San Jose, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore San Jose, Batangas: Historical Data - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

San Jose, Batangas: Historical Data

Full transcription of the so-called “Historical Data” for the Municipality of San Jose, 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.
Historical Data
[p. 1]

[Part I of the historical data for the Municipality of San Jose is missing from the original document at the National Library of the Philippines Digital Collections.]

It is believed that these babies turned into patianaks. It was further believed that they inflicted some harm to the people.

They gave harm to the people this way. When a person urinated along the strange places like the river banks and by chance he urinated on the spot where the baby was buried, that person would be sick. That sickness was called “tabang.” This meant that your stomach would become big and swollen. The pain that it gave could not be borne by the patient.

There is another tale in connection with [the] patianak. During the ancient times, it was a very great dishonor on the part of the woman to be a mother but not a wife. In such case, the child born was fatherless or his father was unknown. To hide this sin from the people but not from God, the unfortunate woman sometimes threw the child in the banks of the rivers. This unfortunate but sinless baby became a patianak, too. As this patianak says, “Anak! Anak!” the people interpreted it in the following verse in Tagalog:

Anak, anak, ang ina ko’y talandi,
Nahiya sa tao, sa Dios ay hindi.

Related by:

[Sgd.] (Miss) Eladia Yuchengco


In the barrio of Aya in the town of San Jose, there is a place called Ki Suta. It is a very big cave with shallow water at the entrance. It is like a stair as one goes down or inside the cave. In the inner part of the cave, the water becomes deeper. Some aquatic animals live in that place. It is also used as a fishing ground of the people near it ever since.

Long ago, it was a haunted place. The people were afraid to go there because of a strange man who appeared occasionally. They said that this man looked like a handsome prince. The man took care of that fishing ground. Many people could tell this tale because they had witnessed the appearance of the suta. He did no harm to the people but they were afraid to go to the place since the first appearance of the suta. However, some daring men went there to fish. After fishing, they said that they had been helped by the guardian of the cave. That guardian was called suta.

This story was handed down from generation to generation and since then, that place as been called “Ki Suta,” derived from the man who appeared there, dressed like a suta.

Related by:

[Sgd.] (Miss) Eladia Yuchengco

[p. 2]


A long time ago, there lived a king named Haring Bayabas. His palace was so beautiful with plenty of fruit trees growing around it. He was so stingy that he preferred the fruits of his trees rot than to give them to the people and the birds.

One day, he saw some birds picking the fruits. This angered him and he ordered his servants to drive them away. They obeyed as they were commanded. They were whispering to each other, “One king is really very selfish. He prefers to have these fruits rot and fall than to feed them to the birds that eat the destructive worms.”

The day was so hot and the king went under the coconut groves to refresh himself. Hardly had he relaxed himself when all of a sudden, a coconut fell on his head and instantly killed him. The servants were in confusion for they did not know where the master went. They searched every place and, from a distance, they saw the king with the birds pecking his head. They went nearer and found him to be dead.

Soon, another king reigned in their kingdom. He was very much different from their former king for he was exactly his opposite. Time went on and a new fruit grew in the yard. It was very much different from the fruits that had grown there. The tree was loaded with fruits which looked like heads with crowns on them. This surprised everyone in the palace, especially the king. He asked Pedro, one of his servants, the name of the fruit. It took him long before he could give an answer when all of a sudden, he seemed to see the vision of Haring Bayabas. To his excitement, he shouted, “Haring Bayabas!” The king repeated, “Bayabas.”

Pedro answered, “Yes, Haring Bayabas.”

The king believed it was the name of the fruit and he called it bayabas. Since that time, everyone has called that fruit like a head with a crown “bayabas.”

Related by:

[Sgd.] Anastacia Vergara

[p. 3]


Once, there was a rich lady with many maids. She kept her maids with good food, clothing and light labor, however, each one had a definite task to perform every day. She had one laundrywoman, one seamstress, one cook, one waiter one housekeeper and three gardeners.

The mistress of the house was very much inclined to make her garden very strong and attractive. During that time, wire and iron fences were unknown. Most of the fences were made of bamboo and stone walls. All these kinds of fences did not suit the tastes of this lady. She said, “I shall marry the man who could make the fence of my garden suit my tastes, however if he fails, his head would be cut off." No one dared try the task for fear of losing his head. Therefore, the maids gave their suggestion as to the kind of fence which they thought would best suit their mistress’s desire. One maid suggested the aroma trees for fencing, the other suggested the murado plants and the last suggested banaybanay or papuwa as we call it today. The fence made of banaybanay plants suited the lady’s desire so the gardeners planted them around the garden. They trimmed them as often as they could so the garden appeared very attractive. The neighbors saw this garden with banaybanay as hedges. They planted them also as hedges of their gardens. Finally, all the people of the village had banaybanay as hedges of their flower gardens. So, the whole barrio was given the name Banaybanay because of the uniformity of the hedges of the people’s gardens.

Related by:

[Sgd.] Juan O. Quison

[p. 4]


In Aya, a barrio of San Jose, is a river where people fear to bathe and swim. Though it is deep and wide, very few people venture to reach the place.

It was said that during the Spanish regime, there dwelt in that barrio a couple named Francisca and Pedro. Pedro’s occupation was to quarry stories [stones?] near the river. He was a dutiful husband so there was not a day in his life spent in an idle way. But in spite of the sacrifices made by Pedro, his wife was not faithful to him. As he cherished his wife very much, he did not bathe himself with her unfaithfulness. He continued his work as usual without any malice for the actuations of his wife.

One day, Pedro was busy with his work, his wife went to the river just below the place where he had his quarry work. She carried a square sinamay cloth and a rice winnower in order to catch small shrimps. When it was about time to prepare lunch, Pedro requested his wife to go home for he was already very hungry because he had been working since sunrise. But, instead of following the request of her husband, she continued her work of catching little shrimps. The man requested her again for the second time but the more the woman became firm in her decision not to abide by her husband’s request.

Finally, the man lost all his patience and what do you think happened? He went to the river and struck his wife on the head with his spade. The wife became unconscious and lay on the bank of the river. The man returned to his work, leaving his wife senseless. After a lapse of some minutes, the woman regained her consciousness and she felt deeply the punishment of her husband. Leaving her sinamay and rice winnower on the bank, she went to a deep cave of the river with the intention of leaving her husband forever. As she did not know how to swim, she drowned.

When Pedro returned to the river, he did not see his wife there. He called many people to look for her. They found the surface of the river near the cave bubbling with blood, so the divers among the people there, dived into the cave and finally got her from the place and took her to the bank. Then, they applied all the necessary remedies to bring her back to life but to no avail.

After her burial, many people could testify that whenever they passed that river, they could hear someone moaning and crying for help.

Ever since that time, the river has been feared by people. Though the place abounds in shrimps during the rainy season, nobody dares fish there and people call the place “delenkente.”

Narrated by:

[Sgd.] (Miss) Salome Matienza

[p. 5]


1. Plant trees and other plants during the full moon.
2. Hair should be cut during the full moon.
3. Papaya trees should not be planted below the windows of a house. [The] Papaya’s sap easily comes out which makes the persons in the house cry.
4. The farmer’s clothes should be clean while planting cadios. The cadios will bear good pods.
5. If a cat washes its face near the door, a bill collector is coming. If the cat faces the bedroom, a visitor is coming.
6. A roaring fire is a sign that visitors will come.
7. Thirteen (13) is an unlucky number.
8. A baby should eat the first grain of rice from a sharp razor. She will become intelligent.
9. If a person chokes or coughs while eating, it is a sign that someone is talking about or thinking of him.
10. If a person will make a trip, he should not start while someone is eating. He might meet an accident. In case he goes out, the person to make the trip will move the plate around.
11. The number of steps in a house should always be in odd numbers.
12. February is not a month for marriage or moving to a new house.
13. A singing insect inside a house is a sign of good luck.
14. A bride or bridegroom should not go out of the house before the wedding.
15. A bride should not try to fit her wedding gown before the wedding or else the wedding will be put off.
16. The date of the wedding should always fall between the new and full moon.
17. A person should close his eyes while planting pineapples.
18. The sponsors and close relatives of the bride and bridegroom should not wear black.
19. Either the bride or the bridegroom should try his best to go out of the church door at once. It is a sign as to who will be the dominant person in the family.
20. A wedding should always have “suman” or “calamay” (pudding).
21. As soon as a dead person comes down a house, the remaining persons should clean the floor. If the house has not been polished or swept, nobody can clean the house for nine days.
22. If a dead person’s body is soft, it is a sign that another one will follow.
23. If her eyes are open, she is waiting for someone.
24. The position of the moon foretells the kind of delivery of pregnant mothers.

Related by:

[Sgd.] Eustaquio Ramos

[p. 6]


1. Piko – Piko

A group of children play this game, and the oldest of them acts as the mother. The mother sits in a corner of the playground and holds out one of her hands, palm upward. As the children plunge their fingers into the open hand, the mother suddenly closes her palm to catch the fingers of some of them. The player whose finger is thus caught because “It.” He is blindfolded, and the other players scatter and hide. When they are ready, one of them gives the signal. The “It” starts looking for the players. He finds and tries to tag them. In the meantime, some of the players run back to the mother for safety. Any player tagged by [the] “It” becomes “It” for the next game.

2. Taguan

A group of players or two teams of equal numbers may take part.

The “It,” who is blindfolded, stays in one place while the players are hiding. As a signal, “It” takes off his blindfold and searches for the players until he finds them all.

When played by teams, captains and sides are chosen. The captain and players of Team A stay in one place and close their eyes while the players of Team B go into hiding. When the latter are ready, they give the signal, and the players of Team A begin searching for them. One player of Team B is found, comes out of hiding, and the finder yells to advise his teammates and opponents. The search is continued until all the players of Team B are found.

In the next game, Team A hides and Team B searches. If Team B fails to locate any of the Team A players, the captain of Team B says, “We give up,” and the game is played over again with the same side going into hiding.

Related by:

[Sgd.] Alejandro Sanchez

Three or more players may take part

A small rope several meters long and about half an inch thick is needed in this game.

A player holds one end of the rope and another player the other end. The swing the rope clockwise in a circle. A third player watches the rope and from one side, enters the circle described by the swinging of it. He jumps then with his two feet or skips alternately on the right and left foot moving forward, backward, or turning, always, jumping or skipping the rope about the time it strikes the ground. Even two or three players may enter and jump at the same time. When a player begins to tire, he runs out of the circle made by the rope.


1. A player who is hit by the rope while jumping relieves on of the players who is swinging the rope.
2. If the game is played by pairs or teams and one of the players is hit by the rope while jumping, he relieves the other team of swinging the rope.

Related by:

[Sgd.] Alejandro Sanchez

[p. 7]


Gurumay was a traditional game in San Jose, Batangas which was commonly played by children thirty years ago, but at present, it is unknown among school children.

This game is played in the following manner: there are two or more players. Each player must have 3 pieces of sticks of different lengths. One, which is used as bat, is the longest, about a meter long or less and the width is about one and a half inches. The second is about ½ foot long and the third is about 3 inches long.

A hole is dug in the ground about 2 inches deep and the length is as long as the second stick. The width is about 2 inches.

A coin is tossed to find out the first server in case there are only two players. If more than two, devise another means.

The server puts his shortest stick across the hole and the second shortest stick is put parallel to the hole crossing the shortest piece of stick as shown in the diagram below:


The server strikes the stick which is parallel to the hole (See the above diagram) and [as] it jumps up the server hits it with all his might or force. As the stick flies away, all the players watch for the place where the stick being hit falls. Then, the distance between the hole and the spot where the stick falls is measured. The player who has the longest distance wins the game.

The server loses the chance to serve when he fails to hit the stick which he strikes in the hole.

Related by:

[Sgd.] (Miss) Eladia Yuchengco

[p. 8]


1. “There” There! It says but it has no eyes. (forefinger)
2. It flies high and flies low, but has no feet and yet wears [a] shoe. (dust)
3. What is it which divides by uniting and unites by dividing? {scissors)
4. Though I dance at a ball, yet I am nothing at all. (shadow)
5. It goes and stands and yet has no legs. (a clock)
6. Black and white and red all over. (a newspaper)
7. It has a nose but cannot smell. (a teapot)
8. It has eyes and cannot see. (a potato)
9. It has ears but cannot hear. (a cornstalk)
10. It has a tongue but cannot speak. (a wagon)
11. What is it that has a mouth and cannot eat? (a river)
12. What is it that has hands but does not work? (a clock)
13. What is it that when it loses its eye, it has only a noise left? (noise)
14. A little red house with white fence around it. (mouth)
15. What is it which is always full of holes and yet holds water? (a sponge)
16. It has four legs and only one foot. (bed)
17. I lived upon my own substance and died when I had devoured myself. (candle)
18. It is a tongue that may often hurt and grieve you without speaking. (a tongue of your shoe)
19. It lives in winter, dies in summer, and grows with its root upward. (icicles)
20. What is it that if you take away all the letters remains the same? (postman)
21. It is lengthened by being cut at both ends. (ditch)
22. Everyone holds it but rarely touches it. (tongue)
23. It always finds thin dull! (grinder)
24. It goes up the hill and down the hill and yet stands still. (road)
25. What is taken before you get it? (your picture)
26. It is black in itself and yet enlightens the world. (ink)
27. It is something which the man that makes it does not need it, that man that buys it never gets it for himself, and the man who uses it does not know it. (coffin)
28. It can pass before the sun without casting a shadow. (wind)
29. It has never been felt, seen or heard, and yet has a name. (nothing)
30. What roof never keeps out the wet? (roof of the mouth)
31. It always walks with head downward. (a nail in one’s shoe)
32. It is a tool that grows sharper with its use. (one’s tongue)
33. It has teeth but never bites. (comb)
34. The longer she stands, the shorter she grows. (candle)
35. Old Mother Twitchett had but one eye,
And a long tail which she lets fly;
Every time she went over a gap,
She left a bit of her tail in a trap. (a needle and thread)

Related by:

[Sgd.] (Mrs.) Francisc Castillo


(Mrs.) Virginia M. Ambal

[p. 9]


1. Soft words melt the heart.
2. The liar is a brother of the thief.
3. You can afford to lose money but not the respect of others.
4. One should consult his elders about important matters.
5. The wisdom of the young comes from the old.
6. Give all you have in gifts and you will be left with regrets.
7. Of what use is the fodder when the horse is dead?
8. Continuous droplets of water may wear away even granite.
9. Pain in a finger is felt by the whole body.
10. If you feel a person’s misery as your own, then you are his good friend.
11. Never make promises you cannot fulfill.
12. When your blanket is short, learn to crouch.
13. A bird on a plate is better than a thousand in the sky.
14. He who saved for the rainy day has something to fall back on.
15. He who believes in idle talk has no mind of his own.
16. A tree falls where it is inclined.
17. He who will not toil shall not live.
18. In order to get the meat of the crab, one must use one’s fingers.
19. What we owe, we pay.
20. Throw not stones at anybody, and nobody will throw rocks at you.
21. In a closed mouth, no fly enters.
22. Let the eyes see, but keep the mouth shut.
23. A tree is known by its fruit.
24. Even an unripe guava is a blessing from God.
25. A rolling stone gathers no one.


1. The sleeping shrimp is carried by the current.
Ang hipong natutulog ay nadadala ng agos.

2. Lazy people should follow the ant’s example.
Ang taong tamad ay sa langgam tutulad.

3. Be thrifty if you desire to be wealthy.
Kung nais mong yumanan, ikaw ay magtipid.

4. Diligence and honesty are before progress and prosperity.
Katyagaan at katapatan bago pagpaunlad at kasaganaan.

5. Do not put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
Huwag ipagpabukas ang magagawa ngayon.

6. United we stand; divided we fall.
Kung magsamasama, tayo’y magtatagumpay,
Kung maghiwahiwalay, tayo’y mabibigo.

7. Not all that glitters is gold.
Hindi lahat ng kumikinang ay ginto.

Related by:

[Sgd.] (Mr.) Marcelino Landicho


(Mrs.) Rosario Laraya

[p. 10]

8. There is no hard-hearted virgin to those who ceaselessly pray.
Walang matimtimang virgin sa matiyagang manalangin.

9. The tongue is not a blade, but it cuts deep.
Ang dila ay hindi patalim nguni’t kung sumugat ay malalim.

10. Iron is destroyed by its own rust.
Walang sumisira sa bakal kundi ang sariling kalawang.

11. A shallow river makes much noise.
Ang sapa kung malagawlaw, asahan mo at mababaw.

12. The early bird catches the worm.
Daig ng maagap ang masipag.

13. In union, there is strength.
Nasa pagkakaisa ang lakas.

14. The stone never approaches the snail.
Hindi lalapit ang bato sa suso.

15. Do not count the chicks before they are hatched.
Huag bilangin ang sisiw hanggang hindi napipisa.

16. A petted child is generally naked.
Ang laki sa layaw, karaniwa’y hubad.

Related by:

[Sgd.] (Mr.) Marcelino Landicho

Name of Documents or Books Writers or Authors
1.  Poems and Verses Bonifacio Robles
2.  Newspaper Luis Luna
3.  History of San Jose Atty. Jose de Villa
4.  Short stories Pedro Ona
5.  Life of Jose Rizal Justice Roman Ozaeta
6.  Songs Roman Kalalo
Ambrosio Makalintal
Kapitan Bonifacio Robles

Ang ligayang halos sumikip sa dibdib,
Na upang tamuhin, kiparin ang ibig,
Di na malayo at nanapit napit,
Ito nga ang piesta ng Poon San Josef.
Ito labing siyam na bilang ng darating na buwan
Na ipagsasaho’t ng ganap na diwang.
Pintakasing hirang, nitong sangbayanan
Sa madlang sakuna, siyang daingan.

Related by:



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