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

Nonong Casto, 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 Matingain 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]

Bukal Elementary School

History of the Barrio of Nonong Casto

Long before the arrival of the Spaniards in the islands, the barrio of Nonong Casto was a forest. There was a brook like that of Palanas where the people got shrimps and crabs. In that brook, many people died. According to the old folks, the death of these people was due to what they called “Nono.” In the said barrio, there lived an old man named “Kasto.” Unfortunately, the old Casto died while catching crabs. Ever since that time, that place was called “NONONG CASTO.”

Persons who Held Leading Official Positions
Spanish Occupation

During the Spanish occupation, the leading man of every barrio was the barrio lieutenant. The man who became a barrio lieutenant was respected by the people of the barrio and he was usually wealthy. The Spaniards entrusted to him the residence certificates. He was the one responsible for the payment of taxes and residence certificates. The leading men of the barrio during the Spanish regime in the order of their terms were: Mr. Basilio Gatchalian, Mr. Victorio Valencia and Mr. Anacleto Barquilla.

American Occupation

When the Americans arrived in these islands in 1898, the following men held leading positions as barrio lieutenants. Mr. Aguado Vergara, Mr. Guillermo Manalo, Mr. Mariano Anuran, Mr. Santiago Arandia and Mr. Ambrosio Valencia.

Japanese Occupation

The barrio lieutenant was Mr. Policarpio Alvarez.

After Liberation 1945 to the Present

Mr. Policarpio Alvarez was relieved by Mr. Agustin Punzalan. From 1952 to the present, Mr. Alberto Asinas was appointed barrio lieutenant.

Customs and Traditions

Courtship –

The marriage customs at present are greatly different from those of the olden days. Long ago, a suitor had to undergo hardships before he won the love of the bride,

[p. 2]

so it took several years before a person could marry. The month or day the suitor started the courtship determined the date of the wedding. When the man failed to serve the woman faithfully, his love was rejected. When the man was caught conversing with the lady whom he loved, that was enough proof to reprimand him and would mean the discontinuance of the marriage. Even the roof of the house of the lady had to be respected. Failure to remove his hat at the sight of the roof of the lady’s house was enough ground for his love to be rejected.

Death and Burial –

Before the arrival and during the Spanish Occupation – the lives of the Filipinos during that time were pitiful ones. When somebody died, the corpse was just wrapped in a blanket and mat, then put in bamboo splits and brought to town. In some cases, when the family was too poor to finance the burial, they buried their dead in their own barrio. When the Civil Guard knew them, the persons concerned were punished.

Punishment –

1. To students – When a student failed to study his lesson, two bamboo knods [knots?] filled with sand were hanged on his hands. When he was perspiring much already, the punishment would be stopped. Another means was kneeling on the board having soil or mongoes.

2. To those who failed to pay their taxes – When a person failed to pay the taxes and residence certificates due to poverty, he was imprisoned or he was forced to work in the street. Oftentimes, the children of the person in prison were pawned so as to have the amount needed by the father. The wealthy persons often had many servants. Wealthy persons often had many servants.


1. When the cat washes its face, facing the door, there will surely be visitors.
2. When someone smells [a] candle and the crow alights near the house and crows, it shows that a close relative is dead.
3. When somebody is pregnant, it’s not good to stay at the door, because it will be hard for her to deliver.
4. When a member of the family dies, it is not proper for the other members of the family to go to other dead or sick persons as a sign of respect to the members of the family who is dead.
5. When one of the neighbors dies, it is not good for one to have a long journey for he may meet an accident.
6. In a family, when the children are already married, it is not proper for them to build their homes east of the home of their parents. If they do so, they will become sickly.


1. The middle is a sea, the side is cotton.
2. The sister of your auntie, not your auntie, what is your relation to her?

[p. 3]

3. Not Sunday, not a fiesta, the flag is displayed.
4. Shaped like a heart, shaped like gold.
5. I planted banana plants beside the virgin.
6. The child is already sitting, the mother is still crawling.
7. Not a king, not a priest, wearing different garments.
8. My red chicken climbed the sampaguita, and showed beauty.
9. A grain like palay, gives light to the house.


1. Good manners are treasures.
2. Spare the rod and you spoil the child.
3. Habits formed in youth are carried to one’s manhood.
4. Bend the tree while it is young, long afterwards, it cannot be done.
5. Wipe off your blemishes first before you point one to the eyes of others.
6. He who looks not from where he started wouldn’t arrive at the desired goal.
7. If you like knowledge, study while young. When one is already old, it is hard to learn.
8. If you plant early, you will harvest early.

Submitted by:

Barrio Committee Chairman

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