Dahilig, Lemery, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Dahilig, Lemery, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Dahilig, Lemery, Batangas: Historical Data

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

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Dahilig in the Municipality of Lemery, 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.

[Cover page.]




[p. 1]

Dayapan School

Present Official Name of the Barrio

The present official name of the barrio is Dahilig.

Popular Name of the Barrio, Present and Past, Derivation and Meaning

From the time it was established, the official name, Dahilig, has never changed. This is how it got its name. A man who was from this place visited a cousin from a nearby barrio. His cousin asked him where he lived. The man answered, “Oh, in that Dahilig.” The man called it “Dahilig” because the land was mountainous. From that time on, this barrio was called “Dahilig.” Having two mountainous parts, [the] one which is higher is called “Mahabang Dahilig,” and the lower one is called “Maikling Dahilig.”

Besides its official name, the people also sometimes call this place “Daang Maynila.” This is so called because one time, there was a white carabao lost. The owner and some neighbors who helped look for the carabao tried to trace the footsteps of the carabao. The traced and traced the footsteps until they reached Manila and found the carabao there. From that time on, the people not only from this place but also from other places in the province of Batangas have used this narrow path in going to Manila and sometimes call this place “Daang Maynila.” Until now, this old road going to Manila can be seen, and some people from this place still use it in going to Busu-buso, a town of Cavite. They pass this old road when they are driving cows and horses to be marketed there.

Date of Establishment

Inasmuch as the earliest inhabitants of this place didn’t have calendars, they didn’t know the exact date it was established. However, it was said that this place was so called “Dahilig” even before the arrival of the Spaniards.

Original Families

At first, Dahilig was inhabited by very few families. One of them was Juan Catibog who was also one of the landowners in this place. As to the names of other families, nobody can remember because they died many years ago.

List of Tenientes from the Earliest Time to Date

Inasmuch as this place was only partly inhabited, many families migrated to the place and built their homes and cultivated the agricultural lands. With the increasing number of families, there existed a little government. They selected their teniente del barrio as their chief. The first Teniente del Barrio was Emeterio Malabanan who was succeeded by Fortunato Luistro. This man served for eighteen successive years. He was succeeded by Juan Bucad who served for four years only. Pioquinto Catibog succeeded him up to the present time.

[p. 2]

Story of Old Barrios or Sitios Within the Jurisdiction that are Now Depopulated or Extinct

Since the beginning, not even one sitio was attached to Dahilig. Not of this place was depopulated although there are seventy-two houses in this barrio. It is due to the fact that these houses are built near their farms and so they are far apart.

Data on Historical Sites, Structures, Buildings, Old Ruins, Etc.

In the olden days, people from this place just built simple houses. Due to the cruelties of the Spaniards, nearly all their houses were burned.

During rainy days, great floods passed the slopes of the mountain. These floods come from the mountains of Payapa and Masalisi which lie to the north of Dahilig. People feared these floods as they destroyed their crops and sometimes carried away their animals.

No school was established even before and up to the present. There was only one teacher who taught the “Kartilyang Tagalog” during the Spanish time.

Important Facts, Incidents or Events that Took Place During the Spanish Occupation

During the Spanish occupation, people suffered much. Due to the high taxes collected by the Spaniards, they sometimes ate once a day. Some of them became slaves because they could not pay the high taxes imposed upon them. During those days, the laborers earned only fifty centavos a week which could not support their living. One day, the “Guardia Civil” or Spanish soldiers ordered them to go to town. They could not refuse and so they abandoned their homes and properties.

In the year 1898, that was during the “Cavite Revolt,” the inhabitants suffered great hardship because the “Guardia Civil’s” brutalities grew worse. Men hid themselves in the mountains and ate only fruits and even banana skeletons just to live. The people, young and old, were forced to go to town and take confession. The soldiers killed all those who refused to take confession. Good enough that not one of the inhabitants of this place became a victim of this punishment, as they all followed the order.

During the American Occupation to World War II

During the American occupation, great changes took place. They didn’t fear as before. They engaged in farming and animal raising, while others engaged in buying and selling horses and cows. Some lands were owned by the inhabitants not like before when the lands were owned only by a few families. They planted many coconut trees and many fruit trees. New houses were built much better than before. They ate three meals a day although some who were poor enough ate only twice a day. Nearly everything ran smoothly until the outbreak of war on December 8, 1941, where the whole place turned into panic and disorder. Though there was disorder, people did not leave the place, but instead the people from the town and nearby barrios of Lemery evacuated to this place. Some of the male citizens

[p. 3]

joined the guerrilla units. These men contributed much to sabotage and harass the enemies. It was heartening to note that there was a victim from the hands of the brutal Japanese. He was suspected as a guerrilla.

During and After World War II

Even before World War II, there were already [a] few temporary houses built in this place. There was progress because the people were patient and diligent in earning a living. During the Japanese occupation, some houses were abandoned and left at the mercy of nature to be destroyed and dilapidated.

Traditions, Customs, and Practices in Domestic and Social Life

Birth –

When a mother is about to give birth to her first child, she stays with her parents. The husband calls a midwife instead of a doctor. Some of the practices are: when a baby girl is born, the “placenta” is placed in a small can together with a needle and thread or sometimes in a glass. They dig a hole and place the glass there. They put needle and thread in the belief that when the child when she grows old will learn how to sew. The first set of nails cut from the fingers of a baby are buried either under the stairs or under the “batalan” on the presumption that the baby, especially if he is a boy, will not be a wanderer. After the cord has been cut, it is hung on the door and then combined with the whole cord of the family on the belief that they will not quarrel with each other. Another practice is that when two women are in the family way and residing in the same house, one seeks another residential house for they may always be contesting on longevity, health and happiness of life.

Baptism –

A few days after the birth of a child, he is at once baptized in the church. In [a] few cases, it takes months or years before a child is baptized. The mother or father carries the baby in their arms. Later, the baby is brought by the midwife or any older woman to church instead of the baby’s parents.

Courtship –

Before, young men and women seldom had the chance to talk with each other. {The] Most common practice was this – the parents of the boy would have what was called “pasagad” or “pakahoy” and then “bulungan.” In this bulungan, the parents of the girl asked what they liked which, in turn, would be accepted by the parents of the boy willingly and wholeheartedly if they could afford and, if not, they bargained. The dowry was given before the marriage. The girl, whether she liked it or not, obeyed the whims and caprices of her parents as a token of obedience and respect to them not considering the true love. Although this was a common practice many years ago, there are still [a] few who are still practicing this in the place.

[p. 4]

Death –

In this place, when a person dies, nearly all people in the neighborhood condole [with] the bereaved families. Alms in the form of money, food and cigarettes, are given to the families of the dead. At night, many people keep vigil over the corpse in the belief that the "aswang" might get the liver of the death.

Burial –

Before and during the Spanish regime, dead persons who wear wrapped with the blanket and mat and then with bamboo splits called "bislad." They were taken to the church and placed in "kalanta." at present, this is no longer practiced there but instead, it is placed in the coffin.

As the dead is about to be brought to his final resting place, the windows of the house where he died are closed and the floors are not cleaned until after four days have elapsed.

Myths, Legends, Beliefs, Interpretations, Superstitions

The people in this place are of the firm belief that God is the creator of everything in the world, that the first people on earth we're Adam and Eve. There are still remnants of false beliefs during the olden times in this place. When a comet appears, they predict that there will be another war which means another hardship. In case of thunder and lightning, the corners of the houses are sprinkled with vinegar to free them from danger. When someone is sick, they at once call a quack doctor and apply "tawas." The result of this "tawas" will be the basis of [the] cure for the sick. They believe in the presence of anitos, piritay or witch, etc.

Popular Songs

1. Hulana
2. Mag Tanim Hindi Biro
3. Leron Leron Sinta
4. Paruparong Bukid
5. Batya’t Palu-palo
6. Pandanggo ni Nanay
7. Sitsiritsit

Games and Amusements

1. Pata
2. Lawin-lawinan
3. Tubig-tubig
4. Sirit kawali
5. Dama
6. Tres sieta

Puzzles and Riddles

People in the olden days had riddles which they used while they kept vigil over the dead person so that they would not feel sleepy. Here are some puzzles and riddles.


1. Both mother and daughter have one child. How many are they in all? (three)

[p. 5]

2. There are two friends. They had nothing to eat. On the other side of the river, there was plenty of food, but nobody could cross the river except the roosters, because the enchanted rooster guarded the river. There were no roosters in the place where the two friends were. What did they do so that they were able to cross the river? (They got a mirror and let the enchanted rooster face the mirror.)


1. Standing no feet, crying no eyes.
2. You can feel it, you can hear it, but you can’t see it.
3. Brown outside, brown inside, three little people live inside.
4. When it grows old, it is hard and cannot feel, so they take it to the mill and grind it into a meal. What is it?
5. When it is young, it is white; when it grows old, it is black. What is it?

Proverbs and Sayings

Long ago, the people from this place had proverbs and sayings. These were the proverbs and sayings.

1. A clean account means a long companionship.
2. What a man says, so he feels.
3. Not all those who go to church are pious.
4. Praising a person for his presence is cursing him behind.
5. Deep in her heart, she knows she is in love.
6. Clean thoughts manifest themselves in clean deeds.
7. It is better to live humbly than to act pretentiously for the truth will be known someday, somehow.
8. It is no use to eat on a golden plate, at the expense of one’s own self-respect.
9. Those who try do not die.
10. If you want to be happy, be a baby.

Methods of Measuring Time

Long ago, people had many ways of telling time, though not accurate as we have at present. These were their ways of telling time:

By the sun – When the sun is straight, it’s 12:00 at noon and when it’s horizontal, it’s 2:00.

By the leaves – When the leaves of the acacia tree drop down, it’s two o’clock.

By means of flowers – When the flower of the patola blooms, it’s four o’clock. If the ten o’clock flower blooms, it’s ten o’clock.

By means of birds – When an owl hoots, it’s five o’clock.

By the stars.

[p. 6]

Special Calendar

1. Hot season – January and March
2. Rainy season – May, June, July, and August
3. Harvest season – September and October
4. Lent – February, March and April


Once, there was an old couple who lived in the mountain. They were very poor and had only one son. One day, an old woman came to them and asked for food. The man was out in the field and so the mother didn't know what to do. Because of her inborn generosity, she killed her son, it and offered it to the old woman, not knowing that this woman was a fairy.

When the father came, he asked where she got the food and the mother told the truth. The father didn't get angry with her, but instead he praised her for her kind deeds. She hid the feet and arms of her son inside the box. The fairy saw the feet and arms and rewarded them. She brought back the boy alive and unharmed. Besides, she gave them a very big and beautiful house and a bag of money. The family became very rich and had many servants.

One day, a neighbor of theirs asked for some rice. The servant told her master but the master told her to drive him away. The fairy heard this and went there to try them once more, but she was not recognized by this couple. She ordered her servant to drive the old woman away. This made the old woman angry. She said, "From now on, you'll become very rich, that wherever you go, you'll see gold. Even on the plate, they saw gold instead of food. Everything they have rose gold that they died because they have nothing to eat as their food was all changed to go.

After the death of the whole family, the servant gave some gold to their neighbors. The servant lived in the palatial house forever because they remained kind and hospitable.

Submitted by:

Barrio Committee Chairman

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