January 2, 2018

Pinagtongulan, Lipa City, Batangas: Historical Data Part I

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Pinagtongulan 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.

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HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL LIFE OF BARRIO PINAGTONGULAN

Part I – History

The present official name of this barrio is Pinagtongulan. Pulo is the popular name since the early years of the present generation. During the Spanish time, this place was known as “Pinagpongulan,” which means a place where something or somebody was cut or beheaded.

Included in the barrio’s territorial jurisdiction are the present sitios of Palak-lakan in the north, Duhatan in the west, and Jalang further west to the shores of Bonbon Lake (Taal Lake). Palak-lakan came from the word “laklak” which means to drink from a pool or stream. According to the old folks, there was in that place a little spring where the people led their working animals to drink. Every time, the people said “laklak” whenever the animals drank from the spring. Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Pangao 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. From that time on, the name was improved to be known as Palak-lakan.

Duhatan, a sitio to the west, was known and named after a fruit tree called duhat, then growing in abundance in the place. Many, many years ago, according to the people, Duhatan was a very thick forest. It was the roaming place of wild animals, mostly deer, wild pigs, birds and monkeys. One day, there came to the place a group of hunters. They were able to kill several animals which were very big and too heavy for them to carry. So, they were benighted. They passed the night in the forest and slept by a very big tree. The following morning, they found out that the tree was full of black fruits called duhat. They gathered duhat fruits and went home. Along the way were plenty of duhat trees. When asked by the people where

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they came from, the hunters answered “Duhatan.” Their wives inquired what those black fruits were, the hunters answered that they were duhat that they gathered from Duhatan. From that time on, during duhat season, groups of youngsters always flocked to gather duhat in Duhatan. Since then, the place was called Duhatan.

Jalang is another sitio of Pinagtongulan further west to the shores of Bonbon Lake. Old stories tell that the name came from the Spaniards. Spanish soldiers, according to some who can still remember, once found their way to “Walan,” a part of Taal Lake. On their way to “Walan,” they passed Pinagtongulan. They encountered hardships and difficulties along the way due to the logs and cut branches of big trees lying across the trail. A native of the place told the Spaniards in the dialect, “Mahirap po ang inyong pagdaan at diyan po ay maraming kahoy na naghalang sa daan.” The Spaniards, who did not know the dialect and meaning of what the native said, just remembered the last word of the informer, which was “naghalang.” When they returned to their headquarters, these soldiers told the Spanish missionaries that they had been to Jalang. Since then, the sitio of Pinagtongulan was called Jalang up to this time.

III. Date of Establishment:

The barrio of Pinagtongulan was originally established during the early part of the 16th century. But prior to this date, early Bornean explorers, Datu Puti ang Dumangsil landed in the old Lipa settlement known as Tagbakin, west of this barrio on the shores of Lake Bonbon. With them were their families and warriors. These newcomers saw fishermen and people farming on the hillsides. They explored to the interior and saw that the place was inhabited by very

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industrious people. The natives saw them and spread the news to their neighbors. Upon hearing the news, the natives went back to the shore with their axes, bolos, tabaks, and homemade guns (sulot). The datus were friendly to the natives and they named their settlement Tag-ba-kin, meaning that the place and the people had plenty of “Tabaka” or long bolos.

IV. Original Families:

Few families originally inhabited this barrio of Pinagtongulan. The people tilled their farms with pointed wooden plows and harrows drawn by cows and carabaos. They raised rice, corn, camote, and tobaccos. Their small houses were cogon-roofed and of bamboo materials. They were peaceful ones but oftentimes, they were in trouble with those who were troublesome bandits and outlaws.

In the year 1589, there were some twenty or more families in this place. The unit of their government then was barangay and each unit was ruled by a datu or chief. The datu was the chief executive, the judge, the legislature and commander at the same time in the hours of war or tribal conflicts. In most cases, a man became a datu because of his strength, wisdom, and wealth. The original families which can be remembered were the Macasaets, the Poros, Lorzanos, the Brioneses, and the Magpantays. During that time, there was in this place a datu – Datu Macasaet. He was a man of strength and wisdom. The people respected him and he had many fanatical followers. During his time, intermarriages were allowed only upon the recommendation of the old folks and only upon his approval. It was told that Datu Macasaet was a brave and daring man. This barrio could not be visited by other troublesome outlaws of the neighboring places and barrios. During his time, thieves and robbers found no place in this

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barrio.

LIST OF TENIENTES DEL BARRIO FROM THE EARLIEST TIME TO DATE

Of the early Cabezas de Barangay of this place, few could only be remembered. The early cabezas were the following:
 1.  Andres Magpantay  6.  Eulalio Lorzano
 2.  Gallo Macasaet  7.  Monico Magapi
 3.  Teburcio Macasaet  8.  Mariano Briones
 4.  Simon Poro  9.  Ariston Briones
 5.  Faustino Macasaet 10. Julio Lorzano
The early tenientes del barrio, the following persons are listed in chronological order although the dates of their respective periods of service could not very well be ascertained. They were as follows:
 1.  Fernando Macasaet 11. Guillermo Honrade
 2.  German Macasaet 12. Leoncio Landicho
 3.  Caledonio Gonzales 13. Tomas Layog
 4.  Narciso Briones 14. Ambrocio Honrade
 5.  Leocadio Macasaet 15. Alejandro Macasaet
 6.  Justo Olgado 16. Fortunato Macasaet
 7.  Elano Mercado 17. Isabelo Laylo
 8.  Victorino Hernandez 18. Victorino Holgado
 9.  Salvador Macasaet 19. Ambrocio Macasaet
10. Briccio Briones 20. Agaton Lorzano
Mr. Agaton Lorzano is the present incumbent barrio lieutenant. He began his term since the early period of liberation after World War Two. There were, of course, other barrio lieutenants, but the people could not readily remember them now, especially

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VI. Story of Old Barrios or Sitios within the Jurisdiction that are Now Depopulated or Extinct:

Within the territorial jurisdiction of barrio Pinagtongulan, there is no depopulated or now extinct sitio or barrio. The place where the barrio is now is the original site of this barrio or its sitios. When Datu Puti explored the interior of their settlement, they had this place where the found the industrious people already engaged in [a] primitive type of agriculture, as earlier mentioned in the last paragraph of page 2.

VII. Data on Historical Sites, Structures, Buildings, Old Ruins and etc.:

Of the historical sites, mention can be made of the now old and unused cemetery utilized by the people when famine and cholera visited the place. Its date could not be ascertained but it was during the Spanish time.

In the year 1924, there was built in this barrio a school building for the children of the place and other places.

In the year 1941, just a few months before the outbreak of [the] Pacific War, the USAFFE built a temporary large army camp occupying around twenty-five hectares of land. This camp was then located in the southern part of the barrio along the now provincial road.

VIII. Important Facts, Incidents or Events that Took Place:

A. During the Spanish Occupation:

In the year 1762, when the British soldiers entered the town of Lipa, the people in this place (Pinagtongulan) became restless and prepared for whatever might befall them. These British soldiers were heard to have done destructions and pillage in the church by throw-

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ing the idols and images of saints and virgins into the yard; and by making funny things out of those sacred images. They were said to be in pursuit of treasures brought to the Philippines by the Spanish galleon from Mexico. Their worst done, the soldiers went further to the barrios and interior parts of the whole jurisdiction of the town of Lipa. Some of these British soldiers happened to find their way to Pinagtongulan with big barrels of wine. The people of this barrio were then mad at these soldiers for what they had done in the church. They stayed to ambush the soldiers and get the wine. The soldiers were captured and brought to the forest and killed. The dead British soldiers were found by the “Comissario and the Cassadores” who brought the dead bodies to town.

Spanish “Guardia Civil” and tax collectors often visited this barrio. The people could still remember that those who failed to punctually pay their taxes were given severe and cruel punishments. They were called delinquents for failure to comply with the orders. Bemoustached Spanish officers would then come and on top of their voices order the people to assemble and look for those delinquents. These delinquents were given some twenty or more lashes. Some were put in prison or given hard labor in houses of rich Spanish residents.

In the year 1805, famine visited the whole of Lipa and its barrios. Its spread was so rapid that Pinagtongulan was also included. Famine victims were so numerous that the people could not even find time to take the dead bodies to the town cemetery, such that there was in this place and old “Campo Santo” which was earlier mentioned. Rice during that time was very dear, so the people went to the extent of gathering “Amorsicos,” a weed whose very minute seeds were used as food by the people.

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In the year 1808, there was the forced planting of coffee trees. Pinagtongulan, then a sprawling land, was found to be [a] very favorable place for coffee. The people were then compelled to make their farms and orchards full of coffee. Later on, this product became one of the main sources of the people’s wealth.

In the year 1858, Spanish soldiers came to this barrio and recruited all males for some public work projects. It was a sort of labor battalion. The people were then forced to work in other places where road construction was being made. The Spanish authorities instituted the “Fallas” system. Those who did not at once join the forced laborers were given additional number of days of hard work in the public works projects without pay and eat. They lifting and transporting big pieces of stones which were too heavy for them to carry. Under the heat of the sun, they worked and worked with their bare upper bodies without clothes.

By the year 1882, the most feared visitor came to Lipa and its barrios. Pinagtongulan did not escape the notice of this dreadful visitor. It was the cholera. So fearful was that attack that at times, the whole members of the family were all wiped out as well as the neighbors. People say that those bringing dead bodies were sometimes not able to come back for they fell dead along the way to the cemetery. The barrio's old cemetery was so filled with dead bodies such that the people could no longer bury them all. It was due to the fact that cholera victims of other barrios and nearby places were also brought to this now old cemetery by their kin and relatives, who also at times some of them were not able to go back to their homes.

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The Spanish-American War ended in the defeat of the Spanish authority in the Philippines. Captured Spanish soldiers were then concentrated in American military camps. So numerous were these captured Spanish soldiers such that they could not all be accommodated in the camps. Most of them were then given to rich Filipinos. They were made servants and helpers attending to different kinds of work in the house or in the farms. It this barrio, it can now be recounted that during the years of 1898 and 1899, a certain rich man, Jose Macasaet, owned six Spanish servants. These servants were made to plow the field, clean coffee plantations and at times cut down big trees in the forest.

B. American Occupation:

During the early part of the American occupation, there was a sort of conscription. Those who did not like to recognize the Americans, formed and organized their own secret forces, and went hiding in the mountains fighting the American soldiers. These secret Filipino forces wear called “insurrectos” or rebels. Those who joined this secret organization were Vicente Macasaet as captain, Julio Lorzano as Lieutenant, Segundo Poro as sergeant, and others. The American soldiers wear then always in pursuit of these rebels. The elusive insurrectos joined the forces of General Malvar, later on put up a base in the western part of the barrio, now the sitio of Duhatan. American soldiers wear at times just seen around the barrio looking for these rebels, but their mission always failed. There was a time when American soldiers put up a garrison station in this barrio to capture insurrectos. The people became afraid and apprehensive for the Americans could not find these suspected rebels. The Americans became worried for their mission was always

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fruitless and without tangible results. The American military authorities then began suspecting that the people were hiding these rebels. They began to device other means to capture the insurrectos.

They herded all the people of this place to a sort of concentration camp. It was then called the “Zona.” The people then brought with them their families, animals and provisions. Other tactful men were able to escape before the Americans herded the people. Those who endured the “Zona” could not get out. So, the people then suffered for lack of food and other necessities of life. Those who escaped guarded the barrio against looters and robbers who wear then roaming along the country sides. In the concentration camp, the people suffered the hardships and untold difficulties. People could still remember that there were deaths and sickness inside the camp. For almost five months, the people were kept in the camp. They were finally freed in the early part of 1901, for it was late in 1900 when the people were concentrated.



In early years of the military rule, the Americans did not make sweeping changes in the local way of life. The early Spanish type of education in this place was made to go on. A certain Mr. Alejandro Poro was said to be the first Tagalog teacher of Pinagtongulan. He was teaching the Caton, Cartilla and the Rosary. Religion was the main content of the early teaching and education. There was no school building. Classes were held in the barrio chapel called “tuklong.” The children first studied the alphabet, then the Caton, the Cartilla next and finally the memorization of the Rosary. Four fundamentals were also taught by the early schools and teachers, but also in the Spanish type. Numbers were called in Spanish terms as well as the process of Arithmetical operations. Punishment were corporal in nature and promotions were solely based on merit.

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C. During and After World War II:

Two months before the outbreak of World War II in the Pacific, that was october 1941, the USAFFE established a temporary large camp along the National Road just south of the barrio. Before all the buildings were completed and finally occupied by the soldiers the war broke out. The soldier stayed in this camp for barely a week. Not long after that, these USAFFE soldiers had to abandon the camp and they were on their retreat to the provinces of Bataan and Zambales.

When the Japanese were heard off as advancing from Atimonan to Lipa, the people of this barrio begin to demolish the buildings in the camp to prevent the Japanese from occupying the camp. In such a way, the barrio would not be near the Japanese forces. By the latter part of December 1941, the Japanese soldiers arrived in Lipa and began searching for the people who were all in the evacuation areas in the barrios and interior places. So, when the invading forces arrived in this place, the people were only too glad that the Japanese soldiers did not occupy the camp.

Meantime, the Japanese soldiers keep on coming from all parts of the country to Lipa, so they instead thought of building a large campsite for their soldiers. So, they originally constructed the present Lipa Air Base in Banaybanay and settled there through the duration of [the] war. The Japanese begin to take measures for their safety and instituted a military rule. Sentries and garrison troops were

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stationed in crossroads and in front of big buildings and houses where their soldiers were in quarters. These soldiers were so cruel and strict. Filipino civilians passing by the sentries were required to bow and were being searched for firearms. Bags and luggage were carefully examined for prohibited weapons and firearms. Those failing to bow were either slapped or kicked or, at times, clubbed by the rifle. The Japanese were then very suspicious of the Filipinos. Their policy of attraction did not give them good results for Filipinos to cooperate.

In retaliation for the cruelties and oppressive treatment given by the Japanese to the Filipinos, many men from this place joined the resistance movement. They were called guerrillas. A guerrilla base was put up in the sitio of Halang a few kilometers northwest of this place. Upon learning of these secret forces, the Japanese soldiers often raided this place. When they could not make contact with the guerrillas, they forced the civilians to give them food such as chickens, pigs, eggs, and etc. These Japanese just shot any kind of edible fowls and animals they could not catch alive. They were often seen just around your house looking for something to eat. Seriously suspecting that some of our young men in this place were guerrillas, the Japanese finally raided again this place. Some members of the guerrilla band were caught, taken to Lipa and from that time on, they were never heard of again.

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In the year 1943, that was October, the people of this barrio were all called to Lipa. All males only from the age of 18 above were the ones required to join this big affair which the Japanese called the Philippines Independence Day. People were, at first, reluctant to join this celebration for fear that their husbands and sons would never come back. All those who went then to Lipa were armed with pointed bamboo poles about one and a half meters long. After the big parade and meeting, the people were all released and sent home.

In the year 1944, somewhere around September, the first American planes raided the Lipa Air Base. After that, the people of this place began to evacuate. The Japanese abandoned the air base, and stayed in houses along the road. None, however, stayed in this barrio. Fearing that the American liberation forces had landed in places near Lipa, the Japanese made big dugouts and trenches in the different parts of the barrio. There was then forced labor. Work animals were being borrowed from owners for transporting their equipment to places of their retreat. Only a few of the working animals in this place were taken and were not returned. Others hid their cows and horses.

These dugouts and trenches were never used. By the year 1945, that was in January, there were but few left in the place. All were already in the evacuation areas. Some were in deep ravines and caves. Others were in Pulo Island, near Taal Volcano. This time, the Japanese

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were so ferocious and bent on killing all Filipinos they could see. The ransacked the barrio for food and clothing. Except for a few courageous ones, all seemed afraid at [the] sight of Japanese soldiers. The zero hour for the Japanese seemed at hand for their bestialities. The Japanese event went to the extent of wanting to massacre all the people. They issued a warning to all that, “Golden is a Filipino who will be able to see an American.” Not contented with this, they burned some houses near the school building. Thanks to the Almighty, the barrio was saved from further conflagration and remained intact until the American liberation forces reached this place.

The arrival of the United States Army in the latter part of March 1945 marked the battle for the liberation of this place. By this time, the people were rushing home from evacuation to resume their normal lives. Guerrillas were attached to American Army units in clearing the Japanese snipers and stragglers roaming around this place. Others were able to secure employment in the nearby Army camps. Some were made as carpenters, laborers, while the females earned money as laundry workers for the American soldiers. The people were never more so happy. The people could sigh in relief after a long tedious three years of occupation by the Japanese Army.

9. A. Destruction of Lives, Properties and Institutions:

1. During the years from 1896 up to the outbreak of the Pacific War (World War II), no significant destruction

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of lives and properties occurred in this place or in its sitios. In the year 1903, there was, however, the “dengue fever” that swept the whole municipality of Lipa, including this place.

B. Measures Toward Rehabilitation and Improvements after World War II:

After liberation, the first step taken to rehabilitate this place was the opening of the public school. The children, as before the war, were again sent to school. The parents and the people began reconstructing their damaged properties. They plowed the farms and began their usual work towards their economic survival. The school of this place which before the war was only a barrio school, became a complete elementary school in 1948. Formerly, there were only two teachers in this school, but now there are nine teacher with a full-pledged principal.

A year after liberation, the people began to reconstruct their demolished and burned houses. The barrio was improved and, until lately, our road was further reconstructed to become a second-class road. Trade and commerce is at present functioning normally. Coconut, copra and coffee businesses continue to be the major occupation of the people. At present, there is in this place a parochial church with its own parish priest. So religiously, economically, educationally and socially, this place has improved and is continuously in its gradual process.

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PART TWO – FOLKWAYS

10. Traditions, Customs, and Practices in Domestic and Social Life.

a. The present customs of the present barrio folks are handed down from generation to generation. A large number of the people still cling to these customs and traditions. Those of the select few who are the products of the institutions of learnings are slowly but surely trying to cast away some of these old customs in place of the new and modernistic tendencies assimilated from western culture and civilization. Attendance of social gatherings are at times only through invitations. Only those who are closely related to the host are by practice should go to the house where the party is being held without the benefit of invitation. Those close relatives are to help in the preparation of food or other things needed in the party. It is gratifying to note that neighbors do not fail to come up and help in the household chores of the one celebrating, be it birthdays, marriage, baptismal or wedding parties. Close relatives, kin, compadres, comrades, and even distant friends join hands in the task of making the affair a success. At the time of eating during the party, rarely will one find these helpers eat. Only after they are sure that all guests have eaten already will these close kin eat. After the party, what little food is left is shared by the host to all those who helped in the preparation. This is to show the gratefulness and appreciation for the cooperation rendered by those who helped.

b. Births – When there is someone in the family to deliver, relatives, friends and neighbors of the woman don’t hesitate to visit the expectant mother to render assistance to the family. Someone will procure and boil water, another will call for the midwife (hilot) and still

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the others do get ready for other things needed by the expectant mother. Those who were not present during the delivery do not fail to come and pay a visit to the newborn child and mother.

A newborn baby is usually first baptized through what is known as [the] “Buhosan” ceremony. This is done especially if the baby is somewhat sickly and ill. This ceremony is usually done at night in [the] house and is performed by an old devout Catholic assisted by the baby’s godfather or godmother. The ninong (godfather) holds the baby in his arms. With a lighted candle, he kneels and prays with the old devout Catholic who then pours water over the head of the newborn baby, saying “In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, I baptize as _________________ (this blank stands for the name of the child as told by the mother). Old folks always want to baptize a newborn baby as early as possible. They won’t like that weeks will pass without formally baptizing the baby. Formal baptism is, of course, done in the church.

Several days before the baptismal party, the members of the family usually have a little conference to decide on who will be the lucky sponsor in the child’s baptism. A good ideal one for the child is oftentimes chosen for they say that the child often adopts the ideal traits and qualities of the godfather or godmother as the case may be. Once the sponsor or sponsors are decided, the next step is to notify them. Then, the date is set. During this baptismal party, the sponsor shoulders the expenses in the church, buys the baptismal cloth; and last but not the least is the so called “pakimkim,” a sort of gift in money or in kind given to the child. If the family can afford, a grand baptismal party is held and is attended by the relatives, friends and neighbors of both the sponsors and the host.

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c. Courtship and Marriage:

The present practices in courtship and marriages in this barrio are a combination of the past customs and the present or modern ones. There are still a few among our young men who, in the course of their courtship, have to heap favors not only to the girl of his dream but also to the parents, thinking perhaps that if he has little hope, that the girl will accede to his pleadings through the parents who may help him very much in convincing the girl to accept the suitor. Not frequently, some of the young girls marry against their will in order not to displease their parents who are in compromise with the parents of the other party. However, the modern trend of courtship as practiced by our young men shows their respect for the parents and the girls’ private and individual leanings. Not like before, few parents interfere with the love affairs of their children. Only when the suitor proposes will the parents intervene.

When the suitor and the girl decide to settle this matter made known to the girl’s parents, [the] parents of the young man are to be informed. The girl’s parents usually send for [the] guardians of the young man. This negotiation, then, is the start of the “pakilala,” which means that when the parents of the young man answers the call of the other party, they are bound to bring with them things that would prove their sincerity and determination to win [the] hand of the young maiden. Such things may be in the form of fish, water, meat, cigarettes and etc. When the girl’s parents agree to the proposal, the young man then is to start his pre-marriage services. The young suitor then serves in the house of the girl. He cleans the yard every day, fetches water, prepares firewood, pounds the palay every morning, feeds the cows and horses, plows the field, and

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at times may also bring water and fuel to the houses of the girl’s nearest relatives. During this time of servitude, our young suitor is under observation by his prospective father-in-law. After a week or so and the services of the suitor were acceptable to the girl’s parents, a date is set for the meeting of both parties. This date must be with the consent of the maiden’s parents.

This meeting is called the “bulongan.” It is during this meeting when the parents of the girl are free to lay all the conditions they would like to ask of the suitor’s father and mother. [The] Date of marriage and how [the] marriage is to be carried out are also threshed out during this meeting. Dowries, gifts, sponsors are also decided in this meeting. When the girl’s parents do not ask for anything in connection with the marriage, the young man’s parents do the initiative by voluntarily offering what they can afford. Customarily, the groom has to bear all the wedding expenses. He furnishes the wedding dress of the bride, provides food for the wedding day, and pays for the marriage license and church fees.

There are what we call “Disposada” weddings. These are without the benefit of three announcements in the church during the three consecutive Sundays. [The] Regular marriage ceremony is always preceded by three announcements in the church in conformity with the religious regulation.

In case there will be a wedding party, the groom’s house begins to be like a beehive, buzzing with all different kinds of activities. Everybody, including the friends and relatives of the groom, is busy doing something in connection with the preparation for the final day of marriage. Women do the rice cleaning, making native

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pickles, cigarettes, preparing sweets, borrowing dishes, silverware and utensils. Men go out to gather fuel, grind coffee, fetch water, borrowing tables and chairs. Others build the “sihi,” a sort of shelter where the eating is to be done.

Late in the afternoon of the eve of the wedding day, everything is set for “moving” to the bride’s house. All those in the groom’s house put together all the things to be taken to the bride’s home. It is a practice that they go together at the same time. The whole neighborhood is all agog. There is no let up on the eve of the wedding day. Everybody is busy doing something, while the young folks make merriment in the house. This day is the end of the suitor’s period of servitude.

Before dawn of the wedding day, all is set for the altar trek. The bride and groom in their wedding attires, with their maids and kin, proceed to the church followed by a curious crowd. After the “I dos,” the wedding breakfast or lunch follows as the case may be. From the church, the couple is sprinkled with rice upon reaching the stairs of the bride’s house. Before entering the main door of the house, the couple is again offered sweets and [a] glass of water. Then, eating starts. Incomplete is the wedding day if there is not even a string band to furnish the music. As eating goes on in the sihi, an extemporaneous program is going on upstairs. At times, amplifiers and microphones are used at present and they fill the whole barrio with loud recorded music. The choice for the first set at the dinner table is always given to the kin of the bride and sponsors of the wedding. After all the guests and relatives have eaten may the relatives of the groom eat at the table. At any rate, there is always enough food for all.

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When all have eaten, a table is set for the “sabugan.” This is a practice that may reveal to those present the financial standing of both parties and families that were untied [united]. It is at this time upon the call of the manager, relatives of both parties united are called to give any amount of money as gift to the new couple who are seated at the two ends of the table, each with a plate in front of them. Relatives of the groom are to drop their money in the bride’s plate while relatives of the bride are to put theirs on the groom’s plate. Every now and then, the money is counted. When the amount in one plate exceeds the other, relatives of the concerned party are called upon. Any difference has to be filled up until the amount is even. When this affair cannot proceed further, there is a lot of noise, laughter, and hauling [howling?] such that finally, the amounts on the two plates will be put together and handed to the groom who, in turn, will hand it to his sweet half. This, they say, is the first of the groom’s duty in giving to the bride the money earned by the man. The part, then, concludes the wedding party.

The “lipatan” will then follow immediately. Everything used in the party is placed together again and are set for the return trip to the groom’s home. Now, it is the lady won. [?] Tables and chairs are returned. The couple kiss the hands of the girl’s parents and start for the house of the groom. Thus ends the strenuous and sometimes expensive wedding event. When the bride reaches the groom’s house, she at once rushes to the stove and puts away the fire in it. This, they say, is to make her new parents cool to her. At times, the groom is left in the bride’s house until after tomorrow when he will join his wife in his house.

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d. Deaths and Burials

When a member of the family dies, the news is sent to the kin of the dead who are living far and near. Couriers or telegrams are sent to those who are living in far places. Acquaintances, friends, relatives and comrades flock to the house of the dead to extend their condolences and help in any work there is in the house. At night, the members of the family and close relatives of the dead stay awake all night to keep vigil on the dead. Usually, all those who come are first fed before they go away. The next day, when all those who are being awaited for have come and are gathered together, the funeral starts. When the bier is brought down from the house, one of the bamboo parts of the floor is taken away, signifying that one member of the family has passed away. Now the dead is on the way to the church for the usual ceremony. The funeral procession is followed by the relatives and friends of the dead. From the church, the bier is taken to the cemetery for burial. All the way from the house to the cemetery are heard the mournful cries of the afflicted family. Women, especially, would at times scream and cry out to high heaven, imploring the help of Divine Providence. Members of the afflicted family and close relatives are in mourning dress. Such mourning clothes should be worn for at least on year.

Members of the family of the deceased are not to indulge in merrymaking nor attend social affairs until after one year from the time of death. Music is also tabooed from the home. From the date of death, [the] praying ceremony starts up to the ninth day, and done always in the evening. At the fourth day, the praying is done at noon. This is a day when all those who attended the praying ceremony eat their lunch before they go to pray. That is, if the surviving family could afford to do preparations for this fourth day.


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Notes and references:
Transcribed from “Historical and Cultural Life of the Barrio of Pinagtongulan” 1953, online at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.

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