Philippines.
C. Economics
Fishing is the prime occupation of the people. The “pukot,” “sima” and other primitive ways of fishing were utilized to earn a living.

9. Important facts and events during the American Occupation up to World War II.

A. Politics – Barrio folks did not indulge much on political activities. Only barrio heads were duly appointed by the mayor usually recommended by the councilor assigned to such barrio.

B. Education – In 1931, a one-room school building was erected in this barrio. Since then, pupils learned to read and write and say their prayers. Sometimes, they went to private tutors to understand and memorize the Cartilla. At present, the school building is the result of the remodeling done during 1937.

[p. 3]

C. Religion – Roman Catholic religion is still the need and cry of their soul. However, during the latter part of 1935, Iglesia ni Cristo was mildly introduced in this barrio. Some were converted to this religion.

D. Economics – Fishing and fish retailing are still their means of livelihood. Occasionally, some took interest in farming, others became all-around merchants.

E. Social – The local social gatherings consist of wedding, birthday and baptismal parties. Fiestas call for a jubilation among the barrio folks.

Important events that took place:

1900 – Cholera and dysentery epidemics spread unexpectedly in the barrio.
1926 – During the American administration in the Islands, there was an appalling event that took place in the province of Batangas. Adjoining towns and barrios were likewise greatly damaged by such havoc. Of course, history will tell us that such had been so devastating; and to the Wawa old folks, that natural catastrophe will remain unforgettable. Indeed, that furious flood of 1926 almost left the barrio residents homeless. It took properties and lives in the most exacting manner in human experience. The present Wawa is now occupied again by strongly built houses and happy, prosperous residents.

Important Events and Facts During and After World War II

A. Events

It is recalled that before the outbreak of the second global conflict, coastal reinforcement was made by the Philippine Army soldiers along the coastal shores of Batangas. The barrio of Wawa was one of them that received military protection.

During the incipiency of US liberation, the barrio school of Wawa suffered damages from serial strafing. US PT boats made also shelling along the coastal shores of Wawa in the belief that the enemy troops were concentrated in this barrio.

Destruction of Lives, Properties and Institutions 1896-1900

I. Loss of Lives

a. Caused by epidemic (choldera-dysentery) – 15 persons
b. Caused by flood – 26 persons

[p. 4]

II. Properties lost caused by typhoons and floods – approximately ₱4,000.00
III. Institutions lost – one room schoolhouse made of light materials - ₱50.00

I. In 1941-1945, properties lost especially during July, 1944, the Japanese ransacked the barrio, said loss was approximately ₱1,000.00 in the form of food and property.

Institutions lost – None, except that the barrio schoolhouse suffered material damages.

B. Report on measures, accomplishment toward rehabilitation and construction following World War II.

1946-1953 – Construction of about 50 houses (residential) which amounted to approximately ₱20,000.00.
Proposed measures –
1. Construction of road to Wawa.
2. Installation of water systems.


1. Traditions, customs and practices in domestic life as well as social life; birth, baptism, courtship, marriage, death, burial; visits, festivals, punishments, etc.
2. 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, wind, rain, storms, changes of climates, other natural phenomena; first man and woman, birth of twins or more, sickness, witchcraft, magic, divination, etc.
3. Popular songs, games and amusements
4. Puzzles and riddles
5. Proverbs and sayings
6. Methods of measuring time; special calendar
7. Other folktales

Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life in Wawa, Batangas

Mga kaugalian at karaniwang gawain sa kabukiran ng tao sa Wawa, Batangas

[p. 5]

I. Birth – Panganganak

1. The services of an unlicensed midwife are hired by an expectant mother.
Kinakailangan ng isang manganganak ang hilot.
2. The whole body of the newly-born child is wrapped in a clean diaper to prevent exposure.
Binabalot ng malinis na lampin ang bagong anak upang mapangalagaan ito sa ano mang sakit.
3. The baby is not given a mild bath until the cord falls of or heals.
Hindi pinapaliguan ang bata hangga’t di napuputol o gumagaling ang pusod.

II. Baptism – Pagbibinyag

1. Baptism that time was quite different from now owing to their original traditions. The newly-born child is immediately baptized and [the] baptismal ceremony is usually done at sunset at the parents’ house.
2. Today, the sponsor buys the baptismal dress, the sponsor having been decided at once by the parents after the birth of the child.
3. The sponsor, if [a] man, should fasten his belt tightly to lengthen the life of the child as this was their old custom.

Ang bagong anak ay pinabibinyagan kaagad at kalimitan ay sa hapon ang binyag.
Ang maghahawak ang siyang bumibili ng damit para sa bata.
Ang maghahawak kung lalaki ay kinakailangang magbagting ng kanyang sinturon upang humaba ang buhay ng bata.

III. Courtship – Panliligaw

1. Courtship that time spelled absolute respect and reverence to the lady’s parents as evidenced by the fact that the imploring suitor had to kneel down on his knees when giving respects to the parents of the girl.
Malabis na paggalang sa mga magulang ng babae ang iginagawad ng mga namimintuho sapagaka’t kinakailangang pang lumuhod ng pantay ang tuhod kung ang mga ito’y dumadalaw o bumibisita sa kanila.
2. The specified time for courtship is usually in the evening.
Sa gabi ang dapat na panahon upang sila’y mamulong.


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