Adya, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Adya, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Adya, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Adya in the City of Lipa, 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]
Historical Data


PRESENT OFFICIAL NAME – In the southern part of the City of Lipa lies a barrio with more or less than a thousand inhabitants. Its rolling lands remain productive throughout the year as a result of the industry and hard labor of the people. Farming, weaving, and other home industries thrive and give enough returns to meet the people’s needs. This barrio is officially known as ADYA.

a. In the past, this barrio was known as “Sa Pook,” which means “in the community.” Today, it is popularly and officially known as “Adya.”
b. Names of sitios under its jurisdiction:
1. Adya Proper – lying in the northernmost part of the barrio.
2. Mahabang Labak – lying in the middle.
3. Carot – lying in the southernmost part.
c. Derivation and Meaning of These Names –
A D Y A – According to information gathered from most of the oldest residents of the barrio, the place was first known as “Sa Pook,” meaning “in the community. That was some five hundred years ago, more or less. After about four hundred years later, the name “Sa Pook” was changed to Adya. Such [a] change was brought about in the following way:

A long time ago, an image of San Roque appeared in the community. A little book called Litany was found in the place where the image appeared. The people put the image in a little sanctuary and there they gathered to pay homage and offer prayers to the image. At the end of each part of the rosary, a request was asked of San Roque. The request runs in this wise – “Ipag-adya mo po kami sa gutom, sa giyera at sa peste.” This means – “Please save us from hunger, war, and pestilence,” a request that was granted for according to information, the people lived in abundance, in peace, and free from epidemics since the appearance of the image.

One day, while most of the people were praying, a group of Spanish soldiers came. The leader asked the name of the barrio in a loud and commanding voice. Fear stricken [torn part of the page]
congregation uttered the word “ADYA” in unison, [torn part of the page]
lieved that the people really gave the answer [torn part of the page]
that from that time on, the barrio was named [torn part of the page]
was derived from the word IPAG-ADYA meaning [torn part of the page]

MAHABANG LABAK – The name Mahabang Labak [torn part of the page]
true derivation. The part of the barrio [torn part of the page]
Carot is a broad expanse of level land [torn part of the page]
a ditch. This ditch crosses the only [torn part of the page]
from this physical feature of the place [torn part of the page]
LABAK” was derived.

KAROT – The name “KAROT” locally [torn part of the page]
place.” This place is so located [torn part of the page]
who were going back and forth from [torn part of the page]

[p. 2]

Ibaan and San Jose usually met therein. In other words, this place served as the crossroad and oftentimes a meeting place of travelers. It was due to this fact that the place was called “CAROT.” Even to this day, a place in the barrio which is marked by a tall and big tamarind tree serves as the meeting place of the people. It is there where they gather to have barrio meetings, to hold some forms of amusements, and as a stopping place for jeeps that once in a while bring and take passengers from this part of the barrio.

The exact date of the establishment of the barrio is not known. However, according to information, the barrio was in existence sometime during the sixteenth century when several families from different places settled in the region. Among these families were those of De Silva, Litan, Bautista, Kison, Vergara, Sarmiento, Comia, Hernandez, Magsino, Lahara, and Cetron. It is also believed that the Spaniards came to know of the barrio during the first half of the eighteenth century – probably in 1714 A.D. when the first Cabeza de Barangay was appointed and the whole community was organized and made a distinct part of the town of Lipa.

The following are those known to hold the office of Cabeza de Barangay and Tenientes of the barrio:
 1.  Francisco de Silva 16. Melchor Cetron
 2.  Bernardino de Silva 17. Pedro Magsino
 3.  Benedicdto de Silva 18. Fausto A. Sarmiento
 4.  Hermenegildo de Silva 19. Fausto Sarmiento
 5.  Dionisio de Silva 20. Bonifacio de Silva
 6.  Martin Litan 21. Urbano de Silva
 7.  Paulo Bautsita 22. Alejandro Lahara
 8.  Matias Kison 23. Crisanto Lahara
 9.  Benedicto Lahara 24. Jose Sarmiento
10. Sixto de Silva 25. Esteban Enriquez
11. Eustaquio Sarmiento 26. Juan Reyes
12. Guardiano de Silva 27. Leoncio Patulot
13. Agapito Cumia 28. Leoncio Tenorio
14. Juan Magsino 29. Leon de Silva
15. Simon Lahara 30. Camilo Silva – Incumbent
A. During the Spanish Occupation:
1. Establishment of the Barangay Form of Government and appointment of a Cabeza de Barangay to head the barrio during the first half of the eighteenth century. – (about 1714 A.D.)
2. Conversion of the inhabitants to the Christian faith. This was done gradually and slowly during the Spanish occupation.
3. Participation of some of the nationally-minded residents during the Philippine Revolution.

B. During the American Occupation up to World War II:
1. Resistance against the American occupation. During those days, from the American occupation up to the surrender of General Malvar, Adya became the meeting place of the Filipino insurgents or

[p. 3]

those who were against the American occupation. To facilitate the mopping up operations and to safeguard the safety of the non-belligerents, the American Forces that were then stationed in Lipa enforced the policy of zonification. The people of Adya and those of the neighboring barrios were assembled in Bolbok. This policy resulted in the destruction of homes, loss of lives and properties, and great miseries and hardships on the part of those zonified.
2. Shortly after World War I, sometime in the latter part of 1918, an epidemic of dengue fever overran the barrio. This calamity resulted in the loss of many lives.
3. The public school in Adya was opened in 1917. Later, the school was transferred to a place where the people from Adya and Cumba could be accommodated. The first public school building was constructed in 1927 when the people of Adya and Cumba jointly donated a hectare of land for [the] school site. Complete primary classes were taught in the school. During the war for liberation (World War II), the school building was burned by retreating Japanese forces. It was temporarily rebuilt after liberation and classes were opened again. In 1949, the school building was completely rebuilt by the Philippine War Damage Commission. During the same year, a Grade V class was opened and in 1951, the school became a complete elementary school. In line with the policy of the Bureau of Public Schools to educate the masses, the school managed to improve the barrio by the implementation of the so-called “Community Centered Activities.”
4. A chapel was built several years before the outbreak of World War II. During the Japanese Occupation, a permanent site for the church was acquired and a larger and stronger chapel was built.
5. Throughout the half century of American occupation, the people of the barrio exercised the right to suffrage in selecting their government officials. Slowly but surely, the people progressed which was only retarded by the outbreak of World War II.
6. The Japanese occupation of the place was a very dark period in the history of the barrio. It was a period characterized by the lack of prime commodities and everyday needs, food shortages, of fear and unsettled conditions of living. The latter part of the Japanese occupation was the period of great miseries and hardships. People had to leave their homes, sleep in secluded places for fear of being caught by the Japanese raiders. Several persons of the barrio were killed and nearly all the houses in the northern part of the barrio were burned in one of the raids undertaken by the Japanese. One of the most atrocious acts done by the Japs in the place was the burning of a blind man and his hold mother by tying them in the house while the fire was set in the house.

C. Accomplishments Towards Rehabilitation and Reconstruction After World War II.
Soon after the war, the people returned to their homes to begin new lives. Efforts were exerted to fix the homes and to reconstruct those that were burned or destroyed during the war. Former industries were revived and with the help of the money that was acquired or received from the War Damage Commission, better

[p. 4]

homes were constructed. Schools were reopened and new industries were developed. The use of fertilizers has made possible the increase of farm production. Slowly but surely, the economic condition of the barrio developed so that today, we can say that Adya has reached its pre-war level of progress and development.


Traditions, Customs, and Practices in Domestic and Social Life

The people of Adya are true to the ideals of our ancestors. As Filipinos, they are by nature hospitable, helpful, kind, and neighborly. Other customs and practices are enumerated below:

A. B I R T H – The birth of a child is regarded with joy and a blessing to the family. When a newly-born child is not yet christened or given [a] name, it is a custom of the members of the family to keep awake in the night so that the evil spirit called “Tiyanak” will not have a chance to get or harm the baby. A baby to be baptized must have a godfather or a godmother as the sex of the baby may be who will hold the baby as a priest or minister performs the ceremony. The ceremony varies according to the religion of the parents of the baby to be baptized. In some cases, the baby may be named in the house of the mother – locally known as “buhos” which means naming the baby. During the baptismal celebration, a party is given. Foods and drinks are usually given for it is the common belief of the people that [if] there is no wine or any form of drink in the ceremony, the baby will not develop and grow normally. In all cases, the baby must be baptized in the church following the rites of the church officiating the ceremony.

B. COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE – The old custom of courtship and marriage is quite different from those of the present. Formerly, the parents of both parties agreed to join their children in wedlock without consulting the children. They alone prepared everything until the union was accomplished. Nowadays, the young men and young women must undergo courtship and mutual understanding before a marriage can be solemnized. The following were observed in this connection:

1. Courtship: There are various ways of winning the love of a woman. In Adya as in other places nearby, the most common ways are the following:
a. By sending love letters to the lady loved.
b. By regular night visits. These visits should be in no case be later than eight o’clock at night. During these visits, proposals are made until [an] understanding is reached. The people of Adya regard the home of the lady as the only place for proposing love.
c. In some instances, for a young man to show his love for a lady, he helps in the various work of the household and renders services that will tend to win the favor of both the lady and her parents.

There are still other ways in which the people of this

[p. 5]

barrio use in winning the love of the lady. After this period of courtship comes the period of engagement – that is, when the lady accepts the young man. This period is considered the happiest moment of the lives of those concerned. Long periods of engagement are not acceptable to parents. Due to this fact, marriages are almost always performed once the lady informs her parents of her engagement to a young man or when the parents come to know of such [an] engagement.

2. Preparatory Services to Marriage –
In order that the young man can prove to the parents and relatives of the lady that he is true and sincere, he will serve the family of the lady. This is begun by bringing water and firewood to the lady’s house and by working with the family. After rendering such services for a number of days, the lady’s parents will call the parents of the young man to decide on the case of their children. This is locally known as “Bulungan.” The terms of the marriage as well as the desired dowries will be talked about and agreed upon. Below are some of the things asked by the parents of the lady. These terms, if agreed upon, sometimes go to the married couple while in some cases they remain the property of the lady’s parents:
1. [A] Certain amount of money is to be given.
2. A parcel of land and, in some cases, with work animals.
3. Repair or construction of the lady’s house.
4. The kind of wedding celebration.
5. Other things which the whim and caprices of the lady and her parents may think of.
6. Fixing the date of the wedding.
If the terms of the “Bulungan” are agreeable to the young man’s side, the marriage is officially announced. If, however, said terms could not be given, the love affair of the two parties must be broken in spite of the true love that existed between them. The latter case sometimes results in the elopement of the lovers.

There are also some cases when the dowries are not necessary. Once the parents know that the young people love each other and much more so when the man happens to be the choice of the family, they will only do their duties as parents in the forms of reminders and give their consent to the marriage.

3. MARRIAGE: - The marriage ceremony is performed by the priests, pastor, or by the justice of the peace. After the marriage ceremony, which is usually done in the morning of Monday, Thursday, or Saturday, a party is given in the house of the bride. In this party, the relatives of the bride are invited and are served by the relatives of the groom. There is dancing and singing. The ceremony is highlighted by the “Sabugan” during which the relatives of both sides are called in order to give their presents in the form of money. A cigarette, a piece of calamay, or prepared buyo for chewing is given in exchange for the amount given. The bridegroom turns or gives the proceeds in this affair to the bride as their first mutual profits.

In some cases, the wedding proves to be very expensive so that the parents of the young man must have to borrow money, sell animals,

[p. 6]

mortgage or sell their land or do all they can in their power in order to finance the occasion. In spite of all these things, they fell happy and contented in the belief that they have done their duties as parents.

After the marriage, the newlyweds usually live with the parents of either side for a short period of time. Later, they will build a house of their own where they will assume the role of a separate family.

C. DEATH AND BURIAL: The death of a person is regarded as a loss to the family concerned and, in some cases, the entire community. For this reason, the dead is regarded with reverence and is accorded with prayers for the salvation and quiet repose of the soul. The following things are observed when a person dies:
1. Mourning – The dead is buried in the cemetery. The native customs and practices in burying the dead are observed. From the time of death up to a period of nine months or more, the family and relatives of the deceased are in mourning. This is done by wearing black clothes.
2. Burial – The dead is dressed in his best clothes, put in a casket or coffin and then buried after being given the religious services as called for by his religion. Even in the burying of the dead, a great deal of distinction can be noted between the rich and the poor. These burials are often attended by the people of the barrio. This is done to show their sympathy and love for the deceased.
3. Prayers and Services Offered:
1. A nine-day novena for the quiet repose of the soul is given starting from the date of death.
2. Fourth-day service – In this occasion, a mass prayer is said. Food is served to those who attend.
3. Ninth-day service – The same activities as those of the fourth day services.
During this period, aids commonly called “Pakandila” are given by sympathizers to the widows and orphans of the deceasd.
4. The fortieth-day service – Prayers are said. In some cases, food will be served to those who attend.
5. The first anniversary – This is known as the “Babang Luksa” or the time when the mourning period will end. In this service, a nine-day novena is said and at the ninth day, a feast is given.
6. In some cases, particularly among those who are well-to-do, requiem masses are said for the quiet repose of the soul.

SOCIAL LIFE AND FESTIVALS – The people lead simple lives. However, they are very neighborly and helpful to each other. This is exemplified by the help and cooperation extended by the people of the community to the persons in need. The most common forms are the “Bayanihan” and the “Pasaknungan” systems.

Social functions are of [a] low order. Aside from attending the simple barrio celebrations as the wedding, baptismal, birthday and other little parties which the simple life of the barrio offers, the people

[p. 7]

have little social activities. The greatest social intercourse is being manifested during the month of May when the community holds a one-month activity known as “Flores de Mayo.” During this celebration, the people meet in the house of the “hermana” to help in the preparation of the event and to dine in whatever food the hermana can give. At night, the people will assemble in the barrio chapel to offer flowers to the Virgin Mary. After the flower offering, there is singing and other forms of enjoyment. It is during this time when the people meet to exchange their views and to relax for the day’s work. The activity is done throughout May. The barrio fiesta is usually held at the end of the flower festival.

PUNISHMENTS – Minor cases of misunderstanding are settled within the barrio. They are decided in the presence of the barrio lieutenant and some old and influential men of the community. Matters are decided and corresponding punishments are given to the offending party to the satisfaction of both parties. Major offenses are turned to the proper authorities who have the sole power to decide the case and to give the necessary punishments to the offending parties.


T H E    L E G E N D    O F    T H E    T W I N    S T O N E S

On the bank of a brook that flows in the barrio of Adya, there is to this day a twin stone. These stones are very similar to each other in size, form, and in position as they lay on the bank of the brook. They are so big that the great floods that dared to roll them away failed to move them even an inch from their original position. Many stories were told about these twin stones. One of them is the following:

A long time ago, when Adya was not yet thickly populated, a group of small people called dwarves was seen living near the twin stones. These little people lived a happy and carefree life. They wandered in the woods, played and danced to the tune of wonderful music, and dined in such a rare and delicious food which few mortals could ever dream of. What was more wonderful and amazing was that their utensils were made of pure silver and gold.

All the time, particularly when the weather was fine, these little people indulged in merrymaking. Their music could be heard and their laughter filled the surrounding air. But during rainy days, they were seldom seen and their music and laughter ceased. Nobody could tell where they went and what happened to them during the rainy days. But when the rainy season was coming to an end and the bright days were coming, again they appeared and resumed their usual frolics.

More and more settlers came to live in the vicinity. The little people of the woods were no longer seen in bands. If perchance a man could see some of them, they at once disappeared for reasons people knew not. Perhaps, they were afraid. Perhaps, they did not trust people who are many times bigger than they were.

Today, no dwarf can be seen in this place. However, those people who were living near the twin stones as well as those who pass by them can prove beyond doubt that the faint but distinct music and laughter

[p. 8]

can be heard from under the stones when long periods of rain will come. Likewise, when the rainy days are about to end and bright weather will come, the same music can be heard. It is now a common belief of the people of Adya that the dwarves that once inhabited the woods now dwell under the twin stones and unseen by mortal eyes, they continue their frolics and merrymaking. At the same time, they serve to tell the people of the place of the approaching and ending of the rainy weather. This, they know by the music that they hear from under the twin stones.
- - - - - -


Once upon a time, there lived a lovely maiden named Daga. Her name signifies virginity or purity. She was the much loved daughter of a certain Maguinoo.

Daga fell in love with the Great Sun and consecrated her virginity to him. One warm, sunny day, Daga took a bath in the clear water of a secluded spring. After bathing, she fell asleep in the shade of some tall bamboo trees. While she was sleeping, a ray from the sun descended and made love to her. Though a virgin, she conceived and not long after, she gave birth to a handsome boy. There was great rejoicing and laughter among the birds and flowers in the woods when the boy was born.

Because of this, Daga’s father became very angry. He drove her away and at the same time, change her name by inserting the word [syllable] “LA,” meaning male, between DA and GA so that it became DALAGA. This, he did to remind Daga that she had brought shame and dishonor to their family.

Stricken with fear and in sorrow, Daga parted with her baby. She went to the secluded spring and on its bank built a temporary home. There, she bitterly wept her sad fate. Her only consolation was the knowledge of her purity and without losing hope that someday, somehow, her name would be cleared, her purity would be acknowledged, and that her parents would accept her back in her home again.

One day, the sun became extremely hot. Dalaga clasped her baby in her arms as if to protect him from the hot rays of the sun. They, she lay down on the soft grass. As night fell, she was fast asleep. Great was Dalaga’s grief when upon awaking, she discovered that her baby was gone. All her efforts to find the baby became fruitless.

Sometime after this, Dalaga returned to her parents. At first, they were very angry, but being told in a dream that their daughter was as pure as ever, they finally decided to accept her at home and gave her the love she once enjoyed. Her name became cleared and her purity being established, she became the pride of the community. She retained the name “DALAGA” which means maiden. Such was the origin of the world “DALAGA.”

It was further told that an eagle snatched the baby of Dalaga as she was sleeping near the pool. The eagle carried him away to the wilderness of some distant land. There, he grew up. At the age of twelve, he was known to perform miracles and in his later years, he established the kingdom of “BATHALA.”

[p. 9]


Like the people of almost all places, the people of Adya believe in many things. Some of these beliefs were acquired as a result of teaching while others came about as a result of experiences. The following are among them:
1. The people believe in God as the Creator of all things and as the power that guides the destinies of man.
2. They believe that a person has a soul and that his soul parts from the body when he dies.
3. They believe in the life hereafter – that when a man dies, his soul will go to either heaven or hell depending upon his earthly actuations.
4. Some people believe in the power of [the] anting-anting.
5. Some people believe in ghosts and witches who assume various forms and wander in the neighborhood at night to frighten and lure people.
6. The people believe in miracles of some sorts.
7. They believe that when a comet is seen in the sky, either hard times or prosperity will come depending upon the position of the comet’s tail as seen in the heavens.
8. The people believe that the position of the new moon as seen in the sky foretells the kind of weather that will come. They believe that when the crest of the new moon is tilted to its side, there will be much rain while when the moon is erect, sunny days will be forthcoming.


Many superstitious beliefs abound in the locality. According to information, these superstitions were proven to come out true. For this reason, it seems quite difficult to have these beliefs disregarded by the people. Among these superstitious beliefs are the following:
1. That in planting rice, corn or any cereal, the first three seeds or hills should be planted with eyes closed. This is done so that the birds will not see the fruits while they are ripening. Hence, they will not be destroyed.
2. That within four days from the date of marriage, either side of the married party must not sweep the house and surroundings [and] not burn the garbage therein. Otherwise, the married couple will often have misunderstandings and quarrels at times may result to separation.
3. That if mongos are planted the day after a starry night, the crop will have a good harvest.
4. That if you point to a young fruit, particularly those fruits which grow in vines, the fruit will rot and fall down.
5. When dogs howl at night, someone in the neighborhood will die.
6. When crows alight on a dried branch of a tree near a house and keep crowing and crowing, a relative of one of those who are living near is dead.
7. When in eating, a spoon or fork falls, visitors are coming.
8. While walking through a crossroad and you happen to see a horseshoe on your left side, such thing is regarded that the finder will have good luck.

[p. 10]

9. When going on an errand, or in some business undertakings, and a lizard crosses your way, bad luck will befall on you.
10. Plant bananas when you have just eaten. This will insure fat and big fruits. Likewise, the planter must never look up at the top of the banana plant that is being planted so that the banana plant will not grow very tall.


Among the most popular songs are the kundimans and the lullabies that mothers sing while putting their babies to sleep. They also find joy in seeing native folk dances like the “Pandango” and “Subli.” Modern dances and song hits find appeal among the younger set. Various games like “Huego de Prenda” and card games are played in gatherings. During barrio fiestas, “Huego de Anillo” is very common. Outdoor games like hide-and-seek, wrestling, ballgames, swimming, and catching quails are very common. Piko and luksong tinik are very common among the girls. Cockfighting is a common amusement among the elderly people. Some people spend their leisure hours in listening to stories told by other people, listening to radios, and in reading books, novels, and coridos.


The giving and answering of puzzles and riddles is one of the most common forms of amusements in which the people of the barrio indulge in. This is mostly done in family gatherings before bedtime and in informal gatherings where intimate people assemble. Even the old people participate in this form of enjoyment. Sometimes, the riddles and puzzles are so perplexing that much thinking is needed before the correct answer is given. Below are some of the puzzles and riddles:
1. It has no root and no stem, yet it is ever blooming.
Answer – A starry night.
2. It is a bamboo bucket in the daytime and a broad leaf at night.
Answer – a mat.
3. My sister’s house has but one post.
Answer – umbrella.
4. It is but a grain of rice yet it fills the whole room.
Answer – lamp.
5. I planted a lemon tree, in the middle of the sea;
Many longed to pick it, but to only one will it be.
Answer – lady.
6. A spear is still far yet the wound is already opened.
Answer – mouth.
7. You are far; I am near; because of it, we understand each other.
Answer – letter.
8. It points skyward when young and to the ground when old.
Answer – bamboo.
9. I have a friend who is very true to me,
You will find him wherever I may be.
Answer – shadow.
10. My aunt gave birth, the baby came out from her side.
Answer – corn.


When at times you happen to talk with older people, you will be surprised that in most cases, you will hear them give short expressions that are full of truth and wisdom. These are proverbs and sayings. Perhaps, their truths have been proven so many times so that they become a part and parcel of their every day speech. Here are some of them:
1. He who believes in hearsay has no mind of his own.
2. Birds of the same feather flock together.

[p. 11]

3. A santol tree will never bear a guava fruit.
4. A man of words and not of deeds,
Is like a garden full of weeks.
5. Drop by drop wears away the stone.
6. A bird in a cage is worth two in the bush.
7. A house that is small if inhabited by people,
Is better than a mansion if inhabited by an owl.
8. A man who is in great need, clings even to thorny vines.
9. There is no strong cupboard when the cat is inside.
10. There is no saintly maiden to a constant lover.
11. He who walks slowly seldom gets deep thorns.
12. If you plant something, you will surely reap something.


Time is measured in terms of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years depending on the length of time that is to be measured. The usual length of the day is twenty-four hours – twelve hours for the daytime and twelve hours for the night. Within the day, the time is also measured. There are various ways of telling time. In the absence of a watch or clock, which is the modern way of telling time, the people have the following to suggest a particular time during the day:
1. The crowing of the roosters during or before sunrise suggests dawn or four o’clock in the morning.
2. The rising of the sun known in the dialect as “Bukang Liwayway” denotes six o’clock in the morning.
3. The time when the hens lay eggs in the morning is believed to be from nine to ten o’clock.
4. When the sun is directly overhead or in the middle of the sky’s dome, it is twelve o’clock at noon which is locally known as “Tanghaling Tapat.”
5. Disperas stands for two o’clock in the afternoon.
6. The opening of the flowers of the patola is believed to be four o’clock in the afternoon.
7. “Hampas-Tikin ang Araw” denotes about five o’clock in the afternoon.
8. “Takip-Silim” or twilight stands for six o’clock in the evening.
9. “Hating Gabi,” which is the local name for midnight, stands for twelve o’clock at night.
10. The position of the sun as it goes from east to west also gives the people a means by which they can tell the approximate time of the day.



Once upon a time, there lived a poor couple. They had an only son named Juan. Being the only child in the family, Juan was much loved by his parents. Though poor, he could have all the things that his young heart could desire.

At the age of seven, his mother tried to teach him the alphabet but she failed. He was sent to school but it was of no use. He hated books and had no interest in studying. All that he wanted to do was to

[p. 12]

do was to go around the barrio and play with the other boys of his age. So Juan grew up without a proper education.

Time rolled on. Finally Juan, who was not by nature a very bad boy, realized the need of helping his aging parents. He persuaded his father to buy a carabao for him to take care of. A carabao was bought for him.

The people wondered why Juan’s carabao grew fatter and fatter as the days rolled. They had good reasons for wondering because, as everybody in the neighborhood saw it, Juan’s carabao was always tied under a tree. Juan did not feed it as other people did. In fact, even a little trace that the carabao was fed could not be seen in the place. And yet, the animal lived and grew fat, even fatter than the animals that were being properly cared for by their owners.

How did Juan take care of his carabao? It was very simple. It was true that Juan did not feed his animal during the daytime. But at night, when all the people were asleep, the animal had a good time eating the fresh green grass that grew in the pasture nearby. Though the pasture was surrounded by a strong stone wall fence, Juan’s carabao could enter it. Unknown to anyone, Juan dug the ground under the fence on one side of the pasture. Thus, every night, the carabao, led by Juan for the first few nights and later on by necessity and habit, went to the pasture alone and ate all it could, returning to the house at dawn while everybody was still sleeping.

But one night, the carabao was caught in the pasture and at the same time the entrance was discovered. Juan had to cut grass as others did if he wanted his carabao to live. His poor animal grew thinner and thinner every day. Finally, he decided to kill the animal. All that was said was done. He ate the meat and dried the hide.

One day, he started to market to sell the hide. On the way, he saw two strange-looking persons at a distance. Believing that they were robbers who, in those days, often waylaid people and robbed them of their wares, Juan climbed a tall tree that grew along the roadside. He took the roll of hide with him up in the tree. The robbers came and rested under the tree where Juan was hiding. He was terribly frightened. His whole body trembled. Unluckily, he lost hold of the hide. Down it fell with a great noise. The robbers were afraid. They thought that the sky fell down on them to end their bad work. They ran away as fast as they could to hide in the thick forest which was far away.

When the robbers were gone, Juan descended the tree. He was very thankful for not being seen by the robbers. To his surprise, he saw an earthen jar beside the hide. He opened the jar and what do you think did he see? It was full of shining gold. He got the jar and brought it home together with his carabao hide.

Not long after this, a great change was noted in the life of the poor family. A new and big house was built in place of the old and leaking hovel. The family brought every piece of land that was being sold in the neighborhood. The family rapidly prospered to the amazement of their neighbors. Finally, they were regarded as the wealthiest and the most altruistic persons in the community. As to how they got rich, nobody knew. The secret of the carabao hide and the jar of gold remained sealed in the household of Juan’s family.

[p. 13]


No written records of any kind are available in the community. For this reason, a great many obstacles and setbacks were encountered in the preparation of this manuscript. Almost all the data embodied in Part I was secured through conversations and interviews with the enlightened and old persons of the barrio. The data gathered in these interviews were recorded, studied, and then consolidated and treated so as to have the “History and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Adya.”


1. Some of the enlightened and old members of the barrio for supplying the data.
2. Mr. Julio Sarmiento – Teacher in Adya-Cumba Elementary School, for gathering data.
3. Mr. Simon S. Metica – Head Teacher, Adya-Cumba Elementary School, for organizing the data and preparing them in manuscript form.


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