Bucana, Nasugbu, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Bucana, Nasugbu, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Bucana, Nasugbu, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the barrio of Bucana in the Municipality of Nasugbu, 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 Data

of the

Barrio of BUCANA


1. Present official name of the barrio – BUCANA.

2. Popular name of the barrio, present and past: derivation and meanings of these names. Names of sitios included within the territorial jurisdiction of the barrio.

a. Past popular name of the barrio –
Dagatan – derived from the geographical location and surface features of the place – near the “dagat” or sea and under water during high tide.

b. Present popular name of the barrio –
Bucana – the name was given by the settlers who were mostly fisher-folk to the land bounded to the south by the outlet of the Palico River and to the southern end of Nasugbu Bay to the west.

c. Names of sitios –
(1) Pulo (4) Patay na Ilog
(2) Makati (5) Campo
(3) Makina No. Uno (6) Daang Liang
3. Date of establishment – second half of the 19th century, latter part of the Spanish regime.

4. Original families –
(a) Ruiz (b) Destreza (c) Rosales
(d) Bayaborda
5. List of tenientes from the latter part of the Spanish regime to the present:
Mateo Ruiz Silvino Salazar
Francisco Ruis Pascual Rosales
6. Story of old barrios or sitios within its jurisdiction that are now depopulated or extinct – None.

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7. Data on historical sites, structures, buildings, old ruins, etc. – None, except the ruins of an old Spanish bridge.

8. Important facts, incidents or events that took place
(a) During the Spanish period – None of significance.
(b) During the American occupation until the outbreak of World War II – None that could be considered of significance.
(c) During and after World War II –
The visit of the officers of the Japanese Imperial Army to spread their propaganda about the Co-Prosperity Sphere. At times during the Japanese occupation, guerrillas used to visit this place.

January 31, 1945 – The landing of the American Liberation Forces. The whole barrio became a busy hive of GI’s, guerrillas, and civilians who helped in the unloading of supplies and ammunitions.

9. Destruction of lives, properties and institutions during wars, especially in 1896-1900 and 1941-1945.
The barrio had never been visited by any calamity during the war years, hence no destruction of any kind was recorded. During the landing of the liberation forces, the barrio was spared of the destruction by the guns of the Americans.


10. Traditions, customs and practices in domestic and social life; births, baptism, courtship, marriage, death, burial, visits, festivals, punishments, etc.

In this barrio (Bucana), as in all rural areas in the Philippines, there are many customs and practices which have been handed down from generation to generation. These customs and practices are still adhered to strictly in spite of the advancement made in science and technology. The life of the inhabitants are geared to

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these in almost all stages of their lives, lest a violation of the same may bring misfortune to the individual members or to the whole family. This is a clear evidence of the superstitious nature of the inhabitants, as shown in the following:

1. Birth:

A woman who is conceiving should not laugh at an ugly thing, lest an infant in her womb resemble the ugly thing at birth, just the same she should not get angry with ugly persons or things.

A woman who is conceiving should not eat twin banana fruits, left she give birth to twins.

A women in the family way should not sleep on the floor crosswise to ensure the correct position of the baby when she delivers. When putting firewood in the stove, it should conform with the natural growth of the wood so that when the baby is to be born, the head should be first.

A woman and the family way should not wrap around her neck [a] handkerchief or panuelo so that the umbilical cord will not wrap around the body of the infant.

A woman whose marriage had incurred the hate of the mother will suffer during her delivery of the firstborn, unless the mother steps over her [husband? mother?] while laboring.

During the time when the woman is laboring, any animal tied, especially roosters, should be set free so as not to prolong the labor.

In bathing the newly born baby, the water should be tepid and in the basin should be placed silver coins, paper and pencil to ensure a prosperous life for the child. The paper and pencil will make the child intelligent.

In burying the placenta and umbilical cord, they should be placed in halves of the coconut shell. Papers, [a] pencil and [a] needle should be buried with them. The one burying should be very quiet. These instructions should be followed so that the child will not be garrulous and a wanderer. He will be intelligent and industrious.

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The remaining cord, once it is cut, should be wrapped and hung above the fireplace. Care should be taken that it not be stolen by rats, left the child becomes a thief or a thief or a kleptomaniac.

2. Baptism:

When a baby is born, the parents confer on the name that should be given. The name selected must conform with the name of the same that appears on the calendar on the date the child is born. This is strictly followed in the belief that if the child dies and is not named after the right saint, it will not go to heaven.

The next step that is usually done is the selection of the godfather or the godmother, as the case may be. The one so selected must be of good moral character and intelligent for it is believed that the child takes after the godparents.

If the child shows signs of dying before the real Baptism can take place, an old man or woman is asked to perform a semblance of church Baptism. This is called a “buhos tubig.” A proxy may be asked in this lay Baptism.

A women may have had several children born to her, but not one has lived long. In this case, an old man may be asked to become the godfather to ensure long life for the child. In some cases, the first love or sweetheart of the woman is asked to be the godfather.

A child in the course of the Baptismal ceremony is forced to cry for it is believed that he will live long.

If during the ceremony, plenty of salt was swallowed by the child, [the] same child will not be hard headed.

During the ceremony, a necklace with a coin is hung around the neck of the child to ensure a prosperous and bright future.

After the ceremony, there is a race for the door of the church among the godparents and the first to

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go out of the church will mean a long and prosperous life for the newly baptized child.

If the godfather or the godmother blows [on] the face of the child during the ceremony the godchild will take after him/her as the case may be.

It is the common belief that a child that dies without [the] benefit of Baptism becomes a “patianak” and the show does not go to heaven.

It is also a common belief that a child still unbaptized should not be brought far from home or on travels for this may spell accidents.

In most cases after the Baptism of the child, there is a party in the home of the parents. The first to sit at the table are usually the godparents and the companions of godparents.

It is a common practice that the “Ninang” or “Ninong” gives a “pakimkim,” This yes either in the form of cash or in kind given to the child.

3. Courtship:

In this barrio (Bucana) as in others, there are still many customs and practices which are followed when a young man courts a young woman. It is a common occurrence that when a young man desires to make known his intention of courting a girl, he serenades her at night. By means of songs, his heart’s desires are expressed. When the serenader is recognized, he and his companions are asked to ascend the house and there he continues his plan of laying the foundation of his future plan. At times, the girl is requested to sing. When she accepts, the young man tries to glean from her song if he is looked upon with favor or otherwise.

Sometimes, the young man does not do the above. Instead, he request and uncle or another person to make known his intention to the family of the girl. Then, he pays her a visit. On this visit, the parents are supposed to meet him, but if they do not, this shows that he is looked upon with disfavor and, therefore, he will not triumph in his desire. In case the parents meet him, he can continue his suit. In this first meeting, the parents are the ones who talk to

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him on a variety of subjects except love. In succeeding calls on the girl’s parents, the daughter is permitted to talk with the young man but the mother is usually present although quite some distance from the two

When the young people become engaged, the parents of the boy call on the parents of the girl to tell them about the engagement of the young people. In some cases, only the old people talk even if the young man and the young woman have not fallen in love with each other. When the parents of the boy go to the house of the girl, they bring some foods and drinks. The arrangement is made regarding the marriage of the young persons. This affair is called “pamumulung.” Sometimes, the parents of the girl ask for a new house, at other times, the old house is to be repaired, or a big “handa” or wedding feast is asked. Meanwhile, the young man continues to serve in the house of the girl; say, carrying water, splitting wood, or helping in the field or in the fishing grounds. If the parents of the boy agree on fulfilling the things asked, the date of the marriage is set.

During the courtship and engagement, there are parents who lay fast rules to be observed by the young man. He should not talk with a girl outside of her house, particularly on the streets. He should not go to the house at noon nor stay after Angelus. Undue familiarity should be avoided, respect for the girl at all times and [the] preservation [of] her womanly virtues are so required.

4. Marriage:

When the day of the marriage has been set, which is usually in the middle of the month (30 days) and when there is high tide and full moon, there are certain taboos which should be observed by both the bride and groom.

They should not travel far from their homes because accidents work on their way. The bride-to-be should not put on her bridal gown to find out if it fits because misfortune and bad luck will talk their married life. On their wedding day, the bride should not wear pearl necklaces because this will mean tears for her during her married life.

On the day set for the marriage (church marriage is referred to), the bride and groom wake up very early

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and dress up for the ceremony, together with their maid of honor and best man. Usually, they dress up in their respective homes. The groom should be the first to enter the church for if the bride-to-be is the first to enter, misfortune will come. During the ceremony, there are many superstitions connected with it. It is a bad omen if the ring bearer drops the coin or the ring for it means that the couple will separate. During the putting of the veil, care should be taken that it does not drop. When their hands are joined together and the bride grips the hand of the groom tightly, the woman will surely dominate the husband. If the candle flicker brightly during the ceremony, it means that prosperity and happiness will shower the life of the newlyweds. However, if the light burns or the light is put out, it means bad luck for the couple. There is even a groom who intentionally steps on the wedding gown off the bride so that she will be obedient to him at all times, or he sometimes goes ahead of the bride in going out of the church door after the ceremony. But usually, they both go out at the same time and while marching out, friends and relatives shower them with rice grains in order to bring prosperity to their wedded life.

When the newlyweds reach home, they kiss the hands of their parents and older relatives. They are given silver coins – the parents of the girl give to the groom and the parents of the groom give or put it inside her bridal gown. On the wedding dinner, the parents and relatives of the bride, the sponsors, together with the wedding entourage and the newlyweds, are the first to sit at the table. No relatives of the groom are asked to eat with them.

After the wedding dinner is the “lipat” or escorting the bride to the home of the groom. In this, she is accompanied by all her friends and the relatives of the man. While she is being escorted to the accompaniment of a brass band, two or more older folks dance before her until they reach the house of the groom. As soon as she reaches the place, someone breaks a pot or plate. This practice is done to ensure children for the couple and to have a happy and prosperous life. The groom is usually left in the house of the bride and he goes home the next day.

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5. Death:

Of all phases of domestic life, it is in death where many customs and beliefs prevail, unchanged by time and civilization. The inhabitants adhere to them because of fear of death.

There are several omens which the inhabitants believe bring death. And unusual howling of dogs in the dead of the night foretells death among near relatives or, if somebody is ill in the family, that sick person will surely die.

A big black butterfly is a sign that somebody, a relative who is far, has died or is death.

If there is a sick person in the house and a crow a lights on a branch of a tree near the house, the sick person will surely die.

If one dreams of falling teeth or hairs, it should not be divulged to anybody but instead, the person concerned should murmur his dreams to a tree. If this is not done, death will visit the family.

If somebody dies in the house, the clothes worn by the dead should not be removed for it is believed that the same clothes will be the ones that will be used when his soul enters purgatory or heaven, or else he/she will not be recognized there.

If a person dies and his limbs are not inflexible, this is a sign that another member of the family will die.

Members bereaved family should not wail loudly for this will only prolong his suffering, neither should be wet the dead with tears.

The floor should not be swept nor cleaning be done not until the fourth day after the death of the person. In eating, used plates should not be carried one above the other and only one person should wash the plates. These practices are done in order to prevent frequent deaths in the family.

The coffin should be exactly the length of the dead person. The corpse should be fitted in it for if there is space inside, it means that death will occur again.

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Old folks used to pull some hairs from the dead person or a piece of cloth is cut so that if somebody gets sick, particularly the children, these things can be used as medicine.

The moment the corpse is brought down, the bed where it laid is brought down also through the window. Everything used by the deceased when death came is placed in the coffin. In carrying the coffin, care should be taken that not a part of it touches the side of the door, for if this happens, another death will occur. As soon as the coffin is carried on from the house, a person throws on the steps or on the stairs

6. Burial:

The hearse is first brought to church followed by the mourners. If the dead is an adult person, kin are usually dressed in black. Black is the sign of mourning.

When the hearse reaches the cemetery, the coffin is brought to the grave (either dug or niches). It is a common practice to open the coffin before it is lowered to the grave or pushed into the niche. If the dead is a child, the godmother light the candle that has been blessed by the priest. If an adult, either father or mother, or grandparents, the children are told to kiss the hands of the dead. The young ones are carried across the coffin thrice. This is done in order that the soul of the dead will not visit them in their sleep. As soon as the corpse is lowered, persons near the great throw lumps of soil into the grave.

In the home of the deceased, prayer is said for nine consecutive nights for the soul of the departed (for adults) and on the ninth day, usually there is a great feast after the chanting of hymns and prayers. For children, the feast and prayer are usually done on the fourth day. It is also on the fourth day when the general cleaning of the house of the departed takes place and everybody bathes. No one is allowed to bathe when there is a dead person in the house.

Children are usually dressed in red when they go to sleep. This is done so that the spirit of the departed will not haunt them in their sleep, especially if the dead person’s mouth is open in death for that means that he/she will return to tell something which he/she forgot to tell while still living.

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7. Mourning:

Black clothes are usually worn by the members of the bereaved family, particularly the women, in mourning. The common practice is to use this for at least one year. When in mourning, it is prohibited to indulge in frivolous activities like dancing and gay parties. The wearing of mourning dress is shed after one year, not exactly 365 days, it may be less or more. On the first anniversary of the death, again prayers are said for the soul of the departed. Every November 1, on All Saints’ Day, graves are decorated and candles are lighted in front.

8. Visits:

When relatives visit other relatives whom they have not seen for quite a long time, they usually bring gifts, especially for the children.

At the time of [the] meeting, it is a common practice to see young people kiss the hands of the old ones. The same is done when they part.

When relatives or friends live in the same town, [a] visit is made usually on the occasion of childbirth or sickness. The one visiting the sick brings either flowers or food.

9. Festivals:

Feasts are held during fiesta, Christmas, Easter, weddings, birthdays, and Baptisms. On occasions like the above, relatives and friends come and help in the preparation of the food. Others bring something as gifts. On Christmas, absent members of the family usually come for the particular Christmas get-together.

On birthday parties and weddings, friends and relatives give gifts to the celebrant and to the young people who are married.

10. Reverence:

Persons with hats on take them off when passing a church or make the sign of the cross.

Family prayer is said at Angelus time. Children run home for prayer. Mothers teach their children to pray. Family prayer is said at night and in the morning at waking time.

Praying before sleeping and upon waking up.

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Going to church on Sundays and other holidays.

11. Punishments:

Children are either scolded or whipped by their parents when they disobey them.

When the children commit breaches of discipline or breaches of etiquette, the father or mother usually advises them on proper behavior. The time is either during meal time or at night when they are ready to go to bed.

In some cases, there are parents who disinherit the son or daughter who has committed a grave offense against family honor.

(English and Vernacular)

1. Ang hindi marunong magtipon, walang hinayang magtapon.
Those who do not know how to save spend money foolishly.

2. Ang impok mo sa ngayon ay siyang magbibigay ginhawa sa kinabukasan.
The savings of today are the comforts of tomorrow.

3. Husto sa salita, kulang sa gawa.
Too many words, too little work.

4. Walang natatagong lihim na di nabubunyag.
There is nothing hidden that will not come out.

5. Ang mahinhing dalaga, sa kilos nakikilala.
A modest girl is known by her behavior.

6. Ang bayaning nasusugatan, nag-iibayo ang tapang.
A brave man when wounded becomes still braver.

7. Ang tunay na bakal sa apoy nasusubukan.
Iron is proven true in the fire.

8. Ang lalaking tunay na matapang, di natatakot sa panapanaan.
A real warrior has no fear of play arrows.

9. Ang marahang pangungusap, sa puso’y nakalulunas.
A gentle speech always softens the heart.

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10. Ang salitang matamis, sa puso’y nakakaakit at nagpapalubag ng galit.
Sweet speech charms the heart and pacifies ire.

11. Di man magmana ng ari, magmana lamang ng ugali.
One need not inherit riches if he inherits good behavior.

12. Huwag mong gagawin sa iba ang ayaw mong gawin nila sa iyo.
Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.

13. Huwag mong ipagpabukas ang magagawa mo ngayon.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do for today.

14. Ang kalawang ang siya lamang sumisira sa bakal.
Only rust destroys iron.

15. Pag ang tubig ay matining, asahan mo at malalim.
Still water runs deep.

16. Ang santol ay di mamumunga ng mabolo.
[A] Santol tree will not bear a mabolo fruit.

17. Ang magnanakaw ay kapatid ng matakaw.
A thief is a greedy man’s brother.

18. Sa taong may dangal, ang salita ay sumpa.
To a man of honor, his word is his oath.

19. Nagagawa ng salaping makakita ang bulag.
Money makes a blind man see.

20. Ang taong di nalalasahan ang kapaitan ng pait ng buhay ay hindi nalalasap ang katamisan ng tamis ng buhay.
A man who has not tasted the bitterest of life’s bitters can never appreciate the sweetest of life’s sweets.

21. Ang taong katutubo ay katapatan ay di magiging mayabang.
A man who is inherently honest cannot be dishonest.

22. Ang pulubi ay di mamimili ng kanyang gusto.
A beggar cannot be [a] chooser.

23. Di lahat ng kumikinang ay ginto.
All that glitters is not gold.

24. Ang naniniwala sa sabi, walang bait sa sarili.
He who believes in tales has no mind of his own.

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25. Mahirap gisingin ang taong nagtutulugtulugan.
The most difficult to rouse from sleep is the man who pretends to be asleep.

26. Ang isda ay nahuhuli sa bibig.
A fish is caught through the mouth.

27. Ang hipong natutulog, karaniwa’y nadadala ng agos.
A sleeping shrimp is carried away by the current.

28. Makapangyarihan ang salitang mahina kaysa malakas.
Low words are stronger than loud words.

29. Ang hindi lumilingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi nakararating sa pinarurunan.
The one who does not look behind cannot reach his goal.

30. Ang karangalan ko ay aking buhay; dalawang magkahiwalay na punong nabubuhay sa isang lupa; agawin mo ang aking karangalan at para mo ring inalisan ako ng buhay.
My honor is my life; two separate trunks growing on the same soil; kill my honor and you take away my life.

31. Ang naglahong kayamanan ay maaaring magbalik, nguni’t ang nagdaang mga oras ay di maaaring magbalik.
Lost riches may be regained, but lost time can never be recovered.

32. Ano man ang tibay ng piling abaka ay walang ring lakas pag nag-iisa.
Even the best abaca can never be strong if it is only one.

33. Ang mapagparangalan ng kanyang kagalingan ay libak ang kinakamtan.
Whoever boasts much of his accomplishments will reap ridicule.

34. Ang tunay na pagaanyaya, dinadamayan ng hila.
A sincere invitation is accompanied by force.

35. Ang asong maingay ay madalang kumagat.
A barking dog seldom bites.

36. Walang taong makakapagsilbi sa dalawang amo.
No person can serve two masters.

37. Ang matapang at mahinahong ugali ay malimit matagpuan sa loob ng mapapagkumbabang suot.
A brave and gentle character is often found under the humblest garb.

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