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

San Jose, Batangas: Historical Data Part I

Historical Data graphic
Historical data from the National Library of the Philippines.



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.

[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


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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