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

Lemery, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for 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 letter.]
Historical Data


Executive Order No. 486 by the President of the Philippines, for reasons stated herein, directs the collection and compilation of data on the history and culture of each barrio, town, city and province in the Philippines. It directs further the preparation of the manuscripts thereof, using the outline appended to said Executive Order, and the submittal of the prepared manuscripts not later than June 20, 1953, as per Memorandum No. 34, s. 1952.

In pursuance to this Executive Order and its Appendix, and in compliance with the requirements in Memorandum No. 34 s. 1952, regarding the matter, barrio and town committees were formed as early as July of last year, to gather and compile the necessary historical data for all the barrios and towns comprising the Lemery District, and to prepare the corresponding manuscripts for each barrio and town thereof.

No little amount of time and efforts was exerted by the local committee appointed in gathering and compiling the necessary data and in preparing the manuscripts. Some difficulties were also met in so doing, owing to the fact that generally, the old men and women of the barrio or town from whom to draw from their fund of knowledge and experiences of the history and culture of the communities were either no longer living or residing far outside these communities. As best as they could, however, the committees assigned secured the data herein reported for as many people as could be found presently living in the communities who could contribute even a bit of information on the historical and cultural data of their committees. Some of the data herein reported, therefore, could not be considered as reliable as might have been desired.

Finally, it is hoped that these historical and cultural data gathered and compiled for the different barrios and towns in this district would serve as further implementations in the development of our curriculum and its enrichment.

District Supervisor

[Cover page.]









[Listing of barrios per town.]


Ayao – Iyao
Nonong Casto
Walang Balahibo
Coral na Munti
San Pedro
Dilao & Lagnas
Bagon Tubig
[Bottom of page torn. The barrios below were originally typed opposite of the barrios of Lemery.]

[Submission letter.]

Lemery Elementary School

April 29, 1953

The Division Superintendent of Schools
Batangas, Batangas
Thru the District Supervisor, Lemery


We, the undersigned, chairman and members of the local committee for the Municipality of Lemery, Province of Batangas, have the honor to submit the enclosed report of historical data for the poblacion of Lemery and its barrios as required by General Memorandum No. 34, 2. 1952.

Very Respectfully,

Principal and Chairman






[p. 1]

Lemery Elementary School



Present Official Names of the Town

The present official name of this town is Lemery, a municipality situated on the southwestern coast of Balayan Bay in the province of Batangas.

Former Name or Names and their Meaning(s) or Derivation

It was during the early part of the eighteenth century that the people from Taal, northern part of Mindoro and southern part of Cavite occupied the vast level plain on the coast of Balayan Bay for wider opportunities in life. Fate so dictated that these groups of people came together and settled at the very heart of what is now Lemery and established a little settlement that was to become the germ that gave birth to this progressive and one of the commercial towns of Batangas province.

These adventurous people were attracted by the seacoast life because of the abounding fish that could be caught easily in great quantity within a short period of time. Salting and drying fish became their important business, because of the great demand of the people from the interior parts of Cavite, Laguna and Batangas provinces.

As time came and went fast, people came in greater numbers to join the old settlers, and the village became populous. The place was at first called “PUNTA,” meaning direction, because of the great number of people coming to the village’s direction.

The religious people who were converted to Christianity immediately built a church for them where on Sundays, they gathered together and worshipped God. The auxiliary priest from Taal used to come over to Punta on Sundays to say Mass for the people. In 1806, a permanent priest was assigned to this settlement. He was Rev. Father Sancho Geronimo, a Spanish priest from Madrid, Spain.

In 1818, the political status of the little village, Punta, attained its glorious and memorable change. It was through a suggestion of a new priest, a successor of Fr. Sancho Geronimo, that the village be made a permanent barrio to be named San Geronimo, in honor of the late Fr. Sancho Geronimo, the first priest in the village, who guided the people in their religious lives. The suggestion was warmly accepted and Punta was changed to San Geronimo.

Date of Establishment

For a decade, between 1818 and 1828, the people of San Geronimo enjoyed the kind of treatment of the church of-

[p. 2]

ficials. The barrio folks were living contentedly with the exception of a certain group of individuals who were hostile to the church administration of the barrio affairs. The hostile group was influenced by a Cavite revolutionary group movement against the Spanish rule. Its secret movements were learned by the priest who immediately reported the matter to the Spanish military authorities.

The people of San Geronimo were surprised at a sudden change of administration. The Spanish military forces were used in compelling the people to attend church services during Sundays and holidays. People found not attending mass during the days specifically heralded by the priest, were considered enemies of Spain and were executed. Others were punished severely or flogged to death.

That unfortunate condition existed for some years until all the inhabitants of San Geronimo realized their great mistakes of blind loyalty to the king of Spain. Many of them joined secretly the revolutionary movement that was gaining popularity among the San Geronimo inhabitants. Both men and women were accepted in the secret organization provided that they be allowed to be tested in an initiation that would prove their courage, patriotism and loyalty to their own native land.

The condition of San Geronimon in 1839 became worst when the priest and his sacristan were kidnapped and then murdered by the revolutionists, under the leadership of Faustino Bungkal, head of the anti-Spanish rule. The incident resulted in a change of military command and martial law was adopted in the whole area of San Geronimo and its sitios.

The adoption of martial law did not lessen the hostile attitude of the people, but their desire for freedom increased rapidly, instead. The new command noticed the condition with interest. To prevent further execution and imprisonment on the part of the innocent inhabitants, the military authorities withdrew the martial law and the administration changed their method in dealing with the people. All military and church personnel were instructed to study the dialect of the people in order to promote better understanding and cooperation between the inhabitants and the government. This change of treatment was instituted by Roberto Lemery, a Spanish Captain and commander of the San Geronimo outpost.

The newly injected treatment gained trust and confidence among the inhabitants. The treatment continued until Captain Lemery learned to speak fluently the dialect and became the only white man friend of the people of San Geronimo. Captain Lemery was respected by the inhabitants because of his kindness, understanding and helpfulness. His military headquarters became the rendezvous of his many friends and admirers. Underground activities were stopped. Peace, contentment and happiness reigned during the seventeen-year military administration of Captain Lemery.

In 1856, Captain Lemery died of malignant fever. The people of San Geronimo mourned for the death of their beloved friend and respected benefactor.

[p. 3]

After the death of Captain Roberto Lemery, the people of San Geronimo made a request through the local priest that the barrio of San Geronimo be changed to barrio Lemery, in honor of Captain Roberto Lemery, who served the inhabitants of San Geronimo faithfully and well the request was forwarded to the proper authorities, and two years after the approval was received. In 1858, the barrio of San Geronimo became the barrio of Lemery.

Lemery by that time, being the nearest barrio to the municipality of Taal, was annexed to and became a part of, Taal. In 1862, by executive order, Lemery was separated from its mother municipality through the efforts of Candida Valensuela, Manuel Cabrera, Jose Cabrera, Policarpio Mariño and Domingo Agoncillo.

In the year 1904, for economic reasons, it was again an it to Taal by virtue of the executive order issued by the then Governor General.

But in the year 1907, by virtue of the law of 1549 promulgated by the Philippine Civil Commission, this municipality was again reorganized as an independent municipality of Lemery.

Names and Social Status of the Founders

The following persons were responsible for the foundation of this municipality from the very beginning:
As Punta Village – Faustino Bungkal, Odon Camacho, Cristino Endrinal and Canuto Luna y Vanelsuela.
As Barrio of San Geronimo – Bruno Manikad, Julian Ilustre, Macario Agoncillo, Quintin Noble, Faustino Matanguihan.
As Barrio of Lemery – Policarpio Cabrera, Jorge Macabuhay, Enrique Noble, Primitivo Sangalang, Mercedes Villamin, Tomas Aranas and Susano Castro.
As Municipality of Lemery Candida Cesario Valensuela, Jose Cabrera, Policarpio Mariño, Manuel Cabrera, and Domingo Agoncillo.
Names of Persons who Held Leading Official Positions
in the Community, with the Dates of their Tenure

Official records during the Spanish times pertaining to the gobernadorcillos, capitan municipal, Teniente Absoluto, Jueces de Sementeras and Maestro Municipal are no longer available. They were all destroyed during the Japanese occupation and nobody would seem able to reconstruct them.

The following persons held leading official positions after the Spanish occupation:

Presidentes and Mayors
Perpetuo Joya Admana - 1907
Ruperto Venturanzana - 1908 - [page torn]
[p. 4]
Perfecto Cabrera - 1910 - 1912
Jose Baldoza - 1913 - 1916
Ramon Cabrera - 1917 - 1919
Zacarias Marasigan - 1920 - 1922
Ruperto Venturanza - 1923 - 1931
Aurelio S. Atienza - 1932 - 1936
Ruperto Venturanza - 1937 - 1940
Aurelio S. Atienza - 1941 -
During the Japanese Occupation

Aurelio S. Atienza
Froilan Noble
Pedro Punzalan


Irineo M. Cabrera
Vicente Salazar
Leon Sangalang
Leon Sangalang - 1948 - 1951
Mariano L. Venturanza - 1952 -        
Data on Historical Sites, Structures, Buildings, Old Ruins, Etc.

No historical sites and structures could be cited for this municipality except the concrete fortification built facing Balayan Bay to protect the people from the attack of the Moro Pirates. The remnants of the said fortification is still standing between Lozada and Mariño streets in this municipality.

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

In 1839, after the priest and his sacristan were kidnapped by the revolutionary men, the military authorities resorted to atrocities and vandalism against the inhabitants. Daily executions occurred mercilessly without considering the innocence of those cruelly punished. In 1840, when the San Geronimo (now Lemery) inhabitants could no longer bear the fang of inhuman punishment imposed by the Spanish military men, twenty selected brave inhabitants made a sneak attack on the Spanish military garrison. It was told that those men were all killed in that historic battle.

During the American Occupation to World War II

During this period, only [a] few and minor incidents occurred. Insurgents surrendered in masses to American authorities because they learned of the human treatment of the new conquerors. Only those that would not recognize the new government were imprisoned and tried in courts. Many were released after the trial.

Although under a colonial administration, the people felt that they were free under the law. Public schools were opened to all classes of people. Unlike during the Spanish regime, when only the rich were able to obtain education because of its high cost, the present regime established schools and offered opportunities for all. Starting from the lower grades, hundreds of children at-

[p. 5]

tended schools. They were given free supplies such as books, paper, pencils, slates and pieces of chalk.

Under the new school system, the people began to realize the effect of education on their everyday lives. After sufficient years of schooling, many of them became teachers, principals and supervisors. Through democratic education, the Americans won the sympathy and cooperation of the people of Lemery. When the Second World War broke out, all the able-bodied men of this town registered themselves to the Army to fight side by side with the Americans against the Japanese invaders.

During and After World War II

During the early part of World War II, most of the families in Lemery evacuated to the nearby barrios and hills. The great number of men joined guerrilla forces. The underground work of the guerrillas became very active during the Japanese Occupation. Many prominent citizens of Lemery, who were suspected as collaborators by the guerrillas, were kidnapped and executed if found guilty. Between the period 1942 and 1945, the occupation forces adopted severe measures against the civilians. Massacres and other atrocities became a common sight. In spite of the cruel application of punishment toward innocent guerrilla suspects, their desire to fight the enemy increased – to extent of liquidating both the Japanese and their Filipino spies.

When the American liberation forces arrived in this town, the Japanese were easily subdued and captured, helped by the guerrillas who paved the way for the liberating forces.

After liberation in 1945, the town of Lemery was greatly devastated. Several hundreds of houses were destroyed and burned because of the Japanese incendiary bombs dropped in retaliation to the American forces’ attacks.

The scarcity of food among the civilians was remedied easily by the PCAU, who distributed freely the prime commodities of the people. After a year, the War Damage Commission made payments for the destroyed properties and houses of the people. Rehabilitation started and the living condition of the people was improved. Many war widows and orphans were given pensions for the lives of their husbands, sons, and other next-of-kin lost in battle.

Destruction of Lives, Properties and Institutions
During Wars, especially in 1896-1900 and 1941-1945

During the war of 1896-1900, not much destruction was recorded. Only minor incidents occurred because of the democratic treatment of the American Forces. But during the war of 1941-1945, many prominent persons of Lemery perished both in the hands of the Japanese and the guerrillas. It was in this war that many homes were destroyed, including the old bridge of Spanish type that connected the municipalities of Taal and Lemery.

[p. 6]

Measures and Accomplishments Toward Rehabilitation
And Reconstruction Following World War II

After World War II, rehabilitation started. Reconstruction of new homes began after the distribution of war damage payments. More houses were built by many families in the poblacion because business thrived with rapid progress and improvements. At present, the number of homes in the poblacion of Lemery has increased by twenty-five per cent in pre-war days.


Traditions, Customs and Practices in Domestic and Social
Life: Birth, Baptism, Courtship, Marriage, Death,
Burial; Visits; Festivals; Punishments; Etc.

Panganganak –

Ang naging paniniwala nila tungkol dito ay kapag ang isang ina ay nagluwal ng isang sanggol na may kakaibang anyo ang ayos, ang ibig sabihin ay may magandang kapalarang darating sa buhay. Nagkaroon din sila ng paniniwala na hindi dapat matuwa o magalit ang isang nagdadalang tao sa ano mang bagay o tao man na may masamang ayos. Ito raw ay pagkakarahilan upang ang magiging anak ay tumulad. Ang mga babaing nagdadalang tao ay pinaaalalahanan na dapat magdasal ng patungkol sa buwan at mga bituin. Sa ganito raw ay magiging maalwan ang panganganak o pagluluwal at ang kalusugan ng ina at sanggol ay natitiyak.

Pag nagluwal na ang isang ina, ang ama ay pupunta sa silong na may dalawang sandata upang ang panganganak ay huwag gambalain ng masasamang kaluluwa. At ang lahat namang mag-anakan sa bahay ay pulos nakaluhod at idinadalangin ang kaligtasan ng nagluluwal. Walang nagdadalang tao na pinapayagang makatigil sa pintuan o hagdanan sapagka’t pag nagkagayon, ang panganganak ay magiging mahirap.

Binyagan –

Ang batang hindi agad mabibinyagan ay hindi ligtas sa anyaya ng mga tigbalang, at masamang malign.

Ang pagpili ng amang binyag o inang binyag ay ibinabatay sa kaugalian at kabantugan ng pagkatao. Naniniwala silang ang kaugalian, pagkatao, at kabantugan ay namamana sa inang binyag o amang binyag. Ang pumipili ng inang binyag o amang binyag sa unang sanggol ay ang ama at ina ng babaing nagluwal.

Ang hilot na nagpaanak ay siyang laging sumasama sa simbahan sa araw ng pagbibinyag. Ang paniniwala nila ay ang sanggol ay laging magiging malusog habang nabubuhay.

Pagdating ng bahay buhat sa simbahan, matapos mabinyagan ang sanggol, ang mga panauhin, lalung-lalo na ang mga bata ay maghahandog ng mga bulaklak sa nag-anak sa binyag. [The rest of the page is torn.]

[p. 7]

hagis ng mga salaping mulay upag pag-agawan ng mga bata pati ng matatanda. Sa ganito ay nakatutuwang panoorin ang kanilang pag-aagawn. Ito ay ginagawa sa paniniwalang ang batang bininyagan ay magiging isang mayaman.

Pangingibig –

Noong unang panahon, ang isang dalaga at binata ay nagkakakasal ng hindi nagliligawan. Ang mga magulang ang siyang gumagawa ng lahat ng pag-aayos sa pag-iisang dibdib ng kanilang mga anak.

Ang ligawan noong unang panahon ay naisasagawa sa pamamagitan ng mga hudyat. Gumagamit sila ng mga pamaypay o di kaya’y mga panyo. Sa pamamagitan ng mga hudyat nito ay nakukuha nila ang ibig sabihin at mga kahulugan ukol sa kanilang dinaramdam ng pag-ibig. Ito ay ginagawa nila nang panahong iyon sapagka’t ang mga magulang lalung-lalo na sa larangan ng pag-ibig ng kanilang mga anak.

Kasal –

Walang kasal na maaaring matutuloy hangga't hindi ang lahat ng mga bigay ay naroroon. maaaring ang mga ito ay mga damit, mga ginto o kaya’y mga alahas. Pagkatapos ng kasal, ang lahat ng kamag-anakan ng dalawang panig ay magtitipun-tipon upang maghandog ng abut-kayang abuloy. Ito ay isang uri ng paligsahan. Ang lahat ng kamag-anakan ang lalaki ay sa babae magbibigay, at ang kamag-anakan naman ng babae ay sa lalaki naman. Pagkatapos ay titingnan sa dalawang panig ang nakakalamang. Pagkaraan noon ay pagsasamahin ang halaga ng natipon upang ipagkaloob sa bagong kasal.

Pagkatapos ng kasal, ang babae ay doon titigil ng apat na araw sa bahay ng lalaki, at ang lalaki naman ay doon sa bahay ng babae nang gayon ding katagal. Pagkaraan noon ay saka pa sila magsasama. Maaaring sila’y doon tumira sa bahay na sadyang laan sa kanila o di kaya’y sa bahay ng mga magulang ng lalaki.

Pagkatapos mairaos ang kasal sa loob ng simbahan ay ang bagong kasal ay parehong nagtutumulin sa paglakad na palabras sa simbahan. Sila ay nag-uunahan sa pintuan sa paniniwalang ang maka-una ay hindi magiging api-apihan.

Pagdating sa bahay, ang mga kamag-anakan ng dalawang panig ay tatayo sa may hagdanan at magbabasag ng palyok at pinggan, sa paniniwalang ang bagong kasal ay magkakaroon ng maraming anak.

Bago magtuloy sa duyo ng tahanan ang bagong kasal ay magsisindi ng kandilang magkabigkis ang dalawa. Ang paniwala nila ay hindi magkakalayo ang dalawa habang nabubuhay.

Kamatayan –

Ang kamatayan ay laging ipinalalagay nilang tanda ng masamang pangitain, nguni’t sa mga tao namang [page torn] Diyos ang kamatayan ay isang bagay na nasa [page torn] ng Diyos, na wala dito sa ibabaw ng lupa na [page torn] kahadlang sa pagkamatay ng isang tao liban [page torn] Diyos na makapangyarihan.

[p. 8]

Kapag ang isang tao ay namatay at kasalukuyang nararatay sa kanyang tahanan, ay walang kamag-anakan o kasambahay na maaaring lumayo sa piling ng naulit na tahanan sapagka’t ang alin man sa kanila ay nanganganib sa kapahamakan.

Sa silong ng bahay na may patay, ay sila’y naglalagay ng liwanag na may sindi sa gabi. Naniniwala silang ang liwanag ng ilawan ay nakahahadlang sa panghihimasok ng mga kaluluwang demonyo o mga multong-lupa.

Ang taong namatay sa pakikipagsukatan ng lakas ay itinuturing nilang isang bayani. Sa paglalamay sa kanyang bangkay, ay doon maririning ang pagsasalaysay ng kanyang mga kaibigan, kapitbahay at mga kamag-anakan ng kanyang mga kagalingan at kabutihang nagawa.

Sa bahay na mayroong nakaburol na patay, ay may makikita kayong isang pinggan o di kaya’y isang maliit na kahon. Ang sino mang dadalaw ay malayang makapaglalagay ng halagang abut-kaya sa kahon o pinggang ito. Ang halagang matitipon dito ay may karagdagang gugugulin sa paglilibing.

Paglilibing –

Ang paglilibing noong unang panahon ay hindi masyadong magugol tulad ngayon. Noong mga nakaraan, ang isang bangkay ay basta’t binabalot ng banig at pagkatapos ay babalutin naman sa mga pinagdatig-datig na patpat saka tatalian ng maayos. Iyana ng uri ng kabaong ng panahong iyon.

Pagkatapos na ang bangkay ay maipanaog ng bahay upang ilibing, ay biglang isasara ang lahat ng durungawan sapagka’t ang paniniwala nila ay pag may dumungaw, na ang bangkay ay nasa lupa na, ay tiyak na may mamamatay agad sa alin man sa nakatira roon.

Sa libingan, bago ihulog sa hukay ang bangkay, ay ang gagawin ay palalakdawan muna sa mga batang kamag-anakan. Ang paniniwala nila ay ang kaluluwa ng namatay ay matatahimik sapagka’t ito’y laging aalalahanin ng mga batang lumakdaw sa bangkay.

Kapag ang isang bangkay ay palabarik, ang kanyang kabaong ay lalagyan ng mga bote ng alak bilang pabaon sa yumao. Ang paniniwala nila ay magiging masaya ang paglalakbay ng kaluluwa ng namatay sapagka’t may dala siyang inuming mainit.

Kung minsan ay isinasama nila ang mahahalagang kagamitan ng namatay tulad ng mga damit, alahas at iba pa. Ang paniniwala nila ay ang mga ito’y gagamitin ng namatay doon sa langit.

Pistahan –

Ang pista ay naging isang matandang kaugaliang pagdiriwang mula pa noong panahong ang mga tao ay yumakap sa pananampalataya sa Relihiyong Katolika. Ang pista ay ginagawa upang parangalan ang isang patron ng nayon o ng bayan. Ipinalalagay nilang ang pagdiriwang ng pista ay isang banal na pangako at banal na gawain upang sila ay maligtas sa lahat ng kasakunaan.

Ang pista ay isang araw na ang lahat ng tao sa bu-

[p. 9]

ong bayan ay nagsusuot ng kanilang pinakamagandang mga damit upang gamitin sa kanilang pagsisimba. Ang lahat ng tahanan ay nahihiyasan ng mga naggagandahang gayak tulad ng mga kurtina, sariwang dahon ng mga niyog at mga parol. Bukod pa rito ay ang lahat ng tahanan ay handang tumanggap ng mga panauhing inanyayahan o hindi man. Dahil dito, lalo na kung ang pagdiriwang ay mapapataon sa mabuti ang panahon, ay libu-libong tao ang dumarating upang makipagdiwang sa mga pistang idinaraos.

Kung minsan, ang pari ay pipili ng isang tao upang siyang kumatawan sa pagdiriwang sa kaarawan ng isang patron. Ang kaarawang ito ay ipinagdaraos ng misa na ito nama’y babayaran ng piniling kumakatawan. Pagkatapos ng misa ay ang mga tao ay aanyayahan sa kanyang sariling tahanan upang pagsalunsalunan ang handang mga pagkain. Ang kahilingang ito ng pari ay hindi matatanggihan sapagka’t pag ito’y tinanggihan ay nangangahulungan ng isang paglapastangan sa Poon at sa Diyos.

Ang pistahang pinangunguluhan ng mga simbahan, simula pa noong kauna-unahang ito’y ipagdiwang, ay lagi nang pinagdudumugan ng mga tao at halos lahat ay tumutulong sa abot ng kanilang kaya.

Kaparusahan –

Noong panahong ang batas ay hindi nasusulat, ay ang pinakamatanda lamang sa nayon ang siyang makakapagpasiya sa mga kaparusahang dapat ipataw sa mga taga-nayong nagkakasala.

Kapag ang kasalanan ay pagnanankaw, ang kaparusahan ay papuputulan ng apat na daliri ang nagnakaw.

Kapag ang kasalanan ay pagpatay sa kapuwa tao, ang kaparusahan ay pupugutin ang leeg.

Kapag ang kasalanan ay pakiki-apid sa hindi niya asawa, ang kaparusahan ay bubugbugin hanggang sa mamatay sa harap ng kanilang mga asa-asawa.

Kapag ang kasalanan ay paniniktik o pagmamahabang-dila, ang kaparusahan ay pupugutin ang dulo ng dila.

Kapag ang kasalanan ay pagpapabaya sa asawa at mga anak, ang kaparusahan ay bugbog at pagkabilanggo.

Kapag ang kasalanan ay ang walang katapatan, ang parusa ay maghapong pag-up sa bahay ng mga pulang guyam.

Mga Kuwentong Sinauna, Alamat,
Pagkaunawa at mga Pamahiin

Naging pangkaraniwang paniniwala ng mga tao na ang daigdig ay nagsimula sa isang kipil na lupa na binilog ng Maykapal, linikha upang tirahan ng mga nakapipinsalang kulisap. Ang Diyos ay nayamot sa kanyang unang linikha. Kaya ang ginawa niya ay iwinasag ang unang linikha upang gumawa ng panibago, na lalong malaki kay sa una. Ang bagong lupain ay kanyang ginayakan ng nagtataasang mga bundok, naglalawakang mga gubat at naghahabaang mga ilog, at lawang malalawak. Nalaman Niyang walang sino mang makikinabang sa kaniyang linikhang iyon, kaya ang ginawa Niya’y lumikha ng dalawang ibon upang siyang papanirahin sa

[p. 10]

mga kakahuyan, dalawang isda para sa karagatan, lawa at mga ilog.

Nang makita niyang ang pinakamalungkot na pook sa kanyang mga nilikha ay ang kalupaan, ay ang ginawa Niya ay tinamnan ng mga halamang makakain upang lalong maging kaayaayang pagtingnan. Pagkaraan ng ilang araw ay Kanyang napansin ang malabis na katahimikan kaya ang ginawa Niya ay lumikha ng unang lalaki at unang babae buhat sa puno ng isang kawayang nasa tabi ng isang ilog.

Upang mabigyan ng tahanan ang mga taong bagong likha, ang ginawa Niya ay naglagay ng mga batong guang upang maging yungib na magiging tahanan ng unang babae at lalaking Kanyang linikha.

Sila ay naniniwalang ang araw ay isang bolang apoy na gawa rin ng Diyos, upang ang tao at ang iba pang kinapal ay mabigyan ng init, at makatanggap ng liwanag. Ang buwan at mga bituin ay likha rin Niya. Ang mga ito ay nilikha Niya upang bigyan ng liwanag ang mga tao sa araw at kung gabi ay ng upang ang ibang masisipag ay makapagpatuloy sa kanilang gawain.

Ang kanilang paniniwala ay kaya nagkaroon ng paglalaho ang buwan o ang araw ay dahil sa paglalaban ng tatlong higante na sina Laho, Init, at Lakas. At kaya naman lumilindol ay sa dahilang pag si Higanteng Lakas ay nagagalit ay halos mawasak ang kalupaan. Ang kidlat at mga kulog ay bunga ng mga pagkagalit ni Higanteng Init, buhat sa araw. May paniwala rin silang ang alapaap at ulan ay abuloy ni Buwan sa kaniyang kaibigang Daigdig upang ang mga tao, halaman, at mga hayop ay madulutan ng lamig at kaginhawahan na siyang lubhang kailangan ng pagsibol, paglaki, at pag-unlad.

Ang hangin at mga bagyo, ayon sa sabi nila, ay likha ng Higanteng si Hilik, na kung ito’y natutulog ng mahimbing ay hindi nalilimutan ang paghilik upang lumikha ng malakas na hangin at bagyo. Ang paniniwala naman ng iba, ay ang hangin at bagyo ay mga uri ng kaparusahan ng Diyos sa mga taong wala nang iniisip kundi ang kayamanan at ang karangyaan.

Kapag ang isang ina ay nag-anak ng kambal o higit pa sa rito, ang kanilang paniniwala ay ang mga ito ay tanda ng magandang kapalaran at kaunlaran sa buhay na hindi na magtatagal ay darating. Ang paniwala naman ng iba ay ang pag-aanak daw ng kambal ay isang uri ng di-tuwirang pagpaparusa sa isang ina upang ang kanyang pagpapalaki ay maging mahirap.

Ang sakit, ang sabi nila, ay isang uri ng kapangyarihan ng Panginoong Diyos. Pinapagkakasakit ang mga tao ng upang ang mga ito ay makaalala ng DIyos na lumikha sa kanila sa sandali ng kanilang kalubhaan. Ang sunud-sunod na dasal ng pagsisisi ay makapapagpagaling sa kanila.

Sila ay naniniwala rin sa mga kapangyarihang dulot ng malign, laman-lupa, tikbalang, asuwang. Ang mga kapangyarihang ito ay naidudulot ng isang tao. Ang isang tao na may kapangyarihang tulad nito ay tinatawag nilang “Mangkukulam,” “Manggagahoy” at “Mambabarang.” Ang taong nagtataglay ng ganitong kapangyarihan ay makapaghihigante sa kanino man. Ang mga ito ay makapag-uutos sa mga sakit upang palubhain ang isang tao o isang hayop. Ang isa lamang paraan upang mailigtas ang kanilang pinapagkasakit ay

[p. 11]

kung silang nagpadala ng sakit ang siyang pakiki-usapang gumamot.

Palasak na Mga Awitin, Mga Laro at Mga Libangan

Ang mga palasak na awitin ay karaniwang naririnig sa sandaling ang isang ina, o kapatid na babae ay nagpapatulog ng bata. Ang ilan sa mga ito ay:

1. Tulog na batang matulugin,
Ang mahal mong ina’y malayo sa atin;
Siya’y naghahanap gusto mong pagkain
At madulutan sa ginhawa at lambing.

Siya ay babalik maya-maya lamang
Nadala ang bungang gusto mong matikman
Siya ay babalik mula sa sakahan
Sa lupang ama mo ang siyang nagbungkal.

2. Talalay-talalay
Huwag mong tanggihan
Sa punong malunggay
Mayron kang katipan.

Ina mo’y nagalit
Ama mo’y nalungkot
Sa iyong ginawa
Kaya ka pinukpok.

3. Ikaw ay bulaklak na sakdal ng bango,
Ako nama’y isang munting paru-paro
Nang ako’y dumapo sa dahon mo’t bulo
Malakas na iyak itong ginawa mo.

Ikaw’y naging isang magandang bulaklak,
Ako nama’y naging laywang lumilipad,
Nang iyong ibigay matamis na nectar
Ay aking ginawang pulot na matimyas.

Mga Laro at Kasayahan –

Ang mga palasak na mga laro noong unang panahon ay ang buno o suong, labanan sa pagbuhat ng mabibigat na bagay, arnis, sisiran, pata, pabilisan sa pagpapalakad ng lamo, at saka tubigan.

Ang mga pangkatuwaan ay ang palabanan ng baka, sayaw na subli, balagtasan, labanan sa kantahan, patakbuhan ng pagong, palaisipan at takbuhan sa tayakad.

Palaisipan at Patuturan

Ang kalimitan, ang pagtuturan at palaisipan ay isinasagawa ng mga kabataan pagkatapos na sila ay makapaglaro ng Patentero tuwing maliwanag ang buwan at maganda ang panahon. Ang ilan sa mga karaniwang patuturan at palaisipan ay ang mga sumusunod:

1. Dala mo’y dala ka, dala ka pa ng iyong dala. – bakya
2. Ang ibon ang tumatawag sa kanyang ngalan?
3. Dalawang urang nag-uunahan. – paa
4. Dalawang bolang sinulid abot hanggang Langit. – mata
5. Baras ng kapitan hindi malakdawan. – ahas
6. Nagdaan si Negro namatay ang tao. – gabi
7. Alin sa iyong katawan ang hindi malimutan? – isip

[p. 12]

8. Buhok ni Adan, hindi mabilang. – ulan
9. Nagsaing si Kapirit kinain pati anglit. – bayabas
10. Ang anak ay umupo na, ang ina ay gumapang pa. – kalabasa

Mga Salawikain at Sawikain

Ang kalimitan sa mga salawikain at mga sawikain ay inuukol nila sa isang paligsahan ng isip. Ang bawa’t isang salawikain at sawikain ang ipaliliwanag ang bawa’t ibig sabihin o ang kahulugan nito. Ito ay kanilang ginagawa doon sa panahong sila ay naglalamay sa patay. Ang ilan sa kanilang salawikain ay ang sumusunod:

1. Ang tulog na isda ay madaling madala ng agos.
2. Ang sugal ay ina ng paghihikahos.
3. Namumulaklak ang tarangkahan.
4. Kung ano ang itinanim ay siyang aanihin.
5. Ang lumakad ng marahan kung matinik ay mababaw;
Ang lumakad ng matulin kung matinik ay malalim.
6. Hutukin ang sanga ng kahoy habang ito ay mura pa.
7. Pag may isinuksok ay may titingalain.
8. Huwag kang babagtas ng daan habang hindi ka pa sumasapit doon.
9. Ang papaya ay hindi magbubunga ng dalandan.
10. Mahirap gisingin ang taong nagtutulug-tulugan.

Mga Paraan sa Pagsukat ng Oras at Pantanging Talaarawan

Noong mga nakaraang panahon, ang oras ay sinusukat sa mga sumusunod na pamamaraan:

1. Pagtatanda sa anino ng kahoy sa init ng araw.
2. Paggamit ng isang tuong na tubig upang patuluin ng utik-utik. Ang lumalabas na tubig sa maliit na butas ng tuong ang siyang sinusukat.
3. Ang tilaok ng manok.
4. Ang huni ng ibong “calo.”

Ang mga tao noong unang panahong iyon ay hindi nag-iingat ng mapananaligang talaarawan. Ang kanilang ginawa ay ang bawa’t araw ay pinangalanan ng babae at ang mga buwan namay ay mga lalaki. Halimbawa:

Mga Araw
Lunes - Luna
Martes - Marta
Miyerkules - Mierkula
Huwebes - Hueva
Biyernes - Biyarna
Sabado - Sabada
Linggo - Lingga
Mga Buwan
Enero - Nero
Pebrero - Pebro
Marso - Marko
Abril - Arilo
Mayo - Niyo
Hunyo - Dinyo
Hulyo - Nilo
Agusto - Yato
Setyembre - Embro
Oktubre - Tubro
[p. 13]
Nobyembre - Nobro
Disyembre - Disyo
Ang mga araw ay itinatala nila sa pamamagitan ng pagbilang ng maliliit na bato. At ang bilang ng mga buwan at mga taon ay iniuukit lamang nila sa mga puno ng kahoy.

Ang Iba Pang Matandang Kinaugaliang Paniniwala

Sinasabi nilang ang ilog Pansipit ay humati sa pagitan ng bayan ng Lemery at bayan ng Taal, ay ginawa ng isang higanteng Alimango, na sumawa na sa paninirahan sa maalat na tubig. Upang matagpuan ang tubig na hindi maalat, ang ginawa ay ginamit ang kanyang malalaking panipit sa pagdudukal ng isang bambang hanggang sa makarating sa lawa ng Taal. Ang ilog ay kinuha ang pangalan sa malalaking panipit nito kaya pinangalanang “Pansipit.”

Kanila ring nagunita na ang pook na kinatatayuan ngayon ng bayan ay nasa ilalim ng dagat noong marami ng siglo ang nakaraan. Nguni’t nang ang higanteng-dagat na si “Makalimas Dagat” ay makipag-away sa higanteng kay Makapatag Bundok, ang mga buhangin sa ilalim ng dagat ay dinakot nang dinakot at inihagis kay Mapatag Bundok. Ang ginawa naman nitong huli ay yinog-yugan ang mga bundok at pinaguho ang mga lupa nito sa tabi ng dagat hanggang sa ang pook na ito ay matabunan ng maraming lupa at gumitaw sa ibabaw ng dagat, ay naging isang pook na magandang panirahan.


Traditions, Customs, and Practics in Domestic and Social Life


It was believed that when a freak child was born, the family would meet good luck in life.

It was also their belief that an expectant mother should not show signs of interest or [a] bitter attitude to ugly persons or objects because that would cause the mother to give birth to ugly creatures.

Women in the family way were advised to pray along under the full moon or the evening star for seven successive nights so that the giving of birth would be easy and the health of both mother and child could be assured.

During the giving of birth, the father would stay under the house, armed with any deadly weapon to prevent the interference of some evil spirits. All members of the family would kneel and pray for the salvation of both mother and child.

No expectant mothers were allowed to stay at the door or at the stairs for they believed that would cause hardship in the delivery of the child.


[A] Child not baptized early enough was considered unsafe and susceptible to invitation to witches and evil spirits.

[p. 14]

Selection of a godfather or a godmother was based on character and special personal qualities. They always presumed that the personal greatness of a godfather or godmother would be acquired by the child.

The godmother or the godfather of the first-born baby was always selected by the mother or father of the mother who gave birth.

The midwife who attended the delivery of the child would be the one to take the baby to the church. The belief in that practice was that the newly-born baby would always be good in health throughout his or her life.

Upon reaching the home after the baptismal ceremony from the church, the visitors, especially children, would offer flowers to the godfather or godmother and, in return, they would receive money. Sometimes, coins were thrown up into the air for the visitors to pick up. The belief was that the newly baptized baby would grow in plenty or would become rich.


During the early days, young men and women were being married without courtship. Parents were the ones making arrangements for their son’s and daughter’s marriage.

Courting in the olden days was carried out by the use of signals. They used either [a] fan or [a] handkerchief in conveying their feelings of love and affection. That was done because the parents of the young ladies were very strict about the love affairs of their daughters.


No marriage ceremony would take place unless all dowries were ready and on hand. They may be in the form of jewels, clothes, work-animals or money. After the marriage ceremony, relatives of both the bride and the groom would gather around to make [a] conteston gifts to be given to the newly-married couple.

Relatives of the bride would offer their gifts (mostly money) to the groom, and the groom’s relatives, to the bride. The offering was done one at a time until all relatives of both parties had given their shares.

After marriage, the bride would stay in the home of the groom for four days and the groom, in the home of the bride, for the same length of days. After that period, they would live together either in their new home or in the home of the groom.

After the performance of the marriage ceremony in the church, both bride and groom would walk as fast as they could toward the church’s door. They believed that the first to reach the church [door] would dominate the other.

Upon reaching home from the church, some relatives of both parties would drop some pots, plates, and other chinaware right on the stairs. The believed that by so doing, the couple would produce many children.

Before entering the house, the newly-married couple would light two candles twisted together. They believed

[p. 15]

that in doing so, the couple could not be separated except by death.


Death was always considered a sign of [a] bad omen, but for the religious folks, death was the will of God, and nobody on earth could prevent such [an] occurrence except the Almighty.

When a person dies, all members of his family are not allowed to go far away from the home because they believed that when they do so, they are endangering themselves to accidents.

A lighted lamp was placed under the house where there is a dead person. They believed that the light would protect the dead from being molested by the earthly ghosts or evil spirits.

Any person who died in duel was considered a hero. All his goodness were the main topics to the people, narrated and discussed by his friends, neighbors and relatives.

In a house where there was a dead person, a plate or a small box was placed near the corpse. People coming to pay respect and sympathy to the dead used to put in the box or on the plate any amount they could afford to give in order to help spend for the burial services.


Burial during the olden days was less expensive than that of the present. In the past, dead persons were wrapped in a mat with a bamboo curtain, then tied carefully around. That served as a coffin.

After the corpse was brought downstairs for burial, all windows of the house where the corpse came from would be closed immediately. They believed that when someone looked out of the window when the corpse was already downstairs, another person living in the said house would soon die.

At the cemetery, before the burial service, all children related to the dead would step across the corpse. They believed that the soul of the dead would rest in peace for the children who stepped across his dead body would always remember him.

If the dead person was addicted to drinking liquor, a bottle of gin would be placed with him in the coffin. They believed that the soul of that dead person would enjoy his journey to heaven because he had the necessary supply of hot drink.

Sometimes, they used to include in the burial ceremony all the valuable possessions of the dead such as money, jewels, clothes, etc. They believed that those things were to be used or worn in heaven.


Fiesta became a traditional celebration since the days when the people embraced the Catholic Religion.

[p. 16]

Fiestas are celebrated to pay honor and respect to a certain patron of a barrio or town. They considered fiesta as a sacred promise and a holy activity that when they failed to realize it, some calamities might befall in their midst.

Fiesta is a day when all people of the community wear their best in attending the mass. All homes are decorated with curtains, lanterns and fresh palm leaves to show that they are participating in the celebration. Aside from those beautiful decorations, every home is prepared to receive guests, invited or uninvited. For this reason, especially when the celebration falls on a fine weather, thousands and thousands of people from other places used to attend the celebration of a town fiesta.

Sometimes, a certain individual would be requested by the priest to sponsor a day for a certain patron or saint. A mass would be said and the sponsor would pay the cost of the mass. After the mass, the sponsor would entertain visitors in his or her home. In many cases, no one dares to deny the request because if he does so, the denial is taken as a dishonor to the said saint or patron.

Religious festivals since the time they were first celebrated always gained [the] full and whole-hearted support from the people of the community.


During the days when laws were not written, the oldest folk in the village was the only person to decide punishment on all the crimes committed by the villagers.

When the crime was stealing, the punishment was by cutting the forefinger of the stealer. When the crime was murder, the punishment was beheading the criminal. When the crime was adultery, both [the] man and woman who committed the crime would be flogged to death in the presence of their husband and wife. When the crime was spying or gossiping, cutting the tip of the tongue was the punishment. When the crime was abandonment of the wife and children, the punishment was flogging and imprisonment. When the crime was dishonesty, the punishment was one day sitting down where there are plenty of red ants.

Myths, Legends, Beliefs, Interpretations & Superstitions

It was the common belief of the people that the world originated from a handful of dust molded by the Almighty, created for some harmful insects to live in. God was annoyed by His first creation, so He destroyed that first ball of earth and created a much bigger one. Knowing that such earth was useless without some decorations, so He decorated it with mountains, forests, seas, rivers, and lakes. Learning that nobody would be benefited by the beauty of what He created, He then sent out a pair of birds to live among the trees of the forest, a pair of fish to live about the sea, lakes and rivers.

Seeing that the loneliest spot in His creation was the land, so He put some edible plants, fruit trees and flowering vines to make it more attractive to look at. After some days, He noticed that complete silence in the place could not add attraction to it, so He created the first

[p. 17]

man and woman out of a bamboo tree growing near the river. To provide [a] home for His newly created human beings, He placed some hollow stones near the forest and mountains which afterward became caves.

They believed that the sun, which is a ball of fire, was also created by God, so that it can keep the people and His other creations warm and to receive light during the day. The moon and the stars were also His creations. They were created purposely to give the people light at night so that those industrious individuals can continue their work if they so desire.

They believed that eclipses were caused by the fight among the three big giants, “Laho” of the moon, “Init” of the sun and “Lakas” and the lightning and thunder are caused by the angry roar of [the] giant “Init” from the sun.

They believed that clouds and rain were contributions of the moon to his friend, the earth, so that the people, plants and animals would be benefited by their coolness and freshness which were very essential to their growth and development.

The wind and storm, they said, were caused by a giant called “Hitik” when sleeping soundly with his favorite snores. Others believed that wind and storm were forms of punishment by God to those people who are thinking of nothing but wealth and luxuries.

When twins, triplets, etc. were born, they believed that it was a sign of good luck and that prosperous life was coming soon. Others believed that twins born were a form of indirect punishment to a mother so that he rearing would be hard and difficult.

Sickness, they said, was the will of the Almighty. People were made to become sick so that they would recall during their illness that God created them. Prayers after prayers of repentance would make them recover.

They also believed in witchcraft, particularly in the so-called “kulam,” “gahoy,” and “barang.” Persons possessing such powers could make revenge against anyone. They could command sickness to fall on a person or animal. They usually sent out incurable diseases. The only way to save the patient was when the sender of the sickness was requested to perform the treatment.

Popular Songs, Games and Amusements

Popular Songs

Popular songs are sung during the time when mother or sister is making the baby [go] to sleep. Some of them are:

1. Sleep my dear baby,
Your mother is away
Looking for your best food
To give you all the comfort.

She’ll return by and by
With all the fruits you want
She’ll return them from the field
Which father worked and tilled.

[p. 18]

2. Talalay talalay
Please do not deny,
Under the “malunggay”
You were with someone.

Your mother is angry
Your father is sorry
Because of what you have done
You were spanked.

3. You are a sweet red rose
I am a butterfly
When I perched on your leaves
You made a loud cry.

You became a flower
And I became a bee
You gave me your nectar
I made them to honey.

Games and Amusements

The popular games in the olden days were wrestling, heavy load carrying contest, fencing (arnis), diving, pata (taking place of our bowling today), raft racing, and patentero.

For amusements, they used to have bullfighting, subli dancing, literary joust, song, singing contest, turtle racing, puzzles and riddles contest, and stilts racing.

Puzzles and Riddles

In many instances, puzzles and riddles are very common among young men and women after playing patentero or hide-and-seek. This is usually done during full moon when the brilliant moonlight and fine weather permit them to enjoy.

Some of the common puzzles and riddles are:

1. You carry it, it carries you,
You are carried by what you carry, too.
2. What bird calls out its own name?
3. Two posts racing each other.
4. Two balls of thread, the sky they reach.
5. A captain’s bar, nobody can touch.
6. Blackness came, all people died.
7. What in your body can’t be forgotten although you are sleeping?
8. Adam’s hair can’t be counted.
9. Kapirit cooks rice, also the pot he eats.
10. The children are already sitting while the mother is still crawling.

Proverbs and Sayings

On many occasions, proverbs and sayings are employed in a form of academic and mental contest. Each proverb or saying is to be explained giving as many examples as they can think of. This is mostly observed during the night at the home of the dead neighbor, friend or relative. Some of their proverbs and sayings are:

1. A sleeping fish can be carried easily by the current.

[p. 19]

2. Gambling is the mother of poverty.
3. Flowery gate.
4. What you have planted is the thing that you will harvest.
5. Walk slowly and you’ll hurt your feet less, but walk fast and you’ll hurt your feet worst.
6. Bend the tree while it is young.
7. When you put something up, you will have something to look up at.
8. Do not cross the road until you come to it.
9. Papaya will never bear the fruit of an orange.
10. It is hard to awaken one who is pretending to be sleeping.

Methods of Measuring Time, Special Calendar

In the past, time was measured in the following manner:

1. By marking the shadows of trees under the sun.
2. By using droplets of water in a container. The amount of water that comes out of a tiny hole is measured.
3. By the crowing of the cocks.
4. By the crying of a bird called “calo.”

People in those days did not keep accurate calendars. They just feminized the names of the days and masculinized the months of the year. Example:
Monday - Luna
Tuesday - Marta
Wednesday - Mierkula
Thursday - Jueva
Friday - Biyarna
Saturday - Sabada
Sunday - Lingga
January - Nero
February - Febro
March - Marko
April - Anilo
May - Niyo
June - Dinyo
July - Nilo
August - Yato
September - Embro
October - Tubro
November - Nobro
December - Dicio
In recording the number of days, they just kept pebbles and the number of months and years were recovered by marking cuts against the trunks of big trees.

Other Folktales

It was told that the Pansipit River that separates the municipality of Lemery from Taal was built by a giant crab who got tired of living in the salty water, tried to find fresh water by digging with its gigantic claws and canal toward the Taal Lake. The river got its name from the claws of the said giant crab – meaning “Pansipit.”

It was also recalled that the present sight of the poblacion of Lemery was under the water level many, many centuries ago. But when the sea giant called “Makalimas Dagat” quarreled against another giant called “Makapatag

[p. 20]

Bundok,” the former got all the sand of the sea and threw them to the latter. Makapatag Bundok retaliated by leveling some of the mountains so that the soil will roll to the sea. As a result, the sand of the sea and the soil from the mountain piled up, making the place higher and became an ideal place for settlement.


Information on books and documents treating of the Philippines and the names of their owners are not available.

Names of Philippine Authors Born or Residing in the Community, the Titles and Subjects of Their Works, Whether Printed or in Manuscript Form, and the Names of the Persons Possessing Them

The only Philippine author that can be mentioned in this manuscript is Atty. Vicente Villamin, a well-known Filipino economist who is a native of Lemery. He is in America at present. A well-known newspaperman and well-versed in Economics and [the] economic affairs of every nation of the world. According to his brother Jose Villamin, who is at present residing in Lemery, Mr. Vicente Villamin has written books about [the] Economic Condition of Every Nation of the World. He is also an authority in world affairs. At present, he is a columnist of the Manila Daily Bulletin.


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