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

Dayapan, 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.

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Dayapan School

Present Official Name of the Barrio

The present official name is Dayapan.

Former Name or Names and their Meaning or Derivation

Many, many years ago, in the place where the barrio of Dayapan now stands, there was but wilderness. It was then a thick forest and no one had ever reached the place.

But one day, a group of villagers from [a] faraway place in search of land came. They began cutting down trees and clearing the land. The built homes of logs and tilled the soil with crude implements. They planted the different seeds of the plants they brought with them when the first rainy days began. How happy were they?

Soon, other people heard of the progress made by those villagers that these people afterwards decided to settle there, too. After several years, wider parts of the wilderness were cleared. More plants were planted and fruit trees took the place of the cut down trees many years ago.

But among the grown up trees bearing fruits and the source of the villagers’ income were the lemon trees called “dayap” in Tagalog. The people loved and cared for these trees and planted more of them every year. The “dayap” fruit served as medicine. The juice when mixed with water and sugar is a good lemonade. The leaves served as a nice flavor for desserts. So, the place was soon covered with dayap trees that the place was called Dayapan by the outsiders. Whenever people would go to or had come from the place, they were easily understood when asked where they had been or where they were going when they answered “to Dayapan” or “from Dayapan.”

Soon, the people of the newly-formed village who were confronted by the problem of giving a name to the place agreed on “Dayapan” as the most fitting name for their sitio. And since, then, the place was called “Dayapan,” meaning lemon.


1. Spanish Occupation - [The] Teniente del Barrio in a place was the most respected and powerful person among the barrio folks. His position was given down to him by virtue of his wealth, at times by means of his influence on the higher-ups and sometimes through appointment or by inheritance.

Dayapan soon became a sitio and later a barrio as years went by. Several tenientes del barrio ruled the place but many of them the predecessors were unknown to the present old folks. Among those remembered are: Mr. Fabian

[p. 2]

Malabanan, Mr. Gaspar Malabanan, Mr. Anastacio Huertas and Mr. Prudencio Bruce during the Spanish time. All of them were known to have been loyal subjects of Spain, devoted to their duties due to the pressure given down by the Spanish soldiers, and had helped much of the barrio folks of Dayapan.

2. During the American regime - During those times, Mr. Cipriano Suayan, Mr. Santiago Hernandez, Mr. Mariano Huertas, and Mr. Julian Malabanan took the place of tenientes del barrio in chronological order. These tenientes del barrio had helped much the Americans in extending civilization to the place. They were good leaders and were loved and respected by their barrio folks. They helped enforce the laws and had done much for the improvement of the barrio.

When World War II broke out, the teniente del brrio had more responsibilities and duties than previously. More people were added to the population of the barrio due to the evacuees from the town and other barrios. Mr. Celestino Malabanan was then selected to rule the barrio and fortunately still holds the position to the present. He is a very cooperative teniente del barrio with the help of his vice or helper, Mr. Marcelino Marcellana.


1. During the Spanish OccupationN - During the Spanish Occupation, upon the coming of the Spaniards to the Philippines, Dayapan was but a small sitio. There were very people and they were mostly farmers.

Soon, people came to acquire lands and so its population increased. It was house in the man’s house. Few, however, attended. The cartilla and a little Arithmetic with the Spanish language were given as lessons.

2. During the American Occupation to World War II - Great changes in the people’s ways of living took place during this time. Due to the coming of the Americans, the standard of living was influenced by the progress of the time.

Those who finished studying the cartilla and simple Arithmetic went to other barrios offering advanced learnings. Soon, many people little by little realized their position as citizens of the Philippines. Grown up children in search of knowledge sacrificed leaving homes or walking for distances to get education in Mahayahay.

It was during the latter part of the American regime, 1940, when the first English school was established. The school building was a house and was rented only by the government and at times by the parents’ contributions. During the war, the school was closed and the peoples’ educational advance was hampered.

After the war, in 1946, the first school was built, under the kind supervision of Mr. Marcelino Marcellana and Mr. Nicanor Catapang. Ex-Gov. Vicente Noble donated the school site. But the school was blown down by the typhoon Trix and, until now, remains unrepaired. Pupils of Gr. I-IV are now housed in two private houses rented by the parents.

3. Economic - From a few fruit trees and little farming lands, through the industry and painstaking struggle of the barrio people, much had been done to increase the income of the barrio. Large areas are planted to rice and

[p. 3]

corn and coconut trees abound everywhere. The barrio had plenty of different kinds of fruits like bananas, mangoes, avocados, star apples, oranges, lemons, and many others.


Traditions, Customs and Practices in Domestic and Social Life


(a) A mother on the family way followed and remembered superstitious beliefs and customs regarding such condition to facilitate giving birth, thus evading death. For example:

1. Not to go under a house at noon time.
2. Not to face the jar while taking a bath.
3. Not pass under a string or bamboo when walking.
4. Not to put fuel with its lower part in [the] fire.
5. Not to tie anything around the husband’s or wife’s neck.
6. Not to tie the wire or rattan or help in building a house.

(b) And when to give birth already:

1. Calling for an uneducated midwife (hilot) and a helper (salag).
2. Firing firecrackers or giving gun shots when the baby has come.
3. Drinking medicinal juices and rubbing leaves of medicinal plants on the stomach.
4. Having [an] intelligent one for first handle the bay [baby] and putting him on his bed.
5. Using newspapers, or papers as pillows.
6. When a child’s cry is loud, the godmother or godfather is from far away and when soft, the sponsor is just nearby.


As soon as a child comes out in this world, the greatest care that the family knows and can afford is given him, especially when the first born. Then the choosing of the godmother or godfather comes next. If the baby is the first child, the parents have no right to choose. It is the full privilege of both grandparents who hold [a] conference so as to select the godfather or godmother. To choose the sponsor, both grandparents go to announce his luck. They brought wine and cigarettes. The sponsor should right away be chosen for when the announcement is made after several days, no one would care to accept on the belief that she or he was only a substitute. Before the baptism was done, the child was dressed up in his best, and he was brought to the town on horseback. There was no party. But now, the sponsor and the baby, with the midwife who attended the delivery, plus some companions, bring the child to church and have the baby baptized by the priest. When the baby comes home, there is great rejoicing. The people beg money from the sponsor. They crowd around him having glasses or bowls of water and flowers. The sponsor has to drop coins in every glass or bowl or at times to have more opportunities for all, the sponsor throws the money upward and, upon doing it, everyone tries to gather the coins. What fun they had!

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It is still a practiced consideration to the sponsor to bring to her house gifts or presents in terms of food before the baptismal hour. Presents like selected fat fowls, ranging from three to a dozen or two, a whole roasted pig, baskets of high-class bread, well-prepared suman, specialized desserts, balls of pure chocolate, several kilos of fresh meat, bottles of pickles, wine, cigars, and cigarettes and many others.

The sponsor’s return gift to the child usually is conditioned by the parents’ gifts sent to the sponsor. They are in the form of money or jewelry or baby’s needed things.


Long ago, young men and women were not privileged to talk with one another. The mere touch on the tip of her dress or finger was considered a disgrace on her honor. Courtship was done by the elders contract and men and women married even [if] they didn’t know each other. Men usually used the “pasagad system” and the “bayani system.” There was no romance at all.


When there was no distinct religion yet, a man and a woman were crudely married in their native way.

In the house of the girl, the oldest man or woman served as the contractor. They put the hands of both over a plate or rice, prayed to his God, and then threw rice amidst the people witnessing the ceremony. There was great rejoicing and plenty of eats. Then, the man and woman lived together as husband and wife. When Christianity was introduced, marriage was done by the priest. The party went to the church in the town.

Some customs and beliefs still practiced by the woman and man in remote places:

1. Not trying on the wedding clothes before the specified hour. Anyone who breaks it will not be continued to be married.

2. Racing towards the church door after the ceremony in the belief that the first to arrive is the more powerful.

3. Giving cans of water and bundles of fuel to every relative of the bride before the wedding day.

4. Stepping on each other’s foot for dominance of one upon another soon after the ceremony.

5. Avoiding the veil or cord to fall down during the ceremony. The fall down during the ceremony means early death of the wife or husband.

6. The putting out of the candlelight during the ceremony means the coming of death on either party.

7. The light of the candles shows the life-to-be of the couple. Dim and still lights mean [a] sad hard life, whole flickering, flaming bright light denotes a happy and prosperous one.

8. Breaking pots, dishes, or showering rice before couple comes up the man’s house means many children for the couple and [a] prosperous life.

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There are many other funny practices and beliefs which are funny to [the] educated and civilized ones but rare and respected traditional customs of our ancestors.


Everyone has an appointment with death only as to whom, where and how, no one knows. Our ancestral beliefs are upset by the modern sciences in places where civilization has gained a foothold, but among the groups far from the progress of time, those beliefs still hold sacred.

Among them are:

1. The man or woman who has a live mole on the tear path, gets [to be] a widow or widower at once.

2. The removing of one split of bamboo or one piece of wood in the sala of the house upon the going down of the corpse, means that death will not return to the house for many years.

3. Breaking of the dishes during the time when the death comes up to the last prayer on the eighth day means another member of the household will soon follow.

4. Putting the dishes used together on the table or when removing them when one is dead means another member will follow.

5. The dead one returns and visits his family, especially on the fourth day.

6. That when the ones carrying the coffin stop, the dead is waiting for somebody. Another one will follow.

7. A tear dropped on the corpse will prohibit the dead from living happily thereafter. It will always be sad.

8. Taking a bath when a member of the family or a relative or a neighbor dies, means that the dead one will always be in water.

9. Burning the shavings of the wood used in making the coffin will mean burning the soul in purgatory.

10. Sweeping or cleaning the ground or house before the eighth day means sweeping the soul of the dead away from the house.

11. Walking around or riding when one is dead, especially the parents, means stepping on their souls and rejoicing over their deaths.


Even in the days of our early ancestors, any offender, whether slight or grave, received punishment in accordance with the law. Offenders received corresponding punishments to the crimes committed. Several punishments of old were:

1. Kneeling on mongo.
2. Carrying blocks of stones to and fro.
3. Kneeling with hands sideward, arms crossed holding [the] ears and rising and deeping-knee [dipping?] bent for hours or days.
4. Shasing [slashing?] whip such as pieces of rope, horse whips, page’s (sting ray) tail or other rounded rattan.
5. Holding the ears with crossed arms and rising and deeping-knee bent for hours or days.

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6. Tying oneself against a post, a tree, or the floor.
7. Killing grave offers by thirst, torture, removing the nails, marking by means of burns and cuts, or without food.
8. Burying alive, sometimes with heads down and feet up.
9. Putting in prisons, closed rooms or haunted houses.
10. Brought to the wilderness to be eaten by wild beasts or thrown into the deep sea to be devoured by giant sharks and other fishes.


1. When the new moon dips by Batangas direction, expectant mothers within that moon will deliver easily and safely, but to the opposite direction, will mean hardship, difficulty and, sometimes, death.

2. A black cat to run across your path or a black butterfly flittering by is a sign of death.

3. When 13 persons eat at a table or sleeps or eat at a house, one will die.

4. A house with 13 posts will mean death to the head or member of the family.

5. When a sick person begins to clean himself, or calls names of dead ones, or begs to be awaited or wants to go away or somewhere, or points here and there, death is soon coming to him.

6. A cut-down tree nearby to be used as post will be a sign of bad luck.

7. [An] Itching palm, especially the right hand, means money.

8. Combing the hair near a dead person will un-root the hair.

9. When a child sleeps with stomach on the floor, he wants his parents to die.

10. One who misses supper is fed by his night guard with fowl’s waste matter.

11. A man or woman with a scar on the forehead will turn traitor to his wife or to her husband.

12. Opening an umbrella in the house will have the centipede fall.

13. When cared-for animals die, its master is saved for the animals’ death takes the place of the man’s death.

14. A child born at night is brave, while one born during the day is a coward.

15. When one plants [a] coconut seedling and looks up, the tree will grow very tall before it bears fruit.

16. When a man who plants [a] banana shoot has his fingers together, the banana will bear fruits together (kambal).

17. When a girl mends her clothes on her body, if she marries and bears a child, the child will have no hole in the

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18. When the placenta of the mother, when she gives birth, is cleaned and buried deep in the ground, the child’s teeth are strong and deep-set.

19. If you want the child not to fall from going down and up the stairs, cut on a step, insert the first cut-off finger and toenails and cover it. These will help the child from falling.

20. Children’s games foretell the events of time-playing soldier means a coming war.


According to the old folks, in the nearby hill live dwarves (engkanto) which are very small people. Sometimes, on moonlit nights, the neighborhood can hear sweet music, drumming sounds, and sweet songs. They can also see small flickering lights like small torches going up and down the hill as if in a parade.

There are others who say that sometimes they hear [the] clinging [clinking] of coins as if counting them one by one, or sometimes as if powering coins from above.

No one has ever yet seen the said money, although the clinging [clinking] seems very real. Only a few are favored to see even the lights.


1. By means of the position of the sun.

a. When the sun is overhead, it is (12:00) twelve o’clock.
b. When the sun is rising, it is six o’clock.
c. When the sun has risen higher, it is ten o’clock.
d. When the sun has lowered or passed the meridian, the time is about two o’clock.
e. Upon setting, it is six o’clock.

2. By means of the shadow.
3. By means of a lighted cigarette.
4. By means of the barks of the trees.
5. By marking trees, posts, etc.
6. By connecting events, such as [the] eruption of the volcano, coming of the Spaniards, the insurgents’ time, etc.
7. The time at night was recorded by means of:

a. The position of particular stars or groups of stars in heaven.
b. The crowing of the cocks.
1. When crowing with intervals and slowly, it’s midnight.
2. When crowing is rapid and in succession, it is nearly dawn.

Respectfully submitted:

Barrio Committee Chairman

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