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January 3, 2018

Walang Balahibo (San Isidro), Lemery, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Tubigan the Municipality of Lemery, Batangas, the original scanned documents at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections not having OCR or optical character recognition properties. This transcription has been edited for grammar, spelling and punctuation where possible. The original pagination is provided for citation purposes.

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Walang Balahibo School



Present Official Name of the Barrio

Walang Balahibo

Former Name or Names and their Meaning or Derivation

In the heart of the town of Lemery lies the peaceful barrio of Walang Balahibo. This land comprises an area of approximately 1,500 hectares, 100 hectares of which are cultivated, the rest being forest land. It is bounded to the north by the barrio of Payapa, Lemery, Batangas; to the east by the barrio of Bugaan, Talisay, Batangas; to the south by the barrio of Bukal; and to the west by the barrios of Mahaba and Maikling Dahilig.


Early in the year 1862, when this Municipality of Lemery, Province of Batangas, was separated from Taal, the newly-appointed Gobernadorcillo who ruled the town in those days went around to visit the fourteen thousand hectares of land ceded by the Municipality of Taal as “legacy,” accompanied by Juez de Sementera, Cuadrilleros, Somatines and Cabezas de Barangay for the main purpose of dividing the land into barrios or districts. When they reached the place commonly known as Walangbalahibo, they saw a chicken without feathers, a hog without hair – a peculiar thing that ordinarily could not be seen, and in order not to forget the place, they named the place “Himulmulan.” Later on, the word “Himulmulan” was changed to Walangbalahibo because the word “Himulmulan” was incomprehensible to the barrio folks. Since then, and until the present, the barrio is called Walangbalahibo.


Walangbalahibo, Lemery, was established in the year 1862.


When the barrio of Walangbalahibo was established, it had already a population of two hundred houses consisting of two hundred families all of whom were Christians. A great majority of this population lived scarcely in the highland where they engaged in farming and hog raising. The small minority were businessmen, landowners, cabezas de barangay, and others could be found in the central part of the barrio.


The barrio was directed under a municipal government run by elective and non-elective officials whose acts were

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mostly subject to the supervision and revision of the Provincial Governor, Chief of [the] Guardia Civil and [the] Spanish friar. The barrio was under the immediate control of the Barrio Lieutenant and Cabezas de Barangay. There was also in the barrio a Juez de Sementera whose duty consisted mainly of making the needs of the barrio folks known to the Gobernadorcillo. The barrio lieutenants during the Spanish Regime were Martin Morillo, Andres Piol, Pedro Atienza and Domingo Gardia. Mariano Martinez and Sixto Estacio were the barrio lieutenants during the American occupation or since the establishment of the civil government. The cabezas de barangay were Leonardo Sangalang, who was substituted lately by his son, Basilio Sangalang, Mamerto Marquinez and Lucas Corea. Mamerto Marquinez was succeeded by Lucas Corea because the latter was temporarily discharged because of his failure to pay the Real Haber or the taxes. The ruling during those days was that the Cabeza de Barangay had to pay taxes and when he failed to do so, the Provincial Governor would suspend him, upon the recommendation of the Gobernadorcillo, meanwhile the case is pending and while waiting for administrative investigation.

Story of the old barrios or sitios within the jurisdiction. (N o n e)


The people in those days in Walangbalahibo built their houses with very, very high structures of roofing and they used cogon because the nipa in those days was not known in the locality. In 1880, when Victoriano Noble was a gobernadorcillo of this town, one of his friends from Pola, Mindoro brought several bundles of nipa. Since then, nipa became very popular in this municipality. On the downstairs of every house, several baskets commonly known as “pugad” could be seen hanging.

The barrio school was made of bamboo and cogon. This school was situated in the central part of the barrio. All children were enrolled in this school under a Tagalog teacher who taught Arithmetic, Cartilla and Tagalog and Cattong and Misteriong Castilla and Tagalog. [The] Tuition fee in this school for every child was one cavan of rice and two pesos which went directly to the pocket of the teacher.


A. During the Spanish Occupation

The houses during the Spanish Regime in Walangbalahibo were burned by the Cazadores and infanterias during the revolution.

B. During the American Occupation

No serious incident occurred during the American Occupation. The people lived happily and peacefully. The people rejoiced the arrival of the Americans because they believed that the Americans would help them alleviate the degradations and abuses which they suffered from the hands of the enemies. They had a strong conviction that the timely arrival of the Americans would save them from the cruel and brutal hands of the enemies.

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C. During and After World War II

The arrival of the Japanese forces on December 8, 1941 shocked the people. The people were struck with terror, horror and disgust because they already knew the cruelty of the Japanese. Many people evacuated to this place. The barrio folks were ordered by the Japanese to plant corn and cotton. There were no untoward incidents that happened in this place, except the forced planting of cotton. The planting [of] cotton agitated and disturbed the people because the barrio folks could no longer plant any crop like rice, because they had to devote much of their time to the planting of cotton. Many died of starvation.

Soon after the arrival of the Americans, the people became contented again. The people bartered their fruits and chickens for the Americans’ canned food. Others returned to their former work. The people were never bothered again. They lived contentedly through their hard and persistent labor.


In 1896, many houses were burned by the infanterias. In 1941 to 1945, many cavans of palay were confiscated by the Japanese soldiers.


No improvement can be cited so far.




In spite of the far advancing western civilization, the barrio folks still retain some of the traditions and customs. Their customs and traditions can be depicted in the different stages of life from birth to death.

(a) Birth –

When a pregnant mother gives birth, all the barrio folks go to the house of the mother to visit her and to wish her happiness in the future.

(b) Baptism –

The people still retain the customs of getting the name of the child from the calendar. However, others think of any name which they believe is beautiful.

The parents of the child select the godmother or godfather. If one is already selected, the parents of the child will bring chickens and eggs to the selected sponsor. If the parents can afford, there is a baptismal party; but if they cannot, they just bring chickens to the house of the sponsor.

(c) Courtship –

When a man falls in love with a girl, he first serenades her followed by frequent visits. When a man is fortunate enough to win the love of a girl, he tells it to her parents. When, his parents favor the girl, they bring fish and meat to the girl. The boy serves the parents of the girl for at least

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one month. After this, the meeting of the two families follows. They plan out the marriage and fix the date of betrothal. The parents of the girl usually ask for [a] dowry. There are many forms of dowry given. Some are in the forms of land, jewelries, cattle, and even money.

(d) Marriage –

The wedding party is usually held in the house of the girl. After the party, the bride goes to the bridegroom’s house with the parents, relatives and friends of the groom. The bridegroom is left in the house of the bride. After a day of separation, the newly-wed couple will live together.

(e) Death –

If a member of the family dies, we can see neighbors and friends go to the house of their neighbor to share with them in their hour of bereavement. They spend the whole night sleepless. In interment is done in the following day. The coffin is carried by a group of men. For one year, the family mourns for their departed one. On the first anniversary of the death, the family prepares food. They throw their black dresses out of the window and they begin to wear colored clothes, particularly red clothes.

Social Practices

Their favorite dance is Pandango, that is, a woman or a Pandanguerra sings very loudly and during her stay in the middle of the house, she will sing mentioning the name of the person whom she likes to take her place, and the person called will sing also and will mention the name of the girl whom she likes to substitute for her place, and so on. It may be stated in this connection, that a good Pandanguerra is dancing with a glass full of water on her head without falling the glass nor the water from the glass, no matter how strong the movement is. The people enjoy this dance very much.

Legends and Superstitions

Once upon a time, when the gobernadorcillo, accompanied by the cuadrilleros, Juez de Sementera, Somatines and Cabezas de Barangay went to this place, they saw a chicken without feather, and a hog without hair. They were astonished by what they saw, and in order not to forget the place, they named it “Himulmulan” which was later changed to Walangbalahibo.

The following were the superstitious beliefs popular during those times:

1. It is bad to sing in front of the stove, because the one singing will become [a] spinster.

2. It is bad to leave when somebody is still eating, because he will meet [an] accident. To avoid such [an] occurrence, it is the belief that the plate should be turned clockwise before leaving.

3. Whatever [is] done on the first day of the year will likely prevail throughout the whole year.

4. Eating twin bananas will result in bearing twin children.

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5. When a cat scratches his face, it will rain.

Popular Songs, Games and Amusements

The people in the barrio of Walangbalahibo are not music-minded. They do not have time for leisure. From morning till night, they are in their farms. They are not very interested in amusements. Their main concern is their livelihood.

Puzzles and Riddles

1. My pig in the farm grows fat without food.
2. I can feel it but I can’t see it.
3. Here he comes without feet.
4. Standing no feet, crying no eyes.
5. Here he comes with fire in his head.
6. I saw a princess sitting in a cup.

Proverbs and Sayings

1. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty.
2. East of west, home is best.
3. The less said, the sooner mended.
4. Make hay while the sun shines.
5. He who washes himself is the one guilty.
6. Behind many disappointments lies the crown of success.
7. It is [a] bad workman who quarrels with his tools.
8. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
9. Your companions are your mirrors and show you yourself.
10. A man’s true wealth is the good he does in the world.

Methods of Measuring Time

1. When the cock crows in the morning, it is four o’clock in the morning.
2. When the flower of [the] alas otcho plant blooms, it is already eight o’clock.
3. When the cricket makes noise during sundown, it is six o’clock in the evening.
4. When the sun shines, it is six o’clock in the morning.
5. When the sun is overhead, it is twelve o’clock noon.

Popular Songs

1. Meme, My Baby


Meme, Meme slumber lit-tle - - - - baby, - - - -
Mother is far away Hm _______________________
And how can I go for her? Hm ________________
Nud is knee _______ deep in swamg [swamp?] and street Me-me; Fluter [flutter] all the day _____ time, Little Pretty Wing,
Fluter [flutter] all the play time Little merry things
Fluter [flutter] from the meadow where the pathway
Lies, there’s a bit of shadow for the gay butterflies

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Fluter [flutter] all the ____ See her comb made of gold,
Uy; she has big one and bold, Uy; Petticoats are
Swinging as she walks up and down. At the glass
See her stand, Uy; nod and smile, wave her hand
Then she makes a curtsy in her beautiful gown.

Puzzles and Riddles

1. There, there but you cannot see.
2. My pig in the farm, grew fat without food.
3. Krus, krus, when you see [not visible]
4. Wood that becomes water, water that becomes clay, clay that becomes stone.

Submitted by:

Barrio Committee Chairman

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

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